Tootsies Celebrates Launch of the Susan Scarf During Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
Curated Cotton
Talking Gloves with Damari and Co.
Meet Lilli…
GoldenRags – “A Modern Twist on Vintage Rags”
“The Art of Dressing” Through Tziporah Salamon
Pin Oak Charity Horse Show‘s “What to Wear to that Equestrian Affaire”

Tootsies Celebrates Launch of the Susan Scarf During Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

One of Houston’s most prestigious and luxurious retailers- Tootsies, kicked off Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month by hosting a chic cocktail party that celebrated the launch of the Susan Scarf– designed by Manoosh in collaboration with the Susan Poorman Blackie Ovarian Cancer Foundation. Over a hundred guests mingled and shopped Manoosh’s Fall 2015 collection, as well as tried out the “build your own” agate jewelry station at the Agate Ranch + Marfa booth. Houston lifestyle blogger, author and ovarian cancer survivor (and Susan Scarf model)- Megan Silianoff was on hand, signing her memoir 99 Problems but a Baby Ain’t One. Fashion Illustrator- Rongrong DeVoe was busy live-sketching guests. Light bites were passed around by B&B Butchers and Restaurant.

Manoosh is the brainchild of three generations of women- Marilyn Biles, her daughter Nancy Guthrie and Nancy’s daughter-in-law, Anna Wilson. The brand was officially launched in September 2014 and is known for luxurious scarves in a variety of colors. The women saw the need for a company that improves the accessibility and exposure for local artists by bringing art out of the galleries and into the hands of the consumer. The scarves are available in cashmere and silk blends and are rich in vibrant colors, as well as more subdued, neutral tones. They illustrate a range of artistic styles including abstract and impressionist. When Anna saw Marilyn’s abstract artwork, she knew it would translate well onto fabric. They usually end up spending months hand-selecting and testing out fabrics to perfect each collection (in collaboration with other artists). For the SPB Foundation collaboration, she met with Buck- who is Susan’s son and founder of the Foundation. Together, they ended up choosing Marilyn Biles’ “Outcrop”- a 25 to 30 year old print for the Susan Scarf. Susan Poorman Blackie was known for wearing bright, artistically designed scarves after loosing her hair to chemo. Scarves have since been known as a symbol of beauty and strength during the rigors of cancer treatment. Susan lost her battle with cancer in 2014. This scarf not only tells her story, but was created to help empower women about the knowledge of the risks and symptoms of ovarian cancer.

Being a fan of West Texas and Marfa myself, I gravitated to the Agate Ranch + Marfa booth. The wonderfully handcrafted statement pieces resonated the beauty and landscape of the area. Kathy Bracewell launched the brand in 2010, centering her inspiration around her daughter-in-law and stepdaughters, as well as the ranch they bought in the area several years ago. Kathy enjoys walking around the property and looking from Indian artifacts. One day, after gathering up a pile of unique stones, she went into Marfa to the local rock shop – Moonlight Gemstones. The owner- Paul Graybeal, explained that she had a Marfa Agate, which is from the area, but not everywhere in the area. When Paul visited the ranch one day, Kathy and her husband took him for a drive around the property. Paul helped to train her eye to areas specific where the rocks would be. He now plays an important role within her company by cutting the rocks, while Kathy stays at the rock shop and polishes them. The end result is delicately polished Marfa Agates on leather and hand-beaded chains. For the event, she offered a “build-your-own” agate jewelry station, where people could chose from a selection of West Texas agates, various chain styles, vintage Milagros and more. Knowing that teal was the color of ovarian cancer awareness, she included feather attachments, with proceeds from the sales going to the SPB Foundation.

For more information on ovarian cancer awareness, go HERE.

Curated Cotton

Curated Cotton came through my radar via Houston Tidbits. I checked out the website and loved the tees (especially the cactus print tees), which are made locally in Houston. I learned that they were going to have a trunk show at Saint Cloud in Rice Village, so clearly I had to go check it out. During the event, I was able to meet with Shelly, one of the co-founders of the brand and also picked up a tee for myself.

