07 February 2012

SEE BEYOND SEEING!




Katie Baron's book, Stylists: The New Fashion Visionaries examines what truly separates the supremely talented Stylist from the sub-par wannabe. In it, she features some of my all time favorite fashion powerhouses, including Patti Wilson (see above pic) and Marie-Amelie Suave.  NY Mag's review of the book (thanks Kesh!) sparked an internal dialogue about my chosen career path...

I concluded that I am most comfortable in that zone of being truly creative and pushed to make, see and do things differently. To push beyond the bounds of what is expected, to see beyond the traditional way of seeing a garment, to form a new realization- a new life of sorts. This is essentially why I do what I do. Despite the constraints (be it time, budgetary, seasonal, etc.), the pressure and stress to produce (cause it's definitely not as glamorous as it seems!) is the fuel really feeds my spirit and I crave the energy that goes into the process- especially, when it turns out right and I'm able to walk away creatively fulfilled, proud to have been a part of the shaping of a character or story; eager to press forward to the next project...

Over the last 11 years, my professional focus has shifted from music videos to fashion editorials, to commercials and now, costume design. Along the way, I've had so many wonderful experiences that continue to shape my vision as an artist and on a personal level with how I choose to express myself on a day-to-day basis.  In the article Katie slams the "Rachel Zoe approach" as the commercial/non-creative way of styling but I beg to differ. The empire that Rachel Zoe has built for herself by becoming a real 'celebrity stylist’ has shown us all that it's okay to seek compensation for our skills and endless hours of searching for just the right piece for our clients, even if that means pulling it directly off the rack or the runway. As I see it, her method is a tried and true way to make real money in this industry. 

However, after recently getting back into styling for editorials, I believe that in order to maintain longevity and to feel creatively fulfilled, while literally staying fed, that it's all about balancing and making the best of both worlds... and right now, as I prep for the NBA All-Star Game Half-Time Show, my eyes are shut wide open! 
Viva les Stylists!
x
Niki

08 December 2011

GUY CODE

On set of the holiday episode of GUY CODE (MTV2's highest rated show ever! I also styled these guys back in October for all of the promos and cut ins for all of the previous episodes...). Watching the hilarity unfold, and these guys (even their meat-head jokes) playing out the dumbest of scenarios, has me bent over in laughter after every take.
If you haven't seen it yet, you can watch full episodes here:

01 August 2011

La Mode de Maud

 Last month I had the pleasure of presenting styling tips, during MoCADA's "Dandy Lion" exhibit, to a bevy of buying beauties in attendance of a special trunk show, put on by the ultra chic traveling vintage boutique Planet Maud. She's got the best stocked retro frocks this side of the moon. Plus, a plethora of jewels, belts, hats, leather pants and one of a kind customizable hits from the oh so stylish indie label Nic Fish (BTW, the convertible jumpers are perfect transition staples for just about every girl's wardrobe). Using found images,from the blogsphere, of various beautiful stylish quaintrelles of yesteryear, my advice included these three straight forward points:







22 July 2011

The Quaintrelle Life

Quain·trelle /kwānt'trel/
n. a woman who emphasizes a life of passion expressed through personal style, leisurely pastimes, charm, and the cultivation of life’s pleasures.

The exhibit is a must see! Plus, I'll be giving out style tips this Sunday at the event
80 Hanson Place, Brooklyn NY
1PM sharp

27 April 2011

IT'S A STICK UP!

I was recently asked by my dear friend Keshia Crosby (an amazing styling guru and writer) to submit some advice for her piece,  "5 Emergency Fashion Fixes", on AOL's Black Voices. I chose Topstick, the ultimate fashion insiders secret weapon for keeping things in tact.  Although this sticky tape was originally created to help the glamor set keep their wigs in place, (yes, that's a fact!), it turns out that Topstick is multifunctional, and works on just about everything. Including that infamous little green chiffon dress that pushed J-Lo's sex appeal way over the top. Plus, it's sensitive skin/fabric friendly and doesn't hurt or leave any unsavory residue behind.  See below for my complete instructions on how to use it to fix a fallen hemline and don't forget to check out Keshia's article for more great tricks of the trade.

