Tag Archives: Fashion Designer

Moroccan Afternoon / A Study Of Casual Urban Elegance

Standard

Summer – 1985 – Perry Ellis, One of my first fashion jobs, and I was on my way to my first overseas business destination, Morocco. To say I was excited is like saying the sun can cause a heat rash, its just a fact, and I was geared for fun! The trip was 3 days, and then on to China, but that was three days I will always remember fondly. The food, wonderful cheerful people, and the culture that left me wanting more. I have never been make, alas, but at least in this fashion expedition, I can return in my heart. In this expedition, I designed casual sophisticated men’s wear looks that are comfortable and very stylish.

View more of this presentation at my digital portfolio: http://tinyurl.com/bnwkzmy

hd_cf49dbdf2bb2444dac1eae9645559281

hd_2668d696c12ad964065502d74026bb15

Advertisements

Harlem Style Redefined/ Candy Furs & Sexy Suits

Standard

ImageImageImage

I have lived in many places on this earth during my career as a fashion designer. From the finding inspiration in the countrysides of Japan, to roaming aimlessly in the mysterious back alleys of China Town in NYC, looking for exotic fashion finds and ‘knick-knacks’ that most people never discover. When I travel to a city, I always ask around to find the more ‘fashionable’ sections of that city. From San Francisco to Los Angeles, I am always drawn to parts of these cities that inspire me as a designer. I have lived in NYC for over 23 years, seen much of what this city has to offer and find so much of her inspiring. One district of Manhattan inspires me the most, and that is Harlem. Harlem is a large neighborhood within the northern section of the New York City borough of Manhattan. Since the 1920s, Harlem has been known as a major African-American residential, cultural and business center. Originally a Dutch village, formally organized in 1658, it is named after the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands. Harlem’s history has been defined by a series of economic boom-and-bust cycles, with significant population shifts accompanying each cycle.
Black residents began to arrive en masse in 1905, with numbers fed by the Great Migration. In the 1920s and 1930s, Central and West Harlem were the focus of the “Harlem Renaissance”, an outpouring of artistic work without precedent in the American black community. However, with job losses in the time of the Great Depression and the deindustrialization of New York City after World War II, rates of crime and poverty increased significantly. Since New York City’s revival in the late 20th century, Harlem has been experiencing social and economic gentrification. However, Harlem still suffers from many social problems. Though the percentage of residents who are black peaked in 1950, the area remains predominantly black. There is no where in the world where I can be in one location, maybe the Lennox Lounge having a beer, close my eyes, and imagine that 60 years before, maybe on the same day, Jazz great Billie Holiday was in the same place, singing with her velvet voice, to a gathering of fans. Harlem remains a steady inspiration for fashion ideas as well. When I worked corporate as a design director, if I was ever “dry” out of ideas, I would take that 1 train down to Harlem and simply walk around. After a few hours, I would head back to the office brimming with new ideas to sketch,hence my inspiration for these boards. My ‘Harem Muse’ would be a lovely black woman, daring and beautiful, dressed to the nines in a style that is all her own. In these looks, I wanted to explore candy colored faux furs (animal friendly ofcourse), beautiful,textured boucle’ jackets reminiscent of the iconic Chanel boucle’ jackets, and supremely cut suits. All would be accessorized with modern pocket books, clutches and shoes that were vivid in color and textures. The end look would be imaginative, statuesque, and stylish, fit for a daring woman that desires to make and entrance, uttering one word.

 

ImageImage

Seaki Ashe’ / An Expose Into Casual Luxury Menswear

Standard

 

Image

As a designer, I am always researching styles  and aesthetics that allows my work as a designer more and more freedom. Womenswear is easily suited for such creative freedoms,not so much for menswear. For the last 120 years, menswear has maintained a very rigid aesthetic,and in the fellow looks, I hope to relax this ‘style structure’ a bit. The above style is a look meant for my upcoming 2013 Fall Collection. The leather blazer / jacket front and back yokes are draped, forming a very ‘layered’ texture and silhouette. Draping is usually considered a design technique used specifically for womenswear styles, so to utilize the technique for menswear is risky. I wanted a look that was soft, casual , but daring and edgy. The fabric that I will use for this style is soft lambskin. I would couple this style with flat front,pinstripe wool skinny slacks, and draped cowl neck  knit top.I feel the final look is daring,edgy and romantic. Below are other casual, luxury – based looks. In each look I want to use luxurious fabrics, with a wonderful illustrative presentation.

