Visitng Oscar

I had the privilege of attending a blogger luncheon yesterday at the Clinton Presidential Center to tour the Oscar de la Renta exhibit celebrating five decades of his work. The exhibit features over 30 gorrrrrgeous pieces he created and walks you through his inspiration from around the world.

What amazed me were the details on his clothing. Every piece was flawlessly constructed with gorgeous hand beading, lace, bows, even flowers made out of tiny pink feathers. Oscar takes his inspiration from cultures spanning the globe, and the collections reflect that.

I'm gonna go ahead and go out on a limb here and say the best part is not just seeing the dresses, but finding out who wore them. There's an entire wall of dresses seen on Hollywood starlets (clearly, the sparkles above) and a collection of pieces the First Lady wore. Hillary Clinton was the first First Lady featured on the cover of Vogue - Oscar's suggestion! He also apparently is the master mind behind her pant suits.

 Now, I didn't want to give away the whole exhibit just in case you wanted to see it for yourself! It's going to be at the Clinton Library through December 1st and is free with admission to the Library. And no, they won't let you try anything on. Bummer! After you've finished drooling, make sure you head downstairs to Forty Two and try the grilled pimento cheese...heaven!

And for my non-Arkansas readers, here's at least one full length photo for you (credit : Nelson Chenault/Clinton Foundation)

 Honestly, the exhibit was inspiring. I was blown away by the craftsmanship and the stories behind his pieces. The seamstress in me wanted to get on the inside of the gowns and check out the serging and hand-stitching. I own two ready-to-wear pieces from Oscar's lower end lines (a black and white coat and a dressing robe) but if I ever need a red carpet look, I know where to make the splurge. Also, huge thanks to Joy and Clinton Center for inviting me to come out. If Oscar's people decide they don't want to ship all of this stuff back to him, you know where to find me.

AJ Wears :: Another striped blazer

Well, this may come as a surprise to you, but I did not own any VERTICAL striped blazers...until now. Thanks to a 40% extra off clearance at Gap, I snagged this adorable linen blazer for about $20! I wore it in the Gap Little Rock fashion show a few weeks ago and couldn't shake it from my brain. There are adorable little details about it you can't even see, like a neon yellow lining under the collar and a polka dot lining.

Now, a few people have asked me how I wear a blazer at all in this heat - so here's what I do. I always make sure my shirt underneath is appropriate to wear on its own so I can ditch the blazer and throw it in my bag if I overheat. It was nice and chilly in Flying Saucer so a blazer + shorts combo was fine for there, but we ended up taking a bit of a jaunt around downtown Little Rock after that so I shed a layer while we walked around.

After lunch at Saucer followed by delicious Le Pops, we hopped on the trolley and rode it around to the Clinton Library and back to Capital Hotel where I posed for pics with BB. Staycation tourists!

We crossed the bridge and hit up Argenta Market for Mexican cokes (real sugar for the win!)

Then continued our tour of North Little Rock with a stop at the Old Mill. I'd never been before, but the park is beautiful (and if it looks familiar, you might have seen it in Gone With the Wind.)

Look at these awesome shorts I got BB at Gap! I know dressing for summer as a guy has got to be terribly dull (I mean, no statement necklaces or anything), so I thought a bold striped short might liven things up.

EXPERT POSER. My Great Aunt & Uncle used to take me on trips as a kid and make me pose in front of everything. I have giant photo books of a little fat, curly headed, blond ham of a child in front of all sorts of random signs and monuments and I blame that every time my husband accuses me of "hamming".

Do you ever explore your own city?

Blazer, Gap (In stores! Similar from JCrew).
Shorts, Limited.
Tank, Zara.
Wedges, Cynthia Vincent for Target.
Bag, Kate Spade.

Feature :: Arkansas Life

This is incredibly exciting - I'm so proud to announce that I was featured in April's issue of Arkansas Life! If you're around town, I hear you can pick up a copy at a stand in front of Big Whiskey's. And if you aren't (or just lazy) you can read the digital edition here!

The fabulous Sandra of Little Rock, Big Style was also featured as one of the Natural State's movers and shakers, and the two of us are hamming it up around page 42. The article made me laugh a little bit...clearly I have a shoe problem.

Thank you SO much to Arkansas Life for including me in the Style Setters issue...I'm honored to be in the company of some truly remarkable trend setters. (and a big thanks to my friends who have already seen this about a billion times for letting me post it one more time)