channeling Jackie Kennedy in San francisco

So this one’s a bit of a throwback, number one because this San Francisco trip was ages ago. Number two, the look is a recreation of Jackie O’s simple yet unforgettable street style photo in Capri. As far as I’m concerned, Jackie-O circa ‘70s was the height of her reign as American fashion queen. One cannot help but be transported by the sepia photograph of Italian riviera al fresco dining in the spring, as Jackie walks by in her signature oversized sunglasses with her sister by her side. In a crowd of pedestrians, Jackie seems to make time stop in an outfit so simple, yet incredibly chic: a black sweater with a flowy polka dot maxi skirt, cinched at the waist with a statement belt.

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I did my own rendition of the look with pieces sourced directly from my closet: an olive maxi skirt with buttons down the middle, a cashmere black sweater that I want to live in forever, and a tan, bejeweled belt (another item I can thank my mother for). Being in the presence of Karl the Fog (yes, San Francisco has a name for the blanket of clouds that seem to be a permanent resident), I opted for over-the-knee suede boots instead of Jackie’s sandals, and cat-eye sunglasses (I have a pair of oversized Prada ones similar to Jackie’s but left them at home, oops!).

In my mid-twenties, I’ve found myself enthralled by simple outfits from mid to late 20th century ladies who understood that setting the style standard doesn’t mean you have to wear something whimsical every day (although, I’m all about that clothing genre, as you guys know if you’ve followed me on this blog for a while). It means you have to wear whatever it is you’re putting on, every single day—even if it’s just a tank top and shorts—with a nonchalant confidence. Embodying this look just does that for me as I walk a less populated cityscape than usual (bear in mind this was a couple months back). I have to say, I miss the hustle and bustle of cities especially San Francisco: the pedestrians polka-dotting the streets, a part of the metropolis’ very fabric.

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When I visited San Francisco in these photos a couple months ago, I drank in the bird’s eye view of the city from a high point at the University of San Francisco. From a near aerial view, it still looked like the same breathtaking city I grew up visiting and loving dearly with its Victorian houses in a kaleidoscope of colors. The painted ladies existing alongside more modern skyscrapers and cathedrals with flying buttresses reminiscent of medieval times. To me, the contrast has always enriched the area and seemed to fit beautifully together. But visiting San Francisco in pandemic times made me realize the people walking around with an array of styles and from diverse backgrounds is what truly made this city, and any city special. Granted, more and more people are strolling around San Francisco as it opens up, but I truly miss the city in full swing. I felt the same about Los Angeles as I sat in a Santa Monica coffee shop typing this post.

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The pandemic has put cities to sleep for a very long time, and I have a glimmer of hope for California gradually returning to normalcy sooner rather than later.  

What city is your favorite in the world?

Keeping it Krischic,

Kristin Vartan

Also Check Me Out On: 23ABC, ABC7 LA, Entertainment WeeklyThe Hollywood ReporterE! NewsDarling MagazinePepperdine GraphicTwitter, FacebookInstagram and TikTok!

THE POTTERY TOP | THE CHIC LIST

We all have that top.

It’s the garment, so avant garde, so unique that you equate to a priceless artifact that belongs in a museum. Well, for me I can’t help but feel this way about this corset top with a Hellenistic print on It, because it legit looks like Grecian pottery from ancient times—so shouldn’t it be in the British museum next to the Elgin Marbles, or something?

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There was this one day B.C. (before COVID) where I posted a slideshow of me in this piece and the second photo of a Greek vase with the caption, “who wore it better?” I’d even be remiss to call it my hero item, because it also probably has demigods of Troy inscribed on it. So, a literal hero top.

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When you put a top like this—like you would priceless pottery—on a pedestal, it’s easy to be reluctant to wear it, except on special occasions. You think that the top is too special, that wearing it in everyday life is too casual and will deplete its novelty. But that isn’t the case. A hero top should be celebrated, should be shown off. It’s all about finding unique ways to dawn it each time. And like most quality pieces in your closet, it can be dressed up or down.

