Monthly Archives: October 2015

Diary Of A Fashion Designer: Phoenix Fashion Week Day 3


The finale for Phoenix Fashion Week concentrated on Couture. The creme de la creme of collections. By far, it was my favorite night of shows overall. Couture is what fashion is all about, the artistry of the industry.

Emerging Designers

The battle for Designer Of The Year continued n the couture category, the  winner would have their collection sold on Evine Live, and when you’re trying to come up in this industry that’s a pretty big deal. Azmara Asefa, Hues Of Ego, Leola Sky and Michelle Hebert showed up and showed out. For the first time all week I was glued to the stage for every collection. This time I had front row, where I could check out the pieces, detail by detail, up close and personal.

Azmara Asefa

Azmara had one of the best video introductions of all the designers. Describing her design aesthetic as “apocolypse ready” she referenced one of my favorite books of all time as her inspiration, “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley. I could see the distinctions between the two worlds, The Savages and those who lived in The World State. Through the use of style lines, form, and color she successfully communicated the popular themes within the book. Edgy pieces with 2d elements, rips, leather, and sheers in soft tones of sea foam green, grey, white and black all told a story about fighting to maintain their individualism(savages). Other pieces were chic clean lines, stylized futuristic versions of classic pieces the designer categorized as “minimal fashion”(people in The World State).

Hues Of Ego

Hues Of Ego had a mind blowing intro. A ballerina opened up the show with a full performance down the runway. What I liked about it was that it really gave the audience a feel for character of the customer. I know who their customer is, and she stopped and did some moves right in front of me! It was breathtaking and captivating, then the first  model came out with a giant lollipop/light globe to an interpretation of “Lose Yourself” by Eminem. There was a variety of pieces in this collection. Everyday wear to Art-To-Wear. That’s what made it stand out from the rest. White, black, peach, mustard, black and burgundy came together to create a fashion forward look for the fashion forward woman going into the future. The globe element was carried throughout the collection through caging, lace, and 2d elements. It was all very elegant and upscale, you could be a queen from another planet, going to a Hollywood event, or going to work.

Leola Sky

Leola Sky had a collection of pieces that could all be worn everyday.  could easily see a CEO in New York or Paris wearing these clothes to work or having them all in her wardrobe. Classic styles with an updated edge, combined with metallics and neutral colors spoke to the modern woman who likes clean lines and straightforward looks. A fan of the pencil skirt, and fitted anything… the metallic goold pencil skirt and black jacket, plus the white catsuit with the cape were my favorite pieces in her collection.

Michelle Hebert

Michelle Hebert was the emerging designer who had the most “couture”-ish collection. It was more of a cross between fantasy mystic bride, and sexy socialite. There were bridal gowns and clothes inspired by everyday looks. Black, white, and tan kept it all neutral and soft; no hard edges. I’m not a fan of tattered detailing because it’s hard to do without leaving your piece looking like a ghost costume, but she pulled it off on some of those dresses. The trend of the sheer nude base with detailing on top was in almost every collection, and it continued throughout hers as well.


I was torn for who I thought the winner should be. My prediction is usually based on marketability and profitability. I ask myself, “who will buy these clothes?”. A younger demographic would buy Azmara Asefa, a more established consumer would buy Leola Sky’s collection, but Hues Of Ego could appeal to the widest audience, and their pieces looked very expensive. My choice was Hues Of Ego and I was right! They won Designer of The Year, and then Evine Live dropped a bomb ad named a people’s choice winner to also have their collection sold. Lily V Designs was chosen by a landslide for viewer’s choice.

Established Designers

The Established Designers came out hard from the start. DesignMe, Glenn Plaid, Albert Andrada and Rocky Gathercole came to remind us what fashion IS.


Design Me had pieces that were couture, but wearable. Lots of 2d elements like fringe with little eyeballs on them created movement and a playful look that was very Sex In The City. It was metropolitan, modern looks, balanced with modernized classic looks had clean lines, crispy colors and there was something for everybody.

Glenn Plaid

Glenn Plaid menswear was full of eye candy. I had to work hard to pay attention to the clothes! This collection was for the classic man. Well tailored, suits, denim, shirts and coats/jackets came in a variety of patterns and colors. red/burgundy, blue, black/gray, white, and tan were the base colors. One of my favorite pieces was a Red wool navy pea coat, and I also like the denim jeans, white oxford shirt and blazer. Every piece looked like money.

Albert Andrada

This collection was full of dreamy gowns, rhinestones and beads. My favorite piece was this outfit with gold pants, a gold bustier, and gold jacket with tails. It’s similar to something I have in my bridal collection sketches. But the other dresses were very “princess barbie”. There was one sea foam green gown that was 70’s inspired with wing sleeves, and the finale gown that Miss Arizona 2015 was wearing was breathtaking. I could easily see it on the Red Carpet at the Oscars.

