CategoryMaking It Work

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah

I love to say “I told you so” … and I told you so: the trompe l’oeil zipper dress is the hit of the season.

Of course, I grabbed one the very day it was delivered to the studio.

Wendy Brandes zipper dress
WendyB in the zipper dress

 

Then our gorgeous clients MaryClaire of Fabulous Girl’s Boudoir, Jordana of Clutch 22, Amanda and Lee each bought one.

There is ONE are two left in the studio and they are sizes 6 and 10. This dress is very easy to alter, I’d say grab the closest size (go up, not down from your usual size) and cut it to suit you. It’s worth it! If you want another size, check out the Impulse Department at Macy’s.

Speaking of things with zip, did you know the song Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah won the Academy Award for best original song in 1947? Interestingly, Song of the South, the Disney movie that featured Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah, has never been released in its entirety on video or DVD. (Let’s just say the movie was made in less enlightened times and no one wants to go there now.) But the song took on a life of its own: everyone from Louis Armstrong to Miley Cyrus has recorded it. The Jackson 5 recorded it for their first album and YouTube has a clip of the Jacksons performing it live. The video quality is poor but young Michael Jackson’s voice is amazing.

Trendy Korean Beauty Products You Can Try

If you talk about beauty innovations, South Korea is the first thing that comes to mind. The fast-fashion industry is a new trend that has paved the way for brands like Uniqlo and H&M to rise to fame across the world. In the past, people were more practical in that they only bought clothes that they needed for the season. Reusing your sweater every year used to be acceptable. However, these days, because of the low cost of clothing, more people are willing to try different styles and designs that suit their interests.

Korean beauty products to complete the trendy 10 step routineJust like with fashion, the South Korean beauty industry is no different, with lots of products being released season after season. There are over a hundred BB and CC creams to choose from, and facial masks that won’t run out of unique ingredient combinations. When it comes to cosmetics and skin care, South Korea is no stranger to constant innovation. And with the massive advertising budgets South Korean beauty product manufacturers enjoy, everyone outside the country is now exposed to these beauty secrets. The government has been especially supportive, too, with tax incentives and state funding that it generously gives out to beauty innovators. Fans can now be found far and wide, from New Zealand to Chile and South Africa.

The reason as to why Korean beauty products have become popular through the years is because they got to perfect the “no makeup” look. Many people strive to achieve this look, where they look incredibly polished and blemish-free, while not being too obvious with the cover-up. Most people cannot tell that you are wearing makeup if you make it as natural as possible. That’s why this is the look that most people want to achieve.

BB cream, CC cream, and blush and lip tints are some of the most well-loved South Korean beauty products around the world. As you can see, these promise the “no makeup” look, where you get to appear sleek and spotless without being too tacky in doing so. BB and CC creams allow you to hide your blemishes, and these help your skin look smooth and silky. Blush and lip tints will enable you to look like you have naturally rosy cheeks and red lips. If you are unaware of these products, it is easy to get fooled.

Now that 2017 is coming to a close, what are the trendiest Korean skin care routines that we’ve seen thus far? Here are some of these trends, and they are expected to stay for this coming year:

Ten Step Routine for clear skin1. The use of the 10-step Korean beauty routine

The Peach & Lily skin care routine is notorious for being incredibly effortful, lengthy, and expensive. Imagine, you need to use ten different products every night, and that includes cleanser, exfoliator, scrub, toner, serum, eye cream, two types of mask, moisturizer, and a facial mist. It takes around one hour to complete this 10-step beauty routine. And even though it takes a big chunk of your time and money, it proves to be useful for both young and old. Therefore, this routine is expected to stay for the long run.

2. The use of neon colors

South Korea’s beauty industry may be the innovator of the “no makeup” look, but this coming 2018, it is expected that neon makeup colors will come to the fore, too. Ever tried neon orange eyeliners and lipsticks? The industry is projected to be creative with colors, tones, and shades.

As expected, South Korea once again will take its stand as the most innovative country when it comes to beauty products. Do not be afraid to try these new products, and feel free to mix and match products that you see fit.

