All Black Err-thang!!!

All Black Errthang! Heehee, It sounds kind of silly right? It's the name I chose for my Pinterest board inspired by the color black. When I say the title I use my hip-hop rap voice, even when I say it in my mind. 

In the world of fashion and personal style black however is the most complimentary color for every silhouette and skin tone. Its our staple monochromatic palette and a I need a chic and quick resolution because I'm having one of those days kinds of color! Its present in every collection, and known as the basic or staple color. But did you know some argue that black is not an actual color? I personally call it the neutralizer or my zero color. Its crisp, clean and buttoned up. Like a good men's tuxedo. Perfect!

I love finding inspiration in black and white photography, textures, typography and so much more. Rather than just share a photo of myself I'm giving you a glance into some of my fave pics inspired by the color black.

My Niece Aniya Jones
I Mean Its Chanel

 My Original Black & White Sketches

Feel the Vibes
(L.) The Boss- Diana Ross & Michael Jackson  (R.) James Brown

Mademoiselle Grace Jones



Day #365 ... I'm in LOVE!

I just read the post I'd written on my birthday from last year. (Day #1 #Jesus Year #33) It brought a smile to my face immediately. Not only are the few things that I shared as blessings still true, but they have been increased, as well.

This past year has been so amazing, with so many amazing life changes both tangible and emotional I know they have all been the work and pleasure of God. I can remember a prayer asking God to allow me to see his favor in my life, His glory at work, and His presence in even the finest detail. I'd previously felt that I was missing it, and missing out! I no longer wanted my daily grind and life in general to overshadow doors being opened and prayers being answered. I serve a God who loves me, loves to shower me with His goodness, and for me to receive and boast about His love.

As I reflect I remember making my requests, confessing my faith over them, accepting God's will for the outcome and giving thanks every time I thought about it.  By the time it came into fruition my heart, spirit, and mind were ready to receive them.

These are a few of the scriptures that I kept in my spirit throughout my past year...

Lamentations 3:21 
"This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope, it is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed. Because his compassion fail not they are new every morning"

James 1:18 
"Of His own will begat he us that we might be a kind of first fruits of all his creations."

James 1:17 
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above..."

Romans 8:31
"What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?"

Romans 8:38-39 
"For I am persuaded that neither... powers, nor things present, nor things to come... nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Phillipians 4:13 
"I can do all things through who strengthens me."

John 3:30 
"He must increase, but I must decrease."

1 John 4:4 
"Ye are of God... because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world."

Phillipians 4:12 
"I know both how to be abased and I know how to abound, every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need."

1 John 4:18 
"There is no fear in love... He that feareth is not made perfect in love."

One of the greatest understandings I have gained is God's love for me.  I'd like to continue this realization into my new year. May each and every amazing experience be guided by and enriched with love.

This years mantra... "I'm in Love"

#ThemeSong; Aretha Franklin "I'm In Love

The Beauty of Breaking Bread: #BLMeetUpLA

A few years back someone showed me the beauty of breaking bread with others. Think about it, history has taught us through various cultures that the process of preparing a meal and gathering together is strategic and requires care and commitment. Different tribes and/ or neighbors each bring something to the sharing table for the ritual of passing, giving, serving, and receiving one to another. Starting to see the beauty!!!
A "Love" note | Susie Cakes Bakery | A quick ice breaker

This past Saturday I had the pleasure of sitting at the Bloggers Like Me sharing table for an LA Meet Up. We were all representing our different tribes; fashion, lifestyle, hair, design, media, marketing and more. The layers of our beautiful experience kept unfolding as our similarities revealed themselves. There were some mommies, entrepreneurs, some broken-hearted, some overcomers, and a student. But we were all students... to each others lives, experiences, knowledge, spirit. We showed up eager, excited, and open. We left fulfilled, empowered, welcomed, and charged. Thank you ladies you are treasure.

Top Andree | Prescilla | LaShon Bottom: Kim | Natalie

The lesson I've learned about breaking bread is its the perfect setting for all occassions, celebrating, meeting, apologizing, and comforting. Don't you think so?

We brunched at Marmalade Cafe. I had the White Corn Chilequilles

BLMgirls Andree ( LifeNotes ) and Jana'e Holmes (Naturally Curly Kinky )

Me and Leslie ( Fashion DuJuor Daily) Those mini Polaroids are too cute!

