Cocktails X Couture @ The Ritz

For the third year in a row Cocktails & Couture absolutely SMASHED IT at The Ritz in Ybor Tampa.  The Cocktails X Couture event was held Saturday, January 17th and was sponsored by Tampa Bay Fashion Week, Tribeca Color Salon, Square One, The Ritz Ybor, & Kevin Murphy and select proceeds benefitted the Pediatric Cancer Foundation.  I’ve been in attendance since its inception and can honestly say that this recent #CXC15 was gloves down the most entertaining show to date. What a visual cornucopia of flavor… a people watcher’s dream come true!  This fashion-lover’s event was jam packed with style, both on the stage and in the audience.

Essentially, it was a show within a show within a show.  There were three shows performed on stage in the impressive main ball room, breaking up the audience’s night into alternating periods of being entertained and being fabulously sociable.  There were two additional bar rooms which housed performance art, local art for sale, and fashions by the designers featured in the runway show.  This seemed to be where the pulse of the networking crowd would escalate between sets, where all walks of style combined and mingled with one another until the next show.  I thought the timeline flowed nicely and was blown away by the music DJ Elias Throux was pumping out throughout the night.  The runway fashion featured a wild mix of everything from everyday jeans & tees to whimsical paper dresses to leather body harnesses, a little something for every palette.  I was also impressed by the heightened fashions adorning the diverse crowd of culture connoisseurs.  All walks of life came out for this stylish event and I think that speaks volumes about the rise of fashion here in Tampa, Florida.

Being greeted by Vegas Showgirls upon entry is not a bad way to start the night…  CXC01- Vegas ShowgirlsDesigner fashions from Dolce Creative (above) and Madel Fashions (below)…CXC02- Red Carpet

The lobby and bar rooms featured several mediums of art on display, from photos and painted canvas to dancers and modern movement innovators…
CXC03-Art Display

CXC04- Lobby Sideshow

Rocking their GoBearr harness fashions, the bartenders served up custom cocktails like ‘Chris-Gin Dior’ and ‘Gin Kardashian’ to a very thirsty crowd…
CXC05- CrowdSeveral talented dance companies appeared throughout the show. I loved the infusion of dance, song, and theater,
CXC06- Dance Troop1 CXC07- Dance Troop2CXC08- Sideshow The evening’s host with the most, The Ritz Ybor’s Okie Tilo…
CXC09- Okie Host Let the fashion begin! Here are some of my favorite looks from the show:
Black and Denim Apparel Company…
CXC10- Black and Denim CXC11- Black and Denim1 CXC12- Black and Denim2Dolce Creative…
CXC13- Runway 01Madel Fashion…
CXC14- Runway 02GoBEARR…
CXC15- Runway 03DOLLFACE…
CXC16- Runway 04 CXC17- Runway 05 CXC18- Runway 06La France
CXC19- La France 01 CXC20- La France 02Solimar Collection…
CXC21- Runway 07 CXC22- Runway 08CXC23- Runway 09 CXC24- Runway 10 CXC25- Runway 11Gianna Love & the House of Love ft. Haus of Blackbird…
CXC26- Show

The finale featured modern concepts from House of Hollywood.  This was my favorite collection in the show…CXC27- Hollywood 01 CXC28- Hollywood 02 CXC29- Hollywood 03 CXC30- Hollywood 04

Photo Credits: Aimee Blodgett and Rafael Martin

Runway Fashion: Black & Denim Apparel Company, Dolce Creative, Go BEARR, Madel Fashion, DOLLFACE, La France, Solimar Collection, and House of Hollywood

For more info and pictures from the event visit the Facebook Event Page for Cocktails X Couture here.

XOXO,
RT Signature

P.S.~ Stay tuned for my next post about ‘The Butterfly Effect’, a private fashion trend event hosted by Neiman Marcus for the Straz Centre.

WORTH NEW YORK Fall 2014 Trunk Show

It’s that time of year again… my favorite season is finally here!  The temperatures are dropping ever so slightly, the stores are stocking up on new fall fashions, my event calendar is getting a little more active… it’s Fall Fashion time people!

I’ve been to two trunk shows in the past few days and I’m planning on attending several more in the coming weeks… not to mention the absolute bombardment of fashion shows coming up in September  (Stay tuned for more about that).  Anywho, let me share with you the pictures from my recent visit to the WORTH NEW YORK Fall 2014 Trunk Show that was held at my friend Angier Miller’s home.  My gal pal Denise Schultz and I had the best time shopping and modeling this fabulous collection.  The pieces will only be there for a limited time, but Angier did let me know that she’s happy to give private and virtual showings to any interested buyers.

