Nolcha Fashion Week Updates & Closer Looks – It’s Raining Men….swear



NFW will be here sooner than you think!! My COUNTDOWN has begun! Each week until this amazing showcase of talented designers ensues, Fashion Nexus will be here to provide updates and closer looks at the various designers presenting. Check out my various intro pieces thus far and get to know Monstruosite better!

But for this post, I’m so eager & excited to take a closer look at 4 phenomenal menswear brands presenting this year — Alberto Pants, Carl Gross, Codice, & Haupt. I’m sure more of you are just as excited! But first, there is one more designer to add to the overall line-up and here is that designer’s intro –













Oiselle is another designer brand who has shown with Nolcha before, showcasing looks not often seen on the runway, but which still deserve a spotlight! Oiselle is a feminine fierce athletic apparel brand for women who love to run and race.


Now onto some menswear, where the male models I’m sure will be the cherry on my sundae, the butter for my popcorn, :)!!! First up Haupt!


Haupt’s brand is very gracious for the opportunity to showcase their woven menswear shirts. And I have no doubt each piece will be top-notch since this a shirt-only company! The brand is based in Lippstadt, Germany and was established back in 1926 — that’s 88 years in the menswear business! It’s a small family-owned business, but with that, sole focus has been on the designs, the shirts — attention to each and every detail!


Haupt seeks to create beautiful and high quality shirts that are a marriage of both European and American styles. The pieces are not over-the-top or over-designed, but rather are practical and wearable. But even being a smaller, family-owned business, that doesn’t mean the brand doesn’t have some major clientele. Haupt is worn by many NFL players in fact!


Today, the company is run by the founder’s grandson, Georg Haupt. The design team consists of Birgit Glaser, who is known for having a great eye for color. And also, there is Bernd Schaefer, who has fit & modeling down. There is no surprise that the brand has such a balanced design thanks to this male/female dynamic duo. I can’t wait to see some amazing and well-crafted menswear pieces from the brand’s runway presentation!


Next up is Codice!


Pictured above is the talent behind this dynamic menswear brand, Giorgio Filippi. Codice is based in Reggio Emilia, Italy, but Giorgio is ready to showcase his work at none other than Nolcha Fashion week during NYFW! The brand is all about being contemporary, having a modern fit, and of course, being wearable. But Codice still keeps “Fashion” in mind, maintaining impeccable design!


So in thinking of the signature style of CODICE, know it’s the embodiment of a polished, sophisticated ease. The brand truly hallmarks that of Italian style in a clean, spare, yet never overly basic collection of knit tops, t-shirts, polos & fine gauge sweaters. Each design is very unique, with noticeable details, for which Codice pays a great deal of attention to.


Codice is presenting its Spring 2015 collection, which is inspired by all things vintage, but with a modern design aesthetic. I’m ready to see these polished and stylish menswear looks!


Now let’s take a look at Carl Gross!

Carl Gross is another German-based menswear brand, Hersbruck, Germany to be specific. The brand pushes for and seeks to find relaxed elegance. Each piece is all about fashion, comfort, and quality. Showing in NYC, at Nolcha Fashion Week, will mark the first US entry for the brand!


The brand is a specialist when it comes to jackets & suits. I can’t wait to see their latest collection, maybe even with looks for kids!!


And finally, we have Alberto Pants!


It must be that Germany is the country to go to for menswear. Of these 4 menswear brands, 3 of the 4 are based in Germany. And with Alberto, it’s specifically Monchengladbach, Germany. And just as with the other brands, Alberto has also been in the menswear business for quite some time, 1922, and is also a family-run company. The brand is legendary for its amazing fit!


In seeking to create this perfect fit, Alberto has a streamlined process of using high quality, exciting fabrics, attractive buttons, harmonious yarn colors, beautifully produced lining and great craftsmanship. And details are of the utmost importance when it comes to crafting the pants, yarn to fabric, wash to hardware. With inspiration for this upcoming collection the brand is happy to never have a lack of being inspired. The endless supply comes from traveling, walking the streets of various places.


The brand offers 4 categories from which their male clients can choose from — chino, slim, premium business jeans, and smart dressy. There is also an entire collection dedicated solely to golfwear. Alberto has also experienced quite a bit of featured press from major publications — Myself magazine, GQ, TM, InStyle, & more!






ENK Part 3 — Still Just a Bit More to See!!

This is my last piece coming off of my 1st ever visit at ENK! It’s clear how amazing the experience was right? I mean, there was so much to discuss that it took 3 separate pieces. So I discussed some chic accessories, the elegant jewelry, and now, I want to get to the basics, women’s apparel! (In addition, there is one more accessories brand I wanted to mention, one that for sure TOPS this piece off, no pun intended!)


47V2012_2020DESIGUAL Desigual runway shows are always red hot & super fun. And I was just as excited with their set-up for ENK! I’m always enthralled by the many bold pieces I see from Desigual. Check out my pieces on the brand — Fall 2014, S/S 2014, Summer Essentials, & July 4th piece!












