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Oscar De Las Salas- Hard Work, Success and Giving Back

Oscar De Las Salas- Hard Work, Success and Giving Back 5.00/5 4 votes

As a now local celebrity in the Phoenix Valley, Oscar has had the privilege of meeting wonderful people and doing amazing things, but not without a lot of hard work, dedication, and sacrifices. As busy as it gets, he doesn’t forget about giving back to his community.

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Photo Credit: Diane Elizais Donati

Oscar de las Salas was born in Barranquilla, Colombia. He grew up surrounded by fashion and bright colors, which explain his passion for style and all things fashion.

With education being such an important part of his life, Oscar found himself traveling to receive the best education. He graduated as an architect from Pilot University of Columbia. He worked for the American Embassy in Bogota Colombia for four years before the projects came to an end.

He decided to continue his education and traveled to Spain to get his Masters in Architectural Interiors. When looking for a place to write his thesis project, he found himself traveling to Phoenix, Arizona. With just three pieces of luggage at hand, Oscar came to the United States with almost nothing but his work Visa.

Among Oscar’s many skills are his fluency in multiple languages. He speaks, writes and reads Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and English. Oscar believes that while being of a different ethnicity is a good thing in other countries, it is a disadvantage in Arizona. While Oscar is fluent in English, it was not always that way. He had a hard time expressing himself, especially at work. “Imagine knowing this much and not being able to say it,” said Oscar.

As if things weren’t hard enough, Oscar had to deal with even more put-downs when others found out he was gay. However, Oscar did not let all the insults slow him down. He only let it help him learn and grow as an individual. He pushed himself to attend Phoenix College and took English and composition classes to help with his speech and writing abilities.

Oscar is the proud owner of “O” Productions, LLC. As a businessman, Oscar has learned the definition of hard work.

While architecture is still in Oscar’s background, he has taken a big role in the fashion community here in the valley. He plays every role from stylist, to producer, and even emcee for local fashion shows and events.

With all the success Oscar has had, he made sure not to leave his community behind. “Everything I do I bring my Hispanics with me…I bring my heritage with me,” he said. He makes sure to give back to the people that need it most. He participates in many non-profit organizations, where he donates his time and talents.

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Photo Credit: Diane Elizais Donati

Oscar has become a voice for individuals that don’t have one. “My goals are not to find solutions, but to give tools to find solutions,” said Oscar. He wants to give people the tools needed to succeed on their own.

He is very proud of how far Hispanics have come across the U.S. “Things are changing…there is no problem with an accent anymore,” Oscar said.

With Oscar’s popularity growing quickly, he has noticed how vicious some people could be. He has been criticized on Facebook, but he makes sure not to let it get the best of him. Oscar does not wish to ever reach fame, “that’s something I don’t take in my life…fame comes with many complications,” Oscar said. He just wants recognition at a lower level.

Oscar does not plan to slow down any time soon. He has big things planned for the near future, and is excited to see what life has in store for him.

To Polka Dot or not to Polka Dot

To Polka Dot or not to Polka Dot 4.75/5 4 votes

dress polka dotPolka dots make the masses smile and bring back fond memories of those whimsical childhood times…lots of sunshine, smiley faces and rainbows.  I’ll never forget my first polka dot dress…it was blue and white and had a smocked front panel with a white peter pan collar.  I wore it repeatedly from kindergarten until I grew out of it in the 2nd grade.  All the teachers would comment on how adorable it was and I was prouder than a peacock with each and every compliment…that’s my first memory of being a fashionista!!

Polka dots have been around since the early 1900′s.

 

20s
Norma Smallwood the 1926 Miss America wore them.

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Winston Churchill wore them in the 30′s

40s

Elizabeth Taylor wore them in the 40′s

50s
Marilyn Monroe wore them in the 50′s

60s

Lucille Ball wore them in the 60′s

70s
Cybill Shepherd wore them in the 70′s

80s
Julia Roberts wore them in the 80′s.

