This season New York Fashion Week was not smooth sailing for me. An unwanted snow storm, canceled shows and a packed freelancing schedule did not allow me to attend the amount of shows I intended to. I did however manage to fit in “Latinista Fashion Week” a platform for Latino designers that I was excited to view once more. In collaboration with Iman cosmetics and Aveda the beauty showcased complimented the collections perfectly. Both experienced and emerging designers showcased their Autumn/Winter 2017 collections.
Knit and crochet wear designer Milagros Batista featured a collection of red and black dresses, tops and an extravagant poncho. The colors and hand fans were a nod to the motherland of Spanish culture. My favorite piece of the collection was a red high neckline dress with a frill hemline. I also admired the multiple embroidered roses with green stems on a simple black dress. Knitting from the age of seven Batista uses bold colors inspired by her homeland of the Dominican Republic.
For her knitting is a spiritual as well as a personal experience. Her knitting and crocheting gave her a feeling of strength and beauty in her community as she donned garments made by her own hands. This is what she wants the wearer of her products to feel. The intricately detailed knitted pieces are a testament to her lifelong experience of the craft. With the bold colors she uses in her collections and the pieces I saw in this collection, how could you not feel strong and beautiful?
Colombian designer Sandra Baquero featured her newest collection. Inspired by the 20’s and 30’s with a touch of aviation, the collection was retro yet modern. Billowing and structured hats topped off asymmetrical jackets, while the simple sweater dress got stark details of leather and top stitching. The neutral color pallet of black, white, olive green and navy were a great canvas for the pleats, zipper detailing and leather accents . Baqueros’s experience with both ready to wear and couture is showcased through her wearable yet dramatic ensembles.
The designer who has eight years of experience with NYFW made her newest collection within four months. With blazers that can be worn multiple ways this NJ and NYC based designer has infused innovation and retro flair into one collection. Beauty was a clean face except for the classic red lip. Aviation style caps with strands of hair peeking out gave the models a just flown look. While the extraordinary wide brimmed and bowler styled hats were my favorites accessories of the night.
Celebrity designer César Galindo’s collection was a parade of cocktail and evening attire. Simple elegant silhouettes were the perfect frame for the busy prints. An array of textures and techniques were melded together perfectly through the color story of red, white and black. Black embroidered cocktail dresses were perfect for an evening out. The red, black and satin flower printed maxi is a great alternative to a traditional red and green holiday dress. Jumpsuits with keyhole tops and flared legs gave a nod to the past while staying present with metallic animal prints. The makeup was classic with bold red lip, while hair was tied back in bubble ponytails.
How did these collections make you feel? Let me know what you think and if you attended any shows. I look forward to the next season of NYFW and sharing it with you all.
What is the best part about turning a year older? How do you change? Well I’m another year older and here are some of the lessons I’ve learned.
1.Things never turn out exactly how you plan them. Well duh you might be saying, but for an “A” type personality like me I like to stick to my plans. Now this is not a lesson I learned recently but it is one my career and the struggle of it constantly reminds me of.
2. Being an introvert is not a bad thing. Growing up, and even in my career in the fashion industry being an introvert has been perceived as a hindrance by peers and myself. When in reality introverts are usually creative people with great ideas. The lack of loudness that comes from introverts doesn’t mean we are weird or stuck up. We simply need time and space to express whatever is on our minds. There are plenty of loud voices in the world. Some of those loud voices are simply that, loud without sense or substance. Let other people be loud, being introverted will serve you in another form. With that said working in an extroverted industry does push you out your comfort zone. And because of that I am not as introverted as I once was.
3. I’m a hustler. Now I always knew I’d be able to take the bad with the good in my industry but it sure has been a tester. I have done many different jobs in the industry, all in the name of pushing my career further. Blogging has also helped unveiled this quality, as it entails being one’s own boss, PR rep., marketer, editor and more. To accomplish the task one must be ready to work and network. Never give up, be ready to put in time and hustle.
4.When you begin the journey of the hustle you don’t realize who’s watching you. To my surprise this is something I dealt with during 2016. I’m glad and appreciative that the people watching have enjoyed my content. Always put your best work out there.
5.There are certain societal issues that have become important to me. I’ve learned if you want something changed you must contribute. Write, email, call, text, tweet, just do something. If you complain without trying to change the outcome you aren’t contributing at all.
