Summertime sadness: Say NO to these fashion fails!

Cosmos And Pearls has been overdue for a fashion post! At the end of last week I was browsing my favorite magazines and Instagram posts from the top style tastemakers and noticed a few disturbing looks. I feel the need to call out these unfortunate offenders. However, I don’t just want to judge. Keep reading for my opinion on these summertime #fashionfails and my suggestions for an improved ensemble.

Emma Stone Overalls

Overalls
When I saw Emma Stone donning overalls last week, I had to do a double take. The Revlon spokeswoman is usually on point with her outfit choices! For the farmer in Southern Indiana, overalls are a good fit because they offer utility and are usually cheaply made. If they were to get dirty or ruined after a long day of working in the fields, it’s not a big deal. However, if you’re an LA A-list actress or a New York City socialite there is absolutely no reason to be seen in this abysmal ensemble.

Romper

Solution: Romper
If you are looking for an easy but cute outfit I suggest a romper. They are typically made to be more form fitting which will be more flattering to most body types (overalls make almost anybody look bigger!). Moving around will not be an issue and rompers can easily be dressed up or down, depending on the look you desire.
Romper: Abstract Floral Drawstring Romper, Forever 21, $17.80

Jelly Sandals

Jelly Sandals
Are we back in 1993 or something? I remember having a pair of these during my elementary school years. Why are adult women hell bent on bringing back these trends we wore as children? It doesn’t make any sense. Also, these “jelly” sandals have a bad habit of getting dirty and discoloring easily. We won’t even get into the bad smell they can have if they get too wet from sweat or a rainy day. STAY AWAY!!!

ShoeDazzle Sandals

Solution: Embellished Flat Sandals
If you’re looking for some sparkle in your summer footwear, opt for a simple pair of sandals with a hint of embellishment.
Sandals: Skylar, ShoeDazzle.com, $39.95

Birkenstocks

Birkenstocks
There’s nothing that says “I’m a smelly hippie that lives on a commune in Portland” like a pair of Birkenstocks. Enough said.

Sseko

Sandals by Sseko
Sseko sandals are simple yet stylish. They come in multiple colors and have the ability to be worn in different ways. A huge plus is that all Sseko products are made by artisans from Uganda! For more information and styles visit www.sseko.com.

What other summer fashion faux pays are out there? Did I miss anything? Discuss below in the comments?

Until Next Time,

L

Fifteen Weekends – The perfect summer read!

Fifteen Weekends

As of Saturday summer has officially begun! Here’s to longer days, backyard barbecues and spontaneous road trips. I cannot think of a better way to accompany a quiet afternoon at the beach or a relaxing evening on the patio than a good book!

When I heard that my dear friend Christy Pastore would be releasing her first novel, I was excited. She had experienced success with Fashion Wrap Up and I was happy to know that she was expanding her horizons. Her debut title Fifteen Weekends offers an awesome mix of romance, suspense and themes that will pull at your heart strings.

One of the things I enjoyed most about Fifteen Weekends was the care Christy took to develop the characters and each of their personalities. Each of the main players has a unique story of her own but she connects them seamlessly. The main setting is Grand Rapids, Michigan, however, readers are in for a jet setting treat as they’re transported to exciting locales including London, Napa Valley and Montreal. Read on for a summary of the leading ladies of this saucy summer tale!

Ashleigh Preston: A freelance travel writer with a popular blog. She is constantly on the go, providing reviews of top hotels and restaurants around the world. She maintains a “friends with benefits” arrangement with Welsh publishing executive Liam Frost. On the surface Ashleigh appears to be a free spirit that is dedicated to her craft. As the story goes on, readers are exposed to the vulnerabilities that she has been struggling with for quite some time.
Emily Greene: The pragmatic career woman is dedicated to her role as Director of Marketing at Cooper Bentley. A mysterious event that occurred in the past has forced her to focus on her work and be somewhat resistant to love. However, an unexpected tryst with sexy coworker Ethan Carlson has opened her heart and mind to exciting possibilities.
Amanda Parsons: On paper she appears to be a hot mess. As the story goes on readers learn that she’s a little more than shallow gold digger. In the beginning you are torn between disliking her or feeling sorry for her. Later in the novel it’s revealed that she does have moral convictions and you begin rooting for her to do the right thing.