Marketing Your Brand on YouTube this 2018

The video-sharing platform YouTube first took the world by storm in the early 2000s, ultimately transforming the online landscape. Before the birth of YouTube, texts dominated the way we learn things and shared information. With the increasingly visual generation, and more people leaning towards photos and videos over texts, it is no wonder why YouTube became an overnight sensation.

"Me at Zoo" is considered the first YouTube videoThe first YouTubers were lucky to hit the market early before everyone else did. Most of these early YouTube publishers are now incredibly popular online, amassing millions of followers from all over the world. If you look at these YouTubers’ first videos, you will get surprised with the massive improvement in what they offer. From self-taken videos that are of low quality, their productions are now complete with amazing layouts, backgrounds, and edits. Many YouTube stars are now millionaires of their own, thanks to their channels.

But in time, the marketing formula that worked before does not hold its magic any longer. From paid views, paid likes, to affiliate marketing, YouTube stars once earned significant sums from these tools alone. These days, however, affiliate marketing is going passé, so as paid views and paid likes (which are now considered illegal—if you get caught). So, YouTubers now have to improvise and find ways to monetize their channels, given this new online marketing landscape. Or they can just consult the most trusted Rochester SEO agency for the freshest ways to get ahead online.


If you have a YouTube channel and have been noticing a decline in audience approval, how do you get back up from this roadblock? How do you stay relevant despite the many challenges that you face? And how do you keep yourself apart from the rest of the competition?

Here are some tips to help you market your brand on YouTube this year 2018:

1. Assess your visual appeal

These days, audiences online have very high expectations of photo and video productions. That is why the need to produce high-quality videos cannot be underestimated. If you have been noticing a decline in audience appeal, it is time to look at the videos that you publish. Make sure that your videos have excellent audio, appealing shots, and creative edits. You cannot merely shoot and publish these days. You don’t want to waste time and energy into publishing videos that no one will watch.

Marketing your brand without the hardsell2. Advertise yourself in your videos

No, you don’t have to mention your brand’s name all the time because that’s annoying to everyone. One non-tacky and straightforward way to advertise yourself on your videos is to put your logo on all your publishing. Not only is it a free way to market yourself, but you also get to protect your copyright for the video. It is crucial for you to think of a logo that makes an impact on your target audience. There is no use in utilizing generic logos that can quickly be siphoned off the internet. You have to be original and to think through your logo, so your current and potential customers can remember you. And at the end of every video, do not forget to publish your website and on what social media channels your audience can reach you. Your website and social media pages are your business cards online, so make use of them wisely.

YouTube is still a popular video-sharing platform all over the world, and it is still an excellent way to market your brand online. Make the most of this platform, and do not waste your time and resources in publishing low-quality videos that no one wants to watch.

Invasion of the Blog People

Last night, I invited more than a dozen gorgeous bloggers to Christian’s studio to drink Champagne, see the Spring 2010 collection and shop Fall 2009. Our guests were Jennine from The Coveted, Jordana from Clutch 22, the three Fasshonaburu ladies, Jessica from What I Wore, the Jessica Rabbit-shaped Midtown Girl, Jillian from Nova Style, Pamela from Market Publique, 39th and Broadway, Jeanne from The Periodic Elements of Style, tiny Alixrose and repeat customer Princess Poochie.

I need to invest in a video camera so I can properly capture events like this. Still photos are nice, but they don’t let you hear the high-pitched squeals that followed the presentation of every darling spring dress, not to mention the giggling and gossiping. Christian was quite brave about it, but a couple of times I did find him hiding his office, checking baseball scores in a desperate effort to counteract estrogen overload.

Christian told us that Spring was inspired by the American Museum of Natural History’s famous dioramas. He imagined how the museum might display three species of fashionable New York ladies that he had identified and named. Here are his descriptions:

