Thursday, August 30, 2012

[Chicago Fashion Event] Lady Foot Locker's Fashionably Fit!

Sleek countertops, vibrant assortment of apparel, and the latest trends in footwear, no I am not describing Barney's but I am talking about Lady Foot Locker. Now, you may be confused why you are reading a blog post on Lady Foot Locker on a fashion blog. Well, it’s simple...if you look good you will feel good. Who has gone to the gym in dingy shirts and sweats ready to burn calories only to realize you look terrible? (raises hand shyly). Just like finding the right pair of pumps can change your attitude on life, so can the right pair of Nikes!

Kirta Carroll, Brand Marketing Director for Lady Foot Locker, described the changes that LFL is going through to bring the science of sports and combining with fashionably conscious women. To kick off the rebranding LFL hosted a series of events this past weekend to highlight their awesomeness! On Friday LFL teamed up with Fly Wheel Chicago and hosted a 45 minute ass kicking spin class. The Fly Wheel Chicago studio is gorgeous itself. The entire ambience of the studio puts you in the mindset of “I’m here to do work, push myself and achieve greatness". The instructor had put together the greatest playlist to motivate you to keep moving! There were a lot of runs, sprints, climbs and weight lifting! I think LFL teaming up with Fly Wheel Chicago was a great partnership and I will definitely be checking Fly Wheel again!

On Saturday I got a chance to sit down with the fabulous Adrienne Bailon, of Style Network's ‘Empire Girls. Talking with Adrienne reminded of talking to an old friend that I’ve known for years. Her confidence and kind heart was very welcoming and made it easy to talk to her.  Here’s what this stunning beauty had to say about her involvement with Lady Foot Locker:

CSM: What was it like partnering with LFL?
AB: I loved all the great workout clothes and a hot pair of Asics running shoes. Statistically if you look good working out it will lead you to feel good as well!

CSM: What is your favorite piece of workout clothes?
AB: I’m a huge fan of the classic Adidas track suit. I love the versatility of the outfit. It could be worn working out or running errands!

CSM: What’s your favorite playlist while working out?
AB: Running with the Holy Spirit in you! I’m a huge fan of powerful gospel music while working out.  It’s uplifting nature of the songs and how it really keeps me going on the treadmill!

CSM: What’s some advice you have for young girls?
AB: Love your body! Growing up I was always skinny and tried really hard to have curves but I had to set realistic expectations for myself. Now, I’ve turned my focus on getting washboard abs with the help of my favorite workout which is kickboxing, and I eat a raw food diet!

CSM: What’s your last piece of advice for all of CSM’s readers?
AB: Your body is your temple! I believe that we all have been given a gift with our bodies and that we should always strive to preserve it and keep it healthy! Treat your body with respect and reap the benefits!

A big ‘Thank You’ to the fabulous women over at Lady FootLocker & Fly Wheel Chicago for hosting such a fun and fashionable event.  Everyone seriously needs to head over to Lady Foot Locker and check out their beautifully redesigned stores. Trust me, just walking in will get you motivated to work-out and so will a cute pair of their yoga pants!

--Written by Fashion Contributor, Alexandra Evangelou (Follow on Twitter @AlexandraMariaE)

Friday, August 24, 2012

[Pasifika Fashion Series] Telesa Trilogy Fashion.... well done CSM style

A few months ago there was buzz on my twitter timeline about Pasifika author, Lani Wendt Young and her YA book series,  Telesa Trilogy ('Telesa: The Covenant Keeper', 'When Water Burns', 'The Bone Bearer').  So when it dawned on me 2 weeks ago that I needed to find a new book to read, I decided to look more into Lani's book series and little did I know that I would be heading down the path of becoming a Telesa enthusiast.

The first place I visited was her blog, Sleepless in Samoa, which is a daily chronicle to her life and her journey in writing her series.  I was captivated by her posts dedicated to character insights and analysis that before I knew it I was on ordering the 1st and 2nd book of her trilogy.  The really comical part was that I was so eager to receive my books that the day I received them I literally walked in the door to my condo, seen they had arrived, opened them up and sat down delved immediately into reading.

