Tag - Los Angeles

Woodbury University “Neo-Tribes” Fashion Show- LA
Preview of Sue Wong’s “Great Gatsby” Fall ’13 Collection- Los Angeles
Connected Fashion Festival at The Well- Los Angeles
LA Blogger Bazaar
Black Halo Press Preview at Neiman Marcus
Phoenix Fashion Week at Talking Stick Resort 2012- Day 1
Press Preview at +Beryll

Woodbury University “Neo-Tribes” Fashion Show- LA

My last night in LA (during my most recent visit) was fashionably eventful to say the least. I was invited to attend Woodbury University’s 49th annual fashion show. The theme for this year was called “Neo-Tribes.” The show was under the direction of Woodbury’s Chair of the Department of Fashion Design- Kathryn Hagen, while the students were mentored under such industry legends as: Jared Gold, Eduardo Lucero and Eddie Bledsoe (as well as the rest of the distinguished faculty). LA’s fashion maven- Lisa Kline was the honored guest of the evening (as well as the VIP viewing of the collections a few days before the public viewing…and I was in Phoenix…) It was held at Center Stage Studios in downtown LA and featured sophomore swimwear, junior collections, costume designs inspired by Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and senior collections.

From the moment the lights initiated the start of the show and the pulsating, energetic music, it was a constant “WOW, what’s coming next?!” moment. The sophomores swimwear featured futuristic silhouettes with geometric cut-outs infused with automotive graphics and bold colors. The juniors collection delved into contemporary and evening wear. The show then transitioned to the costume design portion, in which students had created stunning looks that marched to the beat of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. We saw looks from scenes spanning the timeline between 1462-1887. The scenes where the models acted were brilliantly executed and left us wanting more (and I have never wanted to don a Victorian gown and dance the walze so badly). Then we charge right into the highly-anticipated senior collections. I tell you, my brain has never been so visually impacted… The creativity just radiated from these students, whose inspirations ranged from: ‘Gothic Lolita,’ a range of eras, a variety of cultures, Alice in Wonderland, poets, etc. Seeing new silhouettes, futuristic designs paired with funky footwear (including a pair of sky-high Japanese-inspired geta or footwear that was made by one student) was like waking up on a beautiful sunny morning, going to the terrace and breathing in fresh air.

After the show, awards were given and the students were given a standing ovation. I left the venue feeling inspired and hoping to see more fashion shows like that.

Huge thanks to Jaime, Woodbury University, Kathryn Hagen, the students and models, hair and make-up teams!

Preview of Sue Wong’s “Great Gatsby” Fall ’13 Collection- Los Angeles

You walk into the mansion- built during the time of Hollywood’s “Golden Age” and step into the sweeping living room, furnished in exquisite antiquities. You see guests dressed in 1920s style ensembles. You step out onto the patio, where on the many tables, wonderfully presented appetizers and gorgeous cakes await your discerning pallet. No folks, you are not dreaming..you are at The Cedars- home of iconic Los Angeles designer- Sue Wong. Sue was presenting her Fall 2013 collection, which was inspired by The Great Gatsby to an intimate crowd of leading celebrities, artists, entertainment and fashion industry insiders (it was also the celebration of her birthday). My friend and I were excited to attend and see the collection that evening, which consisted of informal modeling, mingling and touring the palatial Loz Feliz home. The gowns exuded the essence of the coquettish Flapper and the splendor of the Art Deco era while showcasing signature detailing that is very significant of the Sue Wong brand, including: delicate hand beading, intricate embroidery, appliqué, animal prints and timeless silhouettes. Models also paired the gowns with amazing statement jewelry from Vilaiwan Fine Jewelry. Towards the end of the evening, guests sang and wished Sue ‘happy birthday’ and were serenaded by Israeli opera singer- Michael Peer. It was such a fun evening…an evening where all worries were lifted and it felt that for those few brief hours, one could indulge in the fantasies of a rich, bygone era.

For more information on Sue Wong’s brand, go to SueWong.com.

Happy Birthday Sue!!

