P.R. Ep. 11: “Heidi has like… 105 kids”

This week the designers meet Heidi at Babies ‘R Us where she introduces them to her newest venture Truly Scrumptious, affordable clothing for babies size newborn-24 months. The designers are then challenged to create a look for her line, the winning boy and girl look is going to be sold at all Babies ‘R Us as a part of Truly Scrumptious.

Heidi provides the fabric and notions from her collection, then they are introduced their clients and given 30 minutes to sketch. When they reach the sewing room they find a dossier of the current Truly Scrumptuous collection along with baby mannequins and mechanical babies that they have to take care of during the duration of the challenge.

When Heidi comes in to check up on the designers she presents them with a twist, they also have to make an additional piece for the mother to wear in compliment to their baby’s look.

Top Boy and Girl Look

Boy – Sonjia

She made a great sportswear suit, the cutest three-piece suit ever. Instead of traditionally making a suit of wool she made it with sweat suit material, making this look very wearable and comfortable.  I love how she wanted him to look like a grown man, and her model Jude was the cutest baby ever. The mom’s look was gorgeous also, I would buy that look tomorrow if I saw it.

Girl – Christopher

Even though he had the most difficult, picky client, he did the best job in sticking to his guns and designing a formal set of floral dresses for both the toddler and mother. The femininity of both looks was whimsical and sweet, ultimately bringing him a win.

Bottom Look

Melissa

This tight ruched dress didn’t work for the toddler with her diaper hanging out of the bottom. Unfortunately, the vest that she made was awesome, but this dress just didn’t work for the busy toddler.

Who to Watch

Melissa – The designers complain about her time management skills, she barely finished this week. Her designs in general just aren’t memorable, thinking back through the past episodes I literally don’t remember any looks that she’s done.

I’m so excited for next week’s episode! The next elimination will bring the top designers to the Fashion Week collection and I can’t wait to see who goes home!

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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!

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!

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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 Art & Healing of Yoga by Nkechi

The Art & Healing of Yoga by Nkechi

Wow, what difference morning yoga makes! I had the most amazing day last Saturday– I challenged myself to double up on two morning yoga classes, which is something that I have never done before. And it was particularly special since both classes were offered in non-traditional spaces and were sized at over 100 yogis.

The first class was the Flavorpill event the Art of Yoga. My guess is that 300 or more yogis gathered at the SFMOMA for a free class taught by Elise Lorimer. We were greeted by Naked Juice reps (delicious smoothies and coconut water) and DJ J Boogie was awesome at creating a fun practice environment with music.


The class was a pretty advanced beginner Vinyassa class, which makes sense given the large group and the diverse yoga levels. There wasn’t  a whole lot of room to do crazy balances and inversions however I did feel incredibly strong and present in my practice and was able to nail a couple of balances that I have been working on for a couple weeks.




My new yoga friends from lululemon athletica (above) and I rushed from SFMOMA to SF Union Square for another amazing massive yoga class—this one being for cancer research.  Yoga for Hope is amazing event for yoga beginners and experts created from the City of Hope’s efforts to expand awareness of the importance of the mind-body-spirit connection. As an integrated wellness practitioner, I love the way that this facility incorporates complimentary and integrative therapies such as yoga and meditation in the patient treatment programs; it is so needed in the hospitals! I bet there were at least 400 people there! It was such a gorgeous, sunny day and the class was both reflective and restorative.  

Last year, Yoga for Hope raised over $30,000! It was so powerful to offer prayer and acknowledgements to those we know whom cancer, diabetes and HIV have affected. I love offering my practice to others, and it was really meaningful to me to think of those in my life who have or have had a chronic illness.  The cool part about this event is that after the yoga class, there were several workshops and demonstrations offered. My favorite was the Whole Foods workshop where we could sample a delicious quinoa breakfast salad as well as organic granola and fresh organic fruit.

Post yoga glow— I was feeling extremely revitalized and amazing and I had so much of the day left! This ArielSimone headband is one of my recent favorite things to wear to class, as it keeps hair and sweat from my eyes. This top is also ArielSimone and can be worn to and from yoga over any yoga tank or sports bra– I love that it nicely converts to a casual outfit after class. It was perfect post-yoga outfit for the errands that I ran in the city before rushing off to meet up with friends. 

Powerful words to reflect on….

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.

~ Denis Waitley

VMA’s Red Carpet

I had no idea the VMA’s were going to be on last week, so when I tuned into the TV to prep for Project Runway I was suprised to see host Kevin Hart on VH1.  I love watching the Red Carpet for new trends and avant garde styles and here i’ll review a few men’s and women’s looks in case you missed it. P.S. Amber Rose is pregnant by her rapper beau Wiz.

Top Women’s Looks

Love this crisp, simple look that Taylor gives. Monotone and beautiful proving that white is wonderful after Labor Day!

Another great monotone look, Kat is wearing this fall’s hottest color: Burgandy. Aren’t these shoes amazing?

Emma looks beautiful in this look! Bright, but still a great look for fall with the cap sleeve and printed skirt. A great way to segway the colorblocking trend into fall is to make sure that it includes black, or burgandy, like Emma’s top.

Bottom Looks of the Evening

This sequin jumper looks poorly made, and the sequins should be seamless on the sides. It looks like she took a size 2 and cut it up and made it into a size 6 then filled in the spaces with black mesh, like we wouldn’t notice, hm….

Here’s another jumpsuit that looks ridiculous. I’m pretty sick of Nikki Minaj at this point, and her trompe l’oeil lingerie isn’t working for me, and it’s definitely not working for her.

Who is this and why is she wearing body slimming garments and trying to pass them off as clothes? This is what happens when thespians try to dress themselves.

