Monthly Archives: April 2016

OMG! It’s Been A Year?!

I’ll never forget the moment I decided to become a lifestyle blogger. I had been secretly writing poetry and think-pieces on my tablet for maybe a year or so. I would write about my life, the world, and how those around me would make me feel. Creative writing has always been very therapeutic for me. After sharing a few of my pieces with my family they encouraged me to share my passion for writing with the world. At first, I wasn’t sure how to go about doing that, and then one day it dawned on me I’m always giving advice or debating about topics that are near and dear to my heart, why not turn those discussions into blog entries? Well that’s exactly what I did. After that, my website DEVandtheCITY just flawlessly came together. 

It’s a surreal feeling to know my website has been in existence for an entire year now. I have viewers from all over the world, and everyday I find it hard to wrap my head around that idea. I love the fact that I can freely express myself and you all just seem to get me. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that your words resonate with individuals that that are thousand and thousand of miles away. 

To all of the DEVandtheCITY supporters, I just want to say from the bottom of my heart thank you all so, so, SO much! Thanks for sharing my posts on your social sites, for the retweets and favorites, and just for old-fashioned “word of mouth.” You all will never know how much you mean to me. I truly hope you all will continue to support my website and my brand. I look forward to continuing to share my life and thoughts with you all. 

Always remember to keep God first, be kind, remain humble, stay grateful, and that there is no such such thing as a dream being too big. 

Xo, 

Fashion Week Lake Charles Recap: My Top 10 Fave Runway Looks From FWLC!


Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending Fashion Week Lake Charles. It was truly a magnificent event! I was in awe of all of the FWLC designers exquisite lines. I’ve decided to compile a list of 10 of my favorite looks from the Fashion Week Lake Charles showcases. Check them out below!

#10. Men’s Wearshouse

I simply adored this suit, and the fuchsia accents were a wonderful touch.



#9. Mary Olive & Co. 

This rich jeweled-tone A-line dress is perfect for summer brunch or a springtime wedding.


#8. Mary Olive & Co. 

I LOVED this ivory romper with cape detail. Can we say DRAMA(and the good kind)?!

#7. Quad Clothing Company 

Being a southern girl myself, I love the Southern Belle esthetic of this ensemble.

#6. James Allen

This beautiful number is a show-stopper. The elegant satin texture, the vibrant patterns, and the flowy cut makes it perfect for springtime, and I love that it can be worn as separates.



#5. Mary Olive & Co. 

As soon as I saw this dress I instantly fell in love. It’s delicate yet bold. I will definitely be adding it to my closet soon!

#4. Negris Lebrum

This halter-style, wide-legged, backless jumpsuit was truly eye-catching!

#3. Hats By Iniziobella 

This vibrant fascinator was just that…fascinating! It is truly the statement piece every fashionista needs in their closet.

#2. Rhinestone Runway

I loved this elegant bridal gown, it was truly breath-taking.



#1. Quad Clothing Company 

I am still GAGGING at how gorgeous this gown is! I just love how it effortlessly moved as the model strutted down the runway.

To learn more about the designers or shop these looks visit www.fashionweeklc.com!

Xo,

*Special Thanks to Monsours Photography for providing these lovely photos.

Fashion Week Lake Charles: 4 Days of Fabulous! 

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*James Porter, winner of FWLC 2016 posing with models wearing his Spring 2016 collection of James Allen.

To say Fashion Week Lake Charles was just fabulous is an understatement. FWLC was the epitome of a beautiful fashion extravaganza, and definitely made a splash in the city of Lake Charles! When Julie Branden said she wanted to show the great city of Lake Charles the fashion world she was used to, she truly meant it. The event was well thought out, thoroughly planned, and eloquently presented. From the fashions to the parties to the food I was beyond impressed. Everyone that attended the FWLC events brought their fashion A-game, and I was inspired by all of the grand style I was surrounded by.

Julie Branden, founder of Fashion Week Lake Charles, gave me the wonderful opportunity of being the media correspondent for FWLC. I have to say I was a tad nervous, seeing that I had never been given this type of task before. However, after my first interview I felt right at home. I discovered I have a niche for interviewing people. It was fascinating learning about all the designers, vendors, and attendees. I got a chance to interview some passionate and driven individuals. It was a hectic job, but a fun one!

