Posts filed under 'Features'

Backstage: Interview with Tia Cibani from Ports 1961

Omiru: Style for All ( conducts an interview with Ports 1961 Creative Director Tia Cibani backstage at the Ports 1961 Spring 2007 show at New York Fashion Week.

1 comment September 15th, 2006

Backstage: Cynthia Steffe Interview with Omiru

Omiru’s own Melody Nazarian goes backstage at the Cynthia Steffe show to bring you a few words from the designer herself.

1 comment September 13th, 2006

How To: Dress Ten Pounds Lighter

Theory Domina Above DressThe key to dressing ten pounds thinner has much to do with a good magic trick.  Like a magician that uses misdirection to compel his audience to look where he wants them to, you can visually create a slimming, elongated vertical line for the eye to follow.  However, you don’t need to be a magician to look like you’ve shed pounds.  To look like you’re ten pounds thinner without so much as a trip to the gym, try:

Wearing What Fits:
Fit is the #1 determinant of whether you look poor or polished.  For good fit that flatters, look for clothes that skim your body.  Body-hugging clothes, or those that pull at the buttons, only draw attention to problem spots.  Before you wear something out of the house, make sure that nothing is puckering or pulling. And when in doubt, go one size up.  The looser fitting clothing will encourage others to ask the golden question: “Have you lost weight?”

Monochromatic Outfits: The simplest way to create an elongated vertical line is to craft an outfit in one color.  However, you needn’t be so strict—dressing in light and dark variations of one color creates much of the same effect. 

Vertical Lines: Instead of wearing garments with strong horizontal detailing, try ones with vertical details.  What kinds of details are we talking about?  Zippers, buttons, stripes, piping, pockets, and other embellishments.

Dark Colors: It’s no secret that dark colors tend to recede, and light colors tend to come forward.  Though wearing dark colors visually minimizes problem spots, wearing head-to-toe dark colors can be dreary.  Play up your best features by strategically adding lighter colors in those places.

Wearing Something You Love: To truly look amazing, you also have to feel amazing about yourself.   And there’s no better way to feel good about yourself than to be wearing something that you love.  Draw attention to your best features with a favorite sweater that shows off your amazing collarbone or an eye-catching necklace that frames your gorgeous face.

Pictured: Theory Domina Above Dress | $275 at Shopbop.

2 comments August 31st, 2006

Shopping Guide: Gym Bags for Men

It’s nearly September, and the start of a new school year is a good a reason as any to turn over a new leaf.  What to do?  Resurrect your months-old New Years Resolution to start working out.  Guys, we’ve got your new favorite athletic bag.  Now, all you need is a pass to the gym.

Timbuk2 Duffel Bag
Duffel Bag | $60 at Timbuk2

Puma Dazzle Grip Bag
Dazzle Grip Bag | $40 at Puma

Puma Originals Grip Bag
Puma Originals Grip Bag | $65 at Puma

Jack Spade Bag
Industrial Canvas Natural Reversible Coal Bag | $125 at Jack Spade

Velocity Wheelbag at Adidas
Velocity Wheelbag | $120 at Adidas

Girls, are you looking for a bag to fit your workout needs?  Omiru has you covered with the Cutest Gym Bags Around.

Add comment August 29th, 2006

Omiru Poll Results: Colorful Handbags are In!

Omiru Poll Result: Colorful Handbags are In

Manzano Handbag at AnthropologieWe asked: Are Colorful Handbags In or Out?

You said: They’re In!  A full 76% are all for these brightly colored bags, while only 5% consider them Out.  The remaining 19%, however, believe they’re On the Way Out.

Omiru’s take: Colorful handbags are a great way to punch up your outfit, especially in a season so enamored of neutrals.  We can’t think of a better way to add oomph to a fresh white summery dress, or even the standard jeans and tee combo.  But make sure to pick a color you love…and one that makes a Statement.

Next Question: According to Women’s Wear Daily, this fall is the season of the dress.  We’re particularly partial to the classic wrap dress.  But what do you think?  Tell us, are Wrap Dresses In, or are they Out?  Cast your vote on the sidebar!

Pictured: Manzano Hobo| $548 at Anthropologie.

