Sunday, October 20, 2013

Los Angeles Fashion Fix

Not quite ready to exit the VIP scene yet, thank goodness California is a short drive away.  Invited by 2 designers, a date with a make up artist and a hosting event last week in L.A. was just the right fix for my Phoenix Fashion Week withdrawals.

While drizzly autumn weather puts us in a tented situation, LINDEN SS14 Mosaic Collection by my friend Jennifer Lynn was in full bloom at Los Angeles Fashion Council held on Oct 9 at The Grove.  LA Times reported, “LINDEN is proof that ‘clothing with a conscience’ doesn’t always mean sacrificing style at the altar of sustainability.”  

Jennifer says, "My Spring/Summer 2014 is called Mosaic Collection inspired by Artist Yaacov Agam's who designed a mosaic fountain outside of Paris at La Defense."  Created in 1977, Agam's musical fountain made of polymorphic mosaic surface offering artistic diversity when viewed from different angles, such as LINDEN's clothes...

LINDEN's final walk at LAFC...

By invitation only, I arrived with my Seattle-based pals Maggie Sartain and Maile Cabral, co-founder of Cabral Edwards Management.  

Maile Cabral, Sheila Vertuno and Maggie Sartain

As a PR and brand management expert, Maile’s judicious eyes instantly recognized LINDEN’s edgy style would be the right attire and immediately fitted the Macklorette dancers performing with Macklemore  & Ryan Lewis during their US Fall 2013 tour, starting on Oct 22. I couldn’t agree more, as my all-time LINDEN favorite piece Moto Leggings made of eco-friendly washable salmon-skin leather is also my go-to piece this season.

Wearing LINDEN Moto Leggings at Phoenix Fashion Week with Jennifer Lynn

Continuing to make a fashion scene, I supported my bestie Bri Seeley as her SS14 Silence Collection (pre-order via debuted on Oct 10 at Eden Hollywood benefitting Step Up Women’s Network.  I loved that Bri chose to feature L.A.’s top bloggers of different looks and sizes highlighting the versatility of her oeuvre.  Standout signature pieces for me are the Jaclyn Skirt from SS13 Escape Collection and the Mischa Dress (#10 image below) 

Bri Seeley SS14 Silence Collection

The show was attended by several Hollywood personalities, including my buddy and date for the night…celebrity make up artist, Maxi Tone.

Wearing Bri Seely Mischa Dress at Eden Hollywood

With Bri Seeley and Jason George, NBC's Blacklist Story Editor

With Robbie Laughlin of E News!

With Arianna Sinclair, Celebrity Wardrobe Stylist and Event Director

With LINDEN's Jennifer Lynn and LOIN CLOTH's Clary Ryan and Sam Mascaro

Make up by my dear friend Maxi Tone, Hollywood Celebrity Make Up Artist

Before the show, Maxi and I had a laid back afternoon playing with make up, catching up about his new cosmetic, his loyal clients Christina Milian, Patti Austin, Keesha Sharp and Lea Salonga, and also talked about women’s general beauty concerns.  Check out snippets of my one-to-one with Maxi…

Like most women, when the face in the mirror looks back at me, I notice the imperfections first.  Women incessantly wonder what regimen, treatment or procedures would fix the flaws magnified by their own minds. After all, to look beautiful means to look perfect.  The goal is to look perfect…NOT!

Let us not fool ourselves! The celebrities that we see on print ads are all photoshopped, the TV commercials have the right lighting and angles to capture the flawless looks that would sell the products advertised, and the models in the runway… they have an army of professionals applying pounds of concealer, spraying body foundations, attaching hair extensions, etc. Believe me, I’ve seen the BEFORE Backstage and the AFTER Runway looks from the front row.

“I don’t create beautiful, I only highlight what’s already within,” says Maxi.  The key is making the most of your looks regardless of your age.  Apply minimal cosmetics to highlight your best features.  Turn heads by showing a natural polished look, NOT a clown face.  And if you decide to enhance more permanently, do not go overboard sculpting.  Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against needles and knives.  Give me a few years and I may also take the plunge. But for the meantime, am just saying…less is more.

My personal daily must dos include diligent hydration, face and lip SPF protection, groomed arches and organic foundation. And if I didn’t get enough sleep the night before (which happens often), I curl the little lashes that I have. 

Let us know...what is your beauty secret?


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Phoenix Fashion Week Designer of the Year 2013

...and the Phoenix Fashion Week Designer of the Year 2013 is --- Dolcessa - Luxury swimwear for the confident woman. From the get go, I thought that this brand was way ahead of Phoenix Fashion Week itself.  Already an established brand, Dolcessa has graced the glossy and digital pages of national publications like People, Maxim, FHM, etc. It appeared in Sports Illustrated not one, not two, but 3 years in a row, most recently worn by Kate Upton in the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition 2013.  This high-end stylish swim wear was a crowd pleaser. The cover-ups and the crystal head pieces by Melis Accessories are my favorites.

Watch Dolcessa finale here:

Congratulations to Las Vegas based Katya Leoncio, owner and designer of Dolcessa.

