Category Archives: Fashion

Lilly Loves Texas!

lilly pulitzer mom michelle me and artist charlotte munyardWho does not love the brand Lilly Pulitzer?  The resort wear and color schemes they offer just makes me smile!  In fact, it’s my mother’s favorite, truly!  In April, my mom came to Houston for a visit and what better place than to take her to her favorite store in Highland Village?  Coincidentally, the boutique had a featured artist that day custom painting clutches and totes!

Sipping bubbly, enjoying lite bites, and shopping, what a combination!  My sister joined in the fun too.  It was the perfect girls’ family outing!

Introducing the one-of-a-kind Lilly Pulitzer "Chako Clutch"!
Introducing the one-of-a-kind Lilly Pulitzer “Chako Clutch”!

A HUGE score, and now dear to my heart, is this custom painted clutch I got of my little fur ball in heaven Chako, let him rest in peace.  The artist captured the spirit of my Persian kitty prince perfectly!  This handbag is by far my most prized possession moving forward and I will wear it close to my heart!  I am so appreciative of this custom creation.

Thank you Lilly Pulitzer for adding a little sunshine into our lives!  Lilly loves Texas and Texas loves Lilly!

If you’d like to visit the Houston store the address is 4035 Westheimer Road or shop online at www.lillypulitzer.com .  See you there, perhaps?

Maximalist Oscar de la Renta Graces Houston With His Timeless Presence

oscar 3Oscar de la Renta is the real deal in the fashion world. In fact, he was one of the only New York designers to have his own workroom on-site.  His sophisticated silhouettes often ornately embellished with layered textures required skills that offered specific technique and supervision.  He once said “drawing is actually the way of starting a collection. I draw first and that is my way of creating.”  Fabrics were very important to Mr De la Renta, even more so than his drawings.  Colors offered a special meaning that helped him create shape and life to things.

oscar 1Holding nothing back, De la Renta was a self-proclaimed “maximalist”.  With access to fashion’s finest materials and craftsmanship, he was able to indulge and let his imagination soar with endless flights of fancy.   From now through January 28th, you can catch a real life glimpse of some of his most famous designs that have graced celebrities on the Hollywood red carpets, in films, even dressing America’s first ladies, pop singers, and dresses worn from some of Houston’s most famous philanthropists and socialites. The exhibit is titled “The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta” and his work is on display at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston in the Audrey Jones Beck Building off 5601 Main Street.  For museum members the tickets are free, and for non-members adult tickets are $25.00.

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Louis Vuitton Launch Party

Photo booth fun with Laura Cernock, Hannah Thibodeaux, Anna Kaplan, and a snapshot with Tenley Huste
Photo booth fun with Laura Cernock, Hannah Thibodeaux, Anna Kaplan, and a snapshot with Tenley Huste

Louis Vuitton just got “smarter” but it comes with a hefty price!  July 12th I attended the launch party of the Tambour Horizon Watch at the Louis Vuitton boutique in the Houston Galleria.  All I can say is….WOW!!!  Apple you have some BIG competition in the smart watch division.

Sipping on champagne and cocktails mixed with music provided by a resident DJ made for a mix and mingling fashion forward unveiling event!  My friends and I had a great time browsing the latest inventory, socializing with fashionistas, and of course getting familiar with the guest of honor….the Tambour Horizon watch! Thank you Tenley Huste aka Regional Retail Training Manager of Louis Vuitton for presenting to us all of the benefits of this savvy new gadget! It’s a game changer!

