My #FashioNXT Experience: Part 1

Status report: I am having a ball this week as a VIP Host at FashioNXT.

 (For those of you who are just checking in, FashioNXT is the #1 fashion week  outside NYC as ranked by Time Mag, and it takes place here in PDX!)

These past few days between school classes, I’ve been figuring out WTF to wear, lending my intern hands to help Michelle get ready for her big show tonight, and even finishing up a few stitches on my own designs just for the personal satisfaction of wearing something 100% unique!  It has been validating and refreshing. I feel like I’ve made it to level 2, you know? No more am I just a chick with a wordpress account and homemade pajama pants.. It is go time, people! 

Let me break it down:

*eee uhhreeeeeee!!*

(^^side note: I googled ‘vinyl scratch’ so I could put in a little image to illustrate that typed sound effect, and I only found pages of pictures of this cartoon, “DJ Pony”, called Vinyl Scratch…apparently it is some DJ’s avatar or something… idk I get less cool every day…)

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3:30 Start getting ready, which yesterday involved completely scrapping a piece I had been working on for a while to make a last minute miniskirt… it ended up working out– a giant relief after a failed attempt at this other thing I’d been working on… sigh. Still calling it a win, though. 

Here is the outfit I wore with the skirt I made! Didn’t have time to do a “trenndayyy” pic feature, but still wanted to document the progress. I tried to crop out my dirty laundry…….

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5:30ish- Arrive at the Vigor Industrial Shipyard, which is sort of an obscure location out in North Portland. The first time I went I was just sure that I was lost, but the venue is big and industrial and totally trendacious. I park, walk in, get the lay of the land and start the greeting process. 

6:00- guests are allowed to start arriving. They saunter around the various vendor booths such as Lexus, Intel, and Delta (to name a few) as they make their way back to the bar (which, let’s be honest is the real reason 80% of anyone is there- am I right?) As the “VIP’s” stroll in, I start in on the hand shaking, small talking, and smiling. Working events like this is one of my favorite things. You never know whose day you will make just by talking to them or who you will meet. It could be the mayor of Portland or it could be a super-friendly person who just won tickets and is pleased as peaches to be there! It’s great for me because I just need to make sure people feel cared for and important.. who doesn’t want to be told they are very important?

7:00- Usually at this point I’ve given a few backstage tours. I love that it is a sneak preview of what the show is going to be like. The detailing with shell beads on Francis Libiran’s looks were exquisite up close. If I had just seen them on the runway I may have thought they were plastic, but lucky for me I got to snoop and was all the more dazzled when the models hit the runway.

Here is a pic I snagged from FashionNXT’s Facebook that was taken backstage with those dresses!

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7:30- Pretty much everyone is enjoying their cocktails by this point, so I just go around the VIP lounge and say hi, thank people for coming, and tell them I’m at their service as I filter a couple dirty old man comments and then proceed back to the front.  The VIP lounge looks great. It is funky and mod with a black, white, and red theme. There is a telephone booth covered in flowers for photo ops, exclusive bar access,  and white leather couches surrounding a zebra step-like seating platform. I can’t think of what to call it, but it looks clubby and cosmopolitan. The people watching is the best- women wearing actual high-heels (which is rare in this town), sparkles galore (which I’m a sucker for), and sharp dressed men (a.k.a. kryptonite).  It is a window into the lifestyle of the refined Portlander that is seldom seen in herds, such as it is at FashioNXT. 

7:45- Take an Advil for my poor little feet in heels. Totally worth it. 

8:00- Start politely hearding people to the gates and cross fingers that everything is running smoothly. It has been fashionably late to start the past couple nights, but I think anticipation is the most fun part anyways. At this point I usually get a handful of women coming up to me and complaining, which, for the record, is so very pointless. I do not have a headset on, I do not have a clipboard in hand, and I am nowhere near the ushers who are in charge of letting people in. I’d really like to tell them to save their snarls so that they can conserve saliva in the event that the apocalypse happens because they stood too long. End rant.

