International Fashion Designer Brandon Maxwell Gives the Keynote Address at the Fashion Show & Luncheon Benefiting the Women’s Symphony League of Austin

Written by Michelle Washington, Fashion Editor for InFluential Magazine and Teen InFluential

There is no such thing as an ordinary Fashion Show & Luncheon when you put the collaborative efforts of the Women’s Symphony League of Austin (WSL) and Julian Gold together; all for a great cause. Fundraising and education are the heart and spirit of WSL. For sixty-three years, the WSL has dedicated its energy, talents, and volunteerism by providing service and financial support to the Austin Symphony Orchestra and its education programs. Julian Gold (celebrating seventy years of style) has maintained its reputation as “the one store with the best of everything”, featuring an extensive selection of today’s top fashions and designers from around the world. Julian Gold is a store of superior selections from head to toe.

This year, the WSL Fashion Show & Luncheon featured a professionally produced runway show from Webber Productions and Julian Gold. The runway was filled with elegant music and a breathtaking colorful array of luxury designer clothing; showing different occasions of casual, evening, and formal.

The guest were also treated to a delightful experience as Keynote Speaker Brandon Maxwell (Celebrity Stylist/Designer) addressed an audience of five-hundred fashion enthusiast about his life and work in the fashion industry. Brandon is a native Texan and a graduate of St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. Brandon has dressed numerous high profile women such as First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama. Also, Brandon has acted as the fashion director to Lady Gaga since 2012. Brandon founded his ready-to-wear label in 2015 in New York City. His growing success has lead him to three completed fashion seasons and almost fifty stores in the United States carrying his luxury label.

Brandon greeted the crowd with a charming since of humor and great pride in his Texas roots:

“Austin is my favorite city in the world. I lived in Austin at a time when there wasn’t really a lot of opportunity for me when I wanted to make dresses and take photos. It means a lot for me to be here today, because I always wanted to live in Austin and stay in Austin and have a career here. It’s really nice to be back in Texas, because I am very Texan through and through. I base a lot of my work off of my life in Texas. In my whole office, I have Texas flags. Texas has influenced a lot of my life even though I operate in a very non-Texas world. I am where I am today because of Texas women.”

Fashion is nothing without passion; from shaping a young fashion hopeful to be a success in the fashion industry to using fashion to aid a cause. This amazing collaboration of the WSL and Julian Gold has made us all proud to be a Texan.

Please visit these sites:
www.wslaustin.com
www.juliangold.com
www.brandonmaxwellstudio.com

 

 

Michelle Washington

 

 

Michelle Washington: Michelle is “the” Fashion Stylist with distinct skills and knowledge (6+ years of styling experience including TV/Film celebrities); a creative fashion force who has fun styling in studio and on location while doing serious work; being clever, resourceful, creative, and seeking out the hottest styles. Her work has been internationally published. Michelle caters to fashion industry and media clients needing an amazing vision and a unique look. [www.StylistMichelleWashington.com]

A Candid Conversation with Rebecca Minkoff

Written by Michelle Washington, Fashion Editor for InFluential Magazine and Teen InFluential

Thursday, September 22, Neiman Marcus (Domain in Austin, TX) hosted a long awaited “sign & shop” event with Rebecca Minkoff; an industry leader in casual luxury handbags, accessories, shoes, and apparel. Rebecca Minkoff’s playful and subtly edgy designs can be spotted on women everywhere from downtown to uptown, in the US and abroad. Success is a family trademark as Rebecca runs her multi-million dollar company with her brother Uri Minkoff (CEO).

People often ask “were they nice?” anytime I meet a celebrity. The answer is “yes”. I had the pleasure of speaking with the bag-goddess herself while she was preparing for the event; I was received so warmly.

Rebecca graciously took time out of her hectic schedule to chat with me for a brief Q&A:

Michelle Washington: When you moved from San Diego to New York, how old were you and how did that make you feel?

Rebecca Minkoff: That was scary. I was 18 and it was beyond scary. After moving, I had three years of living in New York, finding my way, finding my group of friends, and getting settled in a job.

MW: In 2005, you took a stab at designing handbags and the “Morning After Bag” was born (designed for friend Jenna Elfman, actress of “Dharma & Greg”), to great success. How were you feeling at this early stage of your career? Is the MAB still one of your favorite bags?

