Southern Chic Style

- Nanette Lepore: A Return to Pretty -

If you’ve shopped the contemporary department at Neiman Marcus or keep up with the mainstays in American fashion, you’ve most likely run across the beautiful boho styles of American designer Nanette Lepore. She visited Houston earlier this year at Neiman Marcus with a Dress for Dinner event, and I was able to sit down with the woman who began her business from a $5000 loan.

Nanette grew up in Ohio always wanting to sew. At 12, she convinced her Mom to let take a sewing class and made a lot of her own clothes. Nanette remembers buying Betsy Johnson patterns to make wide pants and jackets that her sister would then take once she completed it. With 2 brothers and 1 sister (now mostly dancers) growing up to a painter and Professor of Fine Arts father, the creative process came naturally in their family.

With a $5000 loan from Dad, the Fashion Institute of Technology educated designer opened a store-front between a gas station and a soup kitchen in NYC. The designer explained that she started studying Fashion Merchandising, but a professor saw her potential and told Nanette she really should be at FIT. Thanks to the support of her father and a great professor, we now have the gypsy-influenced collections at our fingertips Nanette Lepore turns out season after season.

When I asked Nanette where the boho influences come from, she told me of a short time they lived in California. Her father was in love with the west and moved their family to California for a little while when she was young. In the process, her father convinced the rest of their family to move to the west coast as well, but when he took a Professor job in Ohio, Nanette and her family moved back east. Summers were still spent on the West coast with family, so Nanette had the best of both worlds. The Painted Desert was a must-stop for she and her family on their many drives out west.

Having dressed the likes of Isabella Rosalini, Uma Thurman, and Sarah Jessica Parker (who wore a Nanette Lepore dress on Sex & the City that was featured in Elle in 2012), Nanette Lepore is a well-known constant in the world of American made designs and is a big proponent for the New York Garment District. 90% of the Nanette Lepore’s collection is made in New York City. This talented lady is also married to a Professor of Art (set-up by her Dad) with a beautiful daughter named Violet. Creativity abounds in the designers family… husband, father, and siblings! 

What was the inspiration behind Nanette Lepore Spring/Summer 2014?  Nanette described the collection as edgy romance. Like the torn floral she wore during our interview, the collection is a sort of “return to pretty” with a more structured/different edge. The designer also added shoes, handbags, and swim wear to her robust collection which you can see on the models on the runway and scattered throughout the Nanette Lepore selection at Neiman Marcus.

I truly enjoyed my time with Nanette learning of her hard work and perseverance to the incredible designer she is today! The beautiful collection speaks for itself, but the amazing lady behind Nanette Lepore brought another level of appreciation for the pretty pieces we see on the runway.

- Runway for a Cure Houston -

Occasionally you come across those really selfless individuals who take the opportunity to pour their heart and soul into something solely to give back in a major way. Anyone who has been around Houston at various events has probably come across the photographer Omar Mejia. Omar is one of those people. Usually donning a fedora, you’ll find Omar behind the lens at many events throughout the year. After he turned 30, Omar decided he wanted to have a celebration around his birthday every year without gifts and not even about him… the annual event now called “Runway for a Cure Houston” was created by Omar working with his fashion industry contacts and local businesses to raise money to give back to a charity of his choice.

Having now completed 3 years of “Runway for a Cure Houston” success, the event is a chance for Omar to step out from behind the camera with supporters to raise awareness and funds in one exciting night of fashion. This year’s event benefited the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society while previous years have included the American Cancer Society, SPCA, and Heart to Heart Animal Rescue.

The weather for the third annual “Runway for a Cure Houston” couldn’t have been better on Proof Bar + Patio’s rooftop. Drinks from Circulo Tequila flowed while everyone enjoyed delicious bites from Mi Luna Tapas (in Rice Village). Setting the stage for a runway filled with emerging local designers was seating from Any Occasion Party Rental. After an introduction from Omar himself, the models hit the catwalk in front of a packed house as the sun set in collections from Isrel Fonseca, Paola Contreras (Inclan Fashion), Stacks on Racks, Danny Nguyen Couture, and Jose Reyes. DJ KungFu kept the energy going from the runway to the after party while fashion lovers watched and mingled.

