Tag Archives: Fashion

Fashion To Figure Giveaway

Ladies do I have some good news for you!  I have discovered a stylish online store that you are going to want to learn more about.  It’s called Fashion to Figure and they specialize in fashion-forward clothing and accessories for sizes 12-26.  What’s more, their prices are really reasonable!  Virtually all of their products are under $40.

And guess what?  Fashion to Figure is giving one lucky Fashion Sensei reader her choice between this flattering Feather Print Spandex Maxi Dress valued at $38 or this cool Flower Graphic Jersey Dress valued at $34.

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To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment with the dress that you like best and where  you can’t wait to wear it. 

You have until midnight (EST) Wednesday (5/26/10) to leave your comment and we will randomly draw one of your names.  The winner will be notified via e-mail on 5/27/10 for shipping information and Fashion to Figure will mail you your prize.  Sorry this giveaway is limited to residents of the continental US. 

Good Luck!

*Fashion Sensei is not responsible for this prize, shipment or damage during shipment.

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Opening Ceremony Unveils Their Where The Wild Things Are Collection

Just in time for tomorrow’s release of Spike Jonze’s new movie Where The Wild Things Are, design house Opening Ceremony has a collection of amazing fashion, T-shirts, jewelry and yes that covetable Max suit, all for purchase.

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Look, I understand that most of us couldn’t get away with wearing the Max suit, but we could pull off an accessory or T-shirt proclaiming our love for one of the most magical children’s books ever written.

For shopping info on all the images you see above, and to marvel at the whole collection go to OpeningCeremony.us.

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“AVEDON Fashion Photographs 1944-2000” Comes to the DIA


veruska jump with credits

Delight In the Brilliant Fashion Photography by Richard Avedon Spanning Nearly Six Decades, but Just Don’t Do the Cha-Cha

I felt anxious with anticipation as I purchased my tickets to see Richard Avedon’s fashion photography exhibit, (running now until January 17) at the Detroit Institute of Arts last weekend. As I made my way through the museum, I thumbed through the Visitor Map and Information Guide to the DIA. In the back of the guide, I noticed with amusement the following quote under Museum Etiquette: “Please do not run, skip, hop, jump, slide, tumble or cha-cha in the museum galleries and halls. Walking is our preferred method of movement in the building.” Apparently, strolling is also allowable.

Upon entering the gallery, I learned Richard Avedon started his career in photography at the age of 21 under the mentorship of Alexey Brodovitch, the talented art director of Harper’s Bazaar. Avedon went on to become one of the most influential photographers ever.  Some of his influential methods include: his pioneering use of movement, the juxtaposition of his subjects, his ability to create a story behind the still image, his diverse use of models and his exploration beyond conventional beauty.Sunny with credits

Avedon’s fashion images move beyond basic catalogue photos of women wearing beautiful gowns and instead, take us on a voyeuristic trip witnessing an evening of fashionable society. Each still frame elicits a story as with model  Sunny Harnett, seen above leaning seductively over the roulette table, cigarette in hand, at a casino table in Le Touquet, France in August 1954.

In another image from this group, figures of varying ages surround the model and one can’t help but notice the juxtaposition of her youth in comparison to the aged countenance of a neighboring female gambler. You are left wondering who these characters are and longing for more. The series moves her from the casino on to the theater, then exiting from a car and finally ending her evening at the doorway of a posh hotel.  Avedon is not only the photographer behind the beautiful clothes in each of these pictures, he has been described as a skilled director, guiding the models much like actors, drawing out a broad range of emotion.

He is also famous for the sense of veruschka Kimberly credits movement in his photography. Models are seen stretching every limb, jumping from curbs, leaping into the air–sometimes jumping himself to get an interesting shot—gracefully bringing his images to life. Fashion photographer’s today use many of the techniques he employed (see my post What I Did This Summer for a modern example.)

Donyale with CreditsWhile moving through the gallery, I was struck by his daring use of multi-cultural models. Avedon used  African American models such as native Detroiter Donyale Luna. As well as China Machado–a woman of both Portuguese and Chinese heritage—during a time when the standard of beauty demanded fair Caucasian skin.

