Cocktails & Couture Fashion Show

I never mind going to a fashion event on my own.  It’s what I do.  However, when my good friend and style muse, Christina, rang my cell as I was heading out for the show, I was delighted to hear that she was able to accompany me to Cocktails & Couture at The Ritz in Ybor.  I had a feeling this was going to be a lot more fun than my usual Runway Translator appearance, I was hanging with my party girl partner in crime!  I’m telling you this as a sort of apology, because I had such a great time that a few of the details are hazy.

Here’s what I do know:  Cocktails & Couture is an annual runway show presented by KEVIN.MURPHY & The RITZ Ybor that benefitted the Pediatric Cancer Foundation.  It was one of Fashion Week Tampa Bay‘s many fabulous offerings around town.  This year’s line-up was styled by Danielle MacFarland of Don Me Now and consisted of fashions, jewelry, and accessories from several shops at Hyde Park Village (listed below), Keys Country, and Revolve Clothing Exchange.

Singer Anye` Cole opened the show with an impressive rendition of  “Who You Are” by Jesse J, only to be topped by her second number, a mesmerizing version of “Wildest Moments” by Jesse Ware.  If you’re impressed that I remembered that, don’t be.  I met her after the show and tracked her down the next day for info.  Cole is pictured below next to that crazy cool pic of this stylish fashion blogger, from the perspective of the models on the runway (the background is a shot of the amazing ceiling at The Ritz).

C&C-RT and Anye Cole

There were over sixty looks for women and men ranging from athletic wear, to cocktail attire, to ummmm… what the???  You’ll see.  I’ll take you on a little ride through most of the show.  Follow me!

First we take a visit to the gym, where workout wear and spandex were abounding…

C&C-Active Wear

Then we see some cute printed dresses, perfect for daytime or anytime…

C&C-Short Print Dresses

Next we ‘get our boot on’ with some fun ensembles for the country gal in all of us…


We make our way into the cocktail/ date night/ girl’s night out portion of the evening…

C&C-Party Separates


We travel through Man Land with lots of looks for the boys…

C&C-The Guys

Aaaand then we take a hard left onto Goth-Punk Avenue!  Whoa!  Where am I?  Don’t be afraid, they won’t hurt you… they’re actually very nice…

C&C-Punk de soleil

Albeit a little disconnected from the rest of the show, the ending was quite fabulous!  I was drawn to the freakishly over-the-top androgyny of it all.  I did a little research and now I’m following Branden Hollywood (red leather pants above) on Instagram.  He’s the visual artist responsible for the strange and provocative looks that wrapped up the show.  I also got a chance to speak with stylist Danielle MacFarland backstage.  I admire her as an entrepreneur.  She managed to successfully transition her business from being a service to becoming a storefront.  When she’s not styling runway shows like Cocktails & Couture or Rays on the Runway, or on buying trips to New York, you can find her at Don Me Now- Styling & Clothing Lounge.  Tell her Runway Translator sent you!


The Shops of Hyde Park Village:  Albisia’s Jewelry, Betty, Don Me Now, Brooks Brothers, FITniche, Francesca’s Collections, High Cotton Living, Lululemon Athletica, Navy, The Pink Petticoat, The Poppy Boutique

Haute Accessories Runway Event

This September my fashion festivities began with a designer accessories runway show for a good cause.  HAUTE Accessories Week is an annual series of events in Tampa produced by Lacey Smith and his team at The Fashion Movement.  It’s an exclusive platform for accessories designers that has gained a lot of traction over the last several years.  In keeping with Smith’s ‘give-back’ philosophy, proceeds from the HAUTE events benefit Joshua House, a safe haven for abused and neglected children.  With local celeb Holley Sinn as the night’s MC, the runway presentation at Hunter’s Green Country Club was the place to be last Friday night…

Haute Runway Cluster1

Eleven designers showcased their eclectic collections for this show.  Everything from jewelry to handbags to bowties found it’s place on the catwalk.  If I had to pick a favorite, I’d say the provocative works of Maria Soranaka of Twist’D Artisan Jewelry Designs captured my attention and held it like a trance.  Her design aesthetic is intricate, detail-oriented, and totally twisted with a tribal princess meets badass warrior vibe! (see middle pic below)

Haute Designer Necklace Cluster

What I wore…

Since berry is all the rage for fall, I chose this Max & Cleo number from my cocktail dress arsenal (circa 2011, from Marshall’s).  The handmade flower feather clip is from Deborah Kent’s, as are the Marianne Homsy earrings.  The nude pumps are Gianni Bini.

What I Wore To Haute

What I scored…

After a couple of complimentary Peroni beers I dove right into the shopping portion of the evening.  Check out my fabulous new necklace from Total Betty Society and my crazy cool Vogue Magazine clutch from Aphrodite’s Jewelry Box

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Next on the docket: Fashion Week Tampa Bay… Stay tuned!

Worth New York Fall 2013

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How lucky am I that this is what I do?  I get lots of calls for blogging ideas… well, not lots, but a few… once or twice.  Anyway, when Worth New York- Tampa Agency Owner Angier Miller called about her Fall collection hanging on freshly set-up racks in her South Tampa showroom, I got that warm and fuzzy fashion feeling.  Worth New York is a couture-quality line of separates… I own one of their dresses and it’s timeless.  As I learned while styling a few of my favorite looks, these pieces are not only luxurious and well-made, this year’s Fall collection is deceivingly lightweight, which rocks for this Florida girl.

Worth Flag Work Look Duo

The tapestry pencil skirt above is much lighter than it looks, and I love the overdose of prints in this work-perfect ensemble.  Below, the clever cape blouse and animal print slim pants serve as the backdrop for a bold pop of color.  And the long sleeve chiffon shirt dress with sheer panels spoke to me.  It said, “I’m here.  Where’s my martini?”…

Worth Cape Leopard Pant Dress Duo

The Worth New York 2013 Trunk Show is going on now through Wednesday, August 21 at the home of Angier Miller.  Call 813.368.1561 , email, or Facebook message Angier to schedule a time to preview the collection.

Learning Style at the Library…

Did you know that your local library may be offering free courses about how to do stuff?  I’ve seen classes advertised on how to do everything from building a resume to building a tree house.  When I learned about stylist Kara Beck‘s three-part series at the Safety Harbor Public Library on how to build a wardrobe, I jumped at the chance to check it out.

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Class#1: Dressing For Your Body Type
Kara explained the four main classifications and included a breakdown by percentage of American female consumers:

Hourglass (8.4%) – Bust and hips are same width, defined waist… Kim Kardashian
Pear (20.92%) – Hips are wider than bust, defined waist… Beyonce
Straight (46.12%) – Bust and hips are same width, undefined waist… Cameron Diaz
Apple (13.83%) – Bust is wider than hips, undefined waist… Jessica Simpson

As a stylist, I found this presentation to be helpful for determining which cuts work best on certain body types.  She gave specific examples in her presentation and I noticed several members of the audience taking notes.  After discussing body shapes she went on to explain how to dress appropriately for one’s age… 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s.  Never mind that most of the audience were probably Safety Harbor residents and had to be in their 50’s and up.  I think they still found her class to be very educational.  As did I.  I look forward to attending her next installment about shopping on a budget.

I took the liberty of putting some of Kara’s tips to use and have created a shoppable ensemble for all of you ‘Pear’ body types out there.  Since you represent nearly a quarter of female consumers, and since ‘Straight’ body types can wear almost anything, I figured I’d give it a go…

Pear Shape Ensemble

Tips for dressing the Pear shape:
On top – Bring attention up and away from the waist and hips by adding ruffles or other details near the neckline.  Add an eye-catching earring or statement necklace.  Wear prints.
On bottom – Wear darker colors.  Stay away from leggings and skinny jeans.  Wear wide-leg trousers, boot-cut jeans, or A-line skirts.  This will balance your frame so as not to draw attention to your hips.

1.  Floral Bow Neck Top, $45,
2.  Brown Wide Leg Linen Pant, $30,
3.  Kenneth Jay Lane Drop Earrings, $30.55,
4.  Fossil Leather Tote, $125.99,
5.  BC Shoes Leather Sandal, $49.99,