Flea Markets, new websites and just a lil mix of everything fashion-y !!!


Q & A with Nolcha Fashion Week’s Kerry Bannigan

**Image used with permission by Nolcha Fashion Week**

LAFashionsnob: What got you into fashion?

Kerry Bannigan: I moved to New York City from England in my early twenties and was quickly connected to independent fashion designers via contacts. My background is in communications, events and marketing; and I soon learnt that there was a gap in the market to provide business services to independent fashion designers.

LAFS: Why did you start Nolcha Fashion Week and when?

KB: After speaking to many fashion designers I learnt that one of their main obstacles in business growth is showcasing during New York Fashion Week which is a key time in the fashion market. Due to the high costs, lack of contacts and non-expertise to produce runway shows independent fashion designers struggle to exhibit or introduce their brand to industry contacts; and many times face not being discovered for that season. We created Nolcha Fashion Week in 2007, held during New York Fashion Week, for independent fashion designers to showcase their collections to a global audience of press, retailers, stylists and industry influencers.

LAFS: Why the name- “Nolcha”?

KB: My business partner, Arthur Mandel, and I wanted a name that stood alone and not necessarily aligning specifically with fashion. We aimed to create our own definition around our business services and even tools that could be expanded to other creative sectors. ‘Nolcha’ is a feminine name of native American origin that means ‘the sun’. It is enlightening, rising and positive.

LAFS: What sets Nolcha Fashion Week apart from NYFW?

KB: It is not the goal of Nolcha Fashion Week to compete with NYFW, but instead be a landmark for independent fashion designers to get a foothold in the market; whether to launch their brand, introduce their collection or use a cost effective professional platform for a certain growth period of their business. Nolcha Fashion Week offers independent innovative, cutting edge fashion designers from around the globe. We aim to be a platform of discovery specifically with the international brands that are on our runway.

LAFS: Describe NFW in three words?

KB: Platform of discovery.

LAFS: What do you hope to accomplish with NFW?

KB: We aim to continue to grow as a key showcase of New York Fashion Week and to receive the positive support from media, sponsors, retailers, industry decision makers and celebrities. Nolcha Fashion Week will continue to be the professional hub for independent fashion designers offering a range of cost effective options to increase designers recognition and develop their business.

Kerry concludes: This upcoming season Nolcha Fashion Week: New York is excited to include Alberto (Germany), B’Venaj (Ghana), Mimi Tran (USA) and Monstrousité (USA); supported by Neulook, Adrian London, Bellaforma and Franciacorta. To find out more and see updates visit

(Bannigan with business partner Arthur Mandel and Jeannie Mai.)

**Image used with permission by Nolcha Fashion Week**


Stacks On Racks: On a Mission for Sustainable Fashion

Hidden off the beaten path in one of downtown Houston’s industrial neighborhoods and tucked away in a large warehouse are the offices of Stacks On Racks. Stacks On Racks is Houston’s answer to a curated thrift shop- where all the newer and vintage on-trend pieces are readily available at your fingertips without the hassle of digging through piles of ‘meh’ clothing.

This concept was first created by Mazen Baltagi- who owned several nightclubs at the time and wanted to move away from that industry. One day, he decided to invest in a warehouse where the surplus of area Goodwills and Salvation Armys were being graded and sent off to third world countries. He noticed that some clothing (i.e. furs, leather jackets and skirts, etc) wasn’t able to be sent off and thus was sent to landfills. He wanted to find a way to lessen that waste and expense (like $1,000s to contract a waste company to throw away for them). One day, he was going through the clothing and pulled out a great looking jacket. Whenever he wore said jacket, he would always get asked, “Where did you get that jacket?” His response (and on-going joke) was, “I got it from the trash.” {I basically get some of my gems from the garbage in textile places…I see no harm in that and I’m actually quite proud to say that I rescued them from being tossed.} This process got Mazen’s creative juices flowing and he brought his friend- Lanre Omotunwashe on board. Once Mazen told Lanre the idea and took him to a local landfill, where they witnessed mounds of clothing just going to waste; they decided to bring their idea to fruition.

After getting their large warehouse space, they started doing little pop-up shops around the city. Their first pop-up and official launch date was December 12, 2012. The more pop-ups they did, they kept getting amazing feedback by the folks who were shocked at their reasonably fair price points. One time, they sold a white leather jacket (retailing from $300-500) to The Vintage Contessa for a mere $50. She was even excitedly stunned at such an affordable price. After that, the guys knew they had something and don’t price anything above $50, as they don’t see the point of gauging people. Since then, they take private shopping appointments only and clients can shop the exceptional one-of-a-kind newer and vintage clothing and accessories that are hand-picked by the guys and their team.

The guys are firm believers in sustainable fashion and take it to another level. Not only are they rescuing pounds and pounds of clothing from landfills, but they also believe that just because a garment is “outdated” doesn’t mean that it’s any good. They may do some tweaks here-and-there to re-size and update it. Why spend hundreds of dollars on something when you can buy a garment from them and make it new or current. They’ve found anything from a YSL blazer, pieces exclusive to Lord & Taylor and Nordstrom and even a vintage Coca-Cola swimsuit. The best part about buying from them is that no one else will have it!

Thinking ahead in long-term goals, they want to be on the forefront of putting Houston on the map in the fashion industry. ‘Houston’s the 4th largest city in the US, so why not us?’ They also would like to start an underground fashion movement and put local up-and-coming designers on the map as well. They are also in the process of creating a style firm where they will charge a monthly fee for stylists to come and pull whatever they need. “We want to be the platform for anyone who is wanting to make a name for themselves,” Lanre said.

Stacks On Racks is open by appointment only or via their online store. They are working with numerous non-profits (including Dress for Success) where once you make a purchase online, they will donate an article of clothing.

