Making music and fashion: Laura Tate Goldman

BlogLaura Tate Goldman is a remarkable woman full of positive energy and charisma, both musical and acting talent, and commitment to humanitarian and educational causes in El Paso.

Oh, and this former Junior League president and co-chair of the 2014 UTEP Centennial Commission also has a great sense of style and always looks amazing!

Laura Tate just released her newest album, “I Must Be Dreaming,” a collection of jazz, blues, country and rock ‘n’ roll. When I saw her recently, she mentioned that she is overwhelmed by the attention and airplay her album is getting worldwide.

Born in Dallas, Laura started singing and acting at the age of 9. After studying music and theater at the University of North Texas, she traveled the country with a number of theatrical companies before settling in Los Angeles to sing and act in stage productions as well as on television. She also began a career in film production, eventually producing an award-winning documentary.

Life takes interesting twists and turns. She is now very happily married to attorney Merton Goldman, but she had moved to El Paso from Nashville with a previous husband. She shared with me that in that marriage, she became a victim of domestic violence.

“I never believed it could possibly happen to me,” she said. “But I learned that domestic violence knows no social or economic boundaries.”

As anyone familiar with this problem knows, getting free takes an enormous amount of courage and work. This is one courageous woman. Laura is open about her experience so she can help other women. It makes you think: Here’s a smart, beautiful, accomplished woman with a great sense of humor, and yet this happened to her.

As she got through this tumultuous period, she asked herself: “What can I do to feel better about me?” She decided to finish her college education and enrolled at UTEP, completing both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She planned to go back to Los Angeles – but then she got sidetracked, in a good way: she met Merton, a native El Pasoan.

She recalls that she had “gone mute” during this difficult time. “Then I started singing again,” she says. “Merton gave me back my voice and self-esteem.”

As I write this column I am listening to the new album, her third in about three years. Honestly, I am not concentrating very well on writing at the moment, because I am enjoying the music so much. The album, featuring the original songs of her friend Mel Harker, is a fantastic collection. I think my personal favorite is “No Place to Hide.”

As music reviewer Bill Wilson says, “This is the perfect album to put in the player, open a bottle of your favorite wine and snuggle with that favorite loved one.” A review on The Jazz Chill Blogspot says, “There is a spark in Laura’s violet blue eyes that seems to say, ‘I’m living my life on my own terms….with love and laughter and passion.”

This new album has generated so much interest that Laura is booked to perform at The Mint in Hollywood, Bogies in West Lake Village and Herb Alpert’s Vibrato Grill Jazz Club, also in LA.

Where do fashion and style fit into the makeup of this amazing woman? The answer is family heritage. Laura’s grandmother was the very first buyer at Neiman Marcus. Laura says her mother, who is 93 and lives in Dallas, still dresses to the nines every single day. Laura remembers that her mother made sure that her daughters never left the house without their lipstick and high heels. Because of that, she says she has always been conscious of wanting to look nice and keep up with trends.

Laura Tate

A few of Laura Tate’s fashion passions:

• Black. “Black works no matter where you are or what you are doing. You can dress it up or down.”

• Funky shoes

• Wearing multiple interesting bracelets

• Leggings and fun tops

• Pearls

To watch Laura’s music videos or download tracks from her three albums, visit www.lauratategoldman.com. You can also order “I Must Be Dreaming” and “Songs from My Suitcase” CDs online at www.cdbaby.com.

Fun at Market: Good times in NYC and Dallas

DallasNYC

I’ve been on the go lately and have had an unusually fun time seeing what’s new and exciting at market.

Two weeks ago I was in New York, combining pleasure with work. My husband Sammy and I went a couple of days early for a Broadway play, great dining, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and lunch with some El Pasoans transplanted to New York. Nothing beats experiencing all the best of New York.

Then last week, I was in Dallas for a couple of days. I don’t go to every market with our buyers, but I am especially drawn to Dallas because of the information we gather as members of the “prestigious Retail Advisory Board, selected by Dallas Market Center management and exhibitors to provide valuable feedback on the industry and how markets can better serve retailers.”

While some claim this is a “prestigious board,” the real reason for attendance is to reconnect and laugh with longtime industry friends, have a great meal with wine and see what tips we can gather from our retail peers about hot sellers and innovative practices.

