"A couturier must be an architect for design, a sculptor for shape, a painter for color, a musician for harmony, and a philosopher for temperance." ~ Cristobal Balenciaga

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Legacies and Links

I am happy to announce that my post about the amazing and iconic Jeanette "Cookie" Cooke-Dabney, The Life of a Legend and Death of a Diva, was selected this week to be featured among the 20 best links to be rounded up by Independent Fashion Bloggers and included in Links à la Mode.  I am looking forward to reading all the posts (listed below) and I urge you to do the same.  I am so very glad more people will know more about Cookie and how beautiful a person she was.  It really means a lot to me to be able to share the life of my friend, model, and muse, if only in a small way.  Cookie's life, love, and legacy should be shared...Cookie, as well as her family, deserves that and so much more.  She is greatly missed but never forgotten.



Stepping Up the Style

The thing that keeps fashion interesting is that it's a never-ending project. But that doesn't mean we don't like to strive for perfection anyway. Whether it be following your favorite fashion icons, saying no to the trends, or breaking cliches, style can always be stepped up even when we simplify our wardrobes. This week we have a solid round up of style related posts, so be sure to check them all out!

Links à la Mode: January 23rd

SPONSOR: EastDane David Galan, IRO.Jeans, MSGM, Raleigh Denim, Tretorn Shoes, Jack Spade, UllensFerragamo, RivierasThe Natural 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Life of a Legend and Death of a Diva

"There are things that we don't want to happen but have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn, and people we can't live without but have to let go." ~ Author Unknown

Jeanette "Cookie" Cooke-Dabney 11/29/1955 - 1/20/2014

Cookie 'werking' the runway in the gown I designed and made just for her.
photos: Brooks Fotographie & Brian Branch Price

Yesterday, the world of fashion lost one of its brightest stars and greatest spirits, a true model in every sense of the word.   I lost my great mentor, a beautiful model and muse, and a special friend whom I loved dearly.  You may not know her, but you would have loved her too...everyone did.

Cookie, the amazing designer Willie Hall, and me at NYFW 

Cookie, me, and my lovely Aunt Ann Marie
I am so happy they got to meet each other, as they are both women I look up to and
who both supported me in any way they could.

Cookie with the talented designer Gwendolyn Wilson's sweet little girl

Jeanette "Cookie" Cooke-Dabney was one of those rare, captivating individuals who could light up an entire room and make everyone in that room feel like a million bucks.  She was a real show-stopper, on and off the runway, an icon. She was beautiful inside and out and possessed a vivacious presence which could not go unnoticed.  She was as generous as she was kind, and funny as all get out.  I can still see her radiant smile and hear her magical laugh.  I met Cookie while assisting my dear friend, Mariah Clark, with her Mariah Amine Couture runway collection in Virginia during fashion week - a meeting I will always be indebted to Mariah for, as not only did I have the opportunity to meet the fabulous Ms. Cookie, but also her brilliant brother, Ron Cooke, who has been so kind to me, constantly championing my line from it's NYFW Rogues Gallery Presents debut.  And through Cookie and Ron I have met countless other individuals in the fashion industry who have become great friends, including my best friend and the true love of my life.  Cookie was a gift and she gave me gifts of love and friendship I will never be able to repay or thank her enough for.

A drawing I did of Cookie, the queen of the runway, owning it in Mariah's stunning gown.
Photo: Perimeter Photos, Kevin Higgins 

Me snapping Cookie being her fabulous self in a gorgeous Gwendolyn Wilson creation.

Cookie's helping hands assisting me backstage while fitting my models
(here the beautiful Jaylynn Muse) for the RGP runway at NYFW.

Although I did not know her for very long, I fell instantly in love with her and regarded her as a mother figure, my fashion mama.  She in turn affectionately called me her 'little girl,' which is what I always felt like, family.  We were crazy about each other, partners in crime, thick as thieves, always laughing and carrying on.  Some people only take an instant to love, time doesn't matter, for our hearts and souls have known them all our lives and our bodies were merely waiting to be introduced.  Cookie is one of those extraordinarily singular people.  She was one of my biggest supporters, always believing in me and cheering me on.  She believed in so many people who, like me, owe a great deal of their success to her having confidence in them and giving them enough self-confidence to do what they were destined to do.  Not only did I have her unwavering encouragement, I had the honour of having Cookie grace the runway in my designs, a gift she did not bestow on everyone.  I always had her close out the show and walk the finale, as she always pulled out all the stops.  When I think of whose hand I will now hold to steady me as I walk down the runway to take a bow, I burst into tears.  

