Thursday, October 30, 2008

Easy-Breezy Clothes for Day & Night

Sheiki Jeans Designer & Founder, Shelia Marie Dudley
As a normal, hourglass woman, Shelia Marie Dudley, was frustrated by the lack of fashionable pieces that fits her curvy physique that are easy to wear and easy to take care of in a hot climate.
She took matters into her own hands and started her own line, Sheiki Jeans. She begun with jeans since they are a wardrobe staple. Soon, other curvaceous celebrities, such as Salma Hayek, Kim Kardashian, and Tyra Banks, fell for her well-tailored denim. In fact, it is Atlanta and the Southeast that are her biggest market-where real women with real bodies live.
Spurred on by her inital success in jeans, Shelia soon developed Sheiki Shirts, tops and dresses to accompany her "easy to wear, easy to care" philosophy.

Virgo Dresses
Her Sheiki Shirts are easy, breathable jersey knits basics that are great for everyday wear.
Pisces Dresses
Since Shelia wanted flexible in her clothes, her mini-dresses can be worn by themselves or be paired with her jeans as tunics.
These dresses-tunics-tops can be warmed up for Fall when accessorize with a wool or cashmere scarf, making these warm-weather basics into quick and accessible Fall pieces.
Since the silhouette, the construction, and the fabric are adaptable year-around, her line can be a great wardrobe investment for any girl-about-town like Tyra and Kim.

Ms. Dudley debut her more upscale, evening wear line during this recent Los Angeles Fashion Week, Sheiki Collections.
She's translating her "easy to wear, easy to care" mentality for those nights out on the town.

Despite the predominance of black, leather, and sequins, the Sheiki Collections retains the goal of the ease of wearability and adjustability to a woman's body living a fast-paced life.

The usually sporty hoodie has been glammed up for night.

The tight tank top has been loosened up and draped then dipped in sequins for a night out.

This tough ensemble can broken down into for various outfits.
The leather, flared jeans can be topped off with a white sweater for an elegant look.

Speaking of sweaters, Shelia is in the process of developing a line of Sheiki Sweaters but that is still in development.

Even as Sheila Marie Dudley progresses into evening wear, she didn't forget the importance of wearability and maintenance, whether it be hot, humid days or sultry nights.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Full Frontal TV's James Aguiar's Picks from Los Angeles Fashion Week

James Aguiar's fave, Suh-Tahn
Since Los Angeles has this long traditional for birthing out trends in sportswear, I asked my always kind and knowledgeable, James Aguiar, VOOM HD's "Full Front TV"s fashion expert and "Behind The Label"s industry insider, what are his favorite picks from this crop of this recent L.A. Fashion Spring/Summer 2009.

He was sweet enough to take time out to chat while battling an on-street parking dispute in Brooklyn in this cross-country conversation. Smart, stylish, -and brave, what a gentleman!

His perennial favorite Los Angeleno design team of Suh-Tahn reappears consistently, remembering them as, "New York clothes for New Yorkers by Los Angeles designers."

Their strong technical skills in construction paired with Manhattan's more stark palette of cool white and gray paired against dark black and navy blue struck a chord with this New Yorker.

Marissa Ribisi & Sophia Coloma
of Whitley Kros
James' other favorite is another design duo of Whitley Kros, comprising of Marissa Ribisi and Sophia Coloma.

Marissa has transitioned from being actor Giovanni Ribisi's sister and being an alternative movie star from Richard Linklater's "Dazed and Confused," to being Beck's wife and the mother of their two children, son, Cosimo Henri, and daughter, Tuesday and a partner in contemporary sportswear line, Whitley Kros.

Whitley Kros were generally inspired by the beach. Whether it be a cool morning fog or a blistering high-noon sun, they literally have you covered. The collection consist of wraps and tunics in light-weight knits coordinating with light silk dolphin shorts and shimmering satin baby-doll camisoles. Each outfit can be broken apart then spread out to be paired off with other pieces in your wardrobe. It seems like Marissa and Sophia consciously put out a year-around wardrobe that fits in any active woman's lifestyle.

