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.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Uncommon Goods…for the Uncommon Personality!

(The jewelry makers of Uncommon Goods are dedicated to sustainability and ethically sourced materials!)

When it comes to fashion…jewelry is the cherry on top! By incorporating, say,  special earrings and/or a necklace into your outfit, not only will your personality shine a ‘lil brighter, but it ups the overall strength of your look (I practically live in tanks and leggings that don’t see the light of day unless I’m wearing big hoop earrings and my Michael Kors watch.)

Uncommon Goods, a Brooklyn-based, environmentally friendly and socially responsible company (think handmade, recycled, and organic products), offers a plethora of stylishly unique jewelry. And these delicately designed pieces look to meet the needs of both the budget-conscious shopper as well as the lavish spender ($35 - $600). Most importantly: ALL who are proud to enhance their beautiful, uncommon styles. (Attention vintage lovers!)

I also dig just how many type of unique gifts this company offers! Whether you’re shopping for yourself or wanna start stocking up on holiday gifts for the lovely people in your life, this is a great site to bookmark. In addition to selling jewelry, home goods, art, and everything else in between, there’s merch for the men and kids too!

Check out all the goodies for yourself by visiting www.uncommongoods.com! You can also get social with 'em on Facebook and Instagram.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Uncommon Goods!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Looking Forward to a Night Out in the City? Here are 3 Reasons to Ditch Your Heels!


(YES - you can totally have fun with flats! Collage credit: www.polyvore.com)

I enjoy wearing heels when I am going to a particular event that I know will allow me to sit at least half of the time. (i.e., LA fashion show, graduation party, movie theater). But the truth is, I believe my feet are still recovering from the days I would wear heels while working 8-hour shifts at Nordstrom (and sometimes 10 to 12-hour shifts during special sales!). And even though that was 10 years ago, my feet have never been the same. So slowly, over time, I've been incorporating both casual as well as sexy flats to accompany my outfits. Not only do I value having a versatile wardrobe, but I am coming to terms with the fact that -- at 34 years old -- I need to be smart regarding what I choose to put on my feet. (Mom, if you're reading this, I know you're smiling and nodding in agreement.)

Like I said, I do love a hot heel! But for the nights out on the town -- the nights you don't want to end early and the nights that don't have to end early -- I suggest adorning your feet with a statement-making flat. 

Here are my top 3 reasons for ditching your heels when getting ready for a night out in the city:  


1) Comfort rules: Recently, my boyfriend and I spent the weekend at Venice Beach, in which we stayed at a quaint hotel just a few blocks from the boardwalk. Knowing this ahead of time, I decided that I was gonna rock my new boho-chic sandals I recently purchased (after winning a Sears gift card from a Twitter contest!) with my black and denim ensemble. It was the best choice I could have made, because even though we were just a few blocks away, we decided to explore and walk around town for delicious bites and drinks. Not once did he ask if my feet hurt, because over and over again, I kept saying, "I'm so glad I wore these shoes!" Bonus tip: Choose a shoe for the night that you've already worn in slightly in order to avoid blisters on your heels and toes, and everywhere in-between. This time around, I lucked out with only minimal discomfort from my first-time wear. Must be a great quality shoe from Sears! (I never would have thought, to be honest...)

2) Extra Exercise: If you're comfortable, you can walk longer! Whether you're bar hopping in LA or in Vegas, it's fun when your plans for the night are not based around how long you can actually bare to walk in your heels. Let's be honest: Complaining about your feet just annoys everybody after awhile, unless you're with gals who are experiencing the same thing, and y'all just decide to end your night early based on foot pain! (been there, done that) And while dancing in heels is much more fun, in my opinion, wearing sexy flats still look great on the dance floor! Plus, the longer you're moving, the more calories you're burning. Yup - that's important to me...and I bet to you too! 

3) Stress-Free StashingNow that you have on a hot pair of flats, you don't have to worry about where you're going to stash your "comfy shoe" to change into after your heels have beaten your feet up and...you...can't...walk...any...further. Many chicks keep a pair of flats in the car or in an oversized handbag to help ease an emergency situation. Yes, the pain can actually become unbearable and tear-worthy. While having a pair of flats stashed in your handbag is a smart idea, it does kinda cause you to battle over which bag will have enough room to store a pair of flip-flops or ballet flats. And what if you do leave a pair in the car? Well, make sure you're parked extremely close to where you're hanging out, because the walk back to the car will feel incredibly long when you're limping. 