Curated Cotton was officially founded June 2015 by Shelly Bishop and Paige Thompson- who are both working in the creative industries. Shelly started sewing and crafting in high school. She graduated from Baylor University with a degree in Fashion Merchandising. Since then, she has held an extensive career is just about every aspect of the fashion industry. She is currently a fashion stylist by day and co-founder of Curated Cotton by night. Paige- also a Baylor grad, majored in Studio Art and Graphic Design. While there, she explored multiple mediums in the art world, which included designing t-shirts. She then moved on to study at Chicago Portfolio School. After graduating, she worked for an advertising agency, before eventually moving on to Nashville, where she is currently based. She is an Art Director by day, and freelance designer, fine artist, and Co-Founder of Curated Cotton by night.

November 2014, Shelly picked up a copy of Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS and finished it in two sittings. This helped ignite the concept for Curated Cotton. She further explains, “There are a few different points she made in the book that really resonated with me, and sparked the idea to design and sell tees. Right away I knew I wanted to ask Paige to help me execute designs, as we’ve worked together on projects in the past, and I love what she does. The timing was right for Paige, as she had also been thinking about starting something on the side. We each shifted our vision a little, and the result is Curated Cotton. Even though I first had the idea for Curated Cotton last November, our site didn’t officially launch until June. There is so much that goes into everything, and we really wanted to take the time do it right. We are based out of Houston and Nashville. Our tees are hand-pulled at Black Swan Screen Printing in the Heights, and shipped out from Houston, but we sell them on our website. I am a night person, and as I was winding down for bed, the name Curated Cotton came to me. I’m a huge sucker for alliteration, so that was a big plus, but I also love the meaning when you break it down. Originally, a curator was someone who was responsible for artfully and meticulously piecing together the best of the best to bring together a fantastic art or museum collection. The term curate is now much more commonly used, especially in the fashion world, to describe something that is thoughtfully and stylishly put together. Using what we’ve learned in school, along with our own experience, Paige and I place so much attention on detail and every decision we make to “curate” our brand. On the other end of the spectrum is cotton, which is casual, organic, effortless…We don’t ever want to take ourselves too seriously, so we thought about how funny it actually was to say that you ‘curate cotton…’ something so simple being so scrutinized.. But it’s actually the perfect way to describe and sum up who we are and what we do.”

Shelly credits her styling background to helping build the brand’s chic ‘west coast’ vibe. “Probably because I grew up in San Diego, I feel best in jeans and a white tee. My personal style is sporty, relaxed, and a little retro. I love mixing high and low pieces to achieve that cool-girl look. Styling for Curated Cotton is very personal for me, since it’s working with our own designs. I think a tee is a super versatile piece. I love to dress mine up and wear them out to events. I like that it’s ironic to wear a tee for evening. Each design we have kinda takes on a personality of it’s own. I like to envision the personality of that tee as an actual girl, and style it from there…how I would picture her wearing it..”

What sets Curated Cotton apart? “I’m a big fan of vintage, and the thrill of the hunt – the feeling you get when you take the time to find those special pieces that no one else has. Paige and I put a lot of effort into researching tees, and selecting the best fit and style out there. We then spend even more time on the design process, going back and forth making adjustments until we are 110% in love with the design. Once the perfect tee and design are in place, our screen printers hand-pull each shirt. When you buy a Curated Cotton tee, you know not a single detail has gone overlooked,” Shelly explained.

The tees range from $40-$55, depending on how many colors and screens are used to make them. Each tee is screen printed by hand on soft, high-quality shirts made of 100% cotton.

Be sure to also visit their Facebook and Instagram for future happenings!

Talking Gloves with Damari and Co.

I was first introduced to Damari and Co. awhile back, but it wasn’t until recently that I had the opportunity to check out the small studio and chat with the namesake founder- Damari Rubio, regarding the locally made brand. Damari’s love of gloves stemmed from her world travels throughout her life. She would pick up vintage gloves at various antique stores and start collecting them as gifts for herself and her friends. This sparked a creative force in her to start designing gloves, which is turning into a lost art. She is one of the few glove designers in this country.

She officially launched her company January 2014 and started out by doing custom work, as she was still getting use to making the gloves. A year later, January 2015, she launched a line of fitness, dog walking, fashion and lace gloves. EVERYTHING is made in Houston. She’s enjoyed every experience of her highly creative career. “It’s been great, seeing what everybody likes and the market wants,” she said.