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John Hardy Workshop Tour In Bali!

john hardy workshop 1My love for John Hardy jewelry is so strong I had to fly across the world to Indonesia to visit their workshop!  Ok, my husband and I just happened to be honeymooning in Bali and lo and behold the jewelry company has a workshop in the country hills of Ubud on the island of Bali!  How convenient and coincidental for us!  “Rich in nature, beauty, creativity, tradition and culture, Bali continues to be our universal source of inspiration,” says the folks at John Hardy. It is known as the island of wonders.

john hardy workshop2Talking about entering a magical land!  This place might just be the most zen work environment I have ever experienced.  Taking it all in this atmosphere beyond the rice and bamboo fields is enriched with greenery and traditional Bali-style buildings. They have animals onsite such as rabbits for compost and every day over 700 workers are fed a wholesome vegetarian lunch prepared on property using fresh farm ingredients.  My hubby and I also experienced the sumptuous al fresco dining experience. It might have been the freshest meal I have ever enjoyed and in the company of the workshop’s senior management! Side note….through John Hardy’s  “Jobs for Life Program” they provide vocational training, financial support, and job opportunities to disadvantaged Balinese orphans.

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Bags & Brunch Go Hand In Hand!

Laura Flaaten & I taking it all in stride!
Laura Flaaten & I taking it all in stride!

Spring, champagne, and handbags…you can’t get much more girly than that! Each year I look forward to the Heroes & Handbags charity event benefiting Heroes For Children.  On April 27th at 10 a.m. hundreds of women gathered at the River Oaks Country Club to place their bids on designer duds like Saint Laurent, Prada, Chanel, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Jimmy Choo, Tory Burch, Elaine Turner, Kate Spade….oh the list is extensive!

Larissa Burns Linton co-founded the charity after her own child battled with cancer.  The organization has raised over $2 million in the past decade to help those families with children fighting the deadly disease.  Money helps pay power bills, put

Larisa Linton, Myself, and an assortment of lovely handbags!
Larissa Linton, Myself, and an assortment of lovely handbags!

food on the table, pay for gas, parking fees, etc.  Guest speaker and local Fox 26 News Anchor/Reporter Melissa Wilson spoke candidly about her experience as she too has a child who fought cancer.  She said their parking bills at the hospital exceeded $6000!!!

Back to the event, my friend Laura and I had so much fun scouting the inventory from table to table, bidding, and silly times at the flower wall photo booth! Bidding was open until 12:30 and I was in a bidding war until the bitter end! It’s such an adrenaline kick I tell you!  I eyed a few bags and scored BIG winning this patent leather Louis Vuitton and this glittery rainbow Anya Hindmarch clutch!! Seriously, I am in LOVE with this rainbow one! It’s such a happy handbag and I probably overpaid for it.  But, it’s all for charity, right?

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A Sky High Bruncheon Raises Funds For Cancer

Jill Bollich & Nicole Brende
Jill Bollich & Nicole Brende

Attending  a “ladies who brunch” function on a Sunday does not always come without a big purpose.  April 2nd at Hughes Manor in Houston there was a full house filled with ladies dressed in their spring fashion best coming together to raise their glass to help fight and end childhood cancer.  Hosted by Sky High benefiting St Jude Children’s Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital, and the Ronald McDonald House of Memphis, you could not help share the love and enthusiasm this group brings to the table.  I applaud Brittany Hebert (Founder & CEO), Jessy Deardurff (Operations Director), and Kristina sky high fashionGutierrez (Event Coordinator) for a job well done.  Event Chairs include Helen Winchell, Ashley Butler, and Jordan Simpson.

Also, I want to thank my friend Jill Bollich who introduced me to this organization.  She is one of the Host committee members who did a phenomenal job planning this SOLD OUT event!  During the brunch the ladies were entertained with a dress up photo booth, silent auction, a live auction, as well as an open mimosa bar, tunes from my friend DJ Senega, and a runway

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Saks & Spring Haute Couture

Laura Flaaten & Trende Brende
Laura Flaaten & Trende Brende

Spring is in the air in Houston.  In fact, winter never really happened thanks to Mother Nature.   But that is quite alright because I am about to get you fully energized and ready to sprint to Saks Fifth Avenue after I show you what is in store for this season!

Friday evening I attended the “Houston Haute Couture” fashion presentation featuring designer Lafayette 148 at Saks Fifth Avenue in the Houston Galleria .  Each year the Women’s Council of Realtors Houston chapter get together for fun and fashion benefiting a local charity.  This year they partnered with the Nancy Owens Memorial Foundation which raises money for breast cancer research.  I am the Founder of this yearly fashion event circa 2014 so of course I would not miss it for the world!!

