Category Archives: fashion

Lauren-Elaine Fashion Show @ Les Deux 6/25/09

Les Deux- one of Hollywood’s famous hotspots and celebrity hangouts was the venue for the Lauren-Elaine fashion show, which also featured handbags by Lust4Lux. Now, knowing Lauren from a previous event (see David Kahn/Lauren-Elaine @ Escondido Fashion Week), I wanted to attend and support her.

I arrived at the “infamous” club, tucked away off to the side of a parking lot off Las Palmas. Like every other Hollywood club, there were hoards of young hipsters and wannabe actors waiting to get into the club.

After receiving my PRESS pass, the velvet rope opened and I was let in to the small red carpeted area still outside the club. Several minutes and a few rude bouncers later, I was finally in. I went up to the VIP room and ran into Lauren. She was busy with getting ready for the show, but was still able to exchange “hellos” and whatnots before having to head downstairs. Later, I found a great spot on the balcony to stand and be able to catch a different angle of the show with my camera.

Lauren was showing her “Siren” Collection. A mix of day and evening dresses that were inspired by the Ancient Greek mythology and the ‘sirens’ of the 1950’s (Grace Kelly). My personal favorite was the Apollo Gown, a strapless floor-length gown with bold oranges, yellows and pinks. Two other dresses caught my eye, the “Aphrodite” and the “Nightingale”. Both are floor-length and sleeveless. But the elegant draping and the strong attention to detail are timeless.

Nevertheless, despite  Les Deux’s inadequate services, the show was a smashing success. I enjoyed the energy from the models, the crowd and the designer herself, Lauren-Elaine Edleson. For ordering and more info: please go to http://www.lauren-elainedesigns.com or designs@Lauren-ElaineDesigns.com

Special Thanks: Lauren’s PR: Stacey; Lauren, Lust4Lux Handbags, J’s Luxury Beemer Taxi Service,  Sean and Jess from Falling Whistles.

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Filed under clubbing, fashion, fashion show, June, Lauren-Elaine, Les Deux, Los Angeles

UNIQUE LOS ANGELES- SPRING ’09 EDITION

Yep, it’s that time of the year again…Shoppers converged to the thirteenth floor penthouse of the California Market Center for the Spring Edition of Unique Los Angeles- the independent designer gift show. This year, over 7,000 people shopped the 270 vendors, including familiar ones from December’s show. Ecobooma, specializing in Earth-friendly tees and totes, their partner company, Jenkins Jellies, known for their decadent organic homemade jellies, the creative wire-wrapped jewelry from Namaste Creations. Their website is officially up and running, go to http://www.namastecreations.com, Tucker Paisley, who were showing their new purse line and floral print dresses that would be perfect for a day out at the OC beach cities, Rojas, designer Freddie Rojas had plaid bustier dresses that made me want to scream, “I’m mad for plaid!” Another key piece is the knee-length leggings with fringe running down the sides of the legs. Lastly, my friend, Liz Abbott of Leatherette Hearts, showed me a recent piece from her collection… the Michael Jackson (or MJ for short) shirt. She had screen printed his mug shot as a repeated pattern. Very chic! **For contact info on these companies, please refer back to the first UNIQUE LOS ANGELES blog**

Ok and moving on to the newbies of this year’s Unique (or maybe they were there last year but I just didn’t see them.) I would like to start out with Dust & Co, an all women owned company created by Jill Stevens. She designs jewelry and totes that are eco-friendly. Her amazing necklaces made with vintage car emblems immediately caught my eye, cause I am also on the lookout for new or vintage BMW emblems myself. I made my way further into her booth and discovered a treasure-trove of vintage goodness. Necklaces, earrings, cufflinks that were made from optical lenses, watch parts from the 1800’s/Art Deco/ Mid-Century periods and vintage keys. I would also like to mention one of her totes with the saying, “Fuck You and Your Prius”… such a riot…now if only she can make one with “Fuck You and Your BMW (or Beemer)” Her collection can be found at www.dustdesignco.com.

