Monday, April 23, 2012

"Ready. Set. Summer."

Please join ACI Nouveau for a very special event at Scottsdale Fashion Square on May 9th at the Madewell store at 6:30pm for an evening of fashion and fun!

Starting in 1937 as a "workwear company" known for their denim, Madewell has branched out to include fabulous downtown-chic looks perfects for the modern fashionista.

Be sure to check back here and our Facebook page for more details.



Sunday, April 15, 2012

A-Listers Among Us

Saturday I had the very great pleasure of attending Southwest Shakespeare Company’s one night only presentation of An Evening with Kevin Kline. The event included Kevin Kline reading sonnets and excerpts from various Shakespeare plays all revolving around the subject of love with three of the Company’s actresses.

Justine Hartley looking stunning in velvet
The performance was stellar.
Mr. Kline graciously answered dozens of questions from the audience after the performance in addition to smiling and posing for every photo opt requested of him as he was bombarded by fans before and after the performance. Perhaps the most charismatic person I have ever encountered, it was an absolute pleasure to spend the evening watching Kevin Kline do what he does best.
A bit taller than I imagined, I was delighted to find out Mr. Kline’s over the top personality and signature mannerisms in his films are all part of the real man.

Not to be left out, Mariette Hartley, well known actress and mother of Justine Hartley, one of SSC’s own, was also in attendance posing for pictures and watching her daughter act alongside a Hollywood great.

Probably the biggest star to come to Mesa since…well…ever, I was not about to miss the opportunity to get all dolled up and tote out my camera for the A-Lister invasion.
My best attempt at a model pose
As I stated in my last post, I took inspiration for my outfit from Natalina Grybowski. I tried to reflect some of her bold prints and shapes with the tiers in the dress. When I requested one of her looks for my birthday my mother scoffed at me so I think this is as close as I’m going to get.
I felt obligated to apologize to the people sitting behind me for the high bun, I wasn’t thinking of them when I was putting the look together.
One of the two velvet capes that made it out for the night

One thing I noticed about the night was how many women were wearing velvet. I guess women seized what was probably the last opportunity to drag out the material for the season. I was honestly surprised  at the number of velvet looks that made it out for the night.

Another velvet look

And for some shameless self indulgence, some pictures of myself and friends with Kevin Kline.


My mother with the Man

Some of SSC's amazing actors

I finally got my picture at the end of the night

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fresh New Designer for Spring

If ever you're looking for a little inspiration or just a good distraction at work, I highly recommend Lost at E Minor. My brother referred me to it and I have been hooked ever since.

Recently, they featured Australian designer Natalina Grybowski in their fashion section. I am absolutely in love with her work now! She has such a meticulous eye for detail and the femininity of the chiffons, the soft structure, and the prints take what's in style for spring to the avant-garde. The prints give me a "painting the roses red" feeling and the stark whites are stunning.

Some of my favorites from her Hybrid collection are below. While not exactly accessible to us here in Arizona, I am definitely going to use some of her aesthetic to inspire my outfit for an event this weekend.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I want to be an Almond Hershey Kiss!

Saturday I had the pleasure of attending Cattle Track Couture: Fashion by Rachael Ellis. I never knew such an incredible place as Cattle Track Compound existed in Arizona. Located near the 101 and McDonald Rd., Cattle Track Compound has been a haven for artists to live and work in the desert since the 1930s.

The exhibit focuses on the work of Rachael Ellis as part of a celebration of pioneer women and Arizona’s centennial. Teacher, horsewoman, mother, painter, costume designer; Rachael Ellis sewed an entire wardrobe for her daughter Janie, as well as many pieces for herself, her family and friends, and over 3000 pieces she made as a costume designer.

The show features some of Janie’s favorite pieces from her wardrobe ranging from girly party dresses of her youth to a unique pair of pants her mother sewed with a large slit up the side to suit her life as a dancer in New York.
In addition, the exhibit showcases numerous pieces from the 19th century that Rachael altered to fit women today.

Never receiving professional training, Rachael and Janie worked together to create outfits for her from existing commercial patterns. Rachael was truly a pioneer woman; growing up in what was at the time the middle of nowhere and raising her children there as Arizona grew around them.

As Janie tells the story, Rachael learned to sew because she did not want to take Home Ec in school. She went so far as to request a note from her doctor to excuse her from the class. Apparently the doctor only agreed to sign the note if Rachael promised to still learn to sew at home and it is clear she made good on that promise.

The mother daughter bond is palpable in this exhibition. Walking through the exhibit, listening to Janie talk about her mother, it is easy to feel the love only a mother and daughter can have. Janie speaks very candidly about her upbringing and her parents.

Both being teachers in addition to artists; educators apparently were not permitted to marry at that time so as Janie frankly puts it, “they lived in sin and kept their jobs.”

The attention to detail in the show is wonderful. With the help of Dennita Sewell, Fashion Design Curator at Phoenix Art Museum, family and friends, Janie made over 70 dress forms to display the garments. Unique touches such as displaying the various trims and tools Rachael used and even creating mock-cameos for the 19th century gowns with Rachael’s picture are what makes this show so special.

Seeing all the amazing pieces made me think of all the outfits my mother has sewn for me. Every Halloween she made our costumes from scratch, even indulging my desire one year to be an Almond Hershey Kiss rather than plain because I wanted to be gold.
Having an older sister and a cousin the same age as me we had a lot of matching outfits. Matching dresses, matching socks, matching pj’s, matching Halloween costumes…maybe that’s why I strive to be an individual in the way I dress now?...
Open from now through April 30th, Cattle Track Couture is definitely not to be missed (see below for visitor information). Take your mom and thank her for all the embarrassing outfits and stellar Halloween costumes over the years.


Cattle Track Couture: Fashion by Rachael Ellis
March 10 – April 30
10 – 5 Tuesday – Saturday

Cattle Track Compound
6105 Cattle Track Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85250 
For more information email: