Fashion International Group Boston

 

 

Hello,

here is a repost of my Interview earlier this year. The original post was shared over 70 times and then my website crashed. Let’s continue to share it with others aspiring to work in the fashion industry! Thank you to my international supporters who post my work and direct fashion and music lovers to my website!

We had a chance to chat with FGI Boston Member, Natalie Mason and here is what we learned…

What is your profession / role in the fashion industry?
I was born into a family of tailors and artists so we always worked in the industry. My dad is an upholstery king in Toronto, Canada! I worked for various leading luxury brands in the fashion and beauty world and was trained by the finest houses. My current role in the fashion industry is curating scent and clothing wardrobes for my clients. When I am not styling my clients I write about and promote my talented family and friends on my website.

What is your personal philosophy about the fashion industry?
Study your craft, be true to yourself, wear what you love and make your own rules! i.e This year Disco is trending but in my world Disco is forever.

What do you consider your biggest accomplishment professionally?
My biggest accomplishment was styling singer/song writer and music producer Vivian Sessoms for Grammys 2018. She is responsible for many hits that you have danced or sing to, you also saw her on tour with your favorite artists from Cher and Pink to name a few. http://luxshop4u.com/vivian-sessoms-grammys-2018/ . I’m also excited about when I was selected at the Boston Fashion Awards as Boston’s top Wardrobe Stylist 2017 I was happy to be in great company with other successful Boston Stylists! I dedicated my award to my sister Pauline in heaven.

What inspires you?
Music, 1970’s fashion, and My loving family inspires me each and everyday! They are the most creative and fashionable people that I know! I am gearing up for my late father-in-law Soul Music Icon Danny Woods proclamation ceremony on March, 27th! After his death I wanted to put a smile on my grieving families faces, particularly my husband so I reached out to the music community, fans and mayors to help with this project and many others! So not only do we have one but we have 4 Proclamations in Atlanta, North Myrtle Beach and Charlotte North Carolina. PBS will be there to document this historic day! This week we contacted several media and music outlets to prepare for the week ahead! https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1921554397879360&id=1201501463217994

We are so happy to have you be a part of FGI Boston!

To contact Natalie:
Email: CreatorofLuxshop4u@gmail.com
Instagram: @Luxshop4u
Twitter: @Luxshop4u
Website: www.Luxshop4u.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Luxshop4u/

www.Luxshop4u.com 

Dapper Dan Fashion 500

 

It was an honor to see O.G April Walker, she birthed the urban streetwear genre. We cannot thank you enough!

 

It was a pleasure to meet the legend himself Dapper Dan. Award recipient and Harlem native Harlem Gatsby

 

The photo quality isn’t the best but it’s still an epic photo!

From one award winner “Boston Wardrobe Stylist 2017” myself to another “Fashion 500” Harlem Gatsby I would like to wish you a career and journey of continued success!

It was a delight to be in a room amongst fellow stylist and fashion veterans who I admired as a child growing up in Toronto.  On the day of this event I was preparing for an upcoming shoot for Vivian Sessoms and celebrity photographer Keith Major.  I left this event early to go back and finalize more details for Vivian’s  “Life Album” photoshoot.  Later on that week May 4th I also Co-styled a photoshoot for ADE with a team of talented women whom I admire.  We had the opportunity to style a team of notable choreographers. Check back soon for details.

Angelica Timas and Natalie

Vogue Magazine designer feature Angelica Timas  taps stylist to world renowned artists, actors and athletes Natalie from Luxshop4u to style her 2018 Fashion show.
“BOLDEFIANCE is a hybrid collection of summer and Pre-Fall 2018 pieces.  A blend of textures, fabrics and prints that easily transition from season to season.  The audience will be treated to two fashion seasons during one presentation.” Angelica Timas
This show is guaranteed to be sold out so purchase your tickets now on
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/angelica-timas-presents-boldefiance-ss18-pf18-tickets-37920828218?aff=LuxShop4AT&afu=187002666229

Angelica Times Designer feature in Switch Magazine Italy

“Angelica Timas is a clothing label that offers its clientele limited collections of luxurious pieces.  Each piece is unique and hand-crafted, made in small quantities giving a real exclusive and individual feel.”

