My Nicki Minaj Moment

I always liked Halloween as a kid.  I mean how could you be a kid and not love it….  all the candy you want and a chance to play dress up…  that’s a pretty good deal (side note: for me, it also meant the official “start” of the holiday season – just a few short months until Christmas).  Add in the opportunity to occasionally watch your Dad hiding outside Halloween night, waiting in the bushes to scare the neighborhood trick or treaters as they walked up to ring the doorbell… and you might be in “priceless” territory.  Yep, it was a pretty good gig while it lasted.  But, alas, I reached that age where it was no longer cool to dress up …  and so I lost some excitement around the day.

Fast forward to now….  at some point, probably about 4 years ago, it became cool again to dress up.  Not sure how that happened….  not sure when that happened as a matter of fact…  I mean there was no public service announcement or anything – no broadcast message, right?  It just started happening.  Adult, costume themed Halloween parties just started springing up everywhere.  And after my first one, I was hooked.  I find them exhilarating in a way…  being in disguise is somewhat freeing (yeah, I know, therapy).    

Anyway, here are my costume choices over the past few years: first up is from this past Saturday — me as Nikki Minaj.  Complete with pink wig, plenty of bling, a sexy black corset, pink tutu, waxed denim leggings and blue pumps.  It was a definite hit — and everyone immediately knew who I was.  How cool is that?

Other guest appearances that night: Run DMC (in complete character) and Catwoman (among others).

And from years past: me as Strawberry Shortcake and as Daphne from Scooby-Doo.  How do you all celebrate?  Any great costumes to share?  Happy Halloween everyone!  Enjoy the day and be safe!!

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Now Open: My Etsy Store

So, if you’ve been reading the blog for awhile, you know that one of the primary reasons that I started this blog (wow… nearly 6 months ago) was to chronicle my journey designing and producing custom made blazers.  The past 6 months have gone by like a whirlwind but I have achieved one key milestone – my first set of blazers available for sale and the launch of my online Etsy Store.   It’s a small start — I have a lot more to do — but it IS a start and that in itself is pretty awesome.

My next big step is really to focus on promoting and growing my business and expanding my “in store” offerings.  In fact, you may have already noticed that I changed my blog site domain to kenyaldesigns.com and I added a link to my Etsy Shop directly from it.  I’m definitely interested in you guys feedback so please check out the change and the shop.  I’d love to hear your tips, ideas and suggestions on promotion or any other topic!!  And do share it out with others!!  In fact, I’ll be kicking off a contest in the next few weeks as an extra incentive (more details to come soon!!)

My 2nd set of blazers will be complete this weekend and available in the store mid-week next week.  Please add me as an Etsy Store Favorite so you’ll have first access as new items arrive.

And finally below are my fabric choices for the 3rd set of blazers which we’ll begin production on this weekend.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on these selections or any other things that you’d like to see: new jacket styles, fabric and print ideas and of course color combination ideas.  You all are great inspiration so I’d love to get your perspective.    

And definitely contact me if you are interested in a custom order.

Check out some of my prior Kenya L Designs related posts: (The Big RevealThe Tuxedo Blazer, Trending Now… Blazers with ShortsKenya L Designs – 2nd Sample CompleteBlazer and Skinny Jeans RestyledCharlotte Fashion Week 2012)

OOTD: Fall Color Blocking

Ok, so are you just completely over color blocking at this point?  Ummm….  not so fast.  Color blocking is definitely carrying over  into the fall season.  I personally love when a trend carries over from season to season and honestly even year to year.  It just gives you more time to “perfect” your look!  And of course for fall, there are lots of options available and opportunities to create this trend on your own.  For fall’s version of color blocking, pairing unexpected neutrals with rich, vivid jewel tones can create a great color palette.  What better way to brighten up the cold fall and winter months than with “blocks of color” saturated with jewel tones?

Now, I found this modern shift dress in Nordstrom Rack (of course) on my recent visit up to Philly.  And it was purely the unexpectedness of the color combination that brought it to my attention.  The shift dress is a great way to add color blocking to the fall fashionista’s wardrobe.  Although much of the dress is neutral, the band of red adds some much needed pop.  I love the zipper detail on the back – again an unexpected design element.  

