New City, Fresh Outlook for Spring, Fall Fashions

Gesuina Legaspy, Tres Mariposas Buy  and guest blogger

Gesuina Legaspy, Tres Mariposas Buy and guest blogger

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the Los Angeles market for the first time to preview fall fashion and accessory lines, and place orders for the upcoming season at Tres Mariposas.

The Ace Hotel in the heart of Downtown L.A.

The Ace Hotel in the heart of Downtown L.A.

My assistant, Taylor, and I stayed in Ace Hotel, a boutique hotel in the heart of Downtown LA.

Although the trip was filled with delicious meals and some unexpected encounters – like the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” cast, and my all-time favorite fashion blogger, Sincerely Jules – the true highlight of the visit was being introduced to new designers, and a factory tour of an old favorite, Nicole Batki.

Nicole Batki has long been a popular brand among Tres Mariposas customers and I was honored to be invited to tour the Batki headquarters by label owner Aida, and driven to her Pasadena warehouse by her son, to select gowns out of her vast collection.

Next, we traveled to the label headquarters, where I enjoyed the privilege of meeting Aida, seeing the craftsmanship first hand, and of course, choosing the right gowns to order for El Paso. What an unforgettable treat!

Good news, ladies, Tres now has the distinction of being the exclusive local store to carry the brand. This means an exquisite selection for spring weddings, the upcoming prom season and any special occasion.

At Nicole Bakti's factory.

At Nicole Bakti’s factory.

More exciting news? This new market was the perfect chance to scoop up fresh, more youthful looks for the store.

I’m fortunate that Nan Napier, Tres Mariposas owner, encourages me to be playful and indulge my sartorial curiosity on these trips, and this visit to LA was an opportunity for me to grow as a buyer, and dig around for the next “in” pieces that are edgier and more current.

The City of Angels is home to many showrooms, bustling with fresh, contemporary lines and up-and-coming designers. A few of my favorite finds included lines like Thomas Wylde, whose pieces I fell deeply in love with during my hunt through Hatch Showroom. High-end Parisian couture at an affordable price, skulls and cashmere – so fun and forward.

The latest fashions at Hale Bob in Los Angeles.

I also snapped up brands like Camilla, which is new to Tres. Camilla offers stunning beaded kaftans and exaggerated blazers and prints. This Australian line is available now and on fire.

Each piece is unique and different from anything we have carried. It’s no wonder our original order sold out in less than three days.

Another must-have was Joie. Their fall collection looked fantastic, with many great, luxe sweaters and knits at accessible price points for the chillier weather.

Behind the scenes at Thomas Wylde with Matthew Keegan, creative director/buyer for Kyle by Alene Too, in Los Angeles.

Behind the scenes at Thomas Wylde with Matthew Keegan, creative director/buyer for Kyle by Alene Too, in Los Angeles.

I loved exploring a new, fashionable city, taking in the sights and trends and cherry picking the best offerings for El Paso.

Vibrant LA infused my buying experience with energy and excitement, and I can’t wait to share the fresh direction with our city.

This was my first visit to the LA market, but it won’t be my last.

Soaking up the street art in Los Angeles.

Soaking up the street art in Los Angeles.

Clothing for a Cause and the YWCA’s 22nd Annual Luncheon

It’s hard to believe how the annual YWCA fundraising luncheon, one of the most successful benefit events on the border, has grown since 1994. This special event on each spring’s social calendar is 22 years old this year!

Tres Mariposas has long been a supporter of the YWCA and particularly a donor to the organization’s Sara McKnight Transitional Living Center for homeless women and their children.

In addition to collecting gently used clothing for women to wear to the workplace, we often take on a specific challenge. For every piece of clothing we receive, we donate $1 to the center toward our goal.

In 2011, we raised enough money for the center to purchase a new water heater; in 2013, the funds went toward a significant upgrade in the center’s security system; and last year, we helped the center purchase activity uniforms for all the children taking part in Scouts, sports and other after-school groups requiring uniforms.

This year we have a whole wish list from the center and we’re striving to collect 1,000 items of clothing to donate and match with $1 per item to go toward easels, paint, brushes for art therapy for adults and children; exercise videos; transportation and registration fees for kids to take part in outside activities; and much more.

