Archives for November 2014

The Art of Conversation: Money, Power, Respect: Choose One

Masterminds, Bum B and QueenieA great conversation can draw you in so that you not only can see someone else’s perspective but also provide clarity for your own motives and beliefs.  Being able to have those conversations in a forum where you feel free to share and open enough to respect other’s opinions is one of the ways we can unplug and genuinely reconnect to others around us.  In this manner conversations can inspire growth in a way few forms of communication can mimic.  At last week’s Art of Conversation, the masterminds challenged everyone to think of the old order of Money, Power, Respect and give their perspective on how to choose one and the risk that comes from making that decision.

Money, Power, Respect has become an American standard on how to get the life you want.  It is what we see on TV and read in books and sing along to in music.  But is this really the right order to obtain the things you want in life?  To be sure money does a great deal in both attaining a certain level of comfort to your life and because of it is the first goal that many people often set for themselves.  Once you have it you certainly can buy a certain lifestyle or things that you want but you can never buy the hearts and minds of people with money alone.  So where do you focus to get to where you want to be to have a life that has it all or is that even possible??  Indeed the answer to that question is personal to us all.  With every start of the pursuit comes the opportunity to earn all three.  A job, for instance, gives you the ability to make money but also garner power over your assignments and respect of your peers.  By working to empower others, but just use your power over them and to receive respect by giving respect you can work to balance not just money power, respect, but how your own value system.

The great things about the conversation is that you don’t have to completely agree with someone else to get in on it.  At Thursday’s event we welcomed Bum B, a Houston and rap legend, to share in the conversation.  Hearing from someone who has seen it all it gave some real perspective on the fact that balancing the three is something that many don’t even aspire to and the perils that come in the fall when your whole focus is on just one.  The truth is that in balancing the three it can be easy to lose the other two with all your focus on one thing.  It’s why we see people with money become disrespectful such as Kanye West or people with power abusing it.  What’s your take on Money, Power, Respect???

Make sure to stay tuned to the next installment for the Art of Conversation on December 20th.

Fashion Houston gets schooled by Art Institute Students

AI De Martini Show (12)Now I do love education, but the truth of it is that there are very few choices for education where you come out knowing how to do exactly what it will take for you to start a career that will flourish.  Fashion is one of the things that you learn in school and actually can master your craft while you are in the process of learning.  Proof of this fact is evident in the outstanding showing from the Art Institute of Houston students at Fashion Houston.  From fun and sporty to chic and elegant these young designers definitely brought their A game and have me anxiously anticipating what they do next.

De MartiniAI De Martini Show (2)

Balancing the power of the clothes the woman is hard.  Yes beautiful clothes are a plus but if the clothes are wearing you and not vice versa then you have a problem.  The designer De Martini did a great job in creating balance with the pieces that allowed the woman to look comfortable and confident in a way that let her really shine on the runway.  AI De Martini Show (7)With her easy and fun pieces it highlighted that sexy is an attitude, not skintight clothing.  The finale was a great example of how excited in design can come with a bold color palette and silhouette accentuating shapes.

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228 by L. YatesAI 228 (5)

Just because its work does not it can’t be fashion fun.  228 by L. Yates added a little spice to work apparel in the selection of fabrics as well as pops of bold colors to some work power colors.  More fun was added in a great use of zippers.  Zippers are a great way to control the look and conservative nature of an outfit and the designs at 228 give a range of where you want to take the clothes to fit your personality and surroundings.AI 228 (1)AI 228 (2)AI 228 (3)AI 228 (4)AI 228 (6)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inclan AI Inclan (1)

As a great counter to 228’s playful addition to work wear, Inclan took on the challenge of making sportswear chic.  The fashions were fun of familiar sportswear features like hoods and bold, fun colors, but the feel of the line was elevated.  AI Inclan (3) AI Inclan (2)By focusing on a streamlined cut and great pops of fun like colors and accessories the line proved you can indeed have your cake in style and eat it too.AI Inclan (7) AI Inclan (2) AI Inclan (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAL AI DAL

