Wednesday, February 25, 2015

New York Fashion Week: Berenik F/W 15

Whispering hauntingly down the runway, Swiss label Berenik showcased a ready-to-wear line of almost androgynous separates at New York City's Designer Loft. 

Inspired by her travels and her life, designer Veronika Brusa instilled something personal that was immediately palpable in this line. In fact, each look radiated a similar feeling of somber strength, which becomes even more clear considering Brusa is a "reserved creator who likes to pull back in order to deeply immerse herself in her work." For me, I sensed that it's a collection that represents both desolation and isolation. 

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

New York Fashion Week: JM Couture F/W15 Gets Gowns Right

JM Couture proved that it's a dress to be reckoned with by unveiling its F/W15 collection, naturally titled "Obsidian," at New York Fashion Week.

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Copyright JM Couture. 

Forget rags-to-riches, founder Jim Mullen's story happens to be a very true t-shirt-to-couture story that culminated in Sunday's reveal. In 2009, Mullen began what is now JM Couture by selling shirts to support his music endeavors, and it's now clear that this line has grown up and slipped on its party gown. Much like its volcanic namesake, the "Obsidian" collection exudes sultriness and oozes organic femininity by flattering the human form.


New York Fashion Week: Darkoh's F/W 15 Collection

Bespoke: It's all the rage. We like our made-to-order this, that, and everything these days. From our food to fashion choices, we're drawn to the unique. We get it-- it's cool. For investment pieces, like a staple suit though, that bespoke quality and precision tailoring can be out of reach or plain inaccessible for many. Darkoh is determined to change that for menswear. 

With roots in bespoke suiting, Darkoh unveiled its latest collection of F/W15 menswear that focuses not only on trend but fit, offering ready-to-wear that reflects a made-to-order attention to detail. Its German designer, Joyce Darkoh, has her work cut out for being a woman designer in the predominantly male-dominated world of men's suiting, which is no quick snip. Darkoh aims to offer a bespoke experience with instant accessibility and a more reasonable price tag. 

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New York Fashion Week: Ese Azenabor F/W 15

So, the all-too-infamous New York Fashion Week has come and gone (sort of). Lingering events and this lingering feel of exhaustion--hello, do I even have toes anymore?!--continue on, though. I attended runway shows, events, presentations, you name it. I did not attend some of the more major shows, but of course, I've kept up with my favorite designers, perusing images that appeared online almost, if not, live. Ah, this age of instant sharing and social media. Put your phones in the air, snap and tap wildly...hashtag--voila! Posted! 

I'll be sharing reviews of many of the shows I personally attended and viewed in-person. I'll also be re-capping other favorite looks, collection round-ups, opinions and notable moments from this ever-wild ride we all spin on here in New York known at #NYFW. 

Ese Azenabor:

Ese Azenabor's Fall/Winter 2015 collection, shown at the Affinia Manhattan Hotel ballroom, reflected the designer's unapologetic passion for culture and luxury. So, who better to pay homage to with this collection than King Henry VIII and his notoriously lavish reign? 

It was rich. It was decadent. It was sensual. All of the components that please the monarch. All of Henry's wives were represented in the namesake of the looks and also included "Nemesis", "We are Victorians," and "Wars of Roses." Each look summed up Azenabor's interpretation of her appointed titles. The designer's miraculous self-taught skill sewing skills and attention to detail catapulted her to the spotlight, and this collection continued to highlight her staple hand-beading, crochet , and embroidery in striking gold, silver, and ruby bejeweling.

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Copyright: Getty Images


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Right Now in Five.

How are you?

I'm OK, thanks, just buried beneath some snow and up here slipping on black ice. Other than that, I'm jazzy--full of warm beverages, snacks, and surrounded by dogs, and that's the way the past month has passed. I've been in hibernation.  I'm thawing out now, though, so prepare yourself. This bear is ready to socialize again.

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And, just in time. New York Fashion Week is officially underway. Wish me luck. I'll need all of the coffee I can get these stubby hands on. Bring some too, just in case. 

It's finally that time again. Well, it should have been "that time" awhile ago, but I digress. Let's just call this past month of January an "I owe you."

Here's what I'm thinking of, watching, doing, and using right now.

Count 'em...

1. Women Empowerment Moves

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   Women versus other women or women tirelessly cheering on other women, both are prevalent today. The nasty: We fat-shame, skinny-shame, makeup-shame, no makeup-shame. Every kind of attack. Some times, it feels as if we can't win. On the other hand, we simultaneously hear of and (hopefully) encounter women who stand up for, defend, proactively seek out opportunities to offer opportunities and aid to, and are overall passionately dedicated to their female (wo) man. Go, ladies. I've had the pleasure of being a part of two women's groups, predominantly for those based in Los Angeles, Miami, and New York and particularly for those of us working in and passionate about the creative fields. Think: actresses, musicians, pr wizards, writers, photographers, although not limited. They've been nothing short of life-changing. From job opportunities, networking, planning and participating in any number of social events, help in location scouting, relationship advice, restaurant recommendations, fitness questions, accountability partners, makeup tutorials, discussions on mental health and emotional disorders, Tinder nightmares--COME ON, PEOPLE....I couldn't even make this stuff up--to the everyday highs and lows of life in general. Like the Barenaked Ladies sang, "It's all been done," and we vent and debate and share it all. Tears, laughter, apologies, ice=breaking memes, heated arguments, and mature debates. From this, I've learned and expanded. I feel even more confident in my ability to relate, and I have a forum to ask questions and receive knowledge from the superficial to the complex and specific. I'm now helping more intensely to establish a similar group based solely out of New York. From professional to personal, you have a place. It's always nice to know that you're not alone. As a human being coexisting with others on this planet. And, as a woman.