8:??- Everybody sits, the show starts, and magic happens. The music is loud and the setting is intimate. Five rows on each side hold a captive audience. I love to watch the way people tilt their heads and squint their eyes like they are making serious judgements. They are, and I do too, although as a baby seamstress myself I know to do it with a grain of salt. Some of these designers churn out 20+ looks and I can only imagine the amount of curse words and coffee that went into  getting their visions just right. Selfishly as a learning tool, it has been marvelous to compare different design styles so quickly. It helps me decide what values I place on certain skill sets and how I hope to see my own designs evolve. I’m finding that showmanship is most important to me, followed by cohesion, and followed by construction. I’ve determined that I want to be dazzled by something, then I want it to match the others in a collection so I can get a clearer understanding of the designer’s aesthetic, and then I of course want the models to look good in it. Not good- impeccable. If a string bean model with a gorgeous face and professional hair + makeup is not flattered by the clothing, then I have a hard time imagining that it would enhance anyone else… I digress… ANYWAYS.. Last night Project Runway star Michael Costello was one of the designers who showed off some hard work, and I was loving it.. Just check out this neon number that epitomizes his collection..

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10:00ish- show is over, people are invited to after party, and everyone files out because their cocktails have worn off. I may swing by the AP this weekend, but so far have been a little more than stressed out this week simply because of my inability to get all 40 things done at once that I want to. I’m to the point where “this too shall pass” seems to be the best motto, and I’m ready to just enjoy the ride of the rest of the weekend. Hopefully I’ll be able to turn some acquaintances into friends, will continue to get inspired to one day have my looks on that catwalk, and get a few more good stories…

….like the time I took some male VIP’s on a backstage tour and the models (most of which are under 18, mind you) didn’t get enough warning and were in the buff, much to the pleasure of the guests. Pervs. 

…or that time when I was sitting waiting for everyone to take their seats and a man waiting for his wife wanted to make smalltalk and I mentioned I was resting my weary feet. This turned into him making note that he is increasingly fond of women’s footwear. I quote, “I think I may actually be getting a foot fetish!” I laughed heartily/nervously as what I observed as a joke, and he proceeded to say something about how “it’s okay” and everybody likes something different……

Uh yeah… I guess you are right? Wait, what??

Ohhh memories…. haha

Tonight I’m excited to see Michelle’s vision come to life. In the few short weeks I have been interning, I already feel like I’ve absorbed an invaluable amount of information. I even got to help with some finishing on the looks so it will be really validating to know I got to help be a facilitator, even though only a little, for someone’s vision and expression. After all, that is what it is all about. 

 

So cheers! To fashion……. and perverts.

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Shows are tonight and tomorrow at the Vigor Shipyard at 8. Doors open at 7. Come play!

xo

BLOGRESS REPORT: What I’ve been doing this month!

Today I had my annual pumpkin bagel with pumpkin cream cheese and autumn roast coffee as I sat in the sun on my porch on a sewing break. It was magical, and nice to take a breather. I’m living coffee to coffee, but getting a lot done along the way. Here are some pics and links that give a snapshot of what Fall 2013 is looking like so far.

High-profile journalism: For my first fashion article for the year click here!

Laboring of love : check out this spoiler on the dress I’ve been making with the brocade (that’s the greenish fabric) that I got at Mood NYC! Not quite done, and will post more as soon as it is done!

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Intern Extraordinaire: 

As some of you know, I’ve recently acquired a new gig interning for an awesome local designer, so awesome, in fact, that she has dazzled the likes of Zac Posen and Heidi Klum! 

Meet Michelle Lesniak!

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She was the winner of Season 11 for Project Runway, and now she is back in Portland doin’ her thing and being a local fashion rockstar. A couple weeks ago I got to be an extra set of hands on her promo shoot for an upcoming website revamp, and I’ve been getting to spend some time seeing what life is really like for an independent designer. So far I am absolutely loving it!  Not only am I getting to spend a few hours a week breathing some designer lifestyle into my lungs, but the ladies are a great team to work with and get to know. I’ve recently being doing a little documenting as a good intern should, so to share, here are a couple Vines from the past couple weeks! 

Here is Michelle giving the camera a little love in her own design at the shoot:

https://vine.co/v/hvwzBL5m95j 

This is a VERY small little sneak peek into what Michelle is busy working on for FashioNxt– NEXT WEEK! Exciting times.

https://vine.co/v/hgIZVeExhZ0 

 

Oh yeah, and on top of all this I still gotta pay rent… SO I’m off to work! This next week will be a ball with FashioNXT Fashion week and I am excited to report back! Have an awesome rest of your weekend, friends, and enjoy those beautiful falling leaves!!

