Friday, March 28, 2008

Divas in the News and more...

Hi Darlings:

Its Spring and you know what that means...more Dancing With the Stars. DWTS is back and should be quite entertaining this season. Too bad the show is plagued with rumors.

I am still keeping my fingers crossed that the steady stream of warmer weather we have experienced in the last few days will not only last but keep getting warmer. But in the meantime we can always study these shopping tips so when we are ready for our official Spring shopping trips we will be ready. Especially, with the downward turn in the economy we have to seek out sales where we can find them.

Do I consider myself a girlie girl? Hmmm. Not all the time but I will say I am usually very girlie on Easter. Eventhough I am still young I usually purchase a diva-licious wide brimmed hat for Easter every year. But last year, this diva-fly brightly colored accessory - did I mention it was orange with ribbons and flowers - was out of place because on Easter day it was gray and cold. So this year I refrained...unfortunately. However, after looking this NYTimes Easter expose I will have to agree that shoes are becoming what the hat used to be and what the purse tries to do. Shoes are defining the Diva.

Happy Friday!

Hugs and besos.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fashionista to Watch: Abigail de Casanova

Hi Darlings:

I joined the DC Fashionistas about a year ago and it seems like I blinked and they already had over 1000 members by far the largest group of Fashion industry folks in DC. This was all because of the drive of one woman…Abigail de Casanova.

I called Abigail for this interview one morning a few weeks ago and find her in the middle of painting. I am actually surprised but I was already aware that she was a makeup artist so it was not a far leap. She says “Anything that inspires you eventually connects with each other”. A Peruvian she had taken a class from art students during her last trip to Lima.

She has lived in DC metro area for the past 18 Years and already her impact will last decades. Abigail explains how she came to be part of the fashion revolution in DC. It was kismet that she attended a meeting for the fashionista group that she will soon find out was about to be abandoned by its original leader. She was merely seeking out like minded people in an effort to network. She had just started her business designing purses as well as vintage jewelry and clothing. Like the other members who attended the meeting she received email requesting that someone take over the helm for the group. Yet faced with this potential obligation Abigail questioned if this was the route she should take having just started her own jewelry and purse business. But with the encouragement of family she accepted the calling.

“It has been truly truly a blessing” she exclaims, “I never thought this would happen so fast and so big” The group has grown to a thousand in just a year and a half. Abigail says there are international members and some from other states. If you have ever attended one of the meetings you would not be surprised. Abigail is a constant force driven to make the group bigger than ever. She has organized the members and is a “friend” before a group leader. I have asked her questions on my own and she is always willing to be helpful and share networking contacts. She has encouraged the women in the group to work together towards the common goal of promoting fashion in DC.

Abigail did not actually set out to be a community activist on behalf of fashion and fashionistas and a local leader in what I call the movement for a recognized fashion industry. She was and still is an accessories designer focusing her creative talents in the area of purses, jewelry from vintage stones and vintage clothing. Abigail is also an award winning hairstylist (she won the 1999 Millenium Hair and Fashion show) and a makeup artist.

Abigail says beyond the group her next move will be to own a boutique. I have no doubt this will be a reality in the future and the rest of the Fashionistas will be there to support her.

According to her, “Fashionistas try to kick down doors. Create opportunities. People believe in what they do and the group.”

Hugs and besos.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

DC's Next Fashion Stop ... DEKKA!

Hi Darlings:

Just received this press release about the First-Ever Designer Showroom/Retail Co-op "DEKKA" in the Nation's Capital and I must say I am more excited than ever to have new shopping options.

Washington, DC - Today, a group of established and emerging local designers, retailers, artists, and musicians announce the creation of "DEKKA" - the metro area's first-ever designer showroom and retail co-op that is sure to propel fashion and art in the Nation's Capital further into the limelight, right in the heart of the booming and hip U Street Corridor.

