While we are always obsessed with all the newest and coolest fashion trends that we can incorporate into our day to day on the go life, one of these trends we just can’t get enough is color blocking.
From the runway of Paris fashion week to Newbury Street store windows and chic women out lunching, color blocking is everywhere! While the trend can be done simply by pairing brights such as a tangerine sweater with a magenta A-line skirt and electric blue heels, topping it all off with a beautiful bright Open Runway tote completes your color blocking look. Here are a few Open Runway bags that are perfect for this stylish color blocking trend.
The California Fuchsia Tasseled Handbag
This beautiful fuchsia handbag is a great color blocking piece. The bright color pops against an already saturated array of colors and complements any bright outfit perfectly.
Another chic color blocking tote, the Charturse Leather and Aquamarine Snake Uptown Bag
The Uptown bag is an amazing structured bag perfect for color blocking and pulling any outfit together. The chartreuse and aquamarine contrast on the bag accentuates any color blocking outfit. This bag is sure to get you noticed, in all the right ways!
These bags are great for color blocking with any outfit, but can also be worn with any outfit to simply add a touch of color or brighten up your everyday style.
Color blocking and bright bags are the trend right now and we certainly approve!
I was so inspired that I decided to create my own shoes based on the teal and gold color scheme. I challenge all of you to channel your inner designer and construct your own shoes based on any of trends shown throughout New York, London, or Milan Fashion Week. If you’re not already part of the Fashionocracy, go to Open Runway’s homepage and join to start creating your own custom shoes — use invitation code myrunway to register.
Today we’re excited to share with you an interview we did with local fashion designer Kristina Kozak. While Kristina’s preparing her Spring/Summer 2011 collection, she took a quick timeout to answer a few questions. So check out the interview and some of Kristina’s design’s, we promise you’ll fall in love with these heels!
First things first, how and when did you get into the wonderful world of shoe design?
“Well, I’ve been interested in shoes since I can remember and I had always dreamt of designing my own but I never knew it was actually possible. It wasn’t until I worked at Louis Boston, where I was exposed to beautiful, almost art-like footwear and clothing, that I knew I had to find a way to design and make my own. I found a class in New York City so every weekend I would travel to take classes with Emily Putterman. She taught me everything there is to know. Originally it was just for fun, but after I made my first pair I knew it was what I wanted to do. That was in 2004 and I’ve been designing ever since.”
Having your own shoe line in this day and age is pretty impressive, how did you go about accomplishing that?
“Thank you… It’s been quite an interesting and enlightening journey! I didn’t follow the traditional route of going to fashion school and/or interning for a designer so I knew I really had to be resourceful. I did as much research as possible and then contacted everyone I could think of in the Boston area and tried to set up a meeting with them. I picked their brain and soaked up as much advice and knowledge as I could. I volunteered my time, worked for free, attended shoe shows and events where I learned and also networked. Those contacts combined with endless research and determination helped get me to where I am today.”
Your shoes are very bold and anything but ordinary, where do you get your inspiration from when designing them?
“My mom says I can find beauty in a pile of junk… so I guess that’s a big part of how I see things and it becomes reflected in my designs.
In a nutshell, I find inspiration from everything! Walking around the city, people watching, pieces of artwork, architecture, nature, old films and music never fail to provoke great design ideas. I know it sounds a bit cliché, but I truly believe beauty can be found in all that surrounds us. There is so much wonder in the world if you just open your eyes and allow yourself to see it.”
We agree, the world is a beautiful place. You mentioned you were working on Spring/Summer 2011 collection what can we expect to see?
“For Spring/Summer 2011 you’ll find my signature fun, quirky designs. The collection will feature a mix of high heels, kitten heels, and ballet flats in a variety of bold black and white patterns, neutral tones and bronze metallics, crystal and grommet embellishments, bow ties, and beautiful textured python leathers.”
Now that you’re working on your Spring/Summer 2011 collection what’s a typical day like for you?
“I wish there was such a thing as a “typical” day! But no such luck. The responsibilities for each day vary so every day is always different and brings it’s own challenges and opportunities along with it. Since it’s a small company I’m in charge of everything from designing to marketing to selling to shipping to contacting stores and replying to customers.”
Wow, it sounds like you’ve got your hands full. Out of all the shoes you have designed do you have a pair that is your favorite or a pair that is your ‘Sistine Chapel’ so to speak?
“This is a hard question to answer because all of my shoes are so different from one another. Plus they are like children. I love them all! But if I had to pick it would be the Gold Minx – 4” metallic gold Mary Janes decorated with mink tails on the back strap and a silk magenta ribbon closure. They were the first pair I ever made. After making them I realized that I had to follow my dream of designing shoes.”
Your shoes are absolutely adorable where can we find them?
“You can find my entire collection on my website (http://www.kristinakozak.com). Around the end of April 2011 they will be available at selected small boutiques such as Stel’s on Newbury Street in Boston and Surfaces in Marblehead, MA.”
Is there anything else you would like to add?
