WHAT TO WEAR ON YOUR FEET AND WHAT YOUR CHOICE OF FOOTWEAR SAYS ABOUT YOU

It is said if you want to learn about someone when you first meet them, look at their shoes. Footwear, not eyes are the mirrors of the soul. Curious eyes are able to look at your shoes and discern much more than you would say with your words by the brand, the style, the wear on the shoes and even the fit. For both men and women, your values are expressed through your footwear. What do your shoes say about you?

Backed by several studies, people’s impressions of you might be based on the footwear you’re wearing. You want the shoes you wear to make a good impression. Ideally, selecting a good pair of footwear should be both functional and stylish, and chosen appropriately for their purpose.


While the shoes you wear may just be a small component of your overall wardrobe, they are however a key essential and definitely worth spending extra time and money on. Whether slip-on flats or high-heel straps, to dress shoes and even boots, the sole you wear is an investment that complements the very foundation you stand on. Earn a dandy reputation or be that stylish lass by donning the best footwear to proudly take a step forward.

Being the most functional piece of attire, we should also remember that all shoes are not created equal. Therefore, we should make consideration for versatility, style, and quality. An investment in higher quality well-made shoes might be more expensive upfront but will pay for themselves in the future. Well-made shoes can be re-soled and could end up cheaper in the long-run, compared to regularly buying new pairs of cheap, lower-quality shoes that won’t last as long.

Shoes should be taken seriously. For some women, any reason to wear their Louboutin’s at whatever the financial or cost of comfort, is a good one. For others, choosing footwear that both looks and feels great is a priority. Just like the rest of your ensemble, what shoes you wear are another element to display your personal taste. The choices you make about your appearance will reflect your feelings about the occasion. Beyond the superficial, whether you are funky, classy, cool, sassy or have a great sense of humor will shine brightly through your fancy feet.



For refined ladies, classic pumps are always a timeless addition to any outfit. Whether they’re nude or black these chic pieces will always bring a touch of sophistication to your wardrobe. Heels will basically work with just about any outfit and will make your legs look longer to boot.


In the shoe realm, all women at some point in time cannot resist aesthetic over practicality. A more challenging yet highly coveted footwear of choice is super-chic high-heeled shoes or stilettos. Adding elegant straps projects a more delicate and distinct level of formality, kicking up your style quotient for the office and evening events.

To boost shoe confidence, pair any outfit with vibrant red heels or a Parisian style block heels in monochrome leather and sling back detail. These are classic shoe choices that bring the right amount of sass and can work either as a statement or a casual shoe. These shoes are a great match for a flowy summer dress or tailored black trousers.

For the ultra-chic woman on the go, a pair of formidable killer heels is a must. There is something powerful about a woman in stilettos that everyone notices. It may sound silly, but choosing the right kind of heels will do the trick.


One could never go wrong with the classic cross-strap heels that function as a day or a night shoe. They are comfortable and look great with any outfit, even when paired casually or with daily denim.


When looking for a perfect party shoe, try to think of the perfect balance between futuristic and old-school classics or fun and super feminine styles that make a splash.



For hot-weather in spring and summer, trade in your black pumps for wedge espadrilles, the chic black straps elevate the casual jute rope sole. Keep a pair of chic rain boots under the desk in case of short notice flash rain, a weatherproofing tip that will save your style from the weather.


In fall/autumn and winter, when boots are a must whatever the temperature or whether or not there is snow, you can remain on the fashion summit choosing from boot styles of all heights, toes and detailing to keep you fashionable all year round.

For those who’d prefer flats, dressy slip-ons or stylized canvas shoes are perfect choices. We aren’t talking about your average gym-worn trainers; if you’re going to swap stilettos, go for fancy sneakers especially for a day on the move or possibly a pair of polished d’Orsay flats which are comfortable slip-ons still stylish enough for the office.


Another alternative is to rock menswear inspired-flats whether brogues, loafers, Oxfords or bluchers. For women or men, they exude the same degree of polish and sophistication. These shoe designs are also best for those who prefer a more laid-back look but still want to dress appropriately when attending formal gatherings.


As the saying goes “The shoes make the man.” For the gents, for an all-around dress shoe that will work with pretty much every suit color, you can’t go wrong with a black cap-toe oxford, which is often worn during weddings and funerals. If you’re looking for something a little more dashing, wear them in gray or navy or you could even consider a burgundy medallion-toe or brown wingtip.

For those men who prefer a unique type of shoe that will surely catch everyone’s attention, monk strap dress shoes are a perfect choice. They come in one, two or even three buckled straps replacing the usual shoe laces. Should you choose to wear cufflinks, wrist watch or belt buckle, make sure that the shoe’s clasp which is usually silver, brass or gold will match.


Another formal type of dress shoes for men are the Opera pump or formal pump. Think of these as the menswear counterpart for the women’s classic pumps. It is a formal type of loafer in shiny black patent leather with a grosgrain ribbon decoration on the shoe cap. The opera pump is best worn with formal black or white tie ensembles and makes a good alternative to formal patent leather oxfords.