A few other fab bloggers and I had the pleasure of a special seating area and amazing swag from the sponsors like Azuz Boutique (gorg ring), Jentry Kelley Cosmetics (amazing nail polish), Little Soya, 002houston Magazine, and Aveda Concept Dionysus Salon.

While these things were all amazing, it was truly an honor to get to be a part of this fashion event for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Cancer has impacted my friends and family, and to be involved in events raising money to fund the research behind helping those impacted is near and dear to my heart. The beauty and glamour of fashion is typically front and center, but every single designer, business, service provider, and supporter gave from within to make Runway for a Cure Houston another great success for those battling blood cancers.

You can donate to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society online or find events around you to be involved in the cause. But, definitely mark your calendars for next year’s “Runway for a Cure Houston” with more excitement from Mr. Omar and other amazing Houstonians. “Like” the facebook page to get details when the time comes.

*Photos from Southern Chic Style, Mike Charlton Photography, & Scott McCombs (noted on each photo)
- Spring Trends: Floral and Orange -
While both orange and florals were trends last spring, too, I can’t get enough of the floral and orange pieces available this season! And, the two look amazing when put together like the model from the runway above. 

Use the trends to create an outfit or accessorize a basic look. Add an orange bag and floral blazer to a little black dress or with a white skirt with a coordinating tank in a hue from the blazer. If you bought a great orange or floral piece last spring, you’ll be excited to get to incorporate the trend for another season.

Floral is such a versatile print giving you the ability to pair it with every color present in the print you purchase. Everyone needs a floral blazer, bag, dress, or top to really make the spring shades pop. And, of course orange creates a bold statement when added to a print or with a neutral palette. Using garments you already own to create an outfit and adding a new orange and/or floral piece steps up your look from office attire to grabbing dinner with friends. Check out the orange and floral pieces below to find what will make your Spring & Summer wardrobe sing! 

Shop the Pieces (and more floral and orange):

- Spring Trends: Floral and Orange -

While both orange and florals were trends last spring, too, I can’t get enough of the floral and orange pieces available this season! And, the two look amazing when put together like the model from the runway above. 

Use the trends to create an outfit or accessorize a basic look. Add an orange bag and floral blazer to a little black dress or with a white skirt with a coordinating tank in a hue from the blazer. If you bought a great orange or floral piece last spring, you’ll be excited to get to incorporate the trend for another season.

Floral is such a versatile print giving you the ability to pair it with every color present in the print you purchase. Everyone needs a floral blazer, bag, dress, or top to really make the spring shades pop. And, of course orange creates a bold statement when added to a print or with a neutral palette. Using garments you already own to create an outfit and adding a new orange and/or floral piece steps up your look from office attire to grabbing dinner with friends. Check out the orange and floral pieces below to find what will make your Spring & Summer wardrobe sing!

Shop the Pieces (and more floral and orange):

- Monkeys, Caves, and The Brits -

 During our trip around Spain, the one place I really looked forward to the entire trip wasn’t even technically in Spain. Don’t get me wrong… I was excited to see places like Madrid, Seville, and Barcelona, but The Rock of Gibraltar with its tail-less monkeys and St. Michael’s cave had me giddy like a school girl. Gibraltar is a British territory, so we took a break from practicing our Spanish as they speak English just like the British do in England.

The day was warm as we were at the southern most point on Spain’s Iberian Peninsula, so a sleevless Carven animal print top with denim shorts with sailor buttons, Chanel sunnies, and the Marc Jacobs shoulder bag with sandals fit the needs of the day well.