Image

 Another draped look utilizing leather and worsted wool. The blazer is a fashion forward silhouette, very cutting edge. The center front is a leather draped cowl neck accented with antique brass buckle trims. The cowl neck detail is further accented with a cashmere, draped right lower front yoke. The entire jacket is a simple leather blazer, with these unconventional details that resonate romance. The slacks of this ensemble are a soft, casual rayon / silk mix with a harem pant with a extremely low crotch. I got the idea for the pants when watching a docu about Ghandi, and felt he looked so regal and elegant. Coupled with a structured worsted silk wool blazer and a draped silk shirt with a mandarin collar.

ImageThis look is another romantic look, finely tailored suit layered with a dramatic shearling. What fascinates me about this look is the mixing of sport and highbrow tailoring. The shirt and tie are very in the style of what was popular in the early 1940’s . A stiff,starched collar, combined with a ascot styled necktie gives off a certain style. I combined this with a early 19th century styled vest. This precarious layering is accented with a smartly tailored blazer, and silk denim slacks. The final look is made even more casual with suede loafers.

Image

 

 

“Afternoon In The Amazon” / A Study Of Style And Conservation

Standard

I created this project for a few reasons so along with my 12 year old sewing machine,serger, and 21 year old well-known sewing mannequin, “Samatha” ( I aquired “Samantha” while a attending  Parsons School Of Design and she is even signed by my then fashion critic of my senior show, the now world famous style-master Marc Jacobs.),  I created a few looks that were meant to show admires of my work the many facets of my talent. From conception to actual sewn samples I do myself, I try to be as free and unbounded with my skills as a designer as I can. The second reason is very important to me. Our Amazon forest are being decimated at an increasing level. Though through conservation efforts, many of these destructive practices are being curtailed, it is still a MAJOR problem in that regain of the world. As many of you know, the Amazon region provides much of the earths’ oxygen, but many people forget about the beautiful indigenous people that call these forest home. There are still over 200 indigenous groups in the Amazon Rainforest , talking 180 different languages and each with their own cultural heritage. If you narrow your view to language families you will still find 30 different language families in the Amazon rainforest.

This shows that like the flora and fauna , the cultural diversity in the region is also very high, making it an even more interesting and rich place. The Kuarup is the biggest indigenous festival and it has being happening annually in July or August for centuries. The Kuarup festival brings many different tribes together to celebrate and honor their dead. Although the motivation is not the most cheerful one the festivities are happy and very enjoyable for outsiders. It’s a huge demonstration of indigenous dance, music, rituals , games and food. Nowadays the Kuarup can be seen by the outsiders on some occasions, not always, as it depends on the mood and willingness of the tribe leaders.There are at least 50 groups that still don’t have regular contact with the outsides and keep away from them. The Brazilian government policy towards these groups is to leave them alone, as they wish. Not very much is known about these groups as they keep going deeper and deeper into the forest as the outsiders get closer to where they live. To stop the constant migration of tribes it has been suggested that an Indigenous Protected Area be setup so they can stop running away into the most remote places of the forest. Another interesting fact and a hope about the indigenous population is that their numbers are increasing. This means that, after 5 centuries being destroyed, they are actually being able to live and grow in their demarcated lands. This is hope for their cultures and way of life. My fathers’ paternal family is part of one of these tribes, so being a descendant of “The Forest”, and as a designer, I wanted to showcase the simple beauty of these people, something the fashion world as yet to do. Show casing my design, in models exhibiting ceremonial face tattoos, jewelry,etc. is a wonderful way to showcase these wonderful people and shed a light on a cause that is close to my heart.

I am always pushing my talents, my creative boundaries are always being expanded slowly.  In this series I wanted to create looks that were inspired by the wonderful Amazon Forest, one of the largest rain forest on this earth. My father is from Sinop,Brazil, much of his family are indigenous people that make their home in the Amazon forest. I have been back to Brazil to my fathers town and my distant relatives to understand their culture and lives. I am proud  to have these wonderful people as  apart of my family, and have learned so much from them. I am deeply disturbed when I hear of the stories of land-robbing, brutality, deforestation, and even murder from my relatives. When they rely these stories to me, they always have hurt and regret in their voice and tears in their eyes.  I wanted  a powerful fashion based medium  that could get the message out concerning what is going on in the Amazon. I chose colors and fabrics that were luxurious, but reminiscent of all the colors, hues, and scenery dynamics of this great forest and her animals.  I even chose to use indigenous models to wear my fashions, in celebration of the Metyktire Tribe, the indigenous people of my father. I will be continuing this series, as I have created 7 key looks that I have sampled. I wanted to bring awareness to the many problems of the Amazon because of greed. I think the one statement ” This is my home” is powerful, and reminds us all that these wonderful forests, these mystical lands are the native homelands of living human beings that have existed in these sacred forest  for hundreds of years, long before the europeans.

