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Propping Innuendos

17 Nov

I had a request from my friend to be more of my snarky self on my blog.  This one’s for you, Bob.

One downfall of being a wardrobe and prop stylist is that you get a lot, I mean a lot of catalogs in the mail.  The specialized catalogs out there are definitely onto me because of the random crap I frequently have to buy for jobs.  The thing is, I actually look at a majority of them, A) because it’s my job, and B) because there is a lot of hilarious stuff being sold out there portrayed in an equally hilarious manner.  Those of you who back me on Sky Mall as being the best runway entertainment, I highly recommend dumpster diving my recycling bin.  There are a pile of gems tossed out there every couple of days.

I get a lot of manly, hunting catalogs for whatever reason, but I especially liked this one and wanted to share it.  I like it’s subtle, manly innuendos of the life you could have if you started to incorporate more forest green utility shirts into your wardrobe.  I mean beer, cigars, guns, COYOTE???  If we’re going manly, then let’s show some chest hair AND nail hair.  The only thing I’m not sure about is if they hit their wives.  I can’t wait until Spring 2012.

One cigar is never enough.

You can balance wearing a less manly rugby shirt by drinking a draft beer.  I mean, look at that neck stubble.

Rest your head with some manly ease on a coyote, of course.

The forest green half zip pullover sweater gets to have much more fun.

All that work propping up my denim shirt made me want a beer.

I imagine this is how you get some genuine coyote pillows.

Here’s are some more serious prop innuendos for the ladies.  I would have loved to have been on the conference call discussing art direction on this one.  “Let’s make lingerie fun…. Blah, blah, blah….”

The Land of Nod

3 Nov

I can’t tell you how elated I am to be part of the amazing crew who creates  The Land of Nod catalog.  To add icing to the cake, the main art direction I got for the wardrobe styling was to “think outside the box.”  This was exciting to me because with kids, you can be a little more weird.  You don’t want things to look perfect, instead it needs to be imaginative.  I approached this project in creating grown up personas for each of the kids and shopped for elements that would be telling of their future personalities.  Grant it, first and foremost, this is a kids home catalog.  We’re not marketing clothes, and we don’t want them to be too over-the-top so that we lose sight of what we’re selling.  The trick is to conquer this while still having the kids look aspirational.  Since I was shopping for a holiday catalog in July, it involved a lot of thrifting, a lot of rummaging through antique stores, and a lot of vintage perusing; mixed with your basics from Target, Nordstrom, etc.  I also aged a lot of clothes to make them look less off the shelf.

Some challenges I encountered were that some kids already had strong opinions on what they would and would not wear.  “What do you mean you don’t want to wear a top hat with a pipe cleaner brim?  But you’re my mini Johnny Deep, via Benny & Joon!”  Unlike a disciplinary mom who can lay down the law and tell her child to be quiet and buck up, I had to compromise with the talent.  They’re still kids, and they’re not going to give you what you want on camera if they feel uncomfortable.  In the end, we made a deal and I’m pretty excited with the outcome.  Here’s a couple of shots I scanned from the catalog.  You can now find the holiday catalog in stores or in your mailbox.

Future PGA golfer who listens to 90’s hip hop artist, Kris Kross.

Vintage shopping graphic designer.

The 70’s inspired poet.

The musician influence by 90’s grunge.

Urban planner.

City shop owner.

Courtney Rust, wardrobe stylist, The Land of Nod.

Catalog Living

8 Jul

I had to bring this one back in case any of you missed it the first time around.  It kills me.  Now, when I work on a catalog, I like to think of the stories this fine lady will interpret from the pictures we’re creating.  She now has a huge following and rightfully so.  The opportunities to make fun of catalog photos is endless!  Here are some of my recent favorites.  Click on the images to visit Catalog Living.

Liberty & Justice- A new t-shirt line with a purpose.

25 Jan

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I was humbled to be part of this inspiring project that I styled a couple months ago with photographer, Thomas Chadwick for a new non-for-profit organization called Liberty & Justice.  Here’s more about the women behind the t-shirts from their website:

“Inspired by their compatriots who had risked everything in the name of peace, a small group of grassroots Liberian women decided to take an economic stand. While many of their neighbors sell garments locally, these women partnered with Liberty & Justice to launch Africa’s first Fair Trade Certified apparel factory, and subsequently go global. Every time a shirt is purchased here or through one of our partners, another woman in Liberia gets closer to pulling herself out of poverty.”

F**king awesome, right?  It get’s better:

“In 2003, hundreds of Liberian women took to the streets in protest of Charles Taylor’s brutal civil war. They walked unarmed into Monrovia’s escalating violence, wearing bright white t-shirts and headscarves to symbolize their plea for peace. The risk was huge, but others began to follow, and ultimately this gratuitous display of hope could not be ignored.

By September, the United Nations Mission in Liberia began one of the most successful disarmament campaigns in African history. By 2005, the women of Liberia propelled Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to the nation’s highest office – making her Africa’s first elected female head of state. The women’s prayers for peace were finally answered – but their struggle for economic prosperity was still raging.”

Please visit their website @

Harley Davidson Holiday Gift Guide

22 Nov

No, I didn’t get to style ass-less chaps.  I know, bummer.  There’s always next year.  Instead, I teamed up with the amazing prop stylist, Angela Finney and photographer Clint Blowers to soften up these “tough” goods and make your motorcycle thankful for the holidays.  I’ve never ridden a motorcycle, but poking around all those Harley products may have inspired me to upgrade from my single speed bike to something with a little more umph.  Vrooooom.

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Modcloth selected #2 on Inc. Magazine’s Top 500 list.

24 Sep

It was very surprising to see a retailer, an independent retailer no less, at #2 on Inc. Magazine’s top 500 listModcloth is a website that specializes in indie, retro, and vintage apparel, accessories, shoes, and decor from independent designers and artists at an affordable price point.  Much like Obama, they believe in working at a grassroots level in interacting with their client through social media such as Facebook, Twitter and their Modlife Blog.  They also ask you to vote on potential inventory with the Be the Buyer program so you can have the opportunity to have your voice heard to keep the company fresh, relevant, and growing by leaps and bounds. This allows them to continually accommodate their shoppers by pioneering passion for modern trends.  Pretty smart if you ask me and apparently everyone else agrees.  Their 3 year growth is 17,191% and currently have 15.6 million in revenue.

If you’re interested in starting your own retail endeavor, I suggest you read this interview with the founder of Modcloth, Susan Gregg Kogar.  Click on her picture to bring you to the interview. 

If you’ve ever worked on a catalog…

15 Jul

Or if you ever got a little cynical flipping through one because everything is so damn perfect, then you would think this is hilarious!  An actor/writer out in LA started this blog where she created fictitious characters that live in the sample images she pulls from catalogs.  Ha!  I love a little catalog humor.  You need something to knock the perfect world we get hired to create down a notch.  Here are a couple goodies.