Best designer award for evening/club wear Boston Fashion Awards 2016 Angelica on the left and her daughter model Tirzah on the right

Angelica Timas featured in British Vogue

 

Angelica Times featured in British Vogue

British Vogue designer feature

Singer Mila J wearing mesh top by Angelica Timas for Dopeness Magazine

 

Purchase tickets now on the Luxshop4u Affiliate link!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/angelica-timboldefiance-ss18-pf18-as-presents-tickets-37920828218?aff=Luxshop4AT&afu=187002666229

Featured in :
British Vogue Magazine’s designer profile
Vogue Fashion Files
Vogue Style Brief
Six page designer profile spread in Switch Magazine Italy
Glamour Italy
Tattler Magazine and Fashion London.
for custom inquiries email Angelica at hello@AngelicaTimas.com

Cruel Summer

I wanted to create what I did not see.  I remember uttering these words in 2015 while dining in the Blue Bangkok restaurant on Boylston Street in Boston.  My friend Dean Nights and I discussed my busy life of pulling clothes for VIP’s and creating a total lifestyle experience that included fine dining and clubbing for the VIP’s  all while I attended my full time job. During this time I needed and refered services to some of the people in this post for nails, hair, and graphics.  I told Dean that I wanted a place where my talented friends like him and myself could be highlighted.  So here we are with this mega post for the month of August. (Dean Knights is a tailor to the stars and aristocrats.)

I present to you the talented professionals in my circle with experience that ranges from music, graphic design, fashion and beauty who are making a difference in their respective fields.

 

Album art created by BenjiRichDesigns

 

Album art created by BenjiRichDesigns

 

Album art created by BenjiRichDesigns

 

Album art created by BenjiRichDesigns

 

BenjiRichDesigns Valentine Day gift to his fiancé this is currently my screen saver

 

Mawd Panda jumping the moon on his BMX in all white Yeezy’s

 

Kimbo Slice Art by BenjiRichDesigns

 

 

BenjiRichDesigns volunteered to create 3D printed prosthetic hands for children in need for a handathon

 

BenjiRichDesigns T-Shirts that I wear with my Chanel

 

Art Director BenjiRichDesigns

BenjiRich’s Graphic Design degree, and illustration (logo and branding) speciality afforded him the opportunity to perfectly marry with his motion graphics, videography, and 3D design background.  During his tenure with an undisclosed agency his clients included the NBA, New Balance, and Reebok.   Aside from being my personal web designer Richard also designed the backdrop for a live text to screen background during the Kevin Hart NBA Allstar 2016 after party in Toronto.  BenjiRichDesigns was also the Art director for VIP jewelry in Toronto, created logo/branding, and marketing videos for an indie record label by the name of  globe trotta records in Los Angeles.  Upcoming projects for this media expert are, vinyl toys, a clothing line and his uppermidsole blog that I will expand on when it launches.

*Fun Fact did you know that a BenjiRichDesigns t-shirt was custom made and  expedited for a movie star while he was filming in Boston?

Contact BenjiRichDesigns Creative via email: reubanks82@gmail.com

www.BenjiRich.ca

www.uppermidsole.com

www.hoopsontario.ca

 

Grammy Award Winner and Jazz Legend Wynton Marsalis

 

Perks working on my Birthday meeting Mello! Natalie, Carmelo Anthony and Belinda Munro

 

Hearts on Fire Jewelry designer Ilaria Lanzoni and Natalie

 

DJ Liz Ladoux and Natalie

 

Natalie, Michael K. Williams, David Kenneth Sommerville

 

Natalie, Bevy Smith

 

DJ Baby Yu and Natalie

 

 

Luxury Personal Shopper, Stylist, Lifestyle Expert and  CEO of Luxshop4u

In my world, we the community are on international tours styled by me, receiving life time achievement awards, walking red carpets, nominated for Grammys, charting music billboards and getting inducted into the Music Hall of Fame! My fashion expertise is put to use and my music ear is called.  Jorge Milliano and Benji Rich told me to add myself on here! I prefer to be behind the scenes!

