Fashion & Freaks

It's THAT time of year!!

FALL. FASHION. FREAKS. Fall fashion freaks.

But that's not all, folks. Nope. Hold on to your seats, September is so full, it's spilling over into October.  Check out these awesome events, worth amping up the wardrobe for the evening (need some wardrobe assistance??? shameless plug…call me!!

Sept 12th 
FROM THE GROUND (Greentopia Fashion Show)
Time for fashion freaks to make there way out of hibernation and the perfect way to start out the season is at this year's eery, "Alice-in-Wonderland meets Pans Labyrinth" style From the Ground fashion show. For newbies on the Rochester scene, From the Ground is the fashion element at the Greentopia Festival in downtown Rochester.

(NOTE: To read more about the show, check out my FIRST EVER print article in the (585)Magazine September/October Issue!! In it, I feature the unique partnership between the show's founders, Shawn and Athi, just plain good people intent on pushing the boundaries of creativity and community building.) Look for me in the front row!!

ROCPROM (Also, Sept can make an appearance after the Fashion Show.)
A new event, an excuse to dress up, a place to be seen with other cool people willing to spend 50/ticket to dance the night away at a not-so-exclusive, "exclusive" Strathallan event.
Why the dry wit?? Because the invitation says "invite only," but has a credit card/paypal option for anyone to purchase tickets. Oh, marketing.
Why is it really worth checking out?? the sponsors are the new kids in town and seem to be pretty likable hosts-  (585) Magazine, Pour Coffee Parlor, and Candidly.

Sept 12th and 13th

Sept 27th 
DRESS UP for this one- it's a taste of the NYC runway vibe hosted for and by Rochester socialites galore. (Thank God Dalida is so down-to earth!) Dado has done a KNOCKOUT job putting together her fashion show fundraisers, proceeds of which go to the Wilmot Cancer Center. Read more about her story in my latest blog.
So bummed! I be away for this milestone show. Thankfully it is bc I am hosting a special hair (hair fashion & education) show in Poughkeepsie with my co-workers. I will be a guest artist for THE FIRST TIME, educating for Goldwell Hair Color!! Wish me luck.)

October 14th-18th
For all my criticism, here is the bottom line: there is still only one group coordinating "Fashion Week" in Rochester…and I can't help but attend in a city with an Fashion and Beauty Industry that is so damn limited! 6 Nights, 6 Events…you have to at least go to ONE. I'm looking forward to the Saturday night show, hosted in the recently renovated Midtown Tunnel. (Message me if you want to join!)

I will be sure to update this post, as more events get added. This is just scratching the surface! 
Let me know what you think of the show(s)!
WHICH ONES are your favorite THIS YEAR?

Spot Light: The Woman Behind Dado

A couple weeks ago I was commissioned to write a Fashion Preview on Dado Boutique's Spring 2014 Fashion Show for a local publication. Incidentally, I learned that the woman behind this $209,000 (and growing) fundraiser fashion show is the dynamic force that keeps her clients coming back for more. Meet, Dalida "Dado" Atallah, owner and operator of local, high-end women's boutique, Dado.

A view from the back of Dado's latest location.
Originally opened on Park Ave, Dado moved to Brighton in 2011.

Atallah self proclaims to hate personal feature stories, but I could not help bragging about her a bit. Let me tell it to you simply.

The facts:

  • Attalah opened Dado in 2007, backed by a small $25,000 loan and no former experience in Fashion or Merchandising. 
  • Atallah hosted her first free fashion show fundraiser for clients in 2009.  
  • In total, the Dado Spring and Fall fashion shows have raised over $209,000 in proceeds for the Wilmot Cancer Center. 
  • The Fall 2014 Dado Fashion Show had unprecedented attendance of 700 people and raised $36,000, catapulting Dado into a "legit" fashion show scene status. 
  • The primary marketing strategy for Dado is word of mouth. 
Talk about a grass roots effort. What drives this 40-some-odd-year-old dynamo? She acknowledges her customer when she states, "It has always been the number one objective of the whole show for the customer to have a good time." 

She admits that people come to the show for all kinds of reasons with merely twenty percent or so of those attending being actual customers,  but ultimately it is the customer that drives her business and her ideas. "It's all about building a relationship," says Attalah of customer service. 
Dado model poses at the Spring 2014 Fashion Show, displaying hair byThe Spa at Del Monte . 

Known for providing trendy clothes, targeted to the over thirty, fashionably chic and affluent population, Atallah resists the industry standard of using uber young, shapeless, tall models. Rather, with a grateful nod to her shoppers, Atallah sends actual customers down the runway. Of this decision, she comments, "Since when was fashion only for twenty-year-olds? Twenty-year-olds don't even have the money to afford this fashion."

Atallah directs models backstage, between runway walk and photo-ops  at the Spring 2014 Fashion Show.

Hipster Bridal Wear?

