Fashion Recap: Belk/BBJ Women’s Summit Fashion Show!

I had a fabulous time hosting the Belk Fashion Show during the Birmingham Business journal’s Women’s Summit this past Friday at the Wynfrey Hotel! The models were Belk’s store associates, and they did an amazing job showcasing looks from Trina Turk, Plenty by Tracy Reese, Sunny Leigh, Vince Camuto and more. If you’re looking for on-trend attire that is appropriate for work and play this Spring, Belk has it!

Like my outfit? I’m wearing an antique white and hot orange Bar III Spring Collection peplum dress from Macy’s and Manolo Blahnik stilettos with a fuchsia rattan clutch (similar here, here and here). I thought I’d try some color-blocking to accent my (new) red hair!

Gus Mayer to host ‘Poppin’ Girl’s Night Out’

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*Due to inclement weather, this event will be rescheduled for a later date.*

Ladies, if you need a little “spring” in your step, come out to Gus Mayer’s Girl’s Night Out tomorrow from 3 pm-8 pm! Kick the winter slump and get glam: professional glamour shots, spring fashion,  and delicious martinis and hors d’oeuvres (from Seasons 52’s Mini Indulgences and Popchips!) are on the menu.  Pampering makeup and hair touch-ups will be provided by Gus Mayer’s cosmetics and salon.  Plus, shopping is tax-free during the event and you can trade in your gently worn, clean denim for  $50 off a $150 purchase!

Ann Simmons, Gus Mayer’s general manager, shares that what sets Gus Mayer apart is its approach to customer service.

“Our expert sales associates will help you with  whatever need you may have, from a casual look for day to a night out.  Most importantly…we make it enjoyable,” she says.  “With different buyers, each with their own unique styles, Gus Mayer offers a variety of brands and styles at different price points to fit any age or lifestyle.”

Plans are in the works to update Gus Mayer’s website in order to better serve customers.

“[We’re] in the process of updating our website to give the customer a better idea of the current merchandise we have in stock so that they have the opportunity to pre-shop before coming into complete their wardrobe selections.  If they are unable to come into the store we can also ship to our customers.”

Gus Mayer carries premium brands such as 3.1 Phillip Lim, Missoni, L.A.M.B., Tory Burch, Jeffrey Campbell and Giuseppe Zanotti.  The store also offers extensive fur services and has a facial room; it is located at 225 Summit Boulevard, Suite 700.

Looking forward to seeing you at Girl’s Night Out!

Images via Gus Mayer

Roll Tide Forever!

***Spoiler Alert*** This post has very little, if anything, to do with fashion, and if you’re connected with me via social media then you’ve seen these photos already.

When you have an opportunity to meet Nick Saban, everything else – including what you were wearing – kind of pales in comparison.

Last night I attended the Over the Mountain Touchdown Club’s Coach of The Year Awards ceremony at the Cahaba Grand (thank you, Charter Business and D.K. Perry!), and one of the perks was having a photo made with honorees Nick Saban and Brent Musburger and Coach Bobby Bowden. Every minute of the experience was enjoyable, including Coach Bowden’s jokes!

I won’t bore you with why Nick Saban’s “process” or the Crimson Tide have so much meaning for me (I’ll save that for closer to A-Day or the 2013-14 football season), but suffice it to say, having him shake my hand (yes, I’ve since washed it) was a moment I’ll never forget. I managed to refrain from screaming and fainting, and only yelled “Roll Tide” when it was totally appropriate.  But I did weep a little when last season’s highlight were shown, set to Adele’s “Skyfall.”

And for those of you who must have a fashion angle, I wore an LBD by J. Crew, pointy-toe pumps by BCBG and kept the crimson at wearing MAC’s ‘Ruby Woo’. I left all signs that I’m a “homer” at home…and yes, that is my natural hair!

Special thanks to the gentleman who took our photo randomly and then gave it to us!

Roll Tide,

Alexis

Save the Date: The UNCF Masked Ball is March 2!

KeithSweatJoin Birmingham’s UNCF office for a spectacular night of dinner and dancing as they support funding for historically black colleges and universities!  You know I love to get glam for a great cause, and I want you to mark your social calendars and break out your very best black tie attire for this do-not-miss event!

“The UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. UNCF provides operating funds for 38 member historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), scholarships and internships for students at about 900 institutions and faculty and administrative professional training.

