Category Archives: Fashion

Mariama Designs

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Hanging out backstage at IFWAmsterdam, I noticed this woman with striking features dressed in African attire, but what caught me the most was her purple lip!

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Why? Because purple lip has been MY winter jam for the past few years lol! And it’s something people tell me is one of the first things they notice about me hahah! So I approached her as so, and she introduced me to her unique collection.

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Mariama Onitiri showcased her collection of vibrant kaftans designed with intricate Senegalese prints at IFWAmsterdam this season. Onitiri is a Senegalese/Guinean/ French luxury wear designer who has lived in France, England, America, Mozambique and Singapore over the past 28 years. She currently is based out of Baltimore, Maryland.Screenshot_20180607-213800

 

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She began her career as a fashion and interior designer in Washington DC, in 2005, and has showcased her collections in different cities in the US and in several fashion shows in Mozambique and Singapore. Her designs incorporate splashes of her travels in over twenty countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East over the past decade.

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Lady Mariama Design’s idiosyncratic eye for detail and her use of different elements from other cultures elevates contemporary African fashion to a new level! Her style is a fusion of all the cultures she has been immersed in, mixing elements of different cultures to create stunning silhouettes!Screenshot_20180607-213931

 

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Mariama works mainly with silk. Her mission as a Designer is to celebrate the human body and to highlight the beauty of the metissage (marriage) of rich and diverse cultures.  Wishing her all the luck and eagerly awaiting what she creates next!

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-Karen Bahri

 

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Nadia Azumi’s hand crafted Italian silk scarves at IFWAmsterdam

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Last week at the IFWAmsterdam shows, I had the pleasure of meeting with Nadia Azumi of Nadia Silk Couture.

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Nadia is based out of Washington DC and is of Italian descent. Her objective is to unify the two worlds of the Italian Renaissance and the brilliant colors and lines found in Japanese kimonos. Her husband being Japanese, both these cultures have been an extremely dear influence on her life, artistic designs, and creativity.

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Nadia’s collections mostly consist of beautifully hand painted silk scarves, as well as a variety of delicately designed ponchos and shawls. She even carries painting! The silk is completely white and Nadia hand paint everything, individually HERSELF, hence the fabric is authentically hers.

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Love this girl – She has an Indian name – USHA DEVI ❤ find her on Instagram @ elite_usha – so talented!

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Nadia has showcased her collection at DC Fashion week, Milan Fashion week, and now at IFWA. In her own words “When I look at a blank canvas, images slowly start to appear. With a stroke of my brush, my vision is transpired into the canvas as I paint. Silk painting was the next step for me since I had studied and worked with Japanese artists for over 34 years. I’ve always had a passion for art and creating my own designs.”

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Everything in nature inspires the designer to paint. Different chemicals, acrylics, and techniques are what help her create different types of textures and lines.

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My two favorite girls – find them on the gram – sohnajarrandure & haha_lolo_conteh

Nadia’s talent comes naturally as she is so passionate in her craft! She is a lovely soul and I hope she continues to succeed! She’s the type of woman you can’t help but smile at! She’s very kind, appreciative and has a great heart. I am very happy to have met her during my time in Amsterdam and I know this won’t be the last time I work with her!

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You can find out more about Nadia and her suburb collection on the following links:

https://nadiasilk.com

https://www.etsy.com/shop/nadiaazumi

Instagram: nadiasilkcouture

 

-Karen Bahri

Raja Sapra – Changing the Face of Fashion

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Raja Sapra – Changing the Face of Fashion

It was a gloomy Thursday and I was on the train scrolling through my Instagram, when I ran across a post that people kept reposting and reposting. The post read basically as followed:

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And if you saw the pics attached to this message – they were pretty cringe…let me show you:

 

I don’t want to get too involved in the politics but as a proud Punjabi, I do have to say shame on you Gucci. Quite a disappointment.

Anyways I had to reach out to the person who created this post. This post that spread worldwide on social media to create awareness on this topic. I actually did not expect a reply, but I actually got a very appreciative and kind message back from Raja Sapra. From there I got the opportunity to learn about this amazingly ambitious British Asian lad making his mark in the world of fashion!

