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Posts Tagged ‘style expert kara birkenstock’

Golden Globes 2015 Best Dressed

Hooray for Hollywood! Awards season is officially underway with a star studded red carpet at the 72nd Golden Globes on Sunday night. As always, the beautiful faces of TV and film showcased their svelte post-holiday figures in statement making ensembles from the world’s top designers. Here are my picks for the Best Dressed at the 2015 Golden Globes:

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Emma Stone in Lanvin

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Chrissy Teigen in Zuhair Murad

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Christine Baranski in Zac Posen

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Amy Poehler in Stella McCartney

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Reese Witherspoon in Calvin Klein

Photos Courtesy of InStyle.com

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Fashionista Gift Guide 2014

Gifts for those who live and breathe fashion – your style savvy, best dressed, go-to gal for advice on what to wear and how to score the most coveted style finds.

TOMS for Target T-Shirt

Give a gift that gives back this holiday season! Socially responsible brand TOMS has teamed up with mega-retailer Target for a limited edition collection of gifts that help those less fortunate around the world, One for One. For every purchase of this laidback, boho-inspired tee, one week of meals will be provided to a family in need.

(3)toms for target tshirt $16

Target, $16

Leopard Spot Scarf

Leopard is the new black, but your fave fashionista already knows that! The classic print goes with everything and brings a refined sophistication to any look. This lightweight, ethereal scarf is perfect for accessorizing with its classic color combo and hints of metallic.

loft_leopard scarf $34.50

Loft, $34.50

Floral Sleep Mask

Every fashionista needs a good night’s sleep, and there’s no better way to achieve one than with a luxurious sleep mask! This 100% silk sleep mask features a bold, tropical floral design which will inspire dreams of an island beach escape. The black velvet, adjustable strap assures a comfortable fit so style savvy sisters can sleep soundly and awake rested!

Elizabeth W_Sleep Mask $22

elizabethW, $22

Baggu Duffle Bag

Well-traveled fashionistas will appreciate this go-to duffle bag, ideal for weekend getaways and last minute trips. This durable bag is perfect for all the necessities and also happens to fit just right in overhead bins. Available in black or nautical stripes, this simple and stylish carryall can also be monogrammed for an extra personal touch.

West Elm_Baggu Duffle Bag $89   $8.50 Monogrammed

West Elm, $89

Samsung Gear S SmartWatch

Gone are the days when a watch could only tell time! Wearable tech is all the rage and these super smart devices are the epitome of functional fashion. The Samsung Gear S connects fashionistas to their phones so they don’t even have to carry it with them anymore. Take phone calls, send texts, listen to music, track footsteps while exercising and more, right from your ultra-sleek smartwatch!

samsung gear s $249.99 w2yr contract

Verizon Wireless, $249.99 (with 2-Year Contract)

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Emmys 2014 Best Dressed

Is it Award Season already? With the VMAs on Sunday and the Emmys last night, our favorite celebrities were back on the red carpet for another round of glitz and glamour! TV’s biggest night brought a bevy of beauties in light, colorful and ultra-feminine gowns that were perfect for the dog days of summer. Here are my picks for the Best Dressed at this year’s Emmy Awards:

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Heidi Klum in Zac Posen

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Hayden Panettiere in Lorena Sarbu

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Michelle Monaghan in Giambattista Valli Couture

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Sarah Hyland in Christian Siriano

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Samira Wiley in Christian Siriano

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Debra Messing in Angel Sanchez

Photos Courtesy of EOnline.com & InStyle.com

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I’m so happy to announce that Style Bites, the TV series I wrote, directed, produced and hosted, is airing daily on The Lifestyle Network! Check it out at 6am/12pm/6pm/12am PST on DirectTV, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. Full episodes are also available on YouTube.

I was blessed with the opportunity to create my own show back in January and it’s been a whirlwind ever since! I haven’t had a chance to recap my wonderful experience as it’s been an extremely busy few months! So, I’d like to share a bit about my adventure with you now…

Style Bites is based on this blog, Your Gal Kara: Your Glam, Affordable and Luxurious Resource.

Watch Highlights from Season 1 of Style Bites here!

As you all know, I am a true fashionista! I love fashion magazines, watching (and walking in) runway shows and learning about new designers and collections. And like a true style savvy gal, I love a fashionable deal! After all, I’ve been working in the fashion industry since I was a teen; from modeling, styling and producing shows to creating PR campaigns for new and renowned brands, I’ve done it all!

Some of you may not know that I come from a family of restaurateurs. The Thai women in my family have been in the restaurant business since I can remember, and food has always been at the center of my life. I love to cook and experiment with new spices and recipes. And my biggest love in life is to travel and explore world cuisines! 

