Polishing the Past

2-16 Middle 1 2-16 Details 2-16 Full 1Banana Republic Sheath (similar here)  Vintage Velvet Rabbit Fur Box Coat (Ellen B. Harrison) Vintage Timex (Roberta Alexander, similar here)  Vintage Suede Box Handbag (Grace Niles)  Ivnaka Trump Suede Pumps

The versatility of clean-lines which seem to be larger than normal reflects a prominent message or perhaps a trend of a past era. What better way to highlight your outerwear ensemble than with an oversized persona. In the form of a broad cocoon a feminine look resides beneath, displaying a conformed silhouette accented by texture and details.

Recalling the era of the 1950’s which marked a contrast to the “New Look” developed by Christian Dior in 1947, an influential trend of the fifties conformed both femininity and sensuality. This look demanded an appearance which in return revolutionized the average woman with an oversized voice.  With the modernization of a current era, the embrace of an oversized silhouette brings shape to a minimal presence.

2-16 LS 1An iconic coat displaying such practicality and panache was known as a box coat. With a cut described as straight and wide as in the shape of a box, it generated an oversized persona. These coats typically hung open as many would wear it over the shoulder’s or shoulder robed, while a one button or eye hook closure presented a finished appearance. The box coat draped down to one’s mid hip, creating a light weight cover up for winter months or evening wear. They were often highlighted with trim made up of velvet or exotic fur. Often enough, I have recently found myself consumed by vintage rarity which rests upon my shoulders polishing each ensemble.

Bitter Root Vintage | Sapphire Lace

1-26 LS1 1-26 Full 1 1-26 LS2Blue Sapphire Lace Dress c/o Bitter Root Vintage  Greenlawn New York Vintage Velvet Party Hat  Garne Blue Rhinestone Earrings (similar here)  ‘Doris’ Clutch  Satin Velvet Bow Gloves (similar here) Kate Spade D Orsay Pumps 

Vintage dresses possess such an elegant alluring image inspiring one to relive such an era of sophistication with the utmost grace. Finding a practical vintage-inspired dress for an upcoming social event or dinner for two, may present itself as a task until now. Bitter Root Vintage, founded in 2011 curates to a complete collection of women’s vintage-inspired dresses and accessories. I find there extended collection of dresses from an array of designer labels Tatyana, Lindy Bop & Lady Vintage to be appealing.

The sapphire, a gemstone known as the “blue stone” presented by such royalty throughout the ages as it symbolizes sincerity and faithfulness. Bitter Root Vintage presents an exquisite 50’s inspired sapphire hourglass lace wiggle dress which combines this royal hue with a subtle touch of black faux fur trim in addition to a delicate overlay of black floral lace. Featuring a design displaying a glamorous v-shaped backline, which attracts a watchful eye. The wiggle dress or as many refer to as a pencil or pinup dress designed to flatter the wearer accentuating ones curves, gifting a flattering presence of Hollywood’s golden years. With a hem that is narrower than the hips which in return creates a ‘wiggle’ noticeable while walking.DetailsWith the unlacing of a blue, satin ribbon which held the beauty of lace and faux fur seamlessly collected. With delicate hands I begin to slowly remove the horizontal taupe Merci note card to view a sincere yet private message. Setting the conservative styled stationery to the side an uncontrollable smile arose from the corner of my ruby red lips, while unwrapping of what can only be described as exquisite beauty.  Quickly making the gesture of pressing such beauty against my presently clothed body I couldn’t resist the temptation to garnish myself with this 50’s inspired sapphire dress.

Nonchalantly I began to vary my poses as I stared steadily at my reflection in a framed brass-toned antique mirror which hangs in my walk in. A concealed zipper extends from the waist to the plush black faux fur which surrounded the entire neckline. Gravitating towards the touch of lace which delicately overlays the brocade inspired dress; I subconsciously placed my hands on my hips grasping the well-crafted design. From contemporary fabric choices that contain slight stretch, resembles an era which possesses such class and poise for todays women looking to garnish such a presence.1-26 LS3Include this 1950’s inspired sapphire lace dress to your private collection of daywear attire. With an appearance that can be seen as chic and glamourous that complements any special occasion, whether it’s for work or pleasure the style of the 1950s will never fade.
For those seeking a retro appearance that sizzles with an amplitude dosage of vintage-inspired flair, view their exclusive collection online at bitterrootvintage.com.

