Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Style Alert: Isobel Toledo for Lane Bryant

It's not often that one can find real style in larger sizes. Oh, you can find trends, and stylish designs on occasion, especially if you're under 30. But when you want things that are refined, with sophisticated silhouettes in that timeless classic way, you can come up empty handed.
Just take a spin on Neiman Marcus or Bloomingdales websites, and you'll instantly see what I mean. It's not that there's a lack of "brand" or "designer" names out there." But many of these so-called designer offerings are simply boxy, oversized basics, often in ridiculous prints.
Even Ralph Lauren, known for understated, tailored essentials like shirts and trousers, features what is probably one of his early equestrian prints that screams retro, and not in a good way, in his current season.
However, today, Lane Bryant debuts a collection of wearable dresses and tunics, designed by Isobel Toledo, with what I'd call a good eye for choosing shapes and patterns that will flatter a fuller figure.
I was just in Lane Bryant last night, just before closing, making some returns and buying black jeans, never dreaming that when I woke up, there would be this dreamy trousseau in sizes 14 and up!
Standing ovation to Isobel Toledo. I'm a long time fan of her work and that of her talented husband and collaborator, Rubin.
I admire this eclectic and independent star. This isn't the first time Isobel, known for her whimsical creations, has gone down a runway of a different kind. A couple of years ago, she fashioned a collection of shoes for Payless.
Many designers have to be dragged into reality to make clothes in larger sizes, and that attitude alone causes many of them to fail this audience. Often designers who want to succeed at QVC or HSN are forced to design for the loyal public, known as "the masses," who wear clothing sizes previously not in their vocabulary.
Toledo understands style is not a size.
Give Lane Bryant a shout out on Twitter for nabbing Toledo and having the best looking, really wearable spring collection on the internet, regardless of size!
Shop Now!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Big Wigs: Jenji Kohan - Women In Entertainment

Jenji Kohan
I'd love to spend an afternoon with Jenji Kohan, she's smart, sassy and successful. You might not recognize her name, but you may have seen some of her work. She created the Showtime juggernaut, "Weeds," and most recently, the Netflix hit  "Orange is the New Black."
These shows are as quirky as her persona. Courage and confidence are part of the formula for success in any field. It takes courage to be different in Hollywood, and
Jenji scores high on the richter scale of different. The content she creates is about as outside the box as one can get. Weeds is the story of a suburban housewife (spoiler alert) who sells pot and dates a despot.
"Orange is the New Black" takes us inside the trials and tribulations of a WASP who took a walk on the wild side and ends up behind bars.
Kohan's style is also outside the confines of the typical Hollywood player. Note her green hair and vintage style glasses. Her volume of work is just like her personal style, original.
Photo courtesy of deadline.com

Friday, March 14, 2014

CFDA Fashion Incubator Brands Coming to LA for Market Week

Meet the CFDA Nominees

CFDA Fashion Incubator Brands Coming to LA for Market Week

It’s exciting when the other coast makes a trip this way for once. How many red-eyes have I had to endure to wake up in the Big Apple in time for non-stop #NYFW or market week? This month, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), in conjunction with our favorite hotel, W, is bringing some fresh fashion talent to LA.
Next week, they’ll hit up DVF “Journey of a Dress” at LACMA
(The exhibit is incredible, and seeing these dresses  was a painful reminder not to ever get rid of anything, closet audits aside! Both my Mom and I had a wrap dress and I not only did I not keep the dress, after all I wore it back in the seventies, but I don't even have a photo of either us wearing the dresses.)
and end with a cool “wrap” party at the W Hotel in Hollywood.
In case you don’t know about the CFDA Incubator, they help emerging designers, much like our very own Fashion Business Inc
PS I’m excited to participate in California Fashion Organizations Scholarship Awards. This year, the Fashion Group International Los Angeles Foundation (I’m on the board!), is giving an award! LA
#follow @CFDAINCUBATOR @calfashion @FashionBizInc @FGILA

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Eloquii is Back: Enter to Win $250 Shopping Spree!

Great news for "Girls" who are starved for current trends in fashion. On February 20th, I received an email with a subject that stated, " Finally, We're Back + Free Shipping! Who's back? Eloquii!

It seems that even though there are more websites to shop for plus size clothing, it's become harder to find just what I'm looking for. Eloquii could fill the gap in my book.

It's depressing to walk the floors of Bloomingdales and Macys, who by the way, are owned by the same "outfit." Their departments are full of tired looking clothes, big, boxy, boring things in bad colors and cheap fabrics.

I've been searching high and low for something cool to wear to West Week at the Pacific Design Center, and there's plenty to choose from on the Eloquii site.

I'd love to meet Jodi Arnold, the designer, and imagine how cool Jonathan Auerbach is, the company's private investor. He get's it that women come in all shapes and sizes and he's put his money on Eloquii and their talented team. Granted, I don't know the provenance of the name. Unlike Nordstrom's Encore department for "women," which was aptly named as their second attempt to get it right for this customer. And, I'm not even sure I'm pronouncing it correctly, but it doesn't matter, because they've got it right. In all the years I've been involved as an influencer in the plus size world, Eloquii is one of the most exciting collections to come down the web way.

Let's give Eloquii a round of applause. And if you enter your email address in the pop up window, you've got a chance to win a $250 shopping spree!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Casting Attractive, Full-Figured, Latina or African-American Woman for Oprah Winfrey Network


We are currently casting an ATTRACTIVE, FULL FIGURED AFRICAN-AMERICAN or LATINA WOMAN a(ages 18-40) for a one day shoot to be an extra on a new reality show for the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).

