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Get to Know Phoenix Fashion Brand, Hues of Ego

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Phoenix-based fashion designer whose collection was shown at Phoenix Fashion Week in October explores the changing roles and expectations women have set and the ones they set for themselves.

One-woman show Natasha Duran, designer of Phoenix-based brand Hues of Ego, used art and her roles as a wife, mother and designer to create the brand name, Hues of Ego. Duran says there are many expectations of her within each of her titles in different settings. Duran says she designs for the multi-faceted woman. “There are many different hats you wear,” Duran says. “You kind of have multiple personalities, like an alter ego.” 

The collection Duran showed at Phoenix Fashion Week was inspired by that concept of an alter ego and married three ideas, Duran said, Avery Anne, who is the people portion of the collection, Duran says, “She’s an everyday woman trying to always be who she thinks she should be. She loses herself and she starts becoming her alter ego,” the second idea, which is demonstrated in black clothing, and incorporating leather and lace into the collection for more of an edgy feel. 

The last part is ‘Zoey’ and she loses herself between the two personalities and ends up in the asylum, Duran says, which represents the third idea, constriction in white clothing with belts and straight jackets. Duran says she plans to update the collection she showed at Fashion Week for her Spring/Fall 2015 collections.

Phoenix Fashion Week is a way for emerging designers to get exposure in Arizona and be able to learn about resources to help them transform their ideas into a comprehensive collection and build their businesses.

The Hues of Ego designer won the T-shirt design contest in 2011 for Phoenix Fashion Week, was a top four finalist for the Little Black Dress Challenge for Phoenix Fashion Week as well in 2013 and was one of the fourteen emerging designers competing for designer of the year for the seventh annual Phoenix Fashion Week in October 2014. 

Before becoming a fashion designer, Duran was architecture major at ASU for three years but quit school before she got her degree. The designer began fashion school in 2009 at Collins College. Duran went to Scottsdale Fashion Week and was intrigued with the shows, the chair director for Collins college had a booth there and Duran started fashion school a month afterward. “I felt like I had my calling; it was easier than architecture for me.” 

Her first big break was when one of three students selected to show her wearable pieces she designed for a school project at Scottsdale Fashion Week just three months after she started school. Duran currently is still pursuing her degree in fashion design at Collins College, her inspirations include Chanel, Elie Saab, Balanciaga and Frank Lloyd Wright to name a few. Her skills led her to Phoenix Fashion Week where she participated in the  emerging designer of the year program.

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The Phoenix Fashion Week team which includes six directors for operations, hair and makeup, social media and designers and buyers facilitate bi-weekly meetings with the designers to discuss their homework from the previous weeks. “It pushes you to think about the business portion because it’s going to make you a better designer,” Duran said, “You can’t just be the creative person you are in the fashion world anymore, it isn’t going to be enough, you have to know how to run a business.”

Delora Fuglem, fellow Phoenix Fashion Week designer of the Phoenix-based brand Kismet, said she and Duran are good friends, “I have always had a great relationship with Natasha. From the beginning of PHXFW we connected, and we were there for one another throughout the four months,” Fuglem says. 

The designer said she also admires Duran’s organization and business skills, “[For each meeting] Natasha always came in with her neatly put-together notes and binder. Because of this she was always on top of the homework, and had a very strong idea and understanding of how to move into manufacturing.”

Maya Johnson-Brown, who has been a close friend of Duran’s since 2001, said Duran is more of an introverted person, but when fashion is concerned, she comes alive.

“When she believes in something, she knows how to speak up for it and make her case known and get stuff done,” Johnson-Brown says.

Johnson-Brown has supported Duran by attending the all the events leading up to and including when Duran’s collection was shown at fashion week, including the model announcement and shop garment district-where a few pieces of the designer’s collection were shown. 

“I can’t even sew a button a shirt,” Johnson-Brown said, “That someone can take yards of fabric and make something out of it amazes me. It’s definetly an art and it’s something that not anybody can do.”

Duran said her ultimate goal is to inspire people. “I never got into the fashion industry to have a well-known brand,” Duran says. “I want people to appreciate my stuff, understand me and the artistic part and love the brand for that.”

 

Seven Easy Pieces: November Luxury Issue Fashion Shoot

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Rather than a closet overflowing with too many things, treasure the luxurious pieces with the perfect fit, the perfect details, the perfect fabric.

Hair, makeup and styling by Diane Aiello. Photography by Werner Segarra. Model by The Agency AZ.

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The Cocktail Dress

Millie black strapless feather skirt dress, $675. Saks Fifth Avenue.

Worn with Jewels by Gautier -  White gold ring with square citrine and diamonds, white gold ring with pink and blue sapphires and diamonds, white gold ring with phosphosiderite and diamonds, white gold hoop earrings with diamonds, prices upon request.

