Category Archives: New York Fashion Week

In local news… Toledo woman in Vanity Fair

It’s quite incredible what a little press release can do!  Last week was a whirlwind of excitement surrounding the release of the June edition of Vanity Fair.  Below are the local news outlets that so generously featured me in their media.  Thank you again for letting me share my experience winning the Estée Lauder and Vanity Fair Camera-Ready Style Contest!

Toledo Blade by Roneisha Mullen 5/5/12

WTOL CBS Channel 11 with Mojgan Sherkat 5/8/12
(Click image for video)

Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune 5/9/12

WNWO NBC Channel 24 with China Sellers 5/9/12


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Filed under Estée Lauder and Vanity Fair's Camera Ready Style Contest, New York City, New York Fashion Week, Toledo

Gaga for Carlos Luna

I just squealed when I saw Lady Gaga at MTV Studios in a Carlos Luna dress from his Fall 2012 collection!  “Why?” you may ask…  I attended the debut of this very collection in February at the NOLCHA Fashion Week!  I posted about his show here, where I described it as “simple and sexy meet the unexpected.”

While watching the Carlos Luna show, I particularly liked the dress that Lady Gaga just wore.  Of it I said in the aforementioned post, “Another remarkable item is a short red dress with flowing skirt featuring leather harness-like detail.  The bondage accessory has gained popularit y in recent years by appearing on stars like Sienna Miller, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Beyonce and Miley Cyrus.  This sexual statement piece looks rather demure on such a pretty dress.  The black straps and shoulder pads add just enough spice that I’d like to try it.”

Above is the photo I took at the Carlos Luna Fall 2012 show

This must be a milestone for me to be able to say, “I saw it first!”  But imagine how thrilled Carlos Luna is right now!  His phone, email, Facebook, website… must be blowing up.  Congratulations, Carlos Luna.  You have arrived!

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Filed under Celebrity Style, New York City, New York Fashion Week, Nolcha Fashion Week

Soham Dave Spring 2012: India Refashioned

The essence of the Soham Dave brand embraces hand-crafted clothing, the natural environment, the heritage of India and women who live there today.  While I was in New York during fashion week, I was fortunately invited to the Soham Dave fashion show at the Empire Hotel Roof Lounge.  I first encountered the brand at Nolcha Fashion Week in September of 2011, where I met Alexis, a sweet Ohioan who handles their publicity.  My mother and I attended the presentation set high above the city in the crowded Fireside bar.  Luckily, there was a roof top patio with a window view, which we spilled into once the standing room only allowed no view of the makeshift runway.  While the show added glamour to the eco-friendly collection, it wasn’t until the models mingled with the audience afterward when I could see the fine craftsmanship of the fabrics.

The story behind the fabrics of Soham Dave is what makes the collection so special.  Soham Dave, the designer, was born in Gujarat, India in 1979.  While studying Global Fashion Management at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City, he met Nimet Degirmencioglu.  Soham, as the namesake creative designer, and Nimet, as the brand ambassador and executive of business development, launched their first collection in 2011.  The green brand employs women artisans in India, traditional eco-friendly production techniques, biodegradable fabrics, recycled materials and natural dyes.  Not only does Soham Dave practice fair trade, meaning all workers are paid a fair wage, the company teaches workers about entrepreneurship to create sustainable lives.  By applying traditional Indian skills, including hand embroidery, hand block printing and hand weaving, to contemporary silhouettes, Soham Dave fuses “the old and the new, classic and contemporary, and ancient organic and urban lifestyles.”

Soham Dave also launched a collection of handbags and handmade jewelry, which some pieces are made from scraps of fabric left over from the clothing line.

Soham takes inspiration from nature and Indian tradition.  The motivation behind the latest collection is “Bandhani.”  Bandhani is a method of dying fabric by pinching and tying very tiny pieces of the fabric in a particular design.  After its dyed, the tied thread is unraveled to reveal small square-shaped dots, crinkled creases of fabric and vivid colors.

My take on Soham Dave:

My favorite pieces from the latest collection are the indigo Bandhani empire top and tan Ajrak printed dresses.  From the online shop, I really like the white Safed Khadi dress, white Khadi wrap and beaded necklace on a metal chain.  Another favorite is the Streetline Indigo dress that is Ajrak printed, which was recently purchased by Emma Watson from the Co-op 28 Boutique in Los Angeles.

