Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Just checked out a new (to me) fashion and style blogger

Introducing Tomris from DeJa Fashion:

Tomris (dejafashion) is the whole package: Arts & Entertainment Editor for Carolina STYLE Magazine and Fashion/Beauty Writer. AND she usually posts an outfit of the day that she ROCKS.

Former full time model and you can tell. No amateur stuff at Deja Fashion. But yet, it's all completely real, and down to earth, as if your best friend had been strikingly beautiful, grown up internationally, worked as a model and then a fashion editor and still called you to to come over after work for mint chocolate chip ice cream like you used to back in the 7th grade.

She's beautiful, but you like her. It works.

Love the blog, love the blogger.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What should Megan wear to Fashion Week in NYC?

One of Birmingham's top stylist, Megan LaRussa has posed the following question to readers, "What should Megan wear to Fashion Week in NYC?"

I won't spoil the surprise by telling you my fav look, but she has three chic looks to chose from. And voting for your favorite makes you eligible to win a fabulous New York Fashion Week swag bag, all compliments of Megan.

Go vote!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sometimes we love the fragrance, sometimes we love the packaging it comes it. And sometimes, it's both

Tried a little sample of Vera Wang by Vera Wang at Belk. Ah, what a beautiful fragrance! And the bottle is ever so lovely as well. We're putting this on the Christmas List!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The first "Beauty from the Heart" award: Regine Valcin

I started this post and wrote it several different times. I find that I'm inadequate for the task I've assigned myself as editor of this blog.

That task is bestowing the first "Beauty from the Heart" award. The winner is the beautiful and kind Regine Valcin. And I don't even have the words to tell you just how great I think Regine is.

Loved the Sam Edelman spiked shoes!

Regine won't like this, the part where I talk about how pretty she is and how's she's propelled herself to success by following her dreams. It's just the way she was raised by her Haitian immigrant parents. Get an education, work hard, DO. She wouldn't want anyone bragging on her, I can assure you of that!

But I can't help it.

And here's why.

I met Regine a few months back at an event I was hired to photograph, and then again at another event I shot a few weeks ago. At that first meeting I was instantly struck by her beauty and all together fashionable self. But then I settled in to listen to her speak. I watched from a seat in the back as she gathered a whole room of students into her heart and grabbed their complete attention with the very real story of her life, from unemployed college graduate to owner of one of Huntsville, Alabama's most popular upscale salons, Salon Prive.  In three years. And that includes the time it took her to earn another degree.

Regine is in a word, riveting. And I could spend hours telling you all about her life and the things she's accomplished, but what I'd most like to tell you about Regine is that she cares about people. She's funding an orphanage in Haiti. She finds the time to speaks to young people about the importance of staying the course and avoiding the pitfalls can steal a young person's life before they have even begun to live it. She prays privately about the problems people share with her while having their hair styled. She is deeply devoted to her faith, and it shows in everything she does.

She's human like the rest of us, not perfect, and she'd be the first to tell you that. But Regine is a true beauty, with beauty emanating from the only place it really matters in the long run, beauty from the heart.

 "Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised."

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Arlene Goldstein: A Fashion Queen Returns to Serve

We recently received a media alert about a fashion event we really hated to miss. (Alas, all of the  Birmingham Fashion Blog team have day jobs.)

The event was a makeover, compliments of retail giant Belk. The makeover was granted to a Miss Lauren Banks in honor of her service to the youth of Birmingham and to celebrate and welcome delegates (of whom Miss Banks is one) to the Charlotte's Democratic National Convention of 2012.

We've been to Belk events before, so it didn't surprise us that Belk was being so welcoming to visitors of the Queen City. Its' the Southern way. But can we just say we were awed by the fact that Arlene Goldstein, Belk's Vice President of Trend Merchandising and Fashion Direction, came all the way from Charlotte today to personally style Miss Banks?

We've meet this fashion queen several years ago when she was the Fashion It Girl at Parisian and later Vice President of Trend Merchandising for Saks, although we don't know her personally.  And it's our humble opinion, (as a fashion observer for over 30 years in Birmingham,) that Goldstein deserves much of the credit for turning Parisian into the fashion power-house that it was. And Belk's fashion direction since entering the Birmingham market? Nothing less than stellar.