DEKKA spells out "DCA," which in turns stands for "DC Area." The new DEKKA showroom consists of a diverse group of clothing and accessory designers, retailers, fine artists, and even a local cosmetics line. In a beautifully designed and updated space, customers visiting the DEKKA showroom can shop for unique clothing and jewelry, view paintings from local artists adorning the walls, and browse music from independent artists. Fashion, art and music - magically combined under one roof. DEKKA was already in full force at this year's Spring 2008 DC Fashion Week, featuring six of its designers who showcased their work as a group. "We share a space, do events, and work together to market our individual products," says Cecilia Guerra, of CG Originals, a local jewelry designer and member of DEKKA.

Both wholesale and exclusive retail sales will take place at the showroom. The participants are established and emerging locals, who want the city to be recognized as more than the political capital. DEKKA is about diversity, and about the unification of artists to reach a higher level, all by means of the creative process."This all happened so fast. Within a month, we had eleven people on board to join the showroom. It seems from what everybody says, that this is exactly the kind of establishment that DC has been needing," explains DEKKA co-owner and designer, Luciana Tiktin of Yosoy Fashion.The members featured in the DEKKA showroom represent a wide range of local talent. There is BiriBelle Clothing, a line that brings an African flair to urban and vintage styles. The National Society of Soul's designs combine fashion with social awareness. YOSOY Fashion, a line created in Miami and now emerging in DC, merges European styles with Miami & DC's diversity. Handcrafted and with custom order options, Holland Cox provides the showroom with exclusive handbags. The uniqueness of handcrafting is also expressed in AASHMAA, a clothing line that combines modernism with India's traditionalism.

Travel is the key inspiration behind, an online local boutique carrying apparel and accessories from international designers and artists, as well as unique US lines; and now with a retail location at DEKKA. CG Originals will complement the clothing with its jewelry made of Peruvian Silver, precious stones, and glass. Ame Cosmetics, in turn, is a local cosmetics line presenting two complete and exciting lines of color in classic and mineral makeup and the ultimate in diversity. The Renee France clothing line boasts great texture, quality, and design.

Finally, DEKKA's artists include the amazing ethereal abstract talent of Sofya Mirvis and local pop sensation Chris Bishop. DEKKA co-owner Joshua Tiktin (also known as JMC) created the DEKKA concept and also sells his music at the store." What you can expect from DEKKA is a relationship, an experience. It gives people from the DC area an opportunity to be close to the designers and retailers they are wearing, the artists they are buying for their walls, and the people who are making the music they are discovering. All of the creators here have a strong desire to share. The movers and shakers of the area are really appreciating the energy of DEKKA, and have been quick to help in our goal of unifying the diverse creative industries of the DC area," says co-owner and hip hop artist, JMC.

The Grand Opening of DEKKA will take place at the DEKKA showroom, on April 5, 2008, from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. The ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for 4 p.m.In attendance will be Ms. Christine Brooks-Cropper, President of the Greater Washington Fashion Chamber of Commerce, DC Fashion Week Director Ean Williams, and Ms. Abigail de Casanova, Founder and President of the DC Fashionista Group, which now includes over a thousand members. DEKKA is located at 1338 U Street N.W., 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20009, in the Historic District of U Street and across from "The Ellington." Visit, DCFAM for more information on the DEKKA showroom and the various DCFAM projects.

Hugs and besos,

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Kelly Ripa ... Diva of the Moment.

Hi Darlings:
I have to say that I am a great fan of Kelly Ripa. She has a great sense of humor, style and grace. I love that she and Marc Consuelos always seem delightfully thrilled to be in each others presence and today I just love love love the way she has looped her scarf. You know how I love uniquely looped scarves...
Hugs and besos.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Divas in the News and more ... Christian Siriano

Hi Darlings:

I had a great weekend and I hope you did too! The weather was great for a few hours until it got rainy and cold.

So, on Saturday I had plans to meet my friend R at Busboys and Poet on 14th and U St., NW for lunch. She called when I was out and about with the sunroof open, shades on, wearing next to nothing pretending it was summer but shoulda known better. Well we were on the same vibe because she was hungry and I was feeling hunger pangs. So lunch was the on point idea at the moment. As for BandP, I hadn't been there in forever and as usual nothing had changed since the last was thoroughly filled to the brims with hungry, sociable and summer-loving fashionistas including a Christian Siriano (AKA Project Runway's own fierceness) look alike. Splitting image hair, glasses and fierce facial look posing what pretending to look bored on the couch. We had to take two double takes but this was great material for convo because as it turned out we were both avid watchers of this season's Project Runway. Loved loved loved Christian Siriano. BTW, eventhough we were casually dressed we were most definitely happy not to be "tranny hot tranny messes" - Thank goodness! :)

Anywho lunch was fantabulous and accessories shopping afterwards delightful!