I’m a fan of Soham Dave because it’s eco-friendly and socially conscious, which is oh, so hot, especially right now.  But I’m eager to see the creators develop those selling points and elaborate on their designs.  I imagine this line becoming super popular with the green folk, organic eaters, vegetarians, vegans, humanitarians, boho chicks and wannabe hippies as long as they embrace that off kilter lifestyle and love of clothing that’s comfy and practical, yet sexy.  Now is the time to thrive on the bohemian/hippie/earth lovin’ style.  I look forward to the addition of more natural dye colors, contemporary prints and sophisticated shapes.

What you need to know about Soham Dave:

  • Every item is handmade by women artisans from remote villages in India
  • All items are made from biodegradable fabrics, recycled materials and natural dyes using environmentally safe production techniques, making this collection 100% eco-friendly
  • The collection currently includes jewelry, handbags and clothing, mostly summery dresses
  • The cost of clothing items range from $80 to $350
  • Based in New York City, Soham Dave is available at boutiques throughout the city and in Cleveland and Philadelphia

Where can you shop Soham Dave:

  • Online here
  • Evie Lou: 2153 Professor Ave., Cleveland, OH; 216-696-6675
  • Also in New York City, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia…

The Show:

The Scene:


Filed under Emma Watson, Fashion, Jewelry, New York City, New York Fashion Week, Nolcha Fashion Week

Fashion Week at the Hudson Hotel, New York, NY

“Urban adventure, daredevil design, and true affordability meet in Hudson, the ultimate lifestyle hotel for the 21st century. Located in midtown, just steps from Central Park, Columbus Circle and the theater district, Hudson is a brilliant reflection of the boldness and diversity of the city, while simultaneously representing the next generation of Cheap Chic – stylish, democratic, young at heart and utterly cool.”


My mother and I stayed at the Hudson Hotel  in New York City during fashion week in February, thanks to the Estée Lauder and Vanity Fair Camera-Ready Style Contest.  The discreet entrance at 356 West 58th Street understated the escalator illuminated in chartreuse just inside leading to the dramatic lobby.  Ivy climbed its forty-foot brick walls shading the blue glow of the ceiling from which hung a great crystal chandelier with images of colorful light bulbs.  The outdoor private park appeared inviting with oversized greenery and garden furniture but was unfortunately closed for winter.  Around the corner by the elevators was the famed ‘Semi-automatic” vending machine which dispenses sunglasses, bracelets, condoms and other accessories for a good time.

At night the lobby hosted good times enjoyed by small groups who overflowed from the Hudson Bar; library, aka bar at night; and hall, aka dining area/bar.  Essentially, in the evenings the whole floor turned into a swanky, dimly lit hangout for the young, or young at heart, who could endure the $18 glasses of wine.  Mom and I sat down there one night on a leather couch while I typed and enjoyed just one glass of wine and she read and glimpsed at the passersby.  She noted a person who seemed to be a man dressed as a woman, who she recognized the next day at Lincoln Center outside of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week wearing the exact same clothing.  He/she must have had a late night at the Hudson.

The fashionable continued to visit the Hudson throughout fashion week.  One day I saw Kellan Lutz, famous for portraying Emmett Cullen in the Twilight Saga, walk past me into my hotel.  After finagling our friendly doorman we discovered that he was there to attend the Loden Dager fashion show in the basement, called Good Units.  Another time there was a photo shoot going on in Hudson Bar.  Later I learned that the hotspot has been featured on such chic and shoepornographic shows as Gossip Girl and Sex and the City.

For my trip’s itinerary the hotel was in the perfect location.  Just a few blocks from the Ailey Studios, where the NOLCHA Fashion Week took stage and four from Lincoln Center and the Met, where I had the photo shoot with Vanity Fair.  It was also two blocks from Central Park and a very short subway ride to the newest Century 21 location, my favorite designer discount haven.

My stay there was pretty perfect too although it really didn’t matter where I stayed.  Just being in Manhattan is thrilling enough.  Being in Midtown was the cherry on top.  The Hudson’s website describes our double room as “A generous space perfect for double accommodation, this room offers the finest amenities and exotic accents that evoke the romance of transatlantic travel. Every detail reflects the brilliant vision of Philippe Starck, including his reinterpretation of a classic U.S. Navy ship chair, found only at the Hudson. Colorful bedside lamps hand-painted by renowned artist Francesco Clemente lend a mystical air.”  I agree.

