Thursday, July 31, 2014

Recap: Behind the Scenes at our Photoshoot | Topaz + Arrow.

This past weekend was DeNada's photoshoot for our Autumn/Winter 2014 collection followed by Topaz + Arrow

Early Saturday morning, my team and I traveled to Occoquan, Virginia, a charming town outside of DC for the day to the studio of photographer, Luis Aragon. After all of our hard work and preparation we did weeks ahead, I was ecstatic to see everything finally come together. Year after year, I anticipate and love the slight nervous feeling right before each photoshoot, and the feeling of relief right after. To see my collection complete and ready to be showcased is so exciting, and I can't wait for the launch. The day turned out to be a success, running smoothly as we shot over 100 products within 8 hours - kudos to our model Kaleigh for staying strong until the end.

During the photoshoot, Spare Tire Production captured some behind the scenes footage of our day. At first it was hard to ignore the cameras as they silently followed me around, but soon enough I got used to it. The footage will be used for a special project soon to come, so stay tuned!

I want to sincerely thank everyone who took part in this past weekend's photoshoot - photographer Luis Aragon, makeup/hair stylist Kathy Aragon, stylist and production manager Morgan Hungerford-West, Spare Tire Productions, our model Kaleigh, my assistant Sue, and my interns, Canon and Rachel - for all of their hard work and dedication.

See below for some behind the scenes photos!

Luis, Morgan, and Kaleigh in action.
Spare Tire Productions and Kaleigh.
Photo credit: Kathy Aragon.
Occoquan, Virginia. 
Hair and makeup for the day on our model Kaleigh.
Photo Credit: Kathy Aragon
Occoquan, Virginia.
Selecting photos during the shoot.
Photo Credit: Kathy Aragon
Instagram ready behind the scenes.
Photo Credit: Kathy Aragon
Morgan styling Kaleigh.
Photo Credit: Kathy Aragon
The next day, Morgan and I held our monthly Topaz + Arrow workshop. Although the day before was exhausting, the workshop was a great way to relax and socialize with guests.

As always, we had so much fun hosting this month's session: Natural Elements x Found Objects. We provided our guests with used items and materials that can be found at hardware stores such leather, rope, copper, plastic tubing, napkin rings, and wood to make jewelry. We loved seeing all of the different pieces our guests created, and it's always great to see all of our participants design, socialize, and enjoy some food and drink on a Sunday afternoon. 

Special thanks to our wonderful partners from Honest Tea, KIND, Dolcezza Gelato, Kushi, and Boulevard Brewing.

Food and drink from some of our partners.
Gorgeous necklace by one of our guests.
Delicious treats from Dolcezza Gelato.
Morgan and I instructing the class.
Finished products from the workshop.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Music: Summer Office Playlist.

I love how music dictates a mood and creates an atmosphere. In my workspace, it's important to set a creative flow with music to keep myself and my team focused and positive throughout the day.

This summer, our music preference has been leaning towards light with subtle and calming electronic accents. Below is a playlist comprised of our 10 favorite songs - enjoy!

1. Medusa - GEMS
2. Until We Bleed (Marty Party remix) - Kevin Stokes
3. Sweet Disposition (Alto Remix) - Temper Trap
4. Chandelier - Sia
5. Waves (Roter & Lewis Edit) - Mr. Probz
6. I See Fire (Kygo Remix) - Ed Sheeran
7. Starry Eyed - Ellie Goulding
8. Paris - Little Dragon
9. Drowning - BANKS
10. Tennis Court - Lorde

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A glimpse into the direction of my new collection.

My newest collection for autumn & winter has arrived! Completely excited, I am currently working with my team on gathering inspirations and prepping our samples for the next step towards the public debut of my new line, our photo shoot.

What is important for me with my collections is to make sure that my designs evolve naturally. Throughout the years, each of my collections have been unique in its own way.  Last year, there was an abundance of warm, autumn colors woven into chunky textures. But with this new collection, I decided to go in a semi-completely different direction - instinctively, due to the Gemini in me.