MINNIE ROSE — I just went to the Minnie Rose sample sale a few weeks back, so it was great to see some familiar faces and amazing RTW pieces at ENK! The colors and prints for Minnie Rose are just always so breathtakingly fabulous! Check out my featured 2014 Summer Essential item from this RTW brand!





DVF —So even though I made it to the 3rd round of casting for the new DVF show and wasn’t cast, no ill will! DVF is still one of my quintessential fave fashion brands with classic pieces I will always love – Great seeing the brand while visiting ENK! You can check out my DVF accessory feature as a part of my Best Dressed list from the 2014 Guys’ Choice Awards — Jessica Alba.





BAILEY 44Candace Cameron Bure got me hooked on this brand and I’m forever grateful! The brand is able to do sexy, but does so with sophistication. The cuts, silhouettes, details – all very impressive! Two features on the brand for Fashion Nexus — Bridal feature, options for appropriate attire & Candace Cameron Bure, Best Dressed of the Week!






NANETTE LEPORE —Nanette Lepore is RTW at its best. It’s impossible to go wrong with this brand. It truly does have it all – stunning dresses, practical, yet fashionable tops, great fit with pants/shorts/skirts, and immaculately crafted outerwear.





FREE PEOPLE —Free People is a brand I want to get to know more. I love everything I ever see that comes out of this label and everything is always amazing. The pieces are so versatile, unique, and memorable. Check out my Free People feature for one of my Best Dressed lists — Selena Gomez/2014 Coachella.







RACHEL ZOE Despite what I am sure is an ever-busy schedule, Rachel Zoe continues to produce high-fashion pieces for the high-fashion woman. Check out my Fashion Nexus features on the brand — Rachel emcee’g at the 2013 Supima Design Competition and 2013 AMA Best Dressed List/Brandi Cyrus.



HELEN KAMINSKI — Hats! Hats! But wait, not just hats, rather high-fashion hats for all fashionistas! If you are looking to spice up your streetwear style, keep the sun away on vacays, or just grab the attention of every passerby because you now have a fashionable HEAD-to-toe look, then Helen Kaminski is the brand for you!












2014 TCAs Best Dressed — What Looks Ruled the Red, Oh Sorry, Blue Carpet?!?

The 2014 Teen Choice Awards aired Sunday night. And NO, I am not a teen, but my interest in the award show was mainly for the red (blue?!) carpet looks on these rising young stars and starlets! Right off the bat, I was a little worried at actually making a list. Some of the first looks I came across seemed too mature for this award show, or were prints I just didn’t care for. But no worries! After going thru as many images as I could find, I’m happy with the many great looks included on my list. So here are my top picks — ENJOY!!















No prob in keeping a look basic and simplistically minimal! And what better way to do that than with a LWD! Ariana’s fitted white Georges Chakra Couture mini is beaded perfection. The beaded details at the neck and hemlines really brought out some sparkle to make her look pop! Great job Ari!!












          NINA DOBREV



What so many others got wrong, Nina got right! Her look had a great use of color. The print was imaginative and fun, very eye-catching. There was just no denying how stunning she looked in this artsy Vionnet crop-top & shorts look. She coordinated perfectly with hot pink Kurt Geiger pumps and her “Elsie” nude Michael Kors clutch. She also made use of some very luxe jewelry from both Ippolita & David Yurman. And finally, she played up her eye color with Air Optix contacts in Gemstone Green.















I’ve seen this look before, ahem Kim. K.! But I’m so glad to see it look the way it should, namely that it appropriately fits the person wearing it! Shay looks like a sexy angelic siren, if that is even possible?? She is rockin’ a lacy white 2-piece Misha Collection number — crop top and knee-length skirt. Her accessories look was very much minimalistic — metallic Jimmy Choo heels, tan Rodo clutch, and silver jewelry pieces from Logan Hollowell.

Teen Choice Awards 2014 - Arrivals

RITA VOLK — Rita definitely won the award for the best “Pretty in Pink” or “Material Girl” look of the night! Now it never escapes one of my best dressed lists that I don’t have all of the designer details for a given look. But regardless, that will never keep someone off my list! So no clue who Rita is wearing, but she still looks stunning — eye-catching neckline & cutouts! However, I do know that her lovely little diamond studs are from Janet Deleuse!














Learning that Jana had a last minute wardrobe change and still looks this radiant, I mean that’s impossible right?!? Props to her phenomenal stylist Lo Von Rumpf for a job well done! Jana looks like a sexy country darling in this black and white lacy Alexis romper. Coordinating perfectly are her white Sergio Rossi pumps. And not going too over the top, Jana has added in some silver jewelry pieces from both Dionea Orcini and Jacob & Co. And one more additional “Job well done”, for adding to Jana’s radiance, goes to her makeup artist Dave Stanwell.














