Adobe MAX 2013: An Insider’s View



If you follow Design Crush on Twitter or Instagram you probably noticed that I was posting a lot from the hashtag #AdobeMAX last week. A few months ago I was invited to be an Adobe Insider for the Adobe MAX creativity conference that took place in Los Angeles, and I jumped on it. As a graphic designer Adobe is my livelihood, and I couldn’t wait to see the big new reveals that were in store as well as learn from the best of the best in the 300+ sessions offered. (Psst… you can watch a ton of the conference right here!)




Adobe MAX was by far the largest conference I’ve gone to with over 5,000 creative industry leaders, designers, video professionals and photographers from around the world in attendance. Everyone I crossed paths with was so excited to be there and openly exchanging ideas, innovations, and inspiration. It was incredibly refreshing because sometimes the design industry can feel very hush hush.

I felt extra special with my Press badge, which gave me access to any session I wished to attend as well as the Press Room. With so many people milling about it was nice to have a place to stop in between sessions to decompress, regroup, and grab a snack.




The first full day kicked off with the A Creative Evolution keynote. Everyone was welcomed into the Nokia Theater to the sounds of high-energy pop music to set the mood for what was to come as Adobe got ready to unveil brand new creative workflows and capabilities that focused on productivity, responsive design, and just a little bit of Adobe magic.





CEO Shatanu Narayen, SVP and GM of Digital Media David Wadhwani, and a collection of Adobe visionaries led the audience through the past, present, and endless possibilities of our creative future over the next two hours. Some of my favorite new features follow.

Photoshop CC
• use the Camera Raw filter to reposition camera angle
• radial blur can now be used several times in the same image
• spot healing can now be used as a non-circular area
• photos can be deblurred with the Shake Reduction filter
• can now generate web assets

Illustrator CC
• vector images can now be turned into brushes
• the Touch Type took can now manipular individual character without converting to outlines

After Effects CC
• 3D modeling app – Maxon Cinema 4D
• 3D camera tracker
• can now adjust without rendering
• refined edge is now a tool similar to in Photoshop that tracks frame to frame

Edge Reflow CC
• places web assets back in place automatically
• sizes for different devices

Edge Inspect CC
• Chrome extension
• connects to all devices wirelessly to preview

Edge Animate CC
• timeline-based for working on any device

Edge Code CC
• simply mouse over color and image code to get a thumbnail view
• after that use the quick edit pickers to make fast changes
• live Chrome preview




The biggest deal both at the conference and in online coverage was news that the Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver) will be replaced with the Creative Cloud as of June 17, 2013. CS6 will be available in perpetuity, but there will be no further developments or updates. CC will allow Adobe to get both to us faster and offer a broader canvas for innovation.

Once you download the Creative Cloud – and it does live on your computer, you’re not renting! – a Creative Cloud desktop app will show up on your computer that makes keeping everything in sync a breeze. Mentioning breezy things, all of your settings are saved to CC. Meaning they’ll follow you wherever you go. And all of the files you save to your 20GB of Cloud space carry their layers, type, etc with them, so when you share a preview or project with someone they’re not left guessing and recreating. There’s also a CC Touch App in the works for sharing, viewing, etc.

You Creative Cloud membership also includes Typekit! That’s $25,000 worth of professional fonts at your fingertips that you can download to your desktop for web and print projects. Mind = Blown.

It’s a lot to educate yourself on and transition to (and I’ve only covered the basics), but you can read more about the new technology and have FAQs answered right here. For what it’s worth, I’ve been using the current iteration of the Creative Cloud for about a month now and couldn’t love it more. To quote, “It’s like an app store where you own all of the apps.”




Adobe is also making its first venture into hardware! Check out Project Mighty – a pressure sensitive pen – and Project Napoleon, a short ruler (heh) that also allows use of basic shapes. The tools and settings for both devices are saved on the Creative Cloud, which means it’s not tethered to the device you’re using them on. Like I said, magic.





Project Context is a collaboration between Adobe and Wired magazine that’s planning on changing the face of digital publishing as we know it. See those two screens? Basically a touch wall. That table? A touch desk. Soon digital publishers will be able to use both to share folders, touch and drag items into containers for review, mark up files, type notes – and so much more. Today’s pin boards that are present in every magazine office will be a thing of the past and now editors will always up to date with the most recent files. The Adobe Insiders got an up close and personal sneak peek of Projects Mighty, Napoleon, and Context backstage after the keynote and I basically felt like I was starring in the Jetsons. This is good stuff, people!




