Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fashion In Detroit – Student Show


Detroit’s future in

fashion design!

In it’s 2009 Inaugural year, Fashion In Detroit put the city on the fashion map by producing an exciting New York style runway event with top design talent.  The show’s dynamic executive committee (Joe Faris, Karen Buscemi, Leslie Pilling, Lians, K’Kio Hardin and Rino) basked in the glow of success and quickly started planning to make 2010 even better.  And it was. 

For the second year, I had the sincere privilege of coordinating the student show for Fashion In Detroit.  I’ve been working with faculty at Wayne State University, Eastern Michigan University, Michigan State University, Northwood University and International Academy of Design & Technology for the past several months to select the top design talent from their fashion programs to participate in the show.

Twelve students were selected and challenged to design what they do best.  We wanted students to show us their strength and what represented them as designers.  This approach brought an eclectic mix of style and was an impressive showing of the future of design talent in Michigan.  Because I’m so proud to have been affiliated with these talented individuals, I’d like to share a little bit about each of them and show off the designs from the show:

Wayne State University

x2_31cedfcWayne State University showcased four designers from their Fashion Design and Merchandising program.

Kim Wiechers designed the gorgeous dress at the opening of this post (left: Kim poses with her model, Kylie, fresh off the runway).  She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in fashion design.  As a child, she remembers always looking for ways to alter her brothers “hand-me-downs,” a passion that has grown with adulthood.  Her grandmother started her on the path to a fashion career by teaching her how to knit when she was a young girl. Unfortunately, her grandmother passed away last year after battling cancer.  In her honor, Kim recently named her brand “Bella Bridgette,” after her and hopes to one day have a very successful company.




Katie Rizak is 22-years-old and hails from Dearborn.  She is a senior at Wayne and has been sketching and sewing for over six years.  After graduation she plans to move to New York City to pursue a fashion design career.  She describes her design aesthetic as hard edge, sexy, dark and dramatic.








IMG_9048 Originally from Belarus - former Soviet Union Republic, Mila Pershyna’s relationship with fashion began when she started making paper dolls and dressing them at seven years old, making mini outfits for Barbie.  She enjoys creating garments that will fit the body flawlessly and express individuality.  Mila Pershyna - Wayne






Staying current on market and fashion trends has helped her to develop a strong eye for color, fabrics and silhouettes.  She enjoys a challenge, problem solving and learning about the product process.

 IMG_9034 Jamie Powell is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising. She has participated in the Fashion Design and Merchandising Organization as Public Relations Chair, producing a successful fashion show in 2009.  She also became a Gordy Foundation Scholar in 2010. Jamie Powell - Wayne







Not only has she appeared in numerous local fashion shows and chosen as a student designer for Fashion in Detroit 2009, but her Spring/Summer 2010 Collection “Ahoy Boys” was featured in Detroit Free Press (Metro Mix). Jamie’s future plans are to obtain an MBA degree and begin career in fashion design.

Michigan State University

We were thrilled to have Michigan State on board this year with designer, Jennifer Henry, from the Apparel & Textile Design program at the school.  

IMG_9037Jen Henry is a senior graduating in May.  This year she is serving as fundraising chair for MSU’s Student Apparel Design Association.  When she graduates, she is looking forward to moving to NYC or continuing her education by attending grad Jen_Henry_Headshotschool







for a Master’s in Design.  She loves designing evening dresses and innovative pieces that are eye-catching on the runway.


 Eastern Michigan University

IMG_9042Two designers from my alma mater, Eastern Michigan University, participated in the show.  Melody Murdock received her BS in Apparel, Textile and Merchandising and is a current graduate student at EMU.  She is a dressmaker by trade and a lover of all things textile. MMurdock photo









IMG_9038 Dayna Lewis-Jones is a senior at EMU, pursuing a Bachelors degree in Apparel, Textile and Merchandising and a minor in Marketing.  She is a member of student organizations including Fashion Forum and Fashionality of Dernier Cri.  Dayna is actively working toward a career in design.  Her line, antiWIFEY Clothing, was founded in 2008 to display confidence in women from the inside Dayna Lewis Jones





out.  It is a crochet line that offers unique dress, swim wear and accessories to fashion forward individuals.



