Mother’s Day Issue: Marlaine’s Refined Classic Style

My stylish momma in the ’80s.

I owe my mom everything. My life, sense of humor, and style. Since I was little, I was constantly inspired by my mother, Marlaine, and how she expressed herself through fashion. Especially when we visited the Caribbean, where we vacationed often as a family. The natural surroundings of the resorts and beaches intertwined with my mother’s bright kaftans and accessories are the foundation to my style inspiration.

My mother knew at a young age that I would be a fashion designer, too. I was that child that raided my mother’s closet and paraded around the house in luxurious shoes, apparel, you name it. As she says, “It didn’t take long for me to realize my daughter was going to be in fashion. At age 5, Elaine picked out her outfits for school—and they we’re always so vibrant. I’ll never forget the Kelly-Green jumpsuit she wore. It was clear she was expressing herself artistically, even at that young age.”

young elaine
Raiding my mother’s closet.

A Refined Classic Style

I like to refer to my mother’s fashion sense as a “refined classic style”. In a way, my entire brand reflects this as I constantly, season after season, modernize classic shapes in new and interesting ways. My upbringings are always at the crux of my fashion design process. Even at her age now, she’s still rocking that refined classic style that inspires me to this day.

“I enjoy tailored, high-quality fabrics but I always like to add something to my style that says ‘2017’ to it. It’s important to always incorporate something modern to show your paying attention to the trends.” – Marlaine

Marlaine rocking the Cam Necklace, Candice Earring, Tamara top, Bella in Snake Cork, and Milani Wedge.


Modern Style, Modern Havana

A refined classic style and our current collection go together like salt and tequila (where’s the bartender around here?). As you already know, our Modern Havana collection is a true embodiment of our brand: escapism, travel, and wanderlust. This collection expresses these ideas through vibrant colors, dramatic textures, and tropical undertones.

It’s no surprise Marlaine loves Modern Havana and rocks it better than anyone I know! She gravitates towards the more tailored pieces like our Tamara tunic, while I go for the true dramatic kaftan dress, Landa. There are a multitude of ways to put this collection together to suit your own personal style.

She chose some of her favorite items from the collection. Enjoy!!

  • Cam Necklace– The white beads accompanied with the multi-color tassels brightens up any look.
  • Candice Earring– The bright colored tassels adds a modern edge.
  • Tamara in Cobalt blue- Who doesn’t love a bold color and well-tailored shirt?
  • Bella in Snake Cork– A classic envelope shape, but modernized with the clashing of two prints
  • Milani Wedge– Trendy yet classic, the Milani mid-wedge is comfortable enough to wear everyday!

I’ll never stop being inspired by my mother. Not just for her incredible sense of style, but in her caring, selfless nature that she extends to her children and grandchildren every single day. Never change, momma! Happy Mother’s Day.

Goofing around on set.


Summer Movie Night Part II Featuring Flicks for All Ages!

Guys – It’s time for one of my favorite activities — family movie night!

Feature film correspondent, movie critic and loyal supporter of the Elaine Turner brand, Tara McNamara is back! Last week the Family Flick Chick mused on travel movies and this week she’s got more awesome recommendations appropriate for the whole famn-damily.

What a great list with tips to boot, but I expect no less from this movie pro. I don’t know about you, but I see some Aristocats and Raisinets in my family’s very near future.

Gotta love the forced family fun! 😉 XOXO, Elaine

ETNecklaceInsider ET: What films do you recommend for family movie night, that both kids and adults will enjoy?

TM: All you need for a great family movie night is a film that entertains everyone in the family, a huge bowl of popcorn, and cell phones turned off for 90 minutes. But, to make an incredible family movie night, up the ante. Thanks to Pintrest and 5 million mommy blogs, ideas for doing something extra are now easy to find. Here are 10 movie recommendations from my family to yours:

The Aristocats (1970). The film about a pampered Parisian feline family catnapped to prevent them from inheriting millions wasn’t just my favorite film as a child, it became the favorite film of all of my children. The music is so catchy (“everybody, everybody, everybody wants to be a cat!”) and it may just serve as an intro to jazz (Maurice Chevalier and Scatman Crothers contribute to the vocals.) Craft idea: the kittens do some paw-painting, so do some finger painting after the film! Food idea: The film actually shows the villain butler step-by-step making a cream soup for the kittens that will knock them out – you can make this same recipe (Crème de la Crème ala Edgar) at home (minus the sleeping pills of course) that just might assist in getting your little ones to go to bed after movie night is over.

Double Feature: Back to the Future (1985) and Back to the Future Part II (1989). Go back to 1985 and 1955 with this Michael J. Fox classic that’s a solid bet to entertain children, tweens, teens, parents and grandparentsWatching the second film is even more of a hoot (and leads to a fun post-movie discussion) because Steven Spielberg nailed that we’d be living in an era of innovative tech, but sadly, floating hoverboards and self-tying shoelaces haven’t quite happened yet. Serve Tab, peanut brittle, milkshakes and red and green pizza!

