Alexander Vreeland Launches Parfumes Inspired by His Legendary Grandmother
Bustown Modern – Los Angeles
Manor Fetes Spring Palm Springs Style Outdoor Launch Party
New Mexico Fashion Week 2015
Fashion Woodlands Makes Its Inaugural Debut
Chasing Thrift Event with Stacks on Racks was #OnFleek
Chloe Dao Spring 2015 Trunk Show

Alexander Vreeland Launches Parfumes Inspired by His Legendary Grandmother

Diana Vreeland was an extraordinary legend in her time. She was a Fashion Editor for Harper’s Bazaar for 26 years and Editor-in-Chief for Vogue for nine years, revolutionizing fashion and had a reputation for transforming everything she touched. She also spent sixteen years at the Costume Institute at the MET, creating a juncture between fashion and art. She literally changed the rules in fashion, thus changing the world forever.

Her Grandson, Alexander Vreeland has an extensive background in marketing, communications and had worked for such names as Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani and Calvin Klein. After taking over Diana’s estate, he got books about her contributions and achievements published yearly. His wife also made a documentary- ‘The Eye Has to Travel,’ which helped create a buzz on her life and legacy. This helped inspire Alexander to want to create something under her name. He thought that with her story, fragrances would be the most appropriate.

They started working with IFF (International Flavors and Fragrances) and brought aboard their best perfumers to create exclusive scents that would pay homage to Diana. The brand worked with Fabien Baron to create an iconic bottle from the 1920s and recreate it in numerous colors. The tall cap design is in reference to Mrs. Vreeland’s exaggerated proportions. The dainty tassle has a romantic twist. The color palette that was chosen reflects on her passion for combining colors. Lastly, the name of the fragrances are actual quotes from her, because as Alexander adds, “she loved words, she made up words, she used words interestingly.”

Alexander launched Diana Vreeland Parfums in August 2014 in New York City, with hopes of it turning into an American luxury brand. They launched with five fragrances and related products and sold them in the finest U.S. and European retail stores. This year, they plan to launch three additional fragrances, as well as home products.

The fragrances are:

Perfectly Marvelous– Inspired by Mrs. Vreeland’s love of red. She had a living room, that was nicknamed the “Garden in Hell” because of all the crazy reds and prints. It features scents of jasmine, cashmere and musk. Very sexy and more of a nighttime fragrance. Nice on men and women.

Extravagance Russe– Inspired by her love of Orientalism. She was obsessed with Russia and in fact, did two costume exhibits at the MET on Russia. The story goes that during her first trip, she brought along Jackie Kennedy, because Russia wouldn’t allow her to borrow any clothes or artifacts. So they went, negotiated and got whatever they wanted. She also loved the Ballet Russe and the extravagance of the costumes and ‎Nijinsky. The scents feature amber and vanilla bourbon.

Absolutely Vital– Inspired by her love of India. It features the scent of Indian Sandalwood, Turkish Rose and Egyptian jasmine. She used to dab Indian Sandalwood behind her ears every day before she would leave the house. This is also a fragrance that is great for men and women. It is great alone or to mix with other fragrances.

Outrageously Vibrant– Created by Carlos Benaim and is the fruitiest of the fragrances and features the scents of cassis, rose and patchouli.

Simply Divine– Inspired by her love of romance. It has the scent of tuberose and nutmeg and is very calming and fresh. This is also my favorite fragrance of the bunch so far.

Smashingly Brilliant– Inspired by her love for Capri. It’s fresh and zesty scents include citrus of Calabrian bergamot and lemon oil. Long-lasting fragrance. Great for men and women.

As Alexander concludes,”what is wonderful about fragrances is that you could keep changing them…I think that each fragrance has a story and you have relationships and you remember somebody by their smell and you remember yourself, by the smell you had with that person. It’s a very personal, intimate relationship that’s involved with fragrances.”

I had the wonderful opportunity to visit with Alexander for the launch of the parfumes at Neiman Marcus at the Galleria. The quotes are taken directly from Alexander. I’d love to personally thank the Diana Vreeland PR team, Sarah and the Neiman Marcus PR team for allowing me this opportunity.