Weeks before the show, I had learned that Maria Peralta from Devious Damzels, would be showing her line at Unique. You may know her from Project Ethos Fame in my Ethos write-up. She had also shown at December’s show. Maria was ecstatic to once again be apart of Unique…She feels that it’s like being apart of the LA community and she enjoys sharing the creative space with other artists, such as Dim Mak. Her love of neon really showed in her collection. She had an updated version of the LA shirt and had her signature piece, the fuschia “Miss Rockwell” pin-up (for the inner burlesque star in you.) She also had a sample for clients to view the latest treatment to her line, flocking and is also introducing her men’s line, due out by the end of the year. The price points for her shirts run from $25- 50. For more information, go to www.deviousdamzels.com.

Sharing the space with Maria is her friend, Daisy Romero, jewelry designer and photographer. Daisy owns El Cholo’s Kid by LA Daisy, a jewelry company based on religious imagery and the Mexican culture. The name, “El Cholo’s Kid” derived from when Daisy’s father was young. He was nicknamed, “El Cholo.” When Daisy went back to Mexico,  the neighborhood kids would say, “Hey, it’s El Cholo’s Kid!” And voila….the rest they say…is history. Her pieces range from religious like the necklaces with small rosary boxes and pictures of Jesus and Mary on the front to the kitschy, like the neon headbands with dancing skeletons, some with skirts and others with ponchos and sombreros and lastly, barrettes with Mariache figurines. Daisy finds her pieces whenever she travels to Mexico and then brings them home to LA, sits at her kitchen table and puts them together. Her pieces of gawdy “ghettoness” are ranged from $5- 30, which I think is well worth it to add some ‘flare’ to a plain, dawdy outfit. To shop her line or check out her photography, go to www.ladaisy.com or info@ladaisy.com.

As I was perusing though the booths, my eyes landed upon a sleeveless dress with the skirt made from a wool scarf from a flea market. I just had to approach the designer. The company is Sea Pony, owned by Fati Beloved. Beloved has been designing for fifteen years and creates everything from scratch. Since she drapes, her fabrics of choice are silks and satins, but also likes to challenge herself by using difficult fabrics as well. She finds inspiration through her friends behaviors and personalities. And also by doing custom designs for people. It’s interesting the ideas people come up with without any knowledge of garment construction that Fati, with her design knowledge has to interprete into a functional garment. She also does bridal. Her bow ties are $5, scoodies (scarf with a hoodie) are $40-50, jackets and skirts are $60-80, and dresses are $80-150. Contact Fati at seaponyclothing@gmail.com.

I stopped at another booth and admired fun handmade clutches, bracelets, headbands and necklaces. The designer peeked her head out and introduced herself as Wendy Gooie from FM Clothing. All her accessories are made from recycled fabrics from her line. The necklaces are made from silk, mesh and cotton and them, along with the leather hats were worn by MIA during her performance at Coachella. Other celebrities that have worn her line include Lindsay Lohan, who has been spotted wearing her signature headband and Rhianna, who has worn her leather hats. Signature pieces from her clothing line are a deep-v tunic and leather shorts. She owns a showroom at the LA Apparel Mart and her accessories range from $ 5-55 and $34-110 for clothing.

Browsing through the eco-friendly part of Unique, I came across wallets made from the “Caution” tape and fortunately, the designer was on hand to talk to. He is Ryan of Dip It Designs. He uses the “caution” tape and pom-pom pieces for wallets. And he uses the soy milk packs from Trader Joe’s to make wallets, coin purses, keychains, etc that go for $3- 25. His key piece is a bowl made from a recycled record and goes for $30. For more ‘dipiliciousness’, go to www.doubledipped.etsy.com.

Another accessories booth I found that had ‘unique’ products was Elisa Gonsalves Designs. Elisa has been in business for six years. Her inventory included beautiful long necklaces, chunky wire-wrapped rings, and headbands with feathers on the side. She does a lot of traveling and picks up her random key-pieces for her accessories, and also finds inspiration in the clutter in her room. Her pieces range from $20-300 depending on how detailed it is.  She is trying to make the products more affordable to people, due to the economy. Her collection is available online at www.elisagonsalves.com.

Sharing the booth with Elisa is her friend Virginia, of De La Luna Designs. “De La Luna” means “of the moon” in Spanish and is a company based on culture and life. She uses recycled purses, luggage, wallets and flasks and applies the applications on the fabrics. When she makes her products, which she likes to refer to as artistically useful products; she thinks about individualizing people. For more information, go to www.delalunadesigns.com.

