Buzz Wrap Up

What I've Been Up To~ A Letter From Me to You

Hello Fashion Lovers~

I wanted to take a moment and send you a personal letter. You've probably noticed the lack to posting here on Fashion Wrap Up over the past few months. My life has taken quite a few twists and turns over the last year. While fashion is a huge interest in my life, there are many other things I am passionate about. Obviously, writing and being creative is one such passion. I've been lucky to work with so many wonderful people on this incredible journey that has been part of my life for all these years. I just wanted to say Thank You to those special individuals {and you know who you are} for everything. Your constant support and positive encouragement has truly has been a blessing.

Which brings me to my letter....Drum roll....I am very pleased to say that I've been given a book deal! For as long as I can remember it's been a dream of mine to be a published author.

The book is called Fifteen Weekends, and thanks to the lovely team at Pen Name Publishing my dream will come true on May 26th when the book will be released. Even more exciting is that I pitched another book called Unscripted, and that will be released sometime this Fall! Both books are contemporary romances filled with suspense, drama and steamy love scenes. While I cannot get into all the details of Unscripted quite yet, I can share with you some intimate details about Fifteen Weekends.

Fifteen Weekends is an emotional story that follows three very different women -- Ashleigh, Emily and Amanda -- and how their individual worlds change forever in the short period of one summer. You can read more here. The entire synopsis will be revealed in the coming weeks.

I'm not going to stop blogging and writing for Fashion Wrap Up. I need to have an outlet to discuss red carpet fashions and celebrity style!

Feel free to tweet me anytime @christypastore for daily updates! 

And please visit my new Author website

I'd love it if you'd check out my  fan page on Facebook and give me a "LIKE" to follow the details of my book.

Here is an exclusive excerpt from my upcoming release, Fifteen Weekends. This is what happened when Ashleigh saw Liam for the first time.If you'd like to read the scene in its entirety click here

Fifteen Weekends coming soon -- May 26th, 2014.

~Christy Pastore @christypastore

Image Source: Christy Pastore Author

An Open Letter to Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson

It seems that everyone has an opinion about the upcoming film Fifty Shades of Grey starring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson. There has been so much buzz and hype surrounding the sexually explicit books over the last few years, and now readers and fans are turning their opinionated discussions towards the provocative film adaptation. "Who should play the characters and why," is the biggest topic of concern for Fifty Shades fans. The haters and internet trolls seem to pile on the discussions offering their thoughts on how unhealthy and abusive the relationship between naive Ana and controlling Christian is and how it's being glamorized. Others offer up another topic on how terribly written they believe the books to be. People forget that these books were written as fan fiction to the Twilight series, so ultimately I guess Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Bella (Kristen Stewart) are the inspiration for the characters of Christian and Ana.

 

I had thought I personally wouldn't ever read something as sexually graphic as these novels. However, I was eventually talked into it, and what I found surprised me. Author E. L. James had created characters that I developed a love-hate relationship with, and the story itself was interesting, with plot twists and nail-biting emotional drama. Would I call myself a Fifity Shades of Grey fan? Yes. I did enjoy the books, reading all three novels. I am not a reader of books, I'm just not. Fifty Shades of Grey was the first book I had picked up in years. The last book I read was on vacation in 2008. I am getting back into reading again, though. I've read thirteen books in the last two years, and that, for me, is a lot. Admittedly I had trouble getting through the third book in the series because by then I was over it (the sex). Okay I get it you guys have a lot of sex. I was kind of bored and had to force myself to power through to the end, and just like I was told, it was worth it. It wasn't the steamy erotic sex that drew me to the books, that was an eye-opening learning experience (I had to look of the definitions of some words - yup I'll admit it), rather it was the emotional desire and passion these two characters felt for one another and how they dealt with these feelings in their reality and dream-like worlds. Christian and Ana are characters with tortured, naive, lost, beautiful, damaged, loving and stubborn souls, and they worked together in such a way that was, for lack of a better word, believable. 