A review of Christy Pastore’s Fifteen Weekends would be lacking if I made no mention of the men featured in the piece. My personal favorite was Liam Frost. What woman wouldn’t love being doted upon by a tall, dark and handsome UK businessman? The accent alone would have me fanning for air! Ethan Carlson provides a chivalrous yet exciting treat while Vince Everett exudes mystery and elegance.

I highly recommend Fifteen Weekends. You will not be disappointed as I believe it has something for every reader. It is available on Amazon as a hardcover for $25 or on the Kindle for $5.38.

Stay tuned for another fun book review in July!

Until Next Time,

L

“A Night Under the Big Top” – Save the Date!

Save The Date-Website Version

In November I wrote a post about The Common Thread Collective and its founder Jessica Abouelela. On October 18, 2014, I will be spreading the message to the LA area by hosting “A Night Under the Big Top” at Opulen Studios. This awesome night will include music, dancing fun “circus” themed food and drink, and cool giveaways. The event will be hosted by Stacy Conner, the mastermind behind Bitchvice!

Be sure to stay tuned for updates. If you are interested in getting involved, send an email to thebigtopgala@gmail.com.

Until Next Time,

L

Changes…they are coming!

Happy Monday, friends!

I’ve been a bad editor. It’s been nearly four months since I last updated Cosmos And Pearls. To be completely frank I have been trying to decide how to move forward with this venture. When I started C&P in 2012 it was with the intent of it becoming a fashion site. However, as time passed, my interests have changed. I still love fashion and fantasize about the day when my closet is filled with Christian Dior, Hermés and Christian Louboutin. However, I don’t want to be known solely as a “fashion blogger”. I have other goals and ventures that I’m embarking on. Also, street style just isn’t my thing. I work in an office with only three employees, two of those being men over the age of 35. If you saw what I wore everyday, you wouldn’t be impressed. I’ve come to the conclusion that from a writing perspective, I’d rather focus on multiple topics that appeal to women and 20-somethings. They will include fashion, travel and everyday life.

I am especially excited about creating content about travel. Growing up in Indiana, I had the opportunity to live next door to a world class city in Chicago. I spent my youth going on field trips to the Field Museum, The Art Institute and the Museum of Science and Industry. One of the things I loved most was the “Christmas Trees from Around the World” display the Museum of Science and Industry does every year. It was a subtle way for me to start to understand the traditions of other nations around the world. My family took road trips to visit family in places like Florida and Pennsylvania. During my last year of college I went to New Orleans, one of my favorite trips to date. Though I’ve done quite a bit of travel in the United States, I have not yet had the chance to explore Europe, South America, Asia or Australia. For the first time in my adult life I finally feel like I have the time and resources to start embarking on these journeys. In September I will be visiting Amsterdam, Paris and Stockholm. I also have trips lined up stateside to cities including Houston, Denver and Miami. Since I’m a little more mature, I will have more of a “stylish travel on a budget” approach than the “college student or young 20-something backpacking across Europe” vibe.

To those of you that have supported me from the beginning, thank you! I promise that this new journey will not be boring.

Until Next Time,

L

Sex and the City 3…another one???

Surprise!

You didn’t have to wait until Friday to hear from me again! I was feeling extra inspired over the weekend and decided to write something extra.

Sex And The City

The past few days have been buzzing with rumors regarding a third Sex and the City movie. Writer Michael Patrick King believes that there is still one more story to tell.

“Sarah Jessica and I both know what the final chapter is,” he said, “That doesn’t mean it will or should be told, but I do think there’s one story left. There’s four girls and those girls are still on my mind. There are other stories to tell and characters that haven’t even been written yet.”

Like most women in their 20s and 30s I was obsessed with the Sex and the City franchise. Heck, part of the name of this site was derived from Carrie’s favorite drink! I feel like the program became sort of a guidebook for the single, career oriented woman living in the big city (not necessarily New York). When the first movie debuted in 2008, I was one of the first in line at the theater. It was nice to see the back and forth relationship between Carrie and Mr. Big (or John James Preston) come full circle, though I’ll admit that I would’ve preferred Carrie and Aidan being together at the end.

