Houston has this amazing network of local indie markets that take place intermittently throughout the city. Mini Pops is one of them, a monthly European style market that is in conjunction with twice-yearly Pop Shop Houston- the city’s premier craft, indie, art and music festival. I checked out the one last month, where it was held in a small parking lot in the hip Montrose/Westheimer district. Two boutiques- Pavement Clothing and Leopard Lounge Vintage host the market every SECOND Sunday of each month. Some local vendors that were there include: Vida Antigua, Milk & Honey Vintage, Zayver Jewels, Traci Lavois (she writes poems for you on the spot for sale, barter or trade), The Barking Bunny, Guerra Girl, CultGrrrl Creations, Sam Wish, Laundry Line, The Boy and Her and others. Of course, no outdoorsy hipster market cannot be without the food trucks, which included: The Golden Grill and Juice Girl. There were also DJs and local bands playing throughout the day. As an added bonus, a DIY station was set up (each month the activities change) to do DIY Valentine’s Day cards and make your own terrariums (which I did and LOVE my little low maintenance “garden”). The market is a great place to hang with friends and enjoy your “Sunday Funday.” It also pays to shop the amazing local brands and artists. For more information, check out PopShopHouston.com.
Held EVERY Sunday from 9-5!
Rain or Shine!
Located in the parking lot of Fairfax High School (corner of Fairfax and Melrose).
If you are in the LA area and have not been to the Melrose Trading Post yet…I HIGHLY recommend you go. Granted, the traffic on Fairfax is somewhat of a nightmare, but once you turn into the entrance to the flea market, you are greeted by a friendly volunteer who directs you to the free parking (yes, I said FREE) on the soccer field. Once you walk back to the market, you’ll pay your $2 admission, which goes directly to support programs at the high school. Voila! Now that you’re in, you’ll be immersed in the world of vintage, repurposed furniture, clothing, accessories and various random knick-knacks. As a MTP virgin and avid vintage junkie- I wished that I had brought a wad of cash with me, as I saw so much and my budget was so small…this time… Luckily, there is an ATM available, but beware of the $3 fee.
Aside from all the vintage goodness, I spotted one vendor- Industrial Vintage, with a fascinating recycled jewelry collection. The owner- Beth Gellar, takes old bus tags, key tags (from old hotel rooms) and random old key chains and charms and turns them into fab bohemian-style necklaces, etc. for her line, “Personal Numerology.” One style of key tags in particular comes from a beach resort in New Jersey and are naturally patinaed by the ocean. The bus tags come from a school bus company in Wisconsin. Prices for the collection range from $20-45. Beth does not have an online shop at the moment, but next time you’re at the Trading Post, check out her both. If you need a necklace sooner or whatnot, feel free to contact her at: BethGellar@sbcglobal.net.
The Melrose Trading Post can easily be an all-day affair, so bring comfy shoes, sunscreen, cash and your friends. I would suggest being creative in your wardrobe as well, as I spotted a lot of innovative outfits and street style photographers and bloggers. Bring your appetite as well, for the MTG offers a small food court. The best place to get some yummy grub would have to be the GC Crepes. They are also known for their fresh-squeezed orange juice (which is quite good). So, with all this being said, are you excited to check this place out!? The prices are great! I bought a pair of vintage sheer, pleated palazzo pants for FIVE BUCKS!!! I saw vintage sequin tops for $10! Vintage Dooney & Bourke purses for $15?! SOLD! How amazing is that!? From my observation of the vendors I shopped at, people were super friendly and helpful (and willing to bargain).
I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience at Melrose Trading Post. Definitely go check it out and let me know what you think!
A short time ago, Houston stylist Ashley Dunn launched her namesake ready-to-wear collection at Archway Gallery to an intimate crowd of influencers, friends and family. Local KHOU 11 personality- Courtney Perna was on hand to host the event. Ashley showcased fourteen looks, which she said were inspired by street style, simplicity and bold bright colors. “I was really inspired by women on the go; women that wear many hats but look chic and effortless while doing it.”
