MIRANDA LAMBERT ROCKS NINA NGUYEN DESIGNS

MIRANDA LAMBERT ROCKS NINA NGUYEN DESIGNS ON HOLLYWOOD RED CARPET
Earrings from Nina Nguyen Designs added sparkle to the outfit worn by country music star Miranda Lambert at the recent March 20, 2013 season 4 premiere of The Voice.
Lambert donned “Audrey” earrings from Nina Nguyen Design’s 2013 spring and summer line. Lambert paired them with a simple but elegant black dress when she joined her husband, Blake Shelton, at the event on March 20 at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Shelton is a coach on The Voice.
Lambert is known for her fashion-forward style, which has been described as glamorous and girlish, but also edgy.
“Miranda is a style icon who is admired by women of all ages for her fashion sense and take-charge attitude,” said Nina. “We are excited that she chose to wear our Audrey earrings, which are fashion-forward in attitude, just like Miranda.”
The Audrey earrings retail for $295 and feature druzy suspended from an oxidized silver frame. Created naturally over millions of years, druzy stones are tiny quartz crystals that form when ground water carries natural minerals across an area of rock and rapidly cools.
Druzy and other earth-conscious materials are showcased in Nguyen’s spring and summer 2013 line. Many of the pieces include fossilized and mineralized stones that slowly develop through natural processes. Nguyen’s favorite raw materials are geodes, stalactites and fossilized ammonites.
Each piece is designed by Nina in her Colorado studio and expertly handcrafted at Nina Nguyen Studio, her women’s cooperative in Vietnam. Nguyen’s creations are sold at jewelry stores and boutiques in more than 30 states and internationally, and have been featured in Lucky, Shape and The Knot, and on ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today show.
For more information or to locate a Nina Nguyen Designs retailer, visit http://www.nina-nguyen.com. Earrings are available for purchase on line at Brownlee Jewelers, a Nina Nguyen Retailer. View images of Miranda wearing the earrings on wireimage.com.
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Apart from supporting her husband at his show’s season debut, Miranda has an impressive resume of her own. She gained famed when she became a finalist on Nashville Star and then signed to a major record company- where she immediately released three Top 20 hits. Since 2001 Miranda has release 5 albums and won multiple awards including most recently Country Music Association (CMA) 2012 Female Vocalist of the Year.

Recent Awards:
 “Over You”
2012 American Country Awards Music Video by a Female Artist / 2012 American Country Awards Single by a Female Artist / 2012 CMA Awards Song of the Year
2012 CMT Female Video of the Year / 2012 Academy of Country Music Female Video of the Year
2012 Academy of Country Album of the Year- Four the Record
2012 Academy of Country Album of the Year Female Vocalist of the Year

When she is not wowing the crowd with her relatable and powerful music, Miranda with her fashion forward style, is a fashion icon. On February 21 2013, Miranda appeared as a guest on Project Runaway; where competitors were challenged to design her both a show stopping performance look and a red carpet look. Her fashion forward style makes her the perfect match for Nina Nguyen! We love that our bold jewelry is perfect for her powerful and independent personality!

Art Directors Club of Denver – 9th Annual Paper Fashion Show 2013

At Nina Nguyen Designs we are inspired by everything around us, but we truly love the idea of natural organic resources. We thrive on the idea of taking something so simple and making it into a work of art. The reach of creativity in design is awe-inspiring – while we see design every day in stones and metals this past weekend we got to see this extended into paper fashion!

