Category Archives: dresses

4 Tips on looking Fabulous: Taking Cues from the Oscar Red Carpet

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The Oscar red carpet is one of the most anticipated and arguably one of the most stylish celebrity event of the year. Academy award nominees, presenters, guests and plus ones, pull out all the stops in an effort to wow, gain style cred, and get the coveted thumbs up from fashion critics and bloggers everywhere. The dress women wear on Oscar night is likely their best effort at looking fabulous.  

As viewers and critics we are glued to our sets, walking down our own imaginary red carpet in our mind’s eye. We look for cues for how we too can flaunt our fabulous best at our next high profile affair—whether it be a wedding, prom, gala or special event. As an image consultant who is on the pulse of all Flaunt-worthy wardrobe choices for women, I want to share with you 4 tips you can takeaway from this year’s Oscar red carpet. (Photos Jason Merritt/Getty)

Tip #1. Simple elegance never goes out of style

Ladies, it is true. Sometimes less IS more and also completely captivating. I present into evidence, Jennifer Lawrence and Celine Dion. Jennifer Lawrence arrived on the red carpet looking absolutely fabulous in a simple red, spaghetti strap Calvin Klein gown.  Wearing minimal makeup and jewelry—just a bangle and clutch—the dress is all about the rich red hue and sleek simple sophistication. The color is stunning on her and she looks effortlessly beautiful. And what real woman doesn’t aspire to that?

Celine Dion was breathtaking in a long-sleeved Armani Prive dress . This simple gown was a standout because it fits her SO impeccably (this after twins!). The ivory color works for Celine along with the deep V neckline, fitted silhouette and emerald pendant as accent. Her hair and makeup is lovely. She is glowing and honestly I’ve never seen her look just so darn pretty. She just nails it.  

 

Tip #2. Glamor can be had at any age

First I have to say hats off to all the ladies over 40 who brought their A game to the Oscar red carpet! I was thrilled to see women like Sharon Stone, the ever dependable Helen Mirren and Annette Benning representing in a fabulous way.

But to really bring this point home to all you ladies who think age has anything to do with beauty or glamor, look no further than Sandra Bullock and Halle Berry. Sandra got the full package right last night in a strapless red  Vera Wang gown. She is a showstopper. Red is definitely a power color for her and I love that she kept everything else pretty much toned down. Hair is pulled back, bangles and a clutch are her accessories of choice and a bold red lip pulls it all together. She looks poised, confident and simply beautiful.

 

Berry’s body is as amazing as ever and she never lets us forget it. At last night’s Academy awards though she was simply sublime in a nude Marchesa frothy creation.  Designed with a corseted bodice with crystal and ruffle accents throughout ending in a tulle train, this gorgeous gown looks like Halle dropped from heaven. She looks sexy yet soft, she stands out yet is understated. She is flawlessly fabulous.

And let’s not forget the leading ladies in the make, like 14 year old Haille Stienfeld, Oscar nominee for  ‘True Grit’. She is lovely and age appropriate in a blush Marchesa custom made gown. A headband is the only accessory.  Fabulous at fourteen. Yes M’am!

Tip #3: You will own the spotlight in a gown in a color that flatters you

I am a big proponent on women wearing colors that make them shine because it can have such a huge impact. I am always amazed when some celebs walk the carpet in a beautiful dress that just is not the right color for them.  This year the color trend was extreme: very bold (reds, midnight blue, magenta) or nude (blush/white/lilac). Regardless, once the color works, the woman in the gown just glows. A few of my favorites:

Natalie Portman could not have looked lovelier accepting her award for best actress for ‘Black Swan’. The deep magenta color of her Rodarte gown with matching tassel earrings are a knockout on her. The silhouette—a wide open V neckline with light sequin detailing and draping down the middle, elongates her petite frame and balances out her baby bump. Her soft wavy hair and always natural makeup just highlights her natural beauty. She looks amazing.

Cate Blanchette wore a pleated silk chiffon Givenchy Couture gown in a pale wisteria. This dress has an Asian inspired feel and as always Cate manages to look amazing without looking like she is trying. Her hair is pulled back, makeup subtle and skin flawless as ever. Diamond earrings and bracelet caps off her look. The color, an unusual neutral works for her.

