Archive - July 2013

Art Institute of Houston Presents: Senior Fashion Design Showcase
Learning About Bona Clara Skincare with CEO Jasmina Aganovic – Houston
"Fashion Friday" Invades the San Antonio Fashion Scene

Art Institute of Houston Presents: Senior Fashion Design Showcase

Momentum Audi recently played host to the Art Institute of Houston’s senior fashion design showcase. This year, there were four seniors who were fortunate enough to present their collections to the public in the magnificent light-filled showroom. The show started off with Assistant Professor of Fashion Design/Fashion Retail Management Jane Carlton Hall welcoming the guests and then introducing the designers: Alexa DiBiasio, Michelle Womack, Sara Hathaway and Whitney Lowery. The DJ was then cued to turn up the music as Alexa’s collection went down the runway first.

Alexa’s collection, which embraced a playful mix of leather and chiffon in forms of easy separates that flowed down the runway. Alexa explained that her fifteen piece (five look) collection was inspired by “the idea of dark romanticism and how beauty can be found in places that are not commonly considered beautiful. How the idea of soft imagery (romanticism) and dark imagery can combine together to create something eerie, yet breathtaking. Mixing the idea of soft and hard became the main theme supporting my collection. I quickly gravitated towards my two favorite fabrics, leather and chiffon, and adopted them as the perfect representatives of my desired theme. I pushed the idea further by adding hand cut detail on each leather piece that mimicked the feel of romantic lace. The silhouettes and style of each look remained true to my own personal style.” The collection was dark, yet had a whimsical and youthful vibe. I loved the chiffon blouses, leather boleros (especially the vest with scalloped edging) and leather pants.

The next collection brought some Miami-inspired color to the stage. This collection was put together by Michelle Womack, who was inspired by art deco architecture. Michelle goes further into detail regarding the behind-the-‘seams’ of the collection, “The fabric used was a silk dupioni. All of the colors were custom mixed. I first vat dyed with a base color and then went over them with various other colors with a foam brush to create the different combinations. I also created a crochet pattern to fit along with my theme. It was based on a pineapple crochet and then I changed it up a bit to fit my needs. There is a shape that is reoccurring in my collection, I have been calling it a stair step for lack of a better word but it is reoccurring through out art deco architecture. You can find it in the shape of the corset, the skirt of the teal dress with the collar the kick pleats on the backs of the coral dress with the crochet and the the teal dress with the chevron. it is also on the front of the dress with the draping on it. I tried to create something in my collection that is unique but is simple to wear and fit many different body types while at the same time accentuating a woman’s figure.” I loved the collection’s color palette and the use of color-blocking. My favorite two looks were the blood orange dress with beautiful crochet trim on the back and the seafoam green and blue hi-low dress.

The third collection, inspired by the tuxedo, was created by Sarah Hathaway (who is currently employed as a production assistant at David Peck USA– a local Houstonian designer). She took the different components of the tuxedo and rendered them into various aspects of each look. My favorites from the included the dress with black and white paneling and the center front that resembled the front of a tuxedo shirt; as well as the dress pants with the ‘tuxedo shirt’ detailing at the hem. Overall, I thought the collection was wearable and versatile enough for that big presentation at the office and then easily transitioning into a girls night.

The last collection to take a parade around the runway was designed by Whitney Lowery. Her collection was inspired by origami, architecture and the ‘green’ of nature. The ‘green’ collection was composed of two jumpsuits, pants and a top, all of which had classic silhouettes and clean lines. I was impressed with the two-tone green jumpsuit with gold ‘origami-esque’ trim at the hem of the pants.

Huge congratulations to the designers and I wish you all the very best! Thank you Art Institute of Houston and Momentum Audi for having me in attendance.

heathermarie_033's Momentum Audi Houston album on Photobucket

Learning About Bona Clara Skincare with CEO Jasmina Aganovic – Houston

There are apparently two key approaches that the beauty industry agrees on, “miracle ingredients” and “problem specific” products. Yes, but after learning about this new skin care brand… I feel they need to add another approach.

Thanks to an invitation through the Houston Fashion Bloggers, myself and Shalanda from Live Life in Style had attended a very informative session regarding new skincare brand, Boston based- Bona Clara. The session featured the brand’s CEO- Jasmina Aganovic- an MIT chemical and biological graduate-turned- beauty entrepreneur. She first explains that she was first working with a very well-known professor in one of the largest bio-medical labs in the world and in the process of developing an anti-biotic eardrop for babies to treat ear infections. She went through much riggerous testing, which included having to test on slabs of donated human skin that she received from the hospital. The final test was on different age groups (20s, 30s, 40s and 50s). This formula proved to be the winner, but not for the eardrops. Instead, she concluded that it was similar to formulas found in skincare products. This finding stuck with her and she started to pursue a different route, which led to the beauty industry. Upon graduation, she worked with three beauty brands and firmly stands ground on cutting edge science and natural product formulations.

