Couple of days ago I wrote about entering Arena Centar blogger challenge which is organized by www.krpa.hr portal. First, I told you about the challenge as soon as I was invited to join in, then, I told you about my hard learned speedy shopping lessons, and now I am finally able to share the video of my first challenge.

The first shopping challenge was to choose the outfit which I would wear to a Jazz concert with my boyfriend, with intention to blend in (I was never good with blending in J ) but to stay true to our own personal style.

 We had to choose a dress as a central piece and shop in predetermined Arena Centar Zagreb stores in each of which we had set limited budgets and total of one hour of time. The stores were: Bellisima (up to 1,000 HRK), S ‘Oliver (up to 700 HRK),  Shoebox (up to 1,000 HRK), Argentum (up to 250 HRK) any other store (up to 350 HRK) but not exceeding the total set task budget of 1500 HRK. We also had a chance to choose outfit fitting Sephora make up in the amount of up to 300 HRK.


The first store I went to was intuitively shoe store – Shoebox, I liked 3 different pair of shoes and finally picked elegant BCBG skinny, black, soft, suede wedges with net looking top. Although they didn’t have my shoe size, my feet worked with me and shrunk in this stressful situation ;)

Later, I picked sleeveless, black and white interesting print, button up, knee high dress with fabric belt and lovely black square buttons in Bellisima. This was my biggest challenge as I never shopped in this store before and they didn’t have the dress I liked in my size, so I took the size bigger.



At the charming jewelry stand – Argentum, I picked classic pearl earrings not to distract and overload the outfit due to the business of the dress.


For “any other store” I picked Zara, where I was not sure if I should go with a purse or a hat, but the hat was more me, so I picked large black straw hat to add some glam and mystery to selected outfit.


Lastly, I picked simple lacy white scarf in S ‘Oliver which can serve as a detail to be tied around the hat or over a shoulder when it gets cold after the concert (I imagined my Jazz concert to be in Dubrovnik, outdoors, in summer).


All photos by Mario Poje: www.pojemario.hr



You can see more photos of this challenge here.

If you like the look I put together you can VOTE for me one bottom of the article here and enter to win a Skybowling award. J Good luck lovelies and thank you for your vote in advance!



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Today I received lovely photos of Envy Room’s collection SS 2012. One of the dresses - form fitting beige color maxi open back dress, particularly impressed me; I will go to try it on as soon as I am back in Croatia and possibly get it for one of the weddings I am attending in next two months.

You can see the remaining of Envy Room SS 2012. collection here & interview with the designer duo here.

Which of these dresses would you wear?





Photos: Filip Tot / Model: Vanja Halilović

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Photo source: www.style.com  - Giambattista Valli 



I absolutely adore and follow RTW seasonal collections but my heart is definitely with couture lines. The Fall 2012. Couture season in Paris despite ever growing economic crises didn't disappoint.
Bouchra Jarrar
Business smart designer who's made precise tailoring the key aspect of her work, Jarrar called her new collection a "continuation of the wardrobe, of the story I've been telling since the beginning." The collections focus is on cut, double-breasted silhouettes, emphasized shoulders which continue to remain in trend from season to season, military buttons, fox fur and circular scarves, sleeveless coat dresses and lovely strong women suits. I love the comfortable look and feel of the gray suit in combination with brown accessories and circular fox fur.





Giambattista Valli
Giambattista has absolutely showed his mastery of couture inspired by an old Hollywood glamour.  My favorites were sleeveless crocodile top which emphasized waist and transitioned into a peplum flare over a white lace pencil skirt.



Jean Paul Gaultier
Designer celebrated the life of late Amy Winehouse, using her as inspiration for his couture collection with a help of corsetry wizard Mr.Pearl. The whole collection was a big wonderful couture mess of an excess featuring satin peignoir, pencil skirts, gorgeous lace, silk parkas, sequins and finally parading veils. 



Chanel
Karl presented all the shades of blue you can think of in his couture collection featuring streamlined, upbeat, tons of embroidery and forward-looking, slash pockets on dresses, boyish attitude... this collection had that well known Chanel's boy-girl thing going on, girls looked as comfortable in these couture pieces as men would in sweats on Sunday afternoon. 




Versace               
The focus of the Atelier Versace collection were „warrior women“ gowns with corset waist, daring lace teasing at strategic spots hugging the curves and exaggerating the waist, hips or shoulders, shaping the perfect hourglass figure with gold metal inserts.




Elie Saab
Known as red carpet designer, due to his shinny and sparkly but romantic and effortlessly floating gowns in none intrusive pastel shades. The unprecedented strength of his gowns is the lightness; they look and feel so light.





Dior
Bill Gayten did a wonderful, maybe a bit reminiscent of the past collection featuring sheer layers, classic black and white floral designs, gorgeous embroidery, splashes of sequins, lovely contrast in between thick massive black crocodile scales and sheer floaty fabrics. 






Valentino
Designers Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri were inspired by French royalty culture and created a collection of gentle floral print, lace embellished, sheer organza, light, feminine, modest and delicate dresses. They were at the same time practical, cultural but modern despite long sleeves and high necks. 