And then this happened. Yup, I had Bebe printed on a shirt. And the guys in charge of the booth said it was the best shirt they’d seen yet, and then they took my picture holding it up. I’ll be honest, it took awhile to come down from that high.

In the same space were the Red Bull Collective Art Project, Kiel Johnson’s Crowd Sourced Sentence, and the MAX Store full of souvenirs. Creativity explosion!




All of the sessions took place in the Los Angeles Convention Center, and I can’t say enough nice things about their staff. Each person was genuinely helpful and so nice, and the facility was top notch. In the middle of the main floor was this gigantic chalkboard wall that was doodled on and erased several times throughout the course of the conference. People got super into it sketching out their logos, Twitter handles, and so much more!




Day 2 brought with it a general session in the Nokia Theater. There we listened to four creative minds – iconic graphic designer and illustrator Paula Scher (that’s her work above), constraint-based artist Phil Hansen, photographer and retouch artist Erik Johansson, and Oscar winning visual effects supervisor Rob Legato – about how they foster creativity and approach their work. It was humbling to say the least, and each creator was supportive of the fact that we could each be doing exactly what they are. Incredible.




Then this might have happened at the MAX & You Photo Experience, you know how I love a photobooth! And I have to say, best and most flattering  lighting setup ever.




That evening was the much anticipated MAX Bash! It’s the official close of the conference, though there’s almost a full day of sessions left. I wasn’t sure just what to expect and was completely blown away by the planning and coordination put into everything, conference-wide really. These giant marquee-style lights greeted everyone as we filed in.




There were several tents filled with street food faire, I opted for Indian because it was closest to the entrance and I was super hungry! But I also spied Asian and Korean-themed tents. I especially loved the decorations that adorned the ceilings.




There was even a tent dedicated solely to desserts. I was too full to enjoy any, but definitely had my eye on the astronaut ice cream and soda bar.




The outdoor space was filled with performers who were handpicked for their unique and creative approach to their craft. I think my favorites were these ladies dangling above one of the bars (yes, there were several), I kept wondering how they weren’t exhausted and falling off! This gal would occasionally reach down and ruffle the hair of people in line for drinks.




The finale was an hour and a half performance by The Black Keys! I had met up with a longtime internet friend (for the first time!) just before the show started, and we managed to hold our ground about 25 feet from the stage for the duration. They were really fantastic live and put on a great show, the perfect ending to an incredible conference and opportunity from Adobe.

Disclaimer: Registration, travel, and accommodations provided by Adobe. All words are my own.


Color With Confidence: Pantone + Valspar + Lowe’s


PHOTO: Kelly Beall

You just did a double-take, amiright? Well, I promise that this isn’t a 30-day late April Fool’s joke. Pantone, the global authority on and standard of color, has teamed up with Valspar to launch a new line of paint! The Pantone Universe Paint Collection will be available exclusively at Lowe’s beginning this month.



PHOTOS: Kelly Beall

The collection features 100 on-trend hues ranging from classic neutrals to eye-popping brights. It also includes the 2013 Pantone Color of the Year, Emerald, as well as the 2012 selection, Tangerine Tango!



PHOTO: Edelman

This past weekend I visited NYC to participate in the 2-day Color with Confidence event along with several other bloggers and editors. Our first day was filled with inspirational talks from Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute Leatrice Eiseman, interior designer Elaine Griffin, and fashion designer Nanette Lepore. These ladies were nothing short of lovely and brilliant.



TOP PHOTO: Edelman  BOTTOM PHOTO: Kelly Beall

After listening to Leatrice, Elaine, and Nanette (and noshing on some tasty treats and colorful cocktails) we were taught the proper way to paint from Valspar’s Jill. I consider myself a fairly knowledgeable painter and was clueless on half of the tips she spilled!

• Use a wooden brush, it catches drips better.
• Use the handle of said brush to seal the edges of your painter’s tape.
• Remove your tape before the paint is actually dry to avoid peeling.
• Use high-quality brushes and roller to avoid shedding.
• A good paint roller is both washable and reusable.
• Load your roller with way more paint than you think necessary, four bathe + rolls in the tray is optimal.
• Paint in 4 x 4′ sections.
• Use a W technique (seen above). Make the letter W, then fill it in. Reload roller each time.
• Once the wall is filled go over it with vertical stripes of paint to even things out.
• Use a church key not a screwdriver to open paint cans.
• Put cellophane over the can opening before putting the lid back on to keep paint fresh for a year.
• Keep the paintbrush’s original packaging to retain shape.
• Always use a canvas drop cloth, it’s less slippery than plastic and absorbs drips immediately.
• Use a roller scraper to avoid wasting paint left in roller.
• Store paint in a cool place (i.e. not your garage – whoops!)



