In The Know: Designer Spotlight: UEG and ZoFA

For this portion of the Fashion Tales "In the Know" spotlight of designers, we're taking a different route. Today is about exploring unisex accessories and garments, as well as the usual art infused and avant-garde driven inspirations. This exclusive set of designers exemplifies originality, passion, and a distinct message behind their design.  
Above: Paper Parka-Unisex, Women's Half Paper Cotton Shirt

Warsaw based project, UEG is a clothing brand for women and men that collectively plays upon the concept of consumerism as well as symbolism in text. The concept of UEG came from Lojewski, Kuczynska and Przemek Nowakowski, a screenwriter and author of drama plays from Poland. 

They visually narrate the motive of making the wearer conscious of discrepancies in the world today—the intentions are to show similarities in everything and each person. The brand’s project name essentially means “use and throw away,” (Usa e Getta), which is also the basis of inspiration for this entire mission.  

The collection features everything from multi-functional scarves, in the UEG Flags collection to patterned/scripted unisex parkas, from the Between Water and Stars collection.
 Images: UEG  Above: Famous Paper Blazer (100% Tyvek), Paper Case with magnet closure: made with water-resistant Tyvek. For Ipads, Macbooks Air, and Macbook Pro.

“Similarity is characteristic of everything that is. Everything that is, is similar. Each of us is similar to someone else. Do not be solitary, be similar. Similarity guarantees cleanliness. Cleanliness is the new love,” the designer says. 

Elina Dobele
Architect and shoe designer, Elina Dobele of ZoFA footwear produces handmade shoes for men and women with fine details. Dobele uses her architectural background as inspiration as well as the design perspective. She sketches, designs, and develops each style—all of the craftsmen who make the shoes are equally passionate about taking part in the manufacturing process. The shop is based in Riga, Latvia, and every bit of each style is made by hand. 

With Dobele’s designs she silently triggers several questions to the wearer, including, “What are our shoes thinking when being worn?” The collection consists of many styles that can easily be seen as art, using leather, satin, and unique seaming contrasts as the sole voice of expression. It’s sheer fashion play on comfort and style. From over-the-knee boots to a modern graphic nod to oxfords … in this line the use of leather certainly adds to the overall aesthetic!
Images: ZoFA Above: 1-Captured Beaks, 2-Tender Pony Pale, 3-Sharper Sharps in Navy, 4-Rough Cut Brown Shoes, 5-SS2013 Collection, 6-Tender Ripped

What do you think of UEG and Dobele’s designs?

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Lady in Red and Teal: An Artful Mash-up

As we transition into autumn there’s always a few things that are constantly on my mind: wonderful colour contrasts, the use of leather, and comfortable knitwear. It might be a tad early to don your chunky scarves, but it’s certainly never too early or late to take risks with combining colour and texture. 

In the past, I shared with you a few of my favourite independent accessories designers. In collaboration with Boticca, this time we're giving the spotlight to another progressive designer to have on your radar, Luciana Ellington.

The Los Angeles based designer has an eye for the bold and expresses it beautifully in her handbag brand Costella. She creates high quality leather bags with a focus on texture that's united with strong details. 

Much of the collection’s inspiration also comes from her Brazilian culture. Throughout the line you will see the joining of daring and edgy elements, such as unique handbag shapes, colourful contrasts, and eye-catching hardware.

These are bags with personality and only a selected quantity is made in each style! Of course, the exact style that I selected from her collection had to have both edginess and a striking colour palette. This "Mini Erin" bag is of triangular shape, but I found it to actually hold quite a lot. It’s made of cowhide turquoise and red python cowhide, and has a lively colour combination, (see detailed images below).

Boticca Handbags - streetstyle blogger
The Look:
Since, I love to wear bold and bright colours (not just in the summertime) I have been gravitating toward incorporating more red and pink tones. So, I decided to play with abstract patterns. I had to attend a conference with other creative types and wore a blazer with this outfit initially. Afterward, I ditched the blazer to go to an art show later that evening.  

I called this ensemble, “paint spatters and volcanic eruptions.” I know ... I was in a visual mode as I created this look. The grey stone colour in the blouse reminded me of melted rock with the pink interpreting lava from a volcano. 

I layered a dress underneath, which has a gradated floral print giving off a random effect much similar to paint splashes. In the end though, smart accessories matched with bold colour and texture spoke to me the most!

