One To Watch – A Chat With Emerging Designer: Satu Maaranen

Last Tuesday, I attended the Première Vision NY and Indigo NY (textile and print design shows), for Fall-Winter 14/15. I This was the first time the two shows have been combined into one big event. I had a great time checking out the predicted print and textile trends for next year.

Right before I left the shows, I noticed a “featured display” corner of fashion and photography work that was so unique and creative. It ended up belonging to the winning designer of this year’s Hyères International Festival of Fashion & Photography  competition, which partners with Première Vision. The designer was Satu Maaranen, who hails all the way from Helsinki! I was glad chat with her a little about her design aesthetics and the competition.

Designer Satu Maartanen

Designer Satu Maaranen

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KIKU -Sugary Chef,Flower,Bright Neon Fashionista!

kiku feature

I do not find joy in cooking and rarely will you find me in the kitchen preparing a meal…Lol! I do, however, enjoy watching delicious food be prepared and I am an excellent “taster” 😉

Every once and awhile I like to flip to the Food Network and check their programs, but never stuck to watching any particular shows consistently. So, when Top Chef first premiered on Bravo TV, it was easy for me to become addicted to watching the cooking challenge show, and thought it was so entertaining. Unfortunately after a few seasons, I soon became bored with the familiar settings and challenges each week and lost interest. Thankfully my interest consistently watching a cooking based reality show, has been reclaimed by  Chef Roble’ & Co, ironically also on Bravo!

Bravo serves up a new slice of culinary drama with Chef Roblé & Co. as Roblé Ali risks it all to cater the biggest events New York City has to offer. Roblé is joined by his older sister Jasmine, who has relocated from Atlanta to help him start his business. Other members of the catering team include Artie and Shawn, who handle the front of house, and Adam, Ché, Kikuyo, and D’Andre in the kitchen. ~

Chef Roble’ & Co.- Bravo TV

Although Roble’ Ali is the star and a very trendy dude himself, when we are introduced to his Pastry Chef- Kikuyo who they call Kiku, the audience is also introduced to the “style” that is Kiku! Her bright color styling choices and edgy haircut may lead in first impressions, but we soon realize that this petite stature -deep voiced- spit fire is an amazing talent as well!! Since Roble’ is what they call a “Savory Chef”, having Kiku a “Pastry Chef”, on his team saves his company presentation in several episodes that call for a sweeter experience.


Allow me to introduce you to: the flower, Kiku in her own words, and some of her fun looks!

Yellow Kiku from Habitually Chic blogspot

The first cultivated varieties of Kiku were introduced to Japan from China in the 8th century A.D., and the Japanese have been growing chrysanthemums ever since, more than a thousand years. Japan’s national flower, the chrysanthemum appears on the crest of the Imperial family. -Wikipedia

In her own words: I’ve been baking practically since I could walk. My Mother, Grandmothers,and Aunts were all amazing in the kitchen and taught me most of what I know. I owned my first baking company when I was a kid called “Kiku’s Cookies”. I would bake and sell chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies in brown paper bags I had decorated with crayons, markers and puffy paint (yes, puffy paint!)I decided to open my first real grown up baking business with my best friend Natalie Testamark, called SweetVirgo Desserts. After years of being my own boss (and loving every second of it!),Roblé approached me to work with him on ‘Chef Roblé and Co.’and I jumped at the chance. ~Just Call Me Kiku

Kiku Profile pic on Bravo

The newest full-time member of Roblé’s kitchen crew, Kiku has been baking since she could stand and specializes in home-style desserts. A California girl with Southern roots, she’s the only woman and West Coaster in the kitchen. Not afraid to stand her ground, Kiku values her individuality and loves everything neon, glittery and ’80s.

Kiku – work meetings with Chef Roble’ & Co. on Bravo

Kiku keeps it colorful with makeup and accessories!

Kiku keeps it bright and excited about working with a famous Avant Garde Eyewear Designer.

Keeping it colorful on her facebook page, which you should “LIKE”!!!!! Click this picture and show Kiku some love today :)

Follow Kiku on Facebook and Twitter!

Live in Brooklyn? Visiting Brooklyn or New York this weekend??  If so, you should attend Kiku’s viewing Party “BAKED” at Good Company this Sunday night! Come out and show Kiku and the Chef Roble’ & Co. team some love! For more information see flyer below.



LV’s Wild Kingdom in Australia-Animal Handbags!!

LV animal bag feature
A Dose by Brandi

I am a huge animal fan and of course I eat, sleep, and breathe fashion; so, when I saw the new Billie Achilleos and Louis Vuitton collection I instantly fell in love.

Achilleos created animal sculptures entirely out of Louis Vuitton bags and accessories.  This collaboration, which is the second this year between the two, is in honor of Louis Vuitton’s new flagship store opening in Syndey, Australia.  Each local animal is so detailed it is hard to believe they were made out of purses and other accessories.

What are your thoughts on these pieces of “animalistic” fashion?

Fall/Winter 2011 Haute Couture Show!

Most people on the morning of July 4th are finishing up some light cooking and setting up the backyard for the family barbeque that will be taking place in a few short hours.  Not me!  I was anxiously counting down the hours and minutes till the Fall/Winter 2011 Haute Couture show in Paris.

The literal meaning of “haute couture” is high fashion.  That is exactly who owns the runway at this show; the most fashionable and influential design houses in the world.  The real meaning of couture, which most people overlook today, is the entire garment was made by hand.  The pieces shown in a couture show are always over the top and what is not traditionally worn on a day to day basis.  This show gives the head designer of a fashion house the chance to show off their imagination and design skills.  I love seeing the designs because they are always so extravagant and include so much detail. Among the designers that showed their line, these designers had pieces that stole my heart:

Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli for Valentino - The embroidery for this dress took 300 hours to complete

Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli for Valentino


Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel - The suit collection was presented as homage to the first Chanel suit pieces

Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel


Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy


Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy - The back of the dress was embroidered with metallic thread to resemble a Bird of Paradise


Jean Paul Gaultier

Jean Paul Gaultier

Since John Galliano has been removed as the head designer for Dior last March, for making racist and anti-Semitic comments, I have been looking forward to these designs.  Bill Gaytten has been Galliano’s right hand man for years and has finally gotten his chance to show what he is as a designer.  Although he had large shoes to fill as head designer, I was extremely disappointed in his designs.  Galliano has a whimsy effect in his garments that Gaytten was exceedingly lacking.

Dior’s chief executive, Sidney Toledano, was quoted by AFP International News, “You know when you ask young girls all the time when they are going to get married, they reply: When I find the right man”.

Bill Gaytten for Dior

Bill Gaytten for Dior

All photos courtesy of