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Wide-leg high-waist jeans were the go-to pairing for this corset pottery top for a photo shoot with friends. Denim has a way of making a statement top like this one feel more down-to-earth and making the wearer look more girl-next-door. But let’s be real, I’m a girl next door, but my house is filled with an eclectic blend of historic items as well as shiny new pieces. It’s a place to feel inspired and feel at home at the same time. Don’t mind my extended metaphor. Mind you, the jeans had to be balanced out with ancient-inspired jewelry: a chain necklace with a golden coin and matching earrings (that are actually from a different jewelry brand) reminiscent of King Midas’ treasury.

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What is a trend you want to see me style next?

Photo Credit: Moreno Photography

Keeping it Krischic,

Kristin Vartan

Also Check Me Out On: 23ABC, ABC7 LA, Entertainment WeeklyThe Hollywood ReporterE! NewsDarling MagazinePepperdine GraphicTwitter, FacebookInstagram and TikTok!

PRINCESS DIANA OFF-DUTY STYLE | THE CHIC LIST

Princess Diana was known as the “People’s Princess.” She was a combination of relatable and aspirational in the way she cared about others and the way she dressed.

I’ll never forget seeing a picture of her for the first time amongst my mother’s mementos in my grandparent’s house. I was about eight years old, and I was caught off guard by a glossy photo of this stunning woman with blond hair and a resplendent diadem sitting on her head. Her smile seemed to jump off the page, and her eyes were kind and striking at the same time. As someone fascinated by royalty at birth (back then it was obviously Disney princesses), I asked my grandma who she was. “That’s Princess Diana,” she said with a smile. “She is one of the most beautiful women in the world with a beautiful heart to match.”

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My mother and grandmother would go on to tell me about what a humanitarian Diana was: She worked toward destigmatizing HIV and AIDs, leprosy, devoted her time to those experiencing homelessness, and so much more. Actually, Princess Diana was involved with over 100 charitable organizations at one point in time, according to Time Magazine. Those who know about my affinity with Audrey Hepburn may see a trend here: a style icon in my eyes is someone who knows that a well-dressed woman’s best accessories are a big heart and shimmering soul.

Speaking of outfits, Princess Diana’s have stood the test of time. Watching The Crown season four revived my obsession with her fashion choices. My wardrobe is already dripping with ‘80s and ‘90s attire, thanks to my mother’s closet that I’ve ‘shopped’ from time to time. So naturally, I’ve been able to seamlessly recreate a good dozen of Lady Di’s looks without spending a dime. That’s why this will be the first of a series of Diana outfits that I’ll be dawning on the blog!

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This “princess off-duty” look is one I ironically have worn on my days off countless times without knowing Diana wore it first! The fact that she dawned it on the beach decades ago, makes me love it and want to live in it that much more. It’s the epitome of ‘90s minimalism that allows the wearer to exude effortless radiance, rather than the outfit overshadowing her. It’s simple, sporty and classy, just like Princess Diana. The look consists of a black spaghetti black tank top and crisp white Bermuda shorts cinched with a black leather belt with a square buckle. I accessorized with vintage gold hoop earrings, a dainty watch courtesy of my grandma, and some square sunnies that were my mom’s and are now back in style! On a sunny day traipsing the lush gardens and art halls of The Huntington with my blogger bestie Mari Makatsaria, the outfit served me well in the comfort department too.

Who is your style icon, and why? Let me know in the comments below!

PC: Mari Makatsaria

Keeping it Krischic,

Kristin Vartan

Also Check Me Out On: 23ABC, ABC7 LA, Entertainment WeeklyThe Hollywood ReporterE! NewsDarling MagazinePepperdine GraphicTwitter, FacebookInstagram and TikTok!

MOTHER’S DAY AND MAMA’S CLOSET: | THE CHIC LIST

“Oh my goodness Kristin, I love your suit. Where did you get it?”

“Oh my goodness Kristin, I love your [green and blue houndstooth] dress (pictured above). Where do you shop?”

Every time I get these questions, I grin at the appraised garment with delight, and say: “It’s this really chic boutique called “Mama’s Closet.”

“Oh, that’s super cool. Where is that?”

I laugh, as I reveal my best kept secret—well actually it’s not really under wraps. I tell people all the time and am super proud of it. “I literally mean, my mom’s closet.” My mom is such fashionista and had some of the most iconic clothes from the ‘80s and ‘90s. I’m talking statement dresses with sharp shoulder pads, like this one with sheer sleeves and a bejeweled belt. My mother wore it when my father officially asked my grandparents for their blessing to marry her. That in itself made the dress feel like home when I wore it. Then it took on another sartorial story when I wore it while covering the American Music Awards this past year.

