Tag Archives: clothing

Project Style 2012 National Style Off

Alright.  So, we’ve come to the final round of my Forest City Project Style competition.  It has been a blast to participate in and I’ve gotten some pretty amazing clothes out of the deal as well.  The prospect of attending NY’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and meeting these professionals within the industry is such an inspiration and honor.

This round is being judged by 3 different judges:  Jeannie Mai, she’s an incredibly talented stylist out in LA and host of “How Do I Look?”; Nick Verreos, who many of you will recognize from Season 2 of Project Runway and many of the red carpet events; and finally, Jane Lisy, who is the SVP of Marketing for all of the amazing Forest City shopping centers.

This has been an incredible opportunity to add to my portfolio in the fashion industry.  As many of you know, styling is vital to communicating the right feel for an outfit.  It can make or break your look.  Gaining the experience and knowledge that I have through this competition has been such a blessing.

There were some excellent submissions for this final round.  I was lucky enough to have my sweet husband help me coordinate the logistics for the shoot and some really wonderful friends who allowed me access to resources that are pretty unbelievable.

XJet Nick and Jess

Nick and I after the shoot.

I hope this inspires those of you out there with the same dream in your heart to get involved in events and competitions. Anything is possible if you want it badly enough.  Hope you enjoy my video!!


Popular Neckline Styles for Clothing

In preparation for learning to sew, I have been studying the industry terminology for the different cuts of clothing styles.  Today’s lesson was necklines.  I had no idea there were so many!  I’m a t-shirt and jeans kind of girl on most days.  So, I was familiar with crew-neck and v-neck styles, but I learned a lot of new things that I’d like to share with any of you out there who are also beginners at this.

Audrey Hepburn wearing a bateau neckline dress.

Bateau Neckline

Named after the French word for boat, this cut is also called a boat neck and refers to the wide neckline that runs horizontally across the the collar bone.   It typically stretches about halfway across the shoulders and has the same shape on both the front and back of the garment.  They were made popular by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Audrey Hepburn.  It eventually became nicknamed the Sabrina neckline because of a famous dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in the movie Sabrina.

This gown has a portrait style neckline.

Portrait Neckline

Portrait necklines feature a shaw-like strap that wraps around the shoulders.  It is similar to the Bateau neckline except that it falls approximately one hand breadth from the collarbone.  This is, in my opinion, one of the most classic cuts in women’s fashion.

Jewel Neckline

Jewel Neckline

It gets its name because the style is often selected to provide a backdrop when showing off a particularly special piece of jewelry.  A Jewel neckline closely circles the base of the neck and completely covers the top of the torso and shoulders.

Front and Back of a Halter Dress

Halter Neckline

This neckline consists of two points of fabric that rise up from the bodice of the garment and attach around the neck, typically by tying.  The Halter neckline works well when creating a backless style shirt or dress.  It provides support for the garment without needing to connect material over the shoulders or back of the torso.

Sweetheart Neckline Evening Gown

Sweetheart Neckline

Named because its shape resembles the bottom of a stylized heart, a shirt or dress with this neckline typically has a high cut back and low front line.  This is a very flattering cut for almost any woman.

An Empire Neckline Dress

Empire Neckline

The Empire neckline is square and has a distinctive horizontal coverage of the breasts.  It is most flattering to average-sized to well-endowed women because it provides balance and makes the neck appear longer.  I have a very petite frame and can tell you first hand that this neckline does not do much for my body type.

Queen Anne Neckline

Queen Anne Neckline

As evidenced by the name, this neckline was popularized by Britain’s Queen Anne.  It is characterized by a diamond-shaped opening of the chest area.  Those of you who are on the “A” squad with me this is the best cut for us.  It makes our upper half appear a bit larger by drawing the eyes to the horizontal line along the right and left points.

There are certainly many more than simply these 7, but I’ve found these to be some of the most common.  I’m partial to the Queen Anne and Portrait necklines.  I think they create some of the most flattering lines and have a very classy, timeless look.

Happy Birthday Valentino!