“Thank you so much for including me on your Open Runway Blog! It’s been wonderful to discuss my upcoming Spring/Summer collection. If anyone has any other questions or wants more information about my shoes you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The pearls of Boston’s fashion scene were undoubtedly on display at the Rising Design Fashion Show that took place Thursday September 30th. The show was part of Boston’s Fashion Week and featured 5 local up-and-coming fashion designers. Rising Design is a collaborative effort to support emerging local fashion designers. The aim is to promote and celebrate design in the greater Boston area. I snapped some photos with my phone to give you an idea of what these beautiful pieces looked like (please excuse the poor quality of the images it was the best I could do!).
The first collection of the night was from a designer by the name of Marlon Costa. Marlon, a native of Brazil, often uses his heritage for inspiration and this collection was no different. The collection named She, the Rain was “a romantic and modern collection inspired by the Modernist Art Movement from the 1950′s.” A highlight of the collection was this structured, draped knee-length dress in rain micro-stripes.
After Marlon, Margaret Lawrence showcased her delicious “Plum Poseys” collection. The pieces were sexy yet sophisticated evening wear for the modern young woman. The collection was very fluent and filled with deep reds and elegant floral patterns.
Jennifer Griffith’s collection proved that you can never go wrong with a little vintage flavor. Inspired by the 1930′s and ’40s Jennifer’s collection featured some lovely vintage fabrics. Especially this vibrant emerald green satin dress that looks straight off the set of Mad Men.
The most fascinating collection of the night came from June Monteiro. Her collection was inspired by clothes worn by Queen Victoria and her royal
court to mourn the death of her husband, Albert in 1861. Whoa, I guess June paid attention in history class. The designs featured subtle colors (needless to say a lot of black), natural fabrics, and simplicity. While this black silk pouf dress may have been intended for mourning, I think it would look better on the dance floor!
The last collection of the night came from Felicia Verry-Mota and did not disappoint. This collection was inspired by Japanese and French suits of armor. The idea behind the Tourney collection was to “find something feminine and soft in otherwise cold and rigid gear made for warriors.” Well, either way these girls looked fierce coming down the runway in Verry-Mota’s threads. Take a look at this exquisite cream bubble-skirted dress.
The Rising Design Fashion Show featured some of Boston premier designers who have a lot to offer the world of fashion. If you are interested in more information about the designers or want to know where to find their designs be sure to check out Rising Designs website for more information.
Founder of the Hello Stiletto Shoe Club and certified shoe addict Melissa O’Shea stopped by the Open Runway headquarters to chat about shoes and fashion. In case you didn’t know Hello Stiletto is a free social club for people who love shoes. To calm our curiosity we asked Melissa a couple of questions about the shoe club and how it has grown to such great heights over the years.
Here’s what she had to say:
How did the Hello Stiletto Shoe Club come about?
“Back in 2000 I was living in London and traveled a lot to places in France and Italy. I began to notice that people just loved to get dressed up and wear clothing and shoes that were unique or really made a statement. I started to do the same, investing in unique pieces
just because they were fun and felt good. When I came back to the US in 2004 I realized how different it is here in Boston, in that people are far more practical. I guess the weather plays a big role in that! But sometimes I would feel like people were actually embarrassed to get too dressed up here, to stand out or have fun with their clothing.
So I got this idea in July of 2004 to get a couple of friends together one night to wear their craziest pair of shoes. 8 of my girlfriends met at a restaurant in Boston wearing their most extravagant pair of shoes. Once the wait staff found out what we were doing they wanted to get involved and it turned into a contest to see who had on the best pair of shoes. We had so much fun we decided to keep doing these little get-togethers. After about the third or forth meeting we had strangers showing up because people kept telling their friends. The whole thing sort of took off from there.”
Wow, what an interesting story so how many members are in the shoe club today?
“It’s hard to say exactly. If you add up the totals of our 4 largest shoe clubs (located in Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, and Dallas) we have about 8,000 active members.”
When did you realize that you were addicted to shoes?
“It was when I was 4 and taking classes at Miss Dolly’s Dance Studio. I remember Miss Dolly would always wear these silver high-heeled tap shoes with sparkles and sequins all over them. They looked hot and I remember being so jealous of her.”
How many pairs of shoes do you currently own?
“Right now I have about 200 to 220 pairs of shoes but I have to constantly clean out my closet every year to make room for new shoes.”
What are your favorite pairs?
“My Giuseppe Zanotti Fishbone sandals are a favorite at the moment.
Another one of my favorites are my Manolo Blahnik Leopard Print Heels.”
Tell us a little bit about the Shoe Club events.
“We have at least one shoe club event scheduled each month. We have a pink carpet that we roll out for all the ladies (and even some guys) to show off their most fabulous shoes. Each event we have judges vote on our coveted “Best-In-Shoe” award, which goes out to the woman or man with the best shoes on that night. It’s an excuse for people to get dressed up and have fun.”
What is your fashion philosophy?
“Well I really agree with a lot of what Simon Doonan says about fashion. People should use fashion to make themselves feel good not miserable. You need to be comfortable with yourself. That’s the kind of environment we have at the Shoe Club. It’s a place where women can feel comfortable expressing themselves through fashion.”
We’d like to thank Melissa for stopping by Open Runway and letting us pick her brain a bit. If you have a pair of absolutely stunning heels that you are just dying to wear, be sure to check out the Hello Stiletto website to find out about upcoming events where you can show them off.