 
4.) Fallen Hem
When it comes to fashion flubs, fallen hems on pants or skirts are a common culprit that make you look sloppy and unkempt. Celebrity stylist Niki Hall, who has worked with stars like Rihanna, Usher and Ne-Yo, has the perfect insider tip for fixing fallen hems.

"Topstick wig tape is a girl's best friend, I highly recommend stashing a few sheets of the double-sided tape in your wallet because it solves just about any fashion emergency in a matter of seconds. For years, only stylists knew about Topstick, but these days you can find it anywhere from the drugstore to online.

For a fallen hemline, gently unfold the fabric at the point of missing thread and peel off one side of the Topstick. Place the sticky side on the inside of the hemline, where it meets the fabric of your garment and smooth it out evenly. Then, remove the other side of the tape, and carefully place the inside of the fabric on top of the tape and again smooth evenly. When you're done, run a warm (not hot) iron lightly over the hem line, and voila! This will keep the hemline seamlessly in place until you can get it re-sewn."

09 March 2011

Oops- We did it again!

For the second year in a row, my team and I designed the half-time show costumes for the NBA All Star Game. It was a monumental feat considering the time constraints and last minute challenges that we faced. The highlights for me were: creating unique looks for the Fan Patrol to wear on the court, from generic cheer looks to mod style tunics for the Beatles mix, and future-glam outfits for their "Dirty Bit" performance.  Additionally, we soured the Fashion District of downtown LA for over 2,000 smokey quartz crystals that were diligently hand-sewn (by our wonderful tailor, Kevin Mayes), onto an Adidas tracksuit for Cee-Lo Green; outfitted 42 background dancers (head-to-toe) for Rihanna's performance; fringed and beaded 50 tees for dancers to wear on stage alongside Lenny Kravitz while he rocked out the intros segment. Despite our time constraints, very little sleep, and getting completely soaked while shopping in a very rare LA rain storm- we survived and have all emerged refreshed by the west side sun, hopeful and excited about what next year's All Star experiences will bring.


08 March 2011

THE FORECAST LOOKS GOOD!

The Forecast is a brand new online television series highlighting new indie talent in the fashion and style worlds: from shop keepers to designers and stylists. I'm so happy to be a included in the mix of like for their premier segment (there's a flash of me in the trailer, and full length feature coming soon).
Theforecast.tv trailer from The Argot Co. on Vimeo.

06 March 2011

TURN THE WORLD INSIDE OUT

Just thought I would share this provoking video about how art can be used to change the world. JR's photography and work are inspirational and mind bending.

01 March 2011

DRIBBLING SENSATION

Here's a clip of Jordan McCabe (such a talented and sweet kid) on the Ellen DeGeneres Show from the NBA All Star Game. Her camera crew followed him around all day, even the moment that he came to our wardrobe room with his family to pick up the jerseys that we got for him to wear to the events. Make sure you don't blink (about half-way through), so you can catch a very quick glimpse of me, Keshia and Shaundel in the background.

08 February 2011

"FABULOUS DAHLING!"

I had never even heard of this site until my sister was perusing it's pages and stumbled on this image of little of me from New York Fashion Week last fall. It just goes to show you that you always have to put your best style foot forward cause you just never know when and where you will pop up in this voyeuristic world that we live in...

31 December 2010

Miss Hill Can Still Boogie

Over the Christmas holiday, I had the fortunate opportunity to meet with Lauryn Hill and to help her get dressed for her performance at Rock Shop in New Haven. After several years of being off the scene, she still has that star style that just doesn't seem to fizzle, and she's in great shape! This is the outfit that we came up with:


15 September 2010

Sportswear Never Looked So Good!