Once when Avedon was pressured to refrain from using China Machado  in a Harper’s Bazaar layout, (Hearst publications had a strict protocol to exclude “ethnic looking” models) the photographer threatened to quit. The magazine was forced to relent.

One thing is clear—Avedon’s work is eternal. Throughout the exhibit, I couldn’t help but feel the work that he created is so timeless that if I saw them in next month’s Vogue, I would believe they were recently taken.China with credits

After leaving the exhibit, I stopped by the theater across the hall for the 90-minute documentary, “American Masters: Richard Avedon, Darkness & Light.” The incredible PBS film runs in a continuous loop while the exhibit is open, taking you deeper into the mind of Richard Avedon and his mesmerizing work in not only fashion, but portraiture as well. I highly recommend it—just don’t let the docent catch you doing the cha-cha on your way out.

For more information on the exhibit or to buy tickets, go to DIA.org

A special thank you to The Richard Avedon Foundation for the use of the images in this post.

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Filed under Art, Diversity, Fashion

Five for White

Yesterday, you took a poll on your adherence to “the rules” regarding the color white.  Today, I have 5 white picks to celebrate Memorial Day weekend and tips on keeping them clean. 


WhiteHouseBlackMarket.com, white trousers, white tiered dress; piperlime.com, white/gold sandals; Nordstrom.com, Elizabeth and James ivory tank, B. Makowsky white hobo purse



1.  Lemon Juice-  Pour 1/2 cup of lemon juice in during the rinse cycle for a natural way of subtly brightening your clothes. 

*Bonus– Just like when you were a teenager and put lemon in your hair to lighten it; the principle is the same with hanging your clothes in the sun to dry.  After using lemon juice in the wash, hang your clothes on the line for added brightness and a fresh airy scent.  [care2.com]

2.  Borax-  A naturally occurring mineral composed of sodium, boron, oxygen and water, has been used for cleaning for more than 100 years.  This natural mineral is safe for your machine and more importantly for the environment.

3.  Baby Wipes-  To keep your white shoes their best, use baby wipes after each wear.  If you have a dark scuff that a little elbow grease and baby wipes can’t remove, try a soft white pencil eraser.

4.  Good Old Oxyclean-  You don’t necessarily have to buy this brand of hydrogen peroxide brightener, there are many brands out there.  If you have an especially stubborn stain, try applying a capful of straight hydrogen peroxide and then rinse with hot water.

5.  Vinegar-  If you have hard water (re. loads of minerals), soften your load of laundry with a 1/2 cup of vinegar in the rinse cycle to prevent a grey film from building up on your clothes.  [care2.com]


Do you have a tip on keeping your whites bright?  Leave us a comment and let us know.

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The "Mini Trend": Is Bigger No Longer Better?

While reading the Sun this afternoon, I stumbled upon an intriguing concept emerging from this recession, the “mini trend”.

In an effort to continue marketing to the “recessionista” crowd, the mini trend has emerged as a way of appealing to style junkies whose bank accounts are quickly becoming tapped out.

Instead of purchasing a full outfit that embodies a current trend, those who want to look stylish, but no longer have the cash (or more likely, the credit line to buy a full outfit), may instead buy one item from the trend.

This is hardly a new concept.  As women grow older, they look silly in a head-to-toe trend.  Not to mention, those fashions were not made for our more, shall we say, mature bodies.  So, in order to look hip and young, we buy the “in” belt, shoes or handbag.

But then I got to thinking, is America changing the way we think about ourselves and how we spend our money?  Are we becoming more introspective?

Money magazine has declared “Super Size Is So Over…”  While they are referring to the actual size of things like the Mini Cooper and the decline of “Mc Mansions”, I’m beginning to wonder, are we really changing our opinion that bigger is better?

The king of luxury, Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld was recently quoted in the New York Times as saying:

“This whole crisis is like a big spring housecleaning — both moral and physical… Bling is over. Red carpetry covered with rhinestones is out. I call it ‘the new modesty.’ ”

Could this recession be changing the way we think about ourselves and how we spend money? Or is the downsizing that many of us are experiencing a short lived fad to get us through, until we can go back to our more free spending ways?

