a Festive 4th of July w/ Events Uncorked

Today I have a guest post from one of my good friends, fellow FSU fashion alum & event planning extraordinaire, Sarah of Events Uncorked. Her blog's quickly become one of my favorite reads & makes me want to become a domestic goddess/host parties every weekend!
I have always loved the Fourth of July! It’s just one of those no fuss holidays where you can just hang out with friends, enjoy some delicious fare, and watch the fireworks.  Every Fourth, I reminded of just how lucky we truly are to live free.  And, this year I want to throw a bash inspired by none other than the stars and stripes.
Some easy ways to incorporate both without going over the top are by throwing a striped tablecloth on the table and using starred napkins.  For table d├ęcor, wrap vases in red, white, and blue ribbons and fill them with equally patriotic buds such as white hydrangeas or red roses. As always, make sure everything is red, white, and blue to keep with the spirit of the day.  To entertain guests, I love the idea of giving each sparklers (my favorite!) and a box of matches as they arrive!
When throwing a party, I’m all about keeping the food as simple as possible while still making a big impact.  I love things that can be prepared the day before or can be slow cooked in a crock pot till ready to serve.  This 4th, make it easy on yourself.  Make pulled bbq in the crock pot to serve of sliders and prep a watermelon salad the day before and dress it right before guests arrive. Like the watermelon salad, you can make the macaroni and cheese the day before and put it in the oven right before guests arrive.  To make the food look even more irresistible, bake the macaroni in individual servings! That little bit of extra effort is bound to make a big splash!
I don’t know about all of you, but my favorite part of any meal is the dessert, which is precisely why I always choose to serve more than one at my soiree.  For the 4th, keep it patriotic and on theme with treats colored red, white, and blue.  Lastly, throw together a big pitcher of red cocktails and you will be ready to throw your best 4th of July bash ever!
I LOVE all of Sarah's ideas! How are you celebrating the 4th of July?

xoxo, lauren

How to: Style Summer's Shoe Trends

I'm one of those people guilty of having an entirely too large shoe collection.. I can't help it; I'm a huge sucker for anything that makes me 4 inches taller and adds some fun to an outfit! It can be tricky picking the perfect complementarty shoe to trendy summer pieces.
Check out my looks featuring summer's favorite shoes & outfits:
How to: Style Summer's Shoe Trends
Online retailer, K&Co Shop had me pick out my favorites of their shoes online. Four key styles I'm loving are the motorcycle boot, patterned wedges, sequin sneakers, & cowboy boots. Of course, sandals are always a summer staple, but these are some fun trends to try outside of the expected!

What are your go-to shoes this summer?

xoxo, lauren

Industry Dossier: 2.0 Agency


2.0 Agency co-owners: Lisa Sohn (right) and Patty Park

Retail giants like Forever 21 and H&M have changed the nature of the fashion industry. They’re constantly pushing out “cheap chic” (budget friendly, on-trend merchandise) at a fast rate, which has changed the way consumers shop. Consumers are now more knowledgeable than before and making smarter buying decisions. As a result, the game has changed. Luckily, 2.0 Agency, a buying office in the LA Fashion District, has the competitive edge to stay ahead of this phenomenon. Patty Park, co-owner of 2.0 Agency, shares her insights into the services she offers her clients so they can win.
2.0 Agency offers three major advantages, among others, that really set them apart: proximity, language and cost-effectiveness. They are located in the heart of the San Pedro Wholesale Mart at the LA Fashion Mart which gives them convenient and quick access to all the new merchandise. Patty sends her team out onto the field every day to build relationships with the wholesalers and to see what’s in stores.
 “We know what’s trending right now because we can easily walk to the stores and see what they have,” says Patty. “With items that are trendy at the moment, it doesn’t make sense to plan 3-6 months ahead,” Patty continues, referring to retailers who order shipments from a showroom. “We can immediately deliver the merchandise to our clients because consumers these days want to see new products constantly.”
“We ship it out every week to our clients, quicker than others,” Patty continues. “It’s a competitive market out there; bigger retailers are buying here.”
And Patty’s right. New Angeles Monthly stated in a 2007 article that “the market for middlemen [San Pedro Wholesalers] who bring that product to points in the Western Hemisphere is exploding”. San Pedro Wholesale Mart and its neighbors have grown to become one of the world’s largest women’s apparel wholesale area since its inception in 1994. According to the Market Analysis conducted by the Community Redevelopment Agency, the area has 3 million square feet of space with 400 businesses, a large number of them contemporary, wholesale vendors who have a reputable list of retailers such as Nordstrom, Macy’s and international companies from Korea and Europe.
The San Pedro Wholesale community is receiving such a high demand in their “fast fashion” merchandise because of the way consumers are spending their money. “Consumers are cross-shopping more than ever and growing more confident that they don’t have to rely on name brand to ensure good taste,” said Robert Burke, a New York retail consultant. Consumers are now mixing items of low price points with higher price points, says Patty, who helps her retail clientele take advantage of this shift. “You can see people wearing J Brand jeans, which are in the $2-300 range, with an H&M top that’s for $10”.
But they also practice what they preach. Her business partner, Lisa Sohn has a women’s retail store on Melrose Avenue and this is where they put into effect their market research. Because 70% of their customers are tourist based, Patty and Lisa get a first-hand look at how a wide spectrum of people shop. They also test new merchandise they purchase directly from the San Pedro Wholesale Mart and see which styles and trends are selling the most. With this built in “focus group”, they can immediately let their clients know what’s hot.
Another advantage that 2.0 agency has is language. Because many wholesalers at the San Pedro Wholesale Mart speak English as a second language, Patty and Lisa, who are both Korean-speaking Americans, have an easier time doing business with them. With hundreds of wholesalers selling nearly identical products, the competition is fierce. Getting the perfect style at the right price can take a lot of finesse.
Patty was born and raised in Los Angeles but her parents emigrated from North Korea. Her ability to understand and acclimate with both cultures has been her niche and success in the business. “I’m a second-generation Korean American and it’s important to me that I give back to this community [San Pedro Wholesale Mart] by being the middleman between them and retailers. That’s why my company has the ‘2.0’ in ‘Agency’. We’re here to bridge the gap.”