TTFN- ta ta for now!

xo

 

Dorky Chick Diaries: Somebody ate skittles and threw up on my iCal.

*Exhale*

I’ve just popped yet another dark chocolate covered mint from TJ’s and am staring at spinach that needs to be put in the refrigerator. It is about 9 p.m. on a Wednesday and I’ve recently returned from some mid-week grocery replenishing. I’ve opted out of music as background noise partially because I’ve been overdosing on Top 40 lately, and partially because it sort of sounds like Fall outside. It smells like Fall. I can tell. A sullen moisture is collecting around old buildings again and the cooler evening temperature isn’t cooking the earth enough to expel the familiar fragrances of warm weather anymore. My laundry is whispering to me from the basement, but my fingers are tingling on this keyboard as I unzip my chest and begin to let words splatter onto my e-diary.

September has ignited me. If you’ve followed any of my past blogs you may have noticed that over the past few months I have grown from being eager, to steady, to scattered, and, at times, defeated. I guess that is what being a 20 something is supposed to be though. Just as things started to get foggy, though, I was reminded of this promise to myself to stay motivated. This silly little blog was the reminder for that promise. So I’ve made some moves, and suddenly my iCal looks like it went on the Color Run or somebody spewed Skittles on September. I have 2 intern positions, both fashion related (more on that in a later post), 3 sources of income (my beloved restaurant, tuppins for my PSU fashion articles, and now extra support from a little daytime receptionist gig), and in 3 weeks I will again be a full time student (a light, yet still full credit load at PSU this term and also a light load at Portland Sewing).

Sounds farking crazy, I know. 

I may risk speaking too soon, but now there is a stomach-butterfly inducing feeling I get when I breath deeply. I’ve piled so much on my plate, yet, I feel like I’ve never felt so privileged to have such little free time. I love everything I’m filling my days with. It feels balanced. It is all work, but with the right state of mind, it is all play. 

I’m playing grown-up, and my Subaru is much more fun to drive than that Playskool thing. 

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To report on my fashion pursuits, here are the headlines!

Miss OR and Miss RI 2011 take NYC by Storm, Stop at Mood Designer Fabrics Before Breaking Hearts 

😉

 

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Portland Fashion Week: Gen. Admission Doesn’t Include Champagne, Still Buys a Good Time

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Croquis Improve for McGowan, Hope Exists

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Croquis Come to Life, as Designer McGowan Takes it to the Next Level

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^^obviously we’re not quite done 🙂

Serger Changes Life: Thanks, Gram

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If you sew, you understand this to be the most exciting of all of the above things.  Thank you to my Gram for my years-late follow up on a high school graduation gift 🙂

 

I wish I could tell you everything, but I know I’m lucky if you made it this far. The bad news, is that my sheets are still in the dryer and it is past my bedtime. The good news is, being busy means things are happening, and I really want to thank you for reading this blog. Every time you click to read, it’s sort of like passing a stranger who smiles instead of looks dead faced. It’s encouraging in the best way. 

 

The bedtime police are going to arrest me, so toodeloo my friends!

If you were wondering, the spinach did get put away a while ago, because I’m grown-up like that 😉

xo

 

 

Japanese fashion exhibit A.K.A. stuff I’d never wear

Roughly twice a week, I open my mailbox to find envelopes filled with articles clipped from the Des Moines Register and Wallstreet Journal from my dad. A daily newspaper reader, he is famous for sitting and reading with a pair of scissors for cutting, folding, and mailing to loved ones he thinks may take interest in the material. My mailbox usually gets articles on former classmates and WHS happenings, wine, golf, and, of course, fashion.

Gossip, booze, leisure sports, and clothes. 

Can you blame me?

While all of the articles are fantastic, one stood out to me recently and led me to a fantastic afternoon adventure. It was an article featuring different fashion exhibits around the world, one of which was in Seattle, called “Future Beauty”. So when I realized that I had a trip north planned in just a couple weeks, I marked my calendar and got the deets.

To set the scene: it was a sunny Thursday with smooth sailing on the interstate, I got a free ice cream cone at DQ because corporate didn’t pass the memo about Miracle Treat Day, I got the king spot in the parking garage when they were at max capacity, AND I found a red sequin dress that was made for mischief on super-sale. So I had a feeling this trip to the Seattle Art Museum was going to be great, and I was right.

