Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening” - Coco Chanel

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Best known for her little black dress and menswear-inspired fashions, Chanel has not only become a prestigious household name, but she has also become a renowned Icon in the fashion industry.  If you don't know her life story, you better listen up, because I'm going to tell you why she is such an inspirational woman for us gals and fashionistas of all ages.

Let's start it off with a fun fact...did you know Chanel's name wasn't Coco until she was about 18?! Born Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel on August 19, 1883 Chanel was born in the Lorie Valley (a picturesque little area of France...with great wine!) with her unmarried mother, father as well as her 5 siblings. Unfortunately when she was 6, her mother died leaving her father responsible for them all.  

While her siblings were sent off to live with distant relatives, Chanel was sent off to a Catholic orphanage.  I know, I know, this is not starting out to be the most happy story, but it was a blessing in disguise for little Chanel.  While she lived at the orphanage the nuns taught her how to sew!  When she turned 18 she left the orphanage and unknowingly took her very first job in the fashion industry...working for a tailor.  Chanel also loved to sing and frequently sang in caf├ęs and concert halls...another blessing in disguise!  It was here that Chanel adopted the name Coco from a soldier who would come listen to her sing often.

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Shortly after World War 1 started, Coco made the decision to move to the Deauville, where she was a mistress to many ex solders. At the age of 23, she was the mistress of Etienne Balsan and moved into his country home for 3 years. There, Chanel started designing hats that eventually turned into  a commercial venture. As she ventured out, she left Etienne and started a new relationship with a wealthy English industrialist, Arthur Capel, who financed all her shops throughout their 9 year relationship.
Chanel Outside Her Boutique in Deauville

In 1910 she opened her first 2 boutiques in Deauville (A posh area of Normandy, France) and Biarritz (a city on the Bay of Biscay in Southwestern France).  She had her aunt Adrienne and sister Antoinette model her designs by strolling through town in her latest creations.  In 1919, Arthur was tragically killed in a car crash, which Chanel claimed as the single most devastating event in her life.  

 Did you know Coco Chanel was the first fashion designer to create loose women’s jersey garments (this material was traditionally for men’s underwear only). This was a hit, and business exploded...no longer did women have to be suffocated in corsets (thanks Coco!), they too could be in relaxed clothing for once.  This is one of the reasons why she is so inspiring for women, because she didn't care what she was supposed to do, or what was socially cool...she did what she wanted to do and totally changed the game in the name of women throughout her life. 

Soon after, La Maison Chanel was established at 31 rue Cambon in Paris, France.  She lived, worked, and ran her boutique out of it.  It is so fabulous, and still exists (learn more about it...or just check out that gorgeous pics here!).  Again, she didn't care about the norm and followed her dream in 1922 when she was the first designer to launch a fragrance, Chanel No.5.   It is said that No. 5 scent was 'reminiscence' of her lost love, Arthur, and that she turned her grief into creativity to create this 'perfume of eternity'.  It is still sold in the original packaging used in 1921! 

 Why did she name it Chanel No. 5?  Well, perfumer Ernest Beaux brought Coco samples to choose from and she chose his 5th proposal comprised of 80 ingredients (which went against fragrance trends at that time...you go Coco!).  Not to go off on a tangent about this, but there are so many cool facts about No. 5!  Did you know Chanel asked her close artist friends to create the early ads for the perfume?  No big deal, just Andy Warhol and Savador Dali...say what?! There are some really cool facts you just have to read, so check them out here.

Two years later Pierre Wertheimer became her business partner and to this day, the Werthemier’s continue to control her perfume company. And now, the moment we all were waiting for... In 1925 she launched her very famous iconic cardigan jacket and the following year she launched her little black dress...both will forever stay a part of the Chanel Collection till this day.

 In 1954, returning to Paris she took on Christian Dior's overtly feminine New Look. She expanded the signature style with the introduction of pea jackets and bell-bottoms for women. Her new collection, panned by the press in Europe, was a hit here in the States.  Drawn to her boxy cardigan suits, Chanel attracted many powerhouse Hollywood actresses like Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly.  A decade later Chanel died, but her legacy lives on as her brand is still one of the luxury fashion brands of today, yesteryear, and tomorrow. 

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Now led by Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel continues to build into an empire of high fashion couture. The Chanel brand is currently worth 7 billion dollars and generates 4.4 billion dollars in revenue.  If you ask me, Chanel is definitely an inspiration proving that no matter where you come from, if you stay determined, confident and creative, you can make even your biggest dream come true.  After all, “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different”, Chanel wisely said, so don't be afraid to be different Groove Girls!  Don't let anyone tell you what you should say, do, or who you should be and let your light shine through.

Now here are some Groove Girls!



I just couldn't write about Chanel without including this Spring/Summer 2014 fashion show.  You know...they do say if you can only goto one Fashion Week runway show, Chanel's is the one you can't miss. 

Since fashion is art, how genius to set up the show like a living art gallery!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Makeup Tips & Tricks

Since the first time you grabbed your mom's lipstick and smeared it all over your mouth (and face!), you've been perfecting the art of applying makeup.  Twenty-some years later, you've definitely gotten better at it, but there always seems to be a new product, look, or brush you have to learn.  If you have an awesome tip you wan to share with your fellow Groove Girls, leave a comment!  Want info on something special? Let me know below!


TGIF! Do you ever feel like your usual makeup routine is not enough for that date night you have planned?  I mean, it's a casual date, but still...you don't want to look like you do everyday right? Michelle Phan is here to show us how to create flirty, yet casual, date night makeup!

If you haven't watched FAWN's Youtube videos yet...you're missing out big time!  All of their videos are awesome and super helpful, too.  In this video we're giving ourselves a DIY citrus foot soak, five minute foot massage, and DIY olive oil foot wrap.  Whether it's after a long day at work, walking all day, or a night out on the town this DIY treatment series will make your feet love you again...until tomorrow. 

We have all had those days when you don't have the time (or patience) to deal with you second-day hair, which is actually a good thing!  Did you know it is bad for your hair if you wash it every single day?  You need those natural oils to keep your hair strong, shinny, healthy and long.  "But I can't go to work with oily hair!" you might be thinking.  This video post of the week is a quick fix to the second-day drama.  Want to see more videos like this?  Comment below on what you want to see more of! 

Do you love beautiful voluminous curls, but hate frying your hair with all that heat?  We love Luxy Hair and we know you will too! They have tons of awesome hair tutorials like this one for fabulous heatless curls! There is even a quick option for those last minute plans...and I mean 20 minutes or less for this look?? YES please! 

Makeup can be a great tool to help accentuate your features and give you a confidence boost, but it's important to remember your natural self is beautiful too!  Groove girls always remember that makeup is always secondary to your inner beauty and always remember to make yourself shine.  This video exemplifies how important understanding the true meaning of what a beautiful person is. 

Ariana Grande is a great inspiration to Groove Girls!  She is carefree, trendy, feminine and always looks adorable!  You can throw on a pair of Groove shoes with anything she wears and be totes adorable!  Another thing we love about her is how real and down to earth she is.  Take a look at her style, make-up, hair product, and other tips she shares in this fun video.

Whether you are preparing to interview for college, internship, part-time position or for your dream job, looking professional and polished is just as important as your resume.  Feeling like you look the part not only boosts your confidence in the interview, but the interviewer knows your mature enough to understand how to look, and act, appropriate for the job.  Check out this video for a beauty breakdown. Now get out there, Groove Girls, and nail the interview!

We are constantly trying to improve ourselves, but according to what?  We look to celebrities, magazines, fashion models and advertisements as guidelines on how to look in order to be beautiful.  This Dove video shows us exactly how skewed our perception of beauty really is and how we strive for unrealistic (and unobtainable without photoshop) expectations.  
We are all beautiful, Groove Girls!


Saturday, April 26, 2014

You Can MAKE Your Shoes Fit With This

It's All About the Botox...For Your Foot?!

Women of the world, you probably know this moment, too: You ask the polite shoe salesman to bring you that snakeskin lace-up stiletto or navy ballet flat in a 9 or 7 or whatever, and he brings a shoe that's two sizes too small, purring a coy, "It's the only size left, do you want to just trrrrrry it?" It's a valiant effort, but inevitably you gawk, like, "What, am I supposed to just cut off my toes to fit into that?"
Well, maybe. For years now, plastic surgery to alter women's feet to look better and fit better in shoes has been on the rise. (Doctors can even make your shoes feel better, thanks to strategic Botox injections on the balls of your feet.) Now, as The New York Times reported yesterday, these operations are apparently more popular than ever, so if you thought women's vanity was limited to our faces, chests, and love handles, well, you're wrong. Plastic surgery is now a lucrative head, shoulders, knees, and toes game — emphasis on the toes.
To prove their point, the Times highlights one Beverly Hills doctor, Dr. Ali Sadrie, who says these elective cosmetic foot surgeries are so popular that he coined cute little names for them all, so patients can conveniently order them like they're choosing the Mai Tai at Dry Bar (except scarier). These procedure names range from the Perfect 10 (toe shortening) to the Model T (toe lengthening) to the Cinderella, where Dr. Sadrie simply alters your foot to the shape of a shoe you want to wear, but can't. Because, you know, why buy another pair of shoes if your foot doesn't fit the first pair? That would be crazy.

Photo credit: Catwalking