FGILA Presents: "Social Media Secrets…"
Designers & Muses (LAFW 2010)
FGILA Presents: "Meet the Power Players of Fashion"

FGILA Presents: "Social Media Secrets…"

The average Facebook fan page has around 130 fans…”

This was just one of the facts I learned at the FGILA’s panel regarding the social media phenomenon (i.e. Facebook, Twitter…Myspace-not so much…), as well as brand development, rules of social networking, and the how-to’s of utilizing blogs and social networks to create awareness for products. The panelists included some of the best in journalism, blogging and social media: Macala Wright Lee- the founder of marketing blog fashionablymarketing.me; Jennine Jacob-founder of The Coveted and Independent Fashion Bloggers; Crosby Noricks-founder of PRCouture.com; and Staci Riordan- who is the Chair of the Fox Rothschild Fashion Law Practice Group and has a blog as well.

The meeting was held on the Westside (and sadly, was crazy mad getting to on the 405 during rush hour, but nevertheless, I wasn’t too late getting there).  The entire discussion was indeed helpful to me, as a blogger and here are some highlights of the evening…

It’s a two-way street when building a relationship with a blogger. We should treat each other as if it could turn into a potential business relationship. Staci Riordan brought up that “internet and social media is about relationships and building those relationships.”  Macala Lee Wright  brought up ‘sticky traffic’- traffic which a blogger wants because the people are loyal and keep coming back. John Arguelles, the chair of FGILA, brings up the issue of Facebook vs. LinkedIn. He dropped his LinkedIn when he found that Facebook was more practical. He now has a Facebook for his group, product and personal needs. Macala added that it was best to just focus on the one (Facebook or Twitter) that works best for you. Scooter Girls founder, Arlene Battishill also discussed her success with Twitter and how it has helped her business. The topic moved on to the tools used to monitor traffic, such as Google Analytics- which I use and it’s gratis (free), Omniture- expensive and Kissmetrics.com-new. Crosby Noricks discussed a new trend among teenage girls- hauling, which is when they make short videos of themselves showing off what they’ve recently purchased. Otherwise known as video-blogging. The average video is around two minutes. I’m going to finish with the importance of Twitter. All the panelists find it extremely powerful in that they would tweet about a bad experiece and have so many responses. Jennine Jacob recommended documenting and sharing your experiences, whether good or bad;  as an example, she described her awful experience at Zara with FOUR of the salespeople. She posted it on her blog and received at least a hundred comments with people sharing similiar experiences.

Our society is growing more and more technological every day. We are now more dependent on our iphones, blackberrys and ipads as a source to scour the internet. Jennine suggested that developing your site to be more mobile would be very essential. There is also an app in development that whenever you see a pair of shoes on your favorite TV show you want, you can just push a button and boom, you bought it and it’s being shipped to your house.

Special Thanks: J, Elizabeth Matthews, FGILA, Emily Heintz, the panelists, Ron Friedman-moderator, Arlene Battishill, John of Mon Atelier, and Mary Hall of the blog, The Recessionista.

Designers & Muses (LAFW 2010)

It was once again the beginning of LA Fashion Week, which meant the Standard Hotel in downtown LA was abuzz with designers and their muses during the “FGILA Presents: Designers & Muses” event, led by Mr. James Galanos. I ran into Lauren Elaine with her muse, Kayslee Collins; Nick Verreos and muse; Maggie Barry with muse, Morganne; Lloyd Klein and muse, Natalie Cole; Charlie Lapson and muse, Vanessa Williams; Valerj Pobega and muse; Petro Zillia designer Nony Tochterman and muse, Samaire Armstrong.

I met up with “Oscars Designer Challenge 2010” finalist Oliver Tolentino and his muse- Tutay Maristela, wearing a gorgeous gown made from pineapple and abaca fibers. The gown had a mermaid silhouette and had hand-cut rosettes along with accordion strip accents. This year, he will continue to grow his design career in the LA market and create one-of-a-kind red carpet gowns and build his eco-friendly fashions as well. He has noticed that many of the high-end shops had stopped carrying couture clothing due to the recession, but vows, “I will continue to offer these because I know every woman has an event in her life where she wants more than what can be found in every boutique chain all over the world. She wants that one-of-a-kind and wants to have a direct personal relationship with the designer who creates it.” Check out his site at www.olivertolentino.com or stop by his Melrose boutique: 9003 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90069 Ph:(310) 858-0555.