Who doesn’t remember Julia in the movie Pretty Woman??  She accompanied Richard Gere to a polo charity event wearing a chocolate color/white polka dot dress.  She made polka dots the rage in the 1980’s.

90s
Madonna wore them in the 90′s

Numerous celebrities wear them in this millennium as well.

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camCameron Diaz and Demi Moore look fabulous in this iconic print.

You see polka dots everywhere…that is if you look closely enough.  You name it and there can be polka dots on it!
They are on numerous styles of dresses and gowns with polka dots on them. It is easy to find everything from jeans, tights, and leggings to shoes, boots, and rain gear with this timeless print. Design companies put dots on everything these days, even kitchenware and home goods.

Princesses in Polka Dots

Recently Princess Kate wore polka dots when she took Prince George home from the hospital as did her mother-in-law, Princess Diana, when she brought Prince William home.

Polka dots never go out of style…They are tried and true in fashion!!  

Polka dots are a fun and playful fall necessity in everyone’s wardrobe, young or old, male or female.  On dresses, scarves, handbags, footwear, jeans, wallets, ties, cufflinks, in one’s home, etc.  They bring smiles to you and others, as well as make everyone’s heart sing!  So go ahead, be creative and polka dot in any size, shape or color that your heart desires.  Bring more sunshine, smiley faces and rainbows into your world and share polka dots with the universe!

A Whole New World

A Whole New World 4.00/5 4 votes

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-beautiful-woman-fashio-clothes-dressing-image14658601It’s a difficult transition in a woman’s life when she graduates to the “Misses” clothing section of department stores.

It’s hard to resist the temptation of the Juniors section, which resembles the best party you’ve never been invited to. The bright lights, the rainbow of colors, the upbeat music and the glitter on the floor can be intoxicating to the eyes.

I once thought I was having a seizure, but then realized I was just in the dressing room of the Juniors section at Macy’s.

When you graduate to the Misses section, you realize that it has a different feel. No longer are you greeted by pictures of fresh-faced young women who appear to be having the best day of their entire lives simply by wearing leggings as pants and a see-thru blouse while jumping into the air.

Instead, the Misses section feels more like you are now a member of the book club, “Lonely Literate Ladies of the Library Who Embrace Lace and the Occasional Lower Leaking.”

You walk through a maze of aisles littered with embroidered holiday sweatshirts, turtlenecks and cap-sleeved shirts in putrid colors like mint, taupe, off-white and mother of pearl. The only music you can hear is the faint sound of Edwain McCain singing, “I’ll be Your Crying Shoulder,” which is playing on repeat as you slowly digest your new reality.

You search and search for something “fun” to wear to your girl’s night out, which now starts at 4 pm on a Saturday and consists of a “party” at a friend’s house who is trying to sell you crappy candles that never burn out, over-priced purses that resemble diaper bags (but you can get your initials embroidered on them for only $30 extra) and over-priced costume jewelry made by some chick named, “Lia Sophia,” who I am convinced was that girl in high school who told me that my Gap sweatshirt was “so two years ago.”

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-shopping-women-image28108729Sadly, it’s inevitable that every lady must eventually embrace the Misses section. There comes a time when we must get over the delusion that we can walk into a Wet Seal or Forever 21 store and NOT get the stink eye from every young sales associate who has figured out that a small waist is more celebrated than intellect in our society.

We should no longer be shocked when we enter these stores and are immediately asked, “Are you looking for something for your daughter?I, of course, say all of this out of righteous jealousy.

I realize that this can be an overwhelming and confusing process so I’m here to help.

Below, I’ve devised a list of when you know it’s time to venture on over to the Misses section:

1)     You are trying on the same outfit as your granddaughter.

2)     You have a granddaughter.

3)     You’ve used a rotary phone in your lifetime.

4)     You have ever uttered the words, “It’s too loud in here.”

5)     You eat yogurt for the probiotics, which was recommended to you by your doctor after your recent colonoscopy.

6)     You listen to NPR…even on the weekends.

7)     You no longer ask for an STD test when at your annual lady appointment.