Her best-selling gloves (and this blogger’s absolute FAVORITE style) are the angled gloves. The mesh gloves come in a variety of colors and have elastic trim. Damari purposefully leaves out the thumb because of accessibility. People need to be chic, but also need to have access to their phones and other technology. She also designs regular gloves as well, like for opera season and such. Oh and let’s not forget about her line of driving gloves… I mean really, even that is a lost fashion trend (back in the day, people actually wore gloves while driving)… I hope that her version, made of breathable fabric, helps the trend will make a comeback.

When she showed me the packaging for the gloves, I squealed at the ingenuity of it all. She packages each collection in a box that is designed to be a book. The collections are categorized as follows: Be Fit, Be Playful, Be Romantic, Be Chic and Be Free. Every glove has a story. The idea is that you can collect as many “books” as possible and them keep them packaged and ready for use.

The chic gloves are good quality, that don’t come with a hefty price tag. They range from $25 for dog walking gloves to around $90-120 for lace gloves. Check out Damari and Co. for amazing gloves that will fit every aspect of your lifestyle!

** Photo courtesy of Damari **

Meet Lilli…

As an avid vintage clothing collector and seller, I’ve come across numerous designer labels that were highly regarded back in the 50s and 60s, but have since fazed out. I’ve heard of the brand- Lilli Diamond and recently came across a couple of dresses where I work. My boss suggested that I do some research on the brand, which I happily obliged. I learned that Lilli was still living in California and I just HAD to meet with her during my recent trip.

On my last day in California, I sat down with THE Lilli Diamond, just one of the loveliest women one could ever meet. She gave me some insight on her life, career and the legendary fashion company and we vintage fans know and love.

The beginning:

She was born in Brooklyn. Her dream was to become a dancer. Through-out her childhood she took dancing lessons. When she was around 15 or 16, her dancing teacher had her fill in for a girl who had gotten sick, to dance at the night club with the rest of the dance troupe. She of course, said yes. That was the start of her dancing career. It wasn’t long after, when she decided she should go to Hollywood. She remembered saying, “Hollywood is where it’s at. That’s where you have to be!” She got on a bus for five nights. She briefly ended up staying at a relative’s home in Riverside, but found that it wasn’t close enough to her end goal. Soon after her parents found another relative for her to stay with that lived closer to Hollywood. She recalls, “I stayed with a distant relative for one night. The next day I started walking around and getting a feel of the neighborhood. I wanted to show Hollywood I was here…So a car starts to follow me…I got to where I was going. I went upstairs and he followed me. He introduced himself and then left. And when he left, I said, ‘Ohmigod, he is coming back!’ The people I was with asked, ‘How do you know?’ I replied, ‘I just know.’ He did. So that was the beginning… ” So they got married, had a child and started their life.

Lilli on the brand (which launched in the early 1950s):

“Al Diamond was a dress cutter in a dress factory. He decided one day that he didn’t have to be just a dress cutter, he could be the boss. So that’s what he did. He went to a design school and found a couple students that he thought had merit. He hired these students right out of school and had them make up a couple of samples. He went, by himself, to a trade show in San Francisco with samples. He didn’t have any money to rent a space at the show, so he just sat in the hall. As people walked by, he showed them the samples and they caught on. That’s how the business began. He came back and said, ‘We’re in business!’ He got a friend and they sat down together and contemplated naming the business. The friend said, ‘why don’t we call it Lilli Diamond?’ He did things that nobody else did in the business. He took risks. He never had inventory. While most of the factories used mannequins, he used live models. He would fit the garment to the girl, which was a big difference. He’d wait for the orders and they’d have the materials flown in, even though it was expensive. Still, it paid off to do it that way. So when the store’s buyers would come around, they’d just pick out what they wanted and then he would order the fabric. He just figured out the best way to do everything and that’s why he was successful. He was famous for fit. His cocktail attire was very dressy and sexy. He was smart, he was bright, he took risks and he had me.”

Lilli Diamond was sold at upscale boutiques across the country. The company flourished well into the 60s, until it was sold to Campus Casuals in 1965. Campus Casuals continued selling dresses with the Lilli Diamond label until the 80s.

