Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Unfiltered and Real Me...

With all the information that is available to anyone with just a click of button it's a little bit unnerving how much can be easily exposed to the world about oneself.  The more disturbing part is the fact that even with all of that information readily available out there, the real truth about people is always tucked away or not really discussed.  Recently I read a great post by Jess of Make Under My Life, in which she listed out all of the things that she was afraid to tell people.  One of my Chicago blogger friends, Tabitha took note of Jess' message and joined in on the movement.

This got me to thinking of a truth moment I'd had with myself back in 2009 when I wrote a facebook note about 'The Unfiltered and Real Me'.  In this note I had listed 25 honest truths that not a lot of people know about me and ironic enough, 3 years later not too many still know.  Even though much has changed in these last few years, these 25 truths are still very real and are a great insight into my world.

In general I am really a private person and try to not share too much about what my fears are, what my truths are, etc.  I've decided to give a twist to the movement and share the original facebook note I wrote 3 years ago.  So now I want to share with you some things about me that you will never find out in any internet search...

My 25 Truths:

1. I am really an insecure person, who has become a pro at seeming very self-confident. Those really close to me (i.e. my sister, my mom and Jesus {my now hubby}) are the only ones who have witnessed my many bouts of insecurity.

2. One great win I am so very thankful and happy for in terms of dealing with one of my many insecurities was my decision to abandon my parent's life dream of me becoming a lawyer (my mom still can't get over it, that she still has my acceptance letters from the 3 law schools I got into) and pursuing my true calling-fashion.

3. Also, because of #2 I met the love of my life and my second half-Jesus Natividad Terrazas Jr. :). I often wonder if he truly understands how complete and whole he makes me feel. I feel like I can do and accomplish anything with him in my life. {Even more amazing is that I married this beautiful man last year}

4. I am way too sensitive and overly considerate of others. I always put others needs and wants ahead of my own, and get really disappointed and hurt when it is not reciprocated.

5. One time when I was in Washington DC serving an internship for UMC, my cousin Kalo and I were talking on the metra train in Tongan and a bystander asked us if we were speaking Mandarin Chinese. We told the guy 'No' and then he proceeded to argue with us and tell us we weren't speaking Tongan and that it was Mandarin Chinese, and he was an expert because he worked in a Mandarin Chinese restaurant. This is one of the many times in my life I was wondering if I was on an episode of Punk'd.

6. My best friends in this world are my mom and my little sister Lela. For being years younger than me, my little sister has the great wisdom of someone who's experienced all the good and bad that life has to offer.

7. I am so fascinated and proud of my niece and soon to be nephew. It is so crazy how close of a connection I feel to my niece. At times I have to remind myself that this beautiful and amazing little person is my niece and not my daughter.

8. It is really hard for me to keep and maintain friends because of all the many times I have been burned in the past by people who pretended to be my friends, but in all actuality they were just using me in some way. I am always guarded and have always had a strong distrust of people in general. It takes a long time for me to let my guard down and I only have a few good friends. Therefore, I try to appreciate and treasure the few awesome and beautiful friends that I have in my life.

9. My parents, Sela Lumepa Fonua & Nitokalisi Fonua Sr. are my heroes! No one else in this world would ever be able to perform the miracles they execute on a daily basis. I attribute every single accomplishment coupled with all the great things that I am to them. It would never have been possible without these two great people.

10. It's been such a different experience growing up with such a strong and passionate identification with my great Tongan culture and heritage, that I am always so shocked that no one past the state of Colorado has heard of my great culture and people.

11. I often wonder why I burn so easily when I try and sun tan. Being an islander I don't understand how my skin hates the sun.

12. Also, in reference to #11 I am really sometimes embarrassed to admit to people that I do not know how to swim. Most people don't understand that since I've almost drowned 2 times in my life I have always had the biggest fear of water.

13. It really bothers me when people are really insensitive with their word choices. I cannot stand words like "retard", etc. I wish people would realize how insensitive they are being when they use such derogatory terms. 

14. I would spend my last $2K in the world on a fabulous handbag (preferably YSL, Chloe, Balenciaga or Bottega Veneta) or a couple of pairs of fantastic shoes (Christian Louboutins or Jimmy Choo).  {I'd love to add Proenza Schouler, Celine, Monika Chiang & Thomas Wylde to this list} 

15. I often wish I was a multi-billionaire so I could move my entire family here to Chicago. It is so hard to not be able to just drive to see my mom when I've had a difficult day at work or go over on Sundays for family dinner or just to play with my niece Sela. It hurts me so much to think of how much I'm missing in watching her grow up and to only hear her cooing over the phone. {I now have 3 more nieces & 2 nephews to add to this growing list}

16. I have a secret obsession with select reality TV shows. I try and convince myself and others that I only watch the ones that aren't absolutely ridiculous like Top Chef and Project Runway. But the truth is I love the Real Housewives of Atlanta & Orange County, etc.