Behold: 

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Essentially, this exhibit showcases pieces of couture fashion from Japanese designers over the past 30 years. This is the stuff that design dreams are made of.

The ornate details! The unusual silhouettes! The innovative construction! Oh how my heart was singing!!

For those who are not familiar with Japanese fashion (it’s okay- I’m still learning myself), it is an important distinction to make from the rest of the world. Boundaries are unclear and tradition is void. Appropriately named “Future Beauty” the overwhelming takeaway for any non-fashion-minded individual would be that Japanese designers see fashion as limitless and with the ability to transcend time. Much of the world’s clothing is still governed by function, but in Japan the fashion on the streets can sometime be more obscure than what is on the couture runways. The exhibit included both couture and street wear. Some of the labels on the displayed looks even said “street fashion” as opposed to being from a designer. Crazy right? Mostly,  the exhibit consisted of a sizable collection of runway pieces and included names like Rei Kawakubo (Comme des Garçons), Yohji Yamamoto, and a smattering of other noteworthy people I will let you research 😉 but let’s get to the goods– pictures!

Just LOOK at this stuff!

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I had to snag pics for you online because while I was in the exhibition I felt like it was a sacred ground. The hushed whispers of the patrons made footsteps seem to echo louder. I think music would have caused sensory overload because the lights and the angles and the intrigue of each piece had a visual decibel level high enough to wake the neighbors.

My favorite piece came  from Yohji Yamamoto and was made of a thick, woolen felt. I was dazzled by so many pieces, but this one wasn’t the most flashy or jaw dropping. This piece was was austere and sober, yet remarkably regal. I’d costume it for a futuristic action movie. It seems fit for a doe-eyed, stoic villain in a modern-day castle somewhere in a snowy part of the world. Don’t you think?Image

Though many designers have influenced the state of fashion to date, there is something about the philosophy of these Japanese designs that was cohesive. This perceived commonality was the reminder of the importance of play in design. Each design appeared to have intent to reveal the expanse of the muse, like a child who colors outside the lines and makes purple hair because that is what inspires them. Instead of saying “no” that isn’t how it’s done, the designers took their pencils a bit further to create new shapes, surpassed conventional fabrics for avant-garde materials, and selected colors based on doing whatever the heck they wanted to do. The designers said yes to thoughtful innovation and yes to unabashed play.

I thought about picking up one the luxuriously clothed mannequins and taking it with me, but then I didn’t want to take it away from it’s mannequin friends. So I left with my appetite for culture fully satiated and swirling ideas for future projects. Bring on the playtime.

🙂

To anyone who is in the Seattle area: I believe that the exhibit will be up for another week or so, so scurry over there and check it out- definitely worth a trip.

More info at the official link: here

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School starts again in a couple weeks, can you believe it? Am I still a student? Oy vey. I am really looking forward to all of the fashion related events that I’ve been plugging into my iCal. I’ve got a few projects in the works, pending responsibilities, and a slew of fashion shows to get me excited in addition to some new fashion classes. Big stuff- stay tuned!!

Well thanks, Dad, for sending those articles my way. I wouldn’t have gotten that unique experience if I hadn’t known! And just so you all know, summer is officially over. I’m visiting my folks this week and tonight my dad announced that today is the last day he will be wearing his seersucker suits and white shoes.

Sigh.

Cheers to wearing white this weekend and catching the last of the summer sun! Happy Labor Day!

xo

Dorky Chick #TBT: ummm WHY wasn’t I invited to the VMA’s?

 

 

 

 

Listen. I don’t f*&%ing get it. All week I have to hear about stinking celebrities and their “fabulous” fashion statements and I have basically been red carpet ready for years and nobody has paid any attention to me. It’s not fair! 

Just take a look at Gaga in this trash bag dress….

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C’mon, financially-savvy-college-freshman Caroline was rocking that years ago…

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Obviously red carpet worthy.

 

Then Allison Williams shows up in Valentino and everybody is like “ooohhhh”

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Um excuse me but HOW could you forget that I basically wore the same thing to my junior year voice recital? 

ImageI friggin’ nailed “Green Finch and Linnet Bird” from Sweeney Todd that night.