Every single item in Lyn Devon's S/S '11 collection is a MUST HAVE staple for every woman's wardrobe. From finely tailored shirts, dresses, vests and trench coats, Devon has mastered the art of making the most basic of pieces stand out through the use of luxurious fabrics and deliberate, yet delicate, details. Such as the black pearl 'polka dot' beaded silk blouse, or this butterfly printed 'trench gown' (above). The separates based collection easily mixes, matches and plays up any outfit/occasion, and is sure to cause a flutter this spring and for many seasons to come!

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

11 September 2010

PORTS1961

Although I literally wanted to throw my shoes at someone after being held in the herd of my fellow fashion loving fiends for nearly 40 mins!, I gained a far better appreciation for Ports1961 while taking in the S/S '11 show today. From my front row seat view, this word stuck out in mind to best describe the luxurious fabrics and beautiful detailing on every piece sent down the runway: fluidity. A "beach-meets-the-dessert night sky" color scape, resonated through designer Fiona Cibani's choice of natural organic materials, such as: dune and ivory colored linen, emerald, amethyst & sapphire silk, and shell and wood accessories; gave way to a momentary escape into the iridescent ethereal world the Ports woman.

Sure enough I later learned that the name of the new collection, "ESSADI, is the pseudonym that explorer Isabelle Eberhardt used during her journey of Northern Africa during the 19th Century."

The fluidity and ability of the fabrics contrasted by the deliberate sturdiness of the wood shoes and shell accessories created mesmerizing masterpiece looks from head to toe.

Pictured is one of my favorite dresses in the s/s '11 collection.
Posted from Blogium for iPhone

21 April 2010

COVER GIRL

Jones Magazine is the voice that I've been looking for all these years to represent me in the fashion industry. As a teen, I spent endless hour after hour scoring over magazines day dreaming about the beautiful clothes within them, but I never really identified with the models wearing them. That is until now! I absolutely love love love this magazine and the fact that they present women of color in such a sophisticated and stylish way. For those of you who don't know, Jones started out as a quarterly publication in Houston. A society pages of sorts, all about the uber chic people and events happening around Texas. Luckily for the rest of the style set, they've just opened an office in NYC and have taken the magazine nationwide, launching it in a brand new and bigger format (though, I much prefer the original travel size portion).

I'm also happy to report that I just styled the Beauty Editor, Tasha Turner for a Cover Girl shoot to promote both the show, Keeping Up With the Joneses, which is all about the behind the scenes of how the magazine is made so fabulous, and Cover Girl's Queen Collection (yes, that's right as in the one and only: Latifah). So tune in to Centric, Thursdays at 8pm EST to see the commercials and to learn more about Jones Magazine.

In the meantime, check out these sizzling images of Sessilee Lopez that are sure to leave you jones-ing for LaQuan Smith.
xo



01 March 2010

ALL STAR 2010 (DALLAS)

Just like the new Cowboy Stadium, where most of the festivities took place, The NBA All Star Game is a massively dynamic event. It's incredible how many people it takes to get something like this off the ground. In the Wardrobe Department alone, I was responsible for creating over 300 different looks for the cheerleaders, dancers and entertainers. From Fan Patrol to the hosts, djs, slam dunk judges, anthem singers to Shakira's background dancers... my team and I covered the entire spectrum with a fabulous sense of style. Here are a few of the looks:

18 January 2010

Hello Sunshine!

Seeing KalaLea's photos and listening to her podcast today, inspired me to remain open to both giving and receiving the message of of life: to just love -- the here and the now and the people sent to aid us in each and every experience that it brings. enjoy!

07 January 2010

Crystals at City Center: Bringing Modern Chic to Vegas

Dear Niki,

Las Vegas gets more exciting every day. I can barely sleep. Is it turning into NYC? While it’s hard to keep up with all the new casinos in town, I’ve had my eye on CityCenter. This $8.5-billion monolith is one of the largest construction projects in the western hemisphere. It’s so big it has its own fire station and power plant. That MGM-Mirage managed to complete it during the worst recession in decades is a real accomplishment.

