Confession: I’ve never wanted to be a personal shopper. There, I said it. I love to shop and am all about finding the perfect fashion solution but with the majority of personal shopping services tied to a single store, it didn’t seem like a good fit. I’m an independent fashion stylist who craves the creative freedom to be able to mix brands and price points to serve a customer’s needs. I also had reservations about the customer wondering if the advice and guidance they received was somehow influenced by personal shoppers, whose compensation is tied to how much the customer spends. All that changed when Copley Place started a new personal shopping program that allows their personal shopper to bring customers to any retailer within the mall. And it’s free to customers! With the focus 100% on finding the right options for customers, let’s just say I was “all in.”
“Fashion is what you buy. Style is what you do with it” – unknown. Great style has the power to transform and change not only how you feel, but how others view you. Gender, age, body type, or even budget are irrelevant because ultimately, confidence is the goal. When you feel like you’re presenting your best self you stand taller, you’re happier, and you feel ready for success. I’m obsessed with finding the dress that will flatter your figure perfectly, the jeans that make you want to strut, the suit you will reach for when you need super powers. I have created thousands of looks for the fashion shows I produce, the photo shoots I contribute to, and the clients I serve. Dressing models is big fun and I love it, but being able to help real people with their fashion needs is tremendously rewarding.
Whether shopping for gifts, special occasion outfits, or adding key pieces to your wardrobe, I will show you options that fit your unique individual style and budget. Some retailers will even extend special unpublished discounts and benefits to guests when shopping with me – sweet! No sales pressure – this is all about providing you with an exceptional personal styling and shopping experience.
See you soon!
The Carla Fernandez fashion show during BFW was more than just a runway, it was an art exhibit. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum created an enchanting backdrop with its multicultural architectural design and indoor garden perfect for Fernandez’s ethnic collection.
The audience was situated around a square shaped room with massive overhead space that faded to black by the top floor. Positioned in the middle of the space was a small ceramic pedestal that was crafted by her husband which the models slowly walked out to one at a time. With their motions reminiscent of a robotic marching army, each model circled the outside perimeter making their way to the pedestal. There they stood and did another rotation, moving as if they were being digitally controlled. This pace actually gave you the chance to fully appreciate the garments. So many fashion shows are over in a blink of an eye, not having enough time to fully absorb each look. Fernandez gave the audience the time to observe all of her fine detailing and intricacies.
If I had to hone in on a style, I would knight the collection streamlined tribal. Simple shapes created amazing drapery around the models with ornate patterns and colorful materials. The barefoot models with their white painted feet were an interesting touch, blending nicely with the aesthetic of the collection. It also made for a silent runway which was nice for a change – there wasn’t that distracting sound of clunking heels. The style was on trend, but so classic at the same time. Creating a balance of timeless and contemporary is difficult to achieve, and I think Carla’s inspirations helped her accomplish that harmony.
After the show Carla spoke about how she works with artisans from different regions in Mexico every season. The indigenous craftsmanship was apparent in her designs. Her geometric silhouettes and patterns, made up of squares, rings true to traditional Mexican style. After learning this, the showcase formation of a square made even more sense. Everything from the motions of the models, to the music, to the atmosphere tied in together with the clothing. This designer represents how fashion is more than just a functional part of our lives, it is an art form. I can’t wait to see what she does next.
photography by Harry Koffman
The goal of the evening was a fashion magic carpet ride, an inclusionary “big tent” event that a diverse gathering of fashionistas, both men and women, could enjoy regardless of their personal approach to style. I wanted a designer dream team, each possessing an original vision for strong females with the type of talent that transcends and inspires. I chose the fresh, confident chic of Kreyol, the futuristic military vision of Julie Kontos paired with Race & Grant, and the red carpet drama of David Josef’s dresses.
Kreyol, created by the glamorous Haitian born designer Joelle Jean Fontaine, opened the show with her Capsule Collection. The collection included 50’s inspired garments with circa 1800 details and modern touches. The structured bouffant sleeves and full, oversized a – line skirts were reminiscent of a by gone era, but the form fitting pencil skirts and cropped tops in colorfully rich patterns gave the collection a distinctly modern sex appeal. Looks were completed with strong jewelry, flirty sunglasses, and leather driving gloves. Fontaine designs Kreyol for “the woman who creates her own reality, she is born to stand out and rule her destiny looking fabulously chic.”
