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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Fabergé All the Way

Mar 30 0 Comments

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From Maggie “the master of couture” Norris comes to us her latest project, a Fabergé corseted egg custom designed, sewn and crafted all in the beautiful atelier Maggie calls her own on Eighth avenue. The egg was inspired by the ‘Imperial Rosebud’ egg by Peter Carl Fabergé, and was made specifically for Fabergé’s The Big Egg Hunt Charity Event. Hours upon hours of work were spent crafting this masterful piece of art, all for an innovative and engaging fundraising initiative that will see over 250 large egg sculptures – each designed by globally renowned artists, designers and creatives – placed throughout New York City’s five boroughs from April 1st to 26th, 2014 benefiting both Elephant Family and Studio in a School. To see the “making of the egg” please click on the video link below.


Video courtesy of Andrew Le Pera and Christopher Yin

The history of the fabergé egg is as follows;  fabergé is one of a limited number of jeweled eggs created by Peter Carl Fabergéand his company from 1885 to 1917. The most famous of the eggs are the ones made for the Russian Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II as Easter gifts for their wives and mothers, often called the ‘Imperial’ Fabergé eggs. About 50 eggs were made, and 43 have survived. Another two were planned for Easter 1918, but because of the Russian Revolution were not delivered.

After the Revolution, the Fabergé family left Russia. The Fabergé trademark has been sold several times since, and several companies have retailed egg-related merchandise using the Fabergé name. The trademark is now owned by Fabergé Limited, which makes egg-themed jewelry.


Just in Case

Mar 24 0 Comments

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Want your ring to have a bit more bling? Need your phone to be uniquely your own? Alas, designers have answered your calls (literally) and out has come the “designer cell phone holder.” If you feel a certain urge for your Stella McCartney “Falabella” to have a matching cell phone too, now you’re in luck (that is, if you have a spare $325, but then again, if you own a Falabella, you probably do). Designers have made it a faux pas to carry a bare white rectangle anymore, now you must adorn yours in logos and emblems. Fear not, my phony friends, because starting in the high $20s and low $30s designers such as Lily Pulitzer and Kate Spade have made a case for your phone to grace. Put your buzzers on silent and take a quick look at some of my favorite designer cell phone cases, because you never know when your phone’s gonna be judged by someone else – so just in case!
Balenciaga $335

Burberry $365

Dannijo $69

Dolce & Gabbana $108

DSquared2 $46

Diane Von Furstenberg $50

Jimmy Choo $250

Kate Spade $35

Kate Spade $40

Kate Spade $40 
Lanvin $80

Lily Pulitzer $28

Marc by Marc Jacobs $48

Marc by Marc Jacobs $58

Milly $40

Moschino $46

Moschino $57

Moschino $85 
Saint Laurent $237

Stella McCartney $325

Tory Burch $60

Yazbukey $45
Pierre Hardy $125

Queen Kahng

Mar 21 0 Comments
Queen Kahng

Gemma Kahng

It’s not often that you are graced with the presence of one of the greatest masters of design of the 21st century. Back in 2010, I was bestowed upon the honor of meeting a soft and humble Ms. Gemma Kahng. At the time, Kahng’s star was on the rise – she was after all one of the leading innovators of the 90’s dressing Madonna and Sharon Stone to name a few. 

Me in a Gemma Kahng original

Despite the setbacks, Ms. Kahng has been working to make her namesake line relevant again. The 2000s appear to be a different story entirely, with the announcement of Kahng’s latest collection appearing in Neiman Marcus, and the expansion of her company to include new seamstresses and a new publicist. On any given evening, her soft yet primal designs can be seen worn across the board by New York’s elite.

Me in a Gemma Kahng original
Gemma Kahng first debuted at The Art Institute of Chicago in 1989 with $35,000 her parents had given her to use as a down payment for an apartment. With the entire line in black and cream, Ms. Kahng created power suits, sharply tailored jackets and sleek dresses made from chiffon, double-knit wools and velvet. The collection was such a smash success, it was picked up by thirty different retailers – a remarkable feat for a designer’s first season.

Gemma Kahng designs

In 1991, Ms. Kahng was doing so well that she moved her four-person operation to 550 Seventh Avenue. Her signature jackets, pantsuits and wasp-y yet whimsical garments found their way into stores that were also home to brands like Gucci Chanel.
Kahng and myself surrounded by models

Times became tough however and with Kahng acting as both financial advisor and head designer, things went awry. “I didn’t survive because I didn’t have a person to watch the money,” she said.