DWTS did wonders for Candace!! She looks so amazingly beautiful and still in such great shape, very happy for her!! LWDs were certainly a trend on the red/blue carpet & for my best dressed list. So Candace didn’t disappoint in her white knee-length frock by L’Agence, complete with a sexy side slit.















Sarah was the co-host of the evening’s festivities, so more than 1 of her looks has made my list. First up, her blue carpet appearance look, a sparkling Marc Jacobs slip-dress. Paired with this look are Jimmy Choo black sandals and Lorraine Schwartz jewelry.

Teen Choice Awards 2014 - Show

Sarah looks elegantly chic in this on-stage look, a mint green Emilio Pucci dress, paired with Bionda Castana heels and even more Lorraine Schwartz jewelry!

Teen Choice Awards 2014 - Show

And Sarah makes it 3 for 3 in another on-stage look, blush pink Emilio Pucci top and shorts, metallic Nicholas Kirkwood heels, & again, more Lorraine Schwartz jewelry!

Teen Choice Awards 2014 - Arrivals

Alex & Sierra were a dynamic duo on the X-Factor, but are also clearly a force to be reckoned with on the BLUE carpet! Sierra wore a sexy white AQ/AQ dress with jewelry from Jacquie Aiche, Gorjana, and Jennifer Zuener. Alex wore a fun thermometer-printed DSquared2 shirt with waxed Saint Laurent denim.

Teen Choice Awards 2014 - Arrivals

Ciara Bravo, of Big Time Rush, is a bit of an unknown to me, but still looks great on this blue carpet. She went with a fun tangerine fit and flare Ted Baker dress and nude Steve Madden sandals.

jennifer-lopez-290              JENNIFER LOPEZ

Not a teen, but as always, glamorous and fabulous! J. Lo rocks this lacy emerald Elie Saab mini. And as always, is sportin’ some major bling — Neil Lane jewelry.















Bella Thorne is another who was definitely a hit with a particular type of look, floral print, where others were a miss! She looks chic, fun, and flirty in this sculptural blue FLORAL dress, made just for her — Johnny Wujek for Candies Couture. The “blue” theme continues on with her matching Dior pumps. And keeping it simple, are a few elegant pieces of jewelry from both Suzanne Kalan and Le Vian.

Teen Choice Awards 2014 - Arrivals

Emily Osment is another rockin’ a LWD, but sadly, also another look I’m not sure of the designer details. But this white knee length dress with a structured bodice looks great on her. I also love her pops of color from her tangerine heels, nails, and lipstick color.


I can ‘t say I love all of these looks equally, but what Fifth Harmony does well is that combined, they all look great together! Standing as a group, I see no bad looks and thus as a group they scream BEST DRESSED! So going left to right, here are the details —

Camila wore a black Balenciaga dress with Fendi shoes.

Dinah wore a fitted black Jovani top, Theory pants, and Giuseppe Zanotti heels.

Lauren wore a 3 + 1 black top, leather Jovani skirt, and Christian Louboutin heels.

Ally wore a sheer McQ by Alexander McQueen top, Balenciaga skirt, and Christian Louboutin heels.

Normani wore a fitted look, a Karolina Zmarlak top, Balenciaga skirt and Christian Louboutin heels.

Teen Choice Awards 2014 - Press Room

Teen Choice Awards 2014 - Press Room

Gregg Sulkin looks quite sexy in this brown Armani leather jacket — Congrats also on the Faking It win, love that show!!

Teen Choice Awards 2014 - Arrivals

Tyler Posey is another handsome gentleman gracing the blue carpet and  was also the other co-host for the awards show! He looks great in this John Varvatos suit, a more casual look and quite fitting for the night!


Kellan Lutz is the concluding member of my list! He looks sexy hot as always! Not sure who all he is wearing, but love it all, especially the jacket!!







ENK Shows, Accessorie Circuit — Ahhhh, the Jewelry!!

I had a great time attending ENK’s Accessorie Circuit and of course covering it for Fashion Nexusmy 1st piece detailing this trip as my 1st visit ever at ENK & all the fun accessories seen! But now I want to cover, in more detail, all of the stunning & immaculate jewelry collections I came across — it’ a must!!


nOir Jewelry Ahhhhh, words can’t express how much I love this jewelry brand. But I’m a blogger so I can of course try! I’ve featured the brand from showcasing it as a part of my own looks, even while at Fashion Week! It was also featured as part of my piece on fashion outings and for the 4th of July. I of course made sure to use my own pieces as well for my fun photoshoot for my Cover Photos.








PONO by Joan Goodman PONO is for sure a Fashion Nexus fave, with many features, such as their Sample Sale intros, a birthday celebration for the brand, intro’g their Holiday Sample Sale, a full brand intro feature, their collaboration with sports fashion brand Slater Zorn, and 4th of July featured essentials. I’ve also made sure to feature the brand when I rock their amazing pieces, including for my Cover Photo photoshoot & Fashion Week! This is a bold, dramatic, and dynamic brand. It was great seeing everyone and many amazing pieces while visiting at ENK!




