Monthly Archives

March 2018

Fashion exhibit The Museum at FIT

Norell: Dean of American Fashion

Considered the “American Balenciaga” Norman Norell was the father of creating ready-to-wear with haute couture techniques and quality. His collections were worn by celebrities, first ladies and were featured in many films and tv shows during the 50’s and 60’s. His creations and improvements on ready-to-wear clothing and their everlasting impact of fashion revel him the Dean of American Fashion.

With a background in costume creation Norell chose only the best fabrics for his ready to wear collections. Every detail down to the lining of each garment was made in his NYC atelier. Although his work was worthy of boutique prices, Norell insisted his collections be sold to the masses in department stores. A lover of the past and yet ahead of his time Norell drew inspiration from 1920’s and designed culottes in the 1960’s, pants that would only be popular years later.

After the Indiana native moved to New York to gain a fashion design education he quickly moved into costume designing. Although by 1928 his career as a fashion designer began when he designed for Hattie Carnegie, a prestigious New York fashion house.

Norell for Hattie Carnegie

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Norell for Hattie Carnegie 1932

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Norell for Hattie Carnegie 1939. Gingham Hostess Gown

 

 

Before creating his own line Norell worked with garment manufacturer Anthony Traina in 1941. Under this partnership they created the Traina Norell label.

Triana-Norell New York

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Right-Traina-Norell NY Off-white sailor dress 1957

 

By 1960 Norell bought out Traina and created the Norell line.

Norman Norell New York

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Norman Norell NY black rhinestone dress, 1972.
Norell: Mink fur and velvet evening coat, 1970.

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Norman Norell New York. Nutmeg Sheth Dress 1965. Turned inside out showcasing the silk lining put into his creations. This was one of the many hand applied couture details Norell put into his garments.

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Norman Norell NY 1960-64.The ‘mermaid” gown was one of Norell’s signature pieces. The style was inspired by Hollywood glamour, which he created into ready-to-wear. It was one of his most popular creations.

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Norman Norell NY: Camel suit 1972 and heather 1969 suit. Techniques here included lining the jackets in sequins.

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Both Norman Norell NY 1966. In these pieces he used silhouettes that originated in the 1920’s. These belonged to actress Lauren Bacall.

 

 

 

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Norell: Double breasted coat 1963-67. In the 1940’s followed the trend of infusing menswear into women’s garments. His wool coats are some of his best menswear infused pieces.

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Norman Norell NY 1968 Sailor Gown. Inspired by the sailor suits he wore as a child.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are the styles that Norell perfected with his couture techniques and ready to wear collections:

  • Mermaid Gowns
  • Culottes
  • Wool Jersey and Colorblocking
  • Flappers
  • Fur Trims
  • Double Sided Breasted Silhouette
  • Pant Suits
  • Shaped Suits
  • Wedged Shaped Coats
  • The Pussycat Bow
  • Belts
  • Collars and Capes
  • Color Choices
  • Sailor Suit
  • Kimono Style Wrap dress
  • The Perfect Little Black Dress
  • Empire Waist
  • Full Skirts
  • Fantasy Coats
  • The Ultimate Evening Skirt
  • Mermaids

Scroll through the slideshows to see the styles mentioned above designed for the Norman Norell, Triana and Hattie Carniege collections.

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This highly respected and beloved American Couturier won the Coty Award five times and a honorary doctorate from the Pratt Institute. He was also the second president of the Council of fashion designers of America and celebrated by the Metropolitan Museum of Art amongst many other accolades. Norell: Dean of American Fashion is open until April 14, 2018 at the Museum at FIT.

T.S.

Event Travel

Mazda Brunch

Mazda

This is a Sponsored Post featuring Mazda

 

Saturday I attended a Brunch with Mazda and DiMe Media at the New Leaf Restaurant in the Fort Tryon state park of upper Manhattan. Bloggers got to view their newest cars and learn about the company. Mazda, a Japanese car company has been around since 1920 but did not become a full auto maker until 1946. It was birthed in Hiroshima Japan, and during WWII it was one of the only buildings left standing. Mazda which was pioneered by Dr.  Kenichi Yamamoto and Felix Wankel became the first company to invent the rotary engine. 47 Engineers or Samurai as they were nicknamed, along with these two masterminds perfected the engine.

Mazda, a relatively smaller car company compared to other massive manufactures, takes up only 2% of th U.S. car market. Reaching a niche market whose core values of perseverance, passion, harmony and family align with theirs. Values that are of high importance in the Latino community as well.  The purchasing power of Latinos/ Hispanics grew to over $13.9 trillion in 2016 and is expected to grow to over $16.6 trillion or more by 2021. With these stats and aligning values it is easy to why Mazda and the Latino community merge well together.