Tanvi Asher has outdone herself again. Owner and designer of Peppermint, known as the go-to dress boutique on Park Avenue, Asher has no time to bask in the glow of last year’s successes. 

Moving on to her second annual fashion show, Asher will not only be displaying Peppermint’s her ready-to-wear clothing line; she will also be debuting a line of custom made bridal designs called Asher Bridal

Peppermint’s Spring 2014 fashion show Sewn Seeds will showcase Asher’s latest work, local designer Josean Vargas’ new evening wear collection, exclusive prom and formal wear available at Treasure Trove Vintage,  as well as appearances from One Dance Co. of Rochester. 

Last year the Sewn Seeds was funky and educational with intermittent videos introducing Rochester to each designer and their behind-the-scenes design process. Shop Peppermint followed fashion show tradition, showcasing spring/summer ready-to-wear designs that were not yet available for purchase. Rochester retail customers, unaccustomed to fashion industry protocol, were eager to purchase and disappointed with the wait time. Rising to the occasion, Asher revamped her process for this year. She says, 

“Last year people wanted to buy everything that they saw immediately. So, this year, it’s all here already. Everything you see on the runway [in the Peppermint ready-to-wear line] is in the store, ready for customers.” 

Shop Peppermint boutique boasts of its own vintage-inspired private label and carries jewelry by local various designers.

This year’s Sewn Seeds show will be hosted Sunday March 30 from 2-6pm at the urbanite, hipster hot spot, Good Luck restaurant. (Yet, again, Asher keeping her young, trendy shoppers in mind.) The show will also feature a silent auction with a sample dress from each participant (three total). Proceeds from the auction will benefit Girls Rock! Rochester and Verona Street Animal Shelter. Tickets are available at and Peppermint. More information available 

Fashion FAIL: Fashion Week of Rochester

This year I was giving it that chance... you know that moment, when you are pretty sure that you need to break up with someone, but you think of all the things you tell yourself that you have in common and say, "Ok, one more chance." The longer you've been together, the harder it is to break up.

It finally happened for me.

I wanted to believe in Fashion Week of Rochester (FWR). Why? Because I believe in the Fashion Industry. I believe in reaching each client, in making fashion both fun as well as functional. I want everyone to experience that spark of excitement that happens when you see yourself from a different point of view. Fashion can be dress-ups for grown ups. But, it's more than that. It is empowering. When your image tells the world who you are, and you will be, you are no longer pretending. You are focused and you are directing your own path, rather than anyone else telling you who you should be. Fashion can be a barometer for the economy and the mood of society; it can be a source for inspiration.

I wanted to believe in Fashion Week Of Rochester because I believe in Fashion. I also like to celebrate small businesses that deserve our business. And, finally, I wanted to part take in the excitement of the fall season, while supporting a good cause.

But, I just couldn't take it anymore. From the very beginning I felt torn by the name "Fashion Week of Rochester" because it implies that it is some sort of parallel to the world re-knowned "Fashion Week." We live in New York State, just hours away from one of the world capitals of Fashion, NYC. It's a bit of an exaggeration to assume the name "Fashion Week of Rochester". I suggest a name change to the likes of "Boutique Fashion Week," "East Side Fashion Showcase," or "Small Business Fashion Week". ANY of the latter would be more accurate, as FWR is showcasing primarily readymade, retail available in stores NOW, rather then forecasting future trends and collections.

But, aside from the name, the experience of Saturday night's Fashion on Franklin show (at the Temple Building) was bewildering...and embarrassing. From the moment we arrived, things seemed less than spectacular. It was raining. We asked for directions to the restrooms, to freshen up. The venue had no restrooms and we were asked to step back outside into the rain to use a dolled up porta-potty. When we finally got to our seats, there was confusion all over the place due to the awful choice to set seating up in columns, rather than rows. ANYONE that bought tickets with a guest was seated in front of or behind their guest. By the time many had finally acquired drinks from the understaffed, over crowded bar, the seating confusion led to a massive amount of $55 ticket holders never actually finding or taking their seats before or after the show began.

ON each seat sat a "swag bag" full or Reed Eye Associates supplies...and nothing more. Really? THIS is a fashion show? There wasn't ANYTHING else even remotely related to fashion that could have gone into that bag... not even a complimentary drink ticket. Completely disorganized, disappointing, and bewildering.

No hate to the dj when I say that the runway music choices felt outdated, like some middle age idea of what is/was "cool". Thankfully, one could tell that any music before/after the pre-determined catwalk tracks was left to the dj's better taste.

The show began without announcement and ended without much closure. The last designer of the night, Artistix, channeled the energy of a Metalcore striptease with 90s throwback denim, which was like getting splashed with cold water after the lack-luster musical choices and bag lady chic of the previous designers. I was not ready for my eyes to be bruised by a portly old rocker, stripping down to his bare, tatto-ed glory. Please, no more....this was when it got really good.