Rebecca Minkoff: I felt like thank God! I was working very hard for 4 years feeling like I was swimming upstream. To finally get a breakthrough on something and have the consumer embrace it and the media love it was exciting, the feeling that all my hard work paid off. The bag still has a huge place in my heart and I’m starting to get a lot of request to bring it back.

MW: Are all of your handbags still produced in the USA; constructed in all Italian leather?

Rebecca Minkoff: About ten percent is still made in New York, the rest is overseas. We still use some Italian leather, but we have really great sourcing where we can get leather goods from around the world. At the end of the day, quality is and also affordability to my customer.

MW: Does it remain your goal to become a complete lifestyle brand for the fashion-forward female?

Rebecca Minkoff: My focus for the brand now is there are significant moments in a woman’s life; a lot of important experiences that a woman goes through (the first day on the job, the first time she quits, the first time she ask for a raise…etc.). We are the brand that you when you want to be more fearless in your choices and take the road not taken.

MW: Do you believe your customer has grown with your product?

Rebecca Minkoff: For sure, the fact that I have an open and honest dialogue with our consumer since the beginning. A constant back and-forth dialogue especially through all areas of social media. We are continuing to expand internationally which is no small feat!

Whether you’re a New Yorker, a New Yorker at heart, or a fierce Fashionista…think fondly of your life moments when you see the Rebecca Minkoff label, because she is always thinking of you.

Shop Rebecca Minkoff: www.rebeccaminkoff.com

 

 

Michelle Washington

 

 

 

 

Michelle Washington: Michelle is “the” Fashion Stylist with distinct skills and knowledge (6+ years of styling experience including TV/Film celebrities); a creative fashion force who has fun styling in studio and on location while doing serious work; being clever, resourceful, creative, and seeking out the hottest styles. Her work has been internationally published. Michelle caters to fashion industry and media clients needing an amazing vision and a unique look. [www.StylistMichelleWashington.com]

Roberto Cavalli Fall 2016 & The Darrell K Royal Research Fund for Alzheimer’s Disease

Written By Michelle Washington, Fashion Editor for InFluential Magazine

For one day (Tuesday September 13, 2016), football and fashion met on the same field, or in this case, the runway. What could possibly bring the gridiron and the catwalk together? During the legendary career of former University of Texas football coach Darrell K Royal, he was responsible for successfully leading the Longhorns to three national titles and an overall record of 167-47-5. Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli is synonymous with joy and optimism, with glamour and success; exotic designs that create a lifestyle. On the fashion runway of Neiman Marcus (Domain), the common goal for both was fashion with a cause, celebrating the first ladies of football who support the fight against Alzheimer’s Disease.

“We are excited to celebrate Edith Royal and Vicki Strong, two women who have made tremendous contributions to the Texas community,” said Jenna Leiker, event co-chair. “Edith Royal founded The Darrell K Royal Foundation in honor of her late husband, an organization we are proud to support.”

Coach Royal’s greatest opponent was Alzheimer’s Disease. The Darrell K Royal Research Fund for Alzheimer’s Disease (established in 2012) represents a commitment to excellence in research and care for Texans and a commitment to cure Alzheimer’s Disease in our lifetimes (www.dkrfund.org).

The fashion presentation featured Roberto Cavalli’s Fall 2016 Collection, a stunning series of two major inspirations: art nouveau and glam rock (with a hint of the 70′s): dresses, jackets, capes, embellished denim, maxi coats, and beautiful pantsuits. Cavalli’s Fall show is described as “a dégagé ease” for the “nocturnal adventuresses”, or party lovers, in other words! The art nouveau richness brought with it fabrics such as velvet, lace, brocade, fur, and silk. The color palette featured mid-hues like deep-sea blue, tan, and purple mixed with royal colors like burnished gold, lavender, grape, scarlet, and robin’s egg blue with black. (Fashion images by Ben Porter Photography)

This event proved that fashion has heart and a cause; organized by event co-chairs Jamie Chandlee and Jenna Leiker. Guest were treated to an afternoon of champagne, hors d’oeuvres, and beautiful fashion…a truly great presentation by Neiman Marcus (Domain) and The Society Diaries Magazine; saluting The Darrell K. Royal Research Fund for Alzheimer’s Disease and honoring our First Ladies of Texas Football Edith Royal and Vicki Strong.

