Friday, August 16, 2013

Cat Chat :: Venni Caprice


These days it’s a challenge to find clothing that’s fashionable, figure-flattering and actually made in the USA. Many trendy pieces found in department stores and even boutiques are woven miles away from the constructive eyes of their creator. But with some emerging designers, there’s a draw to keep creativity close and stitches in sight. This is the case for Boston-based fashion designer Lori (Kyler) Christensen whose lively line, Venni Caprice, is a labor of love.

“I hand make every single piece of clothing that comes out of my sewing room -- every order, every sample piece anyone has ever seen at one of my fashion shows or in my photo shoots,” explained Christensen of her desire to deliver garments made from her heart and hands. She’s a woman who takes great pride in fit, fabric and of course high fashion.

I was first introduced to Christensen at an event earlier this summer. Dressed in a fitted, mixed print Venni Caprice original and flaunting a flawless finish (with a killer cat eye I might add), she immediately made an impression. She reminded me of the bubbly "IT" girl in high school who was everyone’s friend. I’m always drawn to vivacious personalities like that. I remember complimenting her dewy glow as she graciously replied, “I’m a former makeup artist.” Clothing and cosmetics -- two of my favorite topics.

Christensen began sewing in 1998 -- that's before she even entered high school. Not long after, she was wearing her actual pieces to class. Christensen worked in the cosmetics industry for a few years, but always felt drawn to the world of fashion so she took a job as a tailor in a high end boutique.

Christensen’s pursuit of her dream has not been without personal challenges. She was diagnosed with epilepsy and forced to put a hold on the hemlines for a length of time. Once she recovered, Christensen returned to the runway…with a little help from home.

“My parents were very supportive. My mother is still actively supportive and wholly invested in my success,” Christensen said. Even after the passing of her father put a pause in her plans, she found her focus once again. Christensen draws inspiration from her late grandmother and added, “She was the seamstress in the family and where I inherited my talent. She was amazing and every day that I get to do this [designing] reminds me of her.”

On August 7, Venni Caprice kicked-off R&R: Resort on the Rooftop at the Revere Hotel. The resort-wear fashion series was hosted by Christina K. Pierce and showcases new designers weekly through the end of August. Christensen ripped up the runway with a combination of sliming silhouettes and flowing frocks that were perfect for poolside, yet sexy enough for six o’clock.

When designing, Christensen does not sacrifice style for comfort or fit. Her dresses, which range in price from $100 to $120, hug hips and cradle curves…but in good ways. It’s not surprising that the designer who embraces bold colors and unique patterns has two closets filled with handmade clothes and one room dedicated just to rolling racks strewn with samples. “Every sample I make is part of my closet because I use myself as a walking business card,” Christensen said.

As Venni Caprice continues to grow, Christensen said she will be working with Christina K. Pierce and her team to manufacture a spring collection for 2014. The line will be large enough in quantity for sale at boutiques and specialty shops. For those looking to add a little Venni Caprice to their attire, visit Karmaloop Kazbah or contact the designer directly


Models courtesy of Maggie Inc.
Hair & Makeup courtesy of Salon Acote
Photos courtesy of Eric Gauster :: RGPhoto

Friday, August 9, 2013

Chic of the Week :: C. Wonder

Ever wonder what makes C. Wonder so special? I've asked myself the same question, but wasn't able to understand the overwhelming draw my New York friends had to the purveyor of all that is timeless and trendy until the shop popped-up south of Boston.

With countless colors, alluring accessories and hip home decor, C.Wonder is the first of its kind on the mainland of Massachusetts. The lifestyle brand by Chris Burch (the former Mr. Tory Burch) sailed ashore Nantucket earlier this summer, but its SoHo flagship first opened in 2011.

It was a rainy and humid Saturday afternoon when I visited C. Wonder during grand opening weekend at the Derby Street Shoppes in Hingham. I was greeted with a zesty glass of lemonade -- a charming display of consumer appreciation which coincidentally is their motto. According to the company's website, the "C" stands for customer. But I wonder if it really stands for Chris?!

Mannequins and associates alike showcased smart, on-trend looks that set the tone for a preppy-meets-chic shopping experience mimicking that of Tory Burch and Kate Spade. Nylon tote bags, stackable arm candy and personalized plates were among the items that caught my eye. The Monogram Shop, lettered with logos galore, was a gift giver's paradise. Not sure what to get your favorite feline-friendly lifestyle blogger for Christmas? It's all right there in R, L and C.

Monogram Decorative Mug $10 

 Monogram Decorative Plate $38

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

French 75 Popsicles

Boston has been experiencing a stunning stretch of sun this week so in celebration of summer and the fact that many of us working girls are half way through the work week, I'm freezing up a French elixir tonight. Want to add a little OOO~LA~LA to your Wednesday night, too? Here's what you'll need:

  • 12 ounces of Champagne, prosecco or sparkling wine
  • 4 ounces of cognac or gin
  • 4 ounces of simple syrup
  • 3 ounces of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Popsicle molds (you'll have to improvise if you don't have something like this at your finger tips)
If you're not using dedicated popsicle molds, combine your ingredients into a large measuring cup and evenly distribute into your popsicle molds leaving 1/4 inch at the top. Freeze for 90 minutes. Add sticks. Freeze for 60 minutes. Voilà.

{images and recipe via Reclaiming Provincial}

Monday, August 5, 2013

An Ode to Aubergine

When I was a little girl I was obsessed with the color purple. I wanted to live in a purple house. Our home was blue. I wanted to sleep in a purple bedroom. Coincidentally my bedroom was blue too. I wanted to wear purple clothes to school. My private school uniform was navy. Do you see a pattern here?! Even in college, my passion for purple still reined as I papered my dorm from head to toe in plush plums and eccentric eggplants. Barney overload? Perhaps. A desire to torture my new roommate? A little. Or maybe I was boycotting the blue and holding on to my hallmarked hue.

My lust for lilac lasted some 20+ years. Although I still hold violet very close, my mood has moved from mauve and gravitated towards gray. I can't say enough about the serenity of slate and my draw to dust. Perhaps it's a sign of refined maturity. I just hope it's not a sign of getting old. They say with age comes ash. And I've seen that first hand in many forms with my 30-something self.

The other day a good friend sent me a link to The Purple Store, an online space paved in periwinkle. I was actually in the middle of crafting this post, so I took a moment to window shop in hopes of reclaiming some grape inspiration. The e-commerce site offers an array of amethyst, but on serious steroids. There's even a wedding page dedicated to showering your marriage in mulberry. So following my brief trip down the pomegranate path, I concluded that there will always be a place for purple in my heart and home, but in moderation. For the record, I haven't order anything orchid. Yet.

{all images via}