Vintage Rarity

Ponte Knit Dress – Banana Republic (similar here)  Mink Stole purchased at J. Colleen (similar here & here)  24kt Gold Leaf Earrings (similar here) Vintage Brooch & Gloves (similar here & here) Vintage Suede Structured Handbag (Grace Niles) Corso Como Patent Pumps

For a winter ensemble, wrapping oneself in a luxurious mink shawl or wrap complemented by subtle vintage accessories is a timeless choice. Having acquired an exquisite collection, this includes my grandmothers’ vintage mahogany mink coat, a blonde mink shrug and a number of fox fur stoles. Fur fashion is not a trend, it’s a timeless look dating back to the golden era where women dressed to the occasion. A fur coat or shawl can bring controversy regarding morals, finances and esthetic concerns. A fair share will find authentic vintage fur to be a bit expensive, doubtfully moral but yet very gorgeous. From a personal stand point of revisiting the past displaying these treasures, morally suppresses one from purchasing a new reproduction.In my search for vintage rarity, I’ve found myself blessed possessing an array of furs which convey a remembrance of a past once lived. Acquiring a sought after item in the East Bay town of Lafayette, J. Colleen, an adored boutique I find myself frequenting often. There I found a 1960s mink stole with satin lining, monogrammed with the initials J.C. an item which owner Julie Rubio, held dear. J. Colleen houses an array of private brand name labels such as Altana Danzhalova, Manjusha and, Urban Rocks Jewelry which includes a private upscale consignment collection.From an array of lengths, color tones and density, the level of warmth to construction patterns there is sure to be one that gravitates toward your personal asthenic, budget and desire. I find this glamorous mink stole drapes flawlessly over the shoulders, accentuating the closure with a rhinestone brooch. What better way to revive the glamour of an era gone by.

All that Jazz

1-12 Full 1-12 Detail 1-12 BackAnn Taylor Feather Hem Dress (similar here)  Diamond Accented Onyx Ring – Macy’s  Vintage Diamond Tennis Bracelet & Chandelier Earrings (similar here & here)  Jeweled Pumps by Carrano (sold at Piperlime, similar here) Vintage Kodak Browine Junior Camera sold here

The simplicity of the 1920’s has appeared in the historical theatrical film depiction of The Great Gatsby, which showcased glam and prevailing glitz. Women of the roaring era displayed such style of wealth out on the town, conversing over dinner a swanky club or taking in a night at the opera. Special occasions were best attended showcasing the extravagant attire accompanied by the shimmer of designer accessories.

Despite the winter months baring arms among legs became a modest persisted. From front rounded necklines that came rather high to the low cut backs which plunged low, some reaching the waist line. Women of this era garnished the finest jewels, beads, crystal headdresses and lavish shawls. In the year of 1925 the debut of fringe and feathers accented the standard form of attire for show girls. I find the movement of fringe and feathers adds a playful youth to the stereotype ‘Flapper Dress’, providing a Chicago chic sense of style.1-12 MiddleWith a decade consumed with all-night celebrations which included song, dancing and an abundance of liquor. The goal of creating simultaneous sophistication with a shimmer of sex appeal depended on the individual, with an outcome that can be lavished during an elegant dinner for two.  When choosing a comparable ensemble of the 1920s, modern day designers have produced garments that clone the luxurious velvet, silk, satin and chiffon fabrics. Gold and silver were prime eye catching choices with black being desired for evening wear, thanks to iconic designer Coco Chanel.  Live life as they had with opulence, sumptuousness, decadence, and all that jazz.

Oh, Holy Night | VRAI Magazine

Velvet Cocktail Dress – Vince Camuto    Vintage Corde Clutch (similar here)  Vintage Button Bracelet (similar here)  Gold Halette Pumps – Truth or Dare by Madonna

At the end of every year, many will take a moment to ponder over the occurrences that had transpired throughout the year. Even with the unpredictable occurrences, I find my blessings to be greater than I could have ever imagined. From a personal in-depth interview with couture designers Badgley Mischka, to being interviewed by Caitlin McCulloch Style Editor of Diablo Magazine for their annual “Best of the East Bay feature. With the re-branding of Rich in love Fashion I began to aim towards greatness, conveying an era that symbolizes the most glamorous decade of film and women’s fashion. In a decade after the war years, designers such as Christian Dior redefined the silhouette along with the appearance of a woman. I find this particular classic profile taking flight through the stories I write executed by the photographs composed.

