Fashion

New York Fashion Week First Timer!

New York Fashion Week has been on my bucket list for a hot minute. Every year I tell myself…”next year baby, next year!”  This year I excitedly informed my hubs when I received a few show invitations, (because 1. COOL! and 2. I tell him everything), with no expectations of actually making it happen. Between KISS being on their final tour and my man turning the big 50, I thought our travel plans were over booked. My dreamboat shocked me and said…”let’s go!”

NYFW is an industry event where designers showcase their fresh collections for the first time.  The event happens twice each year: February, where fall/winter collections are presented, and September, where spring/summer collections are presented.  Attendees are fashion industry insiders: buyers, fashion editors and writers, stylists, photographers, and digital media influencers.

There is a lot of planning that goes into attending NYFW.  As a newbie, I wanted to maximize the weekend, yet also make it fun and not too jam packed. The plan was to arrive Friday late afternoon, attend our first show Friday night, 2 shows on Saturday, and one more Sunday morning before departing. Of course the plan didn’t go perfectly. Our flight was canceled, and we didn’t end up arriving until nearly midnight. The rough start had me feeling a bit defeated, but my guy kept my spirits up by doing what he does best…making everything fun!  I lovingly called him my “Intern” all weekend, a title in which in had zero shame owning and rocking. What a man!

Travel outfit: Show me Your Mumu hoodie, Spanx leggings, Rebecca Minkoff boots, and Hammitt bag. 

Saturday was a new day! I woke up so excited to experience a sprinkle of the fashion week magic. Our first show was one of my all-time favorite designers, Rebecca Minkoff. The show was presentation style, and featured a variety of models celebrating all walks of life. A pregnant model, children, and even a baby, were among the beauties showcasing the new collection, which includes a children’s line. I loved all the chic styles…feminine floral dresses styled with fringe leather jackets, beautiful blouses with statement sleeves, power suits in vivid colors, and of course Rebecca’s specialty…amazing handbags.  I thought the collection was urban, on trend, fun, and versatile. I could see women of all ages and style preferences effortlessly incorporating pieces into their wardrobes. I dressed for the occasion: my dress, shades, boots, and bag are all by Rebecca Minkoff.

A peek at the presentation:

Beauty and brains: Rebecca Minkoff!

The energy on the streets was such a fun aspect of the experience. People watching at it’s most fashion forward best! Paparazzi gathered outside all the big shows, eager to capture all the killer street styles. I ran into a couple of Chicago fashion friends on the streets, and my Intern was always ready with the camera to document the moment. I think I will keep him on my xoxo staff forever:)

Our next show was Hellessy.  Hellessy is hand crafted and produced in New York City and is highly recognized by international fashion publications.  Many influential celebrities are loyal fans of the high end brand.  The runway show took place in an intimate venue, and the front row was filled with stunning supermodels.  I absolutely loved all the statement-making pieces.  How about the black tulle number? So dreamy!

I knew my man had hit his fashion husband max by this point of the day, but there was just one store I was determined to visit. LoveShackFancy is a  brand I am wild for…no one does romantic ruffles better. The flagship LoveShackFancy store happens to be in New York.  The store was more beautiful than I even imagined.  The hubs found a comfy chair to chill in while I did my thing, and all was well in the world! I did not leave empty handed:)

A peek into fashion week was both challenging and inspiring. As a first timer new to the scene, I could see how one could easily feel lost in the chaos. I have potential to fall down that silly….”I’m a nobody!” rabbit hole.  I firmly believe surrounding yourself with people who build you up and make you happy is the key. My Intern was the best partner in fashion crime!

“Life is a party. Dress like it.”

XOXO,

Julz Chez

Fashion

Show Me Your Mumu Love!

If you know me, you know Show Me Your Mumu is one of my very favorite fashion sources. The brand nails bohemian chic vibes with their chic yet comfy styles. Their pieces are effortless and easy to style a variety of ways. I firmly believe I am forever a Mumu girl. Can’t y’all see me in my 60s sporting their epic bell bottoms? Goals! Today I am sharing a round up of my current favorite Mumu looks.

