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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Wizard of Oz - Leading Ladies Re-Imagined

wicked witch fashion
oz witch fashion doll
No, this isn't Kansas.  Warner Brothers and Tonner Dolls have combined forces with 20 fashion designers to create one-of-a-kind dolls to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Wizard of Oz movie.  Designers like Reem Acra, Betsey Johnson, Chris Benz, Byron Lars, Donna Karan, Jenny Packham  and Colleen Atwood to name a few, sketched and created couture ensembles for the collectible Tonner Dolls. 

Above are a few preview sketches from different designers.  They were tasked with re-imagining the characters of Glinda the Good Witch, The Wicked Witch and of course, Dorothy herself.  Byron Lars re-imagined a post-apocalyptic Dorothy who has been hardened by the loss of her dog and fighting it out against the world.   Yours truly contributed the graphic designs for the tattoo and t-shirt to this doll.

 Reem Acra re-designed Dorothy's classic gingham ensemble as an elegant ballgown.  Carmen Marc Valvo gave Glinda a modern red carpet makeover. Betsey Johnson interpreted Glenda as a punk godmother, eerily similar to herself.  Lyn Paolo (top) saw the Wicked Width as a vintage vamp.  Douglas Hannant saw the sorceress as sexy screen siren in fur.  Watching the process, I can tell you that Tonner Dolls handpainted the facial features onto each doll (they definitely don't mass manufacture the fierce attitude I saw on the Byron Lars doll!)  Each designer was responsible for making the unique outfit that the doll wore.

The actual dolls will be unveiled at the Fashion Institute of Technology to coincide with NY Fashion Week.  The dolls will be up for auction to benefit Habit for Humanity as part of their "There's No Place Like Home" campaign. Habitat for Humanity is an organization whose mission is to build decent, affordable homes for low income families around the world.

I know I personally fantasized about Dorothy's flared blue gingham dress and the big pink pile of organza that was Glinda's ballgown when I watched the movie as a child.  You can see it inspired plenty of other fashion creators like myself.  The fact that it brought so many of them together for a great cause is that much more beautiful.   I can only hope they present them on a giant yellow brick runway... 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Siempre Mujer Shoot with Genesis Rodriguez

Are you fan of bridal or embellishment design?  If you are not familiar with my side project, Weng Meng Design Studio, I create one-of-a-kind pieces based on my artisan embroidery designs.  Earlier this summer, a cool stylist by the name of Carlos Franqui contacted me after seeing my feather capelets on my Etsy shop. 

He was working on a fabulous white fashion story for a cover shoot for leading Latin magazine, Siempre Mujer.  The gorgeous actress Genesis Rodriguez was starring in this photo spread.  He said a white falcon would be the co-star and wanted a dramatic feather creation to accompany it.  Of course, I was out of town at the time and pulled an all-nighter the day before to make this happen. 

I layered long and medium length white feathers and stitched several rows of stitches to keep them
together on a base of soft tulle.  I used the natural curve of the feathers for shape.  I used shorter feathers for the collar area.  I added short, burnt coque feathers as accent.    I further used silk charmeuse to face the area where the ends of the feather shafts met to protect the wearer (very important when designing with feathers!)  I was really happy with the final product.

Let me tell you… All-nighters when you are 19 are very different from where I am now.  After I came home from the photo shoot, I crashed out with my head on the couch, body on an ottoman and a cat sprawled on my chest.  

The team at the photo shoot were terrific.  I hung out and helped with the set up for a bit to watch the stylists and photographers in action.  I absolutely loved the final result!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Best of Emmy's Red Carpet - The Angels

The most talented actresses of the small screen were celebrated at the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.  The hottest trend on the red carpet? Bright glittering angels in platinum and white. 

As a curvy girl myself, I love seeing gowns that sculpt and highlight great curves in an unusual way.  Kate Mara's J. Mendel gown had multi-directional shirring along with shaped, semi-sheer layers to reveal the leg in a soft way.  Also loved the chunky beading on the top.  Sofia Vergara's hourglass figure is always epic on the red carpet.  Roberto Cavalli's gown not only hugged her body, but the silver embroidered lines traced each sexy shape even more.  Danielle Brooks of Orange is the New Black wore a Nathaniel Paul gown with a great circle lace bodice.  It contrasted beautifully against her skin.  The asymmetrical skirt with high leg slit was incredibly flattering. 

I loved these shimmering dresses.  Amy Poehler was stunning in THEIA's silver beaded gown.  Hayden Pannetiere made every Mom I know jealous in a starburst embroidered gown by Lorena Sarbu.  Taylor Schilling's halter gown had beautiful beaded lines by Zuhair Murad.

