* The MOXY Tempe sponsored my room in exchange for an honest review. ALL opinions are my own.*
The MOXY Tempe is the newest boutique lifestyle hotspot to hit the college town of Tempe, Arizona. It recently opened in March and has since been a favorite for travelers, ASU students, and fashionistas alike.
Here is the breakdown of my stay:
The check-in process at this millennial- influenced Tempe hotel is fairly easy. You enter the lobby through the “space age” designed doorway and then head to the bar, where it also serves as the central hub for most of the hotel activity. The friendly staff will quickly take care of you, and also offer a complimentary welcome beverage. If alcohol isn’t your thing, they do offer non-alcoholic beverages. If you happen to drive in, be sure to get a parking pass, or else you are at risk for a tow.
The hotel elevator is not your average, boring elevator. Once you are inside, there’s a small sign that prompts you (if you wish to participate) to pick a prop from the balloon basket, and then take a selfie. Be sure to tag #atthemoxy and #moxytempe if you decide to post on Instagram.
The rooms at the MOXY Tempe are HUGE! Upon entering my room, there’s a small hallway that opens up to the main room. There is no closet, however PLENTY of wooden pegs line the wall and hangers are provided to hang garments. The comfy bed sits on a wooden platform with motion sensor lighting and features a brown leather headboard, and grey and white bedding. Other aspects of the room include a cozy sitting area, complete with birdcage lighting, a lengthy desk with Crosley retro-style record player with select vintage albums, a 49-inch LCD TV with local channels and access to Hulu and Netflix (just sign in to your account), and enough outlets to keep my phone and laptop charged wherever I choose to sit (even on the spacious balcony). A sliding barn-style door opens into the bathroom. I enjoyed showering in the glass-enclosed shower with a rain shower head and MUK bath products. It was so nice just being able to step out of the shower, refreshed, and go straight to the snug bed with crisp sheets and soft blankets. Oh, and don’t forget to dial 68 if you’d like to hear a bedtime story!
The overall hotel…
* Ample self parking
* Each floor has an ironing room. Since there is no in-room ironing board/iron, this quaint room is equipped with an ironing board and iron… and a cheeky poster of a tattooed dude ironing.
* The gym is on the 4th floor and offers a variety of equipment that is guaranteed to bust a sweat.
* The multifunctional lobby has several meeting areas, as well as a library with conference-style table with iMacs and a printer, perfect to quickly print out a boarding pass and whatnot.
* There are an abundance of games, including a pool table, hacky sack, and a few arcade games (anyone up for Mr. PacMan?).
* There is a 24/7 grab-n-go self service section, with food, drinks, and alcohol next to the bar. In the morning, I suggest ordering a Breakfast or S’more Naan and latte. I had the S’more Naan and vanilla latte, which was a great way to jumpstart my day!
* The courtyard has cabanas, ample seating, the pool, more games, and a vibrant mural by Peru Dyer Jalea. They usually have a DJ spinning some tunes (at least, they did when I stayed), so be sure to check out MOXY Tempe Instagram for local happenings.
Phoenix Fashion Week‘s Shop Garment District fashion show was the first Phoenix fashion event I recently attended since my equally recent move to the city. The Shop Garment District event helps to bridge buyers with the selected emerging designers in person, and to shop some of looks straight off the runway.
The “Kick-off” event, in anticipation of October’s main fashion festivities, was held at the uber-trendy Moxy Hotel in Tempe. The event highlighted eleven designers and three accessories designers. There was plenty of time to do some pre-show shopping to be had in the Style Villa. While I didn’t do much shopping, I enjoyed speaking and meeting with the emerging designers from all over the country, each with their own unique stories behind their brands, while also seeing some of their past collections up close. It was also a continuation of the Model of the Year contest, where 40 top models will compete for the “Model of the Year” title, which will ultimately be determined during the main runway event at Talking Stick Resort.
The PHXFW team first presented their collection of tees and other basics, based upon the inspiration of the Olympics (and that the event was held the same night as the Opening Ceremonies in Rio).
Let me give you a brief introduction of the designers…
Aconav was launched in 2008 by Loren and Valentina Aragon and is founded on the basis of the connection of their Native American cultures of the Navajo and Acoma Pueblo. Loren’s apparel and jewelry designs are inspired by the monochrome and polychrome pottery designs of his Acoma heritage. He also learned the art of silversmithing from family members. He uses parts of the pottery culture that are used as highlights to modern attire and blends that with traditional dress elements of the women of the Acoma community. Aconav is based in Phoenix, Arizona. My favorites were the black and white cocktail dresses with strong Native American pottery influences, as well as the jewelry.
Washington, D.C. based Amanda Casarez specializes in reinvented classics that focus on an androgynous inspiration. She is currently the designer-in-residence at the Macy’s Metro Center in D.C., and is in the process of further developing and expanding her contemporary womenswear brand. Her S/S17 collection is inspired by her color palette- the pink deconstructed rose. The collection was demure, yet classic. I thought that the looks were also wearable for both work and play.
St. Louis designer Barbara Bultman gave us a hint of her F/W 2017 collection called “Voltaic.” Barbara gained her inspiration from the concept of natural energy resources, such as: solar panels and wind farms. The structured black and gray hued collection featured silky dresses; eye-catching tops: one being a chic halter crop top, while the other sleeveless top having cage detail that subtly shows the midriff; and a drifty maxi skirt. She completed the looks with her cool leather fringe neckwear, belts and earrings.