Different phases of my website will be introduced in many capsules, I am not one thing I have been trained in many areas and will exercise my talents.  Read more about me in my bio!

 

 

Belinda Munro

 

Vincent and Belinda Founders of Jazz Houston

 

President Bill Clinton and International Singer Belinda Munro

 

Belinda Munro

This is an exciting year for International singer and song writer Belinda Munro!  She married her soul mate Vincent Gardner and their love story was featured in the Munaluchi Bride Magazine.  Belinda and Vincent are about to embark upon their August 2017 Australian Tour.  When Belinda is not on stage backing up Grammy award winning artists or singing at private charity functions and galas she is working on her long awaited album and building Jazz Houston the Arts organization that she and her husband founded.

“Belinda’s voice is angelic. Her sultry and uplifting vocals are enough to feed your soul”

NY Post

To learn more about Belinda Munro  visit www.BelindaMunro.com

Follow Belinda on Instagram @Iambelindamunro

 

 

Shellee Mendes and Oprah Winfrey article in the Boston Globe & Mail

 

 

Photo from Braintree www.Wicked Local.com

 

 

Shellee Mendes and Malcolm Butler

 

Shellee Mendes Salon Monet

Hard work should never go unnoticed!  Salon Monet owner Shellee Mendes’ photo was recently inducted into the African American Museum on Joy Street, Boston Ma.  Shortly after celebrating this occasion she had a once in a lifetime experience of meeting Media Mogul Oprah Winfrey.  When she is not working on movie sets or in Salon Monet you will find Shellee volunteering or attending fundraisers.

The Salon Monet staff are one of the most sought after hair stylists in Back Bay.  Services that they provide are highlights, blow dry, hair extensions, hair cut, eyelash extensions and many more.

To book an appointment at this award winning salon please visit www.SalonMonet.com or 176 Newbury St, Boston, Ma
Follow salon Monet on Instagram @SalonMonet @ShelleeMendes
To read more about Shellee Mendes visit

*Boston Globe’s article with Oprah Winfrey https://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/names/2017/07/20/newbury-street-salon-owner-sets-sail-with-oprah/

Braintree http;//braintree.wickedlocal.com/news/20170622/braintree-residents-newbury-street-salon-gains-high-honors

 

 

Alec Tavares from The Compound

 

 

Alec Tavares

 

Alec Tavares

Reasons that you may not know him, is because he prefers to remain behind the scenes.  A former contributor to XXL Magazine, you can now find Alec’s work on The Compound and Luxshop4u.

To read his work visit

Follow Alec on Instagram @TheLegendReal and read his current post on www.thecompoundblog.com

 

 

 

Glam Expressway in Dumbo, Brooklyn

 

 

 

Glam Expressway

 

 

The Shiloh Statement Necklace

 

 

Glam Expressway

 

Glam Expressway Lindsay Stuart

Business Mogul Lindsay Stuart is taking the world by storm!
This busy wife and mother of two girls, is a host on HSN and has a record for selling over $12,000 Tortuga Rum Cakes during a short period of time.
You should get to know her because she is also a talented makeup artist and founder of Glam Expressway accessories/clothing boutique in Dumbo Brooklyn.  With her celebrity following you may never know who you will see shopping in Glam Expressway.  When Lindsay is not jet setting for work, with girlfriends or family you will see Glam Expressway featured in Cosmo, Latina, Huffington Post, The A-List, Celebuzz, ET, OK and In Touch Magazine.

To order Lyndsay’s Tortuga Rum Cakes visit www.HSN.com
To shop Glam Expressway visit 145 Jay Street, Brooklyn, New York. www.shopglamexpressway.com

 

André with his client International Singer Belinda Munro

 

Millinery Designer Extraordinaire André at his fashion show

Christine Designs by André Millinery 

André creates handmade couture fascinators and hats.  His Atelier hat making approach has his clients flocking to him like bees on honey.  Andre’s work was most recently photographed during our dear friends Belinda Munro and Vincent Gardner’s wedding.