It seemed like a natural fit for me to create a show that combines my two loves, fashion and food! Style Bites grants exclusive access to the latest restaurants and hotspots, offers tips on how to achieve the latest trends and reveals coveted secrets from fashion and beauty insiders. "Style Bites is the ultimate bible on chic living," said Olivia de Jesus, Managing Director for ABS-CBN International North America.

Style Bites

Glam Guide breaks down the hottest fashion trends from the runway to the red carpet. Learn practical tips and discover affordable finds to help you live with flair. Featured guests include Halston Heritage, Liza Stewart Showroom, L.K. Bennett, IFBB Pro Gigi Amurao, Aerithe and Linea Pelle.

Designer Dish grants exclusive access to the industry’s top designers, exclusive events, fashion previews, and beauty hotspots. Indulge with an in-depth look at today’s most coveted style influencers. Featured guests include celebrity brow expert Kelley Baker, Traffic Women at the Beverly Center, butterflyzebra, Lou Razon, Calleen Cordero and Sew Down.

Style Bites also gives audiences a Taste of the Town, a premier table at must-try restaurants that guarantees to satisfy cravings for unique food finds and mind-blowing cuisine. Featured restaurants include supperclub LA, Crème Caramel LA, Crustacean Beverly Hills, White Rabbit Truck, Paiche and Cornell Winery.

And if just a taste is not enough, learn to Cook Like A Chef. Walk into the kitchens of renowned chefs and tastemakers as they share their most celebrated recipes that you can make at home. Featured chefs include Coreen Peralta of Tia Conchita Brands, Frankie Garcia of Local 1205, Nick Nishi of Hamakaze Sushi & Izakaya, Marius Blin of Esterel, Penpim Jittorn of Thailand Plaza and Carolos Tamazos and Lisa Crossman of Waterloo & City.

Check back here for behind the scenes photos from Style Bites season one, as well as full length videos of all 24 segments. I’d love to hear from you to see what you think of the show, so feel free to leave your comments below. And if you have a favorite designer, fashion tip or restaurant that you think I should feature in a future episode, let me know too!

Thanks to everyone for your love and support! xo

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Simply Hair with Kristoff Ball

When I first learned of my appointment with celebrity hair stylist, Kristoff Ball, I have to admit I was pretty nervous. The same hands that have cut and styled Brad Pitt and Gwen Stefani’s hair were going to work their magic on my hair! What would he be like? Will his posh Beverly Hills salon be intimidating? What will he think of my hair and will he want to chop it off like all the other stylists I’ve visited in the last year?

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I’ve had a huge fear of making drastic changes to my hair for as long as I can remember. My hair has been long and natural my entire life. I’ve always been envious of those that can reinvent themselves by changing their hairstyle or color.  People often say to me, “It’s just hair Kara, it’ll grow back,” or “Kara, you’re too attached to your hair.” Well yes, I am attached to my hair as a matter of fact. It is stuck to my head and I’m the one that has to look at it and deal with it every day!

Kristoff 1

Not only has Kristoff Ball worked on the hair of some of the biggest names in Hollywood, but he has an incredible background. With a humble upbringing in Long Beach, California, Kristoff taught himself how to cut hair at the age of twelve after receiving “one too many bad haircuts” from his father. Soon enough, he became known as the “Long Beach Hair Guy,” styling hair by day and immersing himself in to the world of Rock and Roll by night. His life-changing gig came when he had the opportunity to open for No Doubt and Sublime, thus beginning the lifelong friendship he has with Gwen Stefani. While other stylists have tried to take credit for her famous platinum blonde locks, it was in fact Kristoff who was responsible for this beauty phenomenon. And he has the photographic evidence in his Beverly Hills salon to prove it.

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Since relocating to Los Angeles, Kristoff has worked at many renowned high-end salons, including Privé, Fred Segal Beauty and Chris McMillan. I was drawn to the fact that he loves long, “beachy” hair and is known to be the stylist that won’t chop off a client’s hair. He likes to keep things simple and prefers to preserve length, especially when hair is healthy. It seemed like kismet – perhaps Kristoff Ball would be the perfect person to transform my hair.

Pulling up to the Kristoff Ball Salon, I knew I was in for something special. Parking was a breeze in a small private lot. As soon as I walked in I spotted a man with a tight fitting black t-shirt and short brown hair. This was not the image of Kristoff that I had seen online or in the glossy magazines. Before I could open my mouth to say hello, Kristoff Ball extended his hand with a friendly smile.

Kristoff Ball Salon Overview with Swing

The salon interior is both bold and inviting, a representation of Kristoff’s eclectic personality. The space has a glam, punk-rock vibe complete with sleek chairs, oversized mirrors, leather rope swings (just for fun) and two strategically placed deer heads, one with the Yves Saint Laurent logo as antlers. An avid art enthusiast, Kristoff also displays a print by the notorious Banksy, which is uniquely signed by Paris Hilton.

