Archive - February 2010

Ventura Fashion Week
DecadesTwo Shoe Extravaganza

Ventura Fashion Week

On the night of February 6th, I attended Ventura Fashion Week, held at the Ventura Elks Lodge and was benefiting AIDS Project Ventura County. I found out about the event from my friend, Elinor Cohen, who was modeling in the event. Ventura Fashion Week was founded by Erika Harding, who has been in the industry as a hairdresser and make-up artist for over twenty-one years. The idea started as just a fashion show to promote her salon, but then she decided to make it a fundraiser for more publicity. Her charity of choice has been AIDS-related, since she lost her brother and several friends due to the disease.

The show’s theme was “Angels and Saints-The Seven Deadly Sins”, featuring fashion from local vintage and clothing stores and designers; as well as dancing, hot male models taking their shirts off and appearances from special guests. The dance numbers reminded me of the movie “Moulin Rouge”-think sexy and burlesque-ish. Now, since the theme also deals with the Seven Deadly Sins, it wouldn’t be right for the devil himself to not make an appearance. So, with that being said, the devil, named “Red” (played by Kryztofr Fielder) MCd the show. He pretty much stole the show with his jokes and ‘devilish’ quips made as the models strolled the runway. The show, which indeed was for a great cause; not only was it benefiting the AIDS Project, but they also introduced Matt Copper of the Many Meals of Santa Paula ( an organization that feeds over 600 meals to the homeless each week. Other guests included Ventura Mayor Bill Fulton, Alec Loorez-Kids vs Global Warming, a guest from the Wave Project, and Jarrod Madrigal-Bears of Ventura. The other highlight of the show were the halos, one in particular being a giant halo made from hair and was apparently so heavy that the model had to hold it while walking the runway; and the wings, designed by Erika Harding and Raeal Woodfork. Raeal,who also makes her own Halloween costumes, gets inspired by random things that she comes across in her daily life, such as a flower, a person or an emotion and uses Galvanized Steel wire and various fabrics (from Nylon to Cheese Cloth) for her wings. Truly amazing work! I look forward to see what Ventura Fashion Week 2011 holds. According to Erika, she hopes it “just gets bigger and better.”

SPECIAL THANKS: Erika Harding, VCRA, Krystofr Fielder, Shannon Mathey, Portia Bray, Angel and Victor, Dennis Mitchell, Jamee Punzo, Spanky, Raeal Woodfork, Heather, Adriane, Jerome, Chris, Cody, Dave, the models and dancers, make-up and hair, Ventura Rentals, Polly and Steve, all the local clothing stores and designers, J, Jesslabelle, all the sponsors, the Pin Down Girls (, Mayor Bill Fulton, the Ventura County Derby Darlins (, Jay Smith of the AIDS Project Ventura (

DecadesTwo Shoe Extravaganza

It was an exceptionally gorgeous day in LA when DecadesTwo held their annual Shoe extravaganza-benefiting the non-profit organization Artists for Peace and Justice (founded by Paul Haggis)- who had built schools, a hospital and an orphanage in Haiti, but unfortunately, all buildings were destroyed by the quake.

I spoke with Decades owner Christos Garkinos, who told me that people were lined up around 4am that morning. This was their fourth major shoe event. They had reached out to their clients, who then donated their shoes and allowed Decades to mark them down in price for the fundraiser. The number of people that lined up (from their first event)grew from twelve to five-hundred. He said this exorbitant amount of people was almost like a “Shoestock.” When I was there, about two hours after the event started, over seven-hundred pairs of shoes (ranging from Manolos, Jimmy Choos, Diors, Valentinos and Marc Jacobs) had been sold, leaving around one-hundred fifty pairs left. 100% of the proceeds are going to Haiti. Celebrities like Holly Robinson Peete, Lisa Rinna and Selma Blair stopped by to show their support. Actress Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon who is a loyal client and friend of Christos, was also on hand at the event. She and Christos had partnered together to put on the event for such a great cause. Though for Garcelle, who is Haitian, the news of the quake hit a little too close to home. She still has family there and at the time we spoke, her Aunt was still missing. My heart goes out to her and I hope her family gets reunited with the Aunt soon.

Dear Readers, I wanted to also talk briefly about my experience at DecadesTwo. First, Christos aka “Fashion Robin Hood” loves fashion and loves that his business is about recycling (whether it be shoes or apparel). The store was such a gem, in that I saw brands of shoes and especially red carpet gowns (vintage is their specialty) from notable designers like: Versace, Vera Wang, Dior, Chanel, Proenza Schouler, Elie Saab, etc, that I only read about in fashion magazines and dared to dream about actually seeing them in person. *If you’re a fashionista growing up in the Mid-West, you’d know what I’m talking about*

SPECIAL THANKS: J, DecadesTwo ( and is located at 8214 Melrose Ave. (323)655-1960, Christos Garkinos, Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon, the many clients that donated their shoes to the cause and Artists for Peace & Justice (,

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