Relaxed fit does not have to just mean running errands and DAL proved that a clothes that relaxed do not have to mean sloppy.  The line was a great play on not just the color white but of textures that produce a flowing softness in the line.  Inside this softness there was a fair amount of balance of strength and boldness that speaks to today’s woman on the go. AI DAL (6) AI DAL (5) AI DAL (2)AI DAL (4) AI DAL (1) AI DAL (3)

 

 

My Fab Five at Fashion Houston

Houston Fashion Bloggers Group photoHouston Fashion week took flight on Tuesday setting off to claim our rightful place in fashion as the fourth largest city in America.  Fashion Weeks in cities like Miami and New York have become renowned not just for the fashion but for the production and glitz that makes the evenings not just about fashion, but about fun as well.  Over the four days of fashion week each show gives its own unique twist to compliment the showing designers of the night.   Tuesday night lights shone for me this week and I got to step into the glamor of fashion week.    Take a look at my favorite five things about my night at Fashion Houston.

Sax and DJ at Fashion houston5. Guest list: Grand events like Houston fashion week manages to be a beacon signal for the cities movers and shakers.  As people watching is one of my favorite things I love sitting back and see who is coming and what they are wearing.  Even more fun than that is watching the interaction people have with one another as they are all out dressed to impress and enjoy the artful fashion of the night.

4. Entertainment: Mixing a saxophone player with a DJ would seem foreign, but with eclectic mix of fun at Houston Fashion Week it blended seamlessly.  As you got this blend of live music and recorded beats as you walked through the doors the imagination could not help but to think what could be next??? The show did not disappoint with live performances in between different designers and a special performance by Houston Metropolitan Dance Company.

Red carpet fashion s3. Red Carpet:  What is not fun about putting on your best and hitting a red carpet?? Between the flashing lights and hot fashions there are few places I would rather be.  It is a great place not just to see some of the hottest fashion elite in Houston, but it’s a great way to feel like one yourself.

2. Fun with friends: Like a good bottle a wine, fashion shows are best when they are shared.  Having someone there to exchange notes and occasional jokes with is icing to the cake on the fun of a fashion show.  When the environment is set on fashion new friends become old ones pretty quickly as I wish I had a cam to catch some of the live reactions of the fun ladies surrounding me.

Rubin Singer Fashion Houston 2 Rubin Singer Fashion Houston 1 Art Institute Fashion Houston 2 Art Institute Fashion Houston 11. Fashions: Well this one is a no brainer.   I saw so many pieces that tempted me to run to the dressing room and try to grab.  What I love best about fashion shows is that it expands your palette for what is new and fresh and give you a taste of how you can use fashion to better set the tone for your personal style.  I saw too many pieces I loved to group it all in one post so stayed tuned for my break outs of the individual designer’s highlights.  Until then here is a sneak peak of my favorite fashion pics for Tuesday night.

 

 

 

Fashion love at first site with Danny Nguyen couture

Fashion Houston red carpetI always like to use fashion as an expression of not just my personal sense of style but as a peek inside who I am at a particular moment.  Every once in a while I run into a fashion piece that does exactly that, no translation needed.  At the Vox Culture fashion show I ran into myself preserved away in a dress and it was instant love at first sight.  As I am a pretty eclectic person Danny Nguyen couture presented a dress that can swaying across the runway that gave me a strong mix of elegance, edginess, class and crazy that describes the four corners of who I am.

