Monday, April 28, 2014

Diamond Discussions: Celebrity Stylist/Editor Becca Alexis

Hello Dolls, Happy Monday, I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. I’m coming to you today with the second installation of my Diamond Discussions feature. I had the wonderful honor of interviewing Fashion/Beauty Director of, Becca Alexis. I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Becca years ago when I was an intern for June Ambrose and on other projects afterwards.  I learned sooooo much from her during that time and I am super happy to see her career grow and prosper. She is an amazing stylist and has an incredible career in the industry. So if you want to know more about her day to day life or what it takes to break into the fashion industry and be successful, check out my interview below! Enjoy and let me know what you think in the comments. 
Please give our audience an introduction to yourself and some milestones in your career.
I'm a fashion stylist with over 10 years of experience in the industry. I have covered all aspects of fashion from concept to consumer including designing garments, cutting, sewing, writing, photography, music videos and red carpet. I'm so grateful I've been able to work with so many wonderful and talented individuals such as Omar Epps, Janet Jackson, Trey Songz, Lucy Liu, Marlon Wayans, Katherine Heigl and many more. My styling partner and I Hachy Mendez have worked together since 2002. I am so grateful to be able to work with one of my best friends. It has enabled us to grow farther and achieve so much more in a short period of time.
How did you get started in the fashion industry?
My biggest break was interning for the costumers of Desperate Housewives back in 2004. I was in my first semester at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles when Hachy, told me about the internship opportunity. Technically I didn't qualify for the position as I was not in my last semester of school, but I was so persistent with my counselors I was able to get the position. Although my time there was short, I went on to work with those costume designers in other sets including CSI Miami and Six Feet Under. I am so grateful for them, they really took me under their wings and taught me a lot about being quick on my feet. After working with those designers for 6 months, I really wanted to hone in on my other skills in fashion. I did freelance technical designing for a sportswear collection, merchandise menswear at Macy's and then another big break was assisting a costume designer, Linda Stokes who had her own design studio.
While working at Linda's studio, I was afforded the opportunity to be a part of some incredible projects. For example I made head pieces for Gwen Stefani's Harajuki performers and costumes for Ciara and Missy Elliot's 1, 2 Step video. I honed my skills in costume design and tailoring while taking on these amazing projects. In the winter of 2006 I moved to NY to explore more options in fashion. I didn't know how to make a full time career out of doing what I was so passionate about and my student loans were kicking in. Hachy and I already had built a sizable resume working with Marlon Wayans, Nelly, assisting on Italian Vogue and German Vogue editorials and even doing sales for a luxury children's collection, but my anxiety was kicking in. I wanted more. Less than 24 hours of being in NY a friend of mine sent my resume to June Ambrose who was looking for a tailor. Her company Mode Squad had a league of uber cool stylists and tastemakers. It was a diverse click of chic New York fashion interpreters and they really inspired me. Seventeen months later, I received a call from Atlantic Records about a young artist named Trey Songz that needed image development. I rolled up my sleeves and put a 110% into that project to turned him into a swaggy sex symbol. Around the same time I began contributing to Harper's Bazaar International editions as a market editor and from that point on my career really took off.
What made you want to work in the fashion industry?
I honestly believe that the fashion industry calls in its own troops of style designators. The fashion industry requires diligent work ethics so loving fashion is not enough to pursue a fashion related career. You have to be good at it to survive. You have to be willing to work long hours for next to nothing in order to build a resume. When I was in undergad at the University of Florida I was already working as a journalist, writing about fashion and entertainment. I was also making costumes for local dance performers. That gave me the confidence I needed to get through the doors in Los Angeles and NYC.
How did you land the position of Fashion/Beauty Director of
In 2010, Leigh Davenport, Editorial Director for offered me a makeover show sponsored by CoverGirl. I was in the media a lot for the work I did with Trey Songz, Janet Jackson, contributing to Harper's Bazaar and I also had a personal style blog. From there my relationship grew with hellobeautiful and over the years I contributed more to the platform. Hellobeautiful is currently the #1 online resource for women of color. It is an innovative platform for the young modern women who wants to know current beauty and style trends.
Would you please walk us through a day in the life of a fashion/beauty director?
For many years I was bicoastal, traveling up to 16 times a year from NYC to LA and Miami. Recently, I decided to make Los Angeles a permanent move. My day starts at 6:30am pacific time. I meditate for half n hour and do a quick work out. I dive into my emails and social media to keep up with the east coast while sipping on a protein shake. I used to be a hardcore coffee aficionado, but recently kicked the habit for more coconut water and green tea. I am currently juggling a few projects, designing a collection for curvy woman, styling with Hachy on Marlon Wayans new show Funniest Wins on TBS, Omar Epps press run for the hit ABC show Resurrection, contributing to Harper's Bazaar and Everyday is a different day as I find inspiration everywhere and my clients schedule really dictate the course of my day.
What would you say is the most important aspect of your job?
Staying ahead of the curve. Remaining humble and with an attitude of gratitude.
What do you love most about your job?
Connecting with real women.
Because you have done so much in your career, I want to switch gears a bit to your work as a celebrity stylist.
What has been your proudest moment as a stylist?
My proudest moment as a stylist was being invited to sit front row during NYFW in 2010. I remember sneaking into a tent in 2004 during LA fashion week when LA really had a fashion week and Charlize Theron and Anna Wintour attended the Lloyd Klein show. I wore all black with a hip kit full of safety pins and other supplies. I distributed the pins to the stylists and dressers working the show and nobody questioned me. I thought about how I went from someone who sneaked into show just to hand over safety pins to being invited to sit front row and that made me emotional.
Would you recommend someone go to school for fashion or live in NYC to get started in the industry?
You know, the industry has changed so much since the days I got started in 2002. I was working as a stylist before Facebook was around. The Internet has made fashion more democratic where it is so much easier to have access. If you want to work in fashion you have to work. Don't think about the money, just grind. Style whatever you can get your hands on and document your work through a Tumblr or blog. Eventually people will notice your work and opportunities will come to you.
What advice do you have for someone that wants to work in the fashion industry? 
Stay humble!! There is a time and a place to have a big voice and make big moves. Sometimes you're the contractor and other times you're the subcontractor. Work is work. Nurture your relationships no matter who. That intern today can be a CEO tomorrow.
What trends are you loving this season?
SPR 2014 is an exciting time in fashion! I'm loving the laser cut shoe design trends as seen in Tabitha Simmons and Alexandre Birman. I love the bold sparkles and classic pieces like the pencil skirts in Burberry Prorsum that were dazzled out. I'm also obsessing over the thick gold chain Bulgari watches. They are so chic and street at the same time.
Now I know your more of fan of of timeless pieces rather than trendy, so what top 5 items would you recommend every stylish woman have in their wardrobe that will stand the test of time?
1. A status satchel
2. An embellished top
3. Slim tailored trousers
4. Timeless trench coat
5. A power 3.5 inch pump
Get those essentials here loves!

