Smart Women

“Smart Women Say it Right” is the message from Smart Women Company out of New York. Julie Hellwich’s company sprang out of her wit, a few gifts to friends and the inspiration of her grandmothers.

Two of my favorites were the  Make Changes Erasers  and the variety of pencils with sayings- Smart Women “Keep In Touch”, “Mark Their Words”, “Get to the Point”, and “Put it in Writing”. 

I couldn’t resist ordering the “thirst for knowledge” glass. I figure that is a thought I can drink in every night.

Julie writes, “Smart is about making choices and making do; making amends and mending your socks.  We know smart when we see it and when we feel it” and that “Smart Women change the world every day.”

So how do you define smart? What makes you feel smart?

For me it comes in the moments I know my life is working.  In the choices I make daily and the changes I make for the long haul. Every moment, decision for better or worse, that shapes who I am; defines my values and expresses my soul.

As women we know the sayings, “A Woman’s Place…..(fill in the blank)”. Being raised in the 70’s I feel we can fill in the blank as we please. Perhaps like Bella Abzug campaigned, your slogan will be “This woman’s place is in the House….the House of Representatives” (Or the Senate for that matter).

So what does your smart woman quote say? Mine is, “Smart Women know who they are and live it”.


Today’s Fashion Plate is of Tatiana, NYFA student and fashionista.
Her outfit:Ruby red lips ring from Design Theory, Jacket from Zebra club, Express Jeans and her own vintage Allstar Chucks she has had since high school.
 In case you want the look….

Theory blue top
$305 –

CO OP Barneys New York striped top
$59 –

Dl1961 jeans
€200 –

GUESS lip jewelry
52 –

CALYPSO ST BARTH silver jewelry
$15 –

Knuckle Punch

Well today’s fashion plate came from my favorite coffee spot Le Fournil. Their breakfast and lunch specials are unbeatable.

Now  I seem to be able to draw and ink my fashion plates but getting them colored is another chore all together. So here she is in her blk/wht glory.

Knuckle Punch by DCT

As I was awaiting my latte I noticed this young woman’s ring. She said from free people.

Now here is where I put my foot in it. To me it conjured up the image of the wall sculpture full of lost souls behind Al Pacino in The Devil’s Advocate. Her ring was Pewter not gold but perhaps you see the association.

Either way not really the kind of thing you want to think about having on your hand. Or so she replied.  But in true form I said what I thought. She hoped I was the only one who saw it that way.

In case you want to recreate the look I mocked one up. 

Knuckle Ring

T by Alexander Wang asymmetrical top
$128 –


GUESS by Marciano fitted jacket
$328 –

J brand skinny jeans
109 EUR –

Dune clogging shoes
40 GBP –

Cole Haan vintage leather handbag
$378 –

Lucifer Vir Honestus 18k ring
$11,700 –

Not So Seamless

Last week I attended Seattle Magazine’s Seamless in Seattle Fashion Show at the Seattle Art Museum. Each of the 12 design competition finalists  presented three looks from their collections as well as a special garment inspired by the color scheme of a vitaminwater flavor.

I was looking forward to the evening not only due to the fact that 6 of the finalist are from NYFA but more Seamless in Seattle’s new format. This time the annual competition jumped off the magazine pages and onto the runway. Unfortunately I was left sorely disappointed. What had previously been a venue for showcasing emerging and student designers turned into an all night advertisement for Vitamin water.  

For starters the tickets said 7:30. What they meant to say was doors open at 7:30. The show didn’t start till nearly 8:30. I realize late starts at fashion shows are commonplace but I prefer knowing when the show is actually taking place in order to plan my evening.  A portion of the proceeds from the show went to benefit The Ruby Room but their organization which donates special occasion dresses to low-income girls was lost in the evening’s fray.

The sound quality was poor even sitting directly across from the judges it was often indecipherable.  Kate Calalmusa announced each group prior to their decent down the runway, each time donning a new outfit. However the designers groups often came out in a different order than printed on the program and it was difficult to tell which designs belonged to which designer. Even knowing the designs of half the contestants I got lost.

The design groups themselves came off haphazardly as though randomly thrown together with no differentiation made between the emerging designers and the student designers. Perhaps the assumption was that most people had been following the competition on Facebook, read the competition requirements and therefore would be in the know.  

The competition consisted of three categories, Best emerging designers, Best student designers and Best bridal designers, each with their own requirements. All designers needed to present their original designs. The emerging and Bridal Designers had to have graduated from a fashion school and produce, sell up to 2,500 pieces a year. Where as the student designers need to be currently enrolled in school, not have their designs in any stores or have sold less than $2000 (wholesale) in the last two years.

The winners were predetermined by the panel of judges. Only the “People’s Choice Award”(through Facebook votes) and the “Challenge Winner” (via the judges) were decided the evening of the show.  So for me some of the critique came off as unnecessary. The predetermined Winner of the Bridal category could feel free to venture into the arena of costume for her vitaminwater challenge.  And the Winner of Emerging Designer could do an edgy rendition for her Vitaminwater design without effect.

Ultimately the student designers seemed lost by an overemphasis on the emerging designers in both time and ultimately awards given. All seven emerging designers received awards, “Best bridal Designer”, “Best Menswear designer”, “People’s Choice”, “Emerging Designer”, etc.  I would love to give you the full list of the final winners but I can’t.  It wasn’t easy to follow who won what.  I don’t even know who would be considered the overall winner. Would that award be the Winner of “Emerging Designer”, “People’s Choice” or as many people believed the winner of the “Vitaminwater challenge”.

In the end I still look forward to the magazine’s spread of this year’s winners and hope that next year they do a better job organizing the Runway event.

The 2011 Finalists:

Best Emerging Designers

      Kate Burt           Banchong Douangphrachanh       Kristine Hawthorne 

         Malia Peoples               Emily Riordan-Roche                  Bri Seeley

Best Student Designers

Angela Allen                     Timothy Campbell                 Gina Moorehead


Caitlyn Peticlerc                      Kathy Sabin-Mensah     

Best Bridal Designers


Kim McCormick