The New Heart of Haute Fashion Catalog for 2014, version 1

It is complete. The thing I work the hardest and longest hours on. One of the most important pieces of media we create over here at Heart of Haute. It's like "The Book" in the movie, The Devil Wears Prada

Luckily I'm much happier than Merril Streep's character and I don't really drink coffee a certain way and I am very kind to my assistants. In fact, I find myself assisting them more often....What? You haven't seen that movie? I swear it's not a chick flick. It's really good.

Anyway- what am I talking about? OH YES!  It's our Bi-Annual catalog. Yes, I make this catalog for our wholesale customers (those are customers who purchase our garments in bulk to resell in their shops), but I also make it available for everyone to view. Why? Well, honestly after all that hard work I put into it- and this time I shot and edited about 40% of the images myself- I want to TELL EVERYONE ABOUT IT!!! Yes, I am proud and usually exhausted when this project is complete.  The great thing about working on this catalog is that each one gets better and evolves from the one before it.  I am always learning new things about editing and photography when I make this thing.  I dread the 3-4 weeks I spend working on this book, but I also look forward to the challenges it brings. The headaches and heartaches, but in the end, the finished product is well worth it.

I share it with everyone because we group our products in fabric families so you can see the line as a whole rather than figuring out what prints the Beverly does or doesn't come in. You also get a sneak peak at what will be available in the coming months....so you know how to plan out your wardrobe for next Spring of course!!!

With Love & No Regrets!

Mandie Bee

Summer Sugar Stripes

Summer's in full swing, Heart of Haute-lovers, and we have great new styles perfect for all the fun in the sun you'll be having! To help you stay true to your style, and stay cool in the heat, take a peek at our new Sugar Stripes Collection.  

The Maybeline Dress (shown below in Purple Stripe and Blue Stripe) is the perfect dress for your next BBQ, beach party, or even a night out at the local county fair. This sleeveless dress, with adjustable straps, is perfect for those hot summer days and warm summer nights. The Maybeline Dress even has pockets (and who doesn't love a dress with pockets?!)

Maybeline Purple Stripe

Maybeline Blue Stripe

Model: Stephanie Weber

Summertime is known for concert season! Headed to go see your favorite artist or band? Whether you're off to see a hot act at the Hollywood Bowl, or the LA Philharmonic at the Walt Disney Hall, you'll be a show stopper wearing the Regina Dress (shown below in Purple Sugar Stripe.) It's just casual enough to be comfortable, but dressy enough for any special occasion. (If you're anything like me, fantastic live music is always a special occasion!) For a fancier venue, dress it up with your favorite pumps, or keep it simple, and more on the casual side, with a cute pair of ballet flats.

Regina Purple Stripe

Model: Dollie Deville (www.therockabillysocialite.com)

  My favorite part about summer is that it stays light out later into the evening. Take advantage of the extra sunshine and show off the Vee Dress. Reflect the blue summer skies in the Blue Sugar Stripe fabric (shown below.) This dress has pockets, also! (Have I sold you on the pockets yet, ladies?)

Vee Blue Stripe

Model: Dollie Deville (www.therockabillysocialite.com)

    Step into the sunshine and off to your next adventure while showing off your fabulous sense of style with our new Stripes Collection.  Don't forget the sunscreen!

Blue Stripe

Models: Stephanie Weber (left,) Dollie Deville (right, www.therockabillysocialite.com)

    With Love & No Regrets, Katrina Marie =^.^=      

Pin Up Cowgirl and Country Style with Heart of Haute

The country girl is a staple of mid century pin up imagery. The sweet and sexy rural cowgirl is an icon of American style. Often dressed in gingham, denim, bandanas, and a cowboy hat, it is a look that combines innocence and toughness. A general fascination with the American West has been an enduring staple of international pop culture.

Western films have been popular since the era of silent movies, but they had a surge in popularity in the 1940s and 1950s. Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Jane Russell and many others starred in Western films - pinup images from these movies were popular during World War II. Soldiers and Sailors got tattooed with the image of the sexy cowgirl, a motivation for and reminder of home in the American countryside. In addition, as cities and suburbs grew, I think that many people felt a fascination with and idealization of the "good old days."

Jane Russell in The Outlaw

 

 

Whether you are going to the "Hulabilly" themed Tiki Oasis, or just looking for some vintage American summertime style, we have the unique - and American made - pieces that can make your retro look! For a complete outfit, try our Sweetie sundress in all American gingham or the Peggy Sue Dress in picnic-perfect ketchup and mustard prints.

Our Heart of Haute halter tops will help you create the ideal country heat. Available in  many colors and patterns, including the bandana-influenced Annie print. Our Ellie Tie Top in red gingham or Mustard picnic print has a sweet, cropped casual look with a little more coverage than a halter. Don't forget our matching headbands and bows! Our Gretta gingham blouses will bring a Western element to any outfit - even at the office! Our Gigi tee - in white or black - matches perfectly with our print skirts or your cowgirl jeans - right out of Jane Russell's "The Outlaw" wardrobe!  