I didn’t see the second movie until a little over a year ago. It wasn’t terrible to me, but the concept was definitely out of left field. The girls being on a lavish trip to the Middle East that was financed by one of Samantha’s wealthiest clients didn’t seem to mesh well with the storyline that had been presented up to that point. I will say Sex and the City 2 has made me thoroughly interested in visiting Abu Dhabi! Someday…

If anything, I think another film could be a way to redeem the writers and producers after the way the second one went. It should be set solely in New York (with no extravagant trips anywhere, except to maybe the Hamptons). Michael Patrick King hinted at the introduction of new characters. That got me thinking that they could incorporate some of the people who are featured in the Carrie Diaries.

Carrie Diaries

The Carrie Diaries follows a young Bradshaw as she is finishing up her high school years in suburban Connecticut and beginning her love affair with New York City during the mid 1980s. While Samantha is introduced in the second season of the show, no mention of Charlotte or Miranda has been made yet. The focus is instead on her childhood friends Maggie, Walt and “Mouse”, as well as her younger sister Dorrit and father Tom. I personally would love to know what happens to Dorrit. Did she end up becoming a groupie for The Ramones or The Smiths and later becomes a washed up junkie who lives in a trailer in Reseda? And what about Larissa, Carrie’s editor at Interview Magazine? She was one of the first people to realize Carrie’s potential as a writer. It would be interesting if they came together later in life and started a lifestyle magazine of their own (and it would feature many photos of strategically placed items from SJP’s shoe line). Finally, what if they brought in Sebastian, Carrie’s first love? Perhaps she comes to her senses and realizes that Mr. Big really IS a terrible person and when that moment comes, Sebastian will be there. Just a thought.

I could go on for hours with the possibilities of story lines and characters that could be developed. If this project comes to fruition, I’m sure whatever they come up with will be interesting. However, there is still a part of me that thinks the series has run its course. What do you think?

Until Next Time,

L

P.S. If anyone from the CW Network is reading this, PLEASE renew the Carrie Diaries for a third season!!!

A fork in the road: The tunnel of love or the field of dreams?

It’s been a minute since I updated Cosmos and Pearls. Sometimes life gets in the way of writing a good entry! I’m trying this new thing called “posting an update every Friday.” I had thought about Wednesdays but didn’t want to steal the thunder from Stacy at Bitchvice (if you haven’t watched an episode yet, you totally should!).

Hand Holding

Last week couples around the world celebrated Valentine’s Day. I used to absolutely despise the “holiday” as it was the one day of the year that was meant to make single people feel like crap. Gone are the elementary school days when we were able to indulge in candy and chocolates as equals and even the Ralphs of the world got a card. As we get older, a division begins to exist. On one hand you have the singles wallowing in self pity and shooting dirty looks to the loving couple sitting a few tables down in a crowded restaurant, and on the other are those in committed relationships who are feeling the pressure to make Valentine’s Day as perfect as possible for their significant other. Sounds like a drag for both sides, doesn’t it? I decided to make peace with V-day a couple years ago, though I still get annoyed with women posting photos of their flowers on Facebook. Though I would’ve loved a bouquet of roses or a new pearl necklace from a cute guy, a bottle of chardonnay, red velvet cupcakes and Thelma And Louise on Netflix wasn’t such a bad deal either.

Heart Sparklers

However, this post isn’t about Valentine’s Day, as that was already a week ago…duh! I’ve been doing some thinking about the bigger picture and found a couple of articles that resonated with me. The first is from Women’s Health magazine and titled “3 Signs You Should Be Single – For Now”. It broke down various situations in which a woman should step off the field and have a seat on the bench. The last one, “if you’re having bad luck with dates” was the one I identified with the most. My time in LA has been marred by dates or short relationships with men I was clearly not compatible with. From D the producer of a hit TV show, R the “grandma’s boy” to J the music video director (I’m using first initials to protect the guilty), I’ve put up with enough to make one want to swear off dating for good. I’d be happily single for a while and then an event like a housewarming party where most of the people there were married would happen and temporary loneliness would set in. I’d log onto Tinder or OkCupid and try convince myself that things would be different, though deep down I knew that was definitely not the case. A week ago I decided that online dating and I aren’t working out and I should just give it up. I told myself, “if and when it’s meant to be, it will happen.” Wasting my time on a task that’s not generating results is not productive.

