If you have thought about starting a blog and hesitate, read on and be inspired…
For many years, I have known that my career focus would be fashion. As a college student, I currently spend hours every week in the university sewing room working on draping projects and I love every minute of it.
A little over a year ago, I started a blog called Death of Chivalry. It wasn’t anything special – just something to get my thoughts out and keep a journal of things that interested or inspired me. But the more I blogged, the more I fell in love and the more it became a part of me. It’s become the place where I go to reflect and get my creative juices going.
I keep this quote at the top of my blog. It has always been one of my favorites: “To be yourself in a world that is constantly fighting to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
I want Death of Chivalry to inspire women to have confidence in who they are. Most posts on my blog are anything but normal – artists that people have never heard of, outfits that some wouldn’t dare to wear, and homes that aren’t exactly traditional. The general vibe is something beyond what most 20 year old females have an interest in, but that’s why I love it. It’s a representation of me. I want other women to feel that same comfort in their own skin.
Fashion isn’t a way of dress, it’s a way of life. I’ve tried to portray that through my blog. It’s filled with laid back, acoustic, soulful numbers – the music you can just sit back and enjoy. It encourages a put-together, but relaxed garb, filled with staple wardrobe items and neutral colors. It offers Anthro and Victorian inspired environments where creativity can flourish and serves dishes that arouse a healthy appetite.
My own personal fashion revolves around natural beauty. I value beauty over sex appeal and effortless sophistication over perfected suave. The more effort you put into perfecting something, the less beautiful it becomes. If we open our eyes and value life’s simple pleasures, we can see beauty.
“Beauty is in everything, just not everyone sees it.”
You walk into your closet and feel overwhelmed. You know that half of your wardrobe confusion comes from vintage (not the good kind) old clothes that lay dormant in your cluttered space. Then the closet cleaning rule pops in your head. In fact, you may even repeat it out loud: “if you haven’t worn it for a year, throw it out.” But those words don’t ever seem to ward against the inevitable hoarding thoughts: “what if I am going to be painting my bedroom and need a worn out t-shirt?” Really? Yes. We all do it. And on and on the justification goes. Back to the confusion. Back to what I like to call the vicious cycle.
We all must come to the conclusion that we need a mediator, a clothing counselor if you will to part with the emotional connection attached to our unflattering jacket from the 90s. Meet Dallas Wardrobe Consultant, Amy Wells Havins! She brings style hope to those who are in knee-deep wardrobe malfunction, or she can provide that extra perk to you fashionably conscious women who just need a little fashion face lift, a knock-out outfit for an important event, or a shopping buddy who will give an honest opinion! Be sure to click through her stylin’ service options for the specific details, and in the meantime, keep up with the trends by saving her totally awesome blog to your bookmark bar!
More exciting news! LOLO Magazine is partnering with this expert fashionista to answer your style questions. In that “how do I wear my new colored denim” moment, the “Ask Amy” button on the sidebar comes to the rescue! Submit your questions, and Amy will email you an answer! And if it is a really good one, we might just post it for all to share. Don’t worry-we will run it by you first!
Kellan Lutz is not just the hunky vampire brother of “Twilight’s” Edward, he is an actor gone designer (and he actually knows his stuff!). He is partnering with Danny Guez, founder of Dylan George who also worked with William Rast and People’s Liberation denim. With a goal to capture the “feeling” of California town Venice, the 25 piece Abbot + Main collection is full of “breathable layers,”aka super soft t-shirts and hoodies that transition well from day to night. Ladies, good news! Women’s pieces are launching in the spring. Watch on for the exclusive inside scoop with Kellan.
Abbot + Main is available at Nordstrom stores or online at nordstrom.com.
Interning in the Gossip Girl wardrobe closet was the tipping point to my career path as it opened my eyes to a vast universe of fashion that was beyond my Dallas-ite exposure. My trek to Silvercup Studios every morning gave me just enough time to excitedly dream about what the day might hold as each moment in the costume department dove me into creativity that was beyond me, even when I was executing the most simplest of assignments.
What an honor it was to walk into a passion-filled, ridiculously talented, close-knit family-like environment, where each person taught me more than a task ever could. The best part: they were being themselves in their element. They all had different stories and different backgrounds but were bonded by a common thread: each person moved past fears, uncertainty, and sacrifice to pursue their innate skills, their creative capacities. This life-lesson went beyond assisting in cast fittings, labeling designer shipments, and all-day extravaganzas in the Serena-van-der-Jeep, venturing from designer showrooms to department stores to the off-sight set truck, but rather this internship brought me to a new level of reality. Glamour was all of the sudden redefined.
