When I attended Quest Magazine’s reception for designer Eric Raisina, my first impression was delight in the vibrant colors in which he crafts his collection. The designers exquisite handmade creations are a unique a blend of African, European and Asian influences combining his heritage and travels. Born in Madagascar, Raisina trained in Paris and developed his unique style by creating collections at his couture house in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I was lucky to have the opportunity to chat with the designer during the event at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills. He shared his multi-cultural inspirations, obsession with textiles and experience working with famed couture house YSL. Raisina's multi-cultural chic style can be seen in his beautiful silk dresses, crocheted sweaters and embroidered accessories. Vibrant colors and “Haute Textures” such as his “silk fur” are the designer’s signature. He continues to refine his skills while developing his collections in Cambodia and showcasing his collections on the runways in Asia. Here are some pics from the event. Scroll down for an in-depth interview with the designer.
Q&A WITH ERIC RAISINA:
My blog is called VeryVeryChic, what is Very, Very Chic to you?
VeryVeryChic is to have colors. And the right ones. Because color is very complicated and everyone is kind of scared, but I learned colors with YSL in Paris - with Loulou de la Falaise. And every color is beautiful, but it has to be the right one. And when it’s the right one, it’s so chic.
What was your inspiration for this collection and why did you choose these colors?
My main inspiration is between three continents, which is Madagascar where I was born, which is a part of Africa. And then I was in Paris for my studies. So, there I was learning much more about fashion and the lifestyle and how you use the beautiful pieces. And now I live in Cambodia where I’m producing everything and where I have my workshop. So, I have a feeling that my main inspiration today, to build all of my collection, is a combination of the three continents – Asia, Africa and Europe, which is Paris.
How do each of those influence your designs?
I like trends and I follow trends, but since I’m creating my own fabric and my own pieces, I must impose somehow the trends. The trends are really coming because we always open the magazines, we’re sensitive to what’s happening in fashion between different countries in the big cities, New York, Paris, Milan, but I have a feeling that I can also impose my own since I’m creating my own fabrics. So that is very important.
So you’re an originator – an innovator.
Yes, and I have a feeling that every time I’m touching colors or touching a fabric, that it’s reflecting the trends for winter or summer. So I’m very comfortable in that way.
How would you describe your style/aesthetic today?
I’m focusing on the texture, which is my brand. That’s the reason Eric Raisina 'Haute Texture' because of the texture and the textiles I design myself. So, today it’s Eric Raisina in a very simple shape, but with an unbelievable textile. That is my signature.
Your textiles are beautiful.
Thank you so much - I love them. We develop all of them. And I’m using different techniques from the weaving, the crochet and the embroideries. I like it the most when you are boiling pieces. You know, put them in a pot and add some recipes and then boiling them and keep them for one night .. and then the next day you turn them into other colors. My first specialty was culinary arts. I have a feeling that today my basis of working is like cooking to get those colors and to get those fabrics soft. I was literally the first person to be able to make silk soft in Cambodia. Because I’m doing this now for ten years in Cambodia….the lightest and softest silk in Cambodia is at my place.
Would you say these colors are representative of Cambodia? Or what inspires your palette?
Some of the colors that I’m using like purple, I had never known how to use purple before. But I really discovered it in Cambodia because they have such a deep purple – absolutely beautiful. Because in Cambodia they have colors related to the day like Monday, Sunday or Saturday. So purple I discovered in Cambodia.…they have such a beautiful amazing purple - it’s like deep purple which is very difficult to do.
It’s also a big color for Fall.
Yes… When I was commissioned at YSL Haute Couture to do fabrics for them and scarves and shawls, I had seen purple there, but I didn’t really catch how to do it. I really discovered it in Cambodia. It’s the combination of purple and black that makes the real purple.
When did you design textiles at YSL?
I was commissioned for almost four years. That was from 1998 to 2002 when they closed YSL Haute Couture. I started with samples and I sold my samples and they would do duplication, real pieces for a very small, and one-of-a-kind pieces. And then, they asked me to do shawls and scarves. My best experience with YSL was when I used the leftovers from Cambodian weaving. I [created] pieces of fabrics and they used it for an unbelievable shawl. And then they used the zibline fur around it and they sold it at haute couture. That was amazing. Zibline is the most expensive fur, the real ones. I walked by [the store window] one day and I saw my pieces. I love it because I used the leftovers from the villages where they’re doing the ikat processes in Cambodia. And I mixed every color, so they used it for the lining for the fur coats for very specific clients.
