Wednesday, January 29, 2014

à la mode: 5 Days, 5 Looks, 1 Girl - Ester Adams

I am the type of person who enjoys always being prepared. Because of this, I have always been the type of person to carry a multitude of items on my person. I always have a hard time packing suitcases on trips because I tend to want to take half my closet thinking about what I “might” need, and how disappointed I would be if I needed something I left at home. 


On a daily I carry so many folders, magazines, books, and other odd essentials (or what I think are essentials) that I find it amusing whenever one of my friends get a chance to pick it up because their arms always drop a few inches in from the weight and they are always so shocked to learn how much stuff I lug around on a daily. But it’s 2014 now! On top of giving my sunglasses a break, I am on a mission to reduce my carrying load by sticking with the bare necessities. In accomplishing this feat, I continually remind myself of Vogue Fashion Writer, Ester Adams

Being featured on “5 Days, 5 Looks, 1 Girl”, she too is training herself to "downsize from a large tote full of maybe-I’ll-need-them-maybe-I-won’t items to manageable handbags." It’s funny that based on Ester’s overall minimalist looks that one would classify her as a pack rat, but in my fashion, her selection of small shoulder bags and clutches work well to mask her fastidious nature.


She is my motivation every morning when I’m packing my tote for the day to keep it to a minimum. “You don’t need everything!” I tell myself over and over again. I recently found a clutch to stash my blogger essentials in such as my little black notebook, Galaxy tab, flash drives, a pen and pencil, my phone and charger and that has availed me to carry those items very chicly. I can carry it in my hands or slide it in my bag. 


A clutch is such a chic accessory, and Ester Adams use of clutches and small shoulder bags remind me of the easiness that is projected in one’s look when you aren't carrying your home on your back like a snail. I feel much lighter, I am able to move much swifter, and I feel by carrying only certain essentials and clearing the clutter from my bag, I have in essence cleared some clutter from my brain. Ester is a good reminder to keep it simple at times. 


Saturday, January 25, 2014

à la mode: 5 Days, 5 Looks, 1 Girl - Selby Drummond


If there is one thing I favor most about, Selby Drummond, Vogue’s Accessories Editor, is her sunny-side-up attitude she projects in her looks. In my fashion, I am a huge proponent of dressing with wit and humor and creating a look that brings a smile to onlookers. 


Whether people are appreciating the cleverness of my ensemble, or find my look just plain cooky, a smile is an indicator that some sort of interest was sparked, and to me, it’s always fun to get people’s minds going because as Diana Vreeland says, “Give them something them something they didn't know they needed,” and in my fashion, everyone could use a smile.


For me, Selby is great inspiration because I can’t imagine anyone seeing this girl and not cocking a smile. If it’s not for her bright smile and beautifully elongated silhouette, it’s definitely for the subtle details she incorporates in the pieces she wears that make for her polished overall appearance. Appropriately enough, being the Accessories Editor, I adored her reasons for wearing her particular jewelry and accessories.


She reminds me that even if you don’t switch or swap pieces on a daily, or even have high end designer labels to wear, what makes your jewelry spectacular is its sentimental value, especially if you have a piece that is interestingly designed. Selby is a fan of unexpected design detail. I was very impressed with her iPod earphones decoration, and her choice of bracelets. She mentioned that all the rings she wears belong to people she loved at one point, a darling expression of what makes her, her. 


She also wears three necklaces that all have special meanings which she never takes off, but she pairs them with other pieces to give them new life on a daily. I also love how she can say she is borrowing her mother's watches from the eighties, especially because I used to always steal my dad's clothes when I was in high school.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Preserving Style: Beauty At Any Age

I am so happy to be able to present another installment of my Preserving Style topics. All throughout the prior year, as one can tell from posts such as READing Your Style: Scent on a Journey, and READing Your Style: How to be Devastating, I found myself reading and enjoying InStyle Magazine almost as much as my beloved Vogue Magazine. In my fashion, InStyle is a wonderful buying guide and inspiring outfit planner for us common folk. I especially enjoy the magazine’s product reviews in that not only are they a fantastic way to stay up to date on what’s available to buy for our beauty needs, I love the insightful information that goes along with these product reviews that help us to understand what are the specific benefits for our varying needs. In my fashion, being proactive about the maintenance of one's body is the key to beauty. One of my favorite features that I am always excited to read is “Beauty: At Any Age”. 

