The Fashion Models of Asher Marie

How many fashion models grew up in a small town with a graduation class of twelve students? We launched a new “Meet the Models” series today on the Asher Marie Collection blog. Our initial interview is with Sharice. Yes, her hometown had a population of just 300. Learn more about her favorite Asher Marie dresses, European travel destination, and more at “Meet the Models: Sharice.”

fashion model

Sharice (center) walked the runway at LA Swim Week 2015. Here she wears the Joy Shift Dress – click the picture to order it.

Launching a Fashion Line: Sample Production Process

Asher Marie fashionThe Her Heel Flops team wishes you a very belated Happy New Year and would like to explain the delays between posts. As revealed last fall, I’m starting a fashion line and subsequently, have been in the thick of scheduling photo shoots, planning a launch party (March 13th!), and finalizing all the last details for the Asher Marie Collection.

If launching a fashion line wasn’t exciting enough, we thought you may be interested in the nuts-and-bolts process should you be interested in following our fashionable footsteps.

Asher Marie Fashion

One of our pieces from Asher Marie’s inaugural collection. Read on to learn how it came to be.

How does a fashion line start? Beyond the initial creativity and sketches and years of perfectly organized card-catalogued tear sheets and mood boards, the sample production process is your big first move. It involves several steps. Do you find yourself doodling dress designs and outfits when waiting on hold? Do you have every fashion app on your phone? Did you follow #NYFW? Then the first step is right up your fashion runway:

  1. Sketch and concept. Gather your fashion sketches in one place. You may have dozens of ideas. For your inaugural line, choose 6-10 concepts or sketches. Consult with an established designer or stylist to get a real-world perspective.
  2. Tech designers. Technical designers in the fashion industry will take your sketches and translate them into workable designs to help create patterns. Tech designers work down to the finest details: The size and placement of enclosures, patterns of embellishments, and more. Manufacturing fashion is not possible without the proper design.
  3. Pattern maker. Now your proper designs make their way to patterns. Patterns are one dimensional cut outs of your concepts.
  4. Cut pattern. The patterns are then cut. Contemporary pattern cutting is highly accurate. If you have a great tech designer, today’s digital technologies let your designs come to life exactly how you envisioned them.
  5. Sew samples. Samples are then constructed from the pattern.
  6. Fitting. Then it is time to hire models and schedule the first fitting. The Asher Marie team worked remotely via videoconferencing from Los Angeles. It’s important to involve as many people as possible in the fitting experience to be sure all-important modifications and fit notes are conveyed. For example, the designer may be able to articulate their vision for the garment while the technical designer may work with the sample maker to ensure technical accuracy during the fitting. (Of course, be ready for technical difficulties. I managed to keep a virtual fitting going when one of our team member’s Skype connection cut out by using my smartphone and tapping them in through a regular call.)
  7. Repeat. Fashion is a tremendously collaborative experience and requires great patience. Sometimes the technical, pattern, sample and fitting process occurs two or three times before an actual garment is produced the way it was initially envisioned.
Asher Marie Collection

Another one of Asher Marie’s samples…You’ll have to wait to see the finished product!

More news soon about our upcoming photo shoot and very exciting launch party!

Fall 2014 Fashion Trends

There is the ever-present question women everywhere ask themselves once the calendar passes Labor Day:

“Can I still wear white?”

The answer: Of course you can!

If you always thought of the fashion faux pas as being slightly ridiculous, you are not alone. No matter where you live, you probably still experience summer-like weather well into “Fall.” White not only looks just as great after Labor Day (when it was unquestionably acceptable), it is also one of the best colors you can wear to keep yourself cool when the heat peaks. Here in Raleigh it stays hot well past Labor Day! Even with our momentary lapses in 80 degree weather, hot with a dose of humidity often lingers while the leaves change.

The no-white-after-Labor-Day-rule is simply old-fashioned. In fact, the most important aspect of your wardrobe is not the color, it’s actually the fabric. Linen should be the first to head into storage when the weather begins to cool.

Surprisingly, the expected color choices for the upcoming Fall 2014 fashion season include white, off-white, black, grey, and nude tones. All are expected to be especially popular, especially when paired with jewel tones — such as reds, blues, and purples. Chunky necklaces, scarves and other accessories in these colors will make your neutral toned outfits really pop.

fall fashion trend

Whites paired with red are not only trendy this season, but festive.

What might shock fashionistas the most, is the fabric of choice for this year’s fall fashion season. The knitted sweaters your grandmother provided are making a serious comeback.