At the RGP NYFW debut of my line.

Again at NYFW for the S/S 2014 RGP show.

Cookie talking to Sofia Davis of BTE TV about my line.

All my lovely models (and friends)...we will all miss Cookie beyond measure.
Valeria Volynkina, Yannie Hampton, Casey Barber, Germania Martinez, Shalea Poole, Clarissa DeGroat, Robyn Griffin, Jessica Erickson

Walking my last show with my darling Cookie at Virginia Fashion Week.

Cookie strutting her stuff and doing what she loved right up until the end (blurry, but I can tell it's her, looking fierce).  Showing off my line, thanks to Ron's never-ending kindness and generosity, at the ACHI Magazine launch party, the very day she fell ill, just a couple days ago.

Cookie doing what she does best, first closing Mariah's show, and then at my debut show in NYC, and the last show I did with her in Virginia:

Such a graceful diva.
Photo: Daniel Trahan Photography

I am so fortunate to have known Cookie.  I am devastated she won't be physically present for all the future special moments I have ahead of me, but she will be there in spirit.  If I am loved half as much as she is when it is my turn to leave this world, I will have accomplished much indeed in this life.  She was and will always be my guardian angel, she's just with the other angels now, where she belongs.  She left us broken-hearted but she will always be in our hearts.  As someone else very near and dear to my heart said, perfectly, "she is walking through those gates as only Cookie can."

Photo: John B. Photography

To all my dear ones she left behind, especially my darling Ron and Cookie's lovely son, Forest, I am so very sorry.  I love you all and I'm always here for you.  

Please visit the Memorial Fund for Jeanette "Cookie" Cooke-Dabney.

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal." ~ Author Unknown  



Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Gipsy Queen

Hello Loves,

Yes, I'm still alive ;) 

I've been a traveling gypsy since September and I don't always have internet access, but I promise to update you all with my tales eventually :)

I've gone from Toronto to NYC to Virginia to Spain to Istanbul to Italy to Egypt!   Crazy, I know!  Anyway, since NYFW and VAFW last fall, I have been so inspired design-wise for my upcoming collections!  I have experienced so many new and exciting places, cultures, and people.  There are many photos to come of all my travels...I know it's been a bit of a dry spell (hey, I am in the desert, after all), but a monsoon of posts is about to happen, so get out your umbrellas! ;)

Talk soon,



Thursday, October 31, 2013

Things That Go Bump In the Night

Good Evening...

Here's a little dose of creepy couture for your Halloween hoots...be afraid, be very afraid...& don't blame me if you have nightmares!

Brandon Zhang, Halloween Inspiration, black veil, fashion editorial, costume inspiration, dark beauty, fashion photography



The Evil Queen #SWATH



Anna Jagodzinska shot by Craig Mcdean for W Magazine February 2009

VOGUE Korea,Tim Burton,The Corpse Bride,The Greyest Ghost


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The Cure, Alex Cayley, fashion photographer, Halloween inspiration, skeleton, costume, inspiration, what to wear on Halloween, dark

high fashion halloween, pretty pictures, halloween, masks, costume, dress up

L'èternite Au Corps, skull, fashion editorial, Halloween inspiration, costume inspiration, beauty skeleton, Vogue paris, Ben Hassett, Olga Sherer, fashion photography

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Ekaterina Belinskaya, Halloween inspiration, skull, fashion editorial, costume inspiration, dark beauty, fashion photography

By Barry Lategan Vogue Italia, 1970.

Kimisa Hao, photographer, Halloween inspiration, skeleton, costume, inspiration, what to wear on Halloween, dark

VOGUE Korea,Tim Burton,The Corpse Bride,The Greyest Ghost

VOGUE Korea,Tim Burton,The Corpse Bride,The Greyest Ghost

VOGUE Korea,Tim Burton,The Corpse Bride,The Greyest Ghost

images via: 

Wasn't that ghoulishly ghastly?!

Well, goodnight my pretties...
sleep tight...don't let the bedbugs, or vampires bite...