The Art Directors Club of Denver held an amazing event March 8, 2013 for their 9th Annual Paper Fashion Show and we got to witness it all! This is the largest fashion show in the nation to feature paper as the material of each design. Not limited to fashion designers, entries came from artists of all varieties- hair and makeup, modeling talent, videographers, photographers, DJs, graphic designers, and even young and aspiring artists. Not only does this event promote and foster creativity, it donates parts of the proceeds to Downtown Aurora Visual Arts to provide after school art programs to at risk kids.
The talent that we were able to witness was astonishing; it ranged from experienced to aspiring designers as young as 9! Each design was more unique than the last  -and all the more impressive to realize it was all made of paper. From party dresses and ball gowns to costumes, all the creations were incredibly detailed and beautifully made.
Check out some pictures from this unique show!
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This earthy and raw dress depict the natural resources that the earth provides us in a fashion forward way as branches accent a beautiful and intricate paper dress. (left)  The 50s movie star style sparkling blue dress was designed and created by a one of the show’s youngest designer who is only 9 years old. This talented young designer took home 2nd place! (right)
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One designer made a paper twist of Little Red Riding Hood’s big bad wolf (top) and another received inspiration from the beautiful Dia De Los Muertos sugar skulls (bottom).

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This year’s winner stunned the crowd with its cloth like appearance. Designer Randall Bellows III took home first place prize,  for the 5th year in a row, for 300 hours and 60,000 paper dots used to create this amazing and patriotic dress. (left) Other designs including cupcake inspired dresses, swimsuits, and this unique outfit we know that Lady Ga Ga would love to strut around in! (right)Click here for more information on the Art Director’s Club of Denver Annual Paper Fashion Show.

Oscars Celebrity Remix

Celeb Remix…Oscar Style!

Last night in Hollywood, the stars graced the red carpet for the most anticipated awards of the year, the OSCARS! The 85th Annual Academy Awards, hosted by Seth MacFarlane, was nothing short of glamorous.  Before we look at the traditional accessories, we’d like to call out the best fashion accessory of the night – mom.  Respect goes out to Bradley Cooper, Charlize Theron, Chris Evans and other who opted to bring mom to this glamorous occasion.
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One of the most talked about celebs from last night for her personality shining through, both onstage and backstage was Jennifer Lawrence. Jennifer took home the Oscar for Best Actress in Silver Linings Playbook. Unfortunately, Miss Lawrence tripped up the stairs upon receiving her Oscar, but that didn’t bring her down –once reaching the podium her fellow peers stood to their feet to give her a standing ovation.  Jennifer glowed in a Dior Haute Couture gown; she made it her own by highlighting the beautiful back with a lovely Chopard necklace.  Her beautiful earrings are simple and sophisticated much like the Nina Nguyen White Druzy Bella Earrings and White Pearl Spectrum Necklace from the Pagoda Collection.  They would make a beautiful statement on their own.
ImageSandra Bullock looked stunning on the red carpet in a sheer black Elie Saab Haute Couture gown. With a simple hairstyle, swept back on one side by a beautiful barrette the look was classic, simple and striking. She chose to top off her accessories with diamond studs; however, we would have chosen the Nina Nguyen Nimbus White DruzyEarrings from the Bamboo Collection.  These earrings would be perfect to compliment her hairstyle and really show off the sparkle in her dress.
ImageJennifer Hudson took the red carpet by storm showing up in this dazzling Roberto Cavalli Couture dress. She accessorized with Giuseppe Zanotti shoes and a Jimmy Choo clutch. Jennifer performed “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” from Dreamgirls during the movie musicals tribute. We would have paired this dress with the NinaNguyen Stella Geode Earrings from the Pagoda Collection. The color of the stones would really pick up the hue in her dress and add to the glam!

