Styled By A Stylista

As I recently evaluated my wardrobe, I realized I really don’t need one more article of clothing, in fact, the thought of shopping seems a bit gluttonous at the moment. Nonetheless, with every new season comes the urge to purchase the seasons “must-haves.” I’ve challenged myself to resist the temptation and restyle the pieces I have, whether “in” or “out” by fashion industry standards, and actually wear those pieces with tags still attached after months…now that’s a novel idea. This is not to say I will abstain from shopping completely, however, I will be much more discriminating when I do.

So here’s today’s ensemble:

I typically wear these Marc Jacobs skinny jeans with an over-sized top and Tom’s shoes. I restyled them to reflect a more urban chic vibe, and this is the outcome.

  • The blazer ($89.90) was a Christmas gift from Zara, given to me by my very stylish brother, the tags are still intact, it’s definitely due for donning soon
  • I appreciate bold statement accessories, hence, the necklace ($50 on sale from $100) purchased in Chicago from, Selections, managed by one of the city’s most talented stylist’s, Konah Hatcher. If you ever venture to Chicago, a visit to this lovely boutique located in the heart of Lincoln Park, will prove to be a welcome treat.
  • The tee is American Apparel (free) given to me by one of the production companies I work
  • This leather eggplant handbag ($5.99) is a treasure I found at Goodwill eight years ago

 

I purchased these Marc Jacobs jeans 4 years ago from Loehmann’s at an incredible price. They started off at $158 marked down to $99, there was an additional 50% off for an allotted period of time on clearance, and because the zipper was broken I received an additional 50% off reducing my total to $25 plus tax. I have worn these jeans more times than I could ever count, they are super comfortable with the feel of a second skin, and the zipper was an easy fix for my tailor.

These Elizabeth & James booties were a Christmas gift from my Dad, which I also have yet to wear. They were purchased from My Habit for $100 marked down from $300. This bootie looks great on, with a slightly distressed look, and I like the detail of the hidden platform, however, I don’t understand how anyone would have spent $300 on them. Although they are leather uppers and soles, the quality of the leather is not the best, I prefer Elizabeth & James clothing, many of the shoe styles I’ve seen lack the quality you’d expect to see given the price point. $100 is the most they should ever have been priced, to begin with, in my humble opinion… the true test will be how well they hold up once I begin wearing them.

This entire ensemble cost $271.89, the cost at full retail value would have been $677.90

xoxo

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Revlon’s Just Bitten Lip Products

A friend of mine recently recommended Revlon’s Just Bitten lip products (Just Bitten Lipstain+Balm & Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain). In the past, my experience with drug store brands has not been favourable, either because of the quality or lack of testers. As I did my household shopping at Target yesterday, I saw one of the two items recommended (Just Bitten Lipstain+Balm) was on sale for $6 and change. I decided to give it a try and as I checked out, I received a coupon for $2 off the other (Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain) and promptly picked it up as well.

Top: Just Bitten Lipstain + Balm in Forbidden/ Bottom: Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Adorable

The following are my thoughts:

REVLON JUST BITTEN LIPSTAIN + BALM

Pros

* Stays on for hours

* Doesn’t cake

* Looks very natural

* The colour does not transfer to the balm

* Feels light and satiny soft on the lips

* Available in a variety of shades

Cons

* Testers are not available in most drug stores, I ended up returning two before settling on Forbidden because they were too pigmented

* The Balm broke on my first one, no problem, I simply exchanged it

Update: The balm also broke on the second and third time as well, suffice it to say, chances are you could be balmless within a week. I’ve just opted to use my Rose Salve Balm in lieu and it is fine, however, I wouldn’t purchase this again simply because having the balm attached is what makes the product so appealing for me.

* The felt tip dispensed the colour in splotches with my first tube, however, I’ve not had this happen with the Forbidden

Update: The colour began drying out within one week, this could be a defective tube, however, it may be wise to hold on to your receipt if you decide to purchase it.

Overall

Revlon’s Just Bitten Lipstain+Balm is not for me, however, with a few modifications I’d surely try it again.

REVLON JUST BITTEN KISSABLE BALM STAIN

Pros

* Goes on very smoothly

* Looks quite natural

* Stays on for hours

* Colour won’t transfer to hubby, glasses, etc.