While Vegas has been known for its debauchery and trashy good times, the sophisticated and classy CityCenter, with its modern architecture and distinguished art décor, will do a lot to change that perception. The mini city includes the 4,004-room Aria Resort and Casino; several boutique hotels, the Mandarin Oriental, Harmon Hotel and Vdara Hotel and Spa; and Veer Towers, two leaning condos high-rises. These eclectic, futuristic-looking structures seem to defy gravity at some angles, and all received LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

CityCenter’s home to a brand new and highly anticipated Cirque du Soleil show, Viva Elvis. There are also major pieces of art by the likes of Maya Lin, Jenny Holzer and Claes Oldenburg. What I’m most excited about, however, is the fabulous Crystals, a shopping mall with more than 500,000 square feet of retail space.

Aria’s grand opening was phenomenal. I partied at Eva Longoria’s Mexican eatery, Beso, which means kiss in Spanish. I watched the spectacular fireworks display as I enjoyed delicious tortilla soup. All the heavy hitters in Vegas were there, including the Maloof Brothers, owners of the Palms Casino and Resort, cooking wonder Bobby Flay and Steve Wynn.

After dinner I toured Aria. I felt like a tiny ant looking up at an immense space ship about to take off. The building’s entry soars. I was in awe, checking out one seductive bar and lounge after the other, as well as the fabulous décor.

As for Crystals, next door, it’s high-fashion Nirvana. You get an overwhelming feeling of opulence while viewing the white, sleek architecture with wood accents and real flowers amidst the stores. The overall ambiance is nouveau riche. The stores feature luxury brands including, but not limited to, Bvlgari, Bottega Veneta, Carolina Herrera, Cartier, Ermenegildo Zegna, H.Stern, Louis Vuitton, Marni, Nanette Lepore, Roberto Cavalli, Tiffany & Co. and Versace.

For a moment I felt like Carrie in Sex and the City, leaving Fifth Avenue with a huge bag of Manolos. CityCenter is on track to be one of the world’s premiere destinations. Look out, New York and Los Angeles, Vegas is growing up fast!

xoxo

Ayana

PS. Here's a video of the Louis Vuitton Store at Crystals (Amazing!!!) and a pic of me headed to dinner at Besos, can't wait for you to visit- we're going to get into so much fun!






03 December 2009

What is Crystals?

To all my fashion people out there,

I've been hearing all this hype about a new mega shopping center in Las Vegas, called Crystals. Sounds like a 1980s soap opera if you ask me, Mrs. Carrington (pictured) would have definitely shopped there, and Alexis would have been so jealous!
Who's got the scoop?

xo
-Niki

23 November 2009

And Another One!

Although I dread the frigid days of January and February ahead of us, I can weather the cold knowing that Spring will eventually show us it's pretty face again. In the meantime, for all you early birds out there who tend to plan a season in advance, let A Peace Treaty's 2010 scarf collection (see the look book that I styled below) be that ray of sunshine on your wardrobe's horizon. Featuring silk chiffon fabrics handcrafted in Afghanistan (yes that's right you read it correctly the first time, Afghanistan!). Each scarf is hand woven by women widowed as a result of the war, and supporting their craft is a baby step towards bringing about reconstruction and healing in that region (well at least we can make an effort in our own stylish way ;)




13 September 2009

Long Live the King!



I came this close (pinched fingers) to meeting Janet Jackson (BTW, I'll love her for life!). There was talk of her being featured in the last shot of this promo for the 2009 VMAS, but it didn't work out... However, I am very happy to have been a part of the ultimate send off for MJ, (Yep, I styled everyone from the couple to the cabbie, the hot dog vendor...down to the cop!) and hope to see her live tonight at the awards show (fingers crossed for my ticket to come through!). In an effort to create my own tribute to the King of Pop, I snapped everyone on set sporting a rendition of his trademark sparkling glove, and asked each of them to do something unique with it. Stay tuned for a display of those photos, in the meantime, here's the one of me and of Jason Roth, the Director of the spot.

