Interviews

The Polished Diva: Styling for a Lasting Impression

“Style: Because your personality is not the first thing people see.”

Did you know that your style is the window to your personality? If your clothes are sending a mixed message, it would be wise to invest in the services of a stylist. The Polished Diva is a great starting point for ordinary women who need support in updating their looks.

Stylist Mary Harris Jones, CEO of The Polished Diva, says that her company is committed to helping everyday women discover a personal style that will leave a lasting impression. The Polished Diva offers the following array of services that will help clients make a fashion statement without ever having to say a word:

1. Editing the client’s closet. The contents of the closet are assessed and the clothes that are no longer style appropriate (i.e. clothing that doesn’t fit , clothing that isn’t worn, etc…) are weaned out. The clothes and accessories that are left are organized and are arranged to achieve various looks. Clients are provided with pictures of each look. After the client’s style is defined, a shopping trip is scheduled so that the stylist and client can fill in any gaps in the wardrobe.
*

2. Guided Shopping. During a scheduled shopping trip with the client, the stylist gives advice and suggestions.
3. Personal Shopping. A budget and a list are given to the stylist and she shops alone on the client’s behalf.

While her niche is updating the styles of ordinary women, Mary redefines their style based upon their personal specifications. She sees each person as an individual and prides herself on never styling any woman to look like anyone else. Her clients insist that her fees are reasonable and that she is worth every penny. Visit her at www.polisheddiva.com. Follow her on twitter and Instagram. Mary is available by appointment only.
**

* B.A.S.H. Beauty Arts Style Home Pop-Up/Organizer – Monica Byrd/Model – Ria Freeman/Dress – Simply Prissyness Mobile Boutique
Necklace – Suite Ta Bu “The” Jewelry Bar

**B.A.S.H. Beauty Arts Style Home Pop-Up/Organizer – Monica Byrd/Model – Ria Freeman/Look #2 (cold shoulder blush tunic)/Tunic & Accessories : Simply Prissyness Mobile Boutique

It’s a Wrap: 2016 Farewell to Fashion Icons

Don’t cry because it’s over – smile because it happened.

 

This perspective at least makes 2016 fashion losses less painful. Last year’s “Gone But Not Forgotten” list includes:

 

China Machado (December 25, 1929 – December 18, 2016) She was a Shanghai born supermodel, editor and  TV producer.

china-3                        china-4

James Galanos (September 20, 1924 – October 30, 2016) He was the fashion designer of the elite.  One of his more notable clients: Nancy Reagan.

galanos-1           5-nancy-reagan-in-galanos-creation

 

Richard Nicoll (September 15, 1977 – October 21, 2016) He was a British born fashion designer known for his ready to wear.

richard-nicoll_profile-2           richard_nicoll_01-3

 

Betsy Bloomingdale (August 2, 1922 – July 9, 2016) She was the widow of department store owner Alfred Bloomingdales; socialite; philanthropist and a familiar name on the Best Dressed lists.

 22bloom3            betsy-bloom2

 

Bill Cunningham (March 13, 1929 – June 25, 2016) He was an acclaimed fashion photographer who took it to the streets by capturing well dressed people on the streets as well the models.

bill-cunningham-2                                               bill-cunningham

 

 

Fred Hayman (May 29, 1925 – April 14, 2016) He was known as the Godfather of Rodeo Drive.  He revolutionized high end fashion retail by merging hospitality and retail to form retail-tainment.  Clients were entertained during their entire purchasing experience. Bravo.

fred-hayman-2           fred-hayman

 

 

 

Katie May (March 16, 1981 – February 4. 2016) She was a Sport Illustrated model, known as the Queen of Snapchat.  She also had a fashion line of bridal  wear.

katie-may-2              katie-may-1

 

 

Andre Courreges (March 9, 1923 – January 7, 2016) He was a French fashion designer who brought the space age to the catwalk. He also claimed to have invented the mini skirt in the 1960s.

andre-courreges-3          23 Jul 1968, Paris, France --- French fashion designer André Courrèges surrounded by his models. --- Image by © Jack Burlot/Apis/Sygma/Corbis

 

 

Saks Jandel, the 128 year old boutique to the elite in Chevy Chase,  closed its doors for good. I bought two evening dresses to mark the occasion.

ernest-marx-saks-jandel                         saks-jandel-2

 

 

AcCUSTOMed to Style: Tailors Specializing in Haute Yourture

outside-viewFashion Riddle:

When does shopping for OTR (off the rack) clothes become personal?

 If you answered “when your favorite tailor customizes them”, you  are absolutely right. In the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia are (what we call the  DMV), there are several great tailors.  I had an opportunity to interview one of them Mr. David Jones, President of Custom Tailoring and the best kept secret in northwest DC.

 

Don’t let the humble surroundings of his shop discourage you.  What it lacks in ambiance, he and the staff have in talent.   Mr. Jones is the real deal.  A native of Jamaica, he has been a tailor for over 47 years and apprenticed under Theodore Unic, a prominent Jamaican tailor whose clients included the then Prime Minister of Jamaica.  Mr. Jones went on to train in England under the Hall Brothers and eventually opened his own business.  He is soft-spoken and calm but his work is on fire.

jonnes-1

 

He and his dream team of tailors are busiest from February through June and they specialize in haute yourture – the art of customizing OTR clothes .  They can alter, reconstruct or make  garments from start to finish.  Ready to give you honest advice, they will work with a garment until they achieve  your red carpet look. Unconvinced?   See for yourself…The shop is a fantasy closet of garments designed, altered or sewn by Mr. Jones and his team.