Of course, I decided to take my look one step further and accessorize it with color block shoes – just to add a little more “spark” to the ensemble.  I added a simple black long sleeve tee and black ribbed tights to round everything out.

So, what do you think?  Are you over color blocking, yet?  If not, how are you doing this fall?  Let me know!

What I’m Wearing: Tahari Shift Dress, Target Tee, Vince Camuto’s Color Block Wedges, Tory Purch Purse, J. Crew Necklace, Versona Accessories.

Week in Review – Zig Zag Prints, Travel and a Vet Visit

Oh how I have missed you this week blogger fam!!  I mean, I had great intentions for this past week, I really did.  Yes, I know that I had warned you that I might be somewhat absent from the blogosphere with my work travel to Philly, but in actuality, I had big plans.  My intention was to use the time away as a great opportunity to explore the city for cute boutiques and awesome vintage shops.  In fact, I even did research – I found all of the places I wanted to go before hand.  Oh how wonderful it would be.  I’d post nightly about all of my great shopping affairs and all of the lovely finds.  Oh yes, I had plenty of grand plans my friends.  In fact, I had even devised a plan B: saved photos from a cool work ensemble from earlier in the week– just in case I didn’t make it to the shops….  I’d still be able to blog while there.  And then I would use the time this weekend to check out a few new thrift shop spots and boutiques in Charlotte.  Yep, had it all mapped out.  I’d post 3 maybe 4 blogs.  Yep – grand plans….  But somehow, someway… neither Plan A nor Plan B worked out. Funny how that happens…

I can only describe this past week as a complete whirlwind!  I found myself dog tired every single night after work with horrible headaches.  My shopping affair simply boiled down to one 8:30 spin (the night before I was leaving) through Nordstrom Rack at King of Prussia mall.  And they closed at 9!!!  Yep, that was it.  30 minutes.

And of course, Plan B quickly fell apart too.  I came home to a sick doggie with a bad case of reverse sneezing!  Yes – reverse sneezing (which I must clarify sounds nothing like sneezing)!!  I mean, who has even heard of such a thing?  I liken it to a really bad cold.  It sounds awful.  Apparently it is similar to allergies for us humans and causes extreme congestion and inflammation.  Dino was literally snorting and honking and gasping for air every few minutes.  Poor thing… he was panicking and so was I.  So, after a night of no sleep and a early morning trip to the vet Saturday morning, I had doggie Benadryl for him and a calmer mental state for me.  But I was bushed.  So, I’ve done nothing all weekend.  Did not put on one cute outfit.  Didn’t even try.  It’s been black yoga pants and t-shirts every single day (I didn’t even bother to put in my contacts today!).  And I’m ok with that.

But, I’d feel guilty if I closed out the blog without at least sharing the outfit from earlier in the week (excuse the messy office backdrop).  So, here goes — I simply love this print: a great chevron zig zag with somewhat muted colors – perfect for fall.  It has a certain “Missoni” feel to it.  And the splash of pink at the bottom is a great balance — good pop of color and personality.  I paired the dress with a black blazer and ribbed black tights.

What I’m Wearing: Maggy London Dress, Victoria’s Secret Blazer, Antonio Melani Shoes, J. Crew Necklace, Versona Accessories

Here’s to a much better week this week everyone!  And DO check out my Etsy Shop which is now open!!

Weekend Update

This weekend was quite busy (in a good way) and I am actually traveling to Philly for work tomorrow — so today’s post will just be a quick one (and I may be a little MIA this week)….

A quick rundown on activities: My parents and niece Alyssa were in town for a post birthday visit.  As you can see, Alyssa is clearly the life of the party!

There was: Baby shopping with my brother and sister in law.  Everybody shopping at Nordstrom Rack.   Gamecock football Saturday night (even though it was a loss).  

And Etsy Store opening today: www.etsy.com/shop/kenyaldesigns.  Not a bad weekend at all I must say.

And my Topshop peplum tops arrived over the weekend too (oxblood and creme — you will certainly see them in future posts).

Here are the goodies I picked up while at the Rack too (Maggy London Dress, 2 slouchy sweaters by 360 Degrees Sweaters and a BCBG top).

I hope everyone had a good weekend and have a terrific start to the week!!!!

