|Posted by Miikelle DeFo on February 22, 2012 at 11:10 PM||comments (0)|
SO the drama has finally died down. I can exhale. It was a great trip all the way around. Where do I begin?
NEW YORK – Plitzs New York Fashion Week was AMAZING. I think it was a smashing success. I met a lot of great contacts and fantastic designers while I was there. I again had some great models. The team there put on a great show and as always there were some comical moments that added to the event. For instance, I don’t know what it is about me, I always lose a model on the day of the show. And true to form I had a model show up on Friday for her fitting, which I was coming in fresh off the road to. Well come Saturday at 5pm she was not there. I was informed by another model that she wasn’t coming. NICE. Thanks to a fast acting backstage manager I had a new model in hair & makeup in less than 5mins. The advantage of being in a room packed with models. Another great save was when one of my models thought combat boots were going to work with my collection. I’m so glad I didn’t have to jump in and say anything. He stepped up and told her she had lost her mind, asked her shoe size and in 5 minutes returned with borrowed heels.
From what I hear the runway show went off without a hitch. I was forced to walk the runway but it wasn’t so bad. The press junket was nice and gave me a moment to introduce myself and my collection. Hopefully something great will come of it. If anything I can say I got to show at a show in NYC during Fashion Week. Here are some of the runway shots by Revenge Fashion Magazine.
CHARLOTTE, NC - Night in the Garden was another hit. We pulled off a great night of fundraising. We raised $1000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. My team was the only reason we were able to pull of this success. Shout out to Limitless Possibilities PR’s Lauren Price who was like me right hand, no who am I kidding, she was my right, left hand and foot and sometimes by brain. Our photographer/promoter Sue Sidzina & Cris Anler, and website guru Larosa Johnson. We had some wonderful sponsors, Clutch Auto Magazine who brought the Gucci Fiat (Stateline Fiat) and 2 more cars to shuttle our guest to and from their cars. And don’t forget the always accommodating Vanlandingham Estate who rolled up the red carpet, no literally.
And yet again I lost a model, at least this time she called the night before. Thanks to a fast acting model I had a replacement in hair and makeup before I got there. Oh and let’s not forget the great team of hair and makeup artist at Paul Mitchell the School who took great care of us. And the ladies looked great form head to toe thanks to Heels.com for sponsoring the shoes.
The reception of the line was amazing. Everyone loved the collection. I even had a model wanting to buy the dress she was wearing. Creative Loafing was there to report on the event, oh how I hate interviews, but she was great, thanks Lauren. I also did an interview with Clutch. We also had artist Steffan Duncan who contributed a piece for the silent auction and did a live painting.
As a special thank you to all who attended I offered them 20% off any item from the collection until April 1st. I would love to thank everyone who helped and showed support by attending. I had a blast and it was far less stressful than last year. I can’t wait until next year. Check out the photos in the Photo Gallery.
|Posted by Miikelle DeFo on January 30, 2012 at 9:20 AM||comments (0)|
A fine wine just gets better with time. A well-aged Scotch gets smoother. The jury is in and it wants to be an expensive alcoholic beverage. But in the world of human beings, getting older means a lot more than the general wisdom over pricey booze. Being wiser, having priorities in life settled, a certain calm comes over you. Now here’s the bad news: We all know as women we all know what getting older means, worrying about our looks more.
So since I will be turning 34 this summer, (feel free to gasp because I can't believe it), I wanted to talk about how to look great at any age and what you can do to continue to age beautifully.
After reading article after article I have found a few tips that I plan to put to the test. They seem simpler than Botox or a facelift.
SKIN: First the face since this is the first thing people see it is important to put our best face forward. Most importantly you have to clean your face daily, really twice daily. This will help to keep a clean pallet to start from and will keep blemishes down. There are a few makeup tricks that can help us look young, and some foods that can help too. Great article “Top 5 Foods for Beautiful Skin” from Discovery Fit & Health is a great place to start your studies.
