Thursday, December 18, 2008

Razzle Dazzle Into the New Year with Uptempo Clothes and Totes

Ombre Fringe Dress
By Laura Medina
December 18, 2008
Swing into the New Year with a sneak peek into Foley & Corrina's hottest new offerings for Spring/Summer 2009.
Ombre Fringe Top
If you're lucky enough to get your hands on these shimmery numbers, you'll be set for New Year's Eve.

Strapless Ombre Fringe Dress

Don't fret. Since these are from Foley & Corinna's Spring/Summer Line, you can still get them...

Tiered Bow Dress

and wear them for a very long time, well into Summer soirees and Spoleto cocktails and events, school dances or even the prom. You might unexpectedly be mistaken for a "Gossip Girl" since Foley & Corinna does outfit the stars, Leighton Meester, and the most of the cast of that tv series.

Rainbow Shift Dress

You might be happily mistaken for the Hippie-influence, free-flowing Upper East Side prepster, Serena van der Woodsen in this rainbow striped dress and the following outfits.

Layla Handheld Totes in Butterscotch, Black, and Ivory

Even if you feel like you're too old or if the clothes are a little too frilly for your internship or first job, you can justify in investing in these roomy, hardy totes and bags that are a great compliment for any age and job.

These Layla Totes can hold your entire life, notebooks (both the computer and the paper kind), a Blackberry, a cell, a scarf, a makeup bag, even a light jacket.

Jitney Totes in Coal, Beige, and White in Black Trim

You can do a "Mom and Daughter" team with these very classic Jitney Totes. Great Spring/Summer carry-alls for the beach, something to stash your lipgloss, sunscreen, bronzer, iPod or iPhone with a cover-up and hat.

Retro Dandelion Mini Dress with Sleeves

Foley & Corinna isn't just swinging party and evening wear. They also make some sweet contemporary day wear that can help you ease into those humid, muggy Spring/Summer days.

As proven above, their day wear can be simply dressed up with a functional but chic Layla tote for town.

This dress can also be worn as a tunic with skinny jeans and boots.

Cosmic Jungle Triangle Cup Top with Perforated Crossbody Bag

You can really stretch a wardrobe by pairing a frugal jean cut-off with the airy Cosmic Jungle Triangle Cup Top.

The Crossbody Bag is a wise high school/college investment, hauling all your books and laptop and iPhone from class to beach or vice versa.

Baby Disco Pouches and Bright Multi Macrame Clutch

You can wear a Foley & Corinna Crepe and Chiffon Pieced Tunic for the office or a more formal night out when you pair it with an equally creamy silk camisole. Save the Metallic Linen Shorts for the clubs. Lurex-infused fabrics are the next big trend in fabrication, giving outfits that subtle Space Age Sheen.

If the previous fringe tops and dresses are too much for you, you can always carry a fringe clutch in bohemian macrame.

See, Foley & Corinna has everything for everyone for Spring and Summer.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"Love, Glamour, & Luxury" Kevan Hall, A Designer's Designer

The Masai Collection's Zebra-Print Dashiki with rhinestone trim

by Laura Medina

December 17, 2009

Black & White Gingham Halter Blouse in Silk Dupioni

In an exclusive interview, Mr. Kevan Hall, Vanessa Williams' favorite red carpet fashion designer, offers insight into what goes into bring a fashion collection from concept to runway to store.

For each and all collections, whether it be his current Spring 2009 Collection, "Stage Door" or his previous smash hit, "The Masai" Collection.

He always starts with an inspiration. Then, to gain the correct historical or cultural information, he does research.

For his latest collection, Mr. Hall studied Old Hollywood/MGM Studio costume designer, Adrian Gilbert. Fascinated that Mr. Gilbert took his haute couture training at Parson School of Applied Arts and Design in Paris to MGM Studios where he set the impeccable glamourous image that stuck with Hollywood forever.

He was further intrigued that Mr. Gilbert or simply known as, "Adrian," took his personalized studio couture into high-end ready-to-wear. His influence trickled down into mass production and major fashion trends, setting the style for the Forties and Fifties. In turn, influencing the style and mood of the AMC's hit tv series, "Mad Men," which influence the current set of present-day New York designers, as in Marc Jacobs, doing his own intrepretation of Adrian.

Mr. Hall learned Adrian did eveningwear in gingham, influencing a Califorian sportswear/contemporary designer in the Forties and Fifties, Claire McCardle. She followed suit, using gingham in sportswear, making it a popular pattern in the Fifties.

