Saturday, August 29, 2015

Easy Day-to-Night Outfit Transformation!

The So Cal sun is punishing us this summer! (I mean, we're talking 100+ degree weather.) So when I'm not wearing a loose sundress, I basically live in tanks and leggings or stretchy jeans, with black and white being a typical combo of choice. It's a simple, chic blank canvas that allows for awesome versatility. Not only is this outfit also comfortable for a gal with curves, but it's simple, basic look that can be transformed from day to night with just a few changes of accessories, handbags, and shoes.

While there are tons of fashionistas who wouldn't dare wear the same top and bottom throughout the entire day (especially during the hot season, which I understand), there are others who are often so busy and on the go that they don't have time to make a pit stop to a store and pick up a new outfit or even head home for a change in clothes (me). Quick answer: Bring a change of shoes, earrings, and handbag with you to take your daytime vibe to a nighttime feel. These days, I more commonly wear flats in the evening versus heels, but having the option to adjust my outfit (depending where I'm going) is smart!

Oh, and if you're going to bring these items with you and leave in your car, be sure to put them in the trunk or under your seat so the sun doesn't beat down on them and make them tooooo hot!

(Set created on www.polyvore.com


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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

INTERVIEW: Jeannie Mai Talks Style...And Why Steampunk Rocks!

("I love the touch of gloss in my Steampunk style!")
Hella stylish. Hella passionate. Hella knowledgeable. 

Yes….I absolutely love the relatable, fashion-oriented personality of Jeannie Mai! The bubbly style maven who grew up in the Bay Area, now living in our television sets and on our social media newsfeeds, is testament to the importance of pursuing your passion. 

From enjoying her dark tresses with a funk of blue as she hosted Style Network’s double Emmy-nominated series, “How Do I Look?” (now hitting Asia!) to keeping up with her insightful perspectives and hilarious “Mama Mai” impersonations on Fox’s “The Real,” I appreciate Jeannie doing her thang while naturally bringing diversity to fashion’s forefront. Now, host of the highly-anticipated “Steampunk’d” on GSN (premiering tonight at 10/9c!), Jeannie is helping to bring a whole community and subculture to light – one that is based on pure innovation. Hosting this show in glammed-up, Steampunk style (with the help of her glam squad: Sienree Du/hair, Jamie Leonard/makeup, and Daniel Musto/stylist), it’s clear that all of Jeanie’s experiences led her right to this very point – her roots.

After speaking with Jeannie, it’s also very clear to me that she is an a-typical celebrity with a love for sisterhood. Also a television correspondent to many major networks, including NBC, FOX, E! News, and MTV, Jeannie is proud to have the talent and ability to empower women. In fact, she empowered me just by saying she’s a fan of my blog right before we started to chat! (I know…eek!)

So when it comes to you being host of “Steampunk’d”….I understand that you especially relate to this show due to your own experience with style as a teenager?

Yeah, so true. I come from the Bay Area, and I believe that a lot of the Steampunk movement comes from within the cities of Palo Alto, San Francisco – definitely San Francisco – Campbell, Oakland... And for me, I couldn’t afford a lot of the beautiful things I would see in magazines, but it didn’t matter, because what I really loved were the things that I could make. My idea of putting together an outfit was taking a corset and cutting it, ‘cause I have a really short torso – I’m not one of those beautiful Victoria’s Secret models who we see donning the corsets – so I would go to old playhouses and vintage shops and buy corsets and then just kinda cut them half and distress the edge or finish the edges. And I would just put my outfits together and just stack upon stack upon stack…and there’s nothing that celebrates a woman’s body more than the Steampunk movement.  I mean, the curves and the Victorian shape. And like, more is more, you know? It’s so much fun, and that’s what I really got into when I was dressing up with the Steampunk life…and you feel a sense of strength when you can wear something that no one else can buy because, quite frankly, you made it. There’s nothing that can top that! And I love that the show is bringing that back, and inviting women to upcycle – make or reinvent – all the things that they see in magazines, but even better because they’re shaping it to their own body. 

("It truly is the definition of imagination when it comes to 'Steampunk'd...")