Add comment August 28th, 2006

Designer Profile: Peggy Li

A quick glance at designer Peggy Li’s work schedule, and you’ll (rightly) assume that she’s a superwoman.  Balancing a day job at notoriously hardcore technology company Electronic Arts and a second job running her own jewelry company, Peggy manages to create feminine, functional designs that are as unique as they are wearable.  Speaking of superwomen, you may have seen her designs adorning some of TV’s most popular vampire slayers–Buffy’s Sarah Michelle Gellar and Alyson Hannigan.  Read on to learn about the ambitious designer, her thoughts on jewelry trends, and how she manages to balance work and life.

Jewelry Designer Peggy LiOmiru: How and when did you start making jewelry?

Peggy: I’ve been crafty and making jewelry all my life. But about 5 years ago I had started making jewelry again when I was living in Los Angeles—I was a poor journalist and wanted to have some pretty things for myself!

O: At what point did you realize that you were really on to something?   

P: After I sent in samples to my favorite TV show, "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer" and the costume designer called me back and said, "We love it, please send more."

O:  In three adjectives, how would you describe the Peggy Li brand?

P: Feminine, elegant, and modern.

O:  Describe your design inspiration.

P: The beautiful natural materials I work with are an inspiration to themselves. I also look at current fashion trends for inspiration in my jewelry design. I don’t make anything that I wouldn’t wear myself.

Peggy Li Ringlet EarringsO: What has been your biggest challenge?

P: My biggest challenge has been running the business while still working full-time. While it meant missing out on a lot of opportunities, the slow growth has also let me continue to design when and what I like and keep the business personal.

O: What’s a typical day like for you?

P:  I wake up and check my email, answer customer questions and log in new orders. If it’s Monday-Wednesday, I then go to my day job and work and then come home and work on orders until midnight! If it’s Thursday or Friday, I spend the day working on orders, creating new designs, answering email, updating my website, and surfing the web for resources and ideas.

O: How do you balance your day job with your second job designing jewelry?

P: I recently went part-time with the day job and am living a much more balanced life now! I’ve also allowed myself a little breathing room, like not feeling guilty if I turn an order around in 48 hours instead of 24.

O: Little known fact about you?

P: I spent my first years in Los Angeles trying to make it as a screenwriter.

O: If your house was burning down, and you could only keep one thing in your closet, what would you keep?

P: I would keep my classic black leather Christian Louboutin pumps.

O: Thoughts on Silicon Valley style?

P: It is very very casual. Flip flops and t-shirts are a common sight at my job.

Peggy Li Lovely Leftovers BraceletO: Favorite piece from your collection?

P: My favorite piece is always my newest piece. Right now I love my Lovely Leftovers Bracelet!

O: Favorite designers?

P: My style has gotten so casual since moving back to the Bay Area! I’m wearing lots of jeans and Splendid t-shirts.  In terms of window shop designers, I love Balenciaga, Missoni, Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent, Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, and Tom Nguyen.

O: What are the current trends in jewelry design?

P: Still lots of variation in chains, both in gold tones and silver. This fall I’m going for darks, with oxidized sterling chain and deep colors from red ruby, navy iolite, grey sapphires, smoky quartz and deep greens.

O: How about the next big jewelry trends?

P: Jewelry is great in that the trends get reinvented over and over again. The next big trend is taking the bohemian horns/tooth motifs from the past year and breaking them out into even broader nature themes. You’ll see insects of all sorts, branches, leaves, feathers, lots of critters in many interpretations.

Peggy Li Alphabet NecklaceO:  Jewelry-buying advice?

P: Buy only what you know you’ll wear! Don’t be afraid to mix gold and silver. Don’t be afraid to go big or dangly, even if that isn’t normally your style — anyone can pull off those looks.

O: What can we expect from your next collection?

P: Lots of luxe details like ruby accents and a move back to big stone necklaces.

O: What can we expect next from Peggy Li, the company?

P: Watch for my work to appear again this fall on ABC’s "What About Brian?"

O: Last words?

P: Everyone has a creative side — find it and express it, it will make you happy!

View and shop Peggy’s collection at!  Designs shown (from top): Alphabet Name Necklace, Ringlet Earrings, and Lovely Leftovers Bracelet.

2 comments August 24th, 2006

Omiru Poll Results: Horizontal Stripes are In

Omiru Poll Result: Horizontal Stripes are In

Omiru Poll Result: Horizontal Stripes are InWe asked: Are Horizontal Stripes In or Out?

You said: They’re (barely) in.  56% of you are all for the horizontal stripes, but significant chunks of Omiru’s population think they’re Out (19%) and On the Way Out (25%).