Rocky Gathercole

Rocky Gathercole was the finale for the whole Phoenix Fashion Week. He mananged to create a collectiion that was full of classic pieces created out of pearls, beads and rhinestones. Every piece was art-to wear. I had three favorite pieces in this collection. The black and white catsuit with the fringe, the onesie with the 2d detailed loops, and the white dress with the big pearl shoulders. I wasn’t too crazy about his finale bridal piece, but the rhinestone bodice was beautiful. What I can say is that the craftsmanship of his collection was on a whole nother level. I could see every detail, and every single piece was flawless.

Until Next time…Beyond New Style Where Fashion Is Art In 3d

Diary Of A Fashion Designer: Full Blog-Day 2 Phoenix Fashion Week


Day 2 of Phoenix Fashion Week was full of pleasant surprises. So for this post I’m going to review the show from the end to the beginning, because it was the FINALE that blew my mind and really represented the epitome of fashion.

Friday night showcased 7 brands. ARAE, Cute Like Mad, Laura Tanzer, Lousy Rich, and Michi Knitwear were the Emerging Designers; while Dolcessa, Yen, and YAS Couture were the established designers in the evening wear category. Common elements throughout collections were: capes, trains, fringe, tye dye, hi-low hems, and mixed prints. Beyond that there was a variety of product, styles, color ways and detailing. I saw a little something for everybody. Now, as a luxury designer with a concentration in urban couture/luxury branding, I’m hard to impress because I’m hard on myself. Last night I was beyond impressed, I was inspired. But enough about me, I’ll blog about my personal experience after all the shows are over, let’s start with the established brands and talk about the showstopper; YAS Couture.

YAS Couture

YAS Couture based in Kuwait is created by fashion designer Elie Madie. This collection was breathtaking. What set it apart from anything I had seen so far was the level of craftsmanship, and Mr. Madi pushes the envelope with his detailing and bling. YES honey these gowns had so much of what I lovem romance, elegance, superb fit, variety, color, beading, fringe, and Swarovski rhinestones, It was over the top, but marketable at the same time. I can easily see any one of these pieces on a celebrity red carpet. Prices ranging in the thousands, or even tens of thousands.

Short gowns, long gowns, rompers, onesies, open back, spaghetti strap, short sleeve, long sleeves, trains, capes, lace, piecing, and every color rhinestone/bead and fringe set on a nude base. Sheers, stretch satin, velvet, lace, and the sheer nude base made for a show stopping lineup. This was the most color I had seen on the catwalk all week. Deep burgundy, red, royal blue, black, yellow, green, white, metallic silver, and metallic goal came together in the opening few pieces and then staggered throughout the rest of the collection. The finale piece was a jaw dropping strapless white wedding gown with a rhinestone encrusted bodice and full balloon skirt with rhinestones that tapered back into a train; and she came out to my favorite song “Fantasy” by Alina Baraz. I couldn’t have been more pleased and speechless. The detailing was flawless, and even on the dresses without bling, Bukey created a 2d effect that gave the pieces a futuristic feel. The ladies looked like glammed out superheroes, but Elie Madi has definitely become this girl’s superman. Kudos to YAS Couture.    
    The man himself Elie Madi


Yen was a collection out of Dubai that also had beautiful gowns with rhinestones, pearls, lace, sheers, trains and some 2d detailing. Neutral color ways like black and white dominated but these pieces also contained exceptional structure, fit, and elegance.


Dolcessa Swimwear of Las Vegas was last year’s winner of the Emerging Designer Award. This brand is international and has been featured in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Bright color ways combined with peacock print, stain glass print, snakeskin, floral, tye dye, and pebble print defined this collection. Red, teal, gold, white, black,  orange, green, and melon combinations made for edgy pieces that popped. But, I was more impressed with the Brazilian Charmosa Swimwear featured on Thursday night. It offered more of a variety and seemed more fashion forward. However, every designer has to go with what sells, so if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Oh yea, the gold belt with the wrap attached was actually one of the best pieces next to the maxi beach dresses.


Emerging Designers

The Emerging Designer Competition was interesting. M pick for the winner based on marketability was a tie between Michi Knitwear and Laura Tanzer. Both collections were chic, could be marketed to a wide audience and I looked expensive, they looked like luxury brands.

Michi Knitwear

Michi Knitwear of New York City was a collection of knit pieces in a rainbow of colors. I love color, so this was one of my favorites. The dresses, skirts and tops came in a varity of lengths, shapes, and styles; plus they all fit like a glove. The fabric would allow for the collection to be sold to many body types and appeals to a wide market ages 25-45.

Laura Tanzer

The Laura Tanzer collection of Tuscon Arizona was another one of my top picks. These pieces were chic, upscale, and very New York. Her use of layering, trim, color blocking, and mastery of structure is what made the outfits stand out from the rest. Floral prints, pinstripes, and motorcycle jacket lapel element kept classic pieces fashion forward. Dresses, dress pants, blazers, jackets, and skirts could do numbers on Evine.