And if all of that is too much to consider then you can still be stylish. Now is the best time to get a little more casual with your shoe style because the diverse selections of casual footwear in fashion is better than ever before, and finally we can wear comfortable soles that will still be able to bring us to places.


While wearing the right shoe for each occasion, casual footwear is always an easy favorite. From saddle shoes, top-siders, slip-on flats, athletic shoes and much more, your choice of casual footwear will definitely say something about your lifestyle.

Now that we have unpacked the timeless shoe collections and footwear trends that will get your shoe-game on, remember whatever sole you wear does not just complete your look but also speaks for your confidence, your values, how much you invest and your personal balance of style and comfort.


Get to know more about what your shoes say about you and what shoe will help you to put your best foot forward. Watch…

WEAR YOUR SOLE
On Fashion One
Tuesday, August 29 at 7 pm
#FashionOne#WearYourSole

WHAT IT TAKES TO MAKE IT IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY ACCORDING TO ACCLAIMED MUSIC PRODUCER AND CHOREOGRAPHER DAVID NICOLL

Have you ever wondered what it really takes to make it as a pop star? For starry-eyed up and coming artists to get the chance to work with internationally acclaimed music producer and choreographer, as well as Grammy Nominee and Billboard Music Award winner, David Nicoll is a dream come true. He is an entertainment industry veteran who has seen and done it all in the music and entertainment industry. In No Grey Skies: Making of the Hottest New Girl Group, he is charged with the task of preparing the girls for the singing and dancing requirements in the music video. Find out David’s behind-the-scenes opinion to tough highly anticipated questions like what he thinks about the girl’s progress before they shoot the video and what he thinks their chances are of making it in the music industry.

Being an acclaimed veteran in the entertainment industry, how would you describe L.A.’s music scene?
The music scene is very competitive and honestly based on hard work and effort these days. Most artists are grooming themselves or with a team. They create their own online content and develop a fan base off of their talent. There are very few new artists these days. Most are veterans. Record labels are not into grooming anymore. They are looking for artists online now.


You’ve worked with music legends such as the Backstreet Boys or NSYNC. Would you say that they went through the same experience as anyone would who is starting out in the music business?
Well as for NSYNC and BSB, I think they did go through the same experiences as most people trying to get into the music industry. Not all of them but a lot of those artists were auditioning and performing at a young age. Then, they were finally put together by a company, an owner that had a vision and money was invested to hire the kind of team the group needed to make things happen.


What do you think it takes in order to make it big and become successful in this industry?
A good team and lots of money can take you and make you a star even with minimal talent these days.


What makes the No Grey Skies girls different from the other pop girl groups out there? What’s their edge? What in your opinion are their chances of truly making it?
Well, they are very driven young ladies. They have great personalities and as a group they are diverse. The only issue is with accepting their roles and being able to let others with more experience do their job to help make them better than what they are right now. They could be a pop group as big as TLC.


Do you have any advice for musicians, singers and dancers out there who wish to enter the mainstream music business?
YES! Work hard and accept help. Make videos and content that you feel good about and put it out there. Test the market until you find something that makes a big hit. Then, stick with that and grow your fan base. These days all you need is an investor to help you with better content once you start doing well. In the beginning, you’ll make more money being independent with your own following until you hit a certain level and only at that time a label will be able to offer you more than you can provide for yourself to take it to the next level.



NO GREY SKIES: Making of the Hottest New Girl Group
Every Friday @ 11:30pm
Fashion One available on Now TV channel 532 and myTV SUPER channel 603


Connect with David Nicoll on social media
Facebook: David Nicoll
‎Instagram: dnicoll4
Twitter: @DNasty5

FOLLOWING YOUR PASSION: INTERVIEW WITH SINGER-SONGWRITER-DANCER MARGEAUX JORDAN

While we are all home dreaming of being famous, we don’t necessarily realize what is actually required to make it. There is a lot of hard work and dedication that goes into becoming a successful recording artist. Learning how to dance, sing and now days acting skills are required for anyone wanting to work in the music industry. We interviewed Margeaux Jordan, a talented singer-dancer from the show No Grey Skies to hear about her journey as a solo artist and her experience with the No Grey Skies girl group.

What is your experience as a singer-dancer?
I first started dancing when I was 3 years old. My babysitter was an elite ballerina, and when she saw me mimicking her moves, she thought I had a gift for ballet. I then trained with her teacher, a former member of the Swedish Royal Ballet, for six years. I thought I was going to be a professional ballerina until I discovered hip-hop and my dance horizons broadened.

I competed for years in all styles of dance then joined a dance crew that performed all over the nation. I was also behind the scenes as the Director of Art in elementary school until one day, my music teacher heard me singing scales in class and said I had to try out for the school play, “The Sound of Music.” It was the first time I sang publicly and I was petrified to sing in front of my peers and family but as soon as I hit the stage and sang, I never felt more at home. It was incredible!

What kind of training have you had?
I literally grew up on the stage. Although, my years in various performing arts organizations groomed me to be a solid performer, no experience was more powerful than when in a girl group at 16 years old, I got a record deal with Island Def Jam.