Blogger Spotlight – Justina Blakeney

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For this blogger spotlight we’re  showcasing Justina Blakeney. Justina is an interior stylist and designer that specializes in creative reuse. With four books under her belt, a popular lifestyle blog and over 1,250,000 followers on Pinterest, her bohemian style, approachable voice and her Jungalow (part jungle/part bungalow) inspire people all over the world to get wild with their home decor.
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Justina LOVES the Nina Nguyen Stella Geode Earrings. Recently, Justina featured these earrings on her blog titled “My Kinda Bling and how I transform into a Samurai mom” which can be found here. “As soon as I put them on I felt like I got my sexy back–they’re like heels for my ears. Crystals are so damn cool and are glamorous, earthy, boho and oh so me.”-Justina
“If my life were a movie, it would be about a lady that discovers beauty in the most unexpected places, and slowly learns to create beauty herself–she learns to weave straw into gold and turn trash into treasures. I’d be played by Maya Rudolph–my husband would be played by Adrian Brody, or maybe John Cusack, and it would be a romantic comedy–the kind with a lot of magical realism and really over-the-top sets and costumes and stuff. Our baby daughter, Ida Sky could probably play herself–she loves a camera. The movie would take place in our Jungalow. There would be flashbacks to my hippie upbringing in Berkeley, my college years studying World Arts and Cultures at UCLA and the seven years I spent living and working as a designer in Italy…and it would most definitely be a musical.” -Justina

Check out Justina’s blog here. Also check her out on twitter and pinterest!

55th Annual Grammy Awards Celebrity Remix

Last night marked the 55th Annual Grammy Awards, and we are excited to bring you the red carpet rundown.  Known as “music’s biggest night”, the greatest stars walked the red carpet before the ceremony to show off their Grammy style. 

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Taylor Swift is known for her girl next door attitude and always flawless look.  Dressed in a stunning J. Mendel gown, Swift brought a romantic grecian look to the Grammys.  Her go-to sparkly asthetic has resaulted in yet another stunning, sultry ensemble. With the high silver neckline and beautifully flowing white silk we chose the Nina Nguyen Cephied Earrings to compliment this goddess like style.
 
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Adding another goddess to our list is the always stunning Rhianna, making a show stopping appearance in a beautiful sheer Azzedine Alaia dress.  From the structured bodice to the dramatic train, her beautiful crimson gown was a highlight at the awards show.  The lovely color of her dress made our choice of the Nina Nguyen Divine Lotus Bracelet a simple one for gaining that red carpet rock star look.
 
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Jennifer Lopez showed some skin in her elegant Anthony Vaccarello gown, her one shoulder thigh-high gown made her look sexy and sophisticated.  Jennifer always makes an entrance with her bold fashion statements, so she would rock the Nina Nguyen Lennox Ring to compliment the dark sultry look.

Happy New Year!!!

ImageChuc mung nam moi!!!

I know it’s the middle of February, however, today is the 1st of the Lunar New Year.  2013 is the year of the snake according to the Lunar Calendar which is celebrated by many Asian countries.
Vietnamese culture is heavily influenced by Chinese culture because the China dominated Vietnam from 111 BC to 938 CE (there are some brief years of independence)
“The Chinese calendar is based on a combination of lunar and solar movements. The lunar cycle is about 29.5 days. In order to “catch up” with the solar calendar the Chinese insert an extra month once every few years (seven years out of a 19-yearcycle). This is the same as adding an extra day on leap year. This is why, according to the solar calendar, the Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year.
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are celebrated as a family affair, a time of reunion and thanksgiving. The celebration was traditionally highlighted with a religious ceremony given in honor of Heaven and Earth, the gods of the household and the family ancestors.”

Growing up in Vietnam, there is only one holiday per year and that is the New Year Holiday.  It is a combination of Thanksgiving, New Years and Christmas for us.  It’s a big deal because this is the holiday that I’m given my new clothes that are expected to last for the rest of year.  Money was also a popular gift from adult friends of the family to children.  Lunar New Year is the most exciting and festive time of year.  Everyone is in good spirits, especially my parents!