Athra Luxe This brand is no stranger to Fashion Nexus — a brand intro piece, myself wearing pieces!, & Best Dressed for Lauren Mayhew at the AMAs. I love the fact that the pieces are affordable, high fashion, high quality, and that everything just looks so luxe — no surprise “luxe” is a part of the brand name!









Elizabeth & James Jewelry Huge fan of the Olsen fashion empire, including The Row and of course E&J! From clothing to handbags to accessories to jewelry, it’s all just so impressive and I WANT!!





Sydney Evan This is a jewelry brand with a signature stamp on the jewelry industry — hard to miss Sydney Evan pieces. The pieces are high quality and easily customizable to best suit each and every customer. There is something for everyone! You can see more features on this brand on Fashion Nexus by going thru these links — A Brand intro, their Custom Charm Bar event at Bergdorfs, and my fashion outings & adventures!








Joey J. Jewelry I just featured this brand on Fashion Nexus. It was such a pleasure getting to know Joey J. more, perusing thru and looking at the many unique and gorgeous pieces created by the brand. So of course their booth was at the top of my list while attending ENK!








Alexis Bittar Eye-catching, stunning, bold, dramatic jewelry — very hard to turn away!! There are just such truly amazing & lovely pieces all throughout the website and as a part of each individual collection.















Sibilia Jewelry Sibilia is a fairly new brand I’m becoming acquainted with, but I’m eager to continue getting to know all about them! The pieces are very well-crafted and really catch one’s eye! I’ve certainly enjoyed featuring their pieces as part of my own looks, including during Fashion Week and with my fun photoshoot for my Cover Photos.











Wait….Hold the Phone — Did PR/Ep. 3 Take us Back to the Movie Challenge??

Just kidding! But wow, how many movie references did we get in this episode — Clueless (Team Kristine now for sure, lol!), Star Wars (Ewok talk), The Matrix, Planet of the Apes, Mary Poppins — that was all right?!? As for the real challenge this week, the designers received their marching orders while sitting amongst a sea of Marie Claire magazine covers. Tim Gunn and Marie Claire’s Editor in Chief, Anne Fulenwider, provided the details for this week’s challenge. Anne was also one of the guest judges this week.


The challenge revolved around the celebration of Marie Claire’s 20th anniversary, 1994-2014. The challenge details — to use the Marie Claire magazine covers, from 20 years ago, as inspiration to create looks the designers feel would be relevant 20 years into the future. Really the designers could use any past inspiration to create their look, but the point was to imagine what could end up in Marie Claire in 2034! It’s the future of fashion thru the designer’s filtered aesthetic!


Everyone enjoyed trips down memory lane — images from 20 years ago and tales of times’ past. Most of the designers finally enjoyed their 1st trip to Mood! So the designers were then off to shop with their $200 budget for this 1-day challenge. Kini was so cute during this episode! I’m sure just as he exclaimed, everyone was so happy they could finally choose their actual fabrics!


There wasn’t a lot to report this week from Tim-time to model fittings to the morning of the runway — nothing out of the ordinary — some craziness, Tim cautions, panics — the usual! There was one additional guest judge this week and that was renown British photographer & TV personality Amanda de Cadenet. So with no further delay, the runway was surprising on many levels this week!

So thankful that Tim provided the perfect examples for facial expressions I had during this episode. As I saw the designers working, the future for sure looked dark and cold, with the exception of Mitchell who had a wet future in mind! I thought “Boy, this runway will be disappointing, bleak, dark, gloomy!”


But then as the runway show commenced I became ecstatic, pleasantly surprised!


Many of the designers really stepped it up this week. I was impressed! As the results were coming in, I will say, Heidi’s extra commentary and blasting, as she did on Angela last week, was again totally unnecessary for Amanda! This expression of hers quickly faded!


But again, very annoying comment by Heidi. After hearing who was in the bottom 3, there is no way Amanda would have ever gone home and I’m not certain she would have even ended up in the bottom. But as far as facial expressions go, my face went back to this as all of the final results came in,  mainly the winning look.


This season, thus far, has been so conflicting. Generally my frustration comes from the bottom looks and who goes home, not the top looks and resulting winner. I’ve been trying to formulate my thoughts and critiques for Sandhya so that it doesn’t come off that I want her gone or that she doesn’t have potential. In fact, my only true negative thought about her was from last week and it only came about because the judges said she had the worst look and were it not for her immunity, she would have gone home. I agreed — she had the worst look. That is all hard to let go of.

