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Designer couture is coming to Sarasota.

In honor of the fifth annual "A New Beginning Fashion Event," Selah Freedom has partnered with fashion powerhouse Rent the Runway for its Champagne luncheon and fashion show. Co-chaired by besties Tammy Karp and Donna Koffman, the festivities at Five Points Park will begin with a Sip and Shop at 10:30 a.m. on January 25. (For tickets, which begin at $150, click here.)

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Neil Timiraos

But first, let's check in with the fashion insider who's teaming up with Selah Freedom. A frequent visitor to Siesta Key, Rent the Runway's style specialist Neil Timiraos is an editorial and wardrobe stylist based in New York City. And he definitely has some insight on what's new and next for your wardrobe—and what's worth renting for everything from black tie events to spring weddings. 

No better place to start than with trends. What should we know for the (spring) season?

While florals are a staple every spring, the collections for Spring 2018 feature a bolder and more modern take on floral prints. Another major trend we are going to see is denim across all categories. Denim dresses, suiting, and other separates all walked the runway, but be prepared to see denim skirts make the biggest comeback.

 

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Left to right: dresses by Nicholas, Monique Lhuillier and Christian Siriano

What are the gowns you love right now?

I love the combination of navy and black from Nicholas—so chic. And the updated take on lace on this Nicholas gown keeps it young and modern.

The color is stunning and silhouette is so classic on this Monique Lhuillier dress. What’s not to love?!

A celebrity favorite on the red carpet, Christian Siriano knows how to bring the wow factor. The earthy pink is unexpected but a shade that translates all year round.

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Sarasota is an event-centric community with many black-tie dress codes. What’s your favorite tip for elevating a look?

There's so much nuance to dress codes, but the point should always be to dress for the event, rather than dressing for the dress code in hopes to look appropriate. 

So many spring nuptials ahead—any thoughts on dressing for a wedding?

When it comes to weddings, it’s all about helping the bride realize her vision, without pulling focus from her. So often women completely forget to consider the venue; the bride having an evening wedding at a contemporary art museum in the fall has a completely different aesthetic than the bride getting married at a botanical garden on a spring afternoon. 

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What mistakes do you think we make when it comes to our wardrobe?

The biggest mistake we make when it comes to our wardrobe revolves around our interpretation of trends. It is so easy to fall in love with something and think, “I have to have this in my life—how have I lived this long without it?!” But in reality, everyone should be filling their closets with well-made staples and using services like Rent the Runway to experiment with trends.

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