Natural Woman

Natural Woman

Natural Woman

Natural Woman

Natural Woman

Natural Woman

Natural Woman

What:

Exploring the beautiful new apparel + home store OAK, which stands for one-of-a-kind.

Why:

Airy, soft and welcoming: OAK is the kind of boutique you can get lost in. It reminds me of a store you’d find in California (say, Malibu), mixed with a hint of Southwest mysticism. I love everything about it; it speaks to all of my girlie senses. From beautiful pillows, pots and dried flowers to casual cool t-shirts, jeans, jumpers and jewelry, there’s something for every kind of fashionista.

The new apparel + home hot spot, snuggled into the heart of Coral Gables, is the brainchild of Kelly Nelson and Nicolle Mailal, who just happen to be first cousins.

The two have an easy way about them; you can tell they’re very close. Kelly procures the home decor pieces and Nicolle hand picks the fashion. Although both were raised in Miami, the duo has traveled extensively, taking their love for different parts of the world and infusing it into their new store.

It’s different than anything I’ve seen in South Florida before and I really like the premise of one-stop-shopping. I’m a busy person and making stop after stop to shop just doesn’t suit my lifestyle. Not only can I get an entire outfit with accessories at OAK, I can also find unique touches for my personal space.

The natural textures of the home goods and the ease of the clothing is a direct reflection of what’s going on in fashion right now. People want less fuss, more quality and of course, individuality or what I like to call living as a “Natural Woman”. With that being said, everything at OAK truly is One-of-a-Kind.

For fall, a bold jacket is emerging as a major trend as well as high-waisted jeans and the all-important body suit. In the tropics, you can never go wrong with a wide-legged jumper, perfect for any occasion.

Don’t miss Deco Drive tonight at 7:30 & 11:30pm, as we go inside OAK to show off what “effortless style meets casual comfort” looks like, because being a “Natural Woman” is one of my Favorite Things.

Where:

OAK apparel & home
116 Valencia Avenue
Coral Gables 33134

When:

Monday-Saturday 11 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

www.shopoakonline.com/

Be Social:
IG: @oak__miami
FB: @OAKMiami

You are already what you are looking for.anonymous

Natural Woman

OAK by #annieSS

James Woodley Photography
Styling: Nicolle Mailal
wardrobe, accessories & home goods provided by OAK apparel + home
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “One-of-a-Kind” Auerbach

Piece by Piece

Piece by Piece

Piece by Piece

Piece by Piece

Piece by Piece

Piece by Piece

Piece by Piece

Piece by Piece

Piece by Piece

Piece by Piece

What:

Building a couture wardrobe the best way a fashionista can: “Piece by Piece” — mixing and matching tops and bottoms by one of the most inspiring young fashion designers in the Magic City.

Why:

Tucked away inside Aventura’s industrial warehouse district, designer Michelle Meler is building her fashion empire with quiet resilience. When I ask what sets her apart from other designers in Miami, she doesn’t hesitate: “You have to have a great concept.”

And she does.

With seven tops and five bottoms, she guarantees you can build up to 70-plus looks with her line. She got the idea after exhausting her entire wardrobe getting ready for a night out on the town. “I tried on everything I owned and that was it. I had nothing to wear.”

Her wheels started turning as she wondered why cocktail attire was such a one-time event. “Who designed it that way?”, she asked me curiously. Meler, who is in her 20’s, fully understands society’s insatiable need for the perfect selfie or the everyday social media pic: “showing casing” or, as Fergie would call it, “The Fabulous Life.” I even do it with my television #OOTD.

Armed with a need for versatility, the one-time architecture student, who interned for a New York City fashion designer, decided to venture into haute couture clothing. Meler sketches beautifully, understands material, sews and chases originality; all characteristics of a budding artist. I like her style a lot. It oozes femininity, but not in an overly frilly kind of way. I see myself wearing her clothing, investing in them “Piece by Piece.”

“My designs are about movement, but also about being still,” she explains. I have an image of water as she pensively describes her designs. The ocean is textured with many different sides to it: interesting, peaceful, moody and never underestimated; an analogy that seems to fit her fashioning.

Clothing in versatile combinations isn’t Meler’s only talent; she also makes custom cocktail dresses and gowns AND they are to-die-for. Check out that purple number I’m wearing. Holy smokes. It screams old Hollywood. I can’t remember the last time I put on a dress of that caliber.

During our interview, Michelle is timid, but passionate. Something in her switches, though, when I ask what makes her designs stand out. “It’s about a moment, even if it’s simple. I always have in mind that moment when a woman first walks into a room: how does she feel, how do I feel looking at her…” she trails off.

Even though there are a lot of years between us, I fully grasp what she’s saying; I’m a woman, after all. I’ve had a lot of those moments: bad, mediocre, good and GREAT. I don’t want to sound trite, but the GREAT ones feel a helluva a lot better then the other adjectives on the list. That’s when I realize “Piece by Piece” isn’t just about what I’m wearing, it’s about what I’m feeling, too.

Don’t miss Deco Drive tonight on Channel 7 at 7:30pm & 11:30pm, as Michelle takes us inside her creative space and gives us an up-close look at her decadent designs.