So what was it like working with all the contestants? I’m sure they are so innovative and creative…

They were amazing! I would have to say that everything I described with what I did is a joke to what these Steampunk makers are doing. They are a very illustrated combination of wood makers, carpenters, watch designers, bakers, fashion designers, of course, and just everything you can think of. What’s interesting is that even though we scoured the U.S. for the best Steampunk makers, not one person stands a chance against the other unless they can really put on more hats.  And what I mean by that is that just because you’re the best carpenter there is out there, there are challenges that go through the season where you might have to design something. You might have to literally get into sewing fabrics together or creating a piece that can illustrate, you know, the entire room to a house.  These challenges are really competitive, so these makers have to throw all their tools on deck and really make something happen.  It truly is the definition of imagination when it comes to Steampunk’d, the show.

So, I’m going to assume that this show inspired you even more regarding fashion, itself…?

Absolutely. So my house has a little bit of Steampunk elements to it, because when I was living in San Jose, my aunts and I used to love going through our old furniture, and things like that, and just adding a bit of varnish and giving it the great, distressed edges and color that the Steampunk culture kinda brings. Now, after watching the show, oh my gosh…I learned so much more that you can do. From pipes to woodwork and to borders in the house, every single thing! Like I walk in my house now, and I’m like 'ugh.' I wanna upgrade in a whole new way. And I actually have started the projects throughout my house now.

And you know, a lot of people will struggle with defining what ultimately Steampunk is. But at the end of the day, it’s really just being inventive. You know, re-living the Victorian, science fiction era and re-embracing the technology from back then to now, and just weaving the story into everything you create. The Steampunk community can get really geeked out over everything that they handcraft, because their heart and soul is into it. And that’s why I love the show so much, because you see that.

("It's about getting these Steampunk makers to feel like their voice is heard.")


As you use the word “community,” I didn’t realize that Steampunk makers are really a subculture…

Correct. Yeah, that’s absolutely right. It’s a subculture and it exists everywhere in the world, not just big metropolitan cities…sometimes even just the smallest areas. One of our very own judges, Thomas Willeford, is from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. When you go there, you see the WalMarts and the Targets and the families…My husband’s from there, so I’m there three times a year, and I never know such great Steampunk talent lives there! So I’m actually going to go visit Thomas when I go to Harrisburg next. But Steampunk is everywhere!

It’s so exciting to hear this, because the show’s concept is such a part of your personality. They definitely casted the right person to host it! You’re not just filling a role, this is your passion…

Oh absolutely. It’s my passion, and most importantly, it’s not about me. It’s about getting these Steampunk makers to feel like their voice is heard. For me, as a host, it’s important that the judges get a really good understanding of each maker and their story. Why are they here? What do they have to say? What’s their contribution to the community? And, why is it important that they’re recognized as a Steampunk icon? Each person has a different goal, they have a different background, and when it comes to a competition, you know, sometimes voices can get clouded over by somebody louder or more dramatic. But it’s not about that at all in this competition. We have some really smart judges – the judges see right through that.

Well, I’m excited for the show especially because the concept is still new to me. Looking forward to learning even more about it!

My definition of Steampunk has evolved to kind of be a glam punk. Like, I love the touch of gloss in my Steampunk style. I like everything to look glossy and shiny and mystical…and that works for me. All the ladies on the show wear a lot of their own self-made pieces, and that’s the coolest part about it, so you’re getting ideas alone from the contestants even if they haven’t won. We’re representing so many different people that have touches of Steampunk...

("...At the end of the day, it's really just being inventive.")
How did you get involved in the fashion industry and really start making a name for yourself?

I would like to think that it started in San Jose, where I lived and dressed everyday women. I had the blessing of working with great artists, like Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera, and I was touring with them and doing their makeup. At the same time, I was helping them get dressed and style them as well. But when I would come home to San Jose, it would be everyday people that would come knocking on my door for tips and advice that really helped me to understand that everyday women are equally as important as that big A-list celebrity out there. And may sometimes need more help because they don’t have that team, that access to a showroom or designer labels….and these women reflect the world. As much as I love the celebrities I work with, there is a lot of smoke and mirrors, you know. Not everybody is perfect, but everybody is flawed. We all have our own different flaws that make it a beautiful package. For me, it was teaching these women at home, in the town of San Jose, that made me think, 'Gosh Jeannie, you have to teach and help women embrace their bodies.' A woman who wakes up every morning and despises her legs or can’t stand showing off her hips, or wishes that she was five sizes smaller is not a woman who is recognizing her worth. That kind of stuff leaves me awake at night. So, for me, as soon as I moved out to LA, I pitched myself to different networks to have them understand the opportunity they had to do a makeover show. I’m really thankful for the Style Network.

