Tag Archives: Designer

Mariama Designs


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!


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.


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




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.





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




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!



-Karen Bahri



Nadia Azumi’s hand crafted Italian silk scarves at IFWAmsterdam


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



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.





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.


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




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.”





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





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!


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



Instagram: nadiasilkcouture


-Karen Bahri

Thunyatorn – Thai Dress at NYFW

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.



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!


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.





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.





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.





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.



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!




*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!

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.


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. ❤


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!!


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.







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!






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!





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!



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!





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!






-Karen Bahri

New York Bridal Fashion Week – The Knot Couture Show


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).




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!




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!




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!


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!





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



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!




-Karen Bahri

Maarkah New York Fashion Week Show


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!


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/


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




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




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


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!!




The Queen of the Night!! #arabiannights ❤
















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


-Karen Bahri








Couture Fashion Week New York

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.


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!


I had to have my moment too haha


Proud that Zee TV was an official sponsor


Again, having a moment! haha


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)


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.


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.


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.


DESIGNER: Ruchika Kabra (India)


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.


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.


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!


DESIGNER: Alexandra Popescu-York (USA/Romania)


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).


“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!


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.


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!


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!


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