Tag Archives: alk fashion

Amy Kirchen Releasing Signature Collection and Debuting New Custom Design Studio!

XDITaGAQUS-kUHMAMWdY5PKZWJEPcvz_jZ8rfNKI0qQAmy Kirchen is introducing a custom design studio out of their Milford location! The brand new Signature Collection will feature custom wear, prêt-à-porter collections and will be operated out of the newly re-designed boutique!

The new design studio will begin in-house production of all Amy Kirchen designer pieces that emphasize your personal wants and needs. These fabulous pieces are specifically designed and produced for each individual.

Richard Hurley will be joining the design staff and heading the custom design studio as Senior Technical Designer. Hurley has years of experience in Paris working with Christian Dior and in Milan working with Giorgio Armani.

The new Signature Collection for spring will be debuting soon. The collection will be shown twice a year and showcase the pieces that are essential to every woman’s wardrobe. Amy has infused her signature style with seasonal colors, patterns and fabrics.

You can learn more about Amy and her designs at www.amykirchen.com!

Batavia’s Miss Ohio Named Second Runner Up for Miss USA

I first found out about Audrey Bolte through the local fashion and modeling scene (see promo pics of her below for our upcoming CODE event in Oct). She’s a strikingly beautiful All-American girl from Batavia with legs longer than probably both of mine put together. 🙂 Over the past year, she’s earned the Miss Ohio title, mworn several dresses from local dress designer and boutique owner Amy Kirchen, and has been on a mission to nab the Miss USA title…which she almost did last night!

She ended up winning second runner up! I remember being a little girl and getting so wrapped up in the pageant shows, so it was VERY exciting to see someone from Cincinnati up there on stage!

Congrats Audrey!

Top 20 Looks from Cincinnati Fashion Week Finale

Saturday was the big finale show of Cincinnati Fashion Week (CFW) and it was like Christmas. I woke up like a little kid with a big smile on my face, hopped down the stairs, and pranced in front of the mirror holding up my new dress. I was so excited.

I had really done my homework on the designers this year. (I did a sneak peek of CFW designers here, here and here.) And I just got a really good vibe from new aspects of this year’s show versus last year’s. The venue, for example, made a dramatic difference. Last year, it was in a cookie-cutter event room in the Hilton. This year, it was a very raw space – in an unfinished floor of The Edge condos downtown – and it had a very underground “say the secret password to get in” feel to it. Much like a space you’d find a New York Fashion Week show taking place.

My sister-in-law, Melissa Scalia, who emceed CFW this year

My hubby and I get all dolled up, GPS it to the venue, get out of the car… and wouldn’t you know it, Mayor Mallory is walking down the sidewalk heading toward the show. So, we walk in with him, and find out he’ll be co-emceeing with my sister-in-law (Melissa Scalia who was the super fab emcee of the event!). So, several more great vibes about the night to come…

We were of course fashionably late, so the show started right after we got there. Looking back, I wish I had more time to brace myself. It was an incredible show and I’m still reeling. It was so difficult to choose my favorite looks from the show to share with you (watch the below video to see ALL the looks from the show, thanks to the talented Annette Navarro).

My husband Pete and I at CFW

Last year, I easily picked my top 10 favorite looks from the show. This year, I had a VERY difficult time narrowing it down to just 20 looks. That’s how good the show was! Below are the notes I took at the show about each designer and below that are my favorite looks in order of 20-1, #1 being my favorite. Enjoy!

Laura Dawson – oversized silhouettes, strong shoulders, 80s color palette
Jonathan Mezibov – “cowboy chic” menswear, interesting mix of tux shirts with western belts/jeans/boots
Amy Kirchen – (my overall favorite) designed a playful new paisley pattern, all the looks were made with the posh professional in mind
Avani – eco friendly, Indian influences strong throughout collection, interesting necklines – even incorporated scarves onto garments
Cala Ossidiana – has one- and two-piece suits, but excels at making one-piece bathing suits “chic,” customizes fit w/knots for couture fit, incorporates strategically placed sheer, color palette of solid pink/blue/teal
Amanda Valentine – Nashville meets Egyptian meets African. You’ll find everything from denim to ethnic graphic prints in this collection.
Melissa Tabor – (my new obsession) business professional chic, perfect for the work hard/play hard YP – business by day chic by night, Jackie O in front/party in the back, exposed zipper down the back of most backs
Arbitrage – all items hand sewn by Josh Stevens, leather details, short sleeves, leather glove accent
Lindsey Lusignolo – (I wish she would have gone last – it would’ve ended the show with a bang… she got a standing ovation.) intricate backs, formal/bridal, unique and fabulous cocktail attire
Amaresinh – “boardroom cavewoman” (fur on shoulders/forearms/sleeves made silhouettes look a little monkey/neanderthalish), great color palette mix of black/gold/red, strong shoulders and graphic patterns, lots of sheer (a little too sheer for me to wear though, definitely saw some nip slips… okay for the runway, but it might be frowned upon in the workplace).  : )


