Tag - Phoenix

Arizona Blogger Conference 2013- Hotel Palomar- Phoenix
Phoenix Fashion Week at the Talking Stick Resort 2012- Day 3
Phoenix Fashion Week at the Talking Stick Resort- Day 2

Arizona Blogger Conference 2013- Hotel Palomar- Phoenix

Sometimes, you just have to love how things just “work out.” Well, in this case, I just happened to be scheduled to stay the weekend with friends in Phoenix during the time that the second annual Arizona Blogger Conference was to be held. The Arizona Blogger Conference is an annual event that is hosted by the Phoenix Style Collective. This year, it was held at the trendy Hotel Palomar at CityScape. The attendance for the event seemed to have doubled since last year. There was a amazing food spread provided by the Palomar, mingling with other bloggers, raffles and a pop-up marketplace. Booths that participated in the marketplace were: Kendra Scott, Superstition Vintage, Tucson Fashion Week, Madewell, Mr.Fun Booth and Windows Surface. After some fun at the reception, everyone gathered in the ‘Dreamcatcher’ ballroom for the panels, held by: Danielle of Sometimes Sweet, Jessie of Style and Pepper, Sara of Frances Vintage, Sarah of Emma Magazine and Summer of The Girls with Glasses. Each girl gave their own perspective of being in the ‘blogging industry’ and gave out helpful advice for attendees who were new to blogging. Jessie, if you are reading this- those pink pants were gorgeous and please bring Pepperologie to Houston! I was so pleased to have learned about Frances Vintage’s blog and Emma Magazine as they are truly inspiring for DIY projects and general shenanigans. It was lovely meeting you Danielle, you are one stylish mama and loved your speech on “Finding your Voice.” Miss Sara- well done on the “I am a Girl” video. Especially the wardrobe! The event ended when one of the lovely Phoenix Style Collective members- Chelsea‘s boyfriend got on one knee and proposed to her. It was adorable and I wish them all the best. After that, everyone was adjourned to Lustre Bar for an afterparty.

Huge thanks to Phoenix Style Collective for having me. It is always a pleasure seeing you guys. Amy– thank you for attending the event with me! To the panelists, lovely meeting you all! The Hotel Palomar- beautiful venue and I hope to stay with you next time I’m in Phoenix!

Phoenix Fashion Week at the Talking Stick Resort 2012- Day 3

Day three of Phoenix Fashion Week was the culmination of the shows. Designers include: SJ Couture, Bel Kazan, Enzoani, Élevée and the much anticipated Furne One was the finale for the established designers. The emerging designers included: Bri Seeley, Envy by Khanh, Italia Rocks Couture and Suzanne Lay. Again, they are also competing for that $10,000 prize package. The winner was also announced that night. So, without further ado…..

The first established designer of the evening was bridal wear from local Phoenix brand-SJ Couture. The brand was launched in 2009 by Jeanne Hankerson, who creates beautiful gowns for that special day that are contemporary, yet have a very vintage edge. Her gowns are high-quality and are trusted to be handed down in years to come. Brides-to-be and other ladies who would like to look further into SJ Couture, please check out sjcouture.com.

Next up was yet another Los Angeles brand- Bel Kazan, recently launched by Belinda Kazanci. Belinda grew up in Istanbul, Turkey and was raised in a family of seamstresses and designers. Both sets of her Grandparents owned textile shops filled with rich Turkish textiles. So you can imagine that with that amount of creative talent in her genes; she has since flourished, creating a lovely collection of printed maxi and knee-length dresses that are a reminiscent of her rich background. Belinda’s S/S 13 is titled “Wings” because of the fabric’s insect wing design and that she had spent many hours on an airplane, traveling the world, while pulling the collection together. The prints on the dresses resemble the natural elements we sometimes come across in the environment, such as: moss, forests, trees, wings and tides. She was also inspired while on a recent trip to Portland, where she picked up a vintage piece that took her into a more romantic, soft, feminine yet bold approach to the collection. “Inspiration flows in abundance all around us and sometimes its about keeping our eyes open to discover something we never imagined could become the key component in creating a collection.” For further information, please check out belkazan.com.

