Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Fashion Week is coming!

Just as most of us are thinking about what to wear for Spring '13 the fashion industry has set it sights on fall. That can only mean one thing: Fashion Week! Beginning on February 7th and running through Valentines Day, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week will inspire fashion enthusiasts around the globe to get excited about fall fashion. Here are some must-have details about #MBFW.

Fashion Week Highlights 

February 7th
  • Nicholas K
  • BCBG Max Azria
  • Richard Chai Love
  • Tadashi Shoji
  • Edun
  • Concept Korea
  • Kenneth Cole
February 8th
  • Project Runway
  • Carmen Marc Valvo
  • Nautica
  • Rebecca Minkoff
  • Nicole Miller
  • Tommy Hilfiger
  • Charlotte Ronson
February 9th
  • Lacoste
  • Jill Stuart
  • Son Jung Wan
  • Mara Hoffman
  • Herve Leger by Max Azria
February 10th
  • Lela Rose
  • DKNY
  • Details Mens Accesories
  • Zac Posen
  • Vivienne Tam
  • Ralph Rucci
  • Trina Turk
  • Y-3
  • Diane von Furstenberg
February 11th
  • Donna Karan New York
  • Carolina Herrera
  • MM6, Maison Martin Margiela
  • Betsey Johnson
  • DL1961
February 12th
  • Tory Burch
  • J. Crew
  • Badgley Mischka
  • Elie Tahari
  • Diesel Black Gold
February 13th
  • Brandon Sun
  • Michael Kors
  • Nanette Lepore
  • J. Mendel
  • Rachel Zoe
  • Anna Sui
February 14th
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Calvin Klein

Stay on top of all the updates with these social media links:

10 Things to Pack in your Beach Bag

Escaping the endless winter gloom is essential when you live in Seattle. Thankfully, you can fly direct to somewhere tropical like Kauai in just a little over six hours to bask in the sun. Here are my top 10 must-have items when heading for the beach.

# 1 - Sunscreen
Getting a beautiful glow is great but protecting your skin should be your number one priority while on the beach. Several years ago a skincare specialist recommended that I try SkinMedica Daily Physical Defense Suncreen because it was oil-free and non-comedogenic and I was worried that wearing sunscreen on a regular basis would make my skin break out. I've been using it ever since and I've never once had a reaction to it. It's sheer, fragrance-free and provides broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection, plus it helps protect against free radical damage which can prematurely age the skin.

# 2 - Sunglasses
For extra sun protection and to avoid squinting which causes wrinkles around the eyes I also pack several pairs of stylish sunglasses. Your shades don't need to cost you a fortune. The beach is a great place to bring a pair of cheap glasses that you don't care about getting sandy or god forbid getting left behind. Zumiez has lots of stylish sunglasses in stock for under $20.

# 3 - Pretty Toes
Before heading to the beach it's important to paint your toes with a fresh coat of polish. Not only will this make you smile when you look down at your toes while lounging at the beach but it will also make wearing your new sandals more fun!

# 4 - The Playlist
A great beach playlist is essential for setting the mood. Unwinding on vacation doesn't usually happen until at least day two or three so speed up the process by making yourself a relaxing playlist before you hit the beach. My beach playlist includes music by Jack Johnson, Bebel Gilberto and to spice things up, a few songs by Janet Jackson like Escapade and Pleasure Principal. I used to bring my mini iPod to the beach but now that all my songs are automatically loaded on to my phone via my iTunes library I skip the extra packing and just listen to music on my phone instead. Plus, if there's no one around I can listen to music using the speaker phone without having to worry about the headphones.

# 5 - Colorful Bracelets
I'm a sucker for colorful accessories which is probably because I like to wear a lot of black. My go-to accessories for the beach include anything I don't mind getting sandy or wet. Plastic bracelets are a good idea because you can layer them on and easily slip them off if you decide to take a dip.

