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Sugar Part Deux
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Ventura Fashion Week
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DecadesTwo Shoe Extravaganza

Sugar Part Deux

Timmery Turner has done it again! Her post-Valentine’s Day show was such a hit that the 4300 Loft was packed to the gills with people.The show featured several new vendors, a cute Valentine’s-themed photo booth by Katie Hillier of www.urbansalt.com and a fashion show.

Here is an overview of the vendors I met that evening…

Brittany Petty of Brittney/ Miranda Jewelry started her line of unique one-of-a-kind costume jewelry about six months ago. She gets her inspiration everywhere-whether it be her friends, magazines, other jewelry designers; but gets most of the inspiration from people watching. That evening, she was showing some amazing necklaces, handcrafted with strands of multi-colored beads and cute rings made from vintage buttons. Not only does Brittany do jewelry, but she also dabbles in reconstructing vintage pieces and wants to eventually get into designing accessories; such as belts, sunglasses and handbags. Her prices are very fair and range from $5- 30. Check her out at www.brittanymirandajewelry.com, www.brittanymirandajewelry.blogspot.com or www.senseofashion.com/brittanymirandajewelry.

Phuong Tran of LSD Fashion LAB showcased some very hot, avante-garde masks, sunglasses and body armor. Phuong started her online store six months ago, then called, “It’s Not Me Fashion Accessories” , but after meeting Timmery and getting into this second Sugar show, she reinvented herself and changed the name to “LSD Fashion LAB” (L+S+D= Love, Sex and Diamonds). Phuong, who at first majored in child development and then took some fashion merchandising classes at El Camino Community College, gets inspired by watching the world’s most successful people following their dreams and making it big. As for her creations, “they change as I go,” she stated. Her best-selling items at the moment would be anything with chains on it. Her favorite pieces being the “Chained and Wired Up Mask” from her collection (http://www.itsnotme.bigcartel.com/product/all-wired-and-up-eye-mask). This product received rave reviews from Urban Outfitters and fashion blogs all over the globe.  The other piece that has gotten a lot of attention lately is the “Original LSD Studded iphone Case.” The price to own some attention grabbing pieces? A very affordable $7-60. For more info, please contact Phuong at LSDFashionLAB@gmail.com, follow her on Twitter: @LSD_Fashion_Lab, www.LSDfashionLAB.com, her blog: http://love-sex-diamonds.blogspot.com or become a fan on Facebook.

Simone Ralph does some incredible fashion illustrations on clothing, prints and greeting cards! She started her company, “Simone Elum” in July of 2009. She grew up loving to draw. She would use fashion magazines and illustrations in the old Vogue Pattern books as some of her inspirations. After obtaining her degree in fashion design at the Savannah College of Art and Design, her inspirations came from the works of famed fashion illustrators: Arturo Elena, Ruben Toledo and David Downton. Her other inspirations come from music, movies, interesting people, beautifuls photos and anything around her that is colorful, unique and has a genuine feel to it. “I want my work to inspire girls and women to feel good about themselves, to accept themselves and become the women God intended them to be.” Her tees are selling for $15-25, greeting cards for $12 for a set of 4, and illustration prints for $15 (5X7) or $20-40 (8X10) and are sold online at www.simoneelum.com and at Taylrz Joynt Boutique at 13549 Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks, CA. Her illustration portfolio is also available for viewing at www.simoneralph.com.

Leondra Quinones of Leondra Renee Clothing showed chic dresses during the runway portion of the show. Her dresses, with the them of “Posenous Fashion” certainly made a statement in bold hues of purple and blue. Her inspiration for the collection came from the bold fashionistas of the 80’s. “I paid close attention to the bright colors and details used while adding my own twist to each look,” states Leondra. For more information, please go to www.leondrarenee.com.

