Monday, April 30, 2012

[Chicago Fashion Event] Chicago Designer Profile: True Blessyn

True Blessyn collection being showcased at Shop 857

I first met designer Shani Brown, the 'Dream Chaser' behind the amazing label True Blessyn last October in 2011.  At our first meeting Shani had just finished shooting the lookbook for her Spring 2012 collection and allowed me the privilege of getting a sneak peek.  Shani's debut collection is filled with bold, bright vibrant colors.  Lightweight denim, linen and cotton are the core fabrications for her separates.  Each piece is a great mix & match and make it very easy to wear--a 'Dream Chaser' girl's standard uniform. I was immediately a fan and that was without even seeing an actual garment.

Last week on Thursday, April 26th I had the opportunity of attending an exclusive 'media only' press party showcasing True Blessyn's current Spring 2012 collection and a sneak peek of her Fall 2012 collection.  Based on her stunning Spring '12 lookbook attending this event was a definite must.  I came in with high expectations and Shani definitely did not disappoint.  Her upcoming Fall '12 collection is jam packed with great cotton separates that include a shift dress with a beautiful hand-painted design, a contemporary take on the moto jacket, etc.  The mix & match versatility in the Spring collection continue here with great separates that have strong clean lines and a bold color palette that exude edgy chic.

Up close detail of the hand painted design on the Fall '12 shift dress
As if Shani's collections could get any better, they do.  I'm a strong proponent that great fashion is all about quality and not the ticket price.  True Blessyn makes it so much each easier to be a statement maker because her pieces range in value starting at $52.00 to $146.00.  I can't wait to add the 'Angelic Soul' into rotation once it starts to warm up, which will be your first True Blessyn piece?

Check out this exclusive sneak peek from True Blessyn's Fall 2012 Collection photo shoot:
*Photo Credit for the below: Authentic Noise

Friday, April 27, 2012

[Style Review] VT Luxe Spring 2012 Collection Review & Giveaway!

VT Luxe Classic Chic Red Tortoise Sunglasses

It is no secret that I am a fan of the fashion accessories label VT Luxe.  So, when I was asked to review a piece from their 2012 Spring collection I jumped at the chance.  The reason for my excitement? Simple, because of  Jesse Garza and Joe Lupo.  They are a styling duo that not only change lives, but I'm convinced are styling magicians.

I received the Classic Chic in Red Tortoise Sunglasses w/case.  Whenever I shop for sunglasses the first thing I look at is the frame. Next, I look at the lense tint and whether they actually do what they are suppose to do i.e. block out sunlight.  So many of us get caught up in the shine and glitz of a pair of sunglasses that the basic function is overlooked and then it's too late and you are stuck with a "pretty" pair that don't block out any type of light.  These VT Luxe sunglasses are an updated shape to the vintage chic shape of the 1960's.  This is a very current and on trend shape and is paired cohesively with the red tortoise shade which make them versatile and can be worn with any ensemble.  Not only do they look stunning, but they actually block out a lot of sunlight-functional and stylish!

Check out how I styled them below:

These chic sunglasses are just too 'Totes Amaze' to keep all to myself so I am continuing with my blogiversary celebration and will be giving these vintage chic sunglasses away to one lucky winner.  Want to add these functional and stylish sunglasses to your Spring/Summer wardrobe?

Here's how to win this Spring/Summer ready fashion accessory:

  • You must "LIKE" VT Luxe on Facebook and follow @VTLUXE on Twitter: (Facebook and Twitter)
  • Naturally, you have to "LIKE" Chi-Style Maven on Facebook and follow @ChiStyleMaven on Twitter (also wouldn't hurt if you were a follower of my blog too-hint, hint): (Facebook and Twitter)
  • Last but not least, leave me a comment below of how you would style this piece with your spring wardrobe.

This sweepstakes officially starts today, April 27th until May 3rd at 5pm CST. The winner will be announced via Facebook & Twitter.*

*Must live in the United States. Winner will be randomly selected using and must follow all steps above in order to qualify to win.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Tie-Dye: Denim's New Big Trend

Elle Macpherson & Olivia Palermo are just a few of the handful of starlets who have been reviving the long associated "hippie" pattern of Tie-Dye.  While this denim trend is still under the radar, I was a bit surprised that with the recent music festival Coachella there wasn't an explosion of tie-dye.

