Saturday, November 28, 2009

Local Designer Showcase- Alean Simone

Lisa Alean Simone Taylor

Is a Portland native with an exceptional eye for fashion. Lisa believes that women of all sizes deserve access to great clothes that are on point with the current trends. Her Label- Alean Simone has a feminine aesthetic with a hint of edge that makes it fun and flirty. Think Kate Spade meets Marc Jacobs. Her current collection is inspired by South Beach, Florida as a vacation destination. The color story reflects the neon lights of the strip, the colorful architecture, the beautiful sunsets and the ocean view. Come with us as we go from the beach by day to the clubs at night.

The showcase will take place December 3rd at 9pm at Invasion Night Club and Lounge located at 412 SW 4th and stark.

Big Girls need Love too- how to dress your beautiful body

Beautiful well dressed women

I always say that the reason I am inspired to make great clothes is to help bigger women feel good about them selves. A woman's sense of style affects her life. When you are dressed well you feel good about yourself. If you dress sexy, you can feel sexy. If you wear a suit, you can feel empowered. When you wear cashmere and a great pair of heels, you can feel lux. Many people think that fashion is a frivolous waste of time, but have you ever noticed that the people making such scoffing remarks are usually un-kept themselves?

I never again want to see a woman down on herself because she does not feel attractive. I see so many big women that look like they have rolled out of bed and pulled on the first wrinkled and stained garments their hands have come across as they rummaged through the laundry basket to get dressed in the dark. ENOUGH ALREADY LADIES!!!!!!!!! All women are beautiful. Sometimes you need a little push to start caring. As a stylist and personal shopper I hear all sorts of excuses, The two most common are "I want to wait till I loose all this extra weight." and "I cant afford it." in this article I will address these excuses and show you how to dress for success. Someone once said dress for the job you want, not the job you have." You may not think you have anywhere important to go and that your clothes don't matter but first impressions are our calling card and you want yours to say "I matter!"

Excuse Number One: "I want to wait till I loose all this extra weight." Why do you want to postpone feeling better about yourself? I applaud those women that are traveling the hard road toward weight loss. But woman you can update your look and get clothes that fit you NOW and still reach that goal later. Buy a few clothes that fit you, now and start feeling good about your self now. Too many times I have seen women work out and work out and just when they are starting to see the difference they feel discouraged by the way they look and quit. If you look good on the outside- even just with clothes on, you will perceive that your hard work is paying off and you will be encouraged to keep it up. When you look the part of someone who cares about how they look you will care in other areas as well. If you loose weight you can always go shopping for your new size.

The second excuse is ridiculous, I am a huge fan of spending within your budget and I have many of my most favorite pieces because I bargain shop. Goodwill, Ross, Forever 21, Old Navy and Burlington Coat Factory all have plus size options on the CHEAP!!!! If you still think you are TOO broke think about where your money goes. If you spend money on lattes, and fast food or on wasted gas, going on errands that you could do by taking a walk... your wasting money on things that make you and keep you from reaching your goals. Instead tell yourself, "I am not going to get fast food today, I am going to take leftovers to work." Then take that extra $7 and stash it for your shopping fund. Do this every chance you get. You can reward yourself without the extra calories and pounds by purchasing a new outfit.

For a woman that has little in the way of clothing I suggest starting with building a classic everyday look. You can use the pieces to mix and match with each other to build a wardrobe. Here I'll show you how.

First go through your closet and throw out anything with stains and holes. Bag up anything that does not fit you and put the bag out of site for a month. Make a pile of clothes that need repairs i.e. a missing button, a small hole, pants that are two long and need a hem. You can fix these things easily or take them to a tailor that will fix them at a very low cost. Do this with your shoes as well. If the sole is worn or the shoe is scuffed, you can take it to a shoe repair place to have it re-soled or polished to almost new.

Next- asses what you have left in your closet. start thinking about your clothes in terms of outfits. try piecing together outfits with what you already have. Now you are ready to start building a wardrobe.