Reviewer, Ann Morgan, summarized so perfectly my experience while reading books one and two, "Lani has the knack of weaving traditions into the narrative without making their inclusion and explanation feel worthy or forced.  An enjoyable and engrossing book with a gripping story that whips the reader along.  The depiction of Leila's struggles with identity, sexuality and society's expectation will resonate with teens and ex-teens all over the world while its warm portrayal of Samoan culture gives it a character all its own."**

While becoming enthralled by Leila's story and her love for her soul mate & all around 'good boy', Daniel while at the same time discovering this new and unfamiliar and unwanted drawn attraction to 'bad boy' Keahi  I could not help but do what all of us do when we read.  I let my mind wander.  I began to create my visions for these characters and how they dressed, what fashions suit them best, and instantly I knew I had to do this post.  Not only for the mere fact of introducing to you a FANTASTIC new author that I am now a huge fan of but for the obvious; highlight the various fashions and ensembles I pictured the love triangle wearing.

To help give more of an established "face" to the three main characters Lani and her team have recruited the following models to represent each main character (although I do have to state for the record that they haven't officially "chosen" the Keahi character pictured):

Now having a visual of a face, character background from the books it was almost instantaneous that I put on my "stylist" hat and the following character inspiration boards were curated:

Products (Clockwise): Alexis Bittar Earrings/ Mena Strapless Dress/ Alexis Bittar cocktail ring/ Charlotte Olympia Heels/ Current Elliott Shorts/ TopShop Tooth Pendant/ASOS 'Love is the Answer' Tee/ Alaia Leather Cut-out Flat Sandals

I'd love to hear your feedback after reading book one and two as to whether I nailed it with the ensembles.  Trust me, you will be finished in less than a matter of a few days because that's just how spell bounding this story is.  I'm anxiously awaiting Lani's release of the 'The Bone Bearer' but rumor has it we might have to wait a little while longer because a novella of Daniel's version of the story is soon to be released first...

*Photo Credit of main characters: Sleepless in Samoa
**Reviewer Comments: Text from 'When Water Burns'

Thursday, August 23, 2012

[Chicago Fashion Event] Chicago Fashion Events Galore!

As August draws to a close it's always bittersweet for me because it means that Summer is in it's final weeks but what keeps a smile on my face is knowing that a new fashion season is at bay.  Helping to usher in the kick-off the fashion industry's most buzzing month of September, two of my favorite shopping malls are hosting almost daily events to help you get ready for the fall season.  The Water Tower Place and The 900 Shops have some incredible events planned and I wanted you to get in the know because if you are anything like me you need a few days to not only let the excitement settle in but also some much needed time to schedule it all out.

Check out the event flyers below and links that will take you directly to more info:

Click here for more info:

Click here for more info:

Monday, August 20, 2012

[Chicago Fashion Event] Barbour + Jack Spade Launch!

This post is all about the fellas.  This past weekend I got the opportunity to hang out and talk shop with the great Jack Spade team about their royally exciting partnership with the iconic British clothing manufacturer, Barbour.  Barbour is best known for their waterproof clothing, specifically their Barbour jacket which is synonymous for their trademarked waxed jacket.

One of their most notable and highly recognizable clientele is the British Royal Family.  The Barbour company was specially appointed as the the only company to supply "waterproof and protective clothing" to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh , and His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.

Needless to say, I couldn't turn down the opportunity to go and get the inside scoop & sneak peek to share with all of my dapper gents about this amazing transcontinental partnership.  The entire Barbour + Jack Spade collection is comprised of 3 bags & 2 jackets.  Having known a little bit of knowledge of the great reputation of the Barbour brand I was definitely not let down by the collection.  Both jackets lived up to the great Barbour reputation of stylish in silhouette and fit yet, multi-functional with a variety of pockets (including a variety of different ways to wear each jacket) and to top it all off both were made of the signature waxed fabric.

With the Chicago fall season creeping up, these 2 unique outerwear pieces should definitely be at the top of your list as alternatives.  Trust me, you will not regret it.

Check out my pics from the Barbour + Jack Spade event below as well as pics from the lookbook:

Monday, August 13, 2012

Big under the radar trend for Fall: Elaborate headgear!

With fashion week approaching, I get more and more enthusiastic about the great fashions that will be shown during fashion week.  At times I can't decide if I'm more eager to see the fashion shows or the attendees.  Perusing the past street-style snaps from the fashion week shows that have occurred so far this year I'm noticing an amazing trend that many of the attendees have been sporting: Elaborate and Extravagant Headgear.  Iconic fashion week inspirations such as Anna Dello Russo & Bryan Boy have showcased some serious headgear as of late, so why not take some inspiration from them as well as from the designers themselves.

Check out my favorite pieces below. Are you fashion forward enough to take a nod from these inspirations to werQ an extravagant headgear piece come this fall?