Connected Fashion Festival at The Well- Los Angeles

Another cool fashion event that I was in town for was the Connected Fashion Festival at The Well in downtown LA. Trendy Angelenos near-and-far migrated to The Well- a hip clothing store and salon hybrid one sunny afternoon for a day of shopping (for Coachella) in this mini block party. The event boasted several local designers and indie brands such as: 80s Purple, Penelope’s Vintage, Deandri, Dimepiece, Motel Rocks, Rojas, Blaque Market, The Cobrasnake, Drifter, Ksubi, Natalia + Benson, Niki the Unicorn, Y-R-U and others. There was also a Jarritos truck (complete with a masked Urban Luchador), a DJ and a line-up of bands.

The event wasn’t as big as I had hoped, but I was happy to have connected with local brands, casually shop and catch up with brands that I’ve known for a few years now, like Rojas. Designer Freddie Rojas offered fun new products such as chic bustier tops in vintage-inspired fabrics and trendy floral crowns. Blogger and vintage shop owner Chanelle Laurence had a booth set up full of vintage goodies. Her friend and fellow blogger- Jasmine of Glitter on the Ceiling was also there helping at the booth. Jasmine, if you are reading this, it was a pleasure meeting you!

The event was a huge success and I left feeling very inspired for when I am able to attend Coachella or another fun music festival. Check out ConnectedFest.com for additional information and to stay in the loop for future events.

LA Blogger Bazaar

My trip to LA has been full of adventures so far…one of them was being able to hit up the Blogger Bazaar- which invited guests to shop the closets of some of LA’s top fashion bloggers. The bloggers that participated were Shea Marie of Peace, Love Shea; Aimee Song of Song of Style; Wendy Nguyen of Wendy’s Lookbook; Natalie Alcala of Racked LA; Julie Sariñana of Sincerely Jules; Liz Cherkasova of Late Afternoon and Chriselle Lim of Chriselle Factor. There were also a few local brands that had pop-up booths there, including: Lovers + Friends; Kova & T; Love, Zooey and Clare Vivier. The blogger bazaar was held in an open warehouse/design space owned by Westin Mitchell Group  and  boasted an abundance of designer and name brand clothing and accessories. I got there a couple hours into the bazaar, but I didn’t even get in for probably another hour because of the long line of fans waiting to get in and trying to find parking…in DTLA… Everyone was required to pay a $1 entrance fee, which 100% of that went to charity. Fifty percent of the sales the girls made went to Dress for Success- who’s mission is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Besides shopping, NCLA was on hand to provide free manis and there was a bar stocked with Pabst Blue Ribbon and other fun concoctions, while Guelaguetza provided light bites. I enjoyed meeting the Julie, Wendy, Aimee and Liz and miss Natalie- it was great seeing you again! I scored a beautiful Gypsy Junkies lace maxi dress from Liz, which I’m so excited to wear during warmer weather. I also had fun checking out the Lovers + Friends, Kova & T and Love, Zooey booths. Thank you ladies for having a fun event while I was in town. It was great meeting you all!

Black Halo Press Preview at Neiman Marcus

Every time I have the opportunity to meet a well-known label’s designer, I immediately jump on the chance. So when I heard that the designer from Black Halo was going to be holding a press preview here in town, I was ecstatic. It’s like being starstruck, but on the fashion industry level. Let’s just say it was such an honor to meet and chat with Laurel Berman- designer of Los Angeles brand Black Halo. For the event, I wore a demure floral 70s dress and a loose side ponytail. When I met Laurel, I noticed (as did she) that we were both sporting side ponytails (or in her case, a side bun). Such a refreshing coincidence…great minds DO think alike!