Proceeds from the show went to benefit NEDA (National Eating Disorders Association) in hopes of raising awareness on the issue, which affects millions (including Ashley). “I was always a curvy girl. Even when I was younger. Which is when the body image issues began. I felt early on that I was different from my peers because of I was curvier & short & they were naturally thin, so in my mind to help me to look like my peers I began throwing up my food, this started in first grade and I didn’t stop until my early twenties after college. My weight was always something I struggled with and I thought that somehow throwing up or getting rid of my food was the answer. My faith played a key role in my journey to becoming a better woman in which helped me to fight my eating disorder of bulimia. I feel it is my duty to share my story in hopes of helping someone struggling like I did.”
The designs and silhouettes were simple and clean, yet chic and versatile. You can mix n’ match pieces and probably could style a week’s worth (if not more) of outfits out of the entire collection. Being a gal who enjoys wearing color, this collection was a breath of fresh air. I especially loved the mid-length flounce skirts, the strapless jumpsuit with semi-skirt, 3/4 sleeve sleek red jumpsuit and crop tops. Another great thing about the brand is that it is manufactured locally in Houston. The price points for looking and feeling great won’t break the bank either, ranging from $29.99- 129.99.
“I try to promote positivity through fashion, empowerment & confidence. So my brand says just that, when a woman wears an Ashley Dunn Piece, that’s how they should feel. Ready to take on the world. I kept my pieces simple yet bold; so that the piece isn’t overshadowing the person but adding to.”
At press time, you can shop the line by emailing the product name and size to email@example.com. After the invoice is sent, expect 2-3 weeks to receive the order. Soon, you will be able to shop the line via her site- www.ashleydunnstyle.com.
E! Fashion Police star and celebrity stylist George Kotsiopoulos paid a visit to the Houston Premium Outlets recently, as the celebrity emcee for an “Exclusively Styled” fashion event hosted by Gap Factory Store. Back in March, he was chosen as the brand’s Style Editor for Gap Factory Store’s Spring 2014 collection. The campaign is expected to cover over four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. During that span of time, he will share product picks, expert tips and styling insight via social media.
The event, held under a large white tent and complete with models on stilts; started out with an intimate Q and A session with George and a select group of Houston’s top influencers. George was dressed in head-to-toe Gap Factory, straying away from his usual focus on preppy all-over prints that he usually wears on Fashion Police. He spoke about his ‘must-have pieces’ for Fall, like shearling (real and faux) and bright colors. He also spoke about his top picks for Gap: jeans, denim motorcycle jacket, boucle “Chanel-esque” jacket, white distressed denim, embellished sweater and black jumpsuit. When asked about which celebrity he would like to dress, he mentioned the classics- Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and then the moderns- Rhianna and Emma Stone. “They love clothes and fashion…they ‘are into it and get it.’ When asked about his picks of ‘worst-dressed,’ he mentioned that he doesn’t focus on that. He’s not waiting for someone to look bad. He also provided tips on styling yourself if you are an educator, as well as over 30. After the interview, we were able to get photos with him and mingled, while waiting for the show to begin.
Houston stylist Ashley Dunn co-hosted the fashion show. The first group of looks featured denim heavy and sporty separates with an uptown edge. I loved the ‘Canadian Tuxedo’ paired with a white jacket and silver oxfords. Another look that caught my eye was a look that consisted of striped track pants, a striped top and denim motorcycle jacket. The show then transitioned over to a semi-military grouping, with camo print and a variety of browns and neutrals. The last grouping was more for a night on the town or even office-appropriate. Black denim, embroidered skirts, embellished sweaters and a show-stopping black jumpsuit, paired with a thin belt from the boys department (hey it works), with multiple necklaces for a layered look; were the name of the game.
The event concluded with some giveaways and an invitation to shop the runway at the factory store (it was tax-free weekend after all).