#20: Barefoot in the boyfriend’s shirt… I just love that this look was thrown in a menswear portion of the show. Reminds me of all the times I’ve run around the house in my husband’s clothes. Gives me inspiration to throw on a belt and some cowboy boots next time and make an outfit out of it.

#19: Collar me bad… The attached scarf-as-collar to this dress was just so interesting. I don’t know if I could personally pull this look off, but it really intrigued me. Keep in mind that, as Avni told Cincy Chic in her sneak peek interview, all these items are handmade and dyed using century-old methods. Ah-maz-ing.

#18: Knotty by nature… One of the things I learned in my interview with Anne Pachan, the brains and beauty behind Cala Ossidiana, is that these knots can be adjusted for the perfect couture fit. And I just love how her design actually makes a one piece swimsuit chic versus shlumpadinka.

#17: Jackie Ooooh My, look at that back!… This is the first of many Melissa Tabor looks in my “top 20” rundown. She’s definitely my new obsession. I love the “professional in front, party in the back” design (although it was a little big on this model). I could easily wear this to work. Every single day. Because I love it so.

#16: Pretty in Paisley… This is the new fabric print Amy Kirchen designed herself. Several pieces in this collection feature this fun print. My husband wants to get a vest made with this print on the back and a dress shirt made with it inside the collar and cuffs (I’ve trained him well!). I love the silhouette of this dress. Could be belted for a more fitted look, or flow freely as pictured (great for hot muggy Cincy summer days).

#15: Peekaboo LBD… Melissa Tabor gives this classic LBD a flirty twist with a slightly lifted front, cascading to the back, with a contrasting white fabric to add interest. What a great wardrobe staple.

#14: Singing the blues… I don’t sing, but I would if it would bring back this blue pinstripe ensemble. I love how effortless this “casually business casual” look is. I especially love the baby blue fabric peeking out of the back pockets. Nice touch.

#13: Get the scoop(neck)… I love the deep scoop on this neckline and the cute capped sleeves. I personally would have paired it with a statement necklace, but it’s one of those necklines that doesn’t need accessorizing. It’s a statement in and of itself.

#12: Falling in love… This is a great look for fall. I’m definitely going to steal this styling by belting an otherwise boxy longsleeve dress with a great pair of tall boots. The feminine ribbon is a nice touch to this thick fabric and structured silhouette.

#11: Like a glove… Arbitrage makes this one-glove look fit like, well, a glove. I really like the blue buttondown paired with this rust-colored leather jacket. The shorter sleeves give it a crisp look and draws attention to that statement glove.

#10: Jump(suit) to it!… Jumpsuits have the tendency to look a little silly if they aren’t done just right. Well, Amy Kirchen designed this one to perfection. From the feminine spaghetti strap, gathered neckline and belted waist, I’m in love from head to toe.

#9: Short sale… Just like the jumpsuit, shorts can go tragically wrong. But Amy brilliantly balanced out the sexy shorts with a billowing blouse. Amy must have designed this collection with the businesswoman in mind. I can literally see myself taking a client to a summertime lunch in this outfit. I’m going to justify the purchase of this outfit by all the sales I’ll make in it. See, it’s an investment.

#8: Sheer genius… A simple triangle string bikini taken to an extreme with a little sheer. So smart. Now, excuse me as I diet for the rest of my life to fit into this.

#7: White out… I don’t know what it is, but there’s something so special about this little white dress. It’s so classic, but with fun fashionable twists like the pockets. I want it. I need it. I must have it. “And your little broach, too!”

#6: Belt it out… I love the dress. But I love the way its belted even more. I would have never done that in a million years. But now that I see it styled that way, I’m completely wooed.

#5: Get the Dert… Denim + skirt = dert! I just made that up. But what I didn’t make up is how adorable this skirt is – love the piping! The sheer blouse and knitted sweater were also very cute. I wouldn’t have paired these colors or items together, but they really work!

#4: Silver lining… Light catches the outer tulle fabric of this couture cocktail dress, revealing a slim silhouette underneath. Gorgeous. I love how it looks simple and not overdone, but you’d clearly feel like an absolute princess in it.

#3: Tuxas… Tux shirt + western wear = Tuxas. Yes, I’m getting a little giddy (for good reason, we’ve almost reached the top of the list!). But this particular look ranks so high because: 1) the bold color choice is amazing. I love how it just jumps out at you and demands attention (as every metro man does). 2) pairing a tux shirt with wrangler-fit denim, a western belt and cowboy boots. I don’t know how, but it works.

#2: Birds of a feather… I’d flock to anyone wearing this cocktail dress, that’s for sure. The feathery bodice has a structured, yet satiny tan overlay. It’s like a buffet of contrasting texture. The overlay gives a beautiful hourglass figure, but the silhouette is essentially a classic strapless A-line dress. Love.

#1: Drum roll please… This look gave me butterflies. And I think I might have drooled a little bit. I just love ab-so-freakin-lutely everything about it. From the belted high-waisted pencil skirt in tan, to the structured yet sheer chiffon black blouse with barrel sleeves and ascot collar. Then bold black shades and a ravishing red lip. It’s a little Audrey, Marilyn and Jackie O… all weaved into this #1 look from Cincinnati Fashion Week!

Hope you enjoyed my top picks! Now, check out the video below to see all the looks from CFW to see which ones are best in your book!


Sneak Peek of Amy Kirchen Boutique

Amy Kirchen, owner of the Amy Kirchen Boutique

Ladies – clear your cal on May 24. It’s the big day when Amy Kirchen opens the doors to her new fabulous shop in Milford, the Amy Kirchen Boutique!

Amy Kirchen Boutique (click to enlarge)

From 10am-8pm, she’ll host a Grand Opening Event, where you can sip on champagne, indulge in chocolate and shop to your heart’s content (sounds like heaven, right?!).

She has incredible cocktail dresses (I got a sparkly LBD for the Fashion Week Finale!), great tops and skirts for work (like what I’m wearing in the video below), accessories and handbags. And the prices range from $30-$200, so you’ll find something for you, no matter what your taste or budget might be. You’re going to love it!

Accessories at Amy Kirchen Boutique (click to enlarge)

Amy will also be featured in Cincinnati Fashion Week‘s finale event on Saturday. So, if you go, you’ll see her new line, which will also be carried in-store.

Amy also does custom couture gowns, too, so keep that in mind if you don’t find anything on the rack, you can have something custom made just for you!

I’ll see you at the grand opening – can’t wait! Check out the webcast below where Amy gives us a sneak peek of her new store and what you can expect at the grand opening on May 24!


Styling a New Future – Today!

Some of my fav gals (Amy Kirchen, Lori Colwell and Cara d’Ambrosio – who I introduced last fall) are joining forces for an event tonight “Styling a New Future.”

Cara’s salon, Me Salon, and Lori with MTM Cincinnati (who provides all the models for our Cincy Chic events) are partnering for a great cause: to raise funds and awareness for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. At the event, you can enjoy an evening of cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction and fashion show featuring models from MTM Agency, hair and makeup by Me Salon, and clothing by Amy Kirchen.

The ticket price is $50, but with all that’s included – and considering the great cause – it’s a small price to pay for a big night of fun! I *highly* recommend checking it out, my fashionista friends! It’s going to be a great event!

Friday, May 06, 2011 from 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Shops at Harpers Point
11328 Montgomery Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45249
Click here to RSVP

A Few Facts about Pancreatic Cancer:
• Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States.

• This year, 43,140 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the United States, and 36,800 will die from the disease.

• Pancreatic cancer is one of the few cancers for which
the survival rate has not improved substantially over nearly 40 years.

• Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers. 94% of pancreatic cancer patients will die within five years of diagnosis – only 6% will survive more than five years. 75% of patients die within the first year of diagnosis.

Indie Pop Up Market at Kenwood Towne Centre

I’m so excited! My favorite local mall and my favorite local boutiques and designers are joining forces for an event this weekend! It’s called the “Indie Collection Kenwood: Pop Up Market” and it’s going on this Friday and Saturday at Kenwood Towne Centre. Local designers such as Amy Kirchen with ALK Fashion and local boutiques such as Elizabeth’s Closet will be there showcasing their wares. So, bring your mom, take her shopping at the Indie event and let her pick out something special for Mother’s Day! Here are all the details:

Friday, May 6, 2011
Saturday, May 7, 2011
10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Kenwood Towne Centre
(Lower level in front of Macy’s and Center Court)
7875 Montgomery Road
Cincinnati, OH 45236

An Artisans Event: enjoy unique specialty and one-of-a-kind jewelry, apparel, handbags, decor and more from local artisans!

For more information call Kelly Koeller at 513.745.9100

Amy Kirchen to Open Fashion Boutique in Milford

I just got a very exciting email from my friend in fashion, Amy Kirchen, who will soon be a Milford-based boutique owner.

Okay its official! I am officially a store owner 🙂 My second home will be 205 Main Street Milford OH; the quant streets of old Milford…From a vintage clothing store to an upscale wine bar, my store will fit in PERFECT; Easy access from Hyde park, terrace park, Indian Hill and minutes from 275. My store building is 104 years old and it consists of 1000 sq ft of original cherry hard wood floors and an amazing vintage ceiling. You are the first to know besides my family and I am SO excited!

I’m so proud of Amy. We’ve known each other for several years now, and I’ve talked about her alot here on the blog. We met for coffee before she even launched her line, and now she’s a full fledged designer with a brick and mortar store. That’s huge.

She just unveiled her 2011 Spring/Summer line, and will be opening her new store in May 2011. She said she’s doing some renovations to the store, so when that’s complete, I’ll pop in and get some pics as a sneak peek before she officially opens.

I’m very excited for Amy. She’s doing so well! Keep this gal on your radar, fashionistas. She’s about to open some new doors into the world of fashion for you… literally.

Amy Kirchen 2011 Spring/Summer Sneak Peek!

I’m super honored. Amy Kirchen, founder and designer of ALK Fashion, shared some sketches with me before even her closest friends and family got to see her 2011 Spring/Summer collection!

It’s amazing to see how far Amy has come. About a year and a half ago, we met for coffee and she told me about a new fashion line she was going to launch soon. Today, she has several designs and collections under her belt, a new one on the way, and – get this – a retail space soon to open! Word on the street is that it’ll be in OTR, but that’s not confirmed yet.

Amy's brightly colored first collection featured at Red, Pink and Blue Fashion Show on June 25 (click to enlarge)
Amy's brightly colored first collection featured at Red, Pink and Blue Fashion Show on June 25 2010 (click to enlarge)

I’m really excited for her. And for this new collection! Amy’s first collection was filled with a bright color palette and creative hue pairings. Her next one went to the other extreme and featured mainly all-black dresses (and a few dark blue sequin pieces).

Her third collection, 2011 Spring/Summer, is ready-to-wear and much more casual with a nice blend of grays, prints and color. While I only got to see two looks in my sneak peek, I can tell so much from them. First of all, they aren’t dresses, which is what Amy exclusively designed in her previous collections. For this 2011 Spring/Summer collection, she designed three prints, introduced a denim line (skinny jean in four washes), and even has a few “beach” pieces.

An ALK LBD from her second collection, featured at the 2010 Bras with Flair on the Square
An ALK LBD from her second collection, featured at the 2010 Bras with Flair on the Square (Credit: Thomas E. Smith, The Enquirer)

At first I was a little bummed because I love wearing her pretty cocktail dresses and feeling like a princess in them. But I soon cheered up when I realized that, while I unfortunately don’t get to be a princess very often (sad face), I do wear some of the things Amy now designs – like denim – almost every day. It all makes sense now: Amy is bringing her experience with special occasion designs into the every day… so that every day can be a special occasion.

I say this because she is using silks, wools and other high-end materials to make her garments. But her prices are much lower than other high-end designers using the same materials. Amy said most of her garments in this new line will be under $100. I’m not exactly sure how she’s making a profit with those materials at those prices, but more power to her. She figured out how.

She’s hitting a huge niche here. It’s more expensive than The Limited, but not as expensive as Saks/Nordstrom. The fake-it-till-you-make-its, corporate ladder climbers, and the people with Cristal-taste-on-a-Korbel-budget. She’s allowing people to enjoy couture without the cost. Introducing them to fine garments and fabrics without breaking the bank. I think Amy Kirchen is becoming the gateway drug of fashion, my friends… please enjoy responsibly. : )

Bras with Flair Recap

Bras with Flair on the Square 2010
Click on the photo to view the Bras with Flair on the Square photo album

Wow! I’m STILL amazed at how incredible last night’s Bras with Flair on the Square event went! First of all, mother nature did us a huuuuuge favor and was gorgeous, sunny and the perfect temperature – a dream come true for an outdoor event. Secondly, it was packed the entire day. Hundreds of Cincinnatians came out to check out all the decorated bras.

After work, lots of people came out to have a drink, dine and shop in style for the ta-ta-tini party. And lastly, for the fabulous fashion show, it went off without a hitch. There were so many details coordinating the show, music, jumbotron, etc… but it all went perfectly, and I couldn’t be happier.

First we had a high-end fashion show with ALK Fashion. Then we recognized the five local survivors who we found through the Cincinnati.com contest. We showed their videos they taped before their makeovers, and then they strutted the catwalk after their makeover. There wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd. It really moved people to see these real-life warriors, hear their stories and see them shine in that fashion show. It reminded me why I work so hard, and dedicate so much time, to important causes like Susan G. Komen.

After the show we went to Tonic for the after party where the top 10 bras where paired with things like spa packages, boutique gift certificates and an iPod. We don’t have a final number on the amount raised for Komen, but I know for sure it’s more than $2,000! YAY!

Thomas E. Smith (one of my favorite local photogs) was at the fashion show and after party taking pics for The Enquirer. He does such a great job, especially at fashion shows – which isn’t easy because it’s very fast paced, the lighting is tough to get right and no one stands still for long to get a good focus. But Thomas does a great job. Click here to check out the photo album of the show.

Thanks again to our sponsors who made it possible:

TITLE SPONSOR: Center for Optimal Vitality
HEALTHCARE SPONSOR: St. Elizabeth Healthcare
VOTING SPONSOR: Qfact Marketing Research
AUTO SPONSOR: Busam Automotive
SWAG BAG SPONSOR: Votre Vu by Julena Bingaman
BRA DROP-OFF LOCATION: Widmer’s Cleaners

Thoma & Sutton Eye-care
Jessie Krieger Farmers Ins.
Miche Girl
– Pure Romance by Leslie
Tastefully Simple by Beth Martin

Locals on Living, an affiliate of the Cincinnati.Com network

Hundreds of Bras Parading in Public Today

bras with flairWell… not literally parading in public… more like flapping in the wind. That’s right! Today is the big day for Bras with Flair on the Square!

Hundreds of bedazzled bras will be on Fountain Square downtown today, so you must come down to see this spectacle! Festivities at Fountain Square include…

From 11am-1pm, vote on your favorite bras (the top 10 will be auctioned off at the end) while grabbing some homemade lasagna from Gabby’s Cafe (portion of proceeds go to Komen!).

From 5-7pm, there will be a Ta-Ta-tini happy hour. At 7pm, enjoy a fashion show featuring designs from ALK Fashion. The winner of Cincinnati.Com’s and Cincy Chic’s Breast Cancer Survivor makeover will be honored at the end of the fashion show and she will walk the runway to showcase her makeover and new jewelry from Serket Jewelry. If you’d like to come to the show, click here to buy your ticket. It’s only $15 and it includes a reusable tote bag stuffed with swag… plus 100% of the proceeds go to Susan G. Komen!

After the show, head down to the after-party at Tonic on Fourth where the 10 favorite bras, determined by public voting at the event, will be auctioned off in a silent auction. All proceeds from the auction and fashion show tickets will go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

We’ve been promoting this fourth annual event for months now, so I’m very excited to make it happen today! Click on the play button below to see some news coverage I did last weekend on WLWT about today! Hope to see you down on the square to vote, shop, sip on a ta-ta-tini, or see the fashion show… or, all of the above!