But my issues really boil down to these “wins” she’s being given. It doesn’t make sense. The logic is just not there. And clearly from the many viewer comments I’m seeing, I’m not alone in this. And the main issue then that her questionable wins create is from the resulting immunity. Because as we saw just last week, immunity saved her, not her talent. I don’t think this will continue to happen. And I hope it doesn’t because it should be her talent that keeps her in the game, not the immunity. But so looking at this week……


I had no issues with Sandhya’s look this week. Was it my fave or in my top 3? No! But I definitely didn’t have it in my bottom 3 either. So just as the 1st week went, okay, she ends up in the top, fine. But to win again, especially after I intently listened to the judges comments makes 0 sense to me! What makes even less sense is Sandhya, even though in the top, still received negative critiques. Heidi called it comical and did so at least 3 times. She even made the comments as she was critiquing the other ladies in the top. So clearly she meant business and usually Heidi’s say-so is more of a final say-so. Kristine on the other hand had 0 negative comments about her actual look. The only negative was from Nina and that was on her make-up & accessory choices. So this is why Sandhya’s win makes 0 sense to me. Kristine had all 5 judges’ support. At most Sandhya had 4, and maybe even 3 because Zac didn’t sound fully convinced during the later up-close critiques. If the judges are going to undeservedly give a win, then at least be positive during the critiques, as they did the 1st week. It still might sound like BS, but at least the comments will match up to the result!

I will end on a positive though for Sandhya — great job working with the Mary Kay team for a futuristic beauty look. It really amps up the runway more so than the same deep purple look pretty much every other designer made use of this week!


So let’s now take a look at Kristine’s garment, which was actually 2 pieces as compared to just 1 — a jacket with cut-outs & a chic white dress. I will say I agree with Nina. The huge hoop earrings and bubblegum pink lip were not great choices. But the ensemble as a whole, really fit the challenge. There is very much a futuristic vibe here, but practical futurism, not comical, which is the term Heidi used a lot during the critiques. Kristine took inspiration from the movie “Clueless”, which came out in 1995. She took elements from the various wardrobe pieces in the movie to translate into this look. And this makes sense because fashion is often about bringing back trends and elements, and I applaud what she did here. The look was editorial, edgy, and had lots of great details. I would totally rock this look. I feel as if Kristine was robbed of a moment here and hate that it was done so with no real explanation!

And rounding out the top 3, a surprise in my book, was Emily! Just for the sheer fact that Emily stepped it up so much this week, I would have been fine with her winning over Kristine. This is of course assuming the judges comments matched up, lol!


Emily seemed weak the 1st two weeks for me — the design, execution, etc. But it wasn’t enough to call her out on and I’m glad I didn’t because she turned it around here. This look, altogether, kicked ass. The jumpsuit had such a great fit and I loved it was cut-off instead of longer. The cover-up was also great and perfectly executed. I think this is not just any typical jumpsuit that you see all the time. The cut and silhouette is what brings up a futuristic vibe for me, the going back to a style likely seen 20 or 30 years ago, but with a modern take. I think layering is a concept many designers used during this challenge as well. And I think that very much speaks to the future of fashion. For me, this is great work that is very much deserving of high praise & recognition! She also gets high marks from me with the entire package — Aldo accessories (perfectly coordinating black pumps, great statement necklace), Mary Kay beauty look (love the smoky eye!), & Philip B. hair look (what a chic and amazing up-do!).

The bottom was more so obvious this week. It was surprising that Alexander & Sean ended up there because they started the show off pretty strong. It made sense that Sean was not the bottom 2 though.


I love the Aldo black booties, but not for this outfit. I also loved the hat, very impressed he took the time to make it, even though it meant he had to rip up the poor Mood bag. But maybe he should have not worried about the hat and more on the garment. The judges said something about people not liking turtlenecks. I love turtlenecks! But the issue here was the jacket. All in all it just looked frumpy. And what was with the wrinkles and crooked hem? There was still some decent design elements here so I think that is what saved him and I know he can bounce back! I mean that straw dress was phenomenal just last week!

Alexander was also a surprise this week, but it’s clear what happened here. He screwed up his first executed idea, panicked a bit, had not a lot of time left, and this is what we end up with!


This textured dress was pretty much just a yawn — so plain, so simple, so basic. There just wasn’t much here to critique. And what is there to critique, it’s not good. The hem seemed sloppy, not intentional. The fit was not great either, too loose! I did like the grey Aldo peep toe booties though!

But I think that it was obvious he would stay and Angela would go being that she ended up in the bottom again, was harshly criticized last week, and continued to receive a great deal of screen-time attention as the episode progressed.


Angela had a great idea here, as the judges mentioned. But there was some wrong moves here — the color, not typical for Wall St. or a business suit and too much of a stretch, even 20 years from now! I think she should have maybe done a shade of blue or even green if her goal was to steer clear of black or grey. The look was also far too tight and short for a business suit. I’ve worked in professional environments for close to 10 years now and this type of look would certainly get me some attention, but not in a good way. Again, great concept, just not well executed. And I think because other designers had not been negatively focused on, it just didn’t work in her favor this week.