Be sure to check out all of the footage I captured while I was at FWLC below!

Day 1: Media Soirée Party

Day 1 of FWLC took place at a swanky bar called “The Heist” located in historic downtown Lake Charles. The venue was very glamorous, and set the perfect tone for what Fashion Week Lake Charles had to come. I got a chance to get acquainted with the designers and fellow media personnel’s.

IMG_7428*Candace Grace, owner of GAGG Shoes.

IMG_7439*Candace Grace, Shawn Landry, Cliffany Garrison owner of Cliffany Cosmetics, FWLC designer Lex Fondel owner of ReignWear Designs.

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*FWLC Founder Julie Branden and Myself

IMG_7466*FWLC Model Coach Alyssa Burris w/ models. 

Day 2: FWLC Launch Party

Day 2 was all about fun! The FWLC launch party was held at the sexy “Blue Martini Room” in the Golden Nugget Casino Resort. It felt like Las Vegas had come to Lake Charles. There were models covered in body paint, lavish show girls roaming the party, and the drinks were flowing.

IMG_7491*FWLC Media Coordinator Donovan Comeaux and Gale Branden. 

IMG_7483*Alyssa Burris, Myself, and Ciaara Woods.

IMG_7489*Doreen Clark, wearing a ReignWear Design.

IMG_7495*Body paint artwork done by Skin Wars finalist Angela Roberts.

IMG_7497*FWLC designer Barbara Ndarake, owner of Hats by Iniziobella and Julie Branden.

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Day 3: FWLC Runway Showcase Day 1

Day 3 was the first day of the fashion showcase, which featured emerging designers. As well as, vendors of all sorts in the Style Lounge. This event was held at the Isle of Capri Casino Resort.

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*ShauntealPrejean of Voodoo Makeup and a young model.

IMG_7732*Miss Black Louisiana pageant queens and Donovan Comeaux.

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*Pageant queens Maddy Grayce Canik, Skylar Canik, Morgan Monlezun and Mayson Marcle. 

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*American Horror Story model Ania Spiering and Julie Branden. 

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Day 4: FWLC Runway Showcase Day 2

Day 4 was day two of the fashion showcase, which featured seasoned designers and an array of vendors in the Style Lounge. Hosted at the Isle of Capri Casino Resort.

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*FWLC Models Ebobi Johnson and Megan Smith.

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*FWLC Hairstylist Valleen Vallare with a model.

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*Authoress Sierra Jones-Demouchmet and her husband Dion Demouchet.

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*FWLC Founder Julie Branden with NOLAFW Founder Tracee Dumas

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*Candace Grace and Myself.

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*Barbara Ndarake, myself, and Ekei Ion.

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*Ann Monzulen, FWLC Fashion Icon Honoree, and Miss Black Louisiana pageant queen Kiandra Briché.

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*Faces of FWLC Cheyenne Horner and LeeZa Thibideaux with Julie Branden.

FWLC was an extraordinary experience. Lake Charles is more than just boudin or cajun country (as I call it). It’s a city filled with some insanely talented designers.

I want to say thank you to FWLC videographer Jason Keyes of Light Media for being such a joy to work with and making my first correspondent job a pleasant experience. Last, but certainly not least, I want to say a huge Thank You to Julie Branden and the entire FWLC production team for allowing me to partake in such an amazing event. It was truly an honor. Even one week later, as I write this, I am still in awe at how beautiful this event was. I am looking forward to Fashion Week Lake Charles 2017!

Xo,
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*Be sure to be on the lookout for more FWLC posts coming soon!

The Catch-Up! 

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Photo | BingImages

Oh gosh! Where do I begin?! These last four weeks of my life have truly been a whirlwind. I spent 21 days in Los Angeles, and then I spent 5 days in Lake Charles, LA, and during those total of 26 days I only had 2 real off days. So yes, I am EXHAUSTED…but there’s no time for rest. My career is just beginning to really take off and my life is only going to get busier. I’ve been mentally preparing myself for this moment for a very long time, and between God and my wisdom, I know I can do this. I’m just trying to take it all in, and savor every moment (which is much easier said then done).

