Month: November 2011

All on the Line…With Qristyl Frazier!

Qristyl Frazier and me at Full Figured Fashion Week 2009. You didn't think I was gonna show my face, now did ya? ;-)

A few years back, I attended the first ever Full Figured Fashion Week - a three-day affair in New York City that featured seminars, shopping, and, of course, fashion shows. While there, I had the pleasure of meeting a delightful designer who was then, to me, an unknown name in the fashion arena. Little did I know that in just a few short months of our meeting, she would appear as contestant on Project Runway, be featured routinely in the pages of Essence Magazine, and take the plus-size . . . or, as she would say, plus sexy fashion world by storm. This week, she appears across our tv screens once again as the featured designer on the December 2 episode of the Sundance Channel's All on the Line with Joe Zee, where the Elle Creative Director "come[s] to the rescue of designers in need of a makeover on their business."

This week, Qristyl Frazier graciously took a few moments to chat with me about her work and all that we can expect on this week's show.

What have you been up to since Project Runway? I've been doing what I always do - creating seasonal collections and staying on my grind. I recently rebranded my website and have started offering items wholesale.

How did the experience of being on Project Runway impact your career? It opened some doors, gave me a bigger platform. It allowed people to know I’m out there. But I would actually give more credit to Essence Magazine for featuring my designs. Also, BET’s Rip the Runwayhas been a great platform for me. [Qristyl was featured on the show in 2008.]

[caption id="attachment_1433" align="alignright" width="110" caption="Shimmering Sexy"][/caption]

How did you get the opportunity to be on All on the Line with Joe ZeeJackie Thomas, who is now my publicist, approached me with the idea. I spoke with the producers and they really wanted me to be honest about my story. The last three years have been very difficult for me financially . . . . I have strong emotional support but not strong financial support. I’ve made real sacrifices . . . relationships . . . a home . . . . I have had to sleep on friends’ couches in order to make my dream happen. This show is allowing me to open up and share this part of my life. I want plus sexy women to know that there is a designer out there who is grinding to give them beautiful clothes to wear.

Talk to me about this term, "plus sexy." I coined this because I don’t like the term “plus size.”

Really? Why? I find it offensive. Every woman wants to adorn herself and feel sexy . . . whether it’s classy-sexy or some other type of sexy. That's why I came up with the phrase “plus sexy" . . . to try and make plus a positive.

[pullquote]Don’t forget that Qristyl Frazier Designs is offering 30% off and FREE SHIPPING on everything in her new Epitome Collection through December 2. [/pullquote]Let's talk more about All on the Line. Have you seen the episode yet? No! I don’t know what they’re going to show . . . I see it when you see it. 

I know the challenge in the episode is for you to design apparel for Lane Bryant. Will we actually get to see your designs in Lane Bryant stores? That’s something I can’t talk until the show airs.

Getting back to your fashion line, what type of feedback do you get from your customers? They’re always very excited and say, “I’m so glad I found you!”

Does your line feature any businesswear? I’ve done more professional wear tops lately, but I find that my dresses and jumpsuits are what sell best. People are really looking to me to provide fun, flirty looks. My customers tell me that when they go to mainstream plus-size shops they have a hard time finding that “freakum dress" . . . and that’s where I come in!

What are your best selling items? Shimmering Sexy, Bad Intentions, Intentionally Sexy and any of my jumpsuits. 

[caption id="attachment_1434" align="alignleft" width="110" caption="Bad Intentions"][/caption]

Besides your website, where can we buy your designs? Right now my website is the primary source to find my clothes. You can check the website to find out if particular stores carry QFD. I ship all over the world – domestically and internationally (Australia, Europe, etc.). If you want QFD in your city, you can always contact me or the boutiques you frequent and we can make it happen.

What will we see next from you? I’ll be featured in January issue of Elle magazine as well as Elle.com.

 

Well, there you have it - my exclusive interview with Qristyl Frazier! Her episode of All on the Line with Joe Zee airs on Friday, December 2 at 9:30 p.m. (ET/PT). (If, like me, you don't get the Sundance Channel, you can watch it through hulu.com.)

If you live in New York City, you can get a sneak peek tomorrow at the Viewing Party taking place on Thursday, December 1st from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Lane Bryant Fulton Street store (380 Fulton St. at the corner of Smith St., Brooklyn, NY 11201, 718-855-8300).

Checking out the promo for the show, I know I will make it my business to watch - what about you? I hope everyone supports this amazing designer who has poured her heart and soul into making beautiful fashions to help us find our sexy.

Drama Dress Unveils the Curvaceous Collection

Photo retrieved from DramaDress.com

I recently stumbled upon a new clothing and accessory line, DramaDress. DramaDress specializes in "bad girl glam" and will unveil its Curvaceous Collection this week! Curvy CEO got a sneak peek at a few of the pieces . . . primarily the line of dresses. Check 'em out . . .