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5 Fall Fashion Trends

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From statement-making fur vests, bold leopard prints to pastels that pop, this fall’s fashion trends are paying respect to the hippy vibes and classic cuts of the 60’s. Whether you’re looking to purchase a piece to wear for the season or a high-quality piece to carry into spring, Scottsdale Quarter has a store within your budget. And in every season, don’t force yourself to wear a trend. Choose ones you like and make them your own. Allison Goodman from Scottsdale Quarter gave AFM the scoop on how to rock these fall trends.

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1. Leather (And Sweater) Weather-The key to pulling off leather is balancing soft and hard fabrics. For example, pair leather leggings with a chunky cable knit sweater for an effortlessly edgy look. The soft fabric of a sweater makes the leather’s rebellious look more approachable. If you’re not ready to slip on a full leather pant, tops with leather accents, jewelry, handbags and shoes are always a safe, yet stylish option. Gap, Calypso, H&M, Intermix (a one-stop shop) and Express are the perfect stores to shop for leather. 

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2. Get Fierce With Leopard-Unlike many fads, leopard “transcends the decades” and gets a little feistier each year. Goodman says the camel and black pattern has become a neutral staple in the wardrobe and is also great as an accent color. Stores like Calypso sell a leopard clutch that will perfectly complement a day or night outfit.     

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3. The New Classic-Every woman should have a classic A-line dress, a fun mini skirt for a night out and plenty of fitted sweaters to dress up or down. Gap and Express offer a wide variety of these essentials to pair with trendier items for the season.  

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4. Coat Up-Although Arizona doesn’t get as cool as most places during the fall, that doesn’t mean our outerwear style has to suffer. There are two prominent coat trends: the blanket coat and pastel coats. The blanket coat couldn’t be cozier: it’s essentially a big blanket with sleeves. And a big trend for fall is pastels. Goodman says that spring’s runway collections included dark colors, so fall’s color palette is reflecting that change by introducing lighter shades of pink and blue.  Head to Express to snatch the perfect pastel pink coat.      

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5. Flower Power-There’s nothing more symbolic of the 60’s than a flower child. Stores like Free People offer pieces to channel this modern-vintage look with velvety hats, warm fur vests, sling dresses and totes. If you’re feeling adventurous, a fun fur vest will make you look like the quintessential free-spirited woman.

 

Top 10 Halloween Costume Ideas for Adults and Kids

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Halloween will be here before you know it, and with it comes a full range of new costume inspirations. This year was all about good and evil. From popular criminals such as Walter White and the “Orange is the New Black” cast to superheroes such as Captain America and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, there is a costume for every spooky soul out there at any age. Get in the Halloween spirit and check out our top five picks for adults and for children.

 

For the Adults

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“Orange is the New Black”

Ladies, throw out that old black witch costume sitting in your closet and go for something a little more orange this Halloween. Thanks to the hit TV show “Orange is the New Black,”a prisoner’s uniform never looked so chic.

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Walter White

For those men who have a tendency to break the rules, we challenge you to be Walter White this year. This HazMat suit and Mask costume is the perfect ode to the hate-to-love character from “Breaking Bad.”

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“The Walking Dead”

Nothing says Halloween like rising from the dead. Pay tribute to the scary holiday with your best Rick Grimes and Michonne impressions from “The Walking Dead.”

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“Game of Thrones”

Whether you plan on conquering your enemies or traveling to a great city on Oct. 31, you will definitely need these perfectly replicated costumes. For all the “Game of Thrones” fans, this is your chance to live like one of your favorite characters.

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“Guardians of the Galaxy”

Halloween is all about fantasy —step into an alternate universe and save the day as a character from the popular Marvel film “Guardians of the Galaxy.”There are many guardians to choose from, such as Gamora or Star-Lord.

For the Kids

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“Frozen”

While the movie has been out for almost a year, kids just can’t seem to “Let It Go.”They’ve memorized the songs, now your children play the beloved characters from Disney’s “Frozen”this Halloween, from Olaf to Elsa to Anna and more.

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Maleficent/Sleeping Beauty

Play up your bad side as Maleficent or be the sweet and innocent Aurora from the popular rendition of Sleeping Beauty that came out this year. Whichever side you choose, your child is sure to be noticed while trick-or-treating.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

There’s no need to be afraid this Oct. 31 as long as the Ninja Turtles are on the streets. Let your child show their martial arts skills as Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael or Donatello.

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Superheroes

Some of the more well-known superheroes will certainly take the stage this Halloween. Kids, get your spidey-senses going as The Amazing Spiderman or shine in red, white and blue as the great Captain America.

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“The Lego Movie”

Another popular movie among the kiddos this year was “The Lego Movie,”which featured some hilarious and memorable characters. Girls can dress up as ninja Wild Child, while the boys can play Emmet, the construction worker.

 

 

Phoenix Fashion Week Recap: Part Two

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The Rocky Gathercole finale brought Avant Garde to Phoenix. Photo by Steve Yap.

 

The final night of Phoenix Fashion Week at Talking Stick Resort was all about drama and sparkle. Almost every collection that hit the runway had sequin embellishments and fashion-forward details. It was a fashionable night to remember, and we’re giving you all the designer highlights straight from the runway.

 

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