We all know someone who has been in a dramatic relationship with all the sorrow, betrayal, sexual heat and madness. Seriously, sometimes I thought my college and twenty-something friends were constantly starring in a real life soap operas, myself included having my heart ripped into a thousand pieces and feeling the gut-wrenching pain of loving someone to the point it physically hurt. Relationships are hell, and love can be beautiful one day and ugly the next. So this is my open letter to Jamie and Dakota, because I know they will read it, right?

Dear Jamie and Dakota,

Firstly, congrats on the roles you've been selected to play for this mad, dramatic, erotic movie. It seems you both have your work cut out for you by taking on these challenging characters. After you read this letter, I need to you both to step away from the internet for a while. Don't read anything regarding the film, and don't even think about doing a Google search for your names. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but, you're both currently being cyber-bullied. It's not anything against either of you personally, it's that some of these crazy ass fans and non fans (internet trolls) cannot seem to separate you from the characters you're going to portray. These women and some men, have pictured their ideal Christian and Ana for months and years, electing who they will masturbate to while in the shower or which Hollywood hottie they will envision in their minds while f*^@ing their partners and spouses. These books have made some people completely insane. They've gone as far as making fake movie trailers with their selected actors, fake movie posters and have devoted countless blogs and Pinterest boards to show their love and fevered compulsions for these characters. It's more than just a simple, "I think this person would make a fantastic Christian or Ana and here's why" -- it goes much deeper, almost to a level of bizarre obsession. Do not let that scare you, or let it - and be aware of these things during the promo tour. My advice hire an extra bodyguard or two, because you'll probably need it.

Jamie,

I loved, loved, loved you as the Sheriff in Once Upon A Time. I was so sad when your character died. I'm going to be honest, you weren't who I pictured for the role of Christian. I personally envisioned Christian Bale, for obvious reasons -- it was a Patrick Bateman meets Bruce Wayne thing for me (I mean have you seen the way he wears a suit?). Then I realized Bale was way older than Mr. Grey and turned my sights towards Colin Egglesfield. It was his mysterious eyes and stellar physique. With that being said, it really is all about personal preference from a fans point of view. Suddenly, we the readers have become movie directors, casting agents and studio executives who've all been in the business for years and know what we're doing when it comes to talent {insert sarcasm here}. People are pissed that Matt Bomer isn't playing the role. These relentless haters will continue to protest from behind the safety of the computer screens and mobile phones calling for your resignation, saying things about how you are ugly and you will ruin your career. I am telling you do not listen. I mean why would you anyway? I know you have better things to do with your time, but, if you do, just know that for every hater there are way more non-haters. I've read your interview with EW and I think you will be a fantastic Christian Grey. Practice saying "Laters Baby" in your sexiest voice, and you'll have most of the women in the world swooning by that phrase alone.

Dakota,

I've seen you in 21 Jump Street, The Social Network (fantastic dialog with Justin Timberlake by the way), and I know you were the bright spot in the show Ben & Kate (although I didn't watch it I heard much buzz about your performances). Bringing us back to your role as Anastasia Steele, you will be fine. Also, do not pay attention to those who say you landed the part because your parents are famous, that is absolute stupidity. People (women mostly) are going to hate you, the Ana you, that is -- own it. Whether the haters will admit it or not, they have pictured themselves as Ana Steele hoping that they can live out their sexual fantasy of being the one who saves and holds the attention of the rich, handsome, brooding, damaged Fifty - and oh yeah, have "mind-blowing sex" with the man. Not gonna happen. So your job now is to live out every woman's desire and make them believe it. You've got this. 

In a few months the film's teaser trailer will debut and you will win over a majority of the haters. People will have a visual of your on-screen chemistry and be pleasantly surprised. Not everyone will be moved to change their minds, but you cannot please everyone, right? I look forward to your performances and seeing you on the big screen. Until then our twitchy palms have been stowed. Best of luck to both of you and have fun.

