Tag Archives: fashion

Trying to Get My Footing

3 Mar

Stephanie Socks

“Are you wearing my socks?” he asked. Upon closer inspection, he laughed: “You’re wearing two different socks.”

Advertisements

Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Other Writers in Uniform

21 Sep
Flavorwire posted photos of writers from the Lost Generation’s F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway to the Beat Generation’s Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg in uniform. 
 
So often the media portrays writers as counter-culture rebels who refused to conform, but every once in a while we catch a glimpse of them wearing a uniform just like everyone else. In Burning Furiously Beautiful: The True Story of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” Paul Maher Jr. and I were careful to show the tensions between Kerouac conforming and rebelling.
I think that’s how all our lives are. There are moments when we fall in line because it is advantageous to us or because we feel called to do so and moments when we blaze our own path.

This May Improve Your Mood about Your Social Media Presence

12 Aug

WereAllKerouacy02 copy

This is me reading at Ronnie Norpel‘s fantastic reading series Tract 187 Culture Clatch at The West End —/ photo by author Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond

Over the years, I’ve blogged about everything from twitter to pinterest, in the effort to help fellow writers think about their social media presence. Why? Because every conference and expo I’ve attended has drilled the need for social media into my head. Swirling around my brain, I hear platform, platform, platform.

But platform is about so much more than social media.

According to Rob Eagar’s article “Stop Grading an Author’s Social Media Presence” on Digital Book World, publishers are “misguided” in how they look at an author’s social media presence. He suggests what authors and publishers should focus on is:

  1. Email list and performance
  2. Monthly website visitors
  3. Speaking schedule or webinar participants
  4. Previous sales history

I’d highly, highly suggest reading the full article. What he says makes a lot of sense.

Does this mean we abandon social media?

By no means! It means social media is simply one tool in our toolbox. Okay, toolbox metaphors aren’t quite my lingo—nor my “brand”—but the point is that publishers, agents, librarians, and readers value the fact that an author uses social media, so we should maintain our online presence, but we should also look to diversify. Give a reading. Engage with people who leave comments. Send out a newsletter. Host a webinar. Maintain your backlist. Participate in a panel.

That’s what I’m doing at least. Or at least trying to do.

You can find the facebook page Paul Maher Jr. and I run for Burning Furiously Beautiful here.
My Twitter handle is @stephanieniko.
I pin about Jack Kerouac and the Beat Generation and lit life and 1950s fashion and nighttime road trips and the Greek beauty and deer on Pinterest.
I write articles for other publications.
I am reading at Word Bookstore in Jersey City.
I am teaching a writing class at the Festival of Women Writers.
I am participating on a panel at BinderCon.
I am co-organizing the faith and writing conference called The Redeemed Writer: The Call and the Practice.

There’s so much more to writing than, well, writing. I enjoy it, though. It’s stretching me as a writer, as an entrepreneur, and as a person.

Which Decade Do I Actually Belong In??

30 Jan

quizimage via Buzzfeed

I’m kind of a sucker for personality quizzes, so naturally I took Buzzfeed’s “Which Decade Do You Actually Belong In?” quiz.

Anyone who knew me in high school would probably venture to say I should’ve been around in the ’60s. I became obsessed with The Beatles early on in high school, listening to all their greatest hits, watching their movies, learning how to play their songs on my guitar, and reading book after book about them. I wore bellbottoms and parted my hair down the middle. I thought Mary Quant was a genius. I hosted my own Woodstock party.

On top of my cultural tastes, I had what many East Coasters deemed to be a low-key, chill vibe that seemed to gel with the hippie mentality. I wouldn’t say I was all peace, love, and happiness. I was a teenager, after all, and my mother will gladly tell you I was moody. But, even so, if I was left alone I could easily just lay in the grass outside and ponder life.

But I didn’t get the 1960s; I got the 1950s.

I’d say maybe all reading and studying of Jack Kerouac rubbed off on me, but check out what Buzzfeed had to say about the person who belongs in the ’50s:

You yearn for a simpler time when people were polite, curt, and followed the rules. Maybe people say you’re a conformist, but you know you just like things to stay a certain way. Home is where the heart is.

