Filed In: People Profiles

High-Powered Glamour: Exclusive Interview with Yoana Baraschi

[galleryview id=94]
Like what you see? I do. Meet the beautiful designer behind the pieces, and find out what she thinks are the best Holiday gifts! I got the great honor of interviewing Yoana Baraschi, a Romanian beauty full of creativity and the passion to make the best pieces possible. She was also the Creative Director for Betsey Johnson, and started her own line in 2002, which was very successful. “Yoana Baraschi now has showrooms representing her collection in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, and London and can be found in approximately 500 specialty boutiques globally such as Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s West, Intermix, and Fred Segal.” (view her website, here.)

CRW: What inspired you for your new SS’ 12 collection? I know you are a big fan of vintage, is there a certain era that you drew inspiration from?

YB: There is a high-powered glamour to the ‘70s that always influences my collection: super-fitted jackets, pencil skirts that give length to the legs, and lots of sparkly embellishments. In this collection, I also drew on the silhouettes of the ‘40s. I get so much inspiration watching old movies, and I love how dresses are more fitted through the abdomen in a way that slims the body and adds height, and the skirts have a swing shape that is so universally wearable. And of course, I always love vintage prints—I get a gambler’s rush when I see an amazing print

CRW: How did you select your fabrics for this collection?

YB: There is no formula. I just have to look at everything I can, and I see what excites me at that moment. It’s almost impossible to predict—sometimes the way a fabric moves totally surprises me and I respond to it unexpectedly. It’s exhausting, but when you find that fabric that’s just right, it’s worth it.

CRW: From viewing the lookbook, I see you have a lot of white pieces with amazing detail, but then also have many pieces with brilliant bursts of color. Were you trying to do anything in particular by mixing the light and bright themes?

YB: I love bright colors, which you can see in the use of orange, jade, and purple throughout the collection. But the white, gray and navy anchor that color palette, as those colors allow the amazing embroidery work, embellishments and prints to speak for themselves.

CRW: What particular pieces are your favorites and what makes them stand out to you amongst the beautiful collection?

YB: The neoclassical print pieces. That’s the kind of print I get a gambler’s rush from. The print looks beautiful in uber-practical pieces like the shirtdress or pencil skirt that you can wear to work, but it also looks really dreamy in the caftan, which is my piece de resistance of the collection.

CRW: Which pieces in your line as a whole do you think make the best gifts for the upcoming Holidays?

YB: My cashmere scarves are the ultimate holiday gift. I go to India twice a year, and I dedicated an entire trip to finding the perfect cashmere that would drape just so, and the right artisanal dying techniques that would make the scarves totally unique. I wear one nearly every day to give my outfit that final dose of elegance. They are true statement pieces.

CRW: When did you first feel that you accomplished something important in your career and what was your breakthrough that lead you to design your own line?

YB: Seeing the creative energy of Bestey Johnson when I worked as her Creative Director really inspired me. It helped me realize there wasn’t one way to design—you could think outside the box, you could be playful and have a sense of humor while still creating something incredible.

If you were already envisioning the wondrous scarves Yoana mentioned (be honest…) Here are a few! They would make incredible gifts for the Holidays and as an added bonus (on top of the scarves’ good-looks) you can tout their authenticity, as Yoana mentioned they are the perfect blend of cashmere she hand-picks in India.

It is “Black-Friday.” If there is a day to splurge, today is the day. #JUSTSAYING

Jean Paul Gaultier Comes to Dallas: The Story Behind the Mannequins

There has been a hype around town, and I think it has to do with Jean Paul Gaultier bringing his world to Dallas. From the gaiety at the events leading up to this arrival to the unbelievable increase in sales for local boutique, Forty Five Ten, and resale shops carrying JPG clothing, the Big D is experiencing great expansion into the world of fashion. It is bringing a new air of inspiration to the city, and we all are noticing. Dallas fashion icon, Jan Strimple agrees: “Dallas is fashionably on fire! Having Jean Paul Gaultier in our city is exhilarating. It’s a feast for the eyes and soul. It captures his provocative nature, his proclivity for inclusiveness, and makes the viewer think.”

Not only was I honored to attend the press conference and soft launch of the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit, “From the Catwalk to the Sidewalk” at the Dallas Museum of Art last Thursday, I also had the personal pleasure of sitting down with mannequin designer, Lucie Jolicoeur, and her brother over a lovely lunch to discuss the stories behind the extraordinary creations produced by Jolicoeur International.