Some other booths I found had interesting products include, Voz Clothing & Art by Jackie Sepulveda. She gets vintage and/or gently-used purses and bags and paints intricate designs on them. She also was selling rings and other jewelry with graffiti printed on them. Go to www.vozclothingandart.com. I stopped by 7Lightningbolt’s booth and LOVED their handmade cuff bracelets and my friend from Chicago loved the scarves. Their collection is available at www.7lightningbolt.com. I found a company that sold wallets, card holders, condom cases, etc that are made from laminated paper (with fun prints, like a map of LA with Culver City circled) which is then sewn with clear vinyl. The designer is Jamila Tazewell and her company is 11:11 Enterprises. For more info, check out www.eleveneleven.net. Where can you find Chanel earrings with hotdog charms? Or a beautiful cascade necklace made from rings? Jen Martin Jewelry! She has a shop at www.radness.etsy.com. Marlene and I picked up fun, yet small heart-shaped sunglasses, plastic toy dinosaurs, lollipops and posters at the Dim Mak  (by DJ Steve Aoki) booth. We were also salivating over the yummy cupcakes they had sitting and luring people to the booth with their yummyness. I want to give a special shout-out to one of the sales reps, Melissa, who answering a few questions and also was responsible for deconstructing a few of the tees. Check out www.dimmak.com! The Weekend Store (who vended at Felt Club) was there. Designer Adjowah Brodie was on hand to inform me that, along with the vintage typewriter key charms, earrings, necklaces and bracelets decorated from watch parts; she had new necklaces with prints made from bird pictures from 1940’s books. Visit www.theweekendstore.com for more details. Lastly, thanks to Marlene’s keen eye, we saw a belt with a Victorian hands buckle. It was definitely a one-of-a-kind item that I’ve never seen before. You can read more about the company, Kim White Handbags at www.kimwhitehandbags.com.

Congratulations Sonja Rasula on another show well done!! Thank you again to all the volunteers and sponsors! And thank you Marlene Halper, it was great seeing you! Glad you had a fantastic time!!

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Filed under Arts and Crafts, Craft Fairs, fashion, Unique Los Angeles

Beat It! A Joseph Rene and Parris Harris Production

The dynamic duo- Joseph Rene and Parris Harris have done it again, this time, they rocked it out ’80’s style at Club Menage in the heart of Old Town Pasadena.

It was there that the models sashayed down the runway to beats like MJ’s “Beat It” and Dramarama’s “Anything”. The first portion of the show was dedicated to Salon Sessions and featured three models strickin-a-pose as celebrity stylist Joseph Rene and the owners of  Salon Sessions, Neeko and Samvel stood on the brightly lit boxes and fussed with their hair.

The clothing that was provided by Trendy Rags, Parris Harris’s line, “Punk Mail” and Yoga Army added extra splashes of color to the club’s rockin ambiance.

I spoke with the designers  Sandy Wee and Sebastian St. George of Yoga Army, which is located in near-by Temple City, CA. They are an American made apparel company, specializing in mixing hard and soft elements, such as jersies and leathers or silks and laces. It was interesting when Sandy was explaining that even with the rough economy, designers sometimes have it so tough that they are going back to the Grassroots Movement (door-to-door). And that the tradeshows still aren’t cutting the costs to make it easier. They are either the same or have risen because the labor unions are pushing them for higher prices.

The pair, along with Parris Harris are involved in the Ford Fiesta Movement. They were among the special one hundred people chosen to test-drive the 2011 Ford Fiesta for six months, while also completing different missions. When I met the Yoga Army team, they had just received the car. For more information on the Ford Fiest Movement, go to www.phasionarmy.com or www.fiestamovement.com/agents/view/84.

Ms. Wee and Mr. St. George have known Parris Harris for a long time and they are proud to be apart of the ’80’s Rocker Show and to support Parris and Joseph Rene.

Yes, the 80’s did indeed come back that night in a dazzling spectacle of energy, wild hair (including neon netting in a couple styles) and thankfully without the shoulder pads! Bravo!