Sincerely, Christy Pastore

~Christy Pastore @christypastore

Image Source: Livingly Media, Pinterest, Fifty Shades Movie

Shop For A Cure~ October 2013

It's October and companies from coast to coast are getting pretty in pink to support Breast Cancer Awareness. Here are a few pink products for purchase that were created to promote awareness of the disease and also raise funds for charity.

Tory Burch has created several limited edition items for Breast Cancer Awareness month including this beautiful ombre, dip-dyed scarf. 20% of this purchase will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Shop Tory Burch, $185.00

Ann Taylor Loft was inspired by Giuliana Rancic and partnered with her favorite Jewelry Designer, Suzanna Dai to create a dazzling collection of ornate pieces, including these gorgeous drop-earrings to help spread some sparkle to women with breast cancer. Shop Ann Taylor Loft, $39.50. 60% of the proceeds are donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Navaeh Intimates has chosen to donate 20% of the proceeds from sales of the Fever & Thoughts Adjustable Chemise in the color Orchid Impulses in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Shop Navaeh Intimates, $110.00. Navaeh Intimates contribution supports The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

philosophy has opted to donate 100% of its net proceeds from the sale of their Shower for the Cure shower gel, shampoo and bubble bath supporting the Women's Cancer Research Fund. You'll love this fresh delicate scent with hints of tangerine and milk notes. Shop philosophy, $20.00.

Essie has created two limited edition pretty pink nail polish colors for Breast Cancer Awareness month. Pink About It, is a lovely light pink hue that has flecks of shimmer and Pink Works is a shade of darker pink with a hint of reflective shimmer. Shop Essie.com or Nordstrom, $8.00. Essie's contribution supports Living Beyond Breast Cancer.

~Christy Pastore @christypastore

The Interview: Thaddeus Du Bois's Handbag Designs Are Full Metal Fashion

Family, faith and fortitude have led Artist, Thaddeus Du Bois on a unique journey that's proved almost as intricate as his über cool couture creations. Du Bois creates bold, eye-catching, statement fashion handbags that are unlike anything you've ever seen before --these bags give one-of-a-kind an entirely new meaning.

Du Bois who started out with a swimming scholarship to the University of Alaska after graduating high school in 1991, with the intent to study Chemical Engineering, opted for a more creative career path of Artist. Before graduating college in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts, the Indiana native was able to travel all over the world to places such as Hawaii and even the Bering Sea. During those years, he found himself doing various jobs. A desire to serve our country led Du Bois to the Navy before an injury sidelined his ambition to become a SEAL which led to a re-assignment aboard a Submarine Tender. Upon leaving the Navy, life's path led to Du Bois working at a pizza joint in Kona, Hawaii (not a bad gig) to then working aboard a dive boat in the Cook Inlet. However,  it was a position at Nordstrom that made him take notice how much women liked handbags. Ultimately, Du Bois was led back to art and a passion struck for creating and designing sculptural handbags. In his spare time he began developing his craft with design and because the bills need to be paid he began to work as a Pharmaceutical Rep, among other jobs here and there. During this time he was able to show his work at a multitude of venues including  the SeaFair Mega Yacht in Sarasota, Florida.

A re-dedication to living for Jesus in 2011 has blessed the designer's life richly and contributes heavily to the influence in his artistry. Today, Du Bois is designing full-time and recently moved to Portsmouth, Rhode Island with his beautiful wife, Kira and their daughter Genevieve, who was born just this past May. This week he will show his collection during Boston Fashion Week. I recently had the honor of speaking with Thaddeus about everything from his favorite design elements to what it was like designing his first handbag.

FWU: How did you know designing handbags was your passion?

Thaddeus Du Bois: I saw sparks when the idea was birthed. A woman named Christine said, “Why don’t you make handbags”. I said,“That’s dumb, those are for girls”. She said, “Look at them as sculptures and it’s really all about the hardware”. At that point I saw handbags in a whole new light and my passion was born.

FWU: Describe the current collection/designs you are creating.