Lurex-infused wool steath dress

Armed with the history and information, these set the upcoming collection's tone.

Unlike most brands, Mr. Hall does all the sketches himself on a set of croquis. Croquis are pre-drawn patterns of the human body of different genders and ages that are anatomical correct. By sketching around these accurately measured figure patterns, he can see how realistically his sketches are.

White Kalaris Gown with Ceremonial Neckband from the "Masai" Collection

From there, he shops for fabrics that will fit the theme of what the collection is.

Once Mr. Hall buys all the fabrics he needs, he works with his pattern-maker. They start to see things, the draping or the flaws. Eventually ironing out the kinks, they design the blueprint of every outfit that is going to be in the line.

When Hall approves the designs, he assembles his team in his atelier, his workshop and waiting room, more pattern-makers, the sewers, and his assistants. "I can't do everything."

They start to cut and sew the real sample garments people will eventually see on the runway.

This is where the merchandising begins, when Hall starts to plan his fashion show. If he is not showing during a fashion week anywhere on the globe, Hall displays his collections in charity benefits or do a traveling trunk show at Neiman Marcus at a town's or city's best boutiques.

While his team puts the line together, Mr. Hall figures a sexier look and cut for publicity for the runway show.

However, for a more intimate trunk show, he shows more realistic proportions and cuts to the retailer. Hall also has the flexiblity to present his garment in a multitude of looks, pairing a blouse with a trouser or a turtleneck or taking a complete outfit then breaking it into separates. The ways a real woman picks and puts her wardrobe together.

When it comes to selling to women, his advice, be realistic when selling to real women.

At his last Los Angeles Fashion Week show, Spring 2009, the city's creme de la creme showed up in support, Candy Spelling, Dana Delany, Christine Devine, and his honor, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. The women proudly wearing his creations.

Based on his observations, Full Frontal Fashion TV host, James Aguiar commented Mr. Hall knows the importance of the press and buyers at a fashion show.

Depending on the level of each show, either Mr. Hall or his assistants personally meet and greet the customer or the client.

The man himself, the classy Kevan Hall

Mr. Hall has a loyal and steady following among fashion-conscious but not trendy-hungry women of a certain age.

Mr. Aguiar added he is the leader among the current crop of Los Angeleno designers.

His selection in design and fabrication have made his creations timeless pieces that still generate heat and popular demand.

His popular Zebra-print Dashiki with the rhinestone trim now reached mythical proportions.

He sent it out to Tunsia for an "O" Magazine shoot then it went missing in action. He plans to track it down and get it back because so many people still seek it.

Oh well, remember Mr. Hall's mission statement every time he releases a line, "Love for all things glamorous and luxurious".

Saturday, December 13, 2008

70%, 80%,90% Off! Divine Design Gala & Sale Kicks Off the Holidays in Beverly Hills! by Laura Medina

Miss Hello Kitty welcomes you to the 16th Annual Project Angel Food's Divine Design Sale
December Fourth, at the Beverly Hills Hilton, the generous cancer and AIDS charity, Project Angel Food kicks its much anticipated and much beloved 50% Off, 70% Off, 80% Off, and 90% Off Divine Design Sale, a yearly fundraiser where people shop for never-been worn, never-been used designer overstocks from brand name designers such as Marc Jacobs, Diane Von Furstenberg and cosmetics from Smashbox and Jouer and top of the line furniture from the most stylish furniture design companies.
Every penny spent during the four days sale extravaganza, where a pair of black ribbon $ 395 Marc Jacobs mules can be had at song for $39.50 in ten different sizes and Diane Von Furstenberg's impeccably modern class silk wraps, normally retailing at $200, can be snapped up at $20 a pop in jewel tones, goes straight into the charity itself. No middle man. None of the donating designers and companies partake any of the profits.
Since these companies donate their overstock to make room for their upcoming collections, they use it as a tax write-off, therefore cannot profit from the charity sale.
All of the profits quickly goes directly into the charity's kitchen and ingredients where celebrities such as David Arquette cook fresh, hot meals for cancer-and AIDS-stricken women and their children who are too sick to shop and cook, and whereas Hollywood socialites such Eric McCormack's wife, Janet, personally delivers hot lunch and dinners, driving all over town, for sick people.
The sale highlights were Mattel's Barbie Lounge, a fuchsia pink wonderland of all things Barbie. They were good-hearted enough to donate their top-of-the-line high-end fashion Pink Label, a bevy of Brunette Barbies, yes, Brunette Barbies reflecting the current demographics of multi-ethnic Hispanic/Asian-American girls in their toddler years to tween who love anything fashionable and anything pink. Why should the traditional Blond Barbie have all the fun?
Even blond girls want a Brunette Barbie.
Barbie Collection Black Bolero Jacket with Hot Pink Full Skirt with Barbie Silhouettes
During the Opening Night, where actor and rocker dads, such as David Arquette and Motley Crue's Vince Neil, besieged the Barbie Lounge for their daughters, and the first two days, the 50% Off Friday then 70% Off Saturday, the Barbie Lounge was practically cleaned out. Save for one lone Miss January Garnet Brunette Barbie with Latina features and caramel skin and eyes, which this writer got on 80% Off Sunday at $10, Mattel's Barbie Lounge was a sold-out success!

