This fashionable and stylish blog is a collage of creative fresh ideas, filled with educated opinions, packed with flexible suggestions, stuffed with a lot of sense of humor and most of all, it is a place where people who enjoy fashion and style can use it as a resource, a channel to let out their passions or frustrations, a virtual mechanism to influence others with individualism and creativity. Anyone can use this blog to break the monotony of your lives—to have a good laugh or to initiate a thought. And if your life feels monotonous spice it up with a tiara or a new belt or a hat. This blog is not supposed to be the fashion police [never] because who can compete with Joan Rivers. This blog is not a serious literary document; instead, it is a fun registry about what we like to wear, our personal style and a life that’s unique, fun and imaginative. WARNING: This blog is not your average and stereotypical blog, this blog offers honesty, choices, fun ideas and a good time. Criticism is welcomed. Cynicism is encouraged!


Ann Demeulemesster is Red Hot!

I had a big weird out-of-body experience this morning. It didn’t last very long but the 15 minutes seemed like hours and the hours were a full of grace kind of moment.  I’ll tell you why. I was watching the Ann Demeulemeester men’s fall 2011 collection and I was blown away. One by one somber, gangly and almost pre-adolescent looking models (I’m sure they weren’t) walked out onto the runway wearing the most ultra chic and architectural refined clothes. Each piece looking proper, edgy, modern, polished and stimulating since Demeulemeester was on fire. Not literally, but her show was hot! Unlike her spring 2011 collection which featured two main colors back and white; this collection was some color. Not too many colors, but something different to the usual Demeulemeester palette. Her usual somber gray and black were paired with rays of orange, red, blue and tints of ashy white. Everything about this presentation was right; the attention to detail(s) and modern construction clearly mastered by Demeulemeester.
Monica Feudi/Style.com
The great thing about these clothes is that almost every single piece [all] was an easy wearable piece—pieces that have never made a debut in a collection since it was the first time they were carefully crafted. Demeulemeester must have travelled to some other constellation to collect herself, resources and design this poetic and heavenly collection. The specs of silver starry bodies against black reminded me of images of far away galaxies that were printed in my elementary school science textbook. These clothes had the feeling of having been showered by snowflakes before the show and had slowly melted—leaving behind a celestial trace behind them. This collection, which I consider it to be international, deliberately architectural with hints of contemporary bohemia, can be worn by a stylish punk in London to a refined music agent in Los Angeles and a midnight rocker in Tokyo. The red suit with the oversized black gloves was devilish hot. It looked like Demeulemeester had played with fire and got burned. Not burned at the stake, to the contrary, this suit was on fire. Who wouldn’t be caught wearing the beautiful black winter coat that was paired down with the orange jacket? This coat had movement, a delightful shape and size (did you see the lapels?) and an ultra-modern feel. Hey Ann, Johnny Depp will be calling you to place his order soon, if he hasn’t already. This black jacket was exquisite and a Demeulemeester original. I watched this show selfishly dreaming that I could own each piece, but truth be told, it was just a dream. With every piece that marched in front of my screen I was mesmerized by the fluidity of the clothes and the unsuspecting experience of seeing bright colors in a Demeulemeester collection. Throughout the show I wondered if Ann had summoned her spiritual healer and in a hypnotic experience decided to punch her fall collection with colors believed to have mighty healing powers. I think this time Demeulemeester went to infinity and beyond.

Why Write This Blog? Don't We Already Have Enough of Them?