Du Bois: Currently I’m making things that are a little more “mainstream” than my past designs. I’m working on designs that can be produced rather than made 100% Couture so that more people can own and enjoy my work. I still create the one of a kind Couture bags like my latest one, Pastor Travis’ Bible Case which is all hand dyed, hand sewn and hand forged hardware. I plan on keeping everything made in the United States of America even when my handbags are manufactured other than by my own hands.

FWU: Where do you draw inspiration for a piece or a collection and what is your creative process?

Du Bois: This varies widely, but ultimately all my inspiration comes from God. Basically I’m given or set parameters for the design as a base and it grows from there. For example, a client says I have this much money available, I like this color or this leather, I’d like such and such size carried like this and a pocket here and here. From there I like to look at the client’s personality, their lifestyle and design a bag that will compliment them. For bags I design for myself just because I want to I only set the parameters of how much money can I spend on it and how long do I want to spend making it. These pieces lean more heavily towards the art side and always tell a story.

FWU: Are there any Fashion or Accessories Designers style that you admire?

Du Bois: This might sound strange, but there aren’t any. There are aspects of some bags I like and some hardware that I think is pretty cool but ultimately they are all lacking and boring. I don’t want to sound arrogant and elitist but that is why I’m making handbags, because there just aren’t enough cool bags out there. There are handbags I’ve seen and I do love them and they are great designs but if I were to do it, I’d just do it a little differently.

FWU: Describe the first item {handbag or otherwise} you designed.

Du Bois: Ha ha ha, oh boy. I said, “I’ll make a handbag, this is easy”.  I had regular little sewing needles and maybe a two - four ounce suede leather, quilting thread and a thimble. I worked so hard to try to sew that leather, it was all by hand. Then I tried to incorporate the hardware I wanted. I forged out the hardware and tried sewing it to the bag, piercing the bag, gluing it and even welding the metal to the handbag. Picture this, I have metal on both sides of the leather, wet rags soaking the leather and I’m welding the steel to the bag, sparks all over, water dripping. I had no structure to the thing so I tried sewing in some copper wire. Oh wow, it was such a mess! I still have that bag, it makes me laugh to see it.

FWU: What are your favorite elements you like to use in your designs and why?

Du Bois: Metal, hands down I love metal!  Almost any combination of metal and leather I like, especially when the bag makes noise, like the clinking of metal or squeak of leather. Buckles and straps are obviously very cool. Another of my favorites is being versatile. Maybe the bag has a secret pocket, or adjusts or has some other function. I love multifaceted functionality.

FWU: So you are headed to Boston Fashion Week this week. Is this your first fashion week and what are you most looking forward to?

Du Bois: Yes, this is my first fashion week. I’ve shown my handbags in art galleries, and the Couture handbags like “Narcosis” just last year aboard the SeaFair Mega Yacht venue in Sarasota, Florida, but this is the first time they will be on models and going down a runway. I’m very excited!  I’m looking forward to putting on my tuxedo and getting the chance to share that first look on the runway with my wife, daughter, sister and maybe even my parents. I know they will be proud of me, I’ll probably cry.  Obviously looking forward to the orders we will write from the show also.

FWU: Which celebrity would you most like to see carry your handbags/designs on the red carpet. Which TV Show or TV character's could you see your handbags being featured?

Du Bois: The red carpet is exactly where I designed “The Emmy Clutch” (shown below) to be carried. This bag was designed with flash and glitter in mind, so I would love to see anyone walking the red carpet carry this bag.  As far as any other celebrities, I don’t know, Madonna? I’ve always liked her work but to have a celebrity really honestly like my designs and choose to carry one of my bags would be an honor. TV show, well, I don’t have a TV so I know I’m really not versed enough to even give a good answer to that question.

 

FWU: Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?

Du Bois: I plan on having my own stand alone Thaddeus retail stores some day so keep your eyes open.  I’ll design not only handbags for my store but nearly everything that could be called a home or body accessory. Furniture, plates, flatware, paintings, sculpture, shoes, handbags, sunglasses etc.  I’m excited to see it all come together.

