Transformation Tuesday

My Taco Tuesdays might now be replaced by Thrifting Tuesdays, and lets be honest the overload of tacos needed to stop anyway, but that’s another story. (most likely eating tacos next Tuesday Heh heh)

This morning I decided to take a quick trip to “Goodwill” in Alameda, California and let me tell you that this location had beautiful garments that were in great condition,the store was clean and well organized I definitely recommend to check it out if you’re located in the Bay Area. I found a few pieces with unique details like beading, sequin and vintage trims but I will say that most of the sizes were Large but I went ahead and purchased them anyway. Now I know what you’re probably thinking why would I buy pieces that are not my size? well believe or not this was actually a great source of inspiration my mind was immediately inspired to re-create my existing thrift finds. As soon as I got home I took out the XL sequin top and placed on my dress form and begin to play with different ways I could turn an 80’s top to a modern piece. The possibilities are endless from a top to a possible cocktail dress and more, this is a technique I learned In one of my fashion classes at Academy of Art University and it changed the way I look at existing garments not only vintage pieces but also any sale items I find in retail stores, having an open mind and knowing you can turn it into something unique that fits your figure and wallet is always a great alternative. Below you can find a quick slideshow of my kind of “Transformation Tuesday” where I show how to go from an 80’s top to a beautiful Cocktail Dress. 

Let me know what you guys think by commenting down below, Happy Tuesday Guys!!!

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Café with Victor & a triple shot of inspiration

Hi everybody! My name is Victor and I’m a fashion writer and social media specialist. I was so excited when Yesenia asked me to be a guest blogger on Mexicana Americana. I can’t wait to tell you a bit more about a day we recently spent together.

Processed with VSCOcam with s2 presetI invited Yesenia to have coffee with me on an early Sunday morning. I had been dying to visit Trouble Coffee’s new location in Oakland, so we ventured out to have breakfast in the white and bright space. I’m a sucker for natural lighting and Trouble exceeded my expectations. The space is so beautifully minimal, yet inviting and cozy. I had heard good things about their cinnamon toast so I decided to order it to accompany my iced chai. We also ordered a coconut to share – and my was it delicious!

While enjoying our refreshing treat, Yesenia and I chatted a bit about our goals and dreams. I love talking to Yesenia about these sorts of things because we’re both really ambitious for our age, and I love being able to get our thoughts and plans organized. Yesenia and I have very different career goals, but we give each other ideas as to what should be our next step. It’s great to have a supportive friendship with someone – it really inspires you to keep on working to achieve your ultimate goals.
Yesenia and I also love chatting about the fashion industry. Whether it’s about fashion news or maybe a new exhibit that’s coming to town, we always keep each other updated. This time around we talked a bit about the news of Alexander Wang leaving Balenciaga. We each threw out ideas as to who we think will replace him. I can’t wait to see if one of us was right!
Yesenia wanted me to share a bit about my style with all of you. My style is constantly changing to adapt to my daily life. Right now it’s super relaxed because my work office is pretty casual. I tend to opt for comfortable fabrics and fits that I can wear all day long without feeling stuffy. I’m going to be honest, I did dress specifically for the coffee shop we were visiting. I wanted to keep my look a bit more minimal but I didn’t want to blend in too much. I thought my blue jeans and plaid shirt would be a good pop against the white space. I’m a total aesthete so keeping everything cohesive is always a must for me!
Instagram: @victrver
Shirt: Sandro
Jeans: Madewell
Boots: Madewell
Sunglasses: Gucci

Amour a la Mexicana- underneath expectable Lingerie

For my brides that don’t settle for the “usual”, San Francisco based Lingerie Designer Stephanie Bodnar is your go to for that special night or a daily wear of vintage inspired lingerie. Stephanie is the creator of  EVGENIA a brand that is inspired by the 1920’s. Her pieces have french details,floral prints and color pallets that personally take me back to vintage photography and current colors we see in Mexican architecture and nature.

Creator of EVGENIA LINGERIE- Stephanie Bodnar

Creator of EVGENIA LINGERIE- Stephanie Bodnar

I recently had the amazing opportunity to interview Stephanie Bodnar and even though this time of the year is quite busy for her business she took some time to answer a few questions via email. As a Fashion Design Student I took the opportunity to ask Stephanie for advice in how to break in the fashion industry, she of course provided me with great advice.

Below my interview you can find her campaign video and website for incredible Lingerie Wear, you won’t regret seeing what her creativity and hard work delivers.

What products and/or services do you provide?

I make fine lingerie for the modern heartbreaker. I specialize in silk pieces with French insertion lace detailing, an embellishment which was popular in the 1920’s. I also make ribbon corsets.

How long have you been in business?

I started my business as Honey Cooler Handmade in early 2011.

How did you choose the name for your business?

The first name, Honey Cooler Handmade, came from my love for the 1920’s – “honey cooler” is Deco-era slang for a kiss. My new name since my rebranding at the Fashion Incubator is Evgenia. Eugenia is my middle name and the name of my Ukrainian grandmother – I chose it because of its personal importance to me (it in fact, IS me), and its nostalgia for days gone by. It has an old word feeling which I adore and the “V” spelling lends an air of sexiness to the name as well!
What is your marketing strategy?

I sell online and in several boutiques across the country. I also have a small boutique within a boutique at the Artful Gentleman space in SoMA. I reach my customers through social media and word of mouth. I’ve had some lovely press pieces written about Evgenia over the years and those always help to bring an audience!

What was the most difficult aspect of starting your business?

Building a customer base – that is still a challenge for me! I started on Etsy where people tend to spend less money. My pieces are quite a bit more expensive than most of Etsy lingerie, so it’s hard to compete! Once I got into my first brick and mortar store, things started to pick up a bit for me. The transition of making one-of-a-kind pieces to actual collections with size runs was a huge challenge as well, but one that ultimately made it easier to reach out to boutiques.

What is the biggest day-to-day challenge in operating your business?

My biggest challenge is wrangling everything! I’m the only person running this business with the exception of an intern. I do absolutely everything, from designing to making samples, to hand grading my patterns, keeping my books, running sales and events, making my printed collateral, reaching out to boutiques, all social media, blogging, promotion, planning photo shoots… the list goes on and on. The biggest challenge is being able to tackle all these tasks, because truthfully nothing can get neglected, and although I love the design aspect, it’s only about 10% of the work I do.

What is your biggest reward in operating your own business?

Making sales and reaching customers! It’s so exciting to see your work validated by a purchase. It means you’re on the right track and that people understand and appreciate what you do!
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?

Be ready to be everything in your business and be ready to work a lot. I can’t speak to every entrepreneurial venture, but as far as fashion goes, ask yourself how much time you’re willing to sacrifice for your dream. Be honest with yourself. Fashion is not a 40 hour work week if you’re on your own. It’s much much more than that. I work basically all the time, 10-12+ hour days, often including weekends. There used to be a point when I really hated giving up my weekends for work. When I began to not mind, I knew I was doing the right thing. You should always be excited about what you do!
Who or what inspires you to design?

I love the aesthetics of eras gone by, so I often start my collections by looking at the silhouettes and graphic elements from those time periods. The 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s are my favorites for lingerie! I have some awesome books and online resources I start with and then find ways to reach a modern woman with silhouettes that are inspired by other eras.

http://www.iamevgenia.com