During my trip to Los Angeles in March, I had the opportunity to stop by Caro Marketing‘s new downtown digs while attending their Coachella event- Carochella Zen Den. Caro’s fashion branding extraordinaire- Caroline Rothwell opened this event exclusively for LA’s top bloggers, stylists and editors as part of the pre-festival activities that were taking place throughout the city. The lofty space was transformed into a mini-boutique and zen lounging space for guests to relax and enjoy. The event was also hosted by YMI Jeans and featured brands such as: Coye Nokes (their Inas flat is TO DIE FOR), Hare+Hart (sustainable leather accessories), Carmen Steffens, Lelis Collection (made in the USA and creator of one of the cutest ruffled floral blouses), d.RA Clothing (adorbs floral crop tank tops), Egg by Susan Lazar, LATS, Globio Juices, Kind Bar, Lovemade, Mario Badescu, Raw Elements Sunscreen, Snaptats, and Sthenos. DJ Amy Pham provided beats for the event, while Flashtag offered a photo booth to capture fun moments. The event concluded with sunset meditation by Aliign.
This year was the first year that Simply Stylist held an exclusive event (along with a pop-up PR showroom) that allowed guests to mingle and network with three top celebrity stylists: Luke Storey, Lindsay Albanese and Monica Rose. They gave the audience a glimpse of their experiences of working their way to the top. Lindsay went from waitressing to working her way to get into the Union at Western Costume to finally getting her big break on ET, dressing the likes of Maria Menounos to Paula Abdul. From then on, her career took off. She’s one of the style expert judges on a “Hair Battle Spectacular” on Oxygen Network, a contributing style expert at Life & Style Magazine and has styled the red carpet looks of Glee’s Heather Morris and Naya Rivera. She gave the audience a couple pieces of great advice: ‘At the end of the day, it’s all about the client…Your relationship with the client is very important, so be nice to everybody.’ My favorite quote: “Just do it! You’ll figure it out!” Luke Storey as gone from living in his car and assisting a top NYC editorial stylist to founding the School of Style in 2008 and styling the likes of: Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, No Doubt, etc. The School of Style has blossomed from fifteen people having classes in a mansion in the Hollywood Hills to having its headquarters at Smashbox Studios and expanding to NYC and Miami. Luke’s advice to future stylists: ‘About 20% of styling is putting the looks together, while the rest of the job is emailing, phone calls, finding new showrooms/designers, etc…’, ‘something as simple as answering your emails (like how often) could make or break your career…’, ‘stylists and stylists assistants are the key people to help you get in the door and have more jobs and opportunities…’ Monica Rose came from a small town and worked in retail; and didn’t know what a ‘stylist’ was, however, she enjoyed styling her clients at her job. She soon realized that styling came naturally to her and wanted to be that “stressed-out stylist.” She soon began testing with photographers without pay, but was able to get the photos for her book. She had the opportunity to work with her favorite photographer, who helped her get jobs and motivated her to get an agent. It was not long until she got her break styling the Daily 10 on E! and styling the entire Kardashian clan. Her words of advice? ‘If you are patient and humble, you will succeed…’, ‘be creative. Always keep yourself motivated and creative…Go into your closet, your friend’s closet and do a mini-photoshoot…’
I really enjoyed the seminar and put some thought into their advice, which, even though my career path isn’t in the stylist field, I felt that their words impacted me in my current career path and situation. Thank you Luke, Lindsay and Monica!
I would like to thank: J, Sarah Pollack and Caroline Rothwell of Caro Marketing, Rachel Meis of The Contact List, Luke Storey, Lauren Messiah– stylist and Director at School of Style, Lindsay Albanese, Monica Rose, Barefoot Wines and Ellen Hollman- CEO of Visual Impact Now.
Not even the rain could stop the industry’s top PR firms and stylists (and even yours truly) from attending Simply Stylist at the Siren-Orange Studios in Hollywood. Simply Stylist takes on the concept of a “pop-up showroom” created by sisters, Caroline Rothwell and Sarah Pollack in order to connect emerging designers to the likes of top celebrities and stylists.
I spent the first part of my Simply Stylist experience in the “salon” part of the studio. I received my first mini-manicure from OPI experts, Terri and Annette. But the pampering didn’t stop there… I was treated to an oxygen facial by Rosalina of Bliss Spa. It was the best ten minutes ever! The cold mist soothed my face and the best part was that I didn’t have to take off my make-up! My face ended up soft and with some glow to it. Next, my hand and arms indulged in a refreshing massage by Vera and Shiho of Bliss Spa. Finally, as an added courtesy my hair was styled by Sarah Merrie of Hairroin Salon.