  • The Wild Sugartooth (cravus sucrosius) is an upbeat, social creature who displays lively colors and a bright smile. A springtime stroll past Dylan’s Candy Bar, Magnolia Bakery or Pinkberry is often rewarded by the sight of this species, which appears to enjoy nothing more than eating a sweet snack and wearing a pretty dress on a sunny day. (A subspecies of the Sugartooth can be found clad in gym clothes near the Cadbury Dairy Milk bars in supermarket aisles.)
  • The Eastern Gameling (brainius cumulonimbus) is a gifted and talented breed with a natural immunity to gloomy weather. While some may nap the rainy day away, the Eastern Gameling seizes the opportunity and invites her flock over for an afternoon of fun and games. But even while she’s perched in her apartment alone, she finds stimulation in the bright colors and bold graphic prints that fill her closet.
  • The cheerful Meadowspringer (novella picnicana) can be found in Central Park, frolicking around freshly mowed grasses or engaged in animated conversation around a picnic blanket. Well adapted to the landscape of fields and parks where she spends her free time, the Meadowspringer is as colorful as a flower shop and as melodious as an outdoor concert.

When Jordana tried on the same tartan dress I was already wearing, we decided to pose as mirror images. We ended up looking into each others’ eyes so intently for so long while everyone got their pictures that I felt obliged to ask her to marry me afterward.

Everyone looked adorable in their purchases. The most fortuitous one was by Fasshonaburu’s Alyssa. She was mourning the fact that she never got one of the graffiti-inspired dresses from the Spring 2009 collection, when lo and behold, we found a lone wrap dress lurking on a rack. How great does she look?

I’m hoping that Fasshonaburu’s Vyque (now the proud owner of a one-of-a-kind Francis skirt) follows through on her threat to organize a Francis-wearing flash mob for Fashion Week. I’ll be checking my phone for your text, Vyque.

Thanks again for coming, ladies! I hope you had a good time. And, to anyone who wasn’t able to join us last night, don’t fret! I’ll give you your own private tour of the studio any time. Holla at me at wendy at cfrnyc dot com and we’ll set it up.

UPDATED TO ADD: I had no idea that Princess Poochie DID have a Flip video camcorder. Here’s a half-minute clip that starts with the Jordana/WendyB mirror pose and gives you a good sense of the volume of voices in the studio. Now imagine that going on for 2 1/2 hours! I love hearing Princess Poochie saying, “Clothes, clothes, clothes…” in a sing-song voice.

A Few Words From a Happy Customer

The best fashion is transformative. Not just in the obvious way, by changing how you look, but by lifting your spirits as well.

As I previously posted, three friends came to the Francis studio for shopping and sangria last Wednesday . One of them was the beauteous Jennifer Weitzman. After a hard day at the office, Jen battled pouring rain, flash floods, thunder and lightning to make it to the studio. She wasn’t in her “happy place” when she came through the door. But she was so uplifted by trying on Christian’s clothes that she ended the night on a different plane. I mean a different emotional plane, not a plane to Paris, though the latter would have been great too, not to mention super-spontaneous. I was so delighted and inspired by her joy that I asked her to write a few words for this blog. Without further ado, here is JenW, my first guest blogger:

“When Wendy wrote and said I must check out this fabulous new line from Christian Francis Roth I instantly became intrigued. Not only did Wendy design the most gorgeous jewelry I wore for my wedding but my friend knows how to dress. I was ‘gold, Jerry, gold.’”

“After walking along Mulberry Street in the monsoon, I found the design studio and I felt as if I walked into heaven. Besides being greeted by my other fabulous blogger friends Tina and Thumbelina Fashionista, I landed safely in a world of colorful fabrics and rich jewel tones. Wendy led the way, pointing out the spring/summer line of wonderful pieced dresses made from supersoft mercerized cotton and the over-the-top holiday collection. I picked out a tiered black and white holiday skirt with the cutest floral appliqué, a cobalt-blue holiday dress with gorgeous ruffles to wear to a wedding and the pieced dress to wear now. Heaven. All of it. Where has this been all my shopping life? The details are amazing and so carefully thought out. I sashayed out of the dressing room/bathroom and showed off in front of CFR. Don’t you always try on clothes in front of the creator? What’s even better is I got a glimpse of things to come and I’m really excited for more. The only way to top off this fabulous evening was with peach sangrias around the corner with everyone!”

And here is Jen in her new summer dress!

Thank you, JenW, for writing about your experience and for lifting MY spirits! I needed that.