Nailed. it.

But what really chaps my hide is Katy Perry and her– wait, what’s that they call it?- oh yeah— her “grill”. 

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Katy, Katy, Katy. Let me show you how it’s done. ImageFake forest background.

Casual knuckles under chin.

So whimsical…yet, so fierce. 

 

 

 

All I’m saying is, fashion legends like myself deserve some recognition.

I’ll be waiting on my invitation to 2014’s VMA’s, MTV. 

I’ll. Be. Waiting. 

😉

xo

 

 

 

READER FEATURE: Meet Laura!

I designed this blog to be a digital bulletin board/keepsake box/public diary of all things that keep me inspired. This includes learning hurdles cleared, industry knowledge acquired, fashion fantasies explored, and officially, now, recognizing those who live fabulously, fearlessly, and fashionably. I want to dedicate a new monthly installment to readers who have kept me motivated and exemplify what it means to DREAM and DO.

Introducing….

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Meet Laura.

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One of my oldest friends, I couldn’t think of a better person to kick off this segment with.  I can just remember sitting in our middle school homeroom class and chit chatting like we were millionaire shoppers. Drooling over Louis Vuitton logos, daydreaming about Betsey Johnson shoes, and always being “in the know” about what was acceptable 8th grade attire…we’ve come quite a ways 🙂  Why I chose Laura is because she is not only is she a loyal reader of my little blog, she is also an integral part of my fashion history. Knowing my love of fashion, she invited me one spring day in 2007 to watch the Central Campus Fashion Show. This fashion show was the end-of-the-year showcase for the Fashion Design and Merchandising students at the downtown, college-level tech school  for high school students, which I would after become a part of.  (You may remember me mentioning this school before in one of my earliest blogs- click here. ) This experience catapulted me into exploring my creative side, allowed me to take a road less traveled, and ultimately has played a part in what has caused me to sit in this chair and type on this blog.

My appreciation for her goes far beyond that invitation, however, and I would say she is one of the more inspirational people I know. Laura is one of those people I would describe as “tightly wrapped”. She is organized, she is accomplished, she makes friends everywhere she goes, and she somehow makes time for it all and then some.  She makes life fun while still working really hard and looking extra fabulous. OH and she can kick your ass.

But I’ll let her do the talking. I had a chance to ask her some questions so you can get to know her, we can learn about her style, and maybe some of her can rub off on us!

C: Alright Laura, gimme the basics.

L: I live in the fabulous Scottsdale, Arizona! It’s very much the stereotype that everyone imagines. Eclectic cars and women in 100% matching Lululemon outfits at the gym protecting their new manicures. Sometimes I wonder if these people have jobs or are really doing that well being sugar mamas. If the latter, I need to switch careers. Besides it turning into an oven for 4 months out of the year, I can’t complain about the sunshine and the great tan that I can therefore maintain. You [learn to] deal with the 120 degree hot season for 8 months of 80 degree weather  just by thinking of friends at home [in Iowa] crossing treacherous black ice. I am currently a pediatric intensive care nurse at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. It’s amazing, I know. It’s also sad, I know. I get to be the one there for families when their child is in the worst possible state they could imagine. I’m there for the happy times when we’re leaving the ICU, and I’m there for the sad times when that departure wasn’t as positive. All in all, I love what I do! I’m also a Crossfit coach. Nothing about that one is ever sad. I see people improve every day and lift heavy stuff. All in sometimes coordinated Lululemon outfits. I also have a little side job of making homemade almond butter – aptly named after my Crossfit enthusiasm “Nasty Girls Nut Butter.” If you haven’t heard of the Crossfit “Nasty Girls”, Google it. Then try one of my nut butters. You’ll realize after about 30 seconds why they’re appropriately named. The nut butter started as something I just did for myself and has now evolved into something people are bringing me jars back for refills! Check me out on Facebook- I ship!

**side note- Laura was actually on a team that competed at CrossFit regionals. Um.. watch out!!!!!!

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C: How would you describe your style?

L: My style is either scrubs or workout apparel, so pretty darn comfy. I literally have a closet of clothes that I select from for an occasion about every 3 months. However, when these such occasions arise, I’m choosing from a closet of low-maintenance, trendy pieces. I’m usually the one wearing a statement piece of jewelry with a black on black ensemble or the red pants with a basic tee. Standout, but easy. Done.

