Trevor Boyd, our beloved photographer and friend, whose worked with us many times, went on a trip recently to Norway to visit some friends. There was no surprise at all, Trevor being who he is with his insatiable love for beauty and light, when he came back from the trip, gushingly sending me pictures of beautiful people he’d stayed with and met at a camping trip.
Everything about Norway seems magical. The impeccable life-style that hearkens to a time when things were simpler, and when life moved at a pace that was steady and straightforward, with true steps, and beauty that was found, admonished and celebrated. Trevor’s snap shots reminded me of Earnest Hemingway’s line in A Moveable Feast where he says “We ate well and cheaply, and drank well and cheaply, and slept well and warm together and loved each other.” Maybe not in true context, but that feeling of living a simple, full, beautiful life. His pictures convey this feeling that every breathe taken, is taken with meaning. That there’s a reason for all this. This is the essence of style. Living beautifully, living well and living with meaning, and you’ll find that those with impeccable style and life-style would be the ones who’ve grasped this.
Here’s to a life lived well and full. Cheers.
The Norge Beautiful Campaign.
Check out Trevor’s work at trevorboydphotography.com
I found myself, during this years LA Fashion Week, prancing down Sunset Blvd in my highest heels. It was abeaming Saturday afternoon and I had made my way past a huge construction site only to stumble upon the everso sleek Siren Studios. There was a buzz in the air, with fashionistas whispering how Andre turned up front row at one of the previous night shows. Yes, the Andre Leon Talley, snap!
The doors opened and we were seated for the first show of the day. The Caribbean Showcase which featured the designs of two sisters from Barbados. The models sashayed down the runway first in Brandi Estwick’s line, Iman Estie. Ensembles included a high waisted white pant paired with a faux leather top. It was sleek and fabulous. Her lines were impeccable and this was highlighted by a two toned black and white dress. White in the front and a black scoop back that seemed drawn onto the models back, the fit was so perfect. A flowy backless floor length white dress with a deep v in the front was my favorite of the collection.
Kesia Estwick was next to present her line. It was daring and edgy. You could see and feel the influence of her native Barbados in her designs.The collection was colorful and sexy, it featured a dress with a black sleek tank top and a metal A line bottom. One particular favorite was a floor length metallic dress, belted with cap sleeves and a high neck. Kesia also has a streetwear line call KISS + GIRL.
The following Friday I ventured downtown to Vibiana, the formal cathedral of St. Vibiana. It is one of the few remaining nineteenth century landmarks in Los Angeles and was the perfect setting for Bryan Hearn’s collection. He presented 19 looks and they were whimsical and dramatic. The element of fantasy played into the designs, some of the looks could have been straight out of a period piece film. He did black mini skirts paired with a simple tank or a faux fur jacket. One particular leather coat had a medieval feel to it, paired with lovely romantic updo’s the model wore this and it only added to the drama of the collection. The simplicity of the collection was evident as well with an off the shoulder leather mini dress.
Whether we like to admit it or not, we all have stars and celebrities, fashion icons and debutantes that we secretly admire and look up to. What is it about these people and their lustrous lives that entrances us, makes us believe there’s more to life and has us emulate them down to the shirts they wear on their backs. It’s a known fact of the human race that we look for heroes we can vicariously live through, maybe in an attempt to to make our lives seem better, or in an attempt to have the kind of life they live. For whatever reason, this phenomenon exists. Is it a bad thing? Who knows, but this year is no different. We will pull our style and fashion choices from those who have gone before us, and those amongst us. (Even to a fault at times…. a poor man in NYC started wearing leggings…. let’s hope this trend ends soon, God help us all).
Our icons this year have already been chosen by the people. Their imminent style, easy walk and glimmer in their smile have us wishing that we could, for one day, walk in their shoes. One such beauty is Miranda Kerr. The woman has it all. Not only is she a model for the world’s most well known lingerie company who graces window displays 7 feet tall in every major mall, but who has graced magazines and covers such as Vogue, Elle, Cosmo, Rolling Stone, Glamour…. you name it, all in good grace and in a stride. Married to Orlando Bloom, she gave birth to a beautiful boy and two months later was seen on the catwalk for Balenciaga and shortly after that at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in New York, showcasing the $2.5 million Fantasy Treasure Bra. She was glowing. She has her own skin care line, and her list of charitable work includes working with a wildlife organization to protect koalas.
So why do we love her? What is it about Miranda that has us saying “oh, I can do that!”. Her sense of style, for one, is right on the money. Looking carefully at her public wardrobe you can tell that she wears what she wants, when she wants, and knows that she looks fabulous doing so. Her style is timeless and classy with that edgy sass attached to it. She’s confident and knows what looks amazing on her. It doesn’t seem that she’s afraid to take risks within reason and her stride on the red carpet oozes femininity. She doesn’t sell herself out there but when you see her, it’s always perfect. She’s the girl next door and will always be remembered and known as just that. Her sense of beauty doesn’t just lie in the fact that she’s physically beautiful, but that her true beauty lies within her. She actually believes and knows that she’s beautiful and has a beautiful life. This, ladies, is what makes a great woman, not only great, but added to the ranks of Icon.
I found myself recently in Redding, California which is a 9 hour road trip from where I live in Los Angeles. It was the second time I’d been and it is the type of place where one goes to mend a broken heart and get some clarity on the madness of this thing we call life. It was spectacular. Redding is a beautiful part of the state, chock full of loving warm souls and rich in spirituality. It is God’s country for sure.