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I had the absolute pleasure of chatting with the young, hip, stylish Raja Sapra who is an extremely bright and talented fashion blogger/influencer and model based out of London.

He began blogging about fashion on his own about a year ago. He would go out and purchase his own clothing and created his own photo shoots. He then would post them on his Instagram and would tag the brands. One bright, blue sunny day in the month of June, NEW LOOK approached him – and just like that he got signed for a year! Go on to their Instagram page (newlook_men) and check him out!

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If you take a look through his Instagram photos, he is always creating fresh, creative, unique photos, not only in London but also in various locations he carefully picks out all throughout the UK. You will notice that he has put an effort into keeping his content unique and consistent, which is why his content stands out!

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Something Sapra should be proud about is he was literally the only Sikh at London Fashion Week this year! I do hope that changes in the future and more people of all faiths, colors, and backgrounds walk the ramps, but it’s a big deal for Raja and his journey and it’s definitely a big deal for our entire Punjabi community! He’s done shoots for many major brands in the UK such as River Island, Moss Bros, New Look, Primark etc!

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During LFW, he took over the Instagram stories of Moss Bros on day one, day two he walked the ramp for New Look, and for the rest of fashion week he was invited to numerous shows.

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He’s accomplished a lot in 22 years of age with the support of his family. He has a bright future ahead and hopes to one day be an ambassador for the British Fashion Council! I am sure he will achieve this and much more as he has a very positive energy and spirit!

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Raja, continue what you are doing and remember to put yourself first. You are already successful but your future looks so bright! Keep making our community proud!

Jump on the gram and check out his page @iamsapra

He also has a fun blog filled with tons of mens fashion and will soon be adding a travel section: http://iamsapra.co.uk

ALSO!!!! I am very excited to ANNOUNCE that RAJA SAPRA will be the OFFICIAL INFLUENCER at INTERNATIONAL FASHION WEEK AMSTERDAM!!! He will also be modeling. We are very honored to have him be apart of our efforts to CHANGE THE FACE OF FASHION, and broaden peoples minds in a positive way using Fashion! Keep looking out for more updates on the show at IFWAmsterdam on Instagram and STAY TUNED!!!!!

-Karen Bahri 

 

Thunyatorn – Thai Dress at NYFW

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Thunyatorn – Thai Dress at NYFW

I attended another show last week close to Bryant park. The show was split into two parts with various designers from across the country as well as the globe. The first half, to be brutally honest, was not very interesting. The second half kept getting better and better! The thing that sucked though was I forgot my charger at home that day, and since I have the google phone, I can’t even borrow anyones charger!! So by the end of the night when all these amazing designs were on the runway I was like UGHHHH lol.

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I sat next to these beautiful women from the Thailand Fashion Show. One of them is a journalist for Thai Media based out of Philadelphia. Not only were they beautiful, they were soo nice and soo funny!! We were definitely on the same page and I really enjoyed the show with them!

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They had been invited to the show as their good friends sister was a designer showcasing her collection that evening. I figured it was going to be good, because traditional Thai outfits are beautiful! Every designer from Thailand I have seen in the past has had a lovely, glamorous collection – but this segment really set the energy up for the show!!! They has dancing, romancing, gold and glamour!! It was Valentines day so they had a very special “couple” on stage do a cute little proposal act/dance number.

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Romancers

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Dancers

I got a chance to meet their friend and the designer after the show, and all of them were very, very sweet. It’s that Asian hospitality. Such sweet, humble people! According to Thunyatorn, the designer, the show was strategically on Valentines day due to it’s “love and wedding” theme.

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The goal and mission she is looking to achieve with her collection is to make Thai dress designs popular globally. What she meant here is that she want make their designs more well known, so anyone from different countries can be exposed and fall in love with Thai designs. She wants people internationally to wear them not limited or only to Asian people. This is the first time she’s added a western touch, therefore to not make Thai style as intimidating to westerners.

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Thunyatorn started her business in 2009 as soon as she moved to New York City. At that time, she provided bridal make-up and hair-styling for most Thai people in the NYC area, just as a hobby.