For a company that started a year and a half ago, 2.0 Agency is now connecting over 34 retailers and a new set of international clients to the San Pedro wholesale community in the LA Fashion District.

2.0 Agency
800 E. 12th St. #415
Los Angeles, CA 90021
323-463-1535

LPF on Huffington Post's Best Dressed Colleges Post!

I was so excited to wake up this morning and see La Petite Fashionista mentioned on Huffington Post College's article on the BEST Dressed Colleges. I'm a proud FSU Merchandising Alum and one of my favorite parts of going to class was seeing everyone's outfits. It was a constant source of inspiration (as the workplace is for me today!)

There are so many other stylish colleges that didn't get a mention. Think your school is fashion forward? Send me a picture  (lapetitefashionista@yahoo.com) of your personal style & where you attend school for an upcoming LPF Post on stylish students!

xoxo, lauren

P.S. GO NOLES:)

American Woman

I can't believe it's almost July! I've been trying to enjoy every warm summer night & cram as much into my weekends as possible (i.e. this weekend= winery, lake house, road trip, baseball game). With 4th of July coming up this next weekend, I've been dreaming up what I want to wear!
I feel like it's the perfect weekend to get away with kitschy patriotic; denim, eyelet, ginham, American flag tees, sparkly stud earrings, and red lipstick. I plan on spending mine with a slice of homemade apple pie & sparklers in hand, but more on that in another post!
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What do you do on 4th of July (for Americans)? Or your country's Independence Day (for all my international readers)?

xoxo, lauren


The Prairie B&B by Rachel Ashwell

So,I was stuck at home on my couch with strep throat drinking gatorade & watching old O.C. episodes today. While I was feeling miserable I figured out where I want to take my next vacation! Rachel Ashwell, of Shabby Chic fame has opened up a Bed & Breakfast called the Prairie in Round Top, TX.
It's decorated in white washed wood, faded florals, chandeliers, fresh flowers, and a bit of Ttexas charm thrown in for good measure. It's the perfect mix of fashion, cowgirl, and the great outdoors.Seriously, in love. I don't think I've ever seen a place that feels more "me". Every aspect of the B&B was carefully chosen by Ashley herself!
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She even serves her guests a traditional English afternoon tea. How perfect!
xoxo, lauren

Milan Street Style Goes Miami

Looking through Tommy Ton's street style images from Menswear Fashion Week in Milan, I couldn't help but think they could just as easily be spotted on the colorful streets of South Beach as the cobblestone sidewalks of Milan.
Trending at the shows include: neon, bold all-over print dresses, flamenco style skirts, colorful suits for men, and piled on accessories in contrasting colors. Milan is usually two steps ahead of the fashion game, so it's fun to see what looks the fashion show attendees are rocking.
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After all the minimalism that's been happening in fashion, it's nice to see the explosion of print and pattern and excess-orizing. Fashion's starting to look energetic and optimistic again!

xoxo, lauren

Summer Hair Stylin

As crazy as it sounds for someone who spends to much time picking out clothes, I've always been one of those girls who is super low-maintenance with her hair. I'd rather air-dry than blow dry and become clueless when it comes to curling irons, BUT I've been making attempts to change that.

