Sunday, February 9th was a rare day as it was a relaxed no show going day until after 6pm when Lenny Kravitz was turned on and K.Nicole made it’s sophomore debut at New York Fashion Week! I was excited to see what this fantastic duo, Kera Anderson and Nicole Styer, had up their sleeves as this was the first time I was seeing their show. I quickly understood the hype that was built around the designers.

The Collection:

The “Elegance in Texture Collection” was inspired by a time where what women dressed in was a way to express their individuality, femininity and creative fashion sense. The collection borrowed something from a variety of generations, moods and eras. Clearly illustrated in the collection was the Victorian era. Some of the pieces definitely looked like “Marie Antoinette meets Twiggy”. The first look to hit the runway was a burgundy fur, full-length coat with a black and white lining! This number started the show off in the right direction.

After the show opener, there were chic jumpsuits, cute 70’s mod dresses and even a men’s wear look. My favorite look being the gorgeously tailored grey jumpsuit with hot pink leather accents. 

Bold:

While the number of influences that K. Nicole nodded to seemed overwhelming, they somehow made the collection cohesive with only a few pieces sticking out leaving the audience wondering, “why?” I was very happy with the overall show and left thinking that there is no way these garments will be left alone for long. A celebrity, stylist or magazine will catch up very soon.

Saturday, February 8th was a cold brisk morning, perfect to snuggle into my Grandma’s fur coat and make my way to the Ruffian show. I arrived there early for backstage access and to see the beauty transformations with Hasselblad called “Ruffian Transforms” which documented the models from street to runway.

The Collection:

The Fall 14 collection started off with a bang! Influenced by Petrus Christus a 1400s painter, the Ruffian boys made a statement that bold is better! The voluminous structured clothes left the audience stunned. My favorite look being the gorgeous cardinal red satin pleated dress. The collection seemed older and more sophisticated reaching a new demographic.

The playfulness of the collection was not completely lost with the chartreuse blouse and floral print pants and the beautiful floral print dress with the black tinsel stranded fuzz. The luminous colors of the pieces jumped right out but the youth was lost in the monk-like dark gowns.

Bold:

The Ruffian Fall 14 collection was certainly bold but lost some of its hipsterdom and gained a more somber dramatic tone. The collection created a taste more for luxury. The black gown with the jacquard print and jacket would look fabulous in Barneys or Bergdorf’s.

runway photos via Style.com

After an already long day of work, a Models Hall of Fame party with The Daily Front Row, and a skipped dinner, I hungrily and tiredly made my way to the tents for one of the final shows of the Friday night, Emerson by Jackie Fraser-Swan. What a refreshing and fun show as predicted by her Fall 14 slogan “Break the Mold”.

Who was there:

Actor Diane Guerrero, “Orange is the New Black” with model and DJ Leigh Lezark face of the Fall 2013 Emerson collection.

The Collection:

In the spirit of “breaking the mold,” Jackie Fraser-Swan took 2 concepts that seemed like they wouldn’t work together and made them work: UK punk and Hollywood 40’s glamour with a mix of rocker chic thrown in for good measure.

The collection featured charcoal greys, deep black, royal purple and soft pink colors with an array of textures and materials such as chiffon, duchess satin, sequin, knits and twills. There were several standout pieces! The fabulous “break the mold” sweater over the billowy chiffon skirt and the leopard sequin print sweater over the black sequin skirt (a look I wanted immediately and almost approached the model after for …lol *sigh*) But the stunner look was the black sequin puff ski suit! Jaws dropped all around! I was also a major fan of the closing sequin and chiffon gown.

Bold:

I have seen a number of Emerson’s collections and I have had the pleasure of seeing the growth each season. JFS’ Fall show had a sophistication and innovation that maybe only her previous Spring collection touched upon. Each look was more grasping than the one before. I cannot wait to see what she has in store for the next season. I also want her to venture into designing a collection of mini clothes aka children’s clothes as she dresses her girls in the cutest outfits that she made herself!

Additional images via Getty Images and fashionpulsedaily.com

The end of the first day of New York Fashion Week drew to a close on February 6th. But before the night finished, the Religion Fall 14 presentation took place at The Hotel Chantelle with live music by Grand Electric starting off the fun.

The Collection:

The UK label gets its inspiration from music, lyrics and punk genre, and these influences are vivid in the latest collection. The palette of black and white with a touch of burgundy and silver allowed the presentation to fit in with the overall aesthetic of the brand. The added ombré, yellow stars and sequins gave the collection more of a pop.

The men’s jacket was a major highlight with an homage to street art. Another highlight was the colorblocked woman’s pea coat and the maxi layered black and white skirt.