Me in a Gemma Kahng original

In 1999, Ms. Kahng traded her Seventh Avenue studio for a 500-square-foot space within a costume shop that she discovered on Craigslist. She started freelance designing for a Japanese company, and took out a loan against her SoHo apartment to finance her living and brand expenses. “People didn’t realize I was nearly starving and living on the edge,” she said. “I had great shoes and an optimistic personality.”
A Kahng design
Kahng had no reservations about dissecting her failed business on Joe Zee’s national television show “On The Line.” The series aired in April 2011, and on it Ms. Kahng expressed her feelings of abandonment. “The older buyers who used to buy my clothes don’t have time for me anymore,” she said on the show.
Models in Gemma Kahng
New exposure and a breath of creativity from muses like Michelle Harper inspired Kahng to seek help. Around the same time the show aired,  Kahng began collaborating with Jenelle Hamilton, a publicist and a founder of the public relations and marketing firm The Connective NYC.
Three Kahng designs
Initially, Ms. Kahng and Ms. Hamilton bartered until buyers once again picked up the label and money came in. Capitalizing on the momentum of the show, the two devised a rebranding plan.

Me in a Gemma Kahng original

“Her main concern was getting her name out there again,” Ms. Hamilton said. “The public has these iconic memories of her. We wanted to make sure people knew that she’s back and doing something different.”
A Kahng design
Now a new aesthetic has emerged. Ms. Kahng injects romance into her clothes using frills and ruffles, all while maintaining a coolness that pleases both the ladies-who-lunch and their downtown daughters. I can personally attest to the fact that Kahng’s designs are both wearable, show-stopping, impeccably crafted, and undeniably unique.

Me celebrating my birthday in a Gemma Kahng original

Last summer a private investor put money into her company. Ms. Kahng said that she is no longer living off the equity of her home, and that she is starting to show a profit again.

Models wearing Gemma Kahng

Although most signs seem to point to a second round of success, the veteran designer knows that the fashion industry can be fickle. Yet, she’s optimistic. Ms. Kahng said, “An old buyer from Neiman Marcus that I used to work with, who’s now retired, recently e-mailed me, ‘You’re still the coolest kid on the block’, and she’s right, I’ve still got it.” And still got it, she does indeed : )

Kahng and models
For more on Gemma Kahng, visit www.gemmakahng.com



Get High

Mar 21 0 Comments
They’re costly but they’re comfy, they’re cute but they’ve got street cred, what am I talking about? Designer gym shoes but of course! For a pretty penny, you can put together an effortlessly chic “I-care-but-I-don’t-really-care” look all by the soles of your feet. Celebrities across the globe are rocking raucous kicks. From Jessica Alba to Alessandra Ambrosio, high tops are the fly tops when it comes to rocking shoes. 
Jessica Alba

Mila Kunis

Alessandra Ambrosio and Miranda Kerr

Sarah Jessica Parker
And one thing’s for certain – the flashier the better. These statement shoes look best when paired with a SIMPLE pair of jeans or leggings. The goal is to look flashy but you don’t want to look trashy; wear a statement shirt but keep your cools when it comes to the jewels – too much bling with a high top shoe and you’ll end up looking like Flava Flav – not a savvy look. The leader of the pack on the high top track? Giuseppe Zanotti. Zanotti’s designs are not only innovative and unique but they could arguably be called works of art. Not to mention, Zanotti’s vast volume of high top styles surpasses any other “designer” footwear creator on the market. Below I have compiled for you some of my favorite flashiest footwear – fear not! They’re hot!
Ash $265

Boss $245

Philippe Model $340

Alexander McQueen $390

Comme Des Garcons $250

Giuseppe Zanotti $925

Giuseppe Zannoti$995

Giuseppe Zanotti $1,295

Giuseppe Zanotti $1,460

Givenchy $650

Givenchy $828

Givenchy $875
Gucci $745

Jimmy Choo $995

Maison Martin Margiela $825

Michael Michael Kors $194

Miu Miu $299
Prada $670
Raf Simmons $570

Rick Owens $1,568

Saint Laurent $622

Salvatore Ferragamo $660
Versace $1,525

A Reason to Smile, Artistic Tile

Mar 21 0 Comments
Whilst walking through Chicago’s Merchandise Mart with my mother, I came across something that absolutely struck my eye. There was a tile store called “Artistic Tile” and featured in the window were mannequins made entirely out of tile. I thought that this was so very cool that I had to share it with you. I love when people find the ability to mix home and fashion. Below are some of the featured mannequins that Artistic Tile displays in their windows. 