The key to shopping on the cheap is to make sure to stick to the classics that never go out of style. Old Navy is a good place to get some basics. Good Will is a good place to go for denim. You can then build from here.

Ladies be wary of lazy dressing. Clothes have roles. A swimsuit is for swimming. Pajama's are for sleeping and Athletic gear is clothing for physical activity!!! If you find that you spend most of your time in sweats and tennis shoes you are doing yourself a disservice.

Our bodies need structure or else we come off looking sloppy. My mantra- "a tee shirt does not an outfit make" First of all logo shirts are a bad Idea. I do not own any label or promo tee shirts, why am I paying to do someone else's advertising. In addition if it is an event tee shirt it screams" hey look, I got this tee shirt for free."

Instead opt for solid color tee shirts in a variety of cuts and styles. Such as (tank tops, long sleeve, scoop necks, and 3 quarter length). I shy away from patterned tee shirts because they are really supposed to be a backdrop to the show piece of the outfit which we will discuss later. If you start with a patterned tee shirt then you really have little leeway to build up your outfit.

Once you have a basic shirt as your base you can cover it with a "show piece" such as a jacket, sweater, or another shirt such as a blouse. Remember earlier I said that plus size women need structure. A jacket or sweater, hones in some of the extra curves, gives depth to the outfit, and adds interest with texture and/ or pattern. A blouse can bring a soft feminine aesthetic to a tank top making your outfit look more lux and thought out. The idea here is not to drown yourself in bulky fabric, that will only make you look frumpy and bigger. The goal is not to hide your body but rather to add interest to the outfit itself. The over all affect will be slimming because it will flatter your body. You want these layered pieces to come as close to your body as possible without hugging and pulling. Add a pair of jeans that fit you. You want the bottom of the jeans to hit below your ankle. I suggest dark wash denim, with a flaired pant leg. to keep it modern and elegant. Another thing to remember is that you only need two pair of jeans at a time. No one notices if you are wearing the same jeans over and over as long as you change up the rest of your look. If you wear undies and you don't spill anything on your self your good to go.

Add jewelry that complements colors in your outfit. When in doubt just go with metallic gold or silver. Add on Scarves, hats, watches etc...but be carful not to over do it you don't want to look like a crazy cat lady. Keep it in the same family of colors and tones. Coco Chanel once said “always take off the last thing you put on” I've also heard it said another way... “Always remove one thing before leaving the house.”

Shoes- should be regarded as the foundation of the outfit. They are important. They help anchor an outfit. They need to be comfortable for you whatever your needs are, yet they should not be athletic unless you are working out. I love flats they come in all shapes and sizes and colors. Old navy has really cute flats on a regular basis. As does Pay Less shoes. Depending on your shoe size you may also check, Forever 21, and Nordstrom Rack and Ross for cheaper options. Your shoe should complement your outfit. It does not have to be a matchy-matchy situation. You can contrast with your outfit for a hip look or wear shoes in a pattern that has similar colors as your shirt and jacket. To start if you really feel under pressure not to splurge get a pair of black flats they go with everything, anchoring any outfit and they should be more comfortable than heels.

You can put together this simple look for any size woman for under 50 bucks I promise you! Shoes included. If you already have shoes and a pair of jeans you can get a new look for less than 20.

Another good point to take notice of is dresses!!!!!!!!!!!!! All hail to the wardrobe staple. A one-stop outfit pick. Dress, shoes you’re done. You can wear it in the spring and summer alone, then in the fall and winter add leggings a cardigan and a pair of boots and your good to go. But that’s another article.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fashion tip #!

Add an assortment of antique brooches to the lapel of your jacket for a royal military-esk feel

Friday, November 20, 2009

Just Out article

Designs by Alean Simone
will be among the vacation ready
wares of local designers and
retailers featured in Invasion’s
resort wear‐themed show.