Model Spotlight: Dinah DeRosa

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to shoot Miss Dinah DeRosa  in my home for Heart of Haute. I've recently had to take photography into my own hands for our company and I'm learning more and more as I go along.  It's a lot of fun, creative, and also a ton of work. I have a GREAT appreciation for photographers as well as models. I've been on both sides of the camera and I know how much work goes into a shoot for both parties. *whew* Dinah has been modeling since she was 17 and she's a natural. In addition to modeling, you can find her managing the Unique Vintage store in Huntington Beach or dancing on stage for The Hula Girls.  To be graced with Dinah's presence, you'll find yourself not only looking at a very attractive lady, but a very attractive soul. This girl is one of my favorite models to work with for a reason. Very genuine, kind and just a really cool chick! Here's just a few shots from our photo shoot...   dinahmitzilauren dinahmowhiteoribit dinahhhmilan dinahHHmilancelery dinahhhmonteivoryback     With Love & No Regrets, Mandie Bee!

Your Retro Tiki Weekend Wardrobe

Mid century America was crazy for all things tropical and Hawaiian. Many served in the South Pacific during World War II, and returned home with tales of palm trees and rum. Hawaii's 1959 statehood and the advent of quick and more affordable jet travel made it a popular - yet still exotic - travel destination. "Trader Vic" Bergeron opened his first restaurant in California in 1934, serving an approximation of Cantonese food and concocting cocktails like the Mai Tai. All over the country, Polynesian pop culture spread - tiki bars, backyard luaus, and Exotica albums and movies were everywhere. Those who still still celebrate the sips, styles and sounds from this era meet up at various tiki weekend parties all over the country. Two of the biggest are the Hukilau (June 6-9th in Fort Lauderdale) and Tiki Oasis (August 15-18th in San Diego).

257828_10100136482430178_3901742_oMe (on the right) with friends at the Mai Kai

Heart of Haute will help you pack your bags to arrive as the perfect retro tiki pin-up! Having attended a few of these events, here are my tips:
  • Bring more than one bathing suit. A lot of the events are poolside, and you don't want to be pulling on a soggy suit after a midnight dip in the Ocean. A stylish swimsuit cover up, like our quick drying Knotty Dress, is also a must.
  • At the Hukilau, the Mai Kai can be quite warm inside. I like a cocktail dress that will still keep me cool. The Sweetie Dress in Hip Kitty has an authentic vintage shape, and a print that will help you stand out in the sea of floral aloha wear. Get to the Mai Kai with plenty of time before your dinner show reservation to enjoy the gardens and the great happy hour prices in the Molokai Bar. The Moonkist Coconut is my favorite drink.
  • The Paradise Dress has a great retro wiggle dress shape in a perfect tropical pattern, with a faux sarong front that ties at the waist.
  • There is a lot of standing, dancing, and walking around. I like wedges for just a little more comfort.
  • Tiki Oasis has a theme each year - for 2013, it's "Hulabilly." For this mix of Hawaiian and country rockabilly style, bring our Ellie Tie Front Top in Red Gingham, a sweet Heart of Haute top, or gingham headbands and hair bows. Our best selling Sweetie Dress comes in red, blue, olive, and black gingham - the perfect fit for this "Hawaiian Hootenanny."
  • Accessories! These parties are not the time to be subtle. I always bring tons of hair flowers, sunglasses, and jewelry. A few extra to loan to your best friend is always a good plan.
  • I don't actually stay at the official Hukilau hotel(s). I like the Best Western Oceanside. It's right next door and has a cute little pool and free breakfast.
  • Don't overdo it! Take a nap every afternoon and alternate drinks with water. Have some snacks in your room and wear sunscreen.
Love & Moonkist Coconuts, Mrs. V  
Tiki Weekend Style

Dress heartofhaute.com

Dress heartofhaute.com

Dress heartofhaute.com

Dress heartofhaute.com

Sarong swimsuit pinupgirlclothing.com

Mustard heartofhaute.com

Flower hair accessory heartofhaute.com

Flower hair accessory heartofhaute.com

Red Gingham heartofhaute.com

Nine West ChillPill vip.zappos.com

Black heartofhaute.com

Like it and Win it Contests on Facebook!

Heya Heart of Haute Fans! It's Mandie Bee here. I wanted to share with you a little somethin' new I've been promoting recently.  The "Like" it and Win it contest!  1-2 times a month, I will post a specific item that will be up for grabs! 1 lucky random winner will be chosen within days of the contest start and win the featured dress!

This Week's Like it and Win it dress is the Sweetie Dress in Black Cerise!

