Dead Girls Vintage

I woke up one Saturday morning and mentally prepared myself to model a vintage clothing photoshoot. What I didn’t expect was spending the afternoon playing with three grey kitties and twirling around in the prettiest dresses!

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Follow Dead Girls Vintage on Instagram to look at some of the best vintage pieces in the city of Chicago. If you’re looking for cute summer items, you better act fast! This cute vintage business is moving to New Orleans in a few months, so make sure you grab your vintage pieces while you can. Trust me, these one of a kind vintage items will have you feeling like this:

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Signing off.

The Perfect Detail Shot

Tips to getting the perfect detail shot:

Know your angle!

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Depending on your outfit that you want to showcase in the photo, you may have to contort yourself (and the camera) in weird positions and angles to get a perfectly symmetrical shot. It’s all worth it in the end though!

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Make sure that the details you want captured are actually IN the shot.

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Need I say more?

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Natural light is the way to go!

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On one too many girl’s night outs have I stumbled upon a drunk girl in the bathroom trying to get a closeup of her outfit in the awful fluorescent lighting. Just be advised, the best detail shots come about when they are snapped right by a window.

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When feet are involved, make sure there are two things in the shot: cute shoes and a textured ground.

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Cute pedicures are usually advised too, but if you don’t happen to have one, don’t sweat it! Just make sure that your nails and feet are clean and go with the cute shoes before snapping the shot. A good amount of people tend to like the natural look as well ☺️

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And last but not least, make sure the hair looks good!

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If you happen to have long hair, then flaunt it! It can also add a perfect amount of proportion to a really good shot. Once again, need I say more?

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Final tip? Have fun with it. Signing off, love y’all.

Homegrown

Not too many people know this, but I grew up in a suburb right outside of Philadelphia, with a farm field right behind my backyard.  It’s not too often I get to visit my childhood home, but when I get the chance, I happily hop on it.

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There are plenty of worthwhile things to keep you occupied in the surrounding suburbs of Philadelphia.  I know that may surprise you, so I’ll add a disclaimer: a lot of it has to do with the outdoors.  I grew up right by two vast nature parks, Tyler State Park (pictured above) and Core Creek Park, which is home to the biggest lake in our local area, Lake Luxembourg.  I remember one of my grade school classmates swearing that he saw a dead body in there one time, but let’s not get into the perplexing pettiness of the Catholic grade school I attended.

Anyway, these nature parks have a lot going for them, including the locals going on long walks through the forests, or fishing in the nearby creeks (which is what my twin brother and I totally did this past Easter Sunday).  Aside from the outdoorsy activities, I can’t forget to mention the cute little towns of Newtown and New Hope that many people flock to, especially in the warm weather.  There’s even a (dare I say it) hipster coffee and ice cream shop in Newtown by the name of The Zebra Striped Whale that I absolutely love going to and picking up an iced latte when I get the chance.  On the other side of the coin, New Hope has too many hipster stores and restaurants to even count, which is why it is worth seeing this gem of a town for yourself.  Don’t act like I didn’t give you the heads up!

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I’m the girl who’s truly homegrown.

Even though I may be that one chick who grew up with a farm field in her backyard, I took creativity with me everywhere I went.  Whether I was running through the farm fields flying airplanes with my brothers, or going through racks of vintage gems at Night Bird Vintage Clothing in New Hope, I knew that one day, I would end up in a big city pursuing the things that I love.  So I made sure I kept my vision alive and bright, and my creativity on a constant flow.

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I may be a city girl, but that damn farm field will always be close to my heart.

Signing off.

Lucky Charms

We all have those accessories that we wear out and about for every day of the week. Whether it’s a necklace that your parents gave you, or a pair of earrings that your significant other had gifted you that one time, a lot of us contain a certain amount of emotion and nostalgia in certain accessories that we wear almost everyday.

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I guess the best term to coin these affectionate items that we own would be lucky charms.  While not everyone may have one, it’s still quite common to see a person wearing one out and about.  For instance, one of my best friends has a ring that her mother gave her that she never takes off.  And today, I feel like sharing my lucky charm with you, my readers:

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If you notice the ring on my right hand, then you’re correct in assuming that that’s my lucky charm!  That ring is my high school ring that I received junior year of high school from Nazareth Academy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  I know plenty of my old classmates who don’t even wear theirs anymore, but for some reason, I can never take mine off.  It’s probably the fact that it’s a sense of comfort for me, that it reminds me of where I came from and the values I grew up with.  Nonetheless, I wear this ring out and about, everywhere I go, everyday.  Just ask anyone I know, and they can confirm that statement.

Are you looking for your own lucky charm?  Click here to visit Chloe and Isabel’s shopping site.  They’re my favorite jewelry retailer for a reason!