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Thunyatorn imports her materials straight from Thailand and makes them fit for people here in the US. She works very hard and her creations prove just that!

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*All (well, all except 3!) photography credit goes to Hideki Aono. Find him on Instagram: Hideki.aono.lifestyle – once you find him there, you will notice he has 4 other pages 🙂 follow them all!

-Karen Bahri

Vibrant India at NYFW!

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Vibrant India at NYFW!

It’s been CRAZY busy with NYFW this past week!!! I attending some amazing shows and met some fabulous people! Very exciting!!! One of my favorite shows (to nobody’s surprise lol) was the London School of Trends “Vibrant India”. The show was held on Sunday, February 11th at Pier59 Studios on Chelsea Piers.

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Here is a description of each collection, to give you some background. I appreciate how they described the collection utilizing strengths within our rich culture. ❤

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Oh by the way, major reason we attended was a friend of mine was walking the runway! So exciting to see more brown people walk during NYFW!!

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Ayyye!! I know you!

London School of Trends is a premier fashion school with over two decades of rich experience in the fashion and design industry. LST has close associations with institutions globally and exclusively with INIFD (International Institution of Fashion) in Asia. Therefore, they take extra care to reach out to the candidates of foreign origin and ensure that they get the best fashion training that a city like London has to offer.

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Capturing the spirit of India with students coming from diverse backgrounds, they created 60 excitingly vibrant garments, including both women’s and menswear, that reflected their own personal narratives while being inspired by the great city of New York!

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Vibrant India speaks to the movement, weaves, draping, and all that is unique about Indian textiles. Vibrant colors with rich deep hues and fabrics reflect a one-of-a-kind craftsmanship that makes India a powerhouse source for fashion and goods.

Something I really have to mention is how much I loved the hair and makeup! Such vibrant eye makeup, even on the men!! And some of the hairstyles were absolutely stunning!

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I think before watching the show, I expected to see a bit more traditionally ethnic attire – like a sari, or kurta etc. None of that was there. What WAS there, as I stated above was the textiles, the colors and craftsmanship. You could see these styles worn by modern Indians in trendy cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. The collection was modern, trendy and fresh for todays desi fashionista!

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To check out more of the collection, look me up on Instagram: karenskaleidoscope

Also, we gotta support more Indians in the fashion world, especially here in the US, so go follow and support my friend Vish Singh, who was modeling in the show. His Instagram is: iamvish_

Now here are just some fun, random pics backstage!

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Umm, yeah – the next set of photos – you know every crew of girls does this – 57 shots of the same pic – maybe a couple different poses but basically the same, but only the girls IN the shot see huge, massive differences in each photo, that nobody else can even see (guys be like “but all these 57 pics are the EXACT SAME, while girls are like “Are you blind?? They are all SOO different!!” hahahah) C’est la vie!

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-Karen Bahri

New York Bridal Fashion Week – The Knot Couture Show

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The New York Bridal Fashion Week was held last week from Thursday, October 5 – Monday, October 9. I had the honor of attending The Knot Couture show, which was held from Saturday, October 7th until Monday the 9th. This year, they added a second venue, which was really exciting! In addition to the Metropolitan Pavillion (125 west 18th street) they also selected designers to appear at Metropolitan West (639 west 46th street).

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There was a shuttle that kindly shuffled people from one venue to another, with complimentary champagne to help one not lose energy through schlepping through the traffic!

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Both venues were unique and special in their own way! Metropolitan Pavillion was four floors full of designers, gowns, jewelry, and they also had a number of fashion shows; so there was a lot going on! Lots of people, crowds, high energy!

 

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Metropolitan West on the other hand was smaller, with two floors filled with gorgeous gowns, models, designers. A more intimate setting and you had a more personal experience. They also had a champagne happy hour, snacks and a fun cotton candy stall!

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It was a great experience and an honor to attend the event this year! I met so many amazing designers and models and learned a lot about the bridal fashion world!

