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.

The Cyclical World of Fashion: Trends Come and Go

   Have you ever stood in your closet and held up something on a hanger and asked yourself that age-old question: “Is this still in?”

Most women want to wear what is in style, what’s “in,” and love going shopping to see what’s new. Yet we complain when trends change too fast. No wonder one of the burning questions of all time is “What do women want?”

Fashion silhouettes, prints, and colors constantly change. Something new is introduced; it is eventually worn by many women; and finally it is discarded for a new style.

Typically whatever has been out the longest is what will be in next. It might seem like holding onto your old stuff would be the solution. The catch is that when a silhouette, for instance, comes back, it may have distinctly new features.

Some elements actually do stay rather consistent, such as proportions. Wide, flowy, loose tops are generally accompanied by tight pants or a tight skirt, and more form fitting tops are generally worn with wider, looser pants or a full skirt. Wide and blousy from top to bottom isn’t very attractive; a woman can look like the Michelin man. And a too-skinny top with skinny bottoms can evoke Popeye’s girlfriend Olive Oyl.

As an example of the cyclical nature of fashion, let’s look at the evolution of pants over the last fifty years.

Bell-bottomed pants were bold and daring when they arrived on the scene in the late ‘60s. Radical hippies, who had no doubt just been thrown out of their establishment parents’ homes, dared to wear them.60's Wide Leg Polyester

Eventually they were mainstream – and those parents were wearing bell bottoms! So again it was time to moan and groan when a change came along.

The 1980s brought shoulder pads (wide on top) and narrower pants. Remember stirrup pants? After stirrup pants came designer jeans. Oh, gasp! Why would anyone pay those prices to look like a celebrity? The silhouette was still narrow. Oh, how I loved my Escada jeans.

Next a transition began to boot-cut pants. I remember the angst with each of these changes. “Only a tall, skinny model could look good in those!”

But, oh, how our tune had changed when boot cut was on its way out. Boot cut was considered the most flattering. How dare anyone think women might move to a different silhouette?

The painful transition began to skinnier pants. Skinny jeans were daring about seven years ago. Now? Mainstream. The skinnier pant trend led to the skinniest of all – leggings.Pants, Skinny

Guess what? We are on the cusp of another transition. You guessed it. What comes after skinny? Wide again. Last year and again this year, wide, print, palazzo-style pants have been popular. They are an alternative to the maxi-dress.Palazzo Pants

This year’s version of an “only for a tall skinny model” style are the banded-ankle pants, which are blousier and fuller and then tight at the ankle. But sure enough, they are becoming a bit more mainstream as our eyes get used to this version of wider pants. A trend that is creating a few gasps right now is the return of the midriff-baring tops – which go with wider pants.Pants, banded, Joie

The “bottom” line: In its own weird way, fashion is predictable. We know that change is a constant, so embrace the changes and enjoy!

Not for the gym: Two athletic-inspired trends

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In previous columns this spring, we’ve talked about how mesh fabrics and perforated materials – two athletic-influenced trends – are adding great new texture to spring fashions.

Today, let’s see how athletic styles are influencing two of this year’s new silhouettes. It’s wonderful when new silhouettes enter the fashion scene. Well, mostly wonderful. It’s fresh and interesting, but most of us hesitate a bit before taking a risk on something new. That’s the way it will likely be with these new looks that are part of the trend toward athletic influences on fashion.

Pants with banded hems

One of these great new trends: loose pants ending in knit bands at the bottom of the legs. This style may be inspired by those fleece gym pants of old, but this is far from workout wear. These new pants are in luxurious silks, drapey charmeuse, or soft linens.

It’s funny – it seems like new silhouettes always start in black, then move to other solid colors and then prints. Watch this trend evolve in that way. Fashion is always about change. That’s what we love about it. We’ve been in a tight skinny pants trend for a few years. So this trend, of course, is looser, more fluid and relaxed.

At Tres Mariposas, the new banded-bottom pants are selling quite well to El Paso fashionistas. One question often asked is, “What kind of shoes do I wear with these new pants?” Good news is that either high or low heels work. Strappy high shoes will make the look sexier, more feminine, and dressier. Just as workable are flat sandals for a casual look.

Fashion sweatshirts

Ah…the comfort of a sweatshirt translated to cutting edge fashion. Hip lines like Rag and Bone, Helmet Lang, and 10 Crosby are all about sweatshirts for the cool and casual. And they aren’t like your old hoodies you wear for jogging. These styles still have the athletic sweatshirt’s comfortable raglan sleeves and round neck, but the comparison stops there.

The sweatshirt gym staple has been restyled and reinvented in rich fabrics like cashmere, silk, and lace. Many of these stylish tops even have leather trim details. Wear them with dressy banded-bottom pants, of course. But also with skinny pants, sleek skirts, or your most flattering jeans.

Give these new athletic-inspired silhouettes a chance – you might just fall in love with the comfort and the fresh new styles!