It’s a fairly easy look. Stylish tops comprise of those knitted sweaters your older relatives have been pushing for years. As it turns out, they were actually ahead of the fashion curve. This season will see a significant increase in knitted sweaters, especially those that are over-sized and fitted at the shoulders. For bottoms, this fall’s go-tos are as simple as a pair of slightly worn jeans in ashy-grey tones or medium shades of blue. Tighter fitting or legging style will give your body shape with the slightly oversized tops.

To complete your look for this fall, try some ankle-height Chelsea boots or vibrant colored ‘booties’. You can also dress up your socks this season as an accessory to your wardrobe. Think knitted boot-height socks in the previously mentioned jewel tones.

fall fashion boots

Fall fashion boots combined with neutral tones and knits = in style!

The old is new again this season. Take advantage of it and show off your vintage style before it becomes too modern again!

You may have been wondering where we’ve been. With the month-long gap between now and our last post we have been busy! Travels to Florida, California, and inaugural fashion line news to share very soon. More to come about all of this shortly!

Summer Dress Trends

maxi dress

My stylish sisters Rachel & Marissa.

This is the first time I am revealing that I am working on a clothing line! Soon I will share details in an official announcement. In the Spring/Summer of 2015 I will launch an exciting new line inspired by global elements, my love for travel, and nature’s beauty.

For now, we are in the middle of summer and we are in the thick of the season’s fashion trends. The classic colors of yellows and pinks, as well as spaghetti straps and backless styles are just as hot as ever (which fits the bohemian style), but this year, there are a few looks that will bring out your inner fashionista’s creative side:

Small floral prints are expected to be quite popular, especially on unexpected colors for the season, such as navy and dark purples. The look is very flattering for paler skin tones. Model Karlie Kloss recently donned the look with a backless maxi dress, while out shopping in NYC. To really make the outfit pop, contrast the darker hew of the dress with a bright yellow heel or bold red lip.

The opposite is usually best for a darker skin tone. Your dress should be the brightest part of your outfit, with your accessories and makeup in neutral tones. Jessica Alba nailed the style on the red carpet late last month in a burnt-orange, strapless pencil dress from Vivienne Westwood. Made of satin, her dress is perfect for a formal event, but the same style can be reinvented into more casual look in a different fabric, such as cotton.

For the perfect universal cut, an empire waist and a solid print looks good on almost any body type. Maxi dresses are also versatile option, and can easily be worn day-to-night. However, if you’ve got a part of you that you want to show off, by all means this is the season to do it! Have you been working on your arms in rowing class and want to show them off? Go strapless or opt for spaghetti straps.

Of course summer is the season to show a little more skin, and designers are definitely delivering. There are plenty of shape-flattering cutouts, long slits, and breezy backless options. Crisscross straps have been particularly popular, and allow you to show off your summer glow. For a twist on your summer dress, try a high-waisted skirt with a crop top that subtlety exposes your midriff. Most women find this to be the narrowest part of their midsection. When exposed and paired with a high-waisted skirt, it creates a longer leaner appearance.

summer fashion

Fitted high waists can make you look leaner and a bold print can be your statement.

For good measure, try and follow the 40% rule: An old-fashioned rule that says showing 40% skin is the ideal ratio to keep in mind when putting together an outfit. Applying this rule, you’ll be able to show off the areas you love, and downplay those you want to draw attention away from.

You’re sure to feel cool in these hot summer looks this season. Pick your favorite look and (safely) enjoy the warm sun on your skin – don’t forget the sunscreen and check out these sunless tanning options!

Happy Dressing!

Try Something New: Spring 2014 Makeup Trends

spring makeup

Time for dewy spring makeup!

The time required for parenting and entertaining often cuts into personal “me” time. (Remember my Stay at Home (not) Sloppy Mom post?) Instead of feeling lost if you miss the latest styles, here are a few quick spring makeup trends to dress up your existing warm-weather wardrobe. Fortunately, the great trends this season can be done in a pinch and require little effort!

Dewy Foundation

The “dewy” look for foundation is expected to continue its reign over the previous matte finish look. Some people shy away from trying this because they think it will make them appear shiny or oily, but that’s not the case if done right. With a velvety or liquid foundation you’ll be able to achieve a fresh look that makes you glow. Dab a small amount of product on the desired areas with your finger first, then work the product in using a beauty sponge or stippling brush. Press the makeup into your skin, rather than buffing it, to avoid streaks. Keep the amount of foundation powder you use at slim-to-none. Opt for a cream blush and cheek highlighter instead of pressed powder. Secure the look with a finishing spray that will keep your makeup looking flawless for hours.