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Behind me on my right – Designer Jude Jowilson and his partner

 

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Designer Mimi Tran

 

I write about travel, beauty and fashion, as you (should) know. I was approached to collab with a photographer to work on a new projected based on bridal fashion, and as much as I know nothing about bridal fashion, especially western bridal fashion, I am so grateful for the opportunity! Yes, I am looking at this with a blind eye but an excited blind eye haha! I am taking it as a new challenge and learning as I go. From the past weekend alone I learned so much and met so many amazing people!  Look out for my upcoming interviews with some of the amazing designer, models, photographers and more that I had the pleasure of meeting! I will most likely be posting on a new site for bridal fashion but will link it on here once that is all set up! I look forward to attending again in April!

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-Karen Bahri

Maarkah New York Fashion Week Show

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New York Fashion week was last week and I had the pleasure of attending a few shows. One of my favorites – if not my favorite – was the Maarkah New York Fashion Week Show, by Runway Prestige. Maarkah is an Arabic word for Brand – which makes it the perfect name for this show as it is aimed to show off amazingly talented designers from the Middle East and Africa!

Runway Prestige is ran by Rabab Abdalla – who is an extraordinarily talented, sweet, amazing woman!

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I came to the show to see Houda El Fechka Eddiouane – who I had the pleasure of meeting at the Couture shows last year. I also wrote an article about her work from last years show: http://www.hautedvie.com/houda-el-fechka-eddiouanes-debut-couture-fashion-week-new-yorks-25th-season/

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She showcased two of her collections at the show. I would describe her 1st collection as modern and elegant.

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I would describe the 2nd collection as traditional and dazzling!

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She is an amazing Moroccan designer from the Netherlands. She is definitely one to follow on social media. Her Instagram is houdaee and her facebook is https://www.facebook.com/houda.elfechka

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The show lasted about 2.5 hours and there were designers from Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South America! The entire show was amazingly captivating! I could keep talking but the pics speak for themselves! Also, if I were to post all the pics from all the designers – we would be here forever! Also, I ran out of storage space!! (LOL) So here are juust a few of my favorites (before I ran out of space on my phone!!)

It would be tough for me to decide because ALL the outfits and models were stunning, but the first 3 are my top 3 favorites! For more (photos and videos) – go to my Instagram: karenskaleidoscope and lastly please follow Maarkah & Runway Prestige on Instagram, FB and Twitter (Runway Prestige only on twitter)! This was the first of MANY shows, so stay tuned for lots more from Runway Prestige!!

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The Queen of the Night!! #arabiannights ❤

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~Hi My name is Ms. Fabulous but you may call me “Ms. Fierce”~

 

-Karen Bahri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kay Meeks-A Southern Belle’s journey to a sucessful New York Fashionista!

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Kay Meeks-A Southern Belle’s journey to a sucessful New York Fashionista!

So the whole thing started on my way out the door at the Plitzs New York Fashion Week Show. I was running late to meet a friend. As I was jetting out the door – this woman walks by in the most stunning gown ever! She looked so glamorous I literally just stopped and had to talk to her. I saw her look back at me with this look like “why is this girl staring at me” lol so I asked her if she is a model. She said she is but today she is interviewing people for TV. That’s how it all began! We started chatting and this is where a friendship as well as a professional connection began!

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This is the photo I clicked of her at Plitzs!

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Kay Meeks is a multi-talented and graceful woman you cannot help but admire! As she was telling me all the creative entrepreneul things she partakes in my  mind was racing and I knew I needed to interview her as well as introduce her to my people

 

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Hat available on Meekswear.com

Growing up in a tiny town in North Carolina called Bunn, with a population of less than 345 people (!!!!!), Kay was girly and loved fashion. She was also a trend setter! In fact, one time in the 6th grade, she took a black colored pencil and made it into eyeliner! Even though she got punished on a daily basis by her mom, she still continued to wear it! In middle school she made a pocketbook from a Merita Bread bag with yarn and she also started cutting up her jeans even before it became popular! The world of fashion had been calling her since she was young and she was destined for a life!

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She moved to New York City four and a half years ago to pursue her dream of working in the fashion world. It all started when she replied to a modeling ad for a runway show in Jamaica, Queens. Luck was on her side and she got the gig! This is where her career in the modeling world started! From that one show, she got flooded with offers! As her career in modeling was flourishing she also did films, music videos, hosted broadcasts and so much more! This is a true success story of a small town southern belle, who came to the big, bad city and landed her first ever modeling assignment at age 38!!!!! She is an inspiration and proved that it’s never too late and nothing should stop you from chasing your dreams!

