So…Now, That I Know the Definition….How Do I Become a Taste-maker?

Part 2 of a 3 part blog

  “We just started another event called “Pretentious Swank,” said Gary Whitlow of the G2Experience and one-seventh of the Tastemaker creators. A Private Guest list Party, the first event was hosted by producer extraordinaire Bryan Michael Cox, Royce from VH1’s hit series, “Basketball Wives, and Tiffany from Oxygen’s number one rated show, “Bad Girl’s Club.”

Yesterday Daily Dose of Hauteness helped kick-off the first-ever Taste-maker, “This is the Life Weekend,” with an exclusive interview with “Mr. Taste-maker,” Gary Whitlow. We touched on what a Tastemaker was and how seven young entrepreneurs in Nashville came together to create the model now being patterned as an elite and inclusive “must-do” monthly event.

I’m sure many of you participated in the community service activity, the happy hour at Tayst or the official kick-off party at Karma Ultra Lounge. In fact, while at the salon yesterday, I saw at least three people who confirmed they were getting their hair touched up before heading to the happy hour. This is the type of excitement Whitlow and his partners were trying to create when developing the first exclusive three-day weekend Nashville has seen.

Let’s be honest, there have been others in the past who have compiled a listing of parties hosted by their companies, organizations and the likes – but none have joined activism with networking with entertainment while spicing it up with a party here and there. The last time I remember a compilation as such, were Greek weeks in undergrad.

While everyone is busy trying to be a “socialite” (no pun intended Karma) none realize that a true socialite gives back to the community before partying; they are known for their philanthropic contributions way before their red carpet flicks hit the blogs. This is one of the reasons that we knew Tastemaker Weekend was going to be a success – Pretentious Swank isn’t about just socializing. But, really, you’ve got the community service down – you’ve learned to network via the happy hour and you party “karmawasted” style as Dolewhite and Scooby, on-air personalities for 101.1 the Beat, would say.

But does any of this make you iconic? Does it make you a Taste-maker? What about your appearance?

When doing research for this posting, I came across a good list of things that one must have to be considered a “taste-maker.” “How to be become a Fashion Icon,” posted on gave some insightful tips. Below are the top two suggestions.

• Knowing how to dress is key. Choose a few key looks that will suit your lifestyle and body type, and implement them into your current wardrobe. Make sure to put your own spin on a look.

• Write down a list of words you want to describe your look or vibe. Then, compare that list with the items from fashion magazines that you like, and that will suit you well.

So what does Whitlow think?

How does fashion fit in to the Tastemaker experience? 

The definition of a Taste-maker is one who popularizes fashions and trends, therefore it is extremely important. We strongly encourage people to “SHOW UP TO SHOW OUT.” We want people to bring there “A” game, in terms of their appearances. That’s why our dress code states: Dress code & Behavior restrictions are at the discretion of theg2experience management and pertain not merely to articles of clothing, but more importantly to STYLE, EXECUTION and ATTITUDE.

Who are your target audience?

We have set out on a journey to engage and entertain Nashville’s most inspired. We want individuals who take pride in their nightlife experiences, and understand what it means to Work Hard and Play Harder.

Alright, tonight’s event: Two of Nashville’s own, recording artist Rio and female vocalist Casme’ perform at Veranda. Doors open at 7 p.m. Casme’ performed at last year’s Haute Swapping for a Cause in Hillsboro Village and we LOVED it. I’m sure this is going to be a HAUTE, relaxed event and great R&B.

Looking for something to wear? It is Friday, so unlike Thursday we can change it up a little and “let our hair down,” so to speak. Below are three very different looks that may be possible for this evening.

The first is a Tutu and attacked tank dress from – ready? Wal-Mart! LOL, no really I was grocery shopping and came across this dress on the sale rack and had to snatch it. I paired it with riding gloves, glasses and accessories.  Great 80’s look with a 2010 twist.

The second is a light sweater dress. I like this option because it is not so light and not so heavy –  and the detail on the dress is crazy. What’s even better is my shoes were black/pink (can’t see them)  as well, matching the detail of the dress. I wore my glasses with this outfit – had the “sexy” teacher look going; (LOL).

Dress #3 is another great find..this is a dress from Target. I seem to always find cute dresses while browsing isles for food and home goods. My best shopping is done 30 minutes before Target closes. I really love this dress! It fits wonderfully and is extremely comfortable. Ladies, for those of us, who hate our little bulge in the belly area, the ruffles/layers down the front really hide that nicely. Paired with Nine West snake-skin replicas and clutch.

Of the three outfits, my favs for tonight would be 1 and 2. I’m betting this event is going to be somewhat similar to a listening party and while dress #2 is HAUTE, I think you may want to save something similar for a later event.

Make sure you are at Veranda at 7 p.m., and rest up for Part 3 of this blog as well as pretentious Swank “Black and White Party,” tomorrow!

Also, check out Fab Glance Nashville for other ideas!

~Stay Haute~


Do You Have What it takes to be a Taste-maker?

Part 1 of a 3 part post 

 If so, this is your weekend to prove it! 