Yep. That sounds about right. I’m a rule follower through and through and crave stability. Maybe that’s why I’ve always been so drawn to so-called counter-cultural movements and people who rebel against expectations. It’s escapism for me. I admire people who march to the beat of their own drum. I want to be like that. But I’m a cross your “t”s and dot your “i”s type of person. Literally. My career is founded upon anal-retentive attention to detail and to making texts conform to style.

But there is another part of me that does defy rules and expectations. I’ve always been sure of who I am and been true to myself in the greater scheme of life. Tell me I have to participate in class to get ahead, and I will stubbornly keep my mouth because I don’t want to play by society’s rules of social behavior. Expect me to be flaky in business matters because I’m an artist, and I’ll get all type A on you because I really care about my art and understand I have to treat it like a business.

We’re all like that deep down. Complex and individualistic. Not tethered to labels. The same goes for the so-called Beat Generation. Cultural critics argue that Beat writers eroded the pleasantries of the 1950s, but if you really look at the decade and if you really read their works you’ll see it was much more complex than that. The 1950s weren’t all separate twin beds for married couples and Leave It to Beaver childhoods. Jack Kerouac didn’t desire an aimless life on the road; he yearned for a ranch and family life.

Sorry. I didn’t mean to get all philosophical and literary over a Buzzfeed quiz! Anyway, I still think that if I could go back in time I’d want to go back to the 1960s.

What decade did you get? Which decade would you want to live in?

Greek American Fashion Week Presents Stratton

18 Sep

The elegant designs of Stratton hit the runway at the 2013 Greek American Fashion Week.

Stratton’s sophisticated designs suit women looking for a tailored look. They are structured, well cut, and made from luxe textiles. They belong to those who favor the iconic styles of Jackie O. and Audrey Hepburn.

Stratton1

S3

Perhaps the most telling trademark of Stratton’s collection is the neckline—from boat neck to keyhole, high cut to spaghetti straps, the details are in the décolletage.

S2

 

S1

In addition to his dresses, Stratton makes refined everyday wear. Though these pieces are a little more flowy, they still feature precise cuts and are in a classic color palette. This strappy number could be dressed up or down, for instance.

 

S4

Stratton Bouloukos graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and studied fashion design at Parsons in Paris and fine arts at Parsons here in New York City. He is a counselor at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).

As the Stratton website says:

Season after season, Stratton’s design ethos has demonstrated how forward yet timeless creations of graceful, structured pieces can become progressive, modern classics. He produces his luxurious made-to-measure clothing line and handbags in the United States. Superior in both design and fit than ordinary ready-to-wear, each made-to-measure garment is constructed to fit the client individually. After her measurements are taken, they are then paired with an existing base pattern of equivalent size and altered to create a new pattern from which to construct the custom garment; the result is a well-fitted product, created in the client’s chosen textiles. The usual time-frame for made-to-measure clothing is approximately three weeks.

Following his success at Barneys, Stratton interned for four months with the international house of Carolina Herrera before landing a two-year stint at Albert Nipon as head design assistant. When the company folded, Stratton decided to once again venture out on his own. His Fall 1992 line of chic day dresses in sumptuous wools and silks earned him an article in WWD as a promising young talent. Henri Bendel and a few specialty boutiques carried the line. He then began generating a number of private clients who were seeking one-of-a-kind designs.

Today, his clients include high-profile names.

S5

Greek American Fashion Week Presents Angelo Lambrou

18 Sep

Fashion designer Angelo Lambrou was back again this year at the 2013 Greek American Fashion Week.

You may recall that last year, the event’s founder Maria Pardalis wore one of his designs at the show. You can read my full coverage of his collection from last year here.

As in 2013, Angelo Lambrou showcased his gorgeous wedding dresses. His designs are painstakingly detailed.

Take for instance, this dress. The bodice is intricate and tactile with 3D flowers. The back features a low scoop neck, with flowers sewn to the straps. The back is a particularly important aspect of a wedding dress, as guests, family, and friends have grown accustomed to watching a bride walk down the aisle and pay more attention to the back of a wedding dress more than they would the back of any other dress.