For more than 67 years, UNCF has raised more than $3.3 billion to help more than 400,000 students attend college and graduate from college. UNCF has distributed more funds to help minorities attend school than any entity outside of the U.S. government.” – UNCF.org

The deets:

WHAT: The 2013 UNCF Birmingham Masked Ball                                                                                                                                              

WHEN: Saturday, March 2, 2013

WHERE: The Sheraton Birmingham

WHY: To support fundraising for the United Negro College Fund, which helps educate students at member colleges

WHOA!: KEITH SWEAT is this year’s celebrity entertainment! For tickets, call (205) 322-8623.

WOW!: I am so excited to serve as the masked ball’s red carpet correspondent! So be sure to follow @SameChicSouth and @UNCFBham to keep up with all the night’s fabulosity!

To learn more about the amazing work the UNCF does, click HERE, and stay tuned for more details!

Weekend Fab: Sickle Cell Gala supports ongoing research

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending one of Birmingham’s premiere social events: “Showtime Birmingham Style,” in support of the Sickle Cell Foundation. The Foundation “was established in 1978 for the purpose of advocating and improving the quality of health, life and services for individuals affected by sickle cell disease and related conditions in central Alabama, while promoting the search for a cure for all people in the world with sickle cell disease.” Executive Director Sharon B. Lewis, this year’s chairwoman Brenda M. Brantley and celebrity host Nicole Ari Parker made this year’s gala a truly magical event.

After a red carpet pre-gala reception, guests enjoyed remarks from Dr. Tim Townes, UAB Chair of the Department of Biochemistry/Molecular Genetics, whose research may lead to a cure for the disease. Next, Fox 6’s Jeh Jeh Pruitt and Mickey Ferguson took the stage as masters of ceremony and ongoing comic relief. After greetings from Mayor William Bell, Congresswoman Terri Sewell and acknowledgments from President of the Board of Directors Michael H. Bell, Ms. Lewis, and Ms. Brantley, guests enjoyed a dinner of barbecue shrimp and grits, Southern fried chicken and sauteed spinach.

This year’s celebrity showcase did not disappoint and featured some hidden Birmingham-area talent: highlights included Birmingham Fire Chief Ivor Brooks, Ernest Miller and Lamont Saffo’s rendition of “Let’s Just Kiss and Say Goodbye” by The Manhattans, City Councilman Jonathan F. Austin’s take on Barry White’s “Practice What You Preach,” accompanied by Courtney G. French of Fuston, Petway and French, and Charlie Waldrep, Randy Jones, Jim Folsom and Tommy Spina’s lively medley of “Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch” and “The Duke of Earl.”

The night’s popular amateur talent feature wowed the audience with R&B, rap and soul. It included Abijah Cunningham’s first place version of Patti Labelle’s “If Only You Knew,” Prince’s “The Beautiful Ones” performed by second place winner El Paso Williams, and “OG” Gregory Johnson’s third place take on “Cruisin’ ” by Smokey Robinson.

This was also a night for fabulous black-tie fashion, and you know I love to get fab for a great cause! So what did I wear? An apricot and cream vintage sequined and belted silk sheath from Dallas’ Rummage Vintage, with a gold snakeskin miniaudiere, and barely-there PVC Manolo Blahniks. I wore my hair in a simple topknot, and for a little pizazz I also tried “junk nails,” which added sparkling embellishments to my manicure.

Surprise guest of the night? Buffalo Bills’ defensive tackle (and former Alabama gamechanger) Marcell Dareus, who made an impromptu pledge of support to the Sickle Cell Foundation, and was sweet enough to pose with me! Isn’t he dapper?

BB&T of Alabama was this year’s title sponsor, and the 2014 “It’s Showtime! Birmingham Style”chairman will be Charlie Waldrep, of Waldrep, Stewart and Kendrick.

Strike. Dance. Rise.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

Mark your calendars and join One Billion Rising on February 14, 2013 as we rise to protest violence against women around the world. Local efforts are underway and more details will follow; in the meantime, learn more about why I’m rising HERE.

Who’s standing with me?

Images via One Billion Rising

WCFDA Designer Spotlight: Emanuela Duca

My recent trip to Atlanta for the W Hotels Buckhead/CFDA: Fashion Incubator presentation was such a whirlwind that it took me a week to recover! It was AMAZING to chat with the featured designers, and I spoke with jewelry designer Emanuela Duca. Duca, a native of Rome (Italy, not Georgia), insists on retaining a crucial connection with her pieces. Working primarily with sterling silver, she infuses her scupltural, delicate-yet-strong pieces with emotion and textural elements reminiscient of her homeland’s volcanic ash. This was her first visit to Atlanta, and she expressed that she considered the most valuable aspect of the Fashion Incubator (FI) to be the exposure it provides designers to retailers, editors and the opportunity to be participate in events like the one we attended.