In this presentation below, I wanted to create a retail environment that was ‘spa-like’, soothing visually. I would   use bamboo on the walls , center area of the boutique, waiting rooms, etc. The flooring is of linoleum, a well known green material. The lighting are to be made of organic silk and paper .  The end result will hopefully soothe the shopper, asking then to simply, ‘slow down, and smell the roses of life’.


Introducing : “To Patrick Kelly with Love” A Blog / Design Memoirs of Love, Admiration, and Triumph

Standard

I went ahead and FINALLY DID IT!!!

I created ANOTHER blog, but this one is special, its dedicated to my mentor and inspiration the late and great Patrick Kelly

In this blog, Patrick, to me, is not gone but in a design office right next to mine. We are design “partners in crime”, having fun and doing what we love, making women look beautiful. This is a sort of design memior to a man that helped me realize through pain and suffering, comes inspiration and beauty. I love you Patrick Kelly with all my “design heart”, lets “rock Paris till she topples over”!!!!

I created this blog, in honour of Patrick Kelly , to “get to know him”, in turn getting to know my own talent. My own design style is very much like Patrick’s, taking risk, colorful, and just over the top. Patrick Kelly transitioned long before I could meet him, But I am hoping through this blog, I can get to know some of his fans, and people that knew him personally. If you knew Patrick, feel free to share your moments, pictures, comments,etc. I see this blog not only as a platform for Patrick’s legacy, but a way to understand who I am as a designer in NYC and as a creative human being. And as always, I AM a freelance designer, so if you love my work, HIRE ME, get me closer to my dreams in Paris, hopefully one day I while have a legacy that is as loved as Mr Patrick Kelly’s. I too, want the universe to hear me roar.

Patrick Kelly was an iconic african american designer of the Mid 80’s . During a time when most designers of color were not taken seriously, Mr Kelly rose in fame. Mr Kelly was the first american fashion designer to be admitted into the French Federation Of Fashion and Ready to Wear of Couturiers and Fashion Designers. Patrick Kelly was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1954, and like me, he was a “country boy with city attitude” that garned him love and admiration from many.

Patrick Kelly has inspired MY life and career in so many ways. Growing up in Coloumbus,Tx and Baton Rouge, La, life was difficult at best for a little boy that loved to sew and draw. I discovered Parick Kelly, and from then on, I believed that I too could do ANYTHING that I set my mind to. Patrick Kelly transitioned on January 1, 1990, and sadly I never got to thank him for the inspiration that he has brought to my life and career, but in this blog, I would like to think somewhere out there in heaven, Patrick is giving me a smile. I will be sharing many of my designs, tidbits about Patrick Kelly, articles, events, and of’course fashion. I feel that in this online platform, I am FINALLY given the permission to portray my private thoughts about fashion , by struggle as a creative and professional. I think Patrick would expect nothing less.

Here is the link to the blog / personal journal and enjoy

https://topatrickkellywithlove.jux.com/

Career Branding / Standing Out From The “Corporate Fashion Herd” When Job Hunting Part 1

Standard

Lets face it, job hunting in NYC is a full-time career in itself. Each glossy,new opportunity you have viewed, rest assured someone more talented and hungrier has seen the same opportunity, and is going to “pull out all stops” to be the first in line to get hired. Here are a few of my recommendations to not only get that “first phone call”, but ace the design interview, on your way to fashion corporate excellence.

1. Your Resume should be a short “Best Seller”, they can’t put it down.

re·sume (r-zm)

v. re·sumedre·sum·ingre·sumes
v.tr.

