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Sunday, October 31, 2010

It Has Been A Year...

Photo by IMS Photographic

Since I worked at the Victoria Comic Convention on October 31, 2009 representing Dragon Impact.

It was a lot of fun, I met some pretty cool people, including actresses Chase Masterson & Margot Kidder, actor William Katt, Lloyd Kaufman of Troma Entertainment, and others.

So, as a Halloween anniversary,so to speak, I decided to post a few older photos of me in the Princess Leia slave costume...

Above: Me in the booth :)

Above: Chase Masterson and I

Above: William Katt and I :)

Do you have any photos with celebrities?


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Featuring New York Fashion Designer Jacci Fredenburg

Jacci Fredenburg is an established fashion designer from New York city. She has designed wardrobe for films, television, photoshoots, and theater.
Jacci has an amazing corset collection. Her corsets have been featured in several magazines, as well as in stores in LA and NYC. Some of Jacci's clients include rock stars, models, television personalities, pin-up girls, and burlesque performers.

She is very talented, creative, and extraordinary.

AVIVA: How long have you been a clothing designer/wardrobe stylist?
I started designing corsets while living in Los Angeles in 2003. Upon my return to NYC in 2004 I began designing costumes for theater and film, as well as styling fashion editorials and ad campaigns.

AVIVA: You have a very unique style, where do you get your inspiration from (name any designers, etc)?
I get my inspiration from absolutely everywhere. I am very inspired my strong,confident, sexy women, and always begin my design process by envisioning what they would wear. I am also very inspired by rock ‘ n roll, musical theater, pin-up and retro style, tribal, and various elements of colorful Tibetan and Indian fabrics.
As far as designers and other inspirational people, I have always been inspired by Cher,Bob Mackie, Anna Sui, Alexander McQueen, Audrey Hepburn, and Marilyn Monroe.
I like to design things that are very fun and sexy, and walk the line between naughty and nice. For example………….take the personality of Audrey Hepburn and add a rock ‘ n roll spin to it. I am very inspired by the art of seduction. I would say that I can take almost anything and put a sexy, elegant, rock ‘ n roll spin on it.

AVIVA: What excites you about the fashion industry and being a clothing designer?
I love that the fashion industry is always changing and pushing the envelope, and that as a designer I am in a position to create trends rather than to follow them.

AVIVA: Do you have any crazy/funny/interesting photoshoot story that you'd like to share?
It’s funny that you ask this. I have actually joked numerous times that I should write a book telling of all of the ridiculous stories of things that go on backstage and on set at photoshoots. I have tons of stories, but a few that stand out as being the most ridiculous. I would say that fitting g-strings for the cast of “ The Full Monty,” doing a photoshoot with 15 dogs, and sitting in a rehearsal from midnight to 5am while the cast rehearsed a blaring trumpet scene take the cake.

AVIVA: What is the best way one can contact you to purchase a corset and do you offer discounts to models who would like to buy your clothing for a photoshoot?
The best way to contact me is to visit my website: There you can view the current collection, as well as my Styling and Costume Design work. You can purchase a corset by clicking on the icons on the website. You can also contact me directly with questions or custom orders at As far as discounts, I do selectively offer discounts to models for shoots. I offer 20% off stock items if a release is signed stating that I will receive a CD of images from the photographer.

AVIVA: How did you get started with clothing design and where have your designs appeared(feel free to name publications/movies, TV, etc)?
I have always known that I wanted to be a designer. I went to a special fashion program in High School, then graduated from FIT with a degree in Fashion Design, and from FIDM with a degree in Theater Costume Design. My corsets have been featured on numerous blogs, as well as in Lucire, Un Chin, Bust, Mob Candy, and NEU Magazines.
I have also designed for quite a few theater shows and movies.

AVIVA: If you weren't styling or designing clothing, what else do you see yourself doing (name other passions and interests)?
If I weren't styling or designing clothing, I would probably still be in the fashion/entertainment industries, but perhaps on the production side of things. I could see myself having my own full service production company or photo studio.