 

custom-suits                         tux                   church-suit-jones

 

 

Below right is one of his top tailors, Ethan Staton.  He  saved me during DC Fashion Week by reconstructing my jumpsuit and designing the accessories for my vintage dress. Hoards of people stampede Mr. Jones’ shop requesting alterations during inaugural and prom seasons. Eighty five percent of all Mr. Jones’ business is by referral.

ethan

 

Here are some valuable tips Mr. Jones shared:

  • When you are looking for a good tailor get recommendations from people who are well dressed and stylish.  Visit the tailor and ask to see his or her work.  Crooked stitching, puckers in the fabric, partially opened buttonholes, and thread hanging from the garment are red flags that signal  a lack of attention to detail.  Great tailors take pride in their work and their finished product looks neat and crisp.
  • If you are in the midst of losing weight, get your clothes altered when you are within 10 pounds of your desired weight.
  • Always wear the proper attire for the clothes you want altered.  For example wear the shoes that you are going to wear with the particular dress or pants.  This will help the tailor to customize the garment correctly.
  •  Fashion is cyclical so update your jackets, pants, dresses by way of alterations.
  • Be flexible in your style vision.  You may love a certain look but if your tailor suggests a different style that would better compliment your body, follow his or her lead.  They know their craft.

 

Remember, alterations are all about you- take it personally! #hauteyourture

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fashion-Able: Tommy Hilfiger Designs with Equity for the Disabled

When we design something that can be used by those with disabilities, we often make it better for everyone else.” 

Donald Norman

Director of The Design Lab at University of California, San Diego.

Is the fashion industry vision challenged when it comes to designing adaptive clothing for the disabled?  One major designer isn’t.  As part of his Spring 2016 collection, Tommy Hilfiger collaborated with the non-profit Runway of Dreams, showcasing his adaptive wear for disabled children.  The clothes, otherwise identical to the mainstream TH Kids Collection, feature accommodations for physical limitations.  Kudos to the TH brand.  

Runway of Dreams is looking for other major designers to lengthen the short list of adaptive wear designers.  I applaud their vision and have some dreams of my own.   

Dream 1 – Wouldn’t it be fabulous if one of the challenges on Project Runway would be to design adaptive clothing for disabled adults? Rebekah Marine, Lauren Wasser, Kelly Knox on the runway… I would love to see that episode! Are you listening Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum? 

Dream 2 – A Typical Chic is developing a line of clothing that includes adaptive wear.  Stay tuned…

        

On the real, below is the short list of companies that currently design adaptive clothing: 

• Tommy.com (search Runway of Dreams)
• www.silverts.com
• buckandbuck.com (seniors)
 
Mini Gallery
         
        
Do you know of other sites or adaptive wear models? Please write to us and let us know.  

TJMaxx-imum Advantage

tj-maxx-runway

Do you just shop at TJMaxx in the clearance section and assume that you can’t afford Chanel, Gucci,  and Valentino?  Perhaps you are not getting the TJMaxx-imum Advantage! Take this simple test:

  1. Did you know that some TJMaxx stores have  runway fashion for very low prices?
  2.  Did you know that TJMaxx offers semiannual  events to showcase new/major Runway selections? Did you know about the preview to this event for special customers?
  3. Did you know that there is an online TJMaxx Runway? 

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, keep reading. We will show you how to Maxx-imize your shopping experience.

Last month, I attended the semi Annual TJMaxx Runway event in Chevy Chase, Washington, D.C. and interviewed Alex, one of their buyers and Charmaine, a high- energy, knowledgeable sales associate.  This is what I learned.

Last month, I attended the semi Annual TJMAXX Runway event in Chevy Chase, Washington, D.C. and interviewed Alex, one of their buyers and Charmaine. Here’s what I learned:

  • All TJM stores have great sales but not are created equal. Some TJMs have a Runway section that includes fashion from the most name worthy labels.
  • All TJM Runways do not carry the same items, so it is worth it to shop around. Visit the store locator at http://tjmaxx.tjx.com/store/stores/storeLocator.jsp to find the Runway Sections in your area so you can get the maxx for your minimum.
  •  TJM has an online Runway.  It provides a much larger selection of items, but at the store you inspect and try on  items before making your purchases.
  • Their return policy is thirty days with an online or store receipt BUT online purchases can’t always be returned to a store. Depending on the item, you might have to mail it back with free postage provided by TJM. Return details are usually written near the item description and price on the website and on your receipt.
  • To score an invite to the Pre Semiannual Runway event you must have a TJM Rewards Card or Access Card. Talk to your favorite TJM sales associate for details.

 

Still think these prices are too high for you?   Be intentional about saving money. Visit the Krazy Koupon Lady at http://thekrazycouponlady.com/tips/store-hacks/19-freaking-amazing-ways-to-save-at-t-j-maxx/ for Maxx-imum results. See you on the runway!!

tjmaxx-runway-fab-life