Where can people buy your clothes in the U.S.?
I sell my designs at Atelier360 in Greenwich, Connecticut. That is the only place where you can find my pieces. But I hope that one day I can pop up with something in New York, because my main customers are American. Whey they travel to Cambodia, they discover my workshop and they love it. And I have a feeling that they are really loyal. They love my pieces and then they order more and more and then they recommend it to their friends. So I have a feeling that the next step would be a shop or something in New York.
"How creative you can be, is really how far you can take it."
That's how I see fashion in the digital world. I was honored to be on FGI Los Angeles' "Fashion + Tech" trend panel last week. It was great catching up with many friends on the panel and meet some new faces. Kelsi Smith, founder of the Los Angeles Fashion Council, moderated the panel that included Nicolas Ullah, U.S. director of marketing for Trendstop, Kendra Gratteri, the director of merchandising for Beachmint, designer Rachel Pally and Alle Fister, principal with Bollare PR. We talked about technology, e-commerce, social media and blogging and how they affect fashion in the digital age. Apparel News' Executive Editor Alison Nieder wrote a great story covering the event. I posted the intro below, for the full story, go here.
Photo above courtesy of Apparel News. Scroll down for more pics from the event.
Alison Nieder, Alle Fister, Apparel News, blogger, blogging, designer Rachel Pally, e-commerce, Executive Editor, fashion, fashion editor, Fashion Group International, FGI, FGI Los Angeles, Kendra Gratteri, LA, Nicolas Ullah, Norma Jayne, panel discussion, principal with Bollare PR, social media, stylist, technology, the director of merchandising for Beachmint, U.S. director of marketing for Trendstop, VeryVeryChic
"The only way we're going to see longevity in the [stylist] arena, is if it's done well. Every girl with a credit card can call themselves a stylist. [But} the trend for longevity is you have to do the research and you have to eat, sleep and breathe [it]." - Style2020 stylist
I love that quote.
As a stylist, most of my work is in fashion and celebrities - it's a skill that has been honed with years of study and practice. Simply buying clothes does not a stylist make. Last week, I was invited to attend STYLE2020's lifestyle and beauty forum and got a glimpse into another arena - the world of personal styling. The Orange County-based consulting company held an event in Newport Beach which focused on defining style and offering tips for the everyday woman. Let's be honest, creating a chic and functional wardrobe for women with everyday needs can sometimes be as challenging as styling a photo shoot. It was interesting to hear from executives from Sephora, LVMH and L'Oreal who joined the discussion and offered advice to attendees on fashion, lifestyle and career. I can't wait to see the video Style2020 created with the bloggers in attendance answering the question "How do you define style?" It will be interesting to hear everyone's diverse opinion on fashion and style. All in all, it was an informative and fun afternoon at the chic Island Hotel. And ... who doesn't enjoy champagne, lunch and the red carpet treatment?
Here are a few style tips from the event:
- When you walk into a room people will judge what they think of you [by how you look].
- A classic sense of style will always trump trend. Quality will always come through with the classics vs trends and throw away style.
- A smile and a great pair of shoes go a long, long way....
- Wear a simple, pretty dress - and you can go anywhere.
- When packing, bring the minimum. Stick to the classics and pack to the occasion. Choose a neutral color palette and pack accessories. Take only what jewelry you're going to wear - and what you're willing to lose.
- In Southern California, sunglasses are one of the hottest accesssories.
- Style and trends have to work for your life, or it's not going to stick.
It's not often that Lanvin has a runway show in Los Angeles, but the renowned Paris fashion house held a show over the weekend to benefit The Foundation of Living Beauty. Starlets including Olivia Munn, Emmy Rossum, Emma Roberts and Rashida Jones all turned out for the event dressed in their best Lanvin party frocks. From the glittering dresses in the foyer to the sparkling runway in the backyard at the home of Living Beauty founder Amie Satchu and husband Asif, the evening couldn't have been more chic. Guests enjoyed champagne, hors d' oeuvres and an exquisitely decorated Lanvin cake as they shopped from the Lanvin collection. A live auction that included an archival Lanvin print signed by Creative Director Alber Elbaz helped raised funds for The Foundation for Living Beauty, which helps women as they recover from cancer. Sparkling lights decorated the runway which glimmered with Lanvin's Fall 2014 women's pre-collection. There were beautiful pants suits, gorgeous gowns and Lanvin's chic wide brimmed hats - the hat that kicked off the fashion trend a few years ago. A flurry of confetti was a celebratory touch to end the show and ever so chic evening. Scroll down for pics from the event.
