How are ya'll?! It's me! Your favorite clumsy (seriously, I basically trip on air all day long), vintage shopping, and designer friend.
I'm excited to share with you all that this girlie is writing a book for you! Yes, yes... add "fabulous author" to my many talents! LOL But in all seriousness, I am writing a book that is meant to inspire us all to dream, sew, and be creative.
The title is called, LOVE THAT BASS! The Sewing and Fashion Guide for Curvy Women.
It will feature:
- Easy to follow sewing projects for beginners and advance sewers
- Patternmaking clothes to custom fit YOUR size
- Helpful information on where to shop for materials
- Designer tips to inspire your next great sewing project
The purpose of this book is to make y'all feel confident in your own shoes! I always feel best when I'm wearing my own creations... SO WILL YOU!
Over the next few weeks, I'll post some behind-the-scenes photos, sample excerpts, and updates on the release date. The book will be available on Amazon!
CANNOT WAIT for y'all to read it!
Until then fashionistas!
Everything… Seriously, I want EVERYTHING when it comes to this newly remodeled establishment.
Edgar & James is the latest specialty concept store from Goodwill. The first of its kind in Los Angeles County! WOO! AND it’s down the street from my home! (Insert all the happy emoji’s here!)
As a avid thrift shopper, I cannot me be more pleased with Goodwill. They just made thrifting easier for you and me. Here’s why I love this new gem:
Storytelling through their Visuals
All the home décor merchandise is broken down into color stories with similar themes. The displays are either created out of vintage furniture pieces or out of large shelving units. With this set-up, we are able to fully see their merchandise and be inspired!
Fashionable and Current
They trained their employees to spot out winners when it comes to clothing, shoes, bags, etc. You’ll find your favorite fast fashion brands such as H&M or Gap mixed with your favorite designers like Dooney & Bourke or Coach.
One of the main reasons why I personally thrift is because I love finding vintage items. Another major reason is my wallet! To be honest, the pricing is a bit more than you would typically pay at a Goodwill location… but it’s only a few dollars more. I was still able to find great shirts starting at $5.99 and jeans at $9.99. The benefits such as organization, color blocking, accessible pleasing displays, and trendy urban product makes the increase worth it.
Oh man… who needs reproductions when you can get the real deal! Edgar & James stocks up on record players, dinnerware, books, cameras, and much more. Like I told my mom the other day… I NEED IT ALL!
The best reason besides finding affordable finds is that your helping out a non-profit organization create jobs. Goodwill helps the community by providing job training programs and employment placement services. Knowing that my fashionable purchases are going back to my community makes me feel all fuzzy inside.
So the next time you’re in the Southbay area… you gotta stop by Edgar & James. Just be ready to fill your heart, home, and basket! I promise you’ll walk out of there with some lovely finds!
AND who doesn’t like to reward themselves after a great shopping spree?! I recommend walking across the street to Cozy Café for some delicious pancakes. My family and I are regulars! Your belly will love you! Say hello to George and his crew for me if you do and show off your new goodies!
Edgar & James
317 Torrance Blvd
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
307 S Pacific Coast Hwy
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Last week, I had the pleasure of witnessing Joey Galon’s latest creations. Based out of Las Vegas, Galon is your go-to gown designer in the pageant whelm. I truly admire his work, attention to detail, and silhouettes… especially since his work features very delicate beaded and lace textiles. GOD BLESS YOU GALON!
It’s been a hot minute since I lasted blog about the world of clothing, shoes, and of course bags!
Life has been… pretty surreal lately. My dreams are coming true YALL!
I’m happy to share with you… yours truly is going to headline a fashion show! I know RIGHT?! (INSERT ALL THE FEELINGS HERE!)
I’m teaming up with the talented and delightful, Ronnie Kroell and Eddie Lobo. These guys are seriously angels sent down from Heaven! Not only are they the sweetest souls and have moves like Jagger… they are also founders of the Friend Movement.
This organization dedicates their time to promoting friendships by accepting your true selves. Which is a philosophy I truly believe in. Being able to accept yourself will allow you to flourish in your surroundings.
