Hey Fashionistas! This behind the scenes making of a “sexy” ad is eye opening t say the least !
At the recent Festival Fete art festival in my town I came across the Molas booth and went crazy for their shoes! And that was even before finding out that they are fair trade artisan fabrics created by the indigenous Kuna people of Panama and Columbia. LOVE!
The Kuna are known for producing molas, a colorful textile art form made with the techniques of appliqué and reverse appliqué. Molas are collected as folk-art and can take two weeks to six months to create. The Molas fabric used to create the shoes for Molas4u.com are all one of a kind, fair-trade, handmade fabrics, and the shoes are assembled by the family members who run the business out of Norfolk,VA.
You can check out their website to see if they will have a booth selling shoes anywhere in your area, to see how the shoes are made, or to purchase online. I had to try on a few pairs to find the right sizing so recommend finding your size in person if you can first.
I will never forget the first time I laid eyes on my friend Maren. I was sitting in a classroom freshman year of High School. My curly hair was probably pulled back by a painted barrett on each side, with my bangs straightened and curled under. Most likely I was sporting some chinos and a Lacoste shirt, just trying to fit in.
The “new girl” who walked in the room had just moved East from California. She was as exotic to our East Coast high school as I imagined California to be. And she was spectacular. She had short red hair feathered to the side and was decked head to toe in purple, right up to her eye shadow! I eagerly told her that I was going to California soon to visit my aunt and asked her what it was like. I had never met anyone like Maren, and knowing her is to understand the phrase “she has je ne sais quoi” . Dressing with such style, often in patterns, bright colors, designs made by her mother, and jewelry by actual artists, made it hard to fit in at our New England high school. Maren never wanted to, or tried to change to fit in, and this was one of the things I loved about my new friend. She always remained confident and true to herself, and our peers liked her even more for that. She stood out as an individual. Being friends with Maren is similar to the way someone with a British accent is perceived to have a higher IQ. It makes you feel that much more cool and hip, just by association. Lord only knows why she took gawky little me under her wing, but she would meet me in the bathroom early before school and yank my unruly hair into tight French braids. We have been best friends ever since, and I continue to feel lucky to be graced by her friendship, and especially at this point in life, cherish the long shared history we have together. She has made me a better person, taught me so much along the way, and continues to influence my style to this day.
It is no surprise that by now she has spent over 25 years as a leader and style-maker in Boston’s fashion industry. Maren grew up to become a stylist, Run an agency for stylists, and now is at the helm of her own company, Anchor Artists. Maren founded Anchor Artists out of her dedication to the success of clients and artists, and to use her unique creative vision to see them thrive. Still willing all these years later to continue to help me with my own fashion challenges, I recently asked her advice on styling my gorgeous new ONE/FashionABLE Genet scarf.
This scarf, the Genet, is a collaborative effort between ONE, fashionABLE and the Alt Design Summit. Each Genet scarf is handmade, taking three days to make with the handiwork of three women. The Genet scarf design was created as a limited edition in honor of Mother’s Day, and is only available while supplies last through ONE.org or fashionABLE. Each scarf purchased helps to support improving the lives of women and children in Ethiopia.
Maren had immediately connected to the story behind fashionABLE and the Genet scarf. Her own mother, Joanne Rossman, had once been a single mother, like Genet, the woman for whom my scarf is named. Also, like Genet, she had supported her own children by designing, and creating scarves (along with some of the fabulous clothes Maren wore back in high school). Instead of just showing me how she would style it, as only Maren could, she generously assembled a professional team of stylists, a hair and make-up artist and top photographers to take on the challenge, ultimately telling the story of Genet in a beautiful, visual way. I visited the set on the day of the photo shoot to give you a peak behind the scenes!
Hornick/Rivlin were the photographers gracious enough to donate their day to beautifully capturing the stylists interpretations of how to wear the Genet scarf. The Hornick/Rivlin Studio is a collaboration of 2 photographers, Rick Hornick and Sandy Rivlin. They joined together in 1981, destined to make photographs which go far beyond commercial, toward a classic interpretation of picture taking enjoyed by the industries of home/interiors, lifestyle, portrait, apparel catalogue and still life. They work in concert technically and aesthetically, and were both compelled by the story behind the women who create the FashionABLE scarfs to help make the shoot a success.
Of course to polish any photo shoot you need the perfect hair & make-up artist , enter Anchor Artists Kathleen Schiffmann, a true professional with a big heart. Her talent is legendary and Kathleen is the artist of choice for many of Boston’s top photographers. She has travelled the world on commercial and fashion shoots applying her magic touch to the worlds top models, able to produce just that right look for any photo situation, yet she remains grounded and friendly in her attitude .
The Shoot location was at the home of Joanne Rossman, designer, one of the models, and Maren’s mom. Behind the scenes you can see her home studio where she creates her own line of goods to be sold at her store Joanne Rossman. Maren and her mom are both consummate foodies so of course they provided the talent and crew with an amazing food for sustenance. Rita Rose, Joanne’s Muse and often the subject of Joanne’s blog, acted like the diva she is lounging by the fire, while Maren’s pug Hugo looked on.