Why write this blog? Because I like writing and I have enjoyed fashion since as far as I can remember. That’s it, nothing really serious like global peace. I was a fashion illustration student, a fashion model, a retail and design consultant, etc.  I enjoy fashion, culture and anything and everything in between. It will be fun, entertaining, pleasurable, and meaningful to have a medium to share our feelings and my knowledge about subjects I’m almost addicted to but not really. I’m also writing this blog because a lot of folks have encouraged me to do so, since they see the great potential and the skills I sometimes try to ignore. I need to express my gratitude to the many folks who throughout the years have encouraged me to do something in the field of fashion, style and life in general; and who have complimented my unique, cheap, yet chic style of dressing. I guess I finally listened.
As I mentioned before, I was a student of fashion (I attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising). I worked in retail for a handful of years and during my early twenties to early thirties I worked as a fashion model, which offered me the opportunity to work with some great talented photographers, stylists and makeup artists, designers and fellow models. Through the years, I have dissected many books that have been written about fashion, style, history, culture and people. Of course, I’m an avid reader of some great magazines and some that are not so great. But I still read them. Without sounding narcissistic and supercilious, according to some of my colleagues, friends and some family members I’m also a stylish and fashionable individual. I wear clothes accordingly. I just know when and how to mix designer labels, inexpensive items and a great vintage find. I’m not afraid to wear an old pair of jeans with a nice Prada white button down shirt and a pair of Calvin Klein leather boots out to dinner. In my humble opinion, fashion needs to be fun, modestly educated, spontaneous—not thought out as an architectural tour de force. And style is develops as one matures and as one is able to break the rules of the fashionable institution. Life is what we experience, what we seek to dream; what motivates us; what makes us laugh or cry; what we wish to try and everything that surrounds us. Together we’ll discover more about life and share plenty. A lot, if you wish.
When I worked as a sales consultant for a large retailer, a lot of women and some men used to approach me with questions such as; do I look good in this color? What do you think about this silhouette? Do you think this length is right for me? What’s the trend now? I could go on and on about what women wanted to know and about what I thought. I gave them my honest opinion and offered them a likeable and reasonable solution to their fashion dilemma. Women appreciated my honesty and admired my bravery. These experiences and many others have encouraged me to write this blog, which I hope readers can use to learn more about fashion, style, designers, lifestyle, beauty, color, design, craftsmanship, spontaneity, commerciality, accessibility and a myriad of other subjects. I must confess to you that, “I am not the fashion police, and I am not the encyclopedia of fashion or style. And I am not a life coach or either. I am not to be taken 110% serious—and you have the right to disagree with me and my word(s) at any time.” Having said that, I want to tell you that I’m excited to have started this project; I’m looking forward to collaborating with you the readers, and I’m thrilled to have a channel to express myself. Enjoy!

Likes and Dislikes: Doesn't Everybody Have Them?

You wanted to know more about me, well, here it is. I hope you enjoy and if you have any questions. Comments, ideas, etc. please feel free to email me.
Where am I from? Born in San Salvador and have lived in Italy, France, Costa Rica and most of my life in the United States.
Where did I go to school? I graduated from Belmont High School in Los Angeles; attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. After graduating from FIDM, I graduated with honors from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
What or who motivates me or excites me? Since I was a kid I’ve been curious about art. Art as in the visual and performing arts—it has provoked me to laugh, cry, write, meditate, imagine and reminisce. Art has always played a vital role in my life whether consciously or not. Currently I’m very impressed with the manner in which my 15 year old niece Cindy is developing her sense of style and fashion. She is a very smart and clever stylish young woman. I really admire her commitment to individualism and understanding what works and what doesn’t for her thin and semi-leggy body. So she motivates me. I really get a kick from watching and listening to my 23 year old nephew Christian speak about fashion and whatever he believes to be chic, functional and attractive. Christian is innocently motivated by good looking and affordable clothes and he’s an encyclopedia of knowledge about everything and anything about fashion, designers, art and culture.

At 15 Cindy owns her style
 Who are some of my favorite designers? I’m fair, responsible and loyal person, therefore, to name just a few designers wouldn’t be so. I like anyone who is committed to creating beautiful, affordable and original fashion.  I also like designers who propose consumers an easy and achievable manner to personal style. I guess I will name some of the designers I have respected and admired for a long time. In time I will also write about other incredible designers whose creations I admire and whose ideologies I value. In no particular order they are: Yohji Yamamoto, Miuccia Prada, Giorgio Armani, Nicolas Ghesquiѐre, Zac Posen, Hedi Slimane, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Tom Ford, Alber Elbaz, Valentino Garabani, Alessandro Dell’Acqua, Stefano Pilati, John Galliano, Vivien Westwood, Marc Jacobs, Francisco Costa, Issey Miyake and Joseph Altuzarra to name a few.
Who are my favorite photographers? I like photographers whose work transcends time, whose work it’s a pleasurable experience and it’s consistent-easy to recognize.  I am not a photography connoisseur but I took a few courses when I was in college and got to know some photographers really well. I believe the photographic work of Richard Avedon will remain for the ages. David Bailey’s photographs are instantly recognizable and memorable. I really, really like the casual and playful manner in which Bruce Weber photographs his subjects, thus giving the viewer a delightful and fun production. The work of Helmut Newton is for me always sexy, flirtatious, and modern and the women almost always have a powerful role. One can never forget the indelible work of American photographer Irving Penn. Currently; I drool over the work of British brilliance Nick Knight. I love his work—the movement, how he manipulates color(s) and form and his concepts are editorial and tastefully commercial. In future postings I will mention other great fashion photographers I admire and respect.
Which magazines can be found any where in my house? Expect to see Vogue (America, France and Italy), Elle, i-D, Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, GQ, National Geographic, Esquire, New Yorker, W, Dazed & Confused, Nylon, Arena Homme and L’uomo Vogue.
What do I do in my fun time? I like spending time with my beautiful and very smart yellow Labrador Tucker. I really cherish whatever time I get to spend with my partner and architect extraordinaire Dan. I’m a quiet person; I cherish my time alone, either reading a good book/magazine or watching a good foreign movie. In the spring and throughout the summer time you will find me gardening, mostly container gardening since we live in the city. Hanging out with friends is always fun.
Where do I get my materials like photographs, illustrations or videos? Well, I get most of my photographs from Style.com, Getty Images and/or I take the photos myself. I’m very good about crediting the original artist; both for legal reasons and the artist deserve to be mentioned. I create my own illustrations and collages and as far video material is concerned, is either original (mine) or a designer’s website(s) and/or YouTube. Again, the site(s) or the artist(s) will be given proper credit and if you'd like me to remove any material from this blog, don't be afraid to let me know.