C: What inspires you?

L: My grandmother instilled in me the love of Coco Chanel. I’ve read three biographies and still have a Chanel-inspired password after five years. The mantra of not taking no for an answer and doing what you feel and not what society dictates is what I strive to achieve as well.

C: Who is a style icon that influences you?

L: Cliché, I know she’s been in the press a lot lately, but I’ve loved Kate Middelton (Dutches of Cambridge, allofherotherreallylongtitles), from the get go. She’s like me, effortless, comfy, and stylish. I also like Reese Witherspoon for her casual day to day outfits and then looking bombshell on the red carpet. Every time.

C: What is your favorite piece in your wardrobe?

L: My favorite piece (such a hard choice) would be a pair of 7 for all Mankind jeans that I have that literally feel like yoga pants. Who likes constricting jeans? Not I. These fit like a dream! I also love my swim covers – because that typically means I’m also wearing a bikini and going to the sun. …..Also, I buy Charles David heels. They’re my one and only. We go pretty steady these days.

C: If you could give one piece of fashion advice, what would that be?

L: My fashion advice would come from my inspiration, Coco Chanel.

“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”

I love this quote because I don’t ever go for the most avant garde outfit selections. I like things simple, some cleavage if deemed the right event, little jewelry, subtle makeup and fun shoes. Classy. Fabulous.

True to Dorky Chick form, I had to have Laura prove herself in pictures of a “TRRRENNNDAAYYY” outfit… Check it out!

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Laura says: Sooo here’s my outfit! It’s a dress I recently found at My Sister’s Closet, a designer consignment shop. It is Lotta Stensson. This dress still had tags on it that it retails for $350. I got it at the ripe dime of $58. It is also quite risque aka translucent, so I purchased a $28 white Free People slip to throw underneath. $86 investment worth $378; I’ll take it!

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, can I get a round of applause for Laura????

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She is caring for families in their darkest hours, achieving fitness goals and helping others do so as well, starting her own business on the side of ridiculously delicious nut butters, and is still getting out there and loving life. We see that beer in your picture, girl!  What can be learned through Laura is that no matter the circumstance, you can keep on “doin’ you”. For someone who spends most of her time in purpose-driven duds, she does an excellent job of keeping a her attitude stylish. Scrubs at work and spandex at the gym? No matter, because she knows she has fab looks waiting in the wings. Catch her teaching a class and you won’t know what is more impressive- her ability to keep up with the guys, or her adorbs outfit!

Thank you Laura! For letting us get to know how you take the day to day and make it fabulous- and for even getting your “dorky” on for some excellent pics of your Lotta Stensson dress.

Check her out on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/NastyGirlsNutButter

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Until next time readers!  Thanks for being patient as I travel across the country. So much exciting stuff to write about!!!!

xo

Are you a fashionista or fashionisto who lives each day with inspiration? Or do you know someone who is? You or someone you know could be next month’s reader feature!   Send in your name, the name of the person you are nominating, and a mini bio to dorkychickinlipstick@gmail.com ! 

Drawing practice ! 8.5

It has been officially an eon since I last had a free afternoon to sit and putter around with my art supplies. Feeling unfocused, I decided that drawing something already in existence was probably the best way to exercise my precision, and I chose the smokin’ red dress that Rhianna wore to the Grammy’s! 

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In my Illustration class review, I was told that I should work more on texture and on faces. I thought this would be a good choice because of the gathered skirt and translucent silk. 

Getting started was harder than I had thought, as I tried to remember the techniques I had learned months ago. I got started in pencil and took a pic so I could see what I’d started with by the time I was done. Lucky for me this time, I was already sold on drawing a long skirt so you didn’t have to see her weird looking cartoon legs…. 

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Her arms were looking a little wonky and her face was so small that my pencil could hardly make details, but overall I was pleased enough to move on. After all, I had to accept that I will not be turning into Michelangelo in one afternoon of drawing.