PHOTOS: Kelly Beall

We played around a bit choosing a color palette and talked to Nanette Lepore about how color inspires fashion. Then we mingled and headed home to rest up for the next day, when we’d finally get to dig in and get some paint on our hands!



PHOTOS: Kelly Beall



PHOTOS: Kelly Beall

After grabbing breakfast,we all loaded into a black bus with tinted windows (so VIP) with a moving truck tailing us, and headed to Hell’s Kitchen flea market. It was a beautiful sunshiney day and we were chomping at the bit to find the perfect pieces to upcycle. The first thing that caught my eye was a beautiful metal horse bust. I was in love. But the vendor wanted $500 for it and would only negotiate down to $275. Waaay out of my budget. Later we stopped in at the Salvation Army and I found this dresser that would have been perfect in my bedroom, but it was unfortunately already sold.



PHOTO: Edelman

Luckily I’d picked up a just-in-case piece, this gorgeous typesetter’s drawer. I’ve been wanting one since high school and had never seen a specimen in such perfect condition, and with unfinished wood. Success!



TOP PHOTO: Edelman  BOTTOM PHOTO: Kelly Beall

I suspect we all looked like a sideshow hauling pieces to the end of flea and loading them into our truck, but oh well. We had everything from a TV console to mirrors to end tables by the end of our excursion.



PHOTOS: Kelly Beall

I didn’t realize just how dirty my piece was until I started wiping it down. So gross. (You can see the color difference between this photo pre-wash and the post-wash below.)



PHOTOS: Kelly Beall

It took me awhile to figure out just how I wanted to transform my newly acquired type drawer, but after some thought I decided to start by painting the borders a nice charcoal grey. When that didn’t seem enough I debated painting the entire interior, but it would have required smaller brushes and more time than I had. I settled on taping off a few “gallery sections” and painting them white, I’ll be able to use these areas to highlight special tchotchkes once I get it home and hang it on my office wall.



TOP PHOTO: Kelly Beall  BOTTOM PHOTO: Edelman

I’m really happy with how it turned out! I plan on going over the white areas with a smaller brush and one more coat before calling it complete, but I’m counting this guy as a success. The Pantone Universe paint in Valspar’s Signature covered like a dream and was so incredibly saturated with color. I only did one layer of the grey if that tells you anything. Oh, and it dries to the touch in 20 minutes! I know you’re going to love it as much as I do.

Disclaimer: Travel and hotel in NYC provided by Pantone and Valspar. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Design Crush going!


Crane & Canopy



Crane & Canopy is all that and a bag of chips, and I’m about to spill the many reasons why. Bedding is one of those final touches that make a room feel finished and pulled together, it’s also one of the more expensive elements in a bedroom. It seems like every search I’ve embarked upon has ended with me being in love with a set waaay out of my price range. (Followed by wine and chocolate.) Crane & Canopy has revolutionized all of that. First by creating their own designs,  second by working directly with premium companies to cut out the middle men and lower costs.



But here’s the thing, just because the textiles are actually affordable doesn’t mean they’re lower in quality. All of Crane & Canopy‘s base fabrics use the highest quality cotton with 300 to 400 thread count weaves, optimized for softness while maintaining lifetime durability and longevity. And every piece has special touches like convenient corner ties, easy care zipper, exquisite piping, or beautiful embroidery. Not to mention the bold, graphic, and inspired prints created by their designers. (I picked up the Octavia for an upcoming project!)



The icing on the cake (or bag of chips) is that this spring Crane & Canopy has partnered with New York’s Safe Horizon to give back to domestic violence victims. For every bedding set purchased they’ll be donating a complete bedding set to to Safe Horizon’s shelter residents. I can only imagine how amazing it must feel to someone looking for even the most basic of human needs to safely and comfortably snuggle up at night.



Crane & Canopy also sells the most delicious sheets with colorful edging that I can’t wait to pick up, they look perfectly crisp for summer! Also just launched is their spring pop-up shop, filled to the brim with lovely modern things for your entire home – not just the bedroom.