When Jasmina started her brand, she wanted to make sure the brand provided education and actively taught women something about the products and their skin. She came up with the name Bona Clara because ‘bona’ is derived from “good” or “beautiful” and ‘clara’ means “clear.” She came up with a mission statement “Clear change of vision to create more beautiful and better lives for people everywhere.” In Bona Clara’s early stage, it launched strictly online and only offered four treatment creams for the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s age groups. The company saw a tremendous growth (by 200,000 customers) it’s first year. Jasmina was then able to fund other products to coincide with the treatment creams. I was really impressed when she (the CEO) personally called up her top customers and chatted with them about the brand (what they did or did not like, etc). She learned that women were constantly telling their friends, co-workers, etc., about the products and word spread like wildfire; leading to more orders and feedback. As people continued to ask questions about the product, she developed handy training tools, that included a newsletter- with her personal phone number (which is so awesome, because I’ve never heard of a CEO just giving out their digits like that). It was then that one of her best customers, who is now a rep, offered up the idea of also doing direct selling. After thorough research, she, along with three other people, initialized direct selling with zero (direct selling) experience.

Since the brand’s official launch in February 2013, there are now reps all over the world. You won’t find it sold in stores. Jasmina thinks it’s very important that the entire experience (from whatever angle, like as a customer, rep, etc.) with the products “is uplifting, inspiring and fun…that the experience does beyond picking up the bottle and putting it down and that’s done…I want it to be something you keep in your spirit the entire day.” The reps are also ‘on-call’ to further enhance the experience by delivering a person-to-person relationship. They make sure everyone has their questions answered and understands what they need to know about the brand. I’m absolutely thrilled Jasmina switched her career to the beauty industry. She surely seems to know what she’s talking about and I’m happy to support a brand where the ingredients are natural and that the CEO is so hands-on. So I guess now the beauty industry can add “age specific” to their key approaches.

Shalanda and I both received samples of product for our 20s. I have been trying to use it everyday and I have noticed a difference in my skin’s texture. It’s incredibly smooth and looks healthier. I highly recommend trying it! I also recommend reading their blog, it has some really helpful information on staying healthy and other lifestyle tips.

Bona ClaraExperience Smarter Beauty

heathermarie_033's Bona Clara album on Photobucket

"Fashion Friday" Invades the San Antonio Fashion Scene

The fashion scene in San Antonio just got a boost up in the system, thanks to designer and creative extraordinaire- Toni Jackson (designer/CEO at House of Krimson). The concept of “fashion Friday” was first introduced in Los Angeles about ten years ago and centered around the idea of a unique fashion experience that linked together shopping, entertainment and nightlife all into a one night event. Back in San Antonio, Jackson noticed that there was a void missing in the acknowledgement of local designers, boutiques and brands and got inspired to build that concept and turned it into a mixer that bridged together the fashion and beauty industries in San Antonio. She hopes this event will help build the importance of “MADE IN AMERICA.”

That evening, the event (which was also the official launch of Fashion Friday San Antonio) took place at a venue located in the Broadway Boardwalk shopping plaza and featured gourmet sampling, complimentary cocktails, mini-makeovers, a few runway shows and of course- shopping! The event was emceed by comedianne Lyn-z Lang, her co-host- Hector and TV personality Alanna Sarabia. A variety of local boutiques participated in this event, including: Luxury Suite,Mystic Angel Creations, Sylvie Style, Coco Boutique, Bikini Colada Swimwear, Jorge Paz, C-Style by Carrie Trinidad, Lesann Semi Precious Jewelry, Spank! Kosmetix and Pamela’s Beadworks. The evening was a great success for Jackson and despite the sultry evening air, everyone enjoyed the outdoor fashion shows (I was only able to attend one, so my apologies, dear readers, for the lack of coverage for the other shows) and bar. I enjoyed meeting new people, new boutiques and of course, supporting the San Antonio fashion scene.

Huge Thanks: Toni J., Lyn-z Lang, Hector, Alanna, Toni’s helpful staff, Miss Symone, the models, vendors and sponsors!

heathermarie_033's FashionFridayJune album on Photobucket

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