LIP GLOSS. I know it seems like a kid thing, especially since my daughter can’t live without it. But it will make your lips look more luscious and full. A pink coral or blue-based pink will work on most skin tones and will also make your teeth look white. I love multitasking. I am a fan of not spending too much on things. Here’s one of my favorites. In this case a little color goes a long way.
Rimmel London Stay Glossy – Stay My Rose (2176) or Fuchsia Fever (2318)
EYEBROWS, they frame your face and help give you a fresh wide awake look. It is important to groom and have them look full, not crazy. All you need is an eyebrow pencil to fill in the gaps that time has caused. The color needs to be slightly lighter or darker than your hair color to help them pop. Remember I said slightly. Don’t forget to set them with a clear brow gel.
Want that fresh youthful glow you once had? You can get it back with a little dusting. Bronzing power is an item you don’t want to leave home without applying. Find a hue that mimics the shade your skin turns with a light tan, and apply with a blush brush instead of a larger powder brush.
HAIR, aargh! What’s the big deal with a little gray hair? I got mine and I earned them. A few were gifts from the husband and kids. As with everything it’s about the confidence you wear your “do” with that will make the difference. I have seen some beautiful silver haired ladies in my own family and it wasn’t due to age but how they worked it.
FASHION, my favorite! Next it’s all about how you dress. Instead of holding onto an image that is associated to a former time in your life, learn to let go and move on. A large part of looking attractive at various stages of life is knowing what works for you and doesn't. Show your confidence by wearing what you know makes you feel and look good. Let go of what doesn't. The key is taking ownership of your self-image, but being flexible as it changes. Select fashions that highlight your best features and learn how to de-emphasize others. If you have great legs, show them off. They are often the last feature on women to show age. It may mean replacing your mini skirt with a mid-calf one and choosing low heels over three-inch, pointy ones. But, when you take strong, confident steps in comfortable stylish shoes, wearing outfits you feel great in, you will look attractive at any age. Try experimenting with new colors and interesting fabrics that show off the changes you see in your face and body. Instead of shopping at your old haunts that worked when you were in your 20s and 30s, find stores and designers that make you feel great about yourself. You are always changing, so allow your sense of style to change as well.
Accessorize boldly. Try sporting something you haven't ever worn before -- a red handbag, a bright scarf or bold jewelry. Experiment with flamboyant, bright colors. It's an option men don't have, so take pleasure in it! Some women, who never enjoyed short skirts or high heels, are more comfortable taking risks as they age by accessorizing their outfits. Bigger, brighter and bolder accessories when matched with sophisticated age-appropriate clothes keep you looking current and show a sense of style that is ageless.
So yes you are getting older but aren’t we all. Do it gracefully and beautifully. Look to women you respect or ladies in your family for inspiration. Hey my mom was hot even in her 50s so I can only hope to follow the legacy of her timeless beauty.
|Posted by Miikelle DeFo on January 16, 2012 at 11:30 AM||comments (0)|
Most people, students and employers and employees, look forward to Friday all week long. Some Fridays exhibit more of a clarity than others and you know exactly what you’re looking forward too. The children were off with grandparents. I had fittings everyday and a lot of work to do. I anticipated the fun of attempting to tame the coming storm of chaos without any worries about my creatively energetic children. And yes, it took me a long time to come up with a nice way to say it. And no, I really don’t have all that much going on this weekend, but it sounded much less pathetic than simply saying, “The kids are gone, I win.”
The best mom can use a weekend here and there.
It all began with a trip to Northlake Mall. I was meeting one of my models for the upcoming show, “Night in the Garden.” I was early so I went to window shop. Yes, a designer who actually shops. I don’t do it often but I needed some pants. Man the mall was crazy with sales. I went to one of my favorite stores, New York & Co. Their clothes fit my style so well. They have these pants that are so comfortable to wear and look really great. I quickly found three pairs at the 70% off rack. What makes it better is that they are a size smaller than I thought I wore! I’m not sure how I stopped myself from doing a touchdown celebration. I got three pairs of pants for $35 that’s what one pair cost at regular price. The fitting went great, a few tweaks and we could all pretend that perfection is real.