Our venerable East District council woman, Elaine Spaull, had the unfortunate quote of the night, "And now we know that we can help homeless children AND look good while doing it!" Oh, Elaine. Was it worth it to please that drunken east side audience? Is that what gets you the votes?

I had purchased a double glass of wine so that I wouldn't have to go back to the god-awful bar. I left before I was through with the first half. Cool Venue. Neat idea to "bring fashion to the masses." Poorly executed.

When all is said an done, you want to make fashion accessible to people by helping them understand how to utilize it as a tool. The Saturday night showing of FWR just made fashion seem silly and pointless. It was certainly dress-up for grown ups, presented with less than excellent organization or taste. But in that way that makes you wonder, "What was the point of all this again?"  As this event develops, will it become further and further away from what the Fashion Industry really is? Do I keep hoping that next year it will get better?

Should I cut my losses now or keep holding on?

It's that awkward moment when you know a break up is inevitable. Fashion Week of Rochester, we had some good times, but you're not representing the fashion industry well. It's over between us. Better luck next year.

The Nitty Gritty on Local Fashion

When something is described as "local," what comes to mind? 

The "shop local" guilt trip? Local farmers. Local musicians. A local fashion show?

Is the "local" label something special, intimate? sub par, amateur? 

Let's talk about local, Rochester fashion. What really irks me about a lot of local fashion events is that, often times, Rochester fashion events depict what is in stores currently, rather than what is being predicted for the the future. This means we are viewing merchandise for purchase, not fresh designs. "Fashion Week of Rochester" is the prime example. I got so pumped when I heard that there was a group of people trying to bring a Fashion Week to Rochester. But...

"Fashion Week of Rochester" cracks me up! Not because I scoff at the effort to increase awareness of the industry. (No, I applaud that!). Rather, it seems unprofessional and, yes, amateur to choose a title that DIRECTLY imitates the world renowned Fashion Week(s) of NYC, London, Paris, and Milan and yet so clearly has the exact opposite mission. 

Fashion Week throughout the world is a show case of designs a year before they hit stores. During fashion week, trends are acknowledged, analyzed and assessed. Designers garner inspiration. Merchandisers plan their purchases. Celebrities make appearances and the financial elite make purchases to have their hands on trends before anyone else does. 

In contrast, Fashion Week of Rochester is a local fashion event that encourages local business by showcasing what is currently in stores and ready to buy. It is an event for advertising, publicity, and a local celebration of garment sales to you and I, the consumer. No prediction, no trend analysis, and no Rochester designers are showcased. It's a nice enough event to show off your latest hair style and a sexy pair of heels while enjoying a fancy cocktail. 

Rochester, let's celebrate FASHION by exposing some of the unique designers that are out there making it happen in our city. Do you know that they exist? Did you even know that we have local designers? 

I would like to applaud Tanvi Asher, of Peppermint Boutique for putting together Peppermint Origins: Sewn Seeds, a local showcase of fashion DESIGNS this Saturday, April 27th. Tanvi, designer behind the Peppermint collection, will be showing her designs for this Fall 2013 in collaboration with designers Andrea Geer and Josean Vargis. This collaboration of designers is as much about the educating the consumer as it is about viewing the designs. As described on, "The Show will be more than a display of fashion. Origins will show the entire journey of the designers, documenting their processes from inspiration to finished garment."

Brava, Tanvi and the Origins Collaborators! THANK YOU for taking the time to respect the consumer. What to expect?

I expect some glitz. I expect to wear my latest hair stye, a sexy pair of heels, and have a few great cocktail, too. But, this is more than a glamorized shopping bazaar. Beyond that, I expect to be educated and invigorated to support local designers who have professional talent and a long term vision for our city's fashion culture. Let's go get some fashion cred, Rochester.

(for more info and to purchase tickets, go to

Wardrobe Emergency: Style Coach to the Rescue

Meet, Katie. 

Katie circa 2010. Katie, pregnant. Katie, happy new mommy. 

Katie is a successful Physician's Assistant with a growing career,  an all American beauty with blonde hair and playful curls.
Katie had a baby about a year ago and is getting re-aquainted with her body, her budget...and her closet.
This is the story of her wardrobe dilemma.

Like many new moms, Katie fears purchasing new clothes, as her size is still shifting and her son ruins everything. She recently took a position in a well maintained Pittsford gynecology office with a fashionable staff of many other women.

Pros and Cons 

Pros: the office culture allows her- nay, ENCOURAGES her- to dress more feminine instead of the traditional, old-fashioned, white lab coat.

Cons: Katie has to think about what she wears everyday and needs to look sharp.

Style coach to the rescue! We gave Katie a Wardrobe and Hair Assessment to help her prepare for stepping into a position with confidence and poise about her.

