There is nothing I like more than thinking that I know important people. Well – maybe there are a few things like more…my children playing together happily, a nice dinner with my husband, blah blah blah. But seriously – I do know some really interesting people and I LOVE talking about it.
And if there’s anything that runs a close second to my love of feeling important, I mean, my family, it’s a well designed dress. I’m not kidding. Admittedly, my daily uniform does tend to revolve around pants lately – but that is based more on practicality than self expression.
I’m a dress girl at heart. I once devoted my summer wardrobe to what could only be called “worship” of the classic sun dress. There was even a time when a funny male friend called all of the girls in my 20-something beach house “the sundress brigade.” And I’m not even embarrassed by that – we were hot.
So you can imagine how much I have enjoyed telling people that I know successful NYC fashion designer, Kathlin Argiro. And on Friday, I had the opportunity to actually interview her. How appropriate for Materialistic Monday!
As a fellow graduate of Georgetown Visitation High School, I have followed Kathlin’s career and the success of her label (going on 11 years now). I’ve seen her designs on the Today Show and Fashionably Late with Stacey London, as well as in Vogue and In Style magazines.
While Kathlin does maintain a couture line, she is quickly becoming best known for her ready to wear line, Style Me Chic. I have purchased some of her pieces through sample sales (always one for the bargains, me). And a particular dress that I bought on a whim several years ago has actually become my “go to” for evening events (a long black lace column with tiny spaghetti straps…how can I go wrong?)
Kathlin’s designs are known for their classic lines, but always with a twist. When I asked about her design philosophy, she explained that “while women ultimately want to wear simple clothing, there has to be a reason to buy it.” Life is fast and busy, and we all want to look great without spending hours on that look. But we also want to have fun with current trends. Designing clothes that translate well for multiple occasions while staying fashion forward in the details is a signature of Kathlin’s design style.
One thing that I love about Kathlin’s designs is that she is always coming up with something new. This past summer she released a dress trademarked as the Dressong. I had to laugh because I actually bought a sarong style skirt from her back when I was in high school (I knew you when Kathlin!) The Dressong is a “unique dress/sarong that can be worn countless different ways and takes you from the beach to poolside cocktails with a simple twist of fabric.” No kidding! Check this out:
Now that summer is over, the Dressong will have to hibernate for the colder months (with the exception of tropical locations and resort wear needs of course). Fall is at our doorstep, and those of us feeling a chill in the air are ready for long sleeves. One of the biggest challenges of the “in between seasons” is finding clothes that will be comfortable in fluctuating temperatures. Enter my favorite solution: The wrap dress.
Kathlin favors this dress for her own lifestyle and finds that it can move easily from a business meeting, to a custom fitting, to an evening out. The jersey fabric doesn’t wrinkle, the simple lines can be dressed up or down and the color and pattern selection offers something for every personality.
When I asked Kathlin about her favorite styles for this Fall season, the wrap dress was at the top of her list. She continued that purple is an important color in fashion this year. In fact, the long sleeved wrap dress in chocolate brown and purple has been selling out faster than they can get them in stock (one drawback to online shopping…I seem to have slower fingers than most…)
I followed up with a request for Kathlin’s advice on how those of us with decidedly unglamorous lifestyles can look stylish for the holidays (the office holiday party, a neighborhood open house, etc.) While the wrap dress presents an excellent option since it is both comfortable and versatile, she suggested trying to add a bold color or print for a little drama. This will still look appropriate in less formal settings, but makes for a great alternative to the ubiquitous little black dress.
If your needs do tend to run more formal, Kathlin also offers a line of customized ready to wear that can suit your personal preferences for style and color. This “design your own dress” option “allows you to create your own unique, semi-custom dress in a simple 3-step process.”
This is particularly popular with bridesmaids since they can each wear the same length and fabric with a variation on style and finishing. And what better way to look at these dresses with your bridesmaids, than to visit her New York studio
at 265 West 37th Street!
Kathlin has started holding regular Shopping & Champagne parties at her studio, combining efforts with various co-sponsors such as Social Diva, Smashbox Cosmetics, Arbonne International and Lingerie Fit Expert. Guests sip champagne, shop for dresses and recieve demonstrations on the co-sponsor’s products and services.
These events are only advertised by word of mouth and e-mail, so contact the studio if you want to be on the list. It is also possible to organize private parties at the studio, as well as at your own home. Something I wish existed when I was planning my own wedding!
At the end of our interview, I asked Kathlin how she would describe the woman who wears Kathlin Argiro. Her response:
“The Kathlin Argiro customer is a woman who wants to be noticed in the ‘right’ way. She wants to be stylish but always appropriate. She likes sleek, chic, feminine, sophisticated, timeless clothes that are easy to wear and make her feel GREAT!”
Don’t we all…
Thank you again Kathlin. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next!
EXITING GIVEAWAY ANNOUNCEMENT! Remember our friend Brooke Galardi from Bee Gee Bags? She has offered to give away one of her gorgeous clutches to a lucky Big Piece of Cake reader! Check back tomorrow for a picture and details.