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Best Soft Good Styling EVER!

15 Feb

And I had no part in it, but I did style the cute girl sitting on the top of this pile of fabric goodness.

If you’re wondering who did this colossal masterpiece of squishy fabric, you’ll have to thank the prop crew for the Land of Nod Spring catalog.  The prop team consists of Dane Holweger from LA, and Chicago locals, Melissa Elias and Justin Vandenberg.  You’d be surprised how to tough it is to stack that many unmade beds and make it look that inviting.

As for the doll sitting at the top, her outfit came from a scary expensive to destroy Anthropologie nightgown, which I cut the sleeves off.  I then sliced my personal polka dot scarf that I got at Walgreens 8 years ago into strips to adorn the sleeves.

Here’s a couple of other highlights of the wardrobe I did for the Land of Nod Spring catalog.

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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  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.

New Image – Chicago Magazine Fall Theatre Preview

29 Sep

This may have been the easiest shoot I’ve ever styled thanks to this handsome chap.  It’s a rarity when the first thing someone puts on fits them like a gem and ends up in the final image.  All of Patrick Andrews  (actor in photograph) clothes were provided by AllSaints Spitalfield new store on Michigan Avenue.  Hair and make up was done by the talented Jenna Baltes (you should hire her).  Lastly, a BIG thanks to the super duper photographer, Brian Kuhlmann for asking me to be part of his team.  Make sure you go see Patrick in the two man show called Red at the Goodman Theater.

Courtney Rust – Chicago wardrobe and prop stylist

Chicago based designers, Creatures of the Wind

14 Sep

Chris Peters and Shane Gabier from Chicago based clothing line Creatures of the Wind, are some of the few Chicago based designers who are earning some steam internationally for their Spring 2012 line.  “The whole collection was inspired by the idea of second sights and holy, mystic visions,” Peters said during a preview of the collection. “Our fabric choices came from examining psychedelic artists and experiences.”    Many agree, if drugs is what it takes, by all means boys…  It worked for the Beatles, and is clearly working for Creatures of the Wind.

Taken from WWD:

The designers mixed and matched fabrics, reversing floral jacquards to give the look a rawer, more iridescent texture — such as a jacket that also featured black lace and silver moiré. Some of the silhouettes had a feminine, vintage feel, but the duo also offered a few more modern looks, including a white silk faille dress with a sequined shoulder treatment. Peters and Gabier toyed with the idea of revealing layers, cutting away a portion at the torso of a navy dress to deliberately expose the silk lining.

You can find Creatures of the Wind in Chicago at Ikram, 15 E. Huron St., or elsewhere here.

Bear’s camel carcass outerwear

17 May

Um…. I just received Bear Grylls shiny catalog for his new rugged clothing line.  I guess to no surprise, Bear Grylls from Man vs. Wild, MacGyver to the great outdoors, and the leading Boy Scout of the galaxy (this statement is actually true, he’s numero uno on the international list of reputable scouts), clothing design seems like a natural step.  I laughed as quickly as a hastily flipped through the pages to see if there was a camel carcass with cargo pockets.  If you’ve seen it, you’re laughing there with me.  If you haven’t, you might have missed the best 5 minutes of reality television, EVER!  To sum it up, Bear visits the Sahara and hollows out a camel, first wrenching it’s excrement for water and then nestling in for a nap.  For that, Bear, I’ll order a windbreaker.

Bear tests each item in the wild….  I think the cover says it all.  Hilarious.

LA Round UP – Part Two

5 May

Driftwood- With its focus on reclaimed timber furniture and decor (they weren’t kidding about the name), the store’s edits contain articles that work around its rustic counterparts and make you feel like someone did really, really well at the best flea market you just missed.  You may want to call it more of a general store, having equal parts furniture, books, and home chotskies, to apparel, accessories and shoes.  An easy and more affordable one stop shop for your hip, tree hugging enthusiast.  You’ll even find some vintage worked into the apparel selects.  Located across the street from Mohawk General Store in Silver Lake LA, this store extends its North Woods flare, something I personally can’t get enough of.

They have a limited selection online at,

Resurrection- This high-end designer vintage store does a large part of their business to studio and print pulls, but you may buy the pieces yourself if you sold something small, like your home and/or Bentley.  You must be buzzed into the store and it’s very much of a look, but don’t touch type of situation.  Nonetheless, it’s really excited to see Yves Saint Laurent, Versace, whomever else gowns from long before I was born in perfect condition.  I also saw the largest Chanel bag I’ve ever seen, tucked high away from anyone’s grubby fingers, but close enough to think, dang… bring out the 24 hour guards because you would lose your arm if you dared to carry it down the street.  With a sister store in NY and a constantly updated online store, Resurrection Vintage is a great place to be inspired.

Here’s what you’ll see before you get buzzed.  Check out their website HERE.