Step 1. Wardrobe Assessment

DeClutter. Clear your wardrobe of anything you didn't like, want, or have not worn in 3 years (ONE year if you aren't having babies or major operations). For Katie, we kept a few things that she is looking forward to wearing when her body completely returns to pre-baby shape.

Toss Repeats. Sorted through needless repeats of the same items and got rid of redundancies. If you keep buying black cardigans, it's because you don't really love the other 6 you own. OR, you need to start purchasing other colors. Katie definitely had a surplus of denim that she wasn't wearing.

Identify Wardrobe Basics. We went through Andrea's Essentials Wardrobe Basics Checklist and discovered where there were gaps. This is where professional guidance helps you sort through needs V. emotional attachments.

Set Priorities. Make a wardrobe shopping list based on top priority. For Katie, clothes that she could immediately wear to the office were more important than buying her first, perfectly fit designer denim, although both were on the wardrobe basic checklist. She decided to price hunt her denim on Amazon and Ebay until she found a deal.

Balance. A structured, yet feminine, blazer dresses up designer denim. 

Priority. Katie discovers the difference between well fitted denim and decides to search out this pair online for the best price option before purchasing, 

Step 2. Hair Revamp

Katie, Before
Katie, After

Lifestyle. Choose a cut and color that are easy to maintain for your lifestyle. Katie enhances her natural blonde and chooses to embrace her natural waves in order to keep her maintenance as mininmal as possible, while still looking youthful.

Personal Style. Identify your personal style. Do you like to turn heads when you walk into a room? Do you prefer a subtle approach. Is your hair the focal point of your outfit or is your outfit, itself, the focal point?

Time and Financial Investment. Do some research about the rates you expect to pay for cut and color services and use this to create a realistic budget for yourself. Making your maintenance a PART of her monthly or bimonthly budget, keeps Katie from appearing or feeling neglected as a busy young mom. Making time for yourself means planning ahead whether you are planning hair appointments, or exercise time. BUDGET time, budget money.

Katie...young mom, young professional with relaxed, feminine, classic style.
Katie saved herself time, money and headaches by employing a style coach to do a personal image consultation that identifies her style, a wardrobe assessment, and a mini shopping lesson.

With her targeted objectives and shopping check list, she stayed within her budget and knew EXACTLY what she needed to save and shop for in the future.

Katie, on a casual day off...she stopped by to show off her latest shopping finds and fabulous curls.

Things My Mother Never Told Me: CURLS to the Rescue

YES, it is time to have another curly hair chat! Last year, the Curly Hair post had more action than I have ever seen before- why???

Because over 90% of the poplation has curly or wavy hair ... and most of our moms dis not know how to guide us to make it look AMAZING. We were taught to brush our hair, shampoo regularly, and pull it out of the way. 

The KEYS to amazing curls

at home: 

DO NOT over cleanse (cleanse as needed!) = prevention
DO HYDRATE, hydrate, hydrate! = treatment
DO NOT touch constantly. (Decide on the style when the hair is wet, SET, & forget. 
STOP TOUCHING it when it is drying!!!) = daily maintenance

Learn more about at home maintenance with the Purchase of Curly Girl, a guide to all you need to know about hair, by Lorraine Massey (co-owner & stylist at Devachan Salons in NYC). 

This is a GIANT sized CURLY GIRL hand the entrance way to Devachan Salon, Soho. 

at the salon: 

find a stylist that works with a lot of curly hair = experience
find a stylist that cuts curls DRY= knowledge
find a stylist that doesn't ASSUME you expect your curls to be blown out = can educate you 

This wavy hair looked straight and frizzy when she came in...

Camera shy, yet beautiful sleek any age! Never too late to learn!

added bonus: FIND A STYLIST that is a curl specialist. This means trained by CURL professionals like the DEVACHAN salon training in NYC. = next level excellence 
Requesting a "Curly Hair Styling Lesson" is one the best uses of your time and money...most curl specialists will include a mini lesson with your hair cut, but don't be afraid to ask (or pay for) extra time to take a lesson. This is information you will use for the rest of your life. 

Recently, I finished intense training with Devachan Master Stylist, Denis DiSalva (co-owner and inventor) and Master Colorist Shari Harbinger. As a DEVA inspired stylist, it is my goal to share with you little known truths behind beautiful natural hair care...and SPREAD THE GOOD NEWS for all those lost curly girls out there who have been going at this thing trial-and-error since childhood. 

Annalise & Denis showing off their eager pupil. 
Denis explains the dry cut, the similarities and differences to cutting straight hair. 
Hard at work practicing on freshly highlighted curls, PINTURA style. 

My beautiful cut & color model- a joy!! Her curls were completely gone on her ends (from over chemical processing) before we began her transformation.  

To learn more about my exciting trip to Devachan NYC, read my Fusion Salon blog @ !