For inquiries visit André on https://m.facebook.com/DesignsbyAndre/

 

 

John Golden

 

Super Nova John Golden

Shoe Specialist and Stylist for a luxury retailer

John is an international socialite known for his eclectic fashion and Basquiat dreadlocks.  I first met him at a Gucci Ghost party in Boston.  His approach to fashion is to break down gender specific clothing.  When John is not in London or Japan you can find him inside the most coveted invitation only Fashion parties.
How to contact him?   John prefers not to have a social media account however you will find him photographed in local magazines.  This supernova makes his appearance everywhere and slowly hides into obscurity until he is ready to resurge.  In the above photo I decided to photograph his aesthetics from behind to get a candid view of him on the go!

 

Mr. Phillips and Jorge Milliano

 

Dj 38 and Mr. Phillips

 

Jowell, J Balvin and Randy

 

Luny Tunes & Baby Ranks

 

Frankie J Obsession (No Es Amor) featuring Baby Bash

 

Reggaeton Artist, Song Writer and Music Producer Mr. Phillips

Mr. Phillips is a highly sought after song writer, artist and music producer.  Raised in Santurce Puerto Rico, and born in Rio Piedras to a Puerto Rican mother and Trinidadian father.  Alvin better known as Mr.Phillips’ melodic yet raspy voice captured the hearts of millions  with his  “Spatoanglish” fusion of Jamaican patois and Spanish in his lyrics.  Working with Francisco Saldaña (Luny) from Luny Tunes allowed his work to be  featured on a CD compilation called Mas Flow2 with Frankie J for the hit song Obsession (No Es Amor).  Chart topping artists that received Mr. Phillips magic touch are Angel López, Alexis Y Fido, Mr. Vegas, Dmanti, Notch, Baby Ranks, Cobra, Jay Sean, Tito El Bambino, Tony Dize, Wisin y Yandel, Don Omar, El Rookie, Cynthia Antigua, Eddy Lover, Flex, Kevin Little, Yaga and Mackie.  Mega producers who worked with Mr.Phillips are Nely “The secret weapon,” Tainy, Nesty, Bones, Eliel, Luny Tunes, Preacher, Anx and Jorge Milliano. We look forward to the completion of his new Album and the Vertigo album by Jorge Milliano.

Visit Mr. Phillips on www.soundcloud.com/Mr-Phillips

To hear the new song that he wrote for J Balvin Featuring Jowell Y Randy visit https://m.soundcloud.com/jorgemilliano/j-balvin-feat-jowell-randy-bonita-jorge-milliano-remix

Follow Mr. Phillips on Instagram @officialmrphillips

 

Jorge Milliano

 

Jorge on a secret location in Star Island

 

Jorge “Jorge” Milliano

 

Guelostar and Ivy Queen

Jorge Milliano

You know his chart topping hits and the star studded artists who he’s worked with.  Since our last post (read La Musica Part 2)  Jorge flew back to Miami to produce a song for J Balvin Featuring Jowell Y Randy.  Spring 2017 Jorge and I kept on telling each other that it is going to be a cruel summer because our schedules were booked.  My schedule consisted of styling, consultations, scouting locations for designers and clothes for the talent that I work with and for Jorge it was a back to back summer of producing.  Just last week one of his dreams came true recently by working with Jamaican reggae legend General Degree.  Expect to hear new music from General Degree, Mr. Phillip’s EPK and Jorge’s Vertigo Album later on this year.