If you are married to your powder mineral foundation, a good way to still achieve the “dewy” look is to apply face moisturizer first. Then, before fully dry, apply a light coat of your favorite mineral makeup with your favorite loose bristled brush. It can be blended more with clean fingers around problem spots or areas needing fuller coverage.

Dark Blues & Bright Whites

For a clean and modern look for your nails: Bright white, cobalt and indigo hues of blue are especially popular this season. As far as shaping your nails, Elle suggests keeping your nail beds’ curves natural, strictly defined round or square tips are on their way out – which is fine by me! I’m all for anything that saves me time on my beauty routine!

blue eye shadow

Emphasize your eyes.

If you want to give your eyes a pop of color, these shades are also trending for eye makeup. Apply a thin accent color with an eyeliner pencil, or go for a bold full-blended lid using matte powder, such as Revlon’s ColorStay ShadowLinks. To make eyes pop I recommend Cargo Mascara’s Better Than Waterproof. It’s around $20, stays on all day (even with the sweat and mommy grease), and you don’t need to use eye makeup remover to get it off at night. It is one of the best daily mascaras I have used.

Neon Orange Lips

This one might be a bit extreme for me, but neon orange lips have been seen on red carpets and runways all over lately. (We covered this in our Spring Fashion Trends post!) The best thing about this look is that it complements most skin tones. If you decide to give this style a try, I recommend keeping the rest of your makeup modest, and basic. If the “neon” part still scares you, try an orange or coral tinted gloss. Stila has a few great options.

Red-Violet Lips

Many spring styles lean towards lighter shades, but there are some exceptions. Along with bright orange, this spring we have also seen a spike in dark ruby colored lips with purple undertones or neon violet. While I probably wouldn’t recommend it for an everyday look, it may be perfect for a date night or girl’s night out.

spring makeup trends

Friend Gabby and my sister Rachel.

Even though you may think some of these styles might be outside of your comfort zone, you’ll never know how good they can look until you give them a try. Take a chance, and break out of your makeup rut – it may be worth it and add a little spring to your step!

Bohemian Fashion Tips

bohemian fashion

Rachel employs several bohemian elements in her outfits.

It’s become a buzzword this spring season: Boho! We see it advertised in magazines and in boutiques, but what exactly is Boho?

Last month we reviewed the highlights of New York Fashion Week, one of which was the bohemian (or boho) chic style that graced the runways. In this post we take a closer look at bohemian fashion and the various textures, accessories, and elements you can incorporate into your wardrobe. If you are looking for a bohemian fashion blog post—here is the one to bookmark and share!

bohemian styles

Boho is free-spirited.

When it comes to this airy and vintage style, I have to showcase my sister Rachel. This is her staple style and it’s easy to associate her free spirit and willingness to try new things.

Boho styles are unique, which is why I think Rachel is attracted to it. Even though it is a style all its own, you can pair and match pieces that have a completely authentic one-of-a-kind look and feel.

bohemian headbands

Bohemian headbands.

Boho-Chic Accessories:

  • Hippie-headbands and headwraps (turbands) – don’t forget a braid or three!
  • Flats or gladiator sandals
  • Pashmina or patterned scarf
  • Statement necklace
  • Natural elements (jewelry featuring wood, pearls, shells, crystals, feathers or turquoise stones)
  • Floppy hats
bohemian

Bohemian fringe and headbands combined.

Vintage Textures:

  • Lace
  • Distressed leather
  • Fringe
  • Floral embroidery
maxi dresses

Maxi dresses are simple and comfortable.

Boho Silhouettes:

  • Maxi skirts and maxi dresses
  • Tank tops under loosely knit sweaters or crocheted vests
  • Peasant tops and tunic dresses

A nice thing about bohemian outfits is that they are not just comfortable and casual, you can make them elegant too. To glam up a bohemian outfit, add silk and diamonds. Part your hair and twist into an updo with a small braid trailing from your part. Leave the gladiator sandals at home and slip into an ankle wrap wedge.

Remember not to compromise your own style when you incorporate bohemian elements. If you paired all of the features above into a single outfit you may overload the style. For example, try not to wear feather earrings with a feather headband. Pair “loud” or statement jewelry pieces with subdued clothing, and balance patterned dresses with minimal or delicate accessories. You’ll find a comfort zone pretty quickly, and look effortless at the same time!