# 6 - A Multi-Tasking Scarf
Betsey Balch of Cashmere Wrappings gave me a beautiful leopard print cashmere scarf that I take with me on every single vacation whether I'm going somewhere cold or somewhere tropical like Kauai. Scarves are amazing accessories because they take up very little space in your luggage and can be used for so many different things. I use my cashmere wrap on the plane as a mini blanket, upon arrival as a stylish scarf and at the beach as a swimsuit cover-up.

# 7 - Lipgloss
My lips get parched when I spend a lot of time in the sun so I always pack an easy gloss in my tote bag. Lipsticks will melt in the sun if your bag gets too hot so a lipgloss with a lid is much easier to use. A tropical vacation is the perfect excuse to play with bright colors that you wouldn't normally wear at home. The brighter the better!

# 8 - An Insulated Bag
In addition to my cotton tote bag I always pack a small insulated bag to bring to the beach. You can fill it up with ice from the ice machine before you leave the hotel and then add drinks and snacks before hitting the beach.

# 9 - Studded Earrings
If you're planning to take a dip at the beach or in the pool it's best to wear earrings that won't fall out while you're in the water. I always wear studded earrings and make sure the backs are securely adhered before diving in. Gold studs are great and they won't get caught in your hair while you swim.

# 10 - Colorful sandals
When heading to the beach a pair of brightly colored sandals can pull together your entire outfit. I love Volcom sandals because they pack flat, slip on and most importantly, they're super comfortable to wear.

Last but not least, don't forget to stay hydrated by drinking lots of WATER when you're laying by the pool. It's easy to get dehydrated before you know it when you're sipping on a mai tai in the sun. Do yourself a favor and don't forget to pack an icy cold bottle of H20.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Fashion Night at the Wing

There's still time to check out Wing Luke's special exhibit "Fashion: Workroom to Runway" on display now through April 21st. Sponsored by Safeco Foundation Insurance the exhibit which opened in August of 2012, highlights the contributions of Asian Pacific Americans and the ways they have helped shape the fashion industry. Guests of the exhibit will get to experience personal stories from both former garment workers and current Asian Pacific designers. "Fashion: Workroom to Runway" also features a behind the scenes look at the creative process behind the designs and issues that come up along the way including ethics, labor, stereotypes and ideals of beauty. Featured designers include: Gei Chan, Banchong Douangphrachanh, Harold Koda, Hisako Nakaya, Josie Natori, Maiden Noir, Malia Peoples, Andy South, Chrissy Wai-Ching and Luly Yang.

To celebrate the exhibit, Wing Luke is hosting "Fashion Night at the Wing: A Runway Show featuring Seattle's Asian American Designers" this Saturday, January 19th at 6pm. The show will include designs from Bd Homme by Banchong Douangphrachanh, Chrissy Wai-Ching, Devonation by Devon Yan-Berrong, Gei Chan, Gary Tang, Lady Konnyaku by Malia Peoples, Luly Yang Couture and Maiden Noir with off-the-rack designs from Momo. The show is sponsored by Gary Manuel Salon and Trophy Cupcakes. Limited seating is available.

What: Fashion Night at the Wing: A Runway Show featuring Seattle's Asian American Designers

When: Saturday, January 19th, 2013 at 6pm

Where: Wing Luke Museum 719 S. King St. Seattle, WA 98104

Tickets: $30-$60 - Call (206) 623-5124

Wyatt Orr is Back!

After a bit of a hiatus, Liise Wyatt and Karly Orr of the Seattle-based clothing line Wyatt Orr are officially back on the style scene. Armed with a Spring '13 Collection and a brand new website the duo is ready to get back to business.

The spring collection features mixed materials, subtle color blocking, asymmetrical hemlines and the impeccable construction that the Wyatt Orr label is famous for. Styles are generously cut to create effortless style and fluid lines. "Our vision for Wyatt Orr is to create well-crafted signature pieces that look and feel amazing," says designer Karly Orr. During the design process there was a major emphasis on creating versatile pieces that could be dressed up or down to accommodate the "varied tones of an urban lifestyle".

