Beats by Dre

BeatsHeadphoens

This was a super fun shoot with the uber talented Chicago photographer, Marcus Smith for Beats by Dr. Dre headphones.  We shot Australian rugby superstar, Matt Giteau at a gym near Notre Dame.  I knew going into prepping this project that this was going to be shot in black and white, therefore it was all about texture and sheen.  Shopping for athletic wear is often a challenge because everything is covered with logos, and even though in this digital age it’s an easy fix in Photoshop, you’ll be doing everyone a favor by finding items with minimal logos.  The surprising best place to find such sportswear is Kohl’s and Target.  You can hit the obvious choices like Sports Authority and Dick’s Sporting goods, but most things will contain some kind logo on them.  Fit is also a key element in sourcing athletic wear when you’re trying to capture motion.  In styling print you always have the crutch of pinning wherever the camera doesn’t see to get the perfect fit, but when trying to capture movement, you want the apparel to fit properly so that the movement of the fabric during the stills looks realistic, not pulled.  This means that you need to bracket sizes and buy multiples of each option.

This was part of a series Marcus did for Beats by Dre.  You can see more of this series on his website, here.

Bob Odenkirk for Chicago Magazine

This was one of those jobs where I had to keep uttering to myself under my breath, “He’s just a person like you, he’s just a person like you,” so my hands wouldn’t shake profusely while I tied his tie from nerves.  Bob Odenkirk is a comedic legend and arguably one of the best actors out there.  He’s a man that shouldn’t be taken lightly, but I also didn’t want him to notice my sweaty upper lip while I dressed him in a Hugo Boss suit from Saks.  This was SO MUCH fun and a shoot I’ll never forget!  You can read the article from Chicago Magazine HERE.

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Nike Chi League

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A HUGE thank you to Howe Haus Productions for having me on board to do the wardrobe styling for Nike’s Chi League.  This was an impressive group of men, and I couldn’t be more honored to work with them.  If you’re in Chicago, I highly recommend going to see them play during their 10 week season during the summer.  You can find more information here.   Photography by Robert Maxwell.

Men’s Journal – Andrew Luck

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It takes a special someone to replace Peyton Manning as quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts.  That talented person is Andrew Luck, and I had the pleasure of making sure he looked great for his cover feature for Men’s Journal.  A big thank you to NIKE for sending me tons of options to dress him in for the inside story, and a BIG thanks to Billy Kirk for sending me a bunch of great duffel/gym bag options, and lastly to Nordstroms for allowing me to use some of their men’s grooming product to style his locker.

 

Degree Deodorant Campaign with Photographer Marcus Smith

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Some of my favorite projects involve styling athletes, therefore you can see why I was extra excited to style this project once I heard it was with the best new talent in Chicago, Marcus Smith.  My assignment was to dress 15 football players in 2 different head-to-toe uniforms, as well as practice gear.  The challenge with this project was not spending a million dollars to get this done in less than a week.  If you were to buy all of this in a store because you surely can’t return sweaty gear, it would cost you a fortune.  I instead ordered the equipment from a studio warehouse in LA that specializes in athletic gear and rented the equipment for the week.  I then had the jerseys specially made in North Carolina where it was rushed to us for the shoot.  After a lot of phone calls and sincere thank you’s to FedEx for delivering everything on time, the shoot went off without a hitch.  A big thank you to Marcus for having me on board, and Melanie Trombley Productions for putting all the pieces in the puzzle together.

 

 

 

Chicago Magazine – Lawmakers Gone Wild – Photography by Taylor Castle

Breaking news!!!  Politicians abuse taxpayers money!!!  Now let’s make a funny picture about it. Sign me up Chicago Magazine.  I’m all over this.

I pulled inspiration from spotting Ted Kennedy eating clam chowdah at Cheers at Logan airport when I used to live in Boston.  I now know that was my money!  But really (even though that is a true story, but not my source of inspiration), this was a fun one for me.  I love telling a good story and I love to sensationalize.  Who better to collaborate with than Chicago based photographer, Taylor Castle?

As you know, politicians have a pretty limited wardrobe.  It’s strictly a navy or black suit, white shirt and either a red or blue tie depending on their party’s affiliation.  The other little touch is the American flag lapel pin.  To make them a political Blago, you need to add little touches of sleaze.  This includes oversized gold watches, pinky rings, class rings, gold buttons, gold chains, etc. (you can’t include of these things or else it would look like Mr. T running for office).  We also wanted decadent food, therefore I sadly had to waste two delicious Maine lobsters I bought for $25 a piece for the sake of art.  Seeing how lobster is my favorite thing ever (I’m a born and breed New Englander), I really felt I took one for the team.

