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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.

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.

Black Friday

25 Nov

I’m declaring this the official, unofficial national holiday for all wardrobe and prop stylists.  None of us should be in stores for any reason, unless it’s to buy alcohol.  We need this day to blur the burn of retail America from our minds while drinking a scotch in front of an open fire.  This holiday serves us to rest up before we get pummeled by frantic holiday shoppers for the entire month of December.  As of today, I can now comfortably say, “Thank goodness it’s Black Friday.”

Kids sizing tip.

20 Oct

A couple of things I’ve learned about the never-ending battle of trying to find kids clothes that actually fit them properly:  First, always talk to a parent after you receive their comp card to double-check that their sizes are up to date.  My second tip, one that took a couple of sizing blows to finally understand why their clothes were too big; parents always tend to buy clothes that are a little big for their kids with the hopes that they’ll grow into them.  If they say they’re a size 3T, buy 3T’s, but also get a whole bunch of 2T’s because that’s what is most likely going to fit them like a glove.  Also, kids sizes are the next most inconsistent thing behind women’s jeans.  If I find something I really like, I bracket the sizes, meaning I buy one size up and one size down as well.  Boring, yet useful information.  Call me the Today show.

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.

Horse quandary…

11 Oct

Truth be told, I’m not a big fan of horses.  They’ve always kind of freaked me out.  BUT, for whatever reason, I seem to incorporate them in every other part of my life.  This horse bust plaque came off of my kitchen wall (minus the sunglasses), I own a number of horse themed shirts, and have horses plastered all over my refrigerator.

I never claimed I was normal.

Regardless, I love this image I did with Brian Kuhlmann.  It has everything I like about styling with telling a story, having a sense of humor, and a little bit of sass-mastery.

Courtney Rust – Chicago Wardrobe and Prop Stylist

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

Pretty stuff from NYC Fashion Week.

19 Sep

NY Times Magazine fashion blog does a really great job covering  NYC Spring 2012 Fashion Week.  There are tons and tons of great posts of behind the scenes action and interviews.  Here are some of my favorite moments I found while reading through it all.

L’ Wren Scott

Anna Sui

Reed Krakoff

Theyskens’ Theory

Ohne Titel

J. Crew’s first fashion week appearance.

Marc by Marc Jacobs

Thom Browne


Pamela Love

Jason Wu

Courtney Rust Wardrobe and Prop Stylist, Chicago IL.

LIFESTYLE with Jacob Hand.

30 Aug

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This was a collaboration I did with photographer Jacob Hand a couple of months ago.  Testing is always interesting because sometimes the pieces come together easy, and other times it takes a little bit of muscle.  Thanks to Kate Levinson Locations, we landed this amazing home, I mean jaw dropping amazing, in Bucktown.  Thanks to Zsofia Otvos with her hair and make up skills, we were able to do the models up right and proud, and thanks to me, I was able to blast the hopes of any color out of the wardrobe.  That was my plan, man.  This test for me, was an attempt to create more “normal” images or LIFESTYLE (all CAPS because I can only yell that word in a mocking tone.)  Since I’m a self-proclaimed color junky, I decided to challenge myself while keeping the overall aesthetic cohesive in only selecting wardrobe void of any hues.  With a couple of models not showing up or being more than an hour late, Jacob Hand, the lighting sorcerer, was able to role with the never surprising testing punches, and create some photography magic.  Lastly, a BIG thanks to Jacob for making it all happen and giving the crew something they can be proud to walk away with.

Your room, your space

15 Aug

As a kid, your room was the only space that was “yours” and you took great pride in making it your sanctuary of everything that was important to you at the time.  Your room defined you, with thumbtacks holding all that was important (magazine tears, friendship bracelets, passed letters from homeroom (that may be telling my age too much)), for everyone to see when they entered.  Then you grow up, shop the home section at Marshalls, and buy a bunch of filler, generic framed pictures of plants you never heard of.  Maybe it’s because you now own more than 4 walls, or maybe it’s just simply no longer a priority, or maybe it’s that we’ve all seen Hoarders on A&E, and fear that we’ll become obsessed and start decorating the inside walls of our stoves.   Here’s some inspiration of adults who are still big kids and choose to wear their hearts on their eggshell covered walls.  A little inspiration for your Monday afternoon.

Chloe Seveigny’s room many moons ago.

Misha Hollenbach’s home taken from The Selby.

Style Rookie, Tavi Gevinson’s wall of crowns (not an adult, but she’s awesome.)

Photos taken by Backyard Bill of Hickey Freeman’s room.

India Salvor Menuez, by Backyard Bill.

LA Designer Catherin Hammertine.