Fashion Houston red carpet 2What initially cut my eye with the dress was the skirt.  I am a true maxi lover.  Something about seeing the silhouette without any skin is a smooth play between leaving it up to your imagination and also seeing enough curve to know that even though you can’t see everything, you still know the curves are there.  Add some pockets to that mix to give some great function to a sleek look and now you are cooking!  This long flared skirt still gave some fun with the movement the cut of the skirt delivered.  This fun element was also accented with the printed top.  By choosing a colorful print of a king to adorn the top it paired with the solid colored skirt.  To keep a dash of sexy in the mix, a wide cut out for the back added to the originality of the dress so just when you think you had it all figured out there was another cool element to see.  By adding additional accessory elements such as this mold gold plated belt and spiked studs the dress was visual puzzle that became more and more fun as you put take the individual pieces apart and then put them all together again.

Fashion Houston red carpet3With the perfect dress for me in hand I set out for the fun and fashion that is Fashion Houston.  By adding my own bit of flare with some dragon ear cuffs I walked in feeling sexy and unstoppable.  More than anything else clothes that make you feel that transform not just how you present yourself but also how other see you and isn’t that what fashion is all about?

 

Beauty in Courage Event Recap: A stunning mix of art and fashion

Live Auction at Beauty in Courage (2)Fashion, music, dancing can all be considered art forms but rarely do you see them presented together, let alone in a flow that shines the best qualities in all.  Vox Culture carefully mastered pulling together these various forms of art at Beauty in Courage to benefit a powerful cause on Monday night at Mr. Peeples Restaurant.  By pulling the best of performers, designers and artist from all around Houston and beyond Vox Culture was able to raise awareness and funds for the Tahirih Justice Center.   The center provides helps to women and girls affected by gender based violence and the passion behind such a worthy cause came to light in the creativity and magic you saw not just in the event production but in the guest that attended as well.

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Life perforance at Beauty in Courge (2) Life perforance at Beauty in Courge (1)The event really provided a little something for everyone.  For the entertainment enthusiast the entire night delivered from the second you approached the venue as you were greeted by a stilt performer at the entrance to visual arts throughout.  Throughout the night’s festivities there were rappers and singers tearing down the house and sharing the message of understanding and hope that the Tahirih Justice Center is all about.  For the art lover you were right at home with the artist exhibition set up giving you live one on one access with many of the artist accompanying their designs.  Finally for the fashionista there was an overload with a fashion show that showcased designers on the cutting edge of what was new and hot in fashion.  I adores shows where the range of clothes give me some real insight not just on a season but what aesthetically drives the designer.  Beauty in courage red carpet and entryI got a perfect introduction to some up and coming designers an those who are well on their way to making their mark including Rammyez by Rammy, Elle Milady, Virginia Colao, Damari & Co., Panache by B, and the incomparable Danny Nguyen Couture.  With performances sprinkled throughout the show and a great live auction for some of the pieces Vox did a great job of bringing together some of Houston’s most fabulous people to benefit one of our most worthy causes.

 

The Art of Conversation

artofconversationcoloredbigBetween Instagram, emails, texts, and Facebook it has become easy to feel up to date and in the know with everyone from close friends to celebrities to strangers on the other side of the globe.  Within this overload of information about someone, however, it becomes easy to lose some of the essence of who they are and how they feel that comes from good old fashion conversation.  Conversation offers the possibility of being able to talk to someone and hear their voice to pick up on their emotion or see their face to find the wealthy of clues found in their body language.  Effective conversation fills in some of the gaps that we miss without using this form of communication.

At its best conversation is a great way to both bring people into your world and be able to step into theirs.  That is because the basic mastery of conversation comes in knowing the ebbs and flows of how to give and receive communication.  Balancing the power of speaking as well as listening is no small challenge and practicing the skills set that allows you to do so is the art of conversation.  Within these arts you practice the skills that make you stronger, how to listen with an open mind and an open heart, how to speak in a way others understand and relate to you, when can silence say more than words.  Practicing these skills get you closer to the goal of being not just in a conversation but using conversation as an effective means to communicate.