I didn’t know how to start this blog and then my beautiful and smart partner suggested I write about what I like and dislike. I thought it was a great idea. And as such, I will start by listing some of my likes and dislikes about fashion, style and other stuff.

I like Anna Wintour. Why? I strongly believe she’s a great business woman with a great eye for new talent and she’s a strong force in support of American fashion. When I was attending fashion school Anna Wintour was the topic of two research papers and the muse for a creative visual presentation. Thanks to Anna I got an “A” in the class. For some folks Anna is a controversial figure and an earthly deity full of contradictions and odd speculations. Anna Wintour deserves credit for singlehandedly maintaining the American (and the world) fashion machine going during a time of economic distress. Her quiet wit, her demure stature, her timid glance, and her undeniable stand for what she likes and what she doesn’t; her ultra chic style and her powerful influence reaches beyond the American landscape. I can only imagine working for her (I could answer phones, make copies, anything), or having a small lunch in her office while going through some ridiculous photographs for the next issue (I can dream, right?) The movie The September Issue did not fully encapsulate her prodigious dogma, her heavenly image, her grand persona, and some of her fabulous Anna isms. She’s simply the best.

You might not agree with me for robustly admiring the work of Anna Wintour, but you might agree with me for liking the masterful work of revered fashion-celebrity photographer Herb Ritts. Despite his unforeseen death, Herb Ritts left a rich photographic legacy and a charitable foundation dedicated to support HIV/AIDS causes. Meeting Mr. Ritts in Malibu in 1992 was a personal dream. He was friendly, very genuine, and handsome and he had a killer smile. I had admired his work for a long time and when the opportunity to meet him came about I never hesitated. After our first meeting, Johnny a mutual friend invited Mr. Ritts to join us for dinner at Marix in West Hollywood; he told us some of the funniest jokes and colorful stories. He had a great sense of humor. His Male Nude with Tumbleweed (1986), the iconic image of Stephanie, Cindy, Christy, Tatjana, Naomi (1989), and Woman in Sea (1988) are some of my personal favorites. I also like his multimedia work, which include Janet Jackson’s video Love Will Never Do Without You (1990), a video that caused a delightful reaction and introduced us to a young Antonio Sabato Jr. and an unknown actor Djimon Hounsou. Ritts’s fan base grew immensely after the video was shown on MTV. It would be insensitive of me to not mention the beautiful and sensual video Ritts created for Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game (1989) where a young, exotic and gorgeous Helena Christensen flirts with a sexy crooner Isaak in a deserted Hawaiian beach. These are just a few of my favorite Herb Ritts’s images—some will remain iconic images in the history of fashion and American pop culture.
In the fashion world there are people who for some reason or another believe that by using big words to describe a small fact they will sound smart, unique or important. If you have ever watched or read an interview with some magazine editors, newspaper columnists and some bloggers, you have experienced what I call “there’s no need to use big words to describe a dress, a pair of shoes, a leather belt, a hair style or a purse.” A beautiful dress is a beautiful dress, period. No need to embellish, we all get it. Some designers are guilty of this too. They use overstated and unknown words to tell us that their collection(s) are wearable, affordable, colorful, simple, sophisticated or even cool. This fact is evident at the conclusion of almost every runway presentation when reporters interview editors as they make their way through the crowd. “Oh my gosh! This collection was profusely decadent, abounding with highly crafted textiles imported from the Far East and each supermodel looked simply amazing and androgynous.” Personally, I like to speak with people that use everyday language and who do not try to sound extraterrestrial. These are some “ordinary” words I can’t stand when used or overused in a unexciting manner: amazing (nowadays everything and everyone is “amazing”), supermodel (this word should have never, ever been used or better yet even invented, thank you Janice Dickinson!), inspiration (now everything has to have an inspiration? What about an expiration?), genius (a designer, an editor, a writer, a makeup artists, a stylist is not a genius. A genius is someone who has extraordinary intellectual power, mental superiority over others, a transcendent spirit), gutsy (I thought boxers were gutsy, not a collection of dresses?), fashionista (can we please stop using this word? It’s a crazy, lifeless and dumb word to use) and last but certainly not the last, cute. What can I say about this word? It should not be used unless one is describing puppies, bunnies or kittens. 
The extraordinary work of Grace Coddington has been one of my favorites too. Ms. Coddington’s editorial work is fantastic and she’s one of the best stylists in the world. She manipulates her subjects as if she is caressing the face of a little cherub; carefully, tenderly, perfectly. Her creative lens sees the big picture and focuses on details no other connoisseur of fashion is able to capture. Her fabulous editorial productions for American Vogue have been admired by millions around the world; her eagerness to her craft was prominently displayed in the R.J. Cutler documentary The September Issue where Coddington’s attention to detail(s) and love for her métier is something that will remain for the ages. One of my favorite creations of Ms. Coddington is the book she edited with Michael Roberts, GRACE: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue. When I first eyed this book I thought it wasn’t possible for someone in fashion to be amazingly gifted and have the awesome opportunity to work with some of the greatest photographers in the world. In this bible of fashion photography one gets to drool over the beautiful photo shoots Grace harmonized with photography icons such as Cecil Beaton, David Bailey, Irving Penn, Sarah Moon and Helmut Newton to name a few. I like Grace Coddington for her quiet elegance, her ravishing beauty (the red hair is like a great Arizona sunset), and her perfect dedication to making Vogue a beautiful magazine.