This message is so very important me. I mean, this is why I became a designer 2 years ago. To help others accept their true selves by accepting their bodies. I feel that fashion is for everyone. All shapes and sizes. PERIOD.
I’m thrilled to move onto this next chapter of my design career with Ronnie and Eddie, my family and friends... and YOU!
So far we are thinking May, but I’ll keep yall posted my loves. If you haven’t checked them out yet... I totally suggest looking at my tote bags on the site. All the proceeds will go towards my expenses for the show. Help a girl out!
Here’s a quick look into what’s to come! This is my inspiration for the runway! Pretty, huh?
Until next time my friends!
The zeitgeist of our times truly influence what is to come next in fashion, product, and media.
Here's two trending mindsets of our time:
"Made in America"
This movement has really taken off in the last few years. Americans are tired of seeing countless jobs being moved overseas by corporations. Not to long ago, Nabisco announced that they would be moving their plants to Mexico. Facebook was up in roars about the 600 jobs being lost to another bottom-line corporate decision. Consumers are demanding more product to be seen at stores made by fellow Americans. Major chain stores like Wal-Mart are joining in and supplying this need to the people. Social media outlets have also help bring this attitude into more mainstream light.
Save the animals! Many across the world are speaking up for our furry and sea creature friends. This thought has been around for sometime, but with movies like Blackfish... this idealistic movement has gain more attention. Why are we still hunting animals for fun? Why are we using real fur on coats? Why are we testing products on animals? We as humans... we wouldn't like to be used in such manners. I don't want to be skinned for a coat! With Pope Francis stating back to 2014, "Heaven is for all Gods creatures. One day we will again see our animals in the eternity of Christ," the internet exploded on the issue of animal rights. Take the current issue of Cecil the lion... Many airlines changed their policies on transporting hunting trophies. The awareness that is taking place on this issue in my opinion will bring more animal-friendly products and services.
Our society is handling subjects that are going to influence tomorrow. What movements do you see making progress into the headlines?
The great thing about being ourselves is that we are able to showcase it by clothing. A simple dress or pair of shoes can signal insights to a persons personally, interest, or values. The well used term in the fashion industry, style tribe, means a group of people that dresses in a distinctive and cultural manner that informs others that they are part of a particular group.
I for one fall into the style tribe called vintage. I love anything... ANYTHING that has a retro feeling. Inspired by the previous post... I decided take the exercise to my lovely campus, The Art Institute of California - Los Angeles. I thought it would be fun to look into the many tribes in our fashion department and see where the future of trends will lead us to.
The tribes I was able to pin-point were:
Influenced by the previous fashion statements of past decades. This person can either be in favor of one particular era or by all. A good example of a vintage member is someone who dresses similar looks to the 30's. These members tend to shop vintage finds at markets, thrift shops, etsy, and estate sales for their pieces. They love the idea of being one-of-kind.
Goes with timeless pieces inspired by vintage looks. This group prefers not to shop at the same locations as the vintage members though. More intrigued by the classic silhouettes and the idea of living vintage. The key point to this group is they are vintage-inspired rather than willing to live in true vintage finds. They are mainly seen shopping shopping at places like Anthropologie.
The revival of love and free-spirit is what this group is all about. They embrace life as art. Many choose to dress in flowy, cotton/cotton blends, sandals, and loose-fitting. Values eco-friendly and wants good for the whelm of the world. They can be seen shopping at local shops that honor their same outlooks.
There can never be such a thing as too much black or flannel. This group loves comfort rockin' looks. The basics worn are usually flannel, boots, jackets, denim, and crop tops. They tend to shop at thrift shops or Urban Outfitters.
To many, streetwear would suggest hip-hop inspired or how one styles themselves on the streets, but in reality it's a blend west coast skateboarding clothing that started this group. Over the years, this group introduced the hip-hop culture inspiration into the looks and it has made for a great pairing. Members tend to wear bright colors, sneakers, baseball hats, t-shirts, and jeans. Their wallets like establishments that feature underground designers.