Bustown Modern – Los Angeles

8166 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046
PH:(323) 951-0290
HOURS: Tuesday- Saturday 11am-6pm PST or BY APPOINTMENT

Bustown Modern is the brainchild of husband + wife team Anessa Woods and Paul Fogt, who share a mutual love of vintage and antiques. Their concept began when they realized that they were passing up items that they didn’t “need,” whereas other people would want them. They then started buying and selling on eBay and rented a space at a local antique mall. After seeing positive results and their business and the quality of merchandise grow, they strayed away from eBay and ventured on to open up a web store. It wasn’t until January 2014, that they packed up, moved across the country and opened their brick-n-mortar on Melrose Ave.

The little Melrose shop is truly a gem and great addition to the area. It has a modern feel, yet houses treasures that are rare, unique and just…oh-so-exquisite on a historic level. When asked about a great piece of clothing that has been found to date, Paul responds, “We have lots of favorites. Some are in our closets. Some are long sold. Every piece has a story, whether it’s the brilliance of the piece itself or just the memory of how we came across it. Anything haute couture is always great because it’s so special. There were only a finite number made and that piece you’re holding is the only one exactly like it ever – it was handmade for someone to their exact specs. We’ve also had a lot of unique pieces that are just so unique or really rare and you feel privileged to have gotten to see, feel and photograph them.”

They offer a little something for everyone, both style-wise and price. Prices range from $50 for the cutest little Paloma Picasso coin purse (everrrr) to $5,000. As Paul states, “A lot of high-end shops get hung up on designer labels only. Yes, we have tons of designer things but we don’t necessarily have them because they’re designer. We buy by the piece, for the piece. Whether it’s designer or not, we look more at design, quality, construction, rarity and how the piece fits into current and future trends. Anessa has an incredible eye and it really resonates with people. We try to offer a very curated collection and when people come in the store or look at our website, we think it really shows.”

I had such a amazing time checking out their curated collection of clothing, accessories and jewelry. This is one of the very few shops in Los Angeles that you can actually touch and feel a Sant’ Angelo, Galanos, Cardin or Halston. This part of Melrose is definitely my little piece of vintage heaven.

Manor Fetes Spring Palm Springs Style Outdoor Launch Party

Houston-based home decor and gift online shop-Manor, recently feted their official Spring Launch at the lush wine garden at Fiori Spa. The 1960s Palm Springs- esque poolside affair offered everything ranging from festive beach balls, floating flamingos and swans, glitter cupcakes, gold accents and more. The glitzy evening, benefitting the Ronald McDonald House, was hosted by not only Manor’s stylish curator Beth Delozier-Hayes, but also fashion blogger Carrie Colbert. Guests enjoyed libations from: Ricca Gourmet Ice Cream Sandwiches, Glazed Donuts decorate your own donut bar, Bite Macaron, Creative Crepes, SlimRitas “Glitteritas,” Dripping Springs Vodka and The Tipsy Dessert Bar alcoholic ice cream. Keeping with the swan ‘sub-theme,’ Beth had enlisted the help of her Mother to create a limited number of fun swan straws made from what looks to be craft pipe cleaners. There were also numerous creative backdrops, provided by Blome’s Paperie and Sugar and Cloth that enticed the photographer in all of us. Day Zero Creative provided the fun signage throughout the venue, while the metallic pinatas were provided by Cake and Confetti. The Houston Zoo had representatives on hand to showcase a live snake, owl and armadillo. The little armadillo was too shy, so she remained curled up in a ball. Cute animals aside, guests were also able to shop some hand-picked ‘simply smashing’ gift items, such as: beach towels, fun donut and ice cream prints by Pittsburgh-based shop Lishy Lishy, agate coasters, gold piggy bank, gold and white zebra print stacking dish and bourbon marshmallows.

If this doesn’t tempt you enough, you MUST check out Manor for your decor and gifting needs!

New Mexico Fashion Week 2015

New Mexico Fashion Week returned to Albuquerque (for the second time) for an evening of high-energy runway shows that featured local and out-of-state designers. I just happened to be passing through the city on my way back to Texas from LA and was excited to see what the event had to offer. I would also like to point out that NMFW was ahead of the “fashion week game” by celebrating models of all ages, shapes and sizes.