Fall Return to Femininity: The Elegant Hippie

This Summer's quintessential hippie style has evolved into a Fall 2012 return to glamour. Curvy woman are tired of styles that look like a tent. Slender woman want to demonstrate their assets as well. Have YOU been wondering how to wear the soft, billowy trends without loosing your best attributes or drowning in fringe?

Free Form, Shapeless, Fringe-y: Summer 2012 Hippie Style

That's where the 1930s come into the picture.

The truth is that the late 60s/early 70s hippie style wasn't just urban and native American influenced. In fact, the shape of clothing was paying tribute to the beauty of 1930s starlets, from sweeping a-lines, to the sex-pot, high-waisted, man-inspired suits. The exaggeration of the hourglass shape wasn't about pushing up your curves. On the contrary, it was about creating a gorgeous silhouette, starting with the defined shoulder. The 1930s was the birthplace of the hippie, the elegant hippie.  

Dress the Elegant Hippie, based on body type:

For Pear Shaped women: balance your curves by exaggerating the width of your shoulders. Well-constructed pants favor your hips, rather than hide them.
Shoulder Emphasis

Carousel item
Tilda Swinton
Antropologie, Cacoon shape creates width above waist. SHOP IT

Hourglass and Voluptuous Women: emphasize your beautiful sternum and bust-line with fabulous necklines and feminine construction. The boat-neck is a classic. Sexy is the suggestive silouhette of the shape rather than the revealing of it.

Jean Harlow
Subtle, Sexy Modern Boatneck SHOP IT
Figure Phenomenal Boat-neck Sheath Dress SHOP IT

For the tall or long ruler, "boy-shaped woman": bring attention to your waistline. Create a waistline. Also, utilize multi-layered, multi-textured outfits, like no one else can.

1930s Pants

High Waist and Good construction echo 1930s and 1970s. SHOP SIMILATR

For Petite and Short Women: add length to your legs with platform heels and stick to flowing, lengthening shapes that elongate the torso without creating definite lines.

Add caption1930s early platform shoe

The Platform gained more popularity worn on Starlets such as Carmen Miranda in the 1940s. Fall 2012 Shopping Guide READ IT

Wearing Your Tagline

One of the most challenging aspects of getting dressed everyday is deciding WHO you want to be. Who you are is already unique. You have a set of skills, a sense of humor, and a history all your own. Not to mention your personal goals and fears.

How do you convey who you are in that simple "first impression"?

A quick 17 seconds is about all the time you get when someone creates a first impression. The fact is, YOU CAN'T SAY it all. In a time of snapshots, soundbites and taglines, you must edit. 

1. Decide: who you want to be. 
(Something so psychological really is at the core of getting dressed each day.)

2. Be honest: people read through bull.
(Present yourself in a genuine way. This means your facial expressions that match your outfit and clothes that match your lifestyle.)

3. Brand yourself: if your outfit was a tagline, what would it say? 
(Let this guide your shopping habits.)

Whether interviewing, on a first date, or just making an acquaintance, stepping out the door with an appearance and a smile that is honest and highlights the best in you allows the opportunity to take the next step. 

If you don't know what people see when they see you, NEITHER DO THEY. 
Only YOU can define yourself honestly and successfully.


First impression research:

First impressions are formed within 7 to 17 seconds of meeting someone;  55% of a person's opinion is determined by physical appearance (read more).

Visual first impressions count when making personality judgements (read more)

 Top photo by  Kate L Photography. 

Model, Leah Kane.

Get Out of Your [Makeup] Box

Fall 2012: What to Wear as You Pale-Out
from Andrea's Makeup Box

Want BOLD lips and afraid of committing to BRIGHT RED? Want sun-kissed cheeks without a fake-baked attention?

The Perfect Coral is the anytime answer to bold lipstick lovers and sun worshipers everywhere.

Classic Vintage Red. Can pale-out lighter skin tone.
Bold Coral Lips. Soft Coral Blush. Also sets vintage tone WHILE bringing out the color in fair skin.
Lip Stick- Coral Reef Discovered    

Fresh, pungent pigmented color! Arbonne "Coral Reef" is beautiful, botanical, and Eco-conscious. Go against the flow and throw a bright coral into your neutral fall palette. You will stand out WHILE wearing the perfect feminine pout.

Lipstick, Coral ReefOrgasm Orgasm Blush

Blush- An Orgasmic Flush

Nar's "Orgasm" Blush is an international best seller for two years and running (Beauty Inc by WWDaily).Beautiful on any skin tone, it's the perfect mash up of peachy, pinky sun-kissed tones with a hint of sheen. As your skin pales out, bronzers tends to look streaky or artificial. Orgasm is the perfect replacement for a sun-kissed flush.

Style Coach to the Rescue: Model Turned Mommy

It has become apparent to me that woman of Rochester are expressing interest in their ALLOVER image, head to toe, not just hair or makeup. Client after client pulls from my fashion background for information... I am no longer avoiding the inevitable and have started offering personal consulting for the allover image- wardrobe, hair, makeup. You're probably wondering

what is personal image consulting? 
who would pay for that?