This group is all about the easy going basics. Are they going to the beach or class? Who knows... but they sure do look comfortable in those sandals! A member in this group wears shorts, flip-flops, jeans, tank tops, and t-shirts. Shoppers in this group go to Target, Gap, and Old Navy for their needs.
The greatest benefit of having all these tribes in our fashion department is that each group is ready to serve their groups needs. We are looking at future innovators for the style to continue and to be enhanced. With movements that are pro-individually and accepting of one self... we, the future designers at The Art Institute, can help contribute to these messages.
When was the last time you truly observed your surroundings? I like to think that I'm constantly on the "lookout" of sorts.
Last week, I decided to survey my skills of examination. I choose to focus on consumer habits at The Grove shopping center. If not familiar with this location, let me fill you in this magical shoppers paradise.
The Grove literally has something for everyone! No, really! A blend of upscale flagship stores, excellent restaurants, mini central park, hourly water shows, trolley rides, movie theater, and so much more! I've been to this mall several times over the past four years living in Los Angeles. I guess you can say I've become a connoisseur to this establishment.
Who's visiting? The customers that are coming to this location are broken into the following groups:
Moms with Children
Lots of moms meeting up for playdates or exercising in the park. The vibe given off mainly in this group was to come to a location where they can enjoy the sun and let their children run around freely. They take advantage of the free summer or weekly activities provided by The Grove and are not shopping. These mothers will eventually purchase snacks at the food huts near the park if needed.
The easiest to point out during the surveying. Tourist tend to wonder the site as if they never seen any outdoor mall (which many may possibly haven't) like this before. They look mainly upwards at the sights. You can see the excitement in their eyes as they stroll the pathways where many celebs have walked. Many are hitting up this place because they are waiting for their check-in time for CBS tapings. They seem to go for quick buys such as socks, ice cream or souvenirs. These purchases fulfill a temporary need while they are on vacation in Los Angeles.
They are the bread and butter of the land. They come to shop and be seen. They shop at Barney's, Nordstorm, DVF, and Apple. This group frequents this location because paparazzi will photograph them for magazine tabloids, websites, and entertainment television shows. This group in my opinion is a attraction in itself to the shopping center.
These are either employees of the mall or residents in the nearby neighborhoods. They shop at the more reasonable priced stores such as Gap, Crate and Barrel, and Barnes and Noble. I also noticed that they too visited the upscale locations, but only for sales. Most of the customers in this group visited with friends to grab lunch or with out-of-town family. This group also had the most effortless styles. Best accessory... the dog.
What I've learned from my observations is that Los Angeles is a gem of no other. How many places can you think of going to and see so many different social groups collide in harmony? For me, this experience was full of inspiration because I was able to view the different needs and wants in shopping habits on all types of budgets. I was able see how a mother dresses on casual outing, how a complete designer outfit looked on a person, and how comfort style can be worn in many ways.
I'm a huge supporter of the thrifting lifestyle. One can find so many treasures at second-hand stores. Plus, your'e saving the environment by recycling clothing that would otherwise be toss.
Here's my tips when it comes to locating the perfect second-hand goodies:
Make It A Day
Finding treasures cannot be rush. It's best to set time aside and let yourself fully investigate the thrifting stores at hand.
Wear clothing that you can freely move in, comfortable shoes, and a no-fuss handbag. If you're not comfortable, you're most likely not going to look well for hidden treasures.
Know You're Brands
Take some time and research which brands you want to own. A good way to learn your brands is by visiting department stores, online stores or magazines. It's how I developed my keen eye to spot out Liz Claiborne from the 80's!
Be Willing To Dig
I've found from experience that the most coolest items are not in plain sight. Don't be afraid to shuffle all the way back of that handbag wall.
Check For Yellowing
It's usually easy to spot on white fabrics, but it can be overlooked on prints. Do a good look over on the garments before purchase due to most thrift stores do not accept returns. Yellowing is caused by improper storing.
Getting rid of yellowing is not easy. I would recommend avoiding any finds with discoloring.
Look For Prints
Prints are so in. The current trend is mixing prints and God knows I'm the most happiest kid for this look! I go for bold colorful prints that can easily be mixed or layered into my style.
Look For Weekly Specials
Most thrift stores carry out weekly specials to keep merchandise moving. I don't know about you, but I don't mind an extra 25% off! Just ask the staff and I'm sure they will let you in on which are the best days to shop.
I believe being ahead of the crowd is best. Have the first picks those great ugly sweaters in May.
Consignment Stores = Winning
I know many people who think thrifting means shopping at Goodwill or similar places. Well, my friends it's not! I've found amazing deals for name brands such as Prada and YSL at consignment locations. You'll most likely pay a few dollars more, but why not for a mint condition items!
Know What You Want
Hey, it's hard to shop without a vision in mind. I personally write down a list on what items or accessories I needs most. This keeps me from straying away and buying things like salt and pepper shakers instead of shoes.
I hope my simple and easy tips encourage you to plan a thrifting shenanigan day!
I plan on sharing my vintage knowledge in the upcoming weeks. A passion of mine is looking for vintage clothing and accessories. Shopping tips, how to spot out true vintage finds, and information on decade designers will be discuss.
Thanks again for your love and support!
- Mama Jbaz
Fashion all starts with inspiration, a rough drawing, and several blocks. Before any samples of a design can be sewn or tested for fittings, a block must be drafted by the patternmaker or designer.
You may be thinking, "what is a block?" Well my fellow fashionistas, it's templates of our bodies. Blocks come in all shapes and sizes. The ones made especially for torsos and lower waists are split in half (from your collar bone to your crotch). The blocks for arms are usually created full length in width.
These templates give designers and patternmakers guidelines to follow when drafting garments.
The last couple of weeks, I've been working hard to bring my flat sketches to life. But as stated above... I can't do so until I have my blocks.
I feel that in order for me to become a excellent designer, I must fully understand my clienteles' curves. To connect with that, I've been training my eye to observe the curve lines on our bodies.
Just last week, I was able to finish all of my torso and sleeve blocks for sizes 12-18. So, you know what that means!?!
I GET TO BRING MY SKETCHES INTO OUR CLOSETS!
My first design will be available for purchase on Friday. Every week I plan to unveil a new style.
I hope yall are ready for some vintage-inspired pieces! Thank you again for those of you spreading the word of my upcoming line!
- Mama Jbaz
When the decision was made to go back to school and follow my dreams of becoming a designer, I totally overlooked that I would be dealing with a lot of fractions. It's like the Old MacDonald Song, except I'm singing, "with a 1/2 inch here and a 1/2 inch there." Garment construction is all about precise measurements.
I feel that my first impression of a designer was to sketch amazing art pieces that would be seen in Vogue or similar type of editorials and fashion shows across the world. Next, would be super fabulous clothing and be a tad (nah, super 😨) crazy like Miranda from The Devil Wears Prada.
To be quite honest, I was afraid of the person I was going to be after my education. I thought my new career path was going to lead me to the fun new title called "bitch".
I knew that wasn't my style or how I would run things. I’m a designer for the people as I’m one of them, too. Couture designer… Ms. Jessica Bazan? Hmm… I do love me some pretties and velvet (Chanel = I will do ANYTHING! 😆).
The true job of a fashion designer is to solve problems, which means I will definitely be having more dates and one-on-ones with fractions.
Whether I'm a fashion house or a mass market brand, the end goal is the same: I want to help others by providing quality American-made clothing, well-priced garments, and give fellow Americans job security.
There is a void out there for women that are demanding clothing options that better fit their beautiful bodies. I've devoted myself and design pleasing aesthetics to bring fashions for the curvaceous side in ourselves.
Who said that fashion trends must originate from a particular size?
My fashion icon, Oscar de la Renta, once stated, “Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself.”
Let's embrace our curves with beautiful clothing! Together, let's challenge what is considered the norm in the fashion realm.
Until next time fashionistas,