Now back to Christian Siriano - his designs are fierce and I am sure there is more to expect from him in the future! I was actually amazed at the sewings skills of the contestants. The idea that they could sew so well and so much in such a short period of time is spectacular. It takes me at least half a day to figure out what I am going to do and about a month to focus on a personal sewing project. The last dress I made for myself took about a month to finish. I am a lot better with business projects for Diva Bugs. This most definitely shows that there is a lot more to come from the designers discovered on Project Runway. I can't wait for next season!

Hugs and besos.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Rihanna and Forever 21

Hi Darlings:

Recently some friends and I were admiring a picture of Rihanna and her refreshing choice of clothing. While we wondered out loud about the identity of her stylist a quick Internet search was initiated. Shortly there after we found out that her stylist was Mariel Haenn however this was not shocking as compared to finding out that while most of her outfits were by Jean-Paul Gaultier, Armani or even Zac Posen her jewelry was by Forever 21 and Damselfly (not sure if this UK store is Damselfly but it would be interesting). I was surprised like most women she had a budget, however unlike most of us she has to make lots of public appearances and hence these stores -probably including H&M too -are the best bets for in vogue for less. I would not be surprised if other celebrities have done "the look for less" but are hesitant to admit. Well at Diva Bugs there is no shame in our game. The article was two years ago probably pre-Umbrella days so I doubt she is bargain shopping now...but you never know.

Here is what I think Rihanna would wear (or probably was wearing) from Forever21 based on these pics

She wore: Forever 21 has: Crossover chiffon top ($17.80)

She wore: Forever 21 has: Basic Ribbed tank ($8.90)

She wore:

Forever 21 has: Keri Pleated tote ($19.80)

She wore: Forever 21 has: Sally sunglasses and various bangles ranging from ($4.80+)

Hugs and besos,

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Divas in the news and more...Mizrahi, Buchman

Hi Darlings:

Guess what... the sun is out for a longer period of time each day and Spring is around the corner... ok end of cheesy moment.

Expect the unforseeable to start happening in the fashion industry as well. Run not walk to Target to get the latest from Isaac Mizrahi because he is moving to Liz Clairborne which will hopefully be a boost for the House the Liz built. Dana Buchman is moving on down from Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus to Kohls...

I am now reading "The End of the Fashion: How Marketing Changed the Clothing Business Forever" by Teri Agins and I have to say there needs to be a book about marketing fashion to the masses. This new turn towards department store type settings has actually taken fashion and affordability to a whole new level especially since designers like Mizrahi who once pledged undying allegiance to haute couture are now lending their reputations and trademarks to what used to be the lowest level of pret-a-porter. I love shopping at Target - that's tar-jay to you! Money is money as they say.

Rachel Zoe knows a thing or two about making money and building an image from scratch. She is now an online consultant with Piperlime shoes.

Paula Abdul is trying to be forever our girl, while J-Lo is aiming for more Jennifer and less homegirl. I guess that comes with being a mommy.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Fashionista to Watch: Diana Baird N'Diaye

Hi Darlings:

I decided that I should continue my conversation with Diana Baird N’Diaye not just because of her occupation but because within the first few minutes of speaking with her I was enthralled by her fashion familiarity and scholarship.

So, I set up a meeting with her because I felt there was a lot to learn and discuss more specifically, about diversity of fashion in DC.

Diana and I started our discussion with the pleasantries: her job – curator of the Smithsonian’s Folklife Festival; jobs prior to present – studied maroon communities and worked on a program in Senegal; lived in DC – 18 years, grew up between Bermuda and Brooklyn. Her mother and father were originally from Guyana and Barbados respectively. Great…after that was out of the way on to the business of fashion. After hearing all of this and realizing that she is a Doctor of Anthropology and Visual Studies I wanted to know if she had any fashion experience…out of curiosity.