 

 

Jenn & Big Papi

Fashion Rescue Fundraiser

 

Perfect for Bachelorette parties and birthdays

 

Jennifer Nguyen

Jennifer owns Jennifer Nails on 161 and 224 Newbury Street. Services provided range from waxing, manicure and pedicure, hosting celebratory events (weddings, birthdays).  Giving back to her community by supporting her favorite charities is very dear to her as shown above.  Visit Jennifer’s Nails this summer.  Tell her that Natalie from Luxshop4u referred you!

visit www.jennifersnailsalon.com

Follow Jennifer on Instagram @Jen_nguyen224

 

Music Royalty Vivian Sessoms

Vivian Sessoms is an accomplished recording artist, song writer and music producer who worked with everyone’s favorite artists including Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Patti Austin, Cher and Whitney Houston to name a few.

I was very lucky to have an opportunity to personally meet her and talk about music, fashion and life lessons.  This Interview was conducted while Vivian Sessoms was overseas on her European tour.  Her highly acclaimed album Life will be available this fall.

Natalie: Congratulations on your tour!  I had a seat at the table when I met you!  My husband and I arrived from Boston  to New York City on a Friday night  which happened to be the opening night for Vincent Gardner’s performance with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.  Belinda Munro-Gardner planned a lovely dinner at Cafeteria and I can still remember the decadent mac and cheese trio and rosè that I had. 

Vivian Sessoms: I know, it was a great night wasn’t it? That mac & cheese trio at cafeteria is deadly!

Natalie: What goes into preparing for a world tour?

Vivian Sessoms: Quite a lot actually, it takes months and months of planning and sourcing.  There are a few people who help me pull it all together, publicist, booking agents, club owners, musicians, my hubby who is also the musical director. It is a ton of work, but in the end it usually ends up being a lot of fun and very rewarding which is the reason why I think people do it, although I can really only speak for myself.  But it allows you to get in touch with the people who love music and support you and you able to connect with new friends and supporters in such an incredible way.  When all goes well it’s a real high, being able to get your music and message to people.

 

 

Vivian and Mali Music

 

Natalie: I see the love that your fans give you, they are eager to post videos of your performance.  A lot of work goes into to keep the worldwide buzz going. How do you do it?

Vivian Sessoms: To be honest I’m still kind of figuring that part out, lol! Every day, I have a list of things I plan to do which is to post videos of the previous nights performance or post a live video of me just singing in my hotel room or videos of past shows, but sadly I’m not always successful in my plan!  As an indie artist, you wind up doing a lot of things yourself, and actually, I am lucky because I have a small team of people who help me get the word out about things what’s going on with me and keeping things moving.  Sometimes,  just getting info to them is a job in itself.   It’s a constant juggling act trying to keep all the things you need to have happening,  going all at once.

 

Alliance Française de Melbourne in Australia. Photo by Georga Byrne

 

Natalie: What habits do you practice or prepare your mind, body and soul for while on tour.

Vivian Sessoms: I try to work out consistently, not every day but a few times a week. I also  try to really watch what I eat because I realize that eating badly, makes me feel bad.  I don’t really drink a lot and I don’t smoke.  I try to just take it easy and stay peaceful, and you know, do things that make me happy and that make me feel good.  I try to see friends often in other countries, or visit places of interest.

Natalie: You love fashion and beauty and have a great sense of style. Who are your favorite designers and what looks do you like to wear on stage?

Vivian Sessoms: Right now I’m into a lot of African designers.  There are some really fabulous young designers out of Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and several other African countries.  As for my favorite American designers that’s kind of a long list, although I’m very into mixing pieces from stores like COS and Zara and Top Shop with high end stuff, or combined with thrift store finds.  I would say my personal style is a hodgepodge of things.  I like a lot of color, and texture. I really love deconstructed pieces. 
On stage I might go from jeans and sneakers with the funky T-shirt to a tailored suit and heels to a pretty or a flow-y type of dress.  Lately I seem to be opting more for real comfort.

 

 

Smiths Alternative Cafe in Canberra Australia. Photo by Andrea Hutch

 

 

Natalie: “Trying to work through shit we go through sometimes losing my way I’m walking through clouds looking for my sunny”.  This is something that everyone goes through weather it be work, personal relationships, friendships, developing your personal business.  What were you going through when you wrote those words?

