Happy Friday – November 29th

Five things that made me happy this week:

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1. Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Let me start off by saying that I love the Hunger Games trilogy. I was so excited to see the second movie, Catching Fire. I absolutely loved every minute of it that I saw. I left early, missing the last 20 minutes of the film, because I was nervous about my puppy who I left home alone. Speaking of the puppy…

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2. Meet Gatsby! The holidays came early this year when Jeremy surprised me with my very own Teacup Yorkie puppy! His name is Gatsby and he is only 8 weeks old. He is so super teeny tiny–he only weighs two lbs!! I’ve been taking him with me everywhere all week, and he’s become such a huge ham for attention. I’m so in love with this little guy!

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3. Nasty Gal visits FIDM. On Wednesday, representatives from online retail sensation Nasty Gal came to speak at my school. They described what it’s like to work for Nasty Gal, informed us of internship and job opportunities within the different departments, and gave us insights into the future of the company.  I absolutely love the brand-personality of this company and find their backstory to be so inspiring! Read about them here.

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4. I <3 May West. In my effective speaking class this week, one of my classmates gave a presentation on the amazing Mae West. This woman was so fantabulous! She was sexy, naughty, hot-headed, and way ahead of her time. She is one of my all-time favorite hollywood icons, by far! If you’ve never heard of my girl Mae, get your ass on wikipedia, because she was one of the coolest people who ever lived.

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5. Black Friday! I am not “above” hitting the malls on Black Friday. In fact, Black Friday is my favorite day of the entire year! Yes, I know you can get the same deals online. And yes, I know the sales will continue all the way through New Year’s. But that’s not the point. I love the energy of the day (and the night before)! It’s the one day a year where I don’t beat myself up for spending. On Black Friday, if I want it, I buy it! (within reason…)

FIDM Alumni Stylist Panel

Last week I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of meeting and greeting some of the biggest names in celebrity styling. I was lucky enough to get my name on the guest list for the FIDM Alumni Stylist Panel, a well-attended event hosted in the New Mart in Downtown LA.

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The event was centered around a fantastic question-answer session with a very impressive, star-studded panel featuring:

danielDaniel Musto, the head stylist for NBC’s Fashion Star, who’s guest-starred on several talk-shows and styled countless celebrities.

Daniel has styled: Paula Abdul, Ashley Simpson, Giuliana Rancic, Jenny McCarthy, and many more!

See his work: in USweekly and Cosmopolitan Magazine, on American Idol and Ready for Love–just to name a few.

 

hm1Linsday Albanese, stylist and style expert, who’s entire persona has practically become its own brand as she takes Hollywood by storm.

Lindsay regularly contributes to: InStyle Magazine and “Fashion Police”.

She’s been on TV!!: E! News, Access Hollywood, EXTRA, The Today Show etc.

 

jonoJonathan Colombini, well-known celebrity hair stylist, who’s work has been featured on red carpets and magazine covers alike.

He’s done their hair!: Annalynne McCord, Vera Wang, Angie Everhart, Karina Smirnoff, Kim Richards, and Fergie

 

 

alfieAnd Warren Alfie Baker, another talented celebrity stylist, specializing in menswear.

Has styled for shows: The Taste, The X Factor, Karaoke Battle USA.

Some of his leading men: Nicholas Hoult, Zachary Levi, Colton Haynes, Jessie Spencer, Peter Facinelli, and Steven R McQueen.

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clearly not flattering lighting for any of us…

Aside from being an excellent networking opportunity, I really gained a lot of insight into the world of celebrity styling. Here are the top five most interesting facts I learned from the panel:

1. Personality vs. Skill: Something I noticed about all four stylists was that I couldn’t pick a favorite. I felt a sincere connection with each one, and wished I could be friends with each of them. In other words, I kept saying to myself, “God, I would love to hang out with him/her.” That common thread seems to be the secret to their success–not to say each of the stylists isn’t impossibly talented, but being as personable as they are sure doesn’t hurt . Daniel said it himself:  A celebrity stylist is on-set for several hours at a time, and you’re more likely to get hired if you’re fun to have around.

2. “Fake It ‘Till You Make It”: This was undoubtedly a theme for the entire night. I mean, the event itself was for FIDM Alumni and I’m obviously still a current student. But I just put my name on the list and walked in like I belonged there. The panel, too, had similar stories about accepting new jobs and getting “in over your head” on assignments. Lindsay joked about talking her way into her first big styling gig, and knowing she was completely under qualified, but jumping right in anyway. Never sell yourself short or let fear stop you from taking a leap; worst case scenario it’ll just be a learning experience, but more likely you’ll be awesome!

3. Styling Hollywood Isn’t Always Glamorous: One of the questions asked was “What was your most challenging experience styling?” And all four panelists had a “story from hell” to share. (Even Jonathan, who originally couldn’t think of a bad experience he’d had, later chimed right in.) Stylists have to please many frustrating people (damn publicists!) and can sometimes work brutal 28-hour days. But the stylists all agreed that these experiences help you build a thick skin and become more confident in the long run.

4. What’s the Difference Between a Stylist and a Style Expert?: This question was actually one that I asked the panel, myself. I learned that once a stylist racks up a certain level of success and recognition, he/she becomes a consultant and spokesperson for brands and products. For example, if Lindsay gets interviewed on EXTRA and is asked about upcoming trends, she’s not actually “styling” anyone so she is acting as a “Style Expert” and not a stylist. That part of the profession is supposedly a lot fun, but it doesn’t come until way down the line in a styling career.