A tiled tie
A tiled shirt-in-the-wind
A little bit more information for you on Artistic Tile…Artistic Tile is a family-run business, offering thousands of stocked tile and natural stone products for immediate delivery, as well as in-house design services and complete custom capabilities. No matter how intricate the designs or how rare the materials, they offer assistance in every aspect of the specification process from concept to completion. This has won their company acclaim among top interior designers and architects. 

A tiled women’s wedding dress

Founded in 1987 by Nancy Epstein, she still serves today as the CEO and principal product designer of Artistic Tile. As the entrepreneur behind the prestigious brand, Nancy is a leading authority in the manufacturing, importing, and distributing of luxury tile and stone. She travels extensively throughout the world to find the very best quality stone and discovers materials and artisans that have not been seen before in the United States. Some of her favorite destinations include: Israel, Italy, France, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, Mexico, India, and Vietnam. Nancy is known for establishing industry trends – or themes as she likes to call them – and is consistently pushing the boundaries with the design of her own innovative, award-winning products. She is a visionary and her designs have been featured in top shelter media outlets. For more information, visit www.artistictile.com


The view from behind: tiled “denim” jeans


Commander in Chief

Mar 18 0 Comments
Life’s not just all about camouflage to be a commander in chief. This season’s designers are taking an entirely new representation on the militaristic trend by introducing exotic fabrics, structured gatherings, and multi-tiered button holes to name a few styles of note. While I’ll be the first to attest to the fact that I’m a huge fan of this trend, I find it deeply important to point out that one should never mix military looks from head to toe. Choose a jacket and pair it with a boyfriend jean, or pick a dress and mix it with clunky heels. You never want to end up the Frau of Fashion, aim instead towards being the Commander of Couture. 
L: Pinky Laing, R: Michaela Buerger
You may think the coloring of your commando clothing is arbitrary, however the U.S. Army has meticulously chosen the colors its soldiers wear. The U.S. Army uses the Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP), which blends tan, gray and green (Desert Sand 500, Urban Gray 501 and Foliage Green 502) to work equally in desert, woodland, and urban environments. The color scheme of the Army Combat Uniform is composed of a slate gray, desert sand and foliage green pixel pattern. The shade black was omitted from the uniform since it is highly visible both to the naked eye and to modern optics. However, it does utilize several shades of grey ranging from very light to extremely dark. Pure black, when viewed through night vision devices, appears excessively dark and creates an undesirable high-contrast image. Thus said, the often uber-trendy black military coats are really just that – not exactly practical, nothing more than trendy.
Anthony Vaccarello

I hope you don’t plan on fighting snipers anytime soon, and with that in mind, I have taken the liberty of finding you some of the chicest commandress (*female for “commander”….**totally made up word) garments available on the internet. Show some love for your land, wear some couture made by hand!

Balenciaga
Balmain
Balmain
Chanel
Dolce & Gabbana
Diane Von Furstenberg
Fendi
L: Gianvitto Rossi, R: Prabal Gurung
Jimmy Choo
Laura Cathcart
Marchesa 
Nonoo
L: Ralph Lauren, R: Givenchy
Rolex
Rosie Assoulin 
Alexander McQueen
L: Ann Demeulemeester, R: J Brand

A Green Homage: Happy 26th Birthday to Me!

Mar 17 0 Comments
Some girls are born Winner’s and today, March 17th, this here Winner was born! I am thrilled and honored to share my big 2-6 with all of my blog lovers, and in honor of the day, I have gone on a glorious green shopping spree! Well, I may not have actually “bought” any of the items but I certainly love them each and wouldn’t unwelcome any of you at all to feel free to purchase them for me! XX
So in honor of St. Patricks day (it should really be St. Alexa day, errrgg) I have scoured and hypothetically devoured each and every bit of high fashion green garmento on the internet. Don’t be mean, be patriotic and wear green!
J. Crew

M Missoni

No. 21

Alice + Olivia

Alice + Olivia

American Eagle

Anna Sui

Aperlai

Asos

Au Jour Le Jour

Balmain

Ben Amun

Burberry

Burberry

Burberry 
Burberry

Carven

Cedric Charlier

Chloe 
Dannijo

Dannijo

DKNYC

Dolce & Gabbana

Elie Saab

Emma Cook

Erdem

Essie

Etro

Etro

Etro

Forever 21

Gianvito Rossi

Givenchy

Givenchy

H&M

Jimmy Choo

Kate Spade

Kenzo

L.A.M.B.