In this day and age, it’s not just about that one “wow” look, it’s about working your wardrobe in more ways than one and that’s why “Piece by Piece” is one of my favorite things.

When:

Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm

Where:

www.michellemeler.com
or visit the showroom
1644 N.E. 205th Terrace
Miami, Florida
(use google maps for the best directions)

Be Social
IG: @michellemelerstudio
FB: @MichelleMelerStudio
Twitter: @MichelleMeler

Design is a constant challenge to balance comfort with luxe, the practical with the desirable.Donna Karan

Piece by Piece

Michelle Meler & Model by #annieSS

James Woodley Photography
Styling: Michelle Meler
wardrobe provided by Michelle Meler Studio
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Timid, but Passionate” Auerbach

Wild Things

Wild Things

Wild Things

Wild Things

Wild Things

Wild Things

Wild Things

Wild Things

Wild Things

Wild Things

What:

Discovering the eclectic universe of artist & designer MaryJane Claverol, who’s redefining modern day beauty one creepy critter at a time.

Why:

Unique, whimsical and awe-inspiring, artist MaryJane Claverol creates jewelry, home accessories and art collectibles like you’ve never seen before. The first time I spied one of her pieces on social media, I was mesmerized and had to know more.

MaryJane, who’s traveled the world, started her artistic ventures a few years ago while living and working in India. It was a tough place to socialize so, to pass the time, she turned inward to tap into her innate creativity.

Instead of the typical artsy-fartsy self-expression (painting, sculpting or writing,) MaryJane chose to do something more provocative. Confronting her own fears and phobias (like things that gave her the real heebie-jeebies), she started out on a journey to master the macabre.

First up: insects and spiders, all made pleasing to the eye with pretty Swarovski crystals and other perfectly placed embellishments. Then it was on to creatively making crustaceans look couture. The world of “Wild Things” quickly became MaryJane’s playground or as she likes to call it: “universe.”

Just to be clear, MaryJane doesn’t go around killing fear-inducing creatures or any animal, for that matter. She procures them humanely and the larger taxidermy pieces she works on are given a second life after she rescues them from being dumped. Sometimes, she even unearths them from warehouse obscurity or old vintage vanity.

Since bedazzling her first artistic phobia, MaryJane’s universe has grown more diverse. At her studio in the Leah Arts District in Hialeah, you’ll find a mix of the funky, fashionable and fabulous. I adore her glamorous necklaces and bejeweled sunglasses.

Don’t miss Deco Drive tonight at 7:30 & 11:30pm on Channel 7, as we go on an intimate tour of MaryJane’s studio; her infectious spirit and love of all artistic mediums will leave you inspired and I bet you’ll even develop a new found appreciation for the “Wild Things” surrounding us. I know I have and thanks to MaryJane, they’re now one of my favorite things.

When:

Monday-Friday 9am-4pm

Where:

MaryJane Claverol Studio, Art Gallery & Boutique
Leah Arts District
1050 East 17th Street
Hialeah, FL 33010 USA
Phone: +1 (786) 202 2702
Email: info@maryjaneclaverol.com

Be Social
IG: @superclaverol
FB: MaryJane Claverol
Twitter: @MJCLAVEROL

www.MaryJaneClaverol.com

There is no exquisite beauty without some strangeness in the proportion.anonymous

Wild Things

MaryJane Claverol by Shireen #annieSS

Danielle Margherite Photography www.dmargherite.com
Sunglasses & Necklaces provided by MaryJane Claverol
Styling: Shireen, Maryjane & Danielle
Grooming: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Wild Thing” Auerbach

The Right Kind of Ruffle

The Right Kind of Ruffle

The Right Kind of Ruffle

The Right Kind of Ruffle

The Right Kind of Ruffle

The Right Kind of Ruffle

The Right Kind of Ruffle

The Right Kind of Ruffle

The Right Kind of Ruffle

The Right Kind of Ruffle

What:

How to work summer’s ruffle trend without looking like a character out of “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

Why:

I have a love/hate relationship with ruffles.

On one hand, I’m super girlie and love basking in flouncy femininity, especially when it comes to my house. I’m practically the queen of Shabby Chic-cottage living (think Rachel Ashwell meets Ralph Lauren.) From throw pillows, comforters and table runners to curtains, you’ll find a bunch of beautiful materials accenting my most prized home possessions.

On the other hand, when it comes to WEARING “The Right Kind of Ruffle,” I get overwhelmed and fear I’ll end up looking like Captain Jack Sparrow from the popular movies series, “Pirates of the Caribbean.” While he’s a great film character and all, I don’t want my sleeves dragging through my vodka (why waste good liquor?) or my upper body resembling a layered curtain (on TV, your mid-body is a focal point) or my bottom half screaming: “Look at me! I’m a cute bed dust ruffle!” (extra material on or around your booty can make one look bigger and not in an attractive, Kim Kardashian way.)