Next up was a sneak peek of Los Angeles designer Jenine Nerecina’s dreamy and whimsical collection “Dream of Romance.” Beautiful lacy gowns, mermaid-esque silhouettes, dramatic off-shoulder crop tops and flowy maxi skirts swirled down the runway. Topping off the looks were amazing clear crystal headpieces, also another specialty of Jenine’s. Find out more about Jenine’s brand- Cosmogyral.
Emmanuel Hightower created menswear brand- ForgivenLove in 2008. He wanted his t-shirts to convey positive messages and to create a huge impact on the world, in hopes that more people out there will follow in the ForivenLove footsteps and create their own story of change. With messages like “Love & Forgiveness,” “One Nation Under God,” and “Inspiring the World;” I’d say they are off to a good start.
Isy Obi, of Isy B. Designs, credits her mother for being a major inspiration of her becoming a fashion designer. She grew up playing with fabrics in her mother’s atelier, creating clothing for herself, her friends and dolls. Years later, she now runs a fashion business that is based in the Cayman Islands. After one too many outdoor cocktail hours in the tropical heat, and in uncomfortable clothing, Isy decided it was time to make chic dresses that were more breathable and more comfortable to wear in warmer climates. Her S/S17 collection featured bright yellow and tropical Caribbean printed flowy dresses, some of which also featured asymmetrical hemlines and color-blocking. I could definitely see myself breezing through the day wearing one of Isy’s refreshing skirts, caftans, or dresses.
Tucson’s sustainable fashion designer sweetheart- Laura Tanzer gave us a glimpse of her Contrappunto collection. “Contrappunto” is counterpart in Italian. “Inspiration for the collection comes from my love of all things architectural, juxtaposing with fluid movement. So, I utilized architectural elements for structure in the linens and soft knits for fluidity. The noir et blanc color scheme is an ongoing theme for me. In this case, less neutral by juxtaposing the two colors in form, fabric, and trim,” Laura explained. The collection was effortless and sophisticated, yet with a hint of edge. I can imagine wearing pieces from this collection both casually and dressed up for a night out on the town.
Navajo designer Marisa Mike showcased four dresses with elements of her Native American culture implemented in each design. For example, one dress with strapless bodice and flowy chiffon skirt was inspired by the decorative ribbon trim on NAC prayer robes from the Kiowa tribe. Another dress (and my personal favorite) was made from the ‘Chief Joseph’ Pendleton blanket. There was another strapless dress with the bodice that was inspired by the ‘storm’ pattern on Navajo woven rugs. I’m excited to see what the rest of Marisa’s collection looks like in October.
Emily Smith credits her upbringing in Botswana, Africa, as being her main source of inspiration for her brand- Mowa by Emily Smith. She is currently based in Florida, but tries to go back to her second home to Botswana often. When she is home, she does all her fabric shopping, centering around the same shops. The ladies in the shop always remember her and will ask how she and her business are doing. She sources bright traditional African fabrics, and designs edgy and clever creations, in hopes that it will complement the wearer. After seeing a few looks from past and the present collections, I can see that Emily really pours her heart into her work and creates unique pieces that myself, along with other women, would enjoy wearing.
Nune and Mariam Hovhannisyan are the sister duo that make up MxN Clothing. The Seattle-based design house creates ethical clothing that is ethically manufactured, environmentally friendly and animal product free. Their F/W16 collection delves into denim and knit fabrics, paired with fringe and faux fur trim. We also got to see their promo crop tops for their Rock Candy collection, which will be debuted in October (they were also giving out rock candy at the booth). I thought that the fringe leggings and the fringe top were the show-stoppers for the brand.
Structured romanticism, finding inspiration and beauty in unexpected concepts and bringing them to real life is how designer Ricci Janse van Rensburg describes her brand- Ricci JvR. The Cape Town, South African brand showcased four easy looks, however, there were unexpected design details in each garment. Some examples of those details were feminine flares at the ankle of the pants, a dramatic open back and flutter sleeves for the romper, and a razor back vest top with frill detail. I personally loved the pants with flared ankles and the ruffled vest top.
Jewelry designer- Monica Mauro presented her Druzy Collection. Her one-of-a-kind Druzy agate necklaces were featured alongside several of the fashion designers collections.
Rhinestones & Relics designer- Kelley West also collaborated with a group of fashion designers. Her Fall 2016 collection featured dainty body jewelry, tassels, polished stones, and other relics.
The last designer to collaborate with the fashion designers was Ines Shanks- the founder of Shanks Shoeware. The innovative Austrian brand creates heels that are designed with the utmost comfort for a woman’s foot in mind. The shoes are made with high quality leather, padded leather insoles and a non-slip bottom sole. The shoes also have a hidden 3 cm (or 1.18″) platform, which allows for more comfort when walking on a 12 cm (or 4.72″) heel. Ines also creates heel caps, that are available in a variety of colors of leather. The heel caps are not only cool shoes accessories, but they also help prevent feet slipping out of the shoe. Lastly, the ankle strap also makes a cute wrap bracelet!
Well Phoenix Fashion Week, with the talent that I saw at this event, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for October! Be sure to grab your tickets HERE.
Congrats to models: Faith, Andreas, Cierra, and Nicholas for winning BEST PHOTOS for the 2016 Model of the Year Print Challenge.