Then there was the coloring! After outlining in thin Staedler marker, I decided that I would mix it up and use only my PrismaColor colored pencils this time. Previously, I had been using mainly my markers, but wanted to work with a medium I was less comfortable with. Here’s what came out:

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Riri was looking a bit better at the Grammy’s, but I took away some great observations about my process and where to go from here. Somewhere along the line her hair grew, her smile got colored in, and the precision of the folds in her dress became muddied. I had a hard time getting her hair to catch that ideal ombre glow and had an even harder time getting the beautiful coloring of her skin just right. This led to over-compensation, and I couldn’t color any more unless I wanted to just draw right through to the next page. 

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All in all, it was a good checkpoint. I want to try this dress again, but instead use markers and spend more time on the details of her face and hair. I’ve heard designers say that more often than not a croquis gets drawn and redrawn multiple hair-pulling times until it is just right, but if I sit and roast any longer inside on this beautiful, hot day I think I will go insane in the membrane. 

On a positive note, I’m actually pleasantly surprised with the experimentation I did to make the fabric appear to be sheer through her torso and her face didn’t look like a man. These are both going in the “win” category.

I’m excited to try this again, and definitely will plan on more time for details. I think next time the most important part will be measuring and not second guessing my measurements. I got caught up in details that were not to scale and I lost focus of the precision that could have added some points for technique.

As we say around here:

Cheers, to sucking less! 

The grocery store calls! Stay positive friends, Monday is almost over 😉 

xo

Pictures of my TREEENNNNDAAAYYY outfit! 7.29

I’ve been working hard lately at trying to grow up. I’ve lived on my own for two years, I feel like I’m finally settling into a great network of people, and I want to be able to put more exciting things on my plate. Yesterday I celebrated a wonderful day of domestication. I cooked. I cleaned. I socialized.

And I wore homemade clothes!

As painfully June Cleaver as it sounds, I couldn’t help myself! I made this classic A-line skirt out of a funky black paisley-esque cotton last winter, and haven’t had a chance to see if it was worth wearing until this week. As basic and boring as can be, but I kinda liked it with my pink J. Crew necklace, grey tank, and go-to wedges!

Cue pic that says “Oh! Please have some more casserole, I made plenty!”

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Don’t let my fake smile fool you, I was really just happy to see carpet for the first time in weeks.

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It really is the little things. 

Hope you have a gleefully-rolling-on-the-floor kind of day.

xo

What to wear for a summer job interview! Start with deodorant…?

Here’s the sitch: it’s hotter than Birkenstocks in the 1990’s outside, and you need a job. You’d look great for an interview in January, but you’d be sweltering in thick, black fabric! Unfortunately a swim suit wasn’t the kind of suit your future employer had in mind for this occasion, and all of your other summer clothes may not be professional enough. 

So you asked, and I’m answering:

“I can’t find anything on Pinterest summer wardrobe ideas for job interviews! What tips do you have?”

 

Answer: wear this!

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Oh you mean you aren’t interviewing for the job of embarrassing prom date? Well then let’s dive into this a little bit more. 

 

MEN: 

Guys, tradition, unfortunately, will be keeping you in sleeves if you are looking to land that mainstream corporate gig. This doesn’t mean that you have to be boiling in wool, however. Summer-weight fabrics such as linen and seersucker are breathable and extremely classy choices for suits. Jackets are less necessary during this time, simply because of the heat, but when in doubt, err on the side of safety. Khaki’s and a button down are a practical choice. Be leery of different styles, however, should you be a gent who in interested in showing off your personality. Depending on the job you seek, consider how traditional your outfit should be. There is a difference between khaki colored slacks and khaki pants. If the khakis could be intermixed with jeans, then they probably aren’t job interview appropriate. More traditional companies or employers may be inclined to say that a pleated and cuffed khaki-colored trouser is more professional and classic. Likewise with shirts. Just because a shirt has a collar doesn’t mean it is the right shirting material.

 If I was your mom/sister/girlfriend (… and hopefully not all three) I would suggest you use good judgement and stray from getting experimental. There are ways of using subtleties to show off your personality, but if you aren’t sure what I mean, then you should probably just be going basic in the meantime. When you are ready to step it up, give me a call. We’ll go shopping.

Remember make sure that your belt, shoes, and socks match. Make sure your outfit isn’t wrinkled. Make sure everything is the proper length and fit. No shorts. No tennis shoes.  Not sure about something? Ask questions at quality men’s retailer. Women’s wear doesn’t have the same guidelines that men’s does, and quality male clothiers should be trained in the know-how of do’s and do-not’s. 