“Not only are we clothing others, but we are saving the waste from going to the landfills.” – Lanre

* Vintage peplum Ungaro jacket, vintage polka dot skirt and vintage pants were bought at Stacks On Racks *

** Photography by Nicole Kestenbaum Photography **

* We’d also like to thank the lovely folks at My Flaming Heart boutique for allowing us to use their restroom to change in.


Mini Pops Presented by Pop Shop Houston

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


** American Textile Recycling Services- Houston (Sponsored) **

When I was contacted about paying American Textile Recycling Services a visit, I was beyond thrilled. ATRS is the fastest growing textile recycling company in the USA, with over 3,000 recycling bins in eleven branches in nine regions, including: Texas, Florida, Michigan, Tennessee, Atlanta, Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado, and Southern California. CEO David Peganyee and his dedicated staff have saved over 180,000,000 pounds of textiles from going into landfills. They are also involved with the communities here and abroad by helping to create jobs and help fund over eleven different charities (with over $4.5 million donated so far). Plus, I’m a huge advocate of wearing thrifted, vintage and recycled clothing and accessories.

After learning about their mission and meeting some of the team, I was hooked on the company (and support their efforts 100%). I was then invited to do some picking in their 80,000 square foot warehouse to see what kind of gems (vintage in my case) I could find. My first experience digging at ATRS was overwhelming at first, because there was just SO MUCH STUFF! Piles of clothing and shoes on one end and then you have mounds of unwanted goods on the other. BUT, I ended up finding a couple bags of vintage (in good condition), a small bag of vintage glasses/sunglasses and a bag full of vintage hats. It was like Christmas in October! It’s just amazing what people get rid of. It is said that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure…well, at ATRS, that saying couldn’t be more spot on. In the slideshow below, you will see the treasures that I found.

heathermarie_033's ATRS Part 2 album on Photobucket

**All images of me are by Nicole Kestenbaum Photography**

Upon seeing this, doesn’t this make you want to run to the nearest thrift store or rag house?! You can easily find the latest trends for cheaper and better quality, if you just do some digging (or why not start your own trend). The “thrill of the hunt” is quite fun and you’re helping out the environment by keeping millions of pounds of clothing out of the landfills. If you’d like more information on ATRS, check out!


** NEW WEBSITE ALERT– Style Says **

I want to introduce you to a fairly new website- Style Says. It was actually introduced to me via a fellow blogger friend- Emily, who is a part of the Style Says team. The site is structured to have the user not only shop, but to also see the garments that have been styled on real people (and their favorite bloggers from all over the world) with their own sense of creative style. The site was founded by SJ and MJ and has been around now for about a year, though having just relaunched in late July 2013. “StyleSays’ main objective is to allow people to shop with who inspires them. There are so many blogs and super fashionistas out there in this world and we are constantly being inspired by others. With StyleSays, we’ve created a community that allows people to share their style with an audience that appreciate it. You’re finally able to shop those looks that you love without Google searching for 18 hundred years,” Emily explained. So along with being involved in a community of fashionistas (think of it as Facebook in regards to an e-commerce site), you can shop young and emerging brands as well. Style Says is incredibly easy to navigate, featuring: SHOP NOW, LOOKBOOK (where you can see not only the products styled on real girls and bloggers, but you can also get inspired by their general style), MY STYLEFEED (which is a feed with all the recent styles of the “featured stylists” you want to follow) and HASHTAGS (where you can easily shop for looks under a specific hashtag, body type, occasion or trending). Some current brands that are available to shop are: Gypsy Junkies (one of my fave LA brands), Capwell, Zero UV (I bought their “Thick Round Blogger Sunglasses” in black and LOVE them! Great quality for only $10!), W Concept, SiHo and Greylin. Prices vary, but won’t put a dent in your wallet. Style Says is definitely worth checking out, it’s not only a great way to get inspired and shop the looks, but also a way to become part of an international fashion community.

*Images taken with permission from Style Says*


**Q & A with RCW Media Group’s Casandra Walker**

From the moment I heard that RCW Media Group CEO- Casandra Walker originally hailed from Houston, I felt an immediate connection. Casandra came from humble beginnings, having began her career in the industry by working in fashion retail. She quickly grew into being a business development director for designers and retail start-ups, thus helping to increase their brand recognition by 80%. Since she has a background in styling and owned a nationally recognized luxury retail store, she easily comprehends the ever-changing demands of the entertainment/lifestyle industries from a variety of perspectives. Fast-forward fourteen years in the fashion/PR industries, Walker now has influence in Houston, Los Angeles (where she is now headquartered) and New York City and a network of over 2,000 stylists, celebrities and top-notch media relations. She has affiliations with such figures, brands and associations including: Will.I.Am, Carmen Electra, Nick Cannon, FGI, Smart Water, Klein Epstein & Parker and Iconic Invanity. Representing all things Red Carpet Worthy is not just a passion, it’s a lifestyle.

*Image provided by RCW Media Group*

1. What made you want to go into lifestyle and celebrity PR?

Casandra: I have been in the fashion industry for over 15 years so it was a natural progression to use my network of contacts to expand into PR, not only in fashion but into lifestyle brands as well.

2. How long have you been working in the PR industry?

Casandra: I’ve had my own fashion business since 2004 which required a lot of personal PR but officially launched RCW Media Group in 2009.

3. What kinds of clients do you work with?

Casandra: I work with fashion and lifestyle brands who are merging and/or ready to re-brand. I like to meet with people who are looking for a full service agency that’s not just PR but a firm that also acts as a well-rounded source for other aspects of businesses. We have worked with all fashion and lifestyle brands from child-brands to beauty companies and women and menswear to help with product placement, celebrity usage, general PR services.

5. How did you make your way from the fashion industry in Houston to Los Angeles?

Casandra: After closing my retail store in 2007, I took a few years to travel and broaden my network which eventually brought me to New York. There, I really discovered my passion for PR and networking through a difference in perspective. I had always been in forefront of fashion as a buyer directly connecting with the consumer but there I learned a backside to the industry which helped me transition into what I’m doing now.

