ChristinaKennedyStyles: Reborn!

Hello everyone!

I hope you guys have been enjoying the new year so far!

I want to apologize for my lack of posts. 2014 ended up being a hectic and crazy year for me. This next post is lengthier than usual to make up for almost one year of my absence. After this, they should return to something more consistent.

Late last spring, I started making plans to host my very first fashion show. I’ll start by saying that the preparation for the show was INSANE. At certain points I literally felt like a chicken with its head cut off. I was anxious, stressed, frustrated, but also, excited, motivated and joyous.


As you all know, I had been involved with some runway shows in New York during the first part of the year. And what I saw was a lot of the same thing: tall, thin, white, blonde, young girls. There’s nothing wrong with this body type, but, women come in all shapes and sizes. So, I decided that I wanted to showcase inner beauty of all women by promoting different ethnicities, ages, body types, and heights.

Because this show would also be a huge way to introduce myself to the small fashion community in Pittsburgh, and be a catalyst for my own inner growth -like a butterfly breaking free from its chrysalis- I decided to call the event, the “Monarch Fashion Show”.

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Poster designed by: Yesun Kaplan.

But, unfortunately, deciding to host a show is easier said than done.

Here’s what I wanted to do:

Find models on Model Mayhem with no overlapping qualities; I wanted each model to represent something unique from the others. Then, I wanted to meet one-on-one with each model to get their measurements, gauge their personality, note their skin tone and hair, among other things. Next, I would speak to boutique owners to introduce myself and suggest a mutually beneficial agreement in which I would promote their clothes and business in exchange for them lending me the items I need for 24 hours. Finally, I would be able to tailor select two outfits for at least 15 models.

Meanwhile, in the background, I would find a location central to the young college students who were my target audience. After putting my deposit down, I would measure the space and purchase the following items to decorate the room: a runway carpet of course, lights above and on the runway, a projector displaying the logos of all the clothing, head-shots and descriptions of each model hanging on the walls, drapes to section off where the models changed and pamphlets to hand out to guests.

I would hire a designer to create a poster. I would speak to stores such as Victoria’s Secret, Sephora, and JCPenny to obtain samples and gift cards to offer my guests in welcome bags. I would invite the press and women’s magazines. I would host an array of food and drinks to fit all dietary restrictions. In addition to the runway music, I would have a pre-show and after party playlist. Guests would be invited to stay after the show to meet me and the models. I would give out gift certificates for my services in hopes that these guests would bring in new business. This would be extra on top of the revenue I made from ticket sales, even after paying off show expenses.

Here’s what actually happened…

I started preparing four months in advance and I was mostly on track with what I needed to do, until a week before the show. Then I had someone who was close to me burn ties suddenly. I decided to cancel the show because I didn’t feel like I had the energy to perform at a level that my guests and models deserved. The models booked other jobs, my guests cancelled and signed up for other events. And I returned the clothes.

Three days before the show was supposed to happen, my business partner, Kim, helped kick my butt back into gear. I was a 110% on board, but the next three days really tested the strength of my character and challenged me in ways I would have never imagined.

Only four of the original models were able to stay on board. By some miracle, we were able to find six more in 24 hours. Many of these women had never modeled before, they were just ordinary people; but, now I think that made them even better for the show. I couldn’t go back to the original boutiques, I used my business credit card, to purchase clothing from stores like H&M, Nordstrom and Target based on the models pictures. Fortunately, everything fit and most models had at least two outfits. The deposit I placed on the venue was still valid, but now I had no guests. I spent $30 on Facebook promotion and people responded.

The day of the show was an absolute frenzy! My day started at 3 in the morning when I went to work. I never went to sleep that night. I got home around 11am, and immediately took my business partner to the grocery store to purchase food for a fruit platter, a veggie platter, a meat & cheese platter, and a hummus and pita platter. We also got ingredients for punch and specialty drinks. Models started arriving shortly after Kim and I returned. I started styling them as she prepared food and drinks. The models were kind enough to help out with some of the prep work, as well as finish each other’s makeup and hair. I sent them off clown-car style to the location while I gathered some last minute materials. We were so rushed that Kim and I almost left in our sweats!

We got to the venue and some of the guests were already there, sitting and chatting. The models were waiting in the changing area. We ran in with bags of clothes, lights, and food platters, set up a table for guests to snack while waiting, and then I went to give the models a final go over while Kim rolled out the carpet and readied the music and lights. I walked out and stood in front of the guests. I thanked them for their patience and support. And then the show finally started.

The guests witnessed a different side of fashion. My show was more about the model than the clothes. As a personal stylist, my goal is to put together outfits that reflect an individual’s personal style, creating looks that fit them best.

This show pushed me beyond the limits I thought I had, and in the end, it was worth it.

Thank you for continuing to follow my blog, and read my posts. Enjoy pictures from the show below.

