Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Bridesmaid Dress Hunt

I've been spending a lot of time cruising wedding websites. No, I'm not engaged but my dear, adorable, sweet cousin Liz is and she has asked me to be a part of it. Over the past week or so, the bridesmaids and I have been trying to find the best dresses for the big day. For us, of course.

Man, is there a lot of poopadoodle (it's a word, of course it is) out there for bridal parties. I still don't understand why, WHY, designers continue to produce hot pink satin! Amidst all of the pouf sleeves, ruched skirts, padded and severely boned corsets, we came across some great styles that, yes you have heard this before, you can wear again.

I spent a large amount of time on David's Bridal because they have an awful lot to choose from and it helps to get an idea of the dress style. However, there were some other notable websites like 57 Grand, the Fashion Lookbook on StyleMePretty and Dessy. I like to see a variety of looks; there is something elegant about traditional styles but it's in my nature to look for the more funky and unique pieces.

Below are a few dresses that caught my eye, as well as some of the other bridesmaids:

This one is from After Six. Simply put, this is a darling dress.

I thought this one was great, definitely something that I would wear again, but it's an October wedding so maybe more for summer? This green just grabbed me and took me on a mental journey down a road full of flowers, beaches, and tanned skin. It's another After Six dress available on Dessy, which is a great resource; tons of different styles and easily broken down into color groups.

This beautiful satin dream is from 57 Grand. It is the Beekman dress, and I fell for it right away. It's not for everyone, but I'm not tossing this one aside, I may just need this dress in a crisis. Like a party, that's a crisis when I have nothing to wear! This link shows it in a beautiful Grape Juice.

And I don't know what the bride wants to do for jewelry, but the collection from Elva Fields by Emily Wheat Maynard had me at hello. She offers One of a Kind, Limited Edition, and Vintage. Everything is beautifully crafted with a combination of colors that really catch your eye.

You want to know which one we picked? Well, that's a secret. I actually didn't post it on here because I thought it would be more special when it was revealed on the big day. It sounds silly, even as I write it, but there has to be some element of surprise for the bridesmaids, right? Come November, I plan to post photos. We are ready to rock this party!

Monday, April 26, 2010

StyleWeek Providence. Yes, Rhode Island.

Over the years I have lived in many states, cities, and towns. Some still have a special place in my heart, like Colorado and New York, but in the end of the day, I call my home Rhode Island. Over the years I have recognized the beauty of Rhode Island and the culture that Providence has to offer. Sure, it's the size of my pinkie, but don't be fooled, this little state packs a big punch.

Many people know of the Rhode Island School of Design, aka RISD. RISD churns out some amazingly creative and talented artists, fashion designers, textile designers, and so much more. However, there is a new wave of fashion coming to Rhode Island, and Providence is ready to show it's stuff.

I recently received an email from my mother who forwarded the monthly newsletter from RI Monthly magazine about what's going on in the state for Summer. She sent it to me with the note "Check out Style Week!" Wait, what? Style Week? In Providence? Sure enough, it's true, and I wanted to get to the bottom of it. I went on their website, and contacted the founder, Rosanna Ortiz Sinel who has quite a colorful resume featuring fashion PR and fashion writing.

Rosanna took some time to chat with me about the event and below is some more information on how StyleWeek Providence came to be and what to expect.

KickinKate: How exciting to hear about a StyleWeek in Providence! Can you tell me how this came about?
Rosanna: I have been a freelance fashion and style writer for some time- so I would cover other fashion weeks in the area. When I moved to Providence I didn't realize what an amazing city it is- how convenient, accessible and creative! So, it just made sense to develop a fashion week with Providence as the canvas, not only showcasing Rhode Island designers but national ones who are established but not yet mainstream. I wanted to produce a fashion week that was about the commerce of fashion- a week that is taken seriously and is open to the editors, press and people who are serious about fashion and who legitimately care about these designers futures.