In case some of you are unfamiliar with Black Halo, let me give you a brief introduction. It was launched in 2002 and only had a few employees. The company has obviously since grown and keeps all its manufacturing in Los Angeles. It was Laurel’s husband that branded the label- ‘Black Halo’, which is in reference to a “naughty angel.” She’s got the halo, but it’s a tad tarnished. Laurel likes to consider herself a rule-breaker, thus reflecting that ‘rule’ into the brand, along with being polished, defined and sexy (but not overbearing). Think along the lines of pencil skirt and body con silhouettes…with attitude. Her designs are made so that the women wearing the garments feel beautiful, confident and ready to take on the world. The Black Halo customer is the career woman, which is why most of the dresses are designed to be taken from the boardroom to dinner. The ‘Jackie-O‘ dress for example, one of their best-sellers, is the womens version of the power suit. I can see why every time I see that dress in person or in photos. It’s architectural silhouette hugs all the right assets (which is one of the things Laurel strives for) and I love how you don’t have to really accessorize it…it’s just a statement in itself. We previewed a small presentation of current and up to Spring 2013 dresses, including the debut of Black Halo EVE, which was launched exclusively with Neiman Marcus for one season. I am just as in love with the new evening collection as I am with the day-to-dinner dresses. Simple, sleek, with their signature architectural draping. They have incorporated an invisible zipper in the slits of some of the evening wear designs. The zipper is made so that the wearer can show as much or as little leg as she wants. I love how Laurel is so innovative and thinks ahead when it comes to the little details that might make life easier for whoever buys the dress. I could go to that charity function with no or tiny slit and before I hit the after party, I would hike up the slit so I could have an “Angelina Jolie”moment. Black Halo is such a huge hit with celebrities. Laurel had mentioned that they had recently dressed Louise Roe in a custom gown for when she was commentating on the red carpet during the Oscars. She later made twenty ‘best-dressed lists’ for wearing that gown. That really speaks a lot for the brand, as the ‘best-dressed’ lists are usually only reserved for celebrities. All dresses stay below $700 and are always on-trend, yet timeless. Check out blackhalo.com for additional information.

Huge thanks to Mistelle and Jennifer at Neiman Marcus-The Domain, the models and Laurel- LAFashionsnob is a HUGE fan!

Phoenix Fashion Week at Talking Stick Resort 2012- Day 1

Whenever I travel to Phoenix, it’s always felt like a second home to me. So when I learned that I was able to attend their fashion week, I was beyond thrilled. The five days and three fashion-filled nights I was there unfortunately flew by like a whirlwind. But while there, I had the opportunity to see Hayley from LA-based Shop Excess Baggage, who was hosting a small trunk show that day I flew in. It was nice to see and connect with her, as I still have that inner longing for LA. I also met up with a great gal pal, Ms. Hannah H. from Heroine Chic Blog and did some thrifting and general catching up. But I wanted to thank my friends Britton and Will for allowing me to stay with them in beautiful Scottsdale for the five days I was there. I also wanted to share that this blogger (who is out of shape as far as climbing mountains) hiked 90% of Camelback Mountain with Britton and Will and it felt fucking fantastic!!! We ended the afternoon with an amazing lunch from Sweet Tomatoes (a.k.a Soup Plantation). And P.S…. still missing you Phoenix….

Ok…..So on with the show… Welcome to PHXFW Day 1 at the Talking Stick Resort. The shows were held outside and there was a Yelp Log-In Lounge especially for media, which helped out SO MUCH! There was a mix of established and emerging designers that evening. The line up was: Kent Denim, Mabella Chic, DaVinci, Cafe Bleu and Mariska for established designers. Living Dreams, OfraStyle, Shawl Dawls and Samantha Patterson for emerging designers competing for $10,000 worth of goods and services that would help them successfully launch their brand. Also that evening, local design student from Mesa Community College-Ashley Cooper was presented with a $1,000 fashion design scholarship for her innovative t-shirt design.

The first designer to showcase was LA-based Kent Denim. Models pounded down the runway, wearing denim obvi, which was styled in that effortless California casual style. I loved seeing crisp fitted jeans with their cuffs rolled up. As well as logo tees paired with dapper blazers. Kent Denim is proudly made in the USA. Check out KentDenim.com for more information.

Next up was Mabella Chic, designed by Mabel Cortez. The line was launched in 2005 in Long Beach, CA. Models rocked on-trend dresses, pants, skirts and tops that are designed for the independent woman who isn’t afraid to express herself through fashion. My favorite piece was the chiffon multi-colored with stripes hi-low dress. Mabel was inspired by the woman who is constantly on-the-go but is still able to shine through the bright colors and lively fabrics of the garments. Cortez enjoys making garments that are sexy, yet comfortable and able to move in. Prices fore the line are an affordable $40-200. Please check out MabellaChic.com to shop and more general information.