photo courtesy of Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images via WWD
photo courtesy of Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images via WWD
Olivia Munn and Emmy Rossum, photo courtesy of Donato Sardella/Getty Images via WWD
I stopped by The Sayers Club for the band's album release party on Tuesday night - and it was electric. Led by the ever so talented Justin Tranter, the show was non stop raw energy - seriously insane! And with a new album to celebrate, the performance was unreal. While the band's clothes were much more tame than their "glam rock" look they wore the first time I saw them on stage, the performance was perhaps more polished and one of the best shows I've ever seen. Not surprising since Semi Precious Weapons, who opened for Lady Gaga on her Monster Ball tour from late 2009 to 2011, is known for putting on a stellar show. And in the intimate space of The Sayers Club, it was above and beyond. To catch a bit of the show's mood, check these Insta videos. Unfortunately, my "Aviation High" video had a technical glitch, but luckily @RubyCherie_ captured the amazing one above. Scroll down for more images and my Insta video below.
Semi Precious Weapons. Their hit single "Aviation High" is my new favorite song. I could listen to it over and over again. SO good! I first saw the band perform at an event at Fred Segal Santa Monica a few years ago and they were incredible live. Their new album was just released today, and I'm super stoked to see them at Sayers Club tonight. You can hear the full album, at SoundCloud.com.
And....I've just posted images from the album release party at Sayers Club. Scroll down for images and video by Instagram!
The Fashion Group International of Los Angeles has an incredible event on the calendar. I'm excited to announce I've been asked to be on the upcoming "Fashion + Technology" panel on April 29. The event includes top designers, publicists and eCommerce experts who will give insight into the latest in fashion and technology. Panelists include Rachel Pally, Fashion Designer; Kendra Gratteri, Director of Merchandising at Beachmint; Alle Fister, Principal at Bollare PR; and Nicolas Ullah, Director of Marketing, US at Trendstop. Come join us for cocktails and conversation. It will be a great night!!
" panel discussion, "Fashion + Technology, Alle Fister, April 29, Beachmint, Bollare PR, designers, Director of Marketing, Director of Merchandising, eCommerce, experts, fashion, Fashion Designer, FGI-LA, Kendra Gratteri, LA, Maker City, N. Jayne Seward, Nicolas Ullah, panelists, Principal, publicists, Rachel Pally, technology, The Atelier, The Fashion Group International of Los Angeles, US at Trendstop, VeryVeryChic
That is the question that STYLE 2020 will answer at its upcoming lifestyle and beauty forum. The event is a must for anyone with a passion for fashion, style and beauty. Guest speakers from Sephora, L'Oreal, LVMH and Thomas Pink will be in attendance as well as some of the most influental style and beauty bloggers from around the world. I'm excited to be invited to attend the May 2 event, which will be held at The Fashion Island Hotel in Newport Beach from 12 to 5 pm. The forum kicks off at noon with an opening reception and remarks from Kathryn Moore, CEO of STYLE 2020. Speakers include Cindy Carrandi, Executive Director of Sephora and Nicole Simpson, Global Head of Education at L'Oreal. There will also be a Q&A with a panel of experts. For registration and the full schedule, click on the pic below.
Here's your chance to win two VIP tickets to the event and a gift bag that includes product from L'Oreal, Avene, Sephora and a style package from STYLE 2020. To enter, take a photo of yourself and create a caption that best describes how you define style, include the #MyStyle2020 hashtag and post it on Instagram, Twitter and your social media networks. The winner will be chosen on April 30. Good luck and hope to see you there!
While festival style is typically made up of crochet dresses, jean shorts, bikinis and oodles of fringe, Ramona Lisa turned up the styleometer in this high fashion look by ThreeASFOUR. Without a doubt, it is my favorite look from Coachella. Some people may know Lisa best as Caroline Polachek, from New York-based singing duo Chairlift. The British singer performed at STYLEBOP's Coachella barbecue brunch in a private surprise show. Looking chic in this white laser cut tunic and leggings from ThreeASFOUR's Spring collection, her performance must have been unforgettable.
Look what I found in the archives... My first collection AND photo shoot! I designed this eveningwear collection for my Senior project at Stephens College. It's a little known fact, but yes, I can sew! I made all of the pieces in the collection and styled the shoot. To create the avant garde look, I chose the iconic Columns at the University of Missouri as our location. Even though I created the collection years ago, it's very much my current style. Clean, chic, timeless...And .....all made in my signature black. That's VeryVeryChic.