So back at home I made a wonderful shrimp and crab pasta in white wine vodka sauce, very, very delicious. I worked and watched a movie. Little did I know that things would really pick up on Saturday. After realizing how seriously cold it was. I mean it was 25 degrees, I wasn’t going out there. By ten, I finally left the house, just to hurry back to meet with my other two models. I’m glad I had them come at the same time because we played musical dresses (like musical chairs but with clothes). Snap, crackle, pop, we were done. The girls would be gorgeous on the runway. Another touchdown. Another missed chance at a celebration dance. I’m actually glad I saved it.
After a long night of TV and sewing I went to bed. You look forward to the quiet time, but you only end up thinking about your kids. Early to rise, not really, Sunday morning at 8am. I was getting ready for my ride, exercise is important, when I decided to check my email. SO SO SO glad I did. There was an email from a fashion marketing group to participate in a show during Fashion Week in NYC. I took my time and thought about it for about a fifth of a second. Then I jumped up, woke my husband and had a quick moment to reflect. I ran back got the number made the call. Within five minutes I had the CEO on the phone telling me that he loved my website and that I was preapproved. After a vigorous hour on the bike I paid for my spot and was on cloud nine. I’m sorry if you’ve never had a weekend where you scored 18 points. You should go for it. My TD celebration is pretty good, I won’t describe it, but it’s pretty good.
2012 looks to be a great year. I have big plans and this is going to be just the beginning. Now I have to really get cracking since the NYC show is a week before the Night in the Garden show. What an opportunity. See you in the Big Apple. Do that dance.
|Posted by Miikelle DeFo on January 13, 2012 at 10:55 AM||comments (0)|
As a personal designer and custom clothing maker for clients I am often confronted with the same problem: When it comes to fashion, women are not always fond of reality. As is, every trend is not for you. We want one thing and sometimes that one thing is not made for our body type and won’t look as good as we are so sure it will. A big challenge to my job is to offer these trends and make them look good on as many “types” as I can. In most cases people will judge the designer not the wearer when an outfit or dress is custom made. Therefore, I decided to discuss body types and the styles that accent the positive and mask some of the flaws of each type.
In essence there are many types but for the purpose we will discuss the main four: Hourglass, Rectangle, Pear and Inverted Triangle.
Curves for days? You got everything in good proportions. It is important to keep hips and shoulders balances to show off that shape. Belts are always worn at the waist. Avoid boxy cuts that don’t show you r shape. You don’t have to wear tight clothes but don’t go to the other extreme. Suggestions:
• criss-cross under bust to emphasize shape.
• horizontal patterns
• pencil skirts or high waist skirts
• tailored jackets and pants
In this case you carry the bulk of your weight in the middle. Your hips and shoulders are about the same measurement with your waist measurement being very close to the same. This is the case for a lot of women I know. So what do you do to create a waistline and curves? You want to avoid drawing attention to your waistline, or lack thereof. Don’t wear boxy clothing or pants/skirts with too much detail at your middle. Show off your legs with some fancy footwear. Some suggestions:
• empire cut dresses
• swirly prints to add softness to your silhouette
• flare leg pants
• create shape with tailored jackets with a nip and flare at the waist to fake the curves.