Hearing you talk about your passion is so refreshing, as your authentic appearance on TV mimics who you really are. That said, my last question for you is: What tip would you give 14 or 15-year old kids who don’t like what they see in the stores, limited in their budget, but really want to communicate their personality in fashion?

I would say the first thing you do is visit a craft store, like your local Michaels or Jo-Anne Fabric and Craft. That, to me, is my favorite store over a Barney’s. I love a good craft store, you know, learning how to get pictures on the grommets, learning how to put button holes in, learning how to place darts…they have books to teach you how to line basic garments, and where to place the darting on an average women’s body. A craft store is going to help people, because their books are easy and thank god we have the Internet now. There’s also just tools you need to create anything you want from anything you see out there. Just get lost in there! That’s the best advice I can give.

The premiere of "Steampunk'd" comes on tonight at 10/9 c on GSN! To learn more about Jeannie Mai, be sure to follow her on Instagram and Twitter (if you’re not already), and definitely check out her “25 Things Google Won’t Tell You About Me.” Hilarious! 

(*Fun Fact: The embellished gold dress Jeannie is wearing above was designed by LA fashion designer, Daisy Gonzalez, who was recently featured on Good Girl Gone Shopping!)

Photo Credits: Courtesy of GSN

Sunday, August 16, 2015

"It's My Life...Don't You Forget..."




Twelve years ago, No Doubt released their cover of Talk Talk's "It's My Life" (originally released in 1984), and I love how ND's version gave new life to this awesome song -- thanks to Gwen's signature vocal sounds.

This empowering song usually gives me some extra pep in my step and reminds me that my life is...my life. ("Don't you forget...") Just like many of you, I consistently remind myself that there is significance in all that I do, and that there is value in both the highs and lows of weekly (and daily!) challenges. So I'm sharing this video with you for your enjoyment as well as some motivation before Monday hits! We could all use some.

Happy Sunday! Rock on...xoxo
Elana


Friday, August 7, 2015

The Jennifer Lopez Collection for Endless Jewelry = Endless Style

(I LOVE mixing and matching wrist candy!)

Accessories can provide a lovely accent to one’s wardrobe, giving a basic outfit that special touch! And what I love about accessories is is that we all wear them differently, showcasing our personal styles in a unique fashion (literally).

That said, I’m absolutely in love with my new charm bracelet from TheJennifer Lopez Collection for Endless Jewelry. This single red, reptile stainless steel piece of wrist candy is a cool combo of sophistication and boho-chic.

My bracelet arrived to me with the black love drop silver charm already attached, which was a lovely bonus to this gift. But what's especially awesome about shopping Endless Jewelry is that it offers shoppers the chance to build their own charm bracelets! I appreciate this shopping concept, because everyone is different and it allows a fashionista to mix and match bracelets and charms as she chooses. In particular, The Jennifer Lopez Endless Jewelry Collection offers you a nice selection of choices – something all fashion lovers deserve when it comes to accessorizing. Made of genuine reptile leather, these exclusive bracelets range from $69 - $100, and the charms range from $40 - $190. Not cheap but not ridiculously pricey either. Always priding myself as a budget-conscious shopper, I'm totally gonna keep this line in mind when it comes to searching for the perfect holiday or birthday gifts for a (stylish!) loved one. 

To connect with Endless Jewelry (based in Portlance, Maine) and its plethora of goodies, be sure to follow 'em on Twitter and Facebook!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Mimi Faust: Mother, Entrepreneur, and Reality TV Star Proves the Beauty of Keeping it REAL

("I just want to make sure that I raise an awesome, little person that is going to grow up and be an awesome adult." - Mimi Faust)

Let's be honest: Mimi Faust holds it down on VH1's Love & Hip Hop Atlanta. She's a BOSS and we know it! In our exclusive interview, the mother, entrepreneur, and Reality TV star opens up to me in a very candid fashion. As you'll see, Faust explores tons of topics, including her personal style, new business venture ("The Maya Collection"), motherhood, her passion for interior design, what a young entrepreneur needs to understand, why she was really casted to Love & Hip Hop Atlanta, and the importance of showing respect to her fans. Proving the beauty in keeping it real, Faust continues to persevere and make a name for herself while doing it all for her daughter.  

Let’s start with your style! Over the seasons, my boyfriend and I can’t help but comment on how much your style has evolved…it’s so chic! How would you describe your personal style?