Though I continue to maintain DeNada's simplistic aesthetic, for this new collection I  decided to incorporate lighter and bolder colors. The aim this year is to create a collection with textures and colors that can effortlessly carry our DeNada woman from one season to the next. With that in mind, my team and I have been hard at work planning and setting the ambiance for our upcoming photo shoot: everything from model to makeup to hair.

Shown below are selected photos from our mood board. Take a peak, and I look forward to sharing more about my upcoming collection soon - so stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Out with the skinny, in with the slouchy.

Here at DeNada, we're all loving the slouchy pants trend. These light weight pants are perfect for summer and seamlessly blend style with comfort.

Comfort and practicality is key for me when it comes to fashion and style. For an easy and effortless look, I like to pair my slouchy pants with a tank top or t-shirt and simple comfortable sandals (preferably black). This combination is a great and casual look for work, running errands, and running around with my son. As you know, my style is very minimal, and lately I've noticed a trend of Birkenstocks with minimalistic styling. Even though I'm not into the Birkenstock trend, I love the simplistic inspiration of this sandal style.

As part of our "On the Search" series, here are some examples of one of my favorite trends this summer.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bundled: Knit Swimwear.

I am always looking for new ways to incorporate knit into my wardrobe. Although it's too hot to accessorize with a scarf, I found that knit in the summer is trending. My passion for knit has enabled me to integrate knit into every season, regardless of the weather.

This season, I am loving knit swimwear and the intricacy of each piece. See below for my favorite knit suits!

Photo from:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Art of Street Art - POW! WOW! Haiwaii.

Living in the city, graffiti is commonly seen everywhere, and has been known as a form of vandalism, creating a negative connotation for any art displayed on city streets and walls. Though some may argue that urban street art started off through graffiti tagging, it is now being recognized as a respected form of art and gaining attention from the public whether it be political, social, or just self expressive. And with street art more refined today, publicizing any form of art through graffiti tagging or street art has always been an effective way to make a statement. The motives of street art are separated by the creative attitude of the artist, and is created to be shared for the audience to relate to or think about. As an artist, I enjoy exploring different genres of art, and with my husband being a street artist, I become more exposed and appreciative of this particular genre.

I'm a huge fan of POW! WOW! Hawaii, a project created by my friend, Jasper and Amy Luu Wong, which is a shining example of what street art can surmount to. POW! WOW! is an organization and collection of artists that create murals all over the world. On their website POW! WOW! describes their name as, "a term that describes a gathering that celebrates culture, music, and art." POW! WOW! has grown into a global network of artists who organizes event, gallery shows, lecture series, schools for art and music, mural projects, concerts, live art installations across the globe, in addition to creating a collaborative creative space in Honolulu named Lana Lane Studios.
The murals created by POW! WOW! artists enhance the appearance of urban landscapes and constructively adorn city walls with vibrant, pictorial murals. Most cities are busy and can seem serious at times, and the beauty of street art causes people to pause for a moment and enjoy their surroundings even if it is just for a few seconds. In run down and dilapidated areas, street art can transform an area and create opportunity for further growth. I'm extremely appreciative for all the work that POW! WOW! does and the communities it helps build as a result. In addition to creating murals throughout the world, POW! WOW! Hawaii has also created educational programs and discussions for young students and aspiring artists through art workshops and music courses. It's crucial in preparing the next generation of artists who will each have their own impact on the world, and I have the utmost respect for what they are doing to for the art community.

Below are a few examples of their work found around the world.

Mural by Brendan Monroe and Candybird at the Taipei Artist Village for POW! WOW! Taiwan 2014.
Abstracted shapes and forms by Kofie in Honolulu, Hawaii. 
Murals on a massive wall in the Ximen district of Taipei. Created by Kamea Hadar, Reach, Jeffrey Gress, Mr. Ogay, Bobo, Debe, Seazk, Dzus, Easy, Yok and Woes for POW! WOW! Taiwan 2014.
Mural for Versace by Tristan Eaton in Kaka’ako, Hawaii. 
Mural by DAL for POW! WOW! Hawaii 2013.
Mural by Rone and Aaron De La Cruz at Tungnan University for POW! WOW! Taiwan 2014.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Join us at DeNada - We're Looking for Fall/Winter Interns!