The second presentation featured Boston-based designer Julie Kontos paired with Tracy Belben & Helena Grant, the accessory designers behind Race & Grant. This fusion created an evening wear collection that blends the team’s talents and commands attention. Kontos “classic with an edge” aesthetic evokes the structure of military styling with clean lines and symmetry, yet balances femininity by implementing thoughtful cut outs and flattering silhouettes. Touches of lace and shimmery fabrics enhance the crisp navy, gray, and white color palette. The fashion designer worked directly with Race & Grant to create customized accessories to compliment features within each garment.
Meticulously handcrafted by the designers, Race & Grant (aka ‘R&G’) is a fusion between chain jewelry artist (Belben) and handbag/ accessories creator (Grant). “In military styling, function is important. We created durable bags that incorporate both vegan and real leathers in rich color tones to accompany Julie’s collection,” states Grant, who crafts and engineers the structure of R&G’s bags. Each R&G bag is intricately wrapped and finished in hand-linked chainmaille, which further expresses the military concept within Kontos’ collection. “If you look closely, you will find hidden symbols such as crosses and American flags linked within the chainmaille”, says Belben, who finishes each R&G piece with chain adornments. This fashion stylist says “Sign me up!”
Closing the show and bringing down the house was designer David Josef, a force in the fashion world for nearly 40 years. He attributes his long success to recognizing the needs of each individual client and focuses on silhouettes that enhance a woman’s beauty, no matter her age or dress size. Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales and Saks Fifth Ave have all carried his collections. David Josef has been featured in ads in Vogue, Town & Country, and Harper’s Bazaar. The client list for his beautiful cocktail dresses and gowns is extensive and includes both national and local celebrities in film and news media. David has worked with Judith Light, Dionne Warwick, Debbie Reynolds and WCVB’s Susan Wornick. More recently, David worked on the wedding gown for Ariana Brown, daughter of former Senator Scott Brown and Gail Huff, for her July 2014 wedding.
Models provided by Dynasty
DAVID JOSEF – facebook
Five new designers emerged from the Launch at Boston Fashion Week, held last Sunday at the W Hotel. In its sixth year, the event introduced Ty Sinnett, Maryanne Meservey, Chynna Pope, Dominique Quinque, and Jeffery Dickerson, who were hand selected from a pool of young designers. The Launch is an ideal platform for new designers to showcase their work and gain exposure.
The five runway shows started off with introductory videos of the designers., which were extremely well done, conveying the spirit of the individuals.
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It takes a certain amount of chutzpah to pull off wearing a hat–an amount that typically hovers above the (mostly hatless) heads of most Bostonians. Hats say: Look at me, damn it. Now. And: That’s right, bitch. I’m someone to be reckoned with. If not even sometimes: You know you wish you had guts enough to wear this. None of which are sentiments most New Englanders are exactly comfy with. The ubiquitousRed Sox cap notwithstanding, hats just aren’t our thing.
I’d reckon that was all changed last Monday night. The Boston Fashion Week show of Marie Galvin, milliner and longtime Boston fixture who for years has struggled with a local aversion to flamboyance, had just that kind of impact.
That’s largely because Galvin made two very smart decisions for the show: First, she went for wearability. Gone were her outrageous sculptural creations that may look beautiful behind glass, but would all but eclipse their wearer. (And have, in the past, emitted squawks of, “Where on earth would I wear that?“) No, she kept things earthly, unpretentious, and simply pretty with intricate fascinators festooned with netting and feathers; pom-pom topped wool caps; ’20s, ’30s, and ’60s-inspired numbers topped with petite poofs of feathers. The only hints at architectural derring-do–a fascinator of silk multi-curls here, a gorgeous, asymmetrical black meringue for the finale–were still sized well enough that they stayed proportionate to the models’ heads. Meaning they came off as daring rather than overwhelming or silly.
Her second smart move was tapping CONTRA to style the show, all the clothing and accessories pulled from Neiman Marcus with an eye toward elegance and streamlined refinement that still nodded to the runway. Gauzy blouses, python-patterned pencil skirts, silk shift dresses, and fur-collared coats–all of it a mostly neutral palette, and all of it as ladylike as it was edgy. They were the perfect foil for the hats–and arguably the most convincing argument for the hats themselves.
Together, Galvin and Contra showed Bostonians that not only are hats wearable every day; they showed them how to wear them–as an improvement to an already spectacular outfit. That’s the kind of equation capable of proving to the hatless public that style statements are nothing to be afraid of. And that, even as vintage-inspired as many of Galvin’s creations may be, is an idea that’s time has finally come.
EDITOR AT LARGE
CHIEF FASHION CORRESPONDENT
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