I’m a big fan of designer Alber Elbaz, who is at the helm of France’s oldest couture fashion house Lanvin. Alber Elbaz is brilliant! His influence in fashion asserts his vast standing in the firmament of what is the fashion universe.  In my opinion he possesses the most technical design abilities (of the molecular type) than any other designer of his generation; he’s a man who loves to dress women of any age and shape-and they love to be dressed by him. I admire Elbaz for his superb draping skills, his obsession for detail and his chic simple silhouettes are unique and possessively his own. It has been said, that “great things come in small packages,” thus the greatness that it is Alber Elbaz. His unlike basketball player size is not to be messed with because his talent goes beyond the limits of fabulousness. His short physique and less-than Olympic form only means that his talent and creativity are golden qualities we wished could possess. Elbaz has been described as a designer who is “refreshing and very chic with all he does. Colors and shapes.” His clothes are wearable; women love to wear his designs.  I dreamt the other night that I was sitting with Mr. Elbaz in some hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Paris and we were having a laugh out loud kind of conversation accompanied by fancy drinks and frog legs marinated in peanut sauce and coconut milk. “What do you think of the Vietnamese frog legs?” I asked him. “I think they’re spicy and simply ma’velous,” he answered while stuffing a pair of legs in his mouth. “I think they’re too soggy and sweet,” I added. The conversation concluded with me asking him if he could dress any dead celebrity who would it be? “Hillary Swank,” he quickly responded. I started to laugh and then ask myself, “is Hillary Swank dead?” I hope he’s wicked in person as he’s in my dreams.

There’s nothing more annoying than people who think they can give an expert opinion about fashion (or anything, really) when in fact they do not have the experience nor the educational background to cement their words. Who are these people? These are the men and women who at any given time had a job reporting celebrity news, worked as personal assistant(s) for some D listed starlet, married a television producer or are currently partnered with some retail queen who manufactures terrible pottery. These people think they give their “expert” opinions but in reality they’re really are horrible at delivering their “expert” point of view. Nothing is more distracting and unattractive than watching some rail-thin, big mouth tangerine  critique and judge the fashions of the day and harshly scrutinize fashion designers, brutally dismember innocent starlets, then celebrate her foolish banter by telling the viewers she’s a fashion expert. Whatever that means. I completely agree with critiquing or having an opinion about anything someone is wearing on TV, a magazine spread, on the street or at a party, however, to publicly humiliate someone about a fashion faux pas is not the end of the world. I don’t believe in using people for mockery or to increase the number of viewers or readers. There’s a decent way of delivering a message and some of these fashion “experts” fail at doing so.