The Fashion File - Janie Bryant

An Evening with ‘Mad Men’ Costume Designer Janie Bryant.

IMG_2191When my former professor at Baylor University posted on Facebook that the costume designer for Mad Men would be coming to the school for a visit, I just knew I had to be there. Last Thursday night, one of my college friends and I hopped in the car after work for a road trip to our old stomping grounds – Waco, Texas – for what would be an enlightening and encouraging evening. Hearing from Janie Bryant, whose resume of work is amazing, was such a blessing. Her work on AMC’s ‘Mad Men’ and HBO’s ‘Deadwood’ (for which she won an Emmy) is truly inspiring.

Janie walked us through her early beginnings, from growing up in a small town in Tennessee, to her taking her tuition money for Georgia State from her dad and using it instead for art school to get a degree in fashion design. She touched on her fabulous 4 months in Paris after graduating, that is until her dad called her back to the states to get a “real job” at Macy’s so she could find a husband. She responded by moving to New York to follow her design dreams!

Janie Bryant at Baylor

my friend since Baylor – Ashley, Janie Bryant, & I.

Now I could easily write a book with all of the great information Janie shared (I was furiously typing notes in my Evernote app) but I’ll recap some highlights and favorite points:

  • The script is the first point of inspiration
  • Integrity for the character is most important

“People don’t always realize how hard it (film making) is, but it’s not without reward.”

  • Janie didn’t get a job in costume design in Los Angeles for 2 years after moving there to fully pursue her dreams and further her career
  • She considered leaving the industry right before her big break – doing contemporary films wasn’t giving her the design experience she craved; she felt like she was going to explode creatively

“The early years were so difficult but was such an investment in my career.”

  • Janie is a poodle fanatic!
  • HBO’s ‘Deadwood’ really launched Janie’s career – doing a period project allowed her to design and build costumes, satisfying her creative needs
  • Wise words she shares with her crew (usually 10-14 people) – “Don’t complain & don’t talk about each other.”
  • Met the ‘Mad Men’ creator Matthew Weiner in an elevator running late to a meeting they were both attending – they ended up talking for hours about aesthetic & inspiration – she was hired for the show 2 days later
  • Although the 1960s is accessible in terms of finding actual clothing from that period, she and her team build most of the garments for the principle cast
  • A short day on set is 12 hours (yikes!)
  • Janie loves to work on the floor; it’s her “spot of joy”

“I think mustard is such an ugly color…but I love it.”

  • Her keys to success were staying focused on the things she wanted and tried not to compare herself to others
  • On the ‘Mad Men’ impact on the culture: “Costume design can be so powerful when it inspires people to dress like the characters. Television is such a powerful visual tool because it can be shared not only once a week, but anytime, which is much different from when the show started in 2006.”
  • Janie’s collaborations: Banana Republic x Mad Men // Black Halo x Janie Bryant (coming to Neiman Marcus!) // 60s inspired shoe collection with Shoes of Prey // designing uniforms for the iconic Watergate Hotel

I really could go on and on with more details (there’s so much more!) but this comment will stick with me the most as I’m starting to take risks in my own life by starting my styling + consulting business and this blog.

“They can’t say no forever. It’s your own responsibility to have your own experience & create your own path.”

 

Thank you Janie Bryant for sharing your experiences and words of wisdom.

The Dough Bar cookies

MunaLuchi Bridal Tour Stop – Dallas.

The Dough Bar cookies

Last week, I got the privilege of working with Ebony Peoples Events and Design on a fabulous event for MunaLuchi Bride magazine. If you haven’t heard of MunaLuchi, it’s a bridal magazine that caters to brides “who crave culture and style”. They are touring various cities hosting fun-filled events with inspiring decor, special access to Coterie members (planners, photographers, etc. endorsed by MunaLuchi), cocktails, hors d’ oeuvres, and live entertainment. Guests received a swag bag with goodies from Tata Harper, cookies from The Dough Bar, and the spring/summer MunaLuchi magazine featuring blogger and ‘Blood, Sweat, & Heels’ star Demetria Lucas D’Oyley who tied the knot in October 2014.

MunaLuchi SpringSummer 2015

It was really a special treat that the Editor-in-Chief of MunaLuchi, Jacqueline Nwobu came to the event. She was a woman-in-demand as everyone wanted to get a moment with her. The whole night she was warm and open to each and every person.

Prepping for the event of course took weeks of coordination and planning with Ebony and all the vendors who so graciously donated their services. We started set-up for the day around 9am. Our 10am Starbucks run was much-needed. The venue was Sixty Five Hundred and our theme was Kate Spade inspired decor in black, white, and pink. We had four different styled table settings courtesy of Prashe, lounge furniture from DFW Lounge Rentals, and a greenery wall with vintage frames, a la Kim Kardashian’s floral wall from her wedding, that everyone loved!