Our goal is to collect your gently used clothing and accessories over the next few weeks and then donate a check from Tres Mariposas for $1,000 before the luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, April 23 at Abraham Chavez Theatre.

The speaker promises to be another excellent choice, especially for our area. Amanda Wirtz, who served in the U.S. Navy in Iraq and Yugoslavia, is a former Ms. Veteran America and a passionate public health advocate. Currently she is partnering with Final Salute, Inc., an organization working on behalf of the more than 55,000 homeless female veterans and their children – sadly, the fastest growing segment of the homeless population in the United States.

If you’re thinking this to yourself – it’s such a hassle to go through my clothes and see what I can part with – I know you can do it. We all have items we never wear any more and it always feels good to clean out your closet and at the same time, give clothes away to someone who has not had the good fortune that we’ve enjoyed. Here are a few quick tips to help you get started:

• If you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it. Also, if it doesn’t fit you well, it is time for it to go. Instead of hanging on to your “skinny jeans” until you lose a few pounds, donate them.

• Try organizing your closet by color and hang similar types of clothing together, such as skirts, pants, jackets and blouses in those color groups. If you find you have, for instance, five navy blue tops and you really only prefer two of them, you will see quickly where you have duplication.

• You need to switch out your winter clothes for your spring and summer clothes anyway, so this is the perfect time to sort and scout out for clothing to donate. Even if your closet is huge enough to accommodate four seasons, it’s good to revisit and rearrange to put aside the wools and heavy fabrics and move into the cottons and silks.

While you organize and summerize your closet, think about what you can donate. Tres Mariposas, located at 5857 N. Mesa, is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. every day but Sunday. And buy your tickets now for the April 23 YWCA Luncheon. Visit www.ywcaelpaso.org. See you there!

TMClothingforaCause

Things to look forward to in 2015: Part II

 

Gesuina Legaspy

Gesuina Legaspy

Guest Columnist Gesuina Legaspy, contemporary and special occasion buyer at Tres Mariposas.

Last week we looked at five interesting trends and design houses that caught our attention on our recent New York buying trip; this week, we look at five more. Here’s a preview of what will be hot in 2015!

Fashions from Helmut Lang

Fashions from Helmut Lang

Helmut Lang: I was pleasantly surprised by the change in direction from Helmut Lang. Gone are the edgy twists on classic styles. His newest line has evolved with his collection, and the designer has ushered in a richer, more chic aesthetic. A longtime fan of Lang, I am excited and curious about the change.  It’s a risk for the designer, and a return to the fashion house’s core looks, but our buying team loved the collection and look forward to receiving the new and improved Helmut Lang Collection for 2015: Clean lines, crisp blouses, tailored suits and jackets. Trés chic!

1970's-inspired denim

1970′s-inspired denim

‘70s-inspired denim: High-waisted jeans and flare legs are back in style, but don’t throw away those skinnies just yet. Do add a few pieces of flare-legged denim to your collection. My favorite styles were from Rag and Bone, who showed dark washes that give off a dressier, cooler feel, but also expect to see many lighter-wash denim options. Each showroom we visited offered at least one pair of flared pants or jeans.

Athletic-inspired apparel.

Dynamic sportswear: Make room for dressy athletic wear like sweatshirts, jogging pants, and football jersey-inspired tops. Athletic wear is definitely having a moment and we want to capture it! I ordered some great jersey-inspired sweatshirts donning celebrities’ names, like Cara Delevigne, Kate Moss and Beyonce. Rag and Bone showcased the best athletic-inspired apparel. 

Special Occasion Drama

Special Occasion Drama

Evening Gowns: As we saw at the Oscars this year, intricate formal dresses are back in style. Lady Gaga, Emma Stone, and Lupita Nyongo all wore dresses that were works of art in their own right, and anything but plain. I was happy to see this shift in evening gowns. For Fall 2015, expect decadent, extravagant and over the top!

Soji Tadashi and his line of eveningwear.

Soji Tadashi and his line of eveningwear.

 

Soji Tadashi’s elegant gowns and dresses were by far my favorite line I saw this market. He showed leather, beads, fringe —you name it, he had it all! It was the most diverse, interesting collection by far. There was lots of jewels, beads and embroidery. All his dresses were red carpet-worthy.

Gray is the color for fall 2015.

Gray is the color for fall 2015.

