Best Dressed at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

Chrissy Teigen Best Dressed at the White House Correspondents' Dinner

Chrissy Teigen in Zuhair Murad 

On Saturday hundreds attended the White House Correspondents’ Dinner but only a few wow-ed on the red carpet. I have seen articles about the evening for years but it was not until yesterday did I learn the true purpose, it is an event to celebrate excellence in reporting on the White House–the use of journalism as a way of speaking truth to power according to Rolling Stone.  This year guest list was very, very varied and I was so surprised to see so many unusual faces on a red carpet, from media magnets like Donald Trump and Martha Stewart, to actresses I have not seen in years like Jennifer Coolidge from Legally Blonde or Kelly Rutherford and Michelle Trachtenberg, who I only see on Gossip Girl reruns. 

I saw one headline that read “Supermodels Top White House Correspondents Weekend” and I don’t disagree, a handful of models stunned this weekend making the regular mortals look, well, regular. Besides my i-wish-she-was-my- best friend Chrissy (and her lovable stretchies) these are my best dressed attendees from Saturday’s event:   

Jenna Dewan Tatum Best Dressed at the White House Correspondents' Dinner

Jenna Dewan Tatum in Reema Acra

Sophia Bush Best Dressed at the White House Correspondents' DinnerSophia Bush

Chanel Iman Best Dressed at the White House Correspondents' Dinner

Chanel Iman in Zuhair Murad

Hannah Davis Best Dressed at the White House Correspondents' Dinner

Hannah Davis in Georges Chakra Couture

Naya Rivera Best Dressed at the White House Correspondents' Dinner

Naya Rivera in Tadashi Shoji

Laverne Cox Best Dressed at the White House Correspondents' Dinner

Laverne Cox

Tea Leoni And Madeline Albright Best Dressed at the White House Correspondents' Dinner

Tea Leoni And Madeline Albright

Lucy Liu Best Dressed at the White House Correspondents' Dinner

Lucy Liu (blast from the past) 

Maria Menounos Best Dressed at the White House Correspondents' Dinner

Maria Menounos

In contrast to most of the best dressed lists I have seen I did not think the FLOTUS’ Zac Posen gown was worthy of the list.  (All images from here, here, and here.)  To cap off the recap I just had to share this photo of my main girl in this behind the scenes photo – John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, and Senator Amy Klobuchar at the Vanity Fair White House Correspondents’ Dinner after party.

John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, and Senator Amy Klobuchar at the Vanity Fair White House Correspondents' Dinner after party  

Who do you think was the best dressed at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner?

Leopard Flats

Leopard Flats

Happy Friday!  This week has actually gone by at a speedy pace with my to-do list never getting shorter but there is a light and the end of the tunnel and warm weather permanently insight. Just like I did with yellow dresses, this is the updated post on leopard flats. The first was from April 2013 when I shared my then newly purchased leopard flats from Target

Two years later they have completely worn out and I am in the market for a new pair.  I must not be a alone in this quest as “leopard flats” have become a popular search term on Sparkles and Shoes and the post keeps coming up again and again.  I have two great pairs of leopard pumps, including these, but this post is all about the practical but pretty flat.  Here are six of my favorites:


Sparkles and Shoes Leopard Flats

Steve Madden Leopard Heaven Flats 35 | Sam Edelman Kalinda Leopard-Print Calf Hair Loafer 63

Splendid Park Pointed Toe Flats in Leopard 78 | Madewell The Sidewalk Skimmer in Leopard 118

Jeffrey Campbell Leopard Pointed Toe Flats 130 | KG Kurt Geiger Lourdes Ponyskin Ballet Flat 225 


Do you have a pair of leopard flats? 

My Favorite Monogram Rings

Another post about monograms? You better believe it.  When Etsy sends emails I have to be careful when I open them, if I am in a very happy mood I tend to open the tailored picks and I just want to buy everything.  I do not currently own any monogrammed rings but I am loving a few different ones right now. In fact, the only piece of jewelry I wear every day is my gold Georgetown University class ring inlayed with the school’s seal, name, and the date it was founded. 

After my post and searches about monogrammed gloves I think the tracking pixels on Etsy’s website must have decided I must be obsessed with monograms and while that is not quite the case, I will not deny that they are pretty.   Here are a handful of unique options available on the site: 

Gold Engraved 3 Initials Boyfriend Ring Gold Engraved 3 Initials Boyfriend Ring 

Sterling Silver Monogram Initial Ring

Sterling Silver Monogram Initial Ring

Two Initial Gold Signet Ring

Two Initial Gold Signet Ring

Personalized Monogram Gold Stacking Rings

Personalized Monogram Gold Stacking Rings

Customized Silver Monogram Ring

Customized Silver Monogram Ring

Block Letter Initials Ring

Block Letter Initials Ring

Unisex Custom Engraved Monogram Ring

Unisex Custom Engraved Monogram Ring

Which ring is your favorite? 

