Featured Designer: Carla Sta Cruz

Lately, I find it so difficult to find quality made bags that aren’t overprice/ over saturated with the brand’s logo / versatile enough to go from a work bag to an evening out. If you’ve been to the luxury stores you notice a few things: one, the name brands are what people are raving about, but they are becoming so common that you don’t know which ones are real and which ones are fake. two, the pricing is way off what you get. three, some bags are starting to look down right tacky with their logo placement. What happened to the classic bag designs that Tod’s used to do, the ones you felt comfortable carrying them out to do errands and to a night out. On my search of finding this elusive aesthetic, I found a new designer on the scene, who was already right under my nose, Ms. Carla Sta Cruz.

Carla Sta Cruz is originally from Manila, Philippines and studied design in the great Parson’s School of design. Her bag aesthetic is mixing functionality with the edge of the modern woman. Her line isn’t limited to just bags, but leather accessories, lingerie, and clothing.

In order to produce a great line, you have to gather research from a bevy of sources. A big part in Carla being able to produce great things is learning from some of the greats. She has  interned for Vera Wang, Marchesa and Hugo Boss. She has also worked with Riccardo Tisci, Grace Coddington, and Simon Collin.

How did you get involved in design, and why did you choose to pursue it in NY?

“It was purely accidental. I knew I wanted to study fashion, and I was willing to study in any fashion capital, I really wanted to study in CSM but i got into Parsons instead- which is a very prestigious fashion school so i’m DEFINITELY not complaining.”

Since Couturemecrazy is all about forecasting the trends and picking the current trends apart, I had to ask her where she saw the trends going for 2014. She believes that “We were just clued in that different shades of beige and grays will be used for SS2014 and art nouveau or jugendstil might be re-introduced again in AW 2014”.

Lastly, I asked her what her aesthetic is and her purpose for design. ” In the end, I’m truly aiming for a perfect marriage of trends and functionality. I have no idea how I will do that. Designing for real women is a challenge, and I’m doing my best to be really good at that department.” To her it’s really important to find that zone where any man or woman feels comfortable in their own skin, and in whatever size they may be. Her goal is to make timeless pieces that everyone can hold on to for years to come.

To me Carls’s designs are on point, and are going the right direction with regards to finding that combination of style and function. She is not only talented, but stays true to the person she is. I met her way back in 2007, partying in the club scene in Manila, but she has always been such a lovely person to talk to. Glad to see the fashion world isn’t getting to her head, and keeping her dedicated to her craft.

Enough of the chitter chatter, I will let her line speak for itself. I’ll let you guys decide.

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Travel in style

For all you fashionistas with a travel itinerary, this is the post for you. I’ve had my share of travels, having my mom live in Sweden and my dad in the Philippines and of course me based in California, I’m no stranger to the long security check points and the airplane food. Some experiences can be more pleasing compared to others, but I still am finding my own personal style that mix comfort, functionality and class. In my search I’ve found some key items I never travel without.

1. Oversized Sunglasses

Okay, so those red-eye flights can be a bummer, but most people are trying to save money nowadays, so lots of us are going to get on one. A mixture of lack of sleep, running of the bit of caffeine before the flight, and probably a hang over. This is where the sunnies come in to play to save the day. 

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2. Oversized Scarves

These babies double as an accessory and an additional blanket for short or long flights. I always take mine even on a long car ride. It’s a great mix of functionality and style

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3. Great Flats

Those checkpoints can be killer. When I go home to the Philippines, our airport has three check points before you get on the plane. Therefore heels and strapped shoes for me are out of the question. 

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4. Layering

When I go visit my mommy in Sweden, the weather can be so unpredictable, so my best defense is to be smart with my layering. Layer on, so I have options. 

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5. Comfy Blazer

Fitted blazers have their own place and time, but on a long flight they can be more a nuisance than serve their purpose. 

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The Hipster Coalition aka COACHELLA

The modern day woodstock is what they call coachella. The mixture of love, music, and being with friends create this carefree environment. The music festival is usually held when the weather gets a little more accommodating, and people also have to consider the comfort of their clothes (or lack of clothes) for the whole day walking from stage to stage. All in all this music festival has also become a congregation of the laid back fashion, the hipsters, and the raving fashionistas. celebrities are also commoners at this event, so you never know who you are going to run into on the grass.

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How do you find your inspiration?

