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Mark and Estel – NYFW September 2014
4th Annual “Catwalk on Citywalk” @ Sugar Land Town Square
Labe Eyewear
Macy’s and Supermodel Emme Host “Get Ahead of the Curve”
CC by Kee’s “Refined Rebel” Collection
I’m With The Band…….
Beau Monde Vintage Brings Nostalgia to Lakewood

Mark and Estel – NYFW September 2014

Los Angeles based ‘Fashion and Music Duo’- Mark and Estel showcased their Spring/Summer 2015 collection- “The Malibu Anthem” yesterday to a large crowd of eager fashionistas. The California casual collection had their signature rocker edge. There seemed to be a strict black and white color palette with specks of color here-and-there. The collection was infused with soft and flowy 100% cotton (found in t-shirts, sweatpants and denim) fabrics. The fabric was then treated to resemble silk, leather, wool and metal. Silhouettes were simple and sophisticated, ranging from easy breezy maxi dresses, blouses, tank tops to more heavier items like coats, mini skirts and pants. The finale ended with designers- Mark Tango and Estel Day rocking out to their self-written song and ended with “We love fashion…You are fashion… We love you!” What a great way to end my first NYFW show!

Mark & Estel Finale

4th Annual “Catwalk on Citywalk” @ Sugar Land Town Square

The Sugar Land Marriott Town Square hosted the 4th Annual “Catwalk on Citywalk” fashion show recently. The event featured booths and a fashion show that showcased looks from various boutiques in the square and a cupcake and champagne after-party (sponsored by The Sweet Boutique). The show benefitted Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s Pretty in Pink Cancer Fund.

Fierce models strutted their stuff on the runway, including children and dogs too. The boutiques featured were: Em & Lee/Willa Boutique, Eye Trends/Luggage & Leather, Revolution Studio, Anything Bling, Mann Eye Institute/The Vintage Pearl, Brilliant Sky Toys & Books, Twenty Two Fifty Interiors, Sweet & Sassy, Charming Charlie, JoAnn’s, A Dog’s Life, Wardrobe The Boutique and La Reve Bridal Couture/House of Blooms.

For more information and to follow up on more events, check out

Labe Eyewear

Labe Eyewear was founded in 2012 by artisans Fabrizio Lattanzi and Luca Bergavi in Naples, Italy. Together, they merged their knowledge of the optical industry and creative ‘know-how’ to create eyewear that was locally handcrafted and Earth-friendly. They branded the company “Labe” based on the union of the first two letters of their last names- “LA” in Lattanzi and “BE” in Bergavi. All the eyewear is handmade from FSC-managed wood and other reclaimed materials (about 10% is made by machine). The frames are lightweight (21 grams) and allergenic. They carry eight different models with four lens colors. The lenses are UV 400 protected. You can also get prescription lenses.

Next year, the duo plan on making lenses that are polarized and will also be available with the Transition Lenses. There will also be a more variety of wooden frames (my vote for oversize).

HUGE thanks to Jim and Fabrizio for gifting me a pair of sunglasses. They are exceptionally lightweight, yet durable. The lenses keep the sun out of my eyes and are light enough for me to wear during cloudy days. Plus, they go quite well with most of my wardrobe. They also have a one year guarantee against manufacturing defects.

Labe Eyewear runs around $199 with wholesale pricing available. The eyewear is available at Cotone in Austin, TX and online. You can also contact Jim (a Labe Eyewear dealer in Austin) at:

** Photos of me are by Nicole Kestenbaum Photography **

Macy’s and Supermodel Emme Host “Get Ahead of the Curve”

The Macy’s at Memorial City Mall was the location for the “Get Ahead of the Curve” event, featuring Emme as the celebrity emcee. Emme got her start as the world’s first plus-size model back in the 1990s. She has since gained remarkable recognition in the fashion industry as not only a model, but also a spokeswoman for body image, self-esteem and other related issues.

The event was a huge success. Emme’s energetic and humble personality was a breath of fresh air, just lighting up the room as she spoke. My blogger partner-in-crime, Shalanda also modeled in this event. The fashion show featured the latest Fall trends and the fiercest curvy gals strutting their stuff in brands such as Tadashi, Calvin Klein and Michael Kors. Key trends that were shown were: moto jackets over tanks with sheer trimmings, skinny coated jeans, body con pencil skirts with modern watercolor prints and buttery leather handbags. After the fashion show, Emme was on hand to answer questions, take photos and help style guests. Light bites and yummy drinks were also served.