SPECIAL THANKS: Joseph Rene (www.josephrenesalon.com) , Parris Harris (www.phashionarmy.com) , Salon Sessions (www.salonsessions.com) , Club Menage (54 E. Colorado Blvd. in Old Town Pasadena, http://www.clubmenage.net , the models, hair and make-up, Jose’s Luxury Taxi Service, Trendy Rags (www.trendyrags.com) , Yoga Army (www.yogaarmy.com) and Felix Salzman of LookBookLA!

 

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Filed under fashion, fashion show, Joseph Rene, Parris Harris, Pasadena, Salon Sessions, the '80s

BoxEight Presents, Li Cari Fashion Show

It seems that 20 year old designer Jazmine Whitley has done it again! The Li Cari show ended the BoxEight Fashion Week on the 15th at the famous Los Angeles Theatre on Broadway with not an empty seat in the house and not to mention the media frenzy. Before the show, my friend Hannah and I mingled with friends and met new ones in the imacculate six-story lobby of the theatre. A few minutes before the show was to start, we made out way into the theatre to scope out seats. Due to the seats being so far back, I had to move up to the center aisle and stand with the rest of the media. Ok, I mentioned that I had to STAND…well in five inch heels that is… and the show went for fifteen minutes…YOU do the math. 

Promptly at 10pm, BoxEight founder Peter Gurnz came onstage and gave a brief history on BoxEight’s influence at Fashion Week and then he introduced his team. Then, the show began.

Jazmine’s inspiration for her collection was back-to-basics. The silhouettes were classic and had a ‘Jackie-O’ look. She “wanted to convey a sense of the basics and nature.” She is also aware of our country’s tough times and wants people who wear Li Cari to have a peaceful mindset, which starts when they go to their closets to pick out something to wear in the morning. There was another designer that shared the spotlight that night.  She is Lynn Curtin, founder of men’s and women’s Cuff Luvv Collections. You also may have recognized her in the last season of Real Housewives of Orange County fame. Her rocker inspired cuffs for the show worked well with Li Cari’s classic style.

           Lynn started the company a little over three years ago, however she’s been designing most of her life. She was tired of giving her friends the same gifts over and over again, so she decided to take matters into her own hands. Now, her cuffs are sold at Fred Segal and other small boutiques around the OC area, including Duo, in Laguna Beach which on every first Thursday of the month, they host a small party. Even Stephan Tyler was given one of her cuffs. She has a new cuff coming out, which is more economical and is about an inch wide, but still with the iron cross and studs  and will sell for $99.  It takes around an hour from design to finish, though depending on the leathers. She is in the process of getting a manufacturer, due to getting more involved with the higher-end retail shops.  You can currently read about Cuff Luvv in this month’s issue of Orange Coast Magazine on page 26 and shop her collections at www.shoplynncurtindesigns.com.

Special thanks to: Hannah David,  Jose’s “Luxury Taxi Service”, and Susan Costa of WCM.

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Filed under BoxEight Studios, Cuff Luvv, fashion, fashion show, Fashion Week, Jazmine Whitley, Li Cari, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Theater, Lynn Curtin, March, Real Housewives of Orange County

Runway Magazine’s Oscar Gifting Suite 2/21/09

          It’s not often that an invitation to an exclusive gifting suite for the Oscars, comes knocking at the door. But in my case (and a little help from LookbookLA.com) , I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend a gifting suite, hosted by Runway  Magazine, held on the 20thand 21st of February. So, not only do I get a taste of “stardom” if you will, but I also had a rare opportunity to step inside Liberace’s Penthouse. The penthouse is owned by a friend of Runway ‘s President- James Buccelli. Runway also has offices in the space. Some amenities of this venue include a mirrored hallway, small pool and a breathtaking 360 degree view of the Hollywood Hills.

         I caught up with James out by the pool. He started Runway  Magazine two years ago. The company is also doing a TV show that will teach the viewers how to start a magazine…from concept to creation. Runway has been doing the Oscar gifting suit annually, along with suites for the Emmies and  Grammies. He explained that Runway’s Gifting Suites are different from others. It’s not about making money, it’s about everyone having a good time. It’s where the celebrities can come and not be bombarded…People can relax, eat sushi or other award-winning catered foods or even take a dip in the pool. The goal is also to help promote the clients, whether they be the celebrities, PR firms, stylists, media or a certain product.