Well it turns out Diana’s history as a fashionista is fantastic. In high school she discovered her passion for fashion and took a patternmaking and draping class. She also attended a workshop based program called “Haryou-Act” under the guidance of Zelda Wynn Valdes the well-known, African-American go to fashion designer and costumer for celebrities such as Ruby Dee, society mavens and eventually – designer of the now famous Play Boy playmate bunny suit…le gasp! She considered Ms. Valdes an “incredible teacher”. (Ms. Valdes clothing designs are currently on display at the Black Fashion Museum) Her training under Ms. Valdes led to a presentation at the 1967 World Fair in Montreal.

Diana was inspired after high school to start her own clothing line that she displayed in her mother's Brooklyn dry cleaning store Africaribia. She was approached by Macy’s to provide clothing for their stores but the idea of providing one-of-a kind designs per store (a mandate at the time) was overwhelming so she did an about face and went on to NYU instead to study anthropology and learn about world clothing. She stuck on this path which has led her to the Smithsonian.

I did not expect all of this when were started our conversation…I am even more impressed.

Diana and I continue our fashion discussion. We discuss how fashion plays a part in her work with the folklife festival. She notes that the merger of traditional fabrics and modern looks is a fascinating new trend that breathes life to the fabrics keeping them alive, in fashion and in commerce. Diana explains in 2002 Silk Road Folk Life festival how the Uzbekhastan display featured Ikat silk used in evening gowns and Kurdish hard silk wedding coats and vests.

Diana next discusses diversity in Washington DC. We finally get to the topic du jour but I am content at what we’ve spoken of so far. She goes on to say that Washington DC is unique because there is a huge population of African dressmakers specifically Ghanaian and Senegalese as well as Caribbean immigrants who have settled in the area. She notes that the long standing tradition of dressmaking in the Caribbean is a great addition to fashion in the city. Local fashion influences mentioned at Tony Anyiam who makes clothing out of traditional Mali Mud cloth; Senegalese dressmakers who import prints and tie dye fabrics from home. She urges that there is a need more U St.-type boutiques (small and supportive of independent designers) and boutiques like Toast and Strawberry (Rosemary Reed Miller’s now closed store). We should keep following the rebirth of crocheting and knitting and handmade and wearable art.

Advice to young designers: “People in DC are feeling a lot freer to experiment with clothing. [They need] designers of innovative clothes you can wear for work, at the office and afterwards at a cocktail party. The challenge will be to dress the baby boomer generation who are now in a position to pay. However, these designs need to be flattering and sensible and made with quality fabrics… A fashion incubator will stimulate Washington Dc fashion.”

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Maybe She Isn't...

Hi Darlings:

In answer to yesterday's post ... I guess she isn't preggers. Go figure... in the end its a whatevs but I do like the red bikini! Hugs and besos!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Divas in the News and more...My man's back!

Hi Darlings:

My man's back! Yeah you know who I am talking about ... my man James Bond. After almost 48 years we finally get a new book in the series written as Ian Flemming by Sebastian Faulks. Of course I love OO7 his outfits are so on point, debonnaire and situation appropriate. He is soo zexy well hmmm ... when played by Pierce Brosnan, Sean Connery or Roger Moore. You see where this is going... Check out EW to find out more.

In true "Diva" form Hillary Clinton has said she is in the race for the long haul...Personally I can't wait for tomorrow to get here.

Robin Givhan talks Paris and Balenciaga for the Washington Post and we must agree with her. After the beautiful sandal/boots of last season, Balenciaga is on a roll. This season we have fun with new fabrics that adds dimension and takes creativity to a new level. No wonder Kanye West is enamored... Look out though the LA Style Makers are on the move.

Reading the latest in blogs is so facionnable darlings! Check out Stuff White People Like ... truly a fun read with a refreshing outlook. Already 2 million more readers within the past week.

So much speculation ... the game of "Are they or aren't they" goes on and on. Here are the players...

Selma Hayek - Is she or isn't she getting married? (lossip)

Kate Hudson - Is she or isn't she preggers? (People)

That's all for now loves! I have been under the weather since Sunday so since I am feeling much better I hope to blog on!
Hugs and besos!

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