I learned about the entertainment side of things like working a crowd, as well as the creative side, writing music, and the business side of music as in negotiating contracts and so much more. I recorded with Platinum-selling producers and songwriters from all over the world that wrote for Beyoncé, Rihanna, Mariah Carey and Justin Bieber. Some producers and song writers I’ve worked with include Tricky Stewart, The Dream, JR Rotem, Rodney Jerkins, Lindy Robbins and more. I loved being around all the artists and their creativity.

How would you describe yourself in a few sentences?
I have a very strong will. I will fight for what I believe is fair and just. It is also important to me to be business savvy as well as being a strong creative artist.

What are your mottos in the music industry?
Money doesn’t matter. It’s about doing what is right.

How would you describe your musical style?
I grew up listening to all genres of music. I love Michael Jackson and Rod Stewart as much as I love Celine Dion, the Beatles and Britney Spears. My singing style could be compared to artists like Ariana Grande, Clean Bandit, Ellie Goulding and Taylor Swift.

My songs have strong emotion and little bits of vibrato sprinkled throughout them. I’ve been told that I have a sweet, angelic voice, so I try to do songs against tracks that people wouldn’t expect to hear a voice like mine. I am all about POP and Dance styles of music with storytelling lyrics, similar to country music.

How would you describe your dance style?
My favorite dance style is jazz-hop. It’s a mix of jazz and hip hop as in the artists Janet Jackson, J-Lo and Britney Spears dance styles. I would describe my dance style as hard hitting with moments of softness and fluidity. I especially like show stopping moves and productions.

How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is always very bright, colorful and funky. Yet, I’m still kind of girlie and maybe even have a slightly old school sense of style. I love unique clothing or making something on my own. I don’t follow the crowd. I follow my heart!

What did you think of the producers when you first met them?
When I first met the guys, I thought they were all awesome. Zach was super chill, David was full of energy and Blake was really funny and creatively driven. Overall, they are all extremely gifted, talented and incredible people that I am blessed to be working with.

What was your first impression when you met the other members of the group?
I thought that they all seemed pretty cool.

How would you describe Shayla?
Shayla is awesome. She is a legitimate and very talented dancer. She is hardworking and on the ball. We clicked right away.

How would you describe Astorie?
Astorie is the groups comedic relief. She made everyone laugh from the get-go.

How would you describe Paloma?
Paloma is a firecracker but with the softest heart. She is the kind of person who provides other with emotional support.

How were the group dynamics between all the girls?
Once Allyson left, things were pretty relaxed. We all looked at each other and said, “Well, we lost all the drama”. Little did we know, there would be more drama around the corner!

What valuable lessons have you learned?

The biggest lesson had been that preparation is everything. It’s difficult to combine our dance styles and come together to look like a group. We can all be great as solo artists, but to be a group it takes effort to learn how to dance and sing in a way that blends.

Personally, I realized how much I love shooting music videos and really love performing to a camera. The only thing better is performing live!

What will you do if the No Grey Skies music video doesn’t pass the test when it’s finished under the scrutiny of the label’s music producer?
If we don’t make it as a group then I will continue to go full force into my career in entertainment. I am currently a producer, on-camera talent, songwriter, choreographer and creative director for Totally TV, a YouTube channel for kids and teens that reaches about 2-3 million views daily. The experience with No Grey Skies has already solidified my confidence as a professional entertainer. I know now more than ever what I want to bring to the world through music and performance. Therefore, if it doesn’t work out then I’ll continue with my solo endeavors. Most recently, I released a song that I’m really proud of called “Fly My Way Back Home” that I wrote in dedication to my parents. I will continue to release my own original songs and music videos. No matter what, I will always be an entertainer.

What do you see in the future for the No Grey Skies girl group?
I think that we are already talented artists individually. We’re working on bringing that talent together to form a cohesive group with No Grey Skies. We are all working very hard and I believe that we can make it.

Watch to see what happens on…
NO GREY SKIES: Making of the Hottest New Girl Group
Every Friday @ 11:30pm

Fashion One available on Now TV channel 532 and myTV SUPER channel 603



Get to know more about Margeaux Jordan on her website http://www.margeauxjordan.com/
Or connect with her on social media
Facebook: aboutmargeauxjordan
‎Twitter & Instagram: @MargeauxJordan
YouTube: itsmargeauxjordan

EXPRESSING YOURSELF: INTERVIEW WITH GREEK DESIGNER CHRISTOS ANASTASOPOULOS

Some people never really know what they want to be when they grow up; others are basically born knowing what they want to do or maybe are even groomed by a family legacy. Christos Anastasopoulos, born in Greece knew exactly how he wanted to express himself, through clothing as an art form. When you have a unique personality and lots of vision the question is how to share it with the rest of the world. Not just a participant in the Design Genius season four competition held in Antwerp, Christos is an artist, author and fashion designer who uses various artistic avenues to express himself and his vision.

When did you know you wanted to become a fashion designer?

I have been asking myself the same question. I must have been around 7 years old when I started looking at clothes in a different way. It was then that I noticed I had a different relationship with clothes than other people or children. I loved to spend time searching through my parents’ wardrobes and it was like magic to me when I watched a seamstress or a tailor working. Sometime, around the age of 15, I said to myself “Christos, you will become a fashion designer”. My motive was to express all these ideas that I had in my mind and still have today.