Although it is increasingly a lost art, mastering the art of conversation can open doors that are impossible to unlock without it.  Whether it’s meeting a new client, or making a new friend or engaging a new mentor, conversations matter.  Although the power behind it is a bit of a mystery I believe that a part of it comes in opening sharing with someone else.  Without the screens that can come with sending an email or a text where some one cannot grasp all of what you mean or are trying to stay.  The art of conversation is open and honest and in trying to receive what someone is giving you, it sets the ground in them likewise receiving you.  That type of sharing is moves people and inspires them to do things they never would have imagined doing without it.  How do you feel like your skills range in the art of conversation???  No matter where you are now there are always room to improve as you move towards conversations that inspire both you and others.

A day on the run with my cross body bag

Cross body bagWeekends are reserved for errands for me.  Those two magical days at the end of the week are reserved for all of the running around that just could not fit into a five day work week and usually have me out and about from 10 to 7 trying to get it all in.  Saturday, for instance, was full of hustle and bustle with trips to the flooring store, the furniture store, the Container Store, and Lowe’s and Home Depot to boot, not to mention some heavy lifting along the ways.  Days like this there is no accessory that saves the day more than my cross body bag.

A cross body purse is a great bag for being on the move because of the freedom plain and simple.  You don’t have to worry about holding it or trying to force it to stay on your shoulder.  With the weight distributed it’s perfectly balanced to hit the road with you, and all of your items are a simple flap lift away.  My favorite is my Gucci cross body.  It is a change from the smaller purses I usually carry around because it becomes my utility bag to handle all of the unexpected that pops up on a busy day.  The cross body purse is somewhere I can keep everything that I think I may want or need.  From lotion to receipts to even my iPad this bag can handle it all!  I through it over my head and I am ready to face the challenges of a busy day with ease.  Of course as a fashionista it’s a great way to prove you can indeed have it all.  With this cross body I get to keep my love for style with a really functional bag.  When I really get into high drive I push the bag to the back and prepare to push through the rest of the day with beautiful ease, just like my bag.

 

 

Taking on fall fashion with a cropped motorcycle jacket

IMG_9446The cold finally dropped out of the sky and descended on Houston this week, triggering a mad dash for winter clothes.  Despite the cold that slammed down, Houston will still have it’s usually weather yo-yo for a while.  Although planning for the unpredictability of the weather can be hard it does give me a chance to escape to one of my favorite fashion staples – Jackets!!!  As someone who is always cold I always stay prepared with something to keep me warm, but warm and cute can still be friends in the world of fashion.  When planning for those in between days where we get 10 different degrees all in one day I love the versatility and style that comes with a cropped jacket.

IMG_9447Cropped Jackets give some of the warmth of sleeves paired with the option to either layer clothing under for additional warmth or bare the belly and wear the jacket as a shirt.  This Burberry motorcycle crop jacket is the newest addition to my team and it was instant love at first sight.  I love transitioning to fall first and foremost with colors.  Choosing deeper and darker colors are great way to showcase the transition of the seasons, even when the weather is not as obedient.  Olive green is one of my favorite fall colors and the black trim on the jacket offset the olive green just enough to be versatile with various pairings with pants and skirts and void a color rut.

IMG_9450With the instant color match my eye moved to the design.  Motorcycle jackets give a fun feel and a really different look when you decide to buckle up or wear it open.  The black piping again made a home run because it provides extra emphasis on the waist area, giving an exaggerated illusion from wide to narrow.  Button it completely for a sleek look or keep the buttons partially or completely undone for a more casual look.  If you dare to jump a little further into the dark side pair it with a crop top or wear it only as a shirt.  All in all you get to add warmth but still keep style with this cropped jacket and any piece that you can wear it your way and still look fabulous always knocks the ball out of the park.