The article also had me thinking about a conversation I had with my new roommate a couple days ago:

J: “I’m bored. I need to find a new girl to date so I can have something to pass the time. I’m getting sick of 2nd Street on the weekends.”
Me: “That doesn’t seem like a good reason to date somebody. Why don’t you try to find a new hobby?”
J: “I have work and I have the gym. Those are my hobbies.”
Me: *Shrugs Shoulders*

After this exchange I began to think that many people use dating to fill a void that may be otherwise left open. It’s not something they necessarily enjoy, they just do it to pass the time. Many would rather subject themselves to being around people they’re clearly not compatible with than deal with being alone. To me, that’s sad. I feel like the most important thing I’ve learned is to develop a relationship and love myself. During my college years I spent too much time chasing guys and attempting to force relationships. Sometimes I think about the friendships I’m missing out on now because of the way I acted back then. With that in mind, it’s been nice to completely focus on myself for a change.

Wedding Figurines

The other piece that got my attention and quite frankly sparked some irritation is one titled, “A Little Valentine’s Day Straight Talk” by Susan Patton. It was published in the Wall Street Journal last week. To provide a quick summary, Ms. Patton basically states that women in their 20s should be focusing on finding their husbands rather than advancing our careers. If we choose to spend our time working on the latter, before we know it we will be in our 30s and we will have to compete with girls in their 20s (and lose)! This has to be one of the most absurd things I’ve read in a while. She suggests that having a husband is the “key to true happiness”. I beg to differ. As a child, I watched my parents’ marriage unravel and then my mother rebuilding her life in the years following. I only have one uncle that is still married. My other aunts and uncles are divorced. I have one aunt and one uncle that have walked down the aisle at least twice. When you consider those facts, why would someone like me ever be in a rush to find my future husband? Shouldn’t Ms. Patton be telling young women that you should wait for the one who is going to love and marvel at you no matter what happens in life? It’s women like her who are contributing to the fact that there are so many unhappy marriages today. There are two many people out there living under the illusion that you need to be hitched by a certain age in order to be happy.

OK…rant over!

The takeaway from this should be not to rush love. Everyone in this world is able and deserving of giving and receiving it. Enjoy life and I have a feeling that it will manifest when we are least expecting it.

Until Next Week,

L

The Blog of Revelation…

One of my favorite movies is Orange County. It is the story of high school senior Shaun Brumder (Colin Hanks) and his desire to leave his Orange County bubble to attend Stanford University and become a writer. At the beginning of the film we learn that Shaun was rejected by Stanford because his guidance counselor (Lily Tomlin) sent the wrong transcript. Shaun is so determined to gain acceptance that he does things including introducing a board member to his crazy family and making the long drive up to Stanford with his brother Lance (Jack Black) to speak with the Dean of Admissions in person. After an unsuccessful visit with the dean, Shaun runs into Marcus Skinner (Kevin Kline), the author and Stanford professor he describes as his inspiration. He laments to Marcus that he is afraid that if he never leaves Orange County, he’ll never be able to become the writer he wishes to be.

Orange County Movie Screen Shot

At the end of the movie, Shaun returns to the OC and discovers that his parents had donated a large sum of money toward a new admissions building at Stanford (which had burned down when Lance and the dean’s secretary smoked a joint together). He had gotten in. He pauses for a moment and then says what I think is one of the best quotes in the movie (besides Lance casually asking the dean’s secretary if “she wanted to get naked and start the revolution”).

“…if Faulkner had left the South, would he had ever written A Light in August?” Or, what if James Joyce had left Ireland? Well, he did, but not in his heart,” Shaun said, “I don’t need to go to Stanford to become a writer. All I need are the people who inspire me.”