AVIVA: If money/time were no object, what is your ultimate goal in the fashion industry? Do you have plans on expanding into Canada (ie. boutiques, etc)?
My ultimate goal in the fashion industry is to design Broadway shows, feature films,style fashion and ad. Campaigns, and be known for my edgy style and cool demeanor in making magic happen. I want to be the hot designer for spectacular stage performers and personalities, and have my corset collection in boutiques around the world.

AVIVA: Do you have any additional comments?
“ Rock the Style, Check the Ego, Insert a Dream………………..Now flash that trademark
* grin* ”

You can see more of her amazing work on her
WEBSITE and Model Mayhem.

I would like to thank Jacci for her time, and I wish her tremendous success in her career!
Stay tuned for more images, more interviews, and more!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Black Bikini with Sprinkles of Colour

What is your favorite type of swimsuit? One-piece, 2-piece or sexy monokini?
(let me know in the comments below about your favorite swimsuit that you like to wear)

Image Credits: IMS Photographic, Model/Make-Up/Styling: Me

I got this swimsuit a couple of years ago, and it still hasn't lost it's true colours/shape :)

Stay tuned for more photos, interviews, information, and giveaways!

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Splash of Colour from Empress Jade Vintage

I went back to some of the images that were taken a few months ago, and this one caught my eye. :)

Wardrobe from Empress Jade Vintage,
Photo by IMS Photographic,
Make-Up: Gracee,
Models: Gracee, Me, and Shay

We had a great time!

What is your favorite colour to wear?
(Answer in the comments below)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Creative and Fun Ways to Get Fit Without Breaking Your Budget

I was recently asked by a reader to publish another fitness post.
I did some research on getting fit, as well as drew from personal experiences, and the experiences of my friends. :)

Here are are few ways to get fit without spending money on gym memberships:

1. Park a block or two away from where you are going. For example, when you go grocery shopping, always park in the farthest spot away from the store. The extra distance that you would be walking will allow you to shave off a few calories, although you will most likely not lose weight.

2. Skipping. Get a jump rope and see how long you can do it. It's fun, and helps with your coordination and cardio, all of which are important. Aim for 5 minutes the first time you start, but then try to get to half hour or longer.

3. Do push ups, squats, swimmer ab exercises and sit ups at home. You can do them while watching TV and during commercial breaks. You don't have to do a lot right away. Instead, when starting out, do a few, then take a break, then do a few more and see how many sets you can do.

4. People sometimes give away fitness equipment that is taking up too much space in their houses (therefore exercise equipment could be had for free on sites like Craigslist, UsedEverywhere, and Kijiji). Take advantage of that. If you have the room in your house to fit a mini gym, by all means, that's the best thing! You can get a Nordic track (I have one), and a Weider Home Gym. Even if you might have to shell out some money for a home gym system, it will still end up being cheaper than a gym membership with all the admin fees, taxes, registration fees, etc. Click here to read my post about why I don't have a gym membership.

5. Take up jogging. You don't have to train to be the next Paula Radcliffe or Haile Gebrselassie (both at one point held marathon records), but you can certainly jog in your neighbourhood or the local track. When I got started with running, I subscribed to Runner's World Magazine in order to see beginner, intermediate and advanced running routines that are designed to build up stamina, increase your distance and speed.

6. Get a stability ball. It costs approximately $20, which is FAR less than some gyms' administrative fee. Then, Google "stability+ball+exercises" for instructional videos and images of all the different exercises you can do with the ball. I own one, so I sit on it when I'm on the computer, and I do all kinds of ab work, in addition to exercises for improving posture. You can also find more tips on using the stability ball in the book, Ultimate Core Ball Workout: Strengthening and Sculpting Exercises,
which is not expensive and has had positive reviews from people.

7. Opt for using the stairs in your building. If you have stairs in your apartment building-use them! Forget the elevator! I remember reading that you can burn up to 100 calories per day if you take the average flight of stairs 6 times per day. When I was younger, I used to go up and down the stairs at my house while listening to music. I enjoyed it and it was fun, so I know that you too can put on some of your favorite tunes and hit the stairs.