By the way, Bloomie’s has a few different styles of knit Francis dresses here, here and here. If you want Jen’s dress, we have it at the studio, so holla at me and I’ll send one out to you. Remember, if you’re in New York, I’m always delighted to bring you to the studio myself for a try-on session like the one Jen had. Even though the studio just moved to the West 40s from Mulberry Street, I’ll take you downtown to Emporio for the peach sangria too. I promise!

Working Like a Dog at the Studio

When I first told my dogs, Henry and Gigi, that I would be doing this blog, they said, “Oh noes! We has enuf werk!” (They sometimes speak in loldog.) On my original blog, the dogs are frequently called upon to pose with purses and other objects, so the idea of more camera time overwhelmed them. Henry passed out from exhaustion at the mere thought.

“I’m soooo tired.”

gucci bag and dogDespite his concerns, Henry was energized by his first trip to the studio. It helped that Clementine cuddled him a lot. Henry likes the ladies. He likes the men too. He’s very friendly. I worry that if I turn my back on him for a second, he’ll go home with anyone who pets him. Hussy!

Henry stopped to smell the flowers at the front desk only to discover that some were plaid. The faux bouquet was made by an artist out of scraps of fabric from Christian’s fall collection. Clever, no?

But Henry was most intrigued by something he saw in the bookcase: Christian’s CFDA award from 1990.

He was happy to pose with it.

Henry would be honored just to be nominated!
“I can has award?”

Here’s a closeup to show it’s really Christian’s.

This particular award was the Perry Ellis award for emerging talent. (The award is now sponsored by Swarovski; Alexander Wang won it this year.) Christian was a whopping 21 years old when he won his. Kind of a late bloomer, right? Seriously, though, the typical person’s big accomplishment at that age is legally buying a beer. Meanwhile Christian was doing a whole clothing line.

I have lots of pictures of Christian’s ’90s work on my regular blog. Check out these links:

Christian Francis Roth Archives, Part I
Christian Francis Roth Archives, Part II
Christian Francis Roth Archives, Part III
Christian Francis Roth wedding dresses

Henry will visit the studio again soon and will report back on any other interesting tidbits that he sniffs out.

Haven’t You Heard? The Bird Is the Word!

Gorgeous blogger Fashion Herald and her colleagues had a great time modeling FH’s new Nerd Bird vest by Francis a few days ago. I loved seeing the Nerd Bird girls looking so happy. And, as a bonus, Fashion Herald included an insane and highlarious Family Guy clip in her post.

Fashion Herald gave you the lowdown on buying the Nerd Bird vest at Macy’s. For you online shoppers, the vest is available at Nordstrom.com for only $129.90 — 50% off the original price. Buy it and join Fashion Herald’s Nerd Bird gang.

As an alternative, you can get the Nerd Bird blazer that I have. It is also 50% off. If you get one and live in or visit New York, I swear I’ll get you together with Christian so you can recreate this picture I took with him. He gets to do throw the Nerd Bird gang sign. All you have to do is stand there and laugh like I did.

Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!

If you read my other blog, you might remember the adorable Francis “undone bow tie” dress that I recently wore while standing over a subway grate. If you missed that post, click the picture to read it.

I wore the same dress Sunday night and met some gentlemen who wondered if the bow tie could actually be tied. One of them did it for me. We were at a place that frowns upon photography, but I sneaked a cell-phone picture anyway.

Two looks for the price of one! If you want to get your own bow-tie dress, it’s available at Nordstrom for $350. Click here to shop.

Speaking of ties, I was surprised to see that Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, a 1990 movie by Pedro Almodovar, has been discontinued on DVD by the manufacturer. You can still get it from individual sellers on Amazon. I recommend that and any other Almodovar movie that has Spanish actress Rossy de Palma in it. She’s very charismatic and has the most extraordinary face.

My favorite Almodovar movie is still 1988’s Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. I did a presentation on it for my college Spanish class — in Spanish, of course. Practically the only Spanish I remember is, “No hablo espanol,” but I distinctly recall that when Rossy first appeared on screen, people in the audience gasped. This trailer does not do the movie justice, but you do catch a glimpse of Rossy in it.

By the way, Antonio Banderas appears in both Women on the Verge and Tie Me Up! and he is muy guapo!

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