Monday, January 31, 2011

Antique Lover

Temecula, CA

This weekend was my first weekend off in a long time. My mom was in town, so I decided to drop my sketching, my editing, my sewing, my updating, my book keeping and even my blog to explore this little town of ours.  Now, I'm sure most people wouldn't call this lovely wine country, small but growing up in Los Angeles county, it's definitely has a small town feel to me.

Besides the fresh weather, the farmers market and spending time with my family, my favorite part of this weekend was antique shopping. This town is loaded with them....from small to big.  I could have spent all day going from shop to shop. I am an antique nut! I started thrift store shopping when I was in the six grade for vintage clothing dating back to the 1970's, 60's and 50's.  Now a days, I rarely shop thrift stores but I could shop antiques stores all day long.  Oh and if your wondering, I am a collector.  I've been collecting Barbies dolls, thimbles and  Avon's 1950's Red Cap Cod crystal dishes for quit some time now. Yet, I don't just stick to those items, I love just about everything old and vintage.  Although there our tons of websites selling vintage clothing and antiques, it's really the thrill of the hunt for me.  Sadly, I wasn't able to purchase anything this weekend (with Fall 2011 upon me) but here are few things I just loved.







Fun, fun...can't wait to go back again.  This week I have so much more to blog about, including why I changed my mind about closing chu-lacouture.com and why I FAILED at my 52 week DIY challenge.

Till the next post darlins, thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Preview: Spring 2011 Look Book

Hard work pays off, darlins! Here's a preview of the Spring 2011 Collection Look Book to launch on my new website for Melissa Velia. 







PHOTOGRAPHER:  Melissa Velia, MODEL:  Melina Perez, HAIR & MAKE-UP ARTIST:  Melissa Velia, WARDROBE STYLIST:  Melissa Velia, CLOTHING:  Melissa Velia, ACCESSORIES:  Chu-La Couture.

Yes loves, I did everything but model! lol.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Spring 2011 Promo

Wow, so this past weekend was just craaaaazy. When I got home last night, I completely crashed on my bed.  My weekend started off with a 3 hour drive to Calabasas, Ca for my first trunk show, which turned out to be not so poppin.  Trunk shows can always be a hit or miss, just like most things in this industry.  One must really learn to shrug off moments like these, for it's really never personal but more like timing.

When the trunk show ended early I headed over to my first location  with the model to shoot Spring 2011.  With no team and no permits to shoot, it really became pretty intense.  Almost funny at time though.  Never the less, I got the shots that I wanted and headed over to the next location.  Basically it was a long night and I didn't get home till 11:00 pm.

The next morning I was up by 7:00am and off to the last shoot location.  Once again it was just me, the model and a little help.  After make-up and hair and shooting for a couple of hours, I headed to what turned out to be another trunk show.

All in all, I got a lot done this weekend and as reviewed some of the shots this morning of the photo shoots, it is was all worth it.  I really couldn't have done it without the support of my family this weekend though. I'm truly grateful for them. 

So now my week continues to be just as crazy as my weekend, with editing, sewing, drawing, bookkeeping, fabric shopping, unpacking and so much more.  Did I mention I will not be closing Chu-lacouture.com after all? Oh that's a whole different story, that I'll get into next post. For now I'll leave you with my first promo for my clothing line.  Much thanks too, Melina Perez....love you darlin!


video

One more thing, Happy Birthday dad.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Big Decision


So yesterday while watching the Golden Globes, I came to a much thought about and prayed about decision.  Now before I tell you what the big decision is, let me share with you how I came to this big decision.

When I turned 30 earlier this month as many of you might know, I went though a kinda "analyse life" week.  In that week, I thought about my 10 year career in the fashion industry and were I saw myself ten years from now.  At first I wasn't to sure and I really didn't have time to think about it much because I was so overwhelmed managing two different companies.  So it was then, during the Golden Globes that it hit, just like that...confirmation of an ongoing decision.  No...I am not going back into acting...while maybe. Ok no, not really but what I did decide was after 2 1/2 years in business I will be closing Chu-LaCouture.com this February.

I didn't see myself in ten years owning a chain of boutiques, I saw myself at the Golden Globes.  Well not really myself but my gowns brushing the red carpet.  When I was a child I always wanted to be a clothing designer, among many other things and today I found myself a bit misdirected.  I started Chu-La Couture 2 1/2 years ago to fund my clothing line.  I knew I could shop the best, so I thought why not share it with all of you in a store.  Then business picked up and thoughts of opening a store front became a new project.  It was all  just becoming too much. 
One can be "the jack of all trades" but isn't better to be "the queen of just one". For when you have truly discovered your God-given gift, it is such a waste to only partially open it.

I will now be fully dedicated to my clothing line, Melissa Velia and pushing my ambitions to the next level.  And for all of you who still love to shop Chu-La Couture, you'll still be able to shop the boutique in a new, easy way on Sense of Fashion.  You can simply register for free on Sense of Fashion to shop all of Chu-La Couture's latest items, including pieces from the runway and photo shoots.

So there you have it, my big decision.  God only knows what's to come in my crazy career but I know one thing, He has made this decision clear and easy for me. 
When ever climbing the latter of success, remember there's only room for one at the very top and I have left the space for God.
For my family, will never fall behind because of my success.

Till the next post, darlins....thanks for reading.

xoxo,
Mel

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Matter Of Taste

One of the reason I love fashion so much is because I see it as an art form and I just love art.  I thought I'd share this must-have wall calender with all you fashion lovers, art lovers and even you cooking enthusiast.  It was a gift from my mom, that I simply fell in love with.  Note, it does come in color but I just like to black and white everything.  The calender is called, "A Matter of Taste" from Fulvio Bonavia and can be found at Borders book store.

I'm going to try and guess what each item is made of. Guess with me.

These gloves look to be made of ground coffee and coffee beans.

This necklace looks to be made of trail mix.

This sandal looks to be made of an assortment of nuts.

These coin purses look to be made of minced green beans and garlic cloves.

This heel looks to be made of fettuccine pasta and marinara sauce.

And this handbag looks to be made of broccoli.

I plan to frame all these pictures and the rest of them when the years over. Can't wait!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Turning 30

So I'm officially 30 and officially going through a mid-life crisis! Ok maybe that's a bit much but to tell you the truth, something very profound has come over me.  As if I'm seeing my current life in a whole new light, ground breaking almost.  Has that ever happen to you?  Anyways, over all my birthday was great. I really want to thank everyone who made it even more special for me. Love you all tons!

Here are the highlights...

My birthday cake from my mom, it's a Rosca fruit cake!

My shoe fund piggy bank, also from my mom. Love her.

Gifts and cards. Thank you Cheryl, Danette and Maribel!

Then it was off to the Rockwell VT, to celebrate.

My outfit for the night. Loving the mid-waist ruffle detail....

And the print was pretty cute too.

My favorite part of my outfit (as always)....my 4" black, ruffle, velvet stilettos.

Benefit of having a sister who's a stylist; styling you for her own birthday party.  Best part of her outfit, her leather thigh high boots (not shown here).

Opposites attract.

My date for the night. My hubby.

I could eat a trunk load of this, salt and pepper calamari with cucumber..mmmm

Some Moet to toast!

Cheers to me! Can you guess which hand is mine?

So here's to a new chapter in my life....the road to wisdom. Bummed that I had other pictures with friends that didn't come out right.  Anyways, this week I'll be putting together a little slide show of my 30 years of fashion to post here, so stay tuned darlins.  Till we read again, xoxox

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Surviving Myself

As I sit here on the eve of my 30th birthday, I can't help to think about my journey here.  Today I would like to share with you two big things...one being very private and the other I hope, inspirational.  But first, here's is a poem I wrote when I was 14 years old.



This is something I have always wanted to keep private and personal but today I come before you readers with an open heart, to tell you I suffer from depression. As the clock ticks to my 30th birthday, I can't help to reflect upon the wonderful things in my life and yet still ponder the bad, including my many attempts at suicide.  I couldn't help to wonder why God let me live through them all.....until recently, I had a an idea why.......to help save others.

In 2007, it was the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for 34,598 deaths.1 The overall rate was 11.3 suicide deaths per 100,000 people.1 An estimated 11 attempted suicides occur per every suicide death. 
In 2007, suicide was the third leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24.1 Of every 100,000 young people in each age group, the following number died by suicide:1
  • Children ages 10 to 14 — 0.9 per 100,000
  • Adolescents ages 15 to 19 — 6.9 per 100,000
  • Young adults ages 20 to 24 — 12.7 per 100,000
via National Institute of Mental

Depression is not a weakness, nor is it something you can just exercise off (as I was once told by a friend).  It is an illness that can kill you.  Picture this:
"Your thrown into the sea of life without a life vest, you know how to swim, so your good. Then the storms of trails start crashing down on you....wave after wave. Suddenly, you feel like you just can't swim anymore.  It's much to hard and your desperately tired.....so you give up and drown."
Most people are born with this life vest on but we who suffer from this deadly illness, were not.  That is why I want to help teens and young adults who suffer from depression to stay afloat. It may not be a life vest, it could simply just be inflatable floaties....never the less, it gives them all a fighting chance.