What has your journey to become a fashion designer been like?

Even in the beginning, I worked as fashion designer, then, as a stylist for magazines, and TV programs. Meanwhile, I was making costumes for theatrical plays. I studied at a fashion design school in Greece. After that, I got a scholarship for a design school in London but I didn’t finish my studies there because I was already working hard as a designer and didn’t have the time to go to school as well.

How would you explain yourself as a designer?

I am very complicated as a person. It’s hard to answer this question in a simple way. Sometimes I like minimalism. Simple shapes, clean cut lines but most of the time, I think theatrically and I enjoy making very complex designs and patterns.

What has inspired your design style?

Jean Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood, Thierry Mugler, Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto were some of my first inspirational mentors. Also, I love the elegant aesthetic from the 50’s and the futurism of the 60’s.

Is there anything you would change in your current design aesthetic?

No, there is nothing at all that I would change. You cannot add anything to perfection. Don’t you think? After all these years as a designer, it is very difficult to change the way I work even if sometimes it is for the best.

What is your experience on Design Genius Antwerp like?

I am the kind of person who loves to collaborate. I think two minds are better than one and three better that two. It is great working together with the other people even if they are competitors because I get the opportunity to see different perspectives on design. The competitors from the USA work in a completely different way than the competitors from Europe. Different aesthetic, different influences, different measurements, everything is different and magical at the same time. I love them all and I have a great time with all of them.


What are the biggest challenges in the competition?

Materials and time! I’m only partially joking. That really IS challenging but the most difficult aspect was ME! There is always something in my mind that challenges me. I think that I have something to prove to myself so I don’t follow the easier path.

What valuable lessons have you learned through completing the tasks?

Everything from the beginning of each task until the end teaches me a valuable lesson: how to correctly manage time, how to work with unconventional materials and reminder to pay attention to small details. You cannot just glue or spray things on a garment AND you cannot please everyone. The pressure of time has forced me to make some mistakes or even misunderstand my partners. On the other hand, thinking outside of the box is easy for me.

What are your future plans as a designer?

I have made a new line of handmade bowties that are now being sold worldwide. I also design tailored suits, dresses and wedding dresses. I have no idea what I’ll do next. I love working in my chaotic space and making garments that I like for people who really appreciate what I do. I love traveling! I get inspired by people and cultures when I travel and like to transform all of that into something fresh for the art of fashion designing. Whatever I do it will be a big surprise!

More of Christos Anastasopoulos as he demonstrates his design skills competing against the other up and coming designers in Design Genius Season 4: Antwerp. (View schedule)

To learn more about Design Genius, please visit www.fashionone.hk/designgenius or post your comments on @fashionone #DGAntwerp #DesignGenius

Christos Anastasopoulos
http://anastasopouloschris.wixsite.com/creations
Instagram: @christoseanastasopoulos
Twitter: @christosanasta
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChristosAnastasopoulosOfficial/

Design Genius Season 4
Every Thursday, starting July 13 @ 7pm
Fashion One available on Now TV channel 532 and myTV SUPER channel 603

Urban Fashion: An Interview with American Designer Cierra Laidler

While Europe has heritage luxury brands and therefore an edge in haute couture, America is ripe for the young, modern fashionistas whose styling tends to be more urban and bold. One of the contestants in our fourth season of Design Genius held in the fashion forward, Antwerp, Belgium, Cierra Laidler brings her urban American style to compete against five other designers. Antwerp, a city with international cult status known to be inspiration for major fashion designers is a perfect place to showcase urban American style. Find out more in our interview with Cierra, discussing her enthusiasm for fashion and what makes her such a strong competitor.

What made you decide to become a fashion designer?

I wanted to become a fashion designer because I longed to be as stylish and fabulous as the celebrities on the big screens and a handful of people in real life. I did not come from a wealthy family but, I was raised rich in love, so my confidence and support made me feel I could create art in any form. Fashion was my favorite because it’s wearable art.

Where did your inspiration come from?

I got inspiration from fantasy movies like Labyrinth, Edward Scissorhands and The Last Dragon. Characters in the movies had unique styles that I couldn’t find in stores. I wanted to be a star like them, so I decided, maybe, I can make my own designs and maybe the “stars” would wear my clothes as well.

How would you describe your aesthetic as a designer?

My design aesthetic is unique, quirky, and urban. I love how people who wear the clothes I design set trends and can usually pull off almost any look or outfit. I strive to create pieces that are innovative and eye catching. Showing everyone something they’ve never seen before!

How would you describe your style?

It’s hard to say. My style changes with the wind.

How do you handle competition?

Sorry, not sorry. As in, I’m not here to play, I came to conquer! I will fight, sweat and sacrifice for my passion. XOXO

What do you expect to be the most difficult aspect during the challenges?

The most difficult part of the challenges will be having a time restriction and being watched throughout the design process and execution. I usually don’t have an audience when I am creating. The “audience” only comes into play after my pieces are completed and I’m prepared to show them.

What was the most valuable thing you’ve learned so far?