Jennifer Hudson looks phenomenal in a  halter gown designed by Versace. The color-a tangerine red – is just so stunning on her, you have to take a second look. She is ‘glowing’. The gown’s design is dramatic, with diagonal seaming in the front and serious draping in the back. But it is well constructed to flatter her slimmer, curvy body. Her hair and makeup are all spot on for a truly glamorous look that is clearly designed to take the spotlight. Her long strand of earrings and bracelets are added punctuation. She looks radiant, beautiful and truly gorgeous.

 

Tip #4: Looking effortlessly pulled together is a key ingredient for stunning looks

Yes it is about the entire package.  Head to toe sending a consistent message. In this case it is about looking effortlessly amazing. The hair, makeup and accessories all have to convey the same energy as the gown to make a complete package. Who nailed effortless last night?

Michelle Williams who did not get my vote with the floral sand colored dress she wore to the Globes that did not flatter her, had me from the moment I laid eyes on her on the red carpet. Michelle is at her finest in a simple short sleeved white column gown from Chanel. She accessorizes with beautiful diamond studs, her pixie haircut flawlessly coiffed and makeup that is fresh and youthful. No pomp and circumstance here, yet she glides down the carpet, making fabulous look easy breezy.

Melissa Leo,  Best Supporting Actress win for "The Fighter", came to the Oscars in a creatively designed highly textured white lace dress from Marc Bouwer who added reflective inserts as accents. Her hair is very ‘relaxed’ in a ponytail and her makeup very natural. She looks pretty and confident and very comfortable in her custom made gown. And it shows.

Use these tips to tap into your inner fabulous so you can Flaunt It at your next special occasion.

 

Natalie Jobity, Elan Image Management, Image Consulting. Author: ‘Frumpy to Fabulous: Flaunting It. Your Ultimate Guide to Effortless Style’

 

 

 

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Look Stunning with These Tips on fit, color and accessorizing

The Oscar red carpet is the crème de la crème of red carpets and we all wait in anticipation to see what our favorite celebs would wear. For me, as an image consultant I’m always curious to see who I think nailed it and who missed the mark. Definitely a lot to learn from the fashions at this year’s event.


What makes stunning?

I have two favorites for who just looked amazing from head to toe. First, Meryl Streep. Simply sublime. Kudos to Project Runway alum Chris March who designed this figure flattering drapey shawl collar creation. Meryl is a vision in this classic white tuxedo inspired gown which fits her impeccably. And every detail works, her hair, makeup, silver clutch and diamond earrings, bracelets and ring all by Fred Leighton. She looks fabulous.

Steve Granitz/wire.

Demi Moore, looks so stunning in a very feminine diaphanous salmon gown designed by Atelier Versace. Silk ruffles cascade down the skirt with a fitted strapless bodice on top. The color looks amazing on her, it fits her like a glove and her gorgeous drop earrings and diamond cuff are just the details that make for a slam dunk.
So what makes these two stunners: Gowns that fit them and suit their personality. Colors that work for their complexion. Accessories that punctuate and enhance. And hair and makeup that finish off their looks .

Jason Merrit/Getty

The Importance of getting color right
I am a big proponent on women wearing colors that make them shine because it can have such a huge impact. I am always amazed when some celebs walk the carpet in a beautiful dress that just is not the right color for them. At Sunday night’s Oscars, Penelope Cruz in a deep wine dress got her color right—she radiates in her dress because her dark hair and eyes and skin are enlivened by that color. Gabourey Sidibe also rocked her cobalt blue off-the-shoulder dress by Marchesa.

/ Frazer Harrison/Getty

AP photo/Matt Sayles

Who got color wrong? Julianne Moore just disappears in her white dress. It does nothing for her. A snooze. Diane Kruger, also missed the mark with a creme dress with black accents. Not crazy about the dress’s design (Chanel) and the color does not help. Washes her out and the black is just too jarring.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty

 

Ap/ Chris Pizzello

On the Flip side, I love fuchsia and I love that Vera Farmiga dared to wear that color in her very constructed Marchesa ruffled gown. But if you look long enough you’ll realize you are staring at the dress and not her face. Why? Because the color is too strong for her skin eyes and hair. In other words, the color is wearing her- not such a good thing.