 

 

    These are great options for the holiday parties coming up over the next several weeks. Personally, I am loving the off-the-shoulder zebra print dress. What do you think?

Monday Morning Memo – Ode to Shopping, Part 1

monday morning memo

"Buying something on sale is a very special feeling.  In fact, the less I pay for something, the more it is worth to me.  I have a dress that I paid so little for that I am afraid to wear it.  I could spill something on it, and then how would I replace it for that amount of money?"  - Rita Rudner

 

Well now that Thanksgiving is over, we can unabashedly participate in the Christmas shopping frenzy. While as a Christian, I do get irritated by the materialistic emphasis on the holiday (...cue the Kirk Franklin...) the shopaholic in me loves this time of year. I hope that as you are out and about buying items for your family and friends that you manage to pick up a few trinkets for yourself. (Check out The Curvy Fashionista's Cyber Monday Plus-Size Mega Shopping List for more great deals!) But, just be careful not to do that thing where you buy something just because it's a good deal and then it ends up unworn, mocking you with its sales tags and taking up valuable real estate in your closet. Given all of the charitable events happening this time of year, you might want to dig out a few of those items and donate them. That way you're not only doing good, but also making room for the new items that will be coming your way.

Happy Cyber Monday, everyone!

Sales! Sales! Sales! (Black Friday 2011)

black friday sales

Ah, Black Friday. My favorite unofficial holiday. (Am I the only one who grew up thinking that this had something to do with race? Because, I mean, my family is black . . . and we always went shopping the day after Thanksgiving. *shrug*) I've only done the wait-in-line-all-night-outside-the-big-box-store thing once in my life. A few years ago my dad and I made a trip to help pick up some kitchen items for my Grandma's new apartment. We lucked out because while everyone and their brother went to the electronics department to fight over that one flat screen tv offered at the advertised price, we snagged a coffeemaker, toaster, and electric mixing bowl for about $18.

I've actually got a pretty good handle on my gift list this year, so if I go out shopping, it will mostly be for the social experience of it . . . and definitely won't be super-early in the morning. In case you want to do a little shopping, too (and I know you do!), here are some sale alerts and discount codes!

 Jibri is offering 50% off all available items on Nov. 25 from Midnight until Noon! Use code "Black11" . . . personally I am lusting after this dress.

In honor of the Project Runway alum's upcoming appearance on the Sundance Channel's "All on the Line with Joe Zee", Qristyl Frazier Designs is offering 30% off and FREE SHIPPING on everything in her new Epitome Collection through December 2. (I actually own Embrace - if I weren't such a good girl, I'd consider this my freakum dress.)

Eliza Parker is offering 35% off through Monday if you use the code "Friend35" . . . I recently ordered this top and I can't wait to wear it!

Also, don't forget to patronize your small local retailers! For my DC-area folks, be sure to check out BeautyFull Boutique in Alexandria, VA during their Black Friday sale, featuring accessories from Nicky B's and Pop Up Plus for Curvy Girls, a designer Pop up boutique from New York. The store will be open at 6:00 a.m. and will offer 30% off from 6-8 a.m., 20% off from 8-10 a.m., and 10% off from 10-6 p.m.

Then, on Saturday, ALiaJahnae Boutique in the Atlanta area is hosting a trunk show called "Curves & Cocktails" from 12-5pm. (I kind of need this cape in my life.)

There are tons more sales happening. Check out this mega-list by Marie Denee over at The Curvy Fashionista for more deals. It's pretty exhaustive! Also Christine over at Temptalia also published an amazing list of Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals.

Check out Daily Venus Diva for tips for saving time and money on Black Friday. Happy shopping!

Happy Thanksgiving!

happy thanksgiving 

I pray that you are surrounded by people you love, good food, and fun times.

 Happy Thanksgiving from Curvy CEO!

My Traci Lynn Jewelry Haul

After drafting yesterday's post, it occurred to me that you might want to actually *see* what I purchased . . . as I mentioned, my big discovery of the day was Traci Lynn Fashion Jewelry. With the holiday gift-season approaching, I knew I couldn't go too crazy, but I did manage to pick up these few pieces . . . [caption id="attachment_1332" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The "Showtime" Rhinestone Cuff Watch - $38. I cannot wait to rock this at the office holiday party!"][/caption]
 
[caption id="attachment_1333" align="alignleft" width="225" caption=""Expose'" Rhinestone Toggle Necklace - $28"]"Expose'" Rhinestone Toggle Necklace - $28[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1334" align="alignright" width="225" caption=""Secret" Necklace - $48"][/caption]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
There were quite a few other pieces that I admired from the catalog. Will have to re-up after the New Year! In the meantime, what do you think?

