Fashion, intentionally or not, can evoke a feeling when you wear or see it. A good designer or design team understands that and plays to that feeling be it sexy, pretty, professional, relaxed or in the case of Spanish brand, Desigual, FUN!
Acting as a fashion correspondent for Alexandra Shook‘s sophisticated fashion dispatch, Delayed Missives, I had the pleasure of attending the Fashion Week debut of Desigual, who brought a breath of fresh air to the catwalk with smiling models who skipped down the runway blowing kisses to the crowd. For my full commentary of the show, check out my post here.
I have to thank my mother for unknowingly helping me decide on a name for my blog a few years back. She’d call me to chat and I would always be on my way to something or coming back from somewhere. She’d tease me and ask how my “life as a socialite?” was From there the idea behind the Curvy Socialite was born as I was always gallivanting all over the place at fashion shows, movie screenings, parties and more—most of these events are work related and therefore come with the territory. My calendar, especially as Fashion Week draws near, can be absolutely jam-packed leaving little time to put much thought into what I am going to wear. Hence my ode to my favorite “no fuss no muss” outfits — the jumpsuit.
To say I love jumpsuits would be the ultimate understatement.
I’ve been rocking them for nearly 15 years (or more). Those in my close circle will tell you I am always singing their praises. I have friends who live in dresses and talk about how easy life is when all you have to do is jump in and out of a one piece outfit. You can get the same feel with a jumpsuit. Just like a dress, you can “fancy it up” or make it more casual with accessories and shoes. I’ve made the same jumpsuit perfect for brunch with the girls or red carpet ready with my choice in shoes, handbags and jewelry. And with designers opting to create jumpsuits of heavier fabrications, they are quickly becoming a year round staple. Now that the fashion world finds them en vogue (again…jumpsuits never really fell out of favor with them being the outfit du jour in the 60s and 70s), everyone’s clamoring to score one or two (or a few) for their wardrobes.
Looking at what’s coming up for summer and pre-fall deliveries at some of the city’s retailers, I spy a few pieces I need in my closet. Here are my top favorites.
The 2-in-1 convertible jumpsuit from Amirah Creations.
Brooklyn-based Nailah Lymus, the design maven behind Amirah Creations, combines two of this season’s biggest trends (black & white and ethnic prints) to create this bespoke jumpsuit (seriously, you send her your measurements and she creates this amazing piece to fit you) which retails for $125. It converts from a halter jumpsuit to a high-waisted pant (another one of this season’s trends). You can reach out to her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ¾ Sleeve Jumpsuit by Ashtyn
Latisha Daring, another incredible New York-based independent designer, gives a sexy new twist to a classic favorite. Retailing for $150, this beautiful jumpsuit in a cool, crisp summer white can be purchased via her website at www.ashtynonline.com.
The Cher (Oceana Collection) by Shanda Freeman
New York has a bevy of remarkable design talent catering to all shapes and sizes. Shanda Freeman, the Harlem-based “love” expert turned designer, has created a retro jumpsuit with a twist with this sexy piece called the Cher. Inspired by her love for the 70s, this jumpsuit (available in sizes M- 2X) retails for $240 and can be purchased via her website www.shandafreeman.com.
Montmartre Jumpsuit by Von Vonni
Another nod to a retro design but with a very European aesthetic, Von Vonni has created a super chic piece called the Montmartre Jumpsuit. This kimono-sleeved jumpsuit adds sex appeal with a cinched waist and deep –back. Originally priced at $250, this jumpsuit can be purchased via their website at www.vonvonni.com.
The Peggy Jumpsuit by Tocca
Born on the picturesque island of St. Lucia, Tocca is a well known apparel and beauty brand currently helmed by design visionary Emma Fletcher. From their current collection for spring 2013 comes the adorable Peggy Jumpsuit. Coming in a black/grey totem print with a deep v-neck, this jumpsuit retails originally for $460 and can be purchased via their website at www.tocca.com.
Oh Jumpsuit, how I love thee….and now my readers do too!
A few months ago I had the pleasure of becoming a member of the Bloggers’ Collective, a New York-based curation of fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogs. One of the biggest benefits I’ve had thus far from being a member is having the opportunity to meet some amazing bloggers who I might not have necessarily come across on my journey through the blogosphere. One of the bloggers I’ve met is Heather Epstein— the maven behind Fashionista NY Girl.