Pays $100 for 5 hour commitment.  Non-union.

Shoot is in Northridge, CA.  You must be in the greater LA area to be considered, and get yourself to the shoot location.

Shoot date:  January 27th, 2014 for appx 5 hours.

Be sure to mention you heard about this from Jeff Gund at INFOLIST.com, and email ALL the information requested below to:
Be sure to include:
1.  Your name (first and last)
2.  Contact phone number
3.  Recent photos, cleanly showing your face, and body type (jpg format please)
4.  Be sure to mention you heard about this from Jeff Gund at INFOLIST.com!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Eight Reasons You Should Take Better Care of Your Clothing

Why Your Dry Cleaner Could Be Your New BFF

This is the first in a series of posts about clothing care
 and how to make your clothes last longer.

Doing Laundry in India
Photo courtesy of abrinsky

Eight reasons why you should take good care of your clothes:

1. Protect your investment in terms of cost and shopping time

2. You love it

3. It’s one of a kind or hard to find

4. You look fabulous in it

5. It represents a memory

6. It’s collectible, or an iconic silhouette or designer

7. You wear a special size: plus, tall or petite

8. You pay to have your clothes altered

Your clothes are your identity and often, after you’ve spent hours on the hunt for just the right must-have, you’ve got an investment in time and money. Add what could be a hefty price tag for a fabulous silk T-shirt or pair of premium denim jeans, and you’re talking about a sizable sum. So what "don’t" you do when it’s time to care for your clothes?

My mother was diligent in her insistence that I learn how to care for my clothes. She rotated our seasonal wardrobes like clockwork, washed and blocked the wool by hand and held captive anything I left in a pile on the floor. Ironing is a lost art, even I don’t own one anymore, and I’ve got first hand knowledge that not everyone is conscientious about sorting colors and using the delicate cycle.

Knowing how to care for clothing and natural fibers paid off when I worked as a fashion stylist. My two worst experiences with potentially ruined, one of a kind pieces was on the sets of commercials. Had I not been armed and dangerous with the knowledge of what to do, it's possible I could have blown my career with two mishaps.

A good dry cleaners can take a load off, not only with the convenient services they offer, like having a tailor on duty, but especially for their knowledge of fabrics and various methods for cleaning and stain removal.

If you’ve ever had a bad experience with a dry cleaner, it’s likely the real culprit of any damage was the care label itself. A care label may offer information on how to clean the outer shell of a garment, but overlook mentioning the lining is made from a non-stable fiber, one that hasn’t been preshrunk, for example.

Care Label Guide Courtesy of The Soap and Detergent Association

Many fashionable fabrications and treatments developed for garments make them more difficult to clean, like premium denim. According to Robert Shapiro, General Manager at Milt & Edie’s Dry Cleaners in Burbank, California, “Premium denim jeans have a lot of different washes, embellishments and coatings, like wax. Waxed cotton requires specific care. Soap dissolves the waxed coating, which doesn’t hold up during the dry cleaning process either,” Shapiro said with a sigh. “When we see waxed cotton, we steam clean the item. We do a lot of business with the movie and TV studios, they trust us. And we never stopped cleaning by hand, we’ve always provided hand-processing services, especially for couture and vintage garments.”

A care label can be misleading and label enforcement is almost nonexistent.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) oversees compliance of the care labeling rule, which required manufacturers and importers to attach care instructions to garments. According to the FTC Website, over the last 22 years, they have only brought 16 enforcement actions.

What You Need to Know

The four most important steps you can do to ensure the longevity and wearability of your favorite things.

1. Inspect your clothes thoroughly after wearing to note any spots, spills or stains. Spot cleaning can often prevent a permanent stain. If you don't know how to spot clean, take the garment to your cleaners as soon as possible. Don’t hang it back in your closet, where it will be forgotten and the spot has time to set.

2. Inspect your things before you leave them with a dry cleaner, in order to identify possible stains and spills. Have a conversation with the manager of the dry cleaners if your garment has any of these features to make sure they have experience with this type of clothing: quilted, has a coating or special treatment, a lining, embellishments like sequins, is made of a synthetic leather or leather.

3. Look for and read the care labels in your clothes and point any specific instructions out to the dry cleaners. For example, some labels may say a certain dry cleaning chemical cannot be tolerated.

4. Be sure to make a point your garment is vintage or couture. Most vintage clothing, made before the seventies, was constructed out of natural fibers, but as such, these items are older and the fibers are weaker. If your garment hasn’t been stored or cared for properly, the dry cleaner may be able make the best decision in how to clean the garment.

Find a good dry cleaner on the Dry Cleaning & Laundry Institute website.

Milt and Edie's Drycleaners are in Burbank, California, around the corner from Warner Brothers, Disney and Universal Studios.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Vintage Vixen Reviews Affordable Couture: A New Fashion Book

Vintage Vixen has a really cool blog and she reviewed the new fashion book I wrote with Jemi Armstrong,
"Affordable Couture: A Guide to Buying and Collecting Couture."
I'm really happy Vintage Vixen liked the book and shared it with her readers.
It's the perfect gift for anyone who loves runway fashion and wants to know how to become a fashion insider.
Illustration by Jemi Armstrong,  co-author "Affordable Couture."
Affordable Couture is full of Jemi's fabulous fashion illustrations and an international directory of the best places to pay less for couture, vintage couture, high-end designer and vintage clothing in six cities.
Here's a link to her review: Vintage Vixen: Let's Go To Bed (Plus a Giveaway)