Be sure you join us on Facebook to get in on the fun!

http://facebook.com/heartbreakerfashions

With Love & No Regrets,

Mandie Bee

For the Ethical Shopper - Why Buy American Made?

Hello Heart of Haute Fans, I will warn you now, this wont exactly be the most feel-good or happy post. In fact, it may be eye opening to some of you or saddening. I want to address something that we feel strongly about and that is sweatshop labor. We believe in paying people fair wages and providing a comfortable work environment for our employees. Not just because it's the law, but because we want to! We know that happy employees makes good quality products and service.

I'm sure many people are aware of the concept of what a sweatshop is. The majority of items you can buy from the mall or big box stores, often called "fast fashion," are made overseas in sweatshop factories all around the world. Check the label in the dress you're trying on, it will surely say  "Made in China" or Bangladesh or Indonesia or Vietnam or Mexico... There were two recent catastrophes in Bangladesh. These disasters occurred due to the factory owner neglecting to keep the building safe for working environments.

From the industrial revolution, to the scandals involving Nike in the 1990s, working conditions that produce consumer goods have often been questionable. In 2013, there was a fire in a garment factory, which provided items to WalMart, that left 112 dead.  On April 24th of 2013, a garment factory building collapsed, which left more than 500 people dead. The building collapsed because of power generators shaking the walls. Both of these incidents could have been avoided if upgrades were made to the buildings, and with all the money the companies are making from this cheap labor, you would hope they would at least take that responsibility.  It's just unfortunate - and issues like these continue today.

So what can you do?  There are many alternatives to fast fashion, but it requires a little extra time and creativity.  You can also make a personal effort to avoid spending money in places that you know use sweatshop labor.

  • Shop American-  As you know, Heart of Haute is all made in the US within a 20 mile radius of our main office in Los Angeles county, if not under our own roof in San Dimas.  Shopping for products made in the US means you're supporting American jobs and you'll also find  yourself with a better quality item.
  • Shop Etsy- There are tons of young entrepreneurs  who are hungry to share their  unique designs with the world! You can help them and have a good experience. There is something very special about knowing an item is one-of-a-kind or maybe even made just for you. www.etsy.com
  • Shop Vintage- I know we love shopping for vintage! These items always come with their own story and are also usually much better quality than most things you can find today. Compare a vintage dress from 1962  to a contemporary  mall-bought dress. There's a reason that Vintage dress has lasted as long as it has.
  • Shop Recycled- Sure, you have to sift through racks of random articles of clothing.  Check out places that also donate to support good causes: Buffalo Exchange, Out of the Closet, and Goodwill.

Interested in learning more?  Check out this book, Overdressed  by Elizabeth Cline. She explores the world of cheap and fast fashion. This site even includes a list of online stores and designers that follow ethical practices. So, I do apologize if this has left you feeling icky or sad about your own shopping habits- that is certainly not my goal.  Shopping and new clothing should make us feel good. I think if we become more aware of the connection we have with the maker of our items, it gives us reason to continue to make good choices for ourselves.

With Love & No Regrets, Mandie Bee

Heart of Haute History! The Original Halter Top

Hello Heart of Haute Honeys, It seems not-so long ago that I was sitting in a hallway at Cal State Fullerton waiting for my next class to start. I spent many hours in my sketch book coming up with new designs; simple things to get Heart of Haute started. Back in those days, we were only selling on eBay and Live Journal communities.  The Heart of Haute Halter Dress, The Heart of Haute Halter Top, Aline Skirt, and Sweetie dress were the very first items in our line.  I can tell you that some of the styles I came up with are still in our line today. As months and years go by, some styles prove to be true classics in the eye of my fashion-friendly female customer. Styles like the Sweetie Dress and the Super Spy Dress, which have both been our line since 2005.  When we notice a decrease in sales and interest on a particular item, we may eventually retire a design. The Halter Top and its big sister, the Heart of Haute Halter Dress, are two of our original designs we decided to put away- but surely, not for good! I recently began receiving e-mails and requests on our facebook page for our original halter top. In efforts to keep things moving forward, I would regretfully tell the customer that item was no longer offered.  Though, after some thought about it and enough requests, we decided to bring this classic piece of Heart of Haute design history back into action! Here's a look back at some of our original photos on models- these date back to 2006. Miss Bernie Dexter Screen shot 2013-05-02 at 2.39.11 PM Cherry Dollface yhst-45547213099599_2261_709281682 Jasper James jasperblackhalter   The Heart of Haute Halter Top is now available on our website for order. I realize these are short tops, but I always advise those who don't want to bare their bellies to layer it over another halter or seek out a high waist-ed skirt or pants. Here's to an excellent summer, Heart of Haute lovers. Grab your halter tops for only $28.99! We will be adding more print options in the coming days. With Love & No Regrets, Mandie Bee        