I’m gushing about off-the-shoulder metallic tops with another matching belt adorned with rhinestones. It’s a part of an unconventional suit, that I sported to a fashion-forward shindig in Los Angeles, pre-pandemic.

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And I’m enthusing about her emerald green jumpsuit with rhinestones dropping along the back, reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe. This one has been a favorite on rotation. I’ve dawned it on my 21st birthday on a wine train journey through Napa and many other times after that.

And although I don’t have pictorial evidence on hand of my mother’s original stylings of these—the plethora of unique skirt suits, like this red wool one with crested-gold buttons and this baby blue number mom wore to my baptism, have been my uniforms while reporting on-camera over the years. By the way, these outfits are just skimming the surface of my mother’s clothing collection, now a part of my treasure trove.

My mom doesn’t just own aspirational clothes—she’s worn them with such style and grace because she is a gem beyond measure. I’m so thankful to call my mother not just my style icon, but my best friend and confidant, my role model and my hero. Love you so much, mama!

Also, a special Mother’s Day shoutout to my grandma, who actually has made a few pieces for my mother that I now proudly own. She is also a stylish and strong lady, who I look up to very much!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! What is your favorite thing about your mom or being a mom?

Keeping it Krischic,

Kristin Vartan

Also Check Me Out On: 23ABC, ABC7 LA, Entertainment WeeklyThe Hollywood ReporterE! NewsDarling MagazinePepperdine GraphicTwitter, FacebookInstagram and TikTok!

93RD OSCARS RED CARPET FASHION | ON-CAMERA STYLE

On Hollywood’s biggest night out, the Oscars, I in grand pandemic fashion stayed in! And like hundreds of other hand-selected journalists covering the 93rd Academy Awards, I wasn’t alone.

The Oscars were in person this year for celebrities and a few select outlets, but most on-camera journalists like me, accustomed to interviewing the celebrities on the other side of the red carpet rope, conducted our interviews on a large Zoom call with the Oscar winners after they received their award. I was beyond elated to be there, even if covering the Oscars red carpet was virtual this year! It’s not easy to get press credentials to one of the most important entertainment functions of the year. So, I counted my blessings as Nomadland’s Chloé Zhao (the first woman of color to win an Oscar for directing), Emerald Fennell (the cool woman she is, single-handedly accepted her Original Screenplay Oscar while pregnant, for Promising Young Woman, which she filmed also while pregnant), Supporting Actor Oscar winner Daniel Kaluuya (who paid homage to Black Panther Fred Hampton while reminder our audiences that there’s still a lot of work to be done in regards to racial equality in the United States), Hair stylists Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson who became the first Black winners for the Makeup and Hairstyling Oscar, and many others walked onto the step-and-repeat on my Zoom speaker view!

The ABC affiliate I on-camera report for, gave me the privilege of leading our entire 93rd Oscars coverage over the weekend. Our Oscars content began with my one-on-one Zoom interview with twelve-time Oscar nominee, Diane Warren (who I have been a fan of forever—you’ve probably heard the genius tracks she’s whipped up like Because You Loved Me, I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing, Un-Break My Heart and hundreds more). My colleague, Bayan Wang during our live banter, asked me to sing my favorite Diane Warren song and there I was, just hoping that I honored her gorgeous composition.

Part two of my 2020 Oscars coverage: a recap of the most memorable and crucial moments of the night. Now you may be asking, Kristin how were you able to recap the Oscars red carpet and ceremony while simultaneously staying on this Zoom call for six hours straight as winners trickled onto the virtual step-and-repeat during the show? Let me tell ya, it wasn’t easy to monitor two feeds at once for six hours. Sometimes Oscars winners talked while I was on mute and listened to and watched the Oscars ceremony on my laptop. Between their interview answers, I tried to selectively listen to the Oscars ceremony and make time-stamps on things I thought were useful to send to our station’s editor to send me footage for my video recap. The fact that I was able to get this all turned around for our 11 p.m. newscast and go live on-time was the result of two things: an amazing team and the grace of God.