In the heart of downtown LA’s historic district lies a quaint little showroom, tucked away in the owner’s residence in one of the historic buildings-turned-lofts. Bloom Showroom is independently owned by Jennifer Dermer and offers publicity and sales for emerging designers. Bloom’s mantra is to flourish or thrive. Bloom Showroom’s goal is to help the artists flourish and thrive in the fashion world…Helping new artists ‘bloom’… At this time, five lines are represented: Santina Lucce, Something Charming by Jolica, Lila Clare Jewelry, PERI and Casalinda Studio. The Lila Clare Jewelry collections were one of my faves when I toured the showroom. Each piece is made from eco-friendly sterling silver and other mixed metals, such as copper or 14K gold fill. Designer Clare Johnston draws her inspiration from her love of nature-from basking in the many acres of forest that was her backyard growing up in the mountains of North Georgia. There are three collections: Botanic, Luna and Joy. The Botanic collection focuses on nature in the Southwest with emphasis on the Prickly Pear Cactus. She casts their skeletons to form exquisite abstract cuffs, earrings and necklace pendants. The Luna collection is comprised of mixed metals that produce stunning combinations. The Joy collection offers impressions of lotus petals that are mixed with semi-precious gemstones. For more information, go to the Lila Clare website. The Santina Lucce line was unavailable to preview during my visit, but from what I can see from the images, the line is made for the modern bride. The line is made in America and takes reference from vintage and fine jewelry. So whether you need some fun and whimsical pieces to amp up your wedding attire or need some bling to jazz up your tee and jeans, then Santina Lucce should be on your list. For more information and to check out the images, go to the Santina Lucce website. Another cute jewelry line is Something Charming by Jolica. World-traveler and designer Jolica Taguiped became inspired by the native artisans in Europe, Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. After eight years of having her own shop, Jolica decided it was time to design jewelry full-time. She currently has three lines in the Something Charming collection: Lava, Nautilus and Mahjong. The Lava line is pieced with hand picked gemstones and Murano glass and individually crafted using the lost wax casting process. Jolica looks back at her French and Hawaiian roots for her inspiration for the Lava line. The lava flows on Hawaii’s Big Island are the heaviest influencers of the line. The Nautilus line offers a unique look with hand-hammered sterling silver before shell, gemstone or coral are added. The line is also inspired by Jolica’s love of the Nautilus shell. The Mahjong line is based off of the ancient Chinese game. For more information, please check out the Something Charming website. The last jewelry line and one of my other faves is Casalinda Studio. Casalinda Studio is an eco-friendly collection was founded in 2007 by mother-daughter duo Linda DaPra and Jennifer Dermer. The collection’s inspiration is based from California’s native flowers (influenced by the works of A.R. Valentien-who is commissioned by Ellen Browning Scripps to paint the endangered flowers), mudcracks and other natural wonders. The brand only uses recycled, reclaimed metals and fair trade, conflict free, recycled, reused or vintage semi-precious stones and beads. The brand’s goal is to create ‘guilt-less glamour,’ as explained by the brand, “California’s botanical, sea and geological diversity is an artistic treasure that is the motivation behind creating our pieces. We believe that we must all conserve this environment and preserve the diversity of life that exists here.” Casalinda Studio is based in San Diego. For more information, check out Casalinda Studio’s website. The last line represented is the eco-friendly clothing company- PERI Pure Eco Rag Industry. PERI founded the company in 2010 and is based in LA. She is inspired by her deep love for all the beautiful nature that surrounds her. The PERI motto is I am Organic, I am Biodegradable, I am recyclable. I loved checking out the clothes. The designs were simple yet cute and fun; from a navy-blue short sleeve jumpsuit with fuschia silk belt to a lovely ombre hi-low skirt. She has separates that work for every occasion, whether it be at the office or for a night out. Check out PERI’s website for more information. Check out Bloom Showroom via their new website!
I was so pleased to hear that one of my friends- Amy Kim had recently opened up a showroom in the Cooper Building. I had the pleasure of working with her and Jen O’Brian- the lovely showroom manager during LA Market Week (June 2012). Not only did I learn a different side of the fashion industry, but I also found some amazing brands that they rep: Isabel Lu, Lavuk, Seventh Wonderland, Dra Clothing, Spencer Lacy, The Bikini Thief and Kinship. Here is my little Q&A sesh with Amy…
LAFS: What inspired you to start your own showroom?
AK: I first came into the Fashion industry back in 2006 working as a sales manager for a denim company. And when I paid my first visit to a well-known showroom at the Marts back then, I knew that this was what I would be doing.