Jason Merrit/Getty

Lesson, if your dress is not the right color it does not matter how gorgeous your gown is, you just won’t nail it. Read more in my article on 6 ways to wow with color

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management, image consultants

Fashion Trends, Hits and Misses at the 2010 Grammy Awards

Like the other award shows this month, the Grammy’s red carpet is a platform to showcase the trends that are sure to flourish in spring. One trend I am really digging is the bold  pop of color. At the Globes we saw a lot of purple (Sandra Bullock) and cobalt blue (Maggie G). We also saw some stunning white gowns—no one looked better than Kate Hudson at the Globes! At the Grammy’s, Fergie gives us a taste of color in her Pucci colbalt blue mini. She looks stunning and stands out from the pack because there really wasn’t a whole lot of color on the Grammy red carpet. But there was plenty white, black and other neutrals.

Steve Granitz/ Wire Images

White: Lada Gaga made her entrance in a white Armani Prive dress. Read my critique on Lady Gaga at the Grammys.

Stunner Rihanna, mixed it up and wore a long Elie Saab gown that pretty much covered her up head to toe. This gown is overly worked and not flattering on the singer. Feathers, chiffon armored looking cap sleeves—we can’t see her youthful frame and it’s just TOO much. Sorry Rihanna not a winner.

Steve Granitz/Wire Images

Carrie Underwood also strutted on the red carpet in a white gown. This one I loved for her. Simple yet elegant. Fresh and fashion forward. Ethereal and angular at the same time with its one shoulder design. All in all a lovely balance of aesthetics. This is a feminine look with an edgy side, which pretty much describes Carrie.  Her accessories add a beautiful finishing touch. Carrie looks like she can float away on a cloud—so easy and effortless. Kudos!

Larry Busacca/Wire Images

Black was also a theme at the Grammy’s just like the Globes. Singer Ciara probably wore the most risqué design with her lacy peek a boo black Givenchy haute couture ensemble. I loved how she kept her makeup clean and simple and accessories minimal—the outfit had enough going on!

Larry Busacca/Wire Images

Jennifer Hudson wore head to toe black (literally) in a Victoria Beckham design. I don’t mind the dress, really. I like that as a curvier, larger size girl, Jhud goes for it. She shows appropriate cleavage and dresses to enhance her assets. But I think the dark black hose, shoes and hair with the straight long black bangs makes her look too somber though. Its all too serious—in stark contrast to Carrie. Jhud I love you in color—embrace it girlfriend!

Larry Busacca/Wire Images

Dark blue was also a hit at the 52nd Grammy awards. Taylor Swifts looks so glamorous and sophisticated in her off the shoulder, glittery navy gown designed by Kaufman Franco. Her dress fits her impeccable. Hair and makeup perfection. Authentic as usual. Wavy hair her signature . Love her long dropped diamond earrings. She looks so beautiful.

Steve Kranitz/Wire Images

Glee actress Lea Michele made her Grammys debut in a navy minidress from Romona Keveza  that was both sexy, stylish and fun. Accented with a full shredded chiffon skirt, one shoulder design and cinched waist she looked gorgeous.

Kevin Mazur/Wire Images

Neutral shades were also popular on this red carpet. Beyonce wore a blush colored gown. Read my article on Beyonce’s look . Singer  Katy Perry looked exotic in an Indian inspired,  nude, floor-skimming. flower-embellished Zac Posen dress. I like the idea of the dress but I’m not crazy about it on her. The color doesn’t work, the styling does not enhance and its forgettable. Snooze.

Larry Busacca/Getty

Pink whose performance was the hit of the night won my award for best neutral toned dress and contender for best dressed period. I love the scalloped tiers, the ombre color design from silver to blush to gray to black. Her body never looked better and this dress flaunts it. Way to go Pink!

  Steve Granitz / Wire Images

The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards live  Jan. 31 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, on CBS.

The Image Diva, image consultant and President of Elan Image Management

Grammy Award Style Icons in 2010

It’s red carpet awards season and one of my favorites is the Grammy Awards. This is one award show that holds my interest, especially on the fashion front. The styles on the red carpet tend to be more avant garde , bolder, more dramatic than the other shows and the outfits worn by the performers can be jaw dropping. I can’t wait to see what singers like Rihanna, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Fergie and Kate Perry will wear.

