Tag Archives: Maryland Fashion Blog

Quick Q’s with Sharon Neal of Boho Designs

25 Jul
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to interview John Tilley of SINJIN. After the interview, he asked me if I knew of Boho Designs, a local jewelry designer he often collaborates for photoshoots as well as fashion shows.  Of course, I had been introduced to Boho Designs during my days of covering events for Raw Baltimore.
John helped me make the connection with Sharon Neal.  With over 30 years, Sharon along with her business partner are the masterminds behind Boho Designs. It’s a brand that infuses bohemian style with ethic influences that work perfectly with John Tilley’s garments.
When did you realize you wanted to venture into jewelry design?
“Jewelry designing for me started when I was about 10 or 11 years old,” Neal said.  I  was stringing beads in my Dad’s Art class that he taught in the community.”
What inspired you to create Boho Designs?
“Boho Designs (Beauty of Handcrafted Originals) started in 2008 when I was showing my nephew how to create jewelry instead of    purchasing a mass produced piece from the store,” Neal said.  He caught on very fast so we decided to make and sell jewelry.”
What was the first piece of jewelry you made for your business? How has your designs evolved since your first piece?
“The pieces that I created were simple headed earrings,” Neal said.  Now I created eclectic necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings. I have bottom more intricate with my designs.”
Where do you get your design inspiration from? 
“My inspiration for some of my designs come from African Art influences with eclectic, bohemian vibes,” Neal said.
Anything else you like to share?
“I just wanted to add entrenuership takes passion,” Neal said. You must really want to put in the time to drive your business. I do it for the love of the art of Boho Designs.”
Find out more about Boho Designs here: https://www.facebook.com/bohodesignsboutique

Boulevard of Chic Returns August 15

25 Jul

Boulevard of Chic (BOC) is back in August!


August 15: Boulevard of Chic VI – Fashionably Loud at the Horseshoe Casino


Jam out to 12 local DJ’s & Headliner, DJ Gazzo for the DMV DJ Mixathon by HeidnSeek Entertainment at the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore Plaza, while you eat, drink, & shop at the Boulevard of Chic Fashion Truck Rally by Media Star Promotions. *Should you want to get some AC, more dining, gaming & entertainment options are conveniently inside.

-DJ’s play the plaza in a friendly competition for the Judge’s & Popular Vote prizes.
-BLVD of Chic Fashion Truck element brings retail to Horseshoe Casino! Shop some of Baltimore’s best mobile boutiques & pop-up shops.
DJ Winners Announced
-DJ Gazzo Headlines 



Complimentary registration w/ Eventbrite RSVP


*MUST BE 21 Years old and older to attend this event! 



BIG SUMMER $100 Gogo’s Retread Threads Shopping Spree Giveaway

11 Jul

I’m happy to announce that Stacey Chambers and I are teaming up for a giveaway!



What you could win? 

Win a $100 shopping spree on the Gogo’s Retread Threads vintage bus!

Who wants my moolah to shop on this award-winning vintage bus?


How do you enter to win?

Guess what! There are three ways to enter! 

FACEBOOK  (Must like Ms. Charm’s Chic and Gogo Retread Threads Facebook Pages)


When you see a graphic like this posted on Facebook or Instagram. . .


Leave a comment with your answer to this question: Why do you deserve a $100 vintage shopping spree?  


Example: Because I love Gogo’s and I want to meet Ms. Charm of Ms. Charm’s Chic. 



OR, INSTAGRAM  (Must follow Ms. Charm’s Chic @mscharmschic and Gogo’s Retread Threads @gogosretreadthreads 


When you see a graphic like this posted on Facebook or Instagram . . .


Leave a comment with your answer to this question: Why do you  deserve a $100 vintage shopping spree?  Be sure to @mscharmschic and @gogosretreadthreads when leaving a comment.


Example: @mscharmschic @gogosretreadthreads Because I love Gogo’s and I want to meet Ms. Charm of Ms. Charm’s Chic. 


Share Gogo’s Retread Threads Facebook business page via Facebook or Instagram.




The giveaway will start on  July 12  and end on July 24.


Good luck everyone! And a special thanks to Stacey Chambers of Gogo’s Retread Threads for making this giveaway possible.