Armani Prive

Shona Tawhiao

Jil Sander

Maison Martin Marigela


Friday, August 10, 2012

[Chicago Fashion Event] Happy 175th Anniversary Tiffany&Co.!

This past week I had the rare and amazing opportunity to help Tiffany&Co. celebrate their 175th Anniversary with Moet champagne and a private tour of their stunning collections, including a few pieces from their travelling collection: Treasures of Tiffany.

Getting a private tour and with champagne in hand, on top of having the opportunity to play dress up with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of diamonds-yes, I was experiencing every girls' fantasy and I was reveling every minute of it!

Previous to this tour I was so unaware of all of the rich history of Tiffany&Co.  One interesting historical fact I learned was that Tiffany&Co. redesigned the Great Seal of the United States of America (it's the one used on the dollar billl).  That was just one of the many instances over the course of their 175 year history that they have played a great role in adding a long lasting impression and a touch of brilliance to America's history.

Okay, enough with the history lesson let me get to the bling!  In honor of their 175th year anniversary they currently have the luxe collection, Treasures of Tiffany, being showcased in only a few select stores.  The Chicago location currently has a few pieces from the collection and I would highly recommend you get into the store immediately to check it out.  The pictures I have below do not do them justice because they don't showcase the full experience of seeing each and every single diamond sparkle and shine.  Trust me, you will not be disappointed!

Sneak Peek of the travelling collection, Treasures of Tiffany, currently here in Chicago:

Check out some of these other great collections that are currently at the Chicago Tiffany&Co. store-seriously, be prepared for more drool worthy pieces!

Jean Schlumberger Collection

Jean Schlumberger Collection

Rubedo Collection

Rubedo Collection

Enchant Collection

Enchant Collection

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Battle of the September Covers!

Lady Gaga tweeted a sneak peek of her US Vogue cover last night to her 28 million followers with the following caption:

"SHH DONT TELL TWITTER/SEPT ISSUE OF VOGUE MAGAZINE/ Sorry Anna but the underground kids deserve it. bisous!"

So now here's my dilemma, while I love that it's Lady Gaga and she is totally wearing that Marc Jacobs gown I am a little bit underwhelmed because I would have expected so much more from this cover.  The background is non-existent and does nothing in providing a comparable pairing when matched with Lady Gaga's electrifying personality.

So I'm going to let you decide which cover you think is the best between my pre-chosen winner, Daphne Groenveld on the cover of WSJ in my other post (here) versus mother monster, Lady Gaga on the cover of US Vogue:

US VOGUE: Lady Gaga

WSJ: Daphne Groenveld

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Best September Fashion far!

For the fashion industry, the September issue is the biggest issue of the year.  Why? Simple, it's the start of the new fashion calendar. September is jammed packed and bursting at the seams with fashion.

September marks the start of the Autumn (Fall)/Winter fashion season, while at the same time the upcoming Spring/Summer fashion weeks kick-off.  New York Fashion Week kicks off the fashion week shows (which is followed by London Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week and ends with Paris Fashion Week) is always the second week of September which as of late has been ushered in by Fashion Night Out.  This issue sets the tone for what the big trends, color palettes, and silhouettes are for the Autumn (Fall)/Winter season.

Aside from all of the amazing fashion happening, it's also the biggest time of the year for shopping.  Many retailers, magazines, designers, etc all depend on this time of year to make a huge percentage of their sales for the year.

Check out my round-up of my favorite September Fashion Covers thus far!

UK ELLE: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

Fashion: Nina Dobrev

FLARE Canada: Lindsey Wixon

US Harper's Bazaar: Gwen Stefani

UK Harper's Baazar: Keira Knightley

Marie Claire: Miley Cyrus

Russh: Cara Delevingne

US ELLE :Katy Perry

Japan VOGUE: Karlie Kloss

ASOS: Rita Ora

I won't officially dubb this my favorite September cover because there is still one that has yet to be released and yes you probably have guessed it since you haven't seen it pictured above, it's US Vogue.  Anna Wintour has all of us eagerly anticipating what amazing ensemble Lady Gaga will be wearing, and who will be shooting her.

So in lieu of waiting for the US Vogue cover's release, Daphne Groeneveld on the cover of WSJ Magazine is hands down my favorite.  The feathered cape paired with her polished coif and perfectly accessorized ensemble has me re-thinking my once decided fall wardrobe of bright jewel tones & patterns for a monochromatic palette full of stunning edgy accessories (and if you know me this look just screams my style aesthetic).  

I will definitely "Go For Baroque" this Autumn (Fall)/Winter, how about you? 

WSJ: Daphne Groenveld