17. So many people ask me about my name {Lolohea ‘Ana Fonua} and where it came from. I was named after my two grandmas. 'Lolohea' is a beautiful and rare flower in the Kingdom of Tonga, and 'Ana' is a biblical name.

18. Funny story, when I was growing up my mom would make me wear tights under my shorts because she was afraid of me getting tan. An old Tongan belief that many still embrace to this day is the notion that the lighter your skin color was the more your beauty was highlighted. This was also coupled with the idea that a proper young woman should be busy spending their time indoors and not out gallivanting around in the sun. It was such a tough time during my childhood to have to explain to my elementary friends this complex and complicated tradition of my heritage. I fondly look back and laugh now :)

19. I often count my blessings because of all of the crazy situations I have willingly put myself into over my life and how remarkable it has been that I have survived unscathed and unharmed. I performed a dare where I had to stand in the middle of a two lane street and wait until two cars passed me. Two cars from opposing directions came straight at me and thankfully did not hit me. I have to admit that it was such an amazing high!

20. One of the worst days of my life was getting a phone call from my mom to let me know that my dad was in the hospital was about to have open heart surgery because after his yearly physical the doctor discovered that he had 3 minor heart attacks in a row and they had destroyed his heart. Thankfully my dad had a heart transplant and is fully recovered.

21. I will forever be indebted to this anonymous donor's family. My siblings and I tried to see if we could contact them and they chose to remain anonymous. Thank you to them for giving me my family's rock, provider, protector, friend and dad.

22. I secretly wish that I was born with the talent for singing. I sometimes daydream about being a famous neo-soul singer. This is extremely funny because I really hate being in front of people, but envy people that are naturals at it.

23. I wish I had an awesome accent. I sometimes play around with Jesus {my hubby} and my family and talk in an Australian or New Zealand accent. I'm not really into the British accent though, only Australian and New Zealand accents.

24. People who do not speak with proper grammar bother me. I hate when I'm trying to communicate with someone and they are speaking slang or ghetto. Goodness, the first language I learned was Tongan and I still manage to speak proper English and use proper grammar.

25. My birthday is my favorite time of year! I make my Jesus {my hubby} celebrate it the way I always did growing up. It's a 2 week celebration :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

[My Personal Style] Comfy, Edgy, Chic: My Memorial Day Ensemble

Memorial Day weekend is the first official kick-off ushering in summer.  This year I'll be spending the Memorial Day weekend catching up with friends and family at a few different barbeques (or what they say in the Midwest 'cook-outs').  Since this time of year is still a bit iffy with the weather my Memorial Day ensemble is all about chic layering-which I've had to become an expert in since Chicago has such bi-polar weather.

I'll be stepping out in my signature style: Comfy, Edgy & Chic.  I've chosen a long cotton jersey maxi dress paired with a cotton twill jacket and dressed up with key edgy accessories.  Don't forget that just because it's an easy-going holiday weekend, it's not an excuse to show up at your family or friends get together in a lack luster ensemble.

What I'm wearing: Rachel Pally Maxi Dress, Obey Military Jacket, Jeffrey Campbell Wedges, Juicy Couture Necklace & Chain Bracelet, L.A.M.B Watch, Links Bracelet, Gaga's Workshop Bracelet, ASOS Spiked Ear Cuff, DSQUARED2 Aviators, ASOS Envelope Clutch

Want to replicate my Memorial Day style? Check out my suggestions below:

Have a fun and safe holiday weekend! "Eat, Drink & Be Merry" xoxo

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

[Pasifika Fashion Series] Designer Spotlight-Hupfeld Hoerder

Designer, Hupfeld Hoerder pictured above with one of his models

Hupfeld Hoerder's designs are known for its signature hand prints of island motiffs and creatively merging authentic designs with contemporary.  He incorporates traditional with western fabrics to make his designs hold a strong sense of the Pacific and promotes the pasifika culture and traditions.