10 September 2009

2009 VMAs "Side Story" - MTV Commerical

I must say that this styling gig has been one of the highlights of my eight years in the business. It took about two weeks to find outfits for all of those dancers, including Ne-Yo, down to the "homeless" lady I put in an average of 15 hour days nearly every day (Yes, that's the right for all of you aspiring Stylistas out there, the styling world from the outside seems quite glamorous)...but the long hours and barely any sleep were definitely worth every second of it, just to be able to add this to my reel. Plus, I got the chance to work with super cool director Seyi-Peter Thomas.



(From Ne-Yo shoot)

(From Cobra Starship shoot)
* Photos by Jamie Cary




21 May 2009

Malibu Spots

The stylish Asbury Lanes in NJ, made a great location for this Malibu Rum shoot.

10 March 2009

Sweet Tater - Hot Hot Hot!!!

Nestled on the east side of Mulberry Street, like a diamond in the rough, Sweet Tater is one of the best kept vintage secrets in the city. Christina and her crew have a keen buying eye and always stock a great selection of all the best classics and so many precious one off pieces that make the hunting aspect of shopping vintage worth all the while. From boots, bags, dresses, jackets, denim... I've never left the store and without finding something super chic!

08 February 2009

"V" is for RED

Psst...Nothing says "Be Mine Valentine!"quite like the color red. So, whether you're hoping to get struck by cupid's arrow, or if you're already spoken for... heck, even if you're single - there's always a good excuse for a new pair of shoes!  Girls Love Shoes (GLS) has assembled a great selection of red heels to get you and your lover in the mood. GLS is the one and only all vintage shoe store (that's right, that's all they sell!) in all of Manhattan... a-must-stop-by-shop whenever I'm in Chinatown (@ 29 Ludlow Street btw Hester/Canal). They also have an extensive archive (by appointment only) right around the corner. What's that you say? Red's not your color, well don't fret, they have a ton of other great colors too! Just don't go breaking any hearts out there, while you're wearing them!
---xoxo

22 January 2009

"KILIM, GOSSYPIUM, NIANI"

I'm really so proud to have been a part of the creation of the new look book from A PEACE TREATY. Not just because I styled it, but because I really respect the thoughtful aesthetic and aim of the brand in general. Their new Spring/Summer '09 Collection is called, "KILIM, GOSSYPIUM, NIANI." Don't those names just sound so, um mm...enchanting? As if repeating them a few times in a row could evoke some fantastical chain of events to magically unfold? Well, they are all just that: magical. This season, Dana and Farah introduce hand-block painted silk into the mix of their masterfully crafted collection of scarves. The fine luxuriousness of this organic fabric, paired with vivid color combinations are sure to instantly elevate any wardrobe. I mean they're even better (and more affordable) than Hermès' infamous designs! So, you hear that guys? That goes for you too! FYI: silk prints look great paired with a solid blazer, thrown over a basic tee or a solid button down, on top of dark washed denim. Wear the long ones loose around the neck, or sport one of the hankies in your pocket. Please just do yourself a favor: wear a nice shoe with this ensemble, NOT sneakers. Trust me, this simple trick really works, and just like magic... the ladies will love you for it!

*Also, peep The Fader's write up on their blog about this collection.

02 December 2008

LA DOLCE VITA!

Forget about the story line. To all you costume junkies out there, in case you have an extra three hours to spare! Baz Lurhmann's (of Romeo and Juliet, and Moulin Rouge fame) new film Australia is a must see for all of the custom made Ferragamo outfits created by Costume Designer, Catherine Martin (also, Lurhmann's wife). Lady Sarah Ashley's down-under wardrobe, played by Aussie Nicole Kidman, blew me away in nearly every scene. Especially, these limited edition 1940's inspired, red velvet sandals that the house of Ferragmo decided to put out just in time for the film's release. Oh the joys of being rich and fabulous! Fashionistas everywhere should aspired to obtain such luxurious perks, but for those of us still on our way to the top, they can be viewed at the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence, Italy. Pack lite!
(source info and pic found on Fashion Windows)

P.S. Ferragamo is also responsible for model Claudia Shiffer's big come back. I love all of their ads featuring her right now. And she looks like she hasn't aged a bit...hmmm, maybe it was the magician?

