New York Moments – Shopping for the future

Marchesa Notte cocktail dress

Last week I dashed around New York City with Tres Mariposas buyers Bobbie Baldridge and Monica Armendariz. We shopped the fur market, the shoe market and a bunch of exciting new ready-to-wear lines.

We had a very productive trip and now we can hardly contain our enthusiasm for what’s coming your way. I hesitate to say too much about our excitement, because we were shopping for winter resort and pre-spring 2013!

The merchandise we ordered won’t be manufactured and delivered until January. However, I think it will be worth the wait.

Here are a few highlights from our whirlwind shopping tours:

• We were madly in love with the Stella McCartney for Adidas active wear line. I think El Paso women will really like their wonderful “lifestyle jackets” for after workout, coffee stops or grocery shopping.

• It was a relief that the shoe market is doing new and interesting styles in flats, platforms and wedges. We have been deathly scared that the trend would move away from these comfortable styles to which El Paso women have become addicted.

• The fur market was interesting this year – and oh, so colorful! Who would have thought that fur could be so fun in bright, fresh hues and primary colors?

• If you pay attention to Oscar fashions, you have often seen Marchesa’s exquisite evening wear. Red-carpet stunners and paparazzi-friendly cocktail attire are Marchesa’s stock in trade, with intricate craftsmanship and whimsical flourishes. Spurred by its remarkably quick success, the designers created a more casual and less expensive line, Marchesa Notte. We liked what we saw here and we think you will, too.

October show

Speaking of Marchesa, while we were in New York, we were discussing the blockbuster, over-the-top fashion show that Tres Mariposas will be presenting in October.

Some 2,000 women are expected at the event, which benefits the University Breast Care Center, and we want to make sure that the clothing we present is absolutely superb.

When the Marchesa staff heard about the show, they immediately volunteered to participate as the featured designer. Fabulous!

In another show of support for the El Paso community, the people we work with at Marc Jacobs handbags offered to donate exquisite leather iPad cases to auction at the UBCC fashion show. It is heartwarming to see people working in the New York fashion industry to be so eager to support our El Paso community.

What’s Happening in fine jewelry

Actress Krysten Ritter wears earrings by Ippolita

One of the most fun events in the whole fashion industry is the annual jewelry market each June in Las Vegas.

For a week each summer, the capital of the jewelry world is indisputably located in Nevada – and everything at the two big jewelry shows is over the top.

Touring the enormous and comprehensive JCK trade show at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Convention Center is a workout in itself.

It’s hard to convey how big this really is: Imagine how much jewelry you can see at a show with more than 2,500 exhibitors from some 22 countries.

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Designer Edith Head’s costumes coming to El Paso

Edith Head design

I continue to be amazed and delighted with fabulous things happening in El Paso.

Even though summer starts unofficially this Memorial Day weekend, we still have exciting events coming our way.

I am especially thrilled with the coup pulled off by the El Paso Museum of Art and the Plaza Classic Film Festival to bring an incredible exhibit of designs by one of the country’s finest fashion designers ever: Edith Head.

An eight-time Academy Award winner for costume design, Edith Head influenced not only fashion on screen, but also fashion everywhere.

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In celebration of being a mom: What went right

Well, today is Mother’s Day, and neither my daughter nor my son are anywhere near El Paso to help me celebrate.

Missing them? Yes. Wistful for the days when they were bringing me homemade cards from school? Of course.

But since I can’t see them and go to some nice brunch at the club, I’ve decided to have my own glorious celebration of motherhood. Today, I am going to simply sit back and be proud of what I worked toward: having happy, healthy, caring kids.

Nothing is more glorious in life than seeing your children become wonderful, effective, successful adults. After all that angst and worry! Who wudda thunk it?

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No texting for Mother’s Day The best and worst gifts for moms everywhere

Mother’s Day is next Sunday, that classic all-American holiday ever since President Woodrow Wilson made it official in 1914.

While it is now celebrated around the world, on various days in March, April and May, few countries celebrate it quite like we do.

The day reigns as one of the top days of the year for flower sales, gifts, greeting card sales, naturally, and churchgoing, as well as the top single day for long distance calls in the United States.

Did you catch that? Do not, I repeat, do not text your mom a “Happy Mother’s Day” message! Pick up the phone and join the long-distance marathon.

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Pantone – dictator of fashion?

Pantone Tangerine Tango

Did you know that “Tangerine Tango” is the Pantone color of the year?

If you answered “yes,” you can thank the Pantone Color Group, which launched a massive publicity campaign to promote that color, “a spirited reddish orange,” throughout the fashion industry and media.

In 2011 the color of the year was “Honeysuckle,” which according to Pantone’s website, “encouraged us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor. This year, Tangerine Tango “continues to provide the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward.”

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What’s in, what’s out for spring

Sheath dresses

If I had to pick one thing I have learned over the years in our store, in my travels around the country and the world, and in many conversations with other women’s apparel retailers, most women share one strong preference when shopping.

Most women love staying fashionable and current. Whether they verbalize it or not, most women truly enjoy the “newness” of the latest styles.

When a woman is wearing a new outfit that is on trend and stylish, she just plain feels great. She invariably looks more confident and more comfortable, knowing that she is wearing the right thing for that season’s fashion. Many women hate to be caught wearing something that is clearly out of style!

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Celebrate the women of our border

Faces of Tres

We all know what runway models look like. They are thin, young and beautiful.

They portray whatever attitude is au courant at the time.

Professional models may not all look alike, but generally, they follow a not-too-secret standard formula. They fulfill what designers are looking for: models who can showcase their latest fashions to the media and store buyers to ensure success for their businesses.

I don’t mean to downplay fashion models’ skills and hard work. As Yves Saint Laurent once said, “a good model can advance fashion by 10 years.”

It’s just that 99.99 percent of us women will never be fashion models – and we real women don’t need to compare ourselves to them.

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Museums cash in on fashion with new exhibits

Jean Paul Gaultier

French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier at the Dallas Museum of Art.

While in Dallas for market last week, I took in the Jean Paul Gaultier retrospective at the Dallas Museum of Art. You may remember that my friend Cindy Graff Cohen did a guest column here about it in December. I couldn’t wait to go and it didn’t disappoint.

Just as I felt last summer after seeing the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, I was exhilarated and amazed at both these designers’ genius and grand intentions to challenge entrenched societal codes. They were true visionaries.

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