a girl in menswear: nadia sarwar from froufrouu

I spotted this chick a few times during NYFW and was delighted to find her again on The Cut's "20 Most Stylish People at London Fashion Week." Nadia Sarwar, of style blog FrouFrouu, exemplifies a woman who puts a modern funky spin on a classic menswear look. Oh, and she's also stunning. I first saw her in these red velvet vintage Dungarees:

 Some more shots of her perfectly constructed outfits:

Yeah...I know. Color palette: perfect. Tailoring: exact. Oh and she's a photog too:

I'm salivating.

Follow her on her blog here.
Follow her on twitter here.


street etiquette x me in my lace skirt

Last night I ventured downtown to the Apple store in SoHo for a "Meet the Creators" presentation by my pals Joshua Kissi and Travis Gumbs, the fellas of style blog Street Etiquette. Some of you might remember the interview I did with them last year, if not, definitely check that one out. The night was moderated by Giltman editor Andy Comer - they showed some videos, some posts, and then opened it up to a Q&A. These dudes are the most humble and ambitious guys ever, and they have some big things in store for us. 

The crowd was the most gorgeous, well-dressed crew of folks (men mostly) that I've ever seen in one place. One of them being Rog, who took the above photo of me - in the lace skirt I won in a vicious bidding war eBay last week.


the ol' ball and chain

Back in the day - like the early 90's day - I adorned myself in millions and millions of funky necklaces and bracelets. They didn't come off ever - not to sleep, not to shower - they came off when they fell off, and then they were simply replaced.

And while I was totally into old stones and crystals and hippie beads, there were two materials that served as my accessory staples: hemp and ball-chain. 

I'm pretty sure I left both in the dust by the early 2000's (though I continued to wear skirts over pants well into college...I know). But this weekend I bopped into a hardware store to revisit my love-affair with ball-chain. This one's not going anywhere for a while - reunited and it feels soooo right. Observe...my newly ball-chain-adorned wrist:


the last of NYFW...maybe

I know - NYFW is over and here I am still posting about it. Well Rog keeps coming out with photos, and I can't help but share.

Kadeem and me, outside the Edun show
Rog and me in the Maritime hotel, waiting for Petrou\Man show

from the back

I just found this picture of myself on a random blog (taken during Fashion Week). In case you ever wondered what the back of my head looks like...


love affair with lace

I swoon over lace. Lace shirts, lace bras...I'm bidding on a long black lace skirt on eBay as I type - true story. Lace is sexy, pretty much no matter what. It's revealing but still a bit mysterious - it's badass and elegant all at once. Below are some of my favorite moments in lace:

In the time that I put that collage together a bidding war on the lace skirt has begun - 22 minutes left - wish me luck...
It got really aggressive at the end there but...
Won it!


two greats & me: gordon voidwell x rog walker

I got down with a junkyard photoshoot the other day: Rog Walker shooting Gordon Voidwell (aka Will Johnson) for an upcoming project.

Pretty awesome. Get exciteeeed for what's to come!!!

Prezzie: New Balance 871

Very warm thank you to the folks at DKC and New Balance for hooking me up with these New Balance 871 Cross Training sneakers

Those who know me know I'm a huge gym rat - but that I've also suffered a few sports injuries in the last year (a pulled psoas muscle here, an ankle stress fracture there...). After lots and lots of physical therapy I'm finally getting my butt back in the gym, so I'm super excited that I've got some sparkly new shoes to take me there.


New York Fashion Week Video!!

I made a video of my time during NYFW F/W 2011...hope you enjoy :)

New York Fashion Week 2011 from Mihal Freinquel on Vimeo.

Emerald City

When it comes to noticing runway trends, I usually leave that to the fashion-speaking bigwigs - people who say things like "deco-beading" and "draped bodices" and "siren-silhouetted gowns". Me, I'm more of the mind that trends emerge from the young artistic class, not the major designers in their gigantic lofts with their gigantic bank accounts.

BUT! I will say this. There was one trend that certainly stood out to me at the shows this year:

(from left via style.com: Malandrino, Badgley Mischka, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Halston)

Green!! The only shade of green I own is olive/army green. Looks as though I might have to re-evaluate...I LOVE these shades. So maybe the Devil Wears Prada "cerulean speech" had some validity after all. 