As we age, we start to recognize changes in our bodies, changes that require more attention in regards to maintaining a youthful appearance. One finds that parts of your body you didn’t have to worry about in your teens are suddenly becoming a growing issue, and that’s where “Beauty: At Any Age” becomes helpful. Whether we like it or not, we are aging every second, and “Beauty: At Any Age” opens our eyes to what changes we can expect to see in ourselves as we age. We are all different, and so, we age differently based on how we were raised, but even if the specific changes outlined in the feature don’t happen to us at the decade they say those changes are to happen, to be able to recognize what’s happening to us when things on our person need a bit more attention is invaluable knowledge that could save you a trip to the doctor’s office. In my fashion, I just don’t want to have to feel like I need to take drastic measures when I feel like my boyish features are withering away. In case you missed an issue, over the next weeks I am going to post the “Beauty: At Any Age” feature from InStyle’s different issues they included their 2013 issues.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bit-O-Inspiro 44

As a reminder, Valentine's Day is around the corner. Use my 3 Part READing Your Style series Scent on a Journey to learn about how to choose the right scent to bring you and your significant other closer. 

READing Your Style: Scent on a Journey (Part 1)

READing Your Style: Scent on a Journey (Part 2)

READing Your Style: Scent on a Journey (Part 3)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

à la mode: 5 Days, 5 Looks, 1 Girl

In my fashion, it’s incredible how my clothes affect my mood. I was speaking with a coworker the other day about how it’s crazy how for some of us we just can’t leave the house without feeling absolutely comfortable in our outfits. I hate when I get the feeling I have nothing to wear for the day because when I do, I don’t feel as confident as I want to feel, especially during these winter months when we have to think in layers. There have been many a time I have been late to work changing my outfit 2, 3, or 4 times because I feel I have not assembled an innovative enough look for my day, or it doesn't speak just right about how I am feeling for the day, or that I know it’s not going to keep me equipped for the day ahead (i.e. for cold weather). To keep me from feeling this way in the morning, I have resorted to preparing my outfits the night before and that has been hard because I usually like to dress according to how I am feeling when I wake. While it’s hard to foretell how I am going to feel when I wake, my solution is to anticipate how I want to feel for the next day, and the outfit I pick out sets the stage for how I will feel. This in turn has helped me to fortify my positivity for the day because in gearing my mind for the day ahead, no matter hectic my day turns out to be, I am reminded with my look to feel great because I look great. I get excited about feeling a certain way (i.e. confident, laid back, utilitarian) because of the look I prepare for myself the night before, a perfect example of the notion that when you dress the outside, you dress the inside. In my fashion, of course one has to prepare oneself for the forecast, but taking it a step further and setting an intention for your day by getting your mind right for a certain attitude with your look is an excellent way to keep oneself in the right frame of mind to accomplish your goals for the day. In our society, we have to get up, and get dressed—fashion is life. As I heard Babs Simpson, say in the HBO documentary, “In Vogue: The Editor's Eye”, “Fashion is important because it revives one! I don’t’ think it’s just frivolous, because I think it would be very depressing if one wore the same shirt and skirt forever.”

Vogue Girls featured in 5 Days, 5 Looks, 1 Girl: Lauren Santo Domingo, Claiborne Swanson Frank, Grace Fuller, Sylvana Ward Durrett, Eugenia Miranda, and Emma Morrison