Cute Like Mad

Cute Like Mad of Seattle had a playful collection of dresses, pants, shorts, tops, and skirts. Their use of leather was fashion forward and edgy, along with my favorite piece which was a top with black fringe shoulders. I also really like this pebbly print that was incorporated into pieces with mixed fabric and lots of gores and piecing. The color blocking and prints are the elements that made the collection show worthy.  



Arae of Chicago looked like loungewear or sleepwear with an organic feel. Soft tye dye satin pieces had clean lines and flawlessly lay on the body. It was elegant, and well executed. However there wasn’t the variety that I saw in other collections.

Lousy Rich

Lousy Rich of Scottsdale, Arizona was the other Emerging Designer but unfortunately I don’t have images. This collection was playful, with a color way of pepto pink, black and sea green from my notes. I must not have been too impressed, but I can’t picture the pieces, but they were in the running so I’m sure it was good.


In the end Evine chose ARAE as the Emerging  designer of the year and will be selling their collection on their network.

Until tomorrow…

Transcend The Trends, Beyond New Style Where Fashion Is Art In 3d

Diary Of A Fashion Designer: Phoenix Fashion Week Fall 2015


Phoenix is the quickly becoming the premiere fashion event in the Southwest. October 1-3 boutiques, emerging and established designers all come together for three days of sales and shows. Just straight fashion hustle and flow. So far, I’m loving it! I was impressed by the whole operation. The PR was on point, the setup was very chic and metropolitan, and I enjoyed every minute of the shows. It was all very, Southwest luxury.

Emerging Designers

Day one, was all about lifestyle brands. Evine has a competition for the emerging designers for a live TV show on their network selling the featured collection. The four brand s from October first were Charmosa Swimwear, Haute Body and Lily V and Medium Apparel.

Charmosa Swimwear of San Francisco has Brazilian roots. Its, elegant, sexy, and very fashion forward. I love water and own so many swimsuits that I can t keep track, so I would wear every piece I saw on the runway. The designer is a woman who is a woman, wife, mother and has strong family connections within her brand and it shows. Popular colors were red, orange, yellow, green and blue. Elements that I noticed were tie-dye, fringe coverups, rouching in the bum area, and high waist bottoms. the detailing stood out and kind of popped no matter where you were seated which speaks to the craftsmanship of the pieces.

HauteBody of Los Angeles is fashion forward athletic wear. Being a lover of yoga myself, I could picture having every piece in my closet. Yoga pants, jackets, sports tops, capris, and shorts and a catsuit came in black, white, pink and blue floral print, heather gray, white net, wet look black, and metallic silver. This collection was futuristic while staying true to its athletic roots, and versatile. I could see it being worn by a wide market around the globe.

Lily V of Peoria Illinois had a collection of casual wear. You could clearly see the 70’s inspiration throughout all the pieces. Fringe, crop tops, ponchos, bell bottoms,  box pleats, tie-dye, tribal print jackets, and a hippie vest were in black, white, blue, purple, burnt orange, brown and mixed prints. This designer is from the Midwest so the color ways were very fall inspired and the jackets looked soft and warm.

Medium Apparel of Phoenix was the edgy, outside the box brand of the bunch. The “Counter Culture”The only designated urban wear in the running, their collection was straight forward street inspired with a mild touch of preppy. T-shirts, oxford style shirts, jackets, and hats donned with edgy graphics(lips, Benjamin Franklin, Teddy Bear with X’s for eyes, verbiage, army fatigue print, florals prints. The colorways were army green, black, white, blue, red, and baby blue. RocaWear sponsored the jeans to complete the looks.

Based on global marketability and trends, my pick for the winner was tied between Charmosa Swimwear and Haute Body. Lily V was a little too Boho for me and Medium Apparel seemed like it had already been done so many times. Although they both rocked, I couldn’t picture them selling on a shopping network. In the end the winner was Charmosa Swimwear (

Established Brands

The established designers I got to see were Devereux Golf(men’s) and Elevee Lifestyle Golf(custom made men and women’s). These brands have established clientele, and have already made there mark on the industry. Inspiration from the 70’s was clear. Fitted styles, clean lines, simplicity, and classic looks dominated the runway for both brands. Preppy looks reminiscent of Ralph Lauren contained color blocking, stripes, plaids, in colors like melon, sea foam green, red, blue, khaki, black, and white. Elevee has a celebrity clientele that speaks for itself, and Devererux has a history that speaks for itself. I just have one question, why are some of the shorts for the men so short? Until tomorrow….

WIN_20150219_123215 (6) Transcend The Trends, Beyond New Style Where Fashion Is Art In 3d