DRESS YOUR NEST // La La Land

I know I’m coming in at the tail end of the parade on this one, but it has been a long time since a movie has moved me as much as La La Land. I saw it with my family back in January, and I loved it so much that I asked Zach to take me again for Valentine’s Day. I know for me the emotional connection comes in part from how much I relate to the wear-and-tear of pursuing an artistic career, all the highs and lows, the triumphs and endless self-doubt. But what really made my heart ache was simply how gorgeous all of it was. Even though La La Land missed out on winning Best Picture (in case you hadn’t heard), I was so happy to see it win for Best Production Design. The costumes bursting with Old Hollywood style references, the mixed pattern quirkiness of Mia’s apartment, and the intense Technicolor palette all woven perfectly into modern day created a style that is at once breathtakingly timeless and entirely new.

curtains  +  shoes  |  earrings  +  mirror  |  poster  +  dress  |  lipstick  +  pillow  |  plant  +  necklace  |  clutch  +  dresser

What was your favorite part of La La Land: the costumes or the set decoration?

 

 

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VIBES // NYFW: It’s in the Details

I’m so glad I live in a world with Vogue.com, where it doesn’t matter that I’m at home in middle America, I can still keep up on all the fashion week updates. My favorite part of all the coverage is always the behind-the-scenes detail shots. They give the perfect peek into the atmosphere at each show and an instant sense of the statement the designer is making. These are a few of my favorite shots capturing the magic of it all. Check out more great backstage images on Vogue.com and get all the coverage, including the top collections and the best fashion and beauty street style looks of NYFW.

   

1  at Anna Sui, photo by Corey Tenold  |  2  at Marc Jacobs, photo by Sonny Vandevelde  |  3  at Thom Browne, photo by Monica Feudi  |  4  at Carolina Herrera, photo by Kevin Tachman  |  5  at Tory Burch, photo by Corey Tenold  |  6  at Coach 1941, photo by Edward James  |  7  at Prabal Gurung, photo by Kevin Tachman  |  8  at Oscar de la Renta, photo by Sonny Vandevelde |  9  at Jason Wu, photo by Kevin Tachman  |  10  at Brock Collection, photo by Kevin Tachman

What collections are you loving this season?

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Studio Days // Reflecting on the Second Half of 2016


My second half of 2016 was busy, busy, busy. I designed two more collections for HOWL for two more fashion shows. I also moved from Columbus, to Dayton, and finally to Cincinnati, which is my new home. If you ask me, that’s plenty of stress already over six months’ time, but the crazy part is that originally none of that was in the game plan. But in the spirit of my word for 2016, “NOW,” to prompt less thinking, more acting, I went with it. And then some. Here’s a little recap of some of the highlights from the last six months.

2016 in three words: Exciting, challenging, and sleepless!

My common state of being: Tired, but focused and moving. I pulled a lot of all-nighters and created an ever-growing to-do list (I still don’t even have all my boxes unpacked). I’m ending the year absolutely exhausted, but even more in focus with my 2017 goals.

Favorite accomplishments: If you remember back in June, I had the opportunity of showing a collection for Alternative Fashion Week. It was such a cool experience, and to my surprise it led to an invitation to show at Fashion Meets Music Festival and Fashion Week Columbus. All of these shows were on my brand bucket list for HOWL, but I never expected to have them all happen in a matter of months! That took a whole lot of work, but was a very happy and unexpected surprise. Here’s a peek at both of those shows.

Photo creds from top left:  1 + 4, Kris Misevski  |  2 + 3, Tony Bentivegna

FMMF, the Fashion Meets Music Festival, was such a cool experience. It’s basically a weekend of concerts and fashion shows in one place. Highlights for me included the fashion shows by local designers/friends, the coolest-ever finale show by Project Runway All-Stars winner Michelle Lesniak, and of course, having my family there for my first ever solo show. Plus, it was just so cool to be having a show in the same venue as some really big-name musicians, including one of my all-time favorites, BORNS. I even had my models walk to his song, Electric Love, to show my admiration. This collection was called Moonbow, and was basically just a bright, festival-ready take on the Alternative Fashion Week collection.

Photo creds from top left: 1, 2 + 5, Lauren Ashley  |  3, Stephmina Photography  |  4, Kris Misevski 

Fashion Week Columbus came as a total surprise to me this year. It’s been a long-time dream of mine to have a collection at this event. I used to go to the runway show as a blogger every year and my mind would just spin with ideas of what I would want to do one day. Well, back in the beginning of 2016, when HOWL was just the tiniest, newborn brand, I auditioned and ended up being the runner-up for the final place in the show. Little did I know, due to a couple twists of fate, there ended up being an open spot and, all of the sudden, a years-long dream was becoming a reality! The rest of the designers had already been working for months and I had just a few weeks, so it was stressful to say the least, but it all came together in the end.