Thanks for reading, my lovelies!  With much love, over and out.

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DesignerShare

Hello, Maddy here!  Today, I want to tell you about an up and coming company that has so much potential and good coming their way.  So brace yourself, because I’m going to share with you why I absolutely love DesignerShare, one of the chicest Chicago based companies.

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Meet Sarah Perkins, the creative mind and co founder/CEO behind DesignerShare.  I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah at a networking event at Google Chicago, and we hit it off right away! Sarah and I had coffee a week later, and as well as discovering that this lady has a passion for fashion, as well as the current generation of Instagram models (we both agreed that Kendall had the ability to be more effortless than Kylie), I also saw how much of a fierce feminist this wonderful lady is.  We discussed the many misogynistic issues that we faced in our professional lives, and after having the chance to laugh and bond over it, I decided to learn more about DesignerShare and how it works.

So how exactly does DesignerShare operate?  To directly quote from its Facebook page,

“DesignerShare is a peer-to-peer marketplace for women to rent out their designer clothing and accessories, all while connecting with each other.”

Cool, right?  I got to see this firsthand a few days later, when the folks from DesignerShare showed up at my door to look at the items in my closet!  After playing with my cat Winifred and praising my clothing supply of Diane Von Furstenberg and Jeffrey Campbell, the girls took photos of my designer items to add to their site.  And did I mention they brought me treats??

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In case I can’t sell you on this company enough, I also must add that the folks at DesignerShare are suckers for wine too.

Well, there you have it!  This company is definitely worth investing your interest in, especially because you can profit financially from the designer items that you rent from your closet.  If you need an extra push to check out DesignerShare, here’s a photo of Winifred the cat in a DesignerShare bag:

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So, so cute.  All of you animal lovers out there better be satisfied!  Anyway, over and out.  It’s time to find more bags to put my cat in!

Underrated Spring Break Destinations

Yes, you read the title correctly.  Let’s talk about these places that no one really talks about!  We’ve all heard about Cancun and what not, so let’s dive into the realm of severely underappreciated places that are also fun for spring break.

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I’m just going to get right into it!

1) Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

This place is perfect, especially for the students who live in Chicago (or anywhere in the Midwest) and don’t want to splurge on plane tickets.  There are many gorgeous sights, including stunning mansions…

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… and crystal clear waters for a splendid swim!

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Really though, the mansions are stellar.

2) New Orleans, Louisiana

I recently befriended a few Australians who Airbnb’d with my roommates and me in Chicago.  These fellows were devoting a month to travel all over the US, and believe it or not, one of their first stops was New Orleans!

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They were very ecstatic when it came to telling me what they saw in that town.  Apparently, there’s quite a bit of voodoo!  And beads.  And seafood.

3) Zion National Park, Utah

Ahhhh yes, the wannabe Grand Canyon.  Only kidding, of course.  Apparently, this place is full of stellar rocks and spectacular views that only hikers can dream of!  Of course, it is best to pack lots of water, extra layers, and actually LIKE hiking in order to enjoy this spot.

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There’s really nothing like nature, right?

4) Washington, District of Columbia

Oddly enough, one of the most underrated places to visit for spring break also happens to be one of the most important cities in the US!  There’s many things to see in DC, from the National Mall to the museums, and of course, all of the monuments!  I personally love seeing the war memorials tucked into the side of the Mall while walking towards Lincoln.  The Korean War Memorial is especially haunting.

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5) Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Now be prepared… THIS destination is located in the wildest of the west.  Then again, if you love outdoor adventures and don’t mind adjusting to a whole different altitude, then this place is for you.

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I do mean it though, this place has everything.  And I know that because for the past two summers, my twin brother worked as a ranch hand and archery instructor at one of the ranch resorts in Jackson Hole!  There are still times he won’t stop talking about the nature and wildlife that he happened to come across.

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It’s any cowboy’s happy place, that’s for sure.  If you want to know more about Jackson Hole, I’m sure my twin would be happy to answer any questions!  I’m sure he’d also be happy to tell you about how he came across a grizzly bear within the first hour of ever visiting Jackson Hole (it’s a funny story, trust me).

I hope these suggestions helped you narrow down a location for your spring break search!  Do you know of any hidden gems for spring break?  I’d love to know about them!  As always, have a great week, over and out.

A Double Stitched Issue

The following post has already been featured on my first blog “I Am A Fashion Business Major, And No, I Will Not Make You A Dress.”  However, because I still feel very passionate about the content of this post, I am taking it upon myself to post it again, this time on my current blog.  Some modifications have been made to fit my current blogging style, and the original post was from April 2015, my junior year of college.  Please enjoy!

