Styling

Dressing for the Holidays

We’ve approached that time of year where just about every weekend holds a holiday party. It all starts with Thanksgiving, or “friends-giving,” and ends with the night of all nights, New Years Eve. If you’re the type of person to start gift shopping in November, then you may also want to start outfit planning. In this digital age, the last thing you want is the same outfit appearing in every party picture.

Here are a few ideas to get you started…

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This little gold dress used to be floor-length. A vintage piece I purchased for a New Years celebration several years ago, I later decided it would be more useful as two pieces; a party dress and a knee-length skirt. I like to toughen up something this glamorous with a leather jacket. Not only does it keep you warm on cold winter nights, but it prevents the look from turning into a pageant ensemble. I chose minimal accessories and hair&makeup styling for the same reason: you have to balance the sparkly with the simple.

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I inherited this gold lamé skirt from my mother and I absolutely love wearing it. I followed the same guidelines as my previous picture, off-setting the gold with some leather, but did so in a more elegant way. You don’t have to show a lot of leg and cleavage to be sexy. This ensemble is sleek and refined without being boring. Oh, and a red lip never hurt!

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Attending a more casual affair? You can’t go wrong with a sweater. I love this moss green color, as it makes my eyes pop, but it is also a less obnoxious holiday hue. Pair it with black jeans and some gold accessories and you have a perfectly understated holiday ensemble. I did add a little bit of fun with snowflake earrings: subtle, yet festive!

*On a side note, turtlenecks can be tricky depending on your body type. I learned early on that they can make my bust-line appear larger than it is, throwing off my proportions. This sweater works because a) it is a darker color (read: minimizing) and b) I have my hair pulled back (so the combination of the neckline and full hair doesn’t overpower my face). If you can’t do a turtleneck, look for an open neckline like a v-neck or scoop neck. Those who are petite on top can benefit from a brightly colored turtleneck, or a top with added detail (like ruffles or pleating).

 

Still need outfit inspiration for your upcoming holiday event? Take a look at some of the party-worthy ensembles I’ve created in the past. Remember: when in doubt, throw on a LBD and some sparkly jewelry!

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Styling

New American Goth

The goth kids from high school, with their excess makeup and zippers to nowhere, are not the goth kids of today. This underground style has evolved into something so chic, so now, that everyone is doing it.

The goth kids of today are it-girls, tattooed photographers, and that chick on the treadmill sporting all black. They covet Rick Owens’ latest collection, spend the weekend shopping local, and their iTunes library contains The Cure as well as Lorde.

This new variety of goth is not limited to black. Take collections from Rick Owens, where he incorporates all-white ensembles that are just as spooky as his all-black looks. The concept is a minimal, neutral color palette with luxe textiles (think brushed silk, chunky cable knits, and skintight soft leather). The focus on detail has shifted from studs and buckles to textures and contrast.

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The 90’s revival has influenced the new goth aesthetic, but not as much as one would think. Instead of being kitschy, the New Goth is toned down and void of stretchy tattoo choker necklaces. The cross-over is seen more so in the make-up decisions: redish hues around the eyes, dark (almost black) lip colors, and not a trace of blush. Fashion wise, the 90’s influence is more Wednesday Addams than Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Take a cue from American Horror Story: The Coven for a modern pop culture interpretation.

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Goth has even become sporty: you don’t have to hate yourself to hate the world, thus goth kids have ventured to the gym in their black Lululemon leggings and Nike sneakers. They prefer Samurai buns over ballet buns and would rather listen to The Distillers during Boot Camp instead of Top 40 remixes. They are health conscious, eco friendly, and slightly more social than their predecessors. The new goth kids embrace life with the same enthusiasm they have for the macabre.

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I remember when I painted my nails black and my mother thought I was joining a cult. Until recently, all-black everything was considered too strange for every day. Now you see professionals draped in dark layers, models leaving fashion shows in combat boots and black leather jackets, and people of all ages embracing the New Goth. The aesthetic can even be a little bit feminine, à la Alexander McQueen.