Fred Segal

LA’s very own department store, but far from what you’d consider typical.  It fits the description in that you can shop for your whole family, your feet, and your home, but the vine-covered building is filled mostly with independent designers, with a J. Crew corner here and there.  I’ve been following this store for a while, hadn’t been able to peak my head in until now, and I’d hate to say I was a bit underwhelmed.  Maybe it’s the trend that’s in season, but I felt like I was in an overpriced pastel Pottery Barn display.  It took high-end beachy to the next level, which feels like an oxymoron.  Filled with mostly casual wear, I found that a 15 minute browse did the store justice.  I hate to be negative about a store that has had continued success, but it didn’t quite get the juices flowing.  Maybe next season.

Opening Ceremony–  The single best store, EVER!  I geek out in here.  I annoyingly press the sales clerks with questions and admittedly aim to touch every article of clothing they sell.  I have to get the most out of it while I’m there because my credit cards would sweat tears if I dare brought anything home.  You won’t find a stitch of anything that feels mundane, it’s only filled with the other worldly.  A good chunk of people would feel like a jackass attempting to wear half of the stuff, but that’s not the point.  Not to sound heavy-handed, but it’s ready-to-wear art, that is, if you don’t mind pit staining your art.  I have now gone to all three outposts in Tokyo, NYC and LA and only wish I was a neighbor.  The store is even capable of making you chuckle.  Look at this Rodarte for Opening Ceremony dress.  It’s nothing short of the dresses made from curtains for the Von Trapp family in The Sound of Music.

The store stands alone off from the high-end stores on Melrose on La Cienaga Blvd and resembles a 1950’s car dealership, with big iron letters wrapped in Christmas lights out front.  There are many nooks and crannies with its jigsaw layout.  Make sure you don’t miss a crevice because there’s a lot of thought and love that went into each one.  Click on the picture below to bring you to the site.

LA Round UP – Part One

2 May

TenOverSix–   Started off with accessories, now how has a little bit of everything you want from apparel to books, this bright white store that’s perfectly edited is here to stay, and started during the recession no less.  Voted as one of the top 5 boutiques in the country by the New York Times, and for good reason.  You can tell a lot of love goes into each of the store’s selections.  You won’t walk away with a paper bag full of goods, (unless you eat money mcmuffins for breakfast), but you will leave with a million ideas.  They also have the coolest bag I’ve seen in a long time, from Slow and Steady Wins the Race, the four-sided Birken that you can see HERE.

Located 8425 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles CA.  Check out their website at,

Mohawk General Store–  I’m a sucker for anything that is designed with an old world north woods flare, therefore my creepy, unexplainable to others smile while browsing through this store was tough to wipe away.  I feel like this store was meant for me.  If I had unlimited funds, I would curate my closet with everything they sell.  They carry A.P.C., Generic Surplus, Industry of All Nations, Rachel Comey, and much, much, more.  To top it off, they display it on the most beautiful mid century modern furniture from Amsterdam Modern.  No wonder they have unlimited good press.  If you’re ever galivanting through the great LA neighborhood called Silver Lake, make sure you give this store a stiff browse.

Creatures of Comfort–  Filled with a whole lot of whimsey, and subtle, one of a kind details, it’s hard to do a quick lap through this store without admiring all the work that goes into every piece.  With that being said, they weren’t lying when they gave it their name because you won’t find anything that you wouldn’t want to wear on a 12 hour flight.  There’s plenty from great up and coming designers, such as Isabel Marant, Bernard Wilhem, Alexander Wang and Opening Ceremony.  You’ll say a lot to yourself while browsing, “It’s so ugly, it’s pretty,” which also creates the feeling of things being unexpectedly cool, but timeless, a fine line to achieve.

After 6 years of success on Melrose in LA, and an overwhelming demand for an outpost in NYC, they opened a store in Nolita, but I doubt they’ll stop there.  With store owner Jade Lai’s creativity, I bet we’ll start to see store concepts we’ve never seen before.  For example, she recently hosted an event for United Bamboo’s cat pin-up calendar, curated a photography exhibition by Peter Sutherland that documented a Nepalese workshop and opened a store-within-a-store for Playmountain, a design boutique in Tokyo that features artisanal housewares.  I’m very excited to see what Creatures of Comfort does next.

Freemans Sporting Club – NYC

11 Apr

Freemans Sporting Club only fills their store with products made within 10 miles.  SO awesome… but nearly impossible to achieve everywhere else in the US.  Let’s spread our wings to 20 miles here in Chicago and maybe we could get the job done.  Who’s in with me?!!

Check it out:

Click on the image to go to the website.

Zenni Optical

25 Mar

My friend who is a man of many really great glasses and told me about the website Zenni’s Optical.  I’m often asked to have trendy glasses on hand for shoots and find myself constantly buying them and returning, or renting at a chunky 20% fee, which can really break the bank if glasses are $300 bones.  You’re also limited in styles with looking for frames with clear lenses.  After I heard about this magical wonder of a site, that is also super easy to navigate styles, I’m starting to build a handsome stock pile that I can easily keep up to date.  It also fills the void in my heart of always having glasses envy, but ironically having hawk eye vision.  Bonus.

Click on the screen grab to bring you to Zenni’s.