Garden wall check in

In addition to decor, we had various vendors supporting the event. Some of my favorites were:
Wine Sponsor: Socologie Wine | Bridal Gowns: White Gown Showroom | Catering: Low Country Quisine | Photo Booth Fun: A&K Photo Booth

We rounded out the night with entertainment from an amazing Dallas band called Authentic Soundz and our go-to DJ – DJ Gumbo.

Prashe Styled Tables

My photos are just iPhone snaps but the official photographer for the night was Izehi – her work is so good! We had such a good time putting on and hosting the event! So many people showed up and had a great time.

Looking forward to hosting more #MunaTour events!

 

 

Sarah-Jessica-Parker-Michelle-Obama-Kerry-Washington-Glamour-Magazine-May-2015-Issue

Haute Covers :: Power Trio. Glamour May 2015.

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Sarah Jessica Parker. First Lady Michelle Obama. Kerry Washington.

How in the world did Glamour get three of the world’s most powerful women on ONE magazine cover?!

The amount of influence these three ladies have over women of all ages and backgrounds is unparalleled. SJP, MObama, and KW, OR Carrie Bradshaw, FLOTUS, and Olivia Pope, (still powerful either way you put it) originally met on President Obama’s Committee for the Arts & Humanities. Supporting our veterans and military families is the important cause that brings these women together.

While Michelle Obama and Kerry Washington wore Narcisco Rodriguez, Sarah Jessica Parker wore Oscar de la Renta (look no. 21 from the last he designed before his passing). I love the closeness of the three ladies in the shot – which was achieved by SJP and Kerry Washington standing on boxes to match the height of the 5′ 11″ First Lady.

Oscar De La Renta. Spring 2015.

Oscar De La Renta. Spring 2015.

Narcisco Rodriguez. Pre-Fall 2015.

Narcisco Rodriguez. Pre-Fall 2015.

Narcisco Rodriquez. Spring 2015.

Narcisco Rodriquez. Spring 2015.

Joining Forces is the name of this worthy initiative that provides support to military veterans and their families via employment resources, educational programs, as well as access to health and wellness assistance. Created in 2011 by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, this program seeks to equip our military families with expanded employment and education opportunities.

Many people in my family have served in the military, including my grandfather and one of my uncles, so I know first hand what it is like to be part of a military family. You have a special set of experiences that other military kids share but not many people outside of the service know what it’s like. Military families are often overlooked but a critical part of American society so I appreciate that the White House and others are using their voice to encourage our servicemen and women along with their families.

Watch behind-the-scenes footage from the shoot here & pickup your copy on April 14th for more!

Image by Rog Walker

Solange Gets Married…&& Slays.

Image by Rog Walker

Congratulations are in order for Solange Knowles & Alan Ferguson who tied the knot this weekend in New Orleans.

From the pictures, it looks like the event was a very dapper affair. All guests were instructed to wear white, which made for a stunning visual.

Always one to eschew tradition, Solange and her video-director husband arrived to the ceremony on painted white bikes decorated with flowers. That ride would have been tough in a wedding dress but the singer had no problem by rocking an off-white Stephane Rolland jumpsuit with plunging neckline.

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The couple looked just as stunning during the ceremony with the groom in a shades of white Lanvin tux and the bride in a custom design by her close friend Humberto Leon for Kenzo. Solange’s cape is just everything!

A perfect red lip and gold cuffs completed the ‘fit. (Curious to know what red lippie Solange was wearing!)

Vogue got the exclusive photos on the wedding and shared these words from Solange: “Everyone I worked with on the wedding are friends who I love,” said the bride via email earlier today. “Everything was a labor of love.”

Photographer Rog Walker captured the highlights of the day. From his portraits, it’s easy to see there was a lot of love to go around. The guests looked so chic in white and of course big sister Beyoncé and mom Tina Knowles were in attendance for the nuptials as well.

Image by Rog Walker

And that is how you slay at your wedding!

Source: Vogue & POPSUGAR

Lupita Nyong'o

Academy Awards 2014. Oscars Red Carpet Love.

Last night was the culmination of awards season. All eyes were tuned to the Oscars red carpet and the following show. Basically a marathon of fashion, suspense, and laughs. Ellen definitely brought the funny in an unconventional way. Of course I had my favorites on the red carpet….keep scrolling to find out who I loved.

Sandra Bullock in Alexander McQueen.

