NEW YORK FASHION WEEK SPRING 2015: YUNA YANG

It’s that time of the year again.

Fashion Week heralds the beginning of the industry’s seminal migration to the fashion capitals of the world.  Bloggers, editors and fashion enthusiasts worldwide make the trek each September to New York to preview and fete the styles that will be all the rage in stores next season.

One designer who has become a perennial favorite is YUNA YANG.

I’ve been a fan of Yuna Yang for a few seasons now. There’s something about her interpretation of femininity that really intrigues me. Last spring, the New York-based designer created a collection that married traditional couture with a very modern yet chic aesthetic. A year later, with the debut of her Spring 2015 collection, Concept, Yang has done it again.

Drawing inspiration from the post- World War II era, where everyone was in a state of positive change. The consumerism and the idea to “Buy American,” was in full force. Post WWII also marked the second wave of the women’s liberation movement was in full swing and the return of fashion to the world stage. A new soft feminine silhouette with Christian Dior’s “New Look” emerged with long sweeping skirts, fitted waists and rounded shoulders.

Yuna Yang’s Concept collection strives to evoke those feelings of positivity and hopefulness with a collection that is classic with a modern fun twist— the designer’s signature style. Featuring soft feminine pieces such as a floral print pant, a taffeta cape dress and Giang Han check shirt dress, this collection is perfect for the fashion forward vintage enthusiast.

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Want to see how these pieces look with movement? Check out my video of the finale.

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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ODE TO THE JUMPSUIT (My Favorite Fashion Trend)

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.

Credit: J Morris Photos featuring model, Natasha Kolas
Credit: J Morris Photos featuring model, Natasha Kolas

 

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 amirahcreations01@gmail.com.

 

The ¾ Sleeve Jumpsuit by Ashtyn

Courtesy of 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

The Cher Jumpsuit from the Oceana Collection by Shanda Freeman as worn by model Keisa Hamilton
The Cher Jumpsuit from the Oceana Collection by Shanda Freeman as worn by model Keisa Hamilton 

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

Courtesy of 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

Courtesy of Tocca
Courtesy of 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!

VOYAGE TO INDIA: Sheena Trivedi Spring 2013 Collection (New Article on the Examiner)

Sheena Trivedi “Boarding Pass” Invitation

You know when you get an invitation like this, you know you are in for a special treat. That was definitely the case this past Fashion Week with the Spring 2013 presentation by Sheena Trivedi.

The former buyer (for Saks) turned designer debuted a women’s ready-to-wear collection with a strong Indian influence– an homage to her ancestral roots. In a recent interview with India Ink, Sheena said, “I grew up in the U.S. but traveled to India regularly so it’s natural for me to bring in that element into the clothes I design.”  That’s definitely evident with the beautiful red, gold, blue and purple hues that color the collection along with the hand embroidery and brocades reminiscent of traditional Indian attire.

To see more of the collection and to read the full article on the Examiner, click here.

NEW ON THE EXAMINER: NEW YORK FASHION WEEK S/S 2012: S.I.L.K.

Attention silk fans! Yes, I’m talking to all you women out there who love the light, soft fabric and it’s basically the basis for your entire spring/summer wardrobe. Ladies, I have a line that you will love, love, love. (DRUM ROLL PLEASE,,,,) Introducing S.I.L.K. the New York-based  full range women’s wear line that is comprised of mainly silk and silk blend pieces.

I had the pleasure of attending the collection’s debut presentation, hosted by S.I.L.K.’s Creative Director Michelle Lee. A beautiful line geared toward the “modern” woman (ages 30+), the line blends contemporary concepts and trends with classic appeal to create a balance of simplicity and ladylike flair.

Want to know more about S.I.L.K.? Read my article on the Examiner here.

S.I.L.K.’s Silk Georgette Print Top with Cotton/Tencel Stretch Slim Leg Jean

NEW ARTICLE ON THE EXAMINER: SPRING TREND EXPLORATION: Prints

So the days are getting longer. The temperatures are starting to rise and fashion savvy are emerging from their winter coat cocoons eager to spread their spring butterfly “wings” in the latest trends.  In my latest article for the Examiner, I talk about venturing into the land of prints…the right way.

Click on the image to read SPRING TREND EXPLORATION: Prints on the Examiner.