6. What is your favorite part about your job?

Casandra: I love making the clients happy and seeing the end result. I enjoy working with every brand from beginning to end and coming up with a business concept that acts creatively to meet their goals. I also love networking in general, its what I do and love in PR services.

7. What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment or best moment?

Casandra: I’ve had a few in my life! Owning my own fashion boutique, meeting celebrities and now seeing my client’s products on the red carpet are to name a few. These moments come full circle and learning that process is what brought me to where I am now as owner of RCW Media Group.

8. What is one piece of advice you would give to people who want to break into PR?

Casandra: Stay true to your values and never take no for an answer. PR is about the persistence in believing enough in your clients to get them the service and coverage they deserve.


**Finding the Perfect Strapless Bra**

I had the amazing opportunity to work with one of Houston’s most notable image consultants- Sarah Shah and be one of her ‘strapless bra testers’ for a TV segment. When she first reached out, asking for testers, I immediately jumped at the opportunity- due to the fact that I’ve had the darnedest time finding the right-sized strapless bra for the longest time. We met up at a local Target and she helped me pick out several styles (including a couple regular styles from the little girls department) that might work for my small frame. Though for the segment, I stuck with a Maidenform bandeau and a bandeau from the little girls department (I got a ‘large’ and had to size it down some with my trusty sewing machine). I then had to test out the fit of the bra for a day before the segment. In the end…the Maidenform bandeau deserved a “C” based on that it fit somewhat, but I still had to pull it up (as I felt it slipping) and the padding inserts bunched up to where I needed to maneuver them so they wouldn’t cause any unnecessary awkward wardrobe malfunctions.

The day of the shoot, I gathered with two other girls- Tomira and Metra who were modeling bras from SOMA Intimates and La Mode Lingerie at Method Boutique in trendy Rice Village. Basically, the segment was regarding the “Stretch Your Dollar” segment that was reported by Patricia Lopez and aired on ABC 13. The segment had Sarah giving helpful tips on how to find the best strapless bras that worked with any budget. So we put three bras, whose prices ranged from $12.99 to $73.80 to the test. In the end, the most expensive bra won. The wearer- Metra Burns stated that “The bra that I am wearing is a life changer. You are getting something that is worth the dollar and you won’t replace it as often because it’s durable.” So note to self, paying a little more for a bra that fits is definitely worth it and Sarah also advised that it would be beneficial to consult a professional bra fitter. “A professional bra fitter understands the difference between styles and brands and different figures.”

This experience taught me a lot about finding the perfect strapless (and regular) bra that fit my shape. I may have to shop in the little girls section for a good bra if I’m on a tight budget…but that’s ok….I’ve learned to embrace it. But needless to say, from now on I will be following Sarah’s last bit of advice: “To stretch your dollar, you actually do better buying fewer expensive bras, very well made bras that fit you perfectly, than a drawer full of very inexpensive bras that just don’t fit very well.”

**The numerous styles I tried on…**

**Being Interviewed…**

** The ABC 13 Segment**


**Wedding Season on Diamonds 77 (Sponsored)**

Every time I look on Facebook, I notice that at least one of my friends is getting either engaged or married. I’m not embarrassed to say that Mr. LAFashionsnob has not “popped the question” yet, but I figured I might as well start tinkering around different ring-shopping sites to pick out my ideal ring. While searching through numerous sites, I stumbled upon London-based 77 Diamonds, which provides clients numerous choices for just about any occasion, including loose diamonds. 77 Diamonds also claims to be up to 75% cheaper than the higher-end department stores and they also offer a 30-day full refund guarantee. The site is easy to navigate and you are free to choose your country of origin and your preferred currency. I first started browsing the engagement rings. Now, me being a huge vintage fanatic, I immediately turned to the “Vintage Collection,” which offered rings that were inspired by various decades. After playing with the features that allowed me to choose the style, band color, diamond cut, etc.; I ended up choosing the “Medici” style in platinum. Once I was set on my engagement ring, I moved on to wedding rings. There were two categories: ‘Classic’ and ‘Diamond’… and since I’m not a flashy gal (as far as diamonds are concerned) I’ve decided to stick with the ‘Classic.’ After careful consideration on the many options on the sizing and color, I went with the ‘Traditional’ in platinum, which I’m sure Mr.Fashionsnob would be pleased with as well. I’d have to say that 77 Diamonds is a great place to ring shop if you are on a budget or just looking save money on timeless jewelry.

*NOTE: I was compensated for this post, however ALL opinions are MINE.*


**Proposition LOVE Fine Jewelry**

In honor of the Supreme Court rulings to overturn Prop 8 and DOMA- ruling gay marriage finally legal, jewelry company Proposition Love is offering folks 25% off their entire WEBSITE (use coupon code:LOVEisLOVE and 10% of the proceeds go to support gay rights and marriage equality). They are also giving away TWO EnGAYment rings or wedding bands through their FACEBOOK PAGE.

“Today’s Supreme Court rulings on Prop 8 and DOMA are a huge step toward equality and an acknowledgment of LOVE for all. We are thrilled that our marriage has now been validated by the Federal Government. Proposition Love Jewelry is proud to continue supporting marriage equality and Gay rights until everyone has equality. LOVE IS LOVE!” stated Sam Street of Proposition Love.

**examples of EnGAYgement rings and wedding bands**

**examples of the LOVEisLOVE bracelets**

**Images courtesy of RappAround PR**


**Bergdorf’s Creates Buzz at Last Call Neiman Marcus**

Last Call by Neiman Marcus has always been known for finding designer brands at a bargain price. I usually shop at thrift and vintage shops nowadays, but I must confess- Last Call is growing on me. My last purchase was a pretty sundress from Gypsy 05 (the “Fiona” maxi dress, which has been seen on Vanessa Hudgens) and I was so thrilled to have gotten it at a price my wallet could handle. So needless to say, I can always count on them to have some of my favorite trends from a season or two ago at prices I can handle!