Who do you design for? The woman who wants to…wear a piece of jewelry is a statement. A woman that can go out there in the world and get what she needs and to say, “You know, I’m in a place in my life and I need to be who I want to be be.”

What emotion do you wish to convey in your work? I believe I design for a woman that has so much to offer – not necessarily just someone who goes out there to get what she wants but also someone that is not afraid to be a woman, to be feminine. So there is a contrast between soft and hard. Even in the color, the black and the white, [there’s] a very strong element of contrast. We as [women], we have so much to give and it is not just the image, it’s much, much richer than that and that’s what I try to express in my work.

How do you know when a piece is finished? I just feel it. You know sometimes I’m not happy and I have to put it away for a while. Then all of a sudden it just clicks and then it’s “Oh okay, now I know what it needs,” and then it’s finished.

How do you use the FI’s workspace? Oh, I use it completely. It’s divided in two main areas: one is a gallery and where I invite my retailers to come over to view the collection. The other one is really like a workshop where I develop my design. I do have my hands on the product. I develop the first design and then that gets sent outside for production, but I am the one who creates everything. You know, I feel like when I have the material in my hand I can do something that would be very difficult to explain to somebody else. And lot of the creative process happens through working with the material -how [can] I explain that to someone else? Just touching the material, I create a shape.

How do you let go of the art you’re creating? You know, it’s been several years, and I’ve learned that there is always something next to come. That way I’m capable of letting go.

What’s your impression of Southern style? It’s really great. I find that the women wear these beautiful lines, you know…they’re very elegant and they’re also interested in trends…they’re very interested in what’s [to come] in the market. They came here today very curious to learn about us and I love it.

If you weren’t designing…?: I would be a dancer. Actually…I would probably be a choreographer. I did study dance, and I got into my life and then I realized that I was so interested in movement, not necessarily in dancing myself, but to coordinate the shape. So I do that today in my metal work.

What would people be surprised to know about you? Wow. That’s a tough one [laughs]. You know, I am someone that comes from Rome – from Italy – and had to adjust to a different culture. I mean, the Italian one is not that different from the American one. But I didn’t speak any English when I came to the United States. And I went through such a challenge, such a struggle. You know, [a] long time ago I used to say if someone ever asked me if I’d do that again I would probably say “No.” Today, I would say definitely I would do every single thing [the same way].

Duca is looking forward to “creating a fashion jewelry collection…to be launched sometime at the beginning of the new year. I’m working very hard to get that done. So a different price point, different material, still statement [pieces], but different.” Check out her pieces HERE.

Images via Moses Robinson, Pouya Dianat, Ben Rose/Getty Images

Aletheia House Pics!

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Special thanks to Keisha Kennedy and Carla Pennington! This was a lively bunch; I especially appreciated the thoughtful questions about accessorizing formalwear with feather boas (only for festive events and costume parties) and the politics of wearing a purple tie (perfectly appropriate at a Que party)!

Whew.

Same Chic Different Day is brought to you by the letter “W” today….
#Wow. My life has been a #whirlwind this #week! I feel like I was #whisked away to the #wonderful #world of Oz! Here’s the quick and dirty:

20121214-063246.jpgOn Tuesday I had the privilege of sharing fashion tips with the clinical staff at the Aletheia House (from the root word “truth” or to be “truthful with yourself”), which provides affordable housing, job training and placement, substance abuse treatment, HIV prevention and other services to men, women and children (and veterans). A special thank you to Keisha Kennedy (Director of #Women and #Wellness Services) and Carla Pennington (Outreach Specialist) for hosting me. The Aletheia House is truly a special place offering “a special kind of caring!”

20121214-064734.jpgThe whirlwind picked up speed on #Wednesday; I hit the road before dawn to drive to Atlanta as a guest of the #W Hotel Buckhead as it presented a series of events in partnership with the Council of Fashion Designer of America’s {Fashion Incubator}. The Fashion Incubator helps emerging designers prepare for handling the business side of the fashion industry by providing mentorship, professional education, networking opportunities and creative workspace. The day included a breakfast with design students and featured Fashion Incubator designers Daniel Vosovic, #Whitney Pozgay, Emanuela Duca and the Burkman Bros. Next was a luncheon and fashion presentation, then interviews…and the evening ended with an exclamation point: a fabulous cocktail party in the W’s rooftop bar. And of course I had to squeeze in a little #window-shopping! More on this to come on Monday…but after all this #work, I’m ready for the #weekend!

I’m feeling extremely fabulous right now, darlings…but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out why!

Xo, Alexis

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