Cipriani Halloween Party – London Phone Box

I got my inspiration to dress up as a ‘London Telephone Box’ thanks to an early inspiration initiated by a big poster of a London double decker bus that is plastered above my bed. The red color palette idea was decided on but then I didn’t want to be a red bus for Halloween. So I went on to think of other things that are red and decided to become London telephone box. Consulting your creative mind light heartedly and colorfully can somehow put together some exciting creative solutions 😉

How I did it was by looking for a shiny red base (dress), which I religiously searched for on the web and of coarse in the end found it at non other than No surprise there, Asos will happen to have a red patent dress just because. Next I was going to create little phone box windows which I did using aluminum tape and white border tape. The telephone sign (with the correct font) and the Queen’s crown were mandatory.

The headpiece and wire necklace accessorizing was an easy last minute combination of Amazon Prime orders, hot glue, and lots of hair pins and insulators. Schiaparelli created the shoe hat and I today was going to have a red phone projecting whimsically and happily off my head.

We headed to the Halloween Party at Cipriani on 42nd street where Italian Dj Marco Carola was going to take our eardrums on an electrifying musical journey, and he did quite that!

Till next time Halloween


Monz (the Telephone box)

With Marilyn and Cat-Raccoon Hybrid.

Queen of Hearts, Queen of the night, Phone Box and Cat-Raccoon Hybrid.

P.Diddy as King Combs with a Trumpet Entrance.

Marco Carola getting innn.

Fantastic in the moment shot of Queen of Hearts and Queen of the Night.


Photography by Everyone. Editing By Mona Hamid.

New York Festival Of Light

This Saturday November 8th I was blown away witnessing some of most brillaint light installation projections that took place at the New York Festival of Light (NYFOL). This event which has been taking place annually in cities like Bangkok and Berlin, finally made ints way to trendy DUMBO in Brooklyn, and brought over the masses across the bridge to witness the whimsical light displays. The lights were projected over the anchorage archway of the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn and took you on a visual journey. The installation were created by more than a dozen artists, who happen to be the leaders in this creative field of interactive, electric tech art. I will be adding videos of the light installation to my new Youtube Channel! #staytuned

Mona Hamid

stilettosandsubstance.comPhotography by Mona Hamid

Lights Installations by : Howard Ungerleider, Tupac Martir, Valerie Schaller, 3_Search, Public Matter, J.R Rizzo, Nancy Burson, Scott Tucker, Jason Krugman, Robert Bose, Matilde Alessandra, John Yacobellis, Evelyn Szeibaum, Kuki, Doron Gazit, Lim College.

Halloween part 1 – Frida Kahlo

This year I made the exciting decision to dress up twice for Halloween. With that thought I adopted Frida Kahlo to be my first costume attempt.

My real fascination with Frida Kahlo began after I watched Salma Hayek’s depiction of her life at which point my empathetic heartstrings drew me to immediately fall in love with her and finally understand her strange paintings. That movie also became my all time favorite movie (ever).

I put into use my DIY craftsmanship and made a headpiece of warm colored florals, and tried to draw in my eyebrow ultra strong with self-permission to veto the unibrow.

Mona Hamid




This is a photo of a glow-in-the-dark monkey that i got painted on my neck for the evening! Location: Zero Halloween Party in Brooklyn 🙂

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Chelsea Highline


This week’s post was taken on-the-go on a walking self tour towards Chelsea and the Highline. It was a beautiful day and my family came to visit me in New York City. The photographer is one of my favorites – Mummy.

Nostalgia – a wistful desire to return in thought or fact to a former place or time. Walking past the beautiful wall art and inspirational words evoking future dreams initiated by childhood innocence was worth capturing and definitely brings me back as I walk by it with my loved ones.

I am wearing my new metallic oxford shoes from Vince Camuto. My outfit consisted of a vintage yellow floral printed button up oversized top paired with my favorite red, waxed Hudson Jeans. I accessorized with both my new prescription wide framed glasses and my new unconventional black sunnies that I purchased from 5 points on a recent trip to Atlanta Georgia. Lastly i am rocking a light weight grey jacket that i bought a while back from Reiss.

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I love this photo because it visually captures the essence of the fast paced on-the-go energy of New York City with the echoing mentality that “my time is very precious and I want to make this my decade”.

