Hello San Francisco, It’s Time to Party!

Hello, San Francisco!

It’s time to party! Start picking out your favorite outfits and join us for a night of fashion, drinks, music, and fun at the ArielSimone launch party at The Bold Italic HQ  NEXT Thursday, October 4, 2012. This event is so special that Adrienne will be flying out to SF to join us.

As you know, we have been in the process of rebranding ArielSimone. Our goals we to complete our brand with a new logo, font and experience. We also had the goal of spreading the great news to our new community while developing an exclusive ArielSimone retail site.  What you can expect is exactly who we are:  fun, flirty, and sophisticated.

So this event has to be too! We have been in great communication with our new SF industry friends and have several exciting treats and surprises for our guests. ArielSimone always has new and fresh styles that can be customized to fit YOUR body so we are excited to have a short runway presentation showing off our Spring/Summer 2013. We know that there is something extremely special in wearing a garment that is made just for you so we are offering reduced pricing on all our garments for guests who attend.  If you are not able to make it or simply can’t wait until next week, Shop ArielSimone now.

All proceeds for this event will go to BlackGirlsCode, which teaches young girls from underrepresented communities about computer programming and technology. We met this amazing charity back in May when we were searching for organizations in SF with purpose and passion. We were immediately inspired by the work that Kimberly Bryant is doing– bringing technology into the minds and lives of minority girls. Mentorship is something that we really care about at ArielSimone and so we wanted to get involved. We visited them during one of their workshops and are now in partnership with them to create a workshop program for the girls on fashion and technology. We can’t wait to share more about those classes so stay tuned!

More About BlackGirlsCode

BlackGirlsCode is a non-profit organizaton that equips girls ages 7-16 with in-demand computer skills. By reaching out to the community through workshops and after-school programs, they aim  to increase the number of women of color working in technology and give underprivileged girls a chance to become programmers of tomorrow.

BlackGirlsCode is proud to say they’ve completed their first year as an organization, during which time they had the honor of bringing technology and entertainment to many wonderful young girls of color. By teaching these girls computer programming and coding, BGC hopes to foster a true love for technology and the self-confidence that comes from understanding the greatest tools of the 21st century. That is something that ArielSimone stands behind.

So who doesn’t love a little philanthropy with their fashion? To RSVP for our amazing event. We can’t wait to celebrate with you!

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SFMOMA with a Documentary Neuroscience Type

This past Saturday, after a lovely brunch with friends (lovely = bottomless mimosas), I headed to  SFMOMA with my good friend William (who is a documentary/neuroscience type) to ponder the new Cindy Sherman exhibit, to drink Blue Bottle coffee on the roof and to discuss why all the men at the gallery were gorgeous, but gay.

The first things that caught our eyes were the light installation that was hanging from the roof about 6 stories high. Jim Campbell: Exploded Views  exhibition has been on view since  November 5, 2011 and will end September 25, 2012– only 5 more days to see it. What looked like just lights flickering on and off, were actually a very technical LED light pattern wired to display projected images, which instantly I recognized as modern dancers! I later discovered that it was the infamous (and SF favorite) Alonzo Kings LINES ballet. Such a fan. It was by far my favorite work in the whole museum; I wanted to stand there for hours. There are some videos available online if you aren’t able to get to SFMOMA in time.

The Cindy Sherman photography exhibit was fantastic. Most of the artists perusing the gallery were very stoic even though the work was both provocative, ironically disturbing while also being dark. In most cases, the images were familiar in a hilariously depressing.

Here is what she looks like with out all the makeup and characterization….

As one of the most influential artists of our time, Cindy Sherman has created a provocative photography collection that explores the ever expansive range of identity and representation. Utilizing herself as a model, she transformed her appearance by using wigs, costumes, makeup, prosthetics, and props to create intriguing tableaux and characters inspired by movies, TV, magazines, and art history. Love it.

by Nkechi Njaka
[Source & Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]

She’s Got Style by Lexie T.

When I opened up my e-mail and saw that Dan had sent me the photos from this shoot we did withOlivia and Jen, I jumped for joy!

 

Dan and I haven’t done a colorful shoot together recently and our goal is actually to get more out in the next month or two. The most recent colorful editorial we did was this one, back in May.

 

 

We added a little funk to this shoot by adding these glasses. Dan got really creative with that idea, hah! I really really love how this shoot captures Olivia’s personality. Some people think that models are really stiff and don’t like to have fun during shoots… but this girl, she’s got that good attitude.

 

 

Every shoot I style, I typically have a favorite look where I say, “WE NEED TO SHOOT THIS.” But, during this shoot, I liked it ALL. Part of it is because we all communicated really well as a team with what we all wanted. That’s what collaborations should be like, ya know?

 

 

These photos are amazing, needless to say and I can’t wait to show you what Dan and I have next for a fashion editorial 🙂 Stay tuned!