Gibraltar has an unusual geographic situation being so close to Morocco only separated by a little water (you can see Morocco from the Rock) and being the tip of the Iberian Peninsula. Gibraltar’s inhabitants for the most part want to remain a part of Great Britain and are very passionate about NOT being part of Spain, as our guide for the day insisted. To get to Gibraltar when you’ve been in Spain, you need your passport and again to get back to Spain. Gibraltar and Spain have the most interesting airport/border situation. When you cross into/walk into Gibraltar, you show your passport then either walk across or get on a mini bus to take you up the mountain. Well, the only road into Gibraltar runs straight through their only airport landing/takeoff strip! (Which is super short, too) When a plane is landing or taking off, traffic has to stop (including those on foot crossing the runway). Again, this is the only way in… and out. There’s a slight bit of fear that overcomes you being in a small vehicle crossing where you just saw a jet take off… Thinking, surely a plane is about to land on us. We were fine, but you really should see this once in your life for yourself.

Once across the airport, we ventured up the Rock to St. Michael’s Cave. This cave full of stalagmites & stalagtites is also now the spot for numerous concerts, weddings, and events like pageants. Miss Spain was held in the beautiful cave. Incredible acoustics and an experience we won’t forget. But, our favorite part of Gibraltar was the Barbary apes! These are tail-less macaques (rock apes) that are pretty friendly. The mischievous monkeys will take an open purse/bag as an invitation to stick their hand in and grab whatever they find like a camera or phone. I knelt down to take a picture of the cute little baby monkey to which he thought was a great opportunity to try to grab my camera. Little stinker! You can see in the photos above (bottom left) how the macaques climb on the buses and sometimes end up inside if there’s an open window. And the bottom right photo is the baby macaques on his way to steal my camera that I snapped before the grab. They liked being given water from a bottle as my husband did.

The Rock of Gibraltar is full of tunnels used during WWII and other bits of history we viewed as the guide brought us back down the mountain. The views from the top and road on the way down are pretty incredible, too. At the recommendation of Lonely Planet, we grabbed lunch at the oldest bar in Gibraltar - The Star Bar. The hubby had fish & chips for a full British feel with typical English food on the menu and beer on tap.

There’s always a chance the border won’t be open to visitors on any given day, so we were so happy we made it to visit Gibraltar, her monkeys, rock, and historic areas. Another pass across the airport runway and we were back in Spain to continue on our adventure. 

- Fashion Houston: Nicole Miller ‘Just Wants to Have Fun’ -

Designer Nicole Miller closed out Night 2 of Fashion Houston with an energetic finale. As a Fashion Houston contributor, here’s my recap of her runway show from Fashion Houston’s blog.

Stripes, florals, lace details, and a print inspired by Versailles comprised designer Nicole Miller’s collection seen Night 2 of Fashion Houston. Models walked the runway with messy braids as headbands and shoes that complemented the collection.

The New York based, Texas born designer created pieces that are beautifully feminine while unique and edgy – sure to set any fashionista apart in a crowd. Black and white stripes were mixed with colorful florals, crop tops with high waisted skirts, and lace details adorning jackets, dresses, and frilly tops. Each garment contained design elements that flatter the female shape in modern silhouettes. Black and white stripes were even spotted on the back of the beautiful heels on the catwalk designed by Nicole Miller herself.

Miller’s backdrop for the lively show was a beautiful muted floral with columns and windows. Further emphasizing the feminine theme of the collection, the energetic finale had the crowd cheering as models danced down the runway in a group to Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” – such an exciting way to close out night 2! Dressing the country’s most fashionable since the 80’s, Nicole Miller continues to solidify with the style obsessed that her collection is still relevant, necessary in your closet, and on the top of shopping “must-have” lists season after season… especially with Spring 2014 seen at Fashion Houston!

http://fashionhouston.net/nicole-miller-recap-fashion-houston-2013/

- Fashion Houston 2013 -

Houston’s biggest week in fashion kicks off tomorrow presenting 19 designers over the 4 days (Nov. 12 - 15) of fierce fashion and parties! Be sure to buy your tickets at FashionHouston.net so you don’t miss out on designers from around the world like Yigal Azrouel, Nicole Miller, Catherine Deane, David Peck, and Bibhu Mohaptra. Tickets to the runway shows start at $29 up to $274 for VIP. 