Global brand-Enzoani showcased a mixture of cocktail and floor-length evening wear from the ‘LOVE by Enzoani’ and ‘Enzoani Black Label.’ Both collections offered flattering silhouettes with a modern European flair. The ‘Black Label’ collection, however is more of an heirloom quality collection; offering more luxurious fabrics, exquisite textures and appealing design details. Since the company’s launch back in 2005, they have been known for their innovative and quality design. Check out enzoani.com for further details!

The first emerging designer that evening was Bri Seeley. I was fortunate to have met her a couple years back during MAGIC and have been a fan of her line ever since. This time around, her latest collection was no different; showcasing ethereal halter dresses in semi-sheer ombres and solids and separates with retro silhouettes. Bri explained to me that the collection was the definition of ‘escape.’ Fashion has always been a away for her to escape the everyday drone of a day job. She found most of her inspiration through vintage 50s patterns she got from her Grandmother. She usually pulls out the patterns periodically and updates them to be more modern. In other news, Ms. Seeley is also the winner of the ‘2012 Emerging Designer of the Year!’ Huge congratulations are in order for her. The collection will soon be available on zappos.com.

Envy by Khanh was the next emerging brand of the evening. Designer Khanh Nguyen’s dresses exuded asymmetrical lines, geometric shapes and bold color-blocking, all while tastefully catering to womens greatest assets. According to Nguyen, “I would like to think that I am taking color blocking to the extreme by taking the usual dual color combo and branching into a triad of colors. I think I have a strong focal point in each dress that I design on both the front and back…My goal is to design dresses that make women feel confident, attractive, and sexy. My irresistible pieces for women create lust in the opposite sex and envy in the same sex. “Make them feel it” is the tagline for ENVY by Khanh, since the goal is to make other women feel envious of you when you’re wearing one of my dresses.” Throughout his whole fashion career, Khanh has always had the support of his partner Tom and his parents and he is also thankful for the wonderful support by the folks of Phoenix Fashion Week to help him further launch his line, etc. In five years, he hopes to have his own wholesale company in Phoenix and have retail stores around the world. His parting advice to people wanting to delve into the fashion business, “Never give up on your dream! Stay very focused on your goal and always be prepared to launch any new collection at any given time.” For further details on the brand, go to envybykhanh.com.

Phoenix-based gown brand Italia Rocks Couture presented floaty and whimsical gowns that brought out my inner princess. The line was launched in 2009 by Natalia Acosta. Acosta, originally from Mexico and moved to Phoenix fourteen years ago to pursue her career in fashion design has since created over two hundred hand-sewn one-of-a-kind evening gowns. She credits most of her inspiration in the works of Ralph Rucci, Elie Saab and Roberto Cavalli. Her collection has been seen on Miss Arizona and in numerous runway shows in Scottsdale. Italia Rocks Couture is on Facebook.

Suzanne Lay hails from St. Louis, Missouri and launched her brand in Spring of 2009. Suzanne designs separates that are can be easily mixed with other pieces from the collection or with pieces from the wearer’s own closet. The label is known for bright, bold colors with a rocker-chic vibe that is still subtle enough that cosmopolitan, adventurous woman. Suzanne explains that she designs more for a lifestyle, an attitude or a look, instead of a specific person…which allows them to reach a broader market. Her Spring 2013 collection was titled “Love Burns Deep.” Lay goes into detail, “The idea behind the collection was finding strength in heartache. I use music and trials and tribulations that either my close friends, family members or myself are going through for inspiration. It allows me to get to a deeper level and truly put my heart and sole into my work. For this collection two of my friends were going through hard breakups/heart aches in channeling that it took be back to my own heart aches that I have personally gone through. Paired with the right music I was able to go to a deeper level with the designing. I created multiple pieces that can be matched up various ways. Bold, strong pieces that were still romantic with our rocker chic vibe.” I’m a huge fan of the dainty separates that came in rich hues of blue, yellow and red during the first part of the showing. There were a couple looks that came out layered, but when the model reached the end of the runway, she threw off the layers, revealing a more glamorous dress or swimsuit underneath. I guess metaphorically, it was her friend going through the trials, but then overcoming and triumphing through it. But either way you look at it, it’s quite fascinating. Tucson handbag designer-Giulia Castellini pairs her exquisitely crafted handbags with Suzanne’s collection on the runway. For information on both collections, please go to castellinidesign.com and suzannelay.com.