When I was in my early twenties I spent six months traveling through the African continent on a trip that would shape me in countless ways. The previous year and a half had been consumed working on a television series in Boston called “Against The Law”, which was Fox’s first foray into a dramatic T.V. series starring Michael O’Keefe. I had managed to save most of my earnings working 12 hour days during six day work weeks on the show, so when it was cancelled, instead of deciding to do something practical, like put it towards a car, I decided that I wanted to use that money to go to Africa. When I began to research my trip I realized that I could not pick just one region, such as the game parks of Kenya and Tanzania, or the Okavango delta, because it would be to miss out on so much else. I finally found a trip that satisfied my budget and my desire to get a good glimpse of the rich and varied landscapes, and cultures of the continent. It was an overland trip that would take me through Morocco and the Sahara desert, the plains filled with big game, into the Jungles to track Gorillas. We went to the Ngorongoro crater, the Okavango Delta, Zanzibar, the salt pans, and through countless villages along the way. The trip was run by a company out of London called Encounter Overland, and we drove through Africa in an old revamped Bedford army truck, shopped at local markets, cooked our meals over the fires we would build, and camped in tents along the way. All of my essentials fit into a 2×4 backpack as I set out on my adventure. I have been an Africaphile ever since, the people, the cultures, music,varying landscapes, art, patterns and fabrics, all touched my soul in a way that is difficult to articulate.
“When you see the skies of Africa, they are so huge and you almost look into the eye of God. I can’t explain it, there’s something that enters your soul.”- Nejma Beard in an interview by Alec Baldwin on wnyc radio
Since my trip, all things African have a special place in my heart and I also feel passionate about promoting social enterprise companies, so I was thrilled when I was invited by The Mission List to check out some of the products from Indego Africa. Indego Africa provides training, education, and access to a global online market to Rwandan women artisans who create beautiful jewelry, housewares, and accessories. It provides opportunities for women so they are able to provide the basic necessities for their families and acquire a skill that will lend to sustainable income.
My love of Africa is apparent in our home as well, in treasures that I brought back, and influences in our decorating style. The Indego Africa online catalog is full of the type of textured, colorful, and richly designed clothing, accessories and home goods that I love. Although I will most certainly go back for more (I’m looking at you batik top!) since we are in the process of decorating our home I selected an item from the housewares selection. I chose a striking black and white woven bowl, and because I love the fabrics so much, I added a set of gorgeous handmade cards each with a different patterned fabric sewn on to my order. I was surprised at how quickly my order arrived after it was placed. The bowl is amazing, and I will have a hard time actually parting with the note cards, so if you get one you know you are really special! I am so excited to share this site with friends, and to have found a great new source for meaningful gifts that give back! To find out more about Indego Africa, the programs they offer, the impact they are having, and that you can contribute to, you can visit their website, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and enjoy the eye candy on Pinterest.
*I received a $75.00 Redeemable Gift Code to shop on the Indego Africa site for the purpose of this review. As always all of the opinions expressed in this post are my own and not swayed by outside influences. Indego Africa truly rocks.
Last Night, was the second night of StyleWeek Northeast and the Red On The Runway StyleWeek fashion show challenge featured first responders, survivors, caregivers, and advocates of Heart Disease strutting down the runway to benefit The American Heart Association. Heart disease is the number 1 killer of both men and women in America, and the American Heart Association is working hard to raise awareness, and promote preventative healthy lifestyle changes to help curb that statistic. Survivors, first responders, caregivers and advocates working as models were paired with designers to walk the runway in one of a kind designs to help raise money and awareness, and to kick off Heart Month in February.
The show was set up as a design challenge and a panel of judges including John Smith the RISD museum director, Christina Robbio of Redken, Jenna Pelletier from the Providence journal, Ashley Erling of The Rhode Show, Jayne Avery from Massachusetts College of Art, Jim Hannon from the School of Fashion Design in Boston, Rachel Russell of Lola Boutique, and stylist Jill Marinelli selected the winning design by Kara Wickman.
It was great fun to see some of my husbands’ friends and colleagues strutting their stuff on the runway like Pediatric Cardiologist Sara Ford and Cardiologist Michael Gilson. Other models included Jill Andy, and Nurse Lisa Connelly. A few friends from our town who took to the catwalk were first responder Fire Fighter Mike Mernick and Tara Wood a heart attack survivor. Tara’s story highlights the need to break down stereotypes about who is at risk of heart disease. She was 44, slim, low cholesterol and blood pressure with healthy fitness, and eating habits, with no family history, yet it happened to her. Martin Ortiz walked the walk, he is not only a survivor, but also the father of StyleWeek Northeast founder Rosanna Ortiz Sinel. Also modeling were Paul Brooks, survivor, caregiver and AHA board member, and Mary Velardo who lost her husband to a heart attack in 2009 (pictured above in the winning dress). Model Louise Dinsmore lost her three year old daughter to a congenital heart defect , and went on to found the Gabrielle Dinsmore Heart & HopeFund , and Gabrielle’s Heart camp to provide a fun, safe summer camp experience to children with heart disease, and honor Gabrielle’s memory.
The StyleWeek Northeast Red on the Runway show was a great girls night out. We had fun shopping at the accessory showcase, ogling fun designs like the Haute Tags sold by fellow blogger Becky DiStefano, and fabulous handbags by designer Kent Stetson, taking in the fashion show, and socializing during the cocktail hour. StyleWeek Northeast runs through Saturday at the Biltmore in Providence so, check out the schedule, because there are five more fabulous, fashionable fun-filled nights ahead!