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Li Cari Launch Party at Taylrz Joynt 12/5/08
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Felt Club – Holiday 2008
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"Walk the Vote" Fashion Show 11/1/08

Li Cari Launch Party at Taylrz Joynt 12/5/08

The weather warmed up enough to head on over to the Li Cari clothing launch party at Taylrz Joynt in Sherman Oaks. Despite it being a Friday, the traffic was decent and I was able to find parking across the street from the venue. When I arrived, there was the red carpet and the paparazzi taking pictures of  Li Cari’s designer, Jazmin Whitley, Hanna Beth, and a couple stars from “Paris Hilton’s New BFF”, Sinsu and Onch.

 After check-in and taking pictures on the red carpet, I proceeded into the boutique. There were models wearing items from the line posing in the window, their poses changing every so often. There was a good crowd turn-out, ranging from actors to models, designers and hipsters. I stood back for a few minutes, taking in the scene. Taylrz Joynt is a small, narrow boutique; though there was artwork on the walls, as well as the fun, creative displays for the clothing and jewelry. Tucked in the back of the store were the quaint dressing rooms and a large floor-to-ceiling mirror. I walked to the back to meet up with the 20 year old phenomenon behind the line- Jazmin Whitley.

             Whitley, dressed in a vintage floral print dress and cardigan was glad to sit down with me for a few minutes to discuss her rise to success in fashion. She started designing in high school and gained momentum when her teacher suggested doing a fashion show. Since then, she has designed for friends and clients. Her collection started out small and has escalated into the line we know today. Her advice to budding designers and entrepenuers, “Never give up and always have faith.”

              I later caught up with the Taylrz Joynt owner herself…Ms.Taylr. (Pronounced Taylor, but minus the ‘O’.) Despite the busy atmosphere, she kindly accepted my request for a short interview and ushered me back near one of the dressing rooms. Taylr had always wanted to own her own boutique. After moving down to LA from San Francisco in 2001, she worked as a stylist and wardrober. In 2007, her lifelong dream came true and she opened her first boutique in North Hollywood before recently moving to her current location on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks. She hopes to open a chain of stores across the nation, her first stop being Houston, TX.  Being a fan of wanting to start a business myself, I asked her if it was easy to start a business. She told me that it was easier to start, but keeping it up is more of a challenge. I really enjoyed speaking with such an inspirational woman. A favorite quote that she left me with is, “Don’t put your dreams in the hands of others.”

Taylrz Joynt is located at 13549 Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks. The phone number is (818)907-7818. You can view the Li Cari line at here. Special Thanks to Susan Costa of World Coast Management PR.

Felt Club – Holiday 2008

The holidays are here again! For those wanting to get a head start on shopping for one-of-a-kind items- it means attending the annual holiday shopping event: Felt Club, held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeleson November 16th.

       Felt Club was founded by Jennifer Ryan. This year, it was hosted by LA’s famous historian Charles Phoenix and featured 150 vendors, prizes, food, music by DJ Lance Rock, DJ Dirty Robot, Mr. Cocoon and Leslie Hall. There was also Swap ‘O’ Rama Rama, located on the balcony, where wannabe designers swap clothes and take them to DIY and silkscreen stations, turning drab garments into fabulous works of art.  

        I arrived at the event around 10:30am, a half-hour before it started. I was able to find great parking, though the price was somewhat steep (at least for my budget). There was already a long line of anxious creatives eager to get the gift bags that were to be handed out to the first 250 people. Unfortunately, I was one of the 300 somethings in line.

      Upon entry into the magnificent hall, I was immediately entranced by the array of trinkets and other ditties that were being sold. Among the vendors that caught my eye was a woman named Jenine, from Providence, RI; who flameworks her own glass jewelry. She designs what she wants to see, but has never seen before. She told me that she has been flameworking her own glass jewelry since she was 18. She also designs clothing. The jacket she was wearing to the event was beautifully crafted and beaded by her. She hopes to launch a texile line in the Spring of 2009. You can see her line at www.jenine.net.

