NYFW F/W 2014: Saunder (Film Noir Meets the 80s)

Despite Mother Nature’s relentless fury– in the form of epic snowfalls and freezing temps that the Olympians in Sochi could only dream of– New York played host to another installment of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Acting as correspondent for one of my favorite fashion blogs, Fashionista NY Girl (by fellow bloggette, Heather Epstein), I found myself headed to the savvy neighborhood of Chelsea and the tres chic, High Line Hotel. The High Line Hotel, a former seminary turned boutique hotel, served as an impressive backdrop to the SAUNDER Fall/Winter 2014 Collection.

Known for eclectic looks inspired by designer, Emily Saunders global jaunts, this season, SAUNDER not only drew inspiration from abroad but from the 80s BBC miniseries ‘The Singing Detective.’ For my complete commentary on the collection, check out my piece for Heather’s blog here.

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SHOPPING NEWS: Eva Mendes teams with New York & Company for new collection

Eva Mendes has always been on my personal best-dressed list since she first began making the rounds at major red-carpet events.  She had this chic yet sexy and confident style about her—a sophisticated feminine swagger.

I’ve always picture Eva as that girlfriend with the perfect closet. Everything she puts on just looks great on her. Not only does she know how to dress for her body type but Eva has an innate style sense that can’t be taught.  Ok, so not all us are blessed with the ability to step into our closet and walk out a style icon, but thanks to Ms. Mendes and New York & Company, at least we can look like we did.

Back in February of this year, Ms. Mendes announced that she was collaborating with the affordable fashion retailer on a new collection. On Wednesday, Eva debuted the vintage-inspired line at store’s flagship in New York City.

Recently, Eva Mendes recently spoke about her foray into fashion design. “The challenging part of this process was knowing that I had women, especially my sisters, counting on me to make them look good,” Mendes tells the Huffington Post. “I take this very seriously … I can’t wait to get feedback from women about what works for them and what doesn’t. I hope I don’t disappoint them!”

Full of stylishly flirty pieces, the Eva Mendes Collection features dresses, skirts, blouses and accessories with an ultra femme feel. And every piece is under $100 (except for the coat which comes in soft pink ad camel). The collection launched on Thursday (September 19th– this blogger’s birthday). Many of the pieces are already sold out. Shop the collection here.

For the line’s launch on Wednesday, Eva Mendes wore a white draped bodysuit, black brocade pencil skirt and necklace.
Eva’s favorite dress from the collection is this front tunic style that is priced at $69.95. “I adore this dress,” she said, in the collection notes. “The silhouette is simple, flattering, and feminine.” It’s my favorite too…bought one for myself as a pre-birthday gift.
Another super cute piece that can be paired with jeans, slacks or a skirt…this polka-dot printed blouse for $49.95

This isn’t the first venture into the design world for Mendes. She launched a home décor line, Vida, with her former beau George Augusto.  In 2008, Eva launched a line of bed linens with Macy’s. She later teamed again with Macy’s to launch a line of dinnerware in 2010.

Want learn more about Eva Mendes’ inspiration behind the line and see more of the collection, check out this video from New York & Company.

40 REALLY IS THE NEW 20…Celebrating 40 Years of Style with Elie Tahari

Those of us that work in the industry routinely joke that Fashion Week should be declared a holiday. I guess the City of New York was thinking the same thing when it proclaimed Wednesday, September 4th, Elie Tahari Day. With an official decree from Mayor Bloomberg, the day was created to honor Tahari’s 40 years in the fashion industry.

Elie Tahari immigrated to the United States in 1971 with less than $100 in his pocket. He has said that while searching for work, he would sleep on benches in New York’s Central Park and occasionally at the YMCA.  In 1973, with inspiration from New York’s club scene, Elie “gave birth” to the Tube Top.

He’s come a long way since he first arrived in Manhattan. Elie Tahari is now the heard of a wildly successful multinational brand are sold in boutiques bearing his name worldwide as well as some of the world’s top luxury retailers including Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue.

In front of a crowd of selected press (which yours truly was a part of), close friends, family, industry colleagues and the Fort Hamilton High School Marching Band gathered at Elie Tahari’s Fifth Avenue pop-up shop, the fashion industry and New York City came together to fete an icon.  Fashion Police host, Joan Rivers, with her usual over-the-top comedic stylings hosted the morning event reminiscing on her friendship with Tahari and the infamous tube top.  Later, Rob Goldrich (an official from the Mayor’s office) read the official proclamation signed by Bloomie himself honoring the Israeli-born American designer with his very own day.

As a way of saying thank you to “the city who gave [him] everything,” Elie Tahari announced that he would be donating proceeds from the dress he created for fashion reality show Project Runway to Save the Garment Center—an organization whose programs are aimed at the preservation of the city’s garment center and fashion design and manufacturing heart.

In honor of this huge milestone, Elie Tahari will unveil a new spring collection called “Elie Tahari 1974” highlighting some of his greatest fashion “hits” over the last 40 years—from jumpsuits (a fave of mine) to power suits and everything in between.

So what are you supposed to do on Elie Tahari Day? Is it a day to barbecue, throw a parade, or wear something fancy? As the designer himself simply put it, all one has to do is “make someone happy….Enjoy the day and remember it is our collective consciousness that creates our reality and guides our path. A grateful mind is a great mind.”