Bold:

Cohesive and naturally evolving, Religion stays true to its origins. There is an effortless transition between the punk style of the UK and “New York chic” as illustrated with the sequin dress with colorblocked coat. Can’t wait to see what else they have in store for next season!

Remember, you can look for Religion on Asos.com

Yuna Yang’s Fall 14 collection “The Butterfly Mother” was influenced by the Maio culture of interpreting nature into every work they produce. Yuna Yang incorporates this idea into her clothes with embroidery, weaving, paper-cutting, batik and jewelry. On February 6 , the first day of Fashion Week in the Alvin Ailey studios, guests were treated to a presentation of Yuna Yang’s recent ventures.

The Collection:

While Yuna Yang’s FW collection evokes a childlike enthusiasm it unfortunately falls short of the sophistication and beauty of the previous season. There were construction problems also with the collection, clearly seen in the satin pieces was a fair amount of puckering.

The Fall 2014 looks have a playfulness to them and an expressive use of color, no doubt catching the eye of a few daring celebs and socialites. My favorite dress being the light blue satin with embroidery and bright fun colors.

Bold:

While Yuna Yang’s Fall collection lost some chicness, it did not lose it’s happiness. The clothes show a youthfulness that other designers lack, especially for the winter shows. I hope next season, Yuna Yang finds the delicate balance between finesse and frivolity.

The first day of New York Fashion Week showed the true dedication and loyalty of the fashion world as editors, celebrities, bloggers and spectators all braved the cold slipping their way into the tents. The first show of the day was Nicholas K which appropriately featured layers and bundling for those cold winter days inspired by the novel “Men at Sea” by Jean Gaumy, “The Deadliest Catch” of the literary world if you will.

Who was there:

Sitting in the front row were actors Eric West and Tashiana Washington of “Gimme Shelter”. Also sitting in the front were Kyle Anderson of Marie Claire and Jackie Fraser-Swan, designer of Emerson.

The Collection:

Winter can be a discouraging time for fashion; the colors are muted, the figure and shape is lost, and your expensive pieces can be destroyed at any moment. But Nicholas K’s Fall/Winter 14 collection manages to make winter chic, streamlined, and wearable in the worst weather.

The true feat that Nicholas K trumps is the ability to create shape even with tons of layers. The models looked fabulous in cable knit sweaters, parkas, button up shirts, leather bermuda shorts and rain boots all in monochromatic hues. The intricasies of strings, jingling buttons, and toggles were not lost in the designers aesthetics and almost enhanced the maritime design. The added accessory of a nautical rope was a distinct reminder of the oceanic inspiration.

Each look was bottomed off with wearable Honeywell boots and topped off with an array of headgear including fur hoods, fur hats, and midnight black bob wigs.

The palette while slightly dulled to reflect more naturally occurring colors of nature with grey, black, slate blue, burgundy and ox blood.

Bold:

Nicholas and Chris Kunz of Nicholas K do a remarkable job of balancing theatricality with accessibility. Their Fall 2014 collection is the perfect wearable collection.

Ardency Inn - First Blog Contribution by Patrice Melville!

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A dark bar on the Lower East Side might not seem like the ideal location for a makeup presentation. That is, at least, what I was thinking as I watched one attendee after another pull out their iPhone flashlights to examine the trays of makeup placed throughout the back room of Fontana’s, a very unique bar hidden among nondescript looking buildings. However, once the presentation started you could see that this was the perfect setting for Ardency Inn co-founders Gilles Kortzagadarian and Stephane Siboni to present their new line of versatile makeup. 
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Driven by Gilles and Stephane’s love of music, along with the creative direction of makeup mastermind James Vincent, Ardency Inn bridges the gap between artistry and wearability, making it accessible to a wide array of women.
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 Ardency Inn features 3 unique lines named for the music scenes they represent: Punker, Modster, and newly released Americana. While each line features many unique products to cater to a different look - Punker being full of dark, smoky hues - Modster brimming with vibrantly pigmented products - and Americana with a classic, more natural palette - all of the lines can be mixed and matched to suit just how you’re feeling that day.
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The feature I was most impressed with from the entire Ardency Inn collection was the versatility of the products. A prime example of this, and one of the mainstays of Americana, is the Custom Coverage Concentrate, a product which can be mixed with any water-based moisturizer to create any amount of coverage needed, from tinted moisturizer to concealer, depending on how much product is used. I was also impressed by the array of colors it came in, seeming to match a broader range of skin tones than most other lines on the market. As someone who enjoys a more natural makeup look but occasionally suffers from blemishes I love this concept, allowing me to buy one product and have it meet all my needs.
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Ardency Inn truly lives up to its tagline “beauty unplugged” as well as its goal to make beauty accessible to women of all ages and backgrounds. With highly pigmented products which can be used in a number of versatile ways this may be the right line to invest in for everyone from vibrant musicians to your everyday, no-nonsense woman. The line is currently available at Sephora and through ArdencyInn.com with price points ranging from $19 - $39. This just may be the next line of essentials for anyone looking to make a statement without much effort.
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images via Sephora, exception: James Vincent photo from Facebook.

