Jermaine Jackson Jr and the Asa Kaftan fashion show.

Untitled Number Eleven, 2011 by Gilles Bensimon, the first fashion photographer I ever loved.
Untitled Number Eleven, 2011 by Gilles Bensimon, the first fashion photographer I ever loved.  Click here to browse some of his work: Gilles Bensimon 

Once upon a time, a million years ago, when smog was not a worry,  children didn’t have to wear bike helmets, and there was no such thing as auto correct, a shy 13 year old girl (me) discovered Seventeen magazine. She read each issue back cover to front, taking in all its photographic glory, reading every article including the letters to the editors. As the images permeated her imagination, she could escape into the fantasized fairy tales. She was on the other side of the looking glass, wearing the beautiful clothes, running amongst the nymph models through alternate bewitchingly created universes. Also the articles provided sage advice and funny anecdotes. Her love, or obsession if we dare, with fashion was born.

A few weeks ago my friend Emily invited me to a fashion show benefitting City of Hope, an LA based cancer research and treatment hospital. Since I was on my work hiatus, I could excitedly RSVP “yes”, despite the event being held at one in the afternoon on a Friday. I don’t watch much reality television, so the fact the event was being televised on The Shahs of Sunset meant nothing to me- other than heavier than usual makeup and an immaculate outfit. How exciting! My first fashion show!

Asa’s Kaftans for City of Hope:

The Four Seasons Beverly Hills is nothing short of fabulous.
The Four Seasons Beverly Hills is nothing short of fabulous.

The event was held at The Four Seasons Beverly Hills. Wow this venue is beyond gorgeous. The Penninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills is one of my all time favorites. It’s posh but feels somehow approachable. It’s sort of like a little bit of a dream brought to reality. The Four Seasons, alternatively, is a little slice of heaven. Lush greens with well groomed gardens ensconce the hotel. Soft flowing lavish fabrics hanging from colums, dancing in the wind.

Traffic was terrible- who knew so many people would be out and about at 1pm on a Friday? I mean it is LA, I guess. Home to the rich and famous who don’t, apparently, need to work- or at least don’t need to go to the office to work. Anyways, I digress…..as I was saying, traffic was awful and I arrived not so fashionably late- 73 minutes late, to be exact.

I was signed in by a very gregarious man who explained he was one of the producers of Shah’s of Sunset, and then escorted me to the party. Luckily, as commonly expected in television production, everything was running behind. I hadn’t missed a thing! There was a silent auction table including wonderful items like a Skinny Girl libation basket, stunning pearl earrings, and a day trip to a world renowned spa. I put bids on the Skinny Girl and the Earrings. Little tip when it comes to silent auctions- be careful of what and how much you bid. Choose wisely. Three years ago I bid on 6 items at the Junior League of LA’s Harvest Boutique and I won every single item, totaling well over a thousand dollars! I mean yeah, it was for a good cause but that was  a lot more than I wanted or had expected to spend!

I love how lately I've been seeing a lot of fruit infused water offered at parties. They look so pretty and add just that little touch of flavor to tickle the palette.
 Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of fruit infused water offered at parties. They look so pretty and add just that little touch of flavor to tickle the palette. Very classy. 

I knew no one attending the party, only my friends Emily, Victoria, and January- who were working the party. I took a deep breath to get a grasp on my courage and began to tour the “room” (it was an outdoor patio area) and start conversations with a bunch of strangers. I met two women that own a PR agency and seemed to really love their jobs, a lovely editor in chief of a celebrity lifestyle magazine,  and a  group of well dressed co-eds.  I did glance around the room and noticed that Latoya (I thought it was Janet) Jackson was there. Cool!

It was such a pleasure meeting and speaking with the stunning and gracious Ms. Mimi, Editor in Chief of Celebrity Style Magazine. I adore her, and her outfit! xo
It was such a pleasure meeting and speaking with the stunning and gracious Ms. Mimi, Editor in Chief of Celebrity Style Magazine. I adore her and her outfit, particularly this necklace. So pretty! xo
Guests waiting for everyone to be seated. Typical LA, most are killing time on their cell phones- or booking their next appointments. I definitely feel like I know this man from somewhere....
Gift bags underfoot, some VIP guests wait while everyone else is seated. Typical LA,  killing time on their cell phones- or booking their next appointments. I definitely feel like I know this man from somewhere….and I LOVE that woman’s pink hair!

Finally the fashion show was to begin. The party progressed onto the adjacent lawn, resplendent with sunlight and brilliantly saturated greens. How gorgeous this area was! I could imagine a princess getting married here. Emily and Asa both stood and spoke for a moment, explaining the event. As the music played, the models amusingly walked by, the fluid fabrics flowing behind as a light wind took grasp of the kaftans. Asa’s Kaftans of multitudinous colors perfectly contrasted the green setting. I appreciated the designer picking models of all shapes and sizes. They walked with such confidence. I could tell everyone was having fun.

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I just loved the colors of the Kaftans, and how well the fabric flowed. They look so luxurious. I can imagine someone wearing one in Santorini. I told that to Asa's mother who exclaimed
I just love the colors of the Kaftans, and how well the fabric flows. They look so luxurious. I can imagine someone wearing one in Santorini. I told this to Asa’s mother who exclaimed “There is one named Santorini!”. They are made NOT of silk- so easy to care for, but appear to move like silk. They look and feel luxurious. If your interested in purchasing one, I’ve included a link below.