Sandra-Bullock-Oscars-2014

Sandy brought a classic elegance to the red carpet. This stunning midnight blue McQueen gown is beautifully draped. The sweetheart neckline is just right. The Lorraine Schwartz jewels are simple yet fun. I love how her hair is swept to the side. An overall good look for Sandra B.

Kate Hudson in Versace Atelier.

Kate-Hudson-Dress-Oscars-2014

Kate is slaying this red carpet y’all. And she was just a presenter last night! She upstaged most of these nominated actresses with this gorgeous retro reminiscent gown. Kate Hudson wears white on the red carpet like no other. (correctly, ladies. take note.) The plunging deep-v balanced with the strong shoulder open back cape detail?! What?! Killed. It.

Olivia Wilde in Valentino.

OliviaWilde.Valentino

Pregnant women take note. This is how you do a red carpet when rocking the baby bump. Olivia Wilde just looks so good in this Valentino 2014 Pre-Fall black & white number. The open back and white peek-a-boo detail set the black off so nicely. I love this mod look that is  so definitely modern. Hair and jewelry are nice compliments to the dress. Her eyes are set off by the retro chic cat-eye. She looks comfortable too so mom & baby win!

Lupita Nyong’o in Prada.

LupitaNyong'o.Prada

Lupita does it again! This time in a stunning Prada gown custom-made for her by Muccia Prada. Lupita described the dress as Nairobi blue as it reminds her of the blue skies of her homeland. How can you not love this color on her? She was definitely the princess of the night with her headband and flowing skirt. She danced with Pharrell, paid for a pizza in Clarins lip gloss, and won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in ’12 Years a Slave’. What an amazing night for her. Can’t wait to see what else is in store for Lupita!

Green Envy for Lupita Nyong’o::BAFTA Awards 2014

Okay, okay. I am officially on the Lupita Nyong’o bandwagon.

I’ll admit that she has looked stunning basically *every* time she has stepped onto a red carpet. I’m never one to get caught up in the hype so I’ve been waiting so sing Lupita’s praises (since ANYONE who is even remotely into fashion has been doing so).

But this green gorgeousness from the BAFTA’s on Sunday, February 16th made my jaw drop.

2014 BAFTAs - Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita kills the competition in this Christian Dior couture gown from the Fall 2013 collection.

The train. The flawless fit. The captivating color. #love

Not only is the dress amazing, but her makeup and accessories are perfect. The slim gold belt goes perfectly with the Ana Khouri cuffs that are more superhero chic than wonder woman-esque. She completed the look with a red lip and an emerald smoky eye that I am a huge fan of.

Lupita_Nyongo_1

As a rising fashion icon, Lupita Nyong’o continues to win and wow on the red carpet.
Now if only she could take home an award for her supporting role in ’12 Years a Slave’, that would be the icing on the cake!

 

Collab Alert :: Nike x Riccardo Tisci

nike-riccardo-tisci

Air Force 1s making a comeback? Givenchy designer/creative director and Kimye BFF Riccardo Tisci is doing his part to make sure that happens with his upcoming collaboration with Nike. The line will be called Nike RT (RT for Riccardo Tisci) with a launch date of March 1st. The initial launch will feature the kicks in a white colorway and a black version will follow on April 1st.

Riccardo Tisci x Nike Joan Smalls

Vogue spoke with Tisci about the collaboration for their February 2014 issue which is on stands now. A preview from the mag shows Joan Smalls (obsessed with her!) draped over Riccardo’s shoulders showcasing what we can expect from the collection. I love how creative the shot is and love the hair & makeup on Joan. Can we say beat?

“The shoe is universal yet somehow very personal,” said Tisci. “I travel all over the world, and I see people wearing the Air Force 1, and they wear it in so many different ways. And so I was thinking, what is the essence of the Air Force 1? And how do I take that essence and make my own statement? For me the Air Force 1 is not about gender, it’s not about a particular city, nor is it about a certain style. The community decides. It’s democratic. It’s love.”

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Luckily for AF1 aficionados, Vogue describes the collection as staying “true to the cool urban roots of the original”. I’m loving the revamp of this classic that was so hot in the early 2000’s.  Maybe we can get Nelly and Paul Wall to do a remix? Actually considering snapping up a pair of these high-fashion Air Force 1s. Hopefully the sneakerheads will be out in full force to support this collab.

PORTER. Net-a-Porter’s dive into the print world.

Online luxury giant Net-a-Porter is taking a step out of the digital world and into the publishing one. This Friday, the company will debut Porter on newsstands across the world, 60 countries in all, as the magazine is uniquely positioned as a global edit in English.