IMG_0493Rio (2011). With the Summer Olympics taking place in Rio de Janiero, this animated comedy about a blue Macaw who is birdnapped while visiting the bustling Brazilian city is the perfect primer. Director Carlos Saldanha told us how important it was for him to depict his hometown accurately, so it’s all there: the enormous Christ the Redeemer statue, Carnavale, Brazilian beach booty, the beautiful jungles…and the crime and poverty. Snacks don’t have to be Brazilian, it can be anything tropical, fruity, or brightly colored.

Click (2006). Thanks to Pokémon GO, my kids’ faces are buried in their phones even more than usual. This Adam Sandler family film is one of my all-time favorites and is more relevant now than ever before. Made before YouTube, Netflix and smartphones, it’s about a career-focused man who gets a magic TV remote that allows him to fast forward through the boring parts of life. Of course, it’s really about living in the present – a great message for all members of the family who get sucked into their devices.

Frozen (2013). I know, I know, you’ve seen this ice princess movie a million times – and that’s the very reason my 5-year old includes it on his must-do movie night list. Rent the sing-along version and the movie becomes interactive as the entire family belts out “Let it Go” and “In Summer.” Treats? Where do you start? Snow cones, of course, and build your own edible snowman with GIANT marshmallows, pretzel sticks, chocolate chips and orange Jelly Bellys for Olaf’s nose.

Babe (1995). Call this The Secret Life of Farm Animals. So many wonderful family films revolve around the live-action animals “speaking,” but this classic from George Miller (yes, the same guy behind the Mad Max movies) is the best. It’s about a sweet orphan pig who demonstrates that kindness and respect are the real keys to success. Food treat: “What’s for dinner?” is more like “who’s for dinner?” on Babe’s farm, so a word of warning: no bacon, sausage, or ham treats for this film!

Superman (1978). The last two Superman movies – Man of Steel and Batman Vs. Superman are not kid-friendly or, for that matter, friendly at all. Back up the time machine to the Superman I believe still wears the cape: Christopher Reeve. What this film holds over the new wave of “dark” superhero movies is that it’s not realistic: Lex Luthor doesn’t seem authentically psychologically demented but rather, a cartoonish megalomaniac; therefore, children can enjoy the fantasy without fear or worry that such a villain exists in real life. Better yet: bring out the action figures and play along with the on-screen action!

Jumanji (1995). A remake is underway with the dream team of Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black and Kevin Hart, so make a movie night of the original! The concept is out there: two siblings find and start playing a board game only to realize the game is playing them. This film still really works and is completely engrossing…from the opening scene, all three of my kids were captivated, as was I. You may recall some kids were pretty freaked out when this film was in theaters, but those 90s-era special effects don’t stand up today and on a smaller screen, are far less frightening. I swooped my little guy out of the room when the bats chase a little girl, but the rest of it I think is fine. After the film, pull out the board games and play…if you dare!

Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer (2011). Have your kids already hit the “I’m borrrrrredddd” summer doldrums? Entertain them while secretly providing them inspiration! Third grader Judy sets out with her little brother and Aunt Opal (Heather Graham) to have the summer of her life. The movie shows kids, if you want to have fun, you have to make it yourself…like creating clubs, creating Guerilla Art, and tracking BigFoot. Fun food game to play with the film: I Ate Something Gross!

Men in Black (1997). Alien movies never get old and they never get more clever than this spin in which government agents are charged with keeping aliens in line and under wraps. It’s funny, it’s imaginative, it’s action-packed, and it’s just a little too scary, a little too violent and a little too profane for younger kids, so keep this one to tweens and teens. Serve: green jello. Wear: black sunglasses.

ET: Any tips for a fun and enjoyable family movie night or final thoughts on kids, movies and summer?

TM: Movies present an extraordinary opportunity to parents: two hours of relaxing entertainment which can open up imagination, perspective and discussion. Summer offers a more flexible schedule, so take advantage to create a weekly movie night with your family. Even better, create a theme for the summer. For instance, my 15-year old and I are doing a weekly 80s Movie Night this summer (the idea is to look for and ridicule the terrible “messages” some of those movies convey). Find a theme that suits your family – like movies about summer vacations, a particular destination, AFI’s Top 10 Films ever made, a sport that your child enjoys (there is a never ending supply of inspirational sports films), movies about cats, whatever! With more than 100 years of films to choose from, trust me, you can find movies to work with any theme! And then, have fun!

One last tip: Don’t forget, public libraries have DVDs you can check out for free!

Be sure to follow Tara @ThatsTara on Twitter and Instagram.

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, I’d be thrilled if you’d share it. And don’t forget to follow and subscribe to Join the Collective!

It’s Movie Night with Family Flick Chick Tara McNamara

Hi Friends-

I am THRILLED to feature film correspondent and movie critic Tara McNamara on the blog today. I met Tara a couple of years ago on a trip to L.A. Her husband is actually my agent. (Who knew? I have an agent!) She’s a lovely person and a loyal supporter of the Elaine Turner brand.