XO Ms. Charm


P.S.  Here’s the small print about the giveaway…

  • You must like Ms. Charm’s Chic and Gogo’sRetread Threads on Facebook. OR, you must follow @mscharmchic and @gogosretreadthreads.
  • This contest is open to Maryland residents.
  • Winner will be contacted via message on Facebook or by email. If our team does not hear back within 24 hours, a new winner will be selected in your place. Limit one comment per entry.
  • Multiple comment entries will not be considered.


*An in person meet-up will be scheduled between Stacey and the winner.  

Quick Q’s with Giselle Melrose, Baltimore Beauty Artist on the Rise

4 Jul
How did Ms. Charm meet Giselle Melrose?
Back in 2013, Ms. Charm had the important and huge task of contacting all the Raw Awards Nominees for Raw Baltimore. At the time, Giselle Melrose was focusing on the artistry of hair and had been nominated as a Hairstylist of the Year. She was a pleasure to interview.
Of course, we have seen each other around town on many occasions throughout the years. Now, Giselle Melrose is emerging makeup artist often collaborating with great local photographer, Syranno.
I always wanted to give Giselle her very own feature on Ms. Charm’s Chic. And here it is!
Say hello to Giselle Melrose, the Baltimore make-up artist on the rise.

Tell me a little bit about yourself. 

Well originally my name is Virginia Smith and I am a Baltimore Native! I am 25 years old now (just had a b-day lol) and my primary job is a sales associate at Sally’s Beauty Supply. I am owner of two cats, Augustine and Mongo and 2 turtles, Dale and Brennan. My favorite movie to date is Vampire In Brooklyn and my favorite food is salmon. I have been a makeup artist for almost 4 years and I’ve been a hairstylist for 5 years.
What inspired you to venture into make-up? 
To be honest anything can spark some creativity in me. I am constantly on social media, whether on the morning on my way to work so it really doesn’t take much. I work in a beauty supply store as well so I meet people of all walks of life and that definitely helps with that. My store caters to everyone including professionals so I am always swapping advice and ideas with people which will later lead  a makeup post later on or a blog post to my site.
Who was the first person you tested your make-up skills on? What do you remember about your first time doing make-up?
My first makeup client was actually a model for a photo shoot. She wanted a smokey eye a nice lip and I had only been out makeup school maybe 3 hours lol! What I remember most about that was it was soooooo heavy handed and dark. I was never so excited to do makeup in  my life but afterwards I realized it was a bad idea..
3 Makeup products every women should own
  • A Great Nude Lip Stick, something that she can dress up or down
  •  A Volumizing Mascara because we can’t always run a get lashes
  • A Great Full Coverage Foundation because without it makeup will take a lot longer lol
Describe your personal style.
I am a pretty laid back person 40% of the tome do to work BUT when i can you can call me Mariah Carey! I am always in heels if I can and I love a great statement piece that I can dress up or down. Makeup wise is a different story, if i could I would wear glitter and a dramatic eye everywhere I would but there’s never that much time before work. But I guess to sum up my style would have be in one word….FUN!
Instagram: https://instagram.com/_themelroseexp/

MICA Fashion Star Spotlight: Aqeel Malcolm

28 Jun

The “Ms. Charm’s Chic tradition” continues with sharing the fashion story of recent MICA, Maryland Institute College of Art, graduate. Some alumni featured on Ms. Charm’s Chic include: Erin Sudeck, Jordan Matthews, Christy Chong and Skylar Wilson to name a few.


I am happy to add Aqeel Malcolm to this list.


“I’m fascinated by the link between fashion and identity,” Malcolm said.   There is a tremendous amount of history and culture embedded in textiles and fashion, and there have always been a relationship between fabric, clothing, and the human body.  Before I discovered my love for Fiber art, I use to be an Illustration major.  My first class as a freshman at MICA was Intro to Illustration, and while in that class I immediately knew illustration was not meant for me.  So I dropped the course and enrolled into Intro to Fiber instead and absolutely enjoyed it!  That’s when my interest in art pertaining to the body began.  I changed my major to Fiber with a studio concentration in Experimental Fashion.  Not only was I taught how to pattern and construct garments, but I learned other processes that have allowed me to create the type of work I make today.”


Photo by JohnSisk

Photo by John Sick

At MEDIUMRARE during MICA Fashion Week this year, Malcolm showcased a unforgettable collection that turned hair into a wearable garment. 

“Fringe, my collection from MEDIUMRARE, was inspired by the barbershop,” Malcolm said. I’ve began weaving fabric with hair one year before I created this line and I wanted to further explore the connection between hair and masculinity.  I used the barbershop as inspiration because it is a space created specifically for male grooming but it’s also a space for men to interact with each other.  Growing up, I’ve experienced a lack of intimacy between me and the men in my family and that is why I wanted to investigate how masculinity is construed today.  Hair comes in many textures and colors.  Whether kinky, curly, straight, or wavy, hair is a material many humans experience.  Hair acts as a metaphor for intimacy and connectivity.”



Photo by John Sisk

Photo by John Sisk

 How would you describe your experience within MICA’s Fibers program? 

“There’s no doubt that my experience within MICA’s Fiber Department was incredible,” Malcolm said. I’m going to miss the resources and tools that are available in the department, and at the school.  Also, It was fun seeing the many approaches, ideas, and styles from each artist in the community.  Many of my peers were so driven and each person had a clear vision for their work.  Everyone, both faculty and students, were supportive of each other.  I’ve made connections and friendships that I believe will last a lifetime.”


Photo by Zeina Zeitoun

Photo by Zeina Zeitoun

What has been your favorite class you have taken at MICA? Why? 

It’s difficult to chose only one!  Most of the courses I’ve taken at MICA have been very valuable.  During my freshman year I took Intro to Fiber with Valeska Populoh and that was when I realized I wanted to make work relating to identity.  In Intro to Fiber we were introduced to weaving, sewing, screen-printing, knitting, crocheting, basketry, dyeing, and more.  During my sophomore year, I took both Surface Resist Dyeing with Chrissy Day and Garment Design and Production with Melanie Lester in the fall semester.  I think these two classes were the most valuable for the kind of work I’m interested in making.  However, Woven Imagery with Mary Smull was perhaps my favorite class since weaving is my primary focus in my studio practice.  I enjoy building fabric from scratch and controlling every thread in the process.



How has your garment design skill evolve over the years? What was the first garment you made?  

“Considering that I’ve never sewn or designed garments before coming to MICA, I think my garment design and construction skills have improved tremendously during my years as a student,” Malcolm said.  The very first garment I made was a short-sleeve button-down men’s shirt.  I used silk organza, black felt, and lace fabric.  I screen printed barcodes onto a sheer silk organza material, so when the barcodes were scanned with a smartphone or scanner it would read “Masculinity.”  It’s uncommon to see shear, or revealing, fabrics such as lace and silk organza used in menswear.  I wanted to challenge our perception of what’s trendy, or acceptable, for a man to wear.  It was such a strange combination of fabric but I really believe this was the starting point for me as an artist and designer.  I’m definitely going to revisit it and try to push it even further.”


Photo by Zeina Zeitoun

Photo by Zeina Zeitoun

What are your plans for your future after you graduate from MICA? 

“I graduated from MICA on May 18,” Malcolm said. I will be interning at Kova Textiles in New York City this summer until August.  I’m continuing to experiment with weaving techniques on the loom while also building my portfolio.  Eventually, I’m going to apply to artist residencies and possibly go back to school for a MFA in Textiles, Fiber, or Material Studies in the future.  For now, I’m focusing on networking and finding other opportunities to showcase my work, and of course I’m looking for a job.  I plan to stay in Baltimore for at least another year before I venture off.”

Musically Chic: Hunter Hooligan

28 Jun

Who is Hunter Hooligan?

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Tell me a little bit about yourself. 

I’m Hunter Hooligan and I am a singer and songwriter in Baltimore.  I am a passionate storyteller and my goal is to tell the story of our times within music.  I make what I like to call Post-Genre Pop— meaning that I pull from a lot of different influences to make my music.  I love jazz and blues, Dinah Washington and Bessie Smith, but also alternative electronica and top 40 pop, M.I.A. and Kesha.  When I’m working on my own music, I try to let each song tell me what it needs.


How did you know you wanted to be a musician? 

I could sing before I could talk.  So, from the very beginning of my life, music was very important to me.  It’s a huge part of my identity.


What do you remember about your first live performance?

I would sing at all of our family get togethers on holidays from a very early age.  Music was a centerpiece of who I have always been.

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What musical artists are you inspired by? 