I was able to ask Emme a few questions after the show…

Regarding her modeling background…

Emme: At 26 I checked out a 12+ agency on a whim in 1989, curious what “plus size modeling” was…always be curious, you never know what will happen! I was a reporter for an NBC affiliate — loved the power of TV but didn’t want to have the day to day news continue to affect me when I tried to sleep. But funny enough what helped me most be the model I am was my journalism background in TV. I understood what the reporters needed and I did my research, provided more facts than feeling and saw and heard that women were not being heard in the fashion industry. I took my reporter hat off, crossed over and became an advocate for change around 1990 to today. You never ever know what’s going to knock on your door, just say, sure, why not!? If other people do it, why not you?

On being a plus-size model in an industry that is “structured” for size 0 models and body-image…

Emme: Full Figured models and straight size models rarely work together because of a variety of things. Mainly the size difference is so vastly different, the industry that is based on illusion and fantasy would not be so. Case in point as we all saw this past week via the rise and fall of Victoria Secret’s Perfect Body Campaign. Women online didn’t agree that there were enough diversified body shaped models in the campaign to be championing “the Perfect Body” Campaign. Enough women spoke out and Victoria Secret adjusted their campaign in some parts of the world. Loved how the internet is creating a tipping point where finally a diversified array of healthy models is being demanded and companies are beginning to listen. It’s refreshing to see Calvin Klein using a model above a size 1 or 2 without calling any notice to her size – just that she was perfect for the campaign…hats off to them and other massive companies who decide to follow suit. I’ve always said: slow change is lasting change!

On Macy’s and their role with the plus-size industry…

Emme: Change to the capital C…out went the boxy, shapeless sweater knits, event dressing, and in came the Calvin Klein bandage dresses in an array of colors, Michael Kor’s ponte knit pants, dresses with a perfect balance of umph to give a girl a nice elongated line but never sacrificing styling elements like figure pleasing seaming, embellishments and cut outs. Jessica Simpson’s more contemporary line gives the younger curvy customer a real go at being a part of the fashion scene with trend forward fur vests, western button ups, romantic floral maxi’s, thick comfy sweaters and leather pants! YES! The list can go on and on. Hues of beautiful blue, bold prints and asymmetrical lines through out jackets, shirtings and basics made the statement that women above a size 12 are now a part of the fabulous fashion club!

Emme just recently launched “Fashion Without Limits”- a design initiative that is held at her alma mater- Syracuse University, that promotes a competition to create designs that are a size 12 and up. Read more about that HERE and HERE.

CC by Kee’s “Refined Rebel” Collection

Weeks back, I attended the “Refined Rebel” collection by Keesha Craig, who had been attending the Art Institute at the time. I also attended this event because my friend, Shalanda was modeling in the show.

Keesha is no stranger to sewing and fashion. She started sewing at the age of eight, making pillows, make-up cases and other small projects. When she was twelve, she started sewing clothes- mainly simple blouses and dresses. She felt that department stores didn’t give her options that fit or flattered well or that looked like it came out of her Grandmother’s closet. She also knew that she was not the only plus-size woman to feel like that, so she showed her friends and other women her sketches of clothing she liked, getting their opinion as to if they liked it or what they’d change. She later formed CC by Kee, named after her Grandmothers Emma Cooper and Cora Craig. “Cora (aka mom) passed away when I was in the 1st or 2nd grade, so I don’t remember her all that well but from the pictures and stories I hear of her this lady was all about fashion! She used to sew my uncles, aunts and my Dad’s clothes when they were babies. She also taught my Dad and his siblings (which there are 10 of them by the way) all about dressing for every occasion. Now Emma (aka granny) made all of my sisters and my dresses when we were kids. She also made my Mom’s and Uncle’s clothing too, when they were growing up. I added the by Kee” part because I wanted to be different and also not to get confused with the famous CoCo Chanel since her logo was the ‘CC.’ ‘Kee’ is also my nick name.”

