Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The Journey to the Azure Impressions Collection

How it came about:

It all started one afternoon when I received a random phone call from the Miss Portugal SA organisers offering me the opportunity to do the modelling coaching for the contestants and to be a part of the event as a fashion designer. Brad, my partner and fiancé was not around, so I called him to tell him the awesome news.

That same week I had a meeting with the organisers. We discussed modelling and the choreography for the opening act and they offered me the opportunity to design the evening wear and asked if I could design bikinis. Which I said, “yes I can, but it’s not my forte.” At this time, the organisers had not mentioned anything about designing casual wear.

At our next meeting, the organisers showed me a few pictures of what he would want the smart casual wear line to be inspired by. He asked me if I could do it and my immediate response to his questions was, “but of course, I can do anything!”

After a few meetings and discussions, the organiser said I could still do some of the evening wear. But I decided to concentrate fully on the smart casual line, choreography and modelling coaching.

The sketching:

So with the inspiration in mind I started sketching 12 fantastically, awesome, stunning dresses. I knew exactly what I wanted. Each dress had to be different, comfortable and elegant. A completely cohesive collection was at the top of my mind.

When I draw a dress, I always think about what it will do to each person’s figure. Which age person would wear it? Where I would place specific patterns, in order to enhance body proportion. I always think about how the dress will look when it’s moving. Especially for this collection as the contestants will be doing the opening act wearing the Azure Impressions Collection. Sadly, I had to decide which 3 dresses not to make as the contestants were reduced from 12 to 9.

The pattern:

I wanted to keep the pattern as original as possible to the inspiration given to me. I had to make changes to the patterns so they could work with the designs that I had sketched.

Originally, the printers refused to print on the fabric I wanted. (Brad was trying to arrange the printing with no luck).So I decided to call the printer, asking him to please print a sample of the pattern on the fabric I wanted. He said it wouldn't be a problem. :) :) :)  So I got what I wanted. (FAIL BRAD :) )

Curiosity almost killed the cat:

Week after week, the organiser was hounding me to see the pattern or the fabric and I was honest with him and I told him I didn't have it yet. He eventually told me that he thought I didn't want to show him the patterned fabric. I found this funny as I was stressing myself, as I was still waiting for my fabric from the printer. 
I've had many clients curious to see what the dresses were inspired by and every time some of those clients came for a fitting, I had to hide the dresses away.


After a few fittings, the dresses are done and ready to be shown at Miss Portugal South Africa 2014.

Can’t wait to reveal my creation! 5 days to go!!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

My choreography experience with Miss Portugal SA 2014

Being apart of events is always fun and exciting as it involves both fashion and modelling.

But one of this years event (Miss Portugal SA 2014) so far has been quite challenging because I have had to think outside the box because we have had to keep it within the "Proudly Portuguese" theme and bearing in mind that I am not coaching models, but I am coaching contestants.

The choreography for this has been quite detailed, from finding specific music, to stitching on letters to capes.

For a lot of the Miss Portugal SA contestants, the modelling coaching and learning choreography is an entirely new thing.

Brad and I had been working on the choreography for "Esperança". (Which is the opening act for Miss Portugal SA 2014), for quite a while. Spending a lot of evenings and often going to bed past midnight. Brad walking up and down, pointing and stressing out. (Which irritates me). Then we argue and laugh because sometimes we don't understand each other. Finally we were so excited to have the full concept planned out.

Shortly afterwards, we heard the news that one of the contestants left  Miss Portugal SA, so we had to rearrange the choreography... (TORTURE!!!) Fortunately, Miss Portugal SA had a replacement and then sadly another contestant left the contest (TORTURE AGAIN). Leaving us with a total of 9 contestants to work out our choreography again.
Marisela having a talk with the  Miss Portugal SA 2014 contestants
Marisela having a talk with the
Miss Portugal SA 2014 contestants

At our first coaching lesson we had shown the contestants of Miss Portugal SA a video of one of our 1st performances. (Breath and Life). Which they thought was a piece of cake. Brad and I just looked at each other with our silent language thinking, "if only they knew". HAHAHAHA...

Our guy performers for Miss Portugal SA 2014
Our guy performers for Miss Portugal SA 2014

Luckily for us we have guy performers that have been part of our performances before so they know exactly what they were in for. When we started coaching, I think the girls started realizing how difficult and intricate it is. I remember after the second or third lesson one of the girls asking if that was the entire choreography done. I turned around and told them that this was only the first minute of the song. (I think this scared the girls a little...hehe...).

Once we started coaching in the cold scout hall, it all started coming together. We have had serious moments, laughter, tears, squeaks, shouting and the list could continue for a long time. But all in all we have had loads of fun.