The last menswear line of the evening was Los Angeles-based Élevée. Élevée is a sophisticated line that provides custom tailored garments for men and is made right here in the US. They offer clothing for all events in life; such as business meetings, golf, vacations, formal/day/night events. Loved the use of blazers with hoodies, retro 80s-inspired bow ties on the tuxedos and mixing of prints and solids. Check out elevee.com for further details.

The Furne One showcase was the most anticipated of the PHXFW shows. Furne One is known internationally for his ‘have you on the edge of your seat’ runway shows; but also for his elaborate creations, seen on Katy Perry, Shakira, Nicki Minaj and others. Furne presented a spectacular show of thirty-one garments, including pieces from his Amato Couture line. The collection was inspired by Dutch exotic dancer/courtesan/spy during WWI- Margaretha Geertruida “Margreet” Zelle or Mata Hari as her stage name was called. One goes in further to explain, “I got inspired by her life. Her strength. Her being mysterious, her being a seductress, a courtesan and her liberation. Her strength and the mystery behind her gave me the inspiration when I was designing this collection…My target audience for that particular collection was people who listen to my stories, people who understand my vision. In this collection I use spikes because it symbolizes strength.” It was such an honor to be able to see this collection in person, as I was pretty bummed I had missed it during past Los Angeles fashion weeks. One also tells me that his eclectic brand as a whole is comprised of a bit of everything, from vintage, Victoria, Art Deco to Cosmic Wiccan with a smidge of neo-Gothic influence. All that plus the embellishment just works as a cohesive whole. To me, this collection was very powerful dramatic. Loved the gowns and headwear. Would I wear Furne One to an event? Hell yes! If Mr. One would let me! America’s Next Top Model- Raina Hein closed the show in a jaw dropping, structured, embellished leotard with dramatic detachable cape. You all know the drill, check out furneone.com!

Well…that is all! Until next year anyway. I really want to thank Britton and Will again; Brian, Lauren and the rest of the PHXFW crew- you guys are awesome and ‘made it happen’ in more ways than one. I also want to thank Yelp Phoenix for the helpful log-in lounge, for Julia and Brian at Massage Envy, The Talking Stick Resort for the usage of your space and the parking lot shuttles were a godsend! There were a couple late nights that I didn’t want to walk too far in my heels alone in the parking lot and you guys saved the day! To my Phoenix blogger friends (new and old), it was great seeing you all again! Love you Phoenix- muah!!!!

Phoenix Fashion Week at the Talking Stick Resort- Day 2

Day two of the Phoenix Fashion Week show brought on a new variety of emerging and established designers. The list includes: JOI by Jewel Oribe, Madisonpark Collective, Jean Paul Jeune, Silvia Bours for the established and then Eye Thread, JHaus, Paulie Gibson and Sew Twisted for the emerging designer. Again, as I mentioned in day one the emerging designers are competing for that $10,000 prize package to help them successfully launch their brand. The Yelp Log-In Lounge was especially pleasant that evening, due to Massage Envy being in the house….um….can we say… SWOON?! Please forgive me, I forgot to mention other perks the lounge provided, like a charging station and an express manicure station set up by Teres Nail Bar. I was able to get in a five minute massage from Julia during one of the intermissions. Thank you Yelp Phx, Phoenix Fashion Week and Massage Envy for that service for media, because being in the pit with heels puts a strain on the back and that massage was bliss!