Unless you are a fashion industry insider, Barbie does an adult-sized collection of Barbie inspired fashion line meant to be worn by adult women who never outgrew their love for Barbie. Anna Sui did a linen peasant blouse with hot pink ribbon trim. Diane Von Furstenberg did her iconic wrap dress in hot pink wood grain print with a matching luggage collection.
The black velvet bolero cropped jacket with the hot pink full skirt with the embroidered Barbie Millicent Rogers (yes, that is her full real name) silhouettes is part of the adult Barbie Collection to be auction off-and someone did bought it!

Mattel also did a limited-edition Barbie of "Dancing With the Stars" Cheryl Burke. She never thought in a million years, Barbie would do a doll of her.
This Cheryl Burke Doll was in a silent auction to further benefit Project Angel Food.

"Dancing With the Stars" Cheryl Burke in a David Meister Dress

Proceeding the Divine Design Opening Night Sale, Project Angel Food honors Hollywood's most humanitarian celebrities who support and actually help the organization, without failure, at the city's most prestigious black tie event, the Divine Design Gala.

This gala is on equal standing of Manhattan's charity benefits at the same time, the Christmas/Hanukkah season where both cities burst out with the best balls and the most glamorous parties, all raising money for each cities' most needy.

Project Angel Food's Divine Design Sale is a win-win event where healthy people can get the best quality gifts at the best prices (70% to 90% off the retail price, cannot beat that). By doing so, they pump money into the city's most neediest people who deserve care and compassion in a time for giving.

With a constellation of stars shining their patronage, they believe this is the time to use their star wattage to power the time to give. They are aware of their influence. If they are out and front supporting a charity, maybe their fans and normal citizens will follow in their foot steps.

Ms. Burke, in a curve-hugging but very comfortable David Meister dress, says this is a wonder cause. "It helps people who can't help themselves."

Ok, she's a normal gal. "Because of hectic schedule, rehearsing, dancing, and touring, never have time to shop. I need a good night to shop."

With these deep-discounts, there could never be a better night and days to shop! 50% off with A-List Hollywood celebrities-why not!

David Arquette being interviewed by Canadian TV in his own clothing line, Propr.

For David Arquette, social activism is a part of growing up. His mother marched with Martin Luther King. Working in soup kitchens, whether it be for the homeless or the seriously ill, cooking up made-from-scratch, hot meals is second nature for this kind-hearted soul. Don't let his light-hearted goof ball appearance fool you, there is something warm and deep about this man. No wonder Courtney Cox married him.

While being interviewed by Canadian TV, he stressed the other charities he works for, Feeding America, the largest food distributor in America for cash-strapped families. They provide two million pounds of food a year.

This charity has its own fund drive.

He recounted this funny story of he run around during a Lakers game, pleading with fellow celebrities to autograph a tee-shirt for Feeding America's "Clothes Off Our Backs" to raise money, without being kicked out by security.

He calls these charities amazing, beautiful work, providing love and food, supported by donors and volunteers.

A man so goofy that he's sweet. A man who puts where his heart is.

David Furnish with Janet, wife of Eric McCormack & her husband, Eric McCormack of "Will & Grace"

Producer/Director and GQ's columnist (Elton John's partner), David Furnish states Project Angel Food and its Divine Design Sale, "It deserves attention."

He would never allow people to forget the organization's mission, whether it be cancer or AIDS, sick people need proper nutrition and a well-rounded, healthy diet so their medications can work faster and properly.

Mr. Furnish is very disappointed with the shrinking attention on World AIDS Day and the AIDS rates in Africa and India.