 International Academy of Design & Technology

IMG_9028Three talented designers from IADT rocked the runway.

Indie rock music publicist by day and fashion designer by night, Janelle Rogers lives by the motto “green light go” (the name of her music pr company).  Incorporating a vintage flair and touch of whimsy, her clothing line, Envious Takeoff, often merges that rock and roll lifestyle





with her clients and favorite bands serving as inspiration for the pieces she creates.  Her ultimate dream: to see one of her dresses worn by actress and songstress, Zooey Deschanel.



IMG_9022 At 23-years-old, Denae Graves, is excited about life after college.  She is a fine arts student from IADT and loves designing pants – “You can hand paint them, make them fitted or loose and even add things like chains and studs.”  Her theme for Fashion In Detroit was urban chic/glam.Denae Graves - IADT

  IMG_9031Janelle Schneider was inspired to begin sewing and designing clothing by her mother and grandmother at an early age.  Her favorite genre to design is woman's sportswear.  She currently is starting her junior year at IADT Detroit and hopes to stay in the greater Detroit area after graduation.


Northwood University

IMG_9018Two students from Northwood University’s Fashion Marketing & Management program showed their outstanding work. 

Julie Mason comes all the way from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.  She is a senior at Northwood and will be graduating in the winter with a BBA.  She loves to travel, sketch, all kinds of music and of course costume design.  She was recently honored to serve as the Student Design chair for the 2010 Northwood Fashion Show where some of her designs were showcased. x2_31c892d Her dream career is to wwork with directors and music artists to collaborate on looks for film and stage.

Lauren Moore is a sophomore at Northwood IMG_9025and has participated in




various student programs such as the Northwood Style Show and Auto Show. Lauren also is a member of fashion group, DECA, and Alpha Chi Omega. After college, she plans to attend the Art Institute of Chicago to further her career in fashion design.



Each of the students documented in this post has a bright future in fashion design.  Those of us that love this industry know that the business isn’t easy to break into and it takes a lot of passion, hard work and dedication.  These women have what it takes and I’m excited to see what they accomplish!

Finally, I want to send a BIG thank you to FORMzine and photographer Winnie Jeng for allowing me to use these amazing runway photos for my blog.  Winnie captured each garment beautifully and gave me (and the student designers) memories to treasure forever.  Please do get acquainted with them:

FormZine: web, Facebook, Twitter

Winnie Jeng: web, Facebook, Twitter


Saturday, October 16, 2010

These Boots are Made for…..Hunting

lorelei shirtdress - tommy site

Hunting Boots…in the City!

My husband, Jay (the urban cowboy in the 10 gallon hat), just returned home from a trip to Wyoming hunting for Elk.  While he had an amazing time, the Elk remain elusive – the only trophy that came home is this big hat.

I’m not a real lover of the sport of hunting, but it has become beloved to my husband over the years.  His best friend, Ben, introduced him to it and it’s become a yearly rite of passage.  Seems fitting as we head into deer season that I should cover hunting style.  Right?

Perhaps I’d like hunting a little more if I could wear any of the boots on this tommy sitepage while doing it (insert wink here)?  SOME of them are practical (insert another wink).  Seriously though, Tommy Hilfiger has revived his brand with a great fall collection of boots.  Most notably, with his classic duck boot.  This sexy knee-high rendition features brown suede on top with a blue rubber base and is exactly on-trend.  It looks adorable with a casual khaki skirt or as Tommy Hilfiger site 2shown here with a cool pair of fall shorts and tights.

The short duck bootie is a little more practical, with the same cool vibe and rugged edge.  Both would be great for tailgating too.

This essential “Hunting Bootie” has enjoyed such overwhelming popularity that it is sold out in many places (Call 1-888-Tommy-4U to be added to the waiting list).

This sophisticated Pour le victoire - Revolveflannel bootie by Pour la Victoire is a little bit hunting, a little bit hiking.  The September issue of InStyle magazine featured a red and grey plaid flannel version that I couldn’t find anywhere.  The grey flannel is probably more practical and polished – a great substitute. 

