Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week: Backstage at the Vivienne Tam show

Vivienne Tam and Karen Hu, Miss China 2014 backstage before the show.

Vivienne Tam and Miss China 2014, Karen Hu, backstage before the show.

Flying back to Honolulu was bittersweet for me. I was sad that the NYC Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week was over, but grateful for the experience – especially the one that I had at the Vivienne Tam show. Unlike fashion shows in Hawaii that I’ve produced, the shows in NYC allow photographers, media and celebrities to gain access backstage and see what’s happening. It’s really part of the culture there. But at the Vivienne Tam show, I also received the rare chance to work backstage, under the direction of Hawaii’s-own Lynne O’Neill. This was huge! Bucket list huge! It’s like getting sideline seats at the Super Bowl.

Amid the organized chaos and distractions backstage, I stayed focused on the duties I was assigned from the production team: round up the models, get their shoes on before rehearsal, take the models from hair and makeup to first looks, and help line them up for the show. Sometimes we had less than a minute to change the models from their first look into their last look, with zippers, buttons, hair touch-ups, then right back into the line.

Needless to say, I was super busy backstage, but here are a few behind-the-scenes photos I was able to snap:

Vivienne Tam presents Adrienne Bailon with a gift backstage before the show.

Vivienne Tam showing actress Adrienne Bailon features of Tam’s Opera Girl battery charger before the show

Backstage with model Karolina who was first in the line-up. She's pictured next to her model card and changing area.

Backstage with model Karolina who was first in the lineup. She’s pictured next to her model card and changing area.

Vivienne Tam takes a last look at the models in the line-up before the show.

Vivienne Tam takes a last look at the models in the lineup before the show.

A few members of the production team after the show.

A few members of the production team after the show.

It was great meeting fashion expert and TV personality Jeannie Mai (right). She actually might be coming to Hawaii, perhaps for Honolulu Fashion Week, fingers crossed.

It was great meeting fashion expert and TV personality Jeannie Mai (right). She actually might be coming to Hawaii for Honolulu Fashion Week, fingers crossed.

A little about Vivienne Tam:

Tam was born in China and raised in Hong Kong since the age of three. I really took notice of Tam’s career when she created a collection to auction off so that she could help the pandas that were affected by a devastating earthquake on May 12, 2008 in the Sichuan Province.

Her fall 2015 collection demonstrates that she is still the reigning queen of China-chic. I love her collection’s ornate prints, Victorian silhouettes and school-girl flare skirts - definitely east-meets-west but distinctly true to Tam’s cultural roots.

Here’s a look at the entire show courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week:


Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week: Son Jung Wan and Herve Leger by Max Azria

On day four of my trip to New York Fashion Week I hit the runway shows for Son Jung Wan and Hervé Léger by Max Azria. The weather outside Lincoln Center was about 10 degrees, so Son Jung Wan’s 2015 fall-winter collection was extremely apropos for the chic city girl.

Son Jung Wan

Born and raised in South Korea, Son Jung Wan received a degree in industrial craft and design, and it shows. Her collection, named Modern Retro, is uber-romantic with a definite 1950s vibe. Son Jung Wan’s handcrafted knit detail combined textiles such as fur, leather and sequins. I also loved her vibrant shades of fuchsia, orange, and teal, with gold and silver metallic.

Her collection captures the dual nature of women: romantic and strong, glamorous and elegant, feminine and sexy. The men’s looks were equally chic and impressive.

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Hervé Léger by Max Azria 

A very different runway show with a body-con silhouette came from Hervé Léger by Max Azria. This collection captured the essence of the modern, powerful woman with impeccably-executed detail and bold graphic designs; it reminded me of the New York City skyline.

Here’s an interesting tidbit: Hervé Léger was acquired by BCBGMAXAZRIA GROUP in 1998, marking the first time in fashion history that a French couturier was acquired by an American designer.

Here’s a look at the collection courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week:

Neiman Marcus’ Trend Report fashion show

This week’s Trend Report fashion show at Neiman Marcus featured 2015 spring collections, showcasing the trends of new bohemian, spice market, mix don’t match and white on white.  I’ve attended Neiman Marcus runway shows for many seasons and it always serves as a fashion compass in Honolulu. Stylist Ann Smith transformed each look from youthful to 40-plus age-appropriate styles with a few creative tweaks: light jewelry or layers of jewelry; flat sandals or chunky platform flats; a mini dark-navy jacket or a mini washed-denim jacket.

Take a look at my favorite moments on the runway and after the show.


New Bohemian: Isabel Marant navy silk tunic, Estro paisley print pant, Proenza Schouler mustard suede fringed crossbody bag, and Manolo Blahnik copper flat sandal. (Model: Rain)


New Bohemian: Zegna blue window pane jacket, Vince red hoodie, AG blue printed shorts, and Bally white leather sneaker. (Model: Roycen)


New Bohemian: Rag and Bone navy blazer (I love, love, love Rag & Bone), Etro maxi dress, and Stella McCartney black mini bag with jewels. (Model: Mandy)


New Bohemian: Brunello Cucinelli charcoal jumpsuit, Isabel Marant fringe suede vest, Balenciaga gray bag and gray sandal. (Model: Rain)


Spice Market: Michael Kors beige suede jacket, Vince chambray, Incotex salmon linen pant, and Tom Ford brown leather sneaker. (Model: Roycen)


Spice Market: I love this Alexander Wang black sleeveless jacket so much, I almost pulled it off of the model. Isabel Marant red leather mini skirt and Balenciaga suede gray lace up. (Model: Juliette)