Seventy-nine years ago on this day, one of the most acclaimed fashion designers was born: Valentino Garavani.  He became known in the industry for his signature Valentino Rosso, crimson dresses and his success exploded from there.

Valentino moved to France at the tender age of 17 to pursue an education in fashion from the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne and man did it serve him well!

Valentino had the good fortune and talent to win an apprenticeship under the likes of Jacqueline de Ribes and Guy Laroche.  He assisted both designers in sketching their fashion concepts and quickly learned the skills necessary to grow a fashion empire.

Pitti Palace in Florence, Italy 1962 marked his international debut.  With a color saturated fashion market commanding the industry, he took a tremendous risk in creating a line devoid of color…and it paid off in spades.  Valentino won hearts and the coveted Neiman Marcus Fashion Award with the launch of his White Collection.  Jacqueline Kennedy was one of many celebrities in attendance that quickly took notice of the designer’s talent and became a devoted client to the iconic fashion house.

Valentino is known for his incredible elegance.  His talent for meticulous detailing and embroidery has carried him through decades of fashion evolution.  To call his clothing fashion would be an insulting misstep.  He is one of the few, one of the great that can call what he does style.  His wares transcend the world of fashion…they are timeless.

The excellence of Valentino’s fashion house does not end at just clothing.  Their shoes are equally stunning and noteworthy.

Valentino’s designs will be collected by enthusiasts for centuries to come.  It goes without saying that if you are an aspiring designer, this man is a legendary talent who should not be overlooked as inspiration on your pursuit of greatness.

Campaign Controversy.

Controversy and advertising: this dynamic duo has a stronger marriage than most couples in this country.  The world of fashion has some of the worst offenders.  I sometimes wonder about the state of humanity.  Has our intelligence degraded to levels so low that marketing teams have to beat us over the heads with such blunt instruments in order for us to take notice?

Let’s take a look at some of the most controversial ads in fashion history, many of which have been banned by censor boards.


Heralding the campaign title Fashion Junkie, Sisley took their ad to a whole new level of inappropriate.  The ad depicts thin models getting stoned off of the suggested cocaine-white dress.  While the execution was impeccable, the message was utterly poor.  The straw-in-hand models hover over a mirrored table with a credit card cleverly placed next to Sisley’s little white dress.  Sisley’s clothing may be addictively awesome, but their cocaine-snorting, fashion junkie ad is giving a bad impression.


Tom Ford skirted an ad ban on this one by the skin of his teeth.  In response to a formal complaint filed with the ASA, Gucci defended that they were known for “brand leadership and cutting-edge imagery”.  Cutting edge?  Not exactly subtle are they?  I’m not entirely sure how this stands to promote fashion, as it appears to be a better Bic campaign than Gucci ad.  It diverts the attention from the clothing…and, it’s kind of gross.

Calvin Klein

Who made non-consensual sex such an attractive method for fashion marketers?  The “tactic” is employed all too frequently.  This image illustrates a beautiful young woman in a caged area pre-gangbang.  The orgy approach is popular for selling clothing.  However, the majority of instances include only a single woman.  I am hopeful that someone will shed some light on why it is thought that this sells a brand.


A Levi’s jeans ad…sans jeans.  I’m not sure how this promotes the benefits of wearing their jeans, but it gets your attention.  Mission accomplished.

Tom Ford

As you can see, Ford has not lost his shock value since leaving Gucci.  Are they selling his new fragrance or blow up doll?

ALL of these ads accomplished their goals and got massive attention from the buzz they created.  So, in theory they are good ads.  However, the messages and strategies leave much to be desired (no pun intended).  When the day comes for me to launch my clothing line, I can assure you subtle cleverness will take the place of overt shock value.

Scope out the swimwear!

All of the hard work you’ve put into fine-tuning your bikini body is about to pay off.  Take a look at some of the summer’s sexiest swimwear!