Hupfeld started designing whilst still completing his undergraduate studies at the University of the South Pacific almost 20 years ago.  Initially he started designing and making beach bags which eventually led to shift dresses and summer dresses.  Over the years and through experience he moved from casual resort wear to evening wear then found a niche market  in the Bridal industry in Fiji and Haute Couture.  Now he is focusing on taking another step to establish his brand overseas and to find other markets to sell his beautiful works of art.

Having shown at NYFW in 2009 and continuously showcasing successful collections at the World Fashion Week (WFW) in the Bahamas season after season, he is definitely a name to be on the look out for.  See the other installments in my Pasifika Fashion Series ( 4th: here 3rd: here 2nd: here 1st: here).

Check out some of my favorite pieces from his past collections that are on trend for Spring & Summer's bright and bold color palette:

Monday, May 21, 2012

[Chicago Fashion Event] Randolph Street Market: 9th Annual Garden Party Opener!

After an incredibly successful "off" season indoors, the indoor AND outdoor Randolph Street Market returns to the West Loop for it's 9th summer season this Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 26th and Sunday, May 27th.

If you are spending the Memorial Day weekend here in Chicago or have peeps visiting from out-of-town this market is a definite agenda 'must-do'.  There will be over 250 purveyors selling some of the most eclectic and hard to find vintage treasures that our city has to offer.  As if this amazing shopping isn't enough, there will be interactive art and DIY demos of The Sewing Manic and The Urban Canopy, beauty treatments, airbrush tattoos, seasonal fancy food, relaxation vignettes, live music and more.

One other really cool bonus? Come and see what some of my favorite items are at the market by checking out my "Editor's Choice"!

Here are the deets of the event & I hope to see you there:

What: Randolph Street Market Garden Party Season Kick-off
When: Saturday, May 26th-10am to 6pm & Early Buy-8 to 10am
           Sunday, May 27th- 10am to 5pm
Where: 1340 W. Washington St., Chicago
Price: Purchase Here

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Pastel Ombre: 3.1 Phillip Lim Inspired Nails! 3.1 Phillip Lim Spring 2012 RTW Collection

When I first seen Phillip Lim's Spring 2012 RTW Collection I could not help but be inspired by the flirty and fun color palette.  Aside from the beautiful soft colors, I was mesmerized by the fluidity of the fabric.  Phillip Lim created such a stand out collection that was not only stunning in palette but made approachable by the easy-going and drapey silhouettes.  The relaxed and soft lines were a definite juxtaposition to the eye-popping colors.  What was even more bewitching about the colors were the selected combinations.  My by far favorite combination was the ensemble above.  Essie's color polishes were a perfect choice in replicating this pastel ombre color combination.

Essie Nail Polish: Playmate (Purple), Action (Orange), Lapis of Luxury (Blue)

I specifically chose Essie's Playmate (purple), Action, and Lapis of Luxury (blue).  I also decided to not turn this into a color blocking inspiration because the Phillip Lim ensemble was such a perfect pairing that the literal interpretation for the pastel color sequence was pure perfection.

See my manicure below:

I encourage you to not hold back on your inspiration and try out this pastel ombre color combination or any other set of colors that spark your creative juices! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Want to update your hair do? Try out one of these Hair Tutorials!

With Spring in full swing and Memorial Day weekend around the corner, this is the perfect time to give yourself a really quick & easy instant makeover.  I've picked out my top 4 video hair tutorials that cover everything from a beachy wave, braids and even the current trend fav-the sock bun.

 The 5-Strand Braid has my name written all over it, which one has you anxious to give your hair a new change?

5-Strand Braid:

Beachy Waves:

Casual Sock Bun:

Cute Milkmaid Braids:


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Current Shoe Obsession: Alaia Color Blocked Studded Sandals!

*Photo Credit: Net-a-porter

Alaia nailed the epitome of perfection with these color blocked studded sandals.  I've recently become obsessed with these sandals that I've literally ogled these on a number of different occassions day dreaming of every single outfit that they would pair perfectly with and yes you guessed right, everything in my closet would l   These beauties are crafted of the finest materials and made with fashion love by hand-if you snickered at the thought of fashion love, well then you've never tried on a pair of custom made footwear that feel as if they have been moulded to fit your feet perfectly.

What are your thoughts? Do these fit the bill of 'drool worthy'?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Leather Jacket: Rev up with Rebel Cool!

What's the one article of clothing that can take any ensemble from safe to edgy or from blah to instantly on trend in seconds? Answer: The Leather Jacket.

The leather jacket instantly ups the ante when paired with a frilly and flirty cocktail dress or when worn simply with a pair of boyfriend jeans and a basic crew t-shirt top.