With what seemed like a B12 shot to my self esteem and the tattered seams of my heart sewn up, I began the journey back to Los Angeles with my friend Jason, who was on his own soul searching mission and looks like he just walked off the pages of L’Uomo Vogue. We had one last stop. A visit to the set of our friend Trevor’s photo shoot for The Luxurie. It was hot beyond hot, like desert hot, as we pulled into the parking lot of the apartment building. I got out of the car and pulled myself together. I put my hair on top of my head in a bun and I thought about my days in fashion when I launched the tents at Bryant Park in NYC. Every season there was a new crop of male models and every season I think I fell in love.
On this one particular occasion I was working at Tommy Hilfiger’s first show on 39th and 11th. He wasn’t famous yet. There was this one model from Israel and I told him he looked like Prince Charming.
“Who’s that?” he asked.
OMG, how could he not know who Prince Charming is?
“He’s the prince in Cinderella.”
The next day when we had a run through for the show, he told me that he went to the library and looked up Prince Charming. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it. He asked me out, we kissed on a street corner and he gave me a rose from a deli. It was magical and I never saw him again. Sigh.
Anyway, back to the shoot in the desert.
We made our way to the second floor and Trevor greeted us. He was rakishly handsome and carried himself in such a way that I knew he could hold his own if I plucked him from obscurity into Testino’s studio on a whim. He had cleared out the living room and put down a white sheet against a plain white wall. I think he rolled his eyes at the shag carpeting but of course he made it work, he keeps it moving. He’s a genius in the making and turned this second story flat into a den of fabulousness. Cat who runs The Luxurie, looked like a fashion model herself, a natural beauty with red hair and a smattering of freckles; she has a killer South African accent and worked the room like a pro. I loved her. Winnie helped style, a mini Rachel Zoe in the making and Mariah knew her way around a pencil, she could do a smoky eye and nude lip like no other.
Caleb and Meeks were the other models and they were gorge as well. We also threw some girl who came to visit into an oversized sweater and placed her next to Jason (Trevor put him in the shoot too, well because you know, he’s everything a model should look like). Snap, snap, snap. She was a natural and I think all of us were impressed with our find. I was bursting with ideas but didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes.
“Caleb tilt your hat and scrunch your forehead.”
“Wear the suspenders with just a tank”
“Yes, a nude lip on her.”
And three hours later, that is how our day went. It was Ffffab….I always hesitate when I say the word fabulous. I think it goes back to my boutique days in Boston. There were these two sisters that lived on Beacon Hill and summered in Nantucket. They were twins and would pop into Armani every season and leave with rolling racks of the entire collection. Fabulous, fabulous..air kiss, air kiss. I remember swearing that I would never say fabulous because I thought it was extremely overused. But then it started to shift. I worked an event for Chanel when I was in PR and I met Linda Wells from Allure and she said my hair was fabulous. Smile. And when I met Anna Wintour from Vogue, I spontaneously uttered “fabulous.”
“Excuse me”, she sang from under her bangs as she handed me her fur to hang in the closet.
“I..I think your shoes are fabulous.”
She broke her death stare with a grin then turned on that white patent leather heel, leaving me in a waft of No. 5. (It was winter and she was wearing white shoes which is probably why I thought SHE was fabulous, she broke the rules).
So with all that being said, I have been exposed to the top of the top in the fashion game. Fabulous and not so fabulous. I am miles and years away from that time in NYC but I found the same essence in this second floor walk up with the shag carpeting. Trevor, Cat and their crew were so creative and had “fabulous” down to an art form. Fabulous meaning that palpable feeling in the air where it is all working and you look fierce while doing it. I was happy to be a fly on the wall.
I taught, and most importantly I learned, and in the end it made me more fabulous just being there.
Here’s an excuse to post more pics from the photo shoot that had gone into hiding, but have been found!
I love Meeks’ look in this because of the textures and color scheme. The reason her outfit works is because the silver heels and gold sparkly shirt are both subtle but provide a fun aspect. The cardigan dresses the whole bit down just enough and gives it that final completeness that it needed; it also tones down the flashy. The red hat gives it that necessary pop of color that brings it to life. Her outfit has just the right amount of movement, balanced with the sleekness of the leggings and the heels. Her loose wavy hair takes it from splashy to cozy and comfortable. Ready for winter! Had she wanted to dress up her outfit, all she would need is a wool pea-coat with a fur collar, but very sleek.
Ladies, don’t be afraid to experiment! If the whole texturing thing seems daunting then try something that’s minimal in color, but has lots of texture. You can add the color aspect later when you’re comfortable with the texturing aspect. An idea for subtle texturing (if you don’t think you can pull off something as bold as Meeks’) is to pair black leggings, a dark colored/no print oversized sweater (roll up the sleeves a little, and tuck in a little piece in the front,) and a fun colored heel or flat. Alternatively, do a black boot then add a colored beanie or fun accessories.
If leggings aren’t your deal, then try for instance a black flowy short skirt with black tights, a colored shoe and a tight fitting black long sleeved shirt tucked in. Or do a black shoe and a fun top. That way your color scheme isn’t too crazy but you have lots of movement with the skirt. Add some spice to that by throwing on a black leather jacket.