Really, I dress for comfort. Of course, I want to be stylish, but I want to be comfortable in my clothes. And I have to give a shout-out to my stylist, Melvin Styles. He’s just amazing. We’ve been working together since the middle of season one [of Love & Hip Hop]. He’s just really awesome!

So I take it he’s helped you explore styles and trends that go with your personality even more?

Yes, we definitely collaborate! Please believe there are many times where he has brought me items and was like, “Girl, I think you should wear this!” And I’m like “Are you crazy?” [laughs]

Well, it’s working! All of the colors you’re wearing are beautiful on you. Are there certain brands or designers that you typically turn to?

No, I like to shop around. It’s not really about a certain designer. More so, it’s about what looks good on me. Actually, let me not tell a lie…I did find a designer, Karen Millen.  She’s out of the UK, and any time I try on anything from her, it fits me to a T. So, her line really works for me. But in general, it will have to catch my eye. I’ll know from sight – I’ll see it on a hanger and I’ll just love it. I mean, I could be in Target and I’ll see something that’s dope, and I’ll be like, “That’s dope!” and I’ll get it. And someone will be like, “Oh my god! Where did you get that?” And I’ll be like, “Target, yup, sure did!” [laughs].

I agree! Fashion displays definitely have to give you the right vibe…

And as long as you have the right shoes, you can wear a paper bag! [laughs]

So your newest venture, which I’m sure is making a lot of women happy, is “The Maya Collection.” I understand that your interest and journey with this business took you to India. Can you talk a little bit about how this came about?

Well, that’s how we got the name: The Maya Collection. It’s an actual Indian name. I wanted to go along with the hair I’ve been wearing, which is Virgin Indian Hair. And we picked a name to go along with that. I’ve been wearing the hair for a couple of years now, and I just love it! I’ve tried different types of hair, but this one was no shedding, it doesn’t frizz, you know, it’s not tangly, it’s just really, really good hair. And I just said, "You know what, why not partner up with this company and go into business with them?"  And now it’s been a huge success! I’m really excited about it.

When did The Maya Collection become available to the public? And, is it strictly available online?

It was launched this year and right now, it’s online only. But we are working on getting stores where you can actually just go and pick it up.

Growing up, what were some of the biggest lessons you learned regarding how to take care of your hair?

You know, the crazy thing about that, is that everybody’s hair is different. What might work for me might not necessarily work for the next person. Everybody’s grade and texture’s different, so my hair might be off or wrong for somebody else. I mean, my daughter’s hair is awesome! And I was really trying to find something that I could put in her hair to de-tangle it and make it easy to comb. So I mixed some stuff together…and when I tell you I have come up with this miracle product [laughs]…I have to figure out how to get this out because I give it to all of my friends. I buy squirt bottles, and I make it for their kids or even them. And in like a couple of days, they’re like "Oh my god, I need some more! What IS this?"

Well, there you go! Another venture to add to your repertoire of businesses…like a sister product of The Maya Collection!

YES! And this actually is for natural hair. My daughter’s hair is natural; she has no chemicals…I don’t straighten it or anything. But I spray it in her hair, and you can literally run your fingers through it. It’s incredible! So, I gotta figure out how to get that packaged up and out to the world.

So I hear you’re also pursuing interior design…that it’s another passion of yours?

Yes…This actually started when I started my cleaning business [Keep It Clean, Inc.] I was going through people’s homes when I was actually doing the cleaning myself, and they would ask me like, “Can you hook up my bedroom?” or “Can you hook up my bathroom?” So I was like, “Yeah sure!” And I would do that for my clients, and I just thought it was so dope. So that’s what made me realize how much I enjoyed decorating in the first place. Then when I moved into my home, I decorated it. And when everyone comes over, it’s like, “Oh my god! Give me the name of the person who decorated your place!” I’m like, “I did.” [laughs] I mean, I could be at HomeGoods for, like, literally four hours and wouldn’t think twice about it…and I’m really gonna come out with a home d├ęcor line as well. You know, throw pillows, rugs, blankets, and you know, decorative mirrors and candles, and thinks like that. So working on that too! [laughs]

Well, it sounds like you have a really artistic eye and an eye for detail!

Yes…and I think I get that from my dad. My dad was an artist. He had a whole art park in his backyard, where he lived in Upstate New York. He had created life-sized pieces. I mean six, seven, eight-foot tall, life-sized pieces of art that he carved out of wood and metal…and he’d make sculptures and stuff. So I’m pretty sure I got it from my dad! [laughs]

So interesting! I love how every artistic person has their own creative outlets to express him or herself. OK, now you being an entrepreneur, a Reality TV star, and a mother…just how do you stay inspired day in and day out to just keep going no matter the challenges you may be faced with?