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Filed under Fashion, fashion blogger, Fashion Sensei, Fashion Writer, News, personal shopper, Recession, retail, Uncategorized

Interview With psychicgirl On Fashion


Are you ready for the answers to your questions?

In a post Tuesday , psychicgirl Justine Kenzer answered readers burning fashion related questions for important upcoming events.

But before we get to that, here are some answers to questions Fashion Sensei had for Justine.

Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.

I’m a professional psychic/healer in Hollywood, CA but I read people all over the world. I love helping people find answers, but more importantly,  I’m super passionate about helping people heal. I’m obsessed with alternative healing and natural products, I’m like the holistic Martha Stewart.

That’s a funny analogy!

What was the best news that you ever had for someone whom you were reading for? 

That’s a really difficult question, I’ve been reading for about 20 years now. There have been a million happy things, I live to help people get what they want. In fact I care more about you getting what you want than me being right.

How did the fashion readings come about? Do you have any funny stories?

My family owned clothing and shoe stores, I started making and selling clothes and jewelry at sixteen. I was making trends a season or two before they hit the stores.. This was years before I had a clue I would end up being a professional psychic. I’ve been doing this PsychicStyle thing for years without even realizing I was doing it, making people over internally and externally but what brought it all together was watching myself on Margaret Cho’s show on VH1, she was debating about accepting this award because the very people giving her the award, had in the past had not been so nice to her. The information that came through in the reading, I told her what colors to wear and what to do and they actually ended up doing it in the show. I had filmed a bunch of other tv spots of doing other psychic stuff, reading dogs, ghost busting.. All this stuff that was so not me. Luckily none of them ended up making it to air. It was like the universe was saying hello this is who you are. Now I have a show that’s my dream project in development.

Thank you for taking a few questions from Fashion Sensei readers. First, Veggie Mamma wants to know:
“I have my (gulp) 20th high school reunion coming up. It is very casual and being held at a sports bar. I want to look great but not too dressy.”

I see you wearing black, head to toe, I see a short sleeved thin sweater top and pants with a wide leg and a thin gold belt, super chic and classic, you will feel really confident and have a great time.

Reader Spoiled Angel 1002 would like to know:
“So I am going on a date this Tuesday to a really nice Italian restaurant. Our relationship is still new and I want to look great.”

At first I see you in jeans -this guy is (unconsciously) more attracted to what you smell like then – what you look like – not that what you look like isn’t important.. Your physical beauty makes much more of an impact on him and others then the clothes you are wear. In the end it looks like you decide on a slimming knit black dress that’s sleeveless with a simple ruffle trim on the arms, belted in the same material… and that you knock his socks off.

And Stacy wrote in to ask:
“Okay, so next Fri night I’m going with my friend to a show for her band. It will probably be a late night (they always are!) and I want to be comfy, but still look good, because I am a single girl! I’m not the skinniest girl in the world, but I do want to look good with what I do have. So where should I go with this?”

I see you in a dress, looks like it has a vintage feel, and it has flowers and color, but pretty and tasteful not loud.

Thanks Justine!

If you missed your chance to ask Justine a question, don’t worry!

You may visit, psychicgirl.com for a one-on-one reading, or follow her on http://twitter.com/psychicgirl and ask a question for free!

Be sure to check out PsychicStyle with Justine, every Sat at noon PST, on www.latalkradio.com where you can call in for a free reading 323-203-0815.

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Fashion Sensei Scoop! Interview With Project Runway’s Joe Faris


This morning I had the privilege to interview Metro Detroit’s own, designer Joe Faris.  The latest contestant to be bid Auf Wiedersehen by Project Runway, we chatted about his experience on the show, Project Runway’s influence, Bryant Park and his upcoming collection.

After being away from his family for 6 weeks, Joe didn’t have to wait long for the first episode of Project Runway to air; just 10 days. I asked him what it was like to watch that first show at home.   “Surreal” he replied. “It’s similar to when you hear your voice on an answering machine.  You know what your voice sounds like in your head, but until you hear the recording, you don’t know what everyone else hears.”