(good question. let's check it out.)

meet, Anna. 

Anna was has been a stunning model for my photo shoots in the past. But, guess what? She had a baby last year. AND guess who's not feeling so much like a model these days? Yes, Anna. Anna needed a style coach.

Anna, Before: unmaintained,2-toned ombre has turned into a muddy collage

Last year Anna had a baby and started her own business selling all natural, personal skincare products. It is time for Anna to FEEL the part, LOOK the part, and DO it ALL within her busy new lifestyle as a mom. Anna needs to be able to quickly transition from mommy mode to manager mode within a quick 20-30minutes, on any given day. 

Oh, did I mention??.... night, Anna plays in a rock band, too! This beautiful, young woman needed a truly versatile, but hip look that makes her feel comfortable with her body as she continues to shed the baby weight. 

HAIR: Anna's First Image Consultation 
Anna, After: Her angular, elongated heartshape, means that a soft, round shape will create feminine width.

To Be Donated

Anna, After: Flapper Bob with Playful Fringe

A short bob, reminds us of a sleek business woman by day and a liberated 20s flapper by night. Easy and appropriate whether Anna choose to wear it in a loose finger wave (her natural texture) OR a sleek blow-out. This means Anna is not freaking out when she has to leave the house in a hurry or if she only has time to air-dry.

Her color is a hidden smattering of copper red, placed intentionally so that the regrowth line will not be noticeable when if she can't make it to the salon at 6 weeks ON THE DOT. Easy, beautiful, flexible color. 

More blogging on Anna's Makeup and Wardrobe sessions coming soon. Cheers to you, Anna!


Review: Rochester Fashion Week, Saturday Show

The Height of Fashion

The height of this fashion show was it's fabulous close-r, Embrasse-Moi, who sent whimsical and bridal lingerie down the runway with taste and elegance. Clearly, they saved the best for last to keep people seated

If I didn't know better, I would have preferred to shop out of the Futurepointe costume wardrobe rather than off the actual vendors. Futurepointe, a vibrant, urban contemporary dance company in Rochester, was the heartbeat of the runway, gracing intermission with their usual lively, intoxicating performance. The perfect mix of retro glam and down-home, soul-healing creole, I felt like I was watching a retro inspired mardis gras parade. Definitely, the highlight of the show.


I must mention that one model, especially, captured out attention like a starlet. She was a picture perfect runway walker with petite boyish features and the grace of a 1930s MGM Grand film star. I'll have to get back to you on the particulars, because there was no model listing..

but I am pretty positive this glory goes to the effervescent, Miss Nina Lutz.

Photo by Frank Petronio.

Rochester's Fall Fashion Events

Fall fashion events are one way to dive into the change of season in style.

Get in the mood for sweaters and boots with these fashion show events:

Greentopia Fashion Show

 ...weeell, it already happened, but I wanted to tell you about it anyway...Save the date for next September!

Fashion Week of Rochester

This is a major publicity fest that is really about a fun night on the town where you can dress up and "be seen" at "the scene". It promotes local ready-to-wear boutiques (rather than designers). There are events Thurs-Sunday, Sept 27th-30th, each highlighting a different aspect of Fashion. Go out and have a good time!

Proceeds go towards Rochester's Center for Youth

 Dado Fashion Show

My personal favorite, Dado's fine taste and excellent venue choices really set this show above the rest. Originally hosted at the trendy restaurant Good Luck, the popularity of this event grew so quickly that it is now hosted at Max's at High Falls, overlooking the best view of water falls in Rochester. Proceeds benefit The Wilmot Cancer Center.

He Asked for the "Hitler Youth" Hair Cut

The other day a friend and local musician sat in my chair for the first time...I would describe him as being pretty adverse to trends just for the sake of trends. So I was, quite frankly, shocked when he pulled out some images of Ryan Gosling for his hair cut.

I asked him, "What did you search on Google when these images came up- Ryan Gosling hair cut?" He replied,

"Naw, I don't even know who he is...I looked up 'Hitler Youth Hair Cut." I couldn't help but giggle. 

Lately, we have been hearing a lot about term "undercut". Within this category, I hear people asking about vintage styles- everything from the "Hitler Youth" look to the 90s Skaterboy.

image from

What is do all these undercuts have in common? It's when a portion of hair is cut significantly shorter underneath a longer portion. Typically the two sections do NOT blend, resulting in a disconnect of hair that can be overt or subtle. The term "undercut" has been coined to signify that the look of the entire haircut is determined by this technique.

A simple Pinterest or Google image search of "Under Cut" will result in image after image of heads shaved on the side...never fear!!

disconnected curls. image from

While this is ONE VERSION of the technique, there are hundreds of ways to incorporate this simple disconnection into a hair cut, resulting in extremely edgy to utterly sophisticated affects.