Aldo always does a great job with trendy styling at a very friendly price-point.  Below are two of my favorite “hunting” styles.  Couldn’t resist the camouflage wedge bootie, which would surely throw any deer off your scent (or stop him in his tracks!).


Aldo - Zappos Also - Zappos

halima - tb site

I’m crazy about every boot from Tory Burch this season.  She perfected military and now I’m sweet on her hunting/hiking styles too.

The “Halima” suede bootie to the right would look so cute with season staples - a hunter orange coat and camouflage pants.   Hot stuff.  I mean…what hunter doesn’t enjoy a 4 1/2” stiletto?  

Okay, my husband would kick me off the field…but….

Tory Burch site  howard wedge trigg - tb site

A few of Tory’s other cuties – The Howard wedge hiking bootie (left) has a rugged yet polished attitude and can be worn with leggings or a feminine dress.  The Trigg Tie-Up Hiking boot  is mid-calf length and has a classic style with edge.  This one would look cozy with leggings and a parka. 

And now for the boot that is as elusive as the Elk….

ImageHandler.ashx  Reed Krakoffs $5,500 pair of boots

This stunning showpiece by designer, Reed Krakoff, doesn’t really seem to be available.  It’s not for sale on any of the normal shoe sites….or Reed’s itself.  After a little digging, I found out why.  I first came across this beauty in a recent issue of ELLE magazine.  It caught my eye immediately, so I went in for a closer look.  It’s not often you see “price upon request” next to items in magazines.  The shoe is made with alligator and has a $5,500 price tag.  Clearly this means I will be admiring these lovely boots from the comfort of this page.  They are a work of art.

This blog is dedicated to our beloved Ben…who would have really gotten a kick out of my attempt to make hunting stylish.  :o)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Rivalry


Fight! Fight! Rah, Team, Fight!
Victory for MSU!

Today is the big day – Michigan vs. Michigan State.  Although there are plenty of hotly contested rivalries in college football, this one is arguably one of the hottest and most anticipated in the country.  We Michiganders look forward to it all year and enjoy taunting our friends that cheer for the “other side,” all week leading up to the big game.  On this day, it’s ok for us to not be friends and to wish for each others downfall (better be only for this day!).

thumbCAQLH1O2 Today may be the biggest Spartan vs. Wolverine match-up of all time.  Both teams are 5-0 and each wants to remain undefeated coming out of this game.  As Bob Wojnowski reports in today's Detroit News, this time the game means everything to both programs.  The stakes are high and I for one can’t wait for those game time nerves to begin (for some, the nerves have been present all week – I’m not that nutty).

Although I’ve been a Spartan for life, I wasn’t one of the lucky ones to have thumbCATR331D attended and received a degree from the greatest school on earth (I mean, have you seen that beautiful campus!!?).  I went to the other Michigan school of green & white (Go Hurons….err Eagles), but I’m a proud honorary fan.

My dad was a huge Michigan State fan and passed the torch to my sister and me.  As a hockey photographer, he spent the most time with the Spartan Hockey team and we have years of amazing team photos to cherish. 

thumbCAY5LCB6 I must take the opportunity to shout out to my real Sparty friends – Amy Thompson Boyk, Julia Hutchinson, Cassy Johnson, Hope Brown, Andrew Schreck, Jeff Lambert, Kristie Hand, Beth Clark, Jacki Halas, Linda Aubuchon, Jen Hartke, Pam Serwa, Barb Tomasi, Mark Contreras, Bonnie Dockham, Geoff Dockham and Julie Patterson.

And of course to those honorary fans like me – Andy Hetzel, Jerome Espy, Neil DeVries, Jennie Maike, Meghan Dockham and Wendie DeLano.

thumbCAZ95P38So what will you wear to the big game?  Whether you’re headed to the Big  House in Ann Arbor, attending a party with friends or enjoying the game from the comfort of your couch – you must have your team gear on.  My sister gave me a cool vintage Michigan State hoodie for my birthday, so I’ll be wearing that with pride today.

Btw…how cute is this Sparty flower top??

As I reported a few weeks back on NFL gear, there are so many cute options thumbCA11MRBAin team apparel these days.  I’ve peppered some of my fave finds throughout this post (click on photos to find).  The dress at the top is probably the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!  My cute Sparty intern from this summer, Courtney Siekirk, should have this dress. 