I recently found out that another high-end department store based in NYC…I’m sure ya’ll have heard of Bergdorf-Goodman…well, as of February 20th, they are collaborating with Last Call and sent select stores merchandise marked down up to 75% original retail price. I stopped by my local Last Call and checked out all the clothing and accessories. How do Manolo Blahnik, Charlotte Olympia, Prada, YSL, Miu Miu, Alaia, Jimmy Choo, Louboutin sound in terms of fancy footwear? I browsed the racks of clothing and found Helmut Lang, Oscar de la Renta, Roberto Cavalli, Missoni, Jil Sander…and so on. The sale also includes stunning handbags from some of the aforementioned brands.

I have included some of my faves/finds in the slideshow below. And Last Call, if you are reading this, I really want the sparkly fuchsia Miu Miu heels and the YSL yellow and straw platform, but the ones that were available were not my size…just sayin…

Participating Last Call stores include:
Arizona Mills, Arundel Mills, Austin Brodie Oaks Shopping Center, Camarillo Premium Outlets, Franklin Mills, Grapevine Mills, Great Lakes Crossing, Gurnee Mills, Jersey Gardens, Katy Mills, Livermore Valley Premium Outlets, Milpitas Great Mall, Potomac Mills, Sawgrass Mills, Sugarloaf Mills, Tanger Outlets at the Arches, The Outlets at Orange, and Woodbury Common Premium Outlets.

Disclosure: I was gifted a $150 gift card from Last Call by Neiman Marcus in exchange for posting about this. All opinions are my own.


**Zappos Tour Experience**

I was recently on a trip to Vegas for vacation with the boy and his family. I knew that was located in Vegas and was wanting to stop by their headquarters while out there. So while researching their website for PR contact information, I learned that they did give tours of their facility (the tour was free for the first ten people and $50 per person over that ten). I reserved my tour a couple days in advance and tried to get their shuttle service (which you had to book 72 hours in advance and they were fully booked, so I wasn’t able to take advantage). But luckily, the facility was only twenty minutes from our hotel in the suburb of Henderson. I arrived about a half-an-hour early (it does say arrive fifteen minutes early) and was immediately warmly greeted by the friendly Zappos concierge gals. I signed in and while waiting for the tour, had the option of free popcorn and coffee or hot chocolate. I can’t stress enough the warmth and hospitality I felt from the concierge and even from the employees that were walking around the area. Minutes before the tour started, we gathered into another reception room where we were greeted by our three hostesses: Dani “Culture Kitten”, Renea “Culture Fireball” and Valerie “Culture Clown.” We watched a hilarious short video that introduced us to Zappos history and culture before being separated into three small groups for touring the building. I was chosen to be in Valerie’s group. We were immersed in the world of Zappos and learned about their history and core values. We even become Zappos VIP ‘Royalty’ when we sat on the oversize throne and played with the props- which included crowns and swords (great photo op). We saw the many different departments and their lunch room. Employees receive many food options and drinks for free or have the option of paying $3 for a ‘cooked meal’; which I see as a huge benefit and I think other companies need to follow that. This workplace is ‘not your mama’s workplace’ in that employees are able to come in dressed in pajamas if they so desire (just nothing offensive) and they are allowed to decorate their cubicles (which they did and saw that some people got really creative in their workspace décor…a.k.a. ‘awesome chaos’ would best describe the environment). Employees who were in our path were friendly, waving and used their noisemakers when we passed. We saw “Monkey Row,” where Tony (CEO), Chris (CFO) and Fred (No Title) sit. They give a new meaning to the typical ‘Open Door’ policy, in that there are no doors to begin with. The tour ended with a look at their library, full of educational books and we were able to take home a copy of their Culture Book from last year. Tony sends out an email to all employees, asking them to jot down their thoughts on what Zappos culture means to them. The responses are turned into the yearly Culture Book. We were then encouraged to place our name tags on “Lucille Ball” a ball of name tags from tours-past located next to the entrance/exit.

I could probably go on for a few more points, but I think I’ll leave you with those highlights. I highly recommend taking the tour. However, they are in the process of moving their offices to downtown Las Vegas. Not sure if you are aware, but a lot of funding has gone into the revitalization of downtown (known as the Downtown Project). Over $350 million in fact (which Zappos helped to contribute) that will aid in residential development, small business, real estate, education and tech startups. The past few times I’ve visited Vegas, we’ve stayed in one of the historic hotels in the downtown area. It’s definitely an up-and-coming place and a nice change from the crowded Strip. For more information on tours and such, please check out and

If you have taken the tour already, what were your favorite highlights?

I’d love to give hugs and huge thanks to: Zappos, Courtney, Valerie, Renea, Dani, the gals working the concierge desk- Priscilla & Elyse, Mig, Tony, Chris and Fred. Thank ya’ll so much for your hospitality!!


**Kissin Slavery Goodbye with Radiant Cosmetics**

I was beyond thrilled when Radiant Cosmetics approached me to participate in their Kiss Slavery Goodbye campaign. I’ve heard about them through various bloggers,as they seem to be pretty popular with the gals in Phoenix. When I learned that this small cosmetics brand was based out of Austin, I was even more eager to work with them. I soon learned the Radiant Cosmetics is no ordinary makeup brand. It was recently founded by Nicole Marett- who has loved the makeup industry for as long as she can remember. As she was pursuing her dream working at a fashion house on Fifth Avenue in New York City, she realized something was missing from the equation. After her stint in NYC, she felt compelled to do mission work through The World Race. While in Thailand, she befriended a prostitute, who would later inspire her to form a makeup company who’s mission is to partner with anti-traffiking organizations both financially and by physically getting people involved in their own communities. According to Nicole, “The cosmetics industry generates $170 billion annually. Women dominate this industry and of the over 2 million human beings trafficked each year, 80% are women and girls. My dream is to awaken a generation of women to not sit back and allow this injustice to happen to our fellow sisters. My dream is to set the captives free, one lipstick at a time.”

The Kiss Slavery Goodbye campaign is running the entire month of January. This January marks the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation (abolishing slavery) and is also National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. When you purchase a lipstick during the month of January, Radiant will donate a lipstick on your behalf to either a survivor or current trafficking victim. The brand goes on to explain, “Lipsticks will be donated to our partner non-profit, Redeemed, to be used for outreach efforts in our home town of Austin, Texas. Lipsticks will also be donated to a special project in Brazil with another incredible organization focused on fighting human trafficking in the beauty industry, The Trade.”

I realize that the end of January is upon us, but you can still do your part to help fight trafficking; whether it be purchasing a lipstick, posting a picture on Instagram (using hashtag #KissSlaveryGoodbye), tweeting, or updating your Facebook status.Check out for further information!**Photos by Loghry Photography**

I am wearing the “Daphne” moisturizing lipstick ($20.00).


**Flat 84**

I was recently contacted by the team over at online retailer- Flat 84 and was introduced to their site. Based in Los Angeles, Flat 84 specializes in contemporary womens and mens wear and features such brands as: See You Monday, Nameless, Umgee USA, Lush, Vivienne Westwood, etc. Their fashions are curated for the the hipster, for the woman (or man) who isn’t afraid to take risks in fashion or the fashionista that’s ready for the next big trend. If you’re in the mood for womens tops, dresses or bottoms, definitely check out Flat 84, their prices can’t be beat!

I was overjoyed when I received a package from them that contained a cute sheer white oversized dress (known as the ‘Savoy Dress’ that I wore as a top) from Nameless. I also received a black and white tribal print dress (known as the ‘New Zealy Dress‘ also from Nameless. The slideshow below is how I styled the clothing. I chose a romantic feel for styling the ‘New Zealy’ dress and for the ‘Savoy’ dress, I chose to style it in three different ways, showing its versatility.**Photography by Loghry Photography**


**Kmart Fashion’s Concierge Program**

In all my experiences with attending fashion week, I’ve always had an issue with either wardrobe or personal. It’s usually been a small issue but nevertheless…. And of course, there’s never been a Walgreens or CVS around where I could run to before or in-between shows. During NYFW, (I wasn’t personally there YET unfortunately) thanks to social media, I learned of an amazing service called Kmart Concierge. If you were lucky enough to be in NYC that time, all you had to do was tweet to @KmartFashion using the hashtag #fashionweekproblems and one of the concierge gals, clad in a Sofia Vergara pencil skirt and Attention blouse will come to your aid (in two hours or less), with anything from Advil, Starbucks Frappuccino coffee drink, Orbitz gum, Clorox bleach pen or Dr. Scholls foot care, etc. NYC-based designer Chrissie Miller designed a cute #fashionweekproblems tee to coincide with the service and was offered at participating retailers. Kmart has offered this service for four seasons now and has obviously been a hit among the fashion and blogger crowd. Heck, I really wish (and ahem-Kmart, I hope you are reading this…) that they would provide this amazing service at other fashion weeks as well, because I’m pretty sure the same issues happen at other (though somewhat smaller) fashion weeks too. For more info on Kmart Fashion, check out

HUGE thanks to the folks over at ICED Media for sending over a sample #fashionweekproblems kit, complete with a Chrissie Miller tee, tote, Clorox bleach pen, Dr. Scholl’s heel guards, Orbitz gum and Starbucks Frappuccino. I’ve been using it during Phoenix and New Orleans Fashion Weeks.

Also, ya’ll have GOT to check out this uber-hilarious and overly dramatic Kmart Concierge infomercial, where you’ll see the likes of: Andrew Mukamal, Cory Kennedy, John Jannuzzi, Sarah Howard, Faran Krentcil, Christina Caradona and more.

**Video Courtesy of ICED Media**


**(Sponsored) Misses Dressy – Your Guide to Dresses for Every Occasion**

Boy, I wish that during my high school years the internet was more prominent. Especially when it was time to choose my homecoming and prom dress. Sure, I like the experience of going into the department store with my Mom and physically trying on the dress, but it would be nice to have that extra option of going online and choosing the dress. Growing up in a smaller city, it would help eliminate the chance of showing up to the dance in the same dress. (Yes- that did happen to me.) Well, fast-forward to the present day, where internet basically rules the airwaves and let me introduce- This easy to navigate site is your one-stop-shop for prom dresses, homecoming, wedding, etc. Along with thousands of gorgeous dresses from numerous designers in a variety of sizes, they also offer lingerie, handbags, shoes and other accessories. Prices vary, but for the most part, can fit into every budget. Be sure to check out for your next big event!

Please Note: I was compensated for this post, however, ALL opinions are my own. The slideshow below consists of my picks for the some of the best dresses.**These images were used with permission from**


**New Shopping Site- Native Runaway**

There is this great new shopping site that was just launched this year by Michelle Paulsen and her husband- Kevin. Together, they merged their skills of fashion photography and business savy to form Native Runaway. Along with selling limited quantities from local LA fashion district brands, they hope to bring together (work and network with) the best MUAs, stylists, models, buyers, etc. to bring a bit of LA fashion to folks all over the globe. They have an amazing look book that offers a limited quantity of inventory (as I mentioned earlier) that they was specially curated, which they hope will sell out quickly so they can get in a new collection. They want to have consumers shop there frequently so that they can get the latest on-trend clothing at affordable prices. In the future they hope to open up to LA’s best established and upcoming designers. Looking at the their website, I didn’t see anything that was really over $100 and everything was very well laid out. Yes, there is a limited amount of product in each category, but that just means that you have a less probability of running into someone else with the exact same thing. Definitely check out, they still have some impressive pieces still available.