I am definitely a fan of how Olivia P has incorporated this trend.  Since it is a pattern that has a deep historical association with a fashion movement, you can separate yourself from this pattern's past by pairing it with polished neutral separates such as a structured jacket, collared blouse and definitely a simple heel.

Want to be ahead of the fashion pack? Try out one of these tie-dye chic pairs:

Color Block Nails Louise Markey Style!

It's simple, color blocking is still very much a relevant trend for Spring 2012 and I've decided to take it to the next level and draw inspiration for my most recent manicure from Louise Markey's Spring 2009 collection.

Louise Markey Spring 2009 Collection, London Fashion Week

I chose 3 vibrant OPI nail polish colors to emulate one of Markey's signature color-blocked tiered cocktail dresses: Ski Teal We Drop, Kiss Me On My Tulips, and Who The Shrek Are You.

In color order pictured above: Ski Teal We Drop, Kiss Me On My Tulips, Who The Shrek Are You

The key to accomplishing this trend is to select at least 3 colors, but also to purposefully alternate the colors in a "random" order.

I encourage you to pick a color palette you are inspired by and try this color block nail trend!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

[Style Review] My 2 Obessions have collided! Bow-ties & Collars

This Rocker Chic bow-tie was the inspiration for my custom piece

Last Fall I became obessed with chokers, collars & bow-ties.  I'd scoured the net and shops for unique and statement making pieces.  I'd found a few great pieces in very eclectic showcases or markets and even snagged a few amazing pieces on my visit to Hong Kong this past January. 

After acquiring quite a few pieces that I absolutely loved and adored individually, I couldn't help but wish that there was a way for me to infuse alot of these pieces together i.e. pair one of my collars with one of my bow-ties or chokers.  Many who know me are quite familar with my love and obession of fashion accessories.  I'm all about a killer accessory, because that's what tells my style and outfit story.  So naturally, trying to combine all these pieces to create the ultimate fashion accessory statement is no surprise.

Searching everywhere for the perfect combination piece that infused my current obsessions proved to be more difficult of a task than I had initially anticipated.  Just as I had started to lose hope, an up and coming Chicago designer came to my rescue! Arianna Green, of ASSATA Designs, answered my twitter request/plea asking the Chicago fashion community where I could find a combination piece that merged a bow-tie and a collar together.

Assata Designs inspiration board for my custom piece

Arianna and I met and consulted on what my vision and expectations were for the piece.  I sent her my inspiration picture of what direction I wanted the piece to go and within a week we were sitting face-to-face having a design consultation.  She showed me the insirpation/mood board she'd created based off of our initial consult and I was floored.  This girl nailed it with the exact elements and the look and feel I was going for with my custom piece.  I had my new "Rocker Chic" collar & bow-tie custom piece in a week! It such a pleasure to not only work with such an attentive and speedy professional.  From start to finish it was such a seamless process.
My custom ASSATA Designs 'Rocker Chic' collar and bow-tie piece

Check it out! I'm wearing my new custom bow-tie to Emma Arnold & Amy Creyer's Topshop Event:

Designer Arianna Green & myself at the Topshop Event

If you are in the market for a great custom fashion accessory piece definitely don't pass this new emerging Chicago designer up! Contact her via twitter or email, you won't regret it. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Help Celebrate My 1st Year Blogiversary!

Can you believe it, it's been a whole year since I first launched CSM: A Style Maven's Diary!!  Here's the catch, I want to share the love and give back to my amazing readers, followers, etc.  You all have given me so much this year and have made CSM: A Style Maven's Diary what it is today. So to show you all how much I truly love and appreciate all the support you shown me I've partnered with VT Luxe, a fashion accessories collection for QVC designed and curated by the amazing styling duo Jesse Garza and Joe Lupo of Visual Therapy, to offer you two amazing giveaways.