But if I were being particular I would mention that I could not call out on the room phone, I couldn’t open the door the first few times every time I tried and I could not see very well in the rooms, especially at night.  I get that dim lighting works in the bar areas but not so much when you’re trying to apply makeup or pair clothing.  I read reviews that the rooms were small but we thought ours was adequate.  We didn’t spend much time in the room anyway.  However, I wondered how comfortable my 6’4″ boyfriend would be on the European-style mattresses.  I’d also like to note the fantastic mini bath products by Malin + Goetz, the Manhattan-based apothecary.  My mom loved them so much she asked room service (by cell phone) to bring more, then swiped even more off the housekeeping cart.  They smelled so fresh and clean.  I still carry the vitamin B5 body moisturizer in my purse and  I’m looking to reorder online for someone special’s birthday.  (No, not you, mom!  Just keep reading…)

Thankfully, the hotel is currently undergoing a major renovation, which would resolve all of my complaints.  New phones, mattresses, a smart card lock system, upgraded room lighting and illuminated mirrors will be available this fall.  I do hope to stay at the chic “cheap” hotel again.   I’d like to visit the bar and mingle with the New York socialites.  But I may refill my wine glass in my room.  Until then, New York…

Photos courtesy of myself and Hudson Hotel

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Filed under Estée Lauder and Vanity Fair's Camera Ready Style Contest, New York City, New York Fashion Week, Nolcha Fashion Week

Teresa Rosati Fall 2012: Prim & Party

Teresa Rosati’s diverse collection of formal dresses is a little prim and a little party.  The internationally renowned Polish designer showed her latest assembly of cocktail and evening dresses at Nolcha Fashion Week, which I had the pleasure of attending in February.  The opening number was a short champagne-colored dress with a bubble skirt adorned with a single black lace sleeve.  Paired with a glass of champagne, this tasteful dress is just right for a cocktail party.  With the next look, the party style changed dramatically.  The embellished padded shoulders and metallic fabric remind me of a 1980s music video with a synthesized beat and too much fog, but in a fun, throwback way.

The third dress further mixes moods by pairing bronze brocade with purple sequins, while the last dress combines the current trend of photographic prints with old Hollywood.  This show-stopping gown, covered with black and white pictures of Marilyn Monroe, garnered oohs and ahhs from the audience.  While I’m loving the fun print, I can’t imagine where I’d wear it to in my midwest home.  However, Molly Sims wore a similar dress by Dolce & Gabbana to the 2009 Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards in New York City.  I can also picture it on Katy Perry, Lindsay Lohan or Rihanna.   Another trendy showstopper is the sheer teal gown with pleats and a collar embellished with feathers and shiny appliques.  Sheer fabric, especially skirts, are very popular at the moment.

One of my favorite pieces of Rosati’s collection is the dress with a pale rose skirt and intricate black floral single-sleeved bodice.  I’m probably drawn to its full tulle skirt and shimmering lace because of its resemblance to a ballerina.  The flowing red gown with a deep v-neck, embellished waist and high slit is also a darling.  Notice it’s decorated zipper along the nude back.  Of all the details I adore these embellishments, the glittering material of the navy and gray dresses and the delicate lace.

Photos courtesy of myself and Teresa Rosati

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Filed under Fashion, New York City, New York Fashion Week, Nolcha Fashion Week

Carlos Luna Fall 2012: Simple and sexy meet the unexpected

Clean lines, unique shapes and flowing chiffon comprised Carlos Luna’s fall 2012 collection, presented at Nolcha Fashion Week in New York.  The Columbian born designer, who is an alumnus of Michael Kors and Donna Karan New York, just graduated from Parsons School of Design last year.  He said his third collection was “inspired by the Argentinian tango and really reflects the romance, sensuality and sophistication that the tango brought to Latin America.”

With this collection, entitled “Argot,” it seemed Luna seeked to expose the secret language of the tango. Its femininity was toughened by fur, zippers and leather belts.  Luna also explored unexpected turtlenecks and cutouts.

There were a handful of pieces that stood out and a few that I would really like to own.  As a fan of the combination of black and white I liked the simple white top with black trim.  It’s sophisticated, yet sexy.  The black trim provides enough detail so that minimum accessories are needed, making it easy to wear to the office.  If your office is in the fashion industry (or other creative work) or you’d like to wear it to dinner with friends, kick up the drama a notch with long dangling earrings or a black statement necklace.  Another notable B&W combo is a dress that reminds me of a Stella McCartney creation with its curving diagonal line and cutout shoulder.  The crew neck and skinny leather belt gives it a sporty feel.  I would shorten it and pair it with black strappy platforms for a sexy night on the town.

The jacket of black leather and grey wool also intrigued me.  Luna took the shape of a motorcycle jacket, kept some leather and zippers but softened it, making it sort of preppy cool.  What it has to do with the tango, I do not know, but I like this fresh take on a beloved item.