Timeless Tweed: It Finally Feels Like Fall

Whelp… it was bound to happen eventually.  I mean 80 degree weather in early October can only last so long.  And, yes, as of yesterday, it officially feels like fall outside.  I’m talking pull out the tights, the boots and the jackets weather.  But, don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining.  After a super hot summer, a girl was ready for some cooler weather.

So, my latest work wardrobe obsession is tweed skirts and tights.  Tweed is definitely trending this fall.  It’s such a classic style….  been around for years.  In fact, I almost guarantee that you already have a tweed skirt somewhere in your possession.  So, go ahead, pull that skirt out from the back of your closet, and re-invigorate it with a bold color!  That’s right.  Bold.  No more blacks and browns people.  Pair that skirt with a jewel tone (cobalt blues, emerald greens, oxbloods) or a fall bright (yellows, corals, and bright greens).  You’ll love the end result.

Now, for my look, I decided to pair this brown toned skirt with a honey yellow blouse.  I have to admit that when I first picked up the skirt, my mind immediately went to…  brown top, brown blouse…  but I had to remind myself that just because it’s fall, it doesn’t mean that the love affair with color has to end.    And thank goodness for that!

How are you guys kicking off the fall weather?  Any favorites out there?

What I’m Wearing: Blanc Noir Jacket, Ann Taylor Loft Blouse, Tweed Skirt: Thrift Store Find ($1.80), Vince Camuto Booties, Louis Vuitton Damier Speedy, J. Crew Necklace, Versona Accessories

Happy (Belated) Birthday to Me!

Ok, so, this post is a little old….  my birthday was actually on Thursday October 4 (Yay)!  It’s been a busy couple of days of course, so I am just now really getting around to blogging about it.  Now, just so you understand, no matter how old I am, I always get excited for my birthday.  In fact, I am quite a “ham” when it comes to that.  I expect the day to start with a 6:30 a.m. birthday call (song included) from my Dad and then loads and loads of birthday wishes throughout the day.  The more the better.   So, I’ll be honest, I don’t really get the people who view it as just another day.  I mean, what gives??  For me, it’s like my own personal holiday.  Who wouldn’t  love that?   I enjoy every moment of the day (the more attention – the better) and practically the ENTIRE month.  (And just so you know, yes,  I have a special kinship with fellow Libras and the month of October in general… everybody knows both are the best).  Translation = I pretty much milk it for as much as I can!

Here are 2 highlights of the week:

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.  This wasn’t part of my official celebration necessarily but it is part of my October tradition.  It’s so amazing to see and be a part of all the positive energy for such a great cause.  24,000 walking for the cure.  Over $1M raised.  Just awesome.

5 Church.  I joined a couple of my friends for a night out at a new, kinda swanky restaurant, 5 Church,  in uptown Charlotte.  The spot had gotten a lot of attention from celebs during the recent Democratic National Convention, so I wanted to give it a try, to see how the “stars” do it!!  I decided to pull out one of my New Orleans Fashion Finds (see prior post) that I had been dying to wear.  If you recall that post, I loved this dress as soon as I saw it.  It’s so fun and girly – just perfect for a birthday celebration.

Now, 5 Church’s “look” is pretty impressive when you first walk in.

It simply looks cool.  The decor is very upscale and  trendy.  And the overall vibe is very “big city” if that makes sense.  In other words, I felt like I was some place else besides Charlotte for a minute…  and I completely expected to see Carrie Bradshaw at some point.   Great spot for appetizers and cocktails.

Overall, the food was good, the drinks were great but the service was really poor.  Our entire group (5 of us) ended up getting everything for free after waiting over an hour for our food to come out and me having to send my lamb burger back because it was not cooked to my order (there were other issues but we’ll just let those go).  To their credit, the staff offered their apologies without us even having to address it and immediately offered to pick up the entire tab.  Good for us, expensive for them.  Hopefully this was just a bad night for them (and just for the record, I would give them another try).  But despite it all, honestly, it was a great night for me and a great way to end my birthday celebration.

What I’m Wearing: Dress by Darling, Kenneth Cole Reaction Sandals, eBay Find Purse, Blanc Noir Jacket, vintage pearls