Friday, December 23, 2011

Design Insight/Hindsight

Hello Everyone and Happy Holidays!

Back in the days when I was a little kid (about four or five years old), growing up in the “country of New Mexico”, we were poor. We were really poor, and there was no money for pretty clothes, shoes or any decoration of any kind.

Now, this was OK, because no one else had anything fancy either, but somehow, I knew that there were really pretty things out there, in fancy stores…. and I wanted that stuff!

Every weekend I would stay up all night. I was either sewing or knitting an outfit that was really outrageous, colorful and eye catching.  I would wear it to school the next week and get lots of attention.  To my surprise most of the attention was positive.
These expressions and yearnings to be noticed and pretty, were really the beginnings of a design career.  I realized that I had a passion and love of all things handmade and unusual.

My old Granny taught me to hand sew, use a sewing machine and knit when I was four. My other Grandma, the fashionista, taught me to shop in second-hand stores for antiques and vintage wear.  These” skills” came together to form a design philosophy and style that has never left me.

I never knew, back then, that there was a career called "designer", but this love of the history, cultural celebration and all things wearable has lasted a lifetime and continues to grow with each new discovery.

Clothing really does influence and express who we are, how we feel about ourselves and what we would like others to think of us. It is a wonderful creative expression and can actually make others feel good about themselves!!

Making others feel good is not a bad way to make a living, and that's why I made it my business.  Talk to you soon, have a Happy Holiday. 


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

On-or-off the shoulder?

Women always ask me why I design with the on-or–off the shoulder neckline shape so often…there are several reasons that I have learned over years, by studying the feminine body from all angles!  

A wider neckline actually makes the rest of the body look smaller!!!! Crazy right? It also creates the illusion of a smaller waistline, balances the hips to give an hourglass silhouette, and frames the face. 

Now to our friends the shoulders...Did you know that the shoulders are one of the last body parts to age? Most women have lovely skin on their shoulders, and this neckline emphasizes it. If you have small shoulders, they will look larger and if you have wide shoulders, it will show them off.  Think of your neckline as the perfect accessory to make these looks even more fabulous! If you want to see some examples check out

So focus on the positive, show off that neckline, and give your face a beautiful frame!


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Buck the Trend

  Growing up in New Mexico during the sixties is a real fashion problem these days Being young flower children, we were encouraged to find ourselves, and embrace individuality.  Everyone has personal style, and should never be afraid to be different.  I remember how much fun it used to be, when I would visit my grandmother in NYC.  She would take me to all of the glamorous department stores and unique little boutiques around the city.  It was as if we were on a clothing safari in the concrete jungle.  Now, it's as if retailers have gone from exotic lioness to common house cat.  There is not enough variation, anymore.  The same can be said about fashion and style these days.  When people show their own personal style, I love it!  The differences in people and their varying styles inspire me.  That is why I design what I design… for the joy and satisfaction of self-expression.  Make each piece your own, and just make a note to express yourself!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

“Scarf Dress #32: A Fashion Fenomenon”

Have you ever wondered why one thing is hot and another is not? As a designer, it's my job to somehow know this from somewhere deep within.................

Anyway, we seem to have a "hot" one in our shawl dress #32. It actually sold out of the stores in one day.....just like Missoni at Target!

This, one of a kind dress, made from two gorgeous wool and lycra shawls, seems to have the "it" factor.
Was it the fringe? The bell sleeves? The textures? The coloration; charcoal grey tones, with hand-work of variegated, knotted, boucle yarns in abstract swirls of turq, fuchsia, yellow and orange?
Dress #32 just danced out of the boutiques and everyone asked for more!

We're just lucky enough to be able to weave the same shawl again and ship it forThanksgiving!

Talk about giving thanks....we will have it again for all of you who missed it the first time!

Why this one? It seems to fit everyone, flatters all, can be dressy or casual and you too can feel and look like a flower child, bohemian, mysterious woman.....what fun!

Why this one? Just take a look and let me know!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

W&E Got You Covered

Don't miss us on the Western & English Today cover for their September/October issue. You can view many of our spring designs here: Enjoy!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mark Your Mayan Calendars!

 The Mayans may have predicted the end of the world in 2012, but they could not have foreseen the new Huipil line by Roja Collection. Inspired by the traditional fashions of the Native Americans and their ancestors, we've brought this ancient style into the 21st century.

A huipil (from the Nahuatl uipilli, meaning "blouse"`- "dress") is a form of Maya textile and tunic or blouse worn by indigenous Mayan Zapotec, and other women in central to southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, and western Honduras, in the northern part of Central America. The elaborate design and patterns of a traditional woman's huipil may convey the wearer's village, marital status, and personal beliefs. They are usually made from two or three woven panels joined with decorative stitching, then doubled over and a hole cut in the center panel for the neck (unless woven in during the weaving) and decorated with stitchery. The sides are joined together with more decorative stitching, allowing openings for the arms and in the more ceremonial pieces, ribbons run down the length of the sides of the middle panel, sometimes with the ribbon forming a serrated collar ornament with two loose lengths of ribbons in the front, often in two colors. The length of the huipil varies from a simple sleeveless top extending to the waist or slightly below to a knee- or calf-length tunic forming draping scapular sleeves because of the width.

Our huipil collection.... [Ann...]