I love “5 Days, 5 Looks, 1 Girl” on I love reading the girls reasons for wearing what they wore because I gain a lot of insight and motivation to think about my closet and dressing myself differently yet staying true to my personal core. The Vogue girls emphasize their intentions for wearing each piece with specific reasoning, and as I always have championed on #IMFblog is that pieces worn with a certain intention tend to shine brighter than items put on for the pure intention of showing off. It’s so much more striking to allow your character to shine brighter than your clothes. What I find when we get the feeling that we have nothing to wear is that we have run out of inspiration to feel a connection to what we have in our closet, and that we are blocked from thinking about a creative enough justification for wearing the items we posses. While I may want to go straight out to the store and buy something new to wear, that is not the genius in having strong style. From “5 Days, 5 Looks, 1 Girl” I learn about being what I call “Vogue Worthy”, meaning one can be put in the pages of Vogue with the outfit you chose. They help me to realize that dressing up is less about being flashy by showing off new accessories and pieces, it’s about knowing which pieces to wear that make it possible for others to see your pride in being individual. When that is accomplished, people are able to see not just your strong sense of style, but in essence, your strong sense of self. You are not someone who haphazardly wears certain items to gain superficial attention, but when you speak, you have something important and worthwhile to say. One wants others to sense that because when people understand that there is a rhyme and reason to what you wear, people tend to figure that you must have a strong, and valid point of view as to who you are, and are not. The items in your closet speak a certain something about how you live life and, in my fashion, one should always want to show that your opinion means something important, and that you are not just a cloths horse with a malleable sense of life. These next few weeks, I will highlight some of my favorite Vogue Girls who have been showcased on Vogue’s, “5 Days, 5 Looks, 1 Girl”, so you can get a better feel for what I mean, and maintain sartorial elegance for the rest of our lives.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Style Watch: Model Wall - Vogue Diaries (Part 1)

I adore the YouTube series on Vogue Magazines channel entitled, “Model Wall”. In my fashion, the minute long films of the models that Vogue features helps to show us aspects of these models that we don’t see when looking at a high fashion photo spread or high end fashion show. These models are just like any of the rest of us, so it’s interesting to view each model’s unique charm, and witness the interesting things that shape their individual personalities. Even though they aren't all glamed up, they show us the beauty of having one’s own individual interests, having certain perspectives about enjoying life, and leading lives based on their unique passions. They are, in my fashion, perfect representations of the idea that being beautiful is about being an enthusiastic and avid human being. Here I will feature some of my favorite models from the series.

Me being a photographer, I am obsessed with fashion models! I have to admit that I spent a lot of time watching America’s Next Top Model when I was in high school, and Tyra Banks has always been my model of choice even before I was seduced by the world of fashion. In my fashion, models portray a certain freedom of character and a burst of personality that we all would love to express for ourselves. What I have found is that the qualities we find most captivating in a model is their ability to portray an emotion that we as people feel, or would like to feel. As I mentioned before in my à la mode post, Into the Swing of Things, advertising is more about buying the feeling than about buying the product.

When it comes to my favorite models, what intrigues me about them is their ability to improve as a model by using their looks to show many different characters and portray the range of personalities they have inside. They portray something we haven’t seen before, or haven’t seen for a while, and this ability in top models of the world is infinitely intriguing to myself because I feel life is about transforming oneself, and models show us interesting ways to do that. In my fashion, they exude a certain courage, intelligence, and confidence, for they must find ways to expose a vulnerability from within that creates an snapshot of an authentic human experience. Even though one may be blessed with aesthetically pleasing features, to conjure that emotion for a photo is the real beauty of a photograph.

I love to see a photo that sends a jolt through my body, gives me goose bumps, and makes it so that I must stop, stare, and wonder how that photo came to be. Is it because of the photographic composition or because of the model’s actions in the photo that spark my intrigue? Models portray a zest for life that we all aspire to, and the way I have found to enjoy my life, is to look as if I could be in someone’s fashion spread, no matter where I am, for if I look as though I am magazine quality, most of the time, my attitude will bring itself to match what I am portraying on the outside. To think about the possibility of looking a certain way a model does in a particular look is aspirational, so long as one realizes that the beauty of their look comes less from their looks, and more from the feeling they exude from within. The question is how can you find the ways in which you can bring that emotion from within yourself for others to see in you. In my fashion, that is what will make you most intriguing. Fashion works to bring out the beautiful uniqueness of our inner character that yearns to be seen, heard, and expressed. After all, our differences are what make us most interesting and beautiful.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