The most valuable lesson I learned was to listen to what the client is asking for and to meet their requests while staying true to my creative process and style. I learned to never second guess myself. Too much time gets wasted that way.

What do you think you’ll take from the show and incorporate into your design?

I will continue to add more unconventional materials into my everyday looks.


What are your plans as a fashion designer when the show has ended?

I’m going to show my collections in runway shows. I’d like to do more photo-shoots for magazines and participate in as many fashion events as possible.

What do you envision for your future in design?

My goal as a fashion designer is to become a grand, ICONIC brand in fashion. I want to be a respected, recognized and requested.

More on Cierra Laidler as she shows her design prowess to compete with other up and coming designers in Design Genius Season 4: Antwerp.

Design Genius Season 4: Antwerp
Starting July 13, every Thursday @ 11pm

Fashion One is available on Now TV channel 532 and myTV SUPER channel 603

Get to know more about Cierra Laidler on her website www.cierrathedesigner.com
And connect with her on social media
Instagram: @cierrathedesigner
YouTube: Cierra Laidler
Facebook: Stylebycierra
LinkedIn: cierra-laidler-213252111

Trying the Business Side of the Music Industry with Zach Sorgen

In this six-episode docu-series, No Grey Skies: Making of the Hottest New Girl Group, L.A. based music management assistant Zach Sorgen is tasked to put together a hot new girl group in just two weeks with a limited budget. After tough auditions, only five girls were chosen, and stepping into the role of band manager, Zach was challenged in his new position. The girls he chose were testing his management skills from the outset but the girls have obstacles to overcome as well. They have to learn a song and the choreography for a music video that Zach can present to his boss, Marvin. Marvin has high expectations but everyone hopes the song will become a chart-topper and the group will have greater success in the music industry.

Zach talked with us about himself, his past experience that brought him to where he is today and what it was like to put the No Grey Skies group together.

What is your relationship music when you were young?

I started piano lessons at the age of 7 and have been playing ever since. Later, I started playing trumpet and taught myself to play the guitar.

How did your musical career start?

In high school after jazz band, one day some friends and I decided to form a pop band. We recorded a low budget album just for fun and made a music video to go with the song. We were very surprised when the song ended up randomly going to Disney. That landed us a high profile attorney, agent, and managers in Los Angeles. After majoring in music at Vassar College in N.Y. I moved to L.A. and scored a few short films before realizing my passion was in songwriting. I hated practicing but loved writing songs. I started doing that for other artists and placed “Come First” by Terror Jr which reached 80million streams on Spotify.

Why did you decide to shift from being a musician to the business side of the music industry?

I realized that the people who make the decisions make the money. I decided that I wanted to try the business side of the music industry and make more money.

What was the group dynamic like? Was there a lot of drama?

There was a bit of drama before everyone settled in. Once we all got to know each other better, we were able to sort out our differences.

Watch this space as we’ll follow up with Zach after the show to find out more.

NO GREY SKIES: Making of the Hottest New Girl Group
Premieres July 12, 2017, then airs every Wednesday at 11 pm
Fashion One available on Now TV channel 532 and myTV SUPER channel 603

After putting together the No Grey Skies girl group and releasing their first music video, we sat down with Zach to get the details of what it was like and what his plans future are.

What was the biggest challenge during the show?

Balancing between the desires of different people and groups, wanting the girls to be happy but also wanting Marvin to be happy and also making a hit product.

What was it like trying to put together a girl group?

It was a fun and totally new experience. Very different from what I’ve done before. It was much harder than I thought it would be going into this. Overall, it has definitely been a learning experience.

Did you learn anything from the experience?

I learned that I could be more assertive than I am. I should trust my own opinions more. Knowing very little about the business side going into it, I looked to others for their advice and opinions but now I realize it’s all a matter of taste. I know what I like and what I don’t like. I need to trust that and stick to my guns.

How was working on the business side of the music industry? What is next for you?
After I trying management for a short stint, I have realized that I’m not cut out to be a manager. I excel more on the creative side. My band Wake The Wild is getting ready to do a bunch of releases and play more shows locally.

Wake The Wild
http://www.wakethewild.com/
Facebook & Instagram: @wakethewild
Twitter: @WakeTheWild

FASHION FOR INDEPENDENT WOMEN BY MELISSA ARAUJO

Inspired by architecture and geometric shapes, Canadian-based fashion brand M-A by designer Melissa Araujo, has the modern women in mind to wear her collection as a statement or a staple piece all year round. The brand focuses in minimal designs, monochrome palette & the use of eco-friendly materials that form a cohesive wearable wardrobe that are both unique & timeless.

On the second episode of Stefanie’s Style Diaries Vancouver, Melissa took us on a tour into her studio and showed some of her designs. As a follow-up, we had a one-on-one interview with the designer for a more in depth understanding of her label and the inspiration behind it.


What does a typical day look like for you?

My day consists of a lot work: preparation, preparation and letting go. I am currently putting the final touches on a new collection, so during this time I’m quite busy. I have to come up with the designs, make all the patterns then cut and sew the first round of samples. I have to assess the fit, and if it was what I had imagined, if I need to make changes or go back in to the drawing stage. Once that’s done (which takes months), I then buy the fabric to make the initial inventory. At the same time I am always conscious of the creative direction and how to present the new collection. Also, there is looking for models, photographers, researching and making mood boards so the team can understand the vision.

