Conrad Booker Debut at Philadelphia Fashion Week 2017

I loved attending my first Philly Fashion Week in February. It was an amazing event that the producers did an incredible job at putting together. The show started off on a high-note by exciting the crowd, which included the legendary creator of New York Fashion Week, Fern Mallis, by opening up with the innovative and unique creations of designer Conrad Booker.

As you’ll see from the gallery below, Booker offers a fresh and challenging view of fashion, from what it should look like, how it should fit, and even what it’s made of. It was my first time seeing his designs, and I’ve since learned that he works in several different fields, including architecture and interior design. He also works as a muralist, and even his window displays have won awards.

His pieces are so big and bold on the runway, so I asked him about how be selects the materials that he uses.

“I started using alternative materials and methods based on affordability,” he told me. “Francesca Reveitti, the owner of Follicle Studios, approached me after seeing a show of mine about creating clothes for a hair competition she was entering. During our meeting, I pointed to a lamp I had made from skewers in regard to what might be an interesting material to use for a bodice. I soon started going to Loews to source materials for my projects. Now it is the first place I go when I start designing.”

I also asked him about how he constructs his unique styles.

“Many of the methods I use for construction are methods I’ve developed in working with many of the different materials. Over time, you develop techniques that you are familiar with and you adapt them based on which one best fits the situation. I desire to use ordinary materials and elevate them so they are perceived as couture. The end product is very refined, yet monumental.”

Philly Fashion Week featured so many incredible designers and a host of remarkable and memorable styles. It takes a truly special collection to make an impression on the audience, especially at the beginning of a three-hour show.

“Yes, my design style is very bold and fearless. I attribute it to two things, my training as an architect and living in a loft for many years. As an architect, I was trained at how to put a building together using different materials and how structure can affect the shape and style of a building. These principals I apply to my fashion designs.

“Many people ask me: was it difficult to go from being an architect to a designer. My response is ‘no.’ I truly believe that the “greatest piece of architecture is the human body”. After graduating from Temple University, I lived for many years in a loft at 13th and Callowhill Streets that had extremely high ceilings. Creating art for my walls, I discovered that I needed to make the pieces very large. As a result, I became accustomed to working this way. Plus, the women I imagine wearing my clothes and bags are powerful women who are strong and desire attention.”

Wearing any of Conrad Booker’s pieces would be a definite attention-grabber. He presented a lot of looks during this show and I only wanted to see more and more. I asked Conrad if he enjoyed his PFW experience and what was coming up for him.

“The response to my first Philly Fashion Week collection has been incredible and positive. I look forward to next February 2018 as I showcase my second collection, which is in development as we speak.”

I can’t wait to see it! Follow Conrad Booker on Instagram @conrad_booker and we’ll all be seeing a lot of his work in the months ahead.

My girl Samantha Grandy shines as one of the twins in this stunning presentation.

The highlight and finale of his collection. According to Conrad’s Instagram, this piece was his winning submission in the Costume Drama’s Plastic Category in Asheville, North Carolina. The dress is made with about 35,000 black plastic straws and topped with Plexiglass that’s been heated, cut and bent.

Watch Conrad Booker’s finale walk to close out his memorable collection.

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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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.

Atlantic City Fashion Week Presents Designer Samina Mughal

I loved attending Atlantic City Fashion Week at The Claridge Hotel on February 27.  The founders and executive producers of #ACFW, Lamont and Jeana Bowling, put on amazing shows and always great take care of me!  (On a side note, I am really excited for their new project, SOHO Fashion Week, which makes its debut in May!)

One of the highlights for me was the show from #designer Samina Mughal. Samina’s work has been internationally recognized for her glamorous collection of clothing and accessories. As you know, I love things that sparkle and have lots of glam, and her work brought shine and glitter to the runway.

Check out lots of great photos below from her latest collection and find out more on her website saminamughal.com and follow her on Facebook.

Also, don’t miss her upcoming show as part of New York Fashion Week:

SMGLOBAL CATWALK – NY FASHION WEEK (Season 2)
Saturday, September 10th 2016 at 7pm
More info at:
https://www.facebook.com/events/241178969557228/

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One of my favorite models, the wonderful Sophia Leap, was one of the signature models and, as always, killed it on the runway.