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My second time around the block, NYFW Take Two!

If you’ve been following along with my blog posts, you may have noticed the one from 2013 where I wrote about my fabulous experience I had in New York for Fashion Week.

Well, here’s post numero dos – New York Fashion Week 2014!

I knew coming into the city I wanted to see the shows (a few rows closer this time around), network, and utilize as much time as possible to put it  towards my styling business.

Originally I wanted to do a lot of exploring in the city, however I was given a sick internship opportunity that I could not pass up so I decided to pursue that. I also attended a few fashion shows.

My latest post elaborates more on the actual internship I worked on with a very talented creative director as well as a designer who makes sunglasses and attire for celebrities.

Check out my internship post HERE.

And now to the shows!!!

Even though my press credentials were not approved for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, I still received approval from another venue –Launch NYC. 

Throughout the week I attended several shows and took as many pictures possible using my Canon Rebel T3 Camera.

Minnoji Fall/Winter 2014 Collection

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 At only the age of 17, Designer, Milena Encheva started designing her own clothes. After moving to NYC and graduating FIT she gained experience working at design houses including Calvin Klein, Ali Ro, and Morado Blue, she finally opened up her own line in 2012 – Minnoji.

 This collection was one of my favorites. The combination of leather and wool brought a unique twist to the runway. I also really loved the exquisite detailing of the skirts. Her story and success was such a huge inspiration to me.

Check out Minnoji HERE.

Carrie Hammer Fall/Winter 2014 Collection

CarrieHammer We’re all very used to seeing the same types of models on runway shows. Some of us are almost brainwashed to think that only thin and tall people can walk the walk and wear the clothes at the same time. Designer, Carrie Hammer breaks that mold by designing clothing for all sizes at affordable prices. Her designs cater to the “underserved professional woman”.  

Her story and personal success was also very moving and inspirational to me.

Check out Carrie Hammer HERE.

My entire week for NYFW has been one HUGE experience for me that I have truly treasured since.

Stay tuned for more fashion fun…my next post will showcase Street Style photos!

Stay fashionable, lovelies

ChristinaKennedyStyles 

Peter Pilotto for Target means Business!

Can we please stop what we’re all doing and turn our attention to the newly released images of the Peter Pilotto line for Target?

Thanks to Fashionista.com, we are able to get a preview of the collection weeks before it hits stores!

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(Image courtesy of Fashionista.com)

All I can say is FAB, FAB and FAB!!

With the mix of eclectic floral prints and asymmetrical shapes, this collection is bound to bring a pleasant twist to your closets.
An added bonus to this amazing collection is that the majority of this line will be under $60. Most of these pieces will also be available internationally on Net-A-Porter’s website. (Some exceptions do apply)

Check out the rest of the 80+ pieces in the collection HERE.

I’ll be in NYC when the collection releases but that won’t stop me from taking a peek at the collection February 9th.

Will you be checking out his line in February? Let’s chat about it!

As always – Stay fashionable, lovelies!

XOXO

ChristinaKennedyStyles

Transitioning from One Season to Another.

It’s that time again to start transitioning your closet from one

season to the next. It’s either one of the most dreadful and annoying tasks to complete, because you have a hard time letting go of a specific favorite season and you’re just too lazy to go into that storage box and pull out your sweaters and long pants, or it’s one of the most relaxing and inspiring moments where you get to add a few more pieces into your closet. Perhaps even revamp your entire wardrobe and get to shop for new and more trendy and hip attire.

However you feel, it must be done.

So where do you begin?

  • Start out by seeing what’s really in trend this season and go from there.
  • If you need an idea, take a look at some stores at the mall or check out your favorite websites or magazines.
  • See if there’s any type of similarities of color, style, cut, or material that you notice.
  • Take a mental note of all that you see and start to brainstorm.
  • Start taking a look at your closet and glance at what you do have. (This is obviously done after you store away past season items.)
  • Once you figure out what you already own, make a list of essentials.
  • Layering tanks? A few pairs of pants or jeans? Perhaps a variety of colors of scarves or shoes? Whatever it is, make sure they are items that are versatile and can go with lots of outfit choices.

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I recently just went through my closet this past week and finally completed my transition into the new season.