First up: this sparkly slip tie dress. This gem simply screams FUN to me! The relaxed fit is a refreshing alternative to the commonly seen skin tight styles. The adjustable tie straps allows you to custom the length and change up the look. For a night out, pair it with slinky heels or over the knee boots. Add your favorite bomber jacket and a bold lip color, and you are ready to rock. I also love it worn tunic style, paired with ripped jeans or leggings, for a more casual vibe.

Bell bottoms are the perfect example of everything old is new again in the fashion world.  The 70s style exaggerated leg is back, and better than ever. No one does bells better than Show Me Your Mumu. I read an interview with Cammy, one of the entrepreneur babes behind the brand, where she stated their bells were designed with stretch, so you can do splits and cartwheels at any given moment. Clearly my kinda gal, and my kinda pants!  Meet the latest addition to my collection, the Mercury Bells. These beauties feature all over sequin detailing and a comfy elastic lined waist.  They look great dressed up with a nice sweater and heels, or styled casually with a fun graphic tee.  I honestly never receive more compliments on my outfit than when I am in my Mumu flares. The best part is that the compliments come from all ages…everyone from teens to grandmas.  These pants are simply a crowd pleaser! Side note for any fashion moms reading…Mumu offers their bombshell bells in kiddo sizes. Cuteness overload!

Show Me Your Mumu recently joined forces with the fabulously fun makeup brand, Too Faced, and created a bombshell collection.  This tweed skirt screams Cher Horowitz, and I am here for it! There is also a matching jacket available that is actually called, the Cher jacket. Crazy cute!

As much as I love dressing up, if I am hanging out at home, you will most likely find me in cozy jammies. No one combines cozy and cute better than Mumu! This disco nap pant and tee set, also in collaboration with Too Faced, is my new favorite. Super comfy fit, and pretty enough to go out in. Tackle your inner Carrie Bradshaw style and toss on a fancy fur jacket and heels. PJ glam at its best!

I hope everyones 2020 is off to a strong and stylish start!

“I like my money right where I can see it, hanging in my closet.”~ Carrie Bradshaw

XOXO,

Julz Chez

Beauty, Fashion

Gift Ideas for the Girly Girl!

Tis’ the season to shop for loved ones! When it comes to gift guides, I typically stick to my area of expertise. Ideas for the girly girl! I am breaking it down into 3 basic girly gift categories today: cosmetics, skincare, and jewelry.

As a girly girl myself, a luxury beauty gift would make my heart oh so happy. No one does luxury beauty better than the great Charlotte Tilbury. I shared my Charlotte love in one of my first ever blog posts, you can check out that post here. Tilbury is dedicated to creating red-carpet skincare and makeup that is easy to choose, easy to use, and easy to gift. I have tried countless makeup brands, and if I had to pick one all-time favorite, Charlotte wins the gold. Bonus: the packaging is so stunning!

Charlotte’s dreamy gift shop is a glittering universe of treasures that will make all your girly girls holiday dreams come true!

A few or my very favorite Charlotte products I highly recommend!

~Charlotte’s Magic Cream: this plumping-effect moisturizer is the answer to anyones skin dreams. A luxury product for all skin types.

~Wonderglow Face Primer: hydrate and blur imperfections with this beautiful makeup base, OR use on its own for a dewy natural look. This product works on all skin shades, another reason it is gifting gold!

~Filmstar Bronze&Glow: An award winner for a reason! 2 flattering shades create a quick red carpet style glow.

~Matte Revolution in shade Pillow Talk: Iconic nude pink lipstick. My go-to everyday color!

Every girly girl has a special place in her heart for great skincare products.  I am no exception, and have again tried countless brands in search of the best of the best. IMAGE skincare is a clinical brand powered by safe, proven ingredients for your healthiest skin. This year IMAGE launched limited-edition deluxe gift sets featuring their best selling products.  I love all their products, but here are my 2 favorite sets I am confident any beauty babe would adore. PS all Holiday sets are 10% off until 12/15.

