I have rarely seen a more successful fashion event in San Diego than Friday night's VIP Launch party at the UTC mall. Many thanks to Heidi Hageman, President of H2 Public Relations for putting out the San Diego fashion blogger call (yes, there are a few of us!) on Twitter and following up with me to secure attendance.
The event was beautiful and chic, with lovely tray pass appetizers and some sort of chocolatey mousse thing in a martini glass. There wasn't the standard press table check in, and the go-t0 PR girls in black with clipboards were nowhere to be found, so I wasn't able to follow up directly with Heidi for a formal introduction to the celebrities of the evening - Laura Bennett and GOGA from Project Runway. No big deal however, after wandering about a bit, I got my courage up and just plopped down next to Laura and got to it!
Laura Bennett, Crosby Noricks, photo by Nacole Gray
For a quick update, Laura isn't designing, but she is writing for The Daily Beast, and working with FOX on a pilot based on her new book, Didn't I Feed You Yesterday?: A Mother's Guide to Sanity and Stilettos. We spoke about her continual focus on the Big Idea, and about how the expression or manifestation of the idea may come through - architecture, fashion, or writing - it depends on the best way to carry out and express that idea. In discussing the influence of fashion blogging, Laura said she used to get a kick out of reading negative things about herself, that "the harsher they are the funnier it is," and admitted a current weakness for Gawker and other gossip blogs. In terms of research, she focuses on Style.com and also enjoys checking out Modelinia - noting that models are really "the ultimate fly on the wall."
Modelinia, also a part of the Style Tour, had several mini notebooks set up for attendees to take a quick style questionnaire. After getting my results, I went in to have a one-on-one style consultation with celebrity stylist Laura Solin-Valdina. We had a great time picking out a "date" outfit for me, both being surprised at how much we loved a blue and black striped skirt from the Gap. Laura paired it with gray top with a textured front from The Limited, accessorized it with a braided metal belt worn as a necklace from Charlotte Russe (not online), several sets of bangles, a zipper belt from The Limited that was pretty fanatstic, gray booties from Charles David and a studded shoulder strap purse from Forever 21 (not online). It was a look I could absolutely see myself wearing and best yet, if I go back this weekend, I can grab that skirt at 25% off. Thank you Westfield.
The night ended with a preview of the Spring 2010 Collcction by GOGA by Gordana who is on the current season of PR and, who just opened a new store here in San Diego on Market St. Gordana had great presence and had me smiling as she as she walked us through the collection, reminding us that "when you are kind, you are already fashionable," and noting that she must have been a seamstress for a Queen in a past life because of how much she loves silk organza, which she texturizes and dyes. My favorite piece had to be the white strapless gown made of leather flowers - a dress, Gordana explained, was quite the labor of love and not to be replicated any time soon! I also snuck in a quick interview for NBC with fashion blogger and friend Nacole Gray of RichSkinnyPretty for Michelle Guerin of DiscoverSD.