Here are a few tips that will help you organize and clutter-free your closet:

  • Purchase Spacesaver hangers. They are small and most of them have velvet finishing to prevent the clothes from slipping off. Try to replace all of your existing hangers with the newer ones to ensure neatness. You can find a pack of them for cheap at TJMaxx or Marshalls.
  • Separate your clothing.  Sweaters with sweaters. Tanks with tanks, etc.  Then start to color code within within those certain style of clothes. This will make it easier for you to browse and find that certain piece of clothing.
  • Grab your storage box and fill up your past season clothes. If you’re transitioning from spring/summer to fall/winter, make sure that you’re storing away the right clothes. Often times, people put away the wrong items and then end up having to dig it out later. For spring/summer, you should have pieces that are lighter fabric. Also, make sure you’re paying attention to color. Usually colors that are little brighter (pinks, yellows, light blues, etc) should be kept. For fall/winter, thicker fabrics and long sleeved shirts and pants are recommended. Again with colors; darker blues, purples, reds are key for those two seasons.
  • Time to sort. Now that your closet is a bit more organized, start browsing through and see if there is any item that hasn’t gotten or very minimal wear. Ask yourself the How many, When & Where, Will I, questions. How many times have I worn it? When and where will I wear it? Will I ever wear it? These questions are great to ask yourself to maintain a neat and organized closet. You can get rid of a lot more clothes if you put yourself in these mini scenarios.
  • The last and final step is now figuring out what you need or what you’re lacking in your closet. Make sure to make a list of VITAL and VERSATILE pieces to add. Since you got to take a peek at your closet, you were able to see what items would work best with what you’ve got.

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Now, let’s get into the important stuff; Shopping!

One of very most important things before heading out on any shopping trip is to plan out a budget. That way you can limit yourself and avoid unnecessary purchases. Write down or form a mental list of the stores in that budget that is most convenient for you.

Target is one of my favorite places to shop. They have everything from business slacks to versatile tops. From stylish hats to colorful tees. Over the years, Target has really upped their game in the fashion world and have been featured in hundreds of magazines all around the country. So of course, knowing my love for everything IN Style, I headed down to my nearest store.

(Note: It is not necessary to choose Target for your transitioning. There are plenty of stores that offer similar and perhaps even better options for yourself. I personally chose this store because of it’s versatility and the fit of the clothing.)

Walking down the ready to wear section, (which is almost always my first option) I grabbed the items that not only had versatility options and were on trend for the season but also pieces that have been lacking in my closet.

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With a little time and work, I came up with a few great fall friendly outfits, that I hope will inspire all of you on your shopping ventures!

Outfit #1:

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This outfit gives a great allusion of fall colors without trying too hard. You got your neutral colors (beiges & browns), balanced out evenly with a hint of purple/light pink. PERFECT for work or lunch with your friends!

To Purchase: Cardigan, Tank, Pants, Necklace, Shoes.

Outfit #2:

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This outfit can easily be dressed up or down, depending on the mood or occasion. Remove your classic heels and add a pop color along with a matching bag and you’re ready to go out on the town! Or replace your platforms for comfy flats for your daily errands.

To Purchase: Top, Jacket, Pants, Shoes.

Outfit #3:

greenoutfit

This outfit has the perfect balance of colors for the fall/winter season. The geometric top makes it a bit different and funky but in a good way. Great for an evening out!

To Purchase: Top, Pants, Shoes.

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I hope you all have found something worth remembering from my list of tips. If you have any outfits of your own that you’d like to share, please send them my way; I may just feature you on by blog! Any feedback is always appreciated. If you like my tips/advice, click below. If there’s something you want to see, please let me know!

Vintage, baby!

OPEN YOUR MIND TO CLOTHES MINDED, FOLKS

Ever wanted to shop in a store that’s affordable and has a mix of vintage pieces and brand name and designer goods in the same place? Look no further. In the center of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania lies a cute store filled with unique finds and sometimes even barely used or worn designer merchandise.

I initially found out about this place from a friend that had recently moved into the Bloomfield area. Knowing my love for everything fashion and vintage, I googled info about the store, found the address and was on my way to venture out!

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There, on the corner of LIBERTY AVE AND STATE WAY lays a beautifully unique store called ‘CLOTHES MINDED’.  Don’t let the name fool you though. The merchandise is more “one-of-a-kind” than anything. The owner of the boutique, Josh doesn’t like to consider his store a consignment shop (even though they do buy and trade) but more of a vintage shop that sells various pieces that caters to literally almost anyone for affordable prices.

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The little things really do make a difference. I was especially taken away by the creativity that was shown all throughout the store. One of my faves was how they use mini records as size tags. Not only was that something I’ve never seen before, they made browsing through clothes so much simpler.

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Knowing and understanding the space that they do have, Clothes Minded keeps and maintains tidiness and organization, leaving an aisle in between for each gender. Some of the pieces such as accessories and shoes are mixed in depending on style, however they are always laid out nicely for customers to view without doing too much rummaging around.

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Now, remember how I mentioned that there are also designer goods here? Authenticated by Josh himself, you can find yourself some real good finds. Sometimes you can even find exclusive, designer pieces. Vintage Chanel Jacket anyone? How about a Louis Vuitton belt priced over 60% off? You’re more than likely to stumble upon some treasure items similar to the ones that I found. You need to check this store out!

Check out the website clothesmindedpgh.com

or visit the store’s address:

4740 Liberty Ave (Bloomfield)

Pittsburgh, PA 15224