Instead of, "you CAN'T sit with us," Let's work on implementing, "you CAN sit by me."

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    We do not all have to agree, and in fact, it's even more enlightening when we don't. Larger minds discuss. And, without name-calling, which I unfortunately see every single day online and in person. I slip, and I'm not perfect, but I do feel like those reactions typically relay fear, lack of awareness, insecurity, and plain weakness. Let's get a grip. Life can be tough enough already. Life can be heartbreaking when you're alone. Or even just feeeeeel alone. Have some compassion and empathy, and if not those, at the very least, some civility and grace. Bottom line: If you're respectful and feeling like making a connection, you can come sit by me...and my girlfriends. We don't bite. We debate, agree, and disagree a great deal. But, we will all give you honest feedback, and it will vary by the individual. That's a very cool, very rare occurrence. Interested in becoming a part of one of these or want more information? Perhaps, wishing to establish something of your own? Get in touch. I'd be delighted to share my experience and impart some advice.

The original, monumental ladies' support group president:  
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2. Crock-pots

"Happy birthday to you, Olivia. 
Love, your crockpot." 

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Give me your stews, your chilis, your dips. By George, I'm the proud owner of the original Crock-pot. I feel like my mother. No offense, Mom, really. You cannot, without a doubt, deny that you're getting older and possibly entering into the realm of adulthood when you walk into a store and discuss slow-cooking kitchenware with a salesclerk for thirty minutes. Friends, join me, and we can have the most adult-like, adorable potluck dinner parties. You can order yours from their original site HERE, or a quick Google search can lead you to other retailers. I purchased mine from Bed, Bath & Beyond with a 20% off coupon, hell yeah. I knew that I thought I wanted a Crock-pot. I just needed to reallyyyyyy make sure. There are many other variations. But, you can't beat an original. Or, that was my thought process. So, now, scouring the Internet for the very best recipes in all things slow, I go*. If you have them, send 'em my way. has its benefits: Apparently, Botox and Crock-pots is the life for me. I'm OK with this life.

*Oh, and a general list of slow cooker recipes can be found HERE from I have my eyes on the green bean casserole--I'm weak! I can't ever pass this dish up, although my own will never trump my mother's or even come close. I need it for comfort these days as consolation for my cold, stiff fingers and heart. Never one to skip dessert, the chocolate hazelnut polenta cake via Crockpot sounds positively heavenly.

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3. The Fall

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Netflix, it's no secret that I adore you. We're in a relationship. We spend cozy nights together in bed. You comfort me when I'm down. You make me laugh when I've had "a day." And, once again, I thank you for bringing this morose, gloomy, and very addicting addition to my life, The Fall. It's not lighthearted by any means. It's dark, slow, and solemn. It's also not Law & Order-- no cheesy (but, lovable! no judgment!) dramatics, no overly-staged scenes or predictable dialogue. Plus, it's set in Belfast, so the accents tickle the ear, if you're into that sort of thing...

When the Belfast police hit nothing but dead ends in their investigation of a series of murders, London-based Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson is sent to take over the case in this suspenseful and unsettling crime series. As she navigates her way through bureaucratic and personal entanglements, Gibson soon discovers that her serial killer prey is a far more complicated foe than she ever imagined -- and he’s not about to give up easily.

**Update: I've now watched both incredible--albeit short--seasons of Black Mirror. Mind equals blown. I'm still reeling from the eerie, satirical (but highly) appropriate commentary on today's society...and our possible future. More on this to come.

4. Airfare Watchdog

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Travel sites can be tricky. Book on this day of the week. This far in advance. Clear out your cookies. Well, Airfare Watchdog continually keeps tabs on particular flights that you've pre-selected. I chose a few different cities, and instead of me regularly checking on the price points, it does the work for me. It sends me an email when or if they drop, pulling from any number of airlines and travel sites. Austin, Los Angeles, and Charleston will be seeing me in the very near future.

5. Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade 

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    Brows: Everyyyyyyyyone is talking about them, filling them in, and paying particular attention to their own and even more so, to others. It's a brow world we live in. Brows are inciting envy everywhere. Oh, and shocking others. "Did you see the girl with the great eyebrows back there?" Some of my favorite ladies and all-around beauty gurus have been swearing by this magical Anastasia eyebrow pomade. Of course, I knew it had to be good, but just how good can an eyebrow color be?! Pretty darn magical, like my ladies said. It's creamy, waterproof, and looks more natural than powders and pencils. You choose the color that matches best and/or you're aiming for. Not sure how to go about using this without looking crazy? Believe me, you CAN look crazy, especially if you're a little heavy-handed. Check out this tutorial video HERE. Anastasia not only knows eyebrows, but she reigns over them. Spend the $18. It's more than worth it. How did I do without this product? If nothing else, I'll choose well-groomed brows (or a good faking of that with a good color touch-up!) and a swipe of lip color. The power of a good brow should not be underestimated. Grab some from the Anastasia headquarters, but Sephora and Ulta carry the Dipbrow Pomade as well as the majority of the line's other products as well.

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And, that's all for right now. I'm off to Fashion Week. Send band-aids, foot massages, and a double espresso, please! Oh, and a body double. Definitely a body double. 

Be well, you. And, be good TO you (like Journey told us--They don't lie). 

“Be kind to humanity, she is very lonely, everyone is busy 

with themselves.” 

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