Article written by Patrice Melville

Quick Oscar Movie Reviews

This year is a major “good” movie year. I have seen most of the Oscar movie nominees for Best Picture and before the Oscars on March 2, I wanted to give you my rundown of my picks for Best Picture.

  1. 12 Years a Slaveimage I have given my 12 Years a Slave review in ICFashion Flix but here’s a quick recap. 12 Years a Slave was a powerful, upsetting and gripping movie. The imagery is almost overwhelming, the character development is heartbreaking and writing is impeccable. The performances stick out like a sore thumb as groundbreaking. I think Steve McQueen did an incredible job. He should have gotten all of this recognition for Shame as well. —-  My #1 pick for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. 
  2. Dallas Buyers Club - image

    Speaking of gripping, this movie was an interesting emotional ride. Matthew McConaughey takes a bigoted, racist character and makes him somewhat likeable if not sympathetic. Denis O’Hare is underused in this stellar cast movie that includes the wonderful Jennifer Garner but the standout performances belong to McConaughey and Jared Leto. Not my favorite written and storylined movie of the year, but the performances are bold, it can’t be ignored.
  3. The Wolf of Wall Street - image The Wolf of Wall Street ties for my pick of second best film of the year. Martin Scorsese’s view of the morally corrupt, self- proclaimed celebrity Jordan Belfort is thoroughly entertaining and sad. Scorsese manages to create a crazed maniac that destroys himself without making it self-loathing or hypnotic. The audience is mesmerized by the destruction while learning from it as well. Leonardo’s wonderful performance gave the film the perfect amount of cartoon and gravity.
  4. American Hustle - image

    American Hustle is a brilliantly written and directed film by David O. Russel. I still have to admit that Silver Linings Playbook struck a better chord with me which is why I have rated this film the 3rd best option for Best Picture. Wonderful performances were given by Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence. Jeremy Renner’s performance was underrated. The story could have used a little bit more hustle but the best character development in all of the movies was done with Adams’ character, Sydney Prosser.
  5. Captain Phillips - image Tom Hanks. That’s all you ever really need to say to get an Oscar nod. He was brilliant as the unshakeable Captain Phillips. But Barkhad Abdi was a formidable adversary in Captain Phillips. Abdi’s performance was courageous and smart that somehow played upon the audience’s empathy bone as well.
  6. Gravity - image

    Gravity was a cinematographic masterpiece. Beautiful and sometimes frightening but by far the best part of the film was Sandra Bullock’s performance. Because Bullock’s performance was all her, I found it hard to appreciate the direction of the film. Not all things came together with the film, George Clooney and Alfonso Cuaron included, which is why I don’t think it should win best picture.
  7. Her -  image Possibly the most overrated film of the season. Spike Jonze’s Her is sweet for sure and Joaquin Phoenix does an amazing job as adorable and complex, Theodore Twombly. Jonze misses the boat on believability. I have a better time believing that a robot from the future with teleport back to the 80’s to kill a woman named Sarah Connor. The premise for Her was just too silly for me to suspend my disbelief. The performances were the highlights, including another great Amy Adams performance.
  8. Nebraska - image

    I missed two films on this list and Nebraska was one of them. I’m sure it is a better film than Her as I was terribly disappointed with that movie, but as I have not seen Nebraska, I can’t give an accurate review. The trailer and the performances look solid though and remind of the Coen Brothers’ dry storytelling. Looks a little like Fargo.
  9. Philomena - image Again, I haven’t gotten a chance to see this film and haven’t even heard that much about it. I do love Steve Coogan but I don’t know enough about the film to give a proper review.

images via imdb.com

Who are your picks for best picture at this year’s Oscars?

Last Night’s Golden Globes…

I have a lot of opinions about the wins announced at last night’s Golden Globes. While I didn’t see the show, I am going to do a fashion and winner/nominee review of the night!

Starting off with Best Motion Picture - Drama: 12 Years a Slave deserved it! Not much else to say about that…

Best Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical: American Hustle, once again deserved it…not going to say anything else.

Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical:

Winner: Amy Adams - American Hustle

Nominees: 

Greta Gerwig for Frances Ha (2012)

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Amy Adams’ win was well deserved. It was unfortunate that Margot Robbie did not get a nomination for The Wolf of Wall Street as I saw the film on Sunday and thought she was wonderful in it! As for Amy’s fashion on the red carpet, I was less that enthused. The Valentino dress did nothing for her figure and proved that she could easily be washed out by red surroundings. Not my favorite…

Best Actress in a Drama:

Winner: Cate Blanchett - Blue Jasmine

Nominees: 

Sandra Bullock - Gravity (2013)

Judi Dench for Philomena (2013)

Kate Winslet for Labor Day (2013)

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My biggest problem with this award was not Cate Blanchett, she is wonderful and an amazing actress. What was wrong was that Lupita Nyong’o was not nominated in this category! She was easily the main actress in 12 Years a Slave and should have gotten the nomination. As for Cate Blanchett’s impeccable fashion on the carpet, she is flawless in the beautiful lace Armani Prive couture gown!

Best Actor in a Musical/Comedy:

Winner:

Leonardo DiCaprio - The Wolf of Wall Street

Nominees:

Bruce Dern for Nebraska (2013)

Joaquin Phoenix for Her (2013)

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Leonardo DiCaprio looked dashing and perfectly golden for the globes! He deserved his win for The Wolf of Wall Street and enjoyed it with a new bronzed hue and streamlined tux.

Best Actor in a Drama:

Winner: Matthew McConaughey - Dallas Buyers Club

Nominees:

Tom Hanks for Captain Phillips (2013)

Robert Redford for All Is Lost (2013)

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This may seem blasphemous but I believe that Matthew McConaughey’s performance in Dallas Buyers Club warrants at LEAST a Golden Globe. What a powerful performance, and he wore green to show is confidence in a successful win! He looked fitter, thank goodness, and happy wearing velvet in the color of success.

Best Supporting Actress:

Winner: Jennifer Lawrence - American Hustle

Nominees:

Sally Hawkins for Blue Jasmine (2013)

June Squibb for Nebraska (2013)

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Perhaps the most confusing award of the night was taken by Jennifer Lawrence, who completely deserved it. What was not deserved was the way the Musical/Comedy and Drama nominees were all of a sudden lumped together for supporting. Lupita should have received the award nomination for Best Actress in a Drama and Sarah Paulson, should have received a supporting nomination for best drama and won. But oddly enough the Golden Globes lumps two categories that have been separated the entire time, together for the supporting nominations.

Now that I have vented about that, Jennifer Lawrence looked breathtaking in an odd column Dior gown that included some bondage and what looks like sheets from a very expensive bed. Only Jennifer Lawrence could pull off a beautiful gown like this and not look like she escaped from Arkham Asylum.

HONORABLE MENTION HERE:

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Lupita Nyong’o looked stunning in a Ralph Lauren caped column gown!

Best Supporting Actor:

Winner: Jared Leto - Dallas Buyers Club

Nominees:

Daniel Brühl for Rush (2013/I)

Michael Fassbender for 12 Years a Slave (2013)

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Same complaint as for the supporting actress category, Bradley Cooper deserved his award for American Hustle but I believe Jared Leto deserved his award for Dallas Buyers Club as well! Points taken off for his pastiness but points on for pulling off a lovely tuxedo scarf!

Best Director for a Motion Picture:

Winner: Alfonso Cuaron - Gravity

Nominees:

Alexander Payne for Nebraska (2013)

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I have to disagree whole-heartedly with this win. I believe Martin Scorsese, David O. Russell or Steve McQueen deserved this award. I was underwhelmed by the direction in Gravity, giving more praise to the acting and cinematography. Not to mention that Cuaron’s disheveled appearance turned me completely off! His tie was askew and tux wrinkled. Not a great look.

Fashion Honorable Mentions are:

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Kerry Washington in Balenciaga (Alexander Wang)

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Zoe Saldana in Prabal Gurung

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Sandra Bullock in Prabal Gurung

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Lizzy Caplan in Emilio Pucci

(images via IMDB.com)

Did everyone you want to win, win last night? Who was your favorite on the red carpet?

2014 New Year Health Craze!

imageNow I’m pretty sure that everyone makes a resolution in the new year to be healthy and they all start out great! You get back in the gym, start eating healthier and feel good about yourself. But let’s face it, it hardly ever lasts. Come Super Bowl and awards season time, you start downing wings and potato chips with a fury. I have to constantly remind myself not to stuff my face.

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But here are some healthier options to fix that snack craving and beat out that greasy need. But remember, no matter how healthy something is, it can become unhealthy without moderation.

Classic Super Bowl finger foods that are healthy:

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Awards show season crowd pleasers:

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So chic-ers, remember you don’t have to get bent out of shape during fun time with your family. There are always healthy options. Just be proactive. Now for me to continue following my own advice!!!

Happy New Year!

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