EDITOR'S LETTER: January 2014

Being that last month I focused on the recent projects produced by Swarovski in the past few years, going into this new year, I was fortunate to find a panel discussion lead by Member of the Swarovski Executive Board, Nadja Swarovski which featured famed interior designer, Iris Apfel, and President/Creative Director of Kate Spade, Deborah Llyod, at the LINK Jewelry Summit this past April in 2013. This 30 minute discussion on their secrets to style and creativity has become my inspiration for the month of January, and in my fashion, the coming year as a whole. I was glad to see this video because I wanted to know more about the style icon, Iris Apfel, and it’s great to hear her account of her contributions as a arbiter of style. I am always glad to hear success stories from industry leaders like her, and it was great to listen to Deborah Llyod’s perspective at the helm of the Kate Spade brand, but what I found most intriguing and inspiring is how much their insights said about what it means to enjoy life and be an individual. In my fashion, their analyses of the different subjects Nadja probed them about were allegorical truths for life that I feel we need to remember as we go into this new year aspiring to become greater than we were before.

Going in 2014, it's out with the old sunglasses I was so used to wearing everywhere I went, and in with my new Ray Bans to experience the world through more open eyes (litrerally and figuratively). How do I look?

As you may remember from my March 2013 EDITOR'S LETTER, I have been on the hunt for a perfect pair of eyeglasses for myself, and I finally got some classic circular framed, tortoise shell, Ray Bans this past Christmas (Thanks mom and dad!). Now, I am not one for New Year's Resolutions (by the end of the year I find I can never remember what specifically I committed myself to "resolving"), but I do go about the idea in a more sartorially conscious manner. I feel going into 2014, the new glasses I got will help me change for the better. Since I got my new eyeglasses in late November, I have been wearing my beloved sunglasses less and less. Since college, I have made my big, dark, sunglasses a signature piece of my overall look that people know me for. The thought of abandoning my mysterious allure by revealing my eyes with eyeglasses was mildly daunting because I am so used to the comfort of wearing them. What I learned by wearing my sunglasses all the time (even indoors) was how our eyes make a big difference in our interactions with others. While my sunglasses gave me a certain confidence by defining a certain look for myself, in my fashion, perhaps it was time for me to experience life through more open eyes. Ever since I gave my shades a rest, I have found myself to be much more engaging with others through my eye contact. I find I have a new confidence about interacting with people now, and being an introvert, I find that by forcing myself to take off the sunglasses and be more expressive by with my eyes, I find myself resisting the urge to be solitary and antisocial. Being social has always been  a struggle for me, but in my fashion, this change in my style serves as a badge of courage to overcome my social anxiety and improve my quality of life. It’s a growing experience.

In regards to my New Year’s Resolutions, I consider my effort to be more engaging with my eyes one way to bring new opportunities and experiences my way this year. My thing about resolutions is that while we may have specific goals for ourselves, if we can see a positive difference in who we are compared to who we were the year before, we have accomplished our resolution regardless of achieving our financial, career, or relationship goals. In my fashion, its not  worth it to be a person who works so hard at being happy that in effect one becomes unhappy. Revealing my eyes more is my testament of the idea that change is good, and we should never stay the same. Staying the same is boring, and when you stay the same, that means you are not growing. Changing up our style is a way to refresh our attitude about life, and in my fashion, the key to reaching one’s goals is to be able to maintain an attitude that continually stimulates your will to work towards your goals. That is the premise of what I gathered from Iris Apfel and Deborah Lloyd. Fashion helps to release us from the monotony of life, and style is our badge of courage to show that you will hold on to your spirit of youth. The thing about keeping a youthful spirit that Apfel so aptly puts it is that we must keep ourselves stimulated. In my fashion, while our bodies grow old, a youthful spirit never grows old because one retains that desire to learn and grow. As Apfel says, “If you are not interested,  you can't be interesting!" This month, BE STIMULATED is the key phrase going into 2014, so look forward to exploring how we can use our style to stimulate our youthful spirit, because when you think about it, life is all about the things that stimulate us. Have an awesome 2014!