Speaking of clients promoting their goods n’ wares, I would like to start off with  artist Juan de Lascurain. De Lascurain, a native of Mexico, paints (on canvas and clothing) and has a television show called, “Dream Big”-available in twenty-three Spanish-speaking countries. He also has a “Dream Big” night on Thursdays at a gallery in Culver City. He does high-end and acrylic paintings, along with digital designs.  About a year ago, he began painting his vibrant designs on clothing. Six years ago, he founded, Vida Youth, which helps to inspire people. He gets his inspiration everywhere. He loves life and from where he’s from, the Latin people love life. He wants people to follow their dreams. He says that if you have a dream, faith and you work hard…you can accomplish anything. Check him out at www.delascurain.com and www.vidayouth.com.

Since California is a “Green” state, then it would only be appropriate to have at least one eco-friendly company at the gifting suite. Darleen Reilly, president of Agreenday.org was giving out Globo Bags- reusable dry-cleaning bags made from recycled plastic bottles and valued at $125. She was approached by Mandy (from Runway) at the GoGreen Expo. She loved the bags and loved the fact that Darleen’s products are 100% American madeand insisted that Darleen be apart of the gifting suite. Celebrities that own this piece of dry-cleaning phenomenon include: Russell Simmons, First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah, Tyler Perry and Jennifer Hudson; just to name a few. If you would like to purchase the “Globo Bag” or other Earth-friendly bags (made from Organic Cotton), go to www.Agreenday.org.

Another vendor, selling fun tattoo-inspired hats was ZZPrado. Designer Elizabeth Prado was on hand to tell me a little about her line. She offers: ZZ Prado Men/ Women and Swimwear, though her best sellers are her one-of-a-kind hats, which sold for $65 at the show, but are $100 on up regular price. She is a very creative person and there’s not a moment when she’s not inspired. Her collection can be viewed at www.zzprado.com.

And then there were shoes…well, sexy and sophisticated high-heeled boots to be exact. Some were Western-style, others were fur-trimmed or if you preferred some blinged-out heels; those were on hand as well. Monique Capelta is the creative head  and CEO behind the company, Capelta. It all started in NYC, when she went to a Goodwill, picked up a pair of boots and some pieces of leather and the rest they say…is history… This past Christmas, she got her first shipment of product and this is her first launch. Her funky, edgy and rock star boots range from $395 – 2,200. Her online store is www.capelta.com.

When I walked inside, I noticed a table with rows of creatively designed hats. The designer was Anita Hopkins, of Anita Hopkins Millinery. She has been designing all her life, but turned her hobby into a career twenty years ago. Her hats are chic, elegant and versatile. She wants to create hats that have a new modern twist. One of her signature hats is the Confederate hat, which resembles the uniform hat worn by the Conferate Army during the Civil War. It is very versatile; can be worn sideways or with the brim in the back. Her hats have graced the heads of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including: Pink, Janet Jackson, Dave Navarro, just to name a few. The hats range from $385 – 450, more if you want it customized. Her hats are available online at www.anitahopkinsla.com.

While I was walking around, taking in the sites, I noticed a girl doing an interview, while showing off her handmade handbags. After the interview, I had the opportunity to also talk to her about the bags. Her name is Jenn Bagby of BagbyRoyal Handbags. She has been in business for six years on and off. Like Ms. Prado, Jenn too, finds inspiration in everything, from a building to another designer…even to a random thought. She loves working with upholstery and  cotton silks, depending on her mood. One of her signature pieces is a purse with a long tulle veil. I thought it was a very unique piece and is what caught my eye in the first place. This is her first gifting suite and she was very excited to be a part of it. Her handmade creations range from $50- 200. Her website, www.bagbyroyal.comis currently under construction, but she does have a myspace page.

Special thanks to: James Buccelli, Brad Barker, Mandy and the rest of the staff of Runway  Magazine (www.runwaymagazinela.com), the kind people of Park West for providing complimentary valet parking for the event, Hydrodynamics, Moxxor, Monavie, Jeff Knight Photography, J-Star Media, Sashi Sushi of Manhattan Beach, gift bags donated by Shoes for the Stars.