Patty and Bobbie

Among those friends from around the Southwest is Patty Hoffpauir, owner of The Garden Room in Austin, who thought it was cute to give me bunny ears in a photo with the dinner’s special guest, Rawlins Gilliland! By the way, when you are in Austin, do stop by The Garden Room, which is a wonderful women’s boutique.

This board meeting didn’t fail to entertain. The Market Center had invited Gilliland to share his insights on this year’s holiday gift items. Gilliland scours the market so he can share his finds with retailers on the wonderful private tours he leads through the various vendors.Nan, Rawlins and devilish Patty

Gilliland is an interesting guy. He started his retail career with Neiman Marcus where he was named top salesperson and eventually earned the title of National Director of Sales and Product. He helped create and direct Neiman’s amazing personal shopping program. Since 1999, he has been a consultant to the wholesale and retail industry, specializing in market buying and sourcing for specialty stores and small businesses.

Nan and Rawlins

Gilliland is also a natural entertainer, humorist, philosopher, poet and National Public Radio commentator.

“Rawlins Gilliland and his stories are one of a kind!” says Jim Gold, president of Neiman Marcus.

Needless to say, Tres Mariposas buyer Bobbie Baldridge and I had a thoroughly fun evening at our Retail Advisory Board meeting.

We did pick up plenty of suggestion of products from Gilliland and other retailers that might be great holiday gift items.

The part of buying trips that I rarely talk about is the products we don’t buy. Part of the joy of being a buyer is the thrill of the hunt. I will go check out just about any tip, even though some explorations lead to groan-worthy products. Even though they may be bestsellers for some, these are items you won’t find at Tres Mariposas this year:

• A birdhouse that looked like a miniature Airstream style RV complete with 1950s decor and porch

• Giant Christmas ornaments made with wishbones

• Lit Coolers, for campers who need their ice chests complete with interior lights

• Bling-A-Go-Go, t-shirts that can be customized

That last one sounded so bad that Bobbie refused to go with me to check it out. Of course, she was right and Bling-A-Go-Go wasn’t for Tres.

A few holiday gifts that you can look forward to seeing:

• Jeweled evening bags in Art Deco patterns

• Limited edition individually hand-crafted fashion jewelry with Egyptian themes.

• Italian Renaissance-style candles with domes

In future columns, I’ll be sharing with you some of our observations about the styles and trends we saw in both New York and Dallas. We’ll also be giving you some ideas that might inspire “the thrill of the hunt” in your own clothes shopping this fall!

Through the Hoops: Earrings Can Make Your Style

What woman does not have a whole variety of hoop earrings in her jewelry box? It’s safe to say that the earring that has always been in style will definitely be the hoop. From ancient times to today, an infinite variety of hoop earrings have been worn and hoops are still one of the most wearable pieces of jewelry.

Think about it: The different elements that a jewelry designer can play with in a hoop earring are endless. Among those variables are the size, the thickness, the metal or other material, the shape – circle, oval, tear-drop and so on – the accessories dangling from it and the huge variety of colors, sizes and shapes of the stones.

The most sought-after earring with stones is the diamond hoop, with one or two rows of diamonds sparkling on the outside of the hoop. Then you also have the trendy inside-out diamond hoop with diamonds on the outside on the front of the hoop, and on the inside of the back of the hoop.

No matter what your chose, hoop earrings can be worn for day or night, for fun or formal. They go with any outfit and any hairstyle. Earring size will vary, depending on your mood and the occasion. Large hoops – more than a couple of inches in diameter – can provide a bold, playful statement, for sure. Small hoops can be feminine and even dainty.

diana

Some celebrities are even known for their hoop earrings. Princess Diana was seen in hoop earrings in many photographs, and Jennifer Lopez is known for wearing big hoops. Who can forget Oprah Winfrey’s big diamond hoops? When customers walk into a jewelry store asking for a J-Lo hoop or the Oprah diamond hoop, salespeople immediately know what they’re talking about.oprah

jennifer

Hoops are everywhere, from Harry Winston catalogs to top-10 lists of mistake-proof items every woman should own. Today the hoop is evolving into something that can transform your jewelry wardrobe into endless possibilities with new charms and interchangeable options.