19 November 2008

"FEEL THE GOOD!"

I always wondered how those little packets contain so much power to help fight off colds, and to help us all "Feel the Good," so I was really excited when I got the call from Shilo Productions style a commercial for them. Once I found the right colors that the client was looking for to match the two featured packets (light pink for the "tropical/bollywood" spot and blue for the "lemon lime/kung fu" spot), which sounds pretty simple, but you'd be surprised to find out just how many different shades of pink and blue are out there these days...it was cool to see how everything was filmed: from observing the art department concoct glasses full of "Emergen-C" for the camera (psst...there's a secret formula used for making those bubbles fizz perfectly on cue for the camera, but I'll never tell!); to watching the two actors create genuine looks of satisfaction, sip after sip, take after take...after take. At the end of the shoot, they went home pretty healthy, and everyone else on set: Felt the Good!

STYLECASTER

Need to know what the weather will be for the day, and how to dress accordingly? StyleCaster is a new daily fashion based news and trend forecasting site that will help you jump start your day in just the perfect way. The brain child of Meg Cuna (former Market Editor of Lucky Magazine), the interactive site provides you with not only virtual outfit ideas - based on your own unique style profile that you create but, you'll also find out about what's happening in the fashion community from designer launches to all the up and coming sample sales around NYC. It's a great way for any fashionista to stay in the know and to network with other interesting people in the biz. A bonus feature is that some of the daily style casts were provided by yours truly! Check out my profile in their Style Setter section:





29 September 2008

AMERICA NEEDS YOU!

Just a brief preview of the windows displays that I helped create for the Levi's windows on 14th Street ...very fitting for the times that we are living in right now... Hate to sound so cliche, but get out and get your voice heard: rock the vote!

12 September 2008

JUST ANOTHER DAY IN THE SUN!


They caught me!  I had to do the interview, but it was fun, I like watching the videos of real people from around the world on their blog site. 


02 September 2008

WHAT HAPPENED TO NEW?

The last few trend movements that I've noticed on the streets of NYC, have been forged in their entirety from previous generations (now don't mistake me, there's absolutely nothing wrong with borrowing bits and pieces from our past from time to time, but plagiarism is downright unacceptable).  Case in point the current, and seemingly never ending revival of all things '80s fever, as seen by the kids posted in head-to-toe 80s-inspired gear throughout SoHo on any given day of the week... including high top fades, stone wash jeans and people actually carrying around boom boxes on their shoulders... well quite frankly, it's become a sickness here now, and it has to be stopped! It's as if these kids have been transported through a time machine from 1984, and dropped off in the middle of the city. Or maybe a better explanation is that our parallel universe got stuck in some black hole during that decade, and has finally resurfaced? I see them everywhere and it makes me question, what ever happened to new? New trends, new styles, to new innovative ways of self-expression? The Mods' slender silhouette defined the '60s; bell bottoms and disco sprung forth in the '70s; then, hip-hop, Adidas and high-top fades in the '80s; and grunge rocked the '90s... It seems like all we do these days is reach back to previous generations for style inspiration, can this really be it? Have we entered into an apocalyptic era in the world of fashion? I implore, ten years from now, what fashions will we say defined the first decade of the 21st century?

19 August 2008

THE FLORAL REPORT CONT'D...

(Photo by Chioma Nnadi; Vintage floral print dress from Eleven)

At McCarren Pool concert, sponsored by Top Shop 
(Yay!!! I'm so excited that it's opening in NYC soon!)

