“The fashion industry is small and it’s all about friends supporting friends and new labels,” says fashion expert Carson Kressley in a recent interview with styleTV. I couldn’t agree more! So when my inbox received an invite to view russian designer Vassa’s first presentation here in the US, I sent Josh McBride to the Four Season’s Hotel in midtown manhattan to check out the collection. My good friend and celebrity stylist PJ Pasqual also happened to have styled the event. To view the entire collection and more, click & watch.
If you’ve been following my blog closely, you know I was asked to be a preliminary judge for the 7th Annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards here in New York. An event I very much look forward to being apart of every year. Back in April, a group of industry leaders came together to decide which bags were the most innovative within a variety of categories. As you know, it wasn’t an easy task to do since there were literally over one-thousand submissions worldwide.
Fast forward two months and the winners are chosen at an exclusive award ceremony held at the School of Visual Arts. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend due to a previous engagement, but I sent along styleTV Correspondent Charlii to speak to the winners, as well as, a variety of other VIP guests in attendance. To find out who we rubbed elbows with-Click & watch!
Video by John Mastriano
There are some trends that are tricky to wear and lace is one them. Even celebrities have a hard time getting it right. Take Marc Jacobs for example. His lace frock might be great as a shirt, but as full-length dress I’m going to have to give it a no no. No man OR woman should ever attempt lace in this way. Sorry Marc! On the other hand, queen of reality television, Kim Kardashion, has pulled off the trend quite beautifully and looks youthful in this Valentino lace cocktail style dress. A great tip to keep in mind when attempting lace is to rock it in a bold color like red, blue or yellow for a luminous fresh glow. For more great tips-Click here!
The official color of summer, yet not everyone likes to embrace it. Despite the rumors you may have heard, this particular shade can look great on anyone (even celebrities) if worn the right way. Take Kate Winslet for example, in this beautiful dress designed by Stella McCartney. The adding of the black panels gives the illusion of a slimmer curvier body, and is just one easy way for you to look your best while rocking summer’s chicest color. To learn more simple tricks-Click here!
Despite the amazing weather we’ve been having in New York lately, I was invited to spend it indoors (air-conditioned of course) at the Hyatt 48 Lex this past Sunday. For the third year in a row, I’ve been asked to be on the preliminary judging panel for the Handbag Designer Awards.
For those of you unfamiliar, Emily Blumenthal is the founder of the HBD Network. Home to Handbagdesigner101.com, The Independent Handbag Designer Awards and author of Handbag Designer 101: Everything You Need to Know About Designing, Making, and Marketing Handbags. Emily has earned herself the title of industry’s leading handbag scout who’s recently been on the casting panel for Project Runway’s spinoff, Project Accessory. She is also their official blogger.
A process that began back in December, interested candidates were encouraged to submit some of their latest designs to one of the following categories-Best Overall in Style & Design, Student Made, Best Handmade, Best Green, Most Socially Responsible and Fan Favorite. With over a 1000 applicants who applied worldwide, the chances of becoming the next big name within the handbag world is like winning the lottery-slim to none.
Although if lucky to be chosen as a finalist, winners announced at the Handbag Designer Awards in June here in New York, are given opportunities to have their lines featured in major fashion magazine’s like Instyle, who has partnered with Emily for several years now and features the winners in their September issue. Along with free publicity, the overall winner will receive a complimentary booth at one of the largest fashion trade shows in the US-WWD Magic, have their line picked up at Bloomingdale’s and a collaboration with this years iconoclast recipient Rafe.
Past winners include Clara Kasavina, who won 2011’s red carpet ready category. Since their win, their evening style handbags have been seen in magazine’s like American Vogue, Instyle, Teen Vogue and Lucky. They’ve also been spotted on the red carpet adorning celebs like Leslie Mann, Rihanna and Catherine Zeta-Jones. I even had the opportunity to pull several pieces for supermodel Coco Rocha for an appearance in New York.
Bloomingdale’s and Henri Bendel’s have expressed interest in carrying their line since being recognized, and they are now being sold at various boutiques internationally.
Rouzita & Bita Vahhabaghai have also experienced this kind of success since winning in the overall category last year. Their line ita was quickly picked up by Sak’s 5th Avenue and Intermix. Selling out at certain locations have put them on track to expand to even more doors. They say being apart of this competition was the best decision they could have made to help grow their business. However, since being recognized by leaders in the industry, they feel the pressure that comes along with all their new business.
Speaking of pressure, Aimee Kestenberg, at only 24, felt the need to make a name of herself within the world of fashion. After being named a winner in 2010 and finalist in 2011, she received her work visa and quickly partnered with the Adoni group to create her line Aimee Kestenberg. Her dream once a mere thought is now her reality.
In a market where names like Hermes, Celine, Coach and Michael Kors dominate, being the next break out star comes with its challenges. Emily and her mission are slowly changing that allowing emerging names to float to the surface with the Handbag Awards now in its seventh year. Her continued efforts to fight for the underdog are being noticed by big names like Brother, Timberland, Charming Charlie’s, Pantone, and Vitamin Water which are all official sponsors of this year’s awards.
Emily continues to inspire those around her with her passion, dedication and spunky personality. She saw a need and instead of thinking of herself, she thought about helping others. The mind of genius if you ask me!
On a personal note, I’ve absolutely enjoyed being apart of this particular project for the past three years now. Looking back and seeing how far some of these designers have come, to know that I was apart of that, reminds me why I got involved in fashion. You can’t be successful yourself without helping others become successful too. Emily proves this theory with the Handbag Awards.
The term “selfie” seems a bit narcissistic if you ask me, but everyone seems to be doing it these days, even celebrities. So when I started noticing the trend take over my social media feeds, I had to ask myself one question, “Do I partake or stray away?”
After doing some further research, I quickly realized that those snapping these candid, yet sometimes a bit awkward shots, had enormous followings into the hundreds of thousands, mainly on Instagram. To add to this, these types of self-exploited portraits were attracting the likes of thousands of admirers around the globe. As my sister quickly explained, “These are the type shots people love to see!”
So to test the waters, I decided to post my first #selfie. Within seconds, I found my phone vibrating with excitement letting me know they like you, they really really like you. With my sister being right, I’m curious to know why this type of photo has become so popular.
Younger women have become the biggest supporter of snapping selfies, leaving brands scrambling to profit from them. Selfie style contests, are just one type of marketing tool they are using to gain great amounts of exposure, with little to no cost to them. In some cases, making unknowns known overnight.
Genius?…Possibly!…Narcissistic?…A little! Ultimately, time will tell if this is just another fad or an amazing tool for designers to use. Until then, I’m getting my #selfie on. Cheese!;)
Global mega retailer H & M has created an exclusive collection made up of mostly partywear that are not only cheap and chic, but more importantly made entirely from sustainable and eco-friendly materials like organic cotton, recycled polyester, recycled polyamide and Tencel. Helen Hunt was even recently seen at this years past Oscar’s dawning a gown from their “Conscious Exclusive” Collection as it’s called, an extension from their “Conscious” Collection which debuted earlier this year. Anywho, a #Fashion4good shout to H & M and Helen Hunt for promoting the idea of a healthy environment through the idea of fashion. The collection will make its way to stores April 4th for both men and women. Shop responsibly!