Suffice to say, I made it to my live hit of our post-Oscars coverage. And for the first time since I joined my station, I got to report from our studio! It felt like just the right occasion for it too! You can find my coverage here.  

Now the moment you’ve all probably been waiting for, since this is a fashion blog: what I wore to the virtual Oscars red carpet! Ever since I entered professional life, I’ve started to favor sleeker cuts with vintage trimmings rather than clothing that’s too fussy and frilly. Every so often, perhaps I’ll add on the extra icing and decals. This tuxedo-inspired number just screamed “I’d like to thank the Academy,” circa 1940s, to me. It was a nod to Old Hollywood glamour in a new age version of one of Hollywood’s most iconic award ceremonies.

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What was your favorite moment from Oscar night? Comment down below!

Keeping it Krischic,

Kristin Vartan

Also Check Me Out On: 23ABC, ABC7 LA, Entertainment WeeklyThe Hollywood ReporterE! NewsDarling MagazinePepperdine GraphicTwitter, FacebookInstagram and TikTok!

THE TUXEDO WORK SUIT REIMAGINED | ON-CAMERA STYLE

Wearing neutrals to work doesn’t have to be black and white, even if you’re wearing black and white! Today on the blog, I’m showing you how to breathe new life into the tuxedo suit trend for the office, or if you’re a reporter, in the field.

It was a Friday afternoon, which for someone who works the nightside shift as an on-camera reporter really means morning. And for someone who works weekends, it is also actually a Tuesday. For me, it was all of the above, plus a big break. Our station’s assignment editor gave me a call and told me I’d be covering Governor Gavin Newsom’s visit to Kern County (as many of you who follow me on the blog already know, I’m an on-camera reporter at an ABC affiliate. That’s my day—I mean night job.) Viewers would later discover on our newscast that he was specifically visiting the CSUB vaccination hub to provide an update on California’s vaccination efforts. I broke all this news in our primetime newscast at 5 and 6 p.m. as the reporter of the leading story.

But before breaking the news, I had to break out an outfit to wear. Believe it or not, what I put on any given day on-air can have an impact on my confidence, my performance, and of course the obvious: how I look while I’m delivering the information. The outfit in these photos is not what I wore on that particular day, but I did sport a similar salt-and-pepper combination in the form of a fitted tweed dress. Mark my words, that wasn’t the first or the last time I wore black and white in the effort of neutrality.

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Neutrals can mean toned down, in the sense of the optics, or the objectivity of the message. As much as I love wearing red or blue because the colors look good on me, I tread carefully when covering politics, or even covering a politician (disclaimer, covering politics or not, I never wear red or blue to take a stand, especially as a journalist. I remain neutral. But I do own a lot of both colors because they complement my skin tone and raven hair quite nicely).

When combining the hues of yin and yang, there’s a power in the aesthetic of contrast. It can really make you pop when you’re on-air, despite the colors being muted. This black jacket, save the usual blazer collar has a crisp and blunt cut that further emphasizes the off-white turtleneck beneath. The top acts like the cream of an Oreo when sandwiched together with this black mini skirt with a subtle slit. I switched in this skirt with the mid-length one initially paired with the outerwear for a more unconventional work suit that can be worn with go-go boots. I like the way the boots give this look a mod feel (another ode to mod fashion on-camera in this post). This ensemble, to be sure, will give a traditional black-and-white suit (which I also love) a run for its money. As we approach warmer months, you can easily switch the turtleneck out for a ribbed white T-shirt and a three-quarter-sleeve blazer for the same effect.

What color should I wear on-air next?

Keeping it Krischic,

Kristin Vartan

Also Check Me Out On: 23ABC, ABC7 LA, Entertainment WeeklyThe Hollywood ReporterE! NewsDarling MagazinePepperdine GraphicTwitter, FacebookInstagram and TikTok!

P.S. These photos were taken by and with my best friend, Mari Makatsaria. If you haven’t checked out her fashion blog, you’re missing out.

HOW TO WEAR ’60S MOD | ON-CAMERA STYLE

As Nancy Sinatra once sang in her nonchalant manner, “these boots were made for walking, and that’s just what they’ll do,” and I’ll step into a time machine in them and make my way over to the midcentury any day!