DeNada is looking for interns for the upcoming fall/winter season (September-December.) If you're interested in interning for our growing local business in Washington, DC, send us your resume today!

Whether you're interested in business, fashion, or anything in-between, intern at DeNada for hands on creative and administrative experience with a local brand. We are looking for someone who is very detail oriented, organized, reliable, enthusiastic, and ready to take on any task. 

Intern tasks include, but are not limited to: 
  • Help maintain and update our social media sites: Twitter, Blogger, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook
  • Help conceptualize pop-up shopping events, online promotions, and photo shoots
  • Assist to fulfill wholesale and online retail orders
  • Assist with everyday administrative tasks
  • Research material relating to fashion, inspirations, social media, and marketing
  • Reach out to a growing list of media and customer contacts by email and/or phone

If you're interested, and can dedicate 10-12 hours per week between Tuesday-Thursday, send us your resume, a writing sample, and potential start and end dates to 

Also, if you're a student, check with your college/universities to receive college credit! 

Feel free to email us if you have any questions at

Thank you!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Recap: 4th of July Weekend!

July 4th is a reminder that the year is halfway done. And as I have said this before,  I can't believe how time flies by so fast - and this year proved to be no different. With this in mind, I decided to take advantage of this long holiday weekend and spend it with my family.

As each day passes, I am reminded on how kids grow up so fast. In my personal life, I have learned to slow down. Slowing down allows me to acknowledge and truly cherish the moments I share with my son, who means the world to me. The moments we share together are priceless - when we giggle together, when he gives me a hug and a kiss, the times we do puzzles together, or how we share the same love for popcorn and smoothies! All these moments and more I have learned to pause and take them in, bookmarking them in my mind and heart so that I will never forget those precious times.

This past weekend, despite my tall list of to do's and never decreasing workload, I decided to spend the majority of it with my son - mommy & son day. Instead of working in my office on a Friday, we went to the neighborhood pool and park. And after having a great time, we crashed out for a long snooze. After a lengthy nap, we ended the day with dinner, a movie, then watched the never ending fireworks from our building.

The following day was the DC MEETMarket. And though work-related, my son was by my side the whole day - with the amazing help of my awesome and supportive husband, of course! For the month of August, we hosted a Summer Cookout celebrating Independence Day! With a special BBQ from Kingston Seoul, gelato by Dolcezza, root beer by Thunder Beast, and live art by Superwaxx / No Kings Collective, we had a great market day with family and friends gathered to enjoy the rest of their long weekends. Our market-goers enjoyed the day with festive patriotic decorations and entertainment by Lady Hatchet, Merry Toddlers More, and DJ Natty Boom, presented by Rock-n-Romp.

Special thank you to our sponsors and partners this month - Relay Foods, Honest Tea, Zip Car, Think First Local, Thunder Beast, Kingston Seoul, No Kings Collective, and Dolcezza - and all our wonderful vendors!

The long holiday weekend ended on high note, and I hope everyone had a lovely, festive, and safe time with their friends and family!

Below are some pictures from this past weekend, enjoy!

With my son, Atticus at the park.
Happy 4th of July!
Delicious BBQ by Kingston Seoul.
The guys at Kingston Seoul working the grill.
Gorgeous handcrafted cuffs and earrings by Metallist.
Love these fun rings by Naked Decor.
Southern Hospitality at the DC MEETMarket.
Photographer Steve L. Miller of Steve L. Miller Words and Images.  

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Health: A Change in Diet & Lifestyle.

Being a business owner and mother can get pretty busy at times. And I've realized that I not only need to be healthy for the everyday challenges at work, but to also have the energy to be fully present and energized when I'm with my son. In order to do so, I had to make a complete diet and lifestyle change. I'm not a health freak, but I've become more conscious of my daily activities and eating habits.