Victoria Reyna of  Vireyna featured some breathtaking jewelry that immediately caught my eye. Her brand, Vireyna means “the wife of the Virrey who was the representative of the Spanish king in the land which is now Argentina, at that time Virreynato del Rio de la Plata. I’m from there and my name-Victoria Reyna matches it perfectly.” The brand’s concept is “just design”- which means design is in everything. Victoria started out as an interior designer, then landscape designer before finally making her mark in fashion. Her concept of design began as minimalist, but grew into a more ecclectic style “which is why you can see in my designs something bold and simple, architectual and minimalist or something with an intricate, sexy and trendy flair.” She gains her inspiration from materials she uses in her interior/exterior design projects to organic shapes from perfection to the chaos of nature. She uses metal chains, her very own handmade glass, semiprecious stones, stainless steel, leather, yarn, pearls, pebbles, feathers and “any material which falls into my hands with a special beauty.” Her favorite pieces from her jewelry line are the extra long glass beaded necklaces with tassels, glass rings, leather cuffs and bulky semiprecious stone necklaces. Her favorite pieces in the fashion accessory line are feather head pieces, leather/corset belts and leather ties for men. The price to own some unique pieces are in the range of $15-100. You can contact her at www.vireynahandmade-designs.com or vr@victoriareynadesigns.com.

Laura Brown of CandySpooky Clothing has been doing fashion show for three years now, but has been designing for about fifteen years. Laura got the name, “CandySpooky” from her “dissatisfaction with the lack of genuinely fun clothes available for girls like myself.” She incorporates a lot of girly features in her clothes; like frills, bows, fake pearls, feathers, buttons, hearts and bright or sugary sweet pastels. She uses a lot of prints (stripes, polka dots, hearts, etc) and comfort fabrics like cotton or cotton/lycra.  She creates one-of-a-kind pieces (for now) and never makes patterns “so I can take pride in giving people clothes that no one else will have.” She also does custom orders for events or parties. Her theme would be considered fairy-tale princess in the real world. Her inspirations come from Harajuku and street style, but also kitsch from her childhood (“My Little Pony”, Barbie and Anime). Her prices range anywhere from $25-100. For really eleborate dresses or custom pieces, the price jumps to $150-300. For more information, contact Laura at: Lauradiane0@hotmail.com and visit her online store at www.Candyspooky.etsy.com.

Cristina Areyano of Love Cristina first started out designing stationary, prints, postcards, etc before turning her designs into jewelry. She called her line, “Love Cristina” because of the ‘how to take care of your jewelry’ note that comes with each piece. Her line is comprised of fun pieces for women and young girls with lots of bows, bright colors, fairytale themes infused with vintage elements. She uses her own images, resin, lucite, brass, wood, Swarovski crystals, fresh water pearls and ribbon for the pieces. Her inspirations come from Japanese Kawaii culture; children’s author Maurice Sendak; artist Melissa Contreras; Disney; color; and fashions of the Victorian, 1940’s, 1950’s, 1960’s eras. She credits the people in her life as additional inspirations for new characters and designs. She is currently working on a few fairytale and storybook themes, of which Snow White and Wizard of Oz will be the first two. Her prices vary depending on the amount of materials used. All image based necklaces range from $28-50, non image based from $15-20, rings from $10-15, brooches from $10-20 and headbands from $35-70. You can contact Cristina at Ionthesun@aol.com and visit her site at www.heartpaperlove.com.

I also ran into Chantala Parris from “Hide Your Feathers (www.HideYourFeathers.Etsy.com), Timmery was showing her line 1981 Collection as well as some awesome paintings (repped by Candy Parker), Bedouin (Samantha Hyman) was showing her line, Wolfbird Art (wolfbirdart@gmail.com), RockThizClothing by Lisa Snyder (rockthizclothing@yahoo.com) was featured in the runway show, as well as Green Tease Clothing by Cari Byers (tallcul1@embarqmail.com) and the awesome paint job and fashions by the designers of Da Bidnez (d.bidnez@gmail.com or upNtheNuves.blogspot.com).

It was another great show! The crowd and the list of vendors just keeps getting bigger. I can’t wait until the “Sugar and Spice” show, which Timmery will feature men and women artists and designers. So stay tuned!

Ventura Fashion Week

On the night of February 6th, I attended Ventura Fashion Week, held at the Ventura Elks Lodge and was benefiting AIDS Project Ventura County. I found out about the event from my friend, Elinor Cohen, who was modeling in the event. Ventura Fashion Week was founded by Erika Harding, who has been in the industry as a hairdresser and make-up artist for over twenty-one years. The idea started as just a fashion show to promote her salon, but then she decided to make it a fundraiser for more publicity. Her charity of choice has been AIDS-related, since she lost her brother and several friends due to the disease.