Not That Kind of Cruising:

Invasion Puts Resort Wear Fashion First

Tired of being cold and wet already? Does credit card debt really rev your en- gine? Maybe it’s time to start planning a winter sabbatical. Fabulous Portland nightspot Invasion wants to help you perfect your tropical look—take a mini- holiday down to their Fashion First event on First Thursday, December 3!

This resort wear-themed show will display the vacay-ready creations of several local designers and retailers. “It’s starting to get a lot colder and people are starting to get out of town for vacation!” says Lisa Taylor, stylist and event coordinator. Even if you won’t be departing to Biarritz or St. Croix for the winter, drink specials and deals from participating retailers will get you in a sultry mood. “We’ll even have nautically-themed men in their underwear!” exclaims Invasion marketing director Joshua Ryan.

Invasion has made a name for itself in the gay nightlife scene with astonishing efficiency, due in part to hosting events like Fashion First that capture a distinctive Portland community aesthetic. “We plan to use local talent across-the-board,” adds Taylor. “We’re focused on providing all parties involved with an opportunity to build their portfolios and network with other like-minded individuals.”

Fashion comes first at 8 p.m. De- cember 3. Invasion is at 412 SW Fourth Street (503-226-7777, www.invasionpdx. com) and, as a nightclub, is 21 and over. (It’s also a java joint by day.) Can’t make this show? You’re in luck—Invasion hosts its Fashion First parties every first Thursday through 2010, and future themes will include vintage wear and a pet fashion show. Woof!

– Nick Mattos

Article about fashion first in the November 20th issue of Just Out Newspaper , "Not That Kind of Cruising: Invasion Puts Resort Wear Fashion First" by Nick Mattos

Thanks for the shout out Just out!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fashion First- New Moon

November 5, 2009- The first installment of Fashion First took place at Invasion nightclub and lounge. It was fun event. All Photographs are by Studio Lumiere. You may view more pictures at

Top: Models wearing Kelsey Curtis designs. From left to right Anastasia, Isha, Kristin, Annisa. All accessories provided by Alean Simone styling.

Middle :Model wearing Kelsey Curtis design, Kristin

Bottom : Models wearing Al Anoud Dajani Designs from Left to right. Back row: Isha, Lisa Taylor event coordinator and stylist, Miriam. Front row: Al Anoud the designer herself and Kristen.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


As a young woman, who wants to dress my age I find it difficult to incorporate silk scarves into my wardrobe. I am occasionally drawn to them because they are beautiful, but I would never wear one draped over my shoulder as an older woman may do. The rule of thumb: If the scarf it is not made to keep you warm, don't wear it around your neck unless you are over 40. It's a dated look, used to add color to boring suits in conservative environments. Prada had some good ideas on the run way this season as seen above. Use one as a sarong around the bottom of your dress. Tie one on as an Obo belt, or use two identical ones to tie up a pair of sandals. You can also use them to decorate your hand bag. I use scarves all the time in fashion shoots as tops. Tie one around your chest as a sexy tube top or drape it around your neck and cross it in front over your chest for a different style. You can also drape one around your neck and belt it to hold it securely in place over your chest. This look works best if you use a thick corset style belt. Some scarves are collectors items. If you find a scarf you really like at a thrift store I suggest buying it. Look up the label you may be suprized I once found a vintage Salvatore Ferragamo scarf for $1 dollar that is now worth $500.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Local Designer Showcase- Al Anoud Dajani

Al Anoud Dajani

is an up and coming high end Fashion Designer. She has such a great eye for fashion and a talent for making feminine and elegant evening wear that makes woman feel and look beautiful. Dajani display her charming mix of eastern and a European sensibility for cuts and sartorial styling. She recently got her degree in fashion. The Al Anoud Dajani collection is available at her website Contact Al Anoud Dajani by e-mail at

Photos coming soon

1. Gold sequenced gleam long dress with a center appliqué flower. Size: 2, Price: $600

2. Knee length burgundy Taffeta silk dress with a gold sequenced belted cape. Size: 2 Prince: $400

3. Knee length metallic gold vantage dress. Size: 2, Price: $300

4. Asymmetrical one shoulder appliqué, periwinkle long mermaid dress. Size: 2, Price: $500

5. Lavender silk long mermaid dress. size: 2, Price: $500

Featured Local Designer-Kelsey Curtis

Kelsey Curtis

grew up in Portland, Oregon. Went to Manhattanville College in New York for a couple of years. She drove across the country to California where she graduated from Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, in Los Angeles 2008. She just recently traveled to South America where she lived for 5 month. She currently works as a freelance designer in Portland.