Omiru’s take: While horizontal stripes are still In, they certainly aren’t universally popular.  Perhaps this hesitancy relates to the conventional fashion wisdom that declares that, like the camera that adds 10 pounds, "horizontal stripes make you look fat."  Our tip for suiting up in these stripes?  Opt for thin stripes, which appear more like an all-over fabric pattern, instead of the wide horizontal stripes that draw the eye from side to side.

Next Question: Colorful handbags in shades of sunflower, grass, and aqua are adorning the arms of fashion mavens.  But what do you think?  Should we beware of basic brown and black and have our handbags embrace these rainbow colors?  Tell us, are Colorful Handbags In, or are they Out?  Cast your
vote on
the sidebar!

Pictured: Vintage Print Peter Pan Top | $19.99 (sale) at Urban Outfitters.

Add comment August 21st, 2006

David Lim of Kasil Jeans: How To Choose the Right Pair of Jeans

David Lim knows a thing or two about denim.  As the designer and CEO of Kasil Jeans, David sculpts the form fitting denim designs that adorn the likes of Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, and a host of other A-list celebs. 

Want to be a denim guru yourself–or at least dress like one?  Read on (or listen to the Jack and Jen Morning Show on Richmond’s Mix 103.7) for David’s five tips on how to choose the right pair of jeans for your body.

1.  Look for a GREAT WASH. Dark washes typically are more flattering and make you look leaner and taller. Also be sure to pick a jean that has a natural looking fade to it, nothing too contrived.

2.  Of course the FIT!  Balance is key when it comes to fit, and back pocket size and placement are important to make the jeans look balanced and proportionate.  Look for a good front rise and a back rise that doesn’t ride too low. The gapping in the back isn’t flattering. The waistband should sit comfortably around your waist, not tight enough to cut off blood circulation.  For men:  It’s important that the jeans fit flush on the hips.

3.  TOP QUALITY FABRIC. Fabric is the foundation for a great jean, and just as good grapes make great wine, good fabric brings out great washes. Good denim will also be able to hold its shape throughout the day. Cheap denim will eventually stretch out within the first two hours of wearing.  

4.  THE DESIGN.  Design is what distinguishes between brands, and subtle details and innovative construction are what defines premium denim. Stay away from anything too loud that screams for attention; simple and clean is timeless. Also, buy brands made in USA.  Los Angeles is the capital of premium jeans, and you can’t go wrong if you stick to the right labels.

5.  And the last tip for looking for the best premium jean: Just look for the KASIL label. Everything I’ve mentioned is in our label :).

Check out Kasil Jeans online at, and read Omiru’s Designer Profile on David Lim.

6 comments August 17th, 2006

Omiru Poll Results: Short Shorts are On the Way Out!

Omiru Poll Result: Short Shorts are on the way out!

Omiru Poll Result: Short Shorts are On the Way OutWe asked: Are Short Shorts In or Out?

You said: As the end of summer comes closer, short shorts will see their welcome fade away.  Almost half (45%) think they’re already Out, and another 21% believe they’re On the Way Out.  Only 34% consider Short Shorts to be In.

Omiru’s take: Short shorts saw their revival in Jessica Simpson’s The Dukes of Hazzard; they weren’t meant to last.  Enjoy them while the weather is still steamy, but opt for something with a bit more coverage come fall.  In short, catch them while you can!

Next Question: Tell us, are Horizontal Stripes In, or are they Out?  Cast your
vote on
the sidebar!

2 comments August 14th, 2006

Designer Profile: Michael Wesetly

Michael Wesetly’s story reads much like a modern day version of the Tortoise and the Hare.  While other designers scurry to crowd the catwalks of New York Fashion Week and push their clothes towards as many retailers as possible, Michael is deliberately taking it slow. 

And one step at a time, Michael is gracefully opening doors, fine tuning his product, and building his brand.  With an international fan base and pent-up demand in the US, Michael Wesetly will be launching in the US this spring—you’ll be hearing more about the deliciously brilliant designer in the coming months.  Goes to show that slow and steady wins the race.

Michael WesetlyOmiru: Describe, in a nutshell, the Michael Wesetly brand.

Michael: We’re a tailored suit company with a contemporary edge.  We’re not for the younger generation, and we’re not for the older gentleman, but we’re a high quality designer suit company with athletic, European style fit. 

O:  How does the suit market differ from the sportswear market?

M: It’s so hard to gain access to the market, especially at the high-end level.  With sportswear, you get a nod in.  But with suits, it’s hard to be recognized.  A suit is like a steak; you can make it taste good, but you need to know what you’re doing. 