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Along the highline I come across this mural with a sentence written in Arabic with the English translation below “ This book belongs to its owner Fathallah Saad. He bought it with his own money at the beginning of March 1892”. I didn’t understand what it was about, but im sure there’s a story. I wonder what book he bought.


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Ice lollies on a sunny pre fall day seem like a good reward after a two hour exploratory walk starting on the east of the island all the way to the Chelsea vicinity and ending up on the highline. Mint cucumber and mango passion fruit- home-made organic and delightful.

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My baby niece “bubz” experimenting 🙂


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A very cool mural placed above a parking garage. Possible thought of a name for it..”The Road to nowhere” aha.

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Here my mother the photographer captures my outfit in different settings along the highline. The beauty of this post is its organic feel , the family ambience and our experimenting with visual inspirational settings that came along the way.


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Photography by Nelly Karim.

Styling, Writing and Editing by Mona Hamid.

Outfit Details:-

Top: Vintage (Garment District, Boston MA).

Pants: Hudson Jeans.

Oxford Shoes: Vince Camuto.

Prescription Glasses: American Apparel.

Sunnies: 5 Points (Atlanta GA).

Jacket: Reiss.

Tocca Fall/Winter 2014

stilettosandsubstance.comThrough my internship with New York city based Fashion House Tocca, I had the opportunity of witnessing the design process and the collection of  Winter/Fall 2014 in-the-making. Tocca was initiated in 1994, named after the Italian word for “Touch” creating intricate embroidered outfits that are uniquely styled. Tocca’s design esthetic took a new turn for a more modern sophisticated approach when brand visionary Emma Fletcher became creative director in 2011. The Fall/Winter 2014 Tocca collection was constructed with beautiful floral prints and a variety of different fabrics and textures. When watching the collection across the runway for New york Fashion Week, one can see the transition of the mood and the elements in the collection from being more structured to getting more and more fluid and free.

Having the best seat in the show backstage where all the excitement takes place i was able to capture some beautiful shots of the garments and the models. As an appreciator of various esthetics of design and a lover of florals  my infatuation with  the world of Tocca comes from the beautiful simplicity and the romantic palette setting the mood of the clothing, the simplicity of the style lines and the delicacy and flow of the fabrics used. The collection emits a sense of nostalgia portraying vintage silhouette and fabric elements in a modern form.
Model wearing navy suede “Kerouac” Coat
Left: Dot Burnout Velvet “Fuzzbox” Top paired with the pink wool “Sound” skirt
Right: Burnout velvet “Icicle” Silk Dress
Dot Burnout Velvet “Haze” Dress in Black
Backstage Excitement: Post runway, model pulls skirt off in a rush to change to the next outfit! #actionshot
Model wears “Manifest” Top with Lace and “Surreal” Skirt Model Wears
Model wears “Fantasy” Dress

stilettosandsubstance.comThe collection was styled by John Vertin. The approach of the makeup was a simplistic one. The models’ makeup is to look undone, the hair middle parted and tied in a low bun covering the ears. Velvet ribbons tied around the neck and hair left to drape down the back. When styling, John  utilized the pieces from the fall collection  in fun combinations – suede skirts with pops of velvet bra tops and colorful underpants, mix and matched shoes, and layered different print combinations together.

Creative Director of Tocca Emma Fletcher seeks endless inspirations for the floral prints of the collection. She expresses in reference to the “Blossom” print below,  “This is a flower print that i have wanted to do for a long time. I have an old vintage piece of fabric that i bought from London years ago and it dates back to the last century. For this collection we redid this print in a less classic and more free form.”
“Cap” Jacket and “Stem” Pants in “Blossom” Silk Blend Velvet Print
“Mystic” Dress in Blossom Print

One of my favorite pieces of this collection is the “Morphine” clutch. This two-toned mink fur clutch is EVERYTHING. It is the perfect accessory to complement any simple outfit, acquiring it that extra chic and  “demure” factor. It is styled in the runway with an A-line midi skirt and a the burnout velvet bra top making a what might seem like an incomplete outfit oh so very complete!
Mink Fur “Morphine” Clutch

This navy mohair  “Soaring Cape” is also one of my favourites from the collection. Fashion lovers, I forecast a whole lot of capes making a comeback during the next fall season. I can invision capes over knitted turtle neck sweaters , over dresses paired with long gloves, over skinny fitted pant jumpsuits, the list goes on..
Post show celebration backstage: Emma Fletcher with stylist John Vertin.