First up, is this beautiful Faceted Crystal Pendant Necklace:

Here's how to win this Spring/Summer ready fashion accessory:
  1. You must "LIKE" VT Luxe on Facebook and follow @VTLUXE on Twitter: (Facebook and Twitter)
  2. Naturally, you have to "LIKE" Chi-Style Maven on Facebook and follow @ChiStyleMaven on Twitter (also wouldn't hurt if you were a follower of my blog too-hint, hint): (Facebook and Twitter)
  3. Last but not least, leave me a comment below of how you would style this piece with your spring wardrobe.
This sweepstakes officially starts today, April 17th until April 25th at 5pm.  The winner will be announced via Facebook & Twitter.*

*Must live in the United States or Canada. Winner will be randomly selected and must follow all steps above in order to qualify to win.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pajamas: Fashion Forward or Lazy?

Alexa Chung in JW Alexander pajama bottoms at LFW
 Looks like the trend which has replaced the traditional suit for Spring, appears to be reving up because celebs and fashionistas alike are loving the easy just-got-out-of-bed look which pays homage to Hugh Hefner's signature look.

Mind you, not everyone can pull off the "I'm too cool for clothes that's why I lounge around everyday in my pajamas" look like Hugh.  So, the key to pulling of this trend and not appearing like you're out sleepwalking while out at dinner, a red carpet event or even the streets of Chicago, New York or Paris, is to wear the PJs with heels.  Also, you could incorporate the trend while still not seeming too overwhelming by pairing the pajama bottom with a blazer (similar to Alexa Chung-pictured above) or vice versa and pairing the pajama top with a pair of colored denim skinnies.

Want to sprinkle this trend into your current Spring wardrobe? Check out my suggestions below:

Saturday, April 14, 2012

[Chicago Fashion Event] Cotton Candy Couture: A Statement Maker's Dream Come True!

Jenna Zielbauer, Designer & Owner of Cotton Candy Couture 
On Thursday, April 12th I was invited to preview the inaugural Fall/Winter cocktail dress collection of Chicago's newest fashion addition: Cotton Candy Couture.  Designer & Owner, Jenna Zielbauer is no newbie to the Chicago Fashion Scene.  She's taken her years of experience and provided a solution to every fashionista's worst nightmare: Showing up to an event in the same dress as someone else or even worse, being compared to someone else who wore your dress.  The premise behind Jenna's label, Cotton Candy Couture, is to offer statement making dresses that are electric, bold, fun and will never be forgotten.  Most importantly, each collection is strategically produced in limited quantities so that you will never have to worry about the "who wore it best" moments anymore.

The preview launch was held at Candyality, located inside of the Water Tower Place.  It was such a picturesque display to feature the Fall/Winter collection right above the display "Candy Never Goes Out Of Style".  Each dress is a handmade creation of candy & gum wrappers.  If you are in the area or shopping in the Water Tower Place this store is a definite "must-visit" for their uber cool museum alone.

Canyality, "Candy Never Goes Out Of STYLE" display

Jenna's, Cotton Candy Couture Fall/Winter 2012 collection is summed up by two words: "Statement Maker". The collection's core fabrications are of luxe rich velvets, and silks.  Key fall trends of texure, feathers and bows are very apparent in this collection.  Each silhouette and cut is evident that it was shaped highlight the feminine physique.  If you are faint fashion hearted, then this is definitely not your collection.  But if you are in search of a statement maker that is of luxe fabrications, flattering silhouettes and exotic trims then you will not want to miss out on this amazing boutique collection of cocktail dresses!

Cotton Candy Couture Fall/Winter 2012 Collection

Check out my favorite pieces from the collection:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

[Chicago Fashion Event] Brad Goreski Chicago Book Signing this Saturday, April 14th!

Brad Goreski, the celebrity stylist and star of Bravo's "It's a Brad, Brad World", can now add author to his resume.  This Saturday from 4 to 6pm at Brooks Brothers on Michigan Avenue, Brad will be dishing on his road to fashion fame including all of the ups and downs.  Everything from growing up in a tiny Canadian town to becoming an advocate for anti-gay bullying.

Uber excited for one of the most amazing men in fashion to share his story but more importantly, what is this dapper man going to be wearing? ;)