The next menswear designer to showcase was another Los Angeles brand called DaVinci. The brand exhibited their ‘New Vintage Collection,’ which is geared for the young hipster type looking for that retro construction. Throughout the collection I witnessed Charlie Harper’s bowling shirts, shirts with skinny ties, tees styled with bow ties, some mix of plaid, stripes and flannel. This collection was exciting and I wish more men dared to dress like that. Check out more information and to shop the DaVinci collections, check out globalrebels.com.

Next up was the first menswear emerging designer, Scottsdale-based Living Dreams Clothing. The brand was launched in November 2011 (or 11/11/11 for good luck) by Michael Poulos to spread the message of “living your dreams” through his clothing line. As Michael explains, “Living Dreams believes we all have a dream inside ourselves. When that dreams becomes a reality through passion and hard work…that is Living Dreams!” During PHXFW, he showcased the Fall/Winter 2012 collections, which focused on ‘bringing out the color’ during the usually darker upcoming season. “With the primary seasons of Living Dreams being spring/ summer, it is up to us to translate our beach and summer feel into the seasons that we typically forget about the outdoor and warm days.” I personally love the colors and the quirky sayings that were screen printed on the tees premium quality t-shirts of 60% cotton/40% polyester blend. I think they are great for layering and do add a refreshing touch to the typical Fall/Winter drab colors. The tees retail for about $34, while hats retail for $30. To shop the collection and for more information, check out Living Dreams’s website. I’ll also leave you with this last quote by Michael, “It is never too late to start putting your own dreams into action in life and when what your passionate about is what you do for living, great things follow in terms of self-satisfaction and success. I have been blessed to this point in my life that I have the opportunity to do what I love for a living and would others to give it a try and the impact it has not only the individual, but the people you surround yourself with!”

Up next was the first womenswear line in the emerging designers division, Phoenix-based OfraStyle. The brand was launched just this year by Ofra Aricha and specializes in convertible clothing for women. The garments are adjustable and can be worn 2-3 ways and can go from casual in the daytime to chic and contemporary for an evening out. Each garment is soft and made so the wearer can easily move, dance or do yoga in; but can also efficiently transition into a sharp look for date night. Since I’m a fan of LBDs, I especially loved seeing the strapless knee-length and maxi black dresses that are made from Modal. The black garments are priced a littler higher due to the fabric. Ofra explains, “Modal is type of rayon textile made from fibers of the beech tree. Modal Fabric is something truly special because the fiber is very fine, natural, and it is considered the ultimate in softness. Modal is soft, smooth, and breathes well. It’s texture is similar to a super soft cotton or silk, and it’s advantage is it’s resistance to shrinkage. The fabric is also stays soft through repeated washings.” So ladies, this line is perfect for the gal-on- the -go or the gal who wants to look effortlessly fabulous at all times of the day, but still wants to watch her pennies. Prices range from $64.99 for the Convertible Tie Dye Short Dress, $79.99 for the Convertible Tie Dye Jumpsuit, $89.99 for the Convertible Tie Dye Long Dress. Prices for the black Modal garments are $79.99 for the Convertible Black Short Dress, $99.99 for the Convertible Black Jumpsuit, $109.99 for the Convertible Black Long Dress. To shop the line and additional information, go to ofrastyle.com.

Next up was the Los Angeles-based Shawl Dawls, a line specializing in…you guessed it… shawls. But these aren’t your ‘run-of-the-mill’ shawls, they are a stylish essential to the everyday womens style. And can you believe that there are FIFTEEN or more ways to style the shawls?! I loved how the shawls were presented on the runway and gave me an idea that shawls don’t have to be boring. In fact, they can be styled into a dress, cover-up, top or even wedding veil (which was stunning, FYI). According to designers Julie Cruz and Roshena Chadha, their inspiration for their PHXFW collection, “were largely inspired by the fabrics that we found and by elements of other styles and trends that we’ve seen out there. We essentially have two main bodies (short and long) and designed around them applying trends and details such as fringe and slits. And of course, we are huge on versatility – versatility in styling and versatility in the marketplace, creating styles that would appeal to all ages.” They have designed the shawls with the gal-on-the-go in mind (as in ‘throw it on and add a belt’ effortless’), as well as the everyday women, as it is ‘one size fits all’ and flatters every body type. Shawl Dawls is made in LA and retail from $38-98. Check out their ‘How To Style a Shawl” video here and shop the collection on shawldawls.com.  

