900 North Michigan Shops

This project was SOOOOOO much fun to style for the 900 North Michigan Shops in Chicago.  I frequent this mall to hit great stores like Space 519, Bloomingdales, J. Crew and Galt Baby.  Therefore, I was very excited to be able to create a body of work that will be used for many years around the mall and for their website.  For this project, I exclusively pulled all the wardrobe, shoes and accessories from Bloomingdales, which is one of my favorite stores to shop for commercial wardrobe assignments since they have a great selection of designers and killer return policy.  Since I knew this series would be published in black & white and on display for up to 10 years, I wanted everything to be timeless, elegant, full of great fabrics and textures.  I loved what LA photographer, Fab Fernandez was able to capture.

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My new work uniform

It’s tricky getting dressed as a wardrobe/prop stylist.  You want to look like you’re put together because, well, that’s your job, but I also need to run around like a maniac all day while climbing up things, getting down on my knees, taking on and off my shoes, hauling Ikea bags full of wardrobe, jumping in and out of cube trucks.  You name it; I’m half stylist, half construction worker, half mule, half kid wrangler.  I also need to be able to stand for 12 hours and bend over while not showing my bits.

The next challenge I’ve run into as a wardrobe stylist is that I fear having decision fatigue.  Since there is zero consistency to my job, each day presents new set questions as to how I’m going to tackle something.  All day, every day, I’m making decisions for the better of the project and now, especially since having my daughter, I fear exhausting my creativity and common sense.  (I knew I needed to find a short-cut when my husband asked what I wanted for dinner, and I responded, “I just want you to put food in front of my face.”  My brain was fried.)  If I can find one less thing in a day to decide, the better.  I present to you, the JUMPSUIT.

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JUMPSUIT is an ungendered, multi-use monogarment for everyday wear. It will be disseminated in two forms: as a pre-made garment for purchase, and as an open-source pattern, available to download free of charge. The Rational Dress Society, LLC., is currently developing a comprehensive new sizing system that can accommodate up to 48 different body types using gender-neutral terminology. Profits from JUMPSUIT will go into a fund to purchase a full page ad in American Vogue. The publication of the ad will mark the end of JUMPSUIT.   –  The Rational Dress Society

Not only is the JUMPSUIT functional, it fits like a dream.  It’s beautifully made in Chicago, comes in durable fabrics, and is machine washable.  Yes, it’s perfect.  I have adopted this beauty in both the white and black as my new work uniform.

Read more about JUMPSUIT‘s mission and order your own JUMPSUIT here.

 

 

Prop Glasses

Finding good looking, prescription-less prop glasses in store is a bit of a challenge.  There’s a lot of trendy options out there, but when the art director asks for you to present eyewear options to make the hunky model look a wee bit smarter while playing a doctor, you’ll want some everyday glasses on hand.  You can order these online for cheap from Bleu Dame, or for even more options for a little more change, Zenni Optical.

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Freda Salvador

Lately I’m feeling the strong urge to discuss what designers I’ve been enjoying in my personal life, rather than on a photo set, and today is no exception.  I stumbled across this designer on ShopBop last fall while looking for my fall boots.  Two pairs of Fredas later, you can easily call me a HUGE  fan.  My Freda Salvadors answer my constant dilemma of having to look put together on set, while still being able to stand for 15 hours and unload a cube truck.  You only get to wear heels as a stylist if you’re on the level of Rachel Zoe, or you’re a complete rookie and you had no idea that the job requirements are similar to executing 200 shuttle runs in a day, only making you wish you had your Tom’s.  These do the trick for those of us who can’t just look pretty in one spot.

Shop the sale HERE 

I made it! My trip to Imogene and Willie in Nashville, TN.

Would you drive 7 hours to get custom jeans?  What if they became the only pair of pants that you need in your closet?  Well, you know my answer.  Seems a little wackadoo to travel that far when I live in retail stores, but that’s just it; I needed something that seems special to me.  Jeans made by fine Americans that come from a long line of made in USA jean makers is something I wanted to support and check out with my own eyes.  I also like that they’re not in NYC or LA, they’re in Nashville, which is commonly overlooked for anything other than country music.  But for denim, Nashville being the best jean makers makes total sense.  In a place where it is perfectly acceptable to say your vows in your favorite denim slacks, no wonder the best jeans are made there.

I wanted to take way more pictures of the store, Imogene and Willie because it’s absolutely beautifully done, but I was a little shy.  I hate to admit it, but I built I & W up so much in my head I was even nervous to go inside.  Therefore, I only took a couple of snapshots with my phone.   You get the idea.  Rustic old, charming gas station?  Check.  Perfectly curated antique color coordinated displays?  Check.  

I ended up purchasing a black pair of jeans.  I went with the mid rise straight leg, which I ended up taking in the width of the leg to make it somewhere in between a skinny and straight leg, (perfect for someone with muscular legs that likes to wear boots).  I also had the length altered so that there is no break at the bottom, instead they’ll perfectly skim my ankles.

Taking care of these bad boys is a little different then what your mother told you.  You’re actually not supposed to wash your jeans.  It breaks down the denim too much, which leads to them being misshapen and faded.  Instead you can either freeze them to kill the germs, or wear them in the bathtub to wash them while still maintaining their shape.  They also tell you to wear your new jeans as much as humanly possibly when you first get them, at least 5 times a week.  You buy them almost unmanageably tight, and slowly loosen them to the perfect fit after many wears.  Sounds like a project, and it is, but again…  Haven’t you always wanted the perfect jeans?  Imogene and Willie has them.  It just takes a little elbow grease and love.

Manhattan Wardrobe Supply

This is the Home Depot for all of your wardrobe styling kit needs.  This is some serious one stop shopping; from hangers, to plastic bins, to wardrobe racks, to steamers, Manhattan Wardrobe Supply has you covered.  To top it off, it’s cheaper than buying it in stores and they only sell top quality gear.

Stylists rejoice!  Your goto styling kit resource is here!  Click below to bring you to the website.

Coral & Tusk

I’m a sucker for all things camp-y(eah!).

These loves lead me to a sea of hand stitched camp-y(eah!) wonders that I can fill my home, decorate my bod, and gift my friend’s new little one with.  I welcome Coral & Tusk into my long list of go-to shopping vendors with open arms.  Charming is an understatement for their pillows, patches, artwork, and toys.  See for yourselves here.