Category Archives: Designer

Lotus Love Story

I may have a few accessories. Perhaps 5 or 32 or so.  I believe I have more accessories than actual clothing items in my closet (with no sign of abatement).

One reason for this is that jewelry shopping is so much more therapeutic than clothes shopping (it’s rare that I see a fabulous pair of earrings only to discover that they aren’t available in my size).

But I digress.

On my “Wall O’Accessories” dangle so many baubles that it’s unusual to see me rocking a particular accessory multiple days in a row.

Until June, when I found it.  The lightest, daintiest little sterling silver cross pendant by Lotus.  I found it on a whirlwind lunchtime trip to 1026 SoFlo (where I also saw the most divine blue-rose-encrusted couch–stay on topic, Christina!).

At first, I simply casually observed it among other Lotus pieces, as I’m normally more of a “statement piece” type of girl (for my friends who are fashion neophytes, a statement piece is an article of jewelry so freaking huge that it borders on the obscene, and in order to avoid crossing the border, may only be paired with other pieces on the rarest of occasions when one is channeling Iris Apfel).  Nestled between a group of the Petal bangles I recognized from the February issue of Lucky and the most simply elegant black pearl threaded on a delicate chain, I kept coming back to it because I just felt a connection with it.

Lotus Cross

As I giddily proceeded to make payment for my new little treasure ($30ish–nominal for sterling), I noticed a surprising detail; the pendant is two-sided–so no matter how it flips, it always looks right (it’s the little things, isn’t it?).

Pleased that I had secured such a cute little necklace to wear on the occasional summer day with a tank top and cutoffs, I jaunted back to work.  And then proceeded to wear it every day for the next seven days. And then come back to it again and again this summer.

With a striped boatneck (usually accompanied by earrings of the aforementioned statement variety), layered with other chains above a ripped-up T-shirt and black skinny jeans for a motorcycle ride, or mixed with rice pearls for work, its flattering length and delicacy have earned it overtime in my closet for the past two months (see my post on cost-per-wear).

What does my experience prove?

a. I always advocate buying pieces you feel a connection with, even if you think, “Whatever in my closet will go with this?”  Every.  Time.  I have done this, I end up with something that I wear the heck out of.

b. You don’t have to spend a fortune to collect some really special pieces.

c. It never hurts to try a different style than you’re used to (especially at a lower price point).  You may wind up having a new favorite!

d. Get thee an (infinitely versatile) Lotus piece pronto!  If you’re in Central Florida, drop by 1026 and tell the ladies that AiS sent you; they’ll direct you straight to the honey spot! (And if you happen to pick up a blue-rose-encrusted couch while you’re there, so much the better!)

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Show me the experience!

ultimate fashion angela bailey KeAndrea Pettermon and LaWanda Bailey

L – R: Angela Bailey, KeAndrea Pettermon, LaWanda Bailey of Urban Reflections
photo courtesy theledger.com, 12.17.2012

If you live in the Central Florida area and have been around me for more than 5 consecutive seconds this week, you may have heard of Walk This Way productions. They produce fashion shows. Kick-butt fashion shows. But what you may not realize is that this Sunday evening, they are producing a mind-blowing, over-the-top, Ultimate Fashion Experience benefitting Urban Reflections, the charitable arm of their organization that shows at-risk youth in Lakeland that the sky’s the limit in life regardless of one’s shape, size, or ethnicity.

I really like that.

So of course, I’ll be there. Soaking up the style inspiration. Blogging. And let’s be honest, probably shakin’ my butt a bit. So that you can be inspired. To express your style. To expose yourself to new perspectives. To shake your butt. You know, the important stuff in life.

If you’re in Central Florida, you’re going to want to come by. You can buy tickets here through eventbrite, but you’d better do it soon, because the word on the Lakeland-area street is that they’re almost sold out.

And just for k’s and g’s (as the Hattie’s Branches proprietors would say), I’m going to draw inspiration from designers featured in the show for my outfits this weekend, beginning tomorrow. Let me know what you think!

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Elegant Scarf DIY

What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance.Jane Austen

While the weather may tell some areas of the world that autumn is on its way, in Florida we have no such cue.

For warm-climate dwellers who appreciate fall style but don’t like to suffer for it, I will share two DIY scarves this week.  Both can be made from Florida-friendly fabric.

The first, created by Stamp 48 and inspired by a we are owls design, was brought to my attention by an AIS follower, and is a great way to wear a piece of sentimental literature close to your heart.

http://www.stamp48.com/2011/07/11/diy-how-to-make-a-we-are-owls-inspired-poem-script-scarf/

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THE Scarf

Okay, so I can’t do a series of posts on scarves without at least mentioning THE scarf–an Hermes.

According to Nina Garcia (author of The One Hundred), an Hermes scarf is sold somewhere in the world every twenty-five seconds. That’s particularly amazing considering the crazy-intricate process a 90-cm-square piece of silk endures before it leaves the design house sporting the famous “H” (you can find a full run-down of the process in Garcia’s aforementioned book).

If, like me, your current budget doesn’t allow you to be a member of this (no doubt elated) scarf-aquisition party, there’s much to be said for simply observing and appreciating the level of quality that results from design with such intention.

When it comes to forming your personal style, study the best to familiarize yourself with great craftsmanship and design.  Then it will be easier for you to spot these qualities wherever you find them (whether or not they are stamped with an H).

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Shopping designer labels with Tammy

I’m so sorry, everyone! Here is the video of my discussion with Tammy that was supposed to be in my last post, but I was experiencing technical difficulties.

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Shopping designer labels

I’m starting out this series on shopping strategies with a discussion on shopping designer because I think it’s always a great idea to begin by drawing inspiration from the designers, who often work with high quality materials and turn out magnificent pieces.

Even if your wallet doesn’t yet contain enough cash to take home a designer piece, familiarizing yourself with designers’ work has many benefits.

One, you get a feel for high-quality craftsmanship, which will help you recognize quality workmanship at various price points. Two, you learn whose work you identify with, which can help you when trying to create a wardrobe that reflects a cohesive style.

So check out Tammy’s advice for shopping designer pieces (and forgive my nodding bobblehead; I’m just trying to soak up all the juicy advice she’s throwing out there!).

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