The Factory Presents April Howard

Have you ever seen the bolts of fabric that are used to make the clothes that you love? Or gotten a chance to look through the black & white sketches that become your favorite pieces? Or sorted through the jars  of buttons that will be sewn onto your favorite coat? A dear friend has given me the unique opportunity to witness this initial stage of the clothes making process as he works with the talented Jennifer Evans of the The Evans Group.

But, what do you do when the clothes are made? You celebrate of course! And to celebrate The Factory and CODE Salon hosted a cocktail party to show off their new collection in collaboration with April Howard.

Debuting in 2010 during New York Fashion Week at the Lincoln Center, April Howard earned praise from national press including WWD, Seventeen, and The Bristol Observer.

“My organic shapes and details are representative of discarded items, melting plastic, and rubber found around us in these urban wastelands we find ourselves in,” Howard says of her aesthetic.

So what’s a girl who loves fashion to do when she receives an invitation like this one? She gets all dressed up, finds a taxi, and drags her extremely accommodating  boyfriend to SOMA for some eye candy.

Oh, and she takes LOTS of pictures.

{I mean… Gorgeous clothes, a chic salon, beautiful models and vino? I’m there!}

The clothes from April Howard’s collection of original pieces under The Factory label were phenomenal {seen above in sketches & photographs} and the young ladies modeling them were stunning. The Factory is on the ground floor and filled to the brim with sewing machines, dressmaking mannequins, and rack upon rack of clothing. While the second floor of the building is occupied by CODE Salon, a cool SOMA loft space that last night was filled with models, make up artists, hairdressers, photographers, patrons, and one hardworking DJ.

Overall it was quite an evening. As a fashion lover I can say that I was not disappointed by my first chance to get up close and personal with the photographing of a collection. A big thank you to The Factory and CODE Salon for including me last night!

{You can see my initial post about The Factory here if you’d like any additional background}

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Red Carpet Lovin’

Another week full of red carpet events to check out. Enjoy. Judge. 🙂 Movie openings, awards shows, gala dinners… All with a little something worth talking about.

Without further ado.

34th Annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C.

It's hard to pull off Marchesa, its hard to pull off pink, and it's really really hard to pull off floor-length pink. That being said, Emily Blunt looked phenomenal in this Marchesa gown though, such an amazing color on her.

P.S. Mrs. Krasinski stunned in another fabulous pink gown with her adorable husband on the red carpet here.

This dress is flattering, interesting and chic. Well done SJP, well done. P.S. I love your hair!

 
American Country Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada:
 

Shawna & Keifer Thompson - Her: LOVE the dress, it's unique and flattering, and styled really well. J'dore her jewelry! Him: I have no words. Do you think they saw each other before they got to the red carpet???

Ashley Monroe (far left) looked great, her floral cocktail dress, metallic pumps and big curls were absolutely perfect for a fun, country-flavored event. Wish there was a better picture of her clutch though!

Josh Turner - While this isn't exactly your everyday look, I can't imagine anything better for the ACAs. Boots? Check. Visible belt buckle? Check. Worn jeans? Check. Show-stopping smile? Um... Check!

 
New Year’s Eve Premiere in Hollywood, California:
 

Harry Shum Jr. is my favorite of the Glee kids on the red carpet so I'm always excited to see what he's wearing. I like this sweater vest & blazer combo, its dressy enough to show that he's put forth some effort, but the jeans keep it low-key.

Michelle Pfeiffer looked stunning in purple Dolce & Gabbana, I especially like the choices for her multicolored folderover clutch and suede pumps.

I feel like all we've been seeing from the Elie Saab Fall 2011 collection are the pale dressed & gowns so I was excited to see one of the darker hues deployed on the red carpet. Hilary looks great, really well put together and classy.

 
2012 Pirelli Calendar Gala Dinner in New York City:
 

Rinko Kikuchi, Malgosia Bela, Natasha Poly, Mario Sorrenti, Isabeli Fontana, Joan Smalls, Margareth Made & Julianne Moore

Margareth Made was quite beautiful in a strapless navy column with a thigh high slit.

The night's most stunning look was definitely Joan Smalls, who looked phenomenal in a draping white gown and gold jewelry.

 
Valentino Virtual Museum in New York City:
 

Of all the dresses worn to the Valentino event, this would have been the one I'd have picked. I love shift dresses, I love the fun, glitzy fabric and I've been mad for those Valentino pumps ALL season.

