Category Archives: Design

New Colors Coming Soon . . . !

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The Boston Mini in Electric Blue makes a great lipstick holder…

How are you guys? This week has been so busy that I forgot to post on the blog yesterday! I’ve been working hard to fill orders, which is always exciting. But the kiddies have been sick off and on so there has been a lot of logistical juggling. I’m so thankful that I am able to work from home and that my parents and mother-in-law are local and as involved with my kids lives as they are. It really does help to have a trustworthy “village” within which to raise children. But I digress. Did you see the new electric blue color we are introducing this month? It’s a patent leather texture that I really love. The shine adds extra pop to the bright color. I’ll be adding them to the shop early next week. Oh, and be on the lookout for the Helene mailer in a beautiful Cherry Red. It’s made from the same textured patent leather. Perfect for Valentine’s Day. :)

Enjoy the rest of your week! It’s already Thursday!
xx,
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In a Clutch . . .

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Boston Mini clutch + Mailer Envelope clutches | Ayanna Listenbee Raw Collection

When I was younger I never got excited about clutches. I always hated the idea of being forced to carry my bag in my hand. The option of having my hands free has always appealed to me + honestly it still does (which is why most of my handheld styles include a removable strap). However, I have really come to appreciate the beauty of a clutch in my latter years. I am drawn to minimalistic style, and clutches are a great way to channel a minimalist vibe. A clutch can really streamline your look. These days I own my share of clutches, and I love designing them. However, because big bags are where my heart lies, and typically, that’s what I am carrying most days, I have found that clutches and pouches are a great way to compartmentalize things in my bigger bags. Lately, I’ve been working on a new collection of raw edged clutches and pouches. My love of texture and simplicity has lead me to keep a lot of these styles raw, letting the beauty of the leather and minimal hardware speak for itself. I’ll be adding these new clutches + pouches to the shop soon. Stay tuned!

::UPDATE:: Raw Collection now available here.

xx

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Press | Closetpiece Interview . . .

Images from my ClosetPiece Interview . . .

Images from my interview with ClosetPiece.com . . .

Hey guys! I was recently featured as the first entrepreneur interview over on Closetpiece.com for their new “Yeah, She Werkin’ ” series which features women who have turned their passion into a business. Here is a snippet from my interview::

What is it you do that puts the “werk” in “Yeah, She Werkin”?

“I’ve had some major setbacks during the course of my business, and some of them took a while to bounce back from. So I would say my daily persistence and dedication toward seeing the vision for my business, that God has blessed me with, come through to fruition is what puts the work in “Yeah, She Werkin”. For me, it’s a daily, minutely, second-by-second commitment to myself that I am going to persist, regardless of what the circumstances may look like on the outside.”

Please visit Closetpiece.com to check out the full interview and support the other fabulous women that Closetpiece is featuring on their site!

xx
Bee

Werkspace Wednesday | New Samples in!!!

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Presidio fringe tote . . .

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Renaissance cross body clutch . . .

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Haight fringe cross body . . .

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Shooter tote . . .

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St. Francis clutch . . .

Happy Wednesday guys! Lots going on around the werkspace these days. Since I last posted, I’ve turned 43, (yay me!) spent 4 fabulous days in one of my fav cities and wait for it . . .  I got the new samples in for my holiday line!!!! They will be available in the shop for pre-order shortly. I am so excited to finally have them here in the studio. The babies have finally been birthed, and mama is excited and happy! There’s so much to be thankful for!!

Things have been sooooo busy lately, I have barely had time to blog. I know that is not something a good blogger should admit to, but it’s the truth! And to top it all off, I still can’t believe tomorrow is Thanksgiving!! Do you guys have plans for Thanksgiving? I’ve been consuming more gluten than a bread factory lately, and it’s definitely not a track I want to stay on, so I’m working on reeling it in . . . And what better day to start back than Thanksgiving right? Lol. I know I’m not making it easy on myself, but, such is life. Where there is a will, there is a way.

I want to wish you all a happy + safe Thanksgiving. I pray you are blessed to be surrounded with loved ones and good food. Check back on Friday for the launch of the new holiday line in the boutique! We’ll be offering Free Shipping on all domestic orders!

Blessings + hugs!

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Ballet Preljocaj at the Dorothy Chandler:: A Recap

DorothyChandler_thelookbookphilosophy.com Interior of the beautiful Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 2nd Floor . . .

Last week I attended opening night of Ballet Preljocaj’s Les Nuits, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The 85 minute ballet was well danced with an abundance of seductive overtones. The costumes were designed by well known couturier Azzedine Alaïa, however, there was no extravagance in design displayed.  I loved the staging of the scenes and watching the transformation of the stage with set changes and props for the different scenes. I really wanted to love this ballet, but there didn’t seem to be a continuous story to follow. It felt more like watching several different scenes of dances that that revolved around an erotic theme, yet didn’t relate to each other. Many of the dances had an abundance of stacatto movements and that may or may not have contributed to my feelings of the dances being separate and the scenes not flowing fluidly together as one complete performance. Perhaps that’s what the choreographer was going for?

The highlight of the evening for me, was meeting and speaking with Michelle Hebért and Bri Seeley, two local designers who were asked to submit designs inspired by the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, (also known as, The Arabian Nights).

MICHELLE HEBÉRT

Hebert1_thelookbookphilosophy.com Designer Michelle Hebért and model 

This fabulous full length white and gold chiffon gown was inspired by the Genie/Treasures. The gown was meticulously hand sewn to apply gold leafing applique’s to the golden plume which rises off the left shoulder. Per Michelle’s words, “Within the 1001 Arabian Nights Tales, the characters spoken of by Scheherazade are often seeking something, or come across artifacts or mystical creatures like the Genie that aids in their wealth and riches. This piece is a tribute to these aspects of her stories that relate both to the covetous desires of humans and the attainment of success.”

Hebert3_thelookbookphilosophy.com Scheherazade + Shahryãr (The King) two pieces by designer Michelle Hebért

Scheherazade is the legendary Persian queen and storyteller of One Thousand and One Nights. Legend has it that every day the king (Shahryãr) would marry a new virgin, and behead the previous day’s wife. 1000 women had been killed by the time Shahryãr was introduced to Scheherazade. (wow.) Michelle’s two-piece white and gold design is inspired by Scheherazade and consists of a beaded lace halter and billowy chiffon slip with lace details at the waist and flowing bell sleeves. For Shahryãr, Michelle created a full body white and gold stretch suit with lace details. Hebért says she wanted “to create a piece that was feminine while still having masculine properties that would lend itself to this main male character in the story who after being betrayed by his wife, would marry a new virgin each day. But before the beginning of the next would end their lives out of fear they too would eventually betray him.”

Hebert4_thelookbookphilosophy.com Visuals and background info about Michelle Hebért + the collection . . .
Hebert5_thelookbookphilosophy.com Isn’t the back of Michelle’s dress amazing!!! ♥♥♥

MEHebert6_thelookbookphilosophy.com How beautiful is this dress?? Love. 

BRI SEELEY

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Pieces from Designer Bri Seeley’s Chrysalis Collection 

Bri Seeley’s designs captured the femininity that plays throughout the story of One Thousand and One Nights. Her use of flowy chiffon and elegant silhouettes evoked the feeling of Arabian Nights and sultry sunsets. The deep crimson color seems to pay tribute to the lives lost by Shahryãr’s many new brides, and the rich black gave nod to a desert blanketed in the darkness of night.

Bri6_thelookbookphilosophy.com I love how the contemporary silhouettes translate through to the theme of Les Nuits . . .

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Bri5_thelookbookphilosophy.com Designer visuals evoked a mood of femininity under duress . . .

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Such flowy sheer fabrics also gave me the feeling of tented caravans and desert breezes . . .

I love that the Music Center brought fashion and dance together for these three nights by challenging Bri and Michelle to create and show pieces inspired by the story of One Thousand and One Nights. It was such a treat to be able to cover these amazing designers and their work.

For more information on the designers featured in this post please visit: BriSeeley.com and MichelleHebert.com . Find out more about upcoming performances at The Music Center here.

✗✗

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Randomocities: 5 Reasons to Start With What You Have . . .