Vivian Sessoms: I wrote that song with two really good friends Wondress Hutchinson and Jenny Douglas Foote and at the time I had just lost my mom, but I think that each of us were dealing with life situations and, I don’t know, I just remembered that my heart was really broken and so.  That’s what came out..

I can say that I really love collaborating with people for the different colors and ideas that it brings out of you as an artist.  Collaborating always seems to spark new ways to create, interesting ways that you might not think of when you’re writing or creating alone.
Natalie: I wanted to throw something on my floor like a towel when I listened to your angelic voice on Both Sides Now.  Your voice reminded me of the Ocean waves.  While I was creating these questions I was sitting in my living room with a 7 minute walk to my beach on the Atlantic Ocean and all that I could see during that moment was blue!  Do you see how music, creates and aligns things for some of us? 

Vivian Sessoms: Absolutely and positively.. I asked an audience during the show in Melbourne if they could see the aura that we had created at the end of a show. I was saying to them that coming out to see a show, even though you may feel like you’re not doing much besides  listening and watching, is a form of active participation and what the audience gives to you definitely feeds you as an artist, and in some instances can inform or drive you or what have you.  So I was saying to them that they had participated so much and so beautifully that the energy swirling back-and-forth between us was colorful and bright and had a lot of love it.  I really mean it when I say that music is healing, and that it can change the world.

Natalie: I recently visited the Past is Present exhibit at the MFA Boston.  Knowing that the past is present please tell the Luxhop4u audience who you shared the stage with including writing credits/ producing credits and what you have in store for them this year. 

Vivian Sessoms: I’ve shared the stage with Joe Cocker,  Patti,Austin and Cher, P!nk and numerous others.  I’ve had a wonderful journey before deciding to strike out on my own.  This year I’ll be releasing my third studio recording entitled Life which I’m really excited about.

 

Sinbad, Vivian Sessoms and Scooter.

 

Vivian Sessoms, Joe Cocker, Jenny Douglas Foote and Stacey Campbell.

 

Sara Levine, Sherri Shepard, Chaka Khan, Vivian Sessoms, Marvel Allen and Whoppi Goldberg on the set of the view

 

Vivian Sessoms and Mali Music.

 

Vivian and Lalah Hathaway

 

Kimberly Davis, Jenny Douglas Foote, Patti Austin, Nancy Wilson and Vivian Sessoms.

 

Vivian and Bruno Mars

Cossandra Cella, Cheryl Pepsii Riley, Shondra Rhimes and Vivian.

 

Vivian performing with Patti Austin for the Inaugural Ball of Governor Duvall Patrick and his wife Diane

 

Vivian on stage with P!nk

 

Vivian on the P!nk Funhouse Tour

 

Vivian and Andre Leon Talley

 

Vivian and Roberta Flack

 

 

Natalie: I have a lot of friends in the entertainment industry who work on major projects and do not receive credit/publishing for their work.  What should  artists do to ensure that they receive credit for their work?

Vivian Sessoms: Try as best you can to get everything in writing, contracts are important.. Then get a good lawyer. 

Natalie: I want to thank you for your personal advice and mentorship!

Vivian Sessoms: I adore you!

Be sure to purchase Vivian’s music on her website www.VivianSessoms.com

Follow Vivian on Instagram @VivianSessoms

*Luxshop4u will be in NYC for the Life album release party working behind the scenes. This website will be updated with playlist details from the Life album. This website will have a release date for Vivian’s Life album.

Photos were provided by Vivian Sessoms.

Joes Jeans

This blog post was meant to be light and right to the point. During the spring my friend Frances (who I call the Denim Guru) and I had a Joe Jeans challenge and we determined that the following  looks were our favorites!

Joes Jeans

We loved the fit of these jeans becuase she could do her daily Formation dance at ease.

 

Frances is Care free and cool in her Joe Jeans! *Jacket and Chanel espadrilles are Frances Chloe sunglasses are from Luxshop4u.