My daughter, hands-down. She has been such an inspiration to me, and for me. I think, too, because I never wanted Eva to experience the things I did growing up…I really try to push and go the extra mile so she doesn’t have to. I had a rough childhood, real rough. And I just didn’t want her to go through that. So I’m gonna do everything in my power to not have her in that situation. And I think it’s also cool that I’ll be able to teach her right from wrong. You already know that I have made plenty of mistakes, but I can tell her, “Mommy has made this mistake. This is what you don’t do.” You know what I’m saying? I didn’t have that growing up. You know, I’m not blaming or pointing fingers, I’m just saying it is what it is. But I just want to make sure I raise an awesome, little person that is going to grow up and be an awesome adult. You know? So that’s what I’m doing.

So when it comes to being an entrepreneur, what kind of tips would you give to a woman who has a really great idea for a business but she’s not sure how to get started?

First thing is to write everything down. Write everything down on paper – your ideas from start to finish. Like where you want to see yourself in the next five to 10 years. Write it all down, so you have something to look back on. Like a checklist…and then you just start checking it off. You know, it’s gonna change. It’s gonna vary a little bit, but you write everything down. Let’s say it’s a cleaning business. You need to get it incorporated, licensed, insured, bonded…There’s steps you have to take to do whatever business you’re trying to do, and just make sure you cover your butt. You also need to read all of the paperwork if there is paperwork involved. You have a good attorney to go over things, such as contracts, with you. A good attorney is key. Please make sure you have a good attorney. And just take the proper steps and don’t do any type of shady or sideway business. Do it on the up and up, put the work in, and then your business will turn around and work for you.

As a Reality TV star, what misconceptions do you think the public has in regards to letting your personal life go public? Or, do you even think there are misconceptions?

Absolutely.  It’s one big misconception, because what is shown is only what the show wants you to see. Let’s break this down for a second: When we tape, it’s two hours. From a two-hour taping – and sometimes maybe more – you’re getting five or six minutes of those two hours that have been chopped and edited. So you are gonna sit here [the public] and determine or judge someone from a two-hour taping that has been broken down into five or 6 minutes?! You can’t do that. You can’t know someone from that. And the show is only gonna allow you to see what they want you to see. You’re seeing a fraction of these people’s lives. A small fraction, so don’t be so quick to believe whole-heartedly. Like people watch Love & Hip Hop and are like, “Oh, I saw it on Love & Hip Hop. That’s what it is!” Not necessarily so… [laughs] You’re seeing five or six-minute edited clips! Like come one…you can’t judge what you see on Reality TV seeing only a small portion of that person’s whole life.

And now, since you’re not new to Reality TV, you know what to expect. But what about a newbie to this? I imagine this must be a struggle sometimes…

Absolutely. A lot of cast members are mad when they watch the show. Like saying, “They didn’t catch what I was really trying to say” or “I didn’t say it like that” or “I didn’t mean it like that”…There are a lot of ways it can come out misconstrued and not come out the way you said it. [laughs]

You know, I’m a Reality TV junkie! And there are just some people you connect to more than others. I truly enjoy watching you on the show and respect you as an entrepreneur. I mean, you’re a BOSS, and I appreciate that. Anything you’d like to add?

Well, what I want to say is that I think the difference for me when I started this journey on Reality TV is that I didn’t set out to be a television star. I’m telling you my life literally changed overnight…

I had a girlfriend send me a text saying, “You and Stevie should go down for the casting of the show.” And that was it. At the time it was only Love & Hip Hop New York, so I hit her back and said “I need more information.”  And then she sent me a text – now mind you it was Monday when she sent me this text – that said “Wednesday, four o’clock, Mansion Hotel.” That’s it, that’s all she said… [laughs]. I’m like “Okaaaay.” So I called Stevie and said, “Hey, do you want to go  out for the show?” Him and I were beefing at the time, and he’s like, “I’m not doing that with you.” I’m like “Whatever.” So Wednesday rolls around and I’m like, “I’m just gonna go down there anyway.” And when I get there, guess who beat me down there? Mr. Man. [laughs]

So we had an argument right there, in the lobby of the hotel. Mona’s assistant sees us upstairs for our interview, and we were chosen just on likeability. Our lives were changed instantly. So what you’re getting is really who I am. This isn’t like a character I’m playing or being all extra…this is just who I am!