Bottom Layers are undercut AND disconnected from the top layer. Top fringe has disconnected, edgy, yet sophisticated, fang-like points.

A popular take on this trend is a dapper sort of unisex shorter version. HBO's recent hit series Boardwalk Empire, set in Atlantic City during the Prohibition, has certainly spurred the trend on. The popular trend is extremely reminiscent of the Depression era.

Mischael Pitt rocks the 1930's hair, playing Boardwalk Empire's darling baby-boy upstart gangster "Jimmy Darmody".

On females, the unisex shorter version boasts a devil-may-care, oft punk or grunge variation.

image from random google search

Beauty Through a Lens

In January of this year, I wrapped a year long photo project with photographer Matt D'Angelo. It began as a Natural beauty Project (NBP) and evolved into a creative portfolio building piece for Matt, the models, and myself.

This Saturday evening at Fusion Salon (home away from home!) I will be debuting  some favorite photos from the NBP as well as the a handful of others from developing local photographers and models.

Here are a few of my favorites from the NBP:

Thanks to the spark that Matt started, I began reaching out to local photographers, entering hair competitions, expanding my styling skills, and capturing a very attractive, marketable side of what I do: hair, wardrobe, and makeup.

Proud as I am of the work accomplished,  the artistic desire to push myself keeps kicking my butt...I just can't shake it. As my good friend and photographer Hannah Betts recently put it, "Andrea, you know you can do commercial style work. It is now time to stretch yourself."

So....let's see what happens next, shall we?!

Here are a few teasers from the upcoming art opening.
SATURDAY Sept 22. 6pm-10pm. Fusion Salon.

Come hang out with me, have a drink on us,  and view this artistic processes as it evolves.

Photos Top by D'Angelo Photo, Models Leah Kane (top) and Anna Dana (bottom). Photos Bottom by Hannah Betts Photogrpahy. Model Anna Dana.

HOW TO: Dressing Casual at Work

It has come to my attention, with the onset of summer weather, that many  Rochester people struggle to understand the difference between casual and "work appropriate" attire.

Problems that arise usually involve looking sloppy like you don't care, looking frumpy like you don't update your casual clothes ever, or looking inappropriate. 

Common Symptoms...
                                   ...know what to look out for

The sloppy "I just don't give a  ---------"

The Frump - "I have no clue what is in style. I haven't shopped in years and I am afraid to show off my figure."

And, ever inappropriate, The Sexy Suit- "From club to cubicle and back again!"

Smart Solutions...
                         ... "how to" dress casually at work:

Some careers are just never casual.
Who wants to see their doctor, attorney, or financial consultant out of dress code? Not me. We want our doctor looking pristine, our lawyers to look like they own the law, and the people handling our money to look like they are at ease handling money. And ladies, cleavage looks cheap, no matter how expensive the suit was.

If you cannot find a balance, DO NOT even try to dress down.
No one will judge you for looking professional in front of a client or employer. They will if you look sloppy.

Pair soft material with structure.
Pair casual tops like malleable knits with structured bottoms like crisp ironed pants and vise-versa.

When in doubt, use accessories to formalize a look.
Expensive looking polished shoes, fine jewelry, belts, watches, and glasses all add an formal element to a casual outfit. 

Go lighter or brighter. 
A lighter or brighter version of a classic piece instantaneously gives a facelift and a casual vibe without sacrificing good form. 

NOTE: browse the rack- the same shirt/pants in light grey will always look less dressy.

Tommy Hilfiger

Never go to work in sneakers (unless you're a bad-ass barber).
Shoes offset an entire outfit and set your posture. Casual shoes will make you look less authoritative. Period. Go for a milder version of formal. Example: leather slips-ons instead of Oxfords.

Sneakers make his posture sloppy.

This Salvatore Ferragamo slip-on has a sole reminiscent of a racing shoe. Appropriately casual.
Less formal than close-toed heels, this Tory Burch wedge is classic and just casual enough.

Things My Mother Never Told Me: Curly Hair

Why is it that every curly-haired girl I meet has is either clueless as to styling their curls OR has some secret technique as to how to "deal" with her curls? It's like no one's mother ever taught them about curls and we live in fear.

Fear that the weather will determine how your hair behaves, fear that you will be given a lop-sided hack-job hair cut, fear that no product will ever solve your frizz problems. Is no one thrilled to have gorgeous curls?

Even as a young stylist, education was limited. I craved and sought out classes on curly hair at every hair show I would ever attend, only to be disappointed again and again that they were teaching how TO curl but not how to work with natural curl.

A solution has been found. Get yourself a copy of "Cury Girl," by Lorraine Massey and enjoy peace of mind. Curls are a blessing. When they are moisturized and handled properly, you should never fear again.

Summertime is the perfect time to start testing out these curly hair tips- go to town!!