By appearing as Project Angel Food's honoree, he wants to use his star wattage to remind people that AIDS is now a worldwide cause, not just in America.

Project Angel Food has been Eric's and his wife, Janet's main charity for ten years.

Mr. McCormack is not afraid to state Project Angel Food has expand its scope from gay men with AIDS to anyone with a life-threathening illness. The organization's latest focus are women and children with cancer.

He commented, "A logical connection at this time of year. People are learning about organization. AIDS hit the theater and fashion industries hard. This is a logical connection."

To increase volunteerism year-around, Mr. McCormack offer these tips, "Very easy to show up. Just show up. You don't have to be rich."

Sheryl Lee Ralph, Project Angel Food Board Member

Ms. Diva, aka, Sheryl Lee Ralph, says Project Angel Food is near and dear to her heart.

"When I first moved to LA, I noticed this church. One day, my car broke down in front of this church. I realized it's a charity kitchen. It's Project Angel Food. Now, I am proud to say I am a board member."

Because of their undying kindness to the sick, poor, and discriminated, Ms. Ralph formed an off-shoot charity of her own, catering to African-Americans suffering from AIDS, "Divas Simply Singing," where she wrangles other predominate divas into giving concerts to raise aware and funds for her charity.

She cancelled a gig that night to attend this gala, "Create Divas Foundation. We're the ones to drive this infectious illness away."

She is also here to cheer on her long-time friend and designer, Tadashi Shoji. Ms. Ralph, "Tadashi said, you need some clothes? Been my designer for stage since then."

Tadashi Shoji & Lisa Rinna in a vintage Dolce & Gabbana bejewelled collar dress.

Dapper in a Ralph Lauren suit, Tadashi Shoji feels very fortunate to be a Project Angel Food honoree for their black tie Divine Design Gala, along with fellow honoree, David Furnish.

"Ten years ago, I donated all my birthday gifts, on my birthday, to Project Angel Food."

In a charitable spirit for this time, Lisa Rinna decided to be chicly subtle and thrifty. When asked who is she is wearing, she gladly stated, "I've been shopping my own closet this year. This is a vintage ten years-old Dolce & Gabbana. Less is More." She discovered this gem in the back of her closet and believed this is still good enough to wear, an classic investment.

Ms. Rinna believes, "Project Angel Food is amazing."

"It's part of our job-to give." "My best friend is on board."

When it comes to selecting your charity, "You have to be careful. Do your research. My first charity was the Carousel of Hope."

"It's all about giving your heart and soul."

A curvy, girly-girl's best buddy, Californian designer/Parson-trained, Meghan Fabulous

Once the hour-long black tie dinner with the accompanying Tadashi runway fashion show was over, everyone rushed over to the after-party/the sale itself (and unofficial kick-off party) at a converted Mays-Robinson department where the real action is.

A sale so glittering that even designers themselves shop here for their friends and family. With an open bar and trays of hors d'oeuvre coursing through the crowd, this is the real party where Beverly Hills socialites, Hollywood celebrities and everyday folks mingle together with a dancing Hello Kitty.

There were more stars than the more dinner. Insider, true Hollywood society couple, the respectable Fox 11 news anchor, Christine Devine and her rock star (bassist for White Sneak & Quiet Riot)/actor beau, Sean McNabb started their holiday shopping. This couple knows everyone worthing knowing, from charity bashes to LA Fashion Week. A good couple to know.

Comedian Judy Tenuta enjoyed that night festivities, hanging out at the Barbie Lounge.

What Project Angel Food has steadily accomplished for 16 years straight, is take a usually gloomy matter, suffering and dying from illness by offering care, sympathy, and dignity by celebrating life through concerts, bashes, and their famous and very generous 50%-70%-80%-90% Off Divine Design Sale. All these makes Project Angel Food self-efficient, free from government intrusion.