This Fashion Week, I had the opportunity to guest blog on Fashionista NY Girl where I covered the beautiful (but early morning– thank goodness they had coffee) presentation of Renzo + Kai at the famed Empire Hotel (no Chuck Bass sightings Gossip Girl fans). Check out the post on Heather’s blog here.
Fashionphiles the world over are descending on the Big Apple for the Autumn/Winter edition of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Officially beginning on February 9th and running through the 16th, New York Fashion Week is one of the must attend events on the fashion calendar. But shows and presentations start well before the lights go up on the catwalk for the first show on the 9th. Designers have been hosting preview events and full out showcases since February started.
Today, I began my super packed fashion week schedule at the Tanya Taylorpresentation at Exit Art.
The late morning event brought to mind images of an English Tea Party (complete with waiters serving tea and crumpets) as invited guests milled around the seventeen models a top platforms in the center of the venue. As I strolled past each model attired in the modern classic pieces, I immediately thought of one of my favorite television characters, Gossip Girl’s Blair Waldorf. They very feminine cuts, even with the menswear inspired suits, would be the perfect addition to Miss Waldorf’s closet.
The collection, peppered with cashmeres, wools, sateen and tweeds were young and flirty but very work appropriate. Tanya Taylor also took into consideration the possibility of after work get-togethers with a few day-to-evening options.
Tanya Taylor is definitely a designer to add to your shopping list.
How did I start my Monday for New York Fashion Week? I didn’t spend my time wishing I could fit into sample size dresses; I was introduced to food that is “GOODNESS with a touch of BADNESS”. Model/ philanthropist Elettra Wiedemann (pictured below) has teamed up with restaurateur/Michelin star chef Ed Brown to bring a full service pop-up restaurant that provided New York fashionistas with the fabulous of option of fast, fresh and healthy cuisine! From September 11th through the 14th, GOODNESS served up not only healthy and delicious appetizers, entrees and desserts by Ed Brown but also more “sinful” options created by daily guest chefs from a stellar line-up of New York’s up-and-coming culinary talent scene.
Delectable specials to look out for included Pan-Seared Bream Mash with Truffle Vinaigrette and Montauk Swordfish with Zucchini Succotash – it all tastes as good as it looks. The equally stunning Elettra explained her rational behind GOODNESS is to provide a highly convenient, healthy and fast option for the Lincoln Centre fashion crowd. What are you waiting for? Time to dine among the models, designers, industry insiders and epicureans of New York Fashion Week. This little piece of culinary heaven was open for breakfast and lunch from 7am to 3pm at 44 West 63rd Street. For more information, visit http://www.goodnessbadness.com
A gloomy September evening found me venturing to the very chic, Hudson Terrace for Plus Model Magazine’s Bloggers Conference as hosted by As U Are (www.asuare.com). With a similar setup as the blogger conferences during Full Figured Fashion Week earlier this summer, invited guests had a chance to preview and critique the new Fall outer wear collection.
You have to check out the site. They don’t go by sizes but rather by measurements. You plug in your stats and they come up with the perfect coat for you–very innovative for a company that’s been around for 70 years. Though a mainstay in the outwear world, As U Are is just starting to foray into the plus size world. Can I say I’m in love? Their coats are very fashion forward and en trend yet, they each enhance and fit our curvy shapes perfectly. Based in Montreal Canada, they are not found in boutiques and retailers but rather are only e-commerce. Very 21st Century right?
Oh yeah, did I tell you each attendee is getting a free winter coat???? I’m so geeked right now. This turned out to be a nice pre-birthday gift.
What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon in February than backstage at DKNY‘s Fall/Winter show?
Presented at Cedar Lake in West Chelsea, Donna Karan showed why DKNY is one of the go to brands for those who use the city’s sidewalks as catwalks. Showcasing a collection called “New York Mods,” the brand brought menswear-inspired ladies wear with a hint of a retro flair. Think classic suit cuts that seemed to make your legs look like they go on forever but in funky over-sized herringbone patterns, or sweaters with varying styles of horizontal stripes. It was the perfect juxtaposition of rugged meets ultra femme. Classic fall colorings of black, grey, brown and navy were popped with more exciting hues like hot pink, orange, red and cream.
Friday evening was definitely a busy evening for yours truly. After attending one presentation at Lincoln Center, I had to race downtown…way downtown…to the Bowery Hotel for the Riviera Club Fall Winter 2011 presentation.
After a near death experience in the cab ride over (which I shared with stylist Shatonia Amee and fellow blogger Ashia Sims), the scene that met us was an interesting one. When we arrived we entered into what seemed like a big soiree. Photographers were snapping shots everywhere and people were schmoozing and walking around with glasses of wine. Not odd if you were thinking the event was a party, but a little if you were expecting a traditional fashion presentation.
As you stepped deeper into the venue, there was a huge table full of bottles of wine, fruits, artesian breads, smoked sausages and more. The “audience” surrounded the table which was populated by gentleman who seemed to be just enjoying the food and drink and having a great time. The “party-goers” at the table were the models– novel idea, and very fitting for the theme of Riviera Club’s Fall presentation.
This season, the brand decided to share the story of the California Wine Renaissance. A twist on the ruggedness of traditional work wear, Riviera Club channeled the marriage of blue collar chic and polished dishevelment. A great collection that was complimented by amazing accessories by Generic Man shoes and Riviera Club’s own hat collection. Styling for this presentation was done by Julie Ragolia and the staged party was designed by famed set designer Michael Sturgeon.
On Saturday, February 12th, BeSpoken held their Fall/Winter 2011 presentation at Pier 59 Studios. A British import, BeSpoken put together not only an impressive collection but an amazing presentation as well. The models stood on display in what seemed like an old photograph backdrop from a more rustic, old western era. The set was created by Aux Armes– a fantastic job with the set design.
The attention to detail between the set and the collection was seamless. Every piece within the line was a winter warm color that was tailor fitted to the model’s body. The jackets had unique buttons that gave the coat a unique, custom-made appearance. One of the trends noticed at the show was a cuffed trouser sported by each model giving the vintage men’s look a more modern twist. Styled by Julie Ragolia, many of the looks were paired with hats by Worth & Worth and jewelry by Anna Sheffield providing the jewelry.
To see more of BESPOKEN go to http://bespokenclothiers.com
A NEW ERA IS UPON US…CURVES ARE “IN” (AGAIN). Well…at least for a little while. It seems that the fashion community is making a move to be more accepting of the curvaceous figure. Or at least that is what appears to be happening.
During New York Fashion Week, One Stop Plus, the “online fashion mall” catering to the fuller-figure, held the first ever plus size show (to actually be a part of the fashion week festivities) to rave reviews. Big deal, you may be saying to yourself. But indeed it was. A much coveted ticket, the One Stop Plus event was a much needed step in the right direction of acceptance. With the average woman in the United States wearing a size 14, it’s amazing how what is a “common size” is so stigmatized.
The standard of beauty for a very long time was something that was not a reflection of reality. What was considered beautiful was a woman who was 5’10” and a size 0/2. And one point it even seemed like a 00 was even more appealing. How many women do you know how actually fit that standard? Fashion and fashion retailers seemed to think that everyone looked like that and that was the norm. When you walked into shopping centers, all you found were clothing sizes 0 to 10 (with a 12 and a 14 (one piece each) thrown in for good measure. But one of the largest (no pun intended) untapped markets out there is the plus-size community. Curvy girls spend millions each year on clothes—ironic when there are so few outlets that cater to their bodies. But there is hope.
I was one of an eclectic group of people to have been invited to witness this moment in fashion history. Showcasing at the Time Warner, the guest list for the event was a who’s who of the plus, fashion and entertainment communities. Seated front row at One Stop Plus were plus size celebs Nikki Blonsky (Hairspray and Huge), Emme, the full figured supermodel, and Academy Award nominated actress, Gabourey Sidibe(Precious). Walking in the show were model faves Tocarra (America’s Next Top Model alum) and Lizzie Miller. Spotted in the crowd were stylist Steffany Bready Edwards, celeb plus model Asia Mone’t, curve-loving designer, Monif C., Maddie Figueroa Jones from Plus Model Magazine, Tiffany Tucker of Manik Magazine, model Fluvia Lacerda, Shante Gordon and Jamie Litt of VH1’s Money Hungry, Kim “Philli” McCarter of SkorchMagazine, the diva behind The Big Girl Blog, and more. I even ended up getting interviewed by the New York Post for a video about the show.