8. If you are having difficulties getting started and keeping motivated, try signing up for a local run for a good cause. Running for charity is a beautiful thing, and you get the physical benefits for your participation. Therefore, it's a win-win situation. The only cost to you is the entry fee, and you will usually get a T-Shirt, not to mention the fact that most proceeds go to help a worthy cause. I've ran and fund raised for the Terry Fox Foundation and The Heart & Stroke Foundation, and I can tell you first hand that both were some of the BEST running experiences I've had.

9. Purchase a workout DVD. They are generally not expensive and you can learn a few great exercises. There are workout DVDs for all skill and fitness levels.

10. Become a dog walker. You can actually get paid for walking other people's dogs. If you love dogs, would like to make some extra cash, and can commit to a regular routine, then this option is definitely worth a try. Again, it is a win-win situation in the sense that the dog owner benefits by not having to worry about walking the dog, and you benefit by making a few extra bucks while getting exercise.

11. Start your own fitness group. Get a few friends together and pick out some physical activities that you enjoy, such as volleyball, hiking, basketball, walks in the park, and anything else that makes you move. The best part about doing this is that you stay motivated because you do it with people whose company you enjoy. Workout buddies are great!

12. Be adventurous! Can you think of an physical activity that you would like to try? Now is a great time to start! How about rock climbing, skiing, rollerblading, cycling, rowing, kayaking, kickboxing, rafting, dancing, swimming, etc? All are great.

13. Thanks to Nintendo Wii Fit, people can now get in shape while playing a video game. I have never personally tried it and I'm not into video games, so I cannot give a testimonial nor review.

14.Join a volunteer organization that helps disabled people find activity partners. It's a great way to contribute to your community and get some exercise time into your routine. Such organizations match your activity interests with those of the person with special needs.

I will add more ways to get fit in upcoming posts as well.

Lastly, 101 Workouts for Women: Everything You Need to Get a Lean, Strong and Fit Physique is a book published by Muscle & Fitness Hers Magazine, which gives people tons of ideas on how to work out.

My fitness background consists of gymnastics, long-distance running, track & field, basketball, badminton, and volleyball. I have won several events throughout my high school involvement in track and distance running and have trained with the best coach in Western Canada, some of whose athletes have gone on to Olympics (while they went on to incredible athletic careers I went on to the Internet....just kidding). In university, I took a few courses on fitness and nutrition with an award winning health and wellness consultant, and the host of an internationally syndicated television fitness show.

In the comments below, state your favorite way of getting exercise without going to the gym :)

I wish you all the best in achieving your fitness goals! I know you can do it when you put your mind to it.

Thank you for reading,

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Shopping at RW & Co.

A few weeks ago, I went to RW & Co in the Mayfair Mall and I bought a suit, which consists of a business jacket and dress pants.

RW & Co sells various clothing items, from stylish outerwear, to suits, to office dresses to casual wear. The clothing is well-made, and generally looks good.

I find that prices are pretty reasonable at RW & Co. For example, the suit that I bought was only about $160, which is the price that some places charge for just a jacket.

However, if you are a very small lady, then you should go a size down when trying on clothes at RW & Co. A size 4 at RW & Co would fit a person who normally takes a size 6.

I will post photos soon :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Introducing: Faye Smith-Make Up & Hair Artist!

Faye Smith is a Make-Up Artist and Hair Stylist originally from the UK, currently residing in Vancouver. She has always excelled in art and knew that she would enjoy make-up artistry. Faye is now working as a freelance makeup and hair artist in all areas of the industry from beauty, bridal, photo shoots and fashion shows to films, commercials, musicals and much much more.

She is amazing at what she does, and has the drive to succeed. Faye has already worked on multiple fashion spreads in magazines, and I truly believe that there will be more to come!

I'm very happy that I was able to interview Faye for this feature :) Enjoy!

