Heels & Picks: Rock out at Neiman Marcus

Sep. 24, 2013 | 1 Comment

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The author with three outfits she helped pick out as part of Neiman Marcus' launch of CUSP at its Ala Moana store. (Courtesy Erin Smith)

The author with three outfits she helped pick out as part of Neiman Marcus’ launch of CUSP at its Ala Moana store. (Courtesy Erin Smith)

BY ERIN SMITH / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Everyone has a little rock ‘n’ roll in them. Sometimes in life, to take the next opportunity that comes your way, to get out there and get what you want out of your career and your path, it takes a little bit of swagger.

Looking to spice up your wardrobe with a few key rock ‘n’ roll-style pieces? Neiman Marcus launches their new CUSP line this month with some hot events, great giveaways and of course, amazing clothing, footwear and accessories.

The "Everyday" look. (Courtesy Erin Smith)

Erin Smith’s “Everyday” look. (Courtesy Erin Smith)

The new line brings together popular designers Diane Von Furstenberg, Alice + Olivia, Rag & Bone, Helmut Lange and Alexander McQueen in one area of the Ala Moana Center store. The grouping and pieces are decidedly rock ‘n’ roll; spikes, fur, animal print, edgy patterns and leather run the show.

It is so my jam.

So when Neiman Marcus called to ask if I would style three mannequins with my choice of pieces, I agreed immediately. What girl wouldn’t want to play dress up in a high fashion playground of gorgeous fabrics, cuts and designs?

When I visited to work on the looks with in-house stylist Ann Marie Smith, we decided to divide the looks into three categories: Everyday, Stage and Awards Show Outfit. “Everyday” is something you would wear to say a recording studio or a meeting, “Stage” is for rocking out under the bright lights and “Awards Show Outfit” is for when you win the Grammy for Best Rock Vocal on a Song Not Featuring Justin Timberlake (seriously, that guy is everywhere.)

The “Everyday” look is cozy and comfortable, yet edgy and sleek. I started to compile the look by choosing a heather grey couture sweatshirt by Haute Hippie. It has fabulous embellished shoulders with black stones and adds instant edge to a comfy, relaxed look. The skirt I paired it with is magenta leather by one of my favorite labels, Alice & Olivia. To finish the outfit, I paired a black suede fringe boot by Sam Edelman and jewelry from the CUSP line.

The “Stage” look had to be statement mixed with functionality, as certain outfits just don’t help you out when on stage. If the shoes are too high or the outfit is slipping around, you won’t be comfortable doing the job you are there to do.

The “Awards Show” look. (Courtesy Erin Smith)

The “Awards Show” look. (Courtesy Erin Smith)

When I found the brown crocodile peplum tank by Alexander Wang, I knew I had the centerpiece for my stage look. I’m not usually big on peplum tops because the flair doesn’t work well with my shape (tall, tiny waist and hourglass), but this particular cut is sleek and doesn’t flare out at the hips. Paired with purple coated skinny jeans from Current Elliot, the brown croc shirt looks even more rock n roll.

I like to mix oddball pieces and bright shiny accessories into looks, so I chose some glitter peep-toe sling back pumps by Christian Louboutin. Those shoes would POP on stage. The final touches are rose gold pyramid bracelets by Eddie Borgo and jewelry from the CUSP line.

The “Awards Show” look definitely pushes the envelope. I am comfortable wearing over-the-top clothing and would dress like Brandon Flowers from The Killers every day if I could get away with it. I worked to balance the bold with the chic to make the outfit interesting yet classy.

The big statement piece is a moto jacket with fur sleeves, from the Mc Q line by Alexander McQueen. It is big, bad and bold. The burgundy sleek-fit dress is by Alexander Wang, and it smooths out beneath the wild jacket to make the look feminine and add a classic touch. I also chose a studded strap pointed toe pump by Valentino (swoon!) and a long necklace and teal pendant for a pop of color by Alexis Bittar for the final touches. Voila! Ready for the red carpet.

Here’s where you come in, dear reader. Head down to Ala Moana Center and visit Neiman Marcus for a chance to win a $250 gift certificate. All you have to do is use your keen fashion eye to assess the three looks I’ve styled and vote for your favorite. A winner will be selected from those who voted for the winning look at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28. I will be there to pull the winning name perform a half-hour set of my solo music. Complimentary cocktails will be served and a DJ will keep the music going after I perform.

Sounds like a great day of music and fashion to me! I’m looking forward to seeing which look gets the most votes and to seeing you for some fashion, bevys and rock ‘n’ roll.
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Erin Smith is a singer and guitarist who performs as a solo artist and with Maui-based Na Hoku Hanohano Award-nominated band The Throwdowns. Born in Canada, she moved to Hawaii in 2004 and now resides in Kailua. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter

  • ElizabethKieszkowski

    I need to enter this contest. Your “Stage” look is beautiful, sleek and sexy – love those jeans!