Probably not.


NYFW F/W 2011...and the beat goes on...

There's still technically 1 day left of NYFW, but for me it ends today.

Here's an assortment of photos to help bring y'all down from the high-fashion high (photos Rog Walker):


More shows & pics and  after the jump!


More NYFW 2011: Tracy Reese & Kevork Kiledjian

I'm so appreciative for all of the NYFW opportunities I've had this season - the invites came in a'plenty and I've been running around like a maniac trying to get to everything on the calendar.

Yesterday two of my favorites were Tracy Reese and Kevork Kiledjian.

TRACY REESE (photos: style.com):
Did somebody say BO-HE-MI-AN??!!! Maxi's, chunky sweaters, fur, 70's prints and high waists o'plenty...I was super inspired by this collection and it made me realize that I don't wear nearly enough long dresses and skirts. That's about to change in a major way.

Then in a radical aesthetic shift - and many many blocks downtown - I found myself sitting front row at KEVORK KILEDJIAN...so I decided to take my own photos:
Leather. Bondage. Badass. Unlike Tracy Reese, I can't (and would never attempt to) pull any of it off...but it got me all hot & bothered regardless.

More to come, I'm doing my best to stay caught up with all of this. Also, there's a NYFW video in the works...stay tuuuuned!


Edun & Petrou\Man Save NYFW Day 3

Yes, NYFW F/W 2011 was definitely sucking. Luckily it picked up by day 3. With my boys ROG and KADEEM in tow, we hit up two shows on Saturday that were just what I needed to prevent my NYFW death. Cause of death: Boredom. I didn't even bother taking my own photos because Rog was there and he's the best there is.

Observe: Edun (photos: Rog Walker)...

...a huge departure from last season's solid colors and simple silhouettes - this collection was layers and layers of bulkiness, flowiness, clashing prints...did I mention the layers? Here are my fav looks (photos: style.com):

And then there was the Petrou\Man presentation. Perhaps one of the best presentations I've ever been to...certainly one of the most creative. The collection itself was majority dark: black, deep red, charcoal...but it was totally off-set by the bright makeup and scenic decoration. I'll let Rog's photos do the talking:

Jaw-dropping. And the music in the background was this rhythmic tribal drumming...A+.

So thank you to Edun and Petrou\Man for making a previously dull NYFW much more alive. More to come...stay tuned!



Interview: Rog Walker on "A Love Story"

I’ve never really been into Valentine’s Day. I think I’ve actually only celebrated it once in my life…with an ex-boyfriend, who cooked for me and we watched movies. Which is basically what we did all the time…so ok, I guess I’ve never really celebrated it.

Meet my good friend and photographer extraordinaire: Rog Walker. You might remember him from a recent post - does this jog your memory?

He’s never really been one to celebrate Valentine’s Day either.  Oh wait, there was that one time: “I think I was 16 and my friend and I decked out his parents' house,” Rog recalls. “We got some Hypnotiq and that red stuff, what's it called? – I don’t even drink – and we had our girlfriends over. I didn’t even really like the girl that I was with, I actually liked my friend’s girlfriend [laughs].  The only thing I remember about Valentine’s Day prior to that is those little heart-shaped candies with the sayings on them. I was so socially awkward, I never had a valentine growing up. I mostly spent Valentine’s Days with crushes, not valentines.”

To honor the day his way, Rog put together a photo story - "A Love Story" - that will debut tomorrow on Valentine’s Day proper. 

Don’t expect a classic love story though (duh) – this is not a piece for the conventional or the nostalgic or the mushy. He explains: “Valentine’s Day is traditionally about love, and when we think about love we usually think about people in love with other people. I wanted to take a look at love from a different perspective: of loving something. As [the photo story] progresses, you see the people in the couple falling more in love with who they really are as individuals – with their own identities – and as this happens it causes them to grow more distant.”