6. Saying no can hinder and help you. As women we tend to want to please and say yes to everything and everyone. You might feel guilt, but if you feel your work is worth more than what someone is offering go with your gut. Learn when to say no.
7.This one goes back to number 4. As people watch you they tend to begin to want things from you. I love giving advice whether it’s career or blogging wise, although you notice when someone solely wants something from you. They aren’t interested in nurturing a relationship or offering something in return.
8. Blogging as a business is a lot harder than it looks. Now there is blogging as a hobby and blogging as a business. When you blog as a business, you are responsible for everything. Bloggers are entrepreneurs, who make something out of nothing. There is so much you have to learn about running a small business. Because essentially when you run a blog as a business it is a small business. With that comes the creative collaborations and fun events as well as the boring such as SEO( search engine optimization), taxes, expenses, legal guide lines, etc.
9. If you don’t try you’ll never know. I was hesitant to begin a blog, but I’m so glad I did. Oversaturation was a big worry of mine before I started, but I learned my niche and found a way to express it.
10. And finally I surround myself with boss babes and hustlers. Surrounding yourself with people of similar goals is important. ( Hello blogosphere!)
So what are some of the lessons you’ve learned? Are they similar or completely different. Let me know in the comments and on social media.
Currently at the Met’s Costume Institute is Masterworks: Unpacking Fashion. Visitors are given a peek into the Costume Institutes archives from the eighteenth century to twenty first. Not only has the museum acquired one of the largest collections in the world but one that includes Masterworks. Masterworks are labeled as such due to the garment ‘s technical qualities that have pushed the process of garment making forward. The qualities that deemed each piece a masterwork changed as eras progressed. Curators chose pieces that complemented each other no matter the time period. Essentially showing how fashion reacts to the past, present and future.
18th Century Masterworks: Quality of Materials
During the 1800’s the craftsmanships of embroidery, textiles, weaves and tailoring are what constitute masterwork. As the silhouettes of garments did not change much during this period it was the use of intricate techniques that made them masterworks. The Robe Volant, or one piece gown with a tight bodice, flowing front and back pleats was the typical style worn by women and girls. During this time the reference to lingerie through fuller proportions was seen as indecent and as a result so was the wearer. The shape was also frowned upon as people believed pregnancies due to affairs could be hidden. The simple silhouettes allowed the detailed damask or brocade prints to be the showcase of the garment. The making of a garment was through the process of draping fabric on a bodice and folding pleats rather than cutting and sewing.
Men’s attire for this period was inspired by new trade relations between Britain and Asia. An influx of new materials and styles such as silk and kimonos originated from China, India, Persia and Turkey changed the fashion of Europe. All of these cultures inspired the Banyan a casual house gown worn by British men. Depending on details like fit, cut or quilting they would be adorned at home or out at casual events. This coat’s European silhouette combined with Asian materials and styles was seen as elegant and fashionable. Men who wore a Banyan were considered well traveled with great fashion sense. Again simple lines and tailoring were used allowing detailed embroidery, bold patterns and bright colors to be the focus point of the garment.
During this same time period French fashion was pushing the boundaries and blurring the lines on what was acceptable for women to wear. Striped prints took the place of embroidery, a trend influenced by Asian relations. The print now being used for both female and male attire was previously associated with socially excluded populations. Men’s riding coats, cape collar and lapels were some of the masculine trends implemented into the Redingote or women’s dresses. To the dismay of French magazines and their progressive efforts the public viewed the this trend as a perverse mixing of gender roles.
19th Century Masterworks: Technical developments in tools and speed and changes in silhouettes
This century saw quick changes in a garment’s silhouette as opposed to the 18th century, which relied on materials to progress fashion. The use of bustles, crinolines and corsets was introduced drastically changing the form of a woman’s body. Technical abilities in cutting and sewing progressed with the introduction of the Jacard loom and the sewing machine. These tools allowed for garments to be made faster, cheaper and created ready-made or ready to wear accessibility. During this period the introduction of Haute Couture by designer Charles Fredrick Worth was also pushing fashion forward. His tradition of labeling his pieces introduced the notion that a designer was a creator and artist.
Early Twentieth Century Masterworks: Innovation and Reinvention
War World One like many other aspects of society affected fashion. Simple garments with less body restrictions was the norm. Haute Couture masters such as Paul Poiret and Madeleine Vionnet embraced the uncorseted frame by using the draping method. As usual fashion and art intertwined with the surrealist movement inspiring collections by Elsa Schiaparelli and Charles James. As some designers looked to the future others looked to the past. Jeanne Lanvin’s mid-eighteenth century inspired pieces included techniques used in the 1800’s. Techniques such as simpler silhouettes with bold embroidery and prints were used again .