The Sunset Duvet // The Ashbury Duvet Cover // The Noe Duvet Cover // The Grey Scalloped Embroidered Sheet Set


Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, however all words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Design Crush possible!


National Painting Week: Inspiration Realized


Last week I let you in on my front door makeover project I worked on with Sherwin-Williams for National Painting Week, and I’m so excited to finally be able to share the results! I can’t believe I put up with it in its dingy off-whiteness for as long as I did (4 1/2 years!), but spring is the perfect time for adding some color to all aspects of life, don’t you think?



Oh, hey there dirty post-winter porch and dormant flower bed! My house was definitely in a state of PLEASE HELP ME as far as curb appeal goes. (If you look closely you can spy my dogs, Piper and Bebe, in each window agreeing vehemently.)



Even though my door and frame were light in color, I opted to add a layer of primer for full color development upon the advice of the consultants at my local Sherwin-Williams store. But before that I neatly taped off the frame from the brick exterior and around all of the fixtures. What I forgot to do was cover the doorknob in foil (a fantastic trick). Whoops.



I did a little research pre-project on the best way to tackle the process, and it turns out there is a recommended way in which to paint a door. Painting in this order helps to eliminate excess visible paint strokes and globs. (It totally worked.)

1. The recesses in each interior panel.
2. The interior panels.
3. The cross-sections between panels.
4. The outermost borders.



Two coats of Energetic Orange in Sherwin-Williams Emerald Exterior Acrylic Latex paint (and some fresh spring flowers) later and I was done! I’m looking forward to being able to tell new visitors that my house is “the last one on the left, the one with the orange door”! 



I’d love to add a brass knocker and doorbell cover like the photo that inspired my makeover, and hopefully some interesting house numbers. This project has also given me the motivation to paint the trim and other exterior doors on my home a charcoal grey. It’s going to be amazing. My neighbor complimented me on the fresh look the other day and asked if I did this sort of thing for a living! (It was a long answer.)

Definitely pop over to visit The Brick House to see more orange today, and Vintage Revivals and Style by Emily Henderson tomorrow for their red projects! And, you’re in luck. The Sherwin-Williams National Painting Week SuperSale starts tomorrow and runs through April 22nd, with offers of 40% off paints and stains and 30% off painting supplies it’s too good to pass up.


Disclaimer: This project and post are sponsored by Sherwin-Williams. All opinions and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Design Crush going!


Fashionably Flexible: Day to Night 3 Ways + Pin Your Style Contest

Let’s talk flexibility – in life, in your wardrobe, and in technology. I think it’s something that’s easy to take for granted when we have it in our possession, and something greatly missed when it is not. For example, a great outfit that takes you seamlessly from your day to night plans. Or a great piece of technology like the Envy x2 with Intel Inside® that has the power of two devices in one, both laptop and tablet.



Edun Mesh Back Jumpsuit in Etched Poppies Print by ASOS // Watermelon Tourmaline Ambro Ring by Catbird // Shapes Necklace by Alicia Mohr // Alisson Tote by Christopher Kon // Keyhole Slingback Wedges by Anthropologie



Moroccan Tank Polka by Virginia Johnson // Marrakesh Kick Flare Jeans by MiH // Mini Heart Necklace by ginette_ny // AUDEN Crystal Stud Earrings // Cream Canvas Magazine Tote at Henri Bendel // Black Doodle high Heel Clogs by ANNTIAN



Black Crane Long Strap Dress by Totokaelo // Safety First Brass Earrings by Melanie Favreau // Sailor’s Love Knot Ring by Nested Yellow // Raw Wallet by Rib and Hull // Clio Two-Tone Leather Sandals by Ancient Greek Sandals


HP_ProjectRunway_FashionablyFlexible_EnvyX2-Design Crush


But the fun is only starting! Just like Project Runway contestants show off their personal fashion every week, HP and Intel invite you to Pin Your Style. Want to participate in The HP + Intel + Project Runway Pin Your Style Contest? It’s easy and I promise you – worth it!

Pin a photo of the Envy x2 with Intel Inside® via the Pin It button on the Pin Your Style contest page. Then build a board that represents that week’s theme (in this case flexible fashion). Check out the weekly Pinsetter images on the site for inspiration.

Submit your board’s URL into the site to enter, then share your board with friends to earn the most votes!

Win prizes like an Envy x2 with Intel Inside® and a gift card to bring your style to life by getting the top votes for your board.


This post is sponsored by HP and Intel. Pin Your Style with HP + Intel + Project Runway to win chic HP products. Pin now.