Designer Jude Frances has certainly played with the evolution of hoops, with updated oval shapes and ways to decorate hoops to showcase your individuality and creativity. The latest trend is to transform your hoops even further into an elegant evening look with the addition of a “frame” hanging from the hoop to accentuate the dangling charms.

Whether you are planning a play date at the zoo or going to a glamorous gala, the hoop will always be a great choice. Now’s the time to update your earring wardrobe and explore new options for this perennial favorite.

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Designer Trina Turk: Cool and on Trend

Having a long relationship with a design house can pay off with extra benefits, like the surprise we received recently from Trina Turk, that iconic lifestyle brand that’s perfect for our region.
The designer’s collections have been successful at Tres Mariposas for many years and we were thrilled when they sent us a delightful bonus addition to regular shipment: a fun package of popular pieces from their pre-fall collection.

We’re holding a special two-week Trina Turk trunk show where you can buy these limited bonus items on the spot. Women love the fresh Trina Turk look, which celebrates cool and casual “California modernism,” as Trina calls it.
Founded in 1995 by Trina and her husband, Jonathan Skow, a stylist who became an expert photographer, the company has a consistent appeal that hasn’t changed in 20 years. Trina Turk’s success involves the best of classic American design, yet staying on trend.

I thought about why Trina Turk has been successful at Tres Mariposas for a sustained period of time, and here are a few reasons:

Trina Turk’s fuchsia lace skirt

Trina Turk’s fuchsia lace skirt

• Color. Trina Turk’s line consistently includes bright colors. El Paso women always want color. When we’re shopping the fashion markets, finding enough color is always a challenge and Trina Turk offers great options.

Zigzag print dress

Zigzag print dress

• Prints. Women in El Paso and Juárez seem to want clothing that is interesting, energizing and visually engaging. That means that many women find solid color apparel a bit lackluster. Vibrant patterns are part of Trina’s DNA.

Fuchsia romper

Fuchsia romper

• Youthful styling that fits. It’s easy to find youthful-looking apparel. But youthful-looking outfits that look good on a normal body? That’s another story. Trina gets it right. Her fit is relaxed and works for a women of a wide age range.

Over the years, I’ve learned a bit about Trina. I find it interesting that Trina’s mom taught her how to sew when she was 11. Her mother was a creative seamstress who showed her how to modify a pattern and make it her own style.
“In the old days of home sewing, you basically bought a pattern and made the style as it was pictured,” Trina recalls on her website. “But my mother showed me how you could change the style. That lit a light bulb in my head.” The idea led Trina to launch her namesake brand in her apartment’s spare bedroom in 1995.

Amazingly, Trina has been successful for 20 years – but she didn’t start off with a business plan or manufacturing experience. Sometimes it seems that so many young women – including every other job applicant who comes into Tres – aspire to be successful fashion designers. Most have no idea what it really takes.

“A challenge I faced was naiveté: not really knowing what I was getting myself into,” Trina Turk says. “I never did a business plan and had I done one, I would have scared myself out of starting, because the idea of starting an apparel company from the ground up is a daunting proposition. But I was on a mission to do it so I thought ‘I’ll just do this!’”

To help the Trina Turk look come alive for this column, Eduardo Munoz, who does our social media photography, did his magic. Eduardo has a “day job” at BMW of El Paso, but he’s also a very talented photographer. With the rise of social media, many retailers post to Facebook, Instagram and so forth. This has created a new cottage industry and given a platform to many amazing photographic artists. I am really appreciative of Eduardo’s talent.

The model, Keri Smithers, is another talented young person. Keri works almost behind the scenes as an assistant in the Tres Mariposas fine jewelry department. She has also been a great model for our social media photography, another new role prompted by digital marketing. She is slender, sweet, unpretentious – and an natural fashion model. If we take a photo of five models in the same outfit, photographs of Keri will invariably look the best. She is not a traditional “glamour girl,” but it’s as if she has a secret magic. I’m also really appreciative of Keri and her talent.

