Category - Uncategorized

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Soulcycle x Target Comes to Houston
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Heart of Fashion Closing Night
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Heart of Fashion Opening Night
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Market Street in The Woodlands Blogger Preview- Holiday 2015 Edition
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Shop. Taste. Empower. Holiday Event @ The Cottage Shop
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Shop. Taste. Empower. VIP Blogger Preview Party – Holiday Edition
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Houston’s Retail Market Goes Global with Souk Chic

Soulcycle x Target Comes to Houston

Image courtesy Soul Cycle x Target

** Image courtesy of Soul Cycle x Target **

In celebration of the New Year (and people’s ‘new year, new you’ resolutions), Target collaborated with Soul Cycle -the country’s leading contender when it comes to full body cycling workouts; to give people a wellness option unlike one they’ve never seen. The collaboration started this month with a 10-city tour, with stops in: Washington D.C., Houston, Seattle, Atlanta, Nashville, Denver, Miami, Chicago, Minneapolis and Los Angeles. Each stop included a special three-day weekend events, with complimentary 45 minute classes taught by certified SoulCycle instructors.

Last Friday, I had my first Soul Cycle class. Now granted, this was my first ever spin class- period, so I didn’t know what to expect. The Houston pop-up event was located at Off The Wall Gallery. Now, because of my style quirkiness, I donned one of my vintage leotards and paired it with my Matty M leggings for a ‘rockin cycling look’ without being too ’80s jazzercise.’

My Soul Cycle x Target outfit

As soon as I walked into the venue, I could feel the upbeat energy. The makeshift lobby was somewhat crowded, but everyone was lively and anxious to start the class. Also in the lobby was a pop-up boutique, featuring Soul Cycle x Target workout gear and wellness products and a photo booth.

When it was our class time, we put our stuff away in cubbies and threw on our special cycling shoes. The small, makeshift cycling room was enclosed with black cloth ‘walls’, with several rows of the bikes and at the front of the room, a platform with the instructor’s bike. Once at our assigned bikes, there were Soul Cycle attendants to help us first-timers into the bikes. The lovely Kaili helped me get my bike situated to my height and got my shoes ‘buckled in.’ I was also incredibly thankful for the complimentary towel and bottle water that they gave us as well.

Once class started, I actually had no problem keeping up with Ariel- our rockstar instructor. My adrenaline was rushing and the music just had my body flowing. For that 45 minutes, I had no worries… I was just in the moment. It felt GREAT! Now, when we did cycling and push-up combinations, I was somewhat uncoordinated…but that’s ok. My favorite part was when we weren’t sitting and cycling, as truth be told, there is no padding on those seats and my rump is STILL sore. Towards the end of the class, we did cycling while using two-pound weights, which helped to strengthen my biceps, triceps, etc.

When class was over, I was sweaty, but I felt fantastic. Upon walking out, we were given a Suja Juice and KIND Bar to refuel the major calories that were burnt. I’m so excited that Soul Cycle is opening a location in Houston in (rumor has it) April, because I will be taking more classes.

Thank you Soul Cyle x Target for the invigorating experience!

Soul Cycle x Target 10 City Schedule:

Jan. 22–24: Washington D.C., Houston, Seattle
Jan. 29–31: Atlanta, Nashville, Denver
Feb. 5–7: Miami and Chicago
Feb. 12–14: Minneapolis and Los Angeles

Here are my faves from the Soul Cycle x Target Pop-Up Boutique (all images via Target.com):

Image courtesy Target x Soul Cycle

** C9 Champion® Women’s Cami Sports Bra **

image courtesy Target x Soul Cycle

** C9 Champion® Women’s Performance Capri **

image courtesy Target x Soul Cycle

** SoulCycle Unisex Sweatpant **

image courtesy Target x Soul Cycle

** Merona Womens Reversible Tote **

image courtesy Target x Soul Cycle

** Aura Cacia Lavender Relaxing Essential Oil – 0.5 oz **

image courtesy Target x Soul Cycle

** Kind® Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein Nutrition Bars **

image courtesy Target x Soul Cycle

** Suja Essentials Organic Mango Magic Juice 12 oz **

image courtesy Target x Soul Cycle

** Yes To Cucumbers 5 floz Spray Soothing Face Mister Spray **

image courtesy Target x Soul Cycle

** CamelBak eddy Water Bottle – Palm (.75L) **

Heart of Fashion Closing Night

The Heart of Fashion closed on a high note, with such notable designers as Peter Cohen, Houston’s own Inclán, Abi Ferrin and Ungaro.

Peter Cohen

Zimbabwean-born and now Los Angeles-based Peter Cohen has been designing for over twenty-five years. His luxurious, yet simplistic designs are in the closets of some of Hollywood leading ladies, including Angela Bassett and Ann Heche. Cohen is known for not making a huge fuss in regards to being in spotlight, nor will you see logos or signatures in/on his clothing. He dedicates his time to sourcing the highest quality of fabrics, such as four ply silks from Korea, Italian organza and French taffeta. The looks that were highlighted on the runway were simple and timeless, with light embellishment. He chose longtime friend and the legendary supermodel Carmen Dell’ Orefice to close the runway presentation. She graced the runway in a midst of a roaring applause from the audience.

Inclán Studio

Inclán Studio’s Paola Contraras was the only Houston designer to present her S/S16 work during the Heart of Fashion festivities.The designer stuck by her signature color/fabric blocking and chose a neutral palette, with bits of yellow popping up here-and-there. Her collection seems ideal for a summery island or warm getaway, with breezy, lightweight fabrics. Anorak-style jackets, tunics, capri pants and easy dresses trended the brand’s runway showcase. Find Inclán Studio HERE.

Abi Ferrin

Dallas-based designer Abi Ferrin presented her latest collection that seemed to have a bohemian inspired vibe. The brand, who’s motto is Fashion with Freedom and Purpose showcased designs that were relaxed yet sophisticated, while also catering to women of all body types. The models were accessorized with southwestern shoulder bags, hairpieces made of bouncy pom-poms and feathers and airy printed shawls. The brand is manufactured in the USA. For more information on Abi and The Freedom Project, go HERE.

Ungaro – Presented by Sloan Hall

Ungaro’s reigning designer- Fausto Puglisi wasn’t able to attend the show, however he did make an ‘appearance’ and addressed the audience via video. His very 60’s Mod “Flower Power” (along with basket weave and plaid prints)- inspired collection also celebrated femininity and the female form. Puglisi emphasized structured collared blouses with 3-D flowers and mesh ruffled details, chic capes and jackets and flirty dresses and skirts. He used striking pinks, blues and white as his standard palette, but added black as a useful accent to make some clothing details pop. While most of the collection remained subtle for a broad range of clientele, he also incorporated hints of edginess with patent leather pieces and midsection-baring crop tops with harnesses and dresses/skirts with harness-esque leg-baring stripes running down the sides. Check out Ungaro HERE.

Heart of Fashion Opening Night

Heart of Fashion

Houston’s favorite pink-haired fashionista, Vivian Wise recently held Heart of Fashion– a new philanthropic fashion movement that spanned three nights and culminated eleven designers while directly supporting the community. The event is meant to be one of the only consumer-based fashion shows in the world, where attendees can have immediate access to the curated designs straight from the runways of New York and Paris.

The event supported Wise’s Texas Legacy Foundation, who in turn, gave a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales to non-profits: Butterflys & Bandages, Legacy Community Health Services and Meals on Wheels for Greater Houston.