Image Credits:
Vouture Magazine Cover
Makeup & Hair Artist-Faye Smith
Clothing Designer- Amanada Ventura
Photographer-Anthony Bortolussi
Model-Sarah Stephenson
Dresser-Jen Cameron

AVIVA: How long have you been a make-up artist/hair stylist?
I began my training as a makeup and hair artist in England at the beginning of September 2008. I had my first job assisting my teacher on the set of an Opera in January 2009. So I guess I officially began my career almost 3 years now! Time certainly flies by these days!

AVIVA: What got you into make-up/hair artistry?
I have always been most interested and achieved my highest grades in creative subjects such as art and design and textiles. I did my A-Levels in England so I could go to university if I want but the only thing I had interest in studying was art and I was a little worried about what I could actually do with an art degree in terms of a clear career path. I took a year off working a few different jobs while I did some part time courses; photography and makeup artistry. It all began there!

Image Credits/Queen:
Makeup & Hair Artist-Faye Smith
Photographer, Clothing Designer and Dresser-Nina Pak,
Model-Nicole Larson

AVIVA: What excites you about being a make-up artist/hair stylist?
I absolutely love the fact that I work with new people every day. Every job is different. Every day is just as exciting!

AVIVA: Do you have any make-up artists that inspire you; if so, who?
I guess most people would give you a huge celebrity name here but I would actually say my good friend, Christa Monroe. I was appointed the position of Key Makeup Artist for the film shooting and live performance of a musical named, "Sweet Mystery Musical". I was given three assistant artists and Christa was one of them. Paying huge attention to hygiene and having an amazing personality meant I got along with her from the word go. We work together regularly now, refer clients to one an other and have become very good friend. She is well on her way into the movie industry and I admire her for that. The movie stuff is not easy! That's for sure!

Image Credits:
Makeup & Hair Artist-Faye Smith
Photography-Lush Photography (now known as Sugar Creative by Melanie Jane)

AVIVA: What do you believe sets you apart from other make-up artists in the industry?
Well I can certainly tell you I am giving it all I have got. I am trying to hard to get my name out there as much as I can. I maintain my website myself. I maintain my model mayhem, facebook, emails. It is a 24:7 job and I don't ever stop thinking about makeup. I believe I give my clients a high quality service and also show them a good time. There is no good in having your makeup done if the person doing it doesn't make you laugh.

Image Credits:
Special FX, Prosthetics, Makeup Artist, Hair Stylist, Clothing Designer & Dresser- Faye Smith
Photographer-Blanche Macdonald
Model-Charlene Sierakowski

AVIVA: If money/time were no object, where do you see your career going in 5 years?
You know, I have no idea. I am literally taking every day as it comes and seeing where I go. I have no real target. I am literally just seeing what fate brings to me and working hard to draw it to me sooner rather than later.

AVIVA: What has been your greatest lesson learned as a result of your involvement in the beauty industry?
Don't let people walk all over you. In Vancouver especially, people really do use you. As a student, that was fine. I wanted the experience and would do anything for free. Now, I have to think about me and my needs. I cant spend $30,000 on training, $5,000 on a makeup kit, topping it up a cost of $500 a month and not get anything back for it.

AVIVA: What are some of your most notable credits/accomplishments?
Multiple magazine spreads; Vouture, Urban Wedding, Vancouver View, Fashionberry. A few wonderful music videos, Rumi and Matthew David. I have worked with some amazing clothing designers such as Jacqueline Conoir on promo shoots and keying fashion shows. I have accomplished so much but have so, so far to go!

AVIVA: Do you have any additional comments?
Just a thank you for contacting me and interviewing me for your blog! The more exposure the better. I wish you the best of luck in your modeling career and don't forget about me! Send me emails every now and then. I often need to help hire models for various gigs. The more people you know, the better ;)

You can check out Faye Smith Makeup & Hair Artist here:
Email to hire:
Phone: 778-788-3552
Also, check out Faye's Facebook Group

I would like to thank Faye for the interview, and I wish her continued success in her career!

Stay tuned for interviews, fitness tips, and much more!