* Lightweight in texture

* Does not require anything over it to add moisture, it is moisturizing on it’s own, although I use a neutral gloss over it

* No need for sharpening

* Available in a variety of shades

Update: After using this for a week, I can say I really like it, and in addition to Adore, I have added Honey and Crush, they are both very flattering.

Cons

* The only negative I have at the moment is there are typically no testers available in drugstores, therefore, you’ll have to make your best efforts to choose the correct shade, the shades seem to go on lighter than the colour represented on the packaging, which makes it a bit challenging to choose accurately. However, if it doesn’t work, most stores will honour a return or exchange.

Overall

Again, the pros outweigh the cons. I actually prefer this over the Lipstain + Balm and will definitely be purchasing more shades. It has such an ease of use which I feel the former does not.

Top: Just Bitten Lipstain + Balm in Forbidden/Bottom: Just Bitten Balm Stain in Adorable

These products retail for about $8.99 on the Revlon site, I opted to purchase them from Target where I spent a little over $6

xoxo

The Joys Of Resale Shopping

Everyone who knows me, knows how much of a passion I have for fashion, in fact, if I weren’t a devout Christian, fashion would most definitely be my religion.  Nevertheless, I have a love hate relationship with the industry.  There are seasons in my life when I rebel against current trends because I view them more as a marketing scheme versus true art.  At these times I usually temporarily abandon the retailers I would typically shop, and opt for vintage/resale shopping instead.

Check out these great finds I picked up on a recent excursion to Goodwill mixed with a couple of regular priced items from Target and Forever 21:

This outfit from head to toe was less than $50.

J. Crew Denim Shirt $5.99 (Goodwill)/Mossimo Grey Tank (Target) $10/Forever 21 Necklace $5.99

Field Day Skirt (Goodwill) $10-This indie clothing label based in Oakland, CA designs pieces from reclaimed materials

Although I’m not sure of the brand of these lightly worn boots, the upper, balance and sole are genuine leather, and they were $9.99 from Goodwill

If I had paid the full retail price for this ensemble, it would have been over $200 easily…the joys of hunting for resale treasures, such an adrenaline rush.

Stylista Muse Bonus Edition

Photo: Stockholm Streetstyle

This look of the feminine chic meets grunge is one I’ve been loving for some time.  I would rock every piece from head to toe, without any qualms, well maybe one… a few inches added to the dress please.  I’m no “fuddy duddy,” however, the thought of possibly “flashing” someone in the event I should have to bend over for any reason, is not one I relish…

Photo: Stockholm Streetstyle

Bonus!  I know this segment is called “Stylista Muse,” and I don’t know many men who would appreciate this moniker, so for our bonus Stylista…I mean Stylisto Muse, Julian gets my vote.  I love everything about this ensemble and if I were a fella, I’d be donning it… actually, since I’m not a fella,  I could probably feminize it with a great Louboutin pump and a few layered girly accessories.  Whatever the case may be, it’s not about me at the moment, Julian makes the debut as my first Stylisto in the history of Musings of a Stylista…I’m inspired, and on the prowl for the next.

Smashbox Master Class Collection Fall 2012

Smashbox Cosmetics, created by Dean and Davis Factor, grandsons of Hollywood makeup legend, Max Factor, has come out with a brand new palette and shadow quads for fall.  The collection is very impressive at price points of $59 and $10 respectively; it was inspired by the favourites carried to set by Smashbox makeup artists.  You will most definitely be covered for every occasion with the great variety of colours included.  Furthermore, the shades are wearable for most, if not all, skin tones.

The Master Class 11 Meet The Masters Palette ($59) comes with:

  • 28 Photo Op Eyeshadows
  • 4 Brow Tech Powders
  • Brow Tech Wax
  • 8 Cream Eyeliners
  • 2 Blushes
  • 3 Soft Lights
  • 4 Lip Glosses

The Master Class Eyeshadow Quad ($10) is available in two combinations (hazel pictured):

  • Hazel- Pink Nude, Shimmering Slate, Matte Eggplant, Taupe
  • Brown- Ivory, Cabernet, Shimmering Sienna, Matte Navy

The price point for these palettes is an amazing value for quality products with exceptional wear and longevity.  They are available online or in-store at Sephora.

