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Haggar Style Guide

17 Apr

This was without a doubt, one of my favorite projects I’ve ever done.  I knew it was going to be good when the producer told me the agency requested me because of my, “Quirky Wes Anderson style.”  Pinch me.  So off I went to Philadelphia Pennsylvania to create a 10 look style guide for Haggar’s new Life Khaki clothing line.

Being in a new city with only 2 days to pull for 10 looks and props without an assistant was a little bit daunting, but the job ended up being one of those wonders where it was 100% hiccup free.  I also had one of the best creative teams from the ad agency by my side to create the cardboard cutouts you see in each shot.  There was a lot of blood and sweat, but tears were replaced with cheese steak whiz, and we all ended up with something we could be proud of.

You can see more Like Khaki looks, HERE.

Haggar Life Khaki Style Guide: Styled by Courtney Rust.

Phot0grapher: John Romeo

Trendsetters speak at Stylelikeu.com

26 Mar

Stylelikeu.com goes into trendsetters homes and asks them to explain what is in their closets.  All the subjects come from a creative place: whether they’re fashion designers, stylists, editors, musicians or artists, they all have strong feelings about why they wear what they do, and a story behind how each article of clothing made it to their rack.  Some interviews are better than others; I went from feeling truly inspired, to feeling like I’m watching a monologue outtake from an alternative 90’s movie.  Either way, this website makes you rethink why you buy what you do, and maybe will inspire you to put a little more oomph into your wardrobe.

Here are a couple of my favorite interviews:

Christene Barberich, Editor -in-Chief at Refinery29.com

Kim Hastreiter, Founder of Paper Magazine.  (I first started stalking this woman when I saw her interview in Bill Cunningham NEW YORK.  She’s amazing.)

Tavi Gevinson, Editor-in-Chief of Rookie Mag, Style Rookie, and local Chicago native.  As you know, she’s my favorite.

Caroline Mode’s Stockholm Street Fashion

9 Jan

Caroline Mode’s Stockholm Street Fashion is new addition to my daily blog hit list.  It’s updated multiple times a day and you’ll rarely see anything that’s lackluster.  I can’t say I’m surprised since the Swedes crank out some of the best music.  It’s also good for finding names for your newborns and/or dog…  “Come here Zuzanna, ZUuuuZannnnnAAA.”  Bookmark, done.

Click on this link to jump on it or click on the sampling of fine looks below to bring you to the site.

Dressing for a Party

5 Jan

I know I’m a little late on this one because many of you put away your sparkles until next NYE, but this is a funny read regardless, and brings up a lot of hilarious points.  It’s written by a teen for the online magazine, Rookie.  It’s funny that I relate to a teenager’s point of view more than the lady on your daily morning TV show who’s face could break at any given moment who’s closer to my age.  This young lad gets it.  Dress with a plan, man.

Every article about dressing for a party focuses on things that I don’t care about. I mean, thanks, lady/teen magazine, it’s really nice that you took the time to liken my body shape to a piece of fruit and then pick out some items that are flirty or edgy, but what I choose to wear to a party usually has nothing to do with how I am shaped or what my “style personality” is, and more to do with how I want the night to proceed. Parties are condensed pockets of potential where anything can happen if only I go into the evening with the proper outlook. Getting dressed is just one way to set the tone.

Thus, instead of an article about outfits, this is an article about strategy. I talked to a bunch of my friends about how they decide what to wear for a night out, and distilled their answers into a few tactical plans. All of these are viable party-outfit strategies, because you are a real human with a diverse range of moods, and not a pear-shaped hanger for statement necklaces under $25 that will catch your crush’s eye from across the room.

“I came to dance.”

This is probably the most honorable party-dressing motive. You aren’t at the party to network or hook up or cry in the corner—you’re just there to have a good time. Wear flat, closed-toe shoes and clothes that won’t make you overheat. Jeans are good for maximum coverage if you plan on dipping it extra low, but outside of that they don’t do too much to actually enhance your moves. I like combining leggings with a fringy or twirly dress that moves when you move (just like that). A dress with pockets is doubly convenient, because it lets you leave your purse at home. If you want to wear makeup, go with bright lipstick instead of heavy eye makeup, which will run when you sweat. Ignore that advice if you are going for a “Thriller” type of thing.

Spontaneous unplanned costume party.

Read more….