This is a great occasion to showcase Hollywood, fashion, and entertainment at its best, where the best off give to the worst off.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Hot Spanish Fragrances at Dillard's for Christmas

Hot Spanish Fragrances Arriving at Dillard's
Just in time to warm up the holidays' cold, dark Winter nights are the official debut of current and modern Latin colognes and perfumes from Spain, reflecting that nation's modernity and reawakening.
Long dominated by Italian fragrances, these scents are coming into their own.
Spain is hot right now.
Thanks to portion-control but fun munchy tapas bars, the exuberant Chef Jose Andres, Woody Allen's "Cristina Barcelona,"and PBS' foodie travel show, Mario Batali's and Gwyneth Paltrow's "Spain...On the Road Again," Americans are rediscovering the mother land of all Latin countries, Spain.
People may have eased into Latin culture through Mexican/South/Central American language, culture, and cuisine then popular entertainment. But, now, it is Spain's time to shine.
If Americans know the differences between its Mother land of England, it's time for us to know Spain on its own terms.
What a best way to do this than to spritz deep woodsy traditional colognes from Jesus Del Pozo and Roberto Verino, two of Spain's premier fashion designers.
Christmas is the official launch for these designers.
The warm orange with the crispy steel note of Mardarina Duck is good enough to share between a couples.
The glamourous golden Tous Touch with the gold bear stopper can make any woman in your life feel special.
The good thing about perfumes and cologne, they're gifts that are trend-resistant and they make great heirlooms to pass down from generation to generation.
We, in the Southeast, are lucky enough to be the first region in the United States to sample Spanish Modernity at a reasonable price.
Contact your local Dillard's and take a whiff.

Fashionably Fair, Panache Without the Price Punch

By Laura Medina
December 6, 2008

Sitting in the shadow of the monolithic Beverly Center Mall, a hidden gem. No wait, a powdery blue jewel box of an haute contemporary boutique stocked with avant-garde, European-influenced but wearable easy-breezy tops and subtly sexy dresses waiting to be discovered.

The tops and coats are so well-designed in luxurious fabrics that they’re stand alone pieces that can simply dress up a pair of dark denim jeans and slingbacks without piling on the glitz.

The tops don’t top at $100. Most are in the double digit figures.

It’s instant panache without the price punch.
Hazel's accordion pleated "Carmen Ruffle Wrap Top" in black georgette crepe
The dresses never bust at $150. In fact, there are black jersey wrap dresses waiting to drape a real woman’s voluptuous figure at a friendly price tag of $49. It hides the lumps while hugging and highlighting the curves. Not only is it wallet-pleasant, the jersey knit dress is carry-on durable.
If you have a last-minute trip to Miami’s Art Basel, doing an event in Las Vegas, or coordinating a black-tie but hip New Year Eve's gala-and you have nothing stylish to wear-and you’re on a holiday budget. Joseph Walker has the dresses, the tops, and the pieces to glamorize any woman in the eleventh-hour for under a $100.

Yes, there is an actual designer name Joseph Walker, sketching, designing, and sewing his elegant but approachable collections for his namesake store.

In between, he hunts for one of a kind but delectably tasteful pieces in fake lamb fur and season-less silk/linen tops that will last for a whole year from singularly fashion-forward brands like Hazel and Trinity.

Interior of Joseph Walker where you can lounge and relax

As a contemporary womenswear designer, Mr. Walker definitely has his finger on the pulse, offering the hottest pieces at rational price from up and coming brands in a soft, relaxing atmosphere, easy on the senses.

His jewel box of a shop buffers the shopper from West Hollywood’s hustle and bustle on Beverly Boulevard.

He knows in this mass-produced age, people want a personalized boutique experience, catering to their needs and wants.

You can even drop by and say, “Hi,” to his mascot.

As a designer, Mr. Walker knows how much it costs to buy fabric and source manufacturing –and he refuses to be greedy. He really cares about the customer.

What the customer sees is what she gets and what price she sees is the real cost of the garment.

No top over $100. No dress reaching $150.

Mr. Walker is proud to state he is the most affordable boutique out there than Forever 21. He does not mass-merchandised or manufactured and he never skips on quality, consistently using exquisite tailoring and fabrication. He selectively orders and stocks depending on traffic and customers' personal tastes.

Joseph Walker's normal, everyday prices, nothing reaching $150

If you notice a rip or a tear, his staff is more than happy to immediately fix it for you with a stronger stitch.

The continuous sales rack outside the shop always has the latest pieces at a reasonable price of $24 while other stores sell those exactly same tops at quadruple the price.

For any gem, you need to get off the beaten and weary mall track and dig for some real treasure.

When you do discover Joseph Walker at 8317 ½ Beverly Blvd, Los Angele, CA 90048, the clothes are so distinctive they’re fad and recession proof.

A timeless gem stocked with modish but exclusive pieces for the busy career woman on the go.

If you’re in a panache pinch chasing down quality items and service with a tight purse , you can give them a call at (323) 782-4210.