LAFS: What brands do you carry and why?
AK: d.RA Clothing. I first met the owner Diana Ra when she was launching d.RA and we connected right away. At the time, she had left the Head Designer position at Patterson J. Kincaid to start her own label – and I fell in love with d.RA instantly. I believed in the brand from the start and hope it achieves the fame it deserves.
LAFS Side Note: d.RA is one of this blogger’s fave brands in the showroom! Love the girly and chic tops, skirts and dresses in fab solids and fun prints! The quality is great and I could definitely see myself having fun mixing prints with this collection!
Isabel Lu. Having come from launching a few Korean-American owned brands prior to opening my Showroom, Isabel Lu was exactly the type of brand I was looking to add to our lineup. The Collection is beautiful, fashion-forward, yet affordably priced for Contemporary. The owner Jane Moon has many years of experience in the industry and is quite savvy in all aspects. A great partnership.
LAFS Side Note: Isabel Lu had some great leopard print separates that I love and some of those maxi dresses would look great in my wardrobe. Everything in the Isabel Lu brand is classy and chic, perfect for the office and dinner after!
LAVUK Los Angeles. I’m a big believer of eco-friendly and earth consciousness. When we first met with Natasha Gindin – the owner of LAVUK for the first time, we knew there was something very special about her and the brand. She brings such unique style and vision to the table which is incomparable other eco-friendly brands out there. Natasha and LAVUK are headed for stardom.
LAFS Side Note: I’ve known the LAVUK brand (and the lovely Natasha) for a few years now. I love the brand… because not only is it eco-friendly as Amy had mentioned, but I love that Natasha takes risks in cut or silhouette…and it looks great!
KINSHIP Made in LA. We’re always to looking for a great new potential brand to launch and cultivate. And what better line to do so with than a trendy, hip, and affordable knit Collection? KINSHIP covers everything from basics, novelty, and graphics – truly something for everyone. Creative Director Alex Vargas and his team bring 10 plus experience in the knits world and have been waiting to launch their own brand for quite some time. We are working towards KINSHIP being the next household name in the knits arena.
LAFS Side Note: KINSHIP is a great brand for your basics. Alex has some unusually fun cuts in the tops and sweaters. I found that the material was nice and comfy!
SpencerLacy. We really wanted to represent some Australian labels – as we know the Aussie brands are very hot in the USA right now. SpencerLacy is a beautiful contemporary collection which all the finer stores always gravitate towards. The Collection brings the cool Aussie vibe and translates them into very wear-able styles for women of all ages.
LAFS Side Note: LOVE SpencerLacy as well! Actually, come to think of it, I’m loving all the Australian brands that have come out so far. The brand offers amazing flowy chiffon dresses in solids and prints. Oh and the knits… I tried on this oversize sweater and wanted to curl up on the couch with a good movie and hot cocoa and just be ‘snug as a bug in a rug’! So yeah, the knits are luscious! Then they also have basics, like tops, leggings, etc.
Swim Division – starting July of this year, we have added a Swim Division to the Showroom. Here are the brands we currently represent: Bikini Thief. This is an adorable Swim Collection which is getting crazy recognition in the USA right now – having been featured in the Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Issues and also sponsoring top women’s athletes! The owner Whitney Andresen is a sweetheart and it shows in the Collection – which is very sweet, girly, feminine, with the right amount of sexiness. Look for an exciting project coming up soon with a supermodel for next Spring!
LAFS Side Note: I didn’t get the chance to view this line in person, but from the looks of it on the website, the suits look nice! It’s also 100% made in Los Angeles.
Seventh Wonderland. Here is an amazing Australian Swim Collection which we just could not pass up, and which inspired me to add the Swim Division to the showroom. Seventh Wonderland is a fast rising star in the USA Market as well, having being picked up by some prominent retailers this year. Look forward to growing their presence in the upcoming seasons and beyond.
LAFS Side Note: Again, didn’t get the chance to see the line in person, but this line looks pretty rad from what I’ve seen on their website. Gorgeous prints and cuts. They take swimwear a little step further….