Late Twentieth Century Masterworks: Cultural Combinations, Youth Dominance and Couture’s Survival
At this point in fashion the popularity of Haute Couture was waning as the boom of ready to wear excelled. Designers like Yves Saint Laurent guided couture into relevancy by combining traditional couture elegance and modern street style. Cristobal Balenciaga looked to the past and continued implementing 17th century structures with modern details. While punk visionary Vivienne Westwood lead the uprise of deconstructive fashion. Influences for her 1970’s,80’s and continuous collections included the fashion of the 17th-19th centuries.
Contemporary Masterworks: Rebellion, Expression of the times, Garments with multiple meanings
Masters of the moment included Hussein Charlatan, Martin Margiela, Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake and Alexander McQueen. The advancement of the deconstructive technique by Margiela unveiled the intricate details of the construction of a garment. A process normally only seen by the designer. The use of unconventional materials was introduced and paired with traditional couture techniques. Materials like porcelain and wood were transformed and conformed to a women’s shape. By doing this designers expanded the relationship between a women’s body and clothing as well as peoples traditional ideas of fashion. Pop culture, politics and perceptions were also questioned and applied to the creation of a garment. From my recollection of my college days even the history of a country and its fashion inspired collections. Alexander McQueen and John Galliano both designed the traditional corset with progressive materials like coiled wire.
The Harold Koda Gift
Curators are preservers of art who expand the lifespan of each piece. By doing so they allow art to live beyond its prime and introduce generations of observers to a historical world. This is what Harold Koda did as Curator in Charge at the Costume Institute for fifteen years before retiring in January of 2016. In tribute to him current Curator in Charge Andrew Bolton and Met Trustee Anna Wintour commissioned thirty designers to donate selections of their archives to the Met. Each piece chosen held significance for Honda and found a purposeful position in the existing collection. Designers recalled their admiration and relationship with Koda that was cultivated through collaborations for the Costume Institute.
The exhibit gives an inside look at how fashion continues to be influenced by history. It showcases how innovative designers find a way to move fashion forward with techniques of the past and future. Masterworks:Unpacking Fashion will be on through February 4th 2017. Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000th 5th Ave, NY,NY,
Currently on display at Industria in the West Village is the exhibit Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones. An exhibit you might think only a rock and roll aficionado might love. When in reality even as a person who didn’t know much about the Rolling Stones I appreciated the history, creativity, art and most of all fashion showcased in the exhibit. Two floors cover the history of the band from conception to a 3D concert where the band plays some of its famous hits. Devotion vodka the official vodka of The Sugar Factory held a great dinner at the restaurant where the drinks paid homage to The Rolling Stones with names like Sugar and Stones. After which the dinner guests were escorted from The Sugar Factory to Industria to view the exhibition.
There were so many interesting facts to learn and artifacts to view although I found the following particularly interesting. A mock up studio with an array of different instruments and original records are on display. Original guitars, drums, cassette tapes, some of which were designed by various artists showcase how the band used their creativity in all aspects while making music. A mock up of their original flat or apartment adds to the belief that rock bands although creative geniuses, tidy and clean they are not.
An extensive history of the bands logo was the next section of the exhibition that I loved. The iconic mouth with a tongue sticking out has stood the test of time. Even if you are not a Rolling Stones follower you’ve seen it everywhere. The original conception began after Mick Jagger found a picture of the Hindu goddess Kali which has a tongue sticking out. After Mick brought the picture to British artist John Pasche he came up with the logo that is known today. Many people think the logo is inspired by Mick Jagger’s voluminous mouth although it’s not directly the source the artist believes it was an unconscious inspiration. It’s universal appeal is its rebellious, anti-conventional and anti-authority nature.
Art and design also helped define the rock groups aesthetic. The creation of album covers and promotional posters was a chance for the band to collaborate with artists, graphic designers and photographers. Their collaborations with Andy Warhol helped grow the popularity of pop art in their era. While their collaborations with fashion designers and how they wore their stage costumes and clothing set the trends of the time. Costumes made by the late Gianni Versace and Alexander McQueen were part of their eccentric wardrobe. While Prada and Marc Jacobs are also some of the many well known brands that have designed costumes for the band.
