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CC by Kee’s “Refined Rebel” Collection
I’m With The Band…….
Beau Monde Vintage Brings Nostalgia to Lakewood
CZAR by Cesar Galindo – NYFW September 2014
Anya Caliendo’s “Ghost Gardens” – NYFW September 2014
David Tupaz – NYFW September 2014
Isabelle Donola Presents “Faceless” Collection During NYFW September 2014

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!

CZAR by Cesar Galindo – NYFW September 2014

The CZAR by Cesar Galindo line is his second collection in the Cesar Galindo family. It is considered as the younger and more sophisticated version of his namesake signature collection. CZAR offers mostly dresses and softer separates, juxtaposed with edgy statement pieces that are valued at contemporary pricing.

The CZAR by Cesar Galindo S/S 2015 show was like a high school reunion for Houstonians (since Cesar Galindo’s hometown is Houston). Not only were the ‘who’s who’ of Houston’s fashion industry in attendance, but also spotted were actresses Adrienne Moore and Vickie Leudy from the hit show- Orange is the New Black. The show was set up gallery style, which I’ve been finding out has been the optimal setting for getting the best photos of the clothing. Seated around the presentation were twelve pre-selected fashion illustrators (as part of a meet-up group) drawing the models. It was interesting seeing each illustrator’s interpretation of the collection.

The Spring/Summer 2015 collection featured bright colors, eye-popping beading, sequins and exquisite textures. I would like to think that Cesar’s collection was inspired by a vacation…perhaps a tropical or resort-style vacation. I also loved the statement necklaces that were provided by Jane Hruska. The models braided hair was lovely and simple, however there was a twist… gold foil-like material was added at the bottom of the braid to create an extra statement factor. My take-aways from the event would have to be the multi-color sequin jumpsuit, the red/white snakeskin and silver bandeau tops and the black and yellow draped dress and briefly meeting Adrienne, Vickie and Cesar.

Not bad for a self-taught designer, eh?

The show was produced by the lovely Miss Bambi Lynn owner of BLINC by Bambi Lynn- a Houston based fashion production company.

Anya Caliendo’s “Ghost Gardens” – NYFW September 2014

Right this way to the “Dior Suite”…

Lips, macaroons, aluminum leaves, feathers and pearls. Those are some of the key traditional and nontraditional elements that make up New York milliner Anya Caliendo’s Spring/Summer 2015 collection-“Ghost Gardens.”

The “Ghost Gardens” collection, showcased in the strikingly luxurious “Dior Suite” in the St. Regis New York hotel; was inspired by illusions, memories, and shadows from the past, or possibly forgotten memories, a first love lost, or a forbidden kiss. The collection was a tribute to the art of millinery, an encapsulated collection of couture gowns to enhance the millinery collection. Bright double-sided cashmere jackets and shimmery silk georgette skirts took center stage, which gave us an exciting experience along with the dazzling hats. It was literally like stepping into a 1950s Grace Kelly movie.

Anya Caliendo is a Russian-American designer, based in New York. She studied millinery under Queen Elizabeth’s personal milliner Mrs. Rose Cory, and Mr. Stephen Jones a while after. She went on to create hats for Donna Karan, Christian Dior, Comme des Garcons and other fashion industry notables.

This past year marks five remarkable years for the atelier. She handcrafts every piece herself and does not use a single machine-stitch or glue. Her style is impeccable. Naturally, I was honored to have been asked to attend her NYFW show.

David Tupaz – NYFW September 2014

This year marks the first NYFW runway show for Filipino and celebrated red carpet designer- David Tupaz, and was hosted by the Philippine Consulate. David moved from New York to Los Angeles in 1998 and has since branched out to Las Vegas. He also single-handedly created the Las Vegas Fashion Designer’s Council, where he mentors local artists and designers so that they will benefit themselves and the community. His work has been seen on numerous red carpets and countless celebrities.

His Spring/Summer 2015 ready-to-wear collection, titled- “Las Vegas.” It was inspired by not only the city, but also the elegance of women. He went on to add that “when you look at all the old movies, the women were all beautiful. Have you ever seen a bad photo of Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly? They were the epitome of elegance.” The collection seemed to have consisted of three stories- resort/beach, the office/Uptown and evening/cocktail. The resort/beach portion was comprised of black and white with a burst of lime green. Materials looked chic and easy, with some sheer (but could be easily layered). Oversize flouncy beach hats with flowers stole the show. The office/Uptown portion also had a black and white palette, but also with grey hues. The suits took on a 40s vibe with crisp tailoring and stylish fedoras. The evening/cocktail portion also emphasized black and white, with additional visions of kelly green and silver metallics. Fun headwear also caught my attention. I loved the kelly green dress with a 50s silhouette and the sleek jumpsuit. The show ended with David making his entrance with one of his models and thanking the audience.

Isabelle Donola Presents “Faceless” Collection During NYFW September 2014

I was incredibly excited to learn that my friend and designer- Isabelle Donola was showcasing a collection during New York Fashion Week. I had met Isabelle when I was living in Los Angeles and she was also there, designing. The Brazilian-born designer has such a quirky and upbeat personality and style that it falls in tune with her design aesthetic. In 2008, she launched her namesake brand- Isabelle Donola NYC and has since dressed many clients, from artists to celebrities; while also participating in New York and Los Angeles fashion weeks. All her clothing is made in New York’s ‘Garment District,’ sticking to eco-friendly manufacturing methods and using only Italian and European fabrics. She uses her trademark “I.D. Technique”- a technique which combines draping and pattern making on a mental elaboration that it is turned into abstract shapes, which results in a perfect and unique fit. She was recently on season one of “Project Runway: Under the Gunn” and felt that it was a fun experience and opportunity. It was also very different from her normal work routine in that it had more constrictions and pressures. She has met some great people and felt a sense of community from her peers.

Her New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015 collection is titled “Face-Less” and featured eight looks. The garments were made from recycled Italian linen and knits. The looks were minimalistic, yet had quirky twists in either the fabric manipulation or the design itself. Her original collection had unfortunately been stolen, thus leaving her three days to create the other collection “It’s a real-life Project Runway, let’s do this!”. Monday’s show proved that she made what could have been impossible- possible. The inspiration for “Face-Less” is the beauty about being a human being- the purity of aiming towards perfection, juxtaposing with its flaws. “A lot of people put on masks throughout their daily lives…but this this collection, I want no masks. I want people to celebrate life and enjoy it. I just want people to feel confident and beautiful when they wear my collection.”

Isabelle is partnering with Luevo- a website where you and see the show and then shop the runway afterwards. The sale runs for about a month and prices run 35% less than the retail prices.

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