First Lady Gaga. Lady Gaga makes a statement—but do we expect anything less?  Practical, of course not! But it makes us all go ga ga that she dares to pull it off. And so she does. I’ve been writing about personal style and Lady Gaga is the quintessential Diva. What makes a Diva? The Diva seeks attention and that ‘star quality’ by being overly dramatic in her choice of cut, silhouette, color or design. The Diva is all about standing out so she will break rules and march by the beat of her own drum just to command attention and create shock value. 

Describes Lady Gaga to a ‘T’. Tonight she wears a white  Armani gown that looks like a pop up hamper was the inspiration. Ultra short in the front and completely impractical. Poker face (pun intended). Crazy heels, wires, sparkles, glitter all make up her ensemble. I’m not sure how she’s going to sit down in it but it’s all about making an entrance, right?

Beyonce: Beyonce looked more demure than usual  in a blush satin gown from Stephane Rolland. The neutral fishtail gown with train  showcases her bronze complexion. The dress features  contoured details and construction emphasizing her famous curves. True to style, she is rocking oversized earrings this time in bold gold to match her nail polish.

There is a lot going on in this dress; construction, design and texture are all competing for our attention. The seaming details, longer sleeve and plunging neckline are other accents. I like this dress but I don’t love it on her. It’s a little too much. I much preferred her in Ellie Saab at the 2006 Grammy’s. Beyonce’s sense of style is dramatic and in that sense the dress does not disappoint. But the earrings are overkill and jarring to me.

She may not have won my award for best dressed but the singer has already won song of the year for ‘Single Ladies’ tonight. Up for 10 awards she is sure to take home many more Grammy’s.  Congrats!

The Image Diva, image consultant and President of Elan Image Management,

New Year Fashion Committments

Happy New Year!

We’re in week two of the New Year and more significantly the new decade. How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? We all make them right?  My greatest wish for you this year is that you will not simply make New Year’s resolutions but New Year’s commitments. Making a commitment requires action and perseverance which are key to achieving your goals.  This applies for all your goals in addition to your image goals.

One of my goals is to invest in more unmemorable clothing. That may sound like a strange goal, but for an image consultant who loves color, prints and unconventional silhouettes, like I do, most of my clothing is very memorable. And memorable clothing is hard to recycle into different looks-not impossible, just harder. Believe it or not, I’ve only just started investing in a couple LBD’s. I never owned them before, now I have 3 for different types of occasions. I wore one twice over the holidays in two completely different ways–impossible to tell its the same dress. The first is in the photo below on New Years Eve where I wanted an edgier vibe:

The second occasion is when I  wore the dress on a recent TV interview for NewsChannel 8! Completely different context, same dress. Check out the link to my clip, you won’t believe the wonders of layering and a whole new set of accessories!

Back to you. Some of your goals could include buying fewer clothes, working with your wardrobe so 100% of the items are those you absolutely love, wearing and buying only clothing that flatters you, working on your professional presence or your personal brand, refining your signature style, getting comfortable accessorizing and adorning yourself in only your best colors. Need help with any, or all of these? My wardrobe consulting services can help you. I also invite you to read the article in my Examiner Column on  image resolutions for 2010.

I am truly excited about the wide open possibilities of a brand new year. Elan Image Management, has some surprises in store and what I know for sure is I’ll be on my toes! I’m getting my dancing shoes on. Will you join me?

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management

How to wear the skinny belt

I have many clients who are stumped about how to incorporate belts into their look. Here are 4 great ways to incorporate the skinny belt into your ensembles (photos from instyle.com except where noted)

1)    Belted over a  cardigan –very common trend and a way to cinch a cropped cardigan without taking away from the clean lines. Victoria Beckham rocks this look with aplomb and looks tres sophisticated. The key is that the sweater is cropped and fitted and the belt the perfect accessory to finish off her look.

In the photo below Leighton Meister belts a vest over a ruffled print dress and looks amazing. She is polished, chic and trendy! Note to self, anything can be belted, jackets, cardigans or vests.