So I pray, that you'll join me in building MyLifeVest.org.  An organizing that I hope will get support groups in schools, a site where these teens and their parents can come to share their stories of survival, receive support, hope and information.  I'm sure there are many other groups out there like this but this is something very close to my heart and I want to be a part of this cause.

Thank you for taking the time to read my very long and personal post. I hope it has inspired you in some way to help others.  Please share this with others and help me save lives, one life vest at a time.


Till the next post, darlins!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Shipping Gifts

The I love Lucy show has always been one of my absolute favorite shows of all time.  Her comedic timing and her shopping addiction in the 1950's era, quickly became my addiction.  It was watching this show that inspired me to ship Chu-La Couture's orders in a particular fashion.  I loved how Lucy would receive her coats, dresses and hats in "gift wrapped" packaging. In the 1950's, it was a stable of fine retailers to ship customer's orders in this particular manner. I mean come on, how awesome is it to unwrap a gift to yourself when it's not your birthday or holiday.  Although it's a tiny bit more in work and cost, it's worth it to me to ship my clients the little gift of receiving.  Therefore also, branding Chu-La Couture with it's special packaging. 







Besides sending out orders this week, my plate is completely full.  I must update our website, make my dress for my birthday party, complete my first D.I.Y. Fashion project, shoot Melissa Velia's 2011 Spring collection and last but not least I will celebrate my 30th birthday.  At this rate though, I just hope I make it TO my birthday party.  Busy, busy.....but I look forward to sharing with you all the details. Till the next post, darlins!

Monday, January 3, 2011

What's To Come

res·o·lu·tion  (rz-lshn)
n.
1. The state or quality of being resolute; firm determination.
2. A resolving to do something.
3. A course of action determined or decided on.


Happy New Years, darlins! Hope everyone had a safe and lovely New Years.  As for myself,  I kept it simple. Nothing lavish, no crowds, no confetti, no fur coats, just family.  For some reason I just wasn't too excited about ringing in the new year.  I started to wonder what was wrong with me.  Could it be that is was because I was turning 30 this year or perhaps I had no big plans or commitments.  That's when I realized I needed to set some  goals for myself, not resolutions but something to work towards.

With that said I have set some "healthy" goals for myself.  Yes healthy! A very good friend of mine always tells me to set healthy goals for myself, goals that are possible and won't put me in the hospital (as they once had) example: http://melissavelia.onsugar.com/ER-Extra-Rest-4555237 (first blog).

Before I share with you my little list of healthy goals, here's what I decided to wear to ring in the New Year.

70's Inspired Dress: Chu-La Couture * Silver Clutch: Calvin Klein * Black Tights: Tagert * Accessories: Chu-La Couture


Velvet Wedges: I don't remember! lol (Don't you hate when that happens?)

So here they are......and at the end of 2011, I will have this post to look back on. Here's to a new year, new life, new beginnings and endings. Like I've said once before, embrace change and hold fast to traditions.

My Healthy Goals (in no particular order)
  • As busy as my days get, set aside a time to spend with my boys every day.
  • I will fly on a plane this year! (never have)
  • I will lose 30lbs and begin eating healthier.
  • I will commit myself to 2 causes I truly care about and support them fully.
  • I will tell the people I love, that I love them more often.
  • I will dance more.
  • I will write love letters on paper to my husband.
  • I will limit my FaceBook time to only twice a day.
  • I will find one good thing in every person. Example, a guy who cuts me off, "Oh good he's driving a hybrid"
  • I will complement every person I meet.
  • I will read everyday.
  • I will learn French.
  • I will make those calls I dread to make in business.
  • I will take a full vacation.
  • I will pray more.
  • Last but not least, I will save more.
I know there's so many more goals I want to accomplish this year but I think, I've covered my whole plate of life already. We'll see what God has in store for me.  I leave you with one last goal, the kind of goal that got me here today.  A dreamer's goal, a goal that just doesn't seem possible today. 
  • I will get my clothing line into Fred Segal or on Robertson blvd.
Here's hoping!
             xoxoxoxo