LAFS: What makes AK Showroom stand out from other showrooms in your niche?
AK: I myself come from the Corporate Sales Managerial background – in which where I was not only in charge of sales, but learned the ropes from the manufacturer’s end. I firmly believe that this enables me to work with all of my brands more efficiently (having been on the other side) and in better conjunction to cultivate and grow sales. I hired Jen O’Brien as my Showroom Manager because not only does she bring almost 10 years of Showroom Sales experience – but has represented every type of brands out there ranging from high-end to lower-end. She is extremely hard working and truly remarkable. I feel very fortunate to have her heading on my team.
LAFS: What can we expect to see from AK Showroom in the future?
AK: An East Coast Showroom is in the works. We will be joining forces with ELR Media Group NY to combine Sales and PR for the brands we present. Our target launch date for the NY Showroom will be September of 2012!
LAFS: How might we contact you if we want to do pulls, etc?
AK: Phone Number: 213-239-0496 Jen O’Brien: firstname.lastname@example.org Amy Kim: email@example.com
Thank you so much Amy and Jen! I wish you both huge success in the showroom! So, dear readers, if you happen to attend any of the LA Markets, please pay AK Showroom a visit! AK Showroom is also on Facebook.
The Revere Boston
200 Stuart St.
Boston, MA 02116
PH: (617) 482-1800
On my recent (and first) trip to Boston, I stayed at The Revere, which is conveniently located near Boston Common and many other historical places of interest. I had heard of this charming boutique hotel via Instagram and just had to check it out. The hotel opened on April 18th 2012, which was the 237th anniversary of Paul Revere’s infamous ride (hence the hotel’s name). Comprised of 325 guest rooms, 30 suites and one penthouse suite, this hotel is THE place to stay in Boston’s trendy South End neighborhood; as well as being a popular destination for live entertainment, dining and nightlife.
The interior of the hotel is contemporary with modern design, sleek furnishings, sculptures and timeless decor, thanks to BBGM Interiors. The front desk staff are friendly, knowledgable and eager to help with anything one might need. The staff uniforms were designed by Massachusetts College of Art & Design Senior students and were also locally manufactured by Classic Apparel in Everett, MA. After check-in, we took the elevator and were whisked away to our suite on the 19th floor. Once inside the suite, we were amazed at how spacious it was. The entryway had dark hardwood flooring that gave way to the sizable carpeted sitting room and bedroom. We had the option of stepping out onto the balcony from both the sitting and bed rooms. The balcony had sweeping views of the downtown Boston skyline, Boston Common and the Statehouse. The sitting room featured a cozy houndstooth couch, large LCD TV, oversize desk and mini bar (for a fee). The bedroom featured a Sleep Number bed, large LCD TV and a closet with sweet surprises: like a comfy robe and slippers (so welcoming after a long drive). The bathroom is located off the entryway and is quaint and minimal. I enjoyed two luxurious nights, bathing under a large rain shower head and washing off with their skin-care products of choice-Vancouver based Skoah. (Dear Skoah, the body wash was AH—mazinggg!) Then I spent the rest of the evening bundled up in the robe, relishing in the moment with the complimentary wifi and the latest episode of “Real Housewives of Orange County.”
The hotel’s amenities include a fitness center, business center, Emerald Lounge (nightlife), Rustic Kitchen (for dining), 225 seat Theater 1, a 35,000 square foot event space and Space 57- a 6,700 square foot multi-functional space. There is also the “Rooftop at the Revere”- the seasonal bar and lounge located on the seventh floor, near the indoor pool.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to use much of the amenities, as we had limited time, but so much to see and do. However, the hotel did not disappoint and was the perfect way to do Boston ‘right.’ The bonus was that it had a lovely balcony that didn’t make me feel like I was closed in. The staff was incredibly friendly- thank you to the gal who helped check us in on September 1st and to Tim. I was not really able to see the ‘Rooftop at the Revere’ in action, however the staff allowed me to check it out at night so I can see the dramatic views of the city.
It was a delightful experience and I hope to enjoy The Revere on my next visit to Beantown!
Huge thanks to Bryan!