Key Curly Tips:

  1. Over cleansing (shampooing) your curls will dry them out.
  2. Condition, condition, condition!!! 
  3. Load your hair with light weight conditioner from ROOT to end, smoothing the curl in small sections. THIS IS WHAT REMOVES FRIZZ.
  4. Apply styling products (moisturizing gels and mousses) to curls WHEN SOPPING WET, and then lightly soak up excess moisture with a microfiber towel (or paper towels). Do not twist. 
  5. At night, sleeping with a silk or satin pillowcase will minimize frizz that occurs against the pillowcase.

Ombre Hair: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

I love trend setters. I love trends. But, I also have to establish a certain taste-level in the sense that "trendy" can veer into the realm of dangerous. Case in point: ombre hair.

It's been a strong trend since last summer and it lends itself nicely to hair with any sort of wave curl. How wonderful to finally have a style that makes long hair appear edgy. There is a definitive line between cool, edgy and just plain trashy though. Please don't ride it unless you are drop-dead gorgeous.

 Soft, subtle, feature-enhancing ombre. Will looked great dressed up or down.  

I am sorry to say this Miss Drew Barrymore, but you are not in that category. You are the simple-fresh faced girl next door who has grown into 30 some-odd, woman. Grungy, regrowth-enhancing ombre hair does not become you. How to avoid the pitfall??

No, thanks. Looks ok when she's dolled up, but just grungy when she's candid.

Enjoy but avoid over-doing the trend by keeping the contrast within a color range that jumps no more than 4 levels. Your hair stylist/colorist will know what that means. Drew's jump from deep brunette to bleached blonde does not enhance her skin or features and from the back it can look like a bald monk's circle. Caution.

2011's Goofiest Fashion Trends

((Just for the record, this is an opinion based website, also known as a BLOG. While I have spent all of my adult working life in the fashion and beauty industry, you may OR may not agree with all I have to say, and that's great. TELL me about it. Leave a comment!!))

2011's Goofiest Fashion Trends


Ugg Ugly

This lingering trend has been around for far too long.

I love Ugg Boots...the Uggs meant for cold weather wear!! But, the ones these girls prance around in as winter boots are appropriate as indoor slippers only. I don't get why you would waste the money on a pair that is about to be demolished shortly by Rochester's snow, salt and winter grime. 

THAT's not even the worst of it. It is really a fashion mistake- they make every woman's leg look shorter, like she has cankles. Unless you have never ending leg, why? Why?! I will tell you: it's simply the age old need for name-brand recognition (and a few really nice people who got thrown onto the trend because they just can't think for themselves).

The Harem Pant,  aka "Diaper Pants"

This trend just doesn't make sense, here in the states. The inseam appears to never end. It poofs up when you sit down giving ladies man-crotch. The sape doesn't do anything for your hips whatsoever. Those to dare dawn this trend are mostly uber-skinny models and fashion students hawking new trends constantly. 

For whatever reason, I dig it. Maybe it's the fashion major in me. I am guilty of rocking this trend...and as long as I am standing whenever photographed, it looks pretty cool. [insert laugh here]

Half Shaved,  Long-Haired Cuts

I have to admit, I kinda love this trend, goofy as it is. There is no common sense reason behind this- it grows out horribly. But, maybe it is the part of me that finds Native American imagery interesting. Or,  perhaps, it is just the simple surprise factor, that punk "I don't give a f***" what people have to say.

A suggestion for the brave few: if you are going to go embrace this trend, eye-liner will be your best friend. Remind them that you are a lady, after all.

Things My Mother Never Told Me: Body Waxing

If your mom was a teen in the 60s, 70s or 80s, there is a social disconnect when it comes to feminine hygiene/grooming....I know it's taboo to type about, but c'mon many times have I been asked "Psst, I know this is kinda weird BUT what do you think about Brazilian waxing verse laser treatments?" when I start to wax someone's eyebrows?

Every woman who is even old enough to even consider waxing has a mother raised in the good old safari bush days, if you know what I mean.

Two things that I should state. Woman (and men) of all ages wrap your heads around this:

1. It is OK to wipe out the map. The new territory is there to be discovered.
2. On the other hand, it is OK to prefer a rustic, earthy approach to living. Your jungle was created that way for a reason- a little extra protection never hurt anyone.

Herein lies the problem. Just keep it groomed. NO one in public wants to get a glimpse of anything past that bikini line.

What about bumps? Pimples? Ingrown hairs?
After you get it waxed (or lasered), keep your skin exfoliated and you will be fine. Razoring down there is a load of nonsense and is way too scratchy (for you AND other people).

Note: you will also get more longevity between waxes if you do NOT shave in between your appointments.

How badly does it hurt? I am not going to sugar coat this. Your lady (or man) parts are getting waxed. Its like big band-aids getting ripped off your skin. But, for the sake of human decency, choose pride, here. Choose pride.