Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Haute Designer : Max Azria

As stated on the Biography on

Executive Officer Max Azria. In 1981, after eleven years of designing a line of women's wear in his native Paris, Azria moved to the United States and launched Jess, a series of new-concept retail boutiques offering hip French fashion to American women. After years of success, Azria decided to pursue his dream of launching a design house that spoke to the modern woman-thus BCBGMAXAZRIA was born. Named for the French phrase bon chic, bon genre, a Parisian slang meaning "good style, good attitude," the brand embodies a true combination of European sophistication and American spirit.

He and his wife Lubova now work closely together and oversee the operation of the label and overall brand.

I find the Azria’s designs to be continuously fresh, offering up both on -trend and innovative looks. Tailoring is one of the designers strong suits. He presents a  variety of mix and match separates and youthful yet sophisticated dresses. His pieces are chicly cut and well tailored, collection after collection. Ive highlighted some of my favorites from his website




I have strategically chosen looks that I feel will highlight or add to your Wardrobe Essentials. Each look has some classic feature yet makes a statement on its own, which will allow you to keep it in your collection of clothing for years to come. The choice of colors of several of the pieces are currently on trend but can be confidently worn during many springs to come or while vacationing in a warm climate, as bright colors are always appropriate in a hot climate. The trendier the item the more conscious I was of the price point. I hope these tips are helpful in your quest to remain Haute.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Wardrobe Essentials Part 1

Wardrobe Essentials


As mentioned in an earlier post the establishment of a wardrobe full of essentials is ideal. Lets  outline what this essential wardrobe looks like. High on the list of must haves are a perfectly tailored pair of black pants, one for heels another for flats.

You should look for a seasonless wool blend material that allows you to wear them comfortable throughout most of the year depending on where you live. You want to be sure you shop for both a pair to wear with flats and one with heels as the fit and length will vary considerably depending on this factor. Depending on where you shop for these trousers you may be able to take advantage of in house tailoring services if not I highly recommend taking them to a tailor or even your neighborhood dry cleaners. A perfectly fitting pant will lessen the grievances’ we  women often have towards what "we" view as our body’s imperfections. A great pair of tailored pants will surrender to our shape as opposed to us trying to shove the lower halves of ourselves into a one shape fits all mold, that garment designers must create in an effort to effectively mass produce clothing.
Here are a few examples to get you started

Notice that each pant highlighted has a flat front detail. Flat front trousers as a rule work best for all body types. The flat front provides a smooth even surface,full coverage and doesn't add bulk like pleated fronts have a tendency to do.  A flat front detail can be found in each pant silhouette.
Deciding whether you would like a cuff on your wide leg trouser is completely a matter of preference. The cuff is there solely for aesthetic purposes. The wide leg silhouette can be worn by all body types. For those of us who wish to minimize full hips and thighs this is the go to silhouette.


I highly recommend adding a cropped pant to your wardrobe because of the versatility it offers you. These pants can be worn with a slim heel, a stacked heel, or with flats. Crops are the ideal "flats pant" because they stop just shy of the ankle. You can always buy a full length trouser and have your seamstress crop them to fit "your" ideal length for a flat shoe, or you can bring your favorite flats along with you while shopping for a great pair of cropped pants.
The perfect tailored black trouser can be worn to work, dressed up for a night of cocktails, dressed down with a trendy tee and crazy shoe or even a canvas sneaker on the weekend. 
Black trousers worn with sneakers? It can be done. Check back as we continue to cover Wardrobe Essentials.

Friday, February 8, 2013

HauteTrenta Black History Tribute

Bethann Hardison
 Her Twitter title reads Fashion Activist and Documentarian.
She is many things and definitely a HauteTrenta woman and a part of modern Black History.
In the late 1960s and the early 1970s "Fashion" a multi billion dollar industry, the world's second largest employer exceeded only by agriculture was decisively failing to represent the diversity that existed in the modern world of the time. Bethann Hardison a young burgeoning model from the Bronx was a part of a group of African American models who would change fashion history.
Bethann w/ Stephan Burrows
 On November 28th 1973 a group of daring American designers Anne Klein, Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, Halson and Stephen Burrows faced off with five French major Couture Houses, Yves Saint Laurant, Christian Dior, Haubert de Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, and Emanuel Ungaro in what would become  known as "The Battle of Versailles".

Audrey J. Benard explained (2012)  it was the American designers who dropped a bomb. Their secret weapon — great clothes and a group of explosive Black models that sashayed down the royal runway to R&B music. They turned heads and simply stole the show. The extraordinary evening left an unforgettable imprint on the fashion industry and forever changed the role of Black models in America and abroad.
Bethann featured on the left
This triumphant  event would stand as a perfect example of the form Bethann's life would take. Bethann would go on to found her own agency Bethann Management Co Inc. She remains dedicated to scouting managing and launching the careers of underrepresented models of color. She is responsible for developing the careers of  Naomi Campbell, Tyson Beckford and Veronica Webb to name a few.

In 1987 she and her dear friend Iman founded the Black Girls Coalition. The organization is dedicated to raising awareness of the lack of diversity in the fashion industry. There had long been speculation as to the lack of diversity present in ad campaigns and runway shows but a 1991 study would add statistics that would validate these suspicions.
 The City of New York's Department of Consumer Affairs 1991 study resulted in the findings that a paltry 3.4 percent of all consumer-magazine advertisements depicted African-Americans--despite the fact that they comprise approximately 11.3 percent of the readership of all consumer magazines and 12.5 percent of the U.S. population (The Ugly Side of Fashion Business, Essence Sep '93)

With this information in hand Bethann invited over 100 members of the international press to a conference in New York in the winter of 1992. She and 20 members of BGC spoke of the grave injustice they were witnessing. They argued that the 16 Billion dollars that the African American consumer alone contributed to the fashion industry was reason to adjust the lens in which brands and retailers looked out of when creating marketing campaigns. In an industry dedicated to constant change and challenging the rules it was only natural to have a myriad of complexions and ethnicities mirrored back at the consumer.
 Her continuing heroism is echoed in her role as Contributing Editor at Vogue Black, an extension of Vogue Italia. Here she and Tyra Banks one of the young models Hardison helped mentor, run the publication and online fashion website that showcases black fashion talent from around the globe. It does seem that Bethann has dedicated her life to challenging the status quo within the industry she loves so much. You can view her new documentary Invisible Beauty where she speaks candidly about Black beauty in the Fashion Industry.


We are so forward thinking and so progressive in many ways within the Fashion industry. I love Ms Hardison's mission to challenge an industry who otherwise praises the "provocative". We now live in a global society and consider ourselves global citizens who are quite capable of recognizing the many representations of beauty that exists in our world.  Thank you Ms Bethann for all you have done and continue to do.