Here are some of Eduardo’s pictures of Keri in typical Trina Turk styles, including “the romper,” basically a jumpsuit that’s short instead of full-length, and lace that’s young and hip. As you know, prints have their own fashion cycles, and zigzags are in. These prints can be bold and bright – it just takes the right attitude to wear this on-trend look!

Fashion Icon, Diane Keaton, and Me

South_Side_Crystal_Pier_Long_Exposure_Panorama-M

Two weeks ago, my husband Sammy and I were on our annual beach outing to San Diego, where many El Pasoans get their beach fix.We stayed at the landmark Crystal Pier Hotel in Pacific Beach because it allows neither my husband nor I to have to compromise on our beach criteria. Who woulda figured that a husband and wife might have different ideas about vacations?

I want to go to a deserted island and read a book a few feet from the water’s edge. I don’t want to just be near the beach. I want to be so close to the water that I can leave the windows open at night and fall asleep listening to the waves.

Sammy, on the other hand, wants to go to a hip, happening beach town with nightlife and great restaurants where he can join the crazies roller-blading on a boardwalk.

Fortunately, Crystal Pier has helped save this marriage. The hotel is a collection of renovated 1930s cottages built on a pier over the ocean. The views are amazing! When I’m in the cottage or on the deck I hear nothing but crashing ocean waves and see only the vast sea and skyline. But at the other end of the pier is all the energy of Pacific Beach. Paradise for both of us.

This year we encountered a delightful surprise as we checked in. The hotel office is at the base of the pier with an automatic gate to allow guests to drive onto the pier. If someone stops at the gate while they are checking in, other guests are blocked from driving onto the pier. I went to check in while Sammy waited in the car.

When I came out, someone’s big black Mercedes-Benz GL was blocking the way. I asked the young lady standing beside it if she knew whose vehicle it was so I could ask them to move. The young lady pointed to the office and said, “She’s in there, checking in. She’s an actress.”

So off I went to ask the person to move their vehicle. I stopped in my tracks. “Whoa! She really is an actress. Wait, what is her name?” I asked myself.

Diane Keaton

Diane Keaton

 

I went back to my husband waiting in the car and said, “What’s the ‘Annie Hall’ actress’s name?” “Diane Keaton,” he replied, and then said, “Well, did you ask her to move her car?” Of course not! I couldn’t bring myself to ask Diane Keaton to move her vehicle.

Not to worry – Sammy said he would go ask her. He later confessed he just figured I was confused and it wasn’t really Diane Keaton. But it was!

He did ask her to move her vehicle. And she was totally lovely. Keaton stayed in a neighboring cottage on the pier, and, of course, I had to get a photo.

Diane Keaton and Nan

Diane Keaton and Nan

I was so amazed that she was still true to her signature style. She was dressed in a fantastic navy pin dot menswear-inspired pantsuit with a crisp white cotton blouse, a handkerchief in the pocket, bolo-inspired necklace and oxford shoes.

The next day she wore all black including a haute couture winged skirt and a hat, which is part of her signature style. In person she is friendly, open, warm and energetic, just like you would think she’d be.

As you know, Diane Keaton’s first famous film role was playing Kay Adams-Corleone in “The Godfather” more than 40 years ago. She won an Academy Award for Best Actress in Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall” (1977), the role in which she established her iconic style. Her film credits go on and on, including co-starring with Woody Allen in other comedies and with Jack Nicholson in “Something’s Gotta Give” (2003). In addition to acting, she is also a photographer, real estate developer, author and occasional singer.

Morgan Freeman and Diane Keeton, in the film 5 Flights Up

Morgan Freeman and Diane Keeton, in the film 5 Flights Up

What can we learn from Diane Keaton about style? Her trademark is sporting menswear as womenswear. She is famous for tailored pantsuits, vests, hats, polka-dot ties, matching handkerchiefs, turtlenecks and quirky hats.

What made it work all these years is that Diane Keaton is always being true to herself. Like other style icons – think Jackie O, Audrey Hepburn – she embraces who she is with confidence and isn’t deterred. She changes what she wears, but not the personality and panache of the look. She isn’t afraid to take risks.

In a September 2013 People magazine article about her, Diane shared some of her Fashion Must-Haves. I like her list:

• Pockets: Pockets are my life! I do not carry a bag ever, because I hate it.

• Expert tailoring: I’m interested in tailoring because when you have a body like mine, without shoulders, you don’t really have much of a silhouette.

• Hints of color: Colors as accessories punch more. If it’s the whole show, count me out.

• A smile: As you get older, there are certain things you can show off – your attitude and how you feel – the smile. Because it reflects warmth. Warmth is really a plus when you’re older.

It was such a thrill to meet such a talented actress and important fashion influence – and to see what she was wearing each day! You never know who you might run into in California, right?

Fashion, Engery, Success: El Pasoan Keeli Jernigan

Keeli JerniganMany of you know El Pasoan Keeli Jernigan, president and CEO of global logistics company Trans-Expedite.

Keeli is remarkable, and I don’t use that word lightly. She is a bundle of positive energy! I see her as super intelligent and efficient, with a great get-it-done attitude.

I have noticed that the very most successful people I’ve ever met have two things in common: They respond with a “yes” to almost any idea or project and they are givers.

Keeli says yes first and figures out how later. She is a busy, busy person who finds creative ways to give to the community.

And by the way, this amazing woman is also beautiful and oh, so fashionable!

Left to Right: Brandi Brown, Mark and Keeli Jernigan

Left to Right: Brandi Brown, Mark and Keeli Jernigan

At Tres Mariposas we had a lot of fun with Keeli recently, thanks to an exciting challenge she gave us. Here’s the back story:

Experienced in the freight transportation industry, Keeli and her husband Mark founded Trans-Expedite in 2001. Trans-Expedite, now having grown to over $60 million in annual revenue, is a single-source logistics solution that helps companies of every description protect their assets, reduce operational costs and solve strategic supply-chain problems with customized services.

This includes warehousing, inventory management, domestic and international distribution, customs brokerage, white glove services and trade show services.

Under Jernigan’s leadership, Trans-Expedite became the first indirect air carrier in the El Paso market to meet congressionally mandated screening measures and qualify as a Certified Cargo Screening Facility.Local and national level leadership and involvement are Keeli’s style. Her company has been recognized by the Women Presidents’ Organization as one of the 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Women-Led Businesses in North America five times in the last eight years.

In 2013, she was recognized by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council as a “WBE Star.” So it is not surprising that she has been a strong force in Women’s Business Enterprise or that Trans-Expedite was a major sponsor of the council’s recent national conference and business fair in Austin.

Keeli at WBENC Gala

Keeli at WBENC Gala

As an integral part of this conference, Keeli knew she would frequently be on stage at the June 23-25 event. She introduced key speakers and took part in a variety of seminars, forums, evening events and a tribute dinner and awards ceremony.

Keeli wanted to look great while in the public eye. As she has done before, Keeli challenged us to the fun of helping her prepare nearly a week-long wardrobe.

This is a fashion retailer’s dream come true: a gorgeous woman who looks great in any and everything! Keeli needed to look professional, yet never boring. Oh, and one more thing to add to the wardrobe planning: Keeli would be wearing custom cowboy boots each day for the Texas-themed conference!

We made it a team effort to suggest amazing travel-friendly pieces for Keeli’s trip. Her style leans toward jewel tones, solid colors, femininity and body-conscious yet still professional looks, so we had a direction to go in.

Go-to designers are Herve Leger, famous for body sculpting dresses, and La Petite Robe, a Milan designer who uses a proprietary innovative, eco-friendly stretch fabric.

Left to Right: Ceci Mulvihill, Keeli Jernigan, Brandi Brown

Left to Right: Ceci Mulvihill, Keeli Jernigan, Brandi Brown

As you can see from the photos, Keeli looked amazing. El Pasoans Ceci Mulvihill and Brandi Brown of RMPersonnel also participated in the conference. Thanks to Brandi for serving as photographer. We are so proud of all of El Paso’s dedicated women leaders and are so glad to see their work recognized beyond our community

Kaftans Are Back for Summer

Kaftans, sometimes spelled caftans, those comfortable robe-like dresses often made of flowy soft fabrics, take many shapes and silhouettes, so it’s hard to generalize about them.However, it’s easy to say that this old style is reaching new heights on runways, at markets and in women’s hearts this season. Designers have reinvented this classic garment and it’s winning fans everywhere.

“I will never forget the first time I went to St. Tropez with my parents and the most glamorous women all wore caftans,” says stylist and designer Rachel Zoe on www.harpersbazaar.com.

Supposedly, designer Diana Vreeland once called the caftan “fashionable for the beautiful people,” but we don’t have to be jet-setters to enjoy the flattering, flowing lines.

“A caftan is always chic and effortless,” adds Zoe. “It’s a trend that began in the 1960s and has transcended time.”

This season we have had kaftans by a young Australian designer flying off our racks. Our contemporary buyer at Tres Mariposas, Gesuina Legaspy, wrote about the design house in a recent fashion posting on her Tres Gal blog. I’m happy to share it with you here, from

Gesuina:Gesuina Legaspy color headshot

“Every so often, I become so inspired and excited by a designer that I find myself wanting to tell their story, beyond a single photo or a line in a blog about multiple trends.

“I’ve mentioned Camilla here before, but the Australian-based line warrants its very own post, perpetually stealing the show with its vibrant hues, luxe fabrics and inventive style. They are inspired prints from all over the world, and come in a variety of bold colors and graphic patterns.

Designer Camilla Franks

Designer Camilla Franks

“Founded a decade ago by designer Camilla Frank, this luxury brand first caught my eye a couple of months ago, when I scooped up a few colorful kaftans for Tres Mariposas and we sold out within three days. I was infatuated with Camilla at first sight.

“The line is brimming with ‘forever’ pieces – precious silk and Swarovski crystals that can be worn through countless summer events, each garment unique and distinctive.

“I can see these pieces on women of every age, since the kaftans, maxis, kimonos and flowing blouses are flattering on all figures. You’d be in good company in Camilla, since everyone from Beyonce to Kate Hudson to Miranda Kerr are fans.

“My very favorite thing about the brand is that the Camilla dress can be worn half a dozen ways. That’s right – one dress is really six gorgeous styles: one shoulder, high, low, bra tuck, short and mini.

“I had so much fun experimenting with this dress in particular. I’ve learned that when you look good, you really do feel good.

“We’ve got a new batch of Camilla goodies at Tres, and I invite you to come by and try the line for yourself. Nothing says summer quite like Camilla.”

Flowy kaftans by Camilla can be worn in so many ways.

Flowy kaftans by Camilla can be worn in so many ways.

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!

Gift Buying For A Women On The Go

Packing, traveling, and being away from all the comforts of home really brings into sharp focus the need for items that are comfortable, practical, versatile or make travel smoother, more elegant, or less stressful.

At home we have all our “stuff.”  When get dressed, if an item doesn’t seem right, we just change it.  If an unexpected event comes up, we have a whole wardrobe to choose something appropriate.

Not so when traveling.  Most of us feel we’ve packed too much or packed too little, and get stressed when things don’t go as planned. 

Gifts that fit the needs of a traveler are especially appreciated given that just any old thing won’t do.

Gifts to transport her in mind or body:

1.Fly London Shoes.  At first blush they are a bit unattractive, maybe funky.  Then why do these shoes have a cult following with travelers?  They are so comfortable that one begins to love their quirkiness.   Portuguese owner Fortunato Frederico started with, “an idea for a lighter, less formal shoe, something casual, comfortable, soft, young and urban.” The company slogan is, “Fly, Don’t Walk.”   Great shoes are undoubtedly the number one priority for women on the go.

1. Fly London Shoes. At first blush they are a bit unattractive, maybe funky. Then why do these shoes have a cult following with travelers? They are so comfortable that one begins to love their quirkiness. Portuguese owner Fortunato Frederico started with, “an idea for a lighter, less formal shoe, something casual, comfortable, soft, young and urban.” The company slogan is, “Fly, Don’t Walk.” Great shoes are undoubtedly the number one priority for women on the go.