Friday, October 15, 2010

That Special Yellow Sparkly Dress

There are a few reasons why this dress is special to me. Those reasons have nothing to do with the price or the attractiveness and elegance of the dress. It only cost me 120 Rubles, which is about $4 CAD.

So, then why do I value it?
Well, there are several reasons:
~I got it in Russia when I was 9 years old.
~2 days after I got the dress, the place where I bought it went out of business and closed.I really liked shopping there, because even when I was 9 I saw that the clothing being sold there was attractive and yet very inexpensive.
~Additionally, my great grandmother, who died at age 94 was still alive when I bought it.
When she saw it on me, she said, "Oh, wow! This dress is too big for you!".
I said, "I know, but one day I will put it to good use".

And, I am fairly happy that I was able to uphold my word when I told my great grandma (RIP), that one day I would wear it well. Only now does it actually fit.

Image Credits: Photo-IMS Photographic, MUA:Shawni Heigers
Location: Red Dragon Downtown Victoria in Chinatown.

I am definitely going to shoot again in this dress, except that I will be going to a different location to do so.

Stay tuned for more images, interviews, and just plain good times!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

International Photographer Spotlight: Stela Alves

Photo is property of Stela Alves

Stela Alves is an established, internationally traveling photographer who shoots a variety of styles. Her work has been published in several newspapers and magazines in Brazil and Europe.

I'm very thankful that Stela was able to make some time and allowed me to interview her.

AVIVA: How long have you been doing photography?
I’ve been into photography for 15 years now.

AVIVA: What led you to become a photographer?
Actually, I wanted to become an architect but I studied journalism. There was a class about photography which I took part in and when I saw photographs developing there, that’s when my passion for photography started.

Photo is property of Stela Alves

AVIVA: Do you believe that it is better to specialize in one genre of photography, or to shoot everything?
Personally, I think it’s more interesting to not just focus on one genre of photography but to get as many experiences as possible. There’s just so many interesting things to take pictures of, so many fascinating things to discover worth taking pictures of.

AVIVA: What has been the biggest influence on your development as a photographer?
On my first job as a photo journalist in Brazil, I interviewed Pierre Verger, a famous photographer and anthropologist. He said that one shouldn't look at too many other pictures, so that you don’t get influenced. That’s a very good advice anyone wanting to become a photographer should heed, because that way, you can find your own style.

Photo is property of Stela Alves

AVIVA: Where has photography taken you (ie. travel, etc)?
I’ve been to 32 countries. My last trip was to Asia (Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia). If you take a look at you can see a lot of the places I’ve been to and taken pictures of.

AVIVA:How long have you been working on your blog, Streetstyle by Stela?
I started my blog at the end of June, so it’s been 3 months now.

AVIVA: What excites you about being a photographer?
Photography is about being interested in the real nature of things. Seeing that and getting in contact with a lot of different people from different countries with different backgrounds, that’s what makes it so interesting.

Photo is property of Stela Alves

AVIVA: Do you have any additional comments?
Let me just say that whoever wants to become a photographer should try to find one’s own style, no matter what kind of genre you are interested in. Take Annie Leibovitz’ or Helmut Newton’s photos for example: if you look at pictures by them, you instantly recognize them because of their unique style.

Again, I would like to thank Stela for her time and I wish her continued success in her career.

You can see more of Stela's work on her WEBSITE and don't forget to check out her blog

Come back for more features, more interviews, photos, giveaways, and industry news!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Alexander Tome: NY Hairstylist Spotlight

Alexander Tome is an awesome hair stylist working out of New York City. He specializes in photo,runway, beauty, and bridal work.

He has worked for many international clients, including magazines Kurv, Page, Vanidades, Supermodels Unlimited, Chaos, Stilo, Filler and Harrod's.

Alexander's work has also graced the runways of Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week.