And finally, a few other shout-outs…..


Samantha I feel was also a bit robbed this week. This look not getting any recognition is just sad! First off, we all can count right? Look at how many pieces she created in just 1 day! And not just made, but they all look well-made. I really feel as if this is a whole look, more so than just a basic dress. Samantha’s future didn’t seem comical as Heidi kept saying about someone else’s work. And it’s futuristic, just not over-the-top!


Mitchell’s look I’m still contemplating over. I have to be honest, sometimes I look at it and I don’t like it. But other times, I kind of dig it. I definitely would love to see this top paired with jeans. I think there is something here, but the reason for my shout-out is because of the Aldo accessories (loved the grey peep-toe booties & coordinating clutch) & the Mary Kay beauty look (anything besides the purple or violet lip many others used!)


And finally, Korina’s shout-out is for her Aldo accessory selections (love the sheer mixed heels & hip sunglasses), but also the Philip B. hair look since there were so many up-do’s this week. It was nice to see someone rockin’ their luscious tresses!











ENK Shows — Accessorie Circuit — 1st Time Attending for Fashion Nexus!!

There have been many firsts, fashion firsts to be specific, since I launched Fashion Nexus. I’ve always been invited and of course I’ve heard of ENK prior to last week. I was just never able to attend the multi-day event. But I’m happy to now report I HAVE! And it was such a blast! I was so excited to meet and greet new brands and even see some familiar faces from brands I already know. There was so much to see and because I saw so much this post is just the first of three. I want to go into more in-depth detail about the immaculate jewelry, high-quality accessories, and stunning apparel pieces I came across.

So 1st up, let’s take a look at some very well-crafted and well-made accessories, handbags, clutches, belts, etc., from some great brands!      





ashlyn’d I have fallen in love with this brand of unique, custom, and high quality clutches/handbags. Check out their latest collection here. You can also check out my full featured piece on ashlyn’d as well. Always impressed with each piece I see!





Botkier If you want practicality, while also feeling like a fashionista, then Botkier is the brand for that. So many options from basic handbags to satchels to totes to cross-bodies. It was a must for me to include the brand on my 4th of July piece!



Rebecca Minkoff Rebecca Minkoff is probably one of the 1st designers I met as I was developing my fashion blog. She was very kind and it was an honored experience to be in the midst of such a great talent! The brand is also no stranger to Fashion Nexus features — 4th of July piece; Jamie Chung — 2014 Coachella Best Dressed; and her Guest judge spot on Project Runway All-Stars.



Liebeskind Berlin Liebeskind is a brand that has caught my eye for some time now. Of course I made sure it was included as a featured brand on one of my “Best Dressed” lists, 2014 PCAs, Greer Grammer sporting one of the brand’s signature clutches! I’m very impressed by the many new pieces, in addition to the brand’s staple bags.





Lauren Merkin This brand is all about customizing and personalizing for the consumer. It’s hard to be disappointed when some of the design aspect is in your hands! There is definitely something for everyone — basics, fun, color, creativity & more!




WCM Belts Handbags are of course must-have accessory essentials, but so too are belts! WCM is a recent brand I’ve discovered and one I hope to stick with when it comes to features and showcasing of the brand’s design and functionality.




















To Wear White or Not to Wear White?? — That is the Question!


 (featured bridal image — Marchesa)

Ahhhh, the ever-popular, age-old question, that is still heavily debated today — should you wear white to a wedding?!? Summertime is definitely “wedding season”! And thus, I’ve been asked/invited by to weigh in on this ongoing debate. is a one-stop shop for wedding planning. It’s a site where brides & grooms can search/find wedding ideas, hire people for their wedding, and make purchases. polled their own team of experienced wedding editors & more than 250,000 readers. Needless to say, there was not an agreed upon verdict. But here is Fashion Nexus’ take on this great debate — NO!! I do not think you should wear white to a wedding and it comes down to 2 simplified reasons.


(featured bridal image — Irina Shabayeva)

1) Do not detract attention from the bride — It’s the bride’s big day!!

From what I see, attending actual weddings & viewing bridal collections, white is most likely the color the bride will be in. It’s been a tradition for the longest time that no one else should then wear white to a wedding. Call it tradition, dress code etiquette, being respectful, but I still say don’t wear white. It’s not that someone is going to mistake you for the bride, but if the bride is the only one in white, plain & simple, she stands out.

It’s not likely a big deal if 1 or 2 guests happen to wear white. But think what would happen if this concept were to vanish. Twenty or thirty guests all of a sudden think it’s okay to wear white. It’s less likely the bride will still feel as special and be the focus on her big day.