So were there any surprises when Joe saw himself on television for the first time?   

“Yes, my nose.”  Your nose?  “Yes, it was BIG.”

Joe has an excellent sense of humor.  I prefer to live in denial of what I would look like on camera.  I couldn’t bear to see myself another, 10 pounds heaver.

Prior to the show airing, Joe commented that he might only watch the first episode.  I was curious to know if he watched all the episodes and if there was anything said behind the scenes that may have bothered him. 

Overall, he was pretty happy with the way he was portrayed.  Some other unnamed contestants felt that they were “edited”, but his philosophy was if you said it, you said it.  There’s no editing words into your mouth. 

He did however, find Leanne’s comment “Why is Joe still here?” a little surprising because he felt that they were on friendly terms.

Speaking of editing, I asked Joe if he had any funny stories about his time on Project Runway.  There seemed to be nothing more that the banter that we saw on the show, with the occasional teasing or jabs.  He did say though, that there was certainly enough filmed material to put out what he called  “box set” of extras.  That could be interesting…

I was curious to know what sort of opinions Joe’s friends and family had when they watched the show with him.  Several people told him that he should have won and that he did a great job.  Others, didn’t hold any punches.  Those folks pointed out where he may have made mistakes or what he should have done for better results.  He said that he didn’t get much positive feedback when it came to the last challenge.

Viewers may be wondering why he struggled a little when it came to draping and sewing.  After all, he did go to school at Parsons right? 

Well, on a typical day, Joe uses a computer to create his designs, rather than a form.  Re-discovering those those skills proved to be a bit of a challenge.

One of my favorite episodes was “What’s Your Sign” where contestants created a design based on either their astrological sign or their former contestant partner. 

Remember my favorite Michael Kors “Pooping Fabric” comment?

During this challenge, contestants had the opportunity to meet with Heidi’s “favorite” NYC designers.  During the four hours that the contestants met with prior Project Runway favorites, Joe seemed to connect with fellow Michigander Daniel Vosovic and Kara Janx.  When asked about the others, Joe said he couldn’t believe how vulgar Jaye was.  He wouldn’t be specific, but it seemed to make a lasting impression.  And Christian was, well… Christian.

joe_final_23Moving on to Bryant Park, those of us who followed New York’s Fashion Week two weeks ago, discovered that six contestants were chosen to show their stuff at the famous venue.  I asked Joe what it was like being apart of such a coveted experience.  He told me that he was home for 10 days and then he was called back to the show to spend another 4 weeks working on his Fashion Week collection. “It was everything you would think it was. I was incredibly happy.  That’s the prize.” 

But what about that moment when you are standing on the runway, ready to introduce your collection?  “It was nerve wracking.”  He told me that he asked the producers “what do people say?”  At which point the producers reassured him to speak from the heart. 

Joe described his collection as representing “America, multi-cultural, motor cycle, and Rock & Roll”.

When speaking about his collection, Joe felt less pressure in his position (he knew he was already eliminated) to design for the judges.  Had he been in the top three, he felt that he would have focused more on evening wear rather than leather.

Joe currently works as Senior Designer at Schott NYC and has worked with companies like Inkslingers where there has been a heavy focus on jeans, t-shirts and leather.  I wanted to know, after competing in Project Runway, did he think that it may have a new influence on his work?

“Yes” was his answer.  He customarily does not design dresses which have the need for draping.  So, Project Runway sparked that interest somewhat. 

While working on a collection for Schott NYC, he is also developing his own collection of approximately 20 pieces.  When speaking about dresses, he felt comfort was key, “it should feel good, like a great pair of jeans.”

Well, I could sure use that.

The collection is due to launch in January.

To read more about Joe Faris and his work, go to redflyusa.com.

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Filed under Beauty, blogging, Fashion, Fashion Sensei, Fashion Week, Fashion Writer, Metro Detroit, New York City, News, pop culture, runway, Style, television