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Anyone who knows me knows I love emulating vintage motifs in my on-camera style. The ’60s are my current obsession: the movies (anything with Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly), the fashion and the music (which I’ll jam to on my way to a live shot. My current rotation is ‘60s rock and all the songs on the Queen’s Gambit playlist on Spotify!). One particular trend of the time that resonates me on a spiritually sartorial level: mod. When I say, mod-est is ‘hautest,’ I’m talking about this.

The mod era was characterized by vibrant-colored dresses with go-go boots and originated from a London subculture during the ’60s, ergo the boots that are not only made for walking but strutting. The combination is perfect for television, because the solid colors of the dress pop without distracting from what you’re trying to report about. This pistachio green trench coat dress is one of my favorites to reach for when reporting. The mid-length is comfortable but still allows for my modernized white go-go boots to have their moment if I’m doing a more zoomed-out live shot.

For anyone interested in going for a mod-look on-camera you really only need those two things: white knee-high boots and a no-fuss dress! The dress is so carefree, that even the stitching shows purposefully, and I love that. But no iconic look is complete without accessories, so I adorned my ears with these rhinestone dangly earrings, framed with smaller rhinestones to really pop against my licorice black locks. I added a touch of fuchsia lipstick to complete the ‘60s retro vibe. All I was truly missing was the Twiggy style under-eyeliner!

What is your favorite era of fashion?

Keeping it Krischic,

Kristin Vartan

Also Check Me Out On: 23ABC, ABC7 LA, Entertainment WeeklyThe Hollywood ReporterE! NewsDarling MagazinePepperdine GraphicTwitter, FacebookInstagram and TikTok!

P.S. These photos were taken by and with my best friend, Mari Makatsaria. If you haven’t checked out her fashion blog, you’re missing out.

cherry print is back | The chic list

Happy First Day of Spring! Floral may be the traditional pattern for the season, but I am deciding right here and now that fruity prints should make their comeback. No, it’s not because one of the few places we’ve been able to venture to the past year is the grocery store. Hear me out:

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I recall cherry print’s peak in the early 2000s quite fondly on those ribbed tank tops we all can remember as tweens if you’re a later millennial or early Gen-Zer (I’m right on the cusp). As a 24-year-old who has a firmer grasp on my sense of personal style than middle school me, I find cherry print on more timeless pieces like a sweetheart neckline wrap top to be worthy go-to and easily dressed up, with a red wrap skirt and white go-go boots, or down with light-wash mom jeans. Since outdoor dining has been back and the weather permits, this is a look I’d dawn at Brunch with friends, like my outing with my lovely bestie Mari, who took these photos.

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Cherry motifs also conjure up another childhood memory for me: my cousins and I picking the first cherries of the season with our grandfather at our grandparent’s house. I was quite young, a few years old, but I can see the memory like a blurry, analog photograph: my family and I eating the freshly picked fruit on hot summers day in the Central Valley. Sometimes, I recall the simplicity of those moments and how precious they were. I wear the cherry print as a legacy to the little girl, who in her twenties has promised herself to capture the inhibited joy of childhood in her demeanor, her attitude, and wear it as a sealed vow on her clothing. Entering into spring, the season of renewal, I have hope for better days ahead. With hope available in the form of a COVID-19 vaccine and the world slowly opening up, I want to practice and wear joy.

What are you most looking forward to this spring?

Keeping it Krischic,

Kristin Vartan

Also Check Me Out On: 23ABC, ABC7 LA, Entertainment WeeklyThe Hollywood ReporterE! NewsDarling MagazinePepperdine GraphicTwitter, FacebookInstagram and TikTok!

How to wear: Regencycore | The Chic List

To quote Duke Simon Basset: “to have a beautiful wardrobe is one thing, but to wear your best outfit in the most beautiful of wardrobes is something entirely apart.”

Okay, maybe he did not quite utter those words, but close enough, right? I’m about to share with you some outfit editorials that would be the talk of the pages of Lady Whistledown! Dear reader, if there is a trend worth wearing, I shall uncover it: Regencycore has become a favorite among many creators, as is evidenced by the endless TikTok trend to the tune of the instrumental version of “Wildest Dreams.” You can spot this 19th century style era miles away, for women: empire waistlines fashioned of brocade fabrics and details like lace trimmings or pearls.