Photography, editing and writing by Mona Hamid

Tocca RTW apparel can be purchased at,, Couverture London, Montaigne Market Paris, and Blood Orange in Sydney.

NYCW 2014: Otgoo Couture
Couture or “high dress-making” refers to the art of constructing elaborate custom fitted clothing with extreme attention to detailing and appliqué. New York Couture Week 2014 took place during the second week of February in the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan, and brought together a melting pot of different designers from all over the world. As a fashion enthusiast and blogger i had the pleasure of attending the show by a Mongolian Designer Otgonjargal Demberelsuren, where she exhibited her fall 2014 couture collection for her line Otgoo Couture.

The collection consisted of a fusion of eastern and western design elements over a time frame of different fashion eras. Some of the visible design elements include fringing, high necklines, pleating and elaborate beading. The silhouettes of the two dresses below were very nostalgic. They reminded of a 1920’s flapper in the era of the demimonde living a lavish party lifestyle in pursuit of fun! How exciting is it seeing that era before our runways today!

The models were accessorized with elegant headpieces that were embedded with a variety of rhinestones of different colors and designs.

The finale dress was quite the statement piece. The silhouette demonstrated a clear coalition of east and west with the fuchsia silk, high neckline, amplified shoulders, the fitted silhouette subsequently extending into a mermaid shaped layering of tulle.

Post the finale look the Mongolian couturier Otgonjargal comes out into the runway with her two favorite looks of the collection.


There’s an element of escape that comes with viewing couture, taking our minds to new fashion heights. It reminds us of the lack of boundaries when it comes to fashion and its constant evolution taking place in different parts of the world. With that being said, Fashion Week attendees can enjoy the convenient new route of Emirates Airline as they launch their new route to Milan in sync with Milan Fashion Week.

Photography by Mona Hamid & Alexander Parker

Editing and Writing by Mona Hamid

A Journey to the South East

On a recent trip to Singapore to attend a friend’s wedding I was immersed into a new world, full of cultural, bursting with colors, beautiful costumes, vibrant music and flavorful food.  Indian Punjabi culture is known for its strong ties to their cultural traditions and in carrying them on through past generations to our present time. In this occasion I had the pleasure of witnessing first hand a Punjabi Sikh wedding and all the ceremonies that take place to complete the binding agreement.

My attire to the wedding consisted of a cream rhinestone studded chiffon sari with a golden silk border. The sari consists of many yards of fabric that are wrapped numerously around the waist and pleated to allow leg movement then placed over the shoulders. In this occasion the last yard of chiffon was place on the shoulder and over my head as the ceremony took place in the Sikh temple where modesty is valued so heads are covered and shoes are taken off prior entering.

Below we have two young ladies dressed in the cultural Punjabi suits in vibrant eye-catching orange and lime silks. Typically a Punjabi suit consists of a “Shalwar” or a loose-fitted trouser that’s tight on the ankles and a “Kameez” or a long Tunic with the side seams open below the waist to allow movement and accompanied with a scarf.

This photo is of the bride sitting in front of a plate filled with milk and rose petals where a “Choora” ceremony is taking place prior to the wedding ceremony. A Choora is a set of wedding bangles usually red and white in color that are worn by the bride on her wedding day and are given to her by her uncles and aunts.  The ceremony consists of the Chooras being dipped in the plate of milk and rose petals as a blessing before the bride puts them on.  Traditionally the bride is meant to continue wearing the bracelets for 40 days after the wedding.

This is a photo of the groom in the Sikh temple prior entering to attend the ceremony. In Sikh Wedding traditions, the groom’s sisters would tie a “Sehra” across the groom’s turban to cover his face prior to leaving the house. This is to ward off the evil eye and to also maintain anticipation for the wedding guests to see the groom when he enters the temple.

The grooms wedding attire consists jacket and pant suit, where the jackets are studded with precious embellishment the exude lux and magnanimity on the wedding day.

The bride is dressed in traditional Indian Punjabi wedding attire. This typically consists of a red and gold Punjabi Suit. The top and skirt are couture-esque decorated with heavy embroidery, sequins, beading and trim details. The bride is accessorized generously with gold jewelry including a headpiece, necklace and earrings. She is also wearing the sets of “Chooras” on both arms that are also adorned with henna patterns. All eyes are definitely on the beautiful dazzling bride on her special day.

– Mona Hamid