As I sat and lulled over the above stated question, it got me to wondering just what truly is a taste-maker? One can break down the word and tell that it obviously involves making or creating a specific “taste,” but just what type of taste are we discussing and how do we decide that you or I am considered a “taste-maker?” 

Okay, so I’m a writer/editor at heart, which means I typically try to find the listed meaning of a word. One search of “taste-maker,” and I found a great definition.  

Noun, 1. Taste-maker – someone who popularizes a new fashion. Fashion arbiter, trend-setter · role model, model – someone worthy of imitation. 

I absolutely love it! I sat down with “Mr. Taste-maker,” himself, Gary Whitlow, one-fourth of the G2Experience – a promotions and marketing company, who came together with six others to develop “Tastemaker,” a monthly event held in Nashville, Tenn. This month, Whitlow and his crew have created a three-day weekend reminiscent of Atlanta’s recent “LudaDay Weekend” – but focused more on highlighting Nashville, its professionals and growing entertainment industry. 

Just as the definition states, Whitlow along with Deshun Smith, a national photographer who has shot events such as New York Fashion Week and traveled to Paris for shoots, Stacy Murdic, Bryan Roberson and Derrick Sharp, who all work in Healthcare, Gary Steven, an account executive, Derrick Pasley a senior at Middle Tennessee State University and Patrice, who is in Education came together to create a monthly mixer targeting the trendsetters or “taste-maker’s” of Nashville.  

Now I’m sure that was a lot to read, because trust me it was a lot to type – I know. However, when you think about it, putting together an event that will propel Nashville to the upper echelon of nightlife takes the combination of the right team with the right vision and a lot of detail.  

So, for the last year or so, “Tastemaker” has become the staple for professionals who want to go out but don’t want to be caught up in the “club” scene. Held one time per month, on the third Friday, Tastemaker features a new venue each month – typically a lounge or restaurant scene that is an undiscovered gem in the city, generally a sponsored spirit or liquor and a HAUTE deejay. Not like your regular Friday night event, Tastemaker opens its doors at 8 p.m., and tops the night just around midnight – giving you the opportunity to venture off into the city or wind down early.  

Once a month is working, right? So why try something new? Let’s get into this interview with Whitlow to find out.  

I should stop here and say that this is going to be a three-part blog. We will feature excerpts from Whitlow’s interview during the three-day event. We will highlight outfits of course from my closet that gives you examples of what to wear over the weekend. Let’s face it, we are a fashion blog, more so a diary of my wardrobe and my ramblings. This interview and accompanying pictures have really forced me to shop my closet.  

Over the next three days we will break up Whitlow’s interview focusing on key points behind the creation of Tastemaker, the events for the evening and ideas on what to wear! 

Tastemaker “This is the Life,” weekend kicks-off with community service – sorting canned goods for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tenn. Now you all know we are excited about this! As you know, this month is Hunger Action Month and Second Harvest is celebrating with its “30 Ways in 30 Days” campaign. Haute Swapping for a Cause, will be held THIS Saturday in support of Second Harvest and the campaign. We are excited that G2Experince and Tastemaker have joined us in the push to raise awareness for Second Harvest.  


Why did you create Tastemaker? 

My colleagues and I felt there was a void in Nashville nightlife.  Time and time again we would go out and be disappointed.  We felt something was missing and wanted to put together an event that would resonate with TRUE professionals within the Nashville Community.    


Why do you feel that it is important for Nashville to have an event such as Tastemaker? 

Nashville needs Taste Maker because it’s something different.  It’s not the same as going out to other events.  You come to Taste Maker and are confident that it’s going to be a fun and unique experience.   And unlike your typical nightlife event, we party from 7pm-12am, which provides the perfect opportunity for like-minded people to unwind with out the CLUBBY atmosphere.  I think another reason it’s important is because we continuously Champion the success of other individuals and people by highlighting different host every month.    


Why is community service important to promoters/this event?  

We know how fortunate we are, and we also know that change starts with ourselves.  So we always make sure Taste Maker funds are donated to other organizations.   



Today’s events start with the Tastemaker Weekend (TMW) community service at 5 p.m., the Happy Hour at Tayst at 7 p.m., and the official kick-off at Karma Ultra Lounge for Socialite Thursdays in conjunction with TMW. 


So now you ask what to wear??! If you’re like me, you will unfortunately miss community service because of your job, however the Happy Hour gives you enough time to go home and create an outfit that will help you catch the last rays of sun and hot weather in Nashville.  Now Karma is a different story. The Socialite PACKS out every Thursday, which = HAUTE, HAUTE, HAUTE and not in a good way.  This event, you want to wear the least clothes while still being cute and respectable. Check the ideas below! 


The Happy Hour  



Ripped jeans have been around for  some type and in my opinion can be considered an accessory to the outfit. I paired ripped jeans with a cami and striking stilettos with matching jewelry. 


Both the jeans and the cami are Forever 21 

Shoes are Qupid, purchased in Los Angeles 

Jewelry is old. 


This is very laid back with a burst of color, great for a late night Happy Hour. It can also be worn to Karma and would be just as comfortable. 




