Sassy, Classy, Sophisticated


What a February

Posted by Miikelle DeFo on February 22, 2012 at 11:10 PM Comments comments (0)

SO the drama has finally died down. I can exhale. It was a great trip all the way around. Where do I begin?

NEW YORK – Plitzs New York Fashion Week was AMAZING. I think it was a smashing success. I met a lot of great contacts and fantastic designers while I was there. I again had some great models. The team there put on a great show and as always there were some comical moments that added to the event. For instance, I don’t know what it is about me, I always lose a model on the day of the show. And true to form I had a model show up on Friday for her fitting, which I was coming in fresh off the road to. Well come Saturday at 5pm she was not there. I was informed by another model that she wasn’t coming. NICE. Thanks to a fast acting backstage manager I had a new model in hair & makeup in less than 5mins. The advantage of being in a room packed with models. Another great save was when one of my models thought combat boots were going to work with my collection. I’m so glad I didn’t have to jump in and say anything. He stepped up and told her she had lost her mind, asked her shoe size and in 5 minutes returned with borrowed heels.

From what I hear the runway show went off without a hitch. I was forced to walk the runway but it wasn’t so bad. The press junket was nice and gave me a moment to introduce myself and my collection. Hopefully something great will come of it. If anything I can say I got to show at a show in NYC during Fashion Week. Here are some of the runway shots by Revenge Fashion Magazine.

CHARLOTTE, NC - Night in the Garden was another hit. We pulled off a great night of fundraising. We raised $1000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. My team was the only reason we were able to pull of this success. Shout out to Limitless Possibilities PR’s Lauren Price who was like me right hand, no who am I kidding, she was my right, left hand and foot and sometimes by brain. Our photographer/promoter Sue Sidzina & Cris Anler, and website guru Larosa Johnson. We had some wonderful sponsors, Clutch Auto Magazine who brought the Gucci Fiat (Stateline Fiat) and 2 more cars to shuttle our guest to and from their cars. And don’t forget the always accommodating Vanlandingham Estate who rolled up the red carpet, no literally.

And yet again I lost a model, at least this time she called the night before. Thanks to a fast acting model I had a replacement in hair and makeup before I got there. Oh and let’s not forget the great team of hair and makeup artist at Paul Mitchell the School who took great care of us. And the ladies looked great form head to toe thanks to Heels.com for sponsoring the shoes.

The reception of the line was amazing. Everyone loved the collection. I even had a model wanting to buy the dress she was wearing. Creative Loafing was there to report on the event, oh how I hate interviews, but she was great, thanks Lauren. I also did an interview with Clutch. We also had artist Steffan Duncan who contributed a piece for the silent auction and did a live painting.

As a special thank you to all who attended I offered them 20% off any item from the collection until April 1st. I would love to thank everyone who helped and showed support by attending. I had a blast and it was far less stressful than last year. I can’t wait until next year. Check out the photos in the Photo Gallery.

Super Weekend

Posted by Miikelle DeFo on January 16, 2012 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Most people, students and employers and employees, look forward to Friday all week long. Some Fridays exhibit more of a clarity than others and you know exactly what you’re looking forward too. The children were off with grandparents. I had fittings everyday and a lot of work to do. I anticipated the fun of attempting to tame the coming storm of chaos without any worries about my creatively energetic children. And yes, it took me a long time to come up with a nice way to say it. And no, I really don’t have all that much going on this weekend, but it sounded much less pathetic than simply saying, “The kids are gone, I win.”

The best mom can use a weekend here and there.

It all began with a trip to Northlake Mall. I was meeting one of my models for the upcoming show, “Night in the Garden.” I was early so I went to window shop. Yes, a designer who actually shops. I don’t do it often but I needed some pants. Man the mall was crazy with sales. I went to one of my favorite stores, New York & Co. Their clothes fit my style so well. They have these pants that are so comfortable to wear and look really great. I quickly found three pairs at the 70% off rack. What makes it better is that they are a size smaller than I thought I wore! I’m not sure how I stopped myself from doing a touchdown celebration. I got three pairs of pants for $35 that’s what one pair cost at regular price. The fitting went great, a few tweaks and we could all pretend that perfection is real.

So back at home I made a wonderful shrimp and crab pasta in white wine vodka sauce, very, very delicious. I worked and watched a movie. Little did I know that things would really pick up on Saturday. After realizing how seriously cold it was. I mean it was 25 degrees, I wasn’t going out there. By ten, I finally left the house, just to hurry back to meet with my other two models. I’m glad I had them come at the same time because we played musical dresses (like musical chairs but with clothes). Snap, crackle, pop, we were done. The girls would be gorgeous on the runway. Another touchdown. Another missed chance at a celebration dance. I’m actually glad I saved it.