L1

L2

Lambrou also showcased high-sheen evening wear. In frosted plums, Concord grapes, and silvers, these dresses exuded the magic of a winter’s eve. They were sophisticated yet over-sized bows kept them playful.

L3

L4

L6

Angelo Lambrou is based in the East Village here in New York now, but he was born in Southern Africa to Greek-Cypriot parents.  He studied fashion in Johannesburg and London before returning to Botswana to start his own fashion line.  He worked with Miss Botswana in 1999 and designed all the contestants’ dresses for the 2000 Miss Universe competition; he dressed Patti LaBelle for the 2002 Grammy Awards and Maria Bello for the Secret Window premier.

Greek American Fashion Week Presents Tatiana Raftis

18 Sep

Tatiana Raftis made her return to the Greek American Fashion Week runway event this year.

You may recall Tatiana Raftis’ feminine fashion from last year’s show, when she sent sequins, florals, and sheer fabrics down the catwalk. As the program for the 2013 Greek American Fashion Week states:

Since debuting her collection at the first Greek American Fashion Week in 201, Tatiana and her collection have been featured in various Greek American media, including NEO Magazine, The National Herald, GreekAmericanGirl.com and appeared on an interview segment on Kalimera USA talk show on NGTV.

The Astoria-born designer who studied fashion illustration and evening wear at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) was back this year to show off her latest gorgeous designs: party clothes and evening wear.

Raftis’ skin-tight party dresses are guaranteed to turn heads. Her cocktail dresses are the ultimate in style for a night out on the town. If you like Bebe—the women’s retail store founded by Iranian businessman Manny Mashouf—chances are you’ll adore Tatiana Raftis’ latest fashion line. They are sleek, sexy, and youthful.

Raftis3

Raftis4

Tatiana Raftis’ show featured looks that were sophisticated, daring, and ethnic. The program for the event, put it this way:

Thematically, Tatiana draws influence from her fascination with antiquity. She painstakingly channels the attention to detail, which characterized the fashions of classical Mediterranean cultures. Her creations make use of soft and hard textures, which empower femininity while providing a delicate allure.

These dresses are bold, statement-making creations that command a room.

Raftis1

One of my favorite aspects of Tatiana Raftis’ new collection is her headpieces. The turbans are available at a great price on her Etsy shop!

T1

Update! Here are some additional photos Tatiana herself sent over.

T2

T3

T4

t5

Love the daring cuts and intricate details. That last look is one of my absolute favorites!

Greek American Fashion Week Presents Nikki Poulos

18 Sep

Nikki Poulos kicked off the 2013 Greek American Fashion Week runway event.

Nikki Poulos does retro right. The fashion designer’s eponymous ready-to-wear collection has vintage appeal with modern sensibilities. Poulos’ designs are all about bold graphic prints, feisty colors, and flirty cuts. They’re figure-flattering and sexy but never uncouth.

Take this punchy Palm Beach look for instance. The model has mile-long legs in these chic high-waisted shorts. The shorts are perfectly balanced with a conservatively cut shirt in bright stripes colors. Is it any surprise that Poulos is based in Delray Beach, Florida?

shorts

Poulos is tops when it comes to bottoms. In addition to those killer-cute shorts, she has designed pants and a jumpsuit that ooze femininity.  Poulos pulls off the printed pant with a nod to the seventies.

pants

jump

Her printed dresses offer something for everyone. Poulos’ maxis achieve that ideal balance between unfussy and stylish. Whereas the maxis may have plunging necklines, the tighter, shorter dresses—which have a Lily Pulitzer vibe—feature higher necklines, so that the right amount of skin is always showing. Right in the middle is the knee-length, button-down blouse dress, whose cut is reminiscent of the office wear of the fifties and sixties.

dress3

dress2

dress1

N1

N2

Poulos is also a fan of stripes, and this little number is simply adorable. The boat neck collar, synch-tied sleeves, and belt are very gamine. The short scarf is quintessential fifties, adding a playful twist. (If someone finds the accessory too retro, they could swap it with a short red beaded necklace or a chunky gold necklace, but really the scarf does the trick!)

stipes

Given the nautical stripes of this look, it’s not surprising that Nikki Poulos’ heritage stems from Kythera, a Greek island off the Peloponnese that was a naval crossroads.