1. To begin or take up again after interruption: resumed our dinner.
2. To assume, take, or occupy again: The dog resumed its post by the door.
3. To take on or take back again: resumed my original name.
 Short and Concise is Preferable Please:
When you send in a resume’ you are attempting to assume, take, or occupy again, another bigger and brighter opportunity. One major rule with resume’s is that many think quantity means quality, and that is NOT true. Many HR department heads, design directors,etc. are viewing MANY resume’s for the same position, and many of them have the attention spans of butterflies. Keep your resume’ short (2 pages , cover letter, then main resume) should suffice. I don’t care if you have been in the industry since christ was turning water into wine, choose THE MOST important positions that make you look good, illustrating  your talents and versatility as a designer and artist.
2. Stop the “Me and I” factor:
Take a look at your current resume, it should NEVER have either me or I, but rather we. Companies LOVE, ( like a fat kid in a cake factory) to see applicants that are team players, working and integrating well with an all ready established design team. The apparel industry is an industry that requires hard work, and much of that will be done on your own, depending on your position, but employers want to see that you can play well with others.
3. Expand your world out side fashion:
Many job hunters do not know this, but employers like to know that you are a “caring part of society”. Try to involve yourself in a few volunteer “feel good” opportunities that revolve around the fashion industry. Volunteering  your time to a few worth will events looks great on your resume for many reasons, one it shows that your not a “raving , egotistical bitch”, but instead a talented designer that has a well-rounded life outside of fashion. This can also be an opportunity to make some BEAUTIFUL friendships and connections during these events.
4. Become a “Reference Nazi”:
This means include ONLY quality JOBS , PERSONS and or INDIVIDUALS that will make you look great. As a freelance fashion designer, I have many clients, and many are start-ups. As much as I love all of my clients and enjoy their faith in my talent, unfortunately, there are a few I would NEVER give as references. These individuals come across inarticulate and sometimes indecisive. Though that is an asset for me as their creative service provider, my potential employer will NOT look at this reference as a “quality reference”. Make sure your references are of individuals that are articulate and engaging, if possible,
5. Follow-Up means I Care:
I have been in hiring positions, and I ALWAYS consider heavily the individuals that understand the fine conversational art of “following up”. Believe it or not, many applicants DO NOT receive positions because of  they do understand that after initial contact with the employer, there is a need to continue to build a “relationship”. After a resume is sent, wait a few days, and send a follow-up letter or phone call, thanking them for their time, re-interating your talents and interest in that company. I have instructed a few of my proteges to even send flowers and a thank you card, if the interviewer was  a female, (oh hell, if he was a male, send flowers as well) I had this done once when I was design director of a company, and I was “gob-smacked”. I remember it was a hard, stressful day and SUDDENLY, a simple, but beautiful bouquet sitting on my desk.Needless to say, the applicant got the job within 5 minutes of me seeing my beautiful flowers! If you want the job, think of creative, thoughtful ways to say  “thank you for this wonderful opportunity”. It comes across as classy and shows that you have intuitive. Do understand, only do this once, or your come across as “stalker-ish and creepy”. This “tactic of kindness” works WELL head-hunters, as you will ALWAYS be the first on their list to contact for juicy positions.
These are only a few of the tips that I have acquired through the years in this industry. Stay tuned for part 2 of this blog series, where I will discuss how to create a stellar, and innovative portfolio presentation. I will also be teaching a seminar at the Learning Annex, here in NYC in the near future, so stay tuned for more details.
Happy Job Hunting:)
Speaking of job hunting, here is a online presentation of my own work , thanks for viewing my portfolio : http://freelancefashiondesignernyc.moonfruit.com/

Client Profile – Shuk Sportswear International

Standard

Shuk Sportswear came onboard 2003 as a small sportswear apparel start-up out of St.Louis,MO. Product that has been designed for this client is basic sportswear and footwear,and I am very excited. Above is a new project that I am working on for Shuks Sportswear. We are developing themed sportswear  (hoods,hockey jerseys,varsity jackets,etc.) for our international customers. Services that have been utilized for this emerging brand are:

Apparel design

Corporate Branding

Technical Design

Graphic Design

Look out for this company, I have big goals and ideas for future product.

Brad Pitt – “Winter in Siberia” inspired Contemporary fashion Espejo Nelson Atelier

Standard

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For a man that exudes such hotness, Brad Pitt’s fashion sense is really quite simple and comfortable. Brad’s style has changed very little throughout the years, but his look is timeless. Not too much color, not too many accessories, just layers of garments that keeps this stud muffin looking good and staying comfortable. Brad’s biggest accessories are scarves, aviators, and hats galore. Fedora’s and newsboy caps, in particular, show up in almost every ensemble. If you’re attempting to dress like Brad, you don’t have to try and get too comfortable with crazy colors as he usually sticks to the basic blacks, browns, ivories, and tans. Brad’s style is a good base in every wardrobe. You can start by replicating his style and then adding color or other accessories to your wardrobe that reflect your own personality. But at least you know the basic style (Brad’s Style) of your clothing is timeless. For our “Winter In Siberia” , I wanted to take Brad out of his “comfort zone” and place him in looks that are trendy and body conscience, but still comfortable. As you can see, I have allowed Brad to stay with the type of accessory that he is very comfortable, a big lux scarve, but to add a little drama, the large knit scarf has tassels for a extra lux. I placed Brad cute bum in a wonderful pair of Espejo Nelson Vintage Slim leg jeans. In the illustration they look to be snug, but in real life, the fit would be more comfortable, but still hugging his thighs and bum, accenting his wonderful physique. Brad ADORES layers, and in this look, we maintained his love for layers. The jacket of layer 1# would be fitted blazer of cashmere wool / with leather accents of same color. To finish the look, I have added a pair of  lux faux fur lined hiking boots. The look is further accented with a hooded long leather top coat with faux fur accents. The look is luxurious,youthful, very sexy.