IMG_0608Tara’s career in film journalism began when her 9-year old son Cole had the idea to start a website where all kids could be movie critics. They created and ran KidsPickFlicks for a decade before the site was acquired and Tara became the Editor-in-Chief of two other family and teen oriented movie review sites. (I love the entrepreneurial spirit in that she and her 9-year old son started a business together.)

As a movie commentator with expertise in family films. Tara is a “Today” Show “Reel Mom,” a featured columnist for Fandango, and is a contributor to multiple TV and radio outlets including “The Insider,” “Entertainment Tonight,” and “Inside Edition.” She’s also served as a parent reviewer for Reelz Channel’s “Family Flicks,” the voice of Variety on Sirius XM, and one of CMT’s original VJs.

In this Q & A, Tara provides thoughtful commentary and recommendations on travel movies and several are appropriate for family movie night. So get out of the heat, pop some corn, and enjoy a good movie in the comfort of your home! XOXO, Elaine

ET: What are some of your favorite travel themed movies and why?

TM: Movies transport you to a different time, a different feeling, and sometimes a different perspective. But, there’s nothing like being taken to a different place! My favorite travel films are the ones which give you a taste of a location that ends up whetting your appetite to visit the place in real life. (For instance, Lost In Translation is indisputably a fantastic film but personally, it doesn’t make me want to visit Tokyo, so it’s not on the list). Here’s my list of the Best Vacation Inspiration Films:

Roman Holiday. Ready to fall in love? Audrey Hepburn’s first film ranks among AFI’s most romantic films – and it’s not just American newsman Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) and runaway Princess Ann (Hepburn) who fall for each other, it’s the viewer falling hard for Rome. The film displays all the must-see hotspots through the eyes of the sheltered English princess who is experiencing the Eternal City – and freedom – for the first time. The setup allows the viewer to see the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Coliseum, and the Mouth of Truth with the wonder of a young girl. No worries that this film was made in 1953: time marches on, but Rome stays the same.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013). Add Iceland to your bucket list. Ben Stiller’s remake is 100% inspiration with another 100% of aspiration. Mitty keeps his dreams of adventure in his head until his work ethic forces him on the road and into the rugged and jaw-droppingly gorgeous Nordic splendor. It’s a life-changing trip for Mitty, and this film, which leaves you full of possibility, just may lead you to your own life-changing trip.

ETTodayCharade. Honestly, an entire list of travel destination movies could be made just from Audrey Hepburn movies. And, just like Roman Holiday, where we see all the beauty and landmarks of Rome, Charade traipses through the buildings, streets and parks of Paris. We see Notre Dame, Jardin des Champs Elysées. Arc de Triomphe and other Paris notables. However, to see Hepburn at the Eiffel Tower…you’ll have to watch her in a different Paris-set movie, which won’t be hard: she shot in the City of Lights in at least five other films.

National Treasure and National Treasure: Book of Secrets. History becomes far more exciting when a treasure hunt is involved, especially for families! These Nicolas Cage films make history zing in ways that makes viewers clamor to see landmarks like the Liberty Bell and the Declaration of Independence. For kids, a trip to Philadelphia, D.C., Mount Rushmore and Mount Vernon can now be positioned as curiosity satisfiers rather than historical drudgeries. Thanks to Cage’s “Ben Gates,” I’m making a 10-hour/2 day diversion on my summer vacation just to go to Mount Rushmore and, hopefully, see that secret room behind the presidential noggins.

Blended. African safari sounds phenomenal. African safari with your kids sounds phenomenally nerve wracking. This Drew Barrymore-Adam Sandler comedy about two single parents who accidentally book the same room at a luxury African resort made me snort laugh and realize how awesomely fun it would be to experience wildlife with the safety net (and posh amenities!) of that same family-oriented resort, The Palace of the Lost City in Sun City, with my own family.

Holiday in Spain/Scent of Mystery. If you ever have a chance to experience this 1960 experiment, you must. It’s most notable for being the first and only film shot and distributed in Smell-o-Vision, and if you have a sensitive sniffer, you can actually sniff out the bad guy and solve the mystery before the big reveal. I was in the audience during a TCM Classic Film Festival screening and was surprised that the film is a travelogue comparable to an IMAX film, with sweeping panoramic views of Spain – specifically Andalucia, Pampalona and Granada – showing off the breathtaking beauty of the area and its culture.

Singles. Just try not being drawn to Seattle after seeing this Cameron Crowe romantic comedy. This 1992 film presents a perfect time capsule of life in Seattle during its height of modern day relevance, just as the city was giving birth to the grunge music movement and the artisan coffee shop revolution.

The Hundred-Foot Journey. As a married woman with children, this is my Eat Pray Love. Before meeting my foodie husband, I thought food was just for eating. I didn’t know that a forkful of a well-crafted dish could be artwork in your mouth! Now, we’re a family of five foodies and The Hundred-Foot Journey represents what we want out of a travel experience: exotic deliciousness. Sign me up for an eating tour of the south of France.

Stay tuned. We’re posting more of Tara’s recommendations for family movie night next week! Be sure to follow her @ThatsTara on Twitter and Instagram.

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, I’d be thrilled if you’d share it. And don’t forget to follow and subscribe to Join the Collective!