 

Rolling Stones Baseball Jacket by MadeWorn worn with the Twiggy Flawless Joes Jeans

Shop Joe Jeans now on www.JoeJeans.com

Follow Frances the Denim Guru on instagram @Franipac

 

Meet Vu

Meet Vu  The Fashionable Misfit in Boston

Natalie: You have amazing style, what inspired you to create your exotic jacket and what was it made out of?

Vu: I was  flattered when you said that because my usual days are different stories of disastrous style.  It’s made out of reticulated Python, so called the Dragon one, lined in lambskin and silk-blend fabric, and lizard for the interior details.

Natalie: What design school or tailor trained you how to properly handle exotic materials?

Vu: I really don’t have a formal training. While I did pick up a few things here and there from the internet, and especially from my talented friends, this definitely was a group effort. We’ve come so far from our mistakes, yet there is still room for improvement.

Natalie: I know many tailors and seamstress who prefer not to create with leather or exotic skins because it’s difficult to work with what was your experience like?

Vu: I do agree that working with exotic leather is not fun. In this experiment, we were told that making python quilted parts and leather lining was unwise because the scale is too fragile and none of us has any idea on how to bond two pieces of skin together.  I could not say no to what we set out to do and we tried different ways until something worked.  On the quilted parts, we slowly molded the python into what we wanted with an oil clothe, padding, and a hairdryer. We did not get the optimal result of bonding (lambskin onto python) so we probably wont the next time until we find a better solution.

Natalie: Experinces are about trial and error. What is your vision for your brand?

Vu: I called it Ngo x Unichi for now, in which Ngo is my mother’s last name that I’ll eventually adopt, or my “ID”.  Since my father’s not truly around, she’s become the foundation of who I am today. Unichi represents a mindful mixture of souls, unified into a certain form or style for that particular moment; and it will likely become something more than oneself/myself. I actually have an idea of how it might turn out but guessing the future is just not me.

Natalie: Who is your audience?

Vu: I’m not sure where they are right now (laugh), but I’m going to find them and hopefully I can learn a lot from them.  I always see myself as a learner more than anything else.

Natalie: I recall you saying that you were on a fashion forum and did not receive response about your jacket.  Like I said before it takes people awhile to catch on, continue to get out there because the right people will contact you.

Vu: I think you are right. But it’s not the main reason for me to do this anyway.  Being a misfit among fellow misfits, fashion is the perfect canvas for my modern loneliness. Maybe the excitement of chasing beautiful things can distract oneself from this chaotic reality.

Natalie: What has the response been like from your peers?

Vu: I encountered enthusiasts here and there but it’s too early to say. However, I think strategic planing is necessary so I’m working on website and looking for partners. At least now I can add my fashion endeavor into the conversation.

Natalie: I think that you should submit a photo and your story to local media and published magazines like Vogue and GQ.

Vu: It’s great but I also don’t want to rush my pace. I still need to find more time for my daughter. She’s about to turn 4 months this June.

Natalie: Where can my readers find you?

Vu: I’m quite available through my inbox ngostudioco@gmail.com. 

mailto:ngostudioco@gmail.com and @NgoStudioCo (instagram).

 

 

 

 

Python

 

Peekaboo zipper detail

 

Paridaez Trunk Show

This day started unlike most of my days, why you ask?  For once I did not have my gym bag with me that carries three changes of outfits two pair of shoes and of course water shoes for the shower.  I carry several outfits each day to go to the gym, work, and industry events.

If you have a routine like mine, then Paridaez is the answer to our clothing problems.  I had the pleasure of meeting the Paridaez designer at her trunk show in the Alexis Bitter boutique located on Newbury St.  The trunk show was a huge success, the guests were trying on clothing, jewelry, and indulged in sparkling wine. To my surprise she created her clothing line because she too faced the same issues and found a niche.  The clothing line offers 6 looks in 100 ways.  I would like to thank Brenda Ramos for co hosting and inviting me to this amazing event.  To learn more about Paridaez please visit www.paridaez.com

 

Easy travel pieces.