My Girlfriend’s House – Thanks-4-Giving Clothes Swap

My Girlfriends House

Last weekend, I stopped by a clothing swap sponsored by My Girlfriend's House - a non-profit organization in Maryland that provides mentorship, scholarships and general support for underprivileged girls. Combining fashion with philanthropy, they sponsored the Thanks-4-Giving Clothes Swap, where guests provided gently used articles and non-perishable food items for admission into an intimate shopping party.

Here are a few snapshots from the event....

 

 

The handbag silent auction . . . somehow I resisted the temptation to take that LV home . . . .

 

 

 

 

 

My favorite discovery of the evening - Traci Lynn Fashion Jewelry. This is extravagant jewelry - lots of glitter and bling - but it's very reasonably priced. I don't think there was a single item that cost even $50. I stocked up on qutie a few of these items. Interestingly, the company founder is an evangelist. Well, if God gives you the talent to design jewelry, who am I to judge?

 

 

 

A few of the items available for sale/swap . . . .

Weekend Link Love

pink-mouse-link-loveFashion  & Style

Holiday Eating & Travel

With the holidays coming up, quite a few bloggers are offering their tips for keeping it healthy during this busy travel season.

  • Curvy Goddess Lounge clues us in on how to stay healthy during the holidays.
  • Stepcase Lifehack offers some great strategies for staying healthy while traveling. (This is always a toughie for me . . . for whatever reason I feel like it's essential to eat junkfood while en route to a destination. I think it has something to do with the fact that you really can't tell how *fresh* something is at an airport or train station eatery . . . at least with stuff that comes in a bag or a box, you know that it's still good as long as the expiration date hasn't passed . . . . )

Work/Life Balance

  • To round out this set of link love, I return to one of my favorite topics: work/life balance. That Girl Megan wrote an article over at Sisarina.com about how life and work CAN fit together.
  • While at Sisarina, I also stumbled upon this great post about how to be YOURSELF at networking events. Generally I'm a master networker . . . but I do need to come up with a better opener than, "So, what do you do?" I can't help it. It's easy. It gives you context. But it can also be a major "turn off" if people think you're just interested in social climbing.

Hope you enjoy all of these links as much as I did. Have a great weekend, everyone!

My “Happy Black Woman” Playlist

Happy Black Woman

Most of my friends know that I love me a good playlist. Back in the day, I was the queen of the mixtape. (Although I have to admit that I never quite perfected getting the songs recorded off the radio to have the same volume . . . so after jamming to LL Cool J, you might have literally "jumped" when House of Pain came through the speakers.) Then, I mastered the compilation cd - often giving them as gifts to family and friends during my broke law student days. 

Now that I've moved into the digital age, I have a bazillion playlists on my mp3. (I have actually have playlists called "Songs I Don't Listen To Enough" that are categorized by genre.) Anyway, I've been in a funky mood lately and have been relying on my "Happy Black Woman" playlist to get me through. I thought you all might appreciate it . . .

  • "Be Happy" - Mary J. Blige
  • "Happy Being All" - Angie Stone
  • "I Feel Good" - Mary J. Blige
  • "Just Fine" - Mary J. Blige (yeah, Mary shows up a lot on this list!)
  • "Shine" - Estelle
  • "I Choose" - India.Arie
  • "Video" - India.Arie
  • "Golden" - Jill Scott
  • "I Appreciate" - Joann Rosario
  • "Incredible" - Mary Mary
  • "I Am" - Kindred the Family Soul (featuring Jazmine Sullivan)
  • "Fly Like a Bird" - Mariah Carey
  • "Feelin' Good" - Nina Simone (in case you haven't gotten enough from JHud's WW commercials)
  • "I Will Survive" - Chantay Savage (or the original by Gloria Gaynor)
  • "Winki's Theme" - Queen Latifah
  • "One of Those Days" - Whitney Houston
  • "Me Time" - Heather Headley
  • "God in Me" - Mary Mary (featuring Kierra Sheard)
  • "Put Your Records On" - Corinne Bailey Rae
  • "Alright" - Ledisi
  • "Bravo" - Ledisi
  • "Raise Up" - Ledisi
  • "Is My Living in Vain" - Z'iel (or you can kick it old skool with The Clark Sisters)
  • "I Gotta Feelin'" - Black Eyed Peas (this is the ONE song by a non-black woman on this list - it was just too good, I had to include it.)
  • "Still Standing" - Monica
  • "Shame" - Jill Scott
  • "Moment 4 Life" - Nicki Minaj (featuring Drake) - don't juge....
What do you think? Any songs (by any artist) that you think I missed? Chime in!