Tag - fashion

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Stylist Ashley Dunn Launches Namesake Collection
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Designer- Elene Cassis
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MOTEL Skinny Jordan Jean in Black/White Stripes
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Bulgari’s “130 Years of Masterpieces” Exhibit
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Hanh Collection Preview Benefiting “Heroes & Handbags”
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Nine West x In Style Magazine Bash
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“Pay It Forward Fashion Exchange” with Glam Authority

Stylist Ashley Dunn Launches Namesake Collection

A short time ago, Houston stylist Ashley Dunn launched her namesake ready-to-wear collection at Archway Gallery to an intimate crowd of influencers, friends and family. Local KHOU 11 personality- Courtney Perna was on hand to host the event. Ashley showcased fourteen looks, which she said were inspired by street style, simplicity and bold bright colors. “I was really inspired by women on the go; women that wear many hats but look chic and effortless while doing it.”

Proceeds from the show went to benefit NEDA (National Eating Disorders Association) in hopes of raising awareness on the issue, which affects millions (including Ashley). “I was always a curvy girl. Even when I was younger. Which is when the body image issues began. I felt early on that I was different from my peers because of I was curvier & short & they were naturally thin, so in my mind to help me to look like my peers I began throwing up my food, this started in first grade and I didn’t stop until my early twenties after college. My weight was always something I struggled with and I thought that somehow throwing up or getting rid of my food was the answer. My faith played a key role in my journey to becoming a better woman in which helped me to fight my eating disorder of bulimia. I feel it is my duty to share my story in hopes of helping someone struggling like I did.”

The designs and silhouettes were simple and clean, yet chic and versatile. You can mix n’ match pieces and probably could style a week’s worth (if not more) of outfits out of the entire collection. Being a gal who enjoys wearing color, this collection was a breath of fresh air. I especially loved the mid-length flounce skirts, the strapless jumpsuit with semi-skirt, 3/4 sleeve sleek red jumpsuit and crop tops. Another great thing about the brand is that it is manufactured locally in Houston. The price points for looking and feeling great won’t break the bank either, ranging from $29.99- 129.99.

“I try to promote positivity through fashion, empowerment & confidence. So my brand says just that, when a woman wears an Ashley Dunn Piece, that’s how they should feel. Ready to take on the world. I kept my pieces simple yet bold; so that the piece isn’t overshadowing the person but adding to.”

At press time, you can shop the line by emailing the product name and size to info@ashleydunnstyle.com. After the invoice is sent, expect 2-3 weeks to receive the order. Soon, you will be able to shop the line via her site- www.ashleydunnstyle.com.

Designer- Elene Cassis

I had the chance to sit down with and view the Fall/Winter 2010 of New York designer Elene Cassis. Elene is a graduate of Parsons and felt very prepared and driven to start her company right after. This June will mark the one-year anniversary of the start of her company. She defines her style, inspired by Chanel and Ralph Lauren, as “classic beyond belief with a modern twist.” Her clothes have a general color palette of black and white and have a European meets Jackie-O meets London feel. She uses natural fabrics and all the pieces are lined with silk. She is extremely detail-oriented in that she checks the quality of every piece before it goes out to boutiques. Her pieces have been seen on Booker T. Washington’s daughter, the Shannon twins, Stephanie Pratt, and the ‘Linda’ dress has recently been worn on Cheryl Burke.

The classic silhouette was evident in the collection I viewed. The dresses are very versatile in that they could be worn during the day and then jazzed up a bit to wear out on the town in the evening. They are also structured to fit curvier women as well. Elene believes that “everyone should feel special and wear designer clothes.” Prices range from $300-400 and are available in boutiques around the country (one being Petro Zillia here in LA). Her NY showroom is located at 252 W. 38th St. (between 7th & 8th Aves.) and her office number is (212)784-0696 and fax is (212)784-0699. Check out www.elenecassis.com for online shopping and more information.

Special thanks to the designer, Elene Cassis and Carla Bate of Spin Shoppe PR!