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Filed under fashion, February, Gifting Suites, Hollywood, Oscars

“CHOOSE CHINATOWN” Boutique Grand Opening 2/13/09

Nestled in the heart of Chinatown on Gin Ling Way, amidst the kitschy shops selling Chinatown souvenirs, is a narrow boutique, who’s only advertisement is its name, “Choose Chinatown” stenciled in white lettering on the windows.  They were having their Grand Opening on Friday the 13th.After a hearty dinner at Hop Louie, my friend and I arrived at the boutique. Since it was still fairly early, not many people were there, but that meant I was able to connect with the sales people and the owners on a more personal level. There were rows of Tecate set up on the front counter, beckoning for the arriving patrons to grab and quench their thirst. Meanwhile, DJ RoRo was playing the latest hits at his booth set up in the corner.

I met up with the owners of the “Pop-Up” shop, as they referred to it, Raymond Tseng and Jason Gillix. The concept of “Choose Chinatown” began about 3 ½ to 4 years ago, when the slogan was just on t-shirts. A friend of Ray’s designed the logo, while the slogan was based off of “Choose Life” during World AIDS Day. Seeing that the neighborhood kids were sporting them and that they were just selling well in general, they decided to open a boutique. They sell the brands, Cheap Monday and WKND. WKND is only sold in Europe, but they had the line shipped to their store. During these tough economic times, the prices aren’t bad either. Price points range from $20- $250. The best selling item, being the jeans, sell for $70 and the “CHOOSE CHINATOWN” tees sell for $20.

The designers of the installation were also there, Alex Chew and Danielle Wagner of the firm, All that is Solid. They came up with the idea of a playful, kitschy pop-up store that geared towards the target audience of the youth of this generation. I thought the balloons that decorated the ceiling were a fantastic idea. The total layout of the space was very modern and contemporary, with those little kitsch surprises displayed throughout. They told me that from concept to design, it took about a month, with the installation taking about a week. Check out www.allthatisolid.net for further information. 

Note: The owners of “Choose Chinatown” also own “Lion’s Den” and “Welcome Hunters”, also in Chinatown. For more info, please visit www.choosechinatown.com.  Choose Chinatown is located at 441 Gin Ling Way, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

Special thanks to Jose Garcia for letting me drag him out with me to the opening after work and on Friday the 13th….

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Filed under Boutique, Chinatown, Chinese, fashion, fashion show, February, Grand Opening

Chinese New Year’s Carnival and Fashion Show

This post is going to go a little differently. Mainly because I was modeling in the show. My dear friend, Rebekka Lien was showcasing ten to fifteen of her designs at the Chinese New Year’s Carnival held at Mandarin Baptist Church of Pasadena in Arcadia. After the show, I emailed her questions about her inspirations, etc and I’m going to post it like a Q & A. 

Q: So Rebekka, what was the inspiration of your collection? 

A: The collection consisted of all the pieces that I made in the last 2 years.  There isn’t one inspiration in my collection- but I would definitely say that what inspires me is the abundance of life.  I am constantly amazed at what life throws at me, at times bad, at times good.  However, it is the tears and joy of life, that overall encompasses my work. I love color, prints, and believe that fashion is all about being yourself!

Q: Did you have a theme in mind when designing the collection? 

A: The theme was “I Love My Models!”  Honestly, I was not so concerned about getting my name out there or showing my designs, but I really wanted everyone to have a blast.  I was mostly concerned about my models and the audience.  I picked music, hair- dos, wacky colors and fun accessories so that it would create the most “wow” effect.  I also loved how my models weren’t professional, I wanted them to have fun dancing and just being themselves. So I think my theme was probably “The Unique You…Fully Enjoying Life”.

Q: How did you hear about the venue

A: The carnival coordinator and good friend of mine had asked me to do it.  I was psyched because it would be my first fashion show.  I also wanted the show to be enjoyable and theatrical.  Thus, while I was planning the blue prints of the show, I decided to include freestyle dancing and skits to go along with it.

 

Indeed, the show was a blast! I met new people and walked another runway, while being able to break lose and just have fun. (Ok, so I was a tad-bit shy. No break dancing for me…but…) I do want to shout-out to the designer herself, Rebekka, her brother, the people that were at the MBCP that day and of course, the models!!!

If you would like more information and to buy her amazing designs, check her out at: http://rebekkalien.wordpress.com or email her at : rebekkalien@gmail.com.

Photos courtesy of: Rebekka Lien!!

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Filed under Chinese, Chinese New Year's, fashion, fashion show, February