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Fashionista Friends and Authors

18 Oct

Neiman Marcus, in Troy, Michigan, recently hosted a fashionable event with three Detroit icons — Brenda Rosenberg (left), Suzy Farbman (middle) and Linda Solomon. Not only are these women known for their stylish looks, but they are authors of dynamic books. They are also friends, and I’m proud to say that they are my friends too.

When I wrote about Brenda previously in the former magazine Style, I described her as bold, bodacious and beautiful. Well, she’s so much more. For the past several years, she has been on a journey of peacemaking, bringing together many ethnic and religious groups. Now, she is the author of Charmed, a memoir told through her charm bracelet. Brenda will be honored on Nov. 10 at the Trade Secrets event at the Detroit Marriott Troy.

Suzy Farbman is a past honoree of Trade Secrets, featured previously on Motown Savvy. She is an award-winning journalist and compelling story teller. She has covered design for national and Detroit publications. Her latest book, Detroit’s Cass Corridor & Beyond, is part memoir and part art book. Farbman includes personal photos of her homes in Franklin, Michigan and Sarasota Florida with photographs by Beth Singer.

In welcoming readers to her book, Suzy writes: “By opening our doors and telling our story in these pages through vivid images and anecdotes, I am sending a personal love letter to each reader. As you turn these pages, I invite you to celebrate with me the love of family, the joys of collecting, the resilience of one of the world’s great cities, and the brilliant diversity of Detroit’s artists.”

Linda Solomon is an award-winning photojournalist nationally and locally. I featured her on Motown Savvy when her book on Aretha Franklin the Queen Next Door was first published. As I posted before, Linda developed a trusted relationship with Franklin and documented her career. From Christmas parties to birthday bashes to recording sessions, this is a personal portrait of a Motown legend. Yes, the Pink Cadillac is prominent.

Linda’s passion is her Pictures of Hope project, helping children in need express their thoughts with a camera.

As you can see, these three fashionable women are extraordinary!

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Detroit: Fashion Central

27 Feb

My friend and colleague, Chuck Bennett (above), celebrated Black History Month with a presentation of Detroit designers on Fox2Detroit. Some of the designers include: FlyTy, Donovan Dewberry, and William Palmer Homme.

The New York Times recognizes the fashion acumen of Motown. Jessica Iredale wrote about it in the article “Could Detroit be the Next Fashion City,?” Iredale showcases some happenings in Detroit and mentions fashion icons. Of course, there’s Linda Dresner, who ran boutiques in Birmingham, Michigan and New York and promoted designers that become famous. I’ve featured her on my blog here. Iredale talks about how Gucci collaborated with the Detroit Vs. Everybody collection.

Motown is home to many fashion designers including: Tracy Reese, Anna Sui, John Varvatos and the upcoming fashion phenom Carter Altman. Detroiters have always known about Carhartt, based in Dearborn, Michigan since 1889.

If you’re not sure that Detroit is a fashion city, check out Detroit Sewn. Or ask my buddy Chuck Bennett. He can be found on Facebook, Instagram (chuck_bennett) or Mr. ChuckBennett on Twitter.

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Nail it for the Holidays

18 Dec

Looking for the perfect gift for any age for your sister, mom, daughter, grandmother or even your teenager?

If you just can’t find a gift for the special female in your life, try the Olive and June nail polish kits.

They sent me a holiday package to try (above), and I loved it. The colors are stunning, and the polish is long lasting. It seems the founder, Sarah Gibson Tuttle, is on to something with her mani-system. She has revolutionized the at home manicure with these all inclusive kits, with a step-by-step guide including tools in addition to the polishes.

Sarah Gibson Tuttle switched her career, as she was formerly an equity sales trader at JP Morgan and Morgan and Stanley. True to her business acumen, she includes master classes, and you can even take a self quiz.

And, of course, it can ship overnight. Click here.

Oh Savannah

4 Nov

I just returned from Savannah, and I was enthralled with the city. The cultural and historical sites are plentiful. The town squares with the beautiful trees and all the flora and fauna are breathtaking.

As a savvy shopper, I loved the local stores — particularly, Satchel, Savannah Bee Company, Savannah Coffee Roasters and E. Shaver Booksellers.

Satchel is a favorite local store.

Satchel was established in 2006 by Elizabeth Seeger. It’s a hybrid store because it’s part studio and part retail. You can actually watch the leather being cut (see above). What’s great about the handbag is the customization from the color to the leather to the lining to size of the strap.

Next on the shopping trip was the Savannah Bee Company. There is an array of specialty honey from orange blossom to lavender and so much more. I purchased whipped honey with chocolate. (Yes, chocolate!) The Savannah Bee Company made the 2021 list of Oprah’s Favorite Things.

With all the shopping, the perfect caffeine boost is at Savannah Coffee Roasters. It’s a lovely, casual place to dine as well.

Before I went to Savannah, I read Surviving Savannah by Patti Callahan. This historical fiction book about a shipwreck was interesting. I learned the saying “Keeping up with the Joneses” is from Savannah. I went to Jones Street where the homes were beautiful. In the book’s acknowledgements the author mentions the bookstore E. Shaver. So, I went there and was greeted by the booksellers and the cats that live there.