Totally Obsessed xoxo Love

DVF The Greatest Wrapper

I originally intro'd the story for DVF: Journey of A Dress as it was first being leaked to the media. Since, I've attended the fun and flirty show with #sweetlilbabyhayden and gal-pal Lianca Lyons in tow. 
As you enter you're greeted by the hot pink foyer bookmarking notable women in variations of prints and shapes of the dresses, photos of life inside her working studios, and of course her famous Warhol portrait. As Lianca and I grazed the installation we chatted about fashion of course, boys, New York, and life in general. I love great conversation, its stimulating and always leads to food!
The more I read and learn about DVF the more I fall in love. The now 67 years young designer is still celebrating the birthday and success of her worldwide adored wrap dress in a full hot pink and prints exhibition at the Wilshire May Company Building in Los Angeles, Ca. 
Her spirit reads of a woman who is clear about her life, direct with her intentions, and sure of her style. She's confident and independent in a way that derives from experience and not out of rebellion. She is seasoned. 
I love this type of woman. 
I feel an air of fearlessness as I have researched her. I'm sure its 50% innate, and the other a combination of being well traveled, becoming a princess, and perhaps due to the fact her iconic wrap dress sold over 3 million units in its first year. 

of course her success and fairytale isn't short of naysayers. Early on she believed she wasn't "really a designer", or that her dress would ever be important. However, her bulls eye instincts of what women want to wear has leaned into hotel designs, beauty products, and an uber successful collection she designed exclusively for QVC called Silk Assets in 1991.

The Belgium Princess' affair with textiles began when she worked for Angelo Ferretti a textile manufacturer while she was engaged, pregnant, and moving to America, sound familiar! Textiles have become apart of her design signature in bold and colorful prints.

The Facts:
1. The wrap dress was inspired by the wrap top ballerinas wear over their tutu.
2. This photo has hung on Tom Fords inspiration board for more than 20 years, its on my board as well!
3. The Wrap Dress hangs in the Smithsonian
4. DVF's first fragrance was named Tatiana after her daughter.
5. DVF is the current president of the CFDA

View My Full DVF Gallery here: DVF Pics

Do you own a Wrap dress? I have a poly jersey in a solid hot pink. What color is yours? Is it full length, 3/4 sleeve, we want to know?
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Be Gracious, xoxo Love

When I wake up in the morning the first thing I do is reach for my celly. For some reason between the darkness staring through my window and the cold stale air I need to know exactly which hour of dawn I just cracked. I can almost narrate the type of day I'll have based on the hour I awake.

I scroll through my drop down menu to see how busy my phone has been while I caught some Z's. One of my favorite consistencies is my Daily Bible app. The scripture that morning was Philippians 1:15-18. What stood out to me was verses 15 and 18. "15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some of good will... 18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretense, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
...and the point of it all; Christ is being preached! 

I didn't grow up in one church my entire life. I went to Holy Name of Jesus Catholic church/school from kindergarten and elementary to eighth grade. After that, my family started going to a Christian based church. While at Howard, the few times I rolled out of bed, I frequented the schools Chapel which was the most traditional of any of the churches I'd ever attended. While living in New York, I  became a member of Emanuelle Baptist Church. Once I moved back to LA I religiously fellow shipped at St. Luke Restoration Christian Center C.O.G.I.C. And now I attend City Church LA.

Its safe to say as far as churches are concerned I have had a full plate of its religious smorgasbord . 
What has been consistent with them all, is Christ. He is the point of it all.

Does It matter what day service is on, if Christ is Preached?
Does it matter whether you sit or stand, if Christ is being preached?
Does it matter what you're wearing, if Christ is being preached? Although I'd like to think it always matters what you are wearing!
Does it matter how long the service last, what song was sang, if somebody cries, etc etc. 
Do any of these matter if Christ is being preached?
Do church anniversaries, love offerings, and memberships hold any weight to the value of Christ being preached?

Unfortunately because our society is segregated by religion, social status, and even appearances it all matters... but only up to the point where we learn about the grace of God. I have found myself on the receiving and giving end of judgement for someone not attending the same type of church as I do, the culture of the service, or for making the sign of the cross. They have no weight no comparison once I understood the beauty of His "unmerited" grace and truly accepted His unconditional love that will never NEVER leave me.

You see God's grace allows Catholics to make the sign of the cross as a symbol of reverence. His grace allows Seventh Day Adventist to worship on Saturday's. His grace allows me to have church on a Wednesday night, because my Pastor has to return to Seattle for Sunday service. All communities and cultures of faith have different gestures of devotion, servitude, and love. God's glorious grace teaches us to respect others and cherish our own. 
And when Christ is being preached in them all... "What then?...  I therein joice". Be gracious!