It's incredibly hard to pull off an all white look, but leave it to fashion badass China Chow to make a fun poof dress and white strappy sandals look tres chic.

 

Izabel Goulart looked beautiful in floor-length navy Valentino. I'm glad that she wore her hair up so that you can focus on the great details of this dress: the subtle polka dots, bow and the layers of multi-patterned fabric in the skirt.

I like the demure hemline of Claire Danes's dress when combined with the outstanding color and fun details.

 
P.S. I finally got around to creating a Pinterest account. Check it out!
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MCLV Answers Questions – Harper’s Bazaar Style

The October 2011 issue of Harper’s Bazaar contained a series of interviews under the heading Secrets of the World’s Most Stylish Women. These interviews give readers the answers to some great fashion and life questions as written by 20-something Emma Watson, 30-something Samantha Boardman, 40-something Claudia Schiffer, 50-something Lisa Eisner and 60-something Lynn Wyatt. And while I’m in no way claiming to be one of the world’s most stylish women, I did think that it would be fun to share my answers to these questions so that we could all get better acquainted.

Residence: San Francisco, California

Favorite Fashion Designers: Alice + Olivia, Milly, BCBG, Chanel & Diane Von Furstenburg

Item of clothing you would never throw out: My mom’s khaki Escada suit – which she bought when she was living in San Francisco – and my Givenchy purse.

What’s your own fashion trademark? Classic w/ a twist

Favorite Accessory: Vintage gold jewelry

Favorite Color: Green, but I have to admit that I wear mostly black

Favorite Scent: Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel

Let’s talk about your beauty routine. What’s your face wash? Origin’s Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash or Trader Joe’s Spa Gentle Facial Cleanser and I live to exfoliate and like the eco-friendly Yu-Be Foaming Skin Polish. (See MCLV’s Medicine Cabinet for more if you’re interested).

Make up? Laura Mercier Undercover Pot, Benefit Bad Gal mascara, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencils, Bare Escentuals Blush in Fruit Cocktail & Laura Mercier Eyebrow Pencil.

Where do you get your hair done? I get my hair cut at John Valasquez Salon in the Financial District and my evening & event updoes done at Joseph Cozza (formerly 77 Maiden Lane) near Union Square, both are in San Francisco.

Favorite Destination: Italy & Greece, though I’m dying to go to Turkey and Egypt

Favorite Discovery: Zara created an online ordering system this year! 🙂

Favorite Hotel: The Gaige House in Glen Ellen, near Sonoma. It has beautiful Zen suites on the river with giant pewter bathtubs that I could literally move into!

Favorite Luggage: Realistically – Longchamp, in my dreams – Goyard trunks

Most Memorable Party: My 27th birthday – my best friend & brother helped organize a group for bottomless mimosa brunch (my favorite meal!) in a wine cellar at a French restaurant in the city and then we had a mini dance party in the backyard of our apartment afterwards.

When you can’t think of something to give a friend, what do you give? Wine or flowers for a host or hostess and a little treasure from Tiffany’s for a girlfriend.

Ever lady has a vice, what’s yours? Vino, redheads & French fries

Necessary Extravagance: Good wine, nice sheets & unlimited text messages

Favorite Movies: Charade, Boondock Saints, Philadelphia Story and Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels

Favorite Artist: Titian

Favorite Cocktail: I’m not much for cocktails but I do like wine, champagne & whiskey neat

Handwritten thank you note or immediate email: HANDWRITTEN THANK YOU NOTE. Sorry for the caps. Pet peeve. Right Koober?

If you have personalized stationary, where do you get it from? Crane – They have beautiful styles, great colors and even use eco-friendly and recycled products upon request.

The true hallmark of modern emergence is: Minimalism

Now tell me the truth, what are your answers to these questions? Come on… You know you want to! 🙂

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Pre-Fall 2012 Collections: Part I

 

Pre-Fall collections hit retailers in May of the upcoming year and are intended to be worn as the warmer weather gives way to cooler days and chilly nights. For the most part only the larger houses create Pre-Fall collections and generally these are smaller collections than the Fall and Spring lines and presented with less fanfare.

Carolina Herrera’s Pre-Fall 2012 collection was tailored and smart, with colors ranging from lipstick red to shiny gold and consisted mostly of outerwear, day dresses and evening gowns.