Several years ago I read the Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt, a non-fiction book about a murder which was made into a movie.

I highly recommend Savannah as a place to visit.

Fashion Plates

22 Oct

Fashion, food and philanthropy collided at a wonderful event to benefit autism in Jupiter, Florida. Fashion designer Julian Chang presented his fashions, Eloquence Jewelry provided the gems and the restaurant 1000 North served the food, thanks to event host Sherrye Sammons Fenton (below) and Legends Radio emcee Mike McGann.

Miami is the inspiration for fashion designer Julian Chang (below). “We are all about colors and happy prints,” said Chang.

In addition to the vibrant prints, some of the collection contained black and white graphics, as seen in the example below.

The pop-up jewels on sale were from Eloquence Fine Jewelry & Gifts (below).

More than 100 guests attended the sold-out event. Here are two attendees, Lorraine Bolton (left) and Cindy Pollack, who supported the philanthropic happening.

A portion of the trunk show sales from the event supported the Els for Autism Foundation. The Els for Autism Foundation is international with an in-person facility in Jupiter, Florida.

Julian Chang summed up the afternoon perfectly while describing his fashions. “People want to feel happy.”

My Fake Vintage Gucci

8 Sep

This handbag has a story that began a few decades ago. My Mom, who died in 1990, was a shopper. She would buy and return as a pastime. Her favorite store was Hudson’s, and if you are from Motown, and of a certain age, you remember it well. (Hudson’s later became Dayton-Hudson’s, Marshall Fields and now Macy’s.)

Although she did not buy this purse at Hudson’s, she bought it at Northland, a mall that no longer exists. She showed it to me, and said it was a Gucci purse. I really didn’t want it at that time, so she said she would put it away for me. When she passed away, I rediscovered it and kept it.

My daughter enjoys designer handbags, and I told her about the Gucci purse. I really built it up, saying it was a vintage handbag that’s probably valuable. She was excited, and the last time she visited, I pulled it out. She looked at it, and started laughing. “Mom look at the G’s–they’re not G’s, they’re E’s.”

So, I have a fake Gucci. My mom was bamboozled. It’s probably one of the first dupes. I’m really not sure what to do with it. Any ideas?

A Fashionable Ending

12 Apr

Retail maven and fashion icon Linda Dresner closed her Motown store recently. Linda was a “Stylemaker,” when I was editor of Style magazine (now defunct). As I wrote several years ago, she exudes a quiet elegance just like her posh stores. She previously had a retail establishment in New York, which closed in 2008.

Linda has a passion for making women look beautiful. Her store in Birmingham, Mich., was minimalistic in black and white and like her clothing, it never seemed dated. As she stated in a New York Times article, she just didn’t feel comfortable renewing her lease at her age.

Many fashion designers owe Linda’s fashionable eye to their successful beginnings. She was the first retailer to highlight Jil Sander, Claude Montana, Commes des Garcons and Yohi Yamamoto in the Detroit area.

Her store closing is a loss to all fashionistas, but let’s look forward to the next fashion icon retailer. If you know of anybody, please let us know.

And to Linda. . .You are always in vogue!

Photos by Glenn Triest

Pin It!

27 Mar

Have you noticed brooches and pins are back? The New York Times just ran an article in the Style Section titled, “The Brooch is Back, Baby,” If you watched Bridgerton, you saw the Duke wearing a pin, and if you watched the inauguration, Lady Gaga wore a huge dove brooch.

Photo: Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

So I dug out my pins (above) that I have not wore in a decade, and I hope to wear them soon. They add pizzazz to an outfit.

Do you have any pins tucked away in a drawer?

Shopping with Benefits

1 Mar

Yes, there are friends with benefits. Now you can shop with benefits by shopping for a worthy cause and supporting small women-owned businesses.

Jewish Women’s Foundation of the Greater Palm Beaches (JWF) works to advance the status of all women and girls locally and nationally through strategic grantmaking, advocacy and education and leadership development programs to create social change.

JWF partnered with some stylish businesses who will donate 20 percent of all sales now through March 14, 2021 with the promo code JWF21.SHOP NOW.

From elegant purses to jewelry, to handknit children’s sweaters to flavorful coffee and spices, there is something for everyone on your shopping list. Here are the names of the partner vendors: Daniella Ortiz, The Elegant Hostess, Chik Monk, M.R. Marti Rosenburgh, Accessories for U, Name Frame and More, Skinnytees, Finn+Me, Flavour de La Baye, Voyage Boutique International, Lema J, Jolie Altman, Seacret and JWF branded products.

Designs by Jolie Altman
Purses by Daniella Ortiz
Canine accessories by Finn + Me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Again,  here is the link for shopping and the link for our spectacular virtual event March 10.

Creative Carter

17 Feb

He’s young. He’s fashionable. He was raised in Motown. And he even has musician, Paul Banks, modeling his latest creations. Meet fashion designer, Carter Altman, a recent New York University graduate. His label is Carter Young. He was recently featured on Vogue’s website — http://www.vogue.com

View some of his latest designs here. To shop Carter Young, click here.

Photo: Roeg Cohen

(Full disclosure: I know the family, and they are all talented!)

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