Totally Obsessed xoxo Love

Love Collins is a designer who blogs about life Behind-the-Seams. She is the owner of the women's custom apparel studio Love Collins Customer Clothier. Co-Owner of the popular online jewelry boutique The Pink Studs and founded the non profit organization The Fashion Hoard, which helps deserving young ladies fulfill their prom dreams.

A Fresh Coat In The New Studio

Crisp + Clean + Creative

I gave myself two weeks off to make the transition into our new place and semi get myself set up.  I'd hope to get all of the painting completed before we started moving anything in and before getting back to work.

Thanks to a few friends I managed to get my drapes up in all the rooms and some paint on the walls in the studio. Though, my miniature IKEA step stool has kept me from finishing the borders on the ceiling.

I'm glad I was able to at least dress the walls in the studio. I chose A325-B "Safflower". It leans towards so many wonderful notes of inspiration. Its bright and charming, modern yet shabby chic. Its playful, dainty, and happy! Plus it makes for a great background to my samples.

I'm very excited to finish this space and share the big reveal. In the meantime here are a few of inspirational pics to give you a better idea of the moment I'm creating.

color palette: safflower | burlap | gold | black | white

The Elements:
1. Branding is everything. I can't wait til my new logo and metallic circles arrive. #WallArt

2. The Frame Work

Crisp, sharp, and clean is the totality of my vision.  Black and white, my zero colors, create the frame work of making any space tidy and more importantly finished.  

For me strong elements of black are reminiscent of a tuxedo.  Its sexy, sophisticated and exquisitely tailored.

The use of white has everything to do with my OCD and germ-a-phobic tendencies. Its breezy clean mood reminds me of fresh linen, Sunday mornings, and open windows on sunny days. 

3. Organization

Shelves are a must, with white storage boxes in various sizes are great for housing, trim, zippers, stationary, and thread. 

4. Sparkle | Charm | Glow
The unexpected whimsical layers of colors, textures, trinkets, pictures, stationary and my grandmothers vintage pieces that reveal the colorful parts of me. 

These and more pics of creativity can be found on my Pinterest boards.

Totally Obsessed xoxo Love

Love Collins is a designer and blogs about life Behind - the- Seams. She is the owner of Love Collins Custom Clothier. Co-Owner of the popular online jewelry boutique The Pink Studs. And founded the non-profit organization The Fashion Hoard, which helps deserving young ladies fulfill their prom dreams.

Learning to Love... Your Enough-ness!!!

Yes I know "enoughness" is not a word, but hopefully by the end of this post you will get where I am coming from.Clearly using the word enough is sufficient, however I'd like to emphasize the quality and state of being enough, ergo enoughness! My notion of "enoughness" comes from the perception that no matter what you are dealing with you are enough and have enough to meet the mark.
 I recently had a catch-up conversation with a girlfriend. You know how those go, you intend to call to say "Hey! How's it going? etc." You look up, it's now 3 hours later and you've completely missed your morning routine. The idea that you weren't productive sucks, yet the 3 hours of girlfriend gabbing  is always worth it. Especially when you hang up feeling charged and encouraged.

At one point during the conversation I became bothered. She began talking about how she felt she was being a good mother towards her children, wife to her husband, or even towards herself. I was upset because I know its not true. This wasn't the first time a mommy-wife friend expressed these type of feelings. I can relate being frustrated with myself at times because I felt I was missing the "mark" on my to-do list or in my life. Its funny, the mark we think we are missing is either an outside influence or some standard we've created in our mind. Don't get me wrong standards, boundaries, and goals are necessary and productive for getting us from one place to the next. However, when they are based on someone else's timeline, skills, education, background, education... journey you will fail before you even start.

This is where the idea of loving and owning your enoughness comes into play. You, we, me are enough to create and fulfill our own paths! 

Say this, "I am enough today, to be and to do ___________________________________________."

I know managing a home, a marriage, working, and raising children can be stressful because they are so valuable and deserving of our deepest attention. When we are succeeding at one we think we're failing at another. Not so. There is no one way to have a balanced life or no one way to be normal. But there is this moment to be present and completely aware of self. Accept all that you are and all that you want to be. That's your enoughness. Start life from a state of honesty, adequacy positivity, fullness. That's God, let Him in.