KK: Was this an effort? I imagine in any city it takes a lot of work, and convincing, to get everyone on board.
R: Oh definitely!! When I initially came up with the idea I was thinking four days max. However, after learning that so many people were interested in seeing this grow, we had to make it a full seven days. You do come across many trials and tribulations during the planning process but it was something that the city of Providence really wanted to see happen. The city of Providence and the Mayor have been our biggest advocate as well as the people of the city; they want to see something new and fresh. So, to answer your questions, yes it's a lot of work to coordinate, but well worth it!

KK: People must be excited about this. There hasn't been anything like this in Providence before. Are you getting a good response from the community?
R: Oh my gosh, the response has been tremendous! It really touches my heart that so many people are so excited about this. I was not expecting this to become as extensive as it has. I really wanted to help make the city of Providence flourish and get some talent noticed. I didn't realize that it was going to be welcome with such open arms on a community level. One thing I must say about Providence is that there are some amazing, talented and real people in this city. I am simply amazed and can't say thank you enough.

KK: That is SO nice to hear! It's such a small state and there are some struggles, especially most recently with the extremely high unemployment rate and then getting hit with the recent debilitating flood. But, Rhode Island is strong and resilient and people are ready to push forward, move on and get back to life. StyleWeek Providence is a step in doing that!!

KK: How are you spreading the word?
R: When I first presented the idea I immediately signed on with Miamore Communications. They are a boutique PR firm which has really helped in building the StyleWeek brand. I actually now work for them! We promote a lot through social networking- follow them on Twitter at @styleweekprov- and have partnered with Rhode Island Monthly as our print media sponsor. We have also been covered by the Rhode Show and will be partnering with a new internet platform called GoLocal Prov which launches this week. Much of the buzz about the event has been by word of mouth- you can never underestimate how far that goes!

KK: You are highlighting independent designers, which I love. I feel like all of the talent out there is undiscovered. How did you go about finding the designers to be part of the event?
R: When I was covering other fashion weeks in the region I picked up some great designers who I thought would benefit from StyleWeek Providence. However, I must say that many of them found us. After I would sign a designer, there would be recommendations and so forth. It was important to me that the designers showing had the technical skill and image that we would want to see at Bergdorf's or Nortdstrom. So, I interviewed each designer and had to see their line ( if I didn't know it already) before we designated them a spot on the lineup. I must say, the designers we have in our show are nothing short of breathtaking.

KK: Are there any particular designers that you are really loving?
R: This is such a hard question! Honestly, there is something in each designer's collection that I would wear. It honestly is like picking a favorite child! I can't because they are all fascinating and bring amazing creativity to the table. I don't have a favorite, but David Chum for Selah D'or brings a unique edge to his look that I go crazy for. Nirva Derbekyan has my favorite separates. Jonathon Peters and his exaggerated collars- amazing! Maya Luz has a sophisticated rock look that I can see being my next favorite craze!

KK: You have a fashion PR background and also a background in fashion writing. What is your role in this event?
R: That's a good question! There are not many people on our staff so we continuously wear many hats! I am basically just the Executive Director and Producer of the event. I work with the logistics, designers, buyers, sponsors and press and make sure that this will be one of the best weeks that Providence has seen in a long time. Honestly, my job is nothing without my team. These people have worked so hard to help me make this happen.

KK: Do you plan on doing this twice a year, like NYFW, or is this an annual event?
R: This is the magic question. I have been toying with this questions for months now. What I want for StyleWeek Providence is to be a twice a year event, focusing on the seasons like New York. We are going to have to see, however this will most definitely happen again in June 2011. You never know though, stay tuned for January!

I am really looking forward to StyleWeek Providence. I will be covering it on the blog, so even though you may not be there, you can envision! StyleWeek Providence will be held June 6th- June 12th. For more on the schedule of events, click here.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Obviously I Had to Buy These Shoes.

I am pretty sure my boyfriend is going to wave the finger at me in shame when he reads this, but I have 100% justification for this purchase. They literally were calling my name, like a puppy in a shelter. You gonna turn your head at that? He is all for me loving fashion and writing about it, but seeing as I am in a little teeny tiny bit of debt, shopping needs to really be put on hold.