I feel like I had a similar revelation when I visited Chicago last week. It had been the first time I had been back since leaving the area in 2012. The air had a bitter chill and 80% of the time I was there was a near blizzard coming from the sky. Though living in Southern California has thinned my blood and spoiled me thoroughly, I took the winter conditions in stride and enjoyed the time with friends. Being in Chicago during this time allowed me to take note of things that I took for granted and now miss dearly. Most importantly, it allowed me come to terms with what I believe is the real reason I moved to LA in the first place.

When it comes to goals, I am one who tries to push things to the limit and go as far as I can possibly go. I remember having a conversation with one of my classmates when I was in elementary school. I told him, “I’m going to move to California and make something of myself and you’re going to be a loser working at the steel mill.” At that point, I hadn’t even stepped foot in the Golden State but I knew that I wanted it. When I was 18, I visited LA for the first time for a family reunion. Though I was underwhelmed by downtown, I was hooked when I saw the sights including Rodeo Drive, the Hollywood sign and streets perfectly lined by tall palm trees. From that point forward, California was all I ever thought about. My plan was to move to LA after finishing my studies at Purdue. Besides the beautiful scenery and increased probability of running into someone famous, I relished the challenge of getting here. For the majority of people at Purdue (and Big Ten schools in general), moving to Chicago is their dream. It allows them to have the big city lifestyle while staying relatively close to the towns where they grew up. But me being the person that I am, I felt the need to do something different. It took me a little longer than I planned to get here. I saw friends and classmates doing things that they wanted to do and making major accomplishments in their careers. It really bothered me that I wasn’t having those same moments and often felt inadequate when I was around people who were close to me. I felt like I had no way of relating to them, even though I wanted to.

The day I left on my four day drive was one of the happiest and scariest days of my life. It was so exciting to finally be on the quest to what I had wanted since I was nine years old. However, I worried endlessly about how I was going to make things happen once I got there. My first year here definitely had its challenges ranging from finding a suitable living situation to dealing with a demanding employer who had issues paying her staff decent wages. I remember thinking that maybe California and I just weren’t meant to be together and that maybe I should go back. But I stayed. And eventually, things became OK. I have a pretty good job, my affairs are pretty much in order and I’ve even started making some solid friends. However, I cannot help but think that now I’m at a place where I’m ready for the next challenge. I feel like I’ve completed an extremely difficult level in Zelda and now it’s on to the next one. I spend my down time at the office researching what it would be like to live in Europe in cities like Paris, Amsterdam or Stockholm. I’m beginning to think to myself, “I could totally deal with the cold and snow again if it meant that I could be surrounded by beauty and history [and really, really cute guys]!” However, I’m not ready to make the jump across the pond just yet.

LA Palm Tree Lined Street

When people come to Los Angeles, it’s usually to pursue a dream. It could be becoming a major movie star, a model or just being able to throw away the window scraper for good. For the majority of individuals, two out of those three things never happen and they are left to wonder about where and how they fit in the world. After being here for a little while, I’ve learned that this city rarely gives you what you want, but it will give you what you need. You may come here in search of fame and fortune, but you’ll leave with a better sense of who you are and your purpose in society.

With that being said, I have come to terms for the fact that LA is not where I’m going to live the rest of my life. I feel like deep down I always knew it but it took me returning to Chicago for me to realize and understand it. However, I don’t want to be one of those people that refers to their time here in the same fashion that a party girl-turned-soccer mom refers to “that one time she tried acid when she was in college.” I want to be able to look back on this period fondly and know that I accomplished something. One of my goals for this year is to create content that will set Cosmos And Pearls apart from other websites, along with writing my first fiction piece. I want to throw a fundraising event so that my friends at the Common Thread Collective can start receiving the help they need to grow. I’m sure that more ideas will come but I have a feeling 2014 will be a year in which I can look back on and smile.

OK…rant over.

Until Next Time,

L

It’s never too late to change: My fashion and beauty resolutions!

Happy Friday everyone!

Can you believe that Christmas will be here in just 12 days? Where has the time gone? While I am looking forward to the presents, decorations and dinner, I’ve also started planning my goals for the new year. Hello…it’s only three weeks away!

I feel like people make the same resolutions every year. They’re going to start going to the gym more, stop spending so much money and attempt to become a better person. These are all fine and good, however I’ve opted to make a more targeted list this year.