That’s so interesting! You weren’t even in the casting room and your real-life personalities got you in immediately.

Oh, and let me tell you about that! When we get upstairs, they said tell us about yourselves. Stevie turns into, like, ghandi! He starts “Oh…the universe…” and the planets align and the sun and the moon and the stars. And I’m like “What?!? You just got finished cursing me out two minutes ago, calling me all kind of names and now you want to talk about planets and stars.” I was livid. I mean, my teeth were clenched, I was shaking my foot and I’m like, “Are you seriously gonna sit here and play this role?” I couldn’t take it anymore. We were supposed to be telling them about ourselves. I was like, “You wanna know the problem? You wanna know what the real problem is? He doesn’t know how to come home at night.” And when I said that, their ears perked up and they were like, “Oh, tell us more!” Had I not said anything and kept my mouth closed, we would not be on Love and Hip Hop. Me, Stevie, nor Joseline, OK? [laughs]

So do you think that this was all meant to roll out the way it did?

I think it was. It wasn’t forced or anything – it just happened. We went to one audition and our lives changed…and we weren’t even gonna go to that! Yes, this was supposed to be and I think, not just for me to be on television, but the other opportunities that came from it. I’m not happy with all the stuff that’s happened on Love & Hip Hop, at all. But the stuff that’s come from me having that platform – don’t get me wrong, thank you very much Love & Hip Hop, thank you to the end of the world, thank you – but I think it’s the doors and opportunities that have opened for me from being on the show is where this journey was supposed to be taking me.

Do you think that you guys add a sense of authenticity to Love & Hip Hop Atlanta that otherwise may not have been there if you two weren’t on the show?

You know what’s funny, everybody says, “Oh my god, Mona’s such a genius. She got these people that…” Wait, no, no, no….Mona happened to pick cast members that really have a lot of bullshit going on in their lives. [laughs] For real, like we’re really going through this in real life. And then when we got the show, it just carried right on to television. And I think what makes it so interesting and popular is that somebody at some point can relate to me, can relate to Stevie, and can relate to Joseline. This is because these are real situations. And that’s what makes everybody tune in, ‘cause I’m pretty sure that people are like, “I can’t believe they’re really showing this.”

I mean, yeah, at some point I thought, this has to be real. It’s just so dramatic and the situation affected multiple lives! It’s all pretty fascinating to me, both the highs and the lows…

Yeah…I didn’t expect this. You know, a lot of people are like, “You know what you were getting yourself into.” Noooo way in the world could I imagine that it would be this ever…in my wildest imagination. But I’m enjoying the journey and I’m just rollin’ with it, you know?

Do you remember the first time when you realized you were famous?

I still don’t…My friend’s like, “You’re the most famous non-celebrity person I’ve ever met.” [laughs] Like I could still go to Wal-Mart, I mean…I can’t just sit around and get a bodyguard just to go to Wal-Mart. [laughs] I’m not gonna say it’s stupid, but that’s just me. I want to raise my child to be a normal child and do normal things, and I mean, yes there are safety issues…But just to be on my high horse like I’m all that and I can’t leave the house without security guards…come on man!

Well, you have a sense of realness about you, so if you want a sense of normalcy, I can see you just going to the store as you wish!

And when I go to the store, yes, I get harassed. Do I take every picture? Yes. I had six interviews today, and I was in Wal-Mart the whole time damn near, and I took about seven pictures while I was doing interviews. I didn’t even tell them no, even then. I said I’m on a phone interview, they nodded their head, and I still stood there with them, hugged them, and took the picture. And I think that is important. If it wasn’t for the people watching, the supporters, I wouldn’t be here! So why would I treat them some type of way. That’s backwards!

Well that shows a lot about your character, you taking the time to do that.

Yeah…If I had the nerve to go up to someone and asked for a picture and they told me no, I can only imagine how that would make me feel. That’s a real person and they have feelings.
   
To learn more about Mimi Faust, be sure to visit her website, as well as follow her on Instagram and Twitter! And to witness more of her realness, be sure to tune in tonight at 8/7 central on VH1!

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Anderson Group PR 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Are you OVER your Style? Top 3 Tips on How to Reveal the Real YOU!

(Wanna break free from the past? Communicate your true personality in style!)