Option number 1 for The Socialite at Karma shows ALL legs. The outfit is still conservative enough that you won’t be misrepresenting yourself while showing enough skin to stay comfortable in the ensuing heat. 


The dress is also Forever 21 




Option 2 is also great for the Happy Hour and Karma. Ulrike dress #1, not much is showing and is a little more conservative for a restuarant. This dress comes with the attached belt and is similar to a t-shirt style. 


Dress is Forever 21 

Shoes are Aldo 


This post has been dedicated to Forever 21. You have three alternatives for ‘tonights events on a budget! Make sure you slide over to FabGlanceNashville for other alternatives as well!  

For more information, visit 


Part 2, tomorrow! 


Stay Haute!

Haute Swapping for a Cause to Raise Money for Local Nonprofit


Haute Candy, Inc.

lifestyle and fashion public relations


Haute Swapping for a Cause to Raise Money for Local Nonprofit

Nashville’s first organized clothing swap a part of Second Harvest Food Bank Hunger Action Month

(Nashville, Tenn., September 10, 2010) – Haute Candy, Inc., a local public relations and event planning company has announced the second annual Haute Swapping for a Cause, the company’s signature philanthropic swap party. Scheduled for September 18 from 5-10 p.m., this is the first-ever organized clothing swap developed in Nashville to raise money for area nonprofit organizations.

Swap parties, made popular on the East and West Coasts, in cities such as New York and Los Angeles, are alternatives to thrift and exchange shopping. Fashion savvy shoppers join for a night of shopping, mixing and mingling. At such swaps, individuals bring clothing to create a large shopping atmosphere. Clothes, purses and shoes are arranged from size, color and season for attendees to browse racks in search of “new-to-you” items. Raynetta Smith, owner of Haute Candy, Inc., and creator of the swap came up with the idea as a way to bring like-minded ladies together for a night of fashion and philanthropy.

“I developed this event as a way for my company to give back by doing something we love,” said Smith. “I am a professed shop-a-holic, with a passion for thrift shopping and helping the community. Haute Candy is a public relations company geared towards the lifestyle, fashion and nonprofit genres and we felt that this would be a positive way to bridge our expertise with our philanthropic responsibilities.”

This year, Smith has partnered with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle TN during September’s Hunger Action Month. The event is part of Second Harvest’s 30 Ways in 30 Days program. Last year, the event was held at the Clothing XChange in Hillsboro Village in support of the YWCA Weaver Domestic Abuse Center.

At Haute Swapping for a Cause, attendees do more than just shop. Smith has created a night of pampering for those who participate. This year’s event includes the Sephora Haute Lounge sponsored by Cherubim Ink, a makeup and hair consultant in Nashville. The lounge will include massages by BeSimple Massage, Sephora Temptu Airbush demonstrations and makeovers by Makeup by Trecie and Cherubim Ink. There will also be a Vitamin Water Zero Lounge sponsored by Aleksey Imports featuring the signature Debortoli Wines Emeri Pink Moscato, desserts by Dolce Desserts, Christie Cookie and featuring food by Personal Chef Jason Williams.

Not to mention, a silent auction with items donated by Sephora, Woo Skin Care and Cosmetics, Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans, actress Nicole Kidman, Baby2B and many more.

Proceeds from the ticket sales as well as the silent auction will go directly to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle TN.

For those who wish to attend the event, at the Velocity in the Gulch, tickets can be purchased at for $30, in advance. Tickets may also be purchased at the door on September 18 from 5-6 p.m., only. Those wishing to swap, may bring up to six items in new or gently used conditions. Smith and the Second Harvest Food Bank also request that attendees bring a canned good, for a chance to win a raffle prize.

This night will also feature Mandy Hale, Nashville Examiner Writer and Twitter inspirationalist @thesinglewoman as the guest speaker.


 For media inquiries or media that wish to attend the event, contact Haute Candy, Inc., at or 615-438-8238.

GLAM Academy was a Success!

A couple of weeks ago, I told you all about GLAM Academy. GLAM is the acronym for Girls Learning About Makeup. The day camp was developed by my client Contrecia Tharpe, owner of Makeup by Trecie. She created the camp for preteens and teen girls who were interested in learning about makeup application and the proper techniques to use.

The event was held this past Saturday, for more than 30 young girls a part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. The girls attended the four-hour camp with their “Big Sisters” and had a great time. Tharpe provided hands-on demonstrations, t-shirts, gift bags and certificates to the young ladies upon completion of the course. She also put together a Powerpoint that the girls were able to take home and reference for future use.

This event was so much of a success, that all parties involved have requested that she offer another, extensive, camp soon. I was very excited about the turnout. Channel 2 News, WKRN, also came out and did a segment on the event. It can be found on their website. And, I was able to secure gift bag donations from companies such as Carolina Pad, which was a true “hit” with the girls.

All in all, this was a great event for “Back to School” as most of the students had their first day of school yesterday. Look for more events from Makeup by Trecie SOON!

Today’s Outfit: (comes from the weekend)

Black Mini – Forever 21

Cropped Top – Wet Seal

Accessories – Old

Makeup – Makeup by Trecie ( Twitter: @makeupbytrecie)

~Stay Haute~