Liora Manné is a trailblazer in textile design. After completing a dual master’s degree in North Carolina, the Israel-born artist ventured to New York City where she launched her business, now nearly 25 years in the making. Today, her handcrafted works of art are on display at iconic locales from Radio City Music Hall to the Met. The secret to her success? The uncommon needle-punching process of LAMONTAGE™, where synthetic fibers are cut, blended, and layered by hand to form artful patterns unachievable by traditional tufted and handknotting techniques.

Over the past two decades, from managing a 20-person team in West Chelsea to personally training over 150 women in her factory overseas, Manné has designed thousands of rugs. Today on Rue? We’re getting exclusive access to a never-before-seen collection straight out of the company’s archive. Featuring one-of-a-kind styles with ancient mosaic motifs and modern geometrics, these pieces have lived in Manné’s studio – some since the early 90s – as a nostalgic reminder of how business all began. Read on as the designer delves into materials, inspiration, and the story behind these limited-edition gems.

Liora Manné Talks One-of-a-Kind Rugs

Continue reading “Liora Manné Talks (Rue-Exclusive) One-of-a-Kind Rugs” »

June 28, 2014

Summer is upon us, which means it’s time to break out chilled wines that pair well with heat and humidity. But uncorking at the park, the beach, and the café can add up in terms of calories, which is precisely what inspired always-active former fashion insider Jayla Siciliano to create Bon Affair, a brand of high-quality, low-calorie wine spritzers. (The best part? They’re loaded with electrolytes.) Here, Jayla talks about finding success with Bon Affair on the TV show Shark Tank and what’s next for her fledgling business.

Jayla Siciliano of Bon Affair Wines

Image via Jayla Siciliano

Rue La La: What’s special about Bon Affair?
Jayla Siciliano: What makes Bon Affair unique is its dry, crisp flavor profile. It’s not sticky-sweet (I try to steer clear of sugar bombs), and it’s great by itself or for making cocktails. I put a full FDA nutritional panel on the bottle so people can read exactly what’s in there.

RLL: What was it like being on Shark Tank?
JS: The exposure from the show has been incredible. And the support from [Shark Tank judge] Mark [Cuban] and his team has been amazing.
Continue reading “Say Cheers to Jayla Siciliano: The Brains Behind Bon Affair” »

June 4, 2014

Selling your place, but not sure where to begin when it comes to showing off for prospective buyers? Don’t panic. We sat down with Michael CorbettTrulia's real estate and lifestyle expert and a best-selling author, to learn everything there is to know about staging your home. From an inviting front stoop to an open floor plan, read on – your place is about to be the most sought-after one on the block.

Michael Corbett on Home Staging

Rue La La: What is the most important thing to remember when staging a home?
Michael Corbett: The key is removing and editing. Create space, organize what you have, declutter, and finally – depersonalize. Remove walls of family photos, your daughter’s cheerleading trophies, and any personal reminders of my house, my family, my space. Think of a five-star hotel. You won’t find pictures of the owner’s dog on the walls. Help the buyers envision their life in your home. Anything that distracts from that is not supporting the mission.

RLL: How important is curb appeal?
MC: Think of it this way: If the outside of the house is an eyesore, potential buyers are thinking no even before they step inside. Make the front of the home as inviting as possible. Give the front door a fresh coat of paint. Upgrade your mailbox and house number; add architectural lighting and beautiful potted plants on either side of the doorway. Create a scene on the front porch with a rocking chair or welcoming seating arrangement.
Continue reading “Before the Open House: Trulia Expert Michael Corbett Talks Home Staging” »

May 18, 2014

To fans of HGTV, Orlando Soria is best known as Emily Henderson's assistant on the home-makeover series Secrets from a Stylist. But Soria’s design portfolio and talent don’t stop there. The Los Angeles–based interior designer and visual artist is also founder and author of the lighthearted design and lifestyle blog Hommemaker, as well as the West Coast creative director for Homepolish, a website that connects homeowners with professional interior designers in their region. The lucky winner of our sweepstakes with Trulia will welcome Soria into their home for a personal design consultation (and, we’re betting, lots of laughs). Here, Soria chats with Rue Living about clients, consultations, and having fun with it all.