I've been super inspired by scouring tumblr and pintrest for pretty hairstyles and tutorials at the beauty department. These are a few of the ones I'm dying to try out. Seems to be that messy waves, fishtail braids, and big, teased hair are trending for summer!

These are some of the styles i'm loving via tumblr & Lauren Conrad's awesome beauty tutorial site, the beauty department:
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My first step to Hairstyling 101 is a great blowdryer, Misikko sent me one of their best professional hair dryers, the HanaAir Premiere Hair Dryer and I couldn't believe what a huge difference it made in my hair! It dried it in a few minutes flat and frizz-less, which is a miracle for my super thick and wavy hair. I also applied Shine Shield Heat Protectant to keep my hair from gettting too dry. They also sell chi straighteners and titanium flat irons at their online store.

I'm SO excited to have some fun with my hair this summer and experiment with new hairstyles. Have you been wanting to try anything new with yours?

xoxo, lauren

What Sparks My Line


Photo Credit: Scott Jordan Held
  
Name: Anh Volcek
Line: L'une Collection by Anh Volcek
Inspiration: "From Water to Ice"
The Look: Romantic Modernism





As a designer who has worked for Calvin Klein and Gap Inc., was once head designer at a major firm and a recipient of a corporate award for launching a new brand, Anh Volcek knows her trade. But at the heart of the matter, Anh is an artist who designs with meaning. Now with her signature line L'une Collection, her Fall/Winter 2011 looks are inspired by a thematic story about her very personal journey being born at sea and her abduction at the age of 8 in which she calls "From Water to Ice".

The Inspiration:

Water represents Anh's birth at sea on a ship while her family was escaping the war in Vietnam.


"I used both inspiration of military, which represents pure function, and the idea of water. Both show contrasts of hard and soft," explains Anh. "The lines are inspired by the soft ripples of waves to structured lines representing ice showing contrasts of textures."

Ice represents her pain when she was abducted for one year at the age of 8. To demonstrate her pain, Anh introduced the concept of PLASTICS into this collection, a technique she learned in Paris. A whole line of jewelry, accessories and custom molded body pieces, Anh melted and created 4"-8" sequins to sew onto skirts and molded it into fantasy shapes for hats or bustier that symbolize body armor.


"The plastic is the ice or shell I built around me emotionally. The sequins in the line are all different types of tears I wanted to shed. When I allowed myself to cry, it was then that I allowed myself to feel human again," Anh shares.

Make-up & Hair: 



Anh debuted her fall collection at Concept LA Fashion Show in February 2011 during LA Fashion Week. Anh gave the concept images to the hair stylist, Aubrey Loots of DNA Salon, and make-up artist Melanie Mills, an Emmy award winning artist whose work includes "Dancing with the Stars". Both were Concept LA show sponsors. Aubrey and team helped transform one of the models into an "ice princess" by adding airy winter-like extensions to her hair; Melanie and her team made the make-up look like snow fell on her face.

For the other models, Anh asked for beautiful tears and wild hair. The tears, which represented the tears Anh couldn't shed during her abduction, were all different in style; some models had feathered tears, smudged eyes or silver tears.

Fall/Winter '11 Runway Show - Final Looks:






All photos by Scott Jordan Held

With a finished collection, Anh recently signed with Haus of Chic Agency, a showroom in the LA Fashion District's New Mart Building. But she also carries some press pieces at GatherLA showroom and has a sample room in San Diego. However, she still meets with vendors and factories in Los Angeles for production. "Made in the USA is something that I am really pushing for. It costs me more but anything I can do to help the economy and the LA Fashion District grow is important to me."

You can shop for L'une Collection by Anh Volcek here or visit her showroom at 127 E. 9th Street, Loft #800 Los Angeles, CA 90014 and contact sales rep, Ambriel at (213) 394-4201.

A Glance at Designer Alana Hale

We recently met emerging LA-based designer Alana Hale and her beautiful mom at the Designers & Agents Show in the LA Fashion District's New Mart Building. Not only was her smile infectious, but so were her luxurious, edgy pieces. Worn by the likes of Paula Abdul, Ashlan Gorse and Keri Hilson at red carpet events, Alana's collection has quickly become a favorite among celebrities and stylists. Each piece is crafted from lavish fabrics and immaculate detailing - such as feathers, netting, leather and classic on-trend color palettes. Additionally, her collection is designed and manufactured in Los Angeles. We've included some photos of her Fall 2011 collection from the "A La Mode" runway show at London Fashion Week, taken from her website http://www.alanahale.com/, for you to enjoy!


Alana Hale and her mother at the Designers & Agents Show, June 2011




Alana Hale (third from right) with models wearing her collection