Poulos starred on NBC’s “Fashion Star,” and her collection was included in the European spin-off of “Next Top Model.” She recently launched ‘nikki by nikki poulos’ on HSN. Her designs have been featured in the coveted Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, Elle, Lucky, and Fitness magazines.

Fun fact: Poulos studied marine biology and worked in coral reef conservation:

In the 1990’s, Nikki was the designer and proprietor of ‘ecobaby’ an environmentally friendly babies and children’s clothing business in her native hometown Sydney, Australia. A love affair with the ocean led Nikki to pursue a career in marine biology and her Bachelor of Science degree and a scholarship opportunity brought Nikki to US shores. Working in coral reef conservation, Nikki juggled the dichotomy between science and fashion; ultimately her creativity lured her back to the fashion world.

I wish I could raid Poulos’ closet. I love, love, love her designs. Her nikki collection on HSN is actually quite affordable and adorable.

 

2013 Greek American Fashion Week Overview

18 Sep

G1

 

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week just wrapped up in New York City, and with it came the second—and highly anticipated—Greek American Fashion Week!

Greek American Fashion Week is presented by the Greek America Foundation, which was founded by Gregory C. Pappas to “promote, preserve and perpetuate the Greek culture, history and heritage in North America,” and the Committee for Fashion & Design was founded by Taso Pardalis and Maria Pardalis. Greek American Fashion Week is “a platform for talented, emerging, and established Greek and Greek-American designers to showcase their creations.” Some of the proceeds from the event go toward an annual scholarship to a Greek American student who is studying fashion design.

The runway show was held on Friday, September 6, at Studio450:

Studio450 is a penthouse duplex loft encompassing the 12th floor, enclosed rooftop room and rooftop terrace of 450 West 31st street. Located in the Hudson Yards, the penthouse features an all white room surrounded by large wrap around windows. The rooftop features a glass room and wrap around outdoor terrace. Both the penthouse and rooftop allow for stunning 360 degree views of New York City and the Hudson River.

On the left is Maria Pardalis, the host of Greek American Fashion Week. Doesn’t she look fabulous?! Her heels are killer.

g3

Fashionistas, models, and those in-the-know mingled at the show.

g4

g5

g6

Loi—the New York City owned by superstar chef Maria Loi—offered a delicious spread of mezze that included spanikopita and tiropita. Cocktails like “the Greek Greyhound” and a selection of wines were provided by Ya Mastiha and Nammos.

Here are Maria and Taso Pardalis with designer Timothy George at the start of the runway show. Timothy George showed his exquisite collection last year (see my coverage here), and this year came back as a mentor.

g2

The 2013 Greek American Fashion Week runway show presented the Spring/Summer 2014 collections of:

Hair was done by Curlisto.

I’ll be featuring each one today on my blog so check back soon!

 

Photos from the Greek American Fashion Week Kick-Off Event

6 Sep

I’m about to head out to the Greek American Fashion Week Runway Event, so I’m leaving you with a few photos I snapped at the Greek American Fashion Week Kick-Off Event that was held on Wednesday night at the Lower East Side’s lush rooftop bar The DL.

Parked outside was the aptly named Nomad truck, “the wandering fashion boutique” … and you know my obsession with sweet rides.

WP_20130904_005

WP_20130904_006

WP_20130904_007

The rooftop of The DL was turned into a pop-up shop with fashion by the likes of Dani Djokic and Panda Rhand.

WP_20130904_009

WP_20130904_008

WP_20130904_011

In case you’re wondering, I wore a black shift with buttons down the side to the kick-off event. My hair was in a low side bun. I had neutral eye makeup with strong brows and dark, berry lips, inspired by Michelle Williams and Emma Watson.

Lomogram_2013-09-04_09-15-27-PM

I felt like I was at my house in Greece with all the palm trees on the rooftop!

WP_20130904_015

WP_20130904_019

WP_20130904_016

Pizza was provided by Patsy’s (so good with that fresh basil!) and dessert by A2 (the peanut-butter cupcakes were to die for!).

Lomogram_2013-09-04_09-20-54-PMIn full disclosure, the organizers of the Greek American Fashion Week invited me to cover the Greek American Fashion Week events.