The New Goth is elegant in a Morticia Addams kind of way. Long black dresses elongate and slim the figure, while eclectic accessories help to differentiate you from the masses. Sheer tights and mesh sleeves are wonderful ways to stay dark and mysterious without being too revealing: keep the sex appeal subtle for this new aesthetic. A sleek hair style featuring a center part hasn’t always been en vogue, but Nicole Riche has perfected the look and inspired others to try the “wet hair,” which happens to pair perfectly with the goth philosophy.

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Do not be afraid of goth, as it is a part of us all. When the season changes and the temperature drops, when leaves fall from trees and the sky turns grey is the time of year when Goth feels “right,” but in reality it is a look that can be pulled off year-round. You don’t need to live near a cemetery or drive a vintage car to feel at home with this style. Try incorporating a little edge into your daily ensemble or experiment with a black monochromatic #ootd. Next time you see a 30-year old soccer mom with dark plum nail polish, remember that anyone can do goth with the right attitude.

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Styling

Setting the Trend on Glenwood South

Last wednesday, I had the pleasure of assisting Revolver Boutique as they participated in a fashion show on Glenwood South.

The show was organized to unveil the newest Mercedes models, the C-Class and GLA.

Cars aside, the event was a blast and some of our boutique friends from Cameron Village joined in on the fun!

The following is my re-cap of the event, a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into a fashion show.

At 1:00pm on show day I met Liz, the owner of Revolver, at the shop to review the looks and go over our game plan. Some of the models were already present, so I led them over to Primp Salon & Bar to start getting ready.

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First came hair: I considered the look(s) each girl would be wearing and decided on a hair style that would complement the outfit.
Some ladies went edgy while others had a soft, feminine ‘do.

After hair came make-up and the transformation continued. While all of our models are absolutely stunning, it’s unbelievable what a little mascara and lip color can do for a girl.

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Once the beauty portion of the day was complete, we waited… and waited some more.
That’s half of a show is waiting. For hair, for makeup, for the show to start.
I treated myself to a mini manicure and a glass of champagne (thank goodness it was a salon/bar!) while other attendees networked, chatted with friends, or read fashion magazines.

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Around 4:00pm it was time to start getting dressed. The lovely staff at Raleigh Downtowner let us use their space to get ready. Bonus: their outdoor space made for a great photoshoot backdrop!

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Eugene and Gabby rocked it in alt-military inspired looks.

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Vanessa and Tariq were a dream duo in soft hues and cream accents.
I’m obsessed with Tariq’s Marc by Marc cardigan.

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ShinHae is a glamourous chameleon with her two totally different ensembles.
She goes from cute and retro to fierce in Dolce & Gabbana (peplum top).

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This is one of the two looks Emma worked on the runway.
This outfit features a Proenza Schouler dress that I am literally dying over, with a Haute Hippie blazer and DVF heels.

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How adorable is Sunny in this LBD?! Be sure to note her artsy Nicholas Kirkwood flats (LOVE).

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Despite the dark, I just had to snap a picture of these last few looks. The first features the most luxe reversible fur coat, the second a super cute Ocsar de la Renta sweater with a Proenza Schouler skirt, and the third an adorable Chloe skirt topped off by a MiuMiu shearling jacket. If these outfits don’t make you want to rush to Revolver right now, then you must be crazy!

All in all it was a wonderful night and a huge success!
I am so thrilled to be an honorary member of Revolver even though I’m no longer an employee.
Although fashion shows can be stressful at times, it is totally worth it in the end.
Can’t wait for the next one!

Hey! Have you ever wanted to shop Revolver but felt overwhelmed or don’t know where to start?
Fear not! I’m available to assist you (free of charge).
Comment below to schedule a shopping date or email me at tbgore@ncsu.edu 🙂

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Styling

Mid Century Autumn

Every season, Vogue publishes page after page telling you what’s “in” and what’s “out”, who wore who and the latest trends. Well news flash, it’s the same cat each time wearing a different hat. Remember that line from The Devil Wears Prada; “Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking.” It’s truer than we’d like to believe. Each fall we are reintroduced to military, minimal, some version of “artistic”, western, inspired by (insert decade here), and layers (lots of layers). So why do we keep buying new things if fashion just repeats itself?