Here is a brief glimpse at how summer can translate into the modern day office.

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LADIES: 

Take a deep breath ladies, because fashion trends have transcended into business wear for summer. I actually think this is the best time to interview fashion-wise because of all of the possibilities! Being that it is sunny and warm, the shelves are lined with fun and expressive colors. Spring sales are aplenty and dark and gloomy colors have been buried, so forget that basic black a-line, and find something that shows off just how spectacular you are. My suggestion: make it classic, and also make it interesting. Start with basics like crisp linen pants, or a lightweight sheath dress. Traditional corporate job? Think pencil skirt and structured, short-sleeved top. Keep cool with silks and synthetics, and consider something flowy mixed with something structured. Make it your own with an accenting pair of heels and belt, or perhaps a dash of color with some fun jewelry. Keep it refined, but don’t let anyone tell you that a 9-5 means you will be relegated to sweater sets and 20th century conformity.  When you hit the shops to pick up that job-winning look, play with a variety of shapes and colors to make sure it works with your skin tone and body shape. Accents can be incorporated with practicality, and you may find that a brightly colored jacket or sweater is a suitable way to ward off A/C chill while not covering up your look.

Above all, make sure it is comfortable and flattering! If you feel good and aren’t pulling or tugging at your clothes, you will be much more likely to give the interview you want.  Leave your sky-high heels for date night!

Remember, cleavage is never okay. If it’s tight, it doesn’t fit. Close-toe shoes > your pedicure. No sequins are good sequins. Stay mindful of just how colorful you are- if you look like a walking color-by-numbers you may be overdoing it. 

Here are a couple ideas!

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Here’s an article I wrote for recent grads for the Portland State Vanguard… maybe this will help you too!

click here!

Friends, you are just one step closer to sweet, paycheck bliss. Now get off the couch, out of your Family Guy boxers, and take on the world!

Oh, wait… I’m the one in the Family Guy boxers…

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Probably time to get on with my day 😉

Enjoy the sun! xo

TRRRREENNNNDAYYY WEEKEND: Here comes da judge!! 7.20-21!

 

 

Once again I’ve found myself in pageant land! I may not be destined for the courtroom, but I can still be a judge in the sparkly pageant arena 😉  So I’ve skipped town for a couple days to determine the fates of the ambitious young ladies competing for opportunities to find their inner queen.

This, of course, requires the right wardrobe so I played some dress up to exercise my styling muscles and make sure I was prepared for the weekend’s festivities!

OUTFIT 1: 

Orientation, first rounds of interviews, and introductions means it’s business time. A classic black sheath from Bebe was my first pull from my closet. Hotel A/C is usually pumping freezing cold air so I chose to cover up with this tweed jacket I found at J.C. Penney!  ($30!!) To ad my own flair, I put it with my favorite go-to cutout black heels, chunky silver jewelry to accent the exposed zipper on the jacket, and my favorite bracelet that reads “FEARLESS”

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OUTFIT 2:

Sunday morning is the perfect time to pullout a cheery business wear outfit! Again, A/C pumping means dress for indoor autumn. I brought my own summer in the form of a white, flowy jacket, indigo capris, a bright floral scarf, and my favorite comfy pumps. Don’t let the playfulness fool you, I’m still a tough judge 😉

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OUTFIT 3:

 Dear whomever it may concern at Fashion Police Department,

I’m repeating an outfit. Na na na boo boo. I don’t care.

Sincerely,

Caroline

For the final night of crowning, they said to pack our best! My pageant gown days are over, so I’m choosing to show my flashy flair through different means of fabulosity! I found this bright turquoise dress on sale from FCUK a couple months ago and wore it to the crowning of Miss Oregon 2013. I love that it is flattering, eye-catching, and comfortable! Great nights are only made better if you feel great in what you wear, and I’ve found that wearing a skin-tight sausage casing definitely gets in the way of being carefree- so I picked this! And I glitzed it up with heaping piles of jewelry.

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I firmly believe the best outfits should be worn again! If I ever made it to the big time, I would wear the same outfit a handful of times just so people know it is okay.

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Well, that’s that! I will not be accepting any creepy calls this weekend of people asking “what are you wearing??”  You already know.

 

Okay, I’m off! Have a fun summer weekend- I’m sending love from pageant land!

xo