It’s funny since being been back in New Orleans, I’ve been waiting for my life to return back to normal but weirdly it won’t be (my next project is only a few weeks away). One thing is for sure I’m truly in a happy space in my life. I’m beyond thankful. There is no greater feeling than when you start to see your dreams come into fruition. I’m not quite sure what I did to deserve all of these wonderful blessings, but I’m so grateful God sees me worthy of them.

Always remember no dream is too big or too unrealistic. If God gives you a vision, trust and believe in it, and I guarantee it will lead you right to your destiny. So never give up. Pray, be patient, and then pray some more.

Be sure to be on the look out for my posts about my LA and Fashion Week Lake Charles experiences coming soon!

Until Next Time,

Interview: Meet Julie Branden, Founder of Fashion Week Lake Charles!


Photo | c/o Julie Branden

It was no surprise to me when I recieved a call from Julie Branden back in December to be a part of Fashion Week Lake Charles (FWLC), an event she was entirely producing and coordinating by herself. I’ve known Julie practically my entire life, and as far back as I can remember she has always been a fashionista and what I would call an all-around fab girl. Originally a New Orleanian, Julie Branden found herself in Lake Charles, LA due to the displacement of Hurricane Katrina back in 2005. “Lake Charles has the potential to be a huge fashion destination,” Julie said to me at the FWLC casting call back in January. Something I would have to agree with, the city is filled with exquisite hidden boutiques, and fabulous up-and-coming fashion designers. (Click here to view my interviews with Lake Charles-based designers Indrea Gordon and James Porter.)

Of course when people think of fashion, Louisiana is usually not correlated with it. However, Julie Branden intends to change that and put Louisiana on the map for great fashion, and grand style. As the owner of Vivid Image Consulting Salon and Styling Studio, and the only certified image consultant in Louisiana, Julie is the perfect candidate to take on that task. Be sure to read my interview with Julie Branden below!

FWLC is just a few days away! How are you feeling? 

Crazy…nervous…making sure I don’t fall flat on my face. *laughs*

What made you want to start this event? 

I wanted to introduce Lake Charles to the fashion world I know, and  since my granddaughter Gabbi has junior diabetes I figured this event would be a great platform to bring awareness to this dreadful disease. 

 *Gabbi, Julie’s granddaughter. Julie is using FWLC to bring awareness to adolescents suffering from junior diabetes like Gabbi. Image c/o Julie Branden.

I know the theme of FWLC is “Beautiful Chaos.” Why is that? 

When diabetes hits your household it causes chaos, and we all associate fashion with beauty…cue in the event name. 

What can attendees of Fashion Week Lake Charles expect? 

All around fabulousness! It’s a total of 12 shows, and there will be something for everyone. Womenswear, menswear, swimwear, and even kidswear. During the show’s intermission we will have a silent biding taking place. And I’m even going to be bringing a little of New Orleans to Lake Charles! 

What designer’s showcase are you most looking forward to? 

Barbara Ndrake! She designs fascinators. She’s actually flying in all the way from Nigeria for this event.

Being a fashionista yourself, do you think you will ever get into designing? I know you can sew. 

*Laughs* No, I’m busy enough! But I do feel I’ve passed that down to my granddaughter Laci. She’s super creative. 

What is the outcome you would like to see from Fashion Week Lake Charles

I want people to put Lake Charles on their radar when it comes to fashion, we have a lot of talent here but no one knows it. More importantly, I want to turn junior diabetes from “Type 1 to Type none.”

 *Julie Branden with FWLC models.

Fashion Week Lake Charles festivities begin this Thursday, with the “Patron Launch Party,” taking place at the Blue Martini Lounge. The fashion showcases will be Friday, April 15th and Saturday, April 16th at the Isle of Capri Casino and Resort. To purchase tickets click here.

I will be bringing you all the behind scenes coverage of FWLC right here on my website, as I will be serving as the red carpet correspondent for this superb event.