Ten Fashion Icons, Spanning Decades, Who Have Inspired My Personal Style

Fashion is so much more than the marriage of fabric and thread to create a garment, but it is an art, an expression of one’s personality. Fashion is the catalyst for how people perceive us, and whether right or wrong we are summed up in a matter of minutes based on our attire choices. I have always had an affinity for fashion, which turned into a precarious obsession during a season in my life. Thankfully my obsession is no longer, I have come to realize style is not about collecting every trend which comes to the forefront, but maintaining my own personal aesthetic apart from the dictates of the fashion industry. After years of floundering to keep up with every new trend, I have developed a different perspective of fashion.  Whether current, vintage or entirely original, I consistently glean inspiration from so many different sources.

Photo: The Neo Traditionalist

Grace Kelly (1929-1982) was an actress turned Princess Consort of Monaco after marrying Rainier III, Prince of Monaco in 1956. While attending a prestigious Catholic girls’ school, Kelly began a modeling stint and this is where it all began. Grace Kelly lived up to her name as she was the quintessential lady of elegance, emanating ultimate grace, style and class. Kelly passed away at the age of 53, after suffering a stroke while driving from her country home to Monaco with her daughter Stephanie, who survived the accident. Grace Kelly’s innate sense of style lives on as women continue to be influenced by her fashion choices.

Photo: Wallpaper Base

Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993) was a British actress and humanitarian, although modest about her acting, she has remained one of the most famous actresses to this day. Hepburn redefined glamour with her large doe eyes, thick brows and waif-like body. Couturier, Hubert de Givenchy, gained inspiration from Hepburn and is credited for creating her style. He continued to be her friend and ambassador throughout her life, while she his muse. She equally inspired photographer Richard Avedon, Italian shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo and a litany of women all over the world.

Photo: My Vintage Vogue

Hepburn is considered one of the most beautiful women of all time, ironically, she never considered herself attractive. She was quoted in a 1959 interview stating, “You can even say that I hated myself at certain periods. I was too fat, or maybe too tall, or maybe just plain too ugly…you can say my definiteness stems from underlying feelings of insecurity and inferiority…” Audrey Hepburn passed away at the age of 63 from appendiceal cancer, not only did she leave a mark in the fashion industry, however, also as a great humanitarian.

Photo: Mark Shaw

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1929-1994) was the wife of 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, until his assassination in 1963, the pink Chanel suit she wore during this tragedy is famous to this day. Jackie had a knack for planning social events and entertaining, and soon became a muse to many famous designers, although Oleg Cassini who created an original wardrobe for her as First Lady was her primary designer. The look of white jeans with a black top was made famous by Jackie Kennedy and continues to be a staple for many.

Photo: Bettmann/CORBIS

During Jackie Kennedy’s years in the White House, her style changed dramatically as she evolved from the conservative pieces of a “campaign wife” to wide leg pant suits, large lapel jackets, gypsy skirts, head scarves and large sunglasses. This look has proven to be influential as generation after generation is seen emulating it.

Photo: Alain Dejean

Five years after John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Jackie married Greek shipping magnate, Aristotle Onassis. She passed away at the age of 64 from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma , a form of cancer. Jackie O left quite a legacy, from which the fashion industry, will continues to draw inspiration.

Photo: Huffington Post

Carolyn Bessette Kennedy (1966-1999) was the wife of John F. Kennedy Jr. the son of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Carolyn’s style was classic and effortless, she wore streamlined pieces with minimal accessories. Her career in fashion began as a salesperson at the Calvin Klein store in Boston before being transferred to the corporate office in New York where she worked as a publicist and met John F. Kennedy Jr. Many of the pieces Carolyn wore 13 years ago could easily be worn currently. She passed away at the age of 33, along with her husband and older sister Lauren when the aircraft Kennedy was piloting crashed. Carolyn Bessette Kennedy’s style has proven to be the epitome of timelessness.

Photo: Vogue

Sarah Jessica Parker (1965-present) is best known for her leading role as Carrie Bradshaw on the HBO television series Sex and the City (1998-2004), which many tuned in for a front row seat at an endless fashion show guaranteed with each episode. Shortly after the last season of Sex and the City wrapped, Parker went on to become the face of many of the world’s biggest fashion brands, and ultimately launched her own fashion line Bitten.

Photo: Getty Images

Sarah Jessica Parker has a beautiful fashion aesthetic, it is always a treat to see what creation she will choose for the next red carpet event.