A couple of interesting events occurred over the past week or so that led me to put aside my school work to work on this particular blog post.  First of all, I must start by saying that as a fashion business major, I thoroughly enjoy the field of work that I’m researching and the classes at my school.  I cannot get enough of the information; true, it’s overwhelming, but every second I am soaking up new classroom knowledge is worth it at Columbia.  However, I could not help but note the events over the past week.

It began two Tuesdays ago, when I woke at 8am and eventually made my way over to my 9am Visual Merchandising class.  After some discussion about our final project, the teacher turned on a news special (I believe it was a more recent one) that talked about the accomplishments of fashion business extraordinaire Mickey Drexler, the CEO of JCrew.  This, for point of reference, is Mickey Drexler:

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The special raved about how he quickly jumped into the business after he finished school, and then proceeded to talk about his positions at Ann Taylor, Bloomingdale’s, and Macy’s.  He only became more notable when he was the CEO of Gap because he was the one who was responsible for the company’s accelerated rise into the fashion world back in the 90s.  For instance, do any of you know the television ad that aired during that time that exemplified the decade’s obsession with khaki?

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Yep, it was the one and only Mickey Drexler who was responsible for that ad!  The news special almost portrayed him as the protagonist in some sort of fairy tale… using his bravely equipped skills as a visual artist and a sleek and noble business man, the charming Mickey Drexler saved the mistress Gap from almost fashion fatality, and brought the name of good American people into the brand, which pretty much secured Gap’s seat on the retailer throne, and the company lived happily ever after (that is, not entirely for Drexler since he was let go during one season, but he is still fine now because he is currently the CEO of JCrew and the company practically worships the ground he walks on).
Overall, I found the news special fascinating, but a little too… cheery.  And usually, when the news gets a little too cheery in general, I get a little too suspicious.  I decided not to think about it much, and brushed the thought aside.  The thought didn’t come into my head later, until I went on Youtube a day or two ago to watch one of my favorite shows Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and I saw that he had a whole segment about the fashion industry.  Of course, I couldn’t help but watch what he had to say (you can see the segment here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdLf4fihP78).  And of course, what he had to say was brilliant.
In the segment, Oliver talked about something that I continuously learn in my fashion classes: that while discounted clothing made in other countries are great for consumers in America, they’re not that fantastic for the makers in other countries.  This is usually because the people producing our favorite jeans and T-shirts work in horrible sweatshop conditions, with little to no fire safety methods.  And was it mentioned that a majority of the factory workers were small children?  In other words, KIDS.
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As I mentioned before, this information on the fashion industry is not new at all to me, although it definitely may be news to a lot of other people.  However, the parts of information that were new to me took me off guard, and those were the specifics on Gap for the past few decades.  For one thing, Oliver pointed out that Gap was criticized during the 90s for making its clothes in labor abusive conditions in El Salvador.  And then I believe it was at 6:32 during the video that John Oliver showed a particular commercial from that time period, and guess what commercial it was?
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That’s right, the good ol’ swing dancing khaki enthusiasts.  And forgive me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the one who was responsible for that commercial the Prince Charming we mentioned earlier, Mickey Drexler?  Which meant that Mickey Drexler, the protagonist of retailers everywhere, was responsible for overlooking the conditions in which Gap’s clothes were being made?
Now to be fair, Oliver went on to talk about how Gap took measures to install “independent monitoring” in their factories and what not.  But then not to be fair, Oliver proceeded to tell how Gap continued with a series of mishaps similar to the El Salvador instance to this very day.  Now c’mon Gap.  And c’mon, news media outlets in general!  I understand that it’s important to advertise and to showcase how well a fashion/retail brand is coming along, but you can’t ignore the other facts.  That’s what the news is for.
Overall, it’s important to realize that while the fashion industry can be a beautiful thing, it can also have some ugly downsides.  And sometimes, those ugly downsides can be the same thing as portraying fashion business moguls as heroes when in reality, they have their dark sides too.  The news should really be addressing more of these issues head on, and not shoving them behind to portray companies in a light they don’t deserve (if you’re curious as to what hypocrisies I’m referring to, just watch the John Oliver segment.  You won’t regret it, trust me).
Well kids, the more you know.  Take this knowledge and apply to it what you will.
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So. Many. Metallics.

I think it’s safe to say that the 89th Academy Awards that took place last night will go down in history as one of the most memorable ceremonies to date.  Let’s face it, that Best Picture plot twist at the end blew everyone out of the water.

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Then again, Moonlight absolutely deserved that win. Paraphrasing from Darwyn Meztger’s genius tweet, there was absolutely nothing more poetic (regarding the transition into a more diverse Hollywood) than that crazy sequence of events.  However, as delightful as the drama was, let us not forget how monumental and historic it was that Moonlight took home the award that it so deserved.