 

 

 

Texas Renaissance Festival Fun

IMG_9397Since time machines have yet to come about there is no better way to get the best of the entertainment and fun of Old England than a Renaissance Festival.  I don’t think it’s better done that at the Texas Renaissance Festival, where you are quickly transported to a town of kings, queens, fairies, Vikings and almost everything in between.  IMG_9390The Texas Renaissance Festival has become a tradition for my family where we always find something fun and new for everyone to do or try.  Here are my top five favorite things to do or see at the Texas Ren Fest:

IMG_93515. Games and Rides: I love the medieval twist that the Texas Ren Fest throws on games and rides to give it a new spin.  Yes some things like horse rides are a little more common but a four person swing is cool no matter how you look at it.  If you are up from more of a challenge check out their archery station, rock climbing or trampoline to add some adrenaline to the fun.

IMG_93964. Pictures: Pictures are definitely worth 1,000 words and when your picture is you as a pirate, king, or fairy you can probably double that number.  The history themed picture vendors are always a lot of fun to play dresses up in a group and really take on the role of your costume, even if it is just for a second.  For me these fun pictures normally wind up on my Christmas card.  What better way to show my love for life than a quick pic of me as a fairy or queen or maybe even both?

IMG_93943. Playing Dress Up: So the first couple of years I watched as those who walked up in costume came into the festival and got absorbed in the merriment of it all.  I decided I had to get in on that action and every year since I add my own twist on my festival attire.  As the weekends are themed you can keep it simple and just add some pieces to match the theme or go all out in whatever character or time intrigues you the most.  This year I just went with a cloak and ended up with more of an elf/Lord of the Rings vibe.

2. The food: As the Renaissance Festival is divided into regions you can get a taste of the globe all in one fair.  From pizza to Brats to fried pickles it is the ultimate fair food paradise.  I have my go too favorites like roasted corn and loaded chips but every year I branch out to try a little something different.  The fact that the stalls are established and not portable gives me a little more comfort that what I am eating won’t kill me or assault my stomach later. By the end of the festival between the different stalls and the wine we frequently picked up I was beyond stuffed and feeling pretty silly.

IMG_9392 IMG_93841. The shows: Part of the reason the Renaissance Festival is an all-day affair, besides the expansive grounds, is because the assortment of shows they have.  From sword school to the Pirate Auction to even seeing the king and queen in the jousting match, entertainment abounds at the Renaissance Festival.  What I love most is how the much the characters get into their roles, so even just a quick walk around the festival usually ends up in some impromptu performance or conversation that defines the time jump you experience at the Texas Ren Fest.

 

 

 

My Hollywood Halloween

Halloween at the W (29)The strange mix of fun, horror, and dress up makes Halloween one of the days I look forward to most every year.  My love for the holiday leads me every year to search to find or make costumes that I love only to show up at a party where I feel like one of the few who got the memo that costumes and Halloween go hand and hand.  This year I decided to take my costume show on the road and headed to LaLa land to explore how Los Angeles does Halloween soirees.

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Halloween at the W (24)While the party choices in LA were hard to narrow down, I took some guidance from the locals and ended up at the W Hollywood for their annual Halloween celebration.  The whole hotel seems to cater to the love of Halloween as even the lobby was pulled into the fun that took over the entire bar and lounge area of the hotel.  As opposed to ballroom parties, using the lobby kept the space feeling fun and the party moving.  The crowd was definitely packed, however, with an included balcony there was definitely enough space for you to take a break and get some air or stay on the dance floor and feel the vibe of the crowd.  I loved the balcony area with huge pictures of some unforgettable actors and of course the premium bar for those who purchased the all you can drink bracelets.

Halloween at the W (28) Halloween at the W (27) Halloween at the W (16) Halloween at the W (2)With drinks pouring and the music flowing it’s hard to ask for anything more, but indeed my favorite part of the night was the costumes.  From Alice in Wonderland to Batman everyone got their crew together and came coordinated and ready to go.  There is something about a costume that allows people to be a little friendlier and party just a little harder (of course the all you can drink bar helped out with that as well).  Throughout the night I laughed, took pictures, compared costumes and had a great time all with perfect strangers with the love for Halloween as our common connection. Halloween at the W (26) Halloween at the W (28)