The devil is in the details! This is an exquisite look, from the brick colored leather piping to the fur-covered sleeves to the tulle peeking out from the bottom of the coat. Love the pointy toed lace up pumps too!

 
Mr. Lagerfeld continued his around the world themes with a “Paris-Bombay” collection shown in Paris on Tuesday. Lots of black, white, fuchsia and gold, lots of tweed, lots of separates and lots of beads and pearls. The most interesting part? The ornamental beaded headdresses, dreadlocks, thick kohl liner and delicate nose piercings.
 

The first thing that caught my attention is the photo were the ropes of pearls decorating the waist, pockets and sleeves. Simultaneously extravagant and simplistic.

It's amazing to me how utterly "Chanel" this look is while being completely exotic and Far East at the same time. I can definitely see people wearing these gorgeous beaded sandals and sumptuous metallic leggings next year.

 
The DKNY Pre-Fall 2012 collection was bright, fun and 100% wearable. Crisp, fresh separates in white and black, colorblock sheaths, floral garden dresses and some stripes, crochet & lace for good measure. My favorite pairing was the a-line leather mini skirt with a sheer bow blouse and platform ankle strap sandals. (See Tom & Lorenzo’s photos & commentary here).
 

The separates were really standout and there was a great mix n' match sense with the styling.

So cute! Chic and classic, but fun and youthful.

 
Jason Wu was structured, ladylike and alllll about the accessories. From beautiful handbags in classic designs to cinched elbow length leather gloves to fur scarves, this collection was all about old-school glamour.
 

The separates were bold and bright. I especially liked the slim-fitting riding pants in mismatched colors.

This was my favorite look from Jason Wu, I love the ribbed sweater with contrasting collar worn with a printed A-line skirt. The gloves are the perfect finishing touch.

Fun, retro geometric prints appeared on separates, coats and dresses, all paired with shiny patent leather heels and nipped waists.

 
Oscar de la Renta’s Pre-Fall 2012 collection was all about the separates. Yes, there were the dresses and gowns Mr. de la Renta is known for, but there were also a lot of great skirts, blouses and coats in black & white, prints and brights. Lace, ruffles, plaid, geometric prints, polka dots, leather, fur, silk, knit… This collection had a little bit of everything. (See Tom & Lorenzo’s photos & commentary here).
 

Plaid, polka dots & lace - Oh My! Not a traditional combination, but one that works nonetheless. Somehow this manages to be chic and fun rather than overwhelmingly busy.

I absolutely adored this look! The fitted silhouette with capsleeves, the big buttons, the Swiss dot tights, the lace cap, the patent leather loafer pumps, the black & white polka dots. Absolutely adorable.

 
Interested in seeing more? Head over to FabSugar or Harper’s Bazaar for more pictures from these Pre-Fall shows.
 
 
Stay tuned for Part II of the collections later this week!
 
 
 
Pictures from Style.com.
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Looks of the Week

 
What better way to finish off a Monday than to enjoy some great pictures of some great outfits?
 

Suit up! Nothing screams fall like a 70's inspired suit - check out Justyna from Chameleonic's version w/ a vest & hoop earrings.

 

For some reason, when I think of animal prints I think of in-your-face prints the likes of which Roberto Cavalli would be lost without. I forget that there are more subtle and low-key ways to wear these prints.

 

All I have to say is that if you're FIFTY SIX YEARS OLD and you look better in a dress than the rail-thin model wearing it on the runway, you are doing something so so right. And statues should be erected in your honor. I'm just saying.

 

Zoe Saldana looked adorably retro at the Trevor Project event in Hollywood. I love the ankle strap heels with the bright, geometric mini, much more fun than a LBD.

 
 

I love the stripes in this skirt, they're almost Egyptian in their color scheme. Too bad it's so hard to pull off these high-waisted skirts, sigh, if only we could all be supermodels!

 

Zoe Saldana also stunned at the Children’s Defense Fund Awards in Giambattista Valli. The combination of a ladylike skirt and a fun, floaty white top is picture perfect.

 

Miss Kailey may be a food blogger, but there's no denying the girl knows how to throw together a cute outfit. I adore the cropped jacket with the gold buttons, tres chic!

 

Amber Heard stunned in white hot Alessandra Rich at the Trevor Live benefit. I especially love the lace details and the back of this dress!

 
Hope you had a good Monday! 
 
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