Check out photos from last year’s amazing lineup and get your tickets to this year’s events at FashionHouston.net. Hope to see your stylish faces there!

- Mercedes Benz Fashion Week: Day 5 Schedule -
Through the weekend, Fashion Week in NYC continued with Zac Posen (photo from his Spring RTW ‘14 collection from Style.com) full of pastels and flowy fabrics, Monique Lhuillier, Diane von Furstenberg and more.
Looking forward to Reem Acra and Carolina Herrera along with a few others today! Here’s who’s showing and when on this lovely Monday (watch live streaming at MBFashionWeek.com):
September 09
9-10AM
MATHIEU MIRANO at STUDIO

10AM
CAROLINA HERRERA at THEATRE

11AM
TOMMY HILFIGER at PIER 94

1PM
PAMELLA ROLAND at STUDIO

2PM
HACHE at 531 WEST 36TH STREET

2:30-3:30PM
CZAR BY CESAR GALINDO at BOX

3PM
CONCEPT KOREA at STAGE

4PM
DONNA KARAN NEW YORK at 547 WEST 26TH STREET

5PM
FALGUNI AND SHANE PEACOCK at STUDIO

6PM
REEM ACRA at STAGE

7PM
KAUFMANFRANCO at THEATRE

8PM
LIBERTINE at STUDIO

- See more at: http://www.mbfashionweek.com/schedule#sthash.9tUAgZ7o.dpuf

- Mercedes Benz Fashion Week: Day 5 Schedule -

Through the weekend, Fashion Week in NYC continued with Zac Posen (photo from his Spring RTW ‘14 collection from Style.com) full of pastels and flowy fabrics, Monique Lhuillier, Diane von Furstenberg and more.

Looking forward to Reem Acra and Carolina Herrera along with a few others today! Here’s who’s showing and when on this lovely Monday (watch live streaming at MBFashionWeek.com):

September 09

- See more at: http://www.mbfashionweek.com/schedule#sthash.9tUAgZ7o.dpuf

Before the runway show started for Primavera with Simon Fashion Now presented by Cadillac at The Westin Oaks Houston at the Houston Galleria with Houston Modern Luxury Magazine. Runway surrounded by pool with looks from Neiman Marcus, Saks, Salvatore Ferragamo and more great Galleria stores!

Before the runway show started for Primavera with Simon Fashion Now presented by Cadillac at The Westin Oaks Houston at the Houston Galleria with Houston Modern Luxury Magazine. Runway surrounded by pool with looks from Neiman Marcus, Saks, Salvatore Ferragamo and more great Galleria stores!


How adorable are these littles ones in little Chloe!! So cute!

elle:

Too sweet: little Chloe @gkidsfw #GKFW @alexandalexacom

How adorable are these littles ones in little Chloe!! So cute!

elle:

Too sweet: little Chloe @gkidsfw #GKFW @alexandalexacom

 Glamour & Becky Malinsky sum up the Louis Vuitton F/W 2013 collection in two words - PJs & overcoats

glamour:

PJs and overcoats at the Louis Vuitton fall 2013 show today in Paris. Chic-est walk-of-shame I’ve ever seen! -Becky Malinsky

 See pictures from Vogue of the collection here:  http://m.vogue.com/fashion-week/fall-2013-rtw/louis-vuitton/review/

Glamour & Becky Malinsky sum up the Louis Vuitton F/W 2013 collection in two words - PJs & overcoats

glamour:

PJs and overcoats at the Louis Vuitton fall 2013 show today in Paris. Chic-est walk-of-shame I’ve ever seen! -Becky Malinsky

See pictures from Vogue of the collection here: http://m.vogue.com/fashion-week/fall-2013-rtw/louis-vuitton/review/

Beautiful blues from Valentino AW 2013 at Paris Fashion Week with pretty side braids.
More photos from the runway: http://www.canada.com/mobile/iphone/story.html?id=8051164&pg=2

Beautiful blues from Valentino AW 2013 at Paris Fashion Week with pretty side braids.