Rather than bore you with lots of words about how lovely the pieces look and how wonderfully they fit and how well-constructed they are and about how the quality and craftsmanship is superior to most, why don’t I just show you the pictures?  Yes?

Behold…

Worth Fall 2014 Leather Fringe Jacket Print PantWorth Fall 2014 Angier2- softened with tagWorth Fall 2014 Denise Arbonne Makeup Raisin Lip GlossWorth Fall 2014 Denise Arbonne MakeupWorth Fall 2014 Angier Scarf Belt LeggingWorth Fall 2014 Denise Pant Fur VestWorth Fall 2014 Michelle Landscape DressWorth Fall 2014 Angier Knit Jacket HandbagWorth Fall 2014 Denise Work Look Dress Leather JacketWorth Fall 2014 Michelle Silk Layer DressWorth Fall 2014 Denise Jumpsuit Fur Collar

If you love what you see and you’d like to schedule some time with WORTH New York Agency Owner Angier Miller to shop the Fall 2014 collection  email her at amiller@worthnewyork.com.  The pieces will be in Tampa, Florida until August 20th, but she can hook you up with more information about how to get the best looks for Fall!

P.S.-  The gorgeous make-up for this shoot was provided by Arbonne.  “What’s Arbonne?” you say… well, I’m so glad you asked.  It’s no secret!  I’ve been using the made-from-nature line for years and my skin has never looked better.  If you’re into pure, safe, and beneficial skincare email me at michelle@runwaytranslator and I’ll be happy to tell you more about how you can get your hands on some free samples 🙂

That’s it for now!  Be sure to keep up with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest cuz it’s about to get fun around here!

XOXO,
RT Signature

Runway Translation: Trending Tribal

Be ready for plenty of international influence in fashion this Spring buying season!  One of the most popular fashion trends for Spring takes its colorful inspiration from traditional tribal garments found in exotic lands around the globe…

Trending Tribal 2014

If wearing an African Aso-Oke (traditional dress and hat wrap) is not your style, you can still become an honorary style tribe member and tap into this trend by incorporating a touch of print into your ensemble.  Check out my runway translation below…

Trending Tribal-Shola Flat Ensemble

This look revolves around the ballet flats by Shola Designs… notice the fun African motif.  When paired with a black wrap top, linen shorts, and woven handbag these comfy flats provide the perfect touch of tribal inspiration for a cohesive look that’s subtle and on trend.  *Shop the look below.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Shola’s designer, Shola Yusuf, at a Trunk Show hosted by Farrah Estrella of Estrella Fashion Report.  Shola is a local entrepreneur here in Tampa and originally hails from Nigeria.  I love her premier collection of shoes!  So much in fact that I couldn’t resist buying a gorgeous pair of turquoise platform stilettos.  I can’t wait to feature them in a future blog post.  Check out Shola’s beautiful traditional African ensemble…

Shola Gerardo Luna -86Photo Credit:  Gerardo Luna
My Outfit:  Suncoo Paris vest from Deborah Kent’s over graphic tank from JC’s Boutique, gold chain belt from Rehab Exchange, Wilster silk harem capris from Nordstrom Rack, awesome new platform heels from Shola Designs.

*Shop The ‘Trending Tribal’ Look:
1.  Barbara I. Gongini top, $428, farfetch.com
2.  Red Valentino linen shorts, $226, farfetch.com
3.  Snakeskin cuff bracelette, $70, bluefly.com
4.  Tory Burch woven purse, $324, farfetch.com
5.  Shola ballet flat, $73, sholadesigns.com

*Fun Fashion Factoid:
“Traditional African clothing is generally very colorful. These colors actually have meaning. The yellows and golds tend to mean wealth and fertility because it is the color of a precious metal and the yolk of an egg. Red is viewed as the color of blood and tension. Blue is the color of peace and love. Green is the color of life and prosperity.”  ~Ask.com

XOXO,
RT Signature

Christian Fashion Week 2014

For God so loved the world that he gave us fashion!  Am I right?  I haven’t read the bible lately, but I think the heavens were shining down upon Tampa last weekend during the second annual Christian Fashion Week.  The lineup of designers was so packed with talent, they had to break up the runway shows into two nights.  I was able to attend Night One and was quite impressed with what I saw.  I may not make it to church on Sundays, but I do have a fondness for modest fashion and found this event to be a refreshing and welcomed addition to the local fashion scene.  Kudos to CFW Founders and power couples Mayra and Jose Gomez, and Tamy and Wil Lugo for putting on this wildly successful series of events!

CFW2014-Runway Translator and FriendsPictured above (clockwise):  Yours Truly, with CFW Producer Jose Gomez, with Estrella Fashion Report blogger Farrah Estrella, with photographer Tasia Hron.