Baby Got Back! Your hips are the largest measurement with narrow shoulders. Also, have a defined waistline. You want to direct attention upward away from the hips. Wear full collars, scarves that drape you horizontally. You want to avoid anything with details that cross the hipline like low slug belts and tops that have wide bottoms. Some suggestions:
• jackets with large lapels and strong shoulders
• dark bottoms with graphic tops
• boot cut or flare legged pants and jeans
• a-line skirts
Is your bust your biggest measurement? Then you are an Inverted Triangle. What you want to do is distract from your shoulders to your slender hips. Wearing low slug belts will draw attention down from your bust. Avoid large lapels and shoulder pads and tight tops that button up. Suggestions:
• jackets that cinch in at the waist and flare at hips to create illusion of hip volume
• slim skirts to make hips look wider
• stripes or details on bottom to draw attention to hips and legs
Keep these tips in mind when shopping and when getting dressed. Have fun with it. Work what you got in confidence, it’s the best accessory.
|Posted by Miikelle DeFo on January 9, 2012 at 2:10 PM||comments (0)|
Welcome back. After a short, much needed vacation witness my triumphant return to blog writing. Are you there? Is this thing on? The vacation was only from writing since I have been in a mad dash to complete all the looks from the Fall 2012 line to show in February. Most people would think that five weeks is more than enough time to finish four looks. It would be if I could focus and stop changing what I am doing.
So my weekend went like this: late night Friday babysitting for a friend, which means five kids under eight with just me to watch them. I can proudly say that no one was hurt and all left happy, well, at least they all left. I also had a model fitting with a new model. She is a character and the dress looked good on her. Saturday morning was a little trying. After devoting some time to my spiritual life I was home and determined to make some head way. I had finished creating the new pattern pieces on my lunch hour at work, multitasking, so all I had to do was cut out the muslin pieces for use. I had all of them cut by five pm. That is for all five looks. I’m using the word “five” a lot today, aren’t I?
Then my nerves started acting crazy. Because I was tired and didn’t want to screw it up, I was scared to cut into the real fabric. Therefore, I pushed pause on that job until Sunday. Come Sunday night after watching the gut-wrenching upset of the Steelers final post season game I laid out the fabric and started on the origami dress. I decided to mix up the colors for the bodice, per a friendly suggestion. I cut out the fabric, marked, folded and pressed it. By eight o’clock I was at my sewing machine praying not to screw it up. And to my surprise it came together with no problems. So, excited and inspired to continue, I did just that. By bed time I had the bodice complete. I went to bed happier than my hometown Steerlers fan husband. This evening I will get the other parts done and by days’ end I should have a complete look. Here is a sneak peak at one half of the top portion:
In the next blog I will discuss some of the other ills of a fashion show. I am working on selecting hair and makeup for both the runway show and the installation models during the VIP hour. There are still tickets available at www.NightintheGardenNC.com so you can see how it all comes together.
|Posted by Miikelle DeFo on December 31, 2011 at 12:35 AM||comments (0)|
Well it’s that time again. Time to start making plans for the New Year and all that we plan to accomplish. I figured since this was my last trend article of 2011 I would focus on what the New Year should bring. I know we all make these resolutions to do better, eat better, save better, just be better than we were in the year prior. Well I think it is a good time to plan to look better. I’m not saying that you don’t have style but we could all use a makeover every now and again, why not make a plan to overhaul or tweak your style. So in this week’s addition of the Trend Notes I will be giving you some tips on how to up your style game for the New Year. We will look at hot hair and make-up trends for 2012 that will take your style to the next level.
Let us start from the top - hair. What is the hot, must-have hairstyle to set off your style? As with everything, retro is seen here too. I tweeted about this article last week from Fashioning.com (www.fashionising.com/trends/b--2012-hairstyles-2012-haircuts-2012-hair-trends-4338.html) I think runway is great but not always what you want to wear everyday to work and play. So here are some of the trends that came down the runway that can be versatile for everyday.
For ladies with long locks who don’t want to cut. These styles are easy to manage since most of the look is just curling the back but they look luxurious and will fit into your lifestyle. And with these styles you can jazz it up with different hair accessories to complement your outfit or agenda.
For ladies with less to work with or who want to cut up a little there are these cute styles. Again we are looking at ease of the look while giving it lift and personality. With this first look you can add as much curl or as little as you like. It is sleek and fun at the same time.