And yet, Parisian always retained that accessibility to "the everyman" shopper. Hmm, something that I've noticed Belk does quite well also, now that I've had a chance to get acquainted with them.

Kudos to Belk for doing something so very nice for someone so deserving. And a bow to the fashion queen, who came all the way to Birmingham just to be of service to someone else.

This is what young, fashionable Birmingham looks like!

Two of Birmingham's top style writers and stylist: Megan LaRussa of Southern Femme and Donnell Cole of Southern Homme
Check them out and 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Wondering about back to school essentials? Jamie Robinson, Marketing Director for The Outlet Shops of Grand River has the 411

Jamie Robinson, Southern fashion diva and marketing director of the Outlet Shops at Grand River and all around sweet person was kind enough to make time in her day to answer a few questions about back to school must-haves.

What are the hottest back to school trends for teens?
- Hi Low skirts and dresses are a must! You can find all the latest styles at The Outlet Shops of Grand River, including Charlotte Russe and maurices. - Colorful denim in an array of styles can be found at Gap Factory Store and Aeropostale. - Boho-Chic styles are great for any occasion. Check out maurices and rue21 for these looks.What are the hottest colors this year? Tangerine has definitely been the hot color this year. Other fruit-inspired colors are following suit, like sorbet yellows, greens and pinks.

What are you seeing as far as bottoms go – short skirts? Cargo pants? Long skirts? 
We’re seeing tons of skirts with the hi-low hem lines. Maxi dresses are still in and Palazzo pants have made a comeback.What are the shoe styles this year?
Platform booties, animal print flats and anything adorned with zippers buckles or fringe. Guess Factory Store and Nine West Outlet are your best bet for these latest trends!

What about accessories? What is the going trend? Are cross-body purses popular? 
Thick chain bracelets and necklaces in gold and silver are very popular. Chevron earrings and necklaces just might be the going trend. Cross-body purses are great when you’re running errands. Choose a style with a chain or fringe for an added touch. You can find all of these styles at Charming Charlie (PHOTO ATTACHED) and fabulous purses at Nine West Outlet and Coach Factory.

With kids’ backpacks, what is popular? What about teens – what will they be using for backpacks? Kids, especially teens like to express their individuality through backpacks and accessories. For younger kids, choose a backpack with their favorite sport or super-hero. The Children’s Place Outlet has a great selection at great prices. For teens, color and fun patterns are the most important characteristics. They can find an array of choices at Famous Footwear and Gap Factory Store.

Any special hints for teens that wear uniforms, how they can personalize without breaking the dress code? ACCESSORIZE! Teens can find great patterned knee socks at GoldToe, fun belts at Aeropostale or rue21 and of course a ton of earrings, bracelets and necklaces at Charming Charlie… in colors to suit every personality.

Tell me a little something about your own fall must haves. My own fall must haves includes a tailored jacket in a fun, fall color from Banana Republic Factory Store, black skinny jeans from Gap Factory Store (PHOTO ATTACHED), a neutral platform pump from Nine West Outlet, chunky gold bracelets from Charming Charlie and an oversized leather tote from Coach Factory.

Anything else you’d like to add? Don’t miss our Back to School Fashion Shows this Saturday and next at 12:00, 1:00 and 2:00 to see all the latest trends I’ve mentioned here from your favorite brands at The Outlet Shops of Grand River!

Can a grocery store be in fashion? Why yes, it can. Especially when it stops to help those most in need

Isn't this the best thing you've ever heard about a company doing? Belle Foods is a small company, they are just getting off the ground. And yet they found a way to supply shopping carts for parents of special needs children.

Where are you, long established grocers? Walmart. Publix. Kroger. Albertsons.  Why are parents still having to push a wheelchair (that their little child doesn't even fit it) and pull a shopping cart with one hand just so they can shop for groceries with their special needs children? I see all those cute little shopping carts that look like cars, parked over to the side going un-used. But special needs kids DO NEED to be safe in a grocery cart, a cart created to meet their needs.

Can we please see some shopping carts (Caroline's Cart) for parents of special needs kids in EVERY STORE? Not just Belle Food. But for the time being, as long as Belle Food's is where I can find Caroline's Cart, that's where you'll find me spending my grocery and pharmacy dollars. My son isn't special needs. But someone's child is. And showing support is always in fashion.