Retro Prom Style with Heart of Haute

Prom as we know it today has is origins in formal banquets that universities held in spring for their graduating classes. The popularity of Prom increased with American prosperity and the cult of the teenager in the  mid-twentieth century. Prom fashion has thankfully become more personal and flexible in recent years - no longer is it required to have your satin shoes dyed exactly to match. If you are looking for a unique (and handmade) look for prom, Heart of Haute has the options you have been searching for. The layered satin Juliet dress is romantic and elegant, with floral scalloped lace and a bare back.  The Antoinette Dress covers your shoulders while having a see-through lace back, in burgundy or black. Looking for a classic 1950s style? The Marseilles dress can be worn over the shoulder or as a halter.  The Milan dress has a vintage shape in a trendy shade of pale green sateen, or classic black. A vintage prom look requires more than just a dress : hair, make-up and the perfect accessories are needed to complete the image.  Retro hair styles are perfect for prom, and you don't have to have long hair. Check out the ultra-popular Vintage Hairstyling Book, or any of pin-up model Cherry Dollface's hair and make-up tutorials. If you have naturally curly hair like me, check out Angelique Noire's  vintage hairstyle tutorials. Don't forget a hair flower or two to add to your updo! The Glamour Girl Shrug can add a bit of rockabilly or even punk style to your prom dress. For the perfect retro cat eye, I use gel eyeliner. Give yourself time for a test - it takes a bit of practice.  I find that it is easier than liquid, but gives you a sharper, darker line than a pencil. Keep the brush really clean for the best result. A retro or vintage inspired prom dress is just one of many styles that can help you look (and feel) great on the big night, even if you are old enough to chaperone your friend's kids, like me! Mrs. V
Retro prom style with Heartbreaker Fashion

Burgundy Satin heartofhaute.com

Black Satin heartofhaute.com

Lake heartofhaute.com

Satin pumps pinupgirlclothing.com

Lime green pumps modcloth.com

Mid heels modcloth.com

Vintage bag pinupgirlclothing.com

Zipper bag modcloth.com

Chain jewelry modcloth.com

Hair accessory heartofhaute.com

Celery Sateen heartofhaute.com

Glamour Girl Shrug heartofhaute.com

Let's talk about Teer Wayde

Hello Heart of Haute Fans! Mandie Bee here. I've been busy buzzing around getting things done over here at HoH HQ this Spring. I've been meaning to post this blog entry for a while because I wanted to share my experience working with one of my favorite models! TeerMarleenblk During Viva Las Vegas,  my crew of lady friends (Katrina, Tara, and Sabina) and I were busy preparing for a quick photo shoot with the darling and dreamy Teer Wayde of Melbourne, Australia.  Teer has been a fan of Heart of Haute for years and we've been a fan of hers!   In her blog, Curves to Kill, she shares her favorite finds as well as  product reviews from various fashion lines. We are happy and honored to be among the brands she favors and reviews! vlvbts138_zps14167cddvlvbts132_zps3bf960ce While I was having my makeup done by Sabina (because I was also shooting that day), I had a ton of questions for Teer. So, I had a verbal interview with her as my eyelash glue was drying. It was kind of comical talking to her with one eye nearly glued shut, but I guess that's my way of doing things.  Casual, short, and sweet. I personally wanted to know about her and get her opinion on a few things as well.   So here are some fun facts about Teer:
  • She started her blog 3 years ago after numbers of people would e-mail her with questions about where she got her outfits for photo shoots. She thought it would be simpler and more effective to blog about the products she shoots in, that way the companies would receive recognition and her fans would get some great info, too!
  • She loves Heart of Haute for our fit and overall quality. She says she adores the Ella top because the buttons don't pucker over her bust. Yes! A button-up blouse for busty ladies? It's true.
  • Teer is also recognized as a plus size model and reminds us that beauty should never be associated with a dress size. She says she is definitely a promoter of healthy body image. Love your curves, girls!
  • Her advice to ladies of all sizes? Girl. Wear what you want. If you've got it, show it off and be proud of yourself.
Screen shot 2013-04-15 at 4.36.34 PM Screen shot 2013-04-15 at 4.36.59 PM(Photos by: TaraOPhotos.com  Phoenix, AZ - Makeup by: Sabina Chowaniec  Phoenix, AZ) Meeting Teer was a good thing and I'm so glad we had the opportunity.  Girls like her are truly inspirational. She is a sweetheart and a joy to be in the presence of- this girl is for real! Even though we spent about an hour working on the photo shoot, I can tell she is a genuine person that means what she says. Thank you, Teer!  I really appreciate you taking the time to come over for the shoot and talking with us.  My friends and I were fans before, and of course still are. It was just really cool to meet you! Screen shot 2013-04-15 at 5.20.09 PM   With Love & No Regrets, Mandie Bee