"The Shoulder Show"
“The Shoulder Show”

In conjunction with cool vibrations from the DJ, flowing champagne, and passed lite bites by 51Fifteen, this fashion presentation was spot on FUN! Sitting front row allowed me the opportunity to attempt to photograph some of my favorite outfits and take notes as the Lafayette 148 ambassadors painted the perfect Spring picture!

“It’s not what is new, it’s what is next!” said the Lafayette 148 ladies from NYC.  Think the shoulder show.  Shoulders are in!  Pair with some wide leg trousers or skinny pants and you’re good to go!

Dusters, Lasers, and Leather oh WOW!
“Dusters, Lasers, and Leather oh WOW!”

Next, mono style….all one color.  So fresh and clean, don’t you think?

Trench dressing.  It’s not just for Sherlock Holmes and Inspector Gadget, OK? Crop the sleeve. Pair with a dress, and off you go looking fabulous!

Light leather jacket, gotta have! Loving the pop of color too.

And stripes are “so in”.  My nautical friends will  be happy.

Long flowing cardigans they call “dusters” are HOT. Think linen, light weight.  Button them up, wear them open.  Wear with a dress or trousers.

Ultra light suede is making a comeback. I know Houston gets steamy hot but you’d be surprised how well this breaths and it’s super light in weight.

And, your Spring look is not complete without laser cut embroidery.  Looks like lace!  Super feminine with an edge.

"Pocket Play"
“Pocket Play”

Pockets are the “in thing” too!  Check out these dresses with pockets.  I love the effortless look, plus not to mention “functional” and “comfortable”. Side note, I am a Realtor and I need my pockets when I am out showing property!  I am loving this trend so so much and I hope it stays because I can fill my wardrobe with this style.  Notice the length too.  I can appreciate just below the knee.

Last but certainly not least…..drum roll please…….The outfit turning heads, creating the only standing ovation of the evening , with by far the biggest applause  goes to this black jumpsuit!  I know we’ve seen them on trend already but this outfit

"Jumping for jumpers"
“Jumping for jumpers”

in particular really got our crowd excited. The edgy yet sophisticated and slip-on-and-go look really works. Dress it up, dress it down.  Winner Winner!!!

Thanks again to Saks and Lafayette 148 for putting this amazing event together.  It’s always nice to give back to local charities, combine it with a group of business professionals like the Women’s Council of Realtors, and refresh our minds with Spring fashion.  Bravo!  This is one of our favorite events of the year.

Now, it’s time for me to clear out my closet, donate things I have not worn in ages, and make room for new fabulous stuff!

"The Crew" of WCR Houston
“The Crew” of WCR Houston

Here are some links to keep in mind from this article:

www.Lafayette148ny.com , www.51fifteen.com , www.wcr.org , www.nancyowens.org

 

 

“Champagne & Caftans”: An Engagement Soiree

lori_bridal_shower-7group-poolWords cannot express our enthusiasm for our bride-to-be Lori Lemon-Geshay!  She is a lovely lady inside and out and what a privilege to be her friend and be able to help her in celebrating her new chapter in life—marriage!  Our group could not wait to spoil her with all of the things she loves….friendship, bubbly, caftans, pool-side, hydrangeas, Parisian + Italian decor, the color blue, lemons too.  Stop the madness!

lori_bridal_shower-67-lori-eiffel-towerA few weeks ago Houston’s “Blonde Mafia” hosted Lori’s first engagement soiree at the Manhattan Lofts in the Galleria area.  Private room and poolside we sipped champagne, played, danced, and celebrated the gleaming bride.  A group effort from catering, to decor, flowers, sentimental touches, and good old fashioned game time…it was an epic evening full of fun and love for our dear friend.