What advice would you give someone looking to discover/develop or redefine their own personal style?
Find a good tailor and make sure all your garments are second skin to your body. Almost every dry cleaning facility has a tailor. Don't become discourage if you go to store and don't see anything you like. Cut out pieces from your fashion magazine and create a visual style closet you would like to have. Take screen shots on your handheld device and create a collage of things you like. Take that with you when you go shopping or keep that file open when you're online. It streamlines the process and helps you to find exactly what you need. 
Be sure to check Becca out on Twitter, and her impressive portfolio HERE loves!! You can also catch her on the 5 mins to Fab segment HERE and on her YouTube channel where she provides advice on getting and staying in the industry:
Thanks again Becca, you ROCK girlie and surely an inspiration for me!  

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Playing in MAC's new PLAYLAND collection

Hello loves, sorry about the lack of posts today but a lazy weekend threw me off this week. Next week we will be back to business. This weekend I had the pleasure of attending a demo event of MAC's new Playland collection. I got to hang out with the lovely Lerkia of Modage-Styles and meet some new people. One of my favorite new friends would have to be Carlton aka Picaso, he beat my fact to perfection dolls and I absolutley LOVED my look. I asked for color and he delivered hunny! Check out the pics below and tell me whatcha think loves.

Picaso he is!! He did an amazing job on my face, I just LOVED it!! Be sure to ask for Carlton if you go to the MAC in Nordstrom's at the Annapolis Mall, you won't be sorry! 

I would surely recommend you dolls check out the new Playland collection. It is full of vibrant neon and pastel hues. I picked up the Neo-Orange pigment and want to go back for the Chromagraphic Pencil in Hi-Def Cyan. I was also very impressed by the lipsticks Toying Around, a pretty creamy coral, and Happy go Lucky which is pretty much a creamy, non-drying version of Candy Yum-Yum. This collection is surely for the girl not afraid of color. I encourage you dolls to go ahead and step outside your norm and try something bright and bold this Spring and Summer!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Got My Vans On

Hey dolls, Happy Friday! Hope you had a great week. Today I'm going to postpone my #FitNFine challenge a day or two. I want to start doing my weigh ins every Sunday, I think it will just work out better for me so I don't cheat on the weekend and feel as though I've earned something bad on Saturday and Sunday. This way it will keep me accountable throughout the entire weekend so I don't loose my mind after I weigh myself on Fridays. But we shall see. Today I'm coming to you with a sporty, casual and funky look. This look started off as an All Black Everything look but then spotted these Neon Vans I've had in my closet since last July. I purchased them while in Phillly at the Made in America concert but couldn't bear to wear them and get them dirty at the festival. I haven't thought about them let alone wore them since I tried them on in the store. I'm still not that great at styling sneakers outside of the gym but I'm working on it. I was cool, funky, and comfortable in this look so these sneaks are keepers. Help me out on how to style these again dolls. HOW DO YOU STYLE SNEAKERS?!?! Let me know down below in the comments! Have a great weekend!!