How often during the year do we envision or become drawn to the glamour of a formal dinner, reception or holiday gathering? I find an attractive dress with subtle accents and overall feminine confidence to be striking. It may be every woman’s goal, to be the center of attention as others gaze in envy or flock in praise? One should enter a room creating appreciative smiles and not mocking grins. The distinction between bold and gaudy can sometimes be narrow; sensual can be perilously close to slutty; chic can be close to showy; exotic can become erotic. The question of how to present your self in a timeless air of grace while still maintaining a modern appearance can be applied by the merging of the two eras.The women of this timeless era of the forties and fifties were known for their ‘perfect’ sense of style from their dress material which displayed curved lines, embellished ruffles and elaborate details. For the modern woman a sense of timeless style such as this is certainly approachable for the holiday season. A gorgeous supple draped velvet cocktail dress sharing a rich decadent undertone takes center stage, merged with the holiday sparkle of vintage accents highlighted by glamorous side swept hair like Veronica Lake. An appearance as this gives you much needed glamour for the holidays with the addition of vivid red lips, gleaming black liquid eyeliner on a contrasting nude eye accompanied by flawless skin. Bring tradition, glamour and vintage flair home this holiday.VRAI_BW

Celebrating the Holiday Season with Vintage Flair | Lifestyles Magazine

Stemming from early childhood (approximately from the age of 8), I believed I was destined to do something extraordinary, as the universe has put me here to create words along with fashion that would inspire others. I had always yearned to do something at a creative level that would combine literature along with my developing attraction of an era gone by. I’ve taken a growing attraction to the publishing industry allowing it to flourish through each assignment I take part in. Visually sounded, I begin the process as if I were Kim Cattrall’s character Emmy, from the movie ‘Mannequin’, styling each garment solely. Reusing, repurposing and reinventing I seek methods that will transport a modern day sense of style to an era of timeless grace utilizing textures, fabrics and accessories.For my holiday debut in Lifestyle Magazine, I wanted to offer viewers modern day garments from an array for reachable retailers (The Limited, Dolce Vita and Banana Republic). With the merging of subtle vintage touches such as gold plated ornaments, fur textures, beaded jewels to historic architecture and antique heirlooms, the past defined such strength displaying elegance and grace.
With a vision of a sleek 1940s glamorous persona, highlighted by my Veronica Lake-inspired side-swept hairstyle which frame my European features, together they lay contrasted to the rustic landscape. When it came to Lifestyles Magazine the usage of natural light, composition and significance played a key role while being surrounded by the morning sun rise on-location. Even after more than a decade, uncertain of what the future could potentially have in store for me I held on to the belief that it would occur one day. With the grand opportunity to Model and Write as a Style Editor for an award-winning San Joaquin Media Group specialty publication, San Joaquin Lifestyles, that day is now. With each issue delivering an effective message of local content to a vast demographic, from online to print which includes San Joaquin Lifestyles, San Joaquin Woman, Valley Home Finder, The Records Best of and Going Green. The San Joaquin Media Group, founded in 1895 as The Stockton Evening Record, has become a vital source of news to the surrounding areas of Stockton, Lodi & San Joaquin.I had sought after taking two generations of muses, which were my greatest influence of vintage flair bringing homage to their keen sense of style. With the sophistication of diamonds, to a mink coat containing such warmth, in combination of a historic landmark which defines such strength, the blessing of having this opportunity to entwine an era that is best described as timeless. “Appreciation is a wonderful thing,” Voltaire said. “It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”

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View this month’s San Joaquin Lifestyles fashion feature and celebrate the holidays with vintage flair.

New Look

New York & Company 7th Avenue Suit Collection (similar here & here)  Diamond Earrings  (similar here)  Vintage Velvet Party Hat (similar here) Vintage Suede Handbag – J. Colleen Boutique Carrano Jeweled Pumps (sold at Piperlime)

With December upon us, it seems to be a bit of a misnomer to conceal ourselves with the hue known as winter white. Quite the contrary, fashionably speaking, as within the history of fashion there has been only two primary colors used frequently being Black & White. Worn separately or merged seamlessly together, this combination is often referred to as a classic. I’ve discovered over the years from merchandising a variety of techniques to convert such a profound ensemble of purity and timidities.  The antiquated guideline of wearing this classic combination as one is blending its elegance in a timeless-chic sense of balance.

