Author Archives: dara

About dara

Founder & Pet Fashion Stylist

Dara Foster to speak on Apartment Therapy panel in NYC

Dara Foster will be making an appearance this Thursday, September 4th at 6:30pm at the Design Within Reach flagship store in Soho NYC. The event is for’s Meetup series of design symposiums. Alongside Dara will be Animal House Style author Julia Szabo and modern pet furniture designer Jed Crystal from Hepper. The topic will be “Pet Design: Problems and Solutions” with each of the speakers presenting their best interior design solutions for problems posed when living with a pet. If you are milling around Soho after work please drop by DWR or if you want to guarantee a seat feel free to RSVP here.


CRYSTALLIZED/FIT Student Design Winner Crowned

Pet Fashion Week’s recent runway show opened with a sneak peek into the future of pet fashion design.
Three outstanding designs created by students from the Fashion Institute of Technology walked the runway to open this year’s show. In leading up to this – a FIT student pet design contest was presented by CRYSTALLIZED – Swarovski Elements – with 16 student designers being selected as finalists. Out of the round of 16 a panel of expert judges selected two runners up and one winner.

The runner-ups included: Sojung Leem for her sparkling, flat-backed crystal party dress and Emily Simpson for her creative, crystal transfabric carrying bag.

And the winner of the 2008 CRYSTALLIZED/FIT Student Pet Design Contest is Lyudmyla Muzyka for her beautiful sparkling dress and shirt. Lyudmyla received high marks for her creativity in employing the CRYSTALLIZED materials while balancing that with subtle coloring and unique styling. We look forward to seeing more designs and creativity from her as her career progresses. Check out the video below to see the runway presentation of these three talented designers.


HugX wins 2008 Lifestyle Innovation Award

Ireland based HugX takes top design award at Pet Fashion Week 2008. From the field of 8 incredible “pet dinnerware” designs – a team of expert judges (including Emilie Baltz (, Connie Wilson (moderndog) and our own Dara Foster) had to select a winner of the 2008 Pet Fashion Week Lifestyle Innovation Award. It was a tough choice but in the end the clean lines, utilitarian design concepts and innovative bowl positioning of the Hugx bowl pushed it to the forefront.

Speaking with HugX CEO Jane Grant after the award ceremony we learned more about Hugx’s design pedigree. The bowl was designed with the team of Justin Magee and Stephen McGilloway who have worked with Mercedes and Audi’s auto design team. The automotive design influences are obvious with the metal frame set in an sports-car-like aggressive stance footed upon high-performance skid-proof rubber feet.

A great deal of thought was put into the design and conception of the Hugx. The detachable dishwasher-safe bowl sits snugly into the aluminum frame and can accommodate approx. 1 1/2 cups of kibble and if you turn the bowl around (“ears” pointed down) it will hold approx 1/2 cup of kibble (for feeding puppies or those in need of a little dietary restraint). The positioning and angle of the bowl even allows access for those pathetic satellite dish wearing post surgery pups (though it is decidedly less funny to watch).

Oh yes and to avoid any confusion the company name is pronounced Hug-kiss (as in xoxo) not Hug-ex! However you say it this is an award-winning combination of design and function and is available to purchase through the Hugx website.

We have closed the contest and are alerting the winners! Stay glued to your in-box it might be you!


Pet Fashion Week 2008 Wrap-up

Team PupStyle invaded Chelsea New York’s Altman Building for the 3rd annual Pet Fashion Week New York 2008. Some fierce new designs and styles were on display – and we will be wrapping it up all week long! Stay tuned for photos and videos of the Award winners, the Runway event and trend hunting with pet design expert Dara Foster. Coming this week!

Pet Fashion Week New York 2008 Shout OUTS:


Dara Foster to judge CRYSTALLIZED/FIT pet fashion contest

CRYSTALLIZED – Swarovski Elements recently announced an exclusive pet fashion contest open to Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) students. Using various cut crystal materials from the Swarovski Elements collection students were asked to create pet accessories inspired by New York City. Dara was approached to serve as a judge for the competition – this is quite an honor as past design contest judges have included Sex and the City’s Patricia Fields and other fashion luminaries. The 16 pet fashion semi-finalist designs can be viewed in the CRYSTALLIZED LookBook and the final judging will take place at Pet Fashion Week NY.


Room & Board four-legged bed for your four-legged friend

This lovely understated bed does not demand attention but serves as a comfy puppy repose that fits nicely into a well appointed room. The Schubert Large Pet Bed from Room & Board is constructed with a natural patinated steel frame and a Dorien (100% cotton stain-resistant material) bed cushion cover. The muted Oatmeal coloring of the cushion cover serves as a great neutral backdrop so that your dog stands out more than his bed. At 45″ x 30″ and 9 inches off the floor this bed is built for the larger dog but could serve as a perfect launch pad for your more Napoleonic breeds. The Schubert Large Pet Bed is available for $299.00 directly from the Room & Board site.


Skele-dog shirts give you X-ray vision

The story of the Skele-dog harkens back to a long afternoon in a veterinarian waiting room with a particularly appealing dog anatomy poster. Inspired – Shawn Skeledog whipped up the first shirt design (the Dachshund) for him and his friends and started wearing it around the streets of Atlanta. Every time they walked out of the house they were bombarded with compliments from design junkies, wiener dog fanatics, vets and architects. Fast forward to today and that original wiener of bony inspiration has lead to an ever expanding collection of Skeledog tees. Currently 12 dog breeds are available – including Poodles, Jack Russells, Greyhounds, Chihuahuas and many more. Now you can step outside sporting a stylish nod to your favorite dog breed. Tees are available directly from the Skeledog website and are priced at $25.


Stainless Steel leash hook from Italian Dimensione Disegno

Keeping the party “on the hook”. If your little party animal is known as the one who shows up right as the party goes “off the hook” – this might be the perfect pet gadget for you. The Leone – Wall Dog Hook offers you a third hand to help hold a wiggly leash when you get back home from a particularly exciting squirrel chase in the park.

Made of stainless steel the Leone’s round face plate is riveted with a steel hook and an easy latch carabiner. We could see these hooks used as a bathing restraint as well as giving you a hands-free towel-off pause after coming in from a rainy walk. Currently the Wall Dog Hook is not available to purchase online but you can contact the design firm – Dimensione Disegno for further details.

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