After a long night of TV and sewing I went to bed. You look forward to the quiet time, but you only end up thinking about your kids. Early to rise, not really, Sunday morning at 8am. I was getting ready for my ride, exercise is important, when I decided to check my email. SO SO SO glad I did. There was an email from a fashion marketing group to participate in a show during Fashion Week in NYC. I took my time and thought about it for about a fifth of a second. Then I jumped up, woke my husband and had a quick moment to reflect. I ran back got the number made the call. Within five minutes I had the CEO on the phone telling me that he loved my website and that I was preapproved. After a vigorous hour on the bike I paid for my spot and was on cloud nine. I’m sorry if you’ve never had a weekend where you scored 18 points. You should go for it. My TD celebration is pretty good, I won’t describe it, but it’s pretty good.

2012 looks to be a great year. I have big plans and this is going to be just the beginning. Now I have to really get cracking since the NYC show is a week before the Night in the Garden show. What an opportunity. See you in the Big Apple. Do that dance.

Welcome Back

Posted by Miikelle DeFo on January 9, 2012 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Welcome back. After a short, much needed vacation witness my triumphant return to blog writing. Are you there? Is this thing on? The vacation was only from writing since I have been in a mad dash to complete all the looks from the Fall 2012 line to show in February. Most people would think that five weeks is more than enough time to finish four looks. It would be if I could focus and stop changing what I am doing.

So my weekend went like this: late night Friday babysitting for a friend, which means five kids under eight with just me to watch them. I can proudly say that no one was hurt and all left happy, well, at least they all left. I also had a model fitting with a new model. She is a character and the dress looked good on her. Saturday morning was a little trying. After devoting some time to my spiritual life I was home and determined to make some head way. I had finished creating the new pattern pieces on my lunch hour at work, multitasking, so all I had to do was cut out the muslin pieces for use. I had all of them cut by five pm. That is for all five looks. I’m using the word “five” a lot today, aren’t I?

Then my nerves started acting crazy. Because I was tired and didn’t want to screw it up, I was scared to cut into the real fabric. Therefore, I pushed pause on that job until Sunday. Come Sunday night after watching the gut-wrenching upset of the Steelers final post season game I laid out the fabric and started on the origami dress. I decided to mix up the colors for the bodice, per a friendly suggestion. I cut out the fabric, marked, folded and pressed it. By eight o’clock I was at my sewing machine praying not to screw it up. And to my surprise it came together with no problems. So, excited and inspired to continue, I did just that. By bed time I had the bodice complete. I went to bed happier than my hometown Steerlers fan husband. This evening I will get the other parts done and by days’ end I should have a complete look. Here is a sneak peak at one half of the top portion:

In the next blog I will discuss some of the other ills of a fashion show. I am working on selecting hair and makeup for both the runway show and the installation models during the VIP hour. There are still tickets available at www.NightintheGardenNC.com so you can see how it all comes together.

Weekend Warrior 4: Fabric Test

Posted by Miikelle DeFo on December 26, 2011 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Despite the fact that was supposed to be off work and my kids in Columbia on Friday, neither of which happened, I did manage to work on a new look for February. More like a trial on the concept from my transformational reconstruction book. Right sometimes an error can turn into a great design. What I was testing was a fabric choice, which I think will work well. Development of the concept can sometimes be easy but execution it sometimes more difficult.


Fabric is the most important decision you can make when you try to develop a new design. it had to be the right weight for it. That will affect the drape or hang of the garment. I found a great guide in an article that I read (http://www.coletterie.com/fabric-haberdashery/choosing-fabric-weight-vs-drape). If you don't choose the right fabric all your hard work will be for nothing because the garment won't have the look at you had in mind.



For my project I chose a fabric that was similar to what I wanted to use because I had it on hand already. What I did use did not give me look I was going 4, but demonstrated that the fabric that i want to use will give me to look I want. It is always best to test a sample piece of fabric before you commit to buying yardages of it. You will be frustrated because you wasted money and the garment doesn't work. I was looking for a fabric this drape but enough body to hold its shape when I put it together. From the chart I referenced earlier I decided on Shantung over Dupioni since it is slightly smoother in appearance. This fabric also has the sheen of a dull satin but is not as heavy. It will give me the look and feel I want for two of the dresses I am using in the installation during the VIP cocktail hour. If you want to get a sneak peak of the Fall 2012/2013 Collection get tickets at www.NightintheGardenNC.com

Weekend Warrior 3

Posted by Miikelle DeFo on December 20, 2011 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

This weekend's addition is a little different. I have so much going on both in my business and in the family that I didn't have a lot of time to work on my normal project but I did do some work. As the end of the year approaches and I have big plans at the start of the year. I have looked at my house and found that I want it to be more like home since I will be so busy working on building this empire. So I have been shopping for paint supplies and organizational tools to make my homelife more organized and simple.