The girls have had posture, posture, posture, posture drummed into their heads among other things. I think their nerves are starting to show as they couldn't
even remember a walk that I had showed them for the evening. LOL. Brad has even had nightmares, but then again, every time we have choreography or these events he turns into a stress Eric.

I think at a few points I have given  the organizer of Miss Portugal SA a few grey hairs... aaah, I'm kidding, he doesn't have hair. HAHAHA...

Overall, I am excited and glad that its almost showtime. 11 days to go :-)

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Gain wasted time - dismiss your excuse!

We all use work as an excuse to having no time. 

Excuses such as:
  • Me saying, “go play my boy, mom is busy working.” When my children want my attention.
  • Lets make love honey - too tired - too much work - I have lots to do tomorrow
Balance - life - do not excuse sex - find time for sex
  • Work keeps me too occupied to spend time with my family
  • I didn’t have time to cook for almost a year because I used work as an excuse
  • I don’t have time to exercise because my work load is too heavy
Marisela Veludo and children  Cradle of Human Kind
Me and my boys at the Cradle of Human Kind

One day, I realised I was missing out on the greater things in life so I chose to make a change within myself to change the situation.
  • From my excuse of, “go play my boy, mom is busy working”, to saying, “Come and sit with me while I work. Tell me about your school day.” I found that just by changing my language, I invited my son to have a conversation with me and in time, our relationship has grown much stronger. Now, when he comes to chat, he lands up helping me while we talk. 
  • The sex excuse is lame. There should never be an excuse for sex. We should rather ALWAYS be honest about this. If you are ill say so. Or if you don’t feel like it, say so. It might upset your partner at first, hearing that you are “not in the mood” but in the long run he will also understand because he will have those days too. BESIDES, YOU SHOULD NEVER EXCUSE SEX AS SEX IS A GREAT STRESS RELIEVER AND THE WORLDS GREATEST SLEEPING TABLET.
  • Every night, I now stop working and spend a few hours with my loved ones. If there is urgent work to be done, I do it while I am sitting with the family, like that, I don’t suffer from FOMO. (Fear of missing out). After spending time with my loved ones. I always feel more relaxed and peaceful.
  • I cook more often. Which makes my boys and fiancé very happy. As they all love my food, besides I am the better chef in the house hold after all. (I hope my fiancé doesn’t read this!)
    Time to cook...
  • Exercise – Well... I am still working on this one!!

The bottom line is, you need to have balance, or your life falls apart. This is from all aspects. Emotional & physical. It now feels like I have more than enough time to finish my work even though my workload has almost doubled!

So no more excuses! Go give your partner a kiss and tell him how much you love him.  

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Accepting ourselves for who we are

Isn't it interesting how we all like or dislike something or someone just by the way it looks. 

As "they" say, first impressions always count and you can never make another first impression. 

I want you to try and paint a picture in your mind of what I am going to describe to you.Before you continue. Keep an open mind and do not put yourself in these examples. Rather, as if you were an outsider looking through a shop window. 

You see a woman walking down the street, she is wearing very thick soled & high heeled black leather boots. A tight, just under the bum "peekaboo" skirt. A crop top that almost looks like a bikini because its too small. Extreme makeup as if she was in a stage production and an outrageous hairstyle.

Now, take 5 seconds, look at this woman in your mind. What do you see? What is your impression of this person? Would you think that this person is one that might offer a certain service after dark? 

Lets try another, clear your minds canvas. A woman steps into the elevator that you are already in. She is a size 10. Her hair is in an untidy pony tail. She has no make up on. She is wearing a blouse that seems to be at least two sizes bigger than her. Her denims are loose fit and she is wearing flats.Her shoulders are rounded and she is staring at the floor. 

Be honest with yourself, what is your first impression of this woman. You might probably ask, doesn't she have a mirror? Or maybe she doesn't have enough time? Her overall appearance is sad. I like to think of this woman as if she has a dark cloud over her head.

Maybe, you see a little bit of yourself in these examples or maybe you don't. In the first example, this may be a lady that is in a confused state of mind. Perhaps she is emotionally screaming out for attention, or to be acknowledged. Maybe the lady in the second example doesn't want to be noticed. Maybe she is sad and depressed. Or even lonely. 

Your appearance, when I say appearance, I mean everything about the way you look. From your hair & make-up, to your clothes and shoes. The way you appear to the world is almost always the way we see ourselves on the inside. But this happens on a subconscious level.

I often think about how people don't value nor accept themselves for who they are. I have met many women who suffer from low self esteem throughout my career as a fashion designer. When they are finally wearing that special dress designed specifically for them. I notice a transformation from within from them. Like suddenly a light has been turned on from within. 