After all, a work environment reflects its leadership, and costume designer, Eric Daman, truly set the tone for the behind-the-scenes magic that has translated into one of America’s greatest measure of trends, Gossip Girl. His accomplishments are not limited to styling Blair Waldorf, as he has written a book on personal style, composed a Gossip-Girl themed window for Henri Bendel, and designed a line of party dresses at Charlotte Russe, where he maintains the creative director position. For more of the inside scoop, tune in to this exclusive interview, as I sit down with the man behind the clothes…
Influenced by women who are strong, creative and lead their own path, Rachel Roy is known for creating collections that make a woman feel confident. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to find out even more about the designer’s lines and what’s to come!
Is there a particular designer that was your inspiration to starting your own line? I have always been a student of fashion, constantly being influenced by ‘the greats,’ but it was real women that inspired me to start my own line. I saw, and knew, a lot of women who were living like me–work and family–and trying to balance it all. I started my own line to give them a voice in what they wore– clothes that were strong and feminine with an edge.
How have your collections grown since the launch of Rachel Roy New York in Spring 2005? The collection started simply in 2005. It was a small team with an entrepreneurial spirit. The Rachel Roy Collection has grown to include not only amazing wear-to-work dresses but evening-out dresses as well. We have also expanded our separates and knits this season. We have forged strong relationships with our retail partners, learning what the customer wants next and how she reacts to what we are currently doing–it’s like my little research lab! And we are never done growing; I already have a million ideas for our next project!
Which collection stands out as one of your favorites to have worked on? They have all been inspiring experiences. Some have taught me different lessons. For instance, when I first started designing, it was about finding my voice. As my line progressed, it was about refining and developing those signature details. More recently the collections have been about experimentation, but all of them are favorites because in each one I took risks. That’s a foundation of fashion that teaches and helps us grow.
When did you decide it was time to launch another line, RACHEL Rachel Roy? I love telling the story of the Rachel Roy woman and was excited to tell a new story when we launched RACHEL Rachel Roy in 2009. This was an opportunity to create something very special in department stores–affordable fashion that is smart and cool. We launched sportswear, footwear, handbags, and jewelry with the RRR Line, and that gave me a huge canvas to create and innovate for this customer. I really wanted to take her on a journey to expose her to things she may have not seen before in fashion.
Do you have a favorite piece in your Fall 2011 collection? Mixing prints, textures, and silhouettes is something that I love to do. It is the foundation of my collection and signature. I think Look #3 from fall really embodies that principle and creates a gorgeous but interesting look. I love it when my work is gorgeous, but it really need to have that twist of interesting. That’s where the mixing of prints and the balancing of elements plays well.
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What should we expect to see in your Spring 2012 collection? The inspiration for this season’s collection is vintage Vietnam with a hint of European elegance and romantic minimalism. I wanted to capture the essence of women based on the era of Colonial Vietnam in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The era where women explored and broke tradition. I wanted to capture that type of woman and the clothes I see her wearing. Soft suiting was an important theme as it embodies strength and confidence as well as femininity. I love the contradiction of hard and soft, masculine and feminine. This season is about modernizing the suit. A soft deconstructed silhouette for a summery look. An elongated and relaxed shape featured in a refined color palette of cool pastels accented with fresh hints of cinnamon and blue glass greens. The looks are counter balanced by graphic black and whites and floral prints, all of which modernizes the Rachel Roy woman.
If you could give an upcoming designer some advice about starting a line, what would it be? You have to follow what you think is right and never compromise. Authenticity is key and people want brands that they can identify with and trust. They want something that creates something special for them. As a designer, you want to help expose them to something they may not encounter in their everyday life. Staying true to your vision is key. I’ve built my brand around this concept. Building a strong team has helped me immensely. Know your strengths and weaknesses. The most important piece of advice–have a little faith. Don’t get discouraged: it’s a journey, not a race!
Do you have plans to expand your line even more? My team and I are constantly working on new ideas and ways to expand. We are working on two new categories for the Rachel Roy line that will show in 2012, and I just finished work on an eye shadow palette that will debut in November. Beauty is something that I have always been interested in, and I had a great time developing this day-to-night palette of colors. I think I tried it on every girl in the office to make sure it was right!
I am a mom that can’t get away with the punk/band t-shirt and maxi skirt. Can you show me how to pull off a stylish look with out looking like I am trying too hard?
As we head into fall, I suggest wearing your maxi skirt with a clean tank, structured blazer, and casual, yet classy looking sandals. Top off the look with turquoise jewelry and a big statement ring (options here).