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Hi, Samina, thank you for connecting with me after the show. I look forwarding to seeing your work again soon!

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Art Hearts Fashion Presents Designer Lainy Gold

On February 16, 2016, Art Hearts Fashion #ArtHeartsFashion presented a fantastic FW16 Women’s Runway show as part of New York Fashion Week #NYFW at the amazing Angel Orensanz Foundation Event Space in New York City. In the beautiful setting of a stunning converted church, the runway hosted collections by Merline Labissiere, Lainy Gold and Stello Official. Congrats to everyone involved and the Art Heart Fashion team for putting on such a memorable event!

I was thrilled to receive a last-minute invite from my good friend Jill Leap, whose superstar daughter, Sophia, was modeling for Lainy Gold. What a night of fun surprises, highlighted by Lainy’s collection. Lainy Gold may be best known for her fun and colorful swimwear, but this collection focused on fantasy and medieval-inspired designs for eveningwear or making a grand entrance at your next party. There were innovative uses of color and fabrics that brought storybooks into a modern setting.

Here are some of my favorite shots from the show. Follow Lainy Gold Designs on Instagram (instagram.com/lainygolddesigns) and on her website www.lainygolddesigns.com.

Model: Sarah Ferguson

Model: Sophia Leap

Lainy Gold closes the show with her signature pieces. Models: Sophia Leap and Sarah Ferguson.

Miss Emily at Tim McLoone’s Supper Club

I had a great time last night at Tim McLoone’s Supper Club in Asbury Park as part of Light of Day weekend.  The headliners were the amazing cast of Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway, but I was also really excited to meet Miss Emily (www.themissemily.com) from Ontario, Canada, who was the opener for the evening.  She performed a great set on piano and guitar and I hope everyone checks her out!

Here is a short video I shot from her beautiful rendition of “Over The Rainbow”.

Here’s the video from her original track, “The Sellout”.

Connect with her on Facebook (/themissemilymusic), Instagram (@themissemily) and Twitter (@themissemily).

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She’s doing a few more shows this weekend, so catch a live show if you can, and hopefully she’ll come back to the New Jersey area soon!

That Little Black Dress in Montclair

I love any opportunity to visit one my favorite boutiques, That Little Black Dress, in Montclair, NJ! I had the opportunity to walk in a runway show for them in September, and became friends with the store’s wonderful owner, Jenna Davis. (Hi, Jenna!)

Montclair had a Ladies Night Out event recently, so I wanted to stop by for some fashion, friends and wine at this special shop. What fun hanging out with Jenna and her sales associates and check out some of her latest cool finds.

If you’re in Montclair, it’s worth a trip to visit TLBD at 179 Glenridge Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07042. Check out her website (www.shopthatlbd.com) or call 973-233-0523 for store hours. Make sure you let Jenna know that Myra from Febeary Fashionista says hello!

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Jenna had some “Little Black Dress” wine ready!

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How cool is that colorful vest?

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Meeting American Idol’s Constantine Maroulis

Rock on! It was a thrill meeting Constantine Maroulis at Freedom Fest. (Yes, I was wearing Bebe! #bebeGirl!)

I loved him on #AmericanIdol and his voice still sounds great in #RockOfAges. He was really friendly and I grabbed him for a photo between sets.

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Follow Constantine Maroulis on Twitter and Facebook at:
twitter.com/ConstantineM
www.facebook.com/ConstantineMOfficial

Glam Night Out

What a special find at my most recent trip to bebe.

Hi-Lo Surplice Top – Style # 252861 by bebe.

Macrame Detail Midi Skirt – Style # 249365 by bebe.

Accessories by bebe.

Jacie Shoe by Sole Society.

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Excited to purchase my first custom skirt from my favorite New Jersey fashion designer Robert Greco. Stop by his boutique in Montclair for really special pieces.

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This skirt is toooooo cute!

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I can’t wait to wear my designer skirt at Robert Greco’s next fashion event.

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