Sparkle Session: Tiannia Barnes

Tiannia Barnes Headshot

Happy Wednesday!  Today I am excited to bring back Sparkle Sessions, the interview series on Sparkles and Shoes when I speak to female entrepreneurs I think you will find fascinating. To kick off the re-launch I am delighted to share the interview I did last week with Tiannia Barnes. This up and coming designer is launching her first shoe collection this fall and from first glance, I knew I had to learn more.  Her background may be in engineering and information technology but her shoe line is pure fashion with five different shoes; a flat, two pairs of pumps, and two pairs of booties. Tiannia took 20 minutes out of her very busy schedule and impending launch to answer a few of my questions. Take a look at what she had to say about her company and ogle over the pictures of her new line, I know I did:  

What are five words you would use to describe yourself?

I would describe myself as fun and adventurous, I will put that as one word.  I’m a very authentic and very genuine person. I am passionate and ambitious.

I was able to see a preview of your upcoming line, how would you describe your aesthetic?

I like to design a shoe for the everyday classy, sophisticated woman that wants a little bit of bold, spice, and edge to her life. My shoes always start off with a classic foundation, you will have a heel, a flat, or a pump, but the elements that make my shoe are that they are comfortable and modern. I like using different hardwares, textures, and color – I am very big on color.  All of my shoes are relatable, they can be put on at the office and go from work to happy hour, to some type of charity event, or just walking to the park, everybody can wear at least one shoe in my line. 

Tiannia Barnes Jazzy Booties

How did you deicide you wanted to become a shoe designer?

That is the million dollar question that I get asked all of the time. I always say, it is not like I had a background in it, I went to college, I have a couple of degrees, I did the corporate America thing and that is how I thought my career was going to be. But everything always stems out from our childhood and I grew up an only childhood and was always playing with my Barbie. I was really into fashion when I went to high school and designed two of my prom dresses, not ever pursuing it or thinking it was a passion of mine, just something I enjoyed.

Fast forward to my adulthood, I just happened to be sitting at restaurant and a shoe just came to me, I sketched it out and then they just started coming to me. I bought a sketch book and they were very raw sketches because I am not an artist by trade, but I immediately put them on paper, not knowing where this would have led to. That was four years ago -  it was a passion that has revived itself and that is where I am, living out my dream. 

Tiannia Barnes Drawing Table

 You went to shoe making school in Cleveland, Ohio, is that where you are based?

No, I am not based in Ohio, I actually live in Connecticut and do a lot of work out of Connecticut and New York because I am so close. Cleveland is where I found the school, I went there in December 2013 and already had sketches of my shoes – the idea of the class is that you learn from start to finish how to make your own shoe and you actually make a prototype.  I felt so reinvigorated after that and started my business in January 2014 and got my logo, trademark, and did all of the back end structural and organizational things you need to set up a business, now I am off and running! 

Tiannia Barnes Misty Botties
What is one lesson you had to learn the hard way?

I wouldn’t necessarily say that it is directly tied to my business, but a lesson for life in general, you need to speak up and think of your true self. Speaking without fear of what someone is going to say, or what your boss is going to do, or fear of ideas you have and really thinking about what you want out of life. I think that is something I had to learn to do because in corporate America you are so used to walking a fine line with your livelihood at stake and a lot at risk. Once I realized that, about speaking your truth, I feel like the world opened up to me and I have been able to do things the way I have wanted to do them. It is not specifically about making shoes, but becoming the woman I am supposed to be, living in my truth. 

 If you had your pick, who do you envision as your first celebrity brand ambassador?

The interesting part to this question, or the operative word, is first. There are tons of people that I would love to be an ambassador but my shoes and my brand are about inspiration, the journey, and empowerment so if I put all of those things together and think about that one person, that first person, it would have to be Oprah. She represents influence, she represents style, and philanthropy, and those are core things that I look at for myself and that to me inspire, motivate, and encourage. 

Tiannia Barnes Street Shot Where do you see your business in five years?

I would like to have an internationally known brand, recognized not just locally in the New York area but globally. It would be amazing to walk in the mall of Dubai and have my shoes in their beautiful high end boutiques. Also, in five years, expanding into another area, interestingly enough a lot of men, the first thing out of their mouths is, “when are you going to design men’s shoes?” I have heard that numerous times so maybe that is next on the horizon, we shall see. 

Tiannia Barnes Pearl Leopard Flats

Finally, do you have any advice for other young, female entrepreneurs?

My advice is the advice I had to take myself, find your passion, your inner truth, and your natural gifts. A lot of us sweep them under the rug or let everyday life take over so really dig deep, really search within yourself and find out what your true gift is and follow that. Whatever your gift is, that is going to lead to your passion, your purpose, and you will have a fulfilled life.  That is my advice that I would give to young or entrepreneurs or anyone looking to start a change or have some type of change in their life no matter what their age is.  

And I will leave you with my favorite pair of shoes from the collection, the Regin pumps: 

Tiannia Barnes Regin Pumps

Tiannia’s line launches this fall and while the distribution is still being finalized the shoes will likely be carried in high end department stores ranging in price between $300 and $600. Until then they are available for pre-order on Tiannia’s website

I hope you enjoyed this latest installment of Sparkle Sessions, look for a new interview with another great female entrepreneur next  month!