What is so fascinating about the Quebec City native, Lucie Jolicoeur, is the immense passion for her work and the creative process. She is greatly dedicated to the quality of the manufacturing that she personally oversees the entire process in China. She assured me that an arm or a leg never gets shipped out without her approval. But what stunned me the most was the fact that nothing is made by a machine, resulting in one-of-a-kind mannequins, crafted with the most delicate care and attention to detail. For this exhibit, they were even transported by planes rather than the usual mode of transportation by boat in order to meet tight timelines.

A fascinating point of view: The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit debuted in Montreal, and the shift to the Dallas scene caused for changes to the mannequins. Each mold was altered to fit the aesthetic and culture of this city. New, stronger positions with smaller waists countered the more relaxed postures displayed in Montreal. A major difference, in fact, surfaced in the posture of a man on his knees. The workers in China were esteemed to be part of such a “special” project and were quite intrigued by the idea of creating a male mannequin, which is at times a rarity.

Jolicoeur International took it one impressive step further by joining creative forces with a company to produce animation on the mannequins. They speak, blink, and even sing to the audience–something so innovative that we are all esteemed to have the chance to see.

A Personal Note: The mannequins are outstanding. From the distinct shape of their faces to the color of their skin, the model shapes collaborated beautifully with such an esteemed designer. The designs proudly filled the themed rooms–Boudoir, Skin Deep, Punk Can Can, Metropolis, and Urban Jungle, and they added such quality, witt, and personality to the entire exhibition. Bravo!

About the Exhibit

Making its U.S. premier on Sunday, November 13th, at the Dallas Museum of Art, the exhibit includes some 130 haute couture dresses and ready-to-wear pieces spanning the 1970′s through the present day. In addition to 30 animated mannequins, the multi-media experience also presents photographs, sketches, and film and television excerpts – some never before seen by the public.

Running through February 12th, 2012, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier will make only one additional stop stateside at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, de Young, before heading on to Europe.

Admission to this exhibition requires a special ticket, starting at $16, available for purchase online, at the museum, or by phone at 214-922-1803. Click here for additional ticketing details. (Info from DFW Style Daily).

The Story Behind the Model: Anya Brill

The modeling industry is like a close-knit family. It is a fascinating art, as if fashion meets acting, and what’s even more fascinating is hearing the stories behind the models. They seem to embrace their personal selves rather than conform to the mediocre, and that is why I highly respect this profession. Meet Anya Brill. She is progressing in the modeling world, and she shares with LOLO her journey and her beauty tips. Whether you are an artist or an accountant, her career goal mindset for the future is a framework for adoption!

How did your modeling career start?

When I was thirteen, my mom signed me up for a Back-to-School Fashion Show. I fell in love with modeling the moment I stepped onto the runway. When I was fourteen I did another Back-to-School Fashion Show, and my love for modeling grew even more. I was 16 when my hobby, modeling, turned more into a career. It all started with being a Campaign model for Tess Designs here in Austin, Texas.

What has been the biggest surprise about the industry?

The biggest surprise I have experienced is that it is all about relationships. There has not been a lot of competition between models, but rather a lot of friendships are being built. I have also worked with many Christians, which I love, because I too am a Christian. I definitely see God’s hand in my career.

What is your biggest goal in your career path?
I love traveling and hope to travel abroad. I see myself walking the runway in Milan and Paris. Of course, I hope to be a part of New York Fashion Week as well, and one day be signed by Elite Model Management in NYC. My ultimate goal for my career is to have my own brand name, ‘Anya’. I am looking into it now and have big dreams for the future!

What is your favorite part about living in Austin?
I love Austin’s fun, laid-back vibe. While the fashion here is quite casual, Austin has a growing fashion scene. This summer I walked in Austin Fashion Week and loved every second of it. I was nominated in the top five for Best Female Model: Industry Choice and Best Female Model: People’s Choice. My favorite part about living in Austin is that Austin is weird and no one cares what you look like. After a photo shoot or runway, if my hair and make up are ridiculous, everyone loves it!! I love going out after gigs!

What are the must-have items in your purse?
Lip Gloss! Lip Gloss! Lip Gloss! I could not live without my lip gloss! As well as my phone and my credit card!

What music are you listening to now?
I love to work out to the popular hits. I really like the strength of Carrie Underwood. I love Enrique Iglesias, Skillet, LeCrae, and anything that keeps me energized.

What is your favorite beauty tip?
Hmmm…that’s a hard one. It has to be “Less is More.” I’m also a big believer in good posture; it always makes you look taller and thinner. My number one advice is to always bring a smile.

If you could follow the career path of one model, who would it be?
I would LOVE to follow in the career path of Gisele Bundchen. She went from being a model for Victoria’s Secret to modeling all over the world for big designers and is now a household name. I love the fact that now she’s known just by her first name, which is also a personal goal for me! She was also a volleyball player like myself and had humble beginnings before conquering the whole world of fashion.

Guilty pleasure?
I have to have my hot fudge sundaes! I couldn’t live without them.

Who is your style icon?
I really admire Rachel Bilson’s sense of style. She has really gone from being an actress to being known even more for her personal style and good taste. I would love to be known for my own style and be a muse for designers. I love fashion and hope to be a big name!

Credits: First photo- Designer: Jessica Ciarla, CIARLA Bridal, Make Up: Avery Allen, Hair: Andrea Juarez, Photographer: Juan Deleon; Second photo-Designers: Megan Summerville, Makeup and Hair: Edith Henry, Stylist: Edith Henry, Photographer: Michelle Babb; ; Third photo-Designer: Jessica Ciarla, CIARLA Bridal, Make Up: Gertie Murray at Rae Cosmetics, Hair: Andrea Juarez, Photographer: Shane Michael Gordon

The Story Behind BonBon Jewelry Designer Micah Yancey

Micah Yancey is one of those super-hip ladies that has an obvious knack for designing, and her talent reveals itself in her totally awesome jewelry creations. LOLO Magazine sat down with the woman behind BonBon Jewelry last week to dish out the story behind her fabulous earrings and necklaces, her favorite Dallas coffee shop, and her style muse that you wouldn’t quite expect (but it rocks!). Read on!

What led you to start designing jewelry?  I’ve loved creating and designing jewelry in a wide array of materials since I was in elementary school.  I was the go-to girl for friendship bracelets as a kiddo and in college, I made beaded necklaces for friends’ outfits when we were getting ready to go out.  I always had a love for jewelry and jewelry making, and my passion became a full-time career in 2010.

How do you choose your materials?  It’s important to me to design pieces with high quality and eye-catching materials that have a look of sophisticated trendiness while still remaining affordable. I seek out beautiful gemstones, paying close attention to cut, color, and clarity, that provide the color pop that I want. I know I’ve found the right gems when I literally gasp at the sight of them!  I work with 14 karat gold fill and 24 karat gold overlay pieces, because these metals are a higher quality and do not change colors over time (or against the skin).  I love the richness of gold pieces with fine lines and negative space to draw the eye to the amazing stones.

How do you decide on a color palette?  I always watch the New York and Paris runway shows to take note of styles, necklines, and the color palettes that my favorite apparel designers are using in their collections.  Because jewelry is an accessory to your clothes (most of the time), I like to take note of the trending apparel colors and then decide which of those colors I want to use, in addition to the hues I feel would best compliment the trending colors. I also consider which gemstones are the most popular in specific seasons year after year, making sure to incorporate the classic favorites into a new and fresh palette season after season.  The color choices can also come from anything that has inspired me, and I really think that so much of the decision-making process comes down to a feeling I have about certain gemstones.  I see a stone and whether it’s in the palette or not, if it makes me gasp and I think I can use it, I’ll incorporate it into my work, so that others may enjoy it, too!

What is your most popular design?  My most popular design is the earring that definitely lives up to its name, “Number One Stunner”.  It’s a 14 karat gold filled textured marquis shape with a heart cut gemstone dangling from it, and the gems are all completely luscious in color and cut.  It’s the perfect throw-on-and-go earring and it transitions extremely well from day to night.

A Personal Perspective

What is your favorite restaurant in Dallas? While I haven’t been back in Dallas long, a favorite of mine has always been Hibiscus.  I can’t get enough of their mac and cheese! Coffee shop? Again, I haven’t been in Dallas long, but a place that’s really close to my studio that I’ve recently developed a love affair with is Coffee House Cafe.  Their french pressed coffee is heavenly. Place to shop? My favorite place to shop in Dallas…I can’t decide!  I’d have to say it’s a 3-way tie between Krimson & Klover on Cole, L. Bartlett in West Village, and Northpark Mall.  I love the indie brands and pieces at the boutiques paired with pieces from H&M, for example.

Who is your style icon?  My style icon is Leandra Medine, founder and editor of The Man Repeller.  In addition to being intelligent, witty, and chock full of hilarity, she exudes style in so many new and fresh ways.  What I love most about her style is that she dresses herself and others for style’s sake without man pleasing, yet she’s sexy (and she knows it).

To see the full BonBon Jewelry Collection, check out her website and visit her super fun blog to keep up with the scoop, such as photos of the Today Show’s Ann Curry wearing her stunning jewels. And if you love what you see, join in on the Facebook hype and like her page!

Support Pink Month!

For every purchase of the Pink Sugar Blossoms style (shown above) or the Strawberries and Cream style, we will donate $25 to the Komen Foudation for a Cure! These styles can be purchased on the website. THANK YOU for helping us support breast cancer research!

The Story Behind the Blogger: Caroline Christine

If you have thought about starting a blog and hesitate, read on and be inspired…

For many years, I have known that my career focus would be fashion. As a college student, I currently spend hours every week in the university sewing room working on draping projects and I love every minute of it.

A little over a year ago, I started a blog called Death of Chivalry. It wasn’t anything special – just something to get my thoughts out and keep a journal of things that interested or inspired me. But the more I blogged, the more I fell in love and the more it became a part of me. It’s become the place where I go to reflect and get my creative juices going.


I keep this quote at the top of my blog. It has always been one of my favorites:
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly fighting to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson


I want Death of Chivalry to inspire women to have confidence in who they are. Most posts on my blog are anything but normal – artists that people have never heard of, outfits that some wouldn’t dare to wear, and homes that aren’t exactly traditional. The general vibe is something beyond what most 20 year old females have an interest in, but that’s why I love it. It’s a representation of me. I want other women to feel that same comfort in their own skin.

Fashion isn’t a way of dress, it’s a way of life. I’ve tried to portray that through my blog. It’s filled with laid back, acoustic, soulful numbers – the music you can just sit back and enjoy. It encourages a put-together, but relaxed garb, filled with staple wardrobe items and neutral colors. It offers Anthro and Victorian inspired environments where creativity can flourish and serves dishes that arouse a healthy appetite.

My own personal fashion revolves around natural beauty. I value beauty over sex appeal and effortless sophistication over perfected suave. The more effort you put into perfecting something, the less beautiful it becomes. If we open our eyes and value life’s simple pleasures, we can see beauty.

“Beauty is in everything, just not everyone sees it.”

Photo: Alison Busher

Meet Dallas Wardrobe Consultant, Amy Wells Havins!

You walk into your closet and feel overwhelmed. You know that half of your wardrobe confusion comes from vintage (not the good kind) old clothes that lay dormant in your cluttered space. Then the closet cleaning rule pops in your head. In fact, you may even repeat it out loud: “if you haven’t worn it for a year, throw it out.” But those words don’t ever seem to ward against the inevitable hoarding thoughts: “what if I am going to be painting my bedroom and need a worn out t-shirt?” Really? Yes. We all do it. And on and on the justification goes. Back to the confusion. Back to what I like to call the vicious cycle.

We all must come to the conclusion that we need a mediator, a clothing counselor if you will to part with the emotional connection attached to our unflattering jacket from the 90s. Meet Dallas Wardrobe Consultant, Amy Wells Havins! She brings style hope to those who are in knee-deep wardrobe malfunction, or she can provide that extra perk to you fashionably conscious women who just need a little fashion face lift, a knock-out outfit for an important event, or a shopping buddy who will give an honest opinion! Be sure to click through her stylin’ service options for the specific details, and in the meantime, keep up with the trends by saving her totally awesome blog to your bookmark bar!

More exciting news! LOLO Magazine is partnering with this expert fashionista to answer your style questions. In that “how do I wear my new colored denim” moment, the “Ask Amy” button on the sidebar comes to the rescue! Submit your questions, and Amy will email you an answer! And if it is a really good one, we might just post it for all to share. Don’t worry-we will run it by you first!