The Statement Door

SWNPW-1-Beauti-Tone-1-Design Crush

PHOTO: Beauti-Tone

I go crazy for a good statement door, it’s essentially the first impression your home makes on your visitors. I’ve been wanting to give mine a makeover ever since I bought my home nearly five years ago, and like a lot of projects simply haven’t had the time to devote to it. So when Sherwin-Williams asked me to participate in National Painting Week I knew just what I was going to tackle with hardly any thought – the off-white entrance to my home that was drab and unappealing and just blah.

When I started pulling together some inspiration to try and zero in on a color I realized I have a serious addiction, I had loads of front doors that I’d been bookmarking all along and had a tough decision ahead of me. Did I want classic? Maybe something more modern?


SWNPW-2-Decor de Provence-Design Crush

PHOTO: Décor de Provence


SWNPW-3-Leen the Graphics Queen-Design Crush

PHOTO: Leen the Graphics Queen


SWNPW-4-Greg Benson-Design Crush

PHOTO: Greg Benson Photography


SWNPW-5-Beauti-Tone-2-Design Crush

PHOTO: Beauti-Tone


SWNPW-6-Design Crush

This door has been on my desktop for months now, so I took the hint and went with it. I used Sherwin-William’s Chip It color-matching site to find the shade I wanted, something a bit brighter than these called Energetic Orange

My project will be up next Wednesday along with a few tips I learned along the way. There will also be projects from 13 other design bloggers celebrating National Painting Week beginning next Monday, and each day will be sharing inspiration, ideas, and more to get your jazzed about your own painting projects. Get ready, it’s gonna be a colorful week of before and afters!


Luxury 3 Ways + A Contest

Some things never go out of style, they just seem to have a staying power that doesn’t ever say goodbye. As in luxury. That quality of sleek sophistication that makes others stop and take notice, things that you’ll hang onto for years to come. The thing is, there are different ways to define luxury. Maybe it’s the ubiquitous form-fitting LBD, or an outfit that makes you feel so much like yourself that you don’t ever want to take it off. Perhaps something you love so much you take it with you everywhere. I’ve created a few looks inspired by something equally sleek and luxurious – the HP Spectre XT Touchsmart Ultrabook™. What’s your idea of luxury?



Ruched Georgette Maxi Dress by See by Chloé // Box Earrings by PICO Design // 18k Gold Diamond Stick Necklace by Jennifer Meyer Jewelry // Kenneth Jay Lane Basket Weave Cuff Bracelet // BCBG Max Azria Palace




P.A.R.O.S.H. Sequin Dress //  Faceted Teardrop Earrings by Erica Weiner // Wave Cuff by Dream Collective Jewelry // Predictable Foldover Clutch by Nine West // Quetu Sandals by Nine West




Blue Sequins Dress by Mango //  Mithras Ring by Palomerie // Snake Bangle by Catbird // Mina Cage Clutch by BCBG // Entreat High Heel Sandal by BCBG


HP_ProjectRunway_TouchOfLuxury_SpectreXT-Design Crush


And our idea of luxury doesn’t stop there! Just like Project Runway contestants show off their personal fashion every week, HP and Intel invite you to Pin Your Style. Want to participate in The HP + Intel + Project Runway Pin Your Style Contest? It’s easy and I promise you – worth it!

Pin a photo of the HP Spectre XT Touchsmart Ultrabook™ via the Pin It button on the Pin Your Style contest page. Then build a board that represents that week’s theme (in this case luxury). Check out the weekly Pinsetter images on the site for inspiration.

Submit your board’s URL into the site to enter, then share your board with friends to earn the most votes!

Win prizes like an HP Spectre XT Touchsmart Ultrabook™ and a gift card to bring your style to life by getting the top votes for your board.


This post is sponsored by HP and Intel. Pin Your Style with HP + Intel + Project Runway to win chic HP products. Pin now.


First Look: WideAngle



I’d like to preface this entire post with something that’s still really gutting to think about. Five years ago when I got my latest new (now extremely old) MacBook Pro I managed to lose several years worth of photos. It was devastating, and I was angry. Gone were my snowy photos of a winter spent in New York, Chicago’s Millenium Park rising from the dirt out of my office window, and so much more. So when I was asked a few months ago to come on board for the launch of WideAngle’s new app that corrals your photos and videos in one place, well, it was a no brainer. (And also a bit of a how has no one thought of this before?!)

