makeup

Black Swan

Phuong of Dresses by P.M.N launched her brand in April of 2014. I have had the pleasure of working with her a few times, modeling her wedding dresses. She started out making traditional American wedding dresses: all white, beautiful trains, stunning beading. Recently she began to add red accents to her gowns, inspired by the color of traditional wedding dresses from her homeland, Vietnam. You can see the beauty of her red couture pieces here.

I thought it could be very cool to mix the purple with black together to create a pop effect since the two colors usually look very good together
— Phuong Nguyen

While at Phuong's house for a fitting, she showed me a new piece she was working on; something unlike anything else she'd ever done- a black gown. Though it's said that black is not a color but rather the absence of light, I still say it's my favorite color. I knew that I had to get some photos in this dress, so we made it happen.

P.S.

If you're in need of a showstopper for your wedding, I would recommend checking out her sample sale dresses or see about getting your own one-of-a-kind dress. The material and sewing technique she uses on her gowns are beyond perfect and worth every penny.

xoxo

The Midi

Warmer days are ahead of us which can make dressing for work, interviews, and business meetings difficult. It's time to trade your slacks in for a midi skirt, long sleeve button ups for a black cutoff top, and get ready to rock dressy-casual like no one has seen before.

I fell in love with the midi skirt last December and my collection has been growing ever since. The three that I have were all found in Zara's sale section- I just can't get enough! This look started out with the basics: top, skirt, and shoes. Belts and hats are my go to accessories and I used both to give this look a little something extra. Nothing big or flashy, just some simple accessories with gold accents to give the look a little spice.

Like the look but not a fan of the ensemble? Ditch the belt or switch up the hat- just have fun with it!

About the look:

Top, Hat, Belt: Forever21

Skirt: Zara

Shoes: Charlotte Russe

Photograher: Megan Holloway/ MUA: Sable Desiree

Fashion in Seattle

The day started out as most adventure days do, with hair and makeup being done. I got to work with Rosaline Hampton Salon and Dawson & Deveraux- two power teams, both run by women.

Sophie Karen created Dawson & Deveraux last March after finishing school just a year earlier. This formal wear is fun, edgy, and classy. If you look closely, a few of the dresses have poly-netting stitched in the piece turning drawer liner into high fashion; that’s what I call talent! The use of various types of fabric creating fun textures as well as different patterns and prints makes each of these pieces truly one of a kind. Sophie makes way more than dresses, you'll find skirts, tops, and even jackets on her website.

I started this blog with the intent of focusing on my own personal style; however, I have grown to love finding out about independent designers all around the west coast. It's nice getting to hear stories of how the brand started, the progress that has been made from start to now; and being able to be a part of the journey.

Until next time, enjoy all the pretty pieces :)

xoxo

Photographer: Megan Holloway/ Designer: Dawson & Deveraux/ HMUA: Rosaline Hampton

Love Beatrice

Just as I was getting ready to say goodbye to summer, Seattle weather decided to warm up again. It has gone from mid 50s up to low 80s within a week's time, which has turned my closet into a hot mess of sundresses and winter jackets!

Shana Bea, a local bag designer from Los Angeles, California and founder of Love Beatrice, recently contacted me about a project.

I was asked to create some looks that showed who I am, my style, and to accessorize with my new Alani clutch in black and burgundy. I've said it once and I'll say it again- my style has a mind of its own. I stuck to a simple but fun summer look by pairing my favorite yellow print pants with the new black clutch.

Last fall I went thrift shopping in downtown Seattle and came across this fur coat and I immediately fell in love. I had New York Fashion Week on my mind while putting together the second look. Always aiming to be classy but never wanting to blend in, I put together a little black dress with the coat and burgundy Alani bag.

The prices on her merchandise range from $20 to $65. Insert excited emoji here! Bags at that price are a deal- so go check it out!

Photographer:Jonathan Sumolang/ Makeup:Naima Hashim/ Clutches: Love Beatrice

Shop Local

Do you know where your clothes come from? That may sound like an odd question, but take a second to really think about the answer. If you answered a store name I want you to think a little deeper, before the clothes reach the rack how did they come to be?

This is not a post to judge or talk down to anyone, but more to inform. I myself shop at name brand stores, but it is something I work to change as much as possible every year. Part of that whole less is more, quality over quantity-update wardrobe kick I'm on.

Dress: $95

Melanie is a Seattle local designer who creates all of her pieces by hand. Yes, people still do that. Melanie, founder of Klad Apparel spends up to eight hours a day creating one piece of clothing by hand. Some items may take a little less or a little more time depending on the design.

A few posts ago I made a comment about Zara being one of my new places to shop. In my mind it was an upgrade from Forever21 quality, but in reality they are all the same. U.K. magazine Daily Mail did a piece on Zara in 2013 after a lawsuit was brought against the company. Employees were found working 12 hour days, and only making between $147 to $272 a month. How does that add up?

Think about the pay rate of the person who made this dress from Zara, and the cost of the dress. Now I want you to think about the cost of the material, time spent creating the pieces with prices listed from Klad Apparel- all of a sudden shopping local seems like a very reasonable option.

Dress: $85

Huffington Post did an interview in 2013 with TS Designs about manufacturing and the ins and outs of the clothing business. Based in North Carolina, TS Designs pays their employees $15 an hour- according to the Institute of Global Labor and Human Rights, an average factory worker in Bangladesh makes $0.21 an hour. Let those facts sink in for just a second. This pay rate difference is the reason TS Designs produces less clothes, but is able to keep their brand state side. Ridiculously low pay, child labor, and workers from impoverished countries are being used to create multi-billion dollar companies.

If you think this only happens overseas, you are wrong. Before I started writing this post I did a lot of reading and came across two articles by Huffington Post and Business Insider on Forever21 that changed how I looked at the company and their clothes. Before a lawsuit in 2001 many of Forever21s clothes were being made in LA, where employees complained they were being paid CENTS per item they made. Cents- I couldn't believe it, however after reading countless interviews and lawsuits, I came to the realization that this is a real problem. Little pay, unsafe, and unfair work conditions are a reality for many people who work for many different companies.

So the next time you go shopping, think of where your clothes come from and consider shopping local. I know I will.

Photographer: Angela Carlyle/ Makeup: Sable Desiree/ Hair: Shontia Delpin/ Stylist: Frilancy Makungu/ Jewlery: Lembas/ Clothing: Klad Apparel