~The Merry Masking Collection: Balance and firm skin with these multi-tasking masks packaged up crazy cute. $100 value for $67.50

~The Beauty Sleep Collection: This nighttime ritual set has everything you need to keep your skin radiant and hydrated for the best beauty sleep. Valued at $153 for $89, featuring a silk sleep mask and beautiful cosmetic bag…yes please!

Last but not least, let’s talk bling bling. I love finding unique local artists to support.  Shoshanna Lee Jewelry was founded by Chicago’s own Sandee Zahn.  Sandee was inspired after taking a jewelry class with her daughter, creating bracelets for party gifts. Her designs were quickly in high demand, and have developed a major celebrity client base. I find her pieces chic and unique…the perfect combo to make a great gift!

The collection offers a variety of bold statement pieces, as well as more classic pieces.  The necklace I am wearing below can be worn as lariat, long necklace, or wrap bracelets. 3 in one!

I also adore this Shoshanna Lee lock & key charm necklace.  True story: my Husband tried to put it on when he saw it on my vanity (thankfully it was too tight:)  The snake clasp and oxidized metal no doubt give this piece major rock n roll vibes.  It is also available in both gold and silver. A great quality piece at a great price point. And how lovely it is to support a local hard working Mama?

Happy shopping babes!

XOXO,

Julz Chez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love

Meet the Chezs: the Vavoom Edition!

Happy December darlings! At my house we celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah, so we often compromise by referencing KISSmas. Too perfect right? My Motley Jew was actually the one to put our tree up…well before Thanksgiving!

We sprung into the holiday spirit at one of my favorite places in Chicago, Vavoom Pinups. Dude and I were newly dating 7 years ago when I first experienced the magic of Vavoom. One afternoon chilling on his couch, I was surfing the Vavoom website after hearing a girlfriend rave about her experience, and the images grabbed dudes attention immediately. “You have to do this! I will pay for it!” Side note: I find this story quite amusing as he often claims to have, “played it cool,” in the beginning of our relationship. Keep telling yourself that buddy 🙂

My love story with Vavoom began with that first shoot…I was hooked. This was pre blog life, so I was not nearly as comfortable in front of the camera. Heather, the photographer and Vavoom mastermind, does an incredible job making her Vavoom “kittens” feel comfortable.

The experience kicks off with a warm greeting and a red silk robe to wear for the glam session. After the pros make all your glam pin-up dreams come true, you head downstairs, where the real magic happens. Racks upon racks of costumes are available to pick from. For my first shoot, I went the iconic pin up girl route. Loved every second of it! A couple of years later I returned for a Valentine’s Day themed shoot, (you can check out that post here.) A year or so later, a few blogger babes joined me back at Vavoom to promote their 80’s style series.  Each experience was unique…each experience was a blast!

For my fourth visit I pulled in the big guns…THE HUSBAND! Vavoom is best known for epic pinup photography….but they also offer family shoots, Mommy+Me shoots, furry friends shoots, bachelorette party shoots….the list goes on! In addition to a fabulously fun experience, looking and feeling your very best, the photography is out of this world. I cannot think of a better gift idea!

A couple “behind the scenes” shots! PS…about dudes mustache. He rocked the statement all November in honor of Movember, an annual event involving growing mustaches to raise awareness of men’s health issues. It was also inspired by the great Freddie Mercury of Queen…(we have been on a major rock out to Queen kick.) The “stash” is now gone!

The amazing gal behind the camera…Vavoom Queen Heather! 

Make a loved one’s Vavoom dreams come true…gift cards are available!

Cheers to the most wonderful time of the year!

XOXO,

Julz Chez

 

Fashion, Life

The Magic of Marfa!