The Backstage Access portion of the exhibition includes a mock up room of what the bands surroundings were while they waited to preform. Many times whether performing in an amphitheater or smaller venue their backstage environment was a small room that served as the bands rehearsal space and much more. Make shift dressing rooms, workshops and offices were created to help the band prepare for a concert. This was also the place were loved ones could hang out and where personal items were held. The backstage room helped the band feel a sense of comfort while away from home.
In the final room of the exhibition you are treated to a pre-recorded 3D concert experience. The band plays “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and you are emerged with the audience as Mick Jagger and the rest of the band perform. If you are a rock genre lover and especially a fan of the Rolling Stones you must go see this extensive exhibition. As a person who didn’t know much about the band but who appreciates art in all forms I enjoyed the creative details on display. Their creativity and ability to push the boundaries of art, fashion and societal norms is what I found most impressive. The exhibition is open until Sunday, March 12th. “Exhibitionism” is located at Industria on 775 Washington St, NY, NY.
Christmas may be over but are you really ready for it to be over? No me neither! I’m not ready for all the Christmas decorations to be put away. I don’t want the Christmas markets to disappear. Here a few more great companies I discovered while walking around the NYC Christmas markets.
Verrier Handcrafted at Union Square & Grand Central Station Holiday Fair
Cards with a fashionable NYC touch these unique cards are sure to be memorable for any occasion. Created by a mother-daughter duo Ashleigh and Jude Verrier twelve years ago. Thoughtful cards are glamorized with glitter, paint and embellishments all developed by Ashleigh. Produced by artisans the brand creates all their cards in a Union Square studio. Verrier Handcrafted can be found in stores around the globe including Bergdorf Goodman, Harrods of London, Isetan in Tokyo and their boutique in Union Square and Christmas popups. These cities and more from around the globe are also themes for their vibrant cards. Cards named “a bad day in new york city is still better than a good day anywhere else”, ” Paris is always a good idea” and ” Take me to Venice” pay homage to iconic cities around the world.
These miniature art pieces are a great way to celebrate every kind of occasion like weddings and birthdays with cards “eat, drink, be married” and ” wishing you a fabulously chic birthday”. While simple affirmation cards are a great way to get a feeling across with cards like “more issues than Vogue” or “yes you can can”. Kids can also recieve or give cards embellished with colorful animals and ice cream cones. Phone cases, notepads, prints and boxed sets can also be found with painted beautiful colors and embellishments. I found these at the Union Square Christmas Market and the Grand Central Holiday Fair. Cards are $9.00 each,see more of Verrier’s cards here.
Julie Nolan at Union Square
Julie Nolan Jewelry based in Massachusetts has been making jewelry since the age of six. After nine months at New York’s Studio Jewelers a trade school in Jewelry making she created Julie Nolan Jewelry. Her first collection was showcased in the Catbird Boutique in Brooklyn and Anthropoligie stores. The resources for her jewelry are unusually man-made, organic, discarded or natural materials sourced in the USA. Julie’s jewelry is also made through unique processes like ancient cold forging that gives pieces a textured look.
The process of lost wax casted jewelry includes a duplicate piece of metal jewelry made from a wax sculpture. This unique process like that of cold forging is an ancient technique dating back to West African sculptors in the 1400’s. The Zodiac collection is made through the process of making dents into gold and silver using constellations found in the turn of the century Swiss calendar. Julie’s husband and a team of four other artisans help with the production of the jewelry. Prices starting at $26.00 are comparable for 14 carat rings while unique mobile’s for crib’s made of driftwood and brass are $500.00. Find out more about Julie Nolan here.
Cup of Curiosity at The 5th Avenue Shopping Court
Cup of Curiosity is a jewelry line that I found intriguing. Beautiful feminine pieces in their Myra collection could be found as well as unique ones in their Rune Collection. The Myra collection consist of four sub-divisions. The Eternity line is minimalistic consisting of simple gold, rose gold and silver jewelry. Their Mystere collection is inspired by the Middle East and the spiritual symbol, the evil eye. The Soulful Allure group includes circular pieces inspired by ancient silver and gold coins. While the Eye of M. Y.R.R.A assortment are statement pieces with gold, sapphires and diamonds resembling the evil eye. Myra
The Rune collection is inspired by the Scandinavian Runes, also known as the alphabet throughout Europe, Scandinavia and Britain in the 100 B.C.E.- 1600 C.E. time period. Runes were known to be used in magic and only by the higher archery of the time. Their rune collection of necklaces, bracelets and rings all have a symbolic meaning dating back to this society and belief. Their Alchemy ring is believed to have healing powers, while their ANSUZ charm is symbolic for knowledge, communication and inspiration. Meanings of wealth, generosity, creativity and many more have their own charm throughout the collection. The Ether line of the Rune collection consisting of silver and delicate gems symbolizes the fifth element known in philosophy as sky and spirit. Cup of Curiosity
I really enjoyed finding all these great companies and unique pieces in the Christmas markets around the City. The holiday season has passed way to quickly in my opinion! Let me know how your Christmas was. What markets, sights and sounds were your favorite?