The Million Air hangar was transformed into a New York style affair, decked out in hues of pink, white and black. Guests walked the long pink carpet from valet and were greeted by cocktail waiters and waitresses dressed as flight attendants in 60s-inspired uniforms upon entering the large venue. The pre-fashion show party provided guests with a few bars that served complimentary champagne and cocktails, cozy yet sleek lounge areas, a plantain and chip station (complete with #DoNotFeedTheModels hashtag) and mood music provided by DJ Lewis Grell.

The highlight of the pink carpet arrivals was seeing the legendary supermodel Carmen Dell’Orefice make her entrance. At 84, Dell’Orefice is the oldest working model in the industry. She was thrilled to be in Houston for the event and was especially humbled to influence Meals on Wheels- a charity she’s been involved with over the years.

The designers of opening night’s festivities were:

Cushnie Et Ochs presented by Neiman Marcus:

Cushnie Et Ochs was established in 2008 by Carlie Cushnie and Michelle Ochs and is based in New York City. The duo presented their Spring 2016 ready-to-wear collection on Heart of Fashion’s philanthropic runway. While the majority of their inspiration came from the works of NYC visual artist- Kehinde Wiley, they also took 90s hip-hop references and blended soft, feminine details for a very “Uptown Lady Meets Gangster” juxtaposition. The designers mixed hard with soft fabrics and color palettes; while showcasing minimal design, ladylike dresses, feminine ruffle trim, form-fitting silhouettes, pencil skirts, plunging necklines and tasteful peeks of skin.

Norisol Ferrari presented by Tootsies:

The Norisol Ferrari runway show opened with 80s Dallas runway icon Jan Strimple. New York based Ferrari kept the collection in a neutral black and white palette that she is known for (along with couture construction, fine tailoring, fully-functional detailing and use of exotic fabrics and skins), ideal for Fall and Winter. The collection highlighted exquisite python coats, structured suiting, fur-lined vest (in a light olive color), glamorous felt hats, minimal yet timeless dresses and hooded LBDs.

Angel Sanchez presented by Elizabeth Anthony:

The last and my personal favorite collection of the evening was Angel Sanchez‘s S/S 2016 collection, titled- Cayena. Sanchez infused references of traditional couture of the 1950s (especially in the silhouettes) with Caribbean-esque tropical bright colors. The collection was named after the Cayena (Hibiscus) flower that is prominent on the tropical islands. The shape of the flower petals also had a popular presence in the collection, as either a trim, or drape of the bodice or skirt. He stuck with a bright color palette, but also managed to sneak in white- as a reference to the shining light of the Tropics. He relied heavily on silk gauze to help create the voluptuous and dramatic shapes, while also using acrylic, plastic, leather and other rare fibers. I thought the clear acrylic bold and 60s/Mod-esque belts were just too good (and ahem, on point with my vintage style)!

The finale of the show as when New York designer Ralph Rucci (Chado Ralph Rucci) later presented Carmen Dell’Orefice with the Texas Legacy Award.

To find out more about Heart of Fashion, go HERE.

Market Street in The Woodlands Blogger Preview- Holiday 2015 Edition

The folks at Market Street The Woodlands invited bloggers out for an exclusive holiday preview at select retailers. This year’s retailers were Johnny Was, Elaine Turner and Cos Bar. It was my first time visiting the open-air mall and it was nice to get there early before the crowds. The award-winning town center, which reminded me of The Grove in LA, was all decked out for the upcoming holidays, large Christmas tree and all. Myself, along with fellow bloggers: Melissa, Jillian, Angela and Paola, were a part of the intimate group of previewers.