Can you tell us a little bit more about your background? Where you grew up, where you studied and how it led you to where you are today.

I was born in Montreal in Canada, but moved to Brazil when I was four years old. My first language is Portuguese but I speak English and Spanish as well. I moved back to Canada to learn English and to go to school. Once my studies were completed, I decided to settle in Vancouver and start my fashion brand. I think growing up in Brazil mixed with Canadian culture, and being able to travel the world has had a very positive impact on me and my work. I really know what I like and what I dislike. I love meeting new people and cities, I feel in that way, you are privileged in being exposed to different cultures at a young age and I carry this curiosity & acceptance of others with me until today.


So, why minimalism and a black and white color palette?

I was told early on by my mother: to put all my energy into one thing and do it very well. When I went into fashion I decided to do minimal clothing because minimalism has been a big part of my lifestyle, how I live, how I shop, and how I dress. I wanted to extend that concept into my collections and work as well. Minimal is not easy; you are taking all the layers off, showing the quality of the fabric, of the design and its function. There is no hiding behind over-design or prints, what you see is what you get. The muted colours are a result of my thought that my clothes are a canvas for the actual people who wear them, it gives them space to express their personality and it doesn’t take away from their actual personal traits.

Who is the Melissa Araujo girl or guy and where are they going in your garments?

They are people who care about quality over quantity, they seek to wear comfortable clothes that give them space to show and project their personalities. I want everyone to discover an M-A piece, make it their own and to find their particular & unique style. They are going everywhere with my clothes, at home, out during the day or night, for fun or a classic moment in their lives, including when they travel.

Did you always dream of being a fashion designer?

No, when I was young I wasn’t very aware of fashion; I was more like a tomboy who played a lot of sports. For a long time I thought I was going to be a lawyer not a fashion designer. Now I am so sensitive to fashion & design, it is a lot of work, I didn’t have experience working for someone else and early on people were doubtful of what I was pursuing. It can be quite lonely and I am learning as I go along that this is really what I want to do. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and reflect on how far we’ve come, so I am learning to take those mindful, self-reflecting moments as well.


Both Stefanie and Courtney raved about how soft and luxurious your clothes felt on the show. What materials do you work with to achieve such a luxe factor?

I usually work with bamboo jersey, organic cotton and now I am playing with some knits, viscose and crêpe for the next collection.

Will there be a minimalist line of jewelry and shoes in the future?

Actually I just came out with a jewelry line, the collection is called Finery and it was inspired by geometric shapes. Very minimal but strong pieces, it was launched this April and it is now up on the website.

I do love shoes, but at the moment I will continue to concentrate on clothing and jewelry, once I feel that I have mastered those two I may add another layer to the brand.


Where do you go to find your inspiration?

I travel a lot, and I pay attention to the architecture and buildings in each city I visit, as well the people. I like to see how they dress, how they interact with each other and their environment.

What kind of message do you try to convey through your clothes?

Quality is better than quantity. When it comes to my approach to design, I keep it simple. I strive to create useful clothes and accessories, not for the sake of maximizing. I keep function and comfort in mind at all times, these qualities are important in clothing. This awareness coming from the designer to the customer will develop and train our minds that quality is more important than quantity.


Describe your collection in 3 words.

Minimal, modern & timeless.


Get to know more about Melissa Araujo, her collections and other fascinating finds as Stefanie’s Style Diaries Vancouver continues May 24, Wednesday @ 8:30pm. Fashion One available on Now TV channel 532, myTV SUPER channel 603 and TVB Network Vision channel 41.

To learn more about Stefanie’s Style Diaries and her fabulous destinations, please visit www.fashionone.com/stefstylediaries or post your comments on @fashionone #StefStyleDiaries.

Melissa Araujo
www.melissaaraujo.com
Instagram: @melissa.araujo
Twitter: @melissaaraujo07

Studio Photo Credits: Photographer Thompson Chan
Collection Photo Credits: Photographer M’c Kenneth Licon

CATCHING UP DESIGN GENIUS L.A. WINNER RACHEL “RA RA” CARLSON

If you love fashion, drama and crazy design competitions, Design Genius is your ultimate fashion entertainment destination! With season 3 having taken place in L.A., one of the fashion capitals of the world, we knew that we were in for some truly unique designs from some pretty vibrant and at times, clashing personalities. One such unique designer rose to the top of the competition and came out victorious with that $10,000 prize, and it was none other than the charming and spunky Rachel “Ra Ra” Carlson, fashion designer and couturier of her very own label Rachelle Apelle. We’ve caught up with Ra Ra to see how life and her career have been since her appearance on the show, and we weren’t surprised with how productive and busy she’s been.

Check out the full interview with Design Genius L.A. winner Rachel Carlson down below!


How did you come to learn about Design Genius?
I learned about Design Genius through a friend. He told me I should audition because I would be perfect for it.

