John Leon 2017 Bridal Collection at Atlantic City Fashion Week

Atlantic City Fashion Week Season 10, you saved the best for last! I have watched John Leon’s amazing work for a couple of years, and I had been eagerly anticipating my first chance to see one of his collections on the runway, and these spectacular bridals did not disappoint. His breathtaking 2017 Bridal Collection was the finale of the couture show and it was an absolute show-stopper.

After the show, I had an opportunity to ask him about why now is the right time to launch his bridal collection.

“I believe in taking your time and releasing your art work when you naturally feel it’s the right time,” John told me. “It’s been three years since the last time I showcased a new collection. I did not want to release a collection because I had to, I wanted to release a collection I feel strong about. I need to emotionally feel a connection with a collection. A purpose.”

And what were some of his goals and inspirations behind the new collection?

“This process started a few months ago when I began sketching a few designs here and there. Not enough designs for a full collection, just a few. The full collection came to me when I went to last year’s Philadelphia Flower Show at The Convention Center. I saw this beautiful presentation of lavender hydrangea and chrysanthemum, ivory peony and ivory roses with black tips, black vines and twigs and white orchids behind this soft gray mountain-like texture background. It was absolutely stunning! I took some pictures, went home and designed the entire 10-piece collection in just a few hours.

“I knew from the beginning that I wanted to take this collection into a more modern direction. Bridal wear for the modern bride. The cuts are new, it’s a little more relaxed. Not so traditional. I believe that the modern bride wants to look elegant, sophisticated, confident and weightless on her big day, and not feel heavy in a big Cinderella-like gown. I wanted to break the boundaries by making bridal soft, elegant, modern and sexy. That’s the JNL Woman.”

Why did he want to debut his new collection for the modern bride at Atlantic City Fashion Week?

“I decided to do it at ACFW because I’ve been doing it for years. I first started showcasing at their shows when they were doing Pink Fashion Week for breast cancer a few years back. Because I’ve been showcasing for ACFW for so long, Lamont and Jeana Bowling have become close friends. I’ve also designed many looks for Jeana throughout the years and because of it, I’ve designed custom for many more.”

I asked John how he wants his clients to feel when wearing his clothes.

“Many things I’ve heard my clients say are “I’ve never felt so beautiful,” “This is the best dress I have ever worn,” “It’s fitted and comfortable.” Cut is very important in a garment of any size. You can easily give someone shape, a waist, transform their body. I want my clients to feel confident and happy.”

And is there something different that goes into dressing a bride?

“As far as brides go, it’s a whole different story. For brides, you need to bring it! My goal as a designer for the bridal client is to make them feel light and weightless on their special day. I want to take away all the tulle and corsets, complicated closers and make it comfortable, flirty, sophisticated and timeless. I made a lace jumpsuit with a five-yard train attached to the shoulders. It’s sexy, but at the same time it’s daring and fresh! You never think jumpsuit for bridal but that’s the new modern bride. Traditional is boring! Out with the old and in with the new!”

I wish I knew John when I was looking for my wedding dress six years ago. Then again, John told me he could do these in any color, so maybe it’s time for a second wedding! Your work is absolutely amazing, John, and I have no doubt that you’re going to be a major player in the bridal space in the years to come.

Here are some of the looks from this breathtaking collection on the ACFW runway. You can learn more at John Leon Fashion Designs www.johnjnlleon.com.

Model Andrea Graham.

Model Samantha Grandy is looks magical this magnificent piece, one of the highlights of the show and a crowd favorite.

John and I all smiles after the show!

Watch the full collection!

Samuel Wong Asian-Inspired Collection at SMGlobal Catwalk NYFW

One of the shows I was looking most forward to this season at New York Fashion Week was Season Three of SMGlobal Catwalk, especially the return of one of my favorite designers, Samuel Wong. Held in midtown Manhattan on February 11, the show, produced by the amazing Samina Mughal, did not disappoint, and neither did Samuel’s new collection.

In the spring, he left the room breathless, so I was highly anticipating his new Asian-inspired collection. The incredible quality of his craftsmanship, the elegance of his designs and the sheer beauty of his creations left an indelible mark on the evening.

I talked with Samuel after he returned to Dallas after the show and asked about the inspiration for this collection.

“My roots are Hispanic and Asian, and, of course, I have a lot of influence from Orient. I love the mystery, the handwork from Chinese culture. I think it’s so elegant, and chic, and my designs always are inspired by these details. At the same time, I love to catch the people’s attention, make them feel like they are in another world. I don’t like to be just ‘another designer doing clothes.'”