Drink More Water

Water

Well, this one is a no brainer! You’re supposed to have eight glasses a day. Drinking water keeps you hydrated and assists with the expulsion of waste products. It also keeps your skin moisturized and promotes weight loss.

Take Better Care of My Hair

Lush Cosmetics Hair Doctor Treatment

Last week I read an article about tactics you can use to promote hair growth. One of them, the one I believe is the most important is using a scalp treatment. When women are trying to grow out their hair I feel like more emphasis is put on making sure you don’t get split ends rather than maintaining the health of your scalp. It’s almost the equivalent of having a plant that you don’t water very often but you trim the leave regularly. Doesn’t make much sense, does it?

Keeping in line with the scalp logic, I am looking forward to trying the Hair Doctor treatment sold by LUSH Cosmetics. Its main ingredients include Irish moss powder, coconut oil and rosemary. The goal is to hydrate the scalp and leave the hair glossy and smooth. If anyone has any other (sulfate-free) scalp treatments or deep conditioners they’d like to recommend, let me know!

Find the Perfect Pair of Black Heels

Black Heels

In addition to traveling and losing a few pounds, one of my personal missions in 2014 is finding the perfect pair of black heels. They are a defining symbol of a woman that is well put together and has a good head on her shoulders, as outlined in the Thought Catalog article “27 Simple Things That Every Woman Needs”. While I would love a pair of Christian Louboutins or Jimmy Choos, I’m willing to consider more economical options as well. :) It would be great to have a designer pair, but at the end of the day I think it’s important to find a look that defines who I am as a woman.

Take More Makeup Risks

Lipstick

I feel like I’ve fallen into a predictable patten when it comes to makeup. I wear the same eyeshadow colors to work every day and I have a few slightly more daring shades that are set aside for going out. That needs to change. A few months back I purchased a 120 color eyeshadow palette from BH Cosmetics. To this day I think I’ve tried three various hues of brown. Where’s the fun in that? With lipstick, I’ve experimented a bit more but with hesitation. I’ll put on red lipstick and then spend the rest of the evening wondering if I look silly.

There will be no more of this! I am determined to try at least half of the shades in the eyeshadow palette as well as some new lipstick colors. Let’s see what happens!

Save for a Designer Purchase

Chanel Bag

About a month ago, I wrote a post about fashion items I would buy if I could put them on layaway for a few months (or years). While that doesn’t exist yet, savings accounts do. It’s nice to reward yourself for working hard throughout the year. Why not do it with a Chanel bag?

So, that’s it! What are some of your fashion, health or beauty resolutions for 2014?

Also, don’t forget about Cosmos And Pearls on Facebook! Click “like” today and never miss a post!

Happy Holidays!

Until Next Time,

L

The Common Thread Collective: Empowering women one stitch at a time

It’s official. The holidays are here. The past few days have been filled with posts dedicated to people being excited about Black Friday deals and what they plan to buy. Instead of getting caught up in the madness surrounding shopping and waiting in line, I thought it would be nice to honor an organization that’s all about giving back and growth. That is what the season is about, right?

A dear friend of mine introduced me to Jessica Abouelela, the founder of the Common Thread Collective. I’d been fascinated by her globetrotting adventures, as chronicled in her blog Girl Vs. City. Jessica has visited all corners of this earth, exploring her love for fashion and giving her time and talent to men and women in developing communities.

Common Thread Collective Fabrics

The Common Thread Collective started in 2011. Jessica had been working in India at a freedom center where they strived to fight human trafficking and forced prostitution. She was so inspired by her experience that she decided that she had found part of her life’s calling. However, she wanted to find a way to incorporate her love of fashion into her organization.

“While I was traveling, I learned how strong of a skill tailoring is for women and men in developing countries,” Jessica said, “knowing that I could use the skills of sewing and fashion to raise women out of prostitution and poverty brought everything full circle.”

The Common Thread Collective is currently based in Uganda in a village called Kappeka, just outside the capital city of Kampala. The women involved with the organization are focusing on learning the process behind accessory creation. They have started with handbags and recently expanded into simple shoes and home goods. Common Thread Collective has also offered three classes on basic garment production. The women have received training in constructing skirts, a basic racerback top and an empire waist dress. To date, the organization has worked with 42 women and currently has a waiting list of over 70. The aspect the program stresses the most is quality. Jessica said that the community sees the Common Thread Collective as a life changing experience.