Photography by Dan Rappa
Modeling by Olivia Frischer-JE Models
Styling by Lexie Tiongson
Hair & Make-Up by Jennifer Toy 

P.R. Episode 9: Textiles with Mondo

This week was the Textiles challenge, and 8 designers remain! Mondo appeared as the guest after his emotional experience during his season’s textile challenge where he revealed his HIV + status to the world.

The designers were given one hour to create their very own printed textile on the Intel Ultrabook, and challenged to represent their cultural heritage through their print. For the first time in Project Runway history, their cultural dossier was delivered by family members, and they got to spend two days with their loved ones.

Top 2 Looks

Dmitry

I’m so glad he won this week! He definitely deserved it. His jacket was out of this world amazing, and he created three pieces, which is a challenge in itself given the time limits on the show.

Sonjia

She killed this challenge! Her print was nice, but the way she used it to create those amazing slacks was better, pants are difficult to drape. Even though she did a black top, it really stood out with the back drape perfectly fitted sleeves, and interesting front detail. And I also must mention how well she styled her look!

Bottom Look

Ven

Oh Ven… He once again did the flower layering effect, and the judges roasted him for it, even to the point of bringing Tim Gunn to the runway to discuss what went on in the sewing room. I think he’ll get one more chance to show he can do something else before he’s voted off.

Who to Watch

Elena – She was rejuvenated emotionally by her mother’s presence, but her design this week was lacking. She’s got to find balance.

Ven – I’d re-watch this episode just to see Tim call Ven’s design an homage to a menstrual cycle!

{Photos}

Stay tuned for Thursday nights 10th episode, to see if Ven can get it together!

Artist Interview: Tushita Chechani by Joanna

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting one of the new University of San Francisco MBA students, Tushita Chechani. She instantly attracted my attention with her distinct style and elegant jewelry.

After getting to know her a bit better I thought you would all want to hear about her adventures in the fashion industry and her aspirations for the future. She has an incredible story and a very bright future in design.

Please give us a brief bio, where you are from and how you started in this field. What steps brought you to this point?

I grew up in India, San Francisco is now home where I live with my husband and my five month old Golden doodle puppy. My mom is a textile designer and appreciates all forms of design and art, so I always appreciated art, especially traditional forms, early in life. I started making jewelry in school because I couldn’t find what I wanted in stores. Soon I was designing stuff for friends and holding small exhibits while I completed my undergrad. After school I started working in Advertising with Lowe Lintas and work got so busy that I did not even realize it when I stopped designing [for a while].

Did you study your particular field formally? Where?

I have an undergraduate degree in Business from Gujarat, India.

Where are you currently studying and what do you hope to do with your current studies/what is your focus?

I am currently studying for my Masters in Business Administration at the University of San Francisco. I enjoy analytics as much as design 🙂 I hope to do something that involves both after school.

Could you tell us about some of your work?

I like my jewelry pieces to be statement pieces, something that can be worn with multiple things. Something that’s timeless and not just trendy. I try to keep them eco-friendly and vegan. I don’t use any leather products because of personal beliefs.

When did you first discover your creative talents?

I am still discovering them 🙂 On a serious note I remember trying to make a head band with changeable colors when I was about 9.

What inspires you? How do you stay motivated?

Travelling and exploring traditional art forms always inspires me. When I can’t take international trips I love to take off in nature for a trek or walk and listen to music to stay motivated.

What is the hardest part about your work?

To manage all the other aspects like marketing and sales.

How would you describe your style?

This one is tough! Maybe a mix of elegant and edgy.

What is your approach to design? Or your method? Ritual?

My work is more material centric than design centric. I usually put music on, spread all the beads and material I have and play around with things until I am satisfied.

Any influences or anyone you look up to when it comes to designing?

I love traditional Indian jewelry. I also love Lanvin Jewelry.

What was the last thing you ate?

Peach Panna cotta

How do you bridge the gap between business and art?

It’s tough. I try to not make stuff just because there is a demand for it. So I take custom orders where customers want something specific. But otherwise I try to make stuff I love and I would like to keep if it doesn’t sell, which is probably not a good business idea.

Lastly, any words of advice for aspiring designers/artists?

Be fearless.

Tushita is truly an inspiration. We look forward to seeing what she creates next as she combines her business education with her creativity and love for art and design. Don’t forget to check out her virtual store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ ChechTJewelry or contact her if you are interested in custom orders.

Tushita’s Virtual Store.

The Beauty of Rinata

If you didn’t know, I only write about things that I love, food being one of them. Last week as I drove around looking for great Italian, I unexpectedly was drawn to Rinata, the quaint restaurant tucked between a bakery and a balloon shop.

Sitting down I was surprised at how simple and beautiful it was, then we met our server/bartender. His cool demeanor made us feel as if we were the only patrons in the busy restaurant. As we challenged him with questions on the menu, he nonchalantly stated that he knew pretty much nothing about it, as it had changed when he was on vacation, his vacation being a mere 4 days. Nevertheless, as any ignorant traveler, we kept asking him questions to the point where he had to go chill with the chef for a bit.

During our Rinata Q&A with our clueless yet elegant server, we decided on an appetizer. We were presented with baked eggplant stuffed with goat cheese and served on a red sauce.