To view other styles from the line click here. What do you think of Ellington’s (Costella) handbag collection? 
The goods:  Costella "Mini Erin" leather handbag-c/o Boticca, Retro blouse-charity shop, Heels-Charles David, Dress-F21, Jewellery-Nordstrom, Maylee's Jewelry, Leather belt-Urban Outfitters. 
Boticca - Costello Handbags Designer press collaboration
   (Above) Bright contrasts and inside details: a combination of orange, teal, red, and silver. 


Statement Floral Sophistication

The moment has come to finally showcase my hand-sewn silk flowers. Per usual, days have been moving swiftly, and I thought it was time to upload a few snapshots of this DIY. Since, finishing my little projects I have fallen in love with this cardigan even more than when I initially started working on itfinding many ways to style it. Afterward, I decided to playdown the cardigan with a simple playsuit!

The focus was primarily on the 3D inspired florals. I like how refined they looked, even though it was making a statement. I paired my contrasted playsuit with a Tee and let the flowers do the rest of work, style-wise. This outfit was fun to wear, especially throughout the day as I was running about for work errands. Many strangers, (boldly, well-dressed females) even stopped to ask me, "Where did you buy that cardigan?" It was a nice surprise, and even better that I took one opportunity to chat a bit longer with one of the stylish strangers.

By the third person enquiring about the floral cardigan, I deeply inhaled a massive breath of fresh air, then silently shouted to myself, "wait, where are your business cards!" Of course, this was all done inconspicuously, otherwise it may have looked as if I had gone mad! Not to fret, all is well and good. I was happy that I did not change handbags that day, otherwise I think the backup business cards would have been missed!

Fortunately, there's a definite client who has already confirmed, paid, and signed on the dotted line for a Madison creation. And, to think, all of this random fortune with me merely wanting to do something a little different with my clothing! But, this is how it usually starts with me, as I am always modifying garments.

To be honest, due to work and having no time to fully commit to a store or other boutiques like I used to, I have not actually been pondering about getting back into designing. However, lately a good handful of appreciators have been making me entertain the idea once again. But, don't quote me on that ... we shall see!

I hope that you enjoy my floral sophistication here. Stay tuned, because you know there's always more inspiration to come! 
The goods: Cardigan-DIY, playsuit/romper-Urban Outfitters, Shoes-BCBG, Tee-Express, Bracelet-BFF gifted.

Five Fashionable Things

The funny thing about fashion: there's an abundance of diverse styles and ways of wearing certain garments. Often, many versions of a "complete look" are exact ways that you may have worn them yourself years before or even decades ago.

I remember being a teen and finding, (what I thought at the time were) the most magnificient trousers to pair under my worsted wool maxi skirt. All of this fashion sense was not nearly because I was having a trendsetting mindset, however now that I think of it, well it may have been. No, it was primarily because I was sort of a tomboy and did not want to wear my long skirt at that time.

Fast forward to present, and Quelle surprise! Androgyny now speaks boldly in the fashion world. But, as a blogger you already knew that, right? Your too cool for school "it girl" style (at least in your world) will soon be parading streets that have not just one name ... but a following. Who cares if you're a big city gal or small town princess, or if it's on trend or not! I just wear what I love, sometimes it falls in line with what's happening and other times like these it's a simple recycled look, only modernised!
Jordan Taylor Collection - ACNE - Miu Miu shoes _streetstyle
(Above) 1-The versatile black maxi with built in bra-cups: Jordan Taylor Collection, 2-Tailored contrasted blazer-ACNE, 3-Mixed pattern jumper-Carven, 4-Bow loafers in suede-Miu Miu, 5-An exaggerated white blouse-ASOS

Unabashedly "making it work" is a skill and an art, especially when you know your style well. And, let's not even talk about if you throw on a pair of patent oxfords, vintage, and statement jewellery! Oh, wait, I had you at "it girl," didn't I!

To honour the union of my tomboy and ladylike style here are five things that I would presently wear. It's fashion comfort basics with a sharpness of tailored delight! Ironically, it's also five garment elements (above) and wicked styles (below) that I have worn many times before as a teen sans the lace, if you can believe that! Of course, today I would naturally gravitate to this more polished approach, as technology and textiles are far better nowadays.

Lastly, take a look at the beautiful AW/13 campaign images from My Theresa. It truly spoke to me and had me remeniscent of my fashionable youth and custom stylings.