Lucy Liu's gown from Zac Posen pulled shirring details in several directions to frame her body.  Julianna Hough's strapless dress was a contemporary take on the retro big bow dress by DSquared.  Dascha Polanco was in full diva mode in a ballgown by Johanna Johnson. 

Photos from Frazer Harrison, Christopher Polk, David Crotty, Jeff Vespa

Monday, August 25, 2014

#MYNY - DKNY Launches Fragrance With a Party in the Park

dkny myny perfume
Pop star Rita Ora, supermodel Chrissy Teigen and other celebrities were on hand to dish out heart shaped pretzels from Cronut King Dominic Ansel.   It was one giant party in Madison Square Park with a DJ, treats and the newest sweet scent from DKNY.

The Donna Karan brand has always professed their love for the city of New York in their advertising and their location in the heart of Manhattan.  This campaign takes that idea quite literally.  The digital heart motif was splashed everywhere.  The heart shaped bottle has a top inspired by the architecture of the city.

The scent itself? It has notes of raspberry, pink peppercorn, vanilla and freesia.  Other notes include thing I have never heard of, like roots of orris? (It is an herbal medicine ingredient).  The overall impression was a mix of aromas of what experts called "gourmand" scents at a fragrance seminar I went to and bohemian elements like patchouli and jasmine.

Well, considering the smell of NYC in the summer is often not pleasant, I have no objection to this perfume taking over Gotham.

Create your own #MYNY heart on their website.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

How to Rock Transitional Style with Skirts Online

All right, we have hit that time of year of transitional dressing.  Fall and winter clothes have hit the stores while summer temperatures occur outside for another month.  How do you bridge that gap in seasonal style?   

Tip #1: Black and white was a big trend at both the spring and fall collections.  Pairing textures and graphic patterns work all year round.  Stripes, geometric and ethnic prints I found all over the runways the past year.  Stretch your wardrobe with a solid black or solid white bottom to anchor any design up top.

Tip #2: You can’t go wrong with a skirt!  Skirts work with warmer weather or layered for cooler temperatures.  I found a huge selection of skirts online from Metalicus, a popular fashion site from Australia. It was full of flattering silhouettes that work year-round.  My favorite is the shirred, wrap Marlini style skirt in the middle.  It has an elegant drape that looks sexy on all figures.  It is easily paired with a striped or patterned top or a matching black one for a sleek look.  A longer, full skirt like the Kahlo skirt on the left is breezy in the summer with a tank top or winter-worthy with a sexy sweater.

Tip #3: Stretchy, comfy fabric.  Adapting to different climates or occasions is all about layers.  The Metalicus signature look is about fabrics that are flexible for active lifestyles.  Look for knit jerseys for a draped, flowing, or body conscious look.  Ponti fabrics give a big more structure but still have stretch.  A sleeveless dress or top paired with a pencil skirt is comfortable in the summer.  Throw a jacket or cardigan over the outfit and you have a fall look as well. 

 What is your best tip for transitioning through the seasons?

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Metalicus. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Metalicus.


Friday, August 22, 2014

#MENSWEAR: Dr. Martens Spirit of '69

trojan records box

doc martens 69
The iconic Doc Martens boot brand celebrated the “Spirit of ‘69” last night on the Lower East Side.  In its latest campaign, British rapper Mike Skinner and photographer Gavin Watson have evoked the rebellious spirit, music and skinhead culture of 1960’s that made the brand the punk symbol it is today.  Dr. Marten’s also collaborated with brands like Trojan RecordsAlpha Jackets, Brutus Shirts and Edwin Jeans that they felt also contributed to the culture of that time.

While Dr. Martens was traditionally made in the U.K. did you know there really was a “Doc”?  Dr. Klaus Maertens was a German inventor who originally created the label’s signature air sole to relieve the pain of his own injured foot.  The original work boots were worn by policemen and postmen. Certain styles are still being made in the original Cobbs Lane factory in England where they started in 1901.

The party was held at the three floor nightclub at The Delancey.  The palm tree filled rooftop and faux-grungy basement floors make it one of the clubs where you can still enjoy a variety punk, rock and reggae on the Lower East Side of NYC.  This was a fitting location for guests to dance to their choice of music and throw back a Red Stripe beer or Sailor Jerry.

New York was once a great place for rock n’ roll.  Based on the number of guests last night, there was no shortage of fans for the genre.  Rockers need to pull on their boots and stomp their way back to New York. Win your own pair of Dr. Marten's by showing your style here.