MOTEL Skinny Jordan Jean in Black/White Stripes

Let me tell you, if you’re looking for colorful striped jeans…you’ve come to the right place! May I introduce the “Jordan Jean” by the British brand- Motel. This jean is uber-stylish to the core and the fit is fantastic! There’s plenty of stretch at the waist and thigh region, thanks to the Lycra, Polyester and Rayon blend. I love that there’s so many ways to wear this pant. I wore a funky vintage red top and kept to the red/black/white palette. This pant would kill it with the neon trend! Create your own funky take on the trend by adding neon pinks or yellows with the white/black stripes. The pants are now available in white/candy pink stripes! Be prepared to be complimented every time you wear this pant. Check out Motel today!

Bulgari’s “130 Years of Masterpieces” Exhibit


The only Italian word Elizabeth {Taylor} knows in Italian is Bulgari.
-Richard Burton



I first want to thank Shalanda of Live Life in Style for inviting me to this truly magical {press preview} of this exhibit, which celebrated legendary jewelry brand-Bulgari and their 130 years of jeweled masterpieces. The exhibit is being hosted by the Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS) Before the start of the preview, we were treated to a welcoming reception, complete with coffee and light bites. We then were introduced and officially welcomed by Joel A. Bartsch- president of HMNS and CEO of Bulgari- Jean-Christophe Babin.

Because the Houston Museum of Natural Science is home to one of the finest collections of natural gem crystals in the world, I have a deep appreciation for the quality and diversity of the gems that Bulgari uses when creating their jeweled masterpieces. Equal parts art and science, historic and modern, Bulgari not only pays homage to the great masters of the past, they also continuously push the envelope in jewelry design and cutting-edge technology into the future when so many others are content to merely rest on their laurels,”Joel stated.

We were then given a tour of the exhibit, stopping by each piece and listening to its provenance, or source of origin. We saw gems that dated from the company’s beginning in Rome in 1884 to the present. Portions of the exhibit include stunning jewels from the collection of Elizabeth Taylor and either belonged to or were worn by Sophia Loren, Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly, Jennifer Aniston, Claudia Schiffer, Keira Knightley, Elizabeth Hurley, Rachel Weisz, Meryl Streep and others. Two of Houston’s own icons- Lynn Wyatt and Joanne King Herring- also have diamonds and gems from their collections in the exhibit. I was so fascinated in seeing examples of each of Bulgari’s timeless collections (such as the Serpente and Monete collections) because they are a piece of fashion history and VINTAGE! It was interesting hearing the company’s history and how it has grown and evolved over the decades. To also momentarily step into the shoes of the iconic women and hear their tales of wearing the legendary Bulgari ornaments. If you are a fan of jewelry and love learning about the history of anything fashion, you’ll definitely enjoy this exhibit.

You cannot simply live on past glories: that’s foolish. To be a success, you have to combine the worlds of the past, present and future. That is the challenge, and there are many horizons.”
– Nicola Bulgari

“BULGARI: 130 Years of Masterpieces” exhibit runs from May 2, 2014- October 5, 2014.

Houston Museum of Natural Science
5555 Hermann Park Drive
Houston, TX 77030

Hours: 9am- 5pm

To purcase tickets, go to the website or call: 713-639-4629. For group tickets, contact Martine Kaye, Director of Corporate Sales, via email: mkaye@hmns.org or 713-639-4768.

Hanh Collection Preview Benefiting “Heroes & Handbags”

Self-taught Houston artist Hahn Tran is known for her oil paintings that involve heavy, sweeping brush strokes that make for a strong three-dimensional effect. Her works often involve a self-study of the human form, culture, nature and emotion. It was in 2011 when her career took on a different path- fashion. She couldn’t find the right handbag to go with her dress for a gala one evening and decided to hand-paint one of her own to match the dress. Hahn decided she was definitely on to something when a women bought the bag right off her arm during that gala. Since then, her ‘art empire’ has spread out to not only the handbags, but also hand-painted UZO umbrellas.