Lucky for me, my good friends at Etxart & Panno, located at Brickell City Center in downtown Miami, know a thing or two (okay, maybe five or six) about wearing “The Right Kind of Ruffle.” First off, ruffles are definitely in and it’s not a passing phase; the trend gets stronger come fall. They don’t discriminate, either: small, medium, big or gigantic, ruffles are all the rage.

The best way to wear them? By ACCENTING a blouse, dress or skirt. In other words, don’t go all Carmen Miranda on us (unless you’re heading to your weekly samba class.) Wearing the trend from head-to-toe could ruffle some serious fashion feathers or worse, cause a traffic accident.

I know, I know, if you’re a regular blog reader, you’re probably saying: “Duh? Everyone knows not to wear too many ruffles,” but you’d be surprised. Sometimes (especially in South Florida) more is well, MORE and I’m even guilty of that. Excessiveness isn’t necessarily a bad thing in fashion; you just have to pick and choose which trends deserve the over- abundance treatment. This isn’t one of them.

Etxart & Panno (which hails from Spain and recently opened its first U.S. location in Miami), is a clothing line inspired by 50’s fashion with a tropical flair. Think “Mad Men” meets “Gilligan’s Island”; more specifically, the character Ginger (classy, sexy and sophisticated, even when stranded on a deserted Island). And they know ruffles!

Don’t miss Deco Drive tonight at 7:30 & 11:30 p.m. (on Channel 7) as we, along with Etxart & Panno, feature the best ruffle fashions of the summer season. The trend is also a great way to ready your wardrobe for fall, which will be here before you know it. Finally, my pirate lookalike phobia has been set free, because wearing “The Right Kind of Ruffle” is one of my favorite things.

When:

Monday-Saturday: 10am-9:30pm
Sunday: 12pm-7pm

Where:

ETXART & PANNO
Brickell City Centre
701 South Miami Avenue
Miami, Florida 33131

The boutique is located on the ground level. There’s garage parking and it’s free for the first two hours.

Get social:
IG: @etxartpannous
FB: @etxartpanno
www.etxartpanno.com

The Frenchman invented the ruffle; the Englishman added the shirt.Ralph Waldo Emerson
Photographer: James Woodley Photography
Ruffle wardrobe & styling by Etxart & Panno
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Pirate” Auerbach

UnderCover

What:

Sophisticated and fashionable swimsuit cover-ups by Carlos Marrero, who also happens to be my favorite scarf designer.

Why:

“If you’ve got it, flaunt it!” — it’s a saying a lot of South Florida fashionistas live by, but what if you’re still working on IT or prefer keeping IT “UnderCover?”

Like any tanned and toned Miami beach bunny (okay, so I’m pale and always trying to get in shape,) I love a good swimsuit, but I prefer one that expresses fashion, not one that shows off what the good Lord gave me. My grandmother always used to say: “Leave something to the imagination”.. She’d obviously never been to Miami in the summer. I’m sweating just writing this. Anyhow…

Maybe it’s age, maybe it’s the fear of people picking me apart because I’m on television, but I always try for class and comfort when it comes to swimwear. Besides, sometimes “lady bits” can be overrated (actually, any kind of “bits” can be).

And…

What I wear WITH my swimsuit is just as crucial: hat, sunglasses and the all-important cover-up. Living in the tropics is always a challenge style-wise because of the heat and humidity; add fashion sensibility to the list and finding the perfect summer pieces can be downright difficult.

But thanks to the Marrero Collection by Carlos Marrero, my “UnderCover” warm weather wardrobe just got a major upgrade. BTW, Carlos and I just worked on the blog “Summer Chic”, showcasing his new scarf designs, but we also featured his new cover-up collection.

The designs were literally hot off the presses when they appeared on Deco Drive, allowing us no time for a photo shoot for Favorite Things. I was so enamored with the cover-ups, I asked Carlos if we could feature them during #MiamiSwimWeek as an ode to all things fun in the sun. Plus, his new creations were featured during this year’s worldwide swimwear extravaganza on South Beach.

I love the light and airy personality of his designs, but its the textures — bold, sexy and feminine — that truly makes them something special. Carlos gets that whole beach-to-pool thing, too and it’s expressed in the line’s versatility. I chose to style four of his cover-ups for my particular lifestyle.

While I love the beach, I’m not a sun worshipper, per se. I enjoy walking the shore line, watching the sun rise or set or just taking time for myself to feel the positive and healing energy of the ocean. During those moments I dress for (as I mentioned before) class and comfort, but also for myself. I love being able to throw something on and feel effortlessly put together.

If you’re looking to give your summer/pool/beach/party wardrobe some fashion-forward pizzazz or you just wanna look great while going “UnderCover” — you’ll love the Marrero Collection cover-ups; they’re one of my Favorite Things and I’m sure after you toss one on, they’ll be yours, too.

Happy Shopping!

P.S. Don’t forget your sunscreen.

Where:

marrerocollection.com

Be Social:
IG: @camarrero
FB: @marrerocollection
Twitter: @camarrero

But people are oceans, she shrugged. You cannot know them by their surface.Beau Taplin/Surfaces
Photographer: James Woodley Photography
All cover-up’s by Marrero Collection
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Class and Comfort” Auerbach