After the fashion show I spoke with Emily and met a very attractive colleague who was introduced as Asa’s “soul mate”. He was kind, spiritual, and very intelligent. I asked if he worked in fashion as well. He mischievously smiled and answered “No, I work in music. Mostly on the business side, but I’m working on an album.” We discussed the significance of music and music therapy amongst other things. When we parted ways I told him “good luck on your album! I hope to hear it and see it sometime!” Later I found out he was Jermaine Jackson Junior. Ha! I hope its a good thing I never know who anyone is prior to meeting them! (AKA I’m totally embarrassed).

What the heck to wear to a benefit Fashion Show held in the middle of the afternoon:

I seriously had NO clue!  I mean for me this event was at the oddest time of day. Cocktail attire seemed too dressy, business attire too casual. Plus I knew friends of the fashion industry would be in attendance, so I wanted to make sure my outfit had edge and was a fair player. And on top of that it was to be televised!

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Blazer: Theory Top: Alice and Olivia Skirt: Stella McCartney Shoes: Christian Louboutin (the first pair of designer shoesI ever bought! I will keep them forever). Not Pictured: Handbag: Celine Handbag Karlito Charm: Fendi. <because you can’t go to a fashion show without Karlito!

Danielle definitely pulled through. I’m not sure why, but I’m always impressed when she throws out an outfit idea without looking through my wardrobe. How does she remember what I own? This time she really surprised me because she suggested a pair of shoes I bought nine years ago. A pair with which she’s never truly admitted are acceptable! I guess fairy godmothers remember everything :).

My friends and I after the show.
My friends and I after the show. As mentioned previously, I will never get rid of these shoes. 

I had a fantastic time at my first fashion show. I look forward to hopefully one day attending another! I ALSO look forward to watching this episode on Bravo. It will be fun to see if I made it in the cut!

Asa’s family and friends were all so lovely. I hope her line sells exquisitely. If you are interested in purchasing an Asa Kaftan, please click here: Asa Kaftans

If you are interested in learning about or donating to City Of Hope, please click here: City Of Hope

{PS} Happy November everyone!

xoxo

QJ

QJ

All in for Autumn.

PDetail2I don’t miss much about living in the mid west but I can admit that I do miss the one week in Autumn when the beautifully colored leaves paint the sky, reflecting water-color like portraits onto the lakes. Air that is crisp and fresh but not bone chilling, bracing just enough to rejuvenate the soul.

The Pacific Palisades Pumpkin Patch:

This year is the first time in FOREVER that I have gone to a real pumpkin patch. Well, as real as one can find in Los Angeles. With a backdrop of trees and hills and the glorious sounds of children laughing, the YMCA Pumpkin Patch in the Pacific Palisades most definitely delivered. There was a maize maze – albeit a short one (but who can complain? It was the perfect height for my inner child :)), hay bundles with scare crows, faux spiderwebs, and, most importantly, a brilliant selection of pumpkins!

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What to wear to the Pumpkin Patch:

I took this opportunity to break out my new favorite fall pieces, recently delivered by Danielle. The sweater is the ideal weight for a cooler day in Autumn or any day in an LA winter (yes, it does get cold here). The high waisted feminine flow-y skirt is so comfortable and will look cute with crops and regular length tops. I love how these five pieces can be re-arranged with other basics in my wardrobe in order to create a zillion different ensambles. They are the perfect statement pieces for Fall.

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How cute is this chloe bag? No offense to the “Drew”, I am loving the uniqueness of this one. It can be dressed up for a night out or dressed down for something as casual as the pumpkin patch. AND…its the perfect size!
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I love this hat by Rag and Bone. I’ve never been into hats before but I can see this coming in handy on those days I don’t want to fuss with my hair. Plus its just a fun accessory.
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Hat: Rag and Bone Sunnies: Celine Sweater: Chloe Skirt: Maje Boots: Vince Bag: Chloe All available via Danielleseligson_Klein@s5a.com

I have to admit, BD (that’s Before Danielle) I would have never thought to wear this to a pumpkin patch. I think going in cute jeans and a fun T or even a halloween costume would also be acceptable. Definitely lower shoes or booties. But it was a great excuse to wear my new items. Thanks Saks!

Finishing the Pumpkin:

MSM and I learned a very important lesson today at the pumpkin patch. Jack-o-lantern pumpkins are NOT, I repeat, NOT baking pumpkins! hahaha. Though most pumpkin patches ALSO sell baking pumpkins, make sure you get the correct pumpkin for your needs 🙂

Doesn't this look DELICIOUS!
Doesn’t this look DELICIOUS!?

The word “foolproof” is in this recipe title. Click the link in case you want to try and bake your Jack-o-lantern: Foolproof Pumpkin Pie

In memory of Autumn:

I’d like to dedicate this post to Autumn Radtke. Ironically I met Autumn at a Summer BBQ in Beverly Hills held at the Sharon Tate Estate, home of the Manson Murders. Though the party itself was festive and bright, theres just something so eerie about the estate.

Autumn and I bonded over her adorable bull dog and our common zest for life. Though very slender, she was  Rubenesque and completely unaffected or possibly unaware of her beauty. She was a cosmopolitan xenophile advanced beyond her 24 years. Her courageous sense of ambition was contagious. It was one of those moments that I’ve mentioned before, where you never know how much one person can affect another – even in the most random and slightest way.

Over the years Autumn and I would sometimes touch base via Facebook, particularly around Halloween- she was an avid fan of costuming. I hadn’t heard from her for a long time so I decided to check in on her page and was horrified to find that she has passed away. Too young to be taken, may her soul revisit the earth via the winds of her namesake, inspiring all of us to live life to the fullest!

Happy Harvest everyone!

xoxo

QJ

QJ