8)     You have conversations with your friends that begin with, “Broccoli makes me gassy.”

9)     You remember Reaganomics.

10)  Your husband was in WW1.

Good luck! It’s an unjust world out there. However, we can change it. In order to do so, we must band together and redefine beauty in our society. We should demand that women over the age of 30 are treated equally and have the right to be sold attractive clothing.

We should occupy the aisles of every department store until age is deemed more beautiful than youth. We should…well, let’s be honest, we’re all too invested in “The Real Housewives” to find time for any of that. The new season of Orange County just started and Vicki has a new chin!

 

 

A video from the author… 

CHUNKY… and we’re not referring to Campbell’s soup!


Put a modern twist on 60′s mod with the new CHUNKY heel for Spring!

Pour la VictoireFor those wanting comfort, you’ll be pleased to know that your ankles can sit comfortably this season on a stacked thick heel that won’t make you feel like you are sacrificing for fashion!  We first noticed the trend last Fall during Spring 2013 Fashion Week with a nod toward vintage.  Look for the chunky heel in all styles: high heel pumps, loafers, and strappy sandals.  When it comes to chunky heels, the stacked heel is a popular look, but other options include two-tone, metallic and even cork heels.

What we love about the chunky heel, in addition to the style, is the level of comfort. Since it offers walking ease and ankle support, and with the 1960’s inspired look, you’ll be at the height of fashion AND comfort.   Think of how mod you’ll look if you pair this versatile shoe with a flirty feminine dress . This type of heel coordinates perfectly with nearly anything because of its ready-to-wear colors and patterns.You won’t have to worry about wearing a pair of these to work. The chunky heel can be paired with dress slacks, and other professional attire to put a stylish twist on the banal business suit.

The chunky heel is one of the few styles of shoe that one can wear for the entire day. Throughout daytime and evening looks the chunky heel prevails. Consider wearing a chunky heel that is two-toned, a bright yellow patent, or you can always play it safe with a neutral.

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Try trading your usual summer wedges in for a chunky heel.
Whether for work or play, we’re quite certain you’ll fall in love with the chunky heel, but don’t worry—we’re not suggesting you dispose of your classically sexy stilettos! This shoe with a retro twist is a great way to update your wardrobe for 2013.

Fashions from Top World Designers Spotted at Phoenix Premium Outlets Grand Opening


Off FifthApril 4, 2013 marked the grand opening of the new and highly anticipated Phoenix Premium Outlets in Chandler, AZ.  Fashions from top designers such as Coco Chanel, Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin, Gucci and more graced the shelves of Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th.   If you have visited the outlet malls in Anthem and Tempe, you know it’s uncommon to see a decent selection of products from leading designers.  It was an unexpected surprise and I broke my two week tweet silence in hopes of informing Phoenix Fashionistas of the noteworthy finds.

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Saks Off Fifth was stocked with the usual Saks outlet merchandise but to my surprise, there were some higher end designers not frequently seen in the outlet stores.  There were Coco Chanel dresses lined with silk, St. John suits, Escada slacks and blouses and Judith Leiber handbags.  Designer shoes included  Gucci, Kate Spade, Chanel, Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, Lanvin and more.  Just a couple weeks ago, Neiman Marcus Last Call received their twice annual shipment of designer shoes.  Women were waiting outside the doors, myself included, and within the first 20 minutes of unlocking the doors, the shelves were stripped of Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo and Chanel in the common sizes.

HandbagsThere were quite a few popular designer stores that were not prepared for the April opening.  Stores that did not open this weekend included Ralph Lauren, Movado, Kate Spade, Crabtree and Evelyn and Cole Haan.  The premium outlet website has posted estimated opening dates for these stores and others that weren’t prepared for the grand opening event.   Coach made the date and shoppers were lined up outside the store until closing.

All in all, it was a pleasant surprise to see the beautiful merchandise in Off 5th.  Other stores in the mall were bustling with people and cars were still arriving an hour before the mall was closing for the night.  Whether or not such high end merchandise will continue to be stocked at Off 5th is yet to be discovered.  It’s entertaining to handle the clothes and take the opportunity to try them on in an unpretentious setting.  When they are gone, that might be it, with the exception of special arrival events.

