Part one of a new series: A letter from Designer Stella Carakasi:

New Year – New Direction

2018 marks our 25th anniversary and we are celebrating this incredible milestone by taking our company into a new and exciting direction that I will be sharing with you soon. I know 25 years is a long time so for those of you who have joined us more recently, I would like to start by out by inviting you on a short trip down memory lane.

In 1993, eco-fashion disrupter, Two Star Dog was launched by brothers Steven and Allan Boutrous. Shortly thereafter, I joined the team and together we created the first hemp clothing collection in the United States, which was very controversial at the time. We designed and trademarked “The Original Hemp Jeans” which quickly became a national bestseller and the company rose to the top of this niche market proving that sustainability in fashion was possible.

stella-editorial-image-1--tinyIn the mid-nineties, major growth opportunity came knocking with mainstream fashion paying attention to Two Star Dog. As the business grew, I found myself being pulled in many directions not only designing for our brand but for a myriad of other opportunities including department stores, catalogs…even wardrobe design for a few Hollywood movies.  It was easy to get wrapped up in all the excitement of the moment but I wanted to experience everything I could about the industry and all it had to offer. I think I must have traveled around the world ten times as the nineties came to a close. I learned about balance in those days, I learned about focus, I learned about priorities but most of all, I learned that time doesn’t stand still and the fashion industry somehow makes it move even faster.

stella-editorial-image-2-tinyThen, just as I thought nothing could stop us, the economic crisis of 2008 hit, taking a toll on the entire industry sparing virtually no one. During that same time, my daughter was born prematurely, sending me on a tumultuous roller coaster I was hardly prepared for. While facing the unknown, both personally and professionally I found my strength in knowing that we all have the power to change our lives with our thoughts and I chose to remain positive. Setting an example for my daughter to be a strong independent spirit became my priority, and sparked a desire to find deeper meaning in my work as well. After much reflection and contemplation, I resolved to take a stand by creating a lifestyle brand that reflected my core values, one rooted in social and environmental responsibility – a brand that would re-energize the market by inspiring women to express their individuality through design. 

stella-blog-editorial-image-3-tiny.jpgWith the help of my amazing team I began to lay the foundation for our new direction, and by Fall 2012 the Stella Carakasi brand was born. We quickly gained a following of high-end boutiques across the United States, Canada, and Australia. Not long after that, we launched our e-commerce site, followed by the opening of our flagship store in Berkeley, California – both of which created a direct line of communication with you, our customer. This conversation and sense of community have inspired me to change the direction of our business in new and exciting ways. Stay tuned for the second part of my letter on our blog next week!

Thank you for your ongoing support, it means everything to us!

—Stella

Stella Signature

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Company, Design, designer

New Year – New Direction

New Year – New Direction

2018 marks our 25th anniversary and we are celebrating this incredible milestone by taking our company into a new and exciting direction that I will be sharing with you soon. I know 25 years is a long time so for those of you who have joined us more recently, I would like to start by out by inviting you on a short trip down memory lane.

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resort 600x800300dpi-resort-cropCall it Cruise, call it Resort, we call it a vacation from the dark days of winter. And even when you cannot call it quits to the cold outside and land yourself on a beach in some tropical paradise with a beach boy fanning your tanned body… you can liven up your mood, your wardrobe, and your look by adding colors that make you feel like the bombshell that you are.

The color trend to try for 2016 is Batik. Referred to as Blue Hydrangea, Ocean, or simply Blue. Why we love it? Think about denim. Yes, that favorite pair of jeans or denim jacket. Why does denim work with just about everything? Because it’s really a neutral. Batik works exactly the same way – effortlessly working with so many other colors.

Explore why we are bonkers for blue this season!

 

Resort finds Stella in a relaxed mood influenced by a combination of the timeless and updated cool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Collections, Design, Fashion, stella carakasi, Women's Fashion

The Color Trend You Need To Know in 2016

The color trend to try for 2016 is Batik. Referred to as Blue Hydrangea, Ocean, or simply Blue.

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Top 5 Outerwear Looks For Winter

outerwear-600x600.jpgOuterwear is a particular highlight as we move into winter. Noteworthy styles with treatments in boiled wool, rich deep reds, and a stunning powder blue to black Ombre highlight the uniqueness of this category. The cocooning comfort of the Wrap Up Coat is on trend. The overwhelming impression, though, is one of a new softness, and a heightened understanding of what might feel good to a woman to wear.

A special fusion of creativity, craftsmanship, and intelligence go into creating such fine attention to detail that these pieces could easily be worn inside out. In the end, the big takeaway:

There is grace and beauty to be found in comfort.

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Five Perfect Coats for the Season

Coats are to winter what dresses are to summer – a.k.a. the most essential part of your wardrobe. That means you should have more than one! So we’re bringing you 5 of the best styles to keep you warm (and looking cool) all season long.

From more structured versions, to softer ones with fabric to spare, these picks will keep you on point all season.