Spice Market: PERFECTION! Love this Emilio Pucci pink coral print one shoulder short dress. (Model: Justine)


Spice Market: Jil Sander orange nylon jacket, Elie Tahari soft jade asher blouse, Vince olive jogger pant (joggers are still on trend), Givenchy beige with orange trim satchel, and Lanvin espadrille wedge. (Model: Mandy)


Spice Market: Carven photo print blouse, Red Valentino orange skirt , Elizabeth and James ivory leather bucket bag/backpack, and Vince beige wedge. (Model: Rain)


Mix, Don’t Match: Armani Collezioni off-white sport jacket, Robert Graham dark gray shirt, J Brand brown jeans, and Tom Ford brown leather sneaker. (Model: Roycen)


Mix, Don’t Match: Love the graphic designs on this Etro dress. (Model: Justine)


Mix, Don’t Match: M Missoni knit open cardigan over an Alice and Olivia white lace crop top. (Model: Mandy)


Mix, Don’t Match: My favorite look of the show – Isabel Marant Etoile sheer maroon ivory print blouse, Stella McCartney blue print handkerchief skirt and blue and red elastic belt, and Lanvin navy t-strap chunky heel sandal. (Model: Juliette)


Mix, Don’t Match: Favorite men’s look of the show – Etro black and white striped shirt, D-Squared white denim, Alexander McQueen black and white polka dot cardigan, and Saint Laurent black fang print sneaker. (Model: Roycen)


Mix, Don’t Match: Fit for a Royal perhaps Kate…Dolce and Gabbana white peacoat with black frayed dot print, Akris Punto black and white print crop pant, and Roger Vivier black patent sandal. (Model: Justine)


White on White: Alexander McQueen white long sleeve ruffled blouse, Current Elliot off-white stretch coated denim, Tom Ford tan mini alix bag, and Vince beige leather mule. (Model: Juliette)


White on White: Armani Collezioni white sport jacket with gray trim on lapel, D-Squared white shirt with polka dot collar, Incotex white linen pant, and Balenciaga white leather sneaker. (Model: Roycen)


White on White: Giorgio Armani white dress, Brunello Cucinelli ivory window pane sleeveless anorak, and Alexander McQueen gold thong flat sandal. (Model: Mandy)


Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week: Mark and Estel collection

IMG_4994“You are fashion rock stars, you are beautiful just the way you are!” Belted out by Mark Tango and Estel Day, the fashion and music duo of Mark and Estel, these words closed out their runway show. Performance has been the fabric of their brand since they launched in 2005. The press took notice early on when Mary-Kate Olsen started sporting their designs. Fame and attention ensued; in 2009 they custom-made the ‘Ripped & Holey Leggings’ for Lady Gaga’s Fame Ball Tour.

The duo’s Fall/Winter 2015 Stairway to the Stars collection made me want to host a royal rock ‘n roll ball when I get back to Honolulu – it oozed a rebellious rocker spirit with a grownup spin. ME-created herringbone, gingham and tartan prints in silks, wools and knits were the foundation of their ready-to-wear collection.

Here’s a look at my favorite moments before and during the show:


Seated in the front row: model Cynthia Bailey (left) of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”




My absolute favorite look from the collection: black silk cape with leather yoke over a red tartan ME-print lace top and leggings.



White cotton pleated picnic dress.


Blue and red plaid ME-print cotton-linen picnic dress.


Blue and red plaid ME-print cotton-linen trench coat.


Equestrian look: black leggings with white ME-print silk blouse.


Black pencil skirt with black and white silk chiffon blouse.


Black silk pant with silk wrap top.


White silk fitted trouser with white silk asymmetrical top.


Estel Day and Mark Tango perform during the finale walk.


2015 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week: Mongol collection

Fashion blogger Amanda Stevens is at the 2015 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York for a look at some new collections being unveiled on its runways. She’ll share the latest looks and catch up with designers backstage. Check back for more from Fashion Week.

IMG_4856Traveling throughout Asia, Europe and America has given Mongol collection designer Bayarmaa Bayarkhuu a thirst for art, history and culture – and you’ll see this expressed in her collection.

“The main concept is sustainability,” Bayarkhuu says, “We use Mongolian lamb fur. They are fed on the open range and not slaughtered, the wool is sheared. We also use thick silk and cashmere.” Bayarkhuu’s collection seamlessly melds these traditional textures with contemporary silhouettes and allows women to have fun with its many designs and vibrant colors. “I design for the woman who is independent, confident and very international, who can make her own definition of fashion.”

Here are a few of my favorite fashion moments before, during and after the runway show:


(Left to right) I loved the luxe meets 1970s sparkle with cut-outs & leather fringe dress with a sexy urban chic vibe.

Photographers awaiting the beginning of the runway show.

Photographers awaiting the beginning of the runway show.


Front row seats for these models at the runway show.


Actor, singer, songwriter and dancer Kendall Schmidt before the runway show.


Actor Kady Zadora, daughter of singer/actress Pia Zadora strikes a pose at the beginning of the runway.


Mr. India Galaxy drew a bunch of attention before the runway show.








Designer Bayarmaa Bayarkhuu takes bow after the finale walk.


Backstage after the show, designer Bayarmaa Bayarkhuu is congratulated by her supporters.


Actress/comedian Maya Rudolph congratulates designer Bayarmaa Bayarkhuu.


Fashion notables: Devyn Abdullah – winner of “”The Face” Season One (far left wearing black) also ,JaRed (pronounced jah-red) Cameron fashion model from the Bronx (wearing grey and black).


Recording artist Gregori Lukas (wearing a fur lined jacket), backstage with his uber fashionable friends.