What was the casting or auditioning process like?
I sent a 90 second video of myself to the casting directors talking about why I should be on Design Genius that I made on New Years Eve right before I was about to go out and party to ring in 2016. I was contacted two months later that I was a finalist for the show.

Did you always dream of working in the fashion and industry?
Yes, I learned how to sew when I was 7 and started designing my own clothes at 11. Fashion has always been in my blood. Then I went to college for fashion design and was able to study and intern in couture design in Paris and then Amsterdam. Now I work mostly in costume design and costume creation for the entertainment industry in Hollywood. It has been an amazing journey.


Those time restraints on each challenge were crazy, especially for the accessories! How did you manage your time while maintaining your focus on your work?
This was always a challenge and was different for every day. For some challenges the materials they gave us instantly got my creative juices flowing, so it was easy to know pretty much exactly what I wanted to make. During those challenges, time wasn’t really that much of an issue. Other times when I wasn’t feeling inspired, I just had to push through and hope for the best. I never really held on too hard to my design choices because I viewed everything as always a work in progress. This helped me to not get too mad if the judges didn’t really like my work.

How did you come up with ideas so quickly when you or your partners didn’t know what kind of crazy materials would be used for each challenge?
Kind of the same answer as above. You just have to be fluid in your design sense. I would start draping the materials on the mannequin and see what forms came to me. If things didn’t work in the first 30 minutes or so I’d change my idea right away instead of holding onto something that wasn’t working. There wasn’t time for that.

The judges could be quite harsh and dramatic at times. What was it like interacting with them during your critiques?
I really tried to take their critiques as a way to help me grow. Instead of acting like they didn’t know what they were talking about, I took their criticism as a way to make my work even better. They helped me find a strength in myself that I didn’t even quite knew I had before.

Had you ever worked under such pressure or deadlines before participating on Design Genius?
I work under a lot of tight deadlines working in the entertainment industry. These were definitely some of the shortest deadlines ever, though. I really surprised myself in what I was able to create in such a short amount of time!

What were the best and worst moments for you during the show?
The best moment was creating the outfit with Juggernaut. I think our piece was absolutely gorgeous! I wish we could have kept it. The worst moment was when I lost my cool with Stacey. I was really angry that Ginger was cut because I don’t think it was fair. Ginger was a far better designer than Stacey, but I don’t think it was ok how I treated her. It wasn’t her fault.

How was it working in teams of 2 or 3 versus working on your own?
I loved working in teams. I especially loved working with Juggernaut because I think we just have an instant design connection and we knew what we wanted to create together without having to say much. We also just trusted each other instantly. I also loved working with Ngozika and Juggernaut together, too. I think it just took longer for the three of us to trust each other and by that time in the competition the stress level was super high. Together, though, we pulled off a gorgeous ensemble!

Finally, congratulations on coming out the winner of Design Genius L.A.! How have things been since winning and what are your plans for the future?
Things have been a bit of a whirlwind for me since winning the competition. With the award money I produced a fashion show for L.A. Fashion Week in October and launched my couture women’s collection called Rachelle Appelle. I invited Ngozika, Juggernaut, Ginger and Ryan to show their collections in the show as well. It was a really beautiful show. All of our collections were so different and that made the show super dynamic. I really loved that I got to meet all of them on the show and I can’t wait to produce more work with them.

For more information about Design Genius L.A., please visit http://fashionone.com/designgenius/season3.

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Follow Rachel on her Social Media and Website!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/rachelleappelle
Instagram: @rachelleappelle
Performer Instagram: @rara_sis_bomba
Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/RachelleAppelle
Website: www.rachelleappelle.com

Modern Bridal Dresses from Around the World

… And she said YES!

Wedding season is fast approaching and every bride knows that one of the most important things to make this fairytale-dream come true is have the right wedding dress.

To all the brides-to-be out there, worry not. We’ll help you on your quest for the perfect fit. Here is some of the best bridal from around the world designed for the modern woman. Which one suits you best?

North America

For the classic modern bride, designs from the United States and Canada would be your style. Simple yet elegant with not so much frills that are easy to customize according to your liking.

BADGLEY MISCHKA (USA) New York International Bridal Week

INES DI SANTO (Canada) Bridal Couture Collection

ISABELLE ARMSTRONG (USA) Bridal Fall

JUSTIN ALEXANDER (USA) Barcelona Bridal Week

Europe

If you love couture and avant-garde, European wedding dresses would be your go-to designs. From lace, frills, fluff, crystals to feathers, this most iconic fashionable region has got it all.

CHIARADE (Italy) New York International Bridal Week

YOLANCRIS (Spain) Barcelona Bridal Week

THE COUTURE GALLERY BY BRITTA KJERKEGAARD (UK) London Bridal Fashion Week

BIZUU (Poland) Bridal Collection

MARCO & MARÍA (Spain) Barcelona Bridal Week

INMACULADA GARCIA (Spain) Barcelona Bridal Week

DANIJELA BOZIC (UK) Serbia Fashion Week

Middle East

If you dream of becoming a queen on your wedding day, shine bright with diamonds that are delicately embedded in these Middle Eastern designs. Crystals and precious stones ornate simple to intricate designs delicately crafted to fit a royal.