Jazz: Vix

Paulina: Charlie by Matthew Zink

Missmojave Stardust Fringe: L *Space by Monica Wise

Soldier Girl: Zeugari

Feline Monokini: Paradizia

Postal Triangle: Paradizia

Swanky Monokini: L*Space

There are oodles of incredible options for the warm weather days ahead.  Visit the sites that I have included links to under each swimsuit option if you want to see what else these fantastic designers and retailers have to offer.

Swimwear World has decided to show us a little love by offering 10% off on every order over $100, exclusively for Muse Style readers.  Simply enter the code: MUSESTYLE before you provide your payment information and the discount will be applied to your shopping cart!

Happy shopping!

Cutting edge tools.

As an aspiring fashion designer, I have begun collecting the basic tools necessary to construct beautiful clothing.  One of the first items on my list was…shears.

Little did I know that there were so many options on the market for beginners to choose from.  My knowledge of scissors was limited to the $3 pair of Fiskars residing in a cluttered drawer of my kitchen.  Until now.  I decided on a wonderful brand called Gingher.

I resolved to purchase the following 6 items as my “basic needs” set:

  1. 45mm Rotary Cutter
  2. 24″ x 36″ Cutting Mat
  3. 4″ Embroidery, Chrome Finish
  4. 8″ Serrated/Knife Edge Dressmaker’s Shears, Chrome Finish
  5. 10″ Knife Edge Bent Trimmers, Chrome Finish
  6. 7.5″ Pinking Shears

I cannot even begin to tell you how pleased I am with the quality of these shears so far.  Not to mention…I built my collection for about 2/3 of the price.  Jo Ann’s carries these shears and if you watch carefully, they run 30% off on their different scissor brands every now and then.

Gingher has both light and medium weight options for their products.  I opted for their chrome finish because I prefer the weight that these provide.  The more weighty scissor helps me with regard to control of the scissor and cut.  Their shears have no trouble cutting through multiple layers of fabric if you so choose to do it this way.  And if you find after months and months of heavy use that your shears are getting a bit dull, you have the option to send them back to be sharpened by Gingher professionals or buying a sharpening stone and doing it yourself at home.

I feel like their scissors are a really high quality product that I will not grow out of too quickly as my skills advance.  If you’re looking to replace your current shears or upgrade to a higher quality.  I would highly recommend you consider this brand to add to your arsenal of butt-kicking design tools.

Color Me Curious.

For those of you who missed the memo, the Spring 2011 color forecast has been announced by Pantone!  Now if you’re unfamiliar with what this company does, it’s high time that someone brought you up to speed.

Pantone is the world-renowned authority on color.  They are the creators of an innovative system that is used to identify, match and communicate color so that accurate matches can be achieved across the various design industries.  To boil it down, they have set the standard for color naming and identification.

Moving on to the fun stuff, what’s hot!  Drum roll…..

The top 10 colors chosen for women’s spring fashion.
Spring 2011 Women's Colors

The top 10 colors chosen for men’s spring fashion.
Spring 2011 Men's Colors

These palettes are a great guide to use when you’ve finished your spring cleaning and find yourself looking to replace a few of your outdated pieces with something fun for your new warm weather wardrobe.

If you’re a designer, Pantone has a fantastic tool to help you capture your inspirations.  Should you happen to be one of the millions of iPhone users, Pantone has created an application which allows you to take a picture of the beautiful element that caught your eye, then their technology extracts the color you choose from the photo and finds the closest match to a Pantone standard color as possible.  You can take the color name to the fabric manufacturer of your choice a have it produced into whatever your wildest dreams can create!  Download the application to get started!

Pantone’s vivid color palettes have been combined with some bold patterns by the top designers this season.  Fashion moguls have also been mixing boldly patterned pieces with one another to create a flirty, exciting combo that is sure to draw attention your way!  Take the lead from designers like Gregory Parkinson, Diane von Furstenberg and L.A.M.B to make sure you pair your patterns in a chic way.

Whether you’re a trend-setting design icon or an avid fashionista, Pantone is a fantastic tool to guide you through the beautiful spectrum of color options out on the market.