30 July 2008

CUBANNIE!



The first thing I noticed about Annie Basulto when I met her were those gold link earrings glimmering from her ears.  See more of her cute creations on her web site... PS. That's NYC Graffiti Artist, TOO FLY working her magic in the background at an event to launch Sidekick's new customizable shells.

23 July 2008

THE REAL ERIN BROCKOVICH


Yup! She's the real Erin Brockovich, and she's been standing up now for a very long time, using her voice to fight for average people against the hazardous practices of big corporations.  I have to admit that Erin is one of my new favorite people that I've ever styled.   Her persona is definitely unique and true to the fiery rawness that Julia Roberts portrayed of her in the film (released in 2000) made about her landmark victory against Pacific Gas & Electric Company. A straightforward, grab 'em by the whatever it takes-to bring about justice-type of woman; Erin also possesses a great sense of humor, and is sincere, inquisitive, easy going, and considerate.  In fact, she even offered to help me clean up the wardrobe after the shoot!  Plus, she was a total pro on camera and banged out many of the spots that we shot last week for Weitz and Luxenburg, about the dangerous side affects of asbestos, in just a few quick takes.  They should start airing sometime soon... more details to follow...

28 May 2008

A REASON FOR PEACE!


Two women bridge the gap between Jews and Muslims with their new collection of scarves, stoles, and handkerchiefs.   A Peace Treaty (APT) is the collective brain child of Dana Arbib, a Libyian Jew, and Farah Malik, a Pakistani Muslim. News headlines around the world would cause one to believe that such a relationship is just not possible.  Thus, Dana and Farah founded APT to help recognize their respective cultural similarities; but, more importantly to prove that we can all work together to create a more beautiful planet.  All of the scarves are hand-dyed and hand-loomed by local artisans in Southeast Asia, and feature bright, thoughtful colors and patterns that can be worn year round by both men and women.  So go ahead... give peace a chance and snatch one up while they still last! (Plus, you can see me in their online look book).

02 March 2008

MARK MY WORDS


Men's tunic dress shirts will be a big hit for Spring/Summer '08, but only the truly brave will dare to venture out in one. Here's an example from a British street vendor selling them like hot cakes at the Portobello Flea Market in Nottinghill.

29 February 2008

IN FLORALS WE TRUST


By now, we've all seen this explosion of floral prints that has infected itself on the styles of the runways and the streets. But, only Tsumori Chisato could add strength to their movement by showing us how to rock them properly. When it comes to details, she and her team leave no stone unturned. No seam un-stitched. The flower-packed prints she displayed on a range of pieces for her Fall/Winter '08 collection, included a 70's inspired chiffon dress complete with matching covetable lace up rain boots (pictured). As an observer in the audience (thanks to my friend Angela over at Mail Movement), I felt myself to be magically transported by the whimsical carousel music, not to mention the breathtakingly beautifully dip-dyed tights, to a place of limitless imagination. The bold color combinations that Chisato has become known for tend to mesmerize - evoking a vivid sense of other worldliness that she continues to improve upon season after season.

28 February 2008

LA MODE DE PARIS!


* photos courtesy of elle.com
There's no place like home, but Paris is a close second pour moi! I just love perusing it's avenues and rues, exploring many of them as if for the very first time. Each one hosts a new source of inspiration: from the classic French architecture, to the flowers hanging from nearly every window, even the street art is tres chic! This time, I stumbled upon the Isabel Marant Fall/Winter '08 runway show. Her American Indian modern cowgirl lumberjack look suits me quite well. 