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Slaying in Meekswear!

 

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Meekswear earrings

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Modeling a choker from Meekswear

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Meekswear – the “Carol’s” glasses

Kay also owns her own brand of fashion wear. Meeks Wear is Kay’s very own, unique, stylish and trendy fashion wear line. She’s got a variety of products from quirky sunglasses, stylish watches, dazzling watches, cellphone covers, custom designed eyeglass frames and extremely unique clothing with creative designs and catchy quotes!  She adds a touch of her very own individuality to each of her pieces and all are so cool, creative, colorful and fun! She models many of her styles on her instagram and loves it when her customers send her pics of them modeling her gear! Everything on her site is pretty affordable as well, so you can go crazy and buy, buy, buy!!!

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She decided to take things one step forward and take a fashion design class. She saw that there was a very affordable class down the street from where she lived, so she decided why not! During the class, Kay had been scrolling through instagram when she discovered the account of the most stylish elderly women she had ever seen! The one and only Baddiewinkle! She became obsessed with this woman and her impeccable style! There was one outfit in particular Kay saw and had to have!!! She hunted everywhere for this dress and asked everrryyyone!!! When she finally found it, she realized the dress also came with a pretty price tag. This didn’t discourage her at all though! She decided she was going to make her own unique remake of that same dress but switch it up with her own unique flare! She got to working, sketching, researching and choosing fabric. Nothing was stopping her from recreating it with her own personal touch! She tirelessly put her work in and created the most fabulous remake of Baddiewinkle’s red lip yellow dress! Her teacher saw ambition, creativity, style and talent in Kay that she herself had not discovered!

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Kay modeling her fabulous rendition of Baddie Winkle’s Yellow dress!

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Meekswear.com – search “yellow dress”

The talent doesn’t stop there! What’s amazing about her journey is that she found the fashion design class, which I might add was a $10 class and a few blocks from her place in the Bronx, with the intention of becoming a couture gown designer but found her talent to lead her to become a buyer for her own business!

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#OOTD – Heading to her first Fashion Design class

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All smiles in her design class!

It was a great pleasure and if I may add, an honor to have had the opportunity to speak to Kay over the phone the other day. I believe we meet people and people are brought into our lives for a reason! I could have, and almost, kept running out the door that evening without stopping but I stopped and I am very glad I did!

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“Keisha” oversized sunglasses

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Meekswear.com – Puff Ball wooden earrings

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All accessories can be found on Meekswear.com

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“Savage” top & Faux Fur Crossbody purse available on Meekswear.com

I met an amazing woman who is a role model, inspiration, multi-talent, hardworking, intelligent and extremely friendly new friend! Aaannnddd btw – I bought the red lip yellow dress tooooo!!! It’s being shipped. Watch out for a selfie on my instagram as soon as it arrives!!!

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Meekswear.com – “Don’t Worry Be Yonce”

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Meekswear shades

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Meekswear Watch

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Meekswear Cellphone cover & Hat

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Meekswear Cartoon Top

Shout out to Kay Meeks!! Keep moving forward!!

Check her out on her instagram: Kay_Meeks

Also here’s the link to her website!! Go on and shop til you drop!!! If you want to purchase the same yellow dress that I did, just go to the search bar and search “yellow dress”.

https://www.meekswear.com/

 

Karen Bahri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Couture Fashion Week New York

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Couture Fashion Week New York

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the New York Couture Fashion Week Shows 25th season at the Crown Plaza hotel in Times Square. I was there Saturday & Sunday evenings and saw some amazing collections and performances, front row and center!! I definately learned a lot and the experience broadened my ignorance of what fashion shows, runways and models are like.

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At such prestige an event, I realized we are all human, and professional runway models walking a ramp are human and error no matter how much experience they have – just like the rest of us! I saw a few models slip, but continue on as poised as ever. I don’t blame them. Tell a man to walk in 6 inch heels on a slippery catwalk in a lengthy, uncomfortable gown with lights and cameras flashing at them in every direction. Ohh yeah, and a crowd of people too! I also noticed, and this might just be in my mind, I always figured models are supposed to be super tall and super slim. Tall, they were all; but I noticed a handful of girls that weren’t exactly skin and bones. They were far from “fat” but their bodies just seemed normal skinny. I’m not sure if that was just me or if the standards have changed for models; if so, that’s great! There are enough social pressures for younger girls these days!

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I had to have my moment too haha

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Proud that Zee TV was an official sponsor

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Again, having a moment! haha

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Anyways! As much as I want to tell you about ALL the designers and show you ALL the pics of every model wearing every outfit in their collections, we would be here all day! And you know me by now, so you know I definitely have all those photos! I’m going to highlight for you my 3 top favorites! These are in no specific order, they all are marvelous in their own unique ways!

 

DESIGNER: Houda El Fechka Eddiouane (Morocco/Netherlands)

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Houda is a Dutch Moroccan haute couture designer internationally well known for her stunning expressions of femininity, romance and elegance intended for both Moroccan and European women alike, as well as all women globally.

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Her statement pieces are appealing to the eye with stunning & exotic elegance. Integrating skillful cuts, luxurious materials with immaculate results which are often marked with an elegant Moroccan touch, her talent for combining assorted influences with perfectly graceful style has been capturing the world of fashion.

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I was really drawn to the Moroccan touch in her pieces and that, for me, is why she made it to my top 3 list! Chic, ethnic, exotic and elegant. The music during her show was a mix which ended with a very soothing French melody that I really enjoyed.

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DESIGNER: Ruchika Kabra (India)

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Ruchika Kabra is a graduate of the National Institute of Fashion Technology in India, where she was recognized with the Most Creative Collection Award in Textile Design. Following this, she came to New York to study Fashion design at New York’s Parsons School of Design. Her evening wear collection won her an honorable mention while she competed with 29 selected designers at FIT & Parsons.

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Ms. Kabra’s latest collection is all about silk used in its natural form. The collection of exclusive gowns is labeled “The Royal Ecru”, fit for a royal, cementing a fashion moment. To make the collection even more mesmerizing, beautiful crystals have been added to create a royal touch, and coordinate well with the sheen of silk.

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It’s obvious why I chose her to be on my top 3, I will always support our desi independent women and I love my India and our fashion! Colorful Indian silks and embroideries fused into Indo-Western couture is elegant , exotic, mysterious, classy and will never go out of style!

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DESIGNER: Alexandra Popescu-York (USA/Romania)

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Acclaimed artist-designer Alexandra Popescu-York made her sixth appearance at Couture Fashion Week New York with her Spring-Summer 2017 clothing collection entitled “Tour du Monde” (World Tour).

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“Tour du Monde” is a capsule-type collection that never goes out of fashion. It is as timeless and stirring as the memories of one’s soul-enriching travels around the world!

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A native of Bucharest, Romania, Alexandra Popescu-York is a New York City based designer and artist. She is a world-class power acknowledged by the industry’s best early in her career.

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This collection was so bizarre in the most fabulous way possible! Eye catching, mood lifting and somewhat questioning (with the yearn to know what it’s all about). The music was thrillingly intense, as if it belonged in a horror movie! The beats resembled glass breaking and things crashing all over the place! So bizarre!  This woman is a true genius and shook up the crowd! Bravo!

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Popescu-York’s humanitarian efforts have earned her the “Ambassador of Good Hearts and Romanian Culture” title. She is also a dotting wife and mother. Her sons Alexander Julian and Ralph have walked the Couture Fashion Week runway in the past, and they were an adorable and lively addition to her magic in this years show as well!

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So those were my top 3 from the Couture Fashion Week New York shows 25th season! Stay tuned my fellow Kaleidoscopers! I still have sooo much more to blog about on the other collections which were amazing as well!! Feel free to stalk my instagram (or you know, follow me xo) to see more video clips of these amazing designers. There were definitely some eye catching moments better captured on video you don’t want to miss!!!

Instagram: Karenskaleidoscope

-Karen Bahri