Another remarkable item is a short red dress with flowing skirt featuring leather harness-like detail.  The bondage accessory has gained popularity in recent years by appearing on stars like Sienna Miller, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Beyonce and Miley Cyrus.  This sexual statement piece looks rather demure on such a pretty dress.  The black straps and shoulder pads add just enough spice that I’d like to try it.  Another harness that I want to attempt is the corset belt from Fleet Ilya.

My favorite pieces are two striking gowns; one red, the other black and white.   The beautiful color of the red dress, high slit, unique turtleneck with side cutout and skinny belt made my heart beat quicken.  As did the final number.  I can imagine this sparkly black and white number with a deep v-cutout and turtleneck on the red carpet.  Seems like something in which Nicole Kidman would look spectacular.

With “Argot,” Carlos Luna reimagined separates and dresses with a minimalist approach, dramatic details and adventurous shapes.  Although there were a couple misses (teal long fur sleeves? no thank you), I look forward to see what he refashions next, especially in his gowns.

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Filed under Celebrity Style, Fashion, New York City, New York Fashion Week, Nolcha Fashion Week

My first big show at New York Fashion Week: Derek Lam’s fall 2012 collection

As part of the Camera-Ready Style Contest presented by Estée Lauder and Vanity Fair, I won two tickets to a New York fashion week show.  This is my experience attending the Derek Lam fall 2012 show.  If you’re just interested in the clothes, then la ti da, skip the witty details and run along to “The collection.”

The preparation

I found out in mid-January that I would be attending the Derek Lam show.  For more information about his style visit this previous post here.  I had no idea what to wear to this extraordinary and extraordinarily fashionable event.  I scavenged my closet, combed street style and personal style blogs, went shopping, searched on Pinterest, shopped some more, Googled, shopped again…  I was freaking out about what to wear.  One of the tips I stumbled upon when preparing for fashion week is to step it up several notches.  Ask yourself, “Would Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist take your picture?”  Ugh too much pressure!  Eventually I got my nerves under control and remembered how casual the people appeared outside of the shows in so many street style blogs.  I packed multiple options because I usually dress depending on how I feel and who knows how I would feel that day.  (I’ve noticed that I’ll often wear the same color for days in row because that’s the hue that matches my current mood.  Hey, I’m a Cancer, ruled by the moon, my moods are always changing!)  Anywho, the day of the show I was feeling the contrast of pretty white lace paired with harder black.  Lately, I’m drawn to girly pieces paired with edgier ones.

I chose a lace dress that I just got at… dare I tell you?  I was shocked to find such an adorable dress at Wet Seal for $15.  I paired it with a black blazer I acquired at a consignment shop in Chicago.  Then I added a black skinny belt, my favorite black booties and my new gold earrings from TopShop.  It wasn’t perfect.  It wasn’t overly dramatic.  But it was flattering, chic and me, at the moment.

The scene

Of course my mother came with me to the fashion show as she was my partner in fashion for the entire trip.  The black sedan was waiting for us when I rushed down the escalator at 11 a.m. on Sunday, February 12.  Thank you to Ben from Vanity Fair for arranging the car and coordinating the whole fabulous trip.  He was such a pleasure.  Later I heard he was a valuable asset to Condé Nast and wise beyond his years.  Someone I’ve recorded to pick his brain if I ever decide to move to the city.

We arrived at St. John’s Center on this particularly bitter and blustery day.  The event and studio space seemed to be off the beaten path as it faces the Hudson River.  But later we discovered we were in the West Village, just north of Soho, where we had wandered the day before.  The space was a large open room with benches on both sides and rectangular structures, some with mirrors, flanking a long straight path I assumed was the runway.  It was not elevated but on the same level as the first row of benches.  Our seats were at the very beginning of the runway, which began with a ramp.  I debated on sharing this because I didn’t want to further embarrass Mr. Lam, but I’m sure you’ll see the humor in it… The first model to grace the runway was actually a rat.  He scampered down the ramp and under the benches to my left, soliciting squeals and raised feet from the guests.  Mom and I thought it was hilarious.  Welcome to New York!


The people

We sat next to a lady from Denmark who is in the fur business.  She travels to every major fashion week in the world each season.  She was sweet and I imagine just overflowing with interesting information only available to insiders.  As we were waiting for the show to begin, she pointed out John Wilder, a very important decision maker in the world of fashion buying, sitting two rows ahead of us.  We also spotted Anna Wintour walking up the runway, probably to greet Derek Lam backstage.  It’s hard to miss the trademark bob and large sunglasses of the iconic editor in chief of Vogue.