Photo courtesy of Stacey Harrell – Left to Right: The Society Diaries Assoc. Editor Rob Giardinelli / InFluential Magazine Publisher William Jackson / The Society Diaries Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director Lance Avery Morgan

Updating Your Wardrobe for Fall

Photo: Courtesy of Image.net–Getty Images by Photographer: Fernanda Calfat

[By: InFluential Magazine Fashion Editor-Michelle Washington]

As summer comes to an end, say goodbye to basking in the sun on lazy beach days and cute summer sandals; it’s time for autumn and cooler temperatures! While transitioning to the fall is a welcome change for some “Fashionistas” and “Fashionistos”, others prefer to hang on to their lightweight summer apparel. The fall is an opportune time to clean out your closet and to make way for new styles. However, keep in mind that some pieces in your summer wardrobe work wonderfully as autumn garments. Whatever your season preference, use these tips to make the switch to a stylish fall wardrobe easy:

Look through all of your fall clothes. Pick out the ones that you don’t like, don’t fit in, or do not wear anymore. You can donate all of those clothes if they’re in good quality. If not, throw them away.

*Take a good look at your existing wardrobe and don’t immediately reach for dark clothing at the first sign of fall weather. Recycle your pastels and your other summer tops underneath a jacket (tailored or denim). Incorporate great accessories such as a scarf.

*Shop your own closet. The best way to refresh your fall wardrobe is to look through what you already have. This is a good time to explore your closet and uncover things you haven’t thought about in a while; put together some fresh looks with items you purchased more recently.

*Take inventory and organize. Go through your entire closet top-to-bottom to make sure you don’t unnecessarily spend money on items you already have. Take time to organize your wardrobe into the basics: dress pants, jeans, skirts, jackets, blouses and dresses.

*Take advantage of end of season preparation from your favorite designers and name brand labels; making room for the next season’s goods. July is prime time for summer sales to start, running straight through August in clearance mode. Fall sales will start in September through October. Winter sales will start directly after Thanksgiving. Sales will continue through the Holiday season and clearance starts the day after Christmas through January.

*Another easy way to update your wardrobe is to use trendy accessories. Ladies: current trend jewelry, hats, shades, scarves and shoes. Men: watches, “man-bags”, shades, cold-weather scarves, ties, handkerchiefs…etc.

A woman can mix and match items to create outfits for any occasion, even during transition seasons:
–1 little black dress
–1 white blouse
–1 neutral cardigan
–1 knee-length skirt
–a pair of black dress pants
–a pair of jeans
–1 solid color tee shirt
–1 solid color turtleneck
–1 denim jacket
–tailored jacket
–a pair of black heels
–a pair of neutral heels
–a pair of dressy flats
–a pair of casual flats
–a pair of fashion sneakers
–a pair of boots
–1 basic handbag
–1 dressy handbag
–ACCESSORIES such as jewelry and scarves…etc.

Men, your wardrobe should have at least the following basics. Start adding a few of these pieces and you’ll be ready for the fall season!
–1 Neutral vest
–1 Pair of jeans
–1 Pair of khakis
–1 Pair of chinos (chino fabric is 100% cotton and twill; heavier than what is used for khaki trousers)
–1 Chunky sweater
–1 Fine-gage sweater
–1 Denim jacket
–1 Tailored jacket
–1 Light weight jacket
–1 pair of ankle boots
–1 pair of fashion sneakers
–1 pair of athletic sneakers
–ACCESSORIES ties…etc.

Updating your fall wardrobe is an easy transition once you learn how the addition of a few versatile pieces to your closet will help you look stylish and put together for fall.

BET Awards 2016: The Fierce & The Fabulous

Written By Michelle Washington, Fashion Editor for InFluential Magazine 

Starting with the first award ceremony in 2001, the BET Awards were established by the Black Entertainment Television network to celebrate African Americans and other minorities in music, acting, sports, and other fields of entertainment. The awards are presented annually (broadcast live on BET) featuring performances by various artists. This year, the constellation of entertainment stars were out showing off how fierce and fabulous they are on the “gray” carpet.