The design duo has come a long way since they first met at Ballard's New York Fashion Academy. Back in 2010 Karly Orr was designing solo and Seattle Boutique Blogspot covered her in this designer spotlight. That same year Wyatt Orr was featured in Seattle's Fashion First Runway Show as part of the Clutch set and also participated in Portland Fashion Week where it received rave reviews.

We can't wait to see what the future holds for this talented design duo! Sneak peaks of the Fall/Winter Collection are available on Wyatt Orr Facebook Fan Page.  

5 Fun Ways to Play with Fashion

Although it can be easy to get caught up in the world of fashion, at the end of the day, fashion should be about having fun and finding a clever way to express your personal style. Fashion isn't about wearing a certain size, owning certain labels or having a certain "look", it's all about finding ways to keep it interesting and stay true to who you are. Here are 5 playful ways to have fun with fashion for Spring '13.

# 1 Play with Details & Shape 
Yes, the dress above is a classic little black dress but it has several features that inspired me to add this to the list. For starters, in lieu of a basic neckline, this dress has a beautifully draped cowl neck that is not only flattering but creates some visual interest around the neck. It also provides a great center stage to highlight a beautiful necklace. This dress also features darts to create the illusion of a nipped waist and pockets, a feature that I love on dresses, granted they are done right. This dress is the perfect foundation piece for multiple looks. For day, add a colorful blazer, belt and heels. For night, pair with strappy sandals, an arm full of bracelets, geometric earrings and a black suede clutch. (Pictured: Spiegel Signature Pont Knit Dress from Ultimate Outlet)

# 2 Experiment with Texture
Mixed materials are in for spring. Suede paired with snakeskin and leather make these Franciska Peep Toe Pumps a triple threat. Finding new ways to combine playful colors and textures within your wardrobe this season is a great way to make older items feel new again. A crochet top paired with a leather jacket, a silk dress layered under a velvet blazer are both great examples of how to wear the trend. You can also add texture to an outfit with accessories like studded earrings or a pony hair belt.

# 3 Play with Polka Dots
Marc Jacobs collaboration with Japanese designer Yayoi Kusama has inspired us all to get dotty this season. Polka dots have made a major come back on the style scene and there are so many fun ways to wear this trend. Polka Dot jeans, scarves, watches, dresses and even iPhone cases have hit the shelves for spring and given us so many ways to be pretty in polka dots. (Pictured: Kut from Kloth Polka Dot Jeans)

# 4 Add Color
Most of us are guilty of falling into the same old color rut when it comes to our wardrobes. Maybe there's too much of one color or maybe, like me, you're guilty of no color at all. It's time to shake things up and add some playful shades for spring. Color can come in the form of a great top like the blouse shown above or show up in the form of accessories like a belt, hat, wallet or great pair of shoes. (Pictured: Joie Marlo Silk Blouse)

# 5 Get Graphic
Many designers incorporated digital and silk screen prints into their collections for spring which means graphic tees are making a comeback. (Pictured above: Haute Hippie tee) Consider this your excuse to rock a classic "jeans and a t-shirt" look, but do me a favor, add a leather jacket to give your outfit some edge. Have fun! 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sway & Cake hosts Happy Hour Event

Sway and Cake is hosting a special Happy Hour event this Thursday from 4-7pm featuring champagne, light bites and deep discounts on winter and resort wear. Shoppers will save 20-70% on select items and get an additional 15% off clearance items. Need a little shopping inspiration? Preview sale items on the new Sway & Cake website.

What: Sway & Cake Happy Hour Shopping Event

When: Thursday, January 17, 2013

Where: Sway & Cake 1621 Sixth Ave. Seattle, WA 98101

Time: 4-7pm

Twitter: @Swayandcake

Monday, January 7, 2013

Rian Handbags to host Moving Sale

Seattle-based Rian Handbags is setting their sights on the big city and moving their showroom to New York. To prep for the move they are hosting a special sale on Thursday, January 17th from 9am-9pm to help liquidate overstock of handbags and accessories from the "Rian" and "Poverty Flats by Rian" lines. Stop by say goodbye and get your hands on new accessories at amazing prices. At the last sale I picked up a blonde leather weekend bag that is to-die-for. Don't miss out on this crazy good sale.