Taking a tinsy break from the trending to ask you a question, How do you find your inspiration for what you do? I understand that this question may be somewhat broad, but I like knowing what inspires people. For me what inspires me to be the best at something, especially my professional life is to be able to give my family the life they deserve. In my creative life, that can vary hugely on my mood, but i guess to sum it up I get inspired by things that are out of the norm, the mundane, and ordinary. I guess that’s why most of my screen names I’m called UNORTHODOX_YSA (a little shameless self advertising: follow me on twitter @unorthodox_ysa, and socialbliss.com/unorthodox_ysa).

This is what I look forward to whenever I see a designer being interviewed, or when I actually have a chance to talk to a designer. I love hearing what inspires her to make such beautiful pieces of art. Then when you find out, everything in the collection starts telling a story. It makes you feel much more passionate about the craft, and it also let’s you get to know the designer a little more.

A few examples:

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INSPIRATION FOR VIVIENNE WESTWOOD PARIS F/W 2013

“THE BEAUTY OF MEDIEVAL THINGS”

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INSPIRATION FOR KENZO F/W 2013 PARIS FASHION WEEK

THE DUO TOOK A PILGRIMAGE THROUGH INDIA, CHINA, AND NEPAL, TO THE SOARING HEIGHTS OF THE TEMPLE’S PINNACLES WHERE THE SYMBOLS OF THE EYE BEAMS AS PROTECTOR IN ALL DIRECTIONS: NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, WEST.

 

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INSPIRATION FOR GROUND ZERO’S READY TO WEAR COLLECTION F/W 2013

 

THIS ONE WAS KIND OF OBVIOUS: EXTRATERRESTRIALS OMING DOWN TO EARTH :]

 

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INSPIRATION FOR MANISH ARORA‘S F/W LINE 2013

The show took inspiration from nature, particularly the vast landscape of the Nevada wild.

 

I guess what I’m trying to get at is not to be afraid to tell your story and share your inspiration. If fashion stops being fun, then it becomes a chore, and not many people like chores.

She’s got those eyes

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Statement Sunnies are one of this season’s hottest trend. They’ve been around for decades, even jackie O was famous for sporting a pair of great sunnies. As for who’s responsible for them coming back, for me it’s probably a tie up between Kanye West and Lady Gaga.

Great pair of glasses can complete your look or give mystery to the person behind the shades. It’s a great way to express yourself without having to even say a word. A word of caution to us girls, no matter how trendy your glasses are, know what looks good with your face shape.

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You were born naked, everything else is just DRAG

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The beautiful RuPaul said the title of today’s look book. I am in awe with these drag queens because of their passion, their self expression, and their pride. They all come from different backgrounds, but what brings them together is their love of the craft. Creativity is the key to a successful drag queen, that and love for themselves. Just as Ru says “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you going to love somebody else. Can I get an Amen up in Here?”

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Relax Love, it’s just Rock ‘n Roll

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The sound of leather chaffing, the mussed up hair, the dark aviators, the fringed coifs, and the carpe diem attitude, it must be rock’n roll. This music genre has been around a long time, and have evolved as time went by. Many designers turn to music to get inspired, and most of them turn to rock’n roll. The music alone captures the essence of the I don’t give a F**k attitude. When it’s interpreted to fashion, everyone goes a little wild.

 

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Spring/Summer 2014 Trend Report

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My task this week is getting the trend analysis together for Spring/Summer 2014, so that my designer can get inspired and start her collection for the next season. The whole process is incredibly exciting. I’m investigating reports and runway shows, finding the common trends as well as what I predict to be the new thing. 

So far I’m seeing a whole spectrum of color for all different aspects of fashion, especially menswear. In Womens’ clothing I see printed textiles, using more of textured fabrics instead of strong patterns. Patterns will still be present through the different themes of the collections. I see the 60’s theme with simple palettes and geometric shapes. The tribal and Indian theme is very much still present with the hipster following, but leaning more towards Moroccan influences with handwork and a color palette of nudes and brights. The designers who follow the American Sweetheart trend showed to lean towards nautical with florals, stripes, fruit prints, soft plaids, eyelet, and ginghams prints.

Of course, this is only based on the research I’ve been doing with the resources available on the internet. I plan on looking into this further, with help from my friends in FIDM. I wanna hear what you all think is coming next. What do you think will be the dos and don’ts come Spring/Summer 2014?