* Even though they spelled my name wrong, check out my interview about the show on Refinery 29


30 November 2007

RED


I learned a great deal about the London Fashion scene and publishing world during my brief stint at RED Magazine on North Row (a sister publication of BRITISH ELLE).  Fashion Director, Nicola Rose, along with her entire team, showed me all the ins and outs of putting together fashion spreads and other content for the publication. Some of the steps involved in this exciting process include the following: 

(1) Visit runway presentations and press offices to get a glimpse of the best and the brightest of the newest trends/collections to potentially shoot for the magazine;
(2) Find relevant sources of inspiration (such as books, magazines and film) for story ideas;
(3) Create the story/concept to be shot (this has to be approved by the Editor-in-Chief first!);
(4)   Pull clothing, shoes and accessories, to be shot, from tons of designers and showrooms to (*NOTE to those seeking internships/work at a fashion magazine: this process can be very dull and time consuming involving loads and loads of phone calls, emails and faxing---but without this task, there would be nothing to shoot!);
(5)  Edit (or decide on) the looks and articles for each story;
(6) Shoot the story (this involves another series of steps, such as: finding the location/photographer/mode(s)/hair and makeup artists/catering/transportation...);
(7) Return the clothing, shoes and accessories pulled for the shoot to the designers/press offices...;
(8) Collaborate with the Art Department and Editor-in-Chief to edit and layout the the story/article/spread (picture above shows this process in action);
(9) Publish the issue of the magazine;
(10) Plan for the next shoot, and repeat steps 1-9.

26 November 2007

FACTORY TOUR: ALFRED SARGENT SHOES

Did you know that it takes approximately 130 people to make a single pair of precisely handcrafted Alfred Sargent & Sons shoes? I, recently had the pleasure of visiting the handmade shoe factory to get a glimpse of the secret skills involved in turning a piece of raw leather into a fine shoe. From selecting the leather to clicking, then gimping, brogueing, tanning, lining, and then finishing; it’s a complicated process, but somebody has do it! Here are some of the photos from my tour of the factory in Northamptonshire England:

07 November 2007

VANITY FAIR SHOOT WITH JERRY HALL

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of assisting a Stylist on a photo shoot for Vanity Fair Italia with legendary top model Jerry Hall. She was super sweet, so down to earth and it was a great exprience. With only six degrees of separation, and the same last name, there's a small chance that she and I could just be related...After all, stranger things have happened!

05 November 2007

GUY FAWKES NIGHT





Every November 5th year, the people of London gather together to ohh and ahh at the firesworks displays paying tribute to Guy Fawkes Night. The story goes that a radical group of men anxious to bring about change in the government system, and led by Guy Fawkes, were caught in the act of plotting to blow up parliament with gunpowder on Nov. 5th in the year 1605. Londoners make bonfires and set off fireworks to mark how massive the explosion would have been had the plot been successful. This year marked the 402nd anniversary, and I ohh and ahhed with the crowd at Victoria Park on the east side of London, the dissolving giant skeleton of Fawkes was spectacular!

08 September 2007

WHAT I'VE BEEN UP TO...

After a week of classes at the prestigious arts haven, Central Saint Martins, I am definitely feeling rejuvenated and re-inspired to pursue my creative interests. The course is called "Contemporary Textiles from Old," and I am learning how to use old textiles to create new works of art. The hands on experience, has produced a great start of something magical within me. I am meeting a lot of good people from all over the world, one of my classmates is even here from Japan. We're all feeding off of each others creativity and encouraging each other to realize our great ideas. The objective of the course is for everyone to utilize their own personal sources of inspiration to produce textiles through the techniques demonstrated by the instructor, Sophie Gorton, such as: foiling, flocking, heat transfer, silk screening, and sewing, to name a few. 

Below is a sample of one of the works that I created for the class.  The bottom image is a tear from  a "Love Story,"  a fashion spread that I directed and styled for  Frank151 Book, Book #20, (photographed by Taku). So, basically, I had to xerox the tear sheet, transfer that onto photo transfer paper, which in turn was transferred on the orange polyester (in the top picture).  After that I created pulls and tears in the polyester to give it even more texture. And finally, I silk screened white flocking onto the area that represents the clothing that the model is wearing. It was such a fun process, and I'm really happy with the way that all my works turned out.  You can see more on them in the collage section of my website. x