 

And like business people who reinvent themselves to survive, Mazda has reievented itself with continuing to create new technology. Through various economic crisis Mazda continually reinvented their cars to be more cost and fuel efficent for their customer. During the mid 70’s oil crisis they unveiled the GLC model. During the 90’s they unveiled the ultra popular Miata. During the 2000’s financial collapse, they reveled the economic Skyactiv technology. All while making sure their customers, people who love to drive get exactly that feeling of freedom in driving.

The day consisted of a Ride and Drive experience, Mazda educational presentation, 3 course brunch and trivia with prizes. I won a bottle of  Secret Cellars cabernet sauvignon 2015 in a gorgeous leather Callaway wine carrier. With thanks to the ladies there who helped me answer the question! The delicious meal consisted of a Baby Spinach Salad, an entrees choice of Spring Linguini with Peas, Pan Seared Salmon with peas and asparagus or NY Strip Steak with mashed potatoes and vegetables. The meal was topped with a chocolate mousse cake that was hard not to devour!

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The following were the cars bloggers got to ride and drive. I drove the Mazda CX-3 and fell in love at first push of the start button. It was my first time driving a Mazda, so I was not sure what to expect. Perhaps I expected a sports car with a lot of power. But what I got was power, agility and a smooth ride. Now ask anyone who drives or has been driven around New York City, its never a smooth ride! Although with a Mazda the pot hole filled roads are not as bad. I also rode in some of the other cars with fellow blogger Renee of Getting Fit Fab.

All Mazda’s come with Kodo (soul of motion) design and Skyactiv technology. The Skyactiv technology with G-Vectoring control, was something I experience when it warned me and subtly adjusted my steering while turning. It also works to adjust the cars power and weight as you make turns and take curves. This technology was made with the Japanese “Jinba Ittati” or “horse and rider as one” philosophy in mind.

The cars showcased at the brunch were the following: Mazda CX-5, Mazda CX-3, Mazda 3 as well as the Mazda 6, Mazda MX, Mazda CX-9 and the Mazda MX-5 Miata.

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What’s in the future for Mazda? Diesel friendly cars, hybrids and co-pilot installed technology that can pull the car over when the driver is in trouble. You might say “well why haven’t they unveiled these already?” That is because they have yet to perfect these concepts. Mazda, true to their core values does not unveil new technology without it being tested and perfected. With awards for “Best Car Brand in 2017″ by U.S. News and World Report and ” Most Fuel Efficient Auto Manufacturer” by the EPA among other awards, it wont be long until their upcoming releases receive accolades as well. I’ll be attending the NY Auto Show later this month, so stay tuned for more Mazda loving posts.

T.S.

fashion Fashion Week

Fashion Night Out- ICollective Live

ICollective Live

This past February as fashion month came to an end in NYC I attended one last fashion event. A mix of performance, interior design and fashion, ICollective Live showcased Latino designers. Presented by  DCG Media in the WH Design Collection showroom guests got to get up close in personal with the collections and the designers.

Designers included Adolfo Sanchez, Cenia NY, Terese Sydonna and Milagros Batista. Each designer collection was specifically curated to be showcased in different parts of the showroom. Coordinating perfecting with the modern showroom and furniture of WH Design.

Adolfo Sanchez– I recently went to the Adolfo Sanchez fashion show which you can read about here. Adolfo who is of Mexican Descent is taking his first steps in to the NYC fashion world. With an original clientele from L.A. he is gaining traction here on the east coast through NYFW. His gorgeous gowns are made for women who want both princess dresses and edgy details like clear plastics in cheeky areas of the body. The dresses he showcased are loved by press and  the public alike.

Cenia NY– Cenia Paredes of Cenia NY showcased a collection of archive pieces. Gowns ranging in blues, purples and gold were highlighted. Cenia’s collections always make you want to attend a gala looking sophisticated. Or perhaps you want simply go to work while feeling elegant. Perhaps you want to spend a night out feeling beautiful, Cenia’s collections will make you feel all these emotions and more. She caters to every size with Couture knits like her Olive & Logan collection made in Turkey.

Terese Sydonna– This Jamacian designer worked in finance before realizing her true calling was fashion. Her path to becoming a fashion designer started with the Macy’s Incubator, and a degree in Fashion Design from The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). Terese specializes in ready-to wear and accessories with touches of prints, structure and subtle details. With the purpose of designing for the super hero in us all, her bold one of a kind prints are made to stand out. The high tech novelty knits and machine washable fabrics she uses makes it possible to wear one of a kind art pieces in everyday life.