2)    Belted over a pencil skirt with top tucked in—I’m loving this look! The belt brings the whole outfit in proportion and adds focal interest. Like this ensemble from Ralph Lauren–simple yet very effective! www.ralphlauren.com

3)    Belted over a dress—a good trick is to replace belt attached to a dress with a belt of your own of higher quality/more pizzazz. Eva Mendes adds a white belt to her lavender olka dot dress and coordinates with matching white shoes and clutch for a very classic ladylike look.

I love how Camille Belle looks in this gorgeous blue dress which she smartly accessories with a ‘tough’ looking black leather belt. It works and it adds an edge to an otherwise feminine look. She nails it!

4)    Belted with jeans-to add extra flair and to keep them from riding down. Rachel Bilson looks effortlessly casual with a boyfriend jacket, white blouse, paired with a skinny jeans belted with a skinny belt!

Look for more ‘How To’s’ in upcoming posts!

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management

Feminine Chic Styles for Fall

One fashion trend I’m loving this fall is the new subtle femininity (even as the menswear trend continues to be on the uptick). Pleating, ruching, pintucks, panels and tiers will be a design element in a lot of this season’s fashions. It’s all about texture and lines baby! Look at the detailing in the pleating, pintucks and ruffles on this BCBGMaxAzria dress from Nordstrom:

This can be a great way to camouflage figure flaws–use vertical lines to lengthen and thin, horizontal ones to widen or shorten. Ruching and draping—not just for the Greeks! Amazing way to look svelte and alluring while hiding your less than perfect attributes.

You want to make sure you pay attention to fabrication-heavier weight fabric drapes better, like matte jersey or rayon/poly blends. Make sense? Draping or ruching near the tummy area? Genius for those with hint of a tummy bulge. Check out this ruffle silk print skirt from 3.1 Philip Lim available @ Nordstrom. The large pattern and diagonal tiers are great camoflagers!


 

Detailing like bows and ruffles are also part of the ladylike sensibility we are seeing this season. The classic white shirt gets an instant makeover with frills, bows, puff sleeves and dramatic collars, reminiscent of bygone eras when people read poetry to each other. Like this dress from Classiques Entier with a bow tie neckline available at Nordstrom.

 Or this cute ruffle top from Flounce tbd available at Nordstrom

Accentuate your curves in a not so obvious way, with cinched belts, figure contouring sheaths, pencil skirts and softly tailored jackets. Like this perfect ensemble from Speigel.com:

 

Embrace the feminine side of you this fall!

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management

The new look of the mini dress

Hello legs! If you haven’t noticed, ultra short minis are in style for summer. Both Beyonce and Alicia Keys wore versions at the BET awards on Sunday and  other celebs have been spotted rocking the look lately. A few words of advice. If you’re going to show off that much leg your legs  have to be in tip top shape! With these minis it is ALL about the legs. Second you have to find a silhouette that is flattering. When you are going that short you can’t have too much construction or detailing in your dress—the line has to be pretty simple for it to work. And the dress needs to have sleeves for balance. Third, be careful with layering a jacket over the dress because it can make you look top heavy. Fourth, to ensure your leg muscles are working overtime high heels are a must—they elongate the leg that much more and help them look sleeker. And finally, for ladies with full thighs you want to be really sure that hemline is not hitting you at your widest point—the effect will make your thighs look even wider!

I am going to critique a few celebs on their mini choices using  few photos from www.instyle.com .

First up, Alicia Keys, who I think never looked better in this mini sheath dress from Jenny Packman. Its so short she can have worn the dress as a tunic and it would have been appropriate. And even though Keys has full thighs she looks fantastic—the dress drapes nicly over her curves, the beading detail gives her the glam factor and that curly hair balances her body so the overall effect is stunning. And I love that she wore nude tones shoes to keep her legs looking really long.

Beyonce also wore an ultra short printed mini for the BET awards. Not one to show that much leg in a dress (but with her new bare legged videos she has certainly gotten less modest) she looked edgier than usual. I wasn’t crazy about the print and I hated the green hoops which cheapened her look. On her I think the dress was a tad too short too—depending on the angle her thighs looked thicker than they needed to—see photo below. And it is SO short I wondered how she prevented peek-a -boo when seated? Beyonce has great legs but I don’t think this is a look she should replicate.

Leighten Meister sports a fab mini sheath dress from Thakoon. She looks young, fresh and lovely. Note again this is a print but with very simple construction. Just a draw string waist. And black strappy gladiators punctuate her look. Also note that all these dresses have ¾ length sleeves. If you’re showing a lot of one body part it is advisable to keep the rest covered so you don’t veer into trampy territory.

More on this post to come!

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management

Sale @ DVF.com

Readers,

Check out the sale items at http://www.dvf.com (and of course you know that stands for Diane Von Furstenburg!). Like the Peyton Wrap Dress in Black:a classic black wrap dress with short sleeves in a clean and crisp poplin. Perfect silhouette to create that hour glass figure. And for those days when you don’t need to even think about what to wear. Just add accessories and go! On sale for $262.

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This is also cute. The Alondra dress in navy and white chevron print with hip pockets:

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D7513515j9?$thumb_x8$

 Now $297

 

Grab the designer steals when they’re on sale!

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management

Eyes Up for Oscars: part 2

Dear Readers,

At last Sunday’s Academy awards show we saw celebrities embracing a few key trends: white and ecru were the hues of the night, asymmetrical necklines ruled,  pleating, tucking and draping were hot and we saw fewer bare necks and ears compared to season’s past—a wonderful thing! This post is a continuation of yesterday’s ‘eyes up’ post, so without further ado…

Sometimes it’s all about rocking great hair ladies. Kate Winslet is so gorgeous, truly-love her! For this year’s Oscar’s she chose to style her hair in a retro meets futuristic molded style that is so different and yet so perfect for her look last night that she reeks elegant sophistication as always. Of course her amazingly elegant and classic pewter and black Atelier Yves Saint Laurent one shoulder gown and diamond cluster earring s don’t hurt either.

 

Heidi Klum  went all out last night from her fuchsia pink (great color on her) asymmetrical necklined RM by Roland Mouret gown, to  her attention getting colorful, cluster drop earrings and sleek straight hair. And she doesn’t stop there—she piled it on in her  arms stacking bangles in all colors and styles. Some may think it was overkill but I love that she went over the top with it—almost in a tongue cheek way. Rock the rocks Heidi!

Jessica Biel, despite her incredibly bare chest still maintains ‘eyes up’ principles (her hair falls effortlessly on her shoulders and she is wearing fab diamond drop earrings) but because her dress was so ill fitting it took away completely from her look. The design is a disaster! And where are her feet? I am also not crazy about the white (ecru?) color hue on her at all –she fades away and for a woman so beautiful that is a crime.

I  love how Natalie Portman dresses on the red carpet—pretty, feminine dresses with unusual details and unconventional colors. Last night she wore a strapless Rodarte lilac gown and she looked good and so poised. But I wanted to see more bling. The color pops on her and she is wearing the tiniest diamond studs which help?  But her hair is pulled back and there is a lot of neck and chest  that is just so bare. And her hair and earrings aren’t really working to give us ‘eyes up’. As lovely as Natalie is, she does not stand out to me from afar on this red carpet in spite what the red carpet pundits said. Alicia Keys had a similar look and pulled it off much better.

I feel similarly about Anne Hathaway in her strapless Armani Prive-a white accented with champagne-hued pailletted creation with Swarovski crystals. Hair is pulled back (quite matronly I might add), earrings are too tiny to be statement making and all that bareness on the chest. And quite frankly, not loving the white on her at all. It just blends into her skin. Anne needs to stick to the saturated hues like reds and black which she wears so well. The fit at the bust is also not flattering especially when you see it from the side—she can do so much better. 

Sarah Jessica Parker looked like a fairy princess in her light and airy haute couture gown. It was a pastel, mint green Christian Dior creation with a cinched waist and sweetheart, strapless neckline. She did not don a necklace but her hair (wavy and down) and earrings provided enough interest near her face. Plus all the embellishment above the waist worked in her favor. The dress fits her impeccably and she wore that unusual  color so well. One of my favorite looks on her. 

Want to look red carpet ready without spending  a fortune? Give me a holler!

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management