We have decided to paint every room downstairs. It started with the living room then we evaluated and thought it was a good a time as any to make a big change. So in 2 weeks we will paint the livingroom, dining room, bathroom and some of the kitchen. I say 2 weeks cause the kids will be out of town. This weekend I gathered the supplies and started with the cleanout and organizing part.

Mind you I am doing this while also doing a major business overhaul and redirection. I have made a production schedule and am using the event in February to showcase the new look of the company and our new goals. I have been partnering with some wonderful people including, Limitless Possiblities PR, CLUTCH Magazine, VanLandingham Estate and Boxman Studios to make this event amazing. For more on that go to www.NightintheGardenNC.com

Anyway back to the overhaul of the weekend. I (we) have selected the colors and will start the actual painting this evening. Unfortunately it will probably talk the whole 2 weeks to get it done since we both have full-time jobs. We plan on having the kids help over the weekend since they will be home. We are babysitting our own kids, how crazy.That is bound to be interesting. I will post pics on the progess by the end of the week.

Oh I am still working on all my sketches and fabric selection for the SS2013 collection, yes 2013 and it's not even 2012 yet. Gotta stay ahead or be left behind. I'll talk more about that in the Lesson Learned edition later in the week.

Weekend Warrior 2

Posted by Miikelle DeFo on December 12, 2011 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)

I wanted a classic Saturday, you know? The type with time to spare for relaxation and general enjoyment, the type of Saturday I think is reserved for most people, the type of Saturday I really needed with a full-time job, two kids and giant dream. I got an early start, to get some cleaning out of the way, and they pulled me back in. The kids woke up sick, double trouble as is common when they’re both so young. Oh well. I tended to them and quieted them down (please use your imagination). After, I finally got to my weekend project, which turned out to be a bigger challenge than I first reckoned. When you issue your own challenges that happens more often than you’d think.



I decided on the vortex, which is a mix of draping and cause and effect. What was I thinking? I mean, I knew this would be difficult, but… Once again, oh well. I started by doing my block with the darts closed, easy enough. Then came the first hurdle, making the swirl. It seems easy at first but then getting everything to stay put was the real challenge. Exasperated, I laid it out on the block on my dress form. I drew the swirls onto the block, again easy, or is it?



This is where I made my first mistake. I forgot to make sure it passed through the darts, but it turned out to be a good thing. Don’t be confused. I'll get back to that. Next I cut it up on the style lines I drew. To cover my mistake I made another piece. That reminds me of how Master Oogway from KungFu Panda says, "There are no mistakes." Maybe not what he meant exactly, but its KungFu Panda, I’ll take what I can get. I was able to able to add some color blocking because of this mistake disguised as a discovery.


So in retrospect this was all very easy after I had to put it all back together again, after I had to start over. Patience is a virtue of elusive mastery, for me anyway. In the end I am very satisfied with the way it came out. I love the color contrast in the vortex. It will help since the skirt of the dress will be brown. I am very pleased with how it turned out. It only took me about 2 hours to get the bodice front done. Funny since it will take me that long to finish the other parts, after I check on my kids.

Weekend Warrior

Posted by Miikelle DeFo on December 5, 2011 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Remember back in a day when you could get excited over what the mailman did or didn’t pull out of his bag for you? Back when your mail didn’t have an “e-” in front of it and “lol” within the letter? Seriously, when was the last time a glut of misdirected male enhancement discounts fell out of your postbox? I hate that… I think I’m getting off the subject, that is, waiting for the mailman with eager anticipation. Why? I ordered a book that was due today. When he showed up, I was running back from checking the box and he actually met me at the door. He handed over the package without even checking my password. Lucky I knew who I was. Transformational Reconstruction by Shingo Sato was finally here and I couldn't wait to dig into it.


Last week I started a project that because of this book that I wasn't able to finish. I was looking forward to getting back in for this weekend's project. Because of last week’s…failure, this time I was slightly more ambitious. I decided to take the circle dart a little further and I decided to actually finish it. Yes, I am bad. I decided to add in some piping to accent the design in the dress. Of course, I hit a few snags, for instance, in inserting the piping but I think I learned a lot. And that’s what it’s about, advancing the game.


I had some trouble deciding on the neck line for the front and back but that's my issue not the process. No matter how much you advance the game, you still have to make choices.