There are a few things I try to do every year during the holiday season before the extra rush of tourist come in. One of those traditions is to visit the Christmas markets around the city. I love seeing all the unique items sold at these events. Whether they were made on the other side of the globe or right in Brooklyn. Its great to see the craftsmanship in these markets.
For the socially conscious shopper The Artisan Pledge lets buyers know the products are not mass produced . Most items are hand made by artisans in the NY or the USA. Many goods sold in the Union Square market are made from recycled, reused or vintage materials. While some are fair trade certified or from a local store or farmer.
Meghan Patrice Riley Jewelry is made in Brooklyn and hand made my artisans and metal smiths. Unconventional materials such as bridge cabling, industrial ball chain, electrical wire and safety pins are all used in these pieces. Once I heard this I thought the pieces would weigh a ton, but this is not the case. The unorthodox materials combined with fabrication and textile techniques make the pieces delicate and light. The semiprecious stones and metals used in the jewelry add luxury and a feminine touch to each piece.
Particularly unique are their head, shoulder and body pieces some of which can be found at Free People.The sculptural designs incorporate fashion, art and functionality into one. MPR is sold in Free People and in museums around the U.S. including the Guggenheim in NYC. MPR has been featured in magazine’s, reality TV and in New York and China Fashion Weeks. Prices range from $45.00 to $625.00.MPR
Article 22 Peacebomb
New Yorker Elizabeth Suda began Article 22 while searching for the answer to “how and by whom the goods we consume are made?” She found herself in Laos and without a plan began collaborating with local women who had textile businesses. This collaboration and finding artisans who were melting bombs into spoons lead to the creation of Article 22. Made in Laos the jewelry sold by Peacebomb are made from bombs thrown during the lesser known Secret War in Laos. Not much coverage of the war can be found due to the fact that it occurred at the same time as the Vietnam War from 1963-1974. A jewelry company with heart, proceeds from each sale are returned to the farmer-artisan in Laos.
Peacebomb gives the artisans and their families a chance to clean the fields of Laos and earn income. During the war 80 million bombs failed to detonate, leaving the farm lands of Laos full of bombs and scrape metal. Peacebomb and the artisans of Laos help clear over 65,000 square meters of bomb. The clearing of bombs not only helps individual farmers but the whole country as 80% of the population are farmers.
The transformation of bombs into everyday items originated when the farmers of Laos began melting bombs into spoons in the 1970’s. Today a total of 15 families make a living creating Peacebomb jewelry and making 5x the minimum wage in Laos. Named after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 22 is as fashionable as it is socially conscious with shows in both New York and Paris Fashion Week. You can learn more about this Fair Trade company here Article 22 .
Co-Founded by Diana Mao Nomi Network’s purpose is to fight modern day slavery and human trafficking. After a trip to Cambodia where human trafficking is still a factor in their society Diana along with Alissa Moore and Supei Liu were inspired to create Nomi Network. When the trio visited a shelter for youth survivors of human trafficking and sexual assaulted they met 8 year old Nomi. A survivor of sex trafficking Nomi’s story and resilience inspired them to name the company after her.
Nomi Network provides training, jobs and community development services for survivors and woman at high risk of trafficking and abuse. The network trains the women with skills such as sewing and manufacturing that can be retaught throughout their communities. The goal of Nomi Network is to empower them to change their local economy and social structures. Not only do they teach them how to make the products they teach them basic literacy and mathematics that help equip them for everyday life. All of which they use to find jobs in fashion manufacturing, small businesses and entrepreneurships. The women creating the products sold by Nomi Network learn micro-lending skills and can eventually become financially independent. The network also provides legal services and scholarships for the woman and their families.
