Free As A Bird

I bought a green trench coat a few months ago, and every time I put it on, I want to jump in puddles and run through the streets with glee.  Something about this color makes me feel…happy.  Who knows, it may have something to do with my love for Kermit in 4th grade, but this color does something to me, especially knowing that winter is just around the corner.

This weekend, we took an unexpected trip to NYC.  My coat came with me.  And when I put it on and paired it with a vibrant polka dot clutch, I felt free to be me.

Calvin Klein coat

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Fairfax Woman Cover Shoot

What do you wear for a cover shoot? This was my first one, for Fairfax Woman Magazine’s November/December issue, featuring FLOW Blow Dry & Beauty Bar as the story and the backdrop. I wanted to wear something that looked professional and stylish. I chose a navy blue Catherine Malandrino eyelet and cotton dress that I picked up from a boutique in NYC.  I love the princess sleeves, square neckline, button down front and overall classic cut.  To accessorize, I wore a black, gold and silver knotted beaded necklace, navy tights and black ankle boots. Before the shoot, I had my hair blown out and curled into FLOW’s Calypso look (loose waves).

To be honest, it was a bit challenging to pose for this shoot.  I didn’t want to look to sultry, too sexy, too anything – I just wanted to convey a professional, stylish business woman kind of look. I felt a bit awkward throughout, but the photographer was good at making me feel at ease.

Here are some pics taken before the shoot as well as some behind-the-scenes ones. Looking forward to seeing how the cover turns out!

Catherine Malandrino dress, Steve Madden shoes, vintage necklace

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Stroll Through Old Town

Running a business and being a mom doesn’t leave much time for myself or my family, but I do make it a priority to set aside Sunday as a day I can unwind.  I try to slow things down and remove myself from the demands of running a business.  This past Sunday, Kaiser, Rumi and I went to Old Town, Alexandria. It was a very warm day considering it is October so I wore a sleeveless ruffle top with a print skirt.  The cuts and fabric of my outfit are Summer, but the colors made me feel like Fall.  Rumi were a sleeveless print dress, purple tights and gold sequin ballet flats.

We ate lunch and walked down King Street, which reminds me of a European town with it’s small boutiques, antique shops and restaurants. Old Town is a  historic city a few minutes away from D.C., with cobblestone streets and colonial architecture.  It was nice to stroll through the streets basking in the sun, while enjoying the sights and sounds of Fall.

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Pink Suede Boots

As a kid, what’s more fun than going to a birthday party?  When I was young, a party consisted of a cake, a few balloons and some friends coming over for a few hours.  Today, it’s a different story.  Parents are going all out for their kids’ parties, myself included.  A cake, paper streamers, and balloons are simply not enough anymore!

Last weekend, Rumi was invited to a double birthday party for my second cousin Roya’s two daughters (Sophia and Lila).  I have to say it was one of the best, if not THE best, kids birthday parties I have been to.  It was set up outside in a picturesque setting – a cozy cottage type home nestled between large oak and pine trees.  A long chain swing hung from the strong branch of a wise tree, adorned with vibrant balloons. In the grassy area, there was a small petting zoo (llama, baby ducks, chickens, goats and sheep!) and a big bounce house that shook side to side as the kids squealed and jumped in delight.  On their driveway, they set up a long table filled with a variety of American and Afghan foods – the appetizers before the evening’s steak & barbeque.  On the porch, they set up the birthday presents, and surrounding that area, were Fall decorations such as pumpkins, hay, a scarecrow and even a relaxing hammock.  Cute and memorable!

Rumi had a good time but I think I overdressed her in a navy blue sheath dress with colorful buttons and trim, white sweater/tights and pink fringe suede boots.  After the party was over, her boots were covered in mud, but I didn’t let it bother me because I was happier she had a great time!

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Falling into Fall

This is my first official fashion post for this blog! It’s that time of the year when the leaves change color, the weather gets nippier and outfits become more layered. This unplanned photo shoot was taken at a barn near a winery at an event FLOW was invited to last week.  The outfit, and the outdoor backdrop, fit together perfectly by chance.

I’m wearing an orange/brown long sleeve print dress under a sleeveless crochet long vest, a vintage gold layered necklace, tights and brown ankle boots. I found these boots at a sample sale in NYC 10 years ago, and I have not let them go. They have a vintage touch that I adore. There is nothing about these boots that will go out of style – at least not for me.

Photos by: Linda Kilbreth Suter

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Style Files: July – September ’13

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Summer wedding in a blue 40’s meets 80’s vintage dress and side ‘do.

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Going retro in a 1960’s vintage gold brocade sheath dress, classic up-do, chandelier earrings, cat eyes and pointy shoes

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Brooklyn brunch in voluminous capri jeans and lace top

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Mini photo shoot with my little Rumi in Tribeca

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Meeting at the Pentagon in a white shirt dress, brown boots, and turquoise bag

My Designs

Here are some of my original designs (ready-to-wear and maternity). From 2001-02, I designed evening wear that sold to small boutiques.  In 2003, I launched It’s A Miracle Maternity which was a hit since it came out it right when stylish maternity clothing was becoming popular and in demand.  After traveling to Afghanistan in 2004, I was inspired by the country and re-launched my read-to-wear label as a Silk Road inspired line. In 2005, it was nominated for Fashion Group International’s Rising Star Award.  In 2006, I launched “One”, a full collection that was an international hit. It was this line that showed at DC Fashion Week and at the Sheraton Premiere in Tysons Corner. From 2007-09, I launched “UNITEE”, a line of t-shirts that promoted peace, love & unity through it’s unique “East Meets West” graphics, calligraphy and images. My “Burqa Buddha” design was worn by Project Runway’s Nick Verreos on the red carpet.

In 2009, I took a break from designing to embrace mommyhood, and because I was feeling super burnt out by the fashion industry. I haven’t launched new collections since becoming busy with other projects in the media & beauty industries, but plan on doing so hopefully soon. Stay tuned!!

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Style Files: 2006-10

When I was in high school, I kept a style journal. It was a “filofax” type of planner, and I would jot down each outfit I wore every day so that I wouldn’t repeat it for the entire year!  No, my parents weren’t rich nor did I have an extravagant budget for spending. I just knew how to mix and match pieces to make an entirely new looking outfit each day.  This was my hobby.

My style is my own.  I like to mix classic pieces with unique and quirky designs that I find in vintage boutiques and consignment shops.  Unique stitching details, pleats, buttons, seams, embroideries, patterns, prints, cuts & fabrics are what I look for.  It doesn’t have to be a well known designer as long as it speaks to me when I’m shopping, nor do I care if I wear something that is from another season. If I love it, I’ll wear it. The fact is, I don’t dress to impress others.  If an outfit makes me happy, I’m content. Fashion for me has always been a way of expressing myself since I was a child.

Here’s a trip down memory lane. My style files from the years 2006-11. It’s interesting to go back and see some of the outfits I picked. Many I would still wear, but some I’m happy I have given away!

2006

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With designer Nick Verreos in L.A.

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2007

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2010

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For more 2010 styles, go to “My Baby Rumi: The First 3 Years” post under Mom

2011

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For more 2011 styles, go to “My Baby Rumi: The First 3 Years” post under Mom

 

2012

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For more 2012 styles, go to “My Baby Rumi: The First 3 Years” post under Mom

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