Skirts and dresses fit sizes 2-6. Garments are made of a stretch rayon with varied lace details.

Photos's coming soon

Please consult designer for pricing & ordering information.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Happy resort by Jonathan Saunders

I love the use of color in Jonathan Saunders resort wear line

Resort Wear 2010 Runway

I am inspired by nautical themes, I always have been. I love the evolution of nautical trends i'm seeing on the runway for resort 2010. Some designers are taking it very literal with anchors and navy military details. While others are playing with colors and patterns to create a very fun, and eclectic look. I love these looks by Derek Lam and Marc Jacobs.

Style Icons

My personal style icons? I love Sex in The City!!!!!!!
I find that at some point we are all a little inspired by one of the four characters. Samantha the sexy, vibrant, vixen. Charlette elegant, classic and lady like styles. Miranda- au natural and Carrie, expressive and fun. By far Carrie Bradshaw has to be my favorite character. Her High low budget is ridiculous and sometimes I have caught myself doing the same thing. Carrie would wear a "$700 pair of shoes with a $7 dress." I wear a $300 blazer with a .45 cent clutch or a $700 bag with a $24 dress. I am also really inspired by Gossip Girl. I love Serena's edgy high end rocker looks, Blair’s sophistication, Vanessa's Bohemien chic. I think that is the power of fashion, you get to retain your own character and personality but try on different personas and dress to fit your current mood.

I am inspired by Marc Jacobs he is always pushing the envelope on architecture, and the juxtaposition of patterns and textures. I love Chanel- always classic, aways ladylike and beautiful. I also love Michael Kors he is talented and I love his fall line. Every year he does some jacket or coat in a bright color that I just fall over my self to get. Right now I’m really into this amazing green jacket he made last year. It has gold buttons and chains at the hips. But I put a new spin on it with an assortment of antique brooches with a royal military-esk feel to them.

What magazines do I read? Harpers Bazaar, Elle, Marie Claire, Glamour, In Style, Neon ...pretty much everything. I think it is important to have an idea of what’s out there at all price points. As a stylist I need to know what the offerings are at all times.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

INVASION'S Fashion First



October 16, 2009 -- Portland has just recently begun to claim success on the fashion map. Over the past few years there have been several successful fashion weeks including several celebrated local designers.

Shane Stark, owner of Invasion Nightclub & Lounge, 412 SW 4th Avenue in downtown Portland, wanted to connect with the fashion scene and recruited Lisa Taylor and Joshua Ryan to put together a series of fashion shows showcasing local talent as well as retailers. The team decided to create a fashion show event on First Thursday’s to tap into the art walk tradition and, hopefully, add a fashion aspect.

“We plan to use local talent across the board and focus on providing all parties involved with an opportunity to build their portfolio’s and network with other like minded individuals.” Lisa Taylor, stylist and event coordinator for the events

Each Fashion Show will celebrate local designers and incorporate local retailers in order to provide the audience with fashions that are currently available for purchase. Each month’s show will be themed. The theme for the first show is a “Goth Fashion Tribute to the Twilight Saga: New Moon.” The event has been designated an official Twilightpromotional event and several pairs of tickets will be given away to the Portland Premier of the movie, New Moon, starring Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. Future themes include resort wear, vintage, and a pet fashion show.

Invasion’s inaugural Fashion First show will take place on November 5th at 9pm and follow each first Thursday throughout the 2009-2010 calendar year. The events will be held at Invasion Nightclub & Lounge in downtown Portland.