Howdy y’all! A couple weeks back, my girlfriends and I traveled to Marfa Texas for a long weekend of desert fun. This was my second time visiting this artist hub, located in the middle of West Texas.  Check out my past post, Urban Cowgirls, for a peek into my first visit.  My girlfriend Katie’s parents are awesomely artsy, and so wild for the quirky town, they own a vacation home there. My lady loves and I have shared so much Marfa fun, we all jumped at the chance to return. This time we added a twist to the girls trip…my man came along. 4 crazy ladies and one tattooed KISS fan…let the party begin!

With less then 2,000 residents, Marfa is known as a quirky and artistic town…and a great place to escape from hectic city life.  Our gang flew into El Paso, and then hopped in our rental to road trip our way to our “off the beaten path” destination.  A must stop on the journey is a visit to Prada Marfa…a stand alone store in the middle of the dessert. So weird…so cool.  As I just typed that, I realized that description is essentially Marfa…totally weird, and 100% cool.

The vibe of the town is relaxed, quiet, and friendly.  After a couple days of wandering around, you will know dogs by their first name. How rad is that?! Marfa is famous for its many amazing art galleries.  A visit to the Chinati Foundation is a must to admire the work of Donald Judd, a large driver behind the arts community in Marfa.

A fresh new activity for the urban cowgirls, (plus one husband), we added to our Marfa menu this visit…a night stay at El Cosmico. Aka…”glamping.”  A night stay in a cozy teepee, on an 18-acre campground under the stars. Our adventure landed on a rainy Marfa night.  We had the best of times drinking wine and chatting fireside…but the quality of actual sleep was a bit dicey. The husband summed it up well the next day as we rolled out, (exhausted), in our rental. “I am cranky now ladies. But later, I will be very happy we shared this experience together.”

Moving on to what I do best…FASHION. One of my favorite activities in Marfa is ironically my favorite pastime, shopping.  Not just because the local boutique owners are so friendly….but also because I adore all the gems I have scored in this town.  Straight away, I knew my cowboy needed a hat.  We found his perfect hat at one of my favorite Marfa shops, Communitie.  Dude rocked it all weekend, and it was wildly well received.  I purchased these little pink glasses at Ashley Rowe, and took them off basically just to sleep during the whole trip. Love! Not that this girl ever needs an excuse to shop, but I do love a piece associated with a great memory. I know these glasses will be a regular in my rotation, and I know they will always remind me of this amazing trip.

Also from the fabulous Communitie shop, this gorgeous slip dress by Organic By John Patrick. I love the fact that the material is meant to be wrinkled, making it a perfect travel piece. Another fun fact: the owner informed me AFTER I purchased the dress, that Beyonce, Rihanna, and Scarlett Johansson own the same number! Styled again with the groovy pink shades from Ashley Rowe, that I lived in all weekend.

Moving along to my favorite Marfa purchase of this trip, this bombshell jumpsuit by Garbo. Love at first sight. I stumbled into her one day shopping with the ladies, but didn’t pull the trigger. I knew I would be back. Luckily my man was a few drinks in, when I tried it on for him later that day. Mine! The overused “obsessed” expression has never felt so spot on. And in true Marfa form, I stumbled into the actual DESIGNER the very next day cruising around before dinner. Be still my Marfa fashion heart!

As much as I adore Marfa shopping, I of course had to come prepared with some stylish Western wear. Show me Your Mumu is one of my longtime favorite designers, and oozes the chic cowgirl vibes I was going for. This “Howdy” sweater is so cute and cozy. My flare pants are also by Mumu. They make the best bells in the biz!

The air B&B we shacked up at had a pool…so a new suit was naturally in order. This leopard one piece, also by Show me Your Mumu, is so chic and comfortable. Bonus: the beauty doubles as a great bodysuit styled with denim.

Akira is another one of my longtime favorite shopping destinations. I stumbled upon these boots a couple of weeks before our trip, and had to have them. So good…so unique…and they look great with just about everything. If you follow my blog, you know I am a loyal Akira jean short fan. Denim shorts seem like a simple situation…but the fit can be so tricky! I find most styles to be either too baggy, (or as the husband says, dumpy), or way too short and bootylicious. Akira simply nails the fit. Their styles are super cool, and their price tags are legit.