What: Rian Handbags Moving Sale

When: Thursday, January 17th

Where: 159 Western Ave. W. Suite  #457 Seattle, WA 98119 (Located in the NW Worklofts building on Western Ave.)

Time: 9am-9pm

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Fashion Industry holds Conference for High School Students

The 3rd Annual Fashion Industry Conference is right around the corner! Sponsored in part by Seattle's Chapter of Fashion Group International, the event is designed to give high school students information about career opportunities in the fashion industry. This year's conference will take place on Saturday, April 27th, 2013 at The Art Institute of Seattle. Students will participate in a series of workshops on a variety of topics including visual merchandising, styling, draping, fashion editorials and photography, costuming, digital textile design, product development and more. I've been invited by conference organizers to conduct a special workshop on Fashion Blogging. Stay tuned for more details!

Wanted: Emerging Designers for Indie Runway Show

Fashion Group International & The Bellevue Collection are currently seeking emerging designers to participate in the 2nd Annual Independent Designer Runway Show which will kick off Bellevue's Fashion Week in 2013. Eight designers will be selected by a panel of industry leaders and participate in the fashion week runway show to compete for the grand prize: money to help grow their business and a showcase inside Bellevue Square to display their work. Applications can be downloaded at The deadline to submit applications is March 1, 2013. The Independent Designer Runway Show is sponsored in part by the Seattle Chapter of Fashion Group International and Femfessionals.

Nordstrom to open CFDA/Fashion Fund Pop-Ups

Next month Nordstrom will open CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund pop-up shops in 6 locations around the country featuring a selection of merchandise from each of the top 10 finalists. The shops are designed to give emerging designers exposure to a broader audience via an in-store presence. Locations of the pop shops will include Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and New York (available at Nordstom-owned Treasure & Bond). Nordstrom has helped support the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund initiative since 2006. Jeffrey Kalinsky, Nordstrom's EVP of Designer is a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Selection Committee member.

The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund has awarded $2.8 million to 21 design companies since it's inception in 2003. The funds are intended to help emerging designers develop various areas of their business including production, sales, marketing and public relations. Greg Chait of the Elder Statesman was awarded the 2012 CFDA/Vogue Fashion fund prize. Here's a quick overview of the finalists:

Andrea Lieberman of A.L.C. (Pictured above: Outfit from Spring 2013 Collection)
On Twitter @ALCLTD

Greg Armas of Assembly New York (Pictured above: Outfit from the Spring 2013 Collection)
On Twitter @AssemblyNewYork

Sofia Sizzi of Giulietta (Pictured: Outfit from the Spring 2013 Collection)

Justin Salguero, Daniel Silberman, Alina Silberman of illesteva (The designers are pictured above)
On Twitter @illesteva

Jennifer Fisher of Jennifer Fisher Jewelry (Pictured above: Model wearing pieces from the Jennifer Fisher Jewelry line)
On Twitter @JFisherJewelry

Jennifer Meyer Maguire of Jennifer Meyer (The designer is pictured above)
*Jennifer was one of the 2012 Runners-up for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award. She received a prize of $100,000 to invest in her business and will also receive a year's worth of mentorship by a fashion industry veteran to help develop her business. 

Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty of Suno (Pictured above: Outfit from the Resort Collection)
On Twitter @SunoNY

Tabitha Simmons (The designer is pictured above)
On Twitter @TabithaSimmons_
*Tabitha was one of the 2012 Runners-up for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award. She received a prize of $100,000 and will receive a year of mentorship by a fashion industry veteran to help grow her line. 

Greg Chait of the Elder Statesman (The designer is pictured above)
* Greg was chosen as the 2012 winner of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and was awarded $300,000 to invest in his label. He will also receive mentorship from a fashion industry veteran for the next year as he continues to grow his line and take his label to the next level. 

Wes Gordon (Pictured above: Outfit from the Spring 2013 Collection)
On Twitter @Wes_Gordon