Next, I satisfied my fashion fix by checking out the brands that were showcasing at the event. I browsed handbags and clutches available in a variety of vibrant colors, my fav being the “Tropical” print from the brand Hobo International. I saw more studding clutches and handbags from Rafe New York…. The must-have clutches from Rafe, in my opinion has got to be the ‘stainless steel and abalone shell clutch’ or the multi-colored knit clutch. Then, there were the yummy blue snakeskin gladiator sandals or the laser-cut booties from Paul & Joe Sister.
I explored brands like Kao Pao Shu…. a collection of dresses, purses made entirely out of ribbon, men’s ties, etc…designed by 28 year old Bosnian Naida Begeta, who just wanted a new handbag…..but in the end, launched an entire avant-garde clothing line. Kao Pao Shu is based in LA. The line is manufactured in Santa Monica and they have a showroom located at 7227 Beverly Blvd. For more info, go to www.kaopaoshu.it.
The next designer, who wasn’t at the event, but nevertheless, left me breathless with his gowns, skirts and jackets. He is Mohammed Ashi, the 24 year old Saudi designer of Ashi. His clothing is elegantly draped and intricately detailed with the upmost care. He chose subtle, muted whites, nudes, greys and blacks as his palette. I hope to see more of his clothing on the red carpet. His website, www.ashistudio.com is still under construction, but keep checking back. In the meantime, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or become a fan of Ashi Studio on Facebook!
One designer who I had the pleasure of meeting was Ronald Abdala from Beirut. Again, his designs, I’d love to see on the red carpet. His gowns from the “Simulation” collection are very feminine and and avant-garde. He also offered pieces that could convienently be converted from the work place to dinner with friends. For more on Ronald, go to www.ronaldabdala.com or become a fan on Facebook.
I now want to introduce Oday Shakar, hailing from Costa Mesa and just started designing three months prior to Simply Stylist. His collection of red carpet worthy gowns are ment for women who want an escape in their lives through wardrobe. His silhouettes, inspired by Old Hollywood are very elegant, feminine and whimsical. Also being displayed at his booth were jewelry by his friend, Julia Post. He takes the jewelry with him every time he presents his collection. For more information on Oday, contact him at www.odayshakar.com, email@example.com or (714)641-0316.
The last designer I caught up with was Mike Vensel, who’s model was wearing a mini black dress with feathered armholes. This guy is truly a multi-tasker; being an artist, fashion designer, editor of Kitten Magazine, graphic designer and architect. I can definitely tell he used all his talents in his collections. Visit www.mikevensel.com for more information.
This event also featured make-up artist Hala Ajam, from Beirut. She was on-hand to answer questions and sign her book, Face to Face. I proudly own a copy of the book and am amazed at her work. Her dramatic make-up talents entice every mood and color palette. If I were walking the red carpet for the Emmys or Oscars, I’d want her to take care of my face! Go to www.halaajam.com for more information.
I received my first pair of TOMS Shoes. They are the white canvas and hand-painted by Tyler Ramsey. The shoes are incredibly comfy and environmentally friendly. www.tomsshoes.com
I started the day and ended the day chatting with a small group of girls who were showing their art in Simply Stylist. They are Sara Prado, Bita A., Syreeta McKelvey and Christine Hahn of The Fear. The Fear is a movement of artists with various talents that come together and create the unimaginable. ‘The Fear means artistic expression without the worry of acceptance.’ I enjoyed talking with them and hearing about the collective. As a fellow artist myself, I could understand where they were coming from. I loved the artwork and the funky DIYed wayferer frames. Christine is a photographer and an amazing one at that. Check out her site at www.christinehahnphoto.com. To contact The Fear, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It was a memorable experience and I’m looking forward to next year’s event!
SPECIAL THANKS: President of Caro- Caroline Rothwell, VP of Caro- Sarah Pollack, Ayah Ajam, Rachel Kozin of Caro Marketing; Kristen Calavas of The Lookbook; Glenn Dellimore of BLISS; Julien Haggiag of Paul & Joe Sister, Charlie Cario-Cooper of Kao Pao Shu, the models and designers, YELP, Hairroin Salon (323-467-0392) and Katie Parfet of TOMs Shoes.