Part of what I love about all of his work is the amazing selection of fabrics, the patterns and textures, he chooses for his clothes. The colors in this collection are no exception.

“Red, gold, and black are basic colors in Asian culture,” Samuel explained. “And I really love brocade fabrics. They were so heavy and a little difficult to work with, but the results are beautiful. It was exactly what I was looking for.”

The results are a tribute to your roots and truly transported me to another time and place. This is another triumph and I am excited to see where he goes next!

Tirusha Dave’s Debut Couture Collection – Atlantic City Fashion Week

This past weekend was Atlantic City Fashion Week (ACFW), and that event continues to be one of my favorites each spring and fall. The number of amazing designers featured each season keeps getting better, and Jeana and Lamont Bowling do an amazing job and take such good care of us.

One of the highlights of this season was the debut couture collection from designer Tirusha Dave (Designs by Tirusha). Tirusha, who people may know as editor of Bravura Magazine, has done other collections in the past, but this was her first time working in high-end couture and the results are amazing.

After the show, I asked Tirusha why she chose to debut the new couture line at ACFW, and she said it was because that was where she showed her very first collection as a designer. “It just felt like a complete circle!” she said.

And what inspired this stunning collection?

“To be quite honest, for the past few years, my magazine’s team has been heavily involved in the pageant world, especially with the Miss America Organization, and working alongside different state title-holders. So my pieces this time were inspired by the beautifully talented women I have been working with, such as Miss New Jersey.”

“Bravura Magazine’s tagline is “be yourself…be exceptional…be bravura.” And that is how I want a woman to feel when they are wearing one of my pieces. I want each women to feel exceptional because they are in their own ways. And that deserves to be showcased to the entire world!”

You absolutely accomplished this and more, Tirusha. The models look incredible and any of these looks would look just as good on the pageant stage as on the runway!









Samuel Wong Collection at SMGlobal Catwalk New York Fashion Week

I love runway shows for different reasons. Some designers have amazing skills in what they can create. Others have amazing uses of color or fabrics. Other shows are an stunning sensory experience, the music, lights and costumes creating a movie on the runway. But the greatest surprise for me from this year’s New York Fashion Week was my first look at the work of designer Samuel Wong. It made me cry.

I’m not even sure why. It was just so beautiful and unique and wonderful that I was emotional as I watched the models in these beautiful clothes as part of SMGlobal Catwalk’s Season 2 (held on September 10, 2016 in Midtown). When hostess Nicole Coley Cole (who’s amazing!) interviewed Wong after the show, he said that he’s been creating for over 20 years. To see such an amazing designer at the height of his abilities, and still working to get even better, is a thrill and I so hope that he’ll return next year. These photos are only a taste of the magic of this event that those who were in the room will never forget.

Thank you to the wonderful Samina Mughal for making it happen! Don’t miss SMGlobal Catwalk Season 3, coming in February 2017, and grab any chance you can to experience Samuel Wong’s collection around the country.

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Model: Margosha Kr.

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Model: Savannah Rae Collins.

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One of my favorite models, the beautiful Dira Ve.

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Model: Midori Amae.

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The show’s signature piece was just stunning. Model: Justyna Olivia Ruszczyk.

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This bridal piece earned a standing ovation from the crowd. Nicole Cole said that she wanted to get married just so she could wear this dress. Me too!

Model: Layne Lampley.

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Thank you, Samuel Wong. See you next year!

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Terese Sydonna New York at Harlem’s Fashion Row NYFW 2016

I had the pleasure of attending the Harlem’s Fashion Row (HRF) Fashion Show and Style Awards on September 8, 2016, as an invited guest at Pier 59 Studios. I was so excited to see the latest collection from my good friend Terese Brown, the talented designer behind Terese Sydonna. I happen to own one of her pieces (love!) that I picked up when I met her in Philadelphia, where she was part of the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator at Macy’s. Her latest collection shows her continued growth and development as a designer and it’s my pleasure to share these amazing looks from the runway.

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I love this dress. It’s so simple and cute!

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Burning Guitars Fashion Show at Space Ibiza New York

One of the most creative and innovative fashion shows in New York City this summer was held by Burning Guitars Clothing at Space Ibiza on June 14, 2016. The evening was held in honor of legendary Marvel Comics editor and writer Mark Gruenwald and was attended by many of his friends. It was hosted by his wife, the amazing Catherine Schuller-Gruenwald, and featured a Captain America shield cake and lots of super hero fun.