We had the pleasure of getting a glimpse of her second collection of handbags at her preview trunk show held at designer David Peck’s headquarters. I thought that the collection was colorful and definitely eye-catching. The accessories are bound to be conversation starters when worn out to an event. I learned that Hahn’s bags are canvas and she uses fabric paint as her medium. Hahn is a fan of David’s designs and thought that merging the two brands would be a perfect match. Proceeds from David’s and Hahn’s sales went to benefit “Heroes and Handbags“- an event held in Houston and Dallas to benefit Heroes and Children. Heroes for Children is a Texas-based charity that advocates for and helps provide financial and social assistance for families of children (up to 22 years old) battling cancer.

Hahn’s bags range from $175 for small bags to $550 for a tote. Check out Hahn Gallery for additional information.

Nine West x In Style Magazine Bash

Houston Galleria’s Nine West store was the setting for one of Houston’s hottest events, in affiliation with THE In Style Magazine. The event celebrated Nine West’s collaboration with In Style Accessories Editor- Leah Karp.

I was able to catch up with Leah and Nine West’s Erika Szychowski, who gave me some insight into the collaboration. The concept came to play during a dinner in Paris between Richard Dixson of The Jones Group (parent company to Nine West) and Ariel Foxman of InStyle Magazine. Ariel wanted to come up with a plan that would take a one-dimensional brand (InStyle) and create it into something that is three-dimensional and beyond where all the other publications were going (digital, social media, etc.); how to beat them, get faster and be nimble. They both concluded that instead of just picking a product, they’d DESIGN a product! Thus, the collaboration with Nine West was born. The small capsule collection was launched in the September 2013 issue and was sold in sixteen stores. The collection was tested by the consumers while Nine West and InStyle listened and learned. “We want to be where our consumer is and make sure we are listening to her, learning from her and growing from that. We have such a marriage between our consumers that this product is what they are asking us for,” Szychowski stated.

The limited-edition collaboration consists of several styles of shoes in chic and edgy silhouettes that are available in select bold colors, as well as clutches and cuffs. Leah’s inspiration for the collection was essentially every woman’s closet. The idea was to have the major key shoe silhouettes, clutches and cuffs that could be taken from day to night and able to be dressed up or down. InStyle also wanted to bring their brand, “Shop Like an Editor,” which was in the magazine every month, to the consumer (because they literally are shopping an editor’s closet).

A DJ spun tunes while guests mingled, shopped and partook in the sweeping candy bar and light bites. There were also giveaways throughout the evening. I was actually one of the lucky winners and I chose the Gamin D’Orsay heel in red. I did have to go down in size as the shoes ran a full size too big. I’m also eyeing the Aila and the Izzy. The collection’s price points varies from $79 for footwear to $129 for a clutch. For Fall, expect to see more jewelry, bag shapes and of course- shoes!

“It’s sort of a dream come true for me to have the chance to do this and to partner with Nine West.” – Leah Karp

“Pay It Forward Fashion Exchange” with Glam Authority

The Rice Village branch of Kendra Scott played co-host to the “Pay It Forward Fashion Exchange” that took place a couple weeks ago. The event was spearheaded by Kesha Scott- founder of Glam Authority, Houston’s go-to destination for getting your closet cleaned and organized, while also making it fun and profitable for you.

The event’s attendees were asked to provide designer clothing items to donate and exchange. All donations went to support The Women’s Home, a non-profit organization. They also own and operate The Cottage Shop- a boutique-y thrift store here in the city. The event also featured light bites and bubbly. While waiting for the exchange to begin, guests mingled and had the chance to shop the latest Kendra Scott products and check out the famous “Color Bar.” Giveaways from sponsors like Kendra Scott, Pynk Luxe, Chloe Dao and blogger/author Megan Silianoff were also handed out to a lucky few.

The exchange was divided into groups based on the color of the wrist band received at check-in. We had three minutes to grab items of our choice (but based on the number of items we brought to exchange). I ended up with a cute Nipon Boutique dress and jacket set, who’s bold pink hue stood out to me from across the room. It was fun seeing what everyone ended up with. Megan grabbed the vintage St. John top that I brought and I’m excited to see how she styles it. As we left, we were handed a swag bag, which featured a $25 gift card to Langford Market (thank you!) and other small treats.

Loads of thanks to Kesha Scott, The Women’s Home, the Kendra Scott Rice Village team, the sponsors and volunteers.

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