Milagros Batista– Knitwear designer Milagros Batista also showcased her newest collection. Colors ranged in shades of pink with knitwear pants, tops, skirts, dresses and sweaters.

Electric violinist Sarah Charness rocked the night with a performance set to electro beats. Cupcakes by Honor Thy Sweets, (cute mini cupcakes) filled guests bellies along with snacks. Beauty was done by the amazing Kim Baker, read more about her here! While hair was done by Stephanie Jones and the Studio Ten31 team.

The night was full of great support for these Latino designers both seasoned and new. An effort that is continually needed as the fashion industry still struggles with issues of diversity. Luckily agencies like DCG Media recognize and up lift Latinos and people of color in their creative careers. Have you ever heard of these designers? What was your favorite look? Who is your favorite Latino or POC designer? You can read more about the event on Latinista.com.

T.S.

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Lifestyle

Ancestary DNA

I had one thing on my wish list for Christmas. That was to receive the AncestryDNA Kit! And thanks to my amazing mother and the fact that the kit was on sale for $79 (and still is) that was one of the gifts I received. Now if you’ve never seen the commercial or heard of Ancestry, it is a genealogy website where you can build and explore your family tree. The Ancestry DNA Kit is a separate service provided by Ancestry that gives you the resources to discover your true ethnicity down to each percentage.

 

The Process

You don’t need an Ancestry DNA kit done to start the Ancestry family tree. So if you are interested in starting a tree, I suggest trying the free trial first. It cost $99 for the full family tree service. I’ve started my own but haven’t completed it yet. Although it is on my list of to-do’s one day. To order the kit you must do so via the website. Once you have received your kit the next step is to create an ancestry DNA profile. This will be the same profile you use if you wish to do the geological hunt. With only a few general questions to answer your profile is set up in no time. The kit includes a beaker tube with a cap that holds a blue solution that helps protect your DNA until its tested.

According to Ancestry they test 23 pairs of chromosome, specifically the autosomal chromosomes that carry your genetic DNA. Once you receive the kit make sure you haven’t eaten, drank or smoked anything for up to 30 minutes before doing the test. Next all you have to do is spit into the tube up to the wiggly line, pour in the solution and shake for 5 seconds. When you send your Ancestry kit back, be prepared to wait 6-8 weeks for the results. Ancestry also gives you the option to make your results public, making it easier to match to potential family members or help in scientific research.

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What I Was Expecting

Over the years I have listened to family members tell stories of loved ones I had never met and their possible origin. I have always heard of Puerto Rico and parts of Europe mentioned, specifically Spain and Italy. My own research and knowing the Ancestry DNA results of my great-aunt also gave me clues into where I come from. I expected certain results that I received and was surprised by others!

 

My Results

As I mentioned previously mentioned Ancestry DNA takes 6-8 to complete. With the lack of patience I have its safe to say I was more than ready to see my results. Your results are uploaded to your online profile which you create when you first receive the kit. Not only does the kit tell you which countries you are from, but the regions within those countries. The kit gives you results for your strongest DNA findings and your weakest DNA findings. Here are mine!

 

Strongest DNA Findings:

Great Britain:22%- England, Scotland, Wales

Native American:19%- North America, Central America (AKA Taino Indian- the native people of Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands)

Iberian Peninsula :19%- Spain and Portugal (AKA, Spain)

Southern Europe:10%- Italy and Greece (AKA Italy)

North Africa:7%- Morocco, Western Sahara, Algeria, Libya

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Weakest DNA Strength findings

Senegal-5%- Senegal, the Gambia

Ivory Coast/ Ghana- 5%

Middle East 5% – Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Oman, Yemen, UAE, Lebanon, Israel

European Jewish 3%-  Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Hungary, Israel

Ireland/Scotland/Wales- 1%

Ancestry

Countries I Am Not From:

Scandinavia

Caucasus

Benin/Togo

 

 

Ancestry

 

 

My Reaction

Overall I would take the test again, and I suggest everyone take it. I wasn’t surprised to learn about Spain, Italy and Native American, although I would have thought my Italian roots would have been stronger. And although there is a saying that we are all African, I was surprised to see the different African countries listed! The fact that England, Scotland and Whales even made it on my chart was very surprising as well. As my mother said when she saw my results “I’m a mutt”, the result of different people traveling to and from different countries including Puerto Rico. And its safe to say that I will always answer I’m Puerto Rican when someone asks “What are you?” or “Where are you from?”.  Although to know how exactly I became Puerto Rican is fascinating. And when they say “Hey you look like you’re from this country” I may just answer well this percentage is from Italy, Spain, etc!

Have you ever taken a DNA Kit test before? What were your results? Were you as surprised as I was to see the different countries in your results?

T.S.