Examples of Lilli Diamond Dresses:

(Image via Etsy, Image via 1st Dibs)

(Image via 1st Dibs, Image via 1st Dibs)

(Image via Davonna Juroe, Image via Etsy)

Lilli eventually got back into acting and took up competitive dancing. She actually appeared in the 1999 Miller Lite commercial- “SEANCE,” as the widow (seen below).

* Video via 2punchpikey’s YouTube *

Lilli’s advice:

“Trust. Honesty. You play your cards the way you wish they would fall/you wish they would happen… You play the game, you see the end result. If I do this and that, then this is going to happen…”

For additional information, please go to lillidiamond.com.

GoldenRags – “A Modern Twist on Vintage Rags”

Tamara B. has always loved clothes and thrifting. The blogger and entrepreneur enjoys thrifting clothing from a variety of decades- particularly those of the 80s and 90s, but sometimes can’t fit the styles. So back in 2013, she officially launched GoldenRags, an online vintage shop that has since been her creative outfit so that she can style the clothes and mix-n-match with current styles that are around today. On why she chose the name ‘goldenrags,’ she recalls, “I thought it was a cool play on names, because when you think of vintage, it’s very golden, but some people think of them as being rags. So it’s just sort of a play on the two opposites.”

When asked what sets them apart from the myriad of online vintage sellers, Tamara responds, “We work with the styles that are around today. So it’s not for the girl that necessarily wants to look like she stepped out of the 70s…It’s for the girl that likes a little bit of vintage…We also have pieces for the people that do want to dress for a particular decade. But we cater to modern vintage… Our tagline is a ‘modern twist on vintage rags.'”

While I was in LA, they happened to have had a pop-up shop at the DTLA Arts District Co-Op building. There were two racks with Tamara’s eclectic and colorful finds. She credits one of her more ‘better finds’ to a funky 80s acid-wash denim jacket with sequins and embroidery; which was dutifully styled on the mannequin. Among some of my favorites from the pop-up were: a black and white woven vest, a floral print peplum dress, a Southwest style striped vest, a pastel floral romper, a jewels and chains printed dress, an Aztec-style print tee and lastly- a Bart Simpson tee.

Their prices are also affordable, ranging from $5 to $100. You can find and shop GoldenRags ONLINE, INSTAGRAM and also a various flea markets and pop-up shops.

“The Art of Dressing” Through Tziporah Salamon

Dressing creatively is one of life’s greatest pleasures – Tziporah Salamon

So, you want to elevate your style to the next level?! Well, Tziporah Salamon and her highly exceptional eye for style and genius way of dressing, may just be your answer. Tziporah (pronounced ziporah) is one of New York City’s most stylish women over 60. She is widely known for being featured regularly on Advanced Style, being Bill Cunningham’s muse and having been chosen for Lanvin’s Fall 2012 campaign.

Tziporah’s life has always been surrounded by fashion, with her Father being a tailor and her Mother- a seamstress. Her parents are of Hungarian Jewish descent and both survived the Holocaust. Her Father managed to survive the labor camps by sewing the Nazis uniforms. Throughout her childhood in Israel, her parents would always make her clothing. Her Father made little boys clothes, while her Mother made little girls clothes. “I would literally wake up in the morning and there’d be a pile of clothes for me to play with. Sometimes I was a little boy…Sometimes I was a little girl and I was equally comfortable always with both,” she recalls.

Eventually, her family packed up and moved to New York. She went off to Berkeley to pursue a Ph.D in pyschology, but later realized that it wasn’t for her. She moved back to New York to be closer to a world that has always held a special place in her heart- fashion. Throughout the years, she’s had several jobs, ranging from a hat check girl to a saleswoman at Bergdorf’s (where she was told to not outshine the clientele) to a waitress and hostess. She currently teaches part-time and has her two famed classes- The Art of Dressing and her one woman show- The Fabric of My Life. She also does guest lectures, personal styling and closet consultations.

Throughout her lifetime, Tziporah has amassed quite a collection of mainly vintage and antiques finds, while also mixing in current pieces (her favorite designer is Comme des Garcons). She dresses daily, her outfits always taking on a persona of a painting. Sometimes it takes her a year or more to plan out one outfit. Her way of dressing is literally an art form.