Porter magazine

The cover star is a glowing Gisele Bündchen, whose natural radiance shines. Styled by Alex White, the cover and editorial feature was shot by Inez & Vinoodh. Porter will be produced 6 times a year and live on newsstands for 8 weeks rather than the monthly features from most publications. Another difference is the price at $9.99 an issue or $48 for a yearly subscription. American Vogue is $5.99 in comparison.

The current magazine landscape is crowded one, yet experiencing decline as readers turn to the digital arena to get their fix. It makes you wonder why such a pioneer in luxury e-commerce would take this route. Natalie Massenet, founder and executive chairman told BoF, “We’ve talked about how the Net-a-Porter Group is actually not just a retail company, but it’s a media company. And if we’re a serious media company we couldn’t ignore one of the most important existing media, which is print. We said if we’re going to do a print magazine, let’s do a great print magazine… and then the wizardry of the Net-a-Porter Group comes behind the scenes in shopability, personal service, customer care, globalness.”

The inaugural issue will be about 65% editorial content and 35% advertising. Companies are excited about the global tilt that Porter will have. Advertisers – including top luxury brands like Chanel, Dior, Saint Laurent – have responded positively. “What we’ve done is talk to brands about a global buy — it’s a very good value print buy for what you are getting globally,” said publishing director Tess McLeod Smith. This vehicle will allow for a partnership with brands that have resisted selling on Net-a-Porter.com, and also allow access for those brands to the Net-a-Porter customer. Without overtly pushing product the glossy will push consumers to the e-commerce site, as well as to the e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores of advertised brands. The price of an ad in Porter will cost a brand $57,000 but will offer both a print and digital presence, in addition to links back to the brand’s own e-commerce websites.

So what do I think? I’m excited about the debut of Porter. I’ve always admired the way that Net-a-Porter does things in the luxury space. With their innovation, they have created a huge following of high spenders. This is another innovation for them, as they put their spin on the print publishing world. The big buzz right now is for companies is to make the shift to become omni-channel and this is the Net-a-Porter Group’s way of doing it. I love the cover and can’t wait to get a peek inside.

There have been a lot of great articles and interviews on Porter, check them out here: BoF, Wall Street Journal, Telegraph

Haute Covers :: Vogue China, Jan 2014.

natasha-poly-vogue-cover

Natasha Poly graces the cover of Vogue China for January 2014. The magazine just celebrated 100 issues with their December 2013 edition. Natasha Poly is just more proof that models have (what I like to call) “baby bounce back” as she just welcomed a baby girl earlier this fall. The emerald green frock paired with the bold gold bangles and simple makeup come together for a stunning cover. Patrick Demarchelier captured this Russian beauty & new mom. Violet Orchid may be the Pantone color of the year for 2014 but emerald isn’t handing over its 2013 crown just yet. Can’t wait to see more from the supermodel Natasha who is back in action!

2013 Primetime Emmy Awards Recap. Favorites.

The 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards took place this weekend, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris. In typical fashion, I didn’t watch the show (which didn’t get rave reviews anyway) but of course I tuned in to watch the red carpet. Overall I was pretty underwhelmed. There were a few standouts that I really enjoyed but most stars played it safe or missed the mark.

The red carpet looks I enjoyed:

Rose Byrne in Calvin Klein Collection.

Rose Byrne in Calvin Klein Collection.

This is what I’m talking about. Crop-top on the red carpet, done right. I love this two-piece look from Rose Byrne. The color is perfect, accessories simple, skirt length just right, and body on point. I love this look from head-to-toe. Understated, effortless, and still chic. She was easily my favorite of the night.

Kate Mara in J. Mendel.

kate-mara-2013-emmys

Kate Mara was an (edgy) vision in white. I love her in this J. Mendel dress right off the runway from the Spring 2014 collection. She is working that high slit and the hair and makeup are right on. The straight bob with the deep part and the nude smokey eye pull this all together.

Lena Headey in Alessandra Rich.

Lena Headey in Alessandra Rich.

I’m not super familiar with ‘Game of Thrones’ star Lena Headey but I really like her look for this event. Black often reads boring on the red carpet but I like this lace creation from London-based designer Alessandra Rich. This see-thru lace number is a risk, one that I think paid off. L.A.M.B. white pumps and a cool ring from Tina Thor complete the look.

Tina Fey in Narcisco Rodriguez.

Tina-Fey-Emmys

My first thought when I saw Tina Fey on the red carpet? “Tina Fey has found her sexy!”. Gone are the boring black tea-length dresses and stuffy up-do’s. Kudos to Tina and her stylist for stepping outside the box and showing those curves (that we should have seen awhile ago). This cobalt blue is perfection and the halter neckline is so great on her. The loose waves and Fred Leighton jewelry are great compliments to the dress.