Janelle Monae in a Sass & Bide two-piece suit, Jennifer Fisher earrings and choker, and Le Vian rings [Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]

Janelle Monae in a Sass & Bide two-piece suit, Jennifer Fisher earrings and choker, and Le Vian rings
[Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]

Tia Mowry in a Roberto Cavalli dress and Stuart Weitzman heels [Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]

Tia Mowry in a Roberto Cavalli dress and Stuart Weitzman heels
[Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]

Meagan Good in a Lorena Sarbu dress, Bavnu earrings, Le Vian bracelets, and Jimmy Choo shoes [Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]

Meagan Good in a Lorena Sarbu dress, Bavnu earrings, Le Vian bracelets, and Jimmy Choo shoes
[Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]

Alicia Keys in a Stella McCartney jumpsuit and Maxior jewelry [Photo: Leon Bennett/Getty Images]

Alicia Keys in a Stella McCartney jumpsuit and Maxior jewelry
[Photo: Leon Bennett/Getty Images]

Jermaine Dupri in a Members Club jacket [Photo: Leon Bennett/Getty Images]

Jermaine Dupri in a Members Club jacket
[Photo: Leon Bennett/Getty Images]

Gabrielle Union in Marc Jacobs [Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]

Gabrielle Union in Marc Jacobs
[Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]

Karrueche Tran in a Fausto Puglisi dress; jewelry by Le Vian, Butani, Pluma and Hearts on Fire; and Christian Louboutin heels. [Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images]

Karrueche Tran in a Fausto Puglisi dress; jewelry by Le Vian, Butani, Pluma and Hearts on Fire; and Christian Louboutin heels. [Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images]

Maxwell in a white "haute" ensemble [Photo: Leon Bennett/Getty Images]

Maxwell in a white “haute” ensemble
[Photo: Leon Bennett/Getty Images]

DJ Khaled [Photo: Earl Gibson/BET/Getty Images]

DJ Khaled
[Photo: Earl Gibson/BET/Getty Images]

Millen Magese in a Sukeina dress [Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images]

Millen Magese in a Sukeina dress
[Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images]

Father’s Day 2016 Gift Ideas from Michelle Washington, Fashion Editor for InFluential Magazine

By Michelle Washington, Fashion Editor for InFluential Magazine

Sunday, June 19 marks Father’s Day. The holiday will be here before you know it! Good news, there is still plenty of time to figure out what to get for the dads in your life. Here is a list of my top Fathers Day gift ideas for 2016:

Yves Saint Laurent (www.nordstrom.com) L’Homme Ultime’ Eau de Parfum / 1.3 oz / USD $80.00 Yves Saint Laurent L’Homme Ultime Eau de Parfum is a fragrance for the man who leaves his mark. It is an audacious blend; a duality of freedom and control. The fresh sensuality of sage mixes with the depth of aromatic woody notes to create an ultimately distinctive signature. Woody and aromatic.

1. Yves Saint Laurent L’Homme Ultime’ Eau de Parfum

Beardbrand “Tree Ranger” Beardsman’s Kit USD $200.00 (www.beardbrand.com). The Tree Ranger Beardsman’s Kit by beardbrand includes everything you need to take exceptional care of your facial hair. All of the products come packaged in a black walnut box.

2. Beardbrand "Tree Ranger" Beardsman's Kit

2. Beardbrand “Tree Ranger” Beardsman’s Kit

The Art of Shaving Fusion™ Engraved Razor USD $200.00 (www.theartofshaving.com) The Art of Shaving® expertly designs, manufactures and handcrafts each razor to ensure optimal comfort and balance during the shaving process. Made from the finest materials, The Art of Shaving® razors are elegant, durable and can be used with Fusion™ blades by Gillette®.

3. The Art of Shaving Fusion™ Engraved Razor

Triumph & Disaster “On the Road” Travel Collection USD $49.00 (www.triumphanddisaster.us) For the seasoned traveler, Triumph & Disaster offers a lightweight, compact kit that’s ready to go wherever you do to ensure you’re always clean-faced, clean-shaved and well prepared for the road ahead.

4. Triumph & Disaster “On the Road” Travel Collection

FOREO “LUNA™ for Men” Facial Cleansing & Anti-Aging Device USD $199.00 (www.foreo.com) A breakthrough device that truly meets the needs of men’s skin, FOREO LUNA for Men drives away impurities and energizes the skin for a more youthful look, leaving you with a complexion that appears clean, fresh and revitalized.

5. FOREO “LUNA™ for Men” Facial Cleansing & Anti-Aging Device

Ermenegildo Zegna ‘Hamptons’ Travel Kit USD $425.00 (www.nordstrom.com) Keep all your essentials organized on the go with an exquisite, textured-leather travel kit featuring sleek silvertone hardware.

6. Ermenegildo Zegna "Hamptons" Travel Kit

6. Ermenegildo Zegna “Hamptons” Travel Kit

Of course we need to remember, every day is a perfect day to be generous to those we love.