Do you wear any fashion elements from your youth? How do you make it work today?
Fashion Layering StylesMy Theresa Autumn Fall Campaign 2013
 Images: (Source)

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Inkkas: Impactful Footsteps

Inkkas Eco friendly shoes - Amazon Watches 
Making a difference never has an expiration date. There is always a reason to brighten someone's day, always a reason to help others in need, and more importantly should always be a mentally trending notion to give back, if you can.

As you may already know, I am a firm supporter in charity, culture, handmade products, and the art of diversity. Inkkas, encompasses all of these elements! 

Inkkas, a fairly new shoe brand produces eco-friendly footwear for women, men, and children that is handmade by local Peruvian artisans. Each shoe is carefully measured, cut, and sewn using genuine South American textiles. The shoe styles offered are daring prints and patterns with colourful options in an array of combinations. So, naturally this was already going to be a major win in my wardrobe. 

The company is devoted to being an advocate of fair trade and helping the environment with their sustainable efforts. This is a brand that applies their core values along with their global walk of ethically charged creations.
The philosophy is simple: celebrating the art of handmade craftsmanship whilst impacting the world with each sole created. It’s an incredible thing when a company not only stands behind their vision, but boldly exudes benevolence with charitable conviction. 

Inkkas shoes are made in South America by South Americans. This means that all areas of production, including sourcing and development, are done locally. This keeps the founding initiative of the company as well as helping to protect the Amazon rainforest. 

I am honoured to be a part of celebrating the efforts of the Inkkas brand and sharing how I wear my colourful style.

Check out more shoe styles on their website! What's your favourite pair? Visit: 
The goods: Shoes-Style: Mojito High Tops: c/o Inkkas, Denim-Cheap Monday, Slub knit tank-H&M, Turquoise beaded necklace-Flea Market, Onyx/chain beads-Ladyofashion, Layered tank-H&M, Leather bag-Charity shop.

“Don't just buy a product, buy a small piece of a better world.”  -Inkkas  

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Summer-Autumn: The Romance

When it comes to transitioning from summer to autumn, there are many items in my wardrobe that I tend to revert to.

As you probably know by now, versatility means everything to me when it comes to outfits. I am one of those people who actually wears everything in their wardrobeand like I've mentioned before, you really needn't a special occasion to bring out those lustrous knits and sparkling heels. Of course, there may be times when you wear certain garments far more than others.

Blazers: Easy Transitioning
But, regarding fashion items that you can continually go back to from season to season, here are a few of my favourites. Blazers and cropped jackets: these pieces are perfect for layering or adding edge to an entire look. I tend to go for a cropped leather shell, and one solid or printed blazer. I am not shy when it comes to wearing colour and prints, and this blazer is a perfect example of a style that is not just for summer.

Many people believe that you have to don a "floral" print only in the spring and summer. Think again! You can expect me to incorporate this vibrant number in my fall wardrobe as well!
How to wear crop tops - Street style Floral Blazers
If you're not a scarf person at all, not even in the slightest degree, then perhaps it might be because you have not yet mastered the art of versatilty with them! You don't need to be a magician to make fashion magic happen with your outfits. Take a risk and try a dose of creativity! Scarves have more attributes than keeping you warm and comfy in the winter. I have used them as belts, accessorising bags, bracelets, and even making a top or two.

It's probably the only accessory that I actually wear in every season. Between different fabrications, weights, and styles, there's a bevy of options even for the classic accessory wearer.

There you have it, my top two items that are essentials in my wardrobe for all seasons. Have you found your fashion romance with season transitioning yet?

What are your favourite items to wear throughout the seasons?
Trends Stackable jewellery - rings
Summer to autumn Layering Styles
  My version of the "crop top." Sheer lace gave it a little "something!"
Autumn inspiration - Prints and Florals Summer Fashion inspiration
The goods: Shorts-Express, Floral blazer and geo rings-c/o Oasap, Lace tank-H&M, Layered tank-H&M, Bow Wedges-Report via DSW, Asymmetrical top-Simply Chic SF, Postcard necklace-F21.


Schedules, Events, and What To Wear

I have a beach wedding to go to right before the season transitions into autumn, and I am thinking of appropriate attire. I actually wore this dress out to an early dinner one evening, but then pondered about possible looks for this upcoming wedding that we have to attend.