Designer Sue Wong looked extremely radiant, along with her muse- Linda Taylor. She chose Linda because, “she is the personification of Aphrodite, who is the ultimate eternal feminine goddess. There is a huge female energy about Linda and she is a vision of loveliness and gorgeousness. She is powerful in her own way, yet still extremely feminine. A great touch to Linda’s story is that she grew up under the shadow of Count Dracula’s castle in Transylvania…” Linda’s dress was the epitome of the Sue Wong line. Sue explains of the dress, “the dress is a Victorian-inspired, embroidered, appliquéd and beaded torso gown with pleated lace insert in the skirt. The torso is beaded mesh and the skirt is georgette. It has a beautiful period feel but it’s still current and very glam. The silhouette also has a 1930’s old time Hollywood glamour feel to it. Styled with the gown is a beautiful ruffled, pleated and multi-tiered taffeta coat.” To view more of the line and find out more about Sue Wong, go to www.suewong.com.

I met two new designers that evening. Pogah designer, Ari Sheuhmelian with his statuesque muse- Lauren Gish. He chose her after working with her several times. “She has that incredible power of transforming in each of my designs to the look I am looking for…And on a personal level, we became friends and I enjoy the creative energy I get when we are together…” The dress Lauren wore is called, ‘Liquid Warrior,’ which is part of Pogah’s 2010 winter couture collection, themed ‘So French Couture’, inspired by the couture of the 40’s and 50’s but with a glamor mix of the 80’s. “The dress (at event) is one of the few bright, strong colors in the collection. The liquid design of the fabric had a big influence in the theme and direction of the collection. The total look of Lauren with the hair and accessories was inspired by the ‘warrior woman’ look- fierce, strong, yet very elegant feminine couture,” Ari explained. Go to www.pogah.com or contact Ari at Pogah@pogah.com for more information.

I admired the structured 3/4 dress designed by Emiliano Moreno, who’s muse was Sara Welch. He chose her because she is a fashion design graduate who understands his work and construction. The dress she wore was inspired by the use of soft-draped fabric that was also molded into sharp-edged shapes in the past, but still work to this day. As far as his line goes (for Fall/Winter 2010), “it’s making new silhouettes that can relate to the past and can serve as inspiration for the future…” Contact Emiliano at emilianomoreno@sbcglobal.net for more information.

Along with mingling with the designers and fellow industry members, guests were also treated to tunes by DJ Ben Adams (DJ Jag) and Australian singer/songwriter, Natalie Cole.

Special Thanks: J, FGILA (www.fgila.org), Elizabeth Matthews, Dorothy Woglom, Ilse Metchek and Emily Heintz of California Fashion Association, John Arguelles, the honored designers and muses, The Standard Hotel, Natalie Cole, DJ Jag.

FGILA Presents: "Meet the Power Players of Fashion"

I attended the Fashion Group International’s “Meet the Power Players of Fashion”, a panel of fashion bloggers and editors who discussed ‘who starts the trends? Are they created online? Through blogs or tweets? Etc…’; which took place at BoxEight Studios in downtown LA. Introduced by John Arguelles; Susan Stein, fashion editor at Palm Springs Life Magazine moderated the dialogue between Jayne Seward- Fashion Editor at Apparel News, Laurie Pike- Style Editor at Los Angeles Magazine, Erin Weinger- Publisher and Co-Founder of Style Section LA, Kristen Calavas- President and Co-Founder of TheLookbook.com and Tasha Adams- Editor/Creator of Blackburnandsweetzer.com.

As a blogger and designer, I found it very informative. I was in awe that were are over 112 million blogs *according to Technorati December 2007* and *according to WWD* over 2 million fashion blogs in 2006. 

Susan asked questions like, “What is a trend?”, “What types of mediums (print, magazines or social networks *twitter or facebook*) has the most influence over trends?”, “Are trends and customer buying patterns the same thing? Who has the most influence over today’s consumer?”…etc…. I remember celebrities were brought up over having influence over today’s consumers… Lady Gaga, Brad & Angelina and Michelle Obama were particular celebrities mentioned. John also played the comedian for the evening, when the  topic of “Did you ever start a trend?” came up and one of the panelists mentioned bandanas, he went out of the room and came back in wearing a purple bandana (“gangsta-style” in my opinion), but nevertheless, very amusing.

The evening ended with a DVD of Spring 2010 runway trends from Paris, Milan and New York, courtesy of Marylou Luther- creative director at International Syndicate and the headquarters of FGI.  

SPECIAL THANKS: FGILA, John Arguelles, Jayne Seward (Apparel News and www.veryverychic.com) , Laurie Pike, Susan Stein, Tasha Adams, Kristen Calavas, Erin Weineger, Dorothy Woglom, Michele Bernard, Elizabeth Matthews, the crew at BoxEight Studios (1446 E. Washington Blvd. LA 90021), J, Emily Heintz, and Ilse Metchek. Check out www.fgila.org for more information on Fashion Group International of Los Angeles.  

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