The first established designer of the evening was Los Angeles based JOI by Jewel Oribe. I am a fan of this line, which consisted of neutral knit basics, as well as flowy jumpsuits and dresses. Designer Jewel Oribe launched her brand in 2011 with the LA lifestyle in mind. This is that go-to brand that any girl can just effortlessly throw on and be chic without having to really add any accessories. The beachy silhouettes were fluid and flattering- perfect for the fashionista that has that busy lifestyle, but also likes to be casually chic with a hint of sporty appeal. Pair with a pair of oversize sunnies and you are good to go! Check out joibyjeweloribe.com to shop and for any additional information that you might need.

Next up was Madisonpark Collective, a menswear brand that is also based in Los Angeles. Designer Trey Alligood showcased his Spring/Summer 2013 collection that was titled “Breaking Free.” According to Trey, “The inspiration stems from the hard times we have all faced in the last few years, and the hope that spring, will be the dawn of a new beginning. Supima cotton, open weave knits, fine gauge cashmere, lightweight chambray fabrics and soft pastel colors symbolize that hope. Geometric prints symbolize a new structure for the future, and heavily washed distressed denim symbolizes the hardships, pain, struggles we have endured, and the passion and determination it’s taken to get us where we are today.” This locally manufactured brand had a nicely cohesive collection, which consisted of layered pieces and then transitioned to bright airy basics. Prices for the collection range from $149- 995. Check out madisonparkcollective.com for further deets and to shop the collections.

Next up, Los Angeles-based Eye Thread presented their debut collection to us. They were actually the youngest brand at fashion week this year and they did rather well…presenting vintage-inspired dresses and a pretty rad pair of purple and black color-blocked leather shorts! Designers Ashleigh and Tim titled their collection “Keepsakes and Heirlooms,” which were inspired by a person’s individuality and uniqueness.”What inspired me to start EYE Thread is noticing the disconnect in fashion today. It seems we are told how to dress, or how we “should” look to fit in. I get inspired by everyone’s own individuality and so with EYE Thread, you are able to become your own designer. After our client selects a piece from our collection, we offer a variety of colors, leathers and fabrics to choose from and make it custom for you to express your existence…I wanted to design a collection that spoke to women, timeless pieces more or less that will be made to last generations. Essentially vintage for the future. This is why our luxury collection is constructed by certified Couture Artisans. I design everything, but in order to meet the quality and standards of luxury couture, I look to those who have been constructing for decades,” Ashleigh explained. The Eye Thread team strives to create garments that they hope the wearer will one day pass on as an heirloom. “We like to say that we bring luxury couture to the people. Instead of mothers now just passing down their wedding dress, they can pass down an EYE Thread piece and say ‘I met your father in this dress’, or ‘I wore this to my college graduation.'” Since the dress collection is customized to fit the wearer’s own measurements, price points range from $375-535 depending on the dress choice. For the leather pieces, prices run $670-740. They also showcased their Limited Edition Couture Handbags, which were made with luxury materials that were hand selected and purchased from American Small Business vendors all over the country. The handbags range from $345-740. They also did a screen print tee collection titled “Sharing Treasures,” showcasing original artwork that was drawn by local artists.The net proceeds from the purchase go to a variety of charities. The client has the opportunity to choose one of the four charities that Eye Thread has partnered with, to donate the money to. Prices range from $35-50 and each tee is made locally. Check out more information on this ethical brand via eyethread.com or their Facebook.

The next show -JHaus Denim- kicked off with an acoustic violin accompaniment of One Republic’s ” Apologize” by Jennifer Spags Spingola. This girl ROCKED that violin, getting myself and the audience revved up for Los Angles-based JHaus’s show. After that spectacular and rather moving exposition, the fashion show began. We were immersed in denim of multiple washes, colors and styles and were in awe at the two couture finale gowns; one made entirely from denim and the other burlap, twine and chicken wire. Designer JLynn Hausmann went back to her Midwestern roots to find inspiration. She also drew from her life growing up on a farm and ranch, taking things from home and integrating them into her designs. I also felt that the collection leading up to the finale had a very laid-back Midwestern feel but with a hint of that California recherche. Regarding the fantastic escapade with the violinist, JLynn shares, “We started off the show with the song ‘Apologize’ which for me is taking a negative into a positive and basically saying it’s too late for your apology. We than went into other songs and closed it with I feel so close to you right now and bringing all that positive energy together. Basically nothing is gonna stop us! “There’s no stopping us right now” were in the lyrics. Denim is difficult and there are so many difficult barriers and I believe in just working hard and when you get knocked down you get up and keep moving forward towards your goals.” Well, JLynn has surely reached her goals! The show was wonderful and that burlap dress was phenomenal! I look forward to seeing more from the designer in the future. Check out jhausbrand.com for additional deets!