Fashion with a Purpose


The Wellness Community and Saks Fifth Avenue Fashion Show

As a cancer survivor I can tell you that despite its terror, there are some good things that have come about because of it.  I can also tell you that cancer supporters can come in many different forms.  When I was stricken with it myself some of the people I thought would be there for me– were not,  and some I never would of dreamed of came to my side.

I recently attended the Wellness Community Red Carpet Event hosted at Saks Fifth Avenue.   The event was full of beautiful women coming together to support this non-profit organization that is “An Affiliate of the Cancer Support Community.” I was touched  to see so much corporate support for such a personal issue.   National Bank of Arizona was one of the corporate sponsors as well.On hand to show her support was Deborah Bateman, the Executive Vice President and Director of Wealth Strategies for the National Bank of Arizona.

The co-chairs of the event were Maritza Braga-Brown and Susan Williams.  The event highlighted Juanita Francis as the annual Hope Awards Honoree recipient.  The elegant bistro breakfast was provided by Benedict’s and Nothing Bundt Cakes added a little take home treat in the swag bags.fs23The fashion show hosted by Saks Fifth Avenue was fabulous and the styles were retro, circa 1960.

Fashion with a PurposeSaks Fifth Avenue donated $25 gift cards and a generous portion of all proceeds from the event went  to the Wellness Community.

From my perspective as a publisher for a women’s magazine, I am often privy to many of these red carpet events and I must say that often times I get to see and meet with amazing women and they always inspire me.  They are always gracious, forward thinking and have the biggest hearts.  (A couple of them have fabulous shoes too!)

I hope that someday I too will be able to inspire young women the way these amazing women have inspired me.

Arizona Winter Fur Fashion Dos and Don’ts

Arizona Winter Fur Fashion Dos and Don’ts 5.00/5 1 vote

Well, it certainly has been a rather unusual winter here in Arizona.

The past two winters have brought relatively mild temperatures to the Valley of the Sun, but this winter has been a different story.  Some people may not like it, but those of us who are winter wardrobe lovers sure are loving it.

The storage vault is emptier than it has been in years as more and more ladies stop by to pick up their beautiful furs. And for the past couple of weeks, there have been many sightings of these chic women around town wearing their lovely furs.

How great it has been to see ladies on crisp winter nights bundled up in their furs all toasty warm and looking like a million bucks!

With all of that in mind, here are a few dos and don’ts, which will help keep your garment in tip-top condition as you wear them throughout the winter season:

 

  • Do shake out your garment before you wear it.  This will release any loose fur and dust that may have settled in the coat
  • Do be kind to your coat by not wearing a handbag strap on your shoulder.  This will, over time, break the hairs off of the shoulder area and cause a wear spot to become apparent.
  • Don’t spray perfume on while wearing your fur.  The alcohol in the perfume is drying and is harmful to your fur.
  • Do wear a silk scarf around the inside neck of your fur.  This will protect your garment from any makeup that might be near your neck.
  • Do unbutton your coat when you get into the car to sit down.  This keeps undue stress off of the closures which could tear and damage the pelts of the fur.
  • Don’t dry a wet fur with artificial heat.  If your coat gets wet, shake it out and hang it up with plenty of air around it.  If by some chance it gets soaked, bring it to us immediately—a little wet is okay—a lot wet could become a problem—try to use an umbrella!
  • Do get your fur cleaned if something gets spilled on it such as food or alcohol.  If you are traveling to a cold country and snow and/or salt gets on the bottom, bring the coat to us upon your return so we can clean it.
  • Do be careful with the linings of your fur.  They are nearly impossible to get clean—much harder to clean than the fur.  Nine times out of ten, if the lining gets badly stained, there is nothing that will fix problem, and the coat will need a new lining.

