A Cinderella Story by John JNL Leon

Sit down and listen to a story of a fashion blogger who went to the ball. Oh, goodness, there is a very special event taking place in New York City. It’s the Pinoy Weave Fashion Show and Gala, honoring three amazing designers from the Philippines. It’s a formal event! Whatever will I wear?!

I know! I’ll find an amazing designer to make me a beautiful gown. So I went off to a wonderful and magical land, called Philadelphia, to meet with John Leon. I had met John and seen his work at Atlantic City Fashion Week and love the flowing quality of his designs. I asked if he’d like to make me a gown, and a few Facebook messages later, we were invited to his studio to make our own magical ball gown.

I knew I had made the right choice when I saw the first sketch he came up with, just based on his initial ideas. It was beautiful!

It was time to take some measurements.

… and more measurements.

What color should the gown be? Would you like a train? How high are the shoes? Questions and decisions! I told John to run with it! Pick the colors, find an amazing fabric and be sure that the magic will last until midnight!

We left the studio filled with excitement. A few days later, John said he was ready for the first fitting. The gown was coming to life! We rushed back to Philly and …

… it was amazing!

Such a beautiful royal purple color, fit for a princess. It flows, it glides, it was everything I was hoping for.

More fittings. It has to be just right.

It’s almost ready.

It’s amazing what a skilled designer can do, transforming a roll of cloth into something so elegant and beautiful. With the final fittings complete, we left John to finish his work. When he was done, we picked up his wonderful creation. Then it was time to get ready!

Hair is done.

And makeup.

Nails, of course.

A quick preview while driving into the city. Then…

Ta-Dah! Don’t you love it? I truly feel like a princess.

I think one of the best things a designer can do is make the person they are styling feel special. That’s what fashion at its best can achieve. It takes more than just skill with a sewing machine, or an artistic touch, it’s understanding what makes someone feel a certain way.

After the fashion show, which was an amazing event I’ll cover in another blog, it was time to hit the town! Here I am at one of our favorite spots, at Supernova NYC (www.supernovany.com) above Times Square.

A few drinks and time to hit the streets, with some New York attitude!

I just love how the gown flows. When I first saw the fabric, it looked stiff, but amazingly it is really smooth and caught the breeze perfectly while walking through Manhattan.

This Brooklyn girl had to take a photo in front of Junior’s!

Finally, we reached the heart of Times Square! There is such energy here, a million people all around me.

But, it’s almost midnight! The carriage will turn back into a pumpkin soon. Will the magic last?

Quick, off to bed!

But, this gown is so amazing, and so comfortable, that I never want to take it off.

Thank you for sharing my fairy tale with me, and thank you so much to John Leon of John JNL Leon Fashion Designs for his special vision and incredible talent, making my Cinderella dreams come true. With John Leon, it’s not just a gown, it’s a fairy tale.

Remember that black and white sketch that started it all? Here’s the finished color drawing that John prepared, and I’m honored to share it with you here.

Want your own fairy tale? Follow John JNL Leon on Facebook at www.facebook.com/johnJNLleon/ and Instagram @johnjnlleon.

I’m excited to announce that John Leon will also be showing his Spring/Summer 2018 Bridal Showcase at Philly Fashion Week on Saturday, September 23! More information and tickets are available at www.phillyfashionweek.org.

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.

Philadelphia Fashion Alliance – Designer Terese Sydonna

My biggest new discovery at the October 11 Philadelphia Fashion Alliance Launch Event, is designer Terese Sydonna.

Terese Sydonna, the brand, is a contemporary ready-to-wear and accessories brand designed for the superhero in all of us. Inspired by bold prints, sculpture, and unexpected detail, Terese Sydonna’s collections celebrate a modern landscape where art, fashion and comfort intersect. Stylish, yet maintenance free, 95% of the collection is machine washable, quick drying, and wrinkle-free.

Terese Sydonna, the designer, is a 2014 alum of the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator at Macy’s, holds a dual degree in Economics & Business and Studio Art from Lafayette College, and a Fashion Design degree from The Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.), and is super-cool, friendly and one of my new favorites. And, yes, one of those print jackets is now hanging in my closet. I couldn’t resist!

Learn more about Terese and her collection at her website www.teresesydonna.com and feel like a superhero!





Thank you, Terese! I’m looking forward to seeing you and more of your wonderful clothes and accessories very soon!



Philadelphia Fashion Alliance – Designer Jovan O’Connor

I was so fortunate to be invited to the launch event for the Philadelphia Fashion Alliance (PFA), held at Wetherill Mansion, South 18th Street on October 11, 2015.

The Philadelphia Fashion Alliance is an alumni group for designers of the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator. Its purpose is to create a support network for these designers to promote the growth and success of not only their businesses but also the Philadelphia Fashion Industry as a whole. Since I love to support and promote the local fashion scenes in our area, I was thrilled to participate and see of the wonderful designs and styles coming out of this vibrant city.

I was first introduced to the brilliant work of designer Jovan O’Connor at her New York Fashion Week AMONYC show, so I was especially excited to find out that she’s a member of the PFA and would be a part of this event. A number of her beautiful dresses were on display and I was very happy to see a lot of people checking out (and buying!) her styles.




What to buy, what to buy?


I like this one!


Or this one?


No, this one!




The beautiful and incredibly talented Jovan O’Connor. I am so looking forward to seeing her Spring 2016 collection. She had some previews at this show and they were amazing.