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Nolcha Fashion Week

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On Tuesday, February 18, 2014 my stylist Patricia Ann Parenti attended the Nolcha Fashion Lounge + Media Brunch at The Empire Hotel Rooftop which has a beautiful view of the city. The Empire Hotel is located at 44 West 63 rd Street between Broadway and Columbus Ave. Nolcha Fashion Week is a leading award winning event held during New York Fashion Week for independent fashion designers to showcase their collections to a global audience of press, retailers, stylists and influential fashion industry people.  Industry people were invited to meet and greet independent fashion brands and refreshments from smartwater and Skinnygirl sparklers by Arizona Tea plus with pampering with RUSK. For more information on Nolcha go to:

Patricia picked the designers that she thought had the best and most unusual collections to interview and take photos of at the Media Brunch based on her fashion industry expertise of many years. She was particularly interested in promoting designers  where their products were manufactured in the good old USA  for the simple purpose of having better quality goods and to drum up more jobs in the United States.   
Christian Benner Photos taken by Stylist Patricia Parenti
Christian Benner is from the East Village in NYC and lives and breaths the "rock and roll" lifestyle which is reflected in his leather motorcycle jackets. His inspiration was the history of The Punk Rock/CBGB club scene from the 1970's and 1980's. He liked the fact that the scene had no rules and everyone watched each others backs. In today's fashion world he wasn't seeing any clothes reflecting that era out there so he he decided to start a revolution and create rock and roll style jackets/boots himself. The jackets start out as plain Buffalo hide leather which he hand paints and puts studs on with his bare hands and pliers. Each jacket takes about a week to create and they are one of a kind that retail for about a $1,000.00. He also hand-makes leather boots worn by the "punk rockers"  in collaboration with the shoe company Modern Vice right here in The Garment Center in NYC.  Each pair is hand painted and safety pins/chains are painstakingly put in by hand. I lived in the Punk Rock era; went to all the clubs so I know Christian is definitely re-creating the clothes the guys wore then. The collection I absolutely loved. 
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Jess Rizzuti  Photos taken by Stylist Patricia Parenti
Jess Rizzuti is handbag obsessed and because of it she always splurged on bags. This is the reason in 2009 she went into this business and because of her art background. She is a hands on person whom loves to work in conjunction with the factory right here in NYC. For years handbags were made right here in the city until the 1980's when they went to China and now there is a major resurgence of NYC manufacturing. No basic styles for Jess for she likes to use color and fabrics/leathers with interesting textures. Some of the materials she uses are leather, velvet, cork, cotton and silk. She matches the outside of the bag with silk dupioni and African print linings. Since she is a working girl, she knows you need inside pockets and zip compartments on the inside so your keys and cell phone don't fall out when you walk the streets of NYC, suddenly stop and open your purse. By drawing the shape of a bag around the contents of what she carries on a daily basis in her own bag which is sitting in a pile on the floor she really learns a women's handbag needs.  With all my Accessory business expertise I feel she has a great quality collection that is both functional and attractive. The bags retail from $275.00-$700.00 but will last for many years to come. To see the many styles and order go to:
Adolfo Sanchez  photos taken by Stylist Patricia Parenti
A returning designer that is one of my favorite also made in USA. Adolfo Sanchez makes his beautiful ladylike collection right in Los Angeles, California. His collection was mainly in black and white colors for the Fall/Winter 2014 season. The rich luxurious textiles he used were sequins covered with lace, hand painted leather, mesh and velvet. A special item was a cocktail jacket using the inside part of the lace covered sequin fabric for the outside body of the jacket. These clothes are for very feminine, glamorous and sexy dolls (women) whom want to look outstanding and not blend in with the crowd. He specializes in day into evening suits and red carpet gowns that make a women's curves stand out. His style is definitely my idea of dressing to go out in at night. Retail prices for day $250.00 - $500.00 and night $900.00 and up but well worth the price considering the quality, workmanship and design of the clothes.
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Christopher Belt in NYC  - Photos taken by Stylist Patricia Parenti
3S even and 8 is bag line designed by Christopher Belt in NYC using the best leathers sourced form Florence and Pisa, Italy. The leathers of choice were lambskin, patient finished with a very special process to the leather called craccato which is to spray suede hides with patina and various other finishes with an intention of it cracking and rubbing away with time. The material on top rubs away slowly where used and the beautiful colors from beneath come out. The hardware on the bags is solid nickel so it doesn't tarnish or rust. Shapes are feminine and curvy with decorative topstiching. Spring-Summer 2014 collection is about color blocking in pastel tones with iridescent and metallic finishes. Christopher's inspiration is from the materials used in Architect Antoni Gaudi's Spanish structures. These bags are beautiful, classic and ladylike but practical with inside pockets and a clip for keys.  Retail prices $345.00-$695.00 and of the highest quality leather that will last a life time. To see more styles and learn more about the designer go to:
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