Lanvin

Lanvin

Lanvin

Lulus 
Madewell

Manolo Blahnik 
Manolo Blahnik

Marni

Marni

Mary Katrantzou 
Melissa Odabash

Michael Michael Kors

Missoni

Miu Miu

Miu Miu

MM6 Maison Martin Margiela

Oscar de la Renta

Ostwald Helgason

Peter Pilotto

Peter Pilotto

Pierre Hardy

Pixie Market

Reed Krakoff

Roger Vivier

Sabine

Stella McCartney

Stuart Weitzman 
The Row

Thom Browne 
Tom Binns 
TopShop

TopShop

Tory Burch

Valentino

Valentino

Le “Clover” Emblématique

Mar 17 0 Comments
What else says St. Patricks day other than a four leaf clover? And who does a four leaf clover better than Van Cleef & Aprels? Before we get to the iconic design house, first a brief history on the clover itself. The four-leaf clover is an uncommon variation of the common, three-leaved clover. According to tradition, such leaves bring good luck to their finders, especially if found accidentally. In addition, each leaf is believed to represent something: the first is for faith, the second is for hope, the third is for love, and the fourth is for luck. It has been estimated that there are approximately 10,000 three-leaf clovers for every four-leaf clover; however, this probability has not deterred collectors who have reached records as high as 160,000 four-leaf clovers.

$7,050 from Van Cleef & Arpels

With Van Cleef &Arpels’ first store opening in 1906 at 22 Place Vendome in Paris, the iconic jewelry house was instantly a hit amongst the nouveau riche with their Egyptian jewels and rose decoratifs. 

A Van Cleef & Arpels bracelet from 1924

In 1968, Van Cleef & Arpels created their first Alhambra (clover) long necklace, combining yellow gold with the delicate lines of the famous motif. More than a jewel, Alhambra became the maison’s emblematic icon of luck; a timeless family that stands out from all the others.
$15,900 from Van Cleef & Arpels
The Alhambra rapidly became an emblem of the maison. For over four decades, women have loved the enchanting contours of this lucky-charm motif. It is a potent symbol of luck, health, fortune, and love.
$3,700
Born as a long, plain yellow gold necklace, the Alhambra collection has always displayed a timeless elegance. In the years following its launch, the collection was broadened to include a rich variety of models and colored stones. Today, the white mother-of-pearl model remains the maison’s bestseller.
$11,900

Reflecting Van Cleef & Arpels’ tradition of excellence, Alhambra is constantly renewed as time goes by, through a wide range of natural materials that are symbols of luck, thus offering an infinite variety of colors.

$4,250

The different skills of the lapidaries, jewelers, stone-setters and polishers come together during the successive steps of selection, production and final checking to bring the iconic Alhambra jewels to life.

$22,100

For more on Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry visit www.vancleefarpels.com

French Toast!

Mar 17 0 Comments
We’ve got to toast it to the French, when it comes to design, nearly no one knows how to do it better. With their sophisticated eye and well-tuned palette, there’s hardly anything that says Parisian better than a flawlessly constructed haute couture jacket or dress. There is something so innately ethereal about watching a French master’s creations glide down the runway to the beat of MC Solaar. It is with great privilege and extraordinary fondness that I would like to present to you the top five emerging French designers. Coco Chanel, watch your coattails – Cedric Charlier, Jacquemus, Olympia Le-Tan, Wanda, and Atto are rearing and ready to go!

Cedric Charlier

Cedric Charlier was born in Belgium and graduated from the School of Visual Arts of Brussels. Charlier won the Moêt Hennessy Fashion Award in 1998 and subsequently worked at the House of Céline in Paris for two years under the creative direction of Michael Kors. He later joined Jean Paul Knott’s studio for two other years. Afterwards he joined Alber Elbaz’s team at Lanvin where he spent six years working. He caught the attention of Jean Bousquet, who in 2009 commissioned Cédric Charlier to create a new dynamic positioning for Cacharel.Cédric worked four seasons as artistic director at Cacharel before he setting up his own brand. He showed his first eponymous collection in February 2012, in Paris. The new collection got immediate attention from both international press and buyers.Cedric Charlier is available online at stores such as net-a-porter.com and shopbop.com. Charlier currently resides in Paris.