Top: Ann Taylor, love this one HERE
Faux Leather Skirt: Charlotte Rouse, similar HERE and HERE
Neon Vans: Marshall's last year, similar HERE
Leather Cap: Ebay, similar HERE
Bag: Coach
Shades: Ray Ban
Leather Moto Jacket: Zara, similar HERE


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Weekend Wear: Hamptons Editions

Weekend in the Hamptons, Sunday brunch date with friends, weekend shopping trip or simply to run the kids to soccer, this look is PERFECT. The simplicity and freshness of this look is superb but I also love how prim and polished it is. This large boyfriend button up was found pretty much brand new at my local  thrift shop. Since I'm not loving tight stuff around my belly these days I tend to gravitate to looser, more comfortable items. This shirt was perfect, although still pretty big after a few spins in the dryer, I love the crisp fresh look it gives any outfit. I can't wait to pair this shirt with cutoffs, tied in a slight belly bearing style, or even as a cardi on cool Spring nights. For this look a simple pair of  icy white jeans, nude shoes and bag and my new FAV MUST-HAVE spring item, the Panama hat and this look is complete. 
::The FIT::
Oversized Chambray Shirt: Thrifted for about 6 bucks, similar HERE
Jeans: Nordstrom, similar HERE
Bag: Zara,similar HERE
Panama Hat: Target, Men's section, similar HERE
Shoes: Shoedazzle, LOVE this PAIR
Bracelets: Forever 21, Twisted Silver, BCBG....Love this one HERE


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Style Salute: Cecil-Sebastian McCloud

Hey lovelies, today I have a special treat and a little eye candy for you ladies! Today, I have the pleasure of featuring my very stylish friend Sebastian for this week's Style Salute. As you know I love to share with you very stylish folks in/out and associated with the military. So far I have only featured stylish women but realized I have been neglecting the fellas. We have some very stylish military gentlemen as well and today I wanted to show them love.

Sebastian here will give you LYFE each and every day dolls, in and out of uniform, with a shirt or without. My boo is F-L-Y ya’ll! I met Sebastian on a random trip to NYC to visit friends and do fashion stuff. I met him and two hours later I was in love, I have basically been obsessed with him ever since. He is down to earth, super sweet, incredibly smart and alluring, and uber stylish; he is just a gem and a genuinely great person.

Sebastian is an Air Force veteran and served his term in the Air Force as a military photographer snapping pictures all around the world. He has been stationed in the United Kingdom where he traveled Europe snapping pics and refining his personal style. He then got accepted to Syracuse University to study for his associates program.  At the time it was a very coveted program and Syracuse only accepted 2 military photographers out of the entire Air Force so that basically makes his super DOPE behind a camera lens…..and not too shabby in front of one if I might add. He ended his career at Langley Air Force base and has been breaking necks ever since. Thank you for your service and style Sebastian love, I SALUTE YOU!!
Check out his amazing style and let me know what you think in the comments below! 
Be sure to follow Sebastian on Instagram for his fierce fashion and traveling escapades @Sebastianundone
Love him for coming to visit me while I was in Panama City Beach.....such good times when this guy is around.
Like I said, love at first sight. 


Monday, April 14, 2014

Go Bold or Go Home

Morning loves, Happy Monday!! Hope you had a good weekend. Spring has finally hit the east coast in full swing and I made sure to get out and about to enjoy it. This winter has been so brutal I'm just glad the sun has arrived. I was so happy I threw together the brightest, boldest colors I could find in my closet, topped off with a floral statement necklace and I'm Spring ready! All these items are oldies but goodies that I have put to the side and almost forgot about. I just love bright colors but this orange and cobalt blue color combo is one of my favs. I have a few other pieces in my wardrobe that will be getting remixed so don't be surprised if you see this combo again soon. Have a lovely week dolls!
The FIT:
Dress: Macy's (old, last seen HERE) similar HERE
Trench: NY&CO about 5+ years old (last seen HERE)
Shoes: Aldo, old but love THIS pair!
Necklace: Zara, last summer
Bracelet: Twisted Silver, LOVE their pieces
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