Her Refined Rebel collection is for the curvy woman, ranging from an 18-32. She drew her inspiration from the fabrics she used and the Fall/Winter seasons. Keesha goes on to explain, “I have always been in love with fabrics and I let the fabric tell me what it would like to be. My fabrics for this collection were the black, red and white Tweet Wool, Metallic Linen (I also used the reverse side of the fabric which was black), and the red and black Ponteroma Knits. When I looked at the Wool and Linen I instantly saw the capes and jackets I wanted in my collection. When I looked at my knits I saw all my blouses made out of it. I choose Fall/Winter because it my favorite time of the year and I love to see how creative a woman can be during that time since you have to cover yourself so much to protect yourself against the elements. She gets to wear hats, gloves, scarfs, jackets, capes, throws, boots and the list goes on! I added grommets to most of my pieces to revel a little skin but also not too much since my woman was dressing for colder weather.”

The show was amazing and I’m sure her Grandmothers were certainly proud. All the girls looked great (not to mention- warm and cozy). The clothing fit them well, keeping with the brand’s mission of high-quality clothing. Neutrals with pops of red and layers were the trends of the evening. The capes were very chic, while maintaining their usual versatility. I believe a couple styles were also reversible. In all, Keesha knows her customer and that the clothing exudes confidence. CC by Kee is Houston’s answer to a new evolution in the plus-size market.

You can reach CC by Kee via Facebook.

I’m With The Band…….

**Thank you Nicole Kestenbaum Photography for the photos! I edited them. **

These vintage marching band pants are kinda everything aren’t they?! I swear, what CAN’T I find at Top Vintage LLC?! Pair them with a comfy simple tee vintage tee or sweatshirt with a pop of turquoise and leopard print…bam… perfect “I need to be at the mall by 9am on a Saturday” outfit. This vintage turquoise necklace from ATRS Recycling is my favorite go-to in terms of large baubles. The leopard print heel from Nine West…well…I can actually tolerate standing and walking for a good amount of time. Thank you NW for making a comfortable heel that my feet feel and look great in!

(Vintage Sweatshirt- garage sale find, Vintage Band Pants- Top Vintage LLC, Vintage Necklace- ATRS Recycling, Leopard Heels- c/o Nine West, Vintage Handbag- thrifted, Sunglasses- Zero UV via Style Says.)

Beau Monde Vintage Brings Nostalgia to Lakewood

Beau Monde Vintage
13622 Detroit Ave
Lakewood, Ohio 44111
PH: (216) 712-7899
HOURS: Tue – Sat: 10am – 6pm

Nestled in an aged building in the heart of the Detroit Avenue neighborhood of Lakewood, sits Beau Monde Vintage – a vintage shop that is rich in nostalgia. Michelle Miller- a vintage connoisseur from a young age, recently opened it August 1st of this year and is absolutely thrilled in her new venture of bringing her vision of style and top quality recycled clothing to the city of Lakewood and the surrounding communities. Miller recalls having that knack for vintage since she was little, having bought several pretty vintage dresses from her local church thrift shop. Her collection has since grown and now she has the sweetest shop, full of curated and affordable one-of-a-kind clothing and accessories from the 1970s and before. The shop is divided into two large rooms, with a hall joining them. The rooms are neatly categorized (ie. swimwear, plus size, sweaters, etc) and each rack is easy to breeze through. The hall houses the dressing rooms, tastefully done with pink, girly accents and merchandise. Looking for a wedding dress? Or maybe something for the curvy gal? Or how about the gal who just LOVES color and prints? Beau Monde Vintage has it!

It’s easy to just take an hour or all day, just browsing the racks and putting outfits together. Don’t forget an over-the-top hat, beaded handbag and crazy heel to complete the outfit. Jewelry? Take your pick. The cases are chock full of vintage rhinestones and enamel brooches. I especially enjoyed checking out the quirky retro knick-knacks. Anything from vintage Pyrex to a flower clock or a mid-century marbled ash tray to tastefully decorate the coffee table, can be found at the shop. If you need a break, take a seat in the cozy high-heeled chair, plus Michelle is such a joy to chat with. Don’t forget to sign the retro deer guest-book!

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