The list is really too long to be comprehensive: Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf, Dinah Washington, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, the Shangri-Las, Janis Joplin, Fleetwood Mac, The Velvet Underground, Yoko Ono, John Lennon, Elton John, Whitney Houston, Bruce Springsteen, Divine, Queen, The Eagles, Bob Dylan, Cher, Madonna, David Bowie, B.I.G., Gil Scott Heron.  Just to name a few.  And any list of artists I am inspired by would be remiss without some contemporary people who inspire me: Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga, Lana Del Rey, Kesha, Erykah Badu, M.I.A., Florence + the Machine, Junglepussy.  I really like people who are very self-created and yet so true to themselves.  I love artifice that expresses an inner truth that can’t quite be captured otherwise.  I also tend to just love female artists.  I think there is so much misogyny in the music industry and women in music are constantly discredited and undervalued, but I think women’s perspectives are so important.  I think women have always been doing incredibly interesting things with music.


If you had to describe your personal style in five words or less, what words would you pick?

Childish, expressive, improvised, adaptable, ever-changing.


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Who are some of your favorite Baltimore musicians? What do you love about the Baltimore fashion scene? 

I love DDm/Bond St. District, TT the Artist, Mighty Mark, Schwarz, Abdu Ali, Rye Rye, Beach House and Future Islands.  I love the diversity of the Baltimore fashion scene.  You have someone like DDm who might show out in some gem-studded Nikes and TT who’s hair might be blue one day and then blonde the next, or Abdu Ali who might be in a dress or an amazing head piece, or Beach House who has a very ethereal style.  There’s SO much happening here and people don’t even realize.  The fashion here is crazy and artists’ personal style here is so well developed, brave and individual.

Does your stage style differ from your personal style? Why or why not?

Not really.  My stage clothes are interchangeable with my personal clothing.  But my personal clothing is quite performative sometimes as well.  It really just depends.  Style, clothing, fashion are all tools for me.  They help me express what I’m feeling in the moment.  I’ve performed in a very witchy, all-white, flowing kind of ensemble, I’ve performed in very structured suit jackets with epaulettes, I’ve performed in a white t-shirt and denim cut offs.  My personal presentation has very much to do with how I feel in the moment and not any steadfast allegiance to a personal style preference.


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What do you love about playing live? 

It’s a chance to meet new people and it’s a chance to bring the music to life.  I love working in the studio and I love the writing process, but when you are playing live, those songs take on a new life.  It’s very special.


What do you look for when picking out a stage outfit? 

Something that reflects how I feel, but also the sound of the music.  Right now I’ve been performing material from my acoustic EP, Proof of My Youth.  The sound of that music is very free and on-the-run.  It reminds me of the desert and the highway.  It has momentum to it, it has an urgency to it.  When I play, I wear things that help me get in that mindset— leather jackets that remind me of the highway, little tshirts I’ve gotten at gas stations, denim cut offs I like to wear in the summer because I would rather be naked, honestly.  I love jewelry.  Lots of fake gold.  But also silver and gemstones— lots of rings of turquoise or amethyst.  A friend gave me a silver Louis Vuitton lock pendant and I hung it on this cheap silver chain from a thrift store and I love that mashup.  I love taking expensive pieces and mixing it with cheap, tasteless pieces.  Why do we value some objects so highly over others?


What are your top three favorite stage outfits? Why? 

There’s a suit jacket I love.  It’s a sleeveless, black velvet piece with matching silver epaulettes.  That’s a go to for me.  I love performing in that— it’s somewhat of a signature piece for me.  I have this chainmail scarf/headpiece that I love to wear when it feels right.  There is a leather jacket that my grandmother’s boyfriend gave to me, which he wore as a young motorcyclist in the 1980s, going across America.  It has pins and things all over it, emblems of the open road.  It has a lot of sentimental value and so I love wearing that.



What are your plans for the summer 2015, well music wise? 

I recently just spent a week in the studio working on some new material to complete the EP I released digitally in November.  This summer I will be re-releasing it as a physical disc with five new songs.  I worked on those in the studio and finished them up, now this EP feels truly complete.  I naturally tend to favor longer collections (twenty track albums and that kind of thing) so a five track EP didn’t feel finished to me.  There are 10 songs now on the release, but I still consider it an EP and not an album.  That’s important to me.  This is not my debut album, but it is still an excellent introduction to who I am as a singer and songwriter.  These 10 songs say a lot about me as a person.


Anything else you want to share? It can be random. 