Eight fashion labels were showcased and I’ve selected my three favorite looks from each collection below along with a quote from each designer.  Enjoy…

Repurposed by Jesse Washington and Ricc Rollins
“This isn’t your grandfather’s fashion show, but he will recognize some of the styles.  Everything old is new again, lives in the designs of each piece as we upcycle and repurpose creating a “green” look that makes a statement at every turn.”Repurposed

Mikra by Vonique Mason-Edwards
“Fashion can be used as a ministry tool.”Mikra

House of Dali by Dali Hernandez
“God First, Fashion Next.”House of Dali

All Brides 2 Be by Jessica Rios
“Bridal and Formalwear dresses made to fit you, not you to fit them and in your budget!”All Brides 2 Be

Just Cool by Roy Smoothe
“Jesus doesn’t care if you’re an innovator, trendsetter, trend-follower, or mainstreamer.  Your style, taste, position, or popularity means nothing to Him.  He is just looking for people who will follow.  We follow our faith and create the fashion.”Just Cool

Angel Myers by Angel Myers
“True Style Has No Size”
Angel Myers

EJ Fashion by Elaine Grullon
“Being a fashion designer means you are responsible not just for the clothes but for the message you are conveying with the clothes.”Elaine Grullon

Elegantees by Katie Martinez, Wildly Sanchez, and Sarah McPhillips
“Elegantees are sewn to restore.  To restore the purity and modesty our culture is depleted of, and to restore the lives of women rescued from sex trafficking.”Elegantees

Elegantees was my personal favorite!  I thought the collection was modern and innovative, using draping and gathering techniques that flattered every figure.  When I learned that all of these beautiful creations are sewn by women rescued from sex trafficking, I felt an even deeper sense of connection to this brand.  As a Junior Leaguer, sex trafficking awareness has been an important initiative for me.  I love that these designers are using their skills and their platform as a voice for reform!  Amen!

For more pictures from Christian Fashion Week click here or visit their website here.

Many Thanks to my photographer Tasia Hron!  You can check out more of her work here.

XOXO,
RT Signature

The Power of Pampering

I’m always looking for opportunities to use my skills as a fashion stylist to help those who need it most.  In the past I’ve been called upon to share my knowledge in multiple ways, from teaching a group of at-risk youth the art of fashion illustration, to working with drug rehabilitated women, helping to prepare them for reentry into the workforce by styling them for job interviews and court appearances.  Recently, through my involvement with The Junior League of Tampa, I was approached to volunteer with a very special group of young ladies living at Joshua House for a project called Girl Power.  For this event, ‘The Power of Pampering’, I would be styling a group of girls ages twelve to seventeen as they experience a very rare day of pampering which they certainly deserved.  Each girl received the royal treatment, having her hair and make-up professionally done, selecting beautiful pieces of clothing from a custom pulled rack of new frocks, and then sitting for a glamorous portrait with a photographer…

GP-Hair Makeup Cluster
Hair and make-up sessions were provided by
Kim Davis Arbonne, Emily Fitch, Tribeca Salon, and Paul Mitchell.

GP-Racks Jewelry
Fashion and accessories were provided by
Rehab Boutique and Princess Boutique.

250
Photography provided by Pilar.

GP-Frame Art
During the event the girls decorated picture frames which would
be used to house their very own fashionable photographs.

As I spoke to each of these young women, imagining what they must have gone through in their short time here so far, I realized how much they truly appreciated this gift of pampering.  I am humbled to have been a part of this event, and it reminds me just how simple it is to give a little time to help make a person smile.

In the immortal words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I leave you with this…

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

XOXO,
RT Signature

GET INVOLVED:
Find out more about The Junior League of Tampa here.
Find out more about Joshua House here.

Retail Therapy at Rehab…

With my impending high school reunion on the horizon, I knew I needed to seek professional help for my fashion fix.  But where could I go?  Who could I trust?  I mean, I was in deep!  I needed everything… head to toe, the full treatment!  The choice was obvious… Rehab!

Black One Shoulder Jumper

I chose a Karina Grimaldi single-shoulder black silk jumpsuit.  Simple and sophisticated.  I kept the accessories to a minimum, adding a vintage gold chain belt, statement ring and drop earrings to keep the look polished and classic.  The Guess patent leather strappy sandals with gold rings were a perfect compliment to the ensemble, and are from my closet.  My favorite bag lately, the black reptile embossed leather clutch, was a gift from the FWTB Blogger Brilliance Conference last month.

Rehab Accessories

Rehab Exchange is a designer resale boutique with 2 locations, South Tampa and downtown St. Pete.  Go there.  Get help for your fashion addiction.  Tell them Runway Translator sent you!