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

StoryLeather Luxury Goodies: Unique Style, Selection, and Personalization!

Most of you know that I am more of an in-store shopper versus an online shopper. This is simply due to preference -- I love to experience a multi-sensory store visit! When it comes to investing in a new retail item, I like to touch the material, inhale the scent of newness, and chat with sales associates as I have questions about merchandise (or simply because I love to talk!).

So when one of the heads of StoryLeather reached out to me and asked if I’d like to sample some of their products, I welcomed it with open arms. And I did so after only briefly browsing the StoryLeather site. Because first impressions are everything, I wanted to simply experience that as authentically as possible. 

Well, I was delighted when it arrived not long after. The packaging was very impressive! I love the details of the box, how it was wrapped, the soft cloth, and the sticky emblem. The contents of the box included: a black phone holster case, a purple leather phone case with credit card slots, and a red key holder. Beautifully custom-made, handcrafted items (100% genuine leather) with individual textures!

Now, what’s especially unique about StoryLeather (after really researching its site), is that you can basically build your own product. The 3 signature steps: 1) Select a Style 2) Choose Your Leather 3) Personalize It. I appreciate a company that realizes that not everyone wants a cookie-cutter accessory, especially when the product is a luxury item (price range: about $100 and up). As for the personalization, I can attest to the beautiful engraving, as the purple phone case/credit card holder had a scripted name on it.

Also, when researching StoryLeather, I was impressed by its selection of goodies for both men and women, as well as the provided product knowledge alongside each item. In addition, the StoryLeather site has a blog section that explores a variety of technology topics. I think that’s pretty cool, as it offers the shopper the ability to learn more about his/her own gadget as well as relevant industry news. This definitely shows that StoryLeather wants its customers to have a stimulating online shopping experience, while supporting its premise: Everyone has a unique story to tell about themselves. (It's also really great online marketing!)

While, I cannot attest to the actual process of placing an order on StoryLeather.com, etc., I can say that the it was a joy communicating with the company. So I will assume that the level of customer service I was provided with is, most importantly, extended to shoppers! 

For luxury goods, especially when it comes to gifting for the holidays, I say YES to StoryLeather quality products as well as its unique concept. And maybe…just maybe…this Los Angeles blogger will reconsider online shopping.

Connect with StoryLeather on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Shop 'KIN LA' for Statement, Summer Fashion Trends!


(Asymmetrical Contoured Vest by Phillip Lim, $925)

(Cherry Top in Red Stripe by Again, $210)

(Cap Sleeve Blazer in Moss by Phillip Lim, $750)

(Alley Hat in Red by Brixton, $85)


Although I was unable to attend the recent VIP Media Event at KIN Los Angeles in West Hollywood (busy blogger over here!), I’m happy to share some of the statement, summer fashion trends this boutique is offering both in-store and online. 

Whether you’re all about chillin’ in your PJs and shopping your heart out online or more of the “I want to browse around and try things on” kind of fashionista, KIN LA can help add some edge and creativity to your wardrobe. Stripes…asymmetrical shapes…heavy doses of black...bold accessories? I say rock ON. 

Since 2004, KIN LA has been a highly coveted shopping destination on Sunset. Stocked with the latest collections from established designers around the globe, KIN LA is a multidimensional store that features both men’s and women’s clothing, as well as accessories from more than 20 international and domestic brands. 

No, I have not shopped the store yet. But as I continue to downsize my existing wardrobe to make room for hotter, edgier trends – YES, stepping foot into KIN LA is on my to-do list. (I’m much more of the in-store shopper, as I love the extra inspiration I get when touching fabrics, trying on clothes, and gaining product knowledge from employees.) 

Visit www.kinlosangeles.com to become familiar with this boutique! Be sure to also follow its Instagram page, where you’ll notice that some of Young Hollywood’s statement-making stars wearing designer pieces that are carried in KIN LA, such as ZoĆ« Kravitz and Kylie Jenner. Happy Shopping! 

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Bolt PR