To learn more about Fashion Week Lake Charles. Visit www.fashionweeklc.com

Xo,
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Interview: Meet James Porter, Creator of James Allen Designs

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*image c/o James Porter

A native of Lake Charles, LA, James Porter is a Lake Charles-Based fashion designer, and the owner of the ready-to-wear line, James Allen. James Porter, a self-proclaimed “newbie” to the world of design, has only been professionally designing for less than 5 years. However, James says he always knew he wanted to be a designer, even back when he was in high school he always loved sketching. Recently, his passion for design came back in to full force, and he decided it was time for the fashion world to know his designs…and his name. After playing a bit of a round of phone tag with James Porter, I finally got the chance to speak with him. James Porter will be one of the featured designers at the first annual Fashion Week Lake Charles (FWLC), beginning next Friday. Be sure to read my interview with him below!

How do you feel being a Louisiana native has influenced you as a designer?

The nature…the energy…there are times you can be walking by a store and it gives you a hint of an idea here. The music, the food, the things we are known for…the fleur de lis. I want people to know I am from Louisiana. I’m Bayou Bound. *laughs*

Where did you gain the skill of sewing from?

[A few years ago ] I moved back from Baton Rouge and I decided to get back into sewing. I started taking classes at The Sewing Company.

Who would you say inspires you to design?

Well my teacher at The Sewing Company, Ms. Woods inspires me. I have good friends that I work with, and they are some of my biggest inspirations [as well].

How did you get involved with FWLC?

Actually a friend of mines tagged me in a Facebook post talking about the upcoming event.

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*a sneakpeek of a James Allen couture gown that will be featured in the FWLC Showcase, image c/o James Porter.

I remember you mentioning this is the first time you are participating in an event of this kind, how are you feeling?

I’m super excited…but with a touch of anxiety.

Describe your designs in one word.

Confident. My ultimate goal is for my clients to feel confident in the clothing.

What makes your designs different from other designers?

I actually care about my clients feeling comfortable. My designs are created to fit multiple body types. I’m so tired of seeing people wear clothing that is just not good for them.

What is the legacy you to want to leave behind as a designer?

Recently I’m a huge fan of Tom Ford, Alexander McQueen, even Ralph Lauren, I want James Allen to be in it’s own class by itself, just as these designers are. I want to see a celebrity couple wearing my designs on the red carpet. I want this company to be timeless and last as long as possible. 

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*some of the James Allen Swimwear pieces that will be featured in the FWLC Showcase, image c/o James Porter.

Make sure to catch the fabulous designs of James Allen and other wonderful designers next weekend at FWLC. To purchase tickets for the fashion extravaganza click here!

Xo,
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To learn more about Fashion Week Lake Charles visit www.fashionweeklc.com

5 Lippies You Have To Try This Spring!

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Photo | devandthecity.polyvore.com

I simply adore the spring time! You finally get a chance to put away your bulky sweaters and boots, and bring out your more fun, whimsical clothing. Just as your clothing should transition from Winter to Spring, so should your beauty style. Now I have to admit my go-to lippie year-round is a beautiful nude by NYX Cosmetics, it’s perfect and it goes with EVERYTHING. However, I’m promising myself that this spring I’m going to shake up my beauty routine by adding a pop of color to my lips. Below I’ve listed 5 Lippies I will definitely be trying out this spring (and you should too)!

black opal fashion fuschia
Black Opal Fashion Fuchsia, $8
1. Deep Fuchsia

I love fuchsia anything (I mean just check out my website banner)! This luscious color compliments everyone, and screams Spring-Time!

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NYX Girl Crush, $6
2. Bubble Gum Pink

When I think of springtime, pastel colors come to mind. This lippie will definitely put you in a springtime mood.

revlon siren
Revlon Siren, $8
3. Spicy Coral

Every fashionista knows that coral is one of the colors you have to add to your spring wardrobe. This spring, instead of adding coral pieces to your closet try it on your lips.

blackUP bright red
BlackUP Bright Red, $23
4. Popsicle Red

A candy-apple red is the perfect colored lippie to give your spring beauty style a reboot.

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Mary Kay Maple, $18
5. Soft Bronze

This caramel colored lippie is a fabulous choice for fashionistas who aren’t fully committed to trying a super bright color on their lips yet. It will give you that springtime pop you want, without being overpowering.

Be sure to pair all these colorful lippies with a nude eye for a sassy look all springtime long!

What lippie are  you most excited about trying out this spring?! Tell me about in the comments!

Xo,
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