Photos: Photo Agency, Frederick M. Brown, Joe Corrigan, Jason Merritt/Getty Images, Marie Claire

Actress, Cameron Diaz (1972-present), began her career as a fashion model at the age of 16 after signing with Elite Model Management. Her early exposure to the world of fashion played a part in developing her keen eye for the styles most flattering for her frame, of course with her frame most anything looks great. Diaz is consistent in her style, choosing classic pieces with the perfect balance of accessories and detail.

Photo: Wardrobe Oxygen

Gwenyth Paltrow (1972-present) has proven to be a lady with many talents, not only is she a mommy and wife, but also an award winning actress and quite the songstress, and to top it off, Stylista can certainly be added to the list. Paltrow is the face of Coach, and currently owns the lifestyle company Goop, which offers limited edition collaborations, recipes, travel notes, shopping ideas and a fashion newsletter in collaboration with Net-A-Porter. She models all the suggested and featured pieces. The site is quite well done, and no surprise from the woman who seems to excel at all she pursues.

Actress, Zoe Saldana (1978-present), is another beauty with an excellent sense of style, I truly identify with Zoe because of her natural proclivity to take moderate risks when it comes to her fashion picks. I truly appreciate her confidence when it comes to her style, which she seems to keep in it’s proper perspective. Fashion is not brain surgery, if a particular look doesn’t work, chalk it up to experience, knowing better than to do a repeat. Zoe seems to grasp this notion, with the intent of having fun with fashion, but not taking it too seriously.

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Wireless Images

R&B singer, Janelle Monae (1985-present), launched on the scene in 2010 with her debut album, The ArchAndroid Suites II & III.

Photo: Stiletto to the Metal

This little rocker with the flawless face has an eclectic musical style, which has been described as “A soaring orchestral trip enlivened with blockbuster vocals, mysterious imagery and notes of sixties pop and jazz.”

Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Monae’s signature clothing style of a tuxedo wardrobe segues beautifully with her music style. In Honey Magazine, she stated, “I bathe in it, I swim in it and I could be buried in it. A tux is such a standard uniform, it’s so classy and it’s a lifestyle I enjoy. The tux keeps me balanced. I look at myself as a canvas. I don’t want to cloud myself with too many colours or I’ll go crazy…”

Photo: Getty Images

In an industry where it is much more prevalent to see a young woman showing as much skin as possible without breaking any laws, Janelle Monae’s approach to fashion is quite refreshing, it’ll be interesting to see how her style evolves as she matures in the industry.

Photo: Will Ragozzino/Getty Images

Fraternal twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (1986-present), are best known for their role as Michelle Tanner in ABC’s Full House. Who would have thought the two cuties would one day become two of the most influential fashion icons at such young ages. Mary-Kate pioneered the signature “homeless” look also referred to as “Bohemian-Bourgeois.” This look consists of layering, over-sized sweaters, large sunglasses and flouncy skirts.

Photo: Style Files

In 2006 the twins became the faces of Badgley Mischka, then went on to launch their own couture label, The Row, named after Savile Row in London. In 2007 they launched, Elizabeth & James, a contemporary collection inspired by many of their unique vintage finds and pieces in their personal wardrobe. They also released a women’s clothing line for J.C.Penney called Olsenboye, as well as a t-shirt line called StyleMint. Each of these endeavors have had great success, these two young women have taken the fashion world by storm, making an indelible mark.

Is there someone you consider a fashion icon who has inspired your style? If so, please share…


Alexis Mabille Couture…Breathtaking

Alexis Mabille…the mere mention of his name makes my heart skip a beat, his designs are exquisite, ethereal and so very romantic.  I find myself envisioning dancing around in one of his lovely creations, on a huge ballroom floor some place in Paris on the most perfect summer evening.  As I dance the billowing fabric of my gown dancing right along with me to smooth rhythmic melodies, as if it has a life of it’s own.

Alexis is one of those designers who inspires, his designs tell a story, it isn’t simply about sewing a few pieces of fabric together (albeit the richest and most luxurious varieties), but the passion behind his work is quite evident.  This is not surprising, as Alexis discovered fashion at a very early age, he created theatre and party costumes for himself, as well as pieces for his family and friends.  In 1997 he received his diploma from Paris’ Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, then went on to accept an apprenticeship with both Ungaro and Nina Ricci, soon there after he landed a dream gig with Christian Dior where he stayed for nine years.  He launched his unisex clothing line Impasse 13 in 2005, which reflected his personality.  Around the same time he launched Treizeor, a collection of bow ties, his signature accessory.