The point is to not detract attention, right? If you are the only one, or 1 of 2 wearing white, people might start talking about it or the bride could become upset. This could all lead to unnecessary commotion and distractions from the event at hand — THE WEDDING! I would just say, why risk it? You don’t know who it might upset, a member of the wedding party, the bride, her family, etc. And you never know where or what these upset feelings and gossip might lead to.


(featured bridal image — Monique Lhuillier)

If you are enjoying checking out some of my featured bridal images, definitely visit’s bridal gowns’ page & see what they have featured!

There is really no need to take this risk, which leads me to my 2nd reason —

2) Logic — You don’t need to wear white. It’s not like it is your only option!

There are so many events and holidays which call for limits as to what you should wear, specifically the color schemes. For a funeral, you should wear black. For Valentine’s Day, you should wear red. For Christmas, you should wear red or green. Or for the 4th of July, you should wear red, white, or blue. You might be attending an event or a party where preselected colors have been chosen.


Bailey 44 tribal dress

But a wedding is completely different. It’s an event where color options are limitless with one bright line rule — DO NOT WEAR WHITE! And really it’s just all white that I feel is the essence of this rule. You could wear white as part of a print or if it’s not predominant in a color-blocked dress. But with all of the other color options and prints, there is no logical reason for someone to end up wearing a white dress. If you happen to have a white dress that you love, I’m sure there is another occasion on which you could wear that dress. If you are out shopping, it’s not like stores are packed to the brim with only white dresses — just pick something else!









Paper Crown lace dress


Do you need some other ideas of what to wear as a guest? If so, check out’s specific page, featuring dress options for wedding guest attendees.

**Exception to this Rule!!**


(featured image Elaya Vaughn Bridal)

With pretty much every rule, there is always an exception. I say you can wear white to a wedding if (a) the bride is not wearing white, or (b) you asked the bride and she said it was okay.

This is of course just my opinion, the Fashion Nexus take. But definitely let me know you think! Would you wear white? Why or why not?






Carol Hannah bridal


(Jenny Packham)


(Vera Wang bridal)










Project Runway, Ep. 2 — Let’s Go to the Movies!

I can already tell this is going to be one heated, tension-filled PR season! Only 2 episodes in, and for a 2nd week in a row, I find myself vehemently disagreeing with the judges. But all in all, I still very much enjoyed the runway presentations this week. There were some stunning creations and THAT makes me eager to see more!


The episode started out with the designers waking up to find some buttery goodness (Popcorn!) and other treats, along with a private invite for a morning matinee at the Village East Cinema. The designers played the guessing game, but I think they all knew this wouldn’t be an ordinary trip to the movies! They started out watching a trailer dealing with fashion & runway presentations, but sooner rather later, Tim popped up on the screen, ready to give out the directions for this week’s challenge.


This challenge was a big one — unconventional and teams, which of course means we would be in for a CRAZY, drama-filled episode! The designers were to work in teams of 3 and create looks made out of unconventional materials. The 3 looks were to have a cohesive thread. And for the materials, the designers had at their disposal all items movie-related — concessions (popcorn, candy), ticket stubs, tape, cd’s, etc. And of course, to increase the level of chaos & crazy, the designers only had one day to, as Tim would say — MAKE IT WORK!

The groups were given “Colors” as team names, and here is my breakdown on the teams:


  • Team Silver — Korina, Kristine, & Amanda — who worked well right from the get go. The ladies agreed on a futuristic, science fiction vibe. I’m sure it was an added bonus to have Amanda, who not only has the PR experience, but was part of the season that was all about team challenges!
  • Team Purple — Char, Kini, & Mitchell — another group who got along well, but perhaps a little “Blue”, hahaha, no pun intended!


  • Team Blue — Angela, fäde, & Sean — This group didn’t gel as well as the others. Although I don’t get why there was so much focus on Angela this week. I get that she wanted to do her own thing, but their collection, specifically her look, was in no way a “bottom” contender. Also, I don’t see why their collection’s theme had to be so focused literally on movies & film. The concept of villains was fine, but it didn’t have to be so literal. It seemed as if they thought that their collection’s underlying theme had to relate back to movies in some way. I think this is what inhibited them in this process, not just Angela!
  • Team Green — Emily, Alexander, & Samantha — Another group who worked well, all on the same page for an avant garde direction.


  • Team Red — Hernan, Carrie, & Sandhya — Safe to say this group had the most dysfunction, and with so much focus throughout the episode, it was clear they would likely end up in the bottom. For me, they started out with the challenge all wrong. There was never a clear plan in play about their collection’s vibe or how it would be cohesive. Maybe it was Hernan’s ideas that were worked with later on, but no sole blame can be put on him for an initial plan not being discussed. And I think it was Sandhya who said “let’s do our own thing” and “we can’t force cohesion.” I agree, you can’t force it, but there is no excuse that it wasn’t even discussed!