Johnny Was was the start of our preview. Johnny Was is a bohemian and vintage inspired brand based out of Los Angeles. It was founded in 1987 and encompasses quintessential California lifestyle with free-spirited bohemian edge. They are known for their higher quality easy-to-wear clothing, as well as their scarves. I fell IN LOVE with the hand-painted kimonos and obi belts. The lovely associates showed us some products that were available for the holidays. One being their signature scarves and a gift set that includes: the How to Tie a Scarf book and Talia Fragrance Oil. The gals also demonstrated ways to wear the silk scarves, as seen in the video below…

Our next stop was the Elaine Turner store. The Houston-based brand was founded in 2000 by Elaine and husband Jim. In just 15 short years, the brand has grown exponentially. Elaine is a huge supporter of breast cancer awareness, so pink is seen throughout the stores and even in the interiors of the handbags. The associates highlighted some of the holiday pieces, such as: the “Celeste,” which is a nod to her original handbags. It has a natural bamboo handle and can be converted into a shoulder bag, cross body and back pack. The new apparel line was spotlighted, which included the Ponte knit Diane Blazer, the Kate Tunic and the Sienna Faux Fur Vest. Shoes were also highlighted (such as the Carrie Boot and the wedges) which are constructed of all Italian or Brazilian leathers and have double layer memory foam insoles. The brand pursued “Gifts under $100” (and under $200) especially for the holidays, that included coasters, mousepads, picture frames, wrap bracelets and more! The store also raffled off a Kassidy crossbody bag, which I was the lucky winner.

The last stop was Cos Bar. Cos bar is a beauty emporium that was founded by Lily Garfield in 1976 in Aspen, CO. The brand was since expanded to thirteen stores located throughout the United States (with plans on building more stores) and offers the finest skincare brands for men and women. The store had an intimate environment, with expert consultants who also allowed for us to sample and try out.

Huge thanks to Alicia for the invite to the event and to Johnny Was, Elaine Turner and Cos Bar for spoiling us!

** I would also like to recommend the Tommy Bahama Cafe for their wonderful service and patio dining! The fish sandwich was rather large, but pretty yum-tastic! **

Shop. Taste. Empower. Holiday Event @ The Cottage Shop

The Cottage Shop recently held their Shop. Taste. Empower event in celebration of the upcoming holidays. Guests enjoyed shopping gently used clothing (men, women and children’s) and home goods; as well as newer clothing, accessories and gifts that have been generously donated (thank you Francesca’s and Tres Chic), at incredible deals. For guests who wanted some tips on holiday (or general) styling, they could turn to vintage style expert Dawn Bell, Houston Chronicle‘s Joy Sewing or fashion designer Becky Hollands. Yummy treats were provided by Jodycakes, Paulie’s and Whole Foods Montrose, while sips were provided by Greenway Coffee and Topo Chico. Guests also had the opportunity to bid on a Happy Hour for 8 at Boheme, Barista 101 class for 15 guests taught by David Buehrer of Greenway Coffee, jewelry from Burdlife, plus much more.

I had a photo shoot after the event, so luckily, a complimentary beauty bar and its’ Holiday Glam Squad were on-site to give shoppers a makeover, while hairstylists demonstrated quick holiday up-dos. Beauty blogger Nicole Kestenbaum used LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics and gave my lips and eye lids a fresh start, while Dani- makeup artist for By Terry Cosmetics finished off the look. The other makeup artists on hand were: Lydia Lutz (Artistry by Lyd), Justine Hernandez and Kenya Hunt (Makeup by Kenya). Special thanks goes to The Make-Up Artist Project and Shany Cosmetics for also helping to sponsor the Beauty Bar.

I ended up making a beeline for the vintage section (obvs) and picked out an adorable pastel green with lace and bows on side nightgown (thanks Dawn!) and a two-piece floral duster and long nightgown lingerie set…all for under $20. Not only do I LOVE thrifting, but knowing that my money goes for such a great cause really made the experience more worthwhile.

Next time you are in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston, definitely check out The Cottage Shop!

Shop. Taste. Empower. VIP Blogger Preview Party – Holiday Edition

Welcome Houston Fashion Bloggers

The Cottage Shop in Montrose invited local bloggers to attend their Shop. Taste. Empower. VIP Blogger Preview Party- Holiday Edition last night to shop the store and check out the newest arrivals before their big Shop. Taste. Empower. event on November 15th. Guests enjoyed sweets provided by Phoenicia Foods and sips provided by Topo Chico. A make-up artist was on hand demonstrating the By Terry cosmetics line. Francesca’s also generously donated items that we were able to pick 3 (necklace, bracelet or earrings, scarf or accessory) pieces as gifts, while the rest was available for purchase.