    Another vendor, Adjowah Brodie, designs jewelry from vintage typewriter keys and watch faces. When asked what inspired her, she replied that she was inspired by those around her. Her products can be viewed at www.theweekendstore.com.

Earlier in this blog, I had mentioned that one of the featured singers was Leslie Hall. She also was one of the vendors. Selling merchandise bearing her picture and name. I watched her take pictures and sign autographs for fans. She was very bubbly and free-spirited. I had the fortunate opportunity to ask her alittle about her music and influence.  She told me that she wanted ‘to make catchy songs that I can have fun doing live.’ She has since made three albums on her own since 2004.  I also asked her what influence her elaborate costumes. As for that, she says her Mother helps her with that. Leslie tells her ‘space, wrestling and ice skating…not NOT 70’s and cheerleading.’ Check her out at www.myspace.com/lesliehall and www.leslieandthelys.com.

    As I browsed aisle after aisle, a glimmer of kitsch and deliciously bold colors caught my eye. This vendor sold kitschy plastic, some vintage charm bracelets and necklaces. As a huge fan of random, fun kitsch myself, I just had to meet the designer! Her name is Jen Rowan. She was dressed in an outfit her designed that is inspired by Japanese streetwear and had a warm, approachable personality. She started making jewelry for 12 years, but this particular style for 3 years. She has been selling at Felt Club when the shows were smaller and the booths cost a mere $24. Besides selling her funky “doo-dads” at www.beebalalou.etsy.com, she has sold to at least 35 retailers, mainly in the Bay Area, but also here in LA, NYC, Japan and Spain. She sells wholesale, as well as retail. She says that she wants to maintain an affordable price for her customers. Most of her treasures don’t go for more than $30, with the cheapest being $1.50.

    Among other vendors I thought were interesting were: Mi So Happi, local Los Angeles designer Sandy Shishido takes gently used items and turns them  into stunning contemporary duds. Huntington Beach designer Feanna Otta (www.kaitemerson.com ) designs cute children’s clothes, blankets,etc. And lastly, another handmade jewelry and accessories designer, Jessee Maloney, designs under the name: Art School Dropout. When asked why she named her company that, she said she was indeed- an art school dropout. Her creations proved that you don’t have to go to some fancy art school to be successful, you just have to have the talent, passion and drive and of course, from what I’m learning as well…the patience…

For more information on FELT CLUB, go to www.feltclub.com.

"Walk the Vote" Fashion Show 11/1/08

I arrived at the Ivar in Hollywood a few minutes til 9pm, when the doors were scheduled to open. They were still setting up, but I was immediately introduced to Dionna Harris, CEO of The Styling Agency. She was bubbly and very hospitable. She ushered me in and I stood back, watching the models rehearse the last-minute walk through and other goings-on.

     The fashion show started around 10:30pm, with an introduction by Dionna and a performance by Shawn Chrystopher, pumping up the already anxious club-goers. Since this was an American theme show and the election is a few days away, the first ‘scene’ of the fashion show was “The American Dream”, which Harris describes as America before the Bush Administration. It was only appropriate for the first model to be wearing a toga style dress of red and white stripes and blue stars. The following models wore basic tees, denim and jackets, while sticking to the red, white and blue color palette. The second ‘scene’ was “War in Iraq”. This scene was comprised of a somewhat controversal yet captivating show of models wearing scarves over their faces and wearing coats; some welding toy guns. Harris’s inspiration was the War in Iraq and of course, the Iraqis themselves. The third and final ‘scene’ of the show is “Peace and the Resurrection”.  Models in haute couture gowns walked down the runway and dropping their ‘vote’ in the ballot box at the end of the runway. Harris describes her inspiration for this finale, that it is the peace and resurrection of something new….For “hope of beauty…and change for the better…prosperity…” Actress Kayley Gable wowed the audience in one of Max Nugus’s Haute Couture gowns.

The Styling Agency is a FASHION MOVEMENT…A MOVING BODY THAT IS STILL GROWING AND PROSPERING…”Check us out, or be left behind!”

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