This is obviously something you've experienced firsthand?
“As I’ve come to find my identity and who I am, I’ve definitely gotten pushed away by people – because of the way I dress...the career path I’ve chosen...the priorities I've made. I’ve spoken with other people, other artists who have gone through the same thing – so I wanted to create something that those people could relate to. [My last relationship ended] because she wanted the norm; she wanted to get married and have a husband. By me choosing to be me – by me choosing my art - we fell out.“

Crap, so do you think it’s impossible for an artist to be romantically involved with another artist?
“I don’t think it’s impossible. [As an artist] you just have to find somebody who is as secure in his or her identity as you are. I did some research a while ago about why super creative people…icons…have sucked at relationships. I’m looking at all these people – Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol, [photographer] Richard Avedon – and I’m noticing that when you’re an artist and you’re all about your identity as an artist, that consumes your whole life. If something doesn’t fit into that world, then it doesn’t fit into your identity. With Mozart, whose wife’s name was Constance, they worked really well together. But if you research her you’ll find that she was a composer as well.  Artistic identities have to cross in a complimentary way or [the relationship] will fall apart.”

Best love songs ever?
1. Kate Nash, “Nicest Thing” -
2. Bob Marley, “Is This Love”
3. Lauryn Hill “Nothing Even Matters”

“That Kate Nash song puts me in freakin tears,” Rog says with a head-shake. “My favorite line is something like: ‘I wish that you knew when I said two sugars, actually I meant three.' That's what I want...I long for that."

Check Rog’s website (CLICK HERE) – "A Love Story" will be up tomorrow.  

Photo subjects: Kadeem Johnson (CLICK HERE) & Nicole Alyse (CLICK HERE)


New York Fashion WEAK

New York Fashion Week is here. So far...mostly underwhelming...hopefully the best shows are yet to come.

Yesterday my girl Nyne and I hit up the Independent Fashion Blogger Conference at Milk Studios. Check her bloggo HERE.

The conference was basically day-long chit chat about the business of blogging - where it's headed ("we don't know"), what the set standards are for the industry ("there aren't any"), and how to succeed ("there's no real formula yet"). Obviously it was awesome.

Went to several shows today. Lots of lines, lots of show-goers in denim shorts over tights (as predicted), the models were lanky and the clothes were...predictable. Hoping tomorrow's shows will turn things around. STAY TUNED!


oh hey, I'm on a Blackberry commercial

Well...my Twitter handle is anyway. My girl MALUCA MALA is actually the one on the commercial, and when she checks HER TWITTER my names pops up!

I tried to embed the commercial directly in the blog but it plays over and over automatically...so click HERE to watch it.

Catch it? Yeah that's me - MIHALdot. Miss it? Watch the vid again, or here's a screenshot:

Bonus that my tweet is promoting my blog...love it!!

Not following me on Twitter yet? You better start! CLICK HERE.


home office

I can't think of a better person to do some creative partnering with than photog extraordinaire ROG WALKER.  You might remember me mentioning him HERE in a recent post.

We're collaborating on something mayjah together, and a few nights ago he came to my house/office/live-in-closet to do some work and snap some pics.

Note: I am wearing shorts with my tights. I am not wearing leggings - as pants or otherwise - nor do I condone anything that has to do with leggings.


5 things I can't wait to see at NYFW

Well it's February - and to the fashion industry, that only means one thing: New York Fashion Week is just around the corner. 5 things I can't wait to see...?

1. Kate Lanphear:
Last season I think I saw her 3 times total, and they were all amazing. Lanphear, the Style Director at Elle Mag is a style icon...my style icon...and I look forward to seeing her signature platinum shag and her majorly menswear-centric outfits. That, and also I love how she always manages to look really rushed and over-it and tired but put-together all at once.

2. The latest Jeffrey Campbell:
Any style blogger worth her salt owns a pair of Jeffrey Campbells - and if she's cool enough to be invited to NYFW shows, I guarantee you she'll use the opportunity to flaunt her latest pair. 

3. Free crap:
It's not NYFW without a bunch of free stuff, and I whether or not I want it/need it, I take it. From makeup to hair products to coffee to hand massages - it's all unnecessary and all awesome.

4. Models doing weird things:
Streetstyle photogs convince models to do the craziest things! I don't know what they say to them, but it seems as though the models always comply. 

5) Cutoff "vintage" denim worn over tights:
NYFW always seems to be a haven for this trend. I'm guilty of it too so I'm not hating...just observing. What I will hate on is the use of the term "vintage" - just because your jeans are tattered, don't make them vintage. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.