Huge thanks to Michelle for sending over the ‘Mint Peter Pan Dress’. I really enjoy dressing it up and down, tennies or heels, layered with a blazer, etc. Be sure to check out how I styled it during a mini shoot with an amazing local Austin photographer- Naomi Loghry below.


**Nina Garcia + Bauble Bar**

Famed Marie Claire fashion editor Nina Garcia has teamed up with Bauble Bar to create FOUR collections (one per week) around her ‘must-have’ jewelry trends for Fall. First up, is BEJEWELED, a collection of bold statement earrings, collar necklaces and bangles. The collection is affordably priced beginning at $30 and topping off at $84. When you click on a product, Nina will show what other Bauble Bar pieces to wear it with and three different ways to style it for work, day and night.

Below, I’ve compiled a collage of my faves from this first collection. Each week, I will also update with a collage for every collection (so stay tuned).


**A ‘Lil Michael Antonio Shoe Love**

So I’m on this HUGE platform shoe kick lately and the I recently checked out the Spring 2012 Michael Antonio shoes lookbook and am loving the platforms and wedges that are out, as well as the color-blocking and pastel hues that accompany them. Though there were two chunky platforms that caught my eye… the Giordano snakeskin platforms and the Gallista platforms. I like the Giordano in white because first off, I’m a neutral girl, whether it be shoes or clothing, I like my blacks, whites, browns…and they are a staple in my wardrobe. But I feel that this shoe in the black and white combo makes more of a statement and I can pair them with any color outfit to add some edge. Now let’s transition over to the Gallista… my, that is one heavenly shoe! I actually tried a pair on while at one of my fave shoe boutiques in LA- Lola’s Shoetique. I can only describe this shoe as perfection. It fit well and due to the platform and heel ratio, didn’t put much strain on the balls of my feet. The Gallista comes in a variety of colors like: black, yellow, blue and pink. I’ll take one in each color, please! And so begins my love affair with Michael Antonio…. Anyway, I would suggest checking out for your next function or for a sassy shoe fix for the upcoming back-to-school season.

** Shoe images were used with permission from Michael Antonio Shoes.**


**CUSP at Neiman Marcus**

During my travels, I had the chance to drop by Neiman Marcus in Ft. Worth, TX and check out their new CUSP department. I was impressed by the friendly sales folks that made sure I was never at a loss for help. CUSP is a new contemporary brainchild of Neiman Marcus and has specially curated set of designers that are delivered in ‘hip and trendy’ online and in-store environments. As President of Specialty Retail- Jim Gold explains, “CUSP is for fashion savvy customers who prefer to curate an individual style by mixing and matching ready to wear and accessory collections and items across all price ranges. Our goal is to give our contemporary customer a fun, unique, modern and unexpected shopping experience.” CUSP is only located in select NM stores and has six free-standing boutiques as well. Eventually, the other forty-two Neiman Marcus stores will transform their Contemporary departments into CUSP. To find a CUSP near you, go here. The Ft. Worth store boasted such brands as: Alice + Olivia, Theory, Vince, Rag & Bone, Haute Hippie, Rachel Zoe, Equipment, Rebecca Taylor, DVF, Ella Moss, Joe’s Jeans, Joie and more! The department also offers CUSP jewelry and shoes (also nicely selected). I saw beautiful statement necklaces and sparkly rings and cuffs. Oh and the one of the latest trends to hit the shoe scene is the ‘smoking slipper,’ which is basically a loafer. But when I saw the leopard-print smoking slipper by Sam Edelman, I literally just stood there, mesmorized. I seriously need that shoe! My other faves include: suede leggings by Vince, a pretty peplum dress and floral ditsy denim by Alice + Olivia, lace print denim from 7 For All Mankind, the Joe’s Jeans “Highwater” skinny in leopard print, a pink/white chevron striped maxi by Ella Moss, a GORGEOUS and I don’t know how many times I have to emphasize GORGEOUS sequin jacket by Haute Hippie with my name written all over it, but alas…$1,000+ was a lil out of my budget. When you visit CUSP, some trends you might spot are brights, maxis, prints, menswear, smoking slipper, studs (on apparel and shoes), navy-blue being the ‘new neutral,’ and statement jewelry. For more information on CUSP, go to!


**Melrose Trading Post**

Held EVERY Sunday from 9-5!
Rain or Shine!
$2 Admission!

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:

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!


**LA Flea Market**

Held once a month at Dodger Stadium-Sundays- From 9am-4pm.
“Early Bird” and VIP admission starts at 7am. General admission at 9am.
“Early Bird” admission is $10 and includes free parking.
VIP is $15 and includes: VIP area, VIP restrooms, carrying service of purchases.
Kids 12 and under are FREE!

Dodger Stadium address: 1000 Elysian Park Ave Los Angeles, CA 90012
For more info on LA Flea Market, go here.

I would have to say that the LA Flea Market is “up there” as one of the top flea markets in the LA area, along with the Rose Bowl Flea Market, Melrose Trading Post and Pasadena City College. It’s located in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium and has, without a doubt, one of the best views of the downtown skyline (on a clear sunny day). My reasoning for going to Flea Markets is mostly if the vintage clothing selection is good; though finding a nice antique or off-the-wall piece for the apartment isn’t bad either. There was a vast selection of vintage and some very reasonably priced. Some of my favorite vendors include: Soto Trading Vintage Clothing (located at 7108 Benares St. Downey,CA 90241. Ph: 562-928-2671). There were some high-end and designer finds at the Young and Ukraine booth. Shana Taylor, dressed in a fab 80′s outfit herself, was selling pieces from her Etsy store, Night After Night. Gladys Carrillo from King Richards Antique Center in Whittier was selling vintage hats, dainty purses and vintage jewelry. Kelly Love was also selling pieces from her store she co-owns with Roxie- Around the City Vintage. You can read more about them here as well. Kelly introduced me to her friend and fellow vendor- Sulay Rodriguez. She is based in Colombia and handcrafts all the purses and wallets out of leather. Her jewelry is so unique in that she uses actual corn kernels and and seeds and paints them in festive bold colors. Again, this is another flea market that needs to be conquered as an all-day event. While you’re there, tantalize your taste buds at one of the many food trucks that are hunkered down in the “food court” area.

Special Thanks to Sara Chisholm and Ann Flower at Ann Flower PR!


**Chic Little Devil Style House**

1206 Maple Ave. 11th Floor (Bendix Building)
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Ph: (213)745-2442

By Appointment Only: Monday-Friday 10am-6:30pm, Saturdays from 10am-6pm

Heaven…That is one word that came to mind when I walked into the Chic Little Devil Style House one Saturday when I had to view the Gasoline Glamour Collection (read about GG here). The 10,000 square foot showroom housed multiple collections of well-known, emerging and high-end designers; along with vintage pieces. CLD was founded by Michelle Wendell. Fashion was not originally in the Michelle’s career plans, but seeing that she was business-savvy and good with numbers…fashion just seemed to fall into place. She began to buy clothing from designers and then resell them on ebay or use them for personal styling. Over the years, she would curate the collection of great finds and closeouts and came to realize that she was sitting on a gold-mine that people would love to get their hands on. And so, Chic Little Devil was born! The showroom recently moved from Santa Monica to the current rooftop space in the Bendix Building in downtown. She hired an in-studio services manager and then let everyone know they were a costume house and come rent from them. CLD pride themselves on their pieces are really hard to find. A lot are from high-end designers that was straight off the runways and never went into production, for example Alexander McQueen. There are also certain brands that you can’t find in the U.S, but are available in the showroom. To sum it all up- CLD is comprised of five businesses under one roof. CLD PR, which was launched about six months ago, represents several lines like: Pleasure Doing Business, Jerell Scott, Sheri Bodell, David Alexander, Gasoline Glamour and Romona Kaveza just to name a few. They act as the showroom and do celebrity and media outreach. They do studio services. Costume designers are able to pull from the showroom. Some notable TV and film appearances include: Melrose Place, Vampire Diaries, 90210, The Killers and The Green Lantern. CLD also has their own styling department, which is very practical in that the clients have everything under one roof (the stylists and the product). Thanks to CLD, what would normally take 3-5 days to prep, would only take 3 hours. Lastly, CLD also do photo shoots and produce lookbooks as well. They offer two 3,000 sq ft balconies with 360 degree views of the surrounding city, making for perfect  location shoots (GQ, British Vogue have shot there).  So if you ever need styling, PR services, studio services or just want to take a look at the beautiful pieces, go to Chic Little Devil!

I’d like to thank Desiree from CLD PR, Michelle, Rebecca, Isabelle and Kelly for their help and support!


**Around the City Vintage**

1839 S. Main Street
Los Angeles,CA  90015
Ph: (323)420-3007

There isn’t a sign nor storefront that bears their name, but a simple phone call  and appointment will allow you to step inside the showroom of Around the City Vintage- LA’s newest best-kept secret. This one room treasure trove is a collaboration of two friends, Kelly Love and Roxie Velazco, who share one common interest- love of vintage. The girls find many unique items from their favorite cities that they feel have good vintage: Compton, Long Beach, Ontario, Riverside, Las Vegas, North Phoenix, Dublin and Macon, Georgia; then sell them in their showroom at very affordable prices. And by affordable, they offer a bin full of dollar items, tops for no higher then $17, dresses for $25 and the highest being $85 for a jacket. You could literally walk out of the shop with a full outfit and not spend over $50. Not only do the girls strongly believe in quality and affordability, they want to offer people what they feel vintage is and thoroughly enjoy sharing their vintage finds.

Another unique fact about ATCV, is that the girls do some dabbling in design. Roxie collaborates with blogger Yuka to customize vintage shorts under the name, “Common Names”. Kelly and her Mother join forces for their accessory line, OBR Designs. Pieces include hand-crocheted beanies, handbags and scarves; as well as high-heeled necklaces (I bought the pink one!) and vintage button rings.

The day I went in the store, I tell you, I could’ve bought out the entire store… the vintage was just that amazing! When Roxie told me a lot  of the merchandise came from her Grandmother, I had only wished that my Mom and Grandmother kept their clothing. Everything was in such good condition and hardly a stain in sight. I’ve been to many vintage shops through the years and have come out disappointed because it was mainly due to high price tag. But now, dear readers, you can go to a place that’s located not far from the center of Downtown and off the blue line at the Washington station, and easy on the wallet (I walked out with five pieces at totaled $40.)

Around the City Vintage not only welcomes the general public, but buyers and stylists as well. And if you’re looking for a special item, just ask Kelly or Roxie and they’ll be on the lookout for you. ATCV is open by appointment only, so give them a call or email them at They are also on Twitter (@ACVintage_says), Facebook and Tumblr.


**The Way We Wore**

Located at: 334 South La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036-3526
Ph: (323)937-0878

This treasure-trove of vintage decadence is situated on La Brea between 3rd and 4th sts in Hollywood. This year marks the sixth anniversary of the store’s opening  in 2004. Doris Raymond is the brains behind the business, having come from San Francisco and having a fond interest in clothing and accessories, as well as having two designers in the family. When buying the clothing for her store, she explains, “I always buy anything that transcends time and is classic- not in the boring traditional sense- but in the timeless sense. I never buy trends…It’s always a plus if you buy a gorgeous garment with a designer label, but I look at the integrity of the garment first. The label is secondary.” Everything in the store is priceless, well-taken-care-of and is arranged according to era. When you go in, be prepared, it’s quite overwhelming (and having a hefty budget wouldn’t hurt either) because you will find labels such as Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, Pucci, Vionnet, Chanel… Her best sellers are evening and cocktail wear. Out of everything in the store, three of Doris’s favorite pieces would be metal dresses by Paco Rabanne, dress by Yves Saint Laurent for Dior and a cloche and scarf set by Sonja Delaunay.