Also in attendance were Rachel Zoe, Miroslava Duma, Sofia Sanchez and Garance Doré.  Zoe is a celebrity stylist who has her own reality TV show called The Rachel Zoe Project, published a style book called style A to Zoe: The art of Fashion, Beauty and Everything Glamour and recently debuted her own line of apparel, shoes and handbags.  She is credited for creating the boho chic look with friend, Nicole Richie.  Duma is a former editor of Harper’s Bazaar Russia and currently a freelance writer.  She’s internationally renowned for her fashion sense and a fixture at fashion weeks all over the world.  Sanchez is a model turned art director turned entrepreneur known for her unique style influenced by her homeland of Argentina.  Doré publishes a blog of photos of street style fashion and other musings.  She is also the girlfriend of The Sartorialist’s Scott Schuman.  I can only imagine how beautiful their family photo album will be…

The show was delayed reportedly because Susy Menkes, the respected International Herald Tribune fashion writer, was running late.  After she arrived the show began with violin music, followed by a thumping bass line and an unfamiliar melody.

Anna Wintour walking backstage

Anna Wintour - Photo courtesy of Getty

Rachel Zoe - Photo courtesy of Getty

Miroslava Duma - Photo courtesy of Getty

Sofia Sanchez - Photo courtesy of Getty


The collection

Placed at every seat was a bookmark that read “The Library,” suggesting the theme for Derek Lam’s fall 2012 collection.  The first look was a grey doubleface wool pullover, black lambskin skirt with Persian floral embroidery and grey leather ankle boots with a black tip and gold stripe.  Later I learned that the pretty floral print was inspired by the frontispiece of an old book Lam discovered.  But as puts it “you’d hardly call his Fall girl bookish.”

This hip collegian channeled the sixties with a bouffant hairstyle and smoky cat eye makeup.  Tom Pecheux of Estée Lauder created the look to emphasize heavy lashes with Sumptuous Two Tone Eye-Opening Mascara in Bold Black/Rich Brown.  Read more about backstage here.  The mod decade appeared in full skirts, oxford shoes and blouses, my favorite being the silk georgette necktie blouse.  The pretty yet sporty style also included floral silk outerwear, paisley jacquard layered over floral embroidered collared shirts, trousers and cozy sweaters.

To give a little modern edge, Lam kicked it up a notch with gold, leather and sequins, in particular gold shoes, a black lambskin pencil skirt, wine lambskin pants and sequined tweed that glittered shyly under the lights.  Here, I’d like to note that the leather turtlenecks peeking from tops and dresses were laser cut with delicate patterns and scalloped edges.  This beautiful detail was easily missed from my seat and I didn’t want you to miss it as well.  As for the accessories I fancied the silver ID necklaces, the “Alfie” platform pumps with an ankle strap and the white nubuck “Emmett” oxford.  I actually just picked up a clunky silver ID bracelet from an antique shop in Florida and I’ve been wearing it faithfully since I saw this show.

My new ID bracelet, in need of engraving

It has to be improper to not mention the outerwear when reviewing a Derek Lam show as it’s one of the things he does so well and he offers so many choices.  There were ladylike ivory satin floral coats.  I can imagine wearing the shorter jacket with skinny jeans and great pumps on a Saturday night.  There were also a white wool drill peacoat, black and white tweed jacquard coat and fur stoles that stood out in luxury.

Toward the end of the show were three long skirts of silk georgette that were light, flowy and oh so feminine.  The last two were unexpectedly paired with chunky handknit nylon tulle sweaters.  They created a lovely and cozy end to a comforting collection.

Noteworthy trends from Lam’s collection that are sure to be rampant this fall are leather: wine or black pants, pencil skirts, dresses and trim; fur; T-strap heels from the twenties; chunky sweaters; flowing long skirts; shades of white and ivory and menswear in coats and trousers.

As I analyzed the pieces of Lam’s collection, noticed the details and textures, I liked it more and more.  Most everyone is drawn to red carpet gowns and out on the town ensembles.  But now I have a deeper appreciation for Lam’s ability to interpret his current inspiration (a book and a coed from the sixties) into covetable pieces of luxurious fabrics and spectacular tailoring.

Photos courtesy of myself, Monica Feudi/ and Gianni Pucci/

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Filed under Derek Lam, Estée Lauder and Vanity Fair's Camera Ready Style Contest, Fashion, New York City, New York Fashion Week