All photo source: www.style.com



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Photo source: www.pojemario.com

As you might remember from my previous post, recently I entered an adventure called Arena Centar bloggers challenge together with 7 other Croatian ladies, also fashion bloggers. Yesterday, I had my first challenge; I was paired with Ana, the author of Psycho Couture blog.

I can’t say I was nervous, but I was surely excited and anxious to kick it off. After short interview session, with some navigation help from lovely ladies from Krpa.hr (and one gentleman – Filip), guys from camera crew and charming lady from Arena Centar who was our host, I kicked off the challenge first, running around from starting point to designated store locations trying to put together an outfit according to task Ana and I pulled out of the hat.

                                                  Photo source: www.pojemario.com

Since I cannot show you the photos of the final outfit I managed to put together according to set task, budget, one hour of designated time & pre set store locations, I decided to share a bit of an atmosphere from the challenge itself, thoughts that went through my head while searching for outfit pieces and final learnings I pulled out of this shopping challenge experience.

 #1 - Go with your gut feeling.
This challenge has showed me that I really learned have a sense of what I like and know what kind of fabrication, size and fit I feel comfortable in and which suits my personal image, so I should always just go with the first thing that catches my attention and definitely prior to going shopping, set some budget amount for myself and stick to it. I learned that it is possible! J

 #2 – Choose a key statement piece and work the outfit around it.
Knowing that I might have a hard time finding shoe size in designated store (although it is 39-40, so US size 9) I focused on finding a good quality, stylish statement shoes right on task and I worked the rest of the outfit around it.

 #3 – Stay true to your personal style.
Set themed outfit tasks can also set some new expectations, I was afraid that I will need to compromise my usual preferences for good quality fabrication of key pieces for quantity in order to create a complete styling with accessories and all within a tight budget and pre-set stores. This wasn’t the case, I still went for natural fabrication mixes although it cost me more money.

 #4 – Explore new stores.
This challenge has made me shop in some stores I wouldn’t necessarily instinctively go to for the type of the clothes asked by the set task. However, it taught me to browse more and yes, go with my gut feeling and first instinct but not to buy right away, but rather go and check other stores and come back, which due to lack of free time for shopping I don’t often practice. I mostly shop when on vacation or in between flights on airports.

#5 – Use accessories to show your personality (but don’t overdo it).
With this being a bloggers challenge I felt like the pre-set expectation might have been to “dress like a blogger” whatever this might mean, although they weren’t. However, I am a firm believer that a lady should show her playfulness or her personality trait with accessories but not to the point that she looks like she just wants attention. Accessories and clothes should just be an extension of the person; if they undermine the looks of the lady herself then they are definitely in excess. 


I would like to especially thank my friend Ana Mandekic the author of most fabulous beauty blog and vlog Maybe’s New Start for the support and encouragement & Mario Poje, an amazing IT help and even better photographer who took all of these photos of me.

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Painful realization that I was again to busy this week to finally pick up my custom made Lei Lou tote and thinking about that there is just one more day from the start of Arena Centar bloggers challenge by Krpa.hr I am participating it got me thinking about some commercial fashion bloggers projects, I can name so many, but one I found ages ago came to my mind first.

I am not a huge Coach fan, I have to admit, and rather I have developed to be from a Longchamp girl, to a Ralph Lauren young women and finally McQueen lady.

 I really like the tote which Fasion Foie Grass’s Emily Johnson did with Coach. It is smartly designed looking like just a regular tote from outside but having many smart compartments catering to every fashion blogger (or for that matter any career women or a busy mum). 


Photo source:

So there is a slot for camera, a bottom slit for flats and other small compartment for every woman’s can’t live without things which we all carry around all day, every day. The only thing which is not so friendly is the totes price - $558 is still a bit much, as it is mostly made of canvas and it doesn’t come in other models or colors.

How do you like this BB – blogger bag? J


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As some of you already know, I am participating in Arena Centar fashion blogger challenge together with 7 more lady bloggers, challenge will start on April, 18th and last until mid June. As part of the project introduction, all participants did the short interview to create their bloggers ID’s, here is mine in English.

 Since many of you saw the link to this challenge and said “English please” J Bellow you can see all of the info about this contest.


Organizers are Arena Centar - currently most comprehensive shopping mall in Croatia which partnered with Krpa.hr awarded fashion portal (idea originator) which focuses not only on sharing latest fashion news but also on supporting young fashion talents so prospective models, fashion designers, makeup artists etc. from the region are invited to open their profile & virtual window and have their work featured on Krpa.hr.  

Arena Centar fashion blogger challenge is basically a shopping challenge where 8 participating fashion bloggers are split in pairs two by two, each pair shops on a different weekend, one at the time, on a limited budget, in Arena Centar and is followed by Krpa.hr camera crew during this 1 hour time shopping spree on a given theme (for example. business look, casual look etc.) in participating stores.