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Dear reader, if you know me, the self-proclaimed forward thinker with a vintage soul, you know that I love to mix the mix either different eras together, or the old with the new. This puffy sleeve top of paisley jacquard is a slightly more wearable relative to the Regency era’s brocade. The gold-rimmed pearl buttons tastefully add that extra oomph, fitting of a duchess. I paired my mother’s ‘80s clip-on earrings that practically match the buttons on the top.

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 And this author finds herself compelled to share the most curious of news: My grandma tailored this top for a better fit, and that’s when I realized that tailoring makes a world of a difference.

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To make this regency-inspired ensemble more wearable, I opted for wide-leg trousers…or should I say breeches (1800s British thing) instead of a full skirt. These babies have a ‘70s flare in the pant, but the high, pleated waist with is Regency galore! Plus the buttons pick up on the ones on my top, making the outfit seamless. Do I look like an illustrious debutante? Maybe not. But is this look super chic? Yes.

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Who is your favorite character on Bridgerton?

Keeping it Krischic,

Kristin Vartan

Also Check Me Out On: 23ABC, ABC7 LA, Entertainment WeeklyThe Hollywood ReporterE! NewsDarling MagazinePepperdine GraphicTwitter, FacebookInstagram and TikTok!

Roots –What I Learned While Dressing Like a Haute Couture Model

Going back to one’s roots is audaciously grounding. As Americans, we prioritize the idea of individuality while other cultures seem to value connection—a connection between people, a connection to nature, a connection to past and present. What we sometimes fail to realize is that by connecting, we are actually doing a service to ourselves as an individual. While connecting is a transcendent act of welcoming others, or the other, it’s also an opportunity to become more human, whole and then in tandem, a more evolved individual.

During this pandemic, we have the opportunity to think about connections outside ourselves in its deepest sense, because time has slowed down in a way. We’re home more often and have time to reflect on how we’ve been treating ourselves and others in the time before the pandemic. While I am using the lens of fashion to communicate the power of rooting and connecting, I invite you as the reader to find deep meaning in it and take from it what you will to help you in your own life.

One thing I have enjoyed in my free time during the pandemic is consuming content that stimulates me artistically and satiates me with food for thought. The Dior Haute Autumn Winter 2021 Couture collection was so bewitching to me when it debuted this past summer. Maria Grazia Chiuri has a way of breathing new life into a heritage brand while paying homage to its origins. During a time where an in-person fashion week was not feasible, Dior instead debuted their hot couture collection in a fantastical forest as a form of escapism: They whisked us to a land of make-believe things through a short film. There were animated Grecian statues, mermaids and human-tree hybrids.

Surrealist images manage to make visible what is in itself invisible. I’m interested in mystery and magic, which are also a way of exorcising uncertainty about the future,” Maria Gracia Chiuri said about the show on Dior’s website.

Throughout the digital work, two bell hops carried a dollhouse deep into the lush forest to give these creatures dresses and outfits straight from the atelier. I struggled to decide what was more breathtaking: the production, or the clothes themselves?

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After beholding this spectacular spectacle, I wanted to put together a look identical to the skirt suits featured in the collection. A drop-waist jacket with a full skirt is classic Dior, and there are countless TikToks and reels to explain that if you want to embody the couture brand, those are the key ingredients. I’ve worn this vintage grey tweed skirt in a couple of blog posts before, but never with its structured jacket, for concern of looking too much like a girl out of a period drama. But one Monday, I was just feeling it. I was returning to my roots, coming home, to the forward thinker with a vintage soul, that I am. And I wanted to share with you all, dear readers.

Would you believe I wore this look out of time while delivering a report on-camera? Somehow it looked fantastic on the horizontal screen with a bold red lip, a gold chain necklace and gold and pearl clip-on earrings. I’m sure those that tune into my reports know that they can expect the unexpected when it comes to what I’ll wear. Everything about this jacket shouldn’t work, but it does: the slightly cartoonish buttons, the collar that conjures up the image of a frilled-neck lizard, the over-cuffed sleeves and the overaccentuated peplum waist. I absolutely love every detail and how it comes together.

It’s a lesson in unlikely connections of different entities, that individually are all so beautiful but can make magic when coming together. And for me, connecting to this look of the past to my present, I felt more grounded than I have in a long time.

Keeping it Krischic,

Kristin

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