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Thursday, July 13, 2017

#NYFWM: Christopher Lowman Spring 2018- Harvard Punk'd

Who's in for scholarly chic? Indie designer Christopher Lowman styled his Spring 2018 collection along with a collegiate theme. While the academic-inspired look is a hot trend, there was something darker and in tune with current times. 

There were team jackets and sweaters. Cropped pants were paired with New Balance Athletic shoes. Intellectual glasses were by Vivid Eyewear. The "nerd" specs are a particular weakness of mine when guys wear them. Fabric choices included leather to French terry, silk to suede. Raglan sleeves and denim all gave a look of an intense student who was also plotting a rebellion. The intensity of emotion of Lowman's muse. Specifically, that student who was battling anxiety of financial instability and mental health issues that lead to the possibility of becoming a college dropout. I thought it was an accurate snapshot of how the country worries about in general right now. Anxiety of money, health and failure is on the minds of many.

This was my first show of New York Fashion Week Menswear #NYFWM for this season. I wondered if the vibe this show created would be in tune with other collections to come. Fall 2017, the theme of protest was prevalent. Will Spring 2017 be the season of fear or anxiety? Christopher Lowman found his therapy in his clothes. 
Photos by Mariana Leung.
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Thursday, July 6, 2017

What She Wore - BlogHer '17 Street Style

It has been over a week and still on the inspiration high that is the BlogHer 2017 conference. I love the diversity of women that I meet here. For 2017, the conference was in Orlando, so many of the bloggers were accompanied by children and partners than I have seen in the New York conferences.

By diverse women, I mean that influencers, writers, bloggers of all types were represented. Popular categories include parenting, tech, and style of course. There are lifestyle bloggers, political bloggers, bloggers that write about specific medical conditions, philanthropic issues, entrepreneurs, food, you name it, it was there. I was also excited to see all ages, ethnicities, sizes, and shapes of women and those who identify as women. One thing in common among most of the attendees though, is that everyone put a lot of thought into their outfits. You would think these were all style bloggers. Participants brought their A-game in styling themselves as a billboard to their personal brand.

Talking with Tami blogger (top) came to represent curvy silhouettes and also a designer she loved in Atlanta. I found my Geek fashion crowd. There were several unicorn fans. I hunted down several bloggers who were big Disney, Star Wars, Wonder Woman and Harry Potter fans. They were a trifecta of Geek model/stylist The Lady Nerd,  Superheroine chef The Gluttonous Geek and Geeky Bootcamp founder Nerd in the City. I found Ms. Candy Blog who DIY styled herself with candy dots on her leather jacket and handbag. Of course, get a load of that light-up skirt!

Otherwise, ladies brought their individual style, from jet-setter to resort-friendly to vintage. Everyone looked fully accessorized with their favorite handbag in addition to the multiple tote bags that guests received from BlogHer sponsors.

I admit I was feeling a bit of a creative slump this year. However, BlogHer '17 revived and inspired me with their expert panels. Meeting fantastic women who were all following their passion and open to sharing and learning with others restored my love of blogging as well.

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Saturday, July 1, 2017

Jack Daniels House No. 7 - Brooklyn Navy Yard

rockabilly hairstyle
house no. 7 nycSummer in NYC means epic parties. Jack Daniels Tennesee Whiskey throws a house party like no other. Jack Daniels House No. 7 imagines the lifestyle of a Rock n' Roller on the road right in Brooklyn's Navy Yard.

You check into the venue, the most stylish chambermaids and hostesses give you a key. A team of attractive bellboys gives you a ride in their cart straight.tp the bar. A bar filled with Jack Daniels concoctions of course. My favorites being Jack and ginger beer and lemonade. 

Southern specialties like loaded fries, fried chicken, and mashed potatoes in waffle cones, sweet and tangy Miss Bobo's meatballs keep you fueled up for the festivities.

Up for a physical challenge? Roller derby girls and basketball tricksters will prompt you to up your game. I was never that ambitious, so I opted for the hair makeover at the salon. You could spin the wheel to help you decide on any number of rocker styles. I didn't think I could pull off a Mohawk or mullet so stylist Siobhan Quinlan (with awesomely pink hair) have me a Rockabilly bouffant. I wore a long sheer plaid shirt and leather skirt.

If you wanted some Jack Daniels culture, you could have the barrel master laser etch a piece of Whiskey aged oak for you. For high-tech pursuits, try the virtual reality tour of their headquarters. 