Wrapping up this Marfa love story with some random fun photos. First up, Joe Davis. My girl Katie’s uber talented and off the charts cool Dad. Featured behind us, his one of a kind kick a** art.

My boo Erin, and her goat friend.

My very favorite crazy cat lady, my husband.

Marfa sunsets, so dreamy.

Until next time…

XOXO,

Julz Chez

Beauty

My Latest Greatest Beauty Secret: Vitahl Medical Aesthetics

The search for the latest and greatest beauty secrets never ends. There are so many amazing products available that can be used in the comfort of home…but sometimes a gal needs to call in the big guns. AKA…a MED SPA! The world of lasers, injectables, and fat reducing treatments can be quite daunting. A blogger duty I take very seriously, is researching the services I believe to be worth every penny.  I have been paying regular visits to Vitahl Medical Aesthetics over the past few months…and it was love at first laser genesis.

Vitahl is located on Madison Street in the West Loop. The interior is sleek, and decorated with super groovy artwork. The staff is small, which I love. Having someone poke needles into your face is a bit personal…being able to build a relationship with the technicians you are working with is so comforting.

The first service I tried at Vitahl, which hooked me straight away, is the Laser Genesis facial. This procedure is a favorite among many Hollywood A-listers…yes please! The laser works by mildly heating the upper dermis of your skin to stimulate the growth and production of collagen. The laser also targets facial capillaries which helps to diminish redness, wrinkles, fine lines, uneven texture, enlarged pores, and more icky stuff.  The process is quick and pain free. Below you can find me getting the royal treatment done by Vitahl’s laser master, Fred. Fred is the best to chat with, he makes you feel so comfortable.  He also has flawless skin, which I always find comforting from a skincare professional!  Bonus: there is no downtime after this treatment.

Vitahl offers TruSculptID treatment, which uses radio frequency to heat and permanently destroy fat cells…in 15 flipping minutes! A series of 2 is recommended to achieve the best results possible.  I did one treatment, to be able to share the experience.  When it comes to dealing with pain, I royally suck.  It is slightly uncomfortable as the treatment heats up, but those moments are short, and again the jig is up in 15 minutes! Over 90% of Vitahl clients who treat one area of their body sign up for another. So yes indeed, it works!

If you are looking to dramatically improve your skin, Secret RF is the answer.  Secret RF combines micro needling and radio frequency to efficiently treat fine lines, wrinkles, skin laxity, acne scarring, and more!  I tested this treatment out on a Friday afternoon. The staff prepped me to schedule on a day where I could head straight home after, as my skin would be red.  Side note: the warm staff at Vitahl are wonderful at providing all the details on every treatment, so you know exactly what to expect. I was not in any pain afterwards, but I was indeed a not so sexy shade of red. However, by that evening, the redness was miraculously gone.  The photo below was taken the very next day. My skin felt so fresh…and so good!

I once promised myself that if I ever tried Botox, I would never post about it on my blog. Because duh, my mom reads my blog, and she would kill me. Don’t stop loving me Mom! Here’s the dish on Botox: when used properly, it does not change your appearance. It simply softens any unwanted crows feet or lines. And guess what Ma…what I had done is not technically Botox! The Vitahl pros recommended  Neurotoxin. AKA, the new tox on the block. We have all seen those crazy looking ladies that overdid something. I do not advise letting someone like that near your precious face! Caroline is the Vitahl Nurse Practioner. Caroline is feminine, natural, and lovely. She told me herself that she is committed to never over doing any treatment. No one noticed I had Jeuveau except me…and that is how it should be! Same you…just a little bit better:)

That is just a sprinkling of the many innovative treatments available at Vitahl. I can’t recommend this place enough! Mention my blog for the extra VIP treatment. Treat yourself babes…you deserve it!

Glow-Getter (noun):  A driven busy gal who strives to achieve her goals in life while attaining a beautiful glow both inside and out.

XOXO,

Julz Chez