I had the privilege to sit in on her Art of Dressing seminar in Los Angeles recently. I was so excited that our LA trip coincided with the time of her seminar. I felt like it was fate. Ever since hearing and reading about the Advanced Style ladies, I immediately was entranced by their style. It was creative and not “normal.” I started following Tziporah on Instagram and just fell in love with her use of vintage and mixing patterns, textures and color. She also always is never seen without a hat. So after hearing that she was in LA when I was, I had to attend. The seminar took place at a beautiful “Old Hollywood” style home in the hills of Los Feliz and spanned the course of a two-hour session of getting to know your body and learning how to dress creatively. During that time, myself, along with 19 or so other stylish women sat on the edge of our seats as Tziporah taught us tricks on how to elevate our way of dressing and to not be afraid to experiment. Fashion Illustrator- Justine Limpus Parish was also in the audience, sketching Tziporah in her different looks. Tziporah would start out with a classic base piece and just when we thought the outfit was complete, she would layer on more…and that made the the outfit look even more fantastic! She played with pieces that ranged from a 1910s lace jacket to chunky bakelite, lucite and amber bangles; lovely 1930s Pongi silk Japanese pajama sets and vintage denim. No outfit was complete without a statement hat, a funky pair of glasses and clever shoes (I died over the Prada Japanese style platforms). It was just so intriguing to be in the presence of this artist, as she was working her magic with only a small closet of clothing and a table of accessories. Her pleasant and captivating personality shone as she explained the “method to her madness” with detail or an amusing story. The evening ended with networking, photos and dress-up. I of course, left feeling INSPIRED!

Some takeaways from Tziporah:

I cannot wear what other people wear..because I’ve always had clothes specially made for me. I love vintage for that reason…With vintage, somehow you get more for your bucks. And it lasts longer and its great. (She credits her favorite vintage shop in LA – Golyester.)

When it comes to dressing, you have to think about proportion, silhouette, color, texture..all of that goes into consideration.

Always buy good shoes… You can’t scrimp on shoes.

You have to figure out what suits you.

Don’t wear obvious labels or logos. (Putting emphasis on the “double C’s”)

Always buy quality of quantity!

When women hire me, I don’t want them dependent on me, I teach them so that I can leave them and they can be masters of their wardrobe.

If you’d like more information on Tziporah, to contact or book her services and find out more on her seminar- go HERE. You can also check out the articles on her on Advanced Style.

Pin Oak Charity Horse Show‘s “What to Wear to that Equestrian Affaire”

The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show will host its fourth annual fundraising luncheon and fashion presentation, “What to Wear to that Equestrian Affaire,” on Wednesday, Oct. 21. The event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at one of Houston’s most exclusive private venues. ABC-13 anchor Ilona Carson will serve as Emcee for the second consecutive year.
The women’s fashion presenter this year is David Peck USA, and the men’s fashion presenter is LUCHO. David Peck USA is a full scale American Fashion House, specializing in clothing design, manufacturing, and fashion brand development. David Peck USA is located in the Upper Kirby/River Oaks neighborhood of Houston. LUCHO is a men’s boutique that offers a wide range of products and custom-made clothing — from suits and sports coats to ties and cufflinks. LUCHO also offers high-end women’s shoes made in Brazil. LUCHO is located in Uptown Park. Alexis Caruselle, Pin Oak Charity Horse Show Executive Committee member, and Hector Villarreal, owner of LUCHO, are serving as event co-chairs. Both are also members of The Young Pin Oak Club. Models will include Pin Oak Charity Horse Show sponsors, competitors and supporters as well as representatives of Houston area media organizations.

Individual tickets and sponsored tables for the fashion luncheon event are available for purchase. Sponsor benefits vary based on the level of financial commitment. In-kind support is also welcomed and appreciated. For more information on tickets, tables or sponsorship opportunities, call 713-621-6290, visit www.pinoak.org or email info@pinoak.org.

The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show was founded in Houston in 1945 and is now recognized as one of the oldest and most prestigious horse shows in the country. As one of Houston’s most unique social and fundraising events, The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show has raised more than $6 million for its designated charities: Texas Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald Family Rooms at Texas Children’s Hospital and Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Family Alliance. The 71st Anniversary Pin Oak Charity Horse Show will be held from March 22 through April 3, 2016, at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, Texas. For more information, please visit www.pinoak.org.

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