Top Men’s Looks

RuPaul looks great in this colorblocking look. I’m personally not a fan of men having their toes out to events, but hey, if you’ve got pretty feet, why not rock ’em?

It’s nice to see Pauly D in a suit. There’s nothing special about it, but you can tell he is trying, and doing a good job at finally growing up.

The One Direction crew looks great, and I love how they all look so unique and different. Definite props to their stylist.

Bottom Look

::shaking my head in disappointent:: I really have no words for this one.

If you took off every piece of jewelry, this look would work. I love the monotone looks and am excited to see more for fall. I also love men’s leather tops! Make sure to check out host Kevin Hart’s looks of the evening for another great leather top.

Until our next red carpet – get inspired by a celeb look and try it out for yourself!

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P. R. Ep 8: Street Hustle

This week the designers are shocked to find out that they are doing fundraising on the streets of NY to raise money for fabrics to be used on their next challenge. They are put into collaborative teams of three and sent into the designing room.

They are given plain white T-shirts and tanks to decorate with glitter and ribbon, then they take on the pedestrian New Yorkers.

Their challenge is to create 2 fall looks with one of the looks including outerwear.

Christopher, Gunnar, Sonjia –

This team created the top looks this week, with Sonjia as the winner for her forest green 3/4 sleeve jacket. This jacket looked impeccable and I personally loved the detail in the front, it looked wonderfully tailored. The coat that they showed was also really nice and I loved the cutoff long leather gloves! Gunnar’s dresses featured great blocking with the dark leather, he definitely made up for being on the bottom last week. This team worked well together and it definitely showed.

Dmitry, Elena, Alicia –

Dmitry created a great dress, but his grandma shawl was a bust. We’ve seen his outside seaming done before, so this time I wished he would have put the seams on the inside. I don’t like the color or cut of the top on the second look and Elena’s jacket is too large for the model and the silhouette of the clothing underneath. In general the two looks mesh almost as badly as the team members did.

Ven, Melissa, Fabio –

This team didn’t fare so well this week either. To start, I don’t like the color pallet, but I loved the styling. The white crop jacket is great, but the skirt length on the second look is matronly. The knit that is used for both of the tops is a bit too tight and way too sheer. The judges didn’t like these two looks at all and are questioning what happened at the fabric store, since they raised $800, more than any other team. Their looks could have been found at the bottom of a bin from the second-hand store.

Who to Watch

Elena – When will she get it? We’re all sick of her negative attitude… Her clothes are getting as bad as her anger issues.

Sonjia – Through and through, she stays true to her aesthetic, and she’s starting to become the clear winner in my mind!

Next week there are only 8 designers, and this coming week the top 5 of them will be showing their collection for NYFW…I have a slew of friends in NYC who will have the inside scoop, so stay tuned for our next P.R. episode post!!

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P.R. Ep. 7: Lord & Taylor Challenge

Welcome back! This week is our 7th Project Runway recap  and 9 designers remain. This episode opens with the designers meeting Tim at the Lord & Taylor flagship store. There they get to view 9 mannequins with past season contestants’ designs on display for the Project Runway 10 year anniversary collection that Lord & Taylor will be presenting.

They are then challenged to create an evening or cocktail dress to join the other 9 looks for the anniversary collection that will be manufactured by Lord & Taylor and sold at the flagship store and online and it must retail between $200-$300. The winning look will be featured in the 5th Ave window display.

President  of L&T Bonnie Brooks is this weeks the guest judge, and challenges them to make sure that they design for the Lord & Taylor customer who is stylish, loves fashion and has great taste.

Elena breaks down in this episode because she’s not sure she can take her avant garde aesthetic into the mass market. Everyone seems pretty nervous about production except Ven, of course! The designers and judges are both annoyed at Christian’s raw edge technique, and to be frank, I’m getting annoyed with it too. JS collection has provided fabric and notions for this challenge and will be the manufacturer for the winning design.

Top

Christopher

He created a detailed and sleek look that is great for the high-end client, and the colors are great. Once again, though, he uses his signature fabric technique.

Ven

I love his technique, and honestly am not sick of it yet, but it’s nothing new coming from him either. This dress is chic and beautiful, and could fit so many different types of bodies.

Fabio

This look is sleek and elegant, but at the same time very simple. There are many different looks that I think you can get from this silhouette,  but it is still trendy with the asymmetrical hem.

Bottom

Alicia

The dropped waist and high neckline were not flattering, and the fabric did not suit this silhouette very well. I am rooting for Alicia though, I really like her personality.

Who to watch

Elena – She’s gone through every emotion this week, and I’m curious to see if her being on the top after her breakdown will bring her to new heights for the next challenge.

Another team challenge is coming up on Thursday, and it looks like there’s going to be even more drama! Tune in at 8-CST on the Lifetime network to check it out.

The Trek to Travail

This past week I got the pleasure of dining at Travail, the newest hot spot in Robbinsdale, MN. Referred to me by two of my foodie friends, Travail surely lives up to its meaning – to be of a painful or laborious effort. The staff unwaveringly provided constant effort to please us guests. The experience is unmatched in its New American food options, and presentation.

With al a carte options, and two tasting menus (8 and 15 courses) available daily starting at 5pm Tues-Sat; this restaurant takes no reservations, so come early or wait at your own risk.

After getting a firm grasp on drinks, a non-stop barrage of courses, bites and shooters are delivered until you leave the place comparing it to the fullness that one might get from the state fair. Each day the staff prepares a farm-to-table menu of courses, and on this particular evening I was lucky enough to taste beef tartar, butternut squash antipasta, rabbit three ways with panna cotta, rib eye, peach ice cream with roasted peaches, among many other things. Below is a glimpse of the smattering of delicious eats and treats at one of my top foodie spots.

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Make sure to check it, and be sure you go hungry!!