It was held at the convention center in Downtown and featured twelve designers: 505 Clothing, A. Tsagas Designs, Bossarolla, Debi Lynn Designs, Destinista Designs, Enlightened Designs, Kenneth Edgar, MeliDu, Monista Arts, Montecristi Custom Hats, Noir Assassin and ODELL by Kayleigh Dawn. The event was emcee’d by Miss Albuquerque 2014- Gabrielle Torres. Unfortunately, I missed the first half of the evening’s festivities (even though we hustled, it was still a long drive from California), but I was able to make the last half, as well as see the dress sculptures in the ‘Fashion as Art’ exhibit. The exhibit was also a part of a competition between students and established artists. The participants were: Dominique Cohn, Liza Doyle, Melissa Dulanto, Madeleine Toyokawa, Sara Basehart, Rhonda Crossland, Ezra Estes, Stephen Fehr and Carla Wick.

Luckily I was able to spot my favorite Cajun jewelry designer from Houston- Debi Lynn of Debi Lynn Designs, who was walking around with her models (still dressed in the collection). Her collection- titled, “Bayou Gypsy meets Cowgirl Chique,” featured fringe, repurposed clothing, appliqués, beading and more! Every piece of the collection is inspired by her Cajun and Muskogee Creek cultures. Growing up in the Louisiana bayou, she would hunt and collect little ‘treasures’ and made something with them. To this day, she has never outsourced for her jewelry and everything is one-of-a-kind. Her jewelry has been seen on Miranda Lambert, Brittany Spears, Demi Lovato and more.

K- Bobby International was the next collection to walk the runway. Jamaican-born Kenneth Edgar became a seasoned designer and dressmaker in his village by the age of 12. He showcased designs for both men and women, ranging from casual to evening wear. The collection was fun, wearable and made in the USA.

A Bossarolla is defined as “a woman who puts God first. Loves her family. Demands respect. Takes care of her business. Always real. Original. Classy. Strong. Lives her life to the fullest,” according to the brand’s two designers- Alexandra Sanchez and Leandra Rosenau. The models jammed the runway to Beyonce’s “Run This World,” rocking the brand’s swimwear and sunglasses collection. The swimwear was colorful and seemed to feature a variety of textures and fabrics. The designers also opted for bold silhouettes with girly detailing, such as sweet bows and ribbon.

Destinista Fashions designer- Destini Duran recently graduated from Santa Fe Community College with a degree in fashion design in 2014. She presented her collection “A Tower of Blue,” inspired by the Empire State Building. The collection is heavily influenced by modern abstract art and had a neutral black, white, grey color palette; with the exception of a vibrant blue. The gowns and separates were sophisticated with a hint of edginess. The clothes were paired with accessories by Monica Duran of Monista Arts & Designs. Monica holds a degree in architecture and interior design, but due to her illness, she has switched careers. In 2006, she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that is terminal. But clearly, that is not slowing her down. Not only was she a bad-ass plus-size model during NMFW, but she has found success through her artwork. Monica explains (via Facebook), “I see images through contemporary eyes, both abstract and realistic. I try to convey the simplicity, elegance, grace, and spirit of my art. Light, shade, color, and texture all working together create art with eyes of Gods nature. My primary pieces of art reflect the journey and pain I have had to endure for many years. I want others to embrace my work not only as a story but through the reflection of what is inside of me.” The NMFW collection is called, “A Kiss of a Feather” and features 100% leather and Swarovski crystals. I wish Monica all the best for continued health and success!

There was definitely something “enlightening” about this next brand, aptly called- Enlightened Designs. The brand’s designer- Sharidynn Denetchiley is of Dine (Navajo) Nation descent and was originally from the Four Corners region. She launched her career sometime around 2008 and has successfully participated in many jewelry and fashion shows across New Mexico, as well as had numerous collaborations with Native American models and designers across the country. She focuses on creating contemporary Native American jewelry and strives to inspire a new generation of jewelers. This showcase featured not only the jewelry, but incredible Native American inspired body painting by Patrick “Cloudface” Burnham and several references that harked back to her Native American roots. Needless to say, the finale of the presentation was captivating. I love seeing diversity in fashion and I’m giving Sharidynn multiple thumbs up!

Denver-based A. Tsagas Designs fur and leather designer- Andreas Tsagas specializes in creating unique pieces from reclaimed and repurposed fur and leather for over 30 years now. The pieces were a perfect fit for NMFW and the Southwestern lifestyle.

Santa Fe-based Montecristi Custom Hats was the last brand to present that evening. Designer Milton Johnson has been customizing unfinished Ecuadorean hats for men and women since 1978. The company is also known for their exquisite fur felt hats, hatbands, buckle sets and hat accessories. NMFW founder- Melissa Beasley also made her ‘runway debut’ during the presentation. Monticristi has been featured in a variety of press and on numerous celebrities.