The show’s theme was “Angels and Saints-The Seven Deadly Sins”, featuring fashion from local vintage and clothing stores and designers; as well as dancing, hot male models taking their shirts off and appearances from special guests. The dance numbers reminded me of the movie “Moulin Rouge”-think sexy and burlesque-ish. Now, since the theme also deals with the Seven Deadly Sins, it wouldn’t be right for the devil himself to not make an appearance. So, with that being said, the devil, named “Red” (played by Kryztofr Fielder) MCd the show. He pretty much stole the show with his jokes and ‘devilish’ quips made as the models strolled the runway. The show, which indeed was for a great cause; not only was it benefiting the AIDS Project, but they also introduced Matt Copper of the Many Meals of Santa Paula (www.spiritofsantapaula.org)- an organization that feeds over 600 meals to the homeless each week. Other guests included Ventura Mayor Bill Fulton, Alec Loorez-Kids vs Global Warming, a guest from the Wave Project, and Jarrod Madrigal-Bears of Ventura. The other highlight of the show were the halos, one in particular being a giant halo made from hair and was apparently so heavy that the model had to hold it while walking the runway; and the wings, designed by Erika Harding and Raeal Woodfork. Raeal,who also makes her own Halloween costumes, gets inspired by random things that she comes across in her daily life, such as a flower, a person or an emotion and uses Galvanized Steel wire and various fabrics (from Nylon to Cheese Cloth) for her wings. Truly amazing work! I look forward to see what Ventura Fashion Week 2011 holds. According to Erika, she hopes it “just gets bigger and better.”

SPECIAL THANKS: Erika Harding, VCRA, Krystofr Fielder, Shannon Mathey, Portia Bray, Angel and Victor, Dennis Mitchell, Jamee Punzo, Spanky, Raeal Woodfork, Heather, Adriane, Jerome, Chris, Cody, Dave, the models and dancers, make-up and hair, Ventura Rentals, Polly and Steve, all the local clothing stores and designers, J, Jesslabelle, all the sponsors, the Pin Down Girls (www.thepindowngirls.com), Mayor Bill Fulton, the Ventura County Derby Darlins (www.vcderbydarlins.com), Jay Smith of the AIDS Project Ventura (www.lgbtventura.org)

DecadesTwo Shoe Extravaganza

It was an exceptionally gorgeous day in LA when DecadesTwo held their annual Shoe extravaganza-benefiting the non-profit organization Artists for Peace and Justice (founded by Paul Haggis)- who had built schools, a hospital and an orphanage in Haiti, but unfortunately, all buildings were destroyed by the quake.

I spoke with Decades owner Christos Garkinos, who told me that people were lined up around 4am that morning. This was their fourth major shoe event. They had reached out to their clients, who then donated their shoes and allowed Decades to mark them down in price for the fundraiser. The number of people that lined up (from their first event)grew from twelve to five-hundred. He said this exorbitant amount of people was almost like a “Shoestock.” When I was there, about two hours after the event started, over seven-hundred pairs of shoes (ranging from Manolos, Jimmy Choos, Diors, Valentinos and Marc Jacobs) had been sold, leaving around one-hundred fifty pairs left. 100% of the proceeds are going to Haiti. Celebrities like Holly Robinson Peete, Lisa Rinna and Selma Blair stopped by to show their support. Actress Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon who is a loyal client and friend of Christos, was also on hand at the event. She and Christos had partnered together to put on the event for such a great cause. Though for Garcelle, who is Haitian, the news of the quake hit a little too close to home. She still has family there and at the time we spoke, her Aunt was still missing. My heart goes out to her and I hope her family gets reunited with the Aunt soon.

Dear Readers, I wanted to also talk briefly about my experience at DecadesTwo. First, Christos aka “Fashion Robin Hood” loves fashion and loves that his business is about recycling (whether it be shoes or apparel). The store was such a gem, in that I saw brands of shoes and especially red carpet gowns (vintage is their specialty) from notable designers like: Versace, Vera Wang, Dior, Chanel, Proenza Schouler, Elie Saab, etc, that I only read about in fashion magazines and dared to dream about actually seeing them in person. *If you’re a fashionista growing up in the Mid-West, you’d know what I’m talking about*

SPECIAL THANKS: J, DecadesTwo (www.decadestwo.com) and is located at 8214 Melrose Ave. (323)655-1960, Christos Garkinos, Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon, the many clients that donated their shoes to the cause and Artists for Peace & Justice (www.artistsforpeaceandjustice.com),

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