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How To Create the “Layered Look” Effect

Layering is an easy way to create a modern, fun and casually chic look. Here’s 5 layering tips and some suggested styles that will have you creating new looks with ease.

Epitome of Style Sweater, Agenda Tunic
We love this effortless look. Stella has a way with romancing well-made non-trendy staples. For fall, the scale reads modern and chic but with a relaxed mood. We hope you love Stella’s take on the layered look.

Layering tips:

1. Start the first layer with a lightweight style that has a tighter fit than the piece you will be layering over it. We suggest the Agenda Tunic as a first layer.

2. Layer in one color. Tone on tone instantly looks rich.

3. Play with shorter layers over longer layers. This instantly elongates your figure and balances proportions.

4. Save texture and statements for your outer layers and accessories. Have fun with outer layers that provide the final touch of interest for your outfit, whether you choose to go minimal or lux.

5. Keep your waist flat. You want to layer on top of a smooth foundation. Avoid pants with belt loops and bunches. Instead try an invisible waist, such as Stella’s Define Yourself Ankle Pants.

Take It Easy Sweater
A minimalist layered look. Take It Easy Sweater with 24/7 Tank and Define Yourself Ankle Pants.


Flawless Cardigan, New Wave SkirtLayered lux look: Flawless Cardigan with Sheer Thing Top and New Wave Skirt.

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Runway Wrap-Up

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Fall fashion is here! Despite balmy summer temperatures last weekend, excited fashionistas congregated at the Stella Studio on Friday night where Stella Carakasi presented The Fall Style Event in partnership with The Rich Life (on a budget), and in celebration of San Francisco Fashion Week. Collaborators in the event included Fashion Over Fifty, Daisy Tribe, jewelry designer Janet Harrer, and Style Equation Magazine. The designer presented a private show to bloggers and local fans who mingled and noshed on delightful treats from Whole Foods Market and grooved to cool beats provided by DJ Rimarkable.

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Vivian here sharing more thoughts about our Looks for Every Body campaign –

Womens Figure

You may be asking why in the world would we touch a “taboo” subject like women’s body types? After much discussion about how women experience their bodies over time, I always return to a few simple truths: 1) we know we are aging, 2) we appreciate the wisdom, but not the wrinkles, and 3) we are really great at hating our “faults”, and we really suck at lovin’ our “positives.”

Yes, and unfortunately we are not perfect anymore. But neither were we born that way, mind you. And if you remember back to when we were younger, we also hated our faults then. Over time, we’ve just learned to appreciate what we had way back when.

Oh well.

When I was 28 and saw wrinkles above my knees for the first time, I got depressed. At 35 when I realized my boobs were not quite as perky and my butt started sagging, I had a hissy fit. Following my second child at 40, I pouted because my stomach became forever pouchy. And at 45, I’ve come to terms with the laws of gravity, but now have changed my focus to hating every white hair that thrives on my head.

Clearly I have yet to learn how to appreciate what I have NOW, so I invite you all into the new practice of LOVIN’ our POSITIVES! Gravity is here to stay, so why not do as Yarra says — if it’s dull outside (in this case, inside), just put on some SPARKLE and GLAM it up!!

Next steps: 1) Figure out your body type (you may be in between two), 2) claim your positives, and 3) dress ’em up and flaunt them (y’all know what I mean)!! Be sure to check out the weekly Looks for Every Body posts and style boards that were designed to help you do just that. SNAP SNAP!! And SNAP!!

Fashion, Life & Inspiration, Sizing, Style Tips

Love Your Positives

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It’s Yarra here, sharing thoughts about jersey…

So, how did jersey — the fabric so many of us associate with tee shirts — become a staple in my wardrobe and that of so many of my friends? I’m not talking about workout wear either. I’m talking about my favorite skirt for work (the Endless Ease Skirt), or my go-to tunic for a Saturday night dinner date (the Contrary Tunic).

http://www.stellacarakasi.com/products/endless-ease-skirt

Endless Ease Skirt

Contrary Tunic

Contrary Tunic

Jersey gives me the freedom of choice: I can dress it up, or dress it down. I love how jewelry looks draped across the neckline of a jersey tunic, or how a belt can break up the length of a tunic’s silhouette. For wash and wear ease, jersey is my go-to staple for the workweek and the weekend.

In musing about how jersey became a fabric favored by designers all over the world, I came across an article about how Coco Chanel used jersey to construct her designs, starting with the opening of her first store in 1913. Brilliant! How did I not know that this fashion icon revolutionized jersey?

What does jersey fabric mean to your wardrobe? For me, it makes up about 1/4 of my wardrobe. I’ve worn it for travel, interviews, and special events. My favorite color for jersey in Stella Carakasi’s Fall 2013 collections is Citadel (shown below).

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Outfit No. 1: Contrary Tunic + Ada Wrap Belt
Outfit No. 2: Future Perfect Top + Form And Function Skirt + Contrast Cardigan

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Why I Love Jersey

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