Ever since I left New York and moved to New England, I haven't really had any desire to shop. It's just a whole different ball game up here and there is less temptation, which is good. Until today. I was walking down adorable Pleasant Street in Newburyport when I came across the vintage and consignment boutique, Modern Mille's. OK, I have to fess up, I have seen this boutique before and I made the decision quite a few times to walk across the street or make a phone call at that moment. These things help me to avoid any temptation. Today however, with the sun shining and that adorable 50's polka dot dress in the window, it just felt right to go in.

Let's first talk about the fact that I am obsessed with Mad Men and wish I could have access to the whole casts wardrobe. Now it seems as if my wish has been granted. What we have here are amazing adorable shoes, dainty and darling bags, floral and patterned full dresses, and the most fab vintage hats. Walking into the fitting room, I had six things, three of them shoes. I walked out with one pair of the most dreamy black oxford heels from the 40's. And for what you ask? Thirty- two bones my friend. Do you love them? I LOVE them!!! They are below and you can look, just don't drool on them please. And yes, that is a mesh toe.

I don't know, I mean sure, maybe I do still have a lingering addiction to shopping. Can you blame me? I work in fashion! However, over the past year, I have drastically limited my intake. Every other month or so I may come across something that strikes my fancy and I make a judgment call. Will I be up all night thinking about these? If so, then I need to do what's best for my health and buy the item and have a long, solid night sleep. Also, if you ever need any help justifying anything, give me a ring, I will help you out. Just email me at OfCourseYouShouldBuyThose! (Take note: this email is not in effect, yet)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Heading to the Mall? Check Morals at the Door.

I don't shop in the mall often. It's not that I go out of my way to avoid the mall;I just don't ever really find anything I need in there. This weekend however, I made an exception due to the fact that there wasn't much else to do where we were staying, and the mall seemed like a good option for aimless wandering, which I like to do.

Now, I know that many of these stores in the mall are not targeting someone like me. For one, I am over sixteen and don't have an allowance to spend on clothes. Even knowing this, I was so shocked by the advertising and marketing around the store Gilly Hicks. I would say I smelled the store from quite a distance away. I don't think there is anything worse than Cinnabon mixed with super potent cologne, possibly AXE. I am pretty sure they are blowing fragrance out of their vents.

Now, Gilly Hicks wasn't a store I was familiar with; it's the first time I had actually seen one. It has the overall same look as Abercrombie and Hollister with a beach and cabana feeling as you enter, followed by an abyss of blackness and loud, loud music. This doesn't bother me, because if you are targeting preteens and teenagers, then something mimicking a dance club is probably appealing to them. What I do have a problem with is the pictures of topless girls on the walls. Girls, mind you, who were not a day over sixteen. In these same rooms were G-strings, lace bodysuits, and corsets. You know, because when you are thirteen that's what you should be wearing...

Here's why I hate this: Someday, I plan on having kids and I don't want them feeling like they need to look twenty five when they are just hitting puberty.

Trying to hide my disgust, I walked quickly trying to get out of the dark, cave-like maze yelling to my boyfriend so he could hear me above the music "Get me out of here!!" I walked past young girls holding hangers of black lace training bras, low-ride thong underwear, and the shortest shorts I've ever seen. I don't want to be part of this; this loss of innocence, loss of childhood, just for a buck.

I think the worst part was seeing a young man, probably seventeen at most, walking around SHIRTLESS. Why? What is the point? Who is running these companies, and do they have no value of childhood innocence? Being an adult isn't all that its cracked up to be. I can't tell you how many times I think back to my middle school days and wish I could get back there, even if for a moment.

I'm aware that I sound like an old lady and you're probably waiting for me to say, "When I was young..." I just felt moved to express my sadness about this particular scene, in a mall, just like any other in America. At times like this I grab onto the memories of my youth and what shopping was like for me. Jeans at the Gap, skirts with built it spandex (remember those?), and desperately seeking the perfect Esprit sweatshirt. Times have changed, no doubt about it. I guess I am having a hard time accepting the change, especially when it affects our youth. It just seems to me that morals have been checked at the door, and that is just a shame.