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Start with what you have. This has recently become a mantra of mine. I’ve been in the design industry for some time now. It’s my passion, and honestly, it sometimes borders on obsession. Obsession in the way that I must create. I must get the ideas out of my head and into some sort of tangible reality or else I start to feel stifled! When I lie down to sleep, I see images of handbags, dresses, furniture and jewelry just waiting to be created. New design ideas are always flooding my brain. I keep a pad and pen next to the bed so that I can capture these inspirations. Design truly excites me!! The problem is that I like things to look a certain way. I don’t like to present things to the world unless I am happy with the way they look. I’d say I have a mild case of Perfectionism. Sounds like a good trait for a designer, no? Well, it is and it isn’t. It is when you know what you want and you are able to convey that to your team and the people working with you. It helps you to reach the final product faster. It isn’t when you let that stop you. And that’s what I have done in the past. This past year was a real learning experience. I stepped out on faith and fell flat on my $%& It took a while to recover. I had to pick myself up and move forward without even knowing what really happened. But the most important thing I could do (after praying and mentally processing things) was to just start again, EVEN THOUGH I didn’t feel like I had all my ducks in a row.  And here’s why you should too:

  1. By starting now, you will gain momentum. You will create energy around whatever it is you are doing that will begin to propel you forward. Once you take the first step, you will find yourself needing to take more.
  2. I believe we are all receptors of great ideas, however only a few of us actually act on them. If you have an idea, chances are someone else has or has had that idea as well. Why not be the one to carry it through to fruition? You were given that idea for a reason. If you can’t do it first, do it better. (Speaking of ideas, when we don’t act on ideas we are given, they tend to come around less and less. It’s like your brain thinks “She’s not going to do anything with this, she hasn’t done anything with the last 7 ideas that came her way, so maybe I’ll just stop sending them…”) Signal to your brain, your body and your surroundings that you are a doer and there will inevitably be more for you to do!
  3. Recognize that the majority of the population is learning on the job. I am an advocate of preparation; Yes, you should always research, take classes, and be open to continuously learning about your craft/field, but real learning comes from on the job training, and you don’t get that by sitting around “thinking” about doing something. 
  4. We’ve all heard the acronym for fear: False Evidence Appearing Real. Fear is binding. Our powerful brains can come up with soooo many scenarios and reasons why NOT to do something. Try putting more focus on why you should do something. Learn to take control of your fears by facing them head on. The best way to face your fears head on is to do it anyway!!!
  5. Reason number five points back to reason number one. As my Dad always says, “Nature abhors a vacuum.” If you use what you have, and use it wisely, you will be given more. It takes something to make something, so use that something you have in your possession right now to create, build on, or lay the groundwork for that idea that’s been mulling around in your head for a while! Go forth and Do!!!

(please note, this is just my personal opinion. I believe all ideas should be thought out, and researched to determine pros, cons, need and viability before starting… in other words, when you do start, start with a plan, even if it’s a general one. )

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Write the Vision Down . . .

Vision Book

 Playing in my Vision Book today. Gathering ideas for the new line. There’s so many ideas floating around in my head. Sometimes the only way I can calm my brain down is to get then out visually. That gives me something to focus on and helps me to organize my thoughts so that I can make them cohesive for the customer . . .  and myself for that matter!!!

What kinds of things do you do to gather your ideas?

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Randomocities | The 8th Day . . .

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Hello friends + Happy Friday to you! I’m just touching base to share a piece of artwork I made earlier this week. I thought today would be perfect for sharing it, seeing as today is March 8th. Lover of typography that I am, I have always been in love with the number 8. I love writing the #8. I even like the way “eight” sounds. It can be written in so many different ways. Lopsided, straight up and down, fat like a snowman . . . the list goes on. Anyway, years ago when I was in school for graphic design we had to choose a letter of the alphabet and create a piece of artwork to show movement. I chose the lowercase letter “g” because it was the letter that most resembled the number 8! . . . Not to take away from Mr. G. He is a beauty in his own right. Just look at those lines . . . . g g g . . . Love. Love. Love.  . . . . but I digress . . . This piece is using the #8 in different fonts. Again the focus is movement. A recurring word in my life right now!!

Enjoy this 8th day of March, my friends.  I hope it is being good to you + vice versa!

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