Children’s Clothing Swaps and Consignment

dress up

Dressing up with Daddy

As a mommy to an almost two-year-old baby boy, it can oftentimes be overwhelming how quickly they sprout! You can forget about seasonal closet clean-outs, it’s more like monthly overhauls in our house. I’m grateful my son is thriving, but as we approach his second birthday and he enters growth spurt number 19, I feel like clothes are just not the most exciting gift to bestow upon a two-year-old. But we need them, and I clearly would rather spend the birthday budget on trucks, tractors, puzzles, books and primary colored wooden toys…What to do?

childrens clothing

Closets need to grow with your kids

Here are a few ways to help offset some of the costs that come with outfitting your little guys or gals…perhaps a great way to pare down what you already own and make some real cash that may help purchase the next season’s best:

  1. Clothing swap. Choose to hold a clothing swap the best way that suits you. Adults only for some kid-free time and no distractions for sorting clothes? Or invite parents and kids for a clothing swap party. This is a great time for parents to have adult time while offering kids time to socialize. Let older kids run their own fashion show and try on different clothes. (Maybe combine this with an Oscar Night dinner party.) Don’t want to be stuck with the leftover clothes once the party is over? Decide in advance how clothes will be handled—ask parents to take home items that are left behind, or find a local charitable organization to donate the clothes to.
  2. Consignment stores. To find brick-and-mortar consignment shops where you can drop off bags of clothes, use an online search tool like The Thrift Shopper. You can find consignment shops in your area and call around to learn about their consignment agreements. Some stores may only keep clothes for set lengths of time, and other stores have policies about what types of clothing they accept. These are great places to find affordable formal wear for children if you have been invited to some spring weddings.
  3. Online consignment. ThredUp is a site that allows you to both list children’s clothing items for sale and purchase gently-used quality clothes for kids. If you don’t want to leave the house to visit consignment stores in-person, this is an option for you. Besides visits to the post office—or the United State Postal Services picks up for free, too!—you will save time and money.

Of course, you may want to hold on to your children’s clothing—hand-me-downs can get more mileage the second time around if your family grows!

hand-me-downs

Keep hand-me-down bins in easy to locate places. I keep ours in the laundry room and when filled up, I add to the larger attic bin.

Spring Break Destinations

Maybe your spring break vacation was already scheduled before your last spring break ended—or maybe you procrastinate and have not picked a destination yet. Either way, we break down a few travel options for you. If you have a vacation booked already you might find something here to explore on your travels there. If you are trying to decide on a last-minute spring break plan, get ready for some inspiration:

europe spring break travel

Spring Break in Europe

  1. Europe. What type of European vacation do you dream of? Rent a car and spend your time visiting chateaus in the French countryside. The small villages in France offer artisanal cheeses and baguettes, and vintages crafted through generations of winemaking expertise. If you want the metropolitan experience, maybe Milan, Italy is more your style. Milan is the fashion capital of the world. (If you enjoyed our New York Fashion Week re-cap, then Milan will knock your trendy polka-dotted socks off.) Milan’s 2014 Spring Fashion Week ends on February 23rd. According to Time Out, “fashions jump from catwalk to clothes rail in weeks.” Just in time for spring break shopping!

    spring break beaches

    Beach time for Rachel

  2. Caribbean. The Caribbean offers hot sun and sandy beaches at a time when most Americans are battling snow and ice storms. All-inclusive resorts can cater to your needs. Look for hopping nightlife, a family-friendly resort, or a couples retreat. Find last-minute spring break deals to Jamaica, Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, and the Virgin Islands.

    rave parties

    Looking for a rave and active nightlife?

  3. Mexico. The typical spring break destination for college students is Cancun. Although Cancun is associated with partying students, the city has a completely different side for adventure-seekers. Tours of the jungle, swimming with dolphins, zip lining, swimming in caves—all this is possible just a short distance from where DJs are spinning music poolside!

    Northern California

    Maybe a quiet wine country vacation?

  4. Domestic: Northern California or Florida. If you are not planning to leave the country for spring break, but still want to get away, think about wine country in Northern California. Over 450 vineyards grow in the soil of Napa Valley, and many offer on-site accommodations. Don’t want to vacation without that tropical feel? Explore Key West, Florida. You will still get the great weather, sandy beaches, and palm trees the Caribbean offers without having to leave the country. Rent a sailboat or take a catamaran tour to explore more beaches.
  5. Staycation. If your travel budget is not as much as you hoped for spring break, try a staycation instead. Create your own “Taste of Europe” and dine at a classy French restaurant and take French lessons. This is wallet-friendly and you will have more skills for your next trip to France. Enjoy snorkeling, but miss out on scuba diving when you travel because you’re not certified? Contact your local dive shop and take SCUBA lessons. Once you’re certified you can plan your next trip around an underwater adventure.