Thank you Megan Lovejoy-Deja from Chicago Magazine and Taylor Castle for making this a memorable shoot!

Why I love Japan

I love everything about Japan.  Everything.  The culture focuses on being courteous, polite, hardworking, and focuses on skilled craftmanship (the food!).  There’s virtually no violent crimes, hardly any theft, and little visible aggression.  It’s simple; treat others like you want to be treated, and treat your environment with respect.  There’s no trash, no pee on the subway bathroom seat, no pushing to get where you need to be, no hostility.  Boring?  Maybe.  But wonderfully peaceful.   My husband and I were lucky enough to revisit last month and made the strong claim that we’d live there in a heart beat.  Go visit if you can.  It’s currently a bargain and there are lots of direct flights from the U.S.

Here’s the other reason (blog/stylist reason) why I love Japan; they care about how they dress.  In my make-believe travel yearbook, I’d vote Tokyo as the best dressed city.  Granted, my travel yearbook has some holes, but I’ve been to a lot of the obvious nominees: London, Rome, Paris, Milan, NYC, LA, Hong Kong, etc.  Japan takes the cake by a long shot.  Like their demeanor, it’s not flashy or in your face.  They simply where quality clothes that fit.  David Sedaris says it best in an interview for Rookie, “What I like about Japanese stuff is that it’s generally not about looking sexy.  It’s good clothing for older people who like having a little secret: special lining inside their pockets, or really big buttons.”  I love that.  It’s so true.  It’s all about detail, cut, and higher quality fabrics.  It’s not a cheap place to shop, but if your Japanese closet is the size of 3 down filled North Face jackets, you become a bit more selective about what you buy and won’t mind paying for it.  As I mentioned many moons ago on this blog before, I don’t think the size of your closet represents how well you dress.  Stacks of ill fitting sale items that you may pull from every other year doesn’t make you a better dresser.  Sticking to a limited plan, painstakingly deciding over wardrobe purchases, and focusing on quality will.  You don’t need a lot, just be smart  about it.  [Disclaimer: You also don’t have to care about fashion.  I completely respect that path too.  This rant is for those of us who do.]

Another super bonus point about visiting Tokyo; it has by far and away the best shopping.  It has it all; low end, high end, and AMAZING vintage stores.  Too bad I only ever travel with a backpack or else I may have lost a mortgage payment.  None-the-less, I poked around for days and got really inspired.  I found that men’s fashion was treated with the same weight as women’s.  In fact, I’d say there are maybe more male stores than female.  Imagine that?  And do you know what the current trend is in Japanese male fashion and has been for a couple of years?  Classic americana.  They all dress like the survivors from the 1993 movie Alive.  Seeing how I got my fashion sense from studying L.L. Bean catalogs when I was little, I can’t get enough of this look. As a tourist, I always feel uncomfortable pointing my camera at locals and shooting them doing everyday things like they’re Mickey and Minnie, therefore I don’t have any images of how great Japanese men dress.  But I did pick up this amazing magazine 3 years ago on my first trip, and again this time around called Free & Easy.

You can find these garments at Japanese chain BEAMS or there’s an insane amount in vintage stores.  Here are some retail photos I took from the trip.

I feel like I can’t make a Tokyo fashion post without mentioned Comme des Garcons.  Rei Kawakubo was inspired by how the bag ladies of NYC androgynous look and how they effortless layered garments.  Voila; one of the most influential design houses was born.  Comme des Garcons didn’t have as big of a presence in the U.S. until recently, when J.Crew decided to do a collaboration with them and sell their everyday line, PLAY.  But when you’re in Tokyo, Rei Kawakubu’s line is everywhere.  Her flagship store in Tokyo feels like a fun house with its insane architecture and little coves filled with the most inventive cuts of fabric you’ll ever see.  Whether or not you’re into fashion, it’s worth checking out for its articulated craziness.

Click on the image below to check out Comme des Garcons.

Here’s a link to the J.Crew line.     J. Crew

Shhh, little secret: save your pennies, you can buy all of these for much less on EBAY.  If you would like to find items in her line in the U.S., visit Barneys and Opening Ceremony (there may be others too).