As a soon to be wife and mommy, I refuse to position myself from a place of inadequacy. Nope, uh huh, not gonna do it!!!! Does this mean I know what I'm doing? Nope! To be honest, I don't have a clue. This will be the first time I've ever lived with a man. As far as children are concerned, I've never even babysat. But what I do know for sure is "Because of God...I can. Because of God... I am enough!" Can I preach for a second? My Gods very being is a state of fullness and abundance. he lacks not one good thang! His love for me is steadfast. His mercy is everlasting. His grace is unmerited. This is my starting point, my launch pad if you will. How could I ever  feel like I am not enough, or to even be my complete self when I know what I know.

Truly the point of it all is to speak life over yourself. If somone gives you a compliment, accept it. If you're good or even great at something own that. Be kind to yourself and love who you are today.

Totally Obsessed, xoxo Love

Love Collins is a designer and owns Love Collins Custom Clothier a custom women's apparel studio, co-owner of The Pink Studs online jewelry boutique, and founded The Fashion Hoard a non-profit program that supports deserving young ladies fulfill their prom dreams. 

#17 Weeks: No Name and No Sex

My avocado sized, sexless, nameless bambino and I are doing great! We're not the type of parents that can stand the anticipation of not knowing what we're having. either we're too nosey, or really excited. Personally I want to know so I can commit my heart to him or her. As of now its about 50-50 on the sex between our family and friends. I'm getting the, "What are you having... what do you want?" questions. A part of me feels guilty if what I want isn't what we actually have. Nonetheless, I pray for a healthy and happy baby. 

Now officially into my second trimester, I thank God my first trimester was
a bit of a breeze, considering I didn't find out I was baking my bundle of joy until I was 10 weeks. I had no morning sickness and any exhaustion I had, I equated it to my iron deficiency. I haven't had any re-occurring cravings but I could pretty much eat everything in sight.

Most people tell me, "Go for it. You're eating for two. Enjoy it while you can."  Oh how  I wish I could and it were that simple. I mean who wouldn't want a free pass to grub! As much I want to, I mean really want to, I know better. I have complete faith that the health of the baby and I are in Christs hands. But I need to do my part. Along with my prenatal vitamins, I'm on iron pills. Coupled with my regular a.m. walks I do with alternating weight exercises my energy has been great. I definitely have to monitor my carbs and sweets though, I was 20 lbs up on my regular weight when I found out I was pregnant. Since, I've only gained 4 lbs within the last seven weeks. So my pregnant binges are limited and meticulously monitored.

Totally Obsessed xoxo Love

Keep up with our journey. Read my first #sweetlilbabyHayden post.

#Talk Tuesday: #TheHaydensAreComing


Its interesting, this is a behind-the-seams blog. Its purpose is to show my work and process, as well as some of my personal interests. Yet I am torn with what and how much of my personal self I should give. I have no problem sharing my love story with food, soulful music, art, and of course fashion history. But I am truly private and protective when it comes to the goings-on in life! I'm sure it makes for interesting and relate-able conversation. The idea that its forever searchable, link-able, accessible on this world-wide-web... that's kind of spooky to me. 

Nonetheless, I am still willing to attempt to share... some things... a few things... baby steps!

I'm so blessed the things that are happening in my #JesusYear #33 are definitely worth writing about. I got engaged. In December my fiance and I found out we will be welcoming a #sweetlilbabyHayden (that's our last name) in July. Oh my goodness I'm going to be someone's parent!!! Aside from my custom business my girlfriend and I opened an online jewelry boutique, The Pink Studs

With all of this, a wedding ceremony will have to wait! I decided that I will take my maternity leave mid June. Which gives me 5 months to complete six custom projects, move to our new place, move and set-up my home studio, and plan a baby shower.

I can handle the work stuff, but I am definitely soliciting baby tips and tricks. So please share!
I'll be sharing this journey also via Instagram (@ilovecollins) via #sweetlilbabyHayden & #TheHaydensAreComing

I know I've put this on the blog before, but hey I told you it was my theme song. Enjoy!

#MagicMonday A Constant State of Beauty


"Beautiful things don't seek attention..."

Know who you are, what your treasure is, and what's its worth. Beautiful things don;t seek attention because they remain in a constant state of truth, knowledge and an assurance of self.