As mentioned in previously written articles of mine, in particular, Christian Dior’s “New Look”, an image that took a vivid shift during the post-war fashion from the late 1940s. Gathering the same fundamentals that Dior displayed in 1947 as Carmel Snow, Editor-in-Chief of Harper Bazaar was quoted stating, “It’s such a new look!” after her initial viewing of Dior’s spring/summer collection. I’ve discovered that a woman’s silhouette is her story, strength, beauty, presenting such a feminine quality. With a claim of a wishful desire to bring back beauty through the usage of utilizing feminine clothing with soft rounded shapes which embrace the woman’s physique.Dior, along with myself, share the vision of bringing back a sense of timeless grace, inherited through the fabrics, textures, and accessories that I garnish creating a practical yet wearable ensemble.

Troves of Russia

Cape Sheath Dress – New York & Company (similar here)  Fur Hat – Topshop  Earrings & Brooch – Vintage (similar here) Gloves – Vintage  Heels – Corso Como

A Cape extends the classic silhouette of a structured sheath dress exerting such mystery. Over the years fashion in combination with costume history made use of capes and mantles of all sorts, having played a role during the Victorian age. From 1910, capes were defined by Paul Poiret as he transformed the origin of its shape becoming the first ethnic-inspired design which was entitled a Tanger.

During the height of the roaring twenties, well-renowned actresses were portrayed displaying elegant chiffon gowns accompanied by coordinating capes. While an array of designers experimented with fabrics that consisted of wool, figured cloth, wool Melton, satin, silk, pleated chiffon, velvet, velveteen, bourdon lace, lace, moiré, taffeta and mourning crepe. All of which being trimmed to perfection, a grand number were seen as avant-garde becoming iconic in the history of fashion. In later years, the cape was replaced by the fur stole only to return sporadically in a selected array of designer collections.  Adorned capes today can be alluring, leaving the body form to move generously with its feminine undertone.Portraying an alternative to the traditional dress coat or trench, the cape provides an undeniable sense of glam that manifests details and tailoring. Combing a striking happy medium between a structured sheath dress along with an equally length cape, an evening of striking drama awaits.

A Story through Illustration with The Daily Fashion Project

For more than a decade the expression “A picture is worth a thousand words” refers to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single image.  In years past a similar phrase, “One look is worth a thousand words”, appeared in the 1913 newspaper advertisement for the Piqua Auto Supply House of Piqua, Ohio.

For others like Matthew Miller, an illustrator from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta entwined his appreciation for men’s fashion within a blog format entitled, The Daily Fashion Project.  Inspired by the mixture of art and Menswear, Miller or better known as ‘Sunflowerman’ finds fashion as a way humans interact with the world and stories they share.  With the misplacement of society an individual can become lost in the shuffle of brand names, social media and life itself. Miller urges others to ask the question of whom these individuals are, what struggles and triumphs they have overcome or achieved along with their reasoning for what they wear.  With The Daily Fashion Project Miller gathers these enriched stories distributing them through a new perspective, with an illustration.

View my story through illustration here.

An Era Gone By | San Francisco, August 1950

Gabardine Wool  ‘Lady Scott’ Suit – Vintage Heirloom (Doris Alexander) Earrings – Vintage (similar here) Vintage Feather Brim Hat – Christine Original (similar here) Heels – Dolce Vita

While the women of the 1940’s to 1950’s were deprived of the latest fashion garments due to wartime regulation, which limited the amount of fabric that could be manufactured. A practical template consisting of emblematic wide-shoulders, a slim-waist and narrow-hips, a silhouette of the 1940’s had been established.

When asked of a specific year of an era gone by that enriched my personal style aesthetic I effortlessly state, “February 1947, with Christian Dior’s first collection entitled, New Look.”  As an adolescence, my memories of afternoons staring at a collection of silver plated frames that all possess memories of a past era of elegances and grace. A worn photograph taken in August of 1950 displays a moment in time which strides to resign as an enriched remembrance, Taylor Street. A street in San Francisco that my grandparent’s strolled in such happiness after they exchanged vows gives the traditional wedding attire a variation.  A tailored wool gabardine suit accented with cloth buttons, takes advantage of a current color of the era. In much respect of the era, to behold a garment enriched in such a matter is relatively a gift.Perhaps the most foreseen question lies with my grandmother’s choice to choose blue rather than the traditional color palette of white. Conversing with my mother over a cup of tea, I discovered my grandmother desired to wear the same color which my grandfather had chosen. She also explained due to financial difficulties, neither one could afford to purchase an elaborate dress for such an occasion. My grandmother was known as a simple woman who provided for those who were in need, giving rather than receiving. She solely distilled such an era of grace and humbleness to my life from her physical affection, to her bestowed collection of costume jewelry.