Interview with Interior Designer Orlando Soria
Images courtesy of Orlando Soria

Rue La La: What are some of the most common hang-ups you encounter when consulting or working with clients for the first time?
Orlando Soria: Most often it’s that people don’t know what things are going to cost. For example, rugs and drapery tend to be very expensive, as is quality art. Most clients experience sticker shock with those items because they are pricey investment pieces you’re meant to buy and keep for years, and their prices reflect that.

RLL: Where do clients often go wrong on their own with their interior design?
OS: An issue I see a lot is people choosing items they love without thinking about how they work together. So they’ll paint a wall bright red and then buy maroon chairs and bring in some chrome accents and while all those things might be fine on their own, together they look garbled and chaotic. When designing a space it’s important to think about what story you want to tell, how you want the room to make you feel, and to use furnishings, wall treatments, et cetera, as a means to producing that feeling/story.

RLL: You must see a wide variety of homes and tastes between all of your clients. How do you pull together a unique vision for each?
OS: I don’t like to do anything too themey or fake, so I can find things to love about all styles. The trick is to mix it up enough that it looks unique and natural, tailored to the people who live there. You do this by making sure you’re incorporating the client’s art, books, and other items they’ve collected over the years. What inspires me ultimately is to create a space that the client will be happy in, where they see colors, objects, and furnishings that have positive connotations for them. This is why design is so pyschological. You have to really dig deep to find out which furnishings are really going to make people happy, and which things they’re going to hate because they remind them of their grandma or something dated.

RLL: At its core, what are the key elements of successful interior design?
OS: Composition. I come from an art background so I think about everything in terms of color, light, and balance. It’s important to balance a room with color, finishes, and textures. For example, if you have a large, dark sofa on one side of the room, it helps to add something dark/heavy across from it so it doesn’t feel like the room is being sucked into a black hole.

RLL: What do you typically discuss with a new client in your first consultation or meeting?
OS: I like to get a sense of who they are and what their style is by asking them about their job, movies they like, their favorite kinds of clothes, where they have lived, and where they like to vacation.  There are a lot of other indicators besides interior-design tastes that can tell you what people like. Being able to make connections between personal interests, fashion, and everyday activities and home furnishings is what makes a good designer.

RLL: What are your favorite interior design aesthetics?
OS: I’m a big fan of things that are modern and earthy at the same time. My design hero is a New York designer named Robert Stilin. His designs are simple and clean, yet still so warm and welcoming. They feel fresh and new without being hard, cold, and sterile. That’s the line I like to walk. Just modern and fresh enough, yet still comfortable, visually interesting, and inviting.

RLL: Describe your role as creative director for Homepolish L.A.
OS: My job is essentially the combination of everything I love to do: interior design, writing, marketing, team leading, making design more accessible, and promoting young, innovative designers. I do a lot of exciting design collaborations with wonderful brands and media outlets like goop and HelloGiggles, and fun collaborators like writer Kelly Oxford and fashion blogger Rumi Neely. It’s a great job and somehow everything I did before – from being on a TV show to doing graphic design and publicity – prepared me for it.

RLL: Tell us about a project you did for a client that you’re particularly proud of.
OS: I love a project I did with a wonderful family in La Habra Heights, which is a lovely little city about 30 minutes from downtown Los Angeles. Their home is a beautiful Spanish Revival and I had so much fun decorating it with furnishings that both complemented the architecture and reflected the young, hip styles of the homeowners.

RLL: Do you have any signature “moves” when it comes to interior design?
OS: I tend to make my own art and use it to fill spaces I don’t know what to do with. Or put benches in random places that feel empty or weird. Normally, if a space feels empty or awkward, a bench with a great art piece above it can solve the problem.