WideAngle is the first app that allows you to view all of your photos and videos from Facebook, Instagram, and your other Apple devices in a single place. You can remix your photos into sets by location, people, date, and do other things like follow trends. But beyond that, now there are more ways to share and save the photos that matter to you most.

WideAngle also makes it possible to have instant access to your photos and videos in one place, which also means you can Comment and Like across all social media platforms from one location – think of the time saved! For me this is a huge draw. It’s a view of your entire social world in photos (phones, cameras, texts, and social networks) all in its own cloud. And the best part – if you lose your phone or camera you still have the important stuff. Talk about this girl breathing a sigh of relief! I’ve been waiting for something like this for ages it seems.




Here’s the rad part, we’re inviting you (yes, you!) to take a first look at the app before its official release March 28th! Initially launching for iPad and iPad Mini (versions launching soon for iPhone and Android), you can download the WideAngle right here for free. The Help screen – seen above – is intuitive and amazing, making everything easy to learn and understand. As you explore the setup you’ll notice a Settings button in the upper right corner, under the Settings button there is a Submit Feedback form. As you encounter questions, problems, or just want to offer feedback you can write the developers a quick note. If you want to include your email they’ll even respond to you personally. Service! I know my life has been changed since I started using WideAngle, and I’m betting yours will too.


Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post that I am being compensated for, however all words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Design Crush going.


Win It: A Well-Designed Life



How do you stay on top of the things going on outside of your bubble? My world revolves around the web so it’s my obvious go-to for news, events, everything really. I’m especially loving the new MSN site which is really well-designed. The overall site is uber minimal – which you know I love – and it’s perfect for the the touchscreen. As an online publisher one of my favorite features is its ability to share real-time trends, I need to stay on top of so much all of the time that I’ll take all the help I can get. MSN is the best way to stay in the know and the new site design is only the latest reminder. Check out all of its features for yourself right here.




Now here’s the fun part! In honor of all things well-designed we’re teaming up with MSN to do a Pinterest sweeps giveaway. You have the chance to win any one item on the entire A Well-Designed Life board, it’s full of 33 beautiful things that are sure to make your life better designed!

 This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations, Elizabeth!

To Enter:
1. Follow the A Well-Designed Life board on Pinterest.
2. Comment below on which well-designed item you’d like to make your own.
3. Do it all before Sunday, March 17th at 11:59pm CST.
4. For an extra entry tweet about the giveaway using the hashtag #msndesigncrush!


Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post that I am being compensated for, however all words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Design Crush going! Rules and disclosures.


Awards-Worthy Looks

What would Awards Season be without sassy, smart, witty women dressed in stunning frocks? Oh sure, a bunch of awards and acknowledgements about hours of blood, sweat, and tears poured out of actors and actresses. (But really, it’s all about the dresses.) Here are a few of the trends rocking the red carpet during 2013’s accolades.


Ona Leather Bustier Gown by alice + olivia // Florence Gown by Reem Acra

One of my favorite trends that’s always present on the red carpet are layered tulle skirts. So ethereal and ultra feminine, they have the ability to turn any lady into a star for the evening. And they nearly always end up on the Best Dressed lists!



Nicolette Leather Trim Gown by Catherine Deane // Side Drape Gown by Halston Heritage

This year I’ve noticed a lot of cutouts and black/white dichotomies, both are all about geometry. While the striking black and white ensembles are visually powerful, the cutout panels bring a strong confidence all their own. Neither is for the weak at heart.



Wrap Cowl Sequin Gown by Elie Saab // Nannie Sequin Knit Maxi Dress by Calypso St. Barth

Now, as always, sequins and shimmery beading are show-stoppers that a lady simply can’t go wrong with. These dresses say all eyes on me in the best possible way.



Crepe Dress by Marchesa // Embellish Collar Georgette Gown by Elie Saab

Figure-skimming gowns with one embellished area are hot this season. I love the understated quality (if that’s possible in a gown) of these garments, they really allow the women wearing them to shine bright and be the focus.



Baileys Tiramisu Parfait // Easy Baileys Brownies // Baileys Hazelnut & Ice Cream

Everyone knows the best part of any event is the After Party, and when you’ve worked tirelessly to fit into a form-fitting dress the pinnacle are the sweets waiting at the end of the evening.

If you’ll be tuning in to the Oscars this Sunday you can find me tweeting along at @designcrush


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Sponsored by Baileys Original. Join @BaileysOriginal on Twitter to celebrate #girlsnight and the women of the Red Carpet.