In loving memory of Robert & Doris Alexander


Diablo Magazine | Best of the East Bay

Dress – Banana Republic (here)
Hat – Vintage Heirloom (Justina Andrade ‘Grapes’)
Earrings – Kate Spade (here)

Every month since 1979, the highly recognized staff of Diablo Magazine produces context that provides their San Francisco, East Bay  (Central Contra Costa, Oakland and Berkeley Hills and throughout the Tri-Valley area) demographic a personal insight on topics that range from travel, culture, style, entertainment and food.

The latest issue of their Pleasanton/Livermore City Book Series, as well as their “Best in the East Bay” annual issue, I’ve had the pleasure to sit down with Caitlin McCulloch, Style Editor where we discussed my involvement with the Simon Style Setter program, my aesthetic featuring a vintage inspired style of the 1950’s and appreciating what our local East Bay market has to offer.

Having achieved this timeless opportunity to have been involved with an award-winning publication can only be seen as a tremendous blessing. View the entire interview here.


Bridal Couture in Badgley Mischka

With the temperatures reaching the upper seventies, guests begin to arrive as acclaimed bridal dress designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka set foot on the red carpet of Walnut Creek’s Cypress Street for the La Soie Bridal flagship store opening. The areas newest bridal salon has a distinct presence; with large open windows which illuminate the crisp interior of the newly-designed salon resting within the heart of downtown. With an event that included partnerships with Stephanie Belleci Manna of Belleci Cosmetics, Diablo Magazine, Michael Anthony hair design, Jenny Scheider owner of Apres Soleil as well as Claremont Hotel, Spa and Club.

Since 2005, La Soie Bridal has continued a positive growth, expanding from their Torrance location to five additional salons throughout California. A company founded by sisters, Cindy Sheu and Susan Po, which have made headlines with their impeccable quality of gowns and exclusive customer service. “We are excited to be expanding into Walnut Creek,” says Po.  Setting standards for luxurious gowns utilizing the French word La Soie which translated means “silk” has proven to provide brides with an exceptional customary persona.  At La Soie Bridal, we want every bride to feel welcome and enjoy their shopping experience. Our Goal is to offer the most beautiful wedding dresses so the bride can have the wedding of her dreams.” Po states.The afternoon’s Bridal grand opening highlighted by an exclusive guest appearance featuring designers Badgley and Mischka.  This newest location brings the community along with perspective brides a glimpse into the vast world of bridal. With a prominent career within the fashion industry since 1988, Badgley and Mischka have defined their keen eye of sophisticated style catering to a demographic of the modern couture clientele.

During a personal one-on-one interview arranged by Caitlin McCulloch, Style Editor of Diablo Magazine, I was given the opportunity to learn more on their mark within the fashion industry. “Our style harks back to the glamorous Hollywood of the forties,” says Mischka. Individually captivated of an era gone by, I naturally continued the interview by setting the red carpet aside enquiring on their signature style.With designs that are constructed from the finest fabrics along with superior craftsmanship, there has been an element of interest since their initial introduction during their senior studies at Parson School of design in New York. “Having the same taste level,” Mischka states as he continues, “we decided to combine our talents rather than compete with one another.” With their debut collection that has been described as a simple, streamlined and thoroughly elegant as they remain to stay true to a design philosophy of integrity.

The expression on both James and Marks faces told a story of determination and importance of their history together as designers, along with their unique synergy for one another. Closing the interview on a sentimental note I asked, “Did you ever think you might be where you are today?” After a moment of silence Badgley humbly answered by stating, “We were certainly working very hard towards the goal, but no, you never take it for granted. The industry is like this,” Badgley extends his arms to represent space as he continues. “I think you’re constantly feeling like your climbing up hill, and then you realize that things are going real well and then you have the next obstacle”.*Much gratitude goes to Theresa Falduti, Store Manager of La Soie Walnut Creek and Karla Rivera, Regional Manager for their hospitality during their flagship store opening.

For more photographs from inside this exclusive bridal event please visit Amanda and Adam Photography here.