Double Beauty:
Photographer: Tanya Kechichian
Makeup: Fernando Haddad @ Amy Kirkman
Hair: Alexander Tome
Wardrobe: Davis Carrasquillo
Models: Heather @ Muse and Julia @ Q

AVIVA: How long have you been doing hair?
I'm a relative newbie to the business. I've been doing hair total about five years, but I've only been freelance and doing session work for about two and a half years.

AVIVA: What excites you the most about being a hairstylist?
Well, it's a constantly innovative market. We're at a time in the industry where there are always new technologies coming out to help us achieve things that before we never thought possible or could only be done with a ridiculous amount of work. I also love that as a session stylist I'm constantly meeting new and interesting people on every job that I take.

Beige Beauty Shot:
Photographer: Janira Martinez
Makeup: Elizabeth Gerbino
Hair: Alexander Tome
Model: Elisabet @ Major

AVIVA: What do you feel has been your greatest accomplishment in the fashion world?
Well, I'll be honest and say that I don't think that I have achieved anything too stellar, but I'm doing my third NY Fashion Week event next week, so that's definitely exciting. If I had to pick my top accomplishment, though, it would be connecting with L'Oreal spokesperson Johnny Lavoy as my mentor. He's taught me so much, not just about hair, but my attitude as a stylist and overall career aesthetic.

And I just got an editorial an editorial in the hair fashion magazine Highlights. You should eventually be able to see the story on My Fashion Database ( I'm pretty excited about that!

B/W Sweater Dress:
Photographer: Robert August
Makeup: Elizabeth Gerbino
Hair: Alexander Tome
Model: Jenny @ Code

AVIVA: How did you get started with hairstyling?
Well, I started out as a failed art student at Frostburg State University in Western Maryland which I left after one year. I worked a summer of retail hell and then my mom actually urged me to check the new Paul Mitchell school that opened near me. As soon as I stepped in the door, I knew it was for me. While I was in school I worked at a successful salon in Rockville, MD and after I graduated, I snipped the strings holding me and moved to NY with my friend and fellow hair stylist Devin.

Filler Magazine Summer 2010
Photographer: Sebastian Piras
Makeup: Angelique Velez
Hair: Alexander Tome
Wardrobe: Gabrielle Swan
Models: Unisex Salon

AVIVA: Do you have any tips on how to make hair shiny and silky, as well as get rid of flyaway hairs?
You absolutely must take care of your hair, first and foremost. Using professional quality shampoos and conditioners that are formulated for your hair type is your first step. If you color your hair, then deep conditioning masks once or twice a week. If your hair is dull, coarse and unruly, then I love to use Moroccan oil as a blowout serum. It keeps your hair slick and shiny against some pretty tough conditions. A light mist of some workable light hold hair spray like Sebastian's Reshaper Zero Gravity over the top should take care of any flyaways.

AVIVA:Do you have any products that you can personally recommend using in order to minimize split ends and improve the overall health of hair?
The single most important thing you can do to avoid split ends is get trims regularly. Every six weeks is the average time of need, but several of my clients that don't color their hair or style it very much can go upwards of 2 or even three months without serious consequences.

Fro Fashion:
Canvas Magazine - DIY Issue
Photographer: Tanya Kechichian
Makeup: Jenny Kanavaros
Hair: Alexander Tome
Wardrobe: Davis Carrasquillo
Model: Valentina @ Q

AVIVA: If money/time were no object, what is your ultimate goal with hairstyling?
My main ambition had always been to open an elite hair school with campuses around the world that my students would spend a couple months in each to learn how hair is treated in different cultures. Most people don't realize it, but In Japan, the UK, France, and other places, they have totally different methods of hair styling. And beyond the methods, I want my students to be citizens of the world. A wider view of the worlds cultures can only ever help someone's career and spiritual health.

AVIVA: Do you have any additional comments?
I'm just so thankful that I get to wake up every day knowing that when I head off to work, it's to do something that I love and to be surrounded by people that I love and respect. Nothing is better than a day on set charged with creative energy.

You can see more of Alexander's work on his WEBSITE and you can follow him on Facebook
Stay tuned for more interviews, insights, tips and giveaways!
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