O: Why did you focus on high-end, luxury men’s clothing? 

M: There aren’t too many new designers out there in this market, since it’s hard for a new guy to break in.  By new, I mean designers like John Varvatos—not established designers like Gucci or Zegna.  Because of this, I didn’t launch my brand at home. I went overseas to Russia and sold the brand there for Russian Fashion Week.

O: Why overseas?

M: Within this game, there’s no blueprint.  It’s not like all designers need to start in Texas, move to Chicago, and then go to New York.  With the company we had, I felt it was a strategic move to not start at home.  I wouldn’t face judgment based on styling or income.  If you look at high-end designers, or African American designers, you don’t see many in the high-end market.  You see them in the sportswear section.  But not in high class, high quality clothing.  Also, Moscow is one of the top fashion cities in the world.

O: Thoughts on Project Runway?  Do you watch?

M: Oh my gosh no.  I don’t have time.  God bless those guys though, if that’s the way they want to start their career.  I don’t pay too much attention to it.  It’s interesting to see the judges really discriminating and judging the contestants, since the contestants are their future competition.

Michael WesetlyO: Do you think that the show is an accurate reflection of the industry?

M: Yes and no.  Yes in what they pick.  Sometimes people think designers set the trends.  But it’s buyers who select what’s in stores.  However, there are so many other aspects than just design.  Many people can make good clothing, but it’s also about how you run your business.  It’s so much more than great clothes.  I would say that only 40% of the game is the actual clothes.

O: Biggest challenge?

M: We’ve conquered most of them.  It’s about making sure infrastructure is where it has to be.  What do we need to work on?  We’re about to launch into the US market.  Everything that we’ve done up to this point is promotion and marketing.  Wanted to make sure that people knew who we were before we got here. 

O: What’s your game plan?

M: We’re working hard and playing slow.  We don’t want to burn out.  Everything is calculated so that we can serve the end user and make sure they get the best products from us.  If you give the customer an authentic, awesome product, customers are going to come.  We’re a global designer company.  We look at it from a global, not a US standpoint.  For Fashion Week, we’re going to Tokyo [Fashion Week] then Rio de Janeiro [Fashion Week], then Olympus [Fashion Week] in New York.  In my eyes, Olympus is the best fashion week in the world.  And instead of being a niche designer label, we’ll be at the footsteps of Ralph Lauren and Gucci.

O: What’s a typical day like for you?

M: Currently, I live in Pennsylvania and  work in New York.  I drive from Pennsylvania to New York, where I speak with my team.  Mornings are spent doing PR and getting the word out about Michael Wesetly.  But most of my work is actually done in Pennsylvania.  It’s not like New York—it’s where I can come home, relax, and hit the sewing board.  It’s the best part of my job. 

O: Little known fact about you?

M:  There are a lot of secret things about my brand.  I’m 6’6”, and when fans come to see me after my shows, it catches them off guard to see that (1) I’m a black guy, and (2) I’m 6’6”.  Also, I lived abroad for seven years.  And I was a law major at Penn State.

Michael WesetlyO:  How about some Michael Wesetly company trivia?

M:  We test our clothing.  If people like it, then we can sell.  The fashion industry is backward.  In other industries, and especially pharmaceuticals, they test and then they sell.  With fashion, the testing stage is nonexistent and designers have to cross their fingers hoping that the customer likes their work, hoping it sells.  In part because of this, making millions as a designer is rare.  It’s almost like going to the NBA right out of high school.

O: Best fashion tip for men?

M: Be
yourself.  Many people want to change this and change that.  That’s
fashion. But if you feel comfortable, it’s fashionable.  Great clothing
makes you feel like you’re wearing nothing.  Less is best.  Keep it
simple.  The simplest design is always your best seller, but it’s also
what makes people comfortable.

O: What can we expect from your Spring 07 collection?

M: Luxury from both markets—high-end suits and funky sportcoats.  I don’t have stuff for everbody, but I’m damn close.  It’s a good mix of products.  Look out, it’s coming!

O: Where can we purchase Michael Wesetly clothes?

M:  We’ll be in 42 exclusive locations across the country for our US launch.  We’re not going for the big bucks, but the big bucks are going to come.

O: Last words?

M: I don’t have a design team.  It’s just Michael Wesetly.  I personally design everything, down to the fiber content of the suit.  I’m also a relentless editor.  I’m not going to give you 99 garments.  I’ll give you the 15-20 garments that I know will sell. 

1 comment August 10th, 2006

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