The local entrepreneurs Nomi Network partners with gain manufacturing skills like trend forecasting, product pricing and product development to help further their business. These skills allow them the ability to sell their goods, create business relationship’s and become a part of the global economy.
Buying Nomi Network products is not the only way to contribute to the end of human trafficking. Nomi Network collaborates with volunteers, companies and corporations that want to contribute in anyway they feel fit. Individuals can also contribute to the cause by hosting Nomi Network Fair Fashion Parties where you sell products to your family and friends. Nomi Network products range from $8.50- $78.00 and consist of clothing, housewares and accessories. Learn more about Nomi Network and how to get involved with this free trade brand.Nomi Network
Let me know if you’ve visited any Christmas markets in your part of the world and what unique items you find in them.
Are you ready for Christmas? Have you picked out a tree? And dare I ask bought gifts? For some people that doesn’t start until December but for many Latin cultures the celebrating has already started. Personally I have fallen behind and have not picked out a tree or presents yet. If you have already started decorating, preparing and shopping give yourself a pat on the back! Be proud you won’t be rushing around like a crazy person! If not, here are some gift ideas from great companies I’ve partnered with.
For the jewelry lover in your life Biographie offers gemstone and limited edition pieces made in Denver, Colorado. These unique pieces are all handmade with gold, sterling silver, gold vermeil and genuine gems. Biographie was created by Jenny Sharpe a graduate of The London College of Fashion. After having no luck finding her Opal birthstone in contemporary jewelry Jenny decided to source the gem from Opal miners and create her own jewelry and in doing so launched Biographie. Inspiration for every piece of jewelry comes from each individual gem. The creation and timeline for each piece of jewelry is spontaneous as Jenny pulls from different inspirations each time she gets the gems. The gems used in Biographie jewelry are sourced from all around the globe, while the precious metals are found in the U.S. Biographie jewelry comes in an array of gemstones from the well known Amethyst to the hard to find Watermelon Tourmaline.
Biographie offers a gift finding service for people who need a little extra help shopping. If you are undecided on which piece to pick or simply can’t choose Biographie will do it for you. Simply send them details on the special lady, the special occasion and budget and they will pick out three pieces for you to choose from.
The goal in creating Biographie was to create everyday fine jewelry. Not only are the pieces unique and delicate but they are wearable in everyday life. Biographie has been featured in Vogue, Marie Claire and several other publications. They have also been worn on red carpets, TV and in movies. Currently Biographie has a sale for 40% off an order with the code BLACKFRIDAY that ends Tuesday 11/29. See more of Biographie’s great jewelry on the website
Special Event Keys
First things first this is an awesome company with great customer service. Speedy delivery, quick response times and individual care is what I experienced with this company. Made in Vidalia, Georgia Special Event Keys luggage tags are perfect gift for the traveler in your life or yourself. Unlike luggage tags found in stores these luggage tags are unique to each buyer. Madeleine Radford-Holland started the company in 2013 after making custom room keys for a friend’s wedding and hotel staff. They were a hit and a company and customer base was born. The clever idea of custom luggage tags began in 2015 and I love them! Making a special event memorable without being the cliché souvenir for your guest is possible with Special Event Keys.
Found on their Etsy shop and soon on their website prices begin at $5.00. Elegant gold and white tags are perfect for your glamorous vacation while black and gold tags are great for the business traveler. Useful for differating between your diaper bag, son’s baseball bag or daughter’s ballet tote they are great for the kids activities. If you want the ultimate personalized tag, Special Event Keys offers custom design options that allows the buyer to add their own artwork. Details are key for Special Event Keys as every tag is handmade by graphic designers who personally work with you and are in constant communication as you create your tags. Graphic designer Tammy Khabirov did a spectacular and time efficient job in creating the tags exactly how I wanted them.
The durable plastic cards are lightweight yet sturdy. They have great shine and a textured look that add intricate detail to the tags. Assembly was easy as the metal screw clasp they provide went easily around zippers and luggage handles. Soon customers will be able to fully customize luggage tags on their website but you can find all their current tags and services on the Special Event Keys Etsy Shop.
I will be doing a give away soon with items in this post (the Jewelry and custom luggage tags). Currently I’m in the process upgrading my website so it might be under construction for a bit. Once I’m done I will insert the link and advertise on social media.
I hope I gave you unique gift ideas for your holiday shopping. Let me know in the comments or social media what you think of these gift ideas.