I’m working with quite a few new producers and I’m very excited about the direction my music is taking.  Things are really coming together and I urge everyone to stay tuned….

Check out Hunter Hooligan here: 

Hunter Hooligan Twitter

Hunter Hooligan FACEBOOK

Musically Chic: The Last Year

21 Jun

Who is Niki Barr of The Last Year


First, let’s look back at how Niki Barr first became interested in pursing a musical career. When you have a house filled with family members playing instruments like the drums, bass, guitar and keys, you can’t help to be influenced. Add being introduced to vinyl and tapes of bands like REM, Depeche Mode and The Cars, there is no doubt that the desire of becoming a rock star would enter into your  mind.

“When I was in elementary school, my music teacher encouraged me to sing, Niki Barr said.  I think he realized I had a pretty good ear for pitch and singing.  I probably have him to thank the most for making me believe that music wasn’t just a passion of mine, but something I could actually be a part of making.  I tried a lot of different instruments from piano to clarinet to drums, and finally guitar.  The guitar made sense to me because I could play and sing at the same time and from the age of 15 and on, I started writing my own songs.”


What do you remember about your first live performance?

“It was scary,” Niki Barr said. To this day, I still struggle with social anxiety.  I think all the performing I’ve done has helped me manage it better, but it’s there.  I played often on the weekends throughout high school, just me and my guitar.  I remember my first performances as a teenager were at local bars and coffee shops. I vividly remember the smelly, crusty house microphones and 5 to 7 people in smoke-filled bars.  Things used to race through my mind, like “what if I forget the lyrics?” and “what if my voice cracks?”.  To be honest, performing in front of 5 people is WAY more scary than 1,000s of people.”

What musical artists are you inspired by?

  • Hole
  • Garbage
  • Bjork
  • The Breeders
  • No Doubt
  • Alanis Morrisette
  • PJ Harvey
  • Poe



What’s the best part of performing live?

“The audience, Niki Barr said. I like watching their faces light up when the big chorus hits.  I like the uncertaintly of knowing whether they’ll respond to things I say in between songs.  I’m sure it’s the same feeling broadway actors get on stage.  No one show is ever the same.  It’s exciting!  The studio is for organized chaos.  Our live show is just chaos.  Things break, someone gets hurt, someone gets pissed off that things are breaking.  It’s fun and scary all at the same time. “


Describe your personal style in five words or less.

On Stage: Pre-Loved (usually find my stuff at consignment or thrift stores), Spontaneous, Vibrant
Off Stage: Sophisticated Rock Chic


Does your stage style differ from your personal style? Why or why not?

“It does a bit, Niki Barr said. My personality is much louder on stage and my style tends to match that.  I’ll wear a short skirt with leggings, colorful crop top, faux fur, and colorful makeup.  Off-stage, I actually don’t like wearing makeup at all.  I may use some concealer if I didn’t get enough sleep or some highlighting on my cheeks and eyes, but that’s about it.Some stage pieces do end up in my “casual” outfits.  For example, I have a white studded faux leather jacket that I love and wear it all the time.”

What are your top three favorite stage outfits? Why? 

This is tough because I try not to repeat outfits as much as I can, even if it means changing out one piece.  Overall, I have my go-to items for comfort.  I don’t want any wardrobe malfunctions on stage and I don’t want to think about anything else, other than performing.  I always wear a pair of boots.  I have a really cool pair of silver metallic boots that I love.  They’re very flashy and cut through our often dark stage show.  I also like any top that’s low-cut.  I’ve got small boobs and I like the way low-cut tops look on me.  Otherwise, I like tops that show off my arms.  I work out a lot to keep myself sane and my arms show it.  I feel strong in tops that show off my arms.



The Last Year PLANS FOR SUMMER 2015

We’re finally releasing our full-length record!!  Yeah!!  We have a bunch of tour dates coming soon, too.  We also started a video series called the “Living Room Sessions”, where we film and record our version of a cover song in our living room.  So far, we’ve done a song by Sneaker Pimps, The Cardigans, Fiona Apple, etc.  These are all on our YouTube Channel: tlyofficial.  Our next one will probably be a song by The Cars.  We also just started a Patreon page to help fund our Living Rooms Sessions and future music videos.  You can check it out at Patreon.com/TheLastYear



Check out The Last Year here: 

The Last Year SITE

The Last Year FACEBOOK




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