Shopping cart for special needs children to debut in Birmingham area Belle Foods grocery stores

A shopping cart designed by an Alabaster mom for children with special needs will soon be available in two Birmingham area grocery stores. 
Caroline's Cart was created by Drew Ann Long, who wanted to make grocery shopping easier for moms of children with special needs, like herself. Pushing a wheelchair and shopping cart at the same time is difficult.
In the past few years, the cart has grown from a concept she designed at her dining room table, nurtured through several prototypes and launched in an initial manufacturing run of 100 carts. 
Along the way, it's gained fans around the world through a grassroots marketing effort on Facebook. 
Now, Birmingham-based Belle Foods, the company that recently purchased Southern Family Markets' 57 grocery stores in the Southeast, will be the first retailer to offer Caroline's Cart to shoppers. 
This week, Belle Foods is kicking off a rebranding campaign for its stores in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Florida that operate under banners including Bruno's, Food World and Piggly Wiggly. 
On Wednesday, the company held a ribbon-cutting at the Bruno's store at U.S. 31 and Lorna Road in Hoover, which is now known as Belle Foods. Next week, the Food World in Alabaster will be converted to a Belle Foods. 
At both of those stores, two to three Caroline's Carts will be available, said Paul McLaughlin, a spokesman for Belle Foods. 
Carts also will likely be available at the rest of the company's stores as it continues to roll out the new Belle Foods banner, a process that is expected to take 18 months, he said. 
At the stores that have the carts, shoppers can call ahead of time to reserve one. An employee will meet shoppers at their cars with the carts and also walk them out once they finish shopping, McLaughlin said. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Outlet Shops of Grand River partner with Teen Vogue for a back-to-school bash!

Exciting news for teen fashionistas!

The Outlet Shops of Grand River is pleased to announce its partnership with Teen
Vogue for the biggest Back to School event in Alabama. Teen Vogue has declared August 11, 2012 the day to do all of your back-to-school shopping.

 Back-to-School Saturdays (BTSS) will be held at the Outlet Shops of Grand River in Leeds, just minutes from Birmingham on August 11th and August 18th
from 11am until 5pm. On August 11th and 18th,  BTSS will offer non-stop excitement including music from a live DJ as you watch some high-energy fashion shows throughout the day.

Then, get a professional makeover to help you find that new look like Hollywood’s finest just in time for the new school year. In addition, there will be fun promotions, free giveaways and super savings at all your favorite stores, including opportunities throughout the day to “text to win” for a chance at some great prizes.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter @ShopGrandRiver, as these resources will be in full swingas the best place to stay informed on all the excitement and the best deals in town on the latest fashions.

“We are thrilled to partner with Teen Vogue on August 11th for Teen Vogue Back-To-School Saturday and bring the biggest back to school bash to Alabama for two days of fashion, fun and giveaways,” states Jamie Robinson, Marketing Director at The Outlet Shops of Grand River.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Ah Birmingham, Alabama, the fashion surprises just keep coming! LOFT joins the line-up at the Summit

Birmingham! Come try on the new LOFT  at The Summit.

Located a few doors down from Remon's, LOFT in the Saks area of the Summit.

And guess what else? LOFT already loves Birmingham just as much as we're going to love them. They're throwing a grand opening party August 9, from 5-8 pm. So grab your fashionista friends and stop by for a sneak preview of game day looks. And while you're there, go ahead and register for a chance to win tickets to an Alabama home game and a $250 shopping spree at LOFT.

Someone's going to win, why not you?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Congratulations to Andrea Brown, designer of Hannah Kate's adorable children's line and now a winner in Belk's Southern Designer Contest

The wonderfully talented Andrea Brown, from right here in Birmingham, AL has just been crowned one of the winners of the first Belk Southern Designers Contest. Congrats to Andrea and her staff, we are all so proud of you!

If you have not seen the Hannah Kate line, please stop by the Hannah Kate web site or Facebook page and check them out. And get ready to pick up a delightful item or two at your local Belk in Spring of 2013.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Fashion's Night Out in Birmingham, Alabama & the South - Spetember 6, 2012

I'm starting to collect and list places that will be participating in Fashion's Night Out on Spetember 6. Especially interested in places that are hosting special events and dare we say it, give-aways?

Can't wait for fall!