Support small businesses and buy from these great companies!!!
Last week I was invited to preview Baldinini S/S 17 collection at their brand new showroom in the flatiron district in NYC. On display was their newest collection as well as the capsule Gimmi Bladinini collection. Designed by Gimmi Baldinini and his daughter and made in Italy, the collection ranges from sporty comfort to Cinderella chic giving everyone something to love.
The inspiration of the sport of racing can be seen in the enamel checkered print heels and bags. The use of reflective metal details seems to be directly taken from that of a chrome wheel. The combination of sleek lines, patent leather, sensible heel height and feminine lace makes the shoes fun yet elegant.
Sneakers and mini backpacks give the collection a futuristic yet classic feel. The classic athletic running sneaker was revamped with studs and reflective details. Classic colors and materials like black lace add feminine touches to sporty classics.
Heels and sandals get sporty details with metal rivets, perforated leather like that of a sports jersey and accent stitching seen in sports cars. Braid like details inspired by tires are refined with gold trim in their slide sandals and platforms.
Mod yet Modern
Mixed prints of lips, floral, hearts and geometric shapes give classic leather bags, heels and espadrilles a fun twist. The patchwork like purses and wood sandals feel retro but modern with patent leather, sleek lines and silver hardware. Painted floral motifs on chunky heels and bags in pastels and bold colors reflect a 60’s and 70’s color scheme. Baldinini’s attention to detail can be seen in their floral etched platforms and leather accent stitched mules. While the braided detail continues to tie the collection together.
Olive green gladiator sandals with gold stitches and tassel accents combine utility and glamour. Crocheted medallions and Baldinini’s detailed heel modernizes the summer staple sandal. Espadrilles in classic animal prints and modern metallic tie into the collection with gold and black details. Sling backs and slide sandals have subtle touches of glamour with crystals and high sheen materials. While a gold and white mesh pump are perfect for Cinderella herself.
Baldinini has expanded into the U.S. market with new locations on the east coast. After a successful grand opening in New Jersey’s Short Hills Mall they have opened a store in Roosevelt Field Mall in Long Island, NY. Florida also has a Baldinini location in Miami’s Bicknell City Centre Mall near Saks Fifth Ave. As an appreciator of the art that is fashion I love Baldinini’s attention to detail. From the sole of the heels to the trim there is no lack of intricacy. Baldinini also realizes the art of a well made shoe and in conjunction with the University of Bologna, Italy is organizing and archiving Baldinini shoes to create a company museum. Personally as a art loving fashionista I hope to visit this museum one day. Learn more about Baldinini in my previous post when I visited the grand opening of their Short Hills location here. You can also find their previous collection’s and prices on their website Here.
I always love working with Baldinini and their lovely PR girls who chatted with me in Italian and Spanish as they answered all my questions. It is impossible for me to chose a favorite out of the spring/summer ’17 collection and hopefully I won’t have to.
Last weekend I attended the Sugarloaf Craft Festival in Somerset NJ. The two day event features 250 artisans who hand make jewelry, clothing, home goods and other crafts and arts. Small business owners from around the world come to sell their merchandise at this festival that originated in 1976. I enjoyed seeing all the hand made creativity in one space.
La Shot Photography by David Maynard was one craftsman I enjoyed getting to talk to. He specializes in photography of entrances, gardens, castles, land and seascapes. We spoke of our travels and our mutual appreciation of Italy. As he photographs doors I encouraged him to make his way to Madrid. He and his family have traveled to Ireland, England, Scotland, Italy, Germany, France, Wales, Greece, and 37 states in the US for his photography. I was taken with his photograph because at first glance they look like paintings. Originally studied to be an accountant he decided to pursue photography after is mom gave him a camera for Christmas. As a self taught photographer he began printing in a dark room then switched to printing Giclee’s on canvas. The use of the print and archival inks allow for high intensity color depth. He finishes the process by protecting each print with a UV protective finish which fights fading. David offers mounting in scoop wood frames or gallery wraps of each of his pictures. La Shot Photography is located at 1013 Delaware Rd., Buffalo NY.
The picture I purchased “View from St. Marks” in Venice, Italy. La Shot business cards.
Bar Harbor Goldsmiths from Virginia had unique wire and beaded jewelry.The company was created by Marilyn Handel a Bowen and Reiki Practitioner. I always have a hard time finding jewelry that fits me perfectly. I have a very small wrist and size five fingers so when I find pieces that are my size I have to buy them. That is exactly what I found at the Bar Harbor Goldsmiths booth. The wire wrapping of their pieces is delicate and thin as opposed to thick wire that can be uncomfortable. Handel’s partner Mr.Hans helped me find a piece that fit me perfectly. Bar Harbor Goldsmiths sells both wholesale and retail with locations in Mt. Desert, Maine and Bowling Green, Virginia.
I loved talking to Kelley Bowers creator of Angels of HeART. Painting and creating art is what she studied at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale in Florida. Her work has been displayed in many museums, shows and stores on the east coast. She created Angels of Hearts after a personal tragedy. Her boyfriend’s sister was murdered and became a highly televised case. As the days and months passed she continually saw feathers floating and images of them in the form of tattoos and merchandise. She believed the feathers were a sign that her loved one was still present. All of the feathers and spiritual signs inspired her to create Angels of HeART. Each angel wing sculpture is hand made by Kelley.The process includes cutting the wood and sculpting the wings first. She then paints, glazes and adds a crystal to each sculpture that can be personalized with a painted message. Her artwork has not only helped her heal but makes a strong connection to people who have been through tragedies or believe in angels. When my mother and I saw her art work we were instantly touched as our spiritual beliefs and personal life experiences have led us to believe in angels. Kelley was gracious in letting us admire her work in silence as she is accustomed to seeing people become emotional at the sight of her artwork. Kelley Bowers not only creates art but long lasting connections with her buyers through the significance each piece has for them. When you speak to Kelley you can see how much she loves making her art and how she wants to help others heal. As each piece is customized and made by her I will be sure to share a picture of the one we ordered here and on social media when I receive it. Although she makes her artwork here in New Jersey her pieces are sold throughout the U.S. Angels of heart
Next stop in the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival is Oaks, PA on November 4th, 5th and 6th, Sugar Loaf. Let me know if you attend the festival and what art you enjoyed learning about.
Last week I made my way to the PA/Delaware border. I stayed in the town of Media, PA Americas first fair trade town. When you buy fair trade products you support the workers, farmers or crafters that made them. Proceeds of these sales can go to a variety of programs like training for farmers and crafters to grow and protect their small business. People who buy fair trade ensure that small businesses survive and are not pushed out by big conglomerates. You are also making environmentally and socially positive purchases as they help end child slavery, poverty, pollution and vast array of problems facing the globe.
Not sure what I would find I was ready to explore the town. A small town with a big city feel I enjoyed the vast amount of different cultures via shops and restaurants. Being of lover of antiques and thrift shopping I hoped to find a shop that had items not found elsewhere. There were many of these shops although I fell in love with one in particular. Reconsidered Home is a furniture and antique shop that sells items from around the globe. Particularly beautiful are the restored pieces with a mid-century modern Danish, Scandinavian or American design.
Natalie Rettinger started the company in 2011 after she bought her mid-century home and was inspired by the asthetic of that era. She pays attention to detail as she personally selects the pieces that are sold. With many pieces coming from auctions, estate sales and consigners selling their antiques you are bound to find something that reminds you of the past. Europe’s opulent history is seen in the furniture that was brought back by soldiers and passed down through generations. The glass and gold accents used as a leading trend in the past now fits in great as a stand out piece in a modern home. Prices vary from $7 and up as you can find pieces made by local artisans or modern design innovator Russell Wright. Natalie finds many unique pieces of art and architecture scouring wholesale and overstock. She also offers her decorating and design expertise to clients looking to redecorate.
Reconsidered Home helps other small businesses by showcasing local artist through popup shops once a month. October 8th they hosted Rally Caller by artist Sarah Kaizar and circa 78 designs by Rachel Breeden. Rally Caller focuses on eco responsible prints and illustrations of endangered species while circa78 seventies inspired home goods and pop art fit right into the store.
Vegan Tan leather plycraft chair and ottoman, Set of Four Umanoff Leon Patio Chairs
1961 Blaupunkt German Radio. Russian Embossed plate
If you are ever in Media, PA a 30 min ride from Philly stop by Reconsidered Home on 15 East State Street. Hours: Wednesday- Saturday 11am-6pm, Sunday 11am-4pm. You can also checkout their website www.reconsideredhome.com.
Hans Olsen sofa Natalie and I
I hope you enjoyed learning about this great small town and business as much as I did.