I would love to see this transformation happening all the time. With a little thought, I applied this in my modelling class. This is how I did it. Try this and remember to be absolutely honest with yourself. (You can do this by yourself, but its great as a group exercise or with a friend):

  1. Sit in front of a mirror and close your eyes 
  2. Ask yourself (or have your friend ask you), what are the 3 physical things you like about yourself and 1 thing you don't like about yourself as a person.
  3. Open your eyes. Look deeply at yourself in the mirror and repeat what you said or your friend said out loud. 
  4. Ask yourself and answer yourself honestly, do you agree with the things you said about yourself or your friend said about yourself?
  5. Take the negative aspect and think or ask your friend, what you could do to improve it. 
  6. As for the positive things. Think of ways that you can use those specific features to your advantage.

At first, this may seem silly. Or even awkward. But if you are honest with yourself. You may be surprised at what the answers are. 

Remember, this is just the beginning of the journey to self discovery, to improving self-esteem and self confidence. Regardless of your age, sometimes we all need to take a good look inside and re-discover the person we truly are!

I will write more about this topic, so stay tuned!!

Friday, 14 March 2014

Dressing to improve your mood

Last weekend I had a double fashion show which I showcased to a hall full of ladies in order to raise funds for their school. For those who do not know, I am a fashion designer and have my own label and modelling school

When I woke up on the Saturday morning, I was feeling very under the weather! I was in no mood to coach my models or go out. I was ill and just wanted to be under the blanket!

So, this morning, I was thinking of the things I do to try and improve my day from the moment I get up. I came up with a short list of things that tend to prevent woman from dressing positively. Naturally, I could go much deeper into each of these topics but we can leave this for another day.

5 Things that prevent you from feeling great:

  • Mood
  • Weather
  • Stress
  • Partner
  • PMS or feeling ill
Here are my 5 easy steps for those woman who want to make a change in the way they dress and help them feel more positive every day!
  1. Mood - When you look in the cupboard, the first colour that positively influences your mood in that second, that is the colour you should wear. Your clothes are talking to you. You don't wear red, but that red coat just picked your mood up a little the second you looked at it. SO WEAR THAT COLOUR!!
  2. Weather - Naturally the weather will determine what type of clothing you wear. So grab those red pants and put them on! That will brighten a gloomy day and your mood!
  3. Stress - In order to minimize your stress, wear something that is functional, but still makes you feel good. As a fashion designer, I find having stiff and firm fabrics around my body limits my comfort level which in turn reduces functionality and adds stress.
  4. Partner - Remember, getting ready in the morning should be about yourself!
  5. PMS or feeling ill - This is ALWAYS a downer! It sucks and almost nothing can make it better! BUT, if you follow the steps above, it should definitely help you feel better. Oooh, before I forget, take two neurofens for pain!

This is what I wore on Saturday:

Printed bon bon dress. It's a loose fit shoulder dress for comfort. I made this dress the day before the event. I had no idea what style I was going to design until it hit me... Fashion Show... Comfort (As I was ill)... stylish - that's just my style :-) 

I made sure my fiance and business partner was matching my outfit!

I would love to hear stories about what you do to up your mood by dressing!

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

About Marisela Veludo

I was born off of one of the Portuguese Islands, Madeira to be exact. I finished my foundation school years there and then came to South Africa with my family. 

My mother was a dress maker and was always very busy. She would make clothing for my sisters and I, but I was always very difficult. She used to joke that she would refuse to make clothing for me because I was so fussy. I would tell her that I want this and that in this or that way. 

As I grew up, I started designing clothing for my siblings and friends. I knew what I wanted and I had an unusual ability to make anyone look good. Whether they were short, tall, fat or thin. I soon realised that fashion was embedded in me and that designing was what I wanted to do. 

I started designing after I was married and treated fashion design as a hobby while I ran a separate business full time. After many years, eventually in November 2012, I decided to turn my part-time business (known as Seladesigns) into a full time business, now called Passion4Fashion. In March 2013, my fiancé joined me to help run the admin, PR and marketing side of my business and since then we have grown from strength to strength. Together we run Passion4Fashion as a home based boutique and fashion design business.

No client is a number to me, each person gets treated with the same integrity and personalized service as any other and I dismiss race, colour or creed. Each client is unique and has a different set of needs, so because I am so versatile in my designing, I can take almost any need or want and turn it into something, stunning, elegant, classy or sexy. I love making my clients happy, it always warms my heart to see their reaction to the dress I have created just for them.

I look forward to working with whomever is reading this post! You can get in touch with me, via emailFacebook, whatsapp or BBM.

You can check out my website: www.passion4fashion.co.za and www.mariselaveludo.co.za