Jacquemus

And so it happens that a boy who was born and raised in an area amidst the lavender fields in the south of France, at 18 decided to radically change his life and move to Paris to work in fashion. His name is Simon Porte Jacquemus and has a very clear idea of what he wants. He is inspired by a female muse, a vulnerable but determined style icon who deceives but loves, suffers and seduces: it’s the French actress and singer Isabelle Adjani. Once in Paris, Simon studied fashion design for three months, then worked as a stylist assistant until he decided that he was ready and in 2009 he moved to a small atelier in Montmartre to work on his collection. In tune with the decade he was born, his style is also very much a product of the 90’s. His style takes cues from grunge to which he adds a contemporary edge; it is sophisticated but minimal, underground but fashioned in ultra-modern cuts and shapes. Jacquemus is already stocked in boutiques as prestigious as Opening Ceremony, Dover Street Market, and Biffi.



Olympia Le-Tan
Meet OIympia Le-Tan, a self-taught fashion designer, born in London and raised in Paris. Combining her two obsessions, embroidery (a talent she inherited from her grand-mother), and literature (a passion she shares with her father, French illustrator Pierre Le-Tan), Le Tan creates one-of-a-kind handbags and minaudières representing, among other things, books. The bags are handmade with love in France in very limited editions, but distributed in over 30 select shops around the world. In addition, Le Tan recently launched her first ready to wear collection in March of 2012, displaying classic clothes with a twist. The line is mostly a mix between Olympia’s British and Paris heritage using velvets, tartans, college stripes and Liberty print fabrics to create dresses, jackets and a few leather pieces.

Wanda Nylon
Wanda Nylon is a Paris-based fashion brand developing a functional luxurious stylish wardrobe inspired by rain protection and water. The label fuses innovation, comfort and style, giving a strong contemporary and luxurious twist to functional rainwear. The first intent was to have rainy days become fashionable with a sartorial wardrobe in water-resistant materials. Later on the line was to propose a full range of classics in innovative water resistant fabrics, including pencil skirts, blazers and sweaters. The duo behind Wanda Nylon, Peter Hornstein and Johanna Senyk, met during the International Festival de La Mode at Hyères where Peter won a prize with his “bionic” collection. Hornstein, a German designer, specialized in high tech materials. Mastering traditional couture craftsmanship, he graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and gained several prizes and fast recognition in the fashion industry. Senyk started as a stylist and began very soon to do consulting for Haute Couture French houses. She lately co-founded the brand Anthony Vacarello and is the casting director for renown edgy labels such as JW Anderson or THE ROW.

Atto
Judging by the reception that Atto, a new French label, is receiving, it’s safe to say that Nicolas Ghesquiere trained his staff well. The brainchild of three ex-Balenciaga staffers who went freelance after Ghesquiere’s rather abrupt departure last year, Atto aims to give women “a complete and articulate wardrobe,” says Julien Dossena, 30, the brand’s design head, who was Ghesquiere’s senior designer at Balenciaga and has just signed on as the new creative director of Paco Rabanne. After a low-key debut during the haute couture shows in July, Atto has already landed prime international accounts: Printemps, Harvey Nichols, Saks Fifth Avenue and Kirna Zabete to name a few.


Ring My Bell

Mar 15 0 Comments
Beyonce already told you to put a ring on it – so listen up! It’s time to ring in spring with a bevy of beautiful finger baubles. You don’t have to be married just to rock a rock, women of any persuasion can do the ring thing. Whether your sporting 18k gold with white diamonds from Sabbia’s Alex Sepkus or you’re playing it more playful with flower ornamentation and Swarovski crystals from Akong, there’s certain to be some eye-candy that you can carry handy. Be jovial – try wearing multiple rings on different fingers at once. Just a rule of thumb (or rather finger), if you’re wearing an engagement ring don’t wear any other rings on that hand – you wouldn’t want to detract from, or make tack from, your prized possession. 
Akong

Alex Sepkus
Try playing it cool by matching your nail polish color to your ring, or for a different and subtly sophisticated look try looping your ring on a necklace chain and wearing it around your neck. One thing’s for certain about spring 2014’s ring trend, the ring is all about the bling. Cocktail rings are large and original statement makers that will be sure to spark evening conversation. You can also play around with the size of the ring by wearing smaller circumferences up higher on your fingers to give a surprisingly edgy twist. 
Me doing my multi-ring thing
And now, I bRING you the rings…
Akong

Alexis Bittar

Alexis Bittar

Aurelie Bidermann

Ca & Lou

Ca & Lou

Ca & Lou 
David Yurman

David Yurman

Delfina Delettrez

Erickson Beamon

Erickson Beamon

Etername

Etername

Etername

Fallon

Lele Sadoughi

Mawi

Mawi

Repossi

Tory Burch

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