Next we tried the spagetti and meatballs, as well as the calamari steak and pinto beans. The food was decadent, made in house, and savory. My mouth is watering as I type. Even though I was full to the point of pure exhaustion, we knew we had to try desert with the luck we were having. To our amazement, even the desert was delicious!! The peach cobbler was warm, sweet, and a la mode. The perfect finale.

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Rinata is in my top spot for Italian, and we’ll definitely be trying more of the menu before the end of 2012. Be well and until soon…

Style-Conscious Minneapolis Couple #1: Maconnie & Bryce

Autumn is here – and it is especially announcing itself in Minneapolis. Along with autumn comes change. And a shift in my blog posts is a fresh focus on style-conscious couples in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Might I add that they will all be stunning individuals, inside and out?

The first couple I am focusing on, Maconnie Dukuly and Bryce Lin, were a pleasure to interview. I met Bryce at a fashion event hosted at Le Meridian Chambers about two months ago. Bryce was proudly snapping photos of Maconnie as she confidently sauntered down the runway. Adrienne and I agreed that she was one of few models who looked like they were truly enjoying themselves. Maconnie and her beau came to mind quickly when I considered who to feature first!

LM: How would you describe your personal style?

MD: I go for comfort number one. I have to be comfortable in whatever it is I’m wearing. I also like a little bit of an edge to some of my style. I don’t want it to be so standard. Probably just a little bit of femininity, too because I’m definitely girly and fun.

BL: My personal style… I would say monochromatic minimalism. I wear a lot of black, grey, and white…

M: Such a nerd (laughing).

BL: (Laughing) Totally. Total nerd. But I also like enough detailing on it to have… enough, like she said, edge, so to avoid looking like a German nihilist from the 90’s.

LM: What impacts your style choices?

MD: I would say I like to stay on the trendy style. I’m in the modeling business, so I like to see and check out different styles that are coming out. I like to incorporate that into what I’m wearing a lot of times. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my vintage, as well. I love vintage.

BL: I would say my mood mostly. Some days you want to just wear t-shirt and jeans, just be comfortable. Other times, you want to dress up a little bit more, you want to add a little bit more flair to your outfit, just cause you feel like it that day. Mood is my number one factor.

LM: How does your identity relate to your style choices?

M: I would have to say the fact that I’m African, I’m Liberian, and a lot of times I rock my head wraps and I wrap my hair a lot because I do have natural hair, so that definitely impacts what I wear on a daily basis, yeah.

I have to say, Maconnie and other women with natural, curly hair especially, look stunning in ArielSimone headbands! Browse your options here, ladies!

BL: My profession is very laid back. It’s very laissez-faire, where I can work when I want to. I don’t have a dress code. I can wear what I want. I don’t tend to dress up for any particular event. I wear the same thing for night or daytime. This I would wear to work, maybe I wouldn’t button it all the way up. I tend to wear what I want when I want. My lifestyle and my profession afford that.

LM: How has dating your partner impacted your style choices?

MD: (Laughing). That’s a good one. It definitely has a major impact on what I like to wear. I’ve actually cut out color. He wears a lot of greys, and blacks, and whites. It actually ties into my lifestyle, too, because I’m going to cosmetology school and I wear a lot of black, but I really don’t see myself wearing any color ever since I’ve been hanging out with him.

BL: Once in awhile, not too often though.

MD: I try, but usually it’s my lips.

BL:  And with me, she encourages me to experiment – not necessarily pushing it. But when I’m thinking about trying something new it’s nice to have someone to bounce an idea off of and she’ll offer me an honest critique and, you know, not bullshit a response.

BL: You look good in everything honey (laughs).

LM: What is your favorite thing about the way that Bryce chooses to style himself?

MD: My favorite thing? That’s hard! I like a lot of things. I do like the fact that he’s more professional, casual most of the time. I like that we don’t always have to feel like we have to dress a certain way, we can just dress how we want regardless.

BL: I like that she’s never afraid to take an experiment. To have that edgy side of her.

MD: To step out of my boundaries?

BL: Yeah, to step out of your boundaries. She’s not worried about fitting in; she’s not worried about how people perceive her. She’s willing to try something new, just to try something new. And she’s not worried about how she comes across to anyone else except for her and me.

LM: What’s the favorite compliment that you’ve received together?

BL AND MD: (Both laughing)

BL: The most ridiculous one, we’ve gotten several times. It sounds narcissistic…

MD: You don’t have to put this in there!

BL: We’ve gotten this half a dozen times: that “you’d have beautiful babies together.”

MD: We’re still dating, we’re still dating.

BL: That’s the major – that’s the top one.

BL and MD: (Laughing).

While interviewing, it was beautiful to witness the playful energy between Maconnie and Bryce. Each truly listened to what one another was saying and frequently smiled, laughed, and nodded in agreement. The cutest fall couple of Minneapolis award goes to Maconnie and Bryce, so far. I can’t wait share our next interview soon!

Until soon,

Lauren Miller