I know what it’s like to look in the mirror and just think, “Blah. Is that all you got girl?!” It actually took several of these moments in my life before I finally started to truly connect with my personality and breathe new life into my overall image. While I have always appreciated my unique look, such as having a splatter of freckles on my face, gapped teeth, and a huge selection of hair scarves to add color to my outfit (and hide my horrible weaves), I wanted to up my image and reinvent any misconception about what a “writer” looks like. You know, I mean, I’m more than a geeky wordsmith…

I’m a writer with (from what I hear) interesting perspectives, a love for all types of music, a biracial individual with a love for bohemian vibes, and a woman with a natural sense of femininity and appeal. It was time to actually communicate these attributes with the proper mind-frame and look! (Yes, this fashion blogger can admit that she wasn’t feeling quite on point.)

While I didn’t consciously follow a step-by-step guide toward changing my look (that’s kinda lame, right?), I just slowly started to lose my fear of the unknown and realize that I have the power to transform my look into something I’m proud of.

So if you’re way OVER your current style, why not start today? It’s a new day and a new month! Because a fresh beginning can be oh-so-exciting, here are 3 tips that may help you when it comes to revamping your look:  

Look Within: What are you about? What do you stand for? Do you have a purpose in life? Looking within before (or as) you work on your appearance is significant. Maybe now is the time to come to terms with your real passion, the line of work you’re in vs. the line of work you want, budget, beliefs, and goals. I’ve yet to make the big bucks that allow me to jet set, but when I do have a couple dollas that aren’t already assigned to bills, I’ll step foot in a vintage store or an affordable retail outlet like Target, and enjoy treating myself to something special. I’m not quite in the position to go on a shopping spree at Chanel, but there is no reason I should feel shame and not feel pride in what I can afford.

Meditation, working out, and reading inspirational books (or via audio) can also help connect you to your inner self. There’s something pretty awesome that happens when you realize that you actually can lose weight and/or that you can get the job you’ve always wanted. It’s called confidence. And once you’ve increased your confidence, your energy becomes stronger and you will find yourself excitedly considering new ways to add vibrancy to your look -- the ways that communicate your authentic personality.


(Push past your fear! Gradual changes to your appearance can feel really good!)


Create a New Hair Story: When was the last time you tried a new ‘do? There are so many different types of trends to try out these days. From experimenting with a bold color to ditching your long curls and going pixie, the style you choose is a direct reflection of your personality and lifestyle. Just over a year ago, I decided to embrace my natural hair and ethnicity, saying goodbye to weaves, extensions, and relaxers. While I never grew up with the intention of locking my hair, doing so has been a life-altering decision – one that has not only added a special twist to my style; this personal decision has increased my level of spirituality. Dreadlocks are definitely not for the meek, as it takes patience, commitment, and the guts to ditch “the norm.” But this is my unique hair story…Are you at the point in your life where you're ready to write your own story?

Try New Fashion Trends: Before you can embrace the new, you need to understand the old…and possibly even say goodbye to some of it. So start by evaluating your wardrobe! Take a few hours and try on old pieces, creating a “keep” as well as a “donate” (or “sell”) pile. And in doing so, consider what fits, what is actually flattering, how often you wear an item, and whether or not you think you’ll ever wear it again. Once your closet is organized and you are ready to try out new trends, I’d suggest building on with what you already love. If you are obsessed with your pointy-toed stilettos, then maybe it’s the perfect time to invest in a pair of red ones! Wish you had a pair of rocker holey jeans, but not willing to cut up or tear some of your favorite denim pants, head on over to a local vintage or thrift store for an already, worn-in pair of “boyfriend jeans.” Enhancing your style and exploring creative ways to adopt a new trend may happen slowly over time or it may be something you jump on right away. It’s all a matter of timing and how much you know yourself. ‘Cause you won’t be able to choose the right, new pieces to communicate your personality if you’re still dwelling on the old.

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Photo Credit: Instagram pics!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Daisy Gonzalez: The LA Designer Who is Proud to Create Pieces for Women that OWN IT!

("I was always around fabrics..." - Daisy Gonzalez)
With a couture collection continuing to blossom and a passion for dressing women who unapologetically “own it,” Daisy Gonzalez is that humble, Los Angeles fashion designer you’d love to chat with over coffee. I speak from experience, because recently I did just that! And I must say that Gonzalez’s calming and peaceful demeanor combined with her love for creating sophisticated and sexy fashion for the confident, self-aware woman is refreshing.