I just might add a scarf or jacket in case the cool breezes from the water kicks up the night air. (Think: Satin blazer, crop, or sheer overlay). For now, options are between this dress, a navy ribbon embellished shift dress, and a vintage lace bateau neck midi-length dress.

This year is far different from last year's wedding invites: the timeline of our 2013 weddings have been falling right into ridiculously busy moments workwise and not exactly in easy to fly to hub destinations, if I might add.
Thankfully, the upcoming one is quite like a "second wedding," since the couple secretly got married a few weeks ago. Now, they will have a joyous celebration with friends (and family) in a casual resort and "beach party" style two-day event; at least that's what the invitations said a mere five weeks ago!

Most all attending guests, like myself will be on the next flight to work the following day, a couple of guests will be moving a few days later, and another friend of mine attending will be going on holiday, so we all need to have something travel-friendly, semi-elegant, and with no-fuss styling.
Have you been to a casual wedding or beach wedding?

Beach wedding outfits inspiration -style blogger
Casual attire for weddings -Summer style
The goods: Necklace-Express, Chiffon dress: c/o Oasap, Sandals-Urban Outfitters, Golden beads-ladyofashion, Belt-Ladyofashion. 
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Style, Time, and The Main Attraction

There's nothing worse than forgetting your mobile or watch and having to ask a stranger, "Do you have the time?" We all have routine things that we typically wear, or even certain styles of clothing that we might faithfully purchase. I mean, who doesn't buy more than one plain T-shirt, right?

There's just something special about being able to look down at your own incredibly sleek wrist for a moment, even if only to see that a mere five minutes have passed since the last time you checked!

It's times such as these--where the marriage of hi-tech accessories and fashion merges together as seamless as a welt pocket on a blazer. It just works! Today, the options for stylish accessories, namely timepieces, are endless, and many styles are only getting better as the seasons change.
Swatch watch - Top men's style accessories 2013
Swatch: via The New Gent Collection: 1-Red Laquered, 2-Blue Rebel.

For menswear, watches are no exception to the concept of accessory "must-haves," whether it be to tie a complete look together or by its sole purpose.

When selecting watches, like any fashion accessory, factoring in wearability and qualtiy along with style should be aligned in the process at some point. It's even better when a brand has an evident influence behind a design or has clearly thought about the customer and their lifestyle as well.

So, whether you're the minimalism style devotee or fashion-forward tech lover, you needn't worry about options. There really is a stylish piece for everyone. In fact, go ahead, and make room now for sleek and chic additions, because here are several timepieces that just may have your accessories drawer saying, "Amen," to!

What style of watch is your favourite to wear?
Swedish design men's watches - Void Watches
VOID Watches: 1-V02-GOGR , 2- V01EL-COGY, 3-V03D-COWLWC.

G-Shock Watches Best men's watches
G-Shock: 1-Limited Series: GA200SPR-1A, 2-Classic Series: AWGM100GW-7A

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Fashion Autotune

This was a fun outfit that I wore a while back. A relatively simple ensemble to go vintage shopping with a couple of friends that I was visiting. All three of us just wanted to be free from work attire, so I suggested a band Tee theme. We wore old Tees and more importantly comfortable garments that still expressed our style and mood. It was an enjoyable day aside from my allergy attack, hence me donning the eyeglasses.

Remember this postas an afterthought it reminded me of that feeling, sans the fictitious band captioning. This shopping day was basically old T-shirt day, but kicked up a notch! It's times like these that I wish I had kept my old Jimi Hendrix Tee, amongst others. Although, I suppose thinking positively, at least some charity shop buyer is styling in it proudly ... somewhere in the world.

I will not even tell you how long I've had this Tee! I did, however manage to put it under the bedazzling knife over the years in true Lady of Fashion style, of course! No worries, it was minor fashion surgery at best.

Between my punk/ska/hip-hop/classical/pop/rock/blues+ phase growing up, I must have given my parents quite the headache with change in outfits alone, not to mention surround sound speakers even in a day. But, it couldn't have been too bad,  I turned out just fine.

So, what's on your playlist at the moment? Have you been to any summer concerts recently?  

The goods: Shoes-dELIA*s, Old reprinted band Tee-sliced and diced, Leather clutch-DIY, Tulle/netting underskirt-Ladyofashion, Tassel necklace-H&M, Eyeframes-Firmoo (as seen here).

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