And for the daring ladies that want to go for the big chop, here are the cuts I love. Chops and cuts are not just for the steakhouse anymore. Who knows? Come spring I might be wearing one of these myself. Star style doesn’t mean you have to be in the movies to rock it. Be the star of your life with this look. It’s carefree and easy to maintain plus can go from day to evening and can be switched up depending on your mood. And if you really wanna cut it all off and save time with styling there’s the ever enduring Pixie Crop from the 70’s. I wear it off and on and it never goes out of style.
Now that we have our hair did let’s move to make up. This is simpler and trends can change on a whim. I like to adjust my personal style based on how feisty I am feeling. Harpers Bazaar had a wonderful slide show of the hottest makeup trends for 2012 from the runway. I think these will fit every lady depending on what you have to do and your own personal style. Mix it up and have fun. Spring is around the corner and color is still great for the Winter. Here are my favorite looks:
Reds: Do a pop on the lip and keep it the rest neutral for drama or darken the eyes for more drama. And really any shade will work. Just find the right one for your skin tone and work it.
Brows are back. I am so glad for this. Although it works for some, I hated the super thin style, but now a return to bold brows means that I can once again walk and drive with my eyes open.
And neutral is always glamorous especially if you hit the cheeks with a little color. This is a great daytime work look, clean and simple but cute.
So ladies now is the time to upgrade your style and if you’re looking for new clothes to match the new you check out my web store to see how you can get a custom style assessment for the new you.
|Posted by Miikelle DeFo on December 26, 2011 at 1:05 PM||comments (0)|
Despite the fact that was supposed to be off work and my kids in Columbia on Friday, neither of which happened, I did manage to work on a new look for February. More like a trial on the concept from my transformational reconstruction book. Right sometimes an error can turn into a great design. What I was testing was a fabric choice, which I think will work well. Development of the concept can sometimes be easy but execution it sometimes more difficult.
Fabric is the most important decision you can make when you try to develop a new design. it had to be the right weight for it. That will affect the drape or hang of the garment. I found a great guide in an article that I read (http://www.coletterie.com/fabric-haberdashery/choosing-fabric-weight-vs-drape). If you don't choose the right fabric all your hard work will be for nothing because the garment won't have the look at you had in mind.
For my project I chose a fabric that was similar to what I wanted to use because I had it on hand already. What I did use did not give me look I was going 4, but demonstrated that the fabric that i want to use will give me to look I want. It is always best to test a sample piece of fabric before you commit to buying yardages of it. You will be frustrated because you wasted money and the garment doesn't work. I was looking for a fabric this drape but enough body to hold its shape when I put it together. From the chart I referenced earlier I decided on Shantung over Dupioni since it is slightly smoother in appearance. This fabric also has the sheen of a dull satin but is not as heavy. It will give me the look and feel I want for two of the dresses I am using in the installation during the VIP cocktail hour. If you want to get a sneak peak of the Fall 2012/2013 Collection get tickets at www.NightintheGardenNC.com
|Posted by Miikelle DeFo on December 20, 2011 at 12:45 AM||comments (0)|
This weekend's addition is a little different. I have so much going on both in my business and in the family that I didn't have a lot of time to work on my normal project but I did do some work. As the end of the year approaches and I have big plans at the start of the year. I have looked at my house and found that I want it to be more like home since I will be so busy working on building this empire. So I have been shopping for paint supplies and organizational tools to make my homelife more organized and simple.
We have decided to paint every room downstairs. It started with the living room then we evaluated and thought it was a good a time as any to make a big change. So in 2 weeks we will paint the livingroom, dining room, bathroom and some of the kitchen. I say 2 weeks cause the kids will be out of town. This weekend I gathered the supplies and started with the cleanout and organizing part.