Who says men can’t make a statement when they get dressed for the day?! That’s exactly what emerging menswear designer Paul Gibson had in mind when making his collection. The Paulie Gibson brand was launched this year (2012) with his Spring/Summer collection entitled “Bang Bang.” As Paulie explains about his collection, ” I like to say that its Sartorial Stimulation for the Modern Man…and it comes from my heart.” For Phoenix Fashion Week, he presented twelve looks from his Spring 2013 collection titled “Tribe.” Gibson was inspired by the history of tribal culture, ranging from Mongolian, African, Native American and Amazonean tribes. “I felt a strong concept of inclusion as I was researching and I interpreted that to mean that “You are one of us, if you look like this” – which I still feel is a very strong mindset of most people today. I wanted to shake that idea up and say we are all in the same tribe, lets celebrate how we are different.” Gibson’s collection was very unique and included a fun mixture of fabrics and textures. And I couldn’t agree more with Paulie’s final thoughts, “Fashion isn’t about just clothing. Fashion should make you feel good. All I want to do is to give people more options to be expressive through their apparel and ultimately lift their sprits when they get dressed. Fashion has brought me pure joy for as long as I can remember. I just want to make people feel good. Be yourself and express that in all that you do.” Life is too short to conform with the ‘norm.’ Even if you don’t put on a full Paulie Gibson ensemble, at least deck yourself out in one of his custom shirts with a great pair of jeans or vice-versa. Check out pauliegibson.com for additional information.

Emerging brand Sew Twisted was the next to be presented down the runway. Self-taught designer Brooke Reyes showcased looks that were somewhat based on her background in theater. Her brand is about creating chic yet functional clothing for the ‘everyday’ woman. Only two looks really stood out for me that evening… the white bustier top and the red draped gown with dramatic plunging back. Check out sewtwisted.com for further details.

Ah yes… more menswear…which made my job so much fun during PHXFW. Seeing the men stride down the runway in handsomely tailored suits, pants and button-downs. Phoenix-based designer Reza Ghayour’s (a.k.a Jean Paul Jeune) dazzled us with retro styling and silhouettes. I liked his use of prints and fabrics that I normally wouldn’t see on the average man, but when I saw it that evening, I found that it really worked. Ghayour also added in a few womenswear pieces as well. I could see 60s/70s influences in the dresses and also modern silhouettes in the separates. My faves were the yellow (very “Twiggy”) 60s style shift dress and the “hipster” crop pants with suspenders. Check out more deets on JPJ on JPJexclusive.com.

The last designer to present that evening was Sonora, Mexico-based Silvia Bours. This was definitely one of my favorite collections for fashion week. If you’ve ever drempt of having a tutu-esque, uber-feminine dress in your closet, then the Silvia Bours brand is for you! The theatrical dresses are a mix of ‘Marie Antoionette meets her girlie punk phase’, meets ‘the new Betsey Johnson of the millennium’ meets ‘blinged-out princess.’ I loved every dress that walked the runway and the detailing… everything down to the tulle skirts, trims, jewels, bows, draping and fruit prints…I can’t wait to see more from Silvia! Attention celebrity stylists, the red carpet needs more whimsical gowns on the red carpet..nudge..nudge.. Anway, be sure to check out silviabours.com for additional information.

Stay tuned for Day 3… the finale of Phoenix Fashion Week….

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