 

2. Cross-body Hammit handbag.  This entrepreneurial Los Angeles company produces bags that are a unique blend of a rock and roll vibe combined with a passion for practicality.  Sturdy soft leather is meant to stay with you until the bag is vintage. Bags are adjustable as shoulder bags to clutches to cross-body, a necessity for savvy security-conscious traveling women.  Various reinforced pockets and zippers hold all your “stuff.”  For some reason these bags just feel good, and the compartments are fun to play with.

2. Cross-body Hammit handbag. This entrepreneurial Los Angeles company produces bags that are a unique blend of a rock and roll vibe combined with a passion for practicality. Sturdy soft leather is meant to stay with you until the bag is vintage. Bags are adjustable as shoulder bags to clutches to cross-body, a necessity for savvy security-conscious traveling women. Various reinforced pockets and zippers hold all your “stuff.” For some reason these bags just feel good, and the compartments are fun to play with.

 

3.Fresh, colorful cosmetic bag.  Every woman needs new cosmetic bags that give her travel gear a refreshing lift.  Cosmetic bags get soiled and dowdy after a time.  A new bag in an uplifting or elegant color is a way to pamper the woman on the go.

3. Fresh, colorful cosmetic bag. Every woman needs new cosmetic bags that give her travel gear a refreshing lift. Cosmetic bags get soiled and dowdy after a time. A new bag in an uplifting or elegant color is a way to pamper the woman on the go.

 

Women love the luxury feel combined with practicality for cold-weather travel. Dragging around bulky coats and trying to keep them from getting dirty can be a real pain.  These coats are rainsilk on one side and lightest weight fur on the other.  It is easy to board a plane with the rainsilk side out and just fold up the lightweight coat and stow it above.   Depending on the occasions and weather that await at your destination – sightseeing, getting groceries for the grandkids or a special evening out – choose the dressy or casual side, the rain or shine side.

4. Women love the luxury feel combined with practicality for cold-weather travel. Dragging around bulky coats and trying to keep them from getting dirty can be a real pain. These coats are rainsilk on one side and lightest weight fur on the other. It is easy to board a plane with the rainsilk side out and just fold up the lightweight coat and stow it above. Depending on the occasions and weather that await at your destination – sightseeing, getting groceries for the grandkids or a special evening out – choose the dressy or casual side, the rain or shine side.

5.Luxurious airplane blanket/wrap. We all know that travel demands layering, ability to adjust to changing temperatures, and soft, comfortable airplane wraps.  Choose cashmere or a soft, soft wool.  Use it as a blanket to hide in during flight, then drape it over basic black pants and top for a casual elegant evening out.

5. Luxurious airplane blanket/wrap. We all know that travel demands layering, ability to adjust to changing temperatures, and soft, comfortable airplane wraps. Choose cashmere or a soft, soft wool. Use it as a blanket to hide in during flight, then drape it over basic black pants and top for a casual elegant evening out.

 

6.Jewelry Travel Organizer.  How do you take accessories and jewelry, which of course are necessary to add variety to the basic blacks that are rerun day after day?  With this fold open case, inspired by origami, and designed by a busy neat-freak mother of two.  Using it is magical.

6. Jewelry Travel Organizer. How do you take accessories and jewelry, which of course are necessary to add variety to the basic blacks that are rerun day after day? With this fold open case, inspired by origami, and designed by a busy neat-freak mother of two. Using it is magical.

 

7.Neoprene.  This futuristic spongey fabric is one of fashion’s big trends, and the ultimate travel fabric.  It bounces out of your suitcase in the exact same shape every time.  This is for the fashionista who travels.

7. Neoprene. This futuristic spongey fabric is one of fashion’s big trends, and the ultimate travel fabric. It bounces out of your suitcase in the exact same shape every time. This is for the fashionista who travels.

 

8.The Mighty Purse.  Have you ever been huddled near the power outlet at an airport recharging your phone?  Or asking strangers, like I do in New York showrooms, if I can borrow their power outlet?  No one wants to be powerless!  These small leather purses have hidden lightweight built-in batteries to recharge your phone on the go.  Saviors.

8. The Mighty Purse. Have you ever been huddled near the power outlet at an airport recharging your phone? Or asking strangers, like I do in New York showrooms, if I can borrow their power outlet? No one wants to be powerless! These small leather purses have hidden lightweight built-in batteries to recharge your phone on the go. Saviors.