 

Paridaez

 

Sparkling wine and cupcakes.

 

Paridaez founder and designer Allison Daroie.

Allison is wearing the Bird of Paradise Top with the Albatross skirt and Heron cardigan.

Brenda Store Manager of Alexis Bittar.

Brenda is wearing the Sparrow tank with the Hummingbird skirt.

Travelling Without Moving

What can I say?  I live a very busy life and I am always around creative experts.  Friday was no exception.  I joined my friend Hiroshi and a group of his friends at the Sowa Market in Boston. We visited several art studios and had the privilage of meeting the artists.

 

I bought this vintage American Tourister hat case and I carried it as if it was the most luxurious purse that money could buy.  I used my iphone 6 to take the picture and later changed the color to appear more vintage.  In this photo I am wearing my Stuart Weitzman over the thigh boots, fishnet stockings from Primark, hoop earrings from Poland, sweater and tank top from Forever 21.

The lining is in excellent condition, and at if you look closely I have a secret compartment.

The clasps are also in excellent condition, by the end of the night I had over five people who wanted to buy one.  Please tag me once you purchase one and let the merchant know that you were inspired by my blog.

Upholstery King

 

Juki Industrial Sewing Machine

 

If you live in the Greater Toronto Area then chances are your sofa, love seats or beds were made by my father over the past 40 years. Working in the world of luxury fashion I admire the time and skill that it takes to create beautiful merchandise. I deciced to interview my father to honor his legacy and his contribution to fashion and upholstery.

Natalie: Daddio, I always receive complements about my vast knowledge of textiles I have you and Pauline to thank.

Upholstery King: That’s great I made a lot of custom chesterfields in my life.

Natalie: How old were you when you became a tailor and what inspired you to design?

Upholstery King: Oh my goodness, when I became a tailor? I started at the age of 16. Nat, I just went to school it was something that I needed to do.

Natalie: Who taught you how to sew?

Upholstery King: I don’t remember my teachers name it was several years ago in Jamaica at a tailor school.

Natalie: Did you know that you would have a lifelong career working with fabric?

Upholstery King: No, no one thinks that way! The professionals say that careers change every 10 yrs. I couldn’t predict that I would make a career out of this.

Natalie: Why did you decide to leave tailoring and enter the world of upholstery?

Upholstery King: The Market changed and became mass produced. Factory’s took away our trade. When the market changes you have to adapt to change or you get left behind.

Natalie: How many years have you been in this industry?

Upholstery King: For over 53 years

Natalie: As young children we would have to go with you to showrooms and fabric stores that were closed to the public. I didn’t realize then what a privilege that was. Touching textiles, piping, learning about different needles to use for leather etc.

Upholstery King: I didn’t realize that you guys would learn from that! I wanted you to become something else and not a tailor I didn’t realize that you guys were watching me!

Natalie: Your very business smart and you know your worth. What’s your recipe for negotiating your price?

Upholstery King: Know the cost of what the materials are going for. Here’s an example, if the material is $20 per yard vs $5 you need to charge accordingly. It is very important to charge based on the fabric that you use. If the person doesn’t like it then bye, bye they can work with someone else I am too experienced and my time is valuable!

Natalie: Your talent speaks for itself and vendors always seek your talent for collaborations. How does it feel?

Upholstery King: I feel ok about it!

Natalie: What advice would you give young designers?

Upholstery King: Stay the course if you set your mind to something stay the course it’s a tough job but if you have the mind for it then why not!

Natalie: Dad that’s great you are going to help a lot of people with this I cannot wait to share! Congratulaions on your retirement

Upholstery King: Well that’s great I hope that you have my check!

 

*Photo credit Dani Blue

**Special thank you to Super K, BenjiRich, Miss Bev, Pauline and Disco

***Ken thanks for not spazzing out when I wore your clothes I was the coolest Tomboy in school because of you! I learned so much in menswear and your influence did not go unnoticed. Miss Bev thank you for teaching me everything that I know about luxury!