Fashion Webitorial: Happy Memorial Day

Written By Michelle Washington, Fashion Editor for InFluential Magazine

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who gave their lives while serving in the country’s armed forces. Observed every year on the last Monday of May, Memorial Day originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868. Memorial Day is not only the day when we remember our national heroes and feel extra patriotic, but it’s also the day that marks the official beginning of summer! Check out how to rock a patriotic summer style on Memorial Day!

Photographer: Michelle Louise ©
Hair/Makeup Artist: Jessica Pirkl Lindsay
Styling: Michelle Washington
Styling Asst: Trey Short

 

2016 Billboard Music Awards

By Michelle Washington, Fashion Editor for InFluential Magazine

The Billboard Music Award is an honor given by “Billboard”, a publication and music popularity chart covering the music business. The Billboard Music Awards show has been held annually in December since 1989 until it went dormant in 2006. The awards returned in 2011 and is held annually in May. Unlike other awards, such as the Grammy Award, which determine nominations as a result of the highest votes received by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the Billboard Music Awards finalists are based on United States year-end chart performance according to Nielsen data for sales, number of downloads and total airplay. The BMA’s is also a spotlight for the hottest “pink” carpet fashion from our favorite music entertainers. Here are a few celebs that “SLAYED”:

Kelly Rowland in her beaded nude and white Labourjoisie dress

Kelly Rowland in her beaded nude and white Labourjoisie dress

Zendaya in nude Calvin Klein bralette and maxi skirt

Zendaya in nude Calvin Klein bralette and maxi skirt

Ariana Grande in black and blue Atelier Versace Spring 2016 cutout halter gown

Ariana Grande in black and blue Atelier Versace Spring 2016 cutout halter gown

Ciara in sparkling silver Philipp Plein Spring 2016 side-plunging dress with a high slit

Ciara in sparkling silver Philipp Plein Spring 2016 side-plunging dress with a high slit

Idina Menzel in black Michael Costello Fall 2016 sequined dress

Idina Menzel in black Michael Costello Fall 2016 sequined dress

Laverne Cox in Michael Costello Fall 2016 plunging neckline mermaid gown

Laverne Cox in Michael Costello Fall 2016 plunging neckline mermaid gown

Z LaLa in a voluminous black, laser-cut gown had a futuristic vibe.

Z LaLa in a voluminous black, laser-cut gown had a futuristic vibe. A bit of a “costume”, but a huge conversation piece and very dramatic!

 

YIRKO SIVIRICH Spring-Summer Collection 2014

By Leonardo D’Almagro, Fashion Editor for InFluential Magazine

Leonardo D'Almagro-Yirki-Vogue peru-fashion week-lifeasleo

For this new season, Yirko Sivirich originally inspired: the city of Ica and its desert landscapes. The dunes, fertile land and traditional mud houses in the city are the starting point for this collection, giving it a color palette ranging from strict earthy hues and neutral. Cotton and linen, in turn, will bring lightness to the clothes and make them less stiff, perfect to withstand summer temperatures.

The collection shows us a completely new urban safari style, where metallic materials play an important role and accentuate the edgy style of the collection. This style is also present in accessories like shoes and handbags that complement the collection and tell us more about her and the man she saw Yirko Sivirich this season, a man of cosmopolitan spirit and confident in himself.

Special thanks:

VOGUE.PE Foto : Jorge Anaya Fotografía

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Posted by: Leonardo D’Almagro

John Richmond Latest Autumn / Winter 2013-2014

Male model Lucas Valerdi looks like a real modern rocker as he is clad in John Richmond latest Autumn / Winter 2013-2014 collection’s clothes. The latest campaign from John Richmond comes with classic menswear pieces including fitted trench coats with leather sleeves, rose dressed pantsuits, studded blazers, military inspired coats with leather patches on sleeves and modern accessories. Every piece has something special, something that is timeless but in the same time is highly modern. There is no doubt in John Richmond’s sophisticated creations and bespoke quality.

John Richmond Fall-Winter 2013-2014 Campaign (1) John Richmond Fall-Winter 2013-2014 Campaign (2)

John Richmond Fall-Winter 2013-2014 Campaign (3)

John Richmond Fall-Winter 2013-2014 Campaign (4)

John Richmond Fall-Winter 2013-2014 Campaign (5)

 

Posted by Leonardo D’Almagro

www.LeonardoDalmagro.com