We enjoyed discounts on top of the already generous prices:

50% off regular clothing and shoes (Monday)
25% off vintage and boutique clothing
25% off jewelry and accessories

We mixed, mingled and of course… shopped. Proceeds from The Cottage Shop go to benefit The Women’s Home.

If you are local to Houston and would like to check out their actual Shop. Taste. Empower. event on Sunday November 15th from 1- 4pm, go HERE to register for tickets. The free event gives shoppers an opportunity to find incredible gifts, receive styling advice from Houston’s fashion experts- Dawn Bell, Becky Hollands and Joy Sewing and nosh on sweet refreshments provided by: Greenway Coffee Company, JodyCakes, Paulie’s, Topo Chico and Whole Foods. Most importantly, donate women’s winter clothing to those in need.

** The first 250 guests to bring a clothing donation to the event will receive a free swag bag! **

The Cottage Shop first opened its doors in 1971 and has been a gem in the Montrose area. It provides job training for the residents and generates 20% of The Women’s Home’s operating income. Since it’s most recent renovation, it now sells new and gently used clothing, accessories, furniture and household goods. There is also a designer and vintage boutique within the shopping area. The Cottage Shop is located at: 811 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77006.

The Women’s Home was established in Houston in 1957 and built around the mission to help women in crisis to regain their self-esteem and dignity and empower them to return to society as productive individuals. Their programs are targeted to women in the Houston area who are homeless or on the verge of homelessness, with many residents suffering from addiction or mental illness, or both. With nearly 60 years of service, they have helped countless women through their long-term residential treatment program in Montrose and their permanent supportive housing program in Spring Branch. Both programs offer a solution to women who seek a safe, sober and drug-free community where they can recognize and reach their unique potential for success. For more information, please visit their WEBSITE.

HUGE thanks to Nikki, Bethany, Tina, Cherie, Chau and the The Cottage Shop for hosting us!!

Houston’s Retail Market Goes Global with Souk Chic

While Ashley Srouji was living and studying in Lebanon, she was amazed by all the local designers and brands there; most of which were not available in the U.S. These designers and brands were typically inspired by their surroundings and not by mass fashion. The concept of bringing pieces from abroad came to her and it wasn’t until after she returned and settled in Houston, that she decided to move forward with that concept.

Ashley officially launched Souk Chic May 2015 and has since held numerous pop-up shops at local businesses, as well as in her home. Think of Souk Chic as an international market, but in a more personalized setting (and without the hefty plane fare). Ashley has a keen eye for choosing styles for her inventory, which include divine Moroccan rug clutches, handbags by Lebanese-based Sarah’s Bag (including the ‘Tawleh’ style, which has been seen with Amal Clooney), Ukrainian vyshyvankas by Foberini, cheeky straw totes and hats by Caren Lola, Middle-Eastern inspired caftans by Biba & Marmise, handmade book clutches by p.s. Besitos, sandals from Greece and Spain and evil eye bracelets from Mono and Me.

Other brands include:

Aelia – Grecian handmade sandals.

BLTRX (Bellatrix) – leather handbags designed by Tamar Friedman. Each handcrafted bag is based on a take of a triangular shape, mixing 3 kinds of materials or textures, leathers and textiles.

Mola Sasa – clutches made with the traditional print by Kuna (indigenous communities of Colombia and Panama) women artisans.

KinaMania – founded by Kristina Zouein. The sandals are handcrafted in Spain and are based on the traditional Spanish sandal, the albarca.

The Souk Chic website is coming soon, but in the meantime, check out the FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM to shop and get more information!

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