Anyway, I’d love to share with you, my readers, my favorite looks of the night.  I loved a lot of the designs this year, especially the black, white, and metallics “vintage couture” trend that dominated the red carpet:

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Seriously, did they PLAN this??  That’s not even all of them!

Not everything was metallic or black and white, however.  There were some pops of color here and there:

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I have to add that my appreciation for Meryl’s ensemble grew after I discovered that she was wearing a jumpsuit.  By Elie Saab, nonetheless!

Overall, some of the most notable pieces from last night were Givenchy, Elie Saab, Zuhair Murad, Alberta Ferretti, and quite a bit of Armani and Gucci.  I loved so many of the looks from last night, and I adore the images of old, vintage Hollywood that surfaces to mind when looking at some of these outfits.  Over and out!

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Glamoutfit

As a kid, I was always obsessed with Cher’s closet generator on Clueless.  As an adult, I’m still obsessed with the idea of that closet generator, and was trying to figure out for the longest time if there was an app that was similar to it.  I was even tossing around ideas in my head of starting an app similar to that closet generator.  However, I soon found out there was no need, because I then stumbled upon Glamoutfit!

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What is Glamoutfit?  I’m glad you asked.

Glamoutfit is a closet generator app that allows you to upload outfits and items to your closet while being able to either style someone or be styled by someone else!  It’s a genius idea, and it’s really taken off.  In fact, I’m proud to say that I’ve partnered with the team at Glamoutfit to showcase my closet and my outfits to a wider audience!

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I have to say as well that I’m really enjoying my experience.  The team has been nothing but gracious to me while I’m expanding my brand, and I’ve been getting so much positive reception with my outfits!

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(this is just a glimpse into my lookbook so far)

Overall, I definitely recommend getting this app.  Not only will you get to meet new people who are as crazy about fashion as you are, but you will get to show off your style and cute clothes!  Anyway, over and out.  I have some more outfit generating to do!

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Valentine’s Day

Ahhh Valentine’s Day.  The day that couples love, the day that single people hate, and the day that stresses the population out in general because the expectations skyrocket for everyone, no matter what their relationship status is.

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“What do you MEAN you didn’t schedule reservations 24 hours in advance?”

For this particular post however, I don’t JUST want to focus on how I can put together a cute Valentine’s Day themed outfit.  I also want to focus on how we (particularly millennials) can make relationships work in 2017.  In order to make this post more accessible and relatable to you, my readers, I asked my sister Kate and her husband James (one of the best functioning couples I know) to provide some insight on how to be in a relationship and not lose your mind in this day and age.

For the record, Kate and James are not only happily married in Johannesburg, South Africa, but they’re also the minds behind I-Drop Water, an up and coming company that focuses on providing accessible drinking water to the entire continent of Africa (you can watch their Chivas Regal episode regarding their company here: https://vimeo.com/201104402).  The questions and answers are below:

Since you guys have been together, how have your styles meshed? Does it involve a lot of borrowing each other’s clothes?

Kate and James: We both have our own styles, but honestly, we wear what’s stylish, functional and above all, stuff we don’t have to think about.  We both need to look professional almost all the time now, but also need to work with plumbing, electronics, and also travel so things need to be simple and not get in the way.  We are both not afraid to buy the same thing in different colors if it works (although James is basically your worst nightmare in terms of buying clothes).

You both run a successful startup that seems to only flourish more from the both of you collaborating together. What is the secret to being so in sync with each other?

Kate and James: We are very lucky that we can work together and also have amazing times outside of work.  Most people would not try what we’ve done as it does invite potential conflict.  We worked together as students in the MBA (at Oxford University), so we suppose that helped.  We basically have huge respect for each other and understand when the other might be overwhelmed or tired.  Above all, we listen to each other and are patient, and we don’t step on each other’s toes.

As a 23 year old millennial, several of my peers and I have lost a lot of hope in dating, since the late 2010s seem to be the pinnacle of hook up culture. What advice would you give to people in their 20s looking for more than a fling? 

Kate and James: For the young’uns, just be open to meeting people!  Don’t be afraid to reach out and start a relationship, whether as a friend or more.  But never stay with anyone who disrespects or hurts you in any way (emotional or otherwise).  Relationships should be tough as hell in the best way possible while at the same time feeling like the most amazing thing in the world.  You’ll never find that person though if you never take a chance on anyone.

Some may say that it was corny of me to interview a couple for my Valentine’s Day blog post, but I honestly think that when it comes to dating in 2017, every bit of advice always helps.  I’ve been single for over three years now, and while it can get quite frustrating to be in that certain mindset, I always remind myself that I’ll find someone someday, thanks to the love that I see between Kate and James every day.

Happy Valentines Day, everyone!  Over and out.

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