Mind you I am doing this while also doing a major business overhaul and redirection. I have made a production schedule and am using the event in February to showcase the new look of the company and our new goals. I have been partnering with some wonderful people including, Limitless Possiblities PR, CLUTCH Magazine, VanLandingham Estate and Boxman Studios to make this event amazing. For more on that go to www.NightintheGardenNC.com
Anyway back to the overhaul of the weekend. I (we) have selected the colors and will start the actual painting this evening. Unfortunately it will probably talk the whole 2 weeks to get it done since we both have full-time jobs. We plan on having the kids help over the weekend since they will be home. We are babysitting our own kids, how crazy.That is bound to be interesting. I will post pics on the progess by the end of the week.
Oh I am still working on all my sketches and fabric selection for the SS2013 collection, yes 2013 and it's not even 2012 yet. Gotta stay ahead or be left behind. I'll talk more about that in the Lesson Learned edition later in the week.
|Posted by Miikelle DeFo on December 16, 2011 at 8:00 AM||comments (0)|
The tally is in and Pantone has finally named the color of Spring 2011, thank you very much. Drum roll please! And…Tangerine Tango has won the top spot. Please hold your applause. Bold and lively is what's in for Spring. In September, the runway has been splashed with Tangerine spice. Here’s to tango not costing too much cash (that was one for the older peeps).
Anyway, here are some of my favorite looks featuring this hot color.
Elie Tahari Spring 2012 RTW Photo: Filippo Fior / GoRunway.com
Nanette Lepore Spring 2012 RTW/Photo: Alessandro Viero / GoRunway.com
When wearing this color you’re definitely making a statement. The great thing is you decide how loud that statement is. Wear it as the main backdrop or as highlights to your look.
"Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®.
Here are a few looks from the collection that give a nod to the winning color. My inspiration came from things that the Pantone executive mention: sunlight/sunsets. I want the women who wear these dresses to standout from the crowd.
Here are some ways to wear it more subtly.
Tommy Hilfiger Spring 2012 RTW/Photo: Yannis Vlamos / GoRunway.com
|Posted by Miikelle DeFo on December 14, 2011 at 12:25 AM||comments (0)|
There once was a model, and I’m about to snitch on her Dear Abby style so she’ll need an alias, let’s call her “Billy Bob.” In this industry you have to network, get your clothes out there to be seen, display your brand, shake hands and grimace pleasantly if you don’t feel like smiling. A good deal of the time, I feel like I’m breaking records for rushing, like Emmitt Smith. I’m not the only one, neither. It can get chaotic. Sometimes, you lose track and because of that, some things you don’t get back.
“Billy Bob,” a graceful young woman with black hair, was one of the models that wore my clothes to an industry network event. They were photographed in different scenes by different photogs, a really nice set up and idea. The whole thing was a really good look. I met new contacts, some I was interested in working with. Everything had worked out fine, but, as usual, I had another event to get to, and “Billy Bob” was still wearing my dress. I guess I should have typed, “Almost everything had worked out fine…”
What to do? Leave my clothes, or kill some wonderful photo ops. The model had worked with me a few times and I thought it might be cool. She was always great to work with, more helpful than the other models. I had heard great things about her, so I gathered what I had and left. Let her look good in my clothes for awhile longer. And then I tried to get the dress back.
I spent weeks getting the run around, calling and texting. Then I showed up at a function I knew she would be attending. “Billy Bob” needed to give me my dress back. She finally told me she had lost the dress a few days later. “Billy Bob” did one thing right. She made sure she fed me that news from the other end of a cellphone.
I needed time to calm down. There went $100 in material and I was also under the gun, having to make a replacement dress for a show in two days, so that's money gone and time on top of it. Did she steal it and lie, or was she just incredibly irresponsible? It didn’t matter. When things go wrong, the first place you should look is the mirror, which I did, the first chance I got to catch my breath. After you find the flaw, you fix it. I don’t think I went too far with the solution and it's worked out pretty well since the "Billy Bob" incident. Models can still borrow my clothes, after they sign an agreement. Still love you, boo. Lending clothes is just a part of this business. Keeping my product safe is all mine.