RLL: What’s your favorite room in a house to design and decorate?
OS: I love decorating guest bedrooms because you can be a little more adventurous with your design. Since no one has to sleep in there every night you can be bolder with color and art, which makes them a really fun opportunity to showcase your design perspective.

RLL: Have you ever done any staging? What are the biggest differences between staging and designing a home that someone intends to live in?
OS: I have not done any staging, but I have advised on it a lot. Basically, the idea with staging is both to give people ideas and inspiration and to show them how they might possibly lay out the space. They need to be aspirational, in a sense, because you want people to want the space, to buy the house. So in a way it’s not that much different than a regular design job. Ultimately, you’re just trying to make the space look as natural and inviting as possible.

RLL: What’s Hommemaker all about? 
OS: Hommemaker is a space for me to be creative just for me. No clients, no company, just share ideas about things I’m making, spaces I’m designing, what I’m thinking about and seeing it. I love doing it and it’s so satisfying to get feedback from readers. I kind of just treat it like a big art project and do whatever I want with it. That people read it is amazing and humbling.

RLL: Your writing style on Hommemaker is very playful. Do you try to work a sense of humor into your relationships with clients?
OS: I tend to joke around with clients and am naturally a playful person. It’s just my personality. I think it’s because I was shy my whole life, so I learned to joke as a way of making myself and others feel comfortable. Thus far all of my clients have been fun and great, so I can joke and laugh with them while also making sure we get everything done and that their home looks how they want it to look.

Want Orlando Soria to come to your home? Enter the sweepstakes in our New Home Know-How: Essentials for Staging & Decorating Boutique, opening Saturday, May 17, at 3PM ET.

Discover selling strategies, search neighborhoods, or contact a real estate professional at Trulia.com.

By Lindsay Lambert, Editor

Not a Member and like The (Style) Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.

Continue reading “Designer Genes: Meet Orlando Soria” »

May 17, 2014

Philanthropist and wildlife painter Lynn Chase has been in the home décor business for close to thirty years. As a child, she began painting. As an adult, painting turned to plate design, and her message and passion for nature conservation grew. With no formal training, Chase’s original designs graced countless tabletops, each with an inscription dedicated to a population in need. Today, her works are award-winning, she serves on the board of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, and she donates a portion of all proceeds to the Lynn Chase Wildlife Foundation. Here, from her home outside New York City, Chase talks business and inspiration.

Lynn Chase with Her Jack Russell Terrier, BanditLynn Chase with her Jack Russell terrier, Bandit

Rue La La: So, first things first. Why animals?
Lynn Chase: I grew up on Long Island surrounded my animals. My mother raised golden retrievers and my grandmother was an ornithologist. I started drawing at an early age – leopards, for some reason, even though I’d never seen one as a child.

RLL: How did you get your business off the ground?
LC: After the October 19 crash of 1987, I drafted a business plan with my then-partner who had worked at Cartier. We went to friends and family for investors, since we couldn’t rely on venture capitalists at the time. A marketing research firm told me it would never sell, claiming no one would eat off of animals. But then, Jaguar Jungle won the Best Design and Impact Award from the National Tabletop Association.
Continue reading “Wild at Heart: Décor Artist Lynn Chase Talks Table Design” »

May 15, 2014

Last night, Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, and Kate Upton took to the red carpet for the L.A. premiere of their movie, The Other Woman. And once again, the ladies didn’t disappoint on the fashion front. (Be sure to shop their style from the film in our Movie-Inspired Style: The Other Woman Boutique, live now.)

Leslie Mann, joined by husband Judd Apatow and their two daughters, worked this season’s colorblocking trend, pairing a hot-pink strapless crop top with a coral high-waisted skirt. Cameron Diaz showed off her famous gams in a short little black dress with a plunging neckline, while Kate Upton shone bright in a sparkling Dolce & Gabbana mini dress topped with Chanel jewelry.

The Other Woman L.A. Premiere

Now, while Leslie and Cameron are no strangers to movie-premiere fashion, this is 21-year-old Kate’s first movie press tour – but the bombshell sure seems to be holding her own just fine. Before she headed into the Regency Village Theater to take in the premiere, we grabbed her for a few questions. Here, she talks red-carpet style and more.

Rue La La: You’ve had some great looks this press tour, from the Christian Siriano dress you wore in the Netherlands to the red mini you rocked in Germany. Do you have a favorite?
Kate Upton: That’s tough, but honestly, probably this one. I love Dolce & Gabbana.

Rue La La: In The Other Woman, your character Amber has a very laid-back, Cali-cool look. Is your personal style anything like Amber’s?
Kate Upton: It’s not. It was actually really funny, whenever I was looking through her clothes I was like, “Well, I wouldn’t wear that, I wouldn’t wear that,” because that’s how I am on modeling sets. But I’d stop and realize, I’m not looking for myself, this is for Amber. And it was really cool to create a style for a character. 

Rue La La: If you could steal the style of one of your costars – Leslie or Cameron – who would it be?
Kate Upton: I love both of their styles. When we’re out together I’m always like, “I want that shirt, and those shoes.” It’s just so much fun being on tour with them and seeing how they put together outfits.

Our Movie-Inspired Style: The Other Woman Boutique opened Monday, April 14, at 3PM ET.

By Keriann Coffey, Associate Editor

Not a Member and like The (Style) Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.

April 22, 2014

In 1998, aspiring designer Pauline Nakios started her first Lilla P collection with a closet staple: the essential T-shirt. Sixteen years later, the collection has expanded to include every wardrobe must-have imaginable: lightweight sweaters, jackets, you name it. Here, she talks inspiration, personal style, and how it all started.

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Rue La La: What’s the significance behind your label’s name?
Pauline Nakios: Lilla was my grandmother and P is for Pauline. Lilla was an incredible woman with amazing style, so it was only fitting that I included her in my line.

RLL: How would you describe your own personal style?
PN: Clean and classic with a modern twist. I love architectural elements and creating color stories.

RLL: Where do you find inspiration?
PN: Living in New York, my inspiration comes from the city and the people I see every day. And I attend seminars well in advance of the season for color and style trends.

RLL: You’re always willing to come in and help out with the styling of photo shoots. What is it about styling that you love?
PN: I have always loved being on the set. Pictures tell a thousand words and it’s important that the image speaks to the brand.

RLL: You have a magazine-worthy home. How are interior decorating and styling similar?
PN: When decorating or styling, I always start with core pieces and accessorize around them. In both cases, you should always be careful of overstyling.

RLL: You curated a home shop for our Members. What is the inspiration behind your picks?
PN: My family has been in the furniture business for close to 100 years, so my style comes from being exposed to that world all my life. For the Boutique, I chose a lot of items that have natural organic shapes and materials, much like the aesthetic of my clothing line.

Our Lilla P Boutique opens Tuesday, February 25, at 11AM ET.

By Brianna Lapolla, Staff Writer

Not a Member and like The (Style) Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.
Continue reading “Five-Minute Powwow: An Interview with Lilla P Founder Pauline Nakios” »

February 25, 2014

As the brand ambassador, creative consulter, and guru of all things glam, JD Breen (@HankyPankyJD) talks everyday panties, the perks of the job, and the revamped Cotton with a Conscience® collection with longtime friend Jackie Nasser (who just so happens to be our Fashion Director).

Meet JD Breen of Hanky Panky

Jackie Nasser: You probably get asked this all the time, but what does your title mean?
JD Breen: I do exciting creative work in addition to making sure our brand image is always consistent and on par. So my title needed to be fun and fabulous at the same time. And it had to match my personality.

JN: What do you love most about your job?
JD: It’s so unpredictable and I never have a boring day at the office. All the problem solving is the most fun for me.
Continue reading “Five-Minute Powwow: An Interview with Hanky Panky Glam Guru JD Breen” »

January 31, 2014

Meet Lilliana Vazquez, the Cheap Chica, who has “Balenciaga taste on a strict budget.” Known for her killer closet with a price tag to covet, this New Yorker has hosted countless television shows, from New York Live to Good Day in Dallas, voicing her advice for cheap chicas in training everywhere. Here, on the eve of her debut book release, Lilliana gives Rue a look at her personal style habits – and a few exclusive tips of our own.

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Rue La La: You’re the queen of finding the most stylish steals. How did you find this niche?
Lilliana Vazquez: For me, budget shopping is a way of life, not a niche. My mom has always believed that saving should be a way of life and that you should take more pride in what you can save, not what you can spend… I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! We would take outlet road trips just to hunt down the best deals. So, in some ways, I was raised to be the Cheap Chica.

RLL: Do you follow a personal rule book?
LV: When it comes to fashion, I’m willing to try anything once. I’m a bit of a risk taker. But I’m also very honest about how it looks on me and whether or not it’s a fit for my body, budget, and lifestyle.

RLL: Do you ever splurge just for the sake of splurging?
LV: I’m human! Of course – but it’s few and far between. My favorite splurge is my black quilted Chanel bag. A splurge should be something that you will have for a lifetime and something that you can wear every day without ever getting tired of it. You can check out my “splurge” checklist in my book, The Cheap Chica’s Guide to Style. A few questions may save you thousands.

RLL: How heavily do you rely on accessories? Do you prefer to keep it simple or pile them on?
LV: The more the merrier is my motto when it comes to accessories, and the layered look is really having a moment in fashion right now. So I’ve been layering everything – necklaces, midi rings, bracelets, etc.

Continue reading “Style & Saving? Author Lilliana Vazquez Proves the Two are Not Mutually Exclusive” »

November 4, 2013

Introducing Alexander Pope. Broadway costume constructor. Project Runway Season 12 designer. And an elimination this season that came far too soon. Read on for our behind-the-scenes chat about the show, New York Fashion Week, and his upcoming mini collection.

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Rue La La: Tell us about being on the show. What was the workroom actually like? Which designers did you enjoy working with?   
Alexander Pope: Well, first off, the workroom was smaller than I thought it would be. But other than that, it’s just a workroom, but not as stocked as it should be… just the basics for us. I enjoyed most of the designers, but I think Jeremy and I bounced ideas off of each other quite well – I tend to bond with the Brits more often, ha!

RLL: What was the best piece of advice you received from the judges? 
AP: Nothing.

RLL: Okay then. The worst?
AP: Well it wasn’t advice, per se, but once they found out I work on Broadway, I kept hearing the descriptor “costumey” a lot. Even when I’m looking at my design, completely confused about their comments because I made a twill gown or a silk bustier dress – clothing, in my eyes.

RLL: Speaking of Broadway – when you started on the show, were you afraid of being called out as a costume designer?   
AP: That’s exactly what I was afraid of. I had a feeling I was going to be pigeonholed as “just a costumer,” and unfortunately I feel that happened. I’ve always known it’s hard for designers to truly “go there” with their designs. I fortunately get to “go there” for a living, so I figured I’d be able to cut back and make it more wearable and commercial. I feel I did a good job with that. I mean, it’s always easier to take a step back than take a step forward. I, my dear, have been stepping forward for decades, so it was a challenge for me to edit and simplify.

RLL: We saw you showed your gothic collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. What was that like? 
AP: It was a blast! I was so nervous, and, honestly, sewing up to the eleventh hour! I knew I was going far and beyond what any of the other designers were doing, but that’s what I do. I wanted to give them a show. Because, let’s face it, 90% of what’s on the runway isn’t what’s on the racks. But then, if you break down my collection, it’s a couple of pairs of nice slacks, great shirts, a couple of gorgeous dresses, and a pair of shorts. It’s wearable.

Continue reading “Let’s Talk Project Runway: A Chat with Season 12’s Alexander Pope” »

October 11, 2013
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