I’m not dissing the fashion world. To anyone who knows me, I’m a slave to fashion and dress (for myself, my own creative pursuit) every day. What I’m getting at is our infatuation with fast fashion, copying those with true talent, and the inevitable waste it produces at the end of the season.

In 2010 I began working at a local consignment boutique called Revolver. I was a shopper years before I became an employee and even now it’s one of the few places I actually shop. Sure, I’ll browse online, but I always go back to Revolver for unique pieces that are still in style. I can honestly say that at the moment I shop at three stores: Gap for basics, Belk for shoes, and Revolver for everything else. Revolver is guilt-free shopping: all items are in perfect condition, priced less than half their retail value, and vary from high end labels to unknown boutique brands.

I recently collaborated with photographer Terrence Jones, hair & makeup artist Keisha Kidd, and model Cassie Sebas to bring you six looks perfect for the upcoming season, composed of items found (and available for purchase!) at Revolver Boutique.

The overall theme for the shoot was classic, simple shapes with a focus on texture. We did a few looks in a neutral color palette and a few in vibrant hues. Either way, the statement is eye-catching without being extra. All ensembles were shot around the Milton Small building near NC State campus. I am in love with the use of materials in this Mid Century Modern structure, as well as the use of space to incorporate nature into a cosmopolitan environment.

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(Vintage Perry Ellis coat, vintage boots & vintage necklaces)
According to Elle magazine, the “robe coat” is huge for Fall/Winter 2014. Personally, I prefer this vintage Perry Ellis coat as it provides enough structure to keep the garment from looking like an actual bath robe.

N2(T Alexander Wang shirt, Magellan’s cape, Vince Camuto heels, metal bracelet)
Capes are also making a comeback this season and I couldn’t be more excited. I am a collector of capes and feel that they suit any occasion. With winter approaching, inclement weather is inevitable. This utilitarian cape is perfect for staying chic (and warm) come rain or snow.

N3(James Perse dress, Vince shirt, Joseph jacket, Harrods cape, BCBG Maxazria belt, Nine West boots)
I don’t know about you, but I absolutely freeze once the temperature drops below 60. The best way to combat the cold? Layer on layers on layers (Harpers Bazaar calls this look “The Wanderer). To pull this off, pair items of varying textures and colors, then cinch everything to keep your figure. This doubles as a wonderful opportunity to play with different trends in one ensemble (like a cape + plaid print).

C1(Theory sweater, Lauren Moffatt cardigan, vintage Goldrings Couture coat, Free People jeans, Korks heels)
Glamour Magazine noted the glow of orange on the runway for F/W 14, an unlikely color that could use more respect. The orange lip has become widely accepted, so why not let the color trickle down the rest of the body? In this ensemble, I played off of a split-complementary color scheme to create an artistic flair. Since the shapes of each garment are clean and simple, you can afford to mix crazy colors with cool textures, without becoming overwhelmed.

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(J. Jill dress, Carlisle cardigan, pashmina scarf, Haute Hippie belt, and Rebel boots)
I was inspired by the design of the decade (of the building) when composing ensembles for this photoshoot, thus my use of off-kilter color combinations reminiscent of Mid-century artwork. Sometimes the unexpected makes for the most striking visual; like the mix of sky blue, pea green, and brick red. As with the previous ensemble, the trick is to work with classic silhouettes. It is also best to keep hair & makeup simple, not overdone.

C3(Allude sweater, Michael by MK jacket, Hudson corduroys, Daniblack heels, vintage ring)
This is a minimal take on military. The muted hues of olive green and raisin let the red do all the talking. The ensemble is both cool and sexy, perfect for any event (day or night). A leather jacket lends a tough girl vibe to any outfit, but by choosing a colored leather, the piece becomes more versatile and softer around the edges (compared with a black version). I’m obsessed with these shoes, though. From the front they are your basic brown pumps, but catch and angle and be prepared to shock passer-bys!

So next time you go shopping for wardrobe updates, don’t consider the date. Check out Revolver Boutique on Glenwood South for amazing pieces that are unique as they are affordable.

Big thanks to Revolver Boutique, Terrence of J1S Photography, Keisha Kidd, and the ever fabulous Cassie Sebas!