Carine Roitfeld – Irreverent

2 Jan

This was one of my favorite Christmas gifts this year, the book Carine Roitfeld – Irreverent, from my amazing husband that remembers things that I mention with excitement over a month ago.  This goes through the nitty-gritty of everything you might want to learn and see from the famous ex-French Vogue fashion editor.  This book only reconfirmed her authenticity as a stylist.  She’s someone I truly admire, not because I want to style like Carine Roitfeld, (I’m not a french aristocrat and didn’t have an erotic film director for a dad, therefore that ship has sailed); I admire her for her whimsy in styling, her sense of humor, and her confidence in her spontaneous ideas.  I’m not sure how someone becomes so cool in the world of Paris fashion, where everyone acts like a black cat on a marble perch.  Probably just a perfect ball of neglecting judgemental peers and social quos, while having unadulterated superior taste in all that looks perfect on a magazine page.

Here are some of my favorite quotes taken from Irreverent.

What do you attribute your success to?  Can you define it, or is it a mystery to you?

There’s certainly something mysterious about it.  It’s not my place to say whether I have any talent or not, but success is a mix of hard work and good luck.  I met the right people at the right time, but I also knocked on the doors that I knew were the hardest to enter.  I never chose the easy option.  I have always gone after the most interesting things, even if they are the most difficult.  Always!

So what exactly is signature Carine Roitfeld in your fashion photos?  Could it be an approach to elegance with a suggestive-not explicit sexual component?

I do things by instinct.  For example, I can hang a Chanel bag around Christy Turlington’s neck and all of a sudden, the chai strap becomes a punk S&M accessory.  For me, the main thing is that the photo is sublime, and I let myself be guided by that.  I can do a very sexy photo with a simple pearl choker, or use the sort of very bourgeois lavliere shirt with a bow on it that was worn by Simone Veil, and tie it around a mode’s breasts to make it look like a bondage picture.  Actually, I love violating the codes of bourgeois elegance.  I love high heels with tracksuit bottoms and a black bra under a white shirt.  It’s probably a reaction to my bourgeois upbringing, but it’s also a way of showing a woman’s wardrobe from a different angle, overriding convention and overturning the rules of seduction.

How do you manage to preserve your creativity?

Although I’m very diplomatic, I’ve learned not to back down when it comes to my own vision.  I stay inside a bubble so I can focus on my own creativity and not feel burdened by outside influences or pressure.  I don’t live in a fairy tale – anything but.  But I remain inside my private, insulated space where I find my inspiration and my freedom.

*Carine Roitfeld on the left with a cheetah.

My next fantasy?  No idea.  I never know ahead of time what I’m going to do on a shoot.  It’s completely instinctive process.  I decide at the last-minute, and I order in the accessories at the last possible instant.  I must have my back against the wall to come up with the right ideas.

*Carine loved to use women of all body types.

Street Etiquette

15 Nov

I apologize for the gaping holes in between posting.  I’ve been working out-of-town and have only had my iPad in hand, which won’t let me post to WordPress for whatever reason.

Any who, I’d like to share this men’s fashion blog in case you haven’t come across it yet.  Street Etiquette, comes from the masterminds of Joshua Kissi and Travis Gumbs, who are only a mere 20 years old.  The blog has only been around since 2008, but is already recognized as one of the most influential men’s fashion blogs.  It’s thoughtfully put together, and full of a ton of inspiring ideas from a wide range of eras, assembled in a way that looks like tomorrow.  I grabbed a lot of inspiration from it to create my mood board for the men’s khaki lookbook I was working on last week.  Bookmark the hell out of this.  Done.

Online shoe saviors.

18 Oct

The length of every wardrobe stylist’s day could be cut a little shorter with these online shoe sources.  If you can’t find what you’re looking for online, well, you’re probably not going to find it at DSW, Nordstroms, Bloomingdales, etc., especially kids shoes where if you like the style, it’s almost a guarantee they won’t have the size you need.  Do yourself a favor, and the nice man who looks at you very perplexed when you say you don’t want to try on the 10 different styles of men’s hiking boots you just picked out, order online.

Here are the fastest, most reliable, and quickest to refund your credit cards post return.  Coincidentally, they also have the largest inventory.

Endless – Good for men, women, and kids.  Have a trendier selection than Zappos or Shoes.com.  Always comes the next day.

Zappos -They have the largest inventory, are the most reliable, and are the fastest at refunding your credit card post returns.  They are the best at basics, but I would look elsewhere if you want to get all crazy in style.  I also buy a lot of wardrobe from them as well, their kid inventory is better than their adult.

Shoes – Usually comes in 2 days.  A lesser version of the above two mentioned, but still good to know about.

Piperlime – Usually comes in 2 days.  This is the trendiest of all the websites listed, but has the smallest selection.  I’ll order from them if I get sizes well before the shoot day.  They only offer apparel for men and women, not kids, but have children’s shoes.  Tim Gunn and Rachel Zoe approved.