The last of the emerging designers that evening was Samantha Patterson Designs. Designer Samantha Patterson, who just graduated from FIDM in LA in 2011 and as since had two successful collections; is a firm believer that you can still be just as fashionable while still dressing modestly. Her definition of modest dressing is “any clothing that covers the shoulders, goes down to just above the knee and avoids any plunging neckline.” Her Spring 2013 collection that she showed in Phoenix is all about movement, but without having to show too much skin. She achieved just that by construction her garments using certain techniques and by adding small details to accomplish that flirty movement she was hoping for. I adored this collection…yes, it was modest..but it was smartly modest and on-trend. I could find a few ways to wear the floral maxi dress or the floral harem-esque pants. Her prices range from $50-250. Check out SamanthaPatterson.com for further deets!

Next up was another established menswear designer called Cafe Bleu, designed by Vince Gonzales. Well-groomed models promenaded down the runway in well-tailored shirts and blazers that were a mixture of solids and unique patterns. The designs are inspired by vintage Carnaby Street in London and produced in Istanbul, Turkey. The company only uses hand-tailored stitching, 60s singles cotton and the finest European buttons when manufacturing the collections. Ladies, they just launched a womens collection during Spring 2012. Check out cafebleu.us for more info, including info on their signature “Evil Eye” label.

The last of the designers that evening was another Los Angeles designer- Mariska. The name ‘Mariska’ is Hungarian for ‘Maria,’ which pays homage to the designer Mariska Janossy’s heritage. The line conveys a retro vibe with modern silhouettes. The brand prides itself on producing small quantities right in the heart of downtown LA, with quality in mind. To shop the collection and find additional information, please go to mariskafashion.com. When you first get to the website, a cool video with a model “getting ready for a date” trying on different looks from the collection and dancing to rhythmic beats of tambourines, instantly starts playing. I like how it gives us an idea of how the clothes look on and while in motion.

Stay tuned for Day 2…..

Press Preview at +Beryll

I had the opportunity to check out +Beryll at their Santa Monica headquarters during their press preview one afternoon. My friend Jackie was the gracious “hostess with the mostess” and looked dazzling in the chic convertible dress by the brand. I also met the designers/husband-wife team Sigmar and Petra. Petra is in charge of the womens line, whereas, Sigmar is the overall chief designer and owner, but focuses on the menswear. The brand is entirely manufactured in Los Angeles and emphasizes the slogan, handcrafted by good people- worn by good people, which, according to the brand means, “comes from a pure place, expressed by designs that are not necessarily for the ‘Mother Theresa Good’, but all the ‘good people’ like artists, actors, musicians, athletes and especially local heroes that day-in/day-out do good right at home.” The Bergs work with exceptional artisans to create timeless and luxurious pieces like silk tops, dresses, maxi skirts, knits, jewelry, limited-edition sunglasses, bags, jackets (that leather motorcycle jacket was butter!) etc. I would have to say that my favorites from the womens collection were the silk and cotton tees, red motorcycle jacket, silk maxi skirts, the Kenya Necklace and the oversize leather clutches. The separates are versatile in that you can easily dress up the silk maxi with one of their cotton tees and vice-versa. The tees are 100% organic cotton and captures either the attributes of the ocean or features one of Sigmar’s photo art. The line is on the radar of many well-known celebrities, such as: Katie Holmes, Steven Tyler, Angelina Jolie, Drew Barrymore and others. During the reception, they had a mini-photo shoot going on with models: Nicky Belardo, Jessica Today, Logan Martin and Ashley Caple. They all looked amazing and represented the brand quite well.

+Beryll is available at their flagship store in Santa Monica, in high-end stores around the country and Beryll.com.

Huge thanks to Jackie, Sigmar, Petra, the models and staff. As a thank-you, I was gifted a pair of their limited edition shades. Each pair of sunglasses is handmade and feature nickel free surgical steel and hand polished Italian acetate. The premium lenses provide 100% UVA, UVB and UVC protection. The sunglasses also come with a nifty protective hard case and cloth case.

** “Four Ways to Wear the +Beryll Convertible Dress”** (provided by +Beryll)

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