HUGE thank you to Melissa and the whole team at New Mexico Fashion Week! I look forward to hopefully attending the FULL event next year.

Fashion Woodlands Makes Its Inaugural Debut

Crave Luxury Auto played host to the inaugural Fashion Woodlands “New York Style” fashion event earlier in the week, which benefitted the Greater Woodlands Public Art Foundation (maintains the sculptures located throughout The Woodlands) and The Way Home Project. The event was founded by Theresa Roemer- Houston entrepreneur, clothing designer and owner of the country’s largest closet. It featured six of Houston’s “top” designers- Chloe Dao, Jonathan Blake, David Peck USA, Amir Taghi, Lucho and Theresa Roemer. Guests were treated to a red carpet entrance and VIP pre-party full of exotic cars, luxury jewelry vendors, a bar and light bites.

The show opened with remarks by abc13‘s (and emcee) Sonia Azad, followed by a performance by hip-hop artist Rocko Stedy. He, along with models Thaddeus and Leslie; got the audience pumped up for the show. We were also treated by a celebrity appearance by Real Housewives of Atlanta ‘s Porsha Williams. She had been personally invited by Theresa and actually had two outfit changes (wearing Theresa’s brand). Porsha explained to me (earlier in the evening) that she ‘loves how [Theresa’s] clothing looks on women with curves. The shape, lines and fabric are flawless and comfortable.’

The show began with Chloe Dao, who’s collection of printed, color-blocked, easy-breezy dresses were a crowd-pleaser. It took her a mere week and a half to complete the collection. The prints resembled thick brush strokes that take on the dawn of perfectly angled geometric lines. We move on to view the latest trends in menswear from Lucho– a menswear shop located in upscale Uptown Park. I must say, the men in this segment were VERY easy on the eyes…just saying…Jonathan Blake and Amir Taghi showcased their beautiful collections that were also on the Fashion Houston 5 runways (read more about their collections HERE and HERE). Theresa Roemer presented her Spring/Summer 2015 collection for her True & Real brand, that focused on basic blacks and whites (which are staple pieces that should be in every women’s wardrobe), while accenting the line with blues and yellows. Roemer’s line is easily interchangeable, in that it can be taken from day to evening. The knit heavy line highlighted the point that the average woman-on-the-go now has a go-to brand that is comfortable and figure-flattering. The last brand to walk the runway was David Peck USA. His Spring/Summer 2015 collection is a continuation of Fall and reminiscent of David’s upbringing in New Mexico. It also paid homage to his Grandmother, who had recently passed away. The 70’s inspired gowns were colorful in hue, yet simple in silhouette. The ruffle detail and draping added extra femininity. Overall, each designer brought their own unique personalities to the table for The Woodlands first (and certainly not the last) major fashion event.

Fashion Woodlands will be held in the Fall every year. There will also be a second annual fashion show in October (2015).

Chasing Thrift Event with Stacks on Racks was #OnFleek

Local sustainable fashion start-up Stacks on Racks recently collaborated with Chasing Houston– a website that was created by locals to help residents and visitors explore the various neighborhoods of the city. The inaugural thrifting-theme party was held at Fill In The Blank Studio. Guests were able to not only shop sustainable threads that were hand-picked by the guys of SOR- Mazen and Lanre, but also learn more about Chasing Houston. With every purchase over $50, Stacks on Racks included one of their Thrift Tees. The Thrift Tees are their latest endeavor and feature recycled tees with fun slogans screen-printed on them, such as: “Thrift Squad,” “Thrift Game on Fleek” and “Do you even thrift.”

Along with loads of photo opportunities, guests also enjoyed bites by Mi Luna. For every item that was purchased, another was donated to various charities.

I went home with a buttery L.L. Bean vintage leather handbag…all for a mere $10, a small price to pay for amazingly delicious, high-quality recycled clothing and accessories. As far as Stacks on Racks is concerned, nothing is over $50.

Chloe Dao Spring 2015 Trunk Show

Local Houston designer, Chloe Dao held her Spring 2015 trunk show at her namesake boutique recently. Friends, family and fashionistas flocked to the intimate, yet packed event. Guests enjoyed mingling, shopping the collection, cocktails by Deep Eddy Vodka and sweet treats by Dolce Delights. There was also some informal modeling amongst the colorful butterflies.

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