Kristoff YSL Two heads

After chatting about his new shorter locks, we headed to his station to discuss the dreaded question, “What are we doing with your hair today?” A few minutes in his white leather chair and Kristoff says, “Your hair is beautiful, why do want to change it?” He continued, “The key to great hair is to keep it simple. You have a great head of hair, all you need are a few tweaks to make it perfect.” And with those words, I was whisked away to the shampoo station by Kristoff’s son, Noriel. Small talk led me to learn that the Kristoff Ball Salon is truly a family business. Kristoff built this business from the ground up, his wife Cassandra manages the salon and Noriel, who recently graduated from the Academy of Beauty in Culver City, is now his father’s apprentice. We chit chat about the U.S. presidential election and how this was his first time executing his right to vote. While laughing about Roseanne Barr as a candidate, I’m finally relaxed as I receive one of the best scalp massages I’ve experienced.

Kristoff Shampoo bowls

Back in Kristoff’s chair, I instantly feel like one of the family. He shares stories about his childhood in Long Beach, we connect over my Thai/Filipina background, and he casually talks about his besties and longtime clients, Gwen and Paris. As in Stefani and Hilton. While it may seem like the typical Hollywood namedropping, it’s actually bittersweet as he affectionately talks about his loyal friends with love and respect. He describes what it’s been like growing up in this business, the hustle and flow of the beauty industry. Despite having worked with some of the biggest names in the business, owning two posh salons in Tinseltown, and being offered multiple reality TV shows, Kristoff is somehow grounded. I tell him this and he replies with a chuckle. But really, Kristoff is the most down to earth Hollywood hair stylist I’ve ever met, and I’ve met my fair share over the years. His philosophy is simple –he does hair to help women feel pretty. He’s not in it for the fame or the endorsement deals, but purely to see the joy on a woman’s face when she’s thrilled with her cut or color.

karaandkristoff

A few snips here, a couple layers there and before I know it there are three and a half inches of my hair on the salon floor. I gaze in wonderment as Noriel sweeps my hair away with a blow-dryer, and I realize that I’ve been lost in a really great conversation. Somewhere between the acupressure like massage and the hilarious stories of hanging out with Snoop Dogg in the LBC, I suddenly have a new do. A cup of tea and an amazing blowout later, I stood up to reveal my new look. Kristoff took my hair from long and lifeless to layered and luxuriant. I arrived wishing I had somebody else’s hair, but left finally loving my own.

Cut & Blow-dry with Kristoff Ball, $250. The Kristoff Ball Salon, 8621 Wilshire Blvd., Suite J, Beverly Hills, CA 90211. Salon hours are Monday-Saturday, 8am-6pm. (424) 777-0978

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Los Angeles Fashion Week Spring 2013 Review

The Spring 2013 collections for LA Fashion Week were the perfect representation of SoCal’s laidback and eclectic fashion scene.  LA designers did not disappoint, showcasing lines that will surely lift your spirits come springtime!  Here are some of the hottest trends that hit the LA runways:

Snow White

Soft shades of white, ivory and cream dominated the runways during LA Fashion Week.  From classic to bohemian silhouettes, key looks were updated for spring with an airy, feminine flair.

Sheer collared blouses, high waisted skirts and sheaths were romantic but refined at AGAIN and Luciana Salamone.

Whimsical maxi dresses in luxurious silk and lace were highlights at Mike Vensel and Odylyne, adding a modern and elegant touch to this key style.

Pretty Prints

From geometric to flirty designs, vibrant prints were in full swing for spring 2013.  Printed pants were both cropped and billowy, proving to be a strong statement piece for fashionistas.

Ladylike florals showed up on skirts and cropped jackets at Basil and Living Doll Los Angeles, pairing beautifully with sheer tops.

And fanciful dresses were adorned with artsy motifs at Naven, reminding us all why we all love spring!

Denim Remastered

The essential fashion item, denim, had a complete makeover for spring 2013.  While jeans are a style staple, Louis Verdad took this versatile fabric to new heights.

Denim suiting was sexy and sophisticated, with shorts, peplums and lace adding to the refreshing designs.

Caplets and bomber jackets in lightweight denim will be the perfect outerwear for the warmer season ahead.

And the LBD may have new competition with this denim number, a one shoulder belted dress with a full lace skirt!

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A Day On Set:  Access Hollywood & DSW Shoot

I had the pleasure of working with the lovely Kit Hoover from Access Hollywood yesterday!  We gabbed about Fall shoe trends from my favorite place, DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse!

Kit and I had a blast talking about all the must have boots and pumps – from western booties to ladylike heels, DSW is your go-to spot for all your Fall footwear needs!  Check out Access Hollywood next Thursday, October 4th at 7:30pm to see the segment.  Happy Shoe Shopping!

Click here to see the video from Access Hollywood!

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