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.

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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.

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.”

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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!

Tampa Bay Fashion Week 2013 Runway Presentation

Wow!  What a week!  The 6th Annual Tampa Bay Fashion Week was a whirlwind of stylish receptions, designer and model parties, vendor and exhibitor boutiques, a blogger conference and fashion shows… the proceeds from which will benefit Shoes for the Cure.  There were so many opportunities to learn about the local fashion scene as well as brush up on everything from the history of fashion to kid couture to what’s hot in bridal wear… literally something for everyone.

As always, my favorite part of any fashion week are the runway shows.  Tampa Bay Fashion Week’s presentation of the 2014 Spring/Summer Collections at the Hilton Tampa Downtown did not disappoint!  I went as a guest of my friend Emily from Deocapac Designs, one of the sponsors of the event.  Though we had great seats (there wasn’t a bad seat in the house), I quickly positioned myself on the front lines, at the very end of the runway, a few feet from the models, camera in-hand.  I just couldn’t help myself.  Here are some of my favorite looks from the show…

TBFW SW8 Clothing

TBFW Lolodaisy

TBFWAudrey Pat McGhee

TBFW IADT Students

TBFW Monstuosite

TBFW Sandra Hagen

TBFW Elizabeth Racker

TBFW k.hendrix

For more info about Tampa Bay Fashion Week and a full list of participating designers visit  Stay tuned for my next blog post about the St. Pete Art & Fashion Week runway show!


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,