Check out my top picks below and let out your inner 'Rebel Cool'!

The Leather Jacket: Rev up with Rebel Cool!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

[Chicago Fashion Event] "A Day For Her" Event on Saturday, May 12th

This Saturday, May 12th from 10am to 6:30pm 900 North Michigan Shops and Friends of Prentice present "A Day For Her".  An all-day shopping event featuring exclusive offers. You can purchase a special ticket price of $20 in advance or $30 at the door (purchase ticket here).  This ticket gives you fabulous discounts, activities, treats and raffle prizes.  All proceeds from the ticket sales will go to benefit Friends of Prentice, the fundraising board of Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Prentice Women's Hospital.

Kick-off this Mother's Day weekend by shopping for your mom while at the same time helping a cause to benefit future mothers-to-be!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

2012 Met Gala Red Carpet!

The Costume Institute Gala (or Costume Institute Ball), known as the Met Gala and nicknamed the "Oscars of the East Coast", is an annual ball that celebrates the annual opening of the Metropolitan Museum's (The Met) fashion exhibit at the Costume Institute.  This year's exhibit, "Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversions"-an exploration into the the striking affinities between these two Italian designers from different eras.

Because this is a party to celebrate fashion in it's truest art form, celebrities show up to impress.  This is truly the only red carpet that you don't hold back-the more avant garde and eccentric the better.  What made this year even more of a delectable feast for the eyes was our ability to watch the red carpet being aired via livestream by Vogue, the host of the event.  Bravo to Vogue for making fashion more accessible (somewhat anyways).

Now on to beautiful fashions of the night.  There were definite "hits" and "misses" on the red carpet, but what I was ecstatic and thrilled about was that the attendees did not hold back and definitely let their inner fashion risk-taker out for the night.

Check out who made my 'Top 10 Best Dressed' and which celebrity was the natural 'Best Dressed' of the night:
*Photo Credit: Styleite

Solange Knowles in Rachel Roy

Rooney Mara in Givenchy

Camilla Bell in Calvin Klein

Christina Ricci in Thakoon

Lilly Collins in Valentino

Mia Wasikowska in Prada

Diane Kruger in Prada

Nina Dobrev in Donna Karan

Elizabeth Banks in Mary Katrantzou

My 'Best Dressed' of the night goes to Karolina Kurkova in Rachel Zoe!

Karolina was a certified knock-out! The supermodel attended the event with designer/stylist, Rachel Zoe-who also happened to design the breathtaking creation.  Her custom long sleeve rose gold sequinned gown with open back and train has me quoting Rachel's famous catch phrase, "I DIE" because literally I just did.

Karolina accessorized her spectacular gown with a matching turban and gold clutch.  I honestly was dead set that Elizabeth Banks was going to be my top choice and then in sashayed Karolina.  I'm still speechless over this stunning ensemble. Well done Rachel Zoe, well done.
*Some text taken from Red Carpet Fashion Awards.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Printed Pants: Which print gets your vote?

Printed pants are one of the biggest trends this Spring and will definitely crossover into Summer.  With warmer weather comes bright, bold and vibrant colors.  While many opt for more of a statement making pair, I personally believe more can be said in the details.  Because the main focus is the all-over print, I prefer a pair with a monochrome color palette to highlight and draw more focus on the print.

I found two great print satin-silk pants and want you to chime with your opinion of which pair is more printastic!

Printed Pants!
Thomas Wylde vs. Helene Berman

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Anna Dello Russo for H&M!

Anna Dello Russo for H&M Fashion Accessories pictured above

H&M has hit a home-run in partnering with Vogue Japan's Fashion Director Anna Dello Russo to collaborate on an over-the-top fashion accessories collection.  Miss Dello Russo is the definition of unique, jaw-dropping, luxe fashion accessories.  Of all of the unique and celebrated fashion tastemakes that are staples during the fashion week shows, she is the one I make an effort to search for.  Why? Because this she embodies my style mantra: Killer Accessories.  The avant garde over-the-top accessories she showcases during fashion week are immediately the next big thing (I mean seriously, who would have thought that the Jil Sander Veiled Knit Hat is more chic than bridal).

I definitely will be rushing out to H&M to snag a few AdR pieces.  The official launch will be occuring on October 4th, 2012 and to only 140 select store worldwide-fingers crossed that one of the Chicago stores will be in that count. 

If you are still on the fence, check out this video below to learn more about Anna Dello Russo and why H&M decided to choose her for this special collaboration: