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Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Ok, fashionista's, it is time to show or express that little shade of envy you have for what I get to do in life. I have been fortunate to interview a few fun people over the years, like shoe and clothing designer Vince Camuto and What Not To Wear's Clinton Kelly, but I am moving on. This coming Saturday, April 28th, Donald and his wife Lisa Pliner are coming to Raleigh's own Main & Taylor Shoe Salon for a meet and greet with their fans. I get to meet, greet, and interview Donald and his wife Lisa before the doors open! I have so many random questions that I want to ask, that I am hoping I just don't ramble and ask him if he needs a shoe tester. Let me give you a quick refresher on his life and career.

Donald was born in 1943 and raised in Chicago with his twin sister. Along with his brother, he worked as an apprentice to his father at Pliner's Florsheim Family Shoe Stores. With all that experience in the family store, we know where he got his shoe chops from!
1967 - Opened his first store, Pappagallo Beverly Hills, and sales went through the roof. Clearly a star in the making.
1971 - Donald began gaining ground with the Right Bank Clothing Company
1984 - Donald was recruited to head a Spanish-produced footwear line called Glace, and not only designed, but conceived the whole operation
1987 - Donald did a stint designing for the brand Erica, and sales increased dramatically
1990 - Donald began designing his own line of footwear and accessories, and creating his brand
1994 - Donald designed the first all-over elastic using comfort as his underlying goal

That all-over elastic was one of my first pair of his shoes! Do you remember your first Donald Pliner's shoes?

1998 - Men's footwear is introduced by Donald. Today, Donald's men's line includes dress shoes, boots, basic comfort shoes, sandals, sporty styles, and executive dress shoes, and complements his women's line in scope and style.

Boy, would I like to be a permanent fly on his wall!

What about Lisa Pliner?

With her formal education coming from the Parsons School of Design in Paris, the Miami native has been designing since fall of 2010, after years of working side by side with Donald. Lisa's signature green sole signifies life, and celebrates all things good. She defines good as growth, renewal, health, and the environment. Lisa designs for the active woman who is unwilling to sacrifice style for comfort, while offering ultra-chic style and stunning technical details in each shoe.

So, we are all updated with their careers, and especially the impressive one Donald has had. He was wonderfully gracious when I met him over 20 years ago, and I expect he will be the same this weekend. Come and check out the event at Main & Taylor Shoe Salon at North Hills this Saturday from 10-4. Bring or plan to buy a shoe, as he will sign them.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Suzanne's Weekly Six Picks

Regardless of whether I am on vacation or working, my love for fashion doesn't stop. This past week I was busy climbing the red rock of Arizona, jeeping around the scenic rim of Sedona, and lastly, visiting the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, which was the highlight. In between my activities, drinking numerous margaritas, and eating loads of chips and salsa, I also shopped in some local boutiques and a few not so typical places.

For those who follow me on twitter @SavvySuzanne you saw a picture of me wearing a real fox skin hat with the skins draping over my shoulders. My sister in law put me up to it, so don't call Peta, please! I enjoyed the couple of spring/summer skirts that I brought along with the basic tees and the two hoodies that I lived in. It got me thinking that my wardrobe lacks graphic tees for spring. Wondering where I might find some that are not overly trendy and will hold up after a few washes. I will get back to you on that.

This week's picks address basic cotton skirts in various lengths and styles. Easy to wear and even easier to change up the look of a skirt from day to night, casual to dressy. It is all about the fabric shirts and tops that you pair with the skirts, along with varied length necklaces, print and solid scarves, and lastly, the shoes. Spend a little time getting creative in your closet and see how many different outfits you can put together with one skirt. I'd love to see the results.

Happy styling!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Shirtdresses for summer!

I am all about a shirt dress for summer! Whether it is neon orange or plain old denim, I can always find several different ways to wear a shirtdress. Consider these questions when putting together your outfit to help transition the item.

The melon pleated dress:

1. If the shirtdress is sleeveless, do I have casual cardigans, cropped jackets, and belts to change the look of the dress?

2. Can I dress it up or down by wearing flats or heels? Do I have scarves or necklaces to help accessorize the simple silhouette?

3. Am I comfortable mixing fabrics, similar tones, or bright tones for a pop of color?

If you have answered yes to most of these questions, then this is a great item to incorporate into your lifestyle wardrobe. The same dress can transition into fall by using navy, taupes, and sage greens. Stay away from blacks and browns as you may feel a bit ghoolish!

The denim sleeveless shirtdress:

1. Can I see the endless possibilities in wearing this dress with a crispy white blouse underneath or short sleeve fitted scoop neck t-shirt?

2. Not only are cowboy boots an option, but am I comfortable wearing brightly colored flip flops and fun bangles for a hot summer day?

3. I know wearing a white denim jacket may be a bit much, but how about a khaki or stone colored hip length jacket and a woven wedge shoe with canvas uppers?

If you are nodding your heads in agreement, then this is the shirtdress for you. Shirtdresses are truly an item that I could talk about for hours and offer dozens of ideas about how to change the look. It's such a versatile piece of clothing! As for the cowboy boots...I have just recently convinced a client that she can wear boots in the summer. No, she ain't from Texas!

From my closet to yours-



Shirtdresses for summer!
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