Eating the right foods is sometimes difficult, especially with a busy schedule. I recently got into incorporating juicing into my diet and found it to be one of the solutions for getting my daily intake of fruits and vegetables. It's the perfect way to keep my body in balance and works as a daily mini cleanse for my system. Starting the day with a fresh juice allows me to feel my best, and gives me the energy boost I need without caffeine.

Until recently, I used to think that any juice combination was healthy. However, there are many dos and don'ts when it comes to juicing. Using too many sweet fruits and not enough veggies counteracts the benefits of juicing because the amount of sugar can impact insulin levels in the body. Drinking juice on an empty stomach is also a must. Fruit and vegetables are basically juice, sugar, and water, so they digest very quickly. If you drink juice after eating then it can't go to work healing the body because it becomes stuck in the digestive system. Also certain ingredients can have a big impact on how nutritious your juice is - for instance adding ginger and lemon give juice an added detox factor.

I've learned from the likes of Dr. Oz that juicing does more than offer vitamins and minerals, juicing can prevent cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and various inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Because I live in a city, pollution is bound to be a present part of my life and I've learned that juicing can counteract some of the negatives. Chemical compounds called flavonoids and anthocyanin are found in fruits and veggies, and can guard against oxidative cellular damage which is partly due to pollution.

Working out and staying active is also important in my change of lifestyle. It's easy to make excuses to not work out, and making the effort to go to the gym sounds like a hassle, but I've always loved running. I slowly made a habit of running to my destinations like dropping off my son at daycare and found it to be refreshing. Running has become a huge part of my active lifestyle to keep my body in motion.

Everyone at DeNada is hooked on juicing, and we love sharing recipes. Here are two recipes that are perfect for a boost of energy this summer!

Healthy Green Juice

2 Green Apples, halved
4 stalks celery, leaves removed
1 cucumber
6 leaves of kale
1/2 lemon, peeled
1" piece of fresh ginger

Beet Summer Juice

1 large beet (or 2 medium) cut into wedges
1/2 lemon, zest and pith removed
2 large carrots
1 large apple, cut into wedges
1" piece of fresh ginger

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Trend Watch: Music Festival Fashion.

Because I love music and the influence it has on fashion and art, I am always interested in different trends that vary from year to year at music festivals. From Coachella in California to Glastonbury in England, summer music festivals run worldwide.

However, music is not the only component of festivals that people find important. From year to year, trends come and go within the festival fashion world. I love how different genres of music influence different fashion trends. Whether it's an electronic festival or an indie festival, the styles vary.

And though I am not capable to jet set and travel to some of these fabulous music festivals, I do love to surf the web to find trends that appeal to my aesthetic. Here are some of my favorite looks from festivals that have happened this summer:

Glastonbury Festival; photo from:

Coachella; photo from:

Coachella; photo from:

Coachella; photo from:

Firefly Festival; photo from:

Glastonbury Festival; photo from:

Governor's Ball; photo from:

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Phat Knits that Caught our Eyes - Bauke Knottnerus.

As a designer, I find inspiration for DeNada in all areas, shapes, and forms as well as from other artists and designers.

One artist that has recently captured my attention is Bauke Knottnerus, a Dutch designer who has incorporated large-scale knitting into structural forms of artwork and furniture. I've mentioned mega knitting on the blog before, but Knottnerus is taking it to the next level by creating elaborate installations with oversized PVC knitting needles and giant threads.

I love that form follows function in Knottnerus' creations. His collection titled "Phat Knits" could be viewed as a sculptural art collection or as a collection of modernly designed furniture. In an article on Trend Land, Knottnerus said, “These things I make could end up as furniture or as textiles, it’s more like creating media that can be used to construct a coat or a carpet or a curtain.”

Somehow art, design, and fashion always end up connecting back to one another. Just like one knitting loop to the next!

Bauke Knottnerus photographed by Michael James O'Brien
Photo from: