Happy Friday! Back with RTR and this will be one of their last reviews for a bit since they ghosted us like we met on Tinder or something. But as I mentioned a few weeks ago, I'll be reviewing Mod.Lux.Rent and Haverdash very soon. I'm really excited for Mod because it's all new stuff I haven't worn, and so many new designers too!
With that in mind, we may need to skip next week as I collect more items from Armoire and wait to get started with Mod.Lux and Haverdash. TBD.
WHAT I'M WEARING THIS WEEK: Rent the Runway
Welcome back to What I'm Wearing This Week — Rent the Runway where you can rent and wear designer items by names you know and love, and up-and-coming designers too!
For the newbies to WIWTW, every Friday I’ll take you on a trip through my life, where I’m going, what’s missing in my closet, my current obsessions, what I’m excited to try, and maybe even buy. Well, that's if the price is right!
For sizing reference, I am 5'11", weigh 140 pounds, and have a 33" inseam.
Rent the Runway is a clothing rental company, but it was the first clothing subscription platform that provided the everyday woman with access to authentic, luxury fashion. Since its launch in 2009, RTR has gone through many iterations, some of which were the result of the pandemic, and now it's also a sustainable resale platform where shoppers can rent, buy, or subscribe to secondhand clothing.
This is a review of the Most Loved 10 Items Per Month plan.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we review boxes.)
WHAT I RECEIVED
All five items by Esteban Cortazar, Herve Leger, Adam Lippes, Self-Portrait, and Aknvas arrived fresh from the dry cleaner, on the hanger, and sealed in plastic bags.
Esteban Cortazar Collective Midi Dress, Retail Value $460, RTR $322
About the designer: Colombian designer Esteban Cortázar is one of the youngest fashion designers to ever debut at New York Fashion Week. Inspired by his Colombian heritage and Miami upbringing, when he was 13, Cortázar showed his sketches to Todd Oldham who became his mentor. At the age of 18, he began his fashion apprenticeship with Bloomingdale’s which led to him designing his own Bloomingdale's window display in 2002. In 2007, he moved to Paris to become the Creative Director for Emanuel Ungaro but left in 2009 when Lindsay Lohan was appointed co-director. From that point forward, he focused on creating the Esteban Cortazar collection.
After showing Paris Fashion Week, Cortázar's style of slick, sculptural lines full of ease, grace, and flow earned him a cult following. Today his collections are available in over 30 stores worldwide and Rent the Runway!
Why I rented it: I couldn't find much else that I liked.
How I styled it: I wore this dress to take my dad out for brunch at The Valley Inn in Baltimore. I wore it with Ulla Johnson Strappy Sandals (which I don't like anymore), Hermes Clic-Clac Bracelet, and carried the Balenciaga Graffiti Bag.
Size and fit: Crafted in a breezy linen blend, this lightweight dress features a deep V-neckline and back, spaghetti straps, concealed side zipper, contrast stitching and trim, and a twirl-ready skirt with flounced overlay.
Honest review: A little oversized and wrinkles very easily because of the fabric. Fun summer piece, but far from my fave by Esteban Cortazar.
Herve Leger Cross Back Bandage Mini Dress, Retail Value $890, RTR $223
About the designer: Hervé Léger is an iconic luxury brand known for its form-fitting, knitted bandage dresses (or body con) that hug every curve of a woman's body. The brand's founder, Herve Peugnet, had previously worked for Chanel, Lanvin, Fendi, Diane von Furstenburg, Chloe, and Swarovski. The famed bandage dresses were inspired by his experiences designing bathing suits and the throwaway seam bindings.
In 1998, the brand was bought by Max Azria (of BCBG fame) and in April 2007, he relaunched the Hervé Léger brand under his own design direction with a capsule summer collection. In February 2008, Max Azria presented the Hervé Léger by Max Azria collection at Bryant Park during the Fall 2008 New York Fashion Week.
Why I rented it: Herve Leger takes me back to 2009 when everyone wore bodycon dresses, and I spent all my late nights trolling the nightclubs for investment bankers.
How I styled it: So, I didn't end up wearing it because I had nowhere to go, but I would've worn it with my gold-tone chain-link necklace and earrings, Nicholas Kirkwood Block-Heeled Sandals, and the Chanel 19.
Size and fit: Wanna know something funny? The first time I ever tried on a Herve Leger dress, it was via a rental from RTR. I rented a black and purple, and a red dress for a birthday trip out to the Hamptons where my boyfriend broke up with me because he didn't like the fact that I cut bangs.
Anyway, these dresses still fit the same (body hugging and sculpting) and they're perfect for a night out on the town... as long as it isn't too hot out. I got a size 6/8 and it fit like a glove. Crafted in rayon, nylon and spandex, this sheath dress features a square neckline, wide shoulder straps, concealed back zip with hook-and-eye closure, crisscross back, and a form-fitting skirt.
Honest review: Honestly, surprised these dresses are still around, but I predict bodycon will be hot again within the next two years since everything comes back into style. Herve bandage dresses are very well made and sculpt the body like nothing else. After I sent it back, I headed over to The RealReal to see what they have in stock and to get an idea of resale pricing.
Adam Lippes Twist Knot Dress, Retail Value $2,190 RTR $1,971
About the designer: Adam Lippes is rethinking the traditions of American sportswear through his luxury lifestyle brand. Inspired by his personal aesthetic for unhurried elegance and understated design, Adam's work communicates ease and confident luxury through cut, fit, color and details. The brand is committed to quality above all else and supports the finest fabric mills, craftsmen and ateliers worldwide.
Adam began his career in Fashion at Ralph Lauren before moving to Oscar de la Renta, where he grew to be one of the youngest creative directors of a luxury fashion house. Widely published for fashion, interiors and travel, Adam is a tastemaker and influencer who provides an authentic point of reference for the brand's audience. His inspirations and passions include art, architecture, interiors, antiques, textiles, gardens, travel, philanthropy and dogs. Adam is a graduate of Cornell University and splits his time between Brooklyn Heights in NYC and a farm in the Berkshires in Southwestern Massachusetts.
Why I rented it: I wanted a classic sheath dress with a twist. And I love the yellow hue.
How I styled it: I wore this dress out to brunch at Barca in Old Town Alexandria and paired it with Ferragamo Wedges and the Chanel 19. Simplicity was key.
Size and fit: Adam Lippes tends to run small, so I got the 8. Crafted in soft wool, this timeless sheath features a halter neckline with twist-front detail, wide shoulder straps, back zip closure, back vent, and it's fully lined. It fit really well aside from having to adjust the knot a few times.
Honest review: Amazing design, classic silhouette, and extremely well made. I love the bright yellow hue and it looks like Mr. HGL was a fan too! I was even able to find it on the resale market for $75.
Self-Portrait Floral Printed Maxi Dress, Retail Value $405, RTR $101
About the designer: Self-Portrait has been one of my favorite designers for the past 7 years! Han Chong is the designer behind Self-Portrait, the contemporary luxury label which became super successful due to its impeccable lace designs, celebrity fans, and its accessible price point. Born and raised in Penang, Malaysia, Chong moved to London to study womenswear design at Central Saint Martins. After graduating, he co-founded the label Three Floor with Yvonne Hoang in 2011, but he wanted more creative control and left the brand in 2013 to focus on Self-Portrait.
In 2016, Self-Portrait was nominated by the British Fashion Council for the British Emerging Talent award. In November 2018, Chong announced the launch of a five-year scholarship fund supporting Central Saint Martin's MA Fashion students, granting each year's recipient a mentorship from Self-Portrait and key stakeholders.
Why I rented it: Because I love almost everything by Self-Portrait.
How I styled it: I wore this dress to pick up my laptop and necessities from my new job and I wore it with oversized hoops, Tabitha Simons Cut-Out Leather Pumps, and I carried the Saint Laurent Sac de Jour.
Size and fit: Even though Self-Portrait runs a little small, I had no choice but to rent the 6 because that's all that was available. While this twist-front, floral-printed crepe dress fit a little tight in the bust, I was luckily still able to wear it. This silky crepe dress also features gathered shoulder straps, a sweetheart neckline, back zip closure, button-detailed waist and hips, and a tulip-like hem.
Honest review: Perfect for a fall wedding or a night out on the town, this hourglass-shaped maxi is an ultra-flattering timeless classic.