I found most of this cool stuff at the Michigan State Spartans Shop, but another great place to find Spartan gear is Shop MSU.  My Sparty friend, Kris Willcut, runs that site.      

So who wants to join me in a little song?


On the banks of the Red Cedar
There's a school that's known to all 
Its specialty is winning
And those Spartans play good ball
Spartan Teams are never beaten
All through the game they'll fight
Fight for the only colors
Green and White

Go right through for MSU thumbCAGRP7JB
Watch the points keep growing
Spartan Teams are bound to win, 
they're fighting with a vim
Rah! Rah! Rah!
See their team is weakening
We're going to win this game!
Fight! Fight! Rah, Team, Fight!
Victory for MSU!


If you’re looking for Wolverine apparel, you're on your own.  Sorry!  Remember this is the day I wish for your downfall….just today though.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

These Boots are Made for.….Cozy Weather

DVF - Zappos

This weekends cool fall weather got me thinking about warm snuggly boots…

For years, I have been lacking a stylish fall, winter boot necessary for a Michigan girl.  Winters aren’t easy on footwear and I ruin 2-3 pairs of shoes a season as a result.  I always swear that the next year I will invest in a cute warm weather boot so this doesn’t happen again.  Well, this is the year.  I’ve done my research (trust me, this is farther than I’ve ever gotten before) and I think I’m ready.  Winter boots don't have to be, nor should they be ugly because they’re functional.

I’m pretty sure I NEED to have Diane Von Furstenberg’s chocolate brown Heidi boot (above).  It’s certainly an investment, but common, their convertible style makes them really two-in-one.  They can be worn thigh-high style or cuffed at the knee.  They’re also lined in shearling for irresistible luxury and warmth.   

DVF 3 - ZapposA stylish shorter version is DVF’s Famke.  Less warm weather function as they are warm weather style, these would look pretty fantastic with a pair of skinny jeans and a chunky sweater.  The light camel suede, shearling lined bootie is a knockout.  They also come in chocolate which is equally as yummy.  As a side note, these are from DVF’s fall collection which also includes fantastic snuggly accessories like hats, scarves, muffs and gloves…she has outdone herself with warm weather fashion this season.

Ugg - SaksUgg 2 - Saks

I’m also quite fond of the Ugg “Skylair” wedge boot.  Part suede, part wool knit, the lacing in the back is the little detail that I love.  Ugg has come a long way in offering stylish versions of their classic boot.  Ugg’s can be worn with just about anything (and usually are), translating into big business.  They have cornered the market on creating a versatile product that is stylish and practical AND keeps your feet warm. 

I also really like this wedge bootie style with shearling cuff and the Maxene tall wedge with exposed seams.  It’s almost hard to believe these are Ugg.  

Ugg 3 - Saks   ugg - saks 2 

Hunter - Zappos


My favorite rain boot maker, Hunter, has a great fall collection that includes “Gulmarg,” a stone colored suede lace-up wedge.  The wood-heel is a nice touch on this one. 

Other irresistible wedge boots I have my eye on this season are from Chloe and the “Arctic” at Asos.


Chloe - net a porterThere’s a reason that this shoe is at the top of every fashionista’s wish list.  At four-inches high, ChloĆ©'s brown suede lace-up wooden wedges are probably the most stylish boots in the land.  Every detail down to the knit trim, makes them arguably the most coveted boot on the market. 

Asos has perhaps a more economical version with the “Arctic” (below).  Both of them are perfect for the aviator trend this season.

Another favorite, DKNYC offers a great cozy fall bootie with the “Iliana (below right).”

Asos ArcticDKNYC - Zappos

Fall is my favorite time of year – of course because of the beautiful fall colors and cozy jacket weather, but also because of the incredible fashion.  Fall is every designers dream and the most anticipated time of year for the industry.  Accessories, like a great boot, are a huge part of that. 

There are endless styles of boots alone in the shoe category – all of which require a blog post of their own.  I’m thinking I’ll make this a series and post more later this week on the amazing boots available this season.