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Styling

Two Tones to Monochromatic

Monochromatic: containing or using only one color.

One of my biggest fashion pet peeves is when someone assumes that “monochromatic” refers only to a black & white color scheme. Actually, monochromatic is much more complex. The term describes the use of a single hue and it’s variations: any tint (adding white) and any shade (adding black). This play within a single color allows for dimension and visual stimulation, without the “busy” look that would be produced by a similar composition using multiple colors.

There are two strategies when styling a monochromatic ensemble. The last thing you want is to appear boring or look like a blueberry (in the case of an all blue, same shade outfit). The first is hue variation, which I described above. The second is texture, a two part element composed of a visual component and a tactile component. 

Hue, Shade & Tint
So if a tint is the addition of white and a shade is the addition of black, then a hue is the purest form of a color (think the color wheel from grade school). Of course, in fashion we take some creative liberties and therefore an ensemble may not be exactly the same hue. It’s more of an interpretation. The variations in color add visual interest, can emphasize certain aspects of the body, and create a sort of pattern or rhythm. It should be noted that within a monochromatic scheme you can add a neutral or two. It is nice to focus on one hue, but a touch of black or brown can break up the monotony without undermining the effect.

 

 

Texture: Visual & Tactile
Texture can be divided into two categories. Visual is like how shiny or matte something is. Think about how you deduce texture from a picture or film. Tactile texture would be how rough or smooth something is, you can actually feel the texture of the fabric. Now, our minds may blend these two together; we see something shiny and assume it feels smooth. That is part of the beauty of fashion, that it can be sensed without being seen.

These different textures add visual interest just as color variation does. Our eyes need something to focus on, then something to guide our attention throughout the ensemble. If an outfit is all the exact same color it is boring (or you end up looking like a fruit). If there is no mix of textures then the outfit is boring, as well. When an ensemble lacks accent colors it requires other methods to create interest. Apply these two techniques when styling your monochromatic look and you will be anything other than drab.

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Uncategorized

Modernly Vintage, Pt. 1

This past weekend at work we held an event that was 1950’s themed, so naturally I dressed up!

I am a lover of vintage fashions. The construction, fit, and textiles are unlike anything you’ll find in a contemporary boutique. I have several pieces in my collection, ranging from 1940’s to 1990’s, and make a stylistic choice to incorporate vintage apparel into my day-to-day wardrobe. Unless you lead a vintage fashion lifestyle (I know a few people who ONLY dress of a certain decade), it is important to know how to wear vintage pieces without looking like you’re about to attend a costume party. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to style your vintage wares for the modern time.

Change the color intensity
Have you ever noticed how pieces from the 1950’s have a faded color quality? Or how clothes from the 70’s are so vibrant they verge on blinding? An easy way to modernize a vintage look is by switching up the color intensity (how bright or muted a hue is). I practiced this trick on the first day of my work event by choosing a vintage-inspired piece found at my favorite local consignment boutique. I discovered the skirt/top set about a week prior to the event, not buying it specifically for that occasion. When I began planning my outfits for the coming weekend, my new ensemble reminded me of the tropical prints popular during the early 50’s summers; however, this time the print was vibrant rather than faded, which made for a fresh take on the old trend. If I were to style a 70‘s look, I would search for pieces that have similar prints (pop florals and swirling paisleys) but in colors so muted they become whispy earth tones. I completed the outfit with vintage, sunshine yellow pumps and an oversized straw clutch which added to the tiki vibe.

 

Evolve the makeup
As I was completing my ensemble, I thought about what makeup I wanted to do for this particular look. My first instinct was to do a black winged liner, but I felt that would be too dramatic and heavy for such a bright look. Instead, I created a thick line of white eyeliner that really made my eyes POP. I complemented this bright look with a vibrant salmon lip color. To avoid looking like a circus performer, I kept the rest of my face very simple with just a touch of bronzer for contouring. The idea is to not go for the expected, but rather evaluate your outfit then choose a makeup style that is inspired-by yet modernized.

 

 

For the sake of keeping things short, I have divided this topic into two posts. Look out for Part 2 later on this week!

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