Since launching her women’s line in 2008, Gonzalez has participated in Los Angeles Fashion Week (which is when I first saw her designs grace the runway!), won an online competition in which she was selected by Patricia Field and flown out to New York for a meet-and-greet, received interest from editors, stylists, and industry tastemakers, and has styled custom-made dresses for multiple celebrities, including K. Michelle and Gloria Lovan.

While this has been quite a journey thus far for Gonzalez, who grew up watching her mom sew, the road doesn’t stop here. The brain behind the “Giselle,” the “Sophia,” and the “Alessandra” – just a few of Gonzalez’s affordable dresses – proves that the right fit can embrace a woman’s curves in the right way!

(Elements of Daisy's creative process.)
Your dress collection is full of sophisticated and sexy styles for women. Tell me what has inspired your line!

Women inspired me. I feel that we, as women, have so many layers as far as who we are. I always remember that and try to tap into that every time I sit down and sketch. I think of women who stand out to me and they are confident, strong, hardworking, stylish, sexy (all in different ways because there is not only one way to be sexy)...they’re just owning it!  That’s the type of women that I design for.

I know that one of your high points as a fashion designer was when you met the world-renowned stylist Patricia Fields, after she hand-picked you from an online competition. What was THAT like?

[Laughs] I remember feeling so nervous that inside I just felt like I froze. Even when she was right in front of me I couldn’t get myself to tell her how amazing I thought she was, even though I’m pretty sure she knows anyway.  She was so sweet, and took the time to really talk to me and take me around her shop. Every time I think about it I have to laugh a little because I can’t even believe something like that happened...it was great.

(K Michelle, on the left, wearing the "Giselle" dress)
You have had the joy of designing multiple celebrities, including Gloria Govan and K. Michelle. Which celebs have you yet to design for but would love to?

Somebody asked me this question not too long ago and I couldn't give a list of names because so many people come to mind. A lot of influential women of course. It's amazing to see somebody in the public eye wearing something that you've put so much work into but it's just as amazing to see somebody who is not in the public eye wearing one of your pieces. They're both great feelings.

Jeannie Mai is wearing one of your dresses in her promo pic for the upcoming show on GSN, "Steampunk'd." Tell me about that dress as well as how it feels to see such a fabulous fashion figure wearing it!!

I was extremely excited to see Jeannie Mae wearing my dress to promote her new show! First, I'm a big fan hers and of the ladies from 'The Real,' but also because it's promoting a show about style and fashion (Steampunk'd). I know she loves fashion and that again makes it all more amazing. 

As for the dress, I fell in love with the fabric first and it just all came together. I loved how regal it looked and a bit untraditional today. I'm happy that it was appreciated and used so beautifully. 


("I loved how regal it looked..." - Daisy Gonzalez on the dress)
From the debut of your fashion collection in 2008 to now, what are some of the most important lessons you’ve gained?

I would say the most important out of the many is to remember that you are not only a designer, but you are a business owner.

Everyone has a favorite place to work and gain inspiration. For me, as a writer, it’s a coffee shop. What about you when it comes to designing?

Any place with an ocean view, or near the beach, will definitely make things flow easier. Most of the time though I’ll be in my home office sketching with music playing in the background.

Do you have a favorite dress in your collection?

Right now my favorite the ALESSANDRA dress. It’s made with beautiful French lace and it has a corset back. It’s just like you said in your first question: sexy and sophisticated.


(2009 - Fitting a model before her first fashion show)
I understand that you would like to start incorporating plus-size fashion in your collection. What inspired you to want to dress women of all shapes and sizes?

You know, until a friend of mine really educated me about the frustrations plus-size women have regarding their fashion choices, I never thought of designing plus-size pieces. It’s something that I would love to get into because beautiful, fabulous women don't just come in a size two.

Is there a certain color or print that looks good on ALL women?

Honestly there are a lot of classic colors that complement most people, but I feel before any of that we have to find a good silhouette to complement each body type. Then, color and prints can be decided.  

What about fashion design made you fall in love with it?

At a young age I was always around fabrics, machines, seamstresses, everything. It was fascinating.  I would say that after those years everything in my life lovingly shifted towards fashion.
What are the 3 essential items you believe all women should have in their wardrobe? 

A great dress, coat (or jacket), and a basic white (or black) top that will go with everything.




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Get social with the Daisy Gonzalez Collection on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest! If you would like to make direct contact with Gonzalez regarding custom-made pieces, please email her at info@daisygonzalez.com.