Each bloggers clothing selection is finally evaluated by 3 member jury where one member of the jury are online voters who will be able to vote on Krpa.hr Blogger challenge minisite for duration of this contest.

Final 4 contestants will continue to compete in shopping challenges until mid June when we will have the winner.

First episode will air on Krpa.hr portal on April 18th @ 20:30pm. I am going first as an ice-breaker! J

Hold your fingers crossed for me please!
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Couple of years back when I got my internship in Showroom Seven, it was one of the two internships and a retail job I worked in shifts right from college so I was not aware of the culture and heritage this great brand has. 

This post I am writing with much delay but still grateful for the experience and artistic inspiration I got from working in Showroom Seven. As soon as I entered the showroom and the „closet“ I wished I wasn't just interning but living there, what a gorgeously decorated place it was! It was trully inspiring, most creative, hands on & motivating experience to get, so going back home tired in a subway I continued to sketch & write notes for my blog in my little black Moleskin notebook. J



The brand was founded and designed by Detroit natives Karen & Eric Erickson (Chelsea,NYC) and Vicky Beamon (Belgravia,London) in 1983. soon after founding their jewelry was featured in Vogue, and credited with creating the chandelier earring.

 Erickson Beamon jewelry is now produced at premises of Showroom Seven in NYC where cofounder and designer Karen Erickson is stationed as well as in London where Vicky Beamon resides since 1985. 

Erickson Beamon is now sold in over 600 stores in 75 nations worldwide.
Each jewelry piece is meticulously assembled by hand out of crystalized Swarowski elements, many are hand painted, containing pearls and other semi-precious stones. Designers have extended their collections to include mirrors, masks, and a chandelier collection that was launched in 2004.


Karen Erickson said in one interview „Our jewelry is seasonal of course but not limited to fabrication like fashion collections,obviously we are making more bangles in summer, while in winter there is more interest in rings and necklaces but we are making new pieces all the time regardless the fashion seasons.“

In its long history Erickson Beamon collaborated with almost every designer you can think of: Chanel, Donna Karen, Givenchy, Dior, Galliano, Anna Sui, McQueen etc.

Late Alexander McQueen said: „Welcome to their universe, where glittering snowflakes freeze into delicate drop earrings, black roses bloom on bangles, a “Brave New World” is being charted out with yards of pearls and the “Duchess of Fabulous” rules the roost. Prepare to “Be… dazzled!”

After Alexander McQueen passed away, Erickson Beamon made homage to him with this amazing necklace.


“Erickson Beamon is really an overdose of beauty and creativity”, said Dries Van Noten.

Companies endless list of private clients include Madonna, Kate Moss, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Beyonce, Sarah Jessica Parker and Nicole Kidman. Daphne Guinness regularly arrives at photo shoots with suitcases full of her own favorite pieces. And while the jewelers have created magnificently insane looks for Gaga ranging from a diamante cage mask to a Spanish jet-encrusted lace mantilla, Michelle Obama favors the more demure floral brooches and pearl necklaces.

Beyonce Knowles wearing Erickson Beamon headpiece


Erickson Beamon customers include the biggest luxury clothing retailers like Net-a-porter, Barneys, Neiman Markus etc. but also many smaller designers showrooms and boutiques worldwide. In Croatia you can find some Erickson Beamon pieces at Maria concept store in Zagreb and Dubrovnik.

In 2009. Well known retail chain Target has partnered with Erickson Beamon to launch a limited-edition jewelry collection, Erickson Beamon Accessories Collection for Target, as Target representative described it: "Acclaimed jewelry designers Erickson Beamon’s exclusive collection for Target adds sparkle, fantasy and glamour, without pricey drama."




Showroom Seven has a 20 year history of providing sales,  public relations, showroom, and business services to fashion and lifestyle clients around the globe.

Photo source: Mandie, Karen, Eric & Monique Erickson on their FW 2011. Presentation

Mandie Erickson leads the Seventh House PR – which is the public relations office of Showroom Seven handling  communications, marketing, branding, PR and event planing but also designer's press and fashion show production. I didn't work directly with Mandie's team, but I had a chance to see the way they work, and although I am working in PR now for large multinational company, I am yet to meet a PR person fiercer then Mandie, she really had everything under control despite extremely fast paced work schedule.

Monique Erickson who I closely worked with while interning in Showroom Seven is  firstly incredibly artistic and overal quite a fabulous person to be around, J at the time I interned in Showroom seven, she was doing everything from meetings and order making with the buyers from all over the world to merchandising jewelry collections and sales. Now Monique is a brand manager for Erickson Beamon's recently launched RTW clothing line.

Showroom Seven agencies occupy 16,000 square feet on four floors at the corner of 11th Avenue and 27th Street in New York where top designer fashion showrooms are stationed making this district an essential destination for fashion buyers and press. While main Showroom Seven office is located in the historic Terminal Warehouse building in the West Chelsea gallery district in New York there are also Showrooms in Los Angeles and Paris

Photo source: www.showroomseven.com

You can keep up with Showroom Seven latest updates on Facebook, Twitter, Tumlr & Blog as well.


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