Raymond is often referred to as “the fairy godmother of fashion inspiration,” [thanks to Alexandra Posen- Zac Posen's sister and co-designer].Along with the boutique, Doris also opened an inspiration library right next door. This library houses old prints, textiles, clothing, purses…anything and everything you could imagine that could be helpful to a designer (especially since 1/2 her business comes from the fashion industry). “I really enjoy feeding the fire of inspiration by providing elements that spark imagination,” states Doris.

The Way We Wore is open Monday through Saturday 11-7 and Sunday 12-6. The inspiration library is industry-only and by appointment only.


**The Rose Bowl Flea Market**

~The second Sunday of every month~

Located at:
1001 Rose Bowl Drive
Pasadena, CA 91103
(323) 560-7469

9am admission is $8.00 and children under 12 are admitted free with an adult. There is an express admission from 8:00am – 9:00am at $10.00 per person, an early admission from 7:00am – 8:00am at $15.00 per person, and a special preview VIP admission from 5:00am – 7:00am at $20.00 per person.

After six years of living in LA, I have never had the chance of exploring the famed Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena- until just recently, when the BF and I ventured to the Rose Bowl one Sunday. Of course it was everything I read about… Massive…Have to arrive early…Best vintage around…etc…

The booths sold everything and anything you could imagine. Jewelry, books, shoes, furniture, beads…and even an antique prosthetic leg. I was deliriously overwhelmed at the vintage pieces. I saw dainty hats, sequined tops, old Dooney & Bourke for $12 and Louis Vuitton purses, Prada and Ferragamo shoes…my list can go on and on. One vintage vendor I have to point out is Trini’s Treasures. Owner Trini Varela has the best variety of vintage gowns, dresses, jewelry and hats around, some pieces of which have been in the TV show, “Mad Men.” Her prices range from $10-500 and she also carries vintage designer as well. For more information or to get on Trini’s email list, contact her at

There were a few other vendors I would like to spotlight. Urai is the designer of handmade jean purses and fun sandals. The name of her company is Ramahandicrafts. Urai and her team can make up to four pairs of sandals in one day. Her sandals are also very affordable at $20 a pair. I saw my friends Sandy and Sebastian of the line, Yoga Army- selling some pieces from past seasons. I also noticed that Kami Shade and Rachel Broussard (Supastar) were also showing their lines. Sandy and Sebastian’s friend, Michaelyn “Mikie” Whitlock was selling some vintage pieces; reworked rompers for $15; original vintage, as well as reworked jewelry for a reasonable price range of $10-110.

I had an overall fun experience. Next time I know to come early (around 8am), carry cash (as the ATMs are only at the entrance (from what I noticed), bring a small shopping cart (for the larger purchases and so your arms don’t get sore from browsing the thousands of vendors and miles of walking) and plan on spending pretty much the whole day there.


**The Sewing Studio**

107 S. Fair Oaks Ave. Suite 107
Pasadena, CA 91105

I found out about the SEWING STUDIO from my friend, Rebekka, who works as a design assistant there. I arrived at the quaint two-room classroom/office in Old Town Pasadena, in time for the 10:30-1:30 Saturday class. After taking a seat out of the way, I observed my surroundings and listened as the instructor, Cynthia Harvey went over the class. There were seven people in that day’s class, which was in the process of making the Shift Dress. I noticed that the small class size and classroom were just enough so that Ms. Harvey could  have more “one-on-one” time with her students. She was very attentive to their needs, demonstrated the edge stitch and  helped the students with their sewing machines and fabric.

Cynthia Harvey is the CEO of Sewing Studio and is the only instructor. She attended FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) and majored in fashion design. After graduating, she worked in the industry for several years and this past year, started the Sewing Studio. She wanted to open the studio as a resource for designers and students who wanted to better their skills. She offers classes (some introductory and intermediate “ready-to-wear”) that make totes, dresses, skirts, etc for kids, teens and adults. There is also a class called, “Designer Challenge”, where  more advanced students can better their skills and also learn how to start a business. Classes start at $125-300 and are in a series for four weeks. However, she is offering a take one class, get one free  deal, partly due to the economic situation and getting people more involved in the industry.

For more information about the Sewing Studio (I highly recommend taking a course), you can contact Cynthia at the address above or or 626-795-9494.


**The Sewing Lounge**

3216 W. Magnolia Blvd.        
Burbank, CA 91505
Phone: (818)729-1781

I came to The Sewing Lounge when I was in a huge bind. My sewing machine broke, my dress form was inadequate  and there was just no room in my apartment to be creative. So, after seeing The Sewing Lounge while browsing the Magnolia Blvd. region of Burbank and ‘facebooking’ with the owner, Jessica, I decided that it was in my best interest to go to one of the open sewing sessions.

I was so glad I did. The space was ample, enough for me to spread out and create. It was a relief to use a proper dress form and a sewing machine that worked well.

The Sewing Lounge first opened its doors in April 2009 and is based on Jessica Dooley’s need to want to open a sewing lounge after browsing through sewing books with her mother. Her goal is to “empower people with the knowledge of sewing.” Jessica’s passion for fashion and watching people’s creativity grow shows; my sewing skills were basic, but she taught me a few tricks that will help me in future endeavors.

Jessica offers open sewing at $9/hr…. 2 hr workshops start at $40/per person….She also offers custom sewing and alterations. To learn more about the Sewing Lounge and the variety of classes offered, check out


2 Responses to FASHION

  1. Cynthia says:

    It was good to have Heather visit the design & sewing studio — the more the merrier. The studio is all about fashion and creative people who enjoy creating their own thing.

  2. Pingback: Gets Exclusive Interview of Nolcha Fashion Week CEO Kerry Bannigan | FashionMingle.Net

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