The highlight for this fashionista was the Marvel-themed runway show featuring custom pieces designed by Burning Guitars’ amazing team of Smiley Jonez, Saiyd Muhammed and Kenneth Jackson. Jonez, who’s also a dope hip-hop artist, served as MC for the show and dropped amazing beats as one stunning model after another paid tribute to Marvel Comics’ greatest heroes, and the work of Mark Gruenwald.

Check out the photos from the show and be sure to catch Burning Guitars in person if you get a chance all jordan retros. They will be showing at New York Fashion Week and Philadelphia Fashion Week this year, so follow them on Facebook (facebook.com/BurningGuitarsClothing) to keep track of these rising stars. Thank you for an amazing experience, guys. We were thrilled to be involved and look forward to next time!

Smiley Jonez takes the stage.

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Model Leslie Flores.

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Model Gio Delavicci.

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Model John Alex Gaines III.

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Model Tiffani D. McLoyd.

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The amazing team and the evening’s host, Catherine Schuller.

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Local Talent Connect June A&E Industry Mixer

On June 22, 2016, we attended our first networking evening hosted by a very cool group called Local Talent Connect (LTC). These free events are designed to bring together influential people in the Arts & Entertainment Industry, as well as related businesses and professions, to discover new career opportunities and grow social networks. We heard good things about LTC and its CEO Todd Wharton from friends, so decided to give it a shot kids nike air max. Not only was it a great evening held at Suite 36 (16 W 36th St, New York, NY 10018), we met lots of cool people and made valuable connections and new friends!

We had so much fun that night! It was definitely a worthwhile evening and we’ll be attending again. The next LTC mixer takes place on Wednesday, August 31. Connect with Todd Wharton on Facebook to score your invite and join the LTC and join the LTC A&E Industry Monthly Mixer Facebook Group for more information and to attend future events. Hope to see you there!

Here’s a look at Suite 36.

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Red Carpet Hostess and Fashion Coordinator Kelly Phoenix added glamour to the evening.

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LTC CEO Todd Wharton welcomes all of the attendees and gives an overview of the mission of LTC.

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The red carpet was fabulous!

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I was thrilled to meet celebrity chef Tacha Henry of ICanCook2. Did you see her on Food Network’s “Chopped”? Hi, Tacha!

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On the red carpet with celebrity chef Tacha Henry and LTC CEO Todd Wharton.

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Billie Blunt Magazine Launch Party at The Attic Rooftop & Lounge

Billie Blunt Magazine celebrated the launch of their latest issue with a June 10th party high above midtown Manhattan at The Attic Rooftop & Lounge. Hosted by Events by Tia Maria, the packed house hosted a beautiful and fashionable crowd who were all there to mingle with CEO Billy Blunt and Pamela Paige, whose stunning cover photographs are stand-outs from this issue. The entire evening was really well done, and we had a great time enjoying the beautiful weather and talking about fashion with the photographers, models, designers and socialites in attendance. I definitely recommend Events by Tia Maria if you have an opportunity to attend, and be sure to check out BB Magazine.

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World international cover model Scott King on the red carpet. He is currently touring the U.S. It was a pleasure meeting you and I love your recent shoot with Pamela Paige.

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John Ashford at Atlantic City Fashion Week

One of the best runway shows from February 2016’s Atlantic City Fashion Week #ACFW featured the amazing shoe collection of designer John Ashford. Authentic by John Ashford’s styles are hand-crafted, spectacular works of art that make a statement on and off the runway. This unique brand defines couture with high fashion and art and it was a thrill to see his work in-person. See more at www.authenticbyjohnashford.com and connect with him on Instagram (@johnashfordshoes).

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Atlantic City Fashion Week Presents Designer Ellen Durken

The opening designer at the Atlantic City Fashion Week #ACFW runway show on February 27 at The Claridge Hotel was a remarkable way to open the show. The show featured many amazing uses of fabric, but designer Ellen Durken is actually a blacksmith who uses her forge to create amazing designs fashioned from metal.

Ellen’s work is wonderful both for its creativity and how striking it makes the models look on the runway.  It was amazing to see how creative her designs are, and how they stretch the definitions of fashion and style.  See more of her bad-ass approach to high fashion at her website www.ellendurkan.com. She also sells cool prints of her work and custom metal jewelry.

What a striking way to kick-off the show. This design set the creative tone for a wonderful evening.