Aknvas Evelyn Dress, Retail Value $595, RTR $536
About the designer: An emerging designer brand founded in 2019 by Danish-born designer, Christian Juul Nielsen. The collection focuses on thoughtful, well-designed, and innovative clothing for discerning and dynamic women and men.
Drawing inspiration from artists such as Olafur Eliasson and Helen Frankenthaler, AKNVAS is associated with modern colorful collections focused on drape, texture, flattering silhouettes, innovative knits, and an elevated palette. With just two official runway shows, AKNVAS is proud to highlight the importance of an inclusive casting of diverse individuals.
The product is young and fresh–proud to be designed and predominantly made in NYC.
Why I rented it: I've heard a lot about Aknvas and wanted to try it out!
How I styled it: I'm glad summer's over—those Ulla Johnson Sandals need to go! I didn't realize how bad they looked until now. Well, this dress can be dressed up for a night out at the hottest new restaurant or dressed down for a trip to a beach bar. I wore it out to a steakhouse to celebrate my friend's birthday, and also to an outdoor concert.
Size and fit: I got a medium, and the Evelyn dress is a little complicated! Crafted in a cozy cotton blend, this sexy midi dress features a plunge neckline with spaghetti straps, plunge back with concealed zip closure and back-vented hem. This dress is unlined, and it's advised you either wear a stick-on bra, or don't wear one at all.
Condition: A little worn, but still very good.
Honest review: A little complicated at first, but once I figured it out, slipping into it was a breeze. Very well-made dress in a thicker (almost towel-like) fabric, but it felt a bit worn and the hem was slightly stretched out.
DID THEY DELIVER?
- What items were most helpful and versatile to own this week to ensure I got the most out of my rental and completed the look I craved? I wish I had more time to wear everything, but I just didn't have enough dressy places to go.
- Did they meet or exceed expectations? They met expectations.
- What’s the return process like? Simple! Just place your items in the pre-paid garment bag, slip in the return label, and send it back via UPS. You can also drop it off at one of their exclusive drop-off points in some of the major cities.
The past few weeks have been so stressful! Between starting a new job and dealing with my dad and Mr. HGL's health struggles, I've had two panic attacks and lost lots of sleep. So, last week I finally took Mr. HGL to a new vet, and I only wish I had gone to them sooner because they saved his life.
Rabbits can't breathe out of their mouth, so when I noticed his cheeks puffing up, and head tilted back, and heard the whistling sound coming from his mouth (he sounded like a bike tire pump), I realized the other medication definitely wasn't working and we needed a second opinion immediately. Thanks to some amazing suggestions on the Bunnies Make Me Happy group on Facebook, I discovered Pender, and they were able to bring him back to good health.
Once he was released, I came home on Saturday from the vet with bags of medication—including needles to administer shots of Penicillin and a nebulizer treatment—and I felt so overwhelmed I started crying. My dad and stepmom also came to visit and thankfully since she's worked in the medical field for decades, she was able to get me set up and explain how it all worked. It was so sad though because I was staring at two of my favorite men in the world with serious health issues, and there was only so much I could do.
While the vet seemed to think my squirmy little worm would sit still wearing a face mask, he fought it and tried to break the hose for the nebulizer, so I called them panicking and they suggested we create a treatment box using a large Tupperware container and simply cut out a hole in the side for the steam. We got crafty and it worked, but the shot was my next hurdle.
I've got a needle phobia, and that's one of the reasons I haven't done Botox or anything else... because I'll probably faint. So, when I realized I absolutely HAD to learn how to give him shots, I almost lost my mind. After at least 10 unsuccessful tries, I finally placed him in his carrier to keep him still and administered the shot. He whimpered like a sad little baby! I felt awful and dreaded doing this every day for 14 days.
Then we got a call from the vet yesterday saying he did not have Pasturella (so, he's been treated for the wrong thing) and that we could stop with the shots. Now he's on five different oral and nasal medications, and three added to the nebulizer, and the difference is night and day. He hasn't sounded this good in over two years! I think they finally cured him!
As for my dad, a few weeks ago he was diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer's (I didn't know you could get both) and I'm noticing a fast cognitive decline and it's terrifying.
VALUE BREAKDOWN: The 10 Items a Month membership costs $104/month and goes up to $152/month after the first 3 months) and so far, I've received styles with a retail value of $142,185.
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