50 Shades of Grey:  The color for Fall 2015 is none other than grey! This includes all shades, from heather to charcoal, slate to gunmetal. The color is clean and chic and pairs perfectly with a variety of other hues. Grey boots, grey evening wear, grey handbags and gr sweaters.  Mix it up with unexpected accent colors like burgundy, hunter green, and even navy blue. Gray is neutral and basic and should definitely be in your closet in 2015.

 

 

 

Things to look forward to this year: Part 1

 

I am delighted to welcome a guest columnist today: Gesuina Legaspy, contemporary and special occasion buyer at Tres Mariposas. We’re back from a very productive buying trip and I asked her to identify trends and designers to watch for in the coming year. Here’s the first half of this two-part series.Nan Napier

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Gesuina Legaspy

Gesuina Legaspy

 

The best part of being a buyer at Tres Mariposas is – well, the buying trips – particularly the trips to New York City. My most recent visit, just the week before last, was marked by 9-degree weather, vintage bags and of course, fashion.

We’re gearing up for spring in the Sun City, but the fashion industry is looking ahead to our autumnal wardrobe. However, some of the trends, designers and delicious items that I saw in New York already inform your 2015 wardrobe:

Stuart Weitzman's LoveFringe heel

Stuart Weitzman’s LoveFringe heel

• Go forward with fringe: Trends, by definition, fade away as quickly they’re introduced. Not fringe. Fringe is stronger than ever, with its versatile appeal on handbags, evening gowns, apparel and even shoes!

In the fall, we will be seeing fringed cashmere cardigans from Repeat and Central Park West, and fringe on supple leather handbags we ordered from a line called B-Low the Belt. Fringe forward and keep wearing it, because fringe is not going anywhere.

Fashions by Jonathan Simkai

Fashions by Jonathan Simkai

• Jonathan Simkhai: Jonathan Simkhai is a New York-based designer who was introduced to Tres Mariposas by our New York buyer, Lucie Jordan. She was right on by leading us to his showroom in 2014. We loved the collection and carry it in the store now, and it’s very exciting to see how this up-and-coming designer is now everywhere, seen on celebrities like Chanel Iman, Jennifer Lopez, Alessandra Ambrossio and Gigi Haddid.

Legions of Hollywood “It Girls” have been seen in Jonathan Simkhai, and I am proud to feature the collection at our store. The only thing better than the line itself is its price point – super affordable.

Jewelry by Goldish

• Jewelry trends, my favorite: I am a minimalist when it comes to fashion jewelry, but I can assure you that these trends will have me decked out! Edgy, eye-catching pieces like body chains, hand chains and ear cuffs will be everywhere this year.

Tres Mariposas owner Nan Napier and co-buyer Bobbie Baldridge discovered a new line called Goldish that makes necklaces that can also be worn as 14-karat gold hand chains, which are combination bracelets and rings.

This fresh and fun trend is a great way to play with fashion and an inexpensive way to try something different. The best part is that you can mix it all together; these pieces look even better when worn together to create a statement outfit.

Midi Dress by Elizabeth and James

Midi Dress by Elizabeth and James

• Midi-dresses/skirts: The longer the better! This look is called “The Midi,” referring to a hemline below the knee and above the ankle, a nod to the 1960s and ‘70s.

There are endless ways to wear this style. Pair midi dresses with tall boots or heels and midi skirts with anything from a basic t-shirt to a crop top. Midi styles can be pencil shaped, A-line or circular.

Vintage Celine Handbags

Vintage Celine Handbags

• Vintage handbags: Until now, it was impossible to purchase a Chanel, Celine or Louis Vuitton handbag in El Paso.

Three years ago at our Fashion’s Night Out event, we hosted a Vintage Chanel Trunk Show. We were surprised to find that our vintage friends carry not only vintage Chanel, but many other brands as well!

“Vintage?” you might ask. Doesn’t that mean they’ve been used? Not necessarily.

Vintage handbags aren’t always pre-worn; in some cases, the bags may have been an older style, gifted and never used, or worn once or twice and in impeccable condition.

Nan, Bobbie and I handpicked each bag while we were in New York, ensuring all classic styles are still available at regular price in the designer retail stores, and in pristine condition.

Each bag is certified and inspected, and less than the original price!

Stay tuned next week for more fashion news from New York!