The Girls:  Lori Lemon-Geshay, Lisa Bridle, Hollie Wells, Liliana Cuellar, Anna Kaplan, Marina Kaplan, Laura Cernock, Joanna Podsiadlik,  Melissa Back McAlpine, Lissa Goldsmith, and me…Nicole Brende!

lori_bridal_shower-53-saladHollie thank you for preparing your famous salad and other healthy and sumptuous goodies!  Liliana and Lisa the champagne kept flowing….a BIG thank you!  Marina and Anna those cupcakes were so cute and loved the gluten-free option!

My hubby and I whipped up lemon lori_bridal_shower-48-dessertchocolate and macchiato desserts for our Ms Lemon…soon to be Bergeron!

Laura the sentimental touches from the photo eiffel tower plus other goodies really set the scene.  Joanna the flowers were blooming with beauty. Melissa thank you for the yummy empanadas. Lissa the bridal game was so much fun!  Learned much more about our Lori!

lori_bridal_shower-104-ring-pop-kissesMore festivities to come!  This is only the beginning!!  As you can see we all adore our Lori Lemon-Geshay. Keep on sparkling up the room my friend! Bisou Bisou!

 

Fashionistas Flock to Saks!

saks opening april 2016Much anticipation for Saks Fifth Avenue in the Houston Galleria for the launch of their new mega store.  Many private events led up to the big day but Thursday, April 28th the doors officially opened with the ribbon cutting.  There to cut the ribbon on the new department store were Saks president Marc Metrick, chief merchant Tracy Margolies, EVP of stores Larry Bruce and Houston VP and GM Bobby Dees.

I have always been a Saks girl at heart so you can definitely know it was a very important day for me.  What fun as hundreds of fashionistas lined up to be one of the first to explore the new piece of what we call “Heaven on Earth”.  Saks’ 200,000-sq.-ft. location in The Galleria was designed by CBX Agency in New York and represents a significant expansion from its previous Houston store, which closed earlier this month.  The new additions to the brand roster include Proenza Schouler and Dries van Noten. The new store also features a Christian Louboutin boutique and a reimagined 10022-SHOE department.  Oh yeah, I said SHOES!!!

saks opening2I showed up alone but immediately found friends to share the experience.  We shopped, sipped champagne, enjoyed lite bites, and the artistic actors and scenery.  I even made a quick stop to my friends at the Chanel make up counter for a mini makeover.

I highly recommend you pick a day that can allow for the ultimate field trip.  This is not the place to go to when you are in a hurry.  You need to indulge, explore, and absorb all of its facets.  Houston is getting quite chic these days.  Note, the Saks doors do not connect to the mall at the moment.  The entrance is not complete yet.  It is best to valet for convenience.  While you are there, grab a cocktail and a bite at the redesigned 51Fifteen restaurant.  It is oh-so-fabulous!

Sunnies + Stilettos @ Jimmy Choo

jimmy choo event 4.12.16The 2016 Heroes And Handbags event is just around the corner. Last year I served as the Handbag Co-Chair with my dear friend Anna Kaplan.  In order to help raise additional funds for the Heroes For Children organization this year my bestie and 2015 Event Chair Lori Lemon-Geshay hosted a private shopping event at the Jimmy Choo boutique in the Houston Galleria on April 12th.

Well, don’t ask us twice.  Did you say shoes, shades, and champagne all in the same sentence???  I do not think I shop that often and I am pretty selective.  However, if it benefits a charity I care about I will support the cause.  In between my meetings what a nice break to mix, mingle, and play dress up with friends and supporters.

jimmy choo sunglassesFrom the moment I walked in the store I was immediately drawn to these ‘Nita’s 53 mm sunnies. These logo-etched temples enhance the Italian-made sunglasses.  And, look at the genuine-snakeskin-covered frames with metal in an oh-so-modern cat-eye-inspired silhouette!  I am in love and they will be perfect for my trip to Mexico!

A little shout out to all who attended.  In just 2-hours we managed to create over $12,000 in sales which proceeds will directly benefit Heroes For Children.  Great job shoppers! Thanks for putting your best and I must say “fabulous” foot forward!  For more info on the organization visit www.heroesforchildren.org .