You could get down and dirty in the house rooms that included floor to ceiling pillows, bouncy beds, and karaoke. Access to secret VIP areas could come by impressing the severe team of Dominatrix-like chambermaids by succeeding at challenges they have forth. 

Thank you, Jack Daniels, for rocking my world with a visit to House No. 7!

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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2017 Boardwalk Style

seahorse costume
coney island mermaid 2017
mermaid parade 2017 costumes
Summer is here in Brooklyn when the Coney Island Mermaid Parade hits the boardwalk. The creative mermaid costumes, sexy sea outfits, and marine creatures parade in this grass roots 35-year tradition. It originated within the artist and circus folk community.

The costumes range from simple bikinis, seashells, and netting to elaborately constructed wearable floats. There is a lot of skin, but the parade is family friendly. While colors and sparkle are the norms, there are a few Gothic fashion lovers in the mix. Mystical creatures of all sorts are mixed in, like unicorns and satyrs. There are a lot of pop culture hybrids, like "Clamilton The Musical", Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland mermaid group costumes.

handmaids tale costumeThis year, I saw a lot more protest outfits. There were the "Handmermaids of Gilead" in tribute to The Handmaid's Tale to raise awareness of feminist issues. There were several environmental protest looks, ranging from saving the oceans, the EPA and other organizations. A Trump impersonator getting caught in a net was a visual punchline. Performance groups sang and danced protest messages along the parade that were supportive of the Women's March.

mariana leung costume
My look incorporated a Diane Von Furstenberg blue wave wrap dress mixed with tentacles and paired with a mermaid crown I made. I walked and photographed the parade. What I love most about walking along the Surf Avenue route and boardwalk is the ecstatic expressions on everyone's face. Everyone is so happy to dress up as a fantasy creature or see others dressed as one. The crowd is incredibly diverse. People of all genders, ethnic, shape, orientation, and physical abilities are well represented and supported. I was pleasantly surprised to see minimal corporate sponsorship, so the parade really felt it was put on by creatives for creatives.

The Coney Island Mermaid Parade is an event you need to experience at least once in your lifetime. I highly recommend you dress the part to fully experience the fun. If you do, get ready for me to catch you in my lens!
Photos by Mariana Leung

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Pamella Roland Resort 2018

Resort collections from Fashion designers. For many, that is the throwaway, smaller, simple collection after putting it all into fall and holiday. For Pamella Roland, she takes the opportunity to make it shine. Her presentation at the Bvlgari jewelry boutique in 57th store street was an opulent affair.

Many of her collections took exotic locales or prestigious artists as her muse. Resort 2018 was inspired by her own backyard. Delicate flowers like peonies, wisteriea, hydrangeas and lavender made their way into the collection in color palette or motifs.
Embroideries of trailing flowers, three dimensional fabric appliques, beaded fringe all added a rich texture to the luxury fabrics. Most of the looks clearly aimed for red carpet wear, either on celebrities like Vanessa Williams in attendance or the many socialites who are devoted fans.

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Friday, June 9, 2017

The Blonds Present The Mummy Fall 2017

The Blonds Fall 2017 was one of the most highly anticipated shows of the season. Photographers live for their showmanship on the runway. The theme this year was The Mummy to celebrate the movie release today.

Looking at these photographs, you can see the cliche bandage wrapping of the past was not in play. The Mummy star Sofia Boutella's look in the film has an exotic, dark style. She appears to be deteriorating elegantly in a body conscious costume. The Blonds collection also has a dark, exotic look that is sexy and body conscious. Spiders and their webs are a repeated motif. Several looks have a shredded texture created in feathers, embellished with rich Preciosa pearls.
from The Mummy, Universal Pictures

Preciosa Crystal Components is a major collaborator with designers Philip and David Blond. Preciosa, a leader in producing the most brilliant crystals for jewelry, home, and fashion design. They particularly love working with The Blonds as they use their entire library of materials and techniques in their collection. This season included gigantic faceted teardrops, pearls, trims down to the smallest crystal seed beads.

The hair was equally dramatic. Polished curls twisted into odd angles framed elaborately fierce eye makeup. Intimidating boots with 5" - 6" stiletto heels made the models look larger than life, like the Goddesses (or demons) that were their muse.

Are you going to find these looks on the rack of your local boutique? Not too likely. Will you find them gracing the bodies of your favorite pop icon? The probability is higher. The collection and fashion show was spectacular. Bravo The Blonds!
Runway photos by Mariana Leung

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