Sunday, February 22, 2015

2015 Oscars Gifting Suite

By StyleMayvin Contributor: Marion Accola

I popped out to West Hollywood to check out the latest trends in skincare, beauty and fashion at the 7th Annual Valentine Romance Oscar Style Lounge and Party. I wanted to find out what this year’s Oscars nominees and Hollywood stars would be “gifted.” 

After chatting with some small screen and silver screen stars it was time to get down to business and round up the best of the best for this 2015 Oscars Gifting Suite. Even if you won’t be strutting down this year’s red carpet, you can still get in the award season spirit and receive the Hollywood treatment with my top 5 gifts. 

As a lover of all things au naturale I was thrilled to try out the Pura D’or argan oil. This cold pressed “liquid gold” is imported from southwestern Morocco and carries the USDA organic certification. Try it as a daytime moisturizer, put it on the ends of your hair to prevent split ends or rub it into your cuticles- the benefits of argan oil are endless.  

Shoppe 815 was one of my favorite discoveries at the event. The company is an online lifestyle boutique curating unique his and her clothing and home products. This oakmoss soy candle makes for a great housewarming gift. The minimalist label is aesthetically appealing and the scent is clean without overpowering. Expect to hear more about this site in the future. 

I have been curious about microdermabrasion for a while now but I was always put off by the high costs at the spa. I was particularly excited about this Kelley West at home microdermabrasion set. The skin rejuvenating process uses tiny crystals to gently polish your skin and stimulate collagen and blood flow. Great for sun damage, age spots and acne, the Microderm360 is easy to use and can be done in the comfort of your own home. Watch the demonstration prior to use and become your own esthetician.   

I love new baubles and Twister Silver offers some fun indie pieces largely made with recycled metals. I gravitated to the archery bracelet and loved it as an arm cuff. The clarity necklace is adorned with a gypsum stone and makes for a great statement piece.  This L.A. based company is growing in popularity and it is easy to see why. 

I am self-admittedly very picky about my skin regimen. I am skeptical about introducing new products so I was surprised with how much I liked the MDSUN skincare line. The company was founded in 2001 by the renowned plastic surgeon, Dr. George Sun. I found the products to be light, yet effective with a subtle, clean scent. The super hydration b serum was my favorite and the vitamin B5 and hyaluronic acid formula was both soothing and hydrating. 

StyleMayvin: The Experience Chaser - T-Files

There are days when I expect awesome things to happen (I try to make this a practice everyday) and then there are days that completely exceed that expectation. When I am invited to an event, especially if it's a fashion event, I always think about my "attendance goals". First goal... if this experience is for me, let me "get in the room". Second, meet the key players. Third, get out, on to the next experience and remember to follow up. At times, there may be a few other goals that come in between and/or follow but these three are the staples, my go to's, my definite's.

From the moment this particular invitation hit my in-box, I knew I was in for something big. Certainly, my interpretation of "something big" compared to what someone else may think is big is probably slightly skewed but those who know me personally and most of those who are as in love with the industry of fashion as I am will totally understand. It was an invitation to be one of the first to see and experience the newest installation at the Metropolitan Museum. That's exciting yes, but what really got my heart racing was seeing her name preceding the words "...invites you to...". That's right, you guessed it. Anna Wintour.

China Through The Looking Glass, the Costume Institute’s Spring 2015 Exhibition at Metropolitan Museum focuses on Chinese Imagery in Art, Film, and Fashion and I was honored to be in the room, Goal #1.

The Costume Institute’s spring 2015 exhibition, China: Through the Looking Glass, will be on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from May 7 through August 16, 2015. Presented in the Museum’s Chinese Galleries and Anna Wintour Costume Center, the exhibition will explore how China has fueled the fashionable imagination for centuries, resulting in highly creative distortions of cultural realities and mythologies. In this collaboration between The Costume Institute and the Department of Asian Art, high fashion will be juxtaposed with Chinese costumes, paintings, porcelains, and other art, as well as films, to reveal enchanting reflections of Chinese imagery.
Sounds exciting right? Well, it certainly is and although I was only able to see a small portion of what the exhibit will look like in May, I was completely mystified by its beauty. No detail was left to chance...even the program itself was beautifully crafted.

So, when you find yourself in the room with the art of fashion greats like, Anna Wintour, Suzy Menkes, Andrew Bolton and Joe Zee, what do you do? What I do is take it all in because each moment deserves my attention. It's the only way to truly appreciate such a surreal moment. It made me realize...dreams really do come true and I was in a room full of dreamers. It's inspiring, exhilarating even, if truth be told, it was extremely difficult to hold back tears.

Again, if you don't know me, you may not understand the significance of this but as a once skinny, slightly "strange", yet happy go lucky little black girl from a very small town in North Carolina who dreamed of being a significant part and influence in the fashion industry since the age of 8, meeting and shaking hands with Anna Wintour meant a lot. In God's perfect way, the opportunity for me to accomplish Goal #2, "Meet the key players" during this event literally stood right before me. There is no photo to remind me of the moment she actually introduced herself saying, "Hi, I'm Anna Wintour.", as if I didn't know, yet it is forever etched in my mind. 

There are a few things I admire about people when I meet them. Knowing and understanding your value is definitely high on the list but being personable and humble is the most admirable, especially when it is unexpected. When people are elevated to a certain level, sometimes they can be pretentious, mean even and though I do not know Anna personally, I felt her spirit was sweet and caring. This is not often the picture the media presents but I want to be the one to tell you in this personal meeting, she had a very gracious attitude and I very much valued and appreciated that. I hope the feeling was mutual though I'm sure she had no idea who I am...our paths will cross again.

Anna seemed to be just as excited to see and fascinated by the exhibit as the rest of the attendees. It truly is something special to have an admiration for art and culture and to know that these things inspire us all. I am a self-proclaimed "Experience Chaser" so for this reminder and many others, I am beyond thankful for the experience. It's yet another confirmation of the dream and then I finally allowed the tears to flow.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

MBFW New York - Day 7

This was the last day of Fashion Week shows and events for me although there will be more shows tomorrow. I have yet to be invited to the Ralph Lauren show and it is said that the great Tom Ford will show on Friday in LA so I guess Fashion Week has not only expanded it's length but also moved across states. Yes, I do realize that London Fashion Week is up next, followed by many others so let the fun continue! Here are the shows I finished out my week with.

I can't say how much I am in awe of this designer and their selection of models this season. Not only does their collection seem to be for every woman, it also showed successfully on the runway. 

The LIE SANG BONG show was another stellar collection. I was highly anticipating the runway design after last year's artistic set up and once again, I was not to be disappointed. 

This was a pick up show as I received an invite late in the day while waiting for another show BUT I can say it was well worth attending. Here's a few photos I took and an official video. I loved it. See for yourself...

And finally...the last show of the day, of the New York fashion season for me was one that I think my niece would have loved. Leann Marshall, former Project Runway winner, showed a beautiful collection of designs.

Toodle-loo New York Fashion Week. Goodbye... for now.