This was definitely the perfect way to kickstart what is turning out to be a crazy but fun Fashion Week.

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FALLING IN LOVE AGAIN: Renzo + Kai S/S 2013 Presentation (NYFW)

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.

Gown from the Renzo + Kai Spring/Summer 2013 Collection

NEW ON THE EXAMINER: STEPPING UP YOUR SHOE GAME: Fratelli Rossetti Spring/Summer 2013 Collection (NYFW)

Some say the shoe makes the outfit or even the man. Either way, at the end of the day nothing beats a beautiful pair of shoes on a man or a woman. The well-heeled seem to glide down the street with an air of confidence that only the perfect footwear can elicit. That’s something that Italian design brand, Fratelli Rossetti, takes to heart with each pair of handcrafted shoes that they make.

Showcasing their Spring 2013 collection during New York Fashion Week, Fratelli Rossetti reminded us why the fashion world fell in love with their brand more than fifty years ago with both a men’s and women’s collection that will definitely be spotted at next year’s polo match at Liberty State Park or a picnic in Prospect Park.

For my full article on the Examiner, click here.

Fratelli Rosetti Spring 2013 Presentation during New York Fashion week

POLITICAL FASHION: AND SHE WORE TRACY REESE

Tonight, Michelle Obama dazzled the delegates at the Democratic National Convention with a rousing speech that spoke to her passion for her husband, military families, motherhood, the future and her love of her country. With New York Fashion Week beginning tomorrow, I wanted to just highlight the fact that she also showed her support to the American Fashion industry by wearing Tracy Reese. The First Lady has been an avid supporter of American designers from the moment she set foot on the national stage (and even before as she supported Chicago-area designers regularly at the many political functions she attended while in the role of  a senator’s wife).

Missed the FLOTUS’ speech? Click on the image to see the video.

To watch her speech from tonight, please click on the picture of the FLOTUS.

NEW POST ON THE EXAMINER: FASHION MEETS MUSIC: The Hardy Indiigo Limited Edition Collection for GlassinG

With summer nearing its end, GlassinG, the famed Italian sunglass brand recently teamed with the international DJ and producer, Hardy Indiigo, to unveil their newest collection. In a pre-Fashion Week presentation at New York’s Art Now NY Gallery in Chelsea, GlassinG introduced the trio of INDIIGO LIMITED EDITION  sunglasses as part of their “remixed” 2012 Music Skin collection.

For the full article, click the image of Hardy Indiigo.

Music Producer/Designer, Hardy Indiigo, at Art Now NY Gallery in Chelsea

MEETING MISTY COPELAND

Every generation or so, there are people who arise whose purpose is to share their gifts, inspire and plant seeds for the future. One of those people is American Ballet Theatre’s Misty Copeland.

A prodigy in the world of classical ballet, Misty got her start late (by industry standards) at the age of 13 but is a natural talent that has been taken the world by storm. Today, she shared her journey with an intimate crowd at the Dwyer Center in Harlem where she was a featured speaker as part of the annual May Week Celebration of the Arts sponsored by the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority New York Almunae Chapter.

Misty Copeland (center) with fans at the DST May Week Celebration in Harlem

Ms. Copeland shared the joys (living your passion, travel, accomplishments, etc) and the pains (long hours of training, injuries, and more) of being a professional ballet dancer with fans and aspiring ballerinas alike. She also shared the unique pressures that also come with being one of a handful of African American women in classical ballet and the first Black female soloist for the American Ballet Theatre in two decades.

On June 12th, Misty will debut in the lead role as the Firebird at Lincoln Center.

Misty Copeland as the Firebird

The Curvy Socialite was on a billboard in Time Square (well sort of….)!

The Curvy Socialite was on a billboard in Time Square (well sort of....)!

So a few weeks ago I got a marketing email from Dove (I’ve been using their products for years) talking about using “real” women in their upcoming campaign entitled “Show Us Your Skin.” Being the ambitious former plus model that I am, you know I had to submit my photo.

On a recent trip to Florida, I snapped a quick photo in the bathroom (ummm not one of those type of pics) of me with a fresh, unmade-up face to send to my significant other back home– as he is always trying to “see” how I’m feeling as my face is an open book to my emotions. So not having a recent “professional” picture, I said, what they hey, why not submit this one. It was accepted and I forgot all about it.

Fast forward to today….I got an email from Dove saying that my picture is part of their “living billboard” in Times Square! Check out my headshot in “the crossroads of the world.”

So I guess now I can add a Dove campaign to my model resume. LOL!

AND THE WINNER IS….(The Face of Full Figured Fashion Week 2012 Announced)

So after a grueling task of sifting through the numerous models who entered the search to be the next Face of Full Figured Fashion Week, a winner has been chosen….

Congratulations to Ms. Venessa De La Rosa, the 2012 Face of Full Figured Fashion Week.

Ms. Venessa De La Rosa

Venessa was chosen by a  panel of judges comprised of some of the plus community’s biggest influencers (Marina ZelnerTiffany Braxton-BelvinMadeline Figueroa-Jones and Steffany Bready-Edwards).

Congratulations Venessa and we look forward to seeing you on the red carpet at Full Figured Fashion Week in New York City on June 13-16, 2012!

To learn more about Venessa, please click on her image for the full announcement from the FFFWeek team.