From the competitors’ perspective, I am sure it was a long grueling yet productive 4 months going through the Emerging Designer Boot Camp.  Time well spent and all their hard work shined in the fabulous runway shows they put up during the Phoenix Fashion Week on October 3-5 at Talking Stick Resort. 
The 12 designers were so talented making this year’s competition much tougher than previous years.  As I shared my thoughts with Brian Hill, Executive Director of Phoenix Fashion Week, just minutes before the show started on the final night of the event, he said “I agree with you, Sheila, it is still anybody’s game at this point.  The scores are so close and the runway challenge will define the outcome tonight.”

Full of excitement, the standing room only spectators cheered as the top finalists were announced, check out a few of the looks from their Summer/Spring 2014 Collection.

Ja’ire International Couture designed by Ja’ire Hattley - "Daring apparel that commands attention." When the 2-sister team presented their first ensemble during the Emerging Designer Reveal in June, I was captivated and the brand set the bar high for my expectations. Unfortunately, the integrity of their first design carried only to half of their SS14 collection, the other half seemed out of place for a spring/summer line.

Medium Apparel designed by Zac McDonald - "Creating premium men’s and women’s street wear." Medium Apparel is one of only 2 local designers selected for the Designer of the Year challenge. I witnessed how this line evolved in just a few short months from what I thought was one-dimensional serigraphy for men's t-shirts back in June to a well-executed brand of unisex trendy art wear as flaunted on the runway.   Here's some his and her looks... 


Stephanie Gentry by Stephanie Gentry - "Luxury fashion for the woman who wants to take the world by storm."  I liked the spring pastel hues and the light fabric which flowed perfectly with the desert breeze as the models strutted the ramp. However, there's too many ideas ambitiously crammed into one collection making it seem like the designs didn't belong together.  Perhaps rearranging the presentation can make a difference.

There are no losers in this competition.  Armed with knowledge, experience and industry network, this is just the beginning of a great future. Congratulations to all the designers!  And a huge kudos to the Phoenix Fashion Week team, well done!

Now off to California for the LA Fashion Council runway show at The Grove and the most anticipated presentation of Bri Seeley’s SS14 in Hollywood.

Get your FASH on, keep styling and make a fashion scene.


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Real Women Real Clothes

Hosted by the Los Angeles Fashion Council, LINDEN Spring/Summer 2014 Mosaic Collection will hit the runway at the Grove Shopping Center on October 9th, 2013.

Following my “Does Size Matter?” blog a few months back I’m excited to share about an LA-based designer, who has real women on mind - curvy and skinny, tall and petite…you name it, this couturier got you covered!

I met Jennifer Lynn, owner and creator of LINDEN, at Style Fashion Week LA where she showcased “The Wind Up Bird Collection.” I immediately fell in love with her bold yet effortless style! LINDEN is fashion forward and edgy and still versatile to fuse into existing wardrobe.  The brand is about “embracing the modern bombshell in every woman” says Jennifer.  It is conveniently accessible to all body types, true to its latest campaign “Real Women, Real Clothes.”  Her signature is manufacturing 100% in USA with earth-conscious recycled materials making its production runs often limited for a more exclusive collection.

Watch this video as she talked about her brand and her Real Women Real Clothes project, just before she got selected to vie for the Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer of the Year 2013.  No surprise at all! Congratulations to Jennifer and good luck!!!

In company of 3 beautiful women, Ashley, Stephanie and Cami, I had the opportunity to model several LINDEN outfits.  Like little girls on Christmas morning, with bins and racks of clothes to reconnoitre, we were so excited we didn’t know where to start! It was invigorating to find California-chic clothes that can easily be balanced with our own personal styles.  Standing 5 feet 9.5 inches tall, I was enthused to find trousers that are actually long enough for my legs.

Jennifer gave us the carte blanche to make our own selections, mix it up, and put together several attires.  For the “Real Women Real Clothes” photo shoot we went for comfortable, functional and realistic looks yet confident, fab and fashionable.  Keeping it real, there was no hair and makeup crew, no professional stylists, no artificial illuminations or backdrops to glam us.

With abundance of natural lighting and breath taking views, the rooftop of the Academy Awards Building in the heart of downtown Los Angeles was a perfect location for a perfect day of photo shoot.  See behind the scenes videos…

This is all about celebrating everyday women of normal sizes and figures, thru the lenses of amazing Jeremy Lee.

For the Phoenix Fashion Week runway show at Talking Stick Resort tonight, I wore LINDEN's Classic Moto Leggings with H&M halter top, BCBG soles and my new favorite arm candy, Rebecca  Minkoff leather MAC.  I was not interviewed at the red carpet, but if I was asked why I support LINDEN, I would say, "There is depth in this brand that carries a strong message. LINDEN is 100% made in USA which is great for our economy. The clothing materials are sustainable and eco-friendly, yet rich and comfortable.  I appreciate the "art" in each piece, and I love the combination of LA-chic and edgy style. Finally, it is refreshing to see designs that compliment diversity in real women's figure."

Hosted by the Los Angeles Fashion Council, LINDEN Spring/Summer 2014 Mosaic Collection will hit the runway at the Grove Shopping Center on October 9th, 2013.

Get your FASH on and happy styling!