This is definitely the type of episode that would of course frustrate any eliminated designer, and of course viewers. Some designers might not work well with unconventional materials. But these challenges are definitely a way to show which designers are most creative and innovative. There also fun to watch! It’s also a way a designer can still work in fashion. Former PR & PRAS designer, Kenley Collins, puts out amazing collections, but she also designs looks made out of candy for It’Sugar candy store display windows.


Team challenges can sometimes lead to unfair results, but are the most drama-filled episodes generally for PR — so of course fun to watch. But drama aside, in the real world, you are not always working as a solo designer. So what is learned from working in a group does have important practical life lessons. And finally with immunity, this is not the 1st time we’ve heard that with a designer who had immunity, they should be thankful for that. Immunity has also been a part of PR history. We know this coming in as viewers and so do the designers. So unfortunately, it doesn’t always play out in the most fair manner, but it can be the harsh reality of Project Runway.


This week, joining Heidi, Nina, and Zac, was famous fashion blogger Garance Dore. I have to say, this was a hard runway to judge. I didn’t think any 1 group had 3 “top” pieces. What I didn’t appreciate though was Heidi calling out Angela for the reason her group wasn’t in the top. The 2 other safe groups were also not in the top for a reason, why not call out what made those groups end up in the bottom?? Because I could think of a couple of names if we really need to go there!!


A few quick shout-outs — for Sean’s look specifically, but their whole team stood out for great work on their Mary Kay make-up looks (even though again, we saw some disagreement from them!). Mitchell also came back strong this week so props where props are deserved! His dress was sassy, fun, and flirty! And Alexander this week did a great job with his high-fashion, runway-worthy “film strips” look — breathtakingly stunning!








So now onto the judges top picks, Team Silver, Korina, Kristine, & Amanda. I already said this was a hard runway to judge. These certainly weren’t my top 3 looks of the night, but I get why the judges loved the pieces. The materials were used in a creative and innovative way. To them, it best represented what an unconventional challenge should be. Regardless, these ladies receive my Aldo accessories shout-out for the week. I loved the heels they selected to work with each of their garments.


I was a little worried as Amanda was working. I kind of thought we might see a little too much of her model as we did way back in Season 7, with Emilio Sosa’s unconventional look. But I was pleasantly surprised seeing the look come down the runway. And from this group, Amanda was the rightful winner this week. So thankfully, the judges at least gave immunity to the right designer this time!


Korina’s look was on point again, just as it was last week. So I’m happy she was given some much-deserved focus this week. It’s also important that she sticks to who she is as a designer, so I’m looking forward to seeing her aesthetic and vision develop. And I’m so happy I didn’t focus on her “Mean Girls” persona we saw last week, as other viewers did, since I didn’t see that side of her at all this week. She worked so well, not only in a group challenge, but with 2 other females at that!


Kristine also did a fine job with her bold, graphic dress. I think what worked well for this group was the use of color, the green. It catches the eye. The ladies also showcased some great design techniques, as Kristine did with her braiding of the upper portion of her look. And just as the judges were in complete agreement for the top, they felt the same regarding the bottom looks.


Let’s start with Sandhya because we knew all episode that this group was likely in trouble, but with her immunity, she was the only safe designer this week! It’s hard not to focus on her immunity. The vast majority of what I’ve read about the 1st episode was that Sandhya wasn’t the rightful winner last week. I also think Sandhya didn’t herself believe she deserved that win. She was in such doubt as she talked with Tim. We then find out in this episode, had she not been questionably given immunity, she would have been eliminated.

It’s a hard pill to swallow, especially for Carrie who did go home. And yes, we’ve heard Heidi say before that a designer was lucky to have had immunity. But I can’t recall a time where on the week a designer was given said immunity, that it was so debatable as it was with Sandhya. And then to have that statement made to them. That was my biggest issue this week. Maybe this will make the judges think twice before giving a designer so much praise just because they might have prematurely dubbed someone as a judges’ pet! And I feel badly seeing anyone cry, but I’m not sure Sandhya grasped how huge it was for the other designers in her group. It’s their future on the line and as Carrie had to actually go thru, SHE WENT HOME!


I think Carrie definitely went home too soon. But I also wasn’t ready to see Hernan go. On a positive note, this team’s looks, IMO, had the best hair looks provided by Philip B. hair. The hard part for these looks were that side by side, there were a lot of similarities. You definitely see this subtle variation type aesthetic in a larger collection, but for only 3 looks, there needs to be a lot more to differentiate the pieces. I get the panic from the harsh Tim critique, but maybe this group should have tried to somehow make their original looks cohesive, stuck to their original guts more.


And I do get the underlying idea here was Hernans’, but the team didn’t coordinate from the get go. The team chose to overly panic and go with Hernan. We definitely saw Hernan and Sandhya butt heads, but this was not the worst we’ve ever seen for team challenges. And both designers were kind of stuck in their own ways so I still wouldn’t place solo blame on Hernan for this team landing in the bottom.

So I wonder what we are in store for next week — CAN’T WAIT!!