Kevan Hall Black & White Gingham Dupioni Silk Halter Top

Another designer noted, when pressed, is Los Angeles stalwart, Kevan Hall.
He strikes James as the most impressive, not just in the usual qualifications of design, styling, construction, and fabrication.
James describes him as the most experienced and the most business-wise.
Mr. Hall, stressed by James, knows the importance of buyers and loyal patrons to truly keep a fashion designer and her/his company alive.
This wise designer understands what it takes to do a fashion show and what a fashion show means.
James calls him, "The Leader."
Kevan Hall's Lurex-Infused Wool Belted Sheath Dress
Mr. Hall has always been this particular columnist's favorite because he comes the closest to what is considered "a society designer," a fashion designer catering to socialites, what other derisively dismissed as "ladies who lunch." When he shines, his natural inclinations aims toward elegant but easy to wear seperates with tasteful features, such as his zebra-stripe tunic with rhinestone hems from his African Collection a year ago to now, his "Mad Men" late Fifties and early Sixities-influenced line, with the added sparkle of Lurex-infused wool.
Unlike most designers, he understands the climate where the majority of his clients live, affluent, mature women who live in hot weather, arid or humid.
If his African, zebra-striped tunic was the it outfit year ago-and still going strong on photo shoots, then his black-and-white gingham halter in dupioni silk is crisp and refreshing for a hot, sultry Summer Spoleto Soiree. Timeless enough for the hot young things in Spoleto Scene or The Apollo Circle at The Metropolitan Museum of Art or the more established steadfast patrons of the opera and the ballet, these are classy outfits for classy people.
At his recent headlining show, Mr. Hall attracts the likes of Hollywood socialites, such as Candy Spelling, Tori's mother, Christine Devine, and the Mayor of Los Angeles, the honorable Antonio Villaraigosa in the front row.
This is a refined break from the usual front row of celebrities from A-List to Z-List.
His fans are noteworthy and respectable, just like the clothes and the man, himself.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Young Grace Kelly, Tracy Reese Spring 2009, the New Classics

Laura Medina
Tracy Reese built her Spring 2009 collection on a foundation of new classics. Glacial trenches and coat ensembles in icy but soft velvet. Warm enough for Fall, perhaps Winter yet light enough for a cool Spring night.

The trench coat alone, worn with a petticoat underneath makes a great elegant evening dress with a Fifties Dior-like feel.

This coat ensemble can easily be taken apart then split into two different outfits.
The trousers, paired with a black turtleneck or cashmere sweater, are a luxurious basic.

This is the little black dress for the young generations of up-and-coming socialites.
Interestingly enough, this also has a Fifties retro stylings of black lace, nipped waist, and pouf skirt.

Ms. Reese is one of the few women designers following the late Fifties and early Sixities styles from AMC's hit, "Mad Men."
This rich violet sheath dress is a good example of the Early Sixities' Jackie Kennedy look, simple chic in exquisite satin with a judical use of crytal beading. No jewelry required.

Ms. Reese pays homage to Spring in this vibrant lily green cocktail dress.

The Ice Princess returns in this ruched cocktail dress in chiffon and soft ruffles in pale, cool blue.
Ms. Reese provides the new generation with mature but new classics that will stand the test of time. That, eventually, they too, will pass onto their offsprings.
For grown-up clothes for the new generation of socialites, they need a fresh but grown-up cocktails.
Mix one part Rose's Cocktail Infusions Blue Raspberry Mix with one part Citrus Vodka. Shake with ice then strain into a martini glass to go with your icy but rich evening wardrobe.

Rebecca Taylor, The Bohemian Preppy

by Laura Medina
Despite the economic turmoil, you can still get designer looks for less by studying the latest styling from the latest New York Fashion Week by recycling your existing clothes with a touch of the newest or a classic piece.

That way, you can stretch your closest onto the season without going broke.

Based on Rebecca Taylor's Spring 2009 offerings, it's a perfect season of a potpourri of looks.

All you need for those transitional seasons, such as Fall and Spring, are a trench coat, a blazer, a gray pantsuit, and those empire waist camisoles and tunics.

To freshen up your wardrobe, add something plummy or fruity or floral in light-weight chiffon, whether it be a tunic or a babydoll that has been going strong for the past five years.

The great thing about this collection is the flexiblity to do a multitude of looks for two different seasons by either breaking apart a pantsuit, layering, or just wearing the piece alone for a Summer look.

Since this collection has a looser Bohemian spirit, it's perfectly ok to mix the hippy with the preppy. Something borrowed from a boyfriend or brother or from mom, sprinkled with your own Springy tops

By Ms. Taylor revisiting and recycling classic wardrobe pieces, such as the trench coat, you can be fashion-forward for all seasons.
Inspired by Ms. Taylor's fruity color palette, why not mix up a refreshing beverage of one part Rose's Cocktail Infusions Watermelon Mix with one part 7Up in a pitcher for friends or for yourself.
It will make all those changes in climate and the market so much more easier.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

News Women Gone Giddy by Laura Medina

The girls, ahem, the women of The Good News Foundation
News Alert! Preeminent Los Angeles women news anchors and television reporters break loose over good news.
Actually, these women above, KNBC's anchor and investigative journalist, Anna Garcia, KCAL's reporter, Pat Harvey, KTTV/Fox 11's anchor,Christine Devine and "Good Day L.A.'s" entertainment reporter, Dorothy Lucey then finally but not least, Wendy Burch, formerly KABC's roving report and Good News Foundation's founder/chairperson.
When these women aren't somberly reporting depressing occurences that normally qualify for news, they're active treasurer, co-chairs, and secretary in the Good News Foundations, a fellowship of journalists who recognize there are uplifting, newsworthy events that not only need to be brought into the spotlight but also be rewarded for improving lives.

Group Hug
At this celebration of good news, honorary guests cannot help but bust out of their dull gray uniform of blazer and suits.

On the lavendar carpet, these women turn into a giddy sisterhood, radiating in brilliant reds, purple, and fuschia, and kicking up their heels in Cole Haan silhouette and kitten heel pumps and isty-bitsy purses.

They may gone giddy but they haven't lost their influence. They managed to talk Cole Haan into throwing a fashion show to sweeten their awards luncheon.

On a vivid blue day at the Santa Monica Airport, Hollywood dignitaries mixed and mingled with Hollywood celebrities in this rare event, former Los Angeles Mayor, Richard Riordan and Sheriff Lee Baca socializing with pioneering hair stylist, Jose Eber, and the legendary Kirk Douglas and his wife, Anne.

This is more than just partying. The Douglases are being awarded the "Good News Maker of the Year Award," for raising funds and renovating broken-down playgrounds for children.

Kirk Douglas with his wife, Anne

Beverly Hills hair stylist, Jose Eber, being greeted by L.A. socialites

Since the girls are in charge, they spiced it up by inviting hunks for a good cause. HGTV's Carter Oosterhouse, star of "Carter Can" and "Red, Hot & Green," offered to chip in and contribute his construction skills in building safe but fun playgrounds in neglected neighborhoods.

HGTV's Carter Oosterhouse

"Sex in the City" star, Jason Lewis decided to join in on the sunny afternoon soiree with Cole Haan's CEO, James Seuss.

Jason Lewis scooting and shuffling closer to the photographers

Once the guests settled into their gourmet lunch of either grilled salmon fillet or chicken breast, the Good News Girls commence this luncheon by reminding everyone that purpose for this event-to honor and reward people, whether they're celebrities or the average Joe or Jane, who make a positive impact in people's lives.
The most obvious recepients were Kirk and Anne Douglas renovating playgrounds.
The other two unsung heroes were Jane Phillips, a KNBC graphic engineer who formed The Crown Jewel Club, an etiquette after-school program saving at-risk girls from joining gangs. Through Anna Garcia's son's help, these young ladies were given free, specially-designed trinkets from Juicy Couture.
The other heroine is Tanya Walters, a Los Angeles public school bus driver who was worried about her passengers' falling grades and educational apathy, basically their lack of overall drive. On a whim, she took these kids on educational field trips, from a marine lab to Museum of Tolerence, all within their own backyard. For each outing, Tanya saw a bump in their grades and a new zeal in education. This bus driver turned fairy godmother maxed out her own credit cards to lease a bus to drive these kids cross-country on a road trip. It wasn't the usual amusement parks but a soul-changing trip tracing the paths and roots of the Civil Rights Movement, the history and horrors of slavery, and the road to Independence. She wants these kids to know there is a bigger world out there. Plus, the world doesn't swirl around Hollywood and entertainment, there are bigger and deeper issues that impact them directly.
For her efforts, Oprah profiled her and the Good News Girls rewarded her with a top-of-line tour bus to take Tanya and her kids on another inspiring road trip plus a fund to continue her educational program.

After people digested the meat and potatos of the purpose of the Good News Foundation, the girls offered a special treat-a Cole Haan fashion show of its current Fall/Winter 08 Collection.
A functional Americana of sporty but classic clothes fitting into people's daily lives. Here are these bumper crop of Autumn trends hitting the stores right now.
Fall's flourishes were swingy wool capes...

Marshmallowy puff vests in pumpkin...

Morphing into buttery tan leather jackets, coats, and boots. This outfit has a touch of that Late Fifties/Early Sixities' "Mad Men" influence.

The trench coat is retooled into leather, specifically the Seventies in classic tan or bottle green.

This ensemble is very classic Mid-Seventies Michael Kor's look-tan leather trench coat paired with cool, crisp white trousers.

Another "Mad Men" fashion impact other than old school suit & tie and form-fitting shift dresses is Betty Draper's stress-relieving hobby of horse-riding and her equestrian gear, early acceptable sports/activewear for middle and upper-class women in the early Sixities.
Above, is a more practical pair of Cole Haan's Air Abbi Rainboots in rubber and canvas.

Here's the trendier version with matching riding boots and hobo bag, very Town & Country.

The real treat is having local news weather men, KCBS's Kaj Goldberg and ...

KNBC's Fritz Coleman modeling as the show's finale, the All-American Men at any age showing off Americana fashion.
Once the festivities ended, the guests were allowed to bring home the hand-craved wooden airplanes and the numerous glittering place settings since the decorator has no room to store them.
Wow! A star-studded lunch with a trio of desserts, news anchors whooping it up, a wearable fashion show, and dazzling artwork doubling as place settings turned souvenirs.
The Good News Girls are definitely in charge!