Alexis Mabille Couture 2012 is absolutely breathtaking and seemingly flawless.

Photos Courtesy of Imaxtree

Ten Year Old French Model, Thylane Loubry Blondeau

These photos of 10 year old Thylane Loubry Blondeau featured in Cadeaux French Vogue, sparked a fire storm of controversy, when they were introduced to the public about one year ago.

The debate was fueled on whether the photos of this little girl, whose been on the planet a mere decade, were too provocative. Initially, I wanted to believe my perception was off the mark, so I tried giving Vogue the benefit of the doubt. At a time when fashion models are getting younger and younger, I thought, surely this is simply a satire on the industry, after all, the runways are being overrun with mere babes, and the retirement age for the average model is laughable at approximately 26 years old. Unfortunately my hopes of this ad campaign spoofing the industry were dashed, when I began seeing more disturbing photos of Thylane apart from the initial Vogue spread.

This child conveys the look and persona of someone twice her age. In a world getting increasingly darker in terms of the evil being perpetuated, I would be petrified to have my child exploited in this manner, for some crazy pedophile to gawk. When a girl is positioned in front of a camera, topless, albeit covered with beads, what more should one expect? Allowing a child barely out of the womb to enter an industry fraught with depravity is setting a precedent which could lead to deep regrets. I am perplexed as I ponder how Thylane’s parents could ever condone many of these photos. Perhaps they are oblivious to the fact they could be setting her up for failure. Although Thylane Loubry Blondeau will most likely accrue great financial success… at what cost?

The fascination for Thylane is by no means surprising, her looks are stunning and rare for someone her age. Nevertheless, there is nothing attractive about a 10 year old marketing clothing to grown women, and clearly this is the intent. A sultry photo of a child with her thumb in her belt loop, hip jutting out and tussled hair is creepy to put it mildly. It seems this young girl, along with many of her contemporaries are a new breed of youth all together, exiting the womb as ‘old souls.’ Many of whom grow up far too fast as it is.

Thylane Loubry Blondeau makes for a beautiful subject, why not market her to those in her age group, she will have plenty of time to launch into a career of high fashion if this is her goal. To rush this process seems so unwise, many of the experiences I’ve heard from former “successful” models, do not portray the industry in a glowing light. Stories of starvation, drugs, perverted photographers and the like are quite prevalent, despite this, there will always be droves of young women vying for the next open spot on the runway. If it must be, instead of encouraging girls who have not yet hit puberty to enter into an industry filled with corruption, give these spots to those of an appropriate age.

The conundrum for the fashion industry seems to be determining…

What is the appropriate age?

A Worthy Celebration

This weekend I attended an event hosted by, Eastern Sky, my favourite theatre company in Southern California.  The live productions they produce are phenomenal, riveting, absolutely life-changing. This event was held as special recognition and thanks to all those who have contributed to the success of Eastern Sky Theatre Company over the years, whether in the forefront, or behind the scenes.  The Last Appeal, which is the production currently being performed, is the most touching story of redemption I’ve ever seen.  In addition to partaking in a night with no shortage of roaring laughter, fellowship and scrumptious cuisine from Marmalade Cafe in Calabasas, California, I also helped with set up, under the direction of Event Planner, Christine Hess.

This is a bit of the work in progress…

and voilà!

Oh, did I mention it was a ‘black and white’ function?  This did not register at all with me, which is why I showed up in my favourite vintage canary yellow shirt dress.  I’ve always liked shirt dresses, especially when it’s 100 degrees, they are easy and effortless.  Although I tend to look a tad like a waitress when I wear it, this works for me… trust me the waitress look will be all the rage one of these days (lol)…totally uncharted territory.  This one is by Saks 5th Avenue; which is indicative of it’s age.  In the 50’s before designers became stars, shoppers wore store labels such as this one, Henri Bendel or Bergdorf Goodman to name a few.  It was given to me by a costume designer friend in mint condition several years ago.

The belt (Kimchi Blue) was purchased from Urban Outfitters a few years ago,

and the shoes (N.Y.L.A.) are about five years old, and super comfortable because of the hidden platform.

Many thanx to Pastor Trey & Ariel Fernald for a celebration well done, from the food to the entertainment and fellowship, this was truly a night to remember.