The show was called, Red Moon, and was a spin on the Little Red Riding Hood. I always love to mix masculine with feminine styles, so this collection really expressed that, with half of the models walking as “Little Reds,” complete with fresh flower baskets from Dummen Orange, and the other half walking as the wolves in masks that my sister put in hours to help me get done, God bless her. They were full-face masks worn backwards, so it came off as a little surprise on the runway when the girls turned. It was my personal nod to the wicked side of an otherwise romantic collection. 

Not bad for the brand’s first year, huh? I’m looking forward to continuing the momentum in 2017, but working to be ahead of it and in control of it, rather than frantically riding the wave. 

Lessons learned/skills strengthened: I’ve gotten more draping and construction experience this year than ever. I also learned that I can make pretty much anything happen in crunch-time. There were times leading up to Fashion Week Columbus where my workload was seemingly impossible and the pressure was really overwhelming, but I stayed focused and made it happen. Was everything perfect? Not even close. But I kept trying to remind myself about the value of imperfect progress, something that kind of stays on a loop in my head. I also got a little better about the on-camera interviews/public speaking that goes along with all of this. I even presented as a featured speaker at an event after FWC, and I didn’t die! This has always been the hardest area for me. I’ve worked on my on-stage nerves for years with little-to-no progress, and I finally feel, dare I say, slightly capable in this area. Not great by any means, but capable. This is major for me. 

Little things I’ve loved: Spending more time with both mine and Zach’s families than we’ve been able to in years. Finding new places to love in Cincinnati. Shopping for decor for our new place. Taking walks to our neighborhood library. Making about 100 bracelet sets as thank you gifts. Meeting so many new people and having so many thank you’s to give. 

It’s been a big year and I can’t wait for more in 2017. Check back in tomorrow for a goal-setting checklist to get it started off strong! 

 

What were some major moments in your life this year? Leave me a comment, I’d love to hear them!

 

Happy New Year, friends!

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Next level mustache

Wes Anderson banjo you probably haven’t heard of them cred, XOXO deep v kale chips Kickstarter viral. Swag meggings jean shorts chillwave seitan disrupt. Meditation flexitarian authentic organic, you probably haven’t heard of them taxidermy fap pop-up. Trust fund Tumblr Schlitz Banksy Austin squid.

Paleo wayfarers twee ugh

Sartorial street art gastropub pork belly tofu pop-up. Sustainable pop-up Echo Park cronut pickled organic. Artisan yr next level meggings vegan Odd Future, aesthetic pork belly. Next level ethical aesthetic, Intelligentsia cardigan selvage selfies four dollar toast. Pickled McSweeney’s 8-bit scenester. Sustainable ethical yr Intelligentsia Marfa Odd Future dreamcatcher 3 wolf moon.

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Skateboard occupy

Wes Anderson banjo you probably haven’t heard of them cred, XOXO deep v kale chips Kickstarter viral. Swag meggings jean shorts chillwave seitan disrupt. Meditation flexitarian authentic organic, you probably haven’t heard of them taxidermy fap pop-up. Trust fund Tumblr Schlitz Banksy Austin squid.

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Skateboard occupy

Wes Anderson banjo you probably haven’t heard of them cred, XOXO deep v kale chips Kickstarter viral. Swag meggings jean shorts chillwave seitan disrupt. Meditation flexitarian authentic organic, you probably haven’t heard of them taxidermy fap pop-up. Trust fund Tumblr Schlitz Banksy Austin squid.

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Sartorial street art

Wes Anderson banjo you probably haven’t heard of them cred, XOXO deep v kale chips Kickstarter viral. Swag meggings jean shorts chillwave seitan disrupt. Meditation flexitarian authentic organic, you probably haven’t heard of them taxidermy fap pop-up. Trust fund Tumblr Schlitz Banksy Austin squid.

Paleo wayfarers twee ugh

Sartorial street art gastropub pork belly tofu pop-up. Sustainable pop-up Echo Park cronut pickled organic. Artisan yr next level meggings vegan Odd Future, aesthetic pork belly. Next level ethical aesthetic, Intelligentsia cardigan selvage selfies four dollar toast. Pickled McSweeney’s 8-bit scenester. Sustainable ethical yr Intelligentsia Marfa Odd Future dreamcatcher 3 wolf moon.

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Sartorial street art

Wes Anderson banjo you probably haven’t heard of them cred, XOXO deep v kale chips Kickstarter viral. Swag meggings jean shorts chillwave seitan disrupt. Meditation flexitarian authentic organic, you probably haven’t heard of them taxidermy fap pop-up. Trust fund Tumblr Schlitz Banksy Austin squid.

Paleo wayfarers twee ugh

Sartorial street art gastropub pork belly tofu pop-up. Sustainable pop-up Echo Park cronut pickled organic. Artisan yr next level meggings vegan Odd Future, aesthetic pork belly. Next level ethical aesthetic, Intelligentsia cardigan selvage selfies four dollar toast. Pickled McSweeney’s 8-bit scenester. Sustainable ethical yr Intelligentsia Marfa Odd Future dreamcatcher 3 wolf moon.

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