 

The weather forecast tells us that there may be even more opportunities this season to break out the fur. If you do and decide yours is out of style or does not fit right, consider trading it in.  This is the perfect time to buy something new that you will still be able to wear this season, or lay away for next season.

Fur coats, fur-trimmed cloth coats, leather coats and fur accessories of all kinds are experiencing an all-time high in terms of popularity all over Europe, which, as we all know, means that in a few short seasons every fashionista in the states is going to be wearing the most updated fur fashions available.

So remember… It’s not about the Arizona winter weather, it’s about the fashion!

 

Evans Furs of Scottsdale offers Service, Appraisals and More

Customizing Your House Key with Nail Polish


In the consumer world we live in sometimes it seems easier and faster to simply purchase items rather than making your own, but that leads to mass amounts of items and keeps you from being the original and unique self that you are.

One thing that we used to customize at home was our house keys. I remember getting my first one and being super excited to decorate it and make it unique and then showing it off at school – which in the end led me to losing it, but I did enjoy it while I did have it! Now it is simple to just run to any grocery or home repair store and pick up one of the many keys they have on stock, but then all the fun of creating your own special key is taken away.

So I have created a custom key that only I can have and I just love that! Below I have photographed my step-by-step process of creating my candy-stripe key that I made with something most of you probably already own, nail polish!

Step 1: First make sure that your key is extremely clean. You don’t want to start painting it with any dirt on it, so make sure you have a clean slate to begin on. Then I added a thin coat of clear nail polish to create the base level of your key.

Step 2: I then began to coat the entire key with a silver nail polish. This is a metallic shade so it glistens in the lights, but matte colors are great for this as well. The color I chose was unfortunately quite sheer so I painted three coats of the silver, allowing ample drying time between each layer.

Step 3: This is where the real fun begins! You can basically do any design you would like on the key now that you have a solid coat for the background. I chose to play around with some sparkly pink stripes, but anything from polka-dots to hearts or other shapes can be super easy to create and lots of fun! After the pink stripes I thought it needed just a little bit more pizazz, so I added more sparkle, of course! I lined the edges of the key with shimmering black nail polish.

 

Step 4: Now that all the colorful additions are done on your key, make sure to let the paint sit and dry for plenty of time. After that it is time for the final clear coat to seal the polish in. I layered it on a little thick for this coat just to make sure it was nice and smooth. I recommend leaving it for an hour to fully dry before using it, and then of course enjoy it and make sure to show it off to all your friends when it is complete!

Preparing for a TV Debut: The Outfit


Now that your hair and make-up are styled impeccably and you look like you’re ready for the taping, you need to get dressed. Simple right? Just throw on a nice looking top and skirt and you feel like you are ready to go, but unfortunately it isn’t that simple.

One basic rule is no green! Even if you are 99% sure you will be nowhere near a green screen, you never know if you may walk in front of one for the segment or it may be added to your set last minute, so it is better to just stay away from that color in order to not be known at the floating head on television. Another color to avoid is white. When they are prepping for the shots they will to a white test to set the colors right and this can sometimes make the white almost glow on TV, which is probably something you want to avoid.

I also recommend avoiding patterns that have extremely intricate details. These can look like they are almost moving when in front of the camera, and unless you are talking about optical illusions, this probably isn’t what you are looking for. Vibrant patterns also seem to be a little too much for the camera, so unless you are an avant-garde fashion designer, polka-dots and bold strips should be avoided.

A great color palette for TV is often the basic, more muted pastel colors. Think of a creamy pink and navy ensemble. These are simple yet professional, so the viewers will note that you are dressed nicely, but that won’t be the only thing that they take away from the segment.

Aside from the colors that you choose to wear, the styles are equally important! From a general viewpoint, it doesn’t matter if you wear a dress, slacks or a skirt, you just need to wear something that you are comfortable in.

If you opt for slacks may sure that they are steamed and appropriately hemmed, as nothing is more embarrassing than excess material being bunched at the floor while you are sitting for an interview. The inseam is also important as you don’t want the pants to pull anywhere or be uncomfortable and make you squirm.