JULIETTE N WHITE (Kuwait) Kuwait Fashion Week

SHLOMIT AZRAD (Israel) New York International Bridal Week

LIAN ROKMAN (Israel) New York International Bridal Week

RISH BY YOAV RISH (Israel) New York International Bridal Week

Asia

For the uniquely adventurous type, a pop of color and modern fusion designs from Asia would be your niche. Traditional yet futuristic, oriental with a western touch, Asian fashion continues to evolve without disregarding its cultural origins.

YUMI KATSURA (Japan) New York International Bridal Week

YUMI KATSURA (Japan) New York International Bridal Week

YUMI KATSURA (Japan) New York International Bridal Week

BIBI LONDON (India) Asian Bride Live

TEHXEEB LONDON (India) Asian Bride

YUMI KATSURA (Japan) New York International Bridal Week

A wedding dress speaks a lot but no matter what you wear, as long as you feel good, everything would become your dream coming true.

Walk the Aisle premiere Tuesday, May 2 at 9:30pm. Fashion One available on Now TV channel 532, myTV SUPER channel 603 and TVB Network Vision channel 41.

For more wedding ideas to guide you before you tie the knot, tune in to the special feature dedicated for soon to be brides, Walk the Aisle. – (View Schedule)

THE IN’S AND OUT’S OF MODELING WITH KARINE ROMAN

The modeling industry has seen a lot of changes along the way. With the introduction of social media and advancing technology, it’s not only become easier to penetrate the modeling industry on your own, but also for well-known agencies find fresh new faces for their own recruitment benefits. So, how do these aspiring young models get their foot in the door and climb the ladder to supermodel status? With the help of caring and passionate professionals like Karine Roman, the Director for New faces & Scouting for LA Models. Former model and host for our hit special Model Camp: LA, Karine spares a few precious moments to share with us what’s it’s like working alongside some of the industry’s most promising models and helping them learn the ropes for one of the most competitive careers on the planet.

Get to know Karine a little better in our exclusive interview down below!

What does a typical day look like for you?
My day and my life revolves around responding to dozen of emails and meeting with models. We receive hundreds of submissions through emails and social media, so we have to go through every single one of them. We meet often with our models, the new and experienced one as well, mostly for guidance, support and to set goals for their career.

Can you tell us more about the history behind L.A. Model’s Model Camp and the agency itself?
The model camp was created for both of our agencies, LA Models and NY Models to give the opportunity for young models to learn the basics of modeling in a couple of days. They work with photographers, have runway class to learn how to walk properly, how to dress and how to be healthy and fit. They learn about social media and how to handle their career. It’s also a great way for young girls to bond with each other and share this unusual journey they have chosen.


Did you always dream of working in the fashion and modeling industry?
Never!!! Even though I absolutely love what I do!

How did you come into the position of Director of New Faces & Scouting at L.A. Models?
Other than the few years when I took care of my own children, I have been in the modeling business my whole life. I started as a model at 6 months old and ended my modeling career with my first pregnancy at 27, represented by LA Models at the time. I became an agent for our photographers and was offered a position at LAM. I couldn’t pass it by and felt it made complete sense as it was all so familiar to me. I love developing these young people into working models. It is so special to find someone that has no idea how beautiful they are and show them how it takes much more than just the outside appearance to be a model. Because personality is a big part of his or her success, their beauty needs to also come from the inside,



Each model must have individual career paths in mind. How do you help them meet their goals?

It’s an endless process of meetings and very different processes, depending on each girl.

From your experience, how has the modeling industry evolved since joining L.A. Models?
The industry has completely changed since the introduction of social media. Models used to be pretty inaccessible and you would have to go through their agency to book them for a job. Now anyone can proclaim to be a model and be on social media. I think it’s sad that everyone is so over exposed, and I believe it has made the “shelf life” of a model much shorter.

Are there any challenging aspects to operating Model Camp?
We have been very lucky so far and have not encountered any issues or challenges other than the amount of food those little monsters can go through!



Have any famous or successful models under L.A. Models emerged as a result of Model Camp?

We have a couple of girls from our camp that are now established models and doing great, but for the most part they are all between 14 and 17 so it takes a few years for them to really fully develop.

Are there trends in modeling like there are in fashion? For example, is one type of hair, eye color or ethnicity in one day and then out the next?
Yes, there are trends in the modeling world just as in fashion. Right now it is all about being “ethnically ambiguous”! And I believe we are almost done with the very weird looking models with big ears (Amen to that!!!).

What advice would you give aspiring models wanting to break into the industry?
Please, only deal with professional people and legitimate agencies. It shouldn’t cost a dime to be signed to an agency. If someone asks for any mone, run!!! When you are introducing yourself for the first time to an agent, please dress neatly. Hair and nails should be always clean. Attitude and personality will be the most important things, so make yourself stand out!

Catch a sneak peak of the show right here!


Learn more about Karine’s amazing agency by visiting http://www.lamodels.com.


Catch Model Camp: LA again on Saturday, April 1 at 9:15pm. Fashion One available on Now TV channel 532, myTV SUPER channel 603 and TVB Network Vision channel 41.