You can purchase items or set up a consultation for your own custom couture bag designed by Thaddeus Du Bois by contacting him here. Be sure to check out his website and follow him on twitter.

~Christy Pastore @christypastore

Image Source: Thaddeus Du Bois

Abercrombie & Fitch Wants To Hang Only With The Cool Kids

By now many of you have read the recently resurfaced excerpts from a 2006 interview where Abercrombie & Fitch CEO, Mike Jefferies states that he does not want fat, uncool or unpopular people wearing the brand or even being seen in the stores. This issue, regarding Jefferies ugly marketing strategy, was brought to light by Robin Lewis, author of "The New Rules of Retail," who confirmed it is meant to exclude "fat chicks".

Here's a direct quote from Jefferies. "In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids," he told Salon.com. "Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don't belong [in our clothes], and they can't belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either." 

Why would a CEO fat shame people and relate overweight to being uncool?

Firstly, have you seen this guy (above)? Seriously just search for his up close and personal pictures on the internet. He looks like he's had one too many plastic surgeries and is caught in a perma-teen time warp with his wardrobe choices (for the record he is 68). I'm purely speculating, but the man looks to be fairly tall and has a strong frame. I really doubt he can comfortably where a size large polo, oh wait most of the Men's clothing goes up to XXL for the jocks and athletes. The retailer does not carry anything above a size ten in women's bottoms and a large for tops.

Could this be a missed opportunity for the teen retailer? A&F's two biggest competitors American Eagle and H&M sell plus size fashions, American Eagle's sizing goes up to 18 for women while H&M goes up to 24. Not to mention, if a relative of a skinny teen happens to be shopping for a gift for that teen are they excluded too? Apparently, the sign "your money is no good here fattie McGee" should be on the doors of A&F.

I understand that what Mr. Jefferies might be thinking about is, target marketing. I get it. Lane Bryant caters generally to a Plus Size clothing crowd, but their marketing approach isn't "Big Chicks Only". They sell jewelry, handbags and other accessories that any woman can add to her wardrobe. At the end of the day, I am sure that a niche boutique or shop wouldn't shame a non-traditional customer for being seen in the store, let alone making a purchase. That doesn't make sense, because any business' primary goal is to sell items for a profit. If what Jefferies said has offended you, I say don't shop at Abercrombie & Fitch. His success depends on profits and sales, lets make sure he doesn't make his goals.

On a personal note, I have talked to a few people who have worked at Abercrombie & Fitch over the years, and most recently even current employees feel A&F is a joke. Most employees feel that Jefferies is one of the old football players that used to be Big Man on Campus and is trying to relive his glory days by showing up to party with today's in crowd (David Wooderson style "All right, all right, all right.", but less cool and overly creepy). Others feel he is out of touch with today's youth and was once an unpopular teen in high-school who got a makeover (Fern Mayo style) and pretends he's cool. One thing is certain he has #AberProbs.

~Christy Pastore @christypastore

Image Source: Salon.com, Abercrombie & Fitch

Does Louis Vuitton's Fall 2013 Video Short Promote Prostitution?

Earlier this month, Louis Vuitton released its latest short film promoting their Fall 2013 collection. The film features Cara Delevingne, Isabeli Fontana, Georgia May Jagger and others strutting along the Rue du Pont Neuf in Paris at night wearing Marc Jacobs' sultry lingerie. Some critics are calling the video short an attack on women's rights and the luxury label is now under fire with accusations of promoting prostitution.

While a majority of the film has the models skulking around corners and climbing into the backs of cars semi-naked, it then cuts to footage of the brand's A/W 2013 runway show. When Louis Vuitton was contacted for a statement they said: "This video was created and broadcast by Love."

Who is Love? The statement is referring to Love Magazine. Katie Grand, Editor-In-Chief of Love Magazine and style consultant to the Marc Jacobs brand, was the one responsible for styling the models and hiring James Lima to direct. Did Louis Vuitton just throw Katie and her creative team under the bus, making them fashion roadkill? I am sure that was not the case.