The blouse for a skirt or slacks should always be tucked in. This is a more professional look and it is right on trend right now. Silks look great on TV and tuck in nicely. Try to keep the blouse simple, a few details around the neckline are okay, but anything more can seem hectic, so it is better to wear solids. Remember that you are on TV, so wearing thing straps is most likely not the best idea, opt for something that doesn’t reveal too much of your chest and that also either has thick straps or covers your shoulders.

If you do have your mind set on wearing a blouse that is a little too revealing, a cardigan or blazer can almost always be added to any look. This can also be a way to add some of your own personality to the look by maybe choosing a more boldly colored blazer or by throwing on a cardigan with some sort of embellishment on it.

Regarding the length of your skirt or dress, there is one major rule to stick by: get fully dress and walk around for a few moments to let your outfit settle. Then relax with your arms straight down and see where they hit along the skirts. If your finger tips are longer than the hemline, then it is entirely too short. Optimally, you should have roughly 1/2 left over of material for the length to be appropriate. This is important because if your segment includes you sitting down, you want to make sure the skirt or dress is long enough for you to not have to readjust yourself multiple times throughout the interview.

Another thing to keep in mind is your choice of shoes. I recommend keeping them neutral and simple, so you have a polished look without being too over the top. Bold colors are fine if your outfit is simple, but too much color doesn’t come off well on TV. I like a wedge as well to give you some height but without being too uncomfortable. Make sure the height isn’t more than four inches, and also keep in mind that you may be standing or moving around so make sure you are extremely comfortable in them.

Even if these guidelines feel a little too uptight, it is always good to remember that you would rather be overdressed to an event than under, and those same rules apply to this. Don’t forget though, you can always add some fun pops of color to your outfit with jewelry and accessories. Demure headbands with crystals, thin leather belts, lavish necklaces, bracelets and earrings can all be added to your outfit – just remember that you don’t necessarily need all of them to go into one look. Maybe opt for simple diamond studs for earrings, a bold necklace and a few bangles on your wrist – this is still fun but it is not too much to distract the viewer.

As a final note, remember that simple chic is always better than trying to combine everything into one look. And when all else fails, watch a few segments from the TV show before you go on and pull some inspiration from the looks others wear on the show. Oh and of course, have fun!

The Teen Perspective: Indie Trendy


Indie. It’s all over my favorite fashion blogs and gossip magazines. But what does Indie mean?

Officially, “Indie” or “Hipster” symbolizes being individual, staying out of the mainstream. By definition, being trendy is remaining in sync with the mainstream. So, is it even possible to have an Indie “trend,” two opposites, shaping your closet and lifestyle?

The roots of the indie influence go back to the Bohemian or Hippie movement that rose afterWorld War II. One critical fashion difference: platform shoes have changed their shape to TOMS Shoesbecome a part of a pump and wedge shoes. Casually, canvas shoes such as TOMS, Converse, or Vans are the way to go now. TOMS are especially Indie and charitable, since the profits go to charity. Indie and Bohemian are almost identical: clothes that look worn out, purses or handbags with long straps, headbands, braids and loose fitting tops.  Think hand-made, hand-crafted, local.

If you want to dress more indie, shop for the hallmarks of the trend such as natural fibers like cotton instead of polyester, then add your own unexpected twist.  Try earth tone clothes, with a pop of color in your shoes, earrings, belt, or necklace. Earth tones are neutral, so any color will look good with them. Add some jewelry made from natural stones, turquoise and coral are hot colors this season.

Shepard FaireyAdditionally, “Indie” is attached to genres of art, such as film and music that are created or produced outside of the traditional industry structures. For example, check out Sundance Film Festival or art by Shepard Fairey.  Yes, this is the same “indie”.

So, try something new this week: stop by a movie that you have not seen advertised on TV, spend an hour at a local Farmer’s Market, or poke around a thrift or vintage shop for some interesting fashion finds.  That’s how more and more people are staying “Indie” and on trend.

 

 

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