More photos from the runway: http://www.canada.com/mobile/iphone/story.html?id=8051164&pg=2

Karl Lagerfeld sends models “Around the world” for Chanel Fall/Winter 2013-14 at the Grand Palais in Paris today at Paris Fashion Week! The models walked in a circle around the spinning globe in Chanel’s tweed, tough accessories like box clutches, various hats, and more. Different colors of the globe clutch were seen as well next to thigh high leg warmers & boots with flirty skirts.
 See the rest of Metro UK’s photos from the Chanel RTW show here: http://metro.co.uk/2013/03/05/gallery-chanel-at-paris-fashion-week-2013-pfw-fw-2013-3526849/

Karl Lagerfeld sends models “Around the world” for Chanel Fall/Winter 2013-14 at the Grand Palais in Paris today at Paris Fashion Week! The models walked in a circle around the spinning globe in Chanel’s tweed, tough accessories like box clutches, various hats, and more. Different colors of the globe clutch were seen as well next to thigh high leg warmers & boots with flirty skirts.

See the rest of Metro UK’s photos from the Chanel RTW show here: http://metro.co.uk/2013/03/05/gallery-chanel-at-paris-fashion-week-2013-pfw-fw-2013-3526849/

How could you not love Karlie Kloss on the Burberry Prorsum runway at London Fashion Week? Sporting her short new do (which I saw up close leaving Lincoln Center at New York Fashion Week!!), Karlie made her Burberry runway debut. And, we adore the hearts seen in Christopher Bailey’s Fall 2013 collection that some are saying are inspired by the Instagram hearts :) ❤ Accompanying the heart prints in the Burberry Prorsum Fall 2013 collection were elegant column dresses and outwear covered in metal eyelets. As usual, Burberry’s classic style was beautiful & elegant & looked amazing on the top model!

Read Elle’s interview with Karlie Kloss on her Burberry trench, new do, and more: http://www.elle.com/_mobile/news/fashion-style/karlie-kloss-burberry-interview?q5300022=1&spr_id=1448_7032913

How could you not love Karlie Kloss on the Burberry Prorsum runway at London Fashion Week? Sporting her short new do (which I saw up close leaving Lincoln Center at New York Fashion Week!!), Karlie made her Burberry runway debut. And, we adore the hearts seen in Christopher Bailey’s Fall 2013 collection that some are saying are inspired by the Instagram hearts :) ❤ Accompanying the heart prints in the Burberry Prorsum Fall 2013 collection were elegant column dresses and outwear covered in metal eyelets. As usual, Burberry’s classic style was beautiful & elegant & looked amazing on the top model!

Read Elle’s interview with Karlie Kloss on her Burberry trench, new do, and more: http://www.elle.com/_mobile/news/fashion-style/karlie-kloss-burberry-interview?q5300022=1&spr_id=1448_7032913

I’m heading out of NYC, but day 7 of New York Fashion Week is underway today! Watch your favorites live online.

I’m heading out of NYC, but day 7 of New York Fashion Week is underway today! Watch your favorites live online.

Ran into the lovely Ken Downing (Neiman Marcus fashion director) with Monica of Classy & Fabulous before the Badgley Mischka show at NYFW  (at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week)

Ran into the lovely Ken Downing (Neiman Marcus fashion director) with Monica of Classy & Fabulous before the Badgley Mischka show at NYFW (at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week)