On the the eve of the New Year, the family participates in the tea ceremony and waits for midnight to start the firecrackers.  After the noise and smoke clear, the children traditionally wish their parents and elderly a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.
“Con chuc ba ma nam moi vui ve, manh khoe, lam an phat dac”  translation: “I wish you (the parents) a happy, healthy and prosperous new year”
It is expected for the children to get their New Years greeting right.  The better the greeting the more red envelopes or bigger red envelope one receives.  These red envelopes were such great motivators for me to get my greeting right because inside those red envelopes was money.  I had a very hungry piggy bank to feed so I always practiced my greeting.  I think that was the beginning of my sibling rivalry in my family.
For the next 3 days of festivities, the whole country goes on and celebrates the tradition that has been celebrated for more than a thousand years.  Some of the practices are:
– Caramelized Fruit Candy (muc) – Lots of westerners would describe it as very sweet but for me it was a once a year special treat and was something my mother would spend an entire evening making and preparing for the holiday. I used to fall asleep right next to a char grill watching the fruit slowly caramelize and harden often taking up to 10 hours to complete.

– Gift exchange
– New clothes
– Family Portrait.
– Flowers
Plum Blossoms symbolizes luckiness
Kumquat symbolizes prosperity
Narcissus symbolizes prosperity

                Bamboo plant used for any time of year

Sunflower means to have a good year
Eggplant to heal all of your sicknesses
Chom Mon Planta which gives you tranquility
– Firecrackers (phao)
– Lion dance (mua lang) – I always love this and still enjoy watching this to this day.

I am so fortunate to have two culture that I can call home.

Katharine Hamnett’s Stand For Organic Cotton

Day to day, it’s hard to imagine anything harmful behind the universally-loved “natural” fabric known as cotton. Those adorable, irresistibly upbeat Cotton Inc. commercials, however, cast a veil over the problematic situations that take place daily in the conventional cotton industry. Conventional refers to the type of cotton agriculture with heavy pesticide and herbicide usage.

In most cases, developing, low-wage countries play host to cotton fields. Places like China, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Brazil, Mali and Syria generally harbor unacceptable working conditions. These include a lack of medical relief for the negative side effects of pesticides and machine-induced  injuries, as well as poor world market positioning (leading to low price demands for the farmers).

The Detriments of Conventional Cotton at a Glance:

  • 100 million conventional cotton farmers live in poverty and on the brink of starvation
  • 1 million individuals in the industry suffer from long-term pesticide poisoning
  • 200,000 cotton famers commit suicide because of the debts they owe from buying expensive pesticides
  • 20,000 people die every year from accidental pesticide poisoning
  • pesticides infiltrate the water systems and ruin ecosystems

For more in-depth information on the problems with conventional cotton farming and processing, click here.

The best solution to the environmental and social issues is to encourage the growth of organic cotton.

This has been fashion designer Katharine Hamnett’s mission since 2003, when she visited Mali, Africa, and witnessed the destruction that conventional cotton has on the lives of those involved. Hamnett traded in her distressed denim designs for organic cotton t-shirts with environmental and social justice messages. Her Organic Cotton Campaign is one of many, but perhaps the closest to her heart.

By converting to organic cotton purchases, you, too can help end the incredible harm that this ancient industry is causing. According to Hamnett, encouraging the growth of organic cotton can help increase farmer income by 50% (mostly from a reduction in production costs) and prevent further ecological damage to the environment. Hamnett’s organic cotton shirt designs above were commissioned to spread awareness and support the organic cotton industry with the financial backing it so desperately needs.

To learn more about Katharine Hamnett, her mission, and her campaigns, visit her website.

Because organic is still more difficult to find and is more expensive than regular cotton, try to purchase one or two organic cotton items (rather than overhauling your entire wardrobe). The simple act of supporting the organic cotton industry is a step in the right direction. Your decisions can improve the lives of many and the planet you share.

Here are some great links to organic cotton retailers:

  • Gaiam: offers natural everyday wear, fitness wear, accessories, household goods in organic and fair trade options
  • Patagonia: stylish, high quality collection of organic cotton garments
  • Blue Canoe: great organic cotton basics for women
  • Natural Clothing Company: offers a wide range of eco-friendly clothes, both cotton and non-cotton