Between these four websites you should have your needs covered for 95% of advertising shoots.

Luxury Garage Sale

3 Oct

If you’re all fancy and love designer goods, or you love a solid victory on Ebay, you’ll be a big fan of this website.  Luxury Garage Sale curates some of the best vintage finds on Ebay in an easy to view list, to save you the time of having to rummage through all the other crap you get when you search for “Chloe brown sandals” on Ebay.  Once you select the item you think you’ve been looking for, the bidding wars begin and you’re redirected over to Ebay to place your bets.  If you have the patience and determination, you can come out with some amazing goods at a fraction of the price.    On the flip side, if you need to sell some of your treasures, they’ll come to you and post your items on Ebay and do all of the work.  You can read more about this service here.

You can start spending your money by clicking on the image below.

Watch this. Bill Cunningham New York

26 Sep

In lieu of keeping on topic of our wise elders that we could learn a thing or three from, Bill Cunningham may just be my new hero after watching Bill Cunningham New York.  I keep finding myself being overly attracted to either kids under the age of 15 or people over the age of 75.  Maybe it’s because they share the same common thread of having less inhibitions on what is important.  The rest of us in the middle are more worried about what everyone else is doing/thinking, which makes the meat a little less easy to taste.  That’s why Bill is my hero.

Bill Cunningham is thought of the original street photographer in having shot the streets of New York since the late 60’s.  “I’m not interested in celebrities with their free dresses,” Cunningham says in the film. “I’m interested in the clothes.”  He keeps the schedule of a fisherman, rain or shine, blizzard or hurricane, he hits the street with his 35mm Nikon and tirelessly documents fashion on everyday people.  He has a spread that appears weekly in the Sunday New York Times Fashion section, that points out trends before Anna Wintour reports on them in the pages of Vogue.  More than highlighting his prolific body of work, this film really makes you love Bill for what he stands for, which is his independence and ethical stance on what fashion should be.  He often refuses to get paid because he feels then people could then tell him what to do.  He’s one of the few tenants left in the famous Carnegie Hall lofts, with a studio that is no larger than a closet, filled with filing cabinets of negatives and art books.  It’s ironic for a man who’s incredibly passionate about fashion to laugh at ever having the need for a closet.  He only has the clothes on his back and a change of the exact same clothes that he hangs through the handle of a filing drawer.  As for his ethics, he’s never taken a mean photograph to out someone for their fashion mishaps.  He only takes photos of what he loves.  He even left his job documenting fashion for WWD (Women’s Wear Daily), one of the most sought after jobs for any fashion photographer, because they took his images and divided them into a worst and best dressed list.  It devistated him to see his subjects in a negative light.

You can still see Cunningham riding his 28th Schwinn bike (other 27 have been stolen over the years) with his camera around his neck hopping from one charity event to the next fashion event, while dodging taxis from the Upper East Side to Soho.  He’s 82, has no intention to ever stop, because documenting what he sees on the streets is his one love.

“There is no reason to be doom and gloom and think that fashion is finished… The wider world perceives fashion as frivolity that should be done away with. The point is that fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life. I don’t think you can do away with it, it would be like doing away with civilisation.”

“The problem is I’m not a good photographer. To be perfectly honest, I’m too shy. Not aggressive enough. Well, I’m not aggressive at all. I just loved to see wonderfully dressed women, and I still do. That’s all there is to it.”

“I don’t decide anything,” he says. “I let the street speak to me, and in order for the street to speak to you, you’ve got to stay out there and see what it is.”

In 2008, Cunningham was awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres , by the French Ministry of Culture. In his speech, he was overcome with emotion. He told the assembled glitterati: “It’s as true today as it ever was. He who seeks beauty, will find it.”

You should watch this documentary, whether you care about fashion or photography.  We all have a lot to learn from it.  It’s available on DVD or you can stream it on Netflix.

Advanced Style

22 Sep

For those of you who are retired, and feel dressing up means reaching for your red hat to wear at a luncheon with your lady friends at Red Robin, maybe you should rethink your attire and check out this blog, Advanced Style.

“Respect your elders and let these ladies and gents teach you a thing or two about living life to the fullest.  Advanced Style offers proof from the wise and silver-haired set that personal style advances with age.” – Advanced Style founder, Ari Cohen.

Check out these silver foxes to get excited about how fun your future could potentially be.

All images were taken from Advanced Style.  To see more, and learn a few tips like making a turban out of leggings, click the image below.