Here is the video for your viewing pleasure.

What are your thoughts? Do you think Louis Vuitton should issue an apology?

~Christy Pastore @christypastore

Image Source: Daily Telegraph

Celebrities Love Badgley Mischka Bridal Gowns

This past Friday Mark Badgley and James Mischka tied the knot at City Hall in New York City. The designing duo, who met at the Parsons School of Design in Manhattan, launched their bridal business in 1988. Badgley Mischka's elegant bridal gowns showcase their mastery of lace, beading and couture details. It's no wonder that their creations have been worn by some famous celebrity brides over the years. Here is a short list of Hollywood celebrity brides who opted for a Badgley Mischka gown on their big day.

In addition to the above celebs, a handful of reality stars have also worn Badgley Mischka on their wedding day including American Idol alum, Kelli Pickler and Bachelorette stars, Trista Rehn and Ashley Hebert.

Which celebrity gown is your favorite? Engaged? Check out these gorgeous Badgley Mischka wedding gowns available on Shopbop.com.

~Christy Pastore @christypastore

Image Source: Livingly Media, AP Media

Fabulous Things Friday~ Luck Of The Irish Edition

It's been a while since I posted a Fab Things article, but now that we are temporarily settled in St. Louis, I have more time to spend writing. Most of us will spend this weekend celebrating St. Patrick's Day. Traditionally, across the United States we spend our day attending the local parade and watching the local river turn shamrock green. Socially we will celebrate the Irish/American culture by wearing green, so that we do not get pinched, dine on corned beef and cabbage as well as sipping pints of green beer. I love reading Irish blessings and toasts. Here is one of my favorite's: "May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light, may good luck pursue you each morning and night."

How will you be celebrating St. Patrick's Day? Do you have an Irish blessing or toast to share?

Hope you all have a great Friday, now get the wrap up on a few fabulous things from this week...

In case you missed it... 2nd Annual 25 Most Powerful Stylists Luncheon (thanks to Kaley Cuoco for the sweet re-tweet) and Spring Break Style Essentials.

~Christy Pastore @christypastore

Image Source: We Heart It

Teen Vogue's Fashion Collection Debuts at Macy's

Last year, Teen Vogue dipped into the retail market by selling small accessories and home goods at Macy's. Today, the magazine will debut their first ever clothing line at Mstylelab, Macy's juniors department. The youthful collection is the stylish collaboration between Teen Vogue editors and the retailer.

The pieces will be available online at Macys.com and in 150 Macy's stores and features leggings, rompers and maxidresses in the hottest colors and prints.

The line ranges in price from $20-$60, which is a little more affordable than the normal "price available upon request" price point listed in the fashion magazine.

The only piece I have found on the retailer's website so far is this denim bomber featuring studded shoulders.

 

 

 

 

 

What do you think of Teen Vogue's collection? 

~Christy Pastore @christypastore

Iamge Source: Teen Vogue

Collections to Covet: Baukjen SS 2013

If you are looking for easy, relaxed pieces in the freshest colors to liven up your wardrobe this spring, British brand Baukjen's latest arrivals might just be the perfect fit. The collection features an abundance of  lightweight fabrics such as jersey, chiffon and the very popular chambray. Hues of punchy peach, champagne and steel blue can standout alone or combine for statement making outfit color combinations. I love the styling possibilities for effortless looks that can easliy transition from season to season.

Here are a few of my favorites.

L to R: Elsa Shirt Dress; $179.00// Maggie Loose Tank, $65.00 and Jamie Pleat Skirt, $159.00// Sophia Sequin Jacket, $265.00//

Adding a pair of tights and a cute pair of boots to the Elsa Shirt Dress would create a chic look for fall. I adore the glittering bronzed Sophia Sequin Jacket. You can pair it with a skirt for an eye-cathing date night look or a pair of jeans for a dressed up casual look.

What do you guys think? Which pieces would you add to your Spring/Summer wardrobe?

~Christy Pastore @christypastore

Image Source: Baukjen PR

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