Spotted: Rachel Zoe & Love Collins Tangled In Grecian Garbs

They say imitation is highest form of flattery. Who's imistating who here?!! (L) Rachel Zoe pictured on TheZoeReport Holiday 2013. (R) Love Collins Collins Grecian Gown commissioned for A Moment with Love Collins One Night Gallery event 2010

What more can a girl ask for, shimmering gold, full draped panels in a long flowing gown. 
Are you floating on a cloud yet!!!

Totally Obsessed xoxo Love

#FridayFoodie: What I'm Craving from Pinterest

Should I feel shamed that most of my Pinterest feed is consumed by rich, olive oil infused, aromatic, colorful food? You would think that as a designer I would have tons and tons of pins and boards dedicated to fashion and other forms of design. don't get me wrong I do. I actually love the selective carefully curated boards I have accumulated and follow. 

But I am a foodie, too! A self proclaimed professional taste tester. In fact, when it comes to holidays or family and friend gatherings where we become the chefs I am usually being asked to leave the kitchen because I can't keep my hands out of the pot. The closer we get to blessing the food my parched, depraved, and starved alter ego comes out. I've got to get my hands on just a spoonful of something... anything.

Pinterest affords me the guilt free luxury luxury of sampling delicacies minus the calories. Check out the menu i put together for today's #FridayFoodie

Totally Obsessed xoxo Love

Breakfast: Overnight blueberry french toast

Lunch: Black bean avocado, goat cheese mini tacos.

Dinner: Caprese ravioli with roasted tomatoes.

Dessert: Blueberry lime cream cheese pound cake.

Hungry yet? What do you think of today's menu? 

ThinkThursday I The Journey of DVF & Wrap Dresses

              ...Within 3 years (1973-1976) Diane Von Furstenberg sold five million wrap dresses!!!!!

If you can, allow your mind to roll back to the 1970's. By this time women had entered the workforce. In all attempts to ditch the Joan Clever housewife persona and be taken seriously, the common the attire leaned towards menswear. Remember this was the era of polyester, bell bottoms, and leisure two or three piece suits. Hippy Chic, if you will.

Enter Belgian born designer, Diane, formerly princess of Furstenberg with her one piece, silk, or synthetic jersey knit wrap dress. Her answer to the equation; women + work + the desire for femininity. The flattering v-neckline and side tie that falls perfectly at the slope of the waistline. Add her now signature prints, bold colors, and the perfect size run.

More than 40 years later, DVF, the brand and the woman are both iconic.

I remember when I purchased my, DVF wrap dress from a vintage store in California. It's a collarless jersey knit style in hot pink. Its definitely one of those pieces that I'll archive partially for myself and for continued design inspiration.

As a designer, one dreams of that moment where design meets necessity on a global scale. Only a few have been able to do it, and do it so well.

Totally Obsessed xoxo Love

Custom Bridal Design The Love Collins Way

Sometimes people will bless us with kind words and simply we'll reply, "thank you". Not knowing that in essence they are speaking life to what is later to be birthed. More than a dozen times people have told me, "Your gift will make room for you". Those words enrich me every time I hear them. They encourage me when I forget the weight of the gift I'm packing and even when I can't navigate my next steps. 

When I think about those words, I have to acknowledge three things. 1. This gift was given to me. 2. This gift is bigger than me. 3. This gift will lead me. 

I can remember being very resistant to the bridal market. Though I love the whimsy and fantasy of Vera Wang, Marchesa, and Monique Lhullier, I was completely rebellious to the idea of continuously creating a princess ball gown. But isn't it funny how life will lead us... if you allow it to! (Oh yes I did, just compare my work to the top bridal designers.) more

I have found my own unique way of making a woman's fantasy come alive with my custom bridal gowns and the experience of building them. My closed fittings, no picture inspiration necessary design approach allows me the opportunity to really connect with my brides complete range of desires. 

My favorite moments include; the moment they select the dress sketch, the first time they step into the dress, and of course on their wedding day. I have been afforded the privilege to dress my brides and share those tense yet quiet still moments right before they become a Mrs. Its priceless. Its forever stamped in my heart, and I get to do over and over again. That's a beautiful space to operate my gift. I love that!
I recently heard someone say, "How much resistance you feel is in direct proportion to the weight of the call we are supposed to fulfill." I'd like to leave those words with you. Resistance which is fear, has a sneaky way of masking itself in different forms; excuses, laziness, a lack of money, resources and on and on. I can confess many times I have allowed resistance to keep my gift from leading me. However it is my confession of faith that, my gift is making room for me!

Totally Obsessed xoxo Love

Click here to view more Behind the Seams photos and sketches of Love Collins and her brides.