“Some of our program participants would walk four miles, arrive at 4 AM and start sewing on the front porch by a gas lantern until I woke up at 6 AM and opened the door,” she said, “Eventually I just stared getting up at 3:30 to be ready for them. I would beg them to wait until 8 AM and rest, but they were so driven to continue to push themselves that they just kept coming. It was really moving.”

Common Thread Collective Student-2

Future Common Thread Collective projects include hiring an onsite program manager for 2014. This individual will help champion the introduction of clothing design into a more full curriculum. Jessica also would like to do some basic repairs on the compound and expand the work and classroom areas. Long term goals include becoming recognized by the Ugandan government as a trade school and actively working toward creating a positive image of fashion manufacturing. Jessica has encouraged her students to use the Common Thread facilities and staff as resources for creating their own lines. She envisions the women selling their pieces in a boutique in Kampala and other retail establishments across the world. They have been fortunate to have some students’ pieces featured at shops in 12 countries and 31 states. Though the retail success is great, Jessica stresses that she would like to keep things small so that they can focus on the process, not the product.

Common Thread Collective Student-1

If you are interested in learning more about the Common Thread Collective, please visit their website. Donations to fund further projects including compound repairs and staff member salaries can be made here. I hope that you take the time to learn more about this great program! I expect amazing things from Jessica and Common Thread Collective in the future.

Until Next Time,

L

My day at the Fashionista conference!

How To Make It In Fashion LA

So, this past Friday was pretty awesome. I had the opportunity to attend the How to Make It in Fashion Conference presented by Fashionista.com. The venue was the W Hotel in the heart of Hollywood. The day offered amazing keynote speakers, interactive panel discussions and one on one professional mentoring sessions. There was so much great material presented that I had a hard time thinking of exactly what to write!

L'Wren Scott

The event was kicked off with a great presentation by designer and stylist L’Wren Scott. She chronicled her journey from moving to Paris from Utah, becoming a model and then a stylist and designer. I loved some of the quotes that she made during he talk. One of them was, “Be fearless. You need to own your own bravery.” I think this is an important concept to drive home. In the fashion industry it is imperative that we stay level headed while maintaining a thick skin as we navigate our way through the big egos and cutthroat attitudes. Another great piece of advice was to always listen to critics. They always offer good advice! L’Wren said that anytime she receives an unfavorable review from one of her shows she tries to sit down with the journalist and discuss ways she could improve. Pretty impressive, huh?

I am really looking forward to seeing her collaboration with Banana Republic. It will be available in stores and online December 5th. I’m already in love with the L’Wren Scott scarf that was included in my gift bag!

My other favorite moments of the day included the presentation by Erica Domesek of P.S. I Made This and the blogging panel. One of the things that Erica stressed during her talk was creating a five-year plan for your blog or business and figuring out ways to monetize it. The blogging panel featured featured Geren Lockhart, Founder and Creative Director of Geren Ford, Kelly Cook, Founder of Snob Essentials, writer Macala Wright and Bollare Communications Principal Alle Fister. There were so many great topics discussed that it would take me a week to write about all of them. Truth be told, I experienced a lot of “a-ha!” moments and will be applying those concepts to Cosmos And Pearls over the coming months.

My day ended with a fun styling presentation by Lauren Messiah and Luke Storey of School of Style. They demonstrated the tools that are must haves in a styling kit and different ways you can fit clothes to a model or subject. I’m looking forward to learning more during their in-depth seminar that will be taking place in January in San Francisco.

The cherry on top of the fabulous Fashionista Conference was the awesome gift bag! I now have more makeup than I know what to do with (thanks to NYX Cosmetics) and plenty of discount codes and offers from sponsors including JewelMint, Intermix and Betsey Johnson.

Phew…that was a doozy! I barely scratched the surface of what was covered during the conference but I left feeling empowered and better equipped with the tools needed to enhance my career. I am looking forward to seeing what the next few months bring!

Until Next Time,

L