5. They Take Interns!: This note made me realize that these stylists are people too. And while they’re rich, famous, and working with celebrities, they’re very reachable. The panel members encouraged the audience to follow them on Twitter and Instagram and made us all feel like we could really connect with them. The stylists also told us that they’re always looking for interns! This was obviously very valuable information to a student like myself–and as soon as I have a minute in my life to breath, I might take them up on that offer. What the stylists said they’re looking for: an energetic, personable, hard-working person who can learn on-the-go and has a car!

The Financial Guy’s Shoes

On Tuesday, I went to the student activities office to ask somebody a question, and I saw that there was a workshop going on. I had no idea what the topic of the workshop was, but I was on my lunch break anyway so I sat down to listen.

The workshop ended up being about building credit so you could take out business loans. *Yawn*

But I have to tell you, the way the speaker presented himself made me want to stay and listen to everything he had to say. Every hair on his head was in place. His slim-fit suit was flawlessly pressed. His tie was artfully clipped to his dress shirt, which matched his pocket square. His watch? Loved it. His belt? Perfect.

But the greatest part of his entire outfit was his footwear. He was wearing the greatest men’s dress shoes I’ve ever seen!

After he concluded his workshop, several students stayed behind to ask him questions. I did as well. But I didn’t want to ask his financial advice; I wanted to ask about his shoes. Obviously.

“Hi David,” I shameless approached him, “Can I take a picture of your shoes?” (The things I do for this blog…)

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This picture does NOT do these beauties any justice…but look at him striking that pose. He was clearly flattered. Hehe.

I didn’t want to push my luck and ask who made his shoes, but once I got home I tore up the internet trying to find them. I never found them, but I did find some other great ones. I had no idea there were so many nice dress shoes for men. Why do they all wear the same black ones when there are so many other unique and wonderful options?

Here are some of my picks that I came across in my search: (Some of these even have price points lower than $100! Can you guess which ones?)

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_7368942To Boot New York "Felix"2432026-p-MULTIVIEW

Stacy Adams "Garcea"8319275_fpx2387342-p-MULTIVIEW

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 Any of these shoes catch your fancy? Each one is its own link, so click away!

You CAN Do Leather Leggings!

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Clearly it ended up being sunny and hot…

Yesterday was one of those weird-weather days, typical of LA, where you’re not sure wether it’s going to be hot or cold out. (Yes, this really happens here.) So I paired a chunky knit pullover with leather leggings, threw on open-toe shoes, and headed off to school. I figured, if it ends up being cold then at least I’m wearing knit…and if it ends up being hot at least I’m not wearing boots.

At school, a girl in the elevator told me I was brave for wearing leather leggings.

“I have a pair sitting in my closet,” she told me, “But I seriously have no idea how to wear them without looking trashy.”

Well, Girl-In-FIDM-Elevator-Whose-Name-I-Don’t-Know, this post is for you. And anyone else who wants to rock this look and needs a push in the right direction.

The key to wearing leather leggings, and not looking like you walked out of a music video, is balance. In other words, leather leggings are super tight and majorly sexy, so you want the rest of your look to be more loose-fitting and laid-back. Like my chunky pullover yesterday (pictured above.) Wearing something baggier also just helps cover the weird wrinkly-thing that leather does when it’s stretched across your hips….or is that just me?

Here are four fool-proof pieces that complement leather leggings and save you from looking “trashy”, as Elevator Girl put it:

Shirt - Chiqle, Necklace - H&M, Booties - Aldo

Shirt – Chiqle, Necklace – H&M,
Booties – Aldo

#1) Classic chambray button-down. Denim and leather are two of the biggest fabric trends we’re seeing this fall, and they happen to play amazingly well together. Normally I’d suggest that you stick to one trend at a time, but in this case it’s a great combo. Also, just a side note: throwing on leather high-heeled booties with these leggings make your legs look miles long–even for a shorty like me!

Shirt - Sugar Lips, Boots - Steve Madden

Shirt – Sugar Lips, Boots – Steve Madden

#2) Plain white tee. This is so, so basic that most people wouldn’t even think of it. But, honestly, a plain white t-shirt is probably my favorite thing to pair with leather leggings. Extra points if it has a couple rips in it–so badass. The key to this one is the fit of the tee: don’t go too tight or too short. Keep it relaxed and casual. Think “I’m sexy without even trying” and you’ll be golden. Plus, wearing a plain tee leaves open the option to throw on a leather jacket as well. Sounds crazy, I know, but as long as the white t-shirt is longer than the jacket, the look will work (the white will break up all the leather.)

Shirt - Urban Outfitters, Boots - Steve Madden, Necklace - Renuar

Sweater – Urban Outfitters,
Boots – Steve Madden, Necklace – Renuar

#3) Oversized sweater. This one is easy. Basically anything oversized and comfy will balance out the look of the leggings. I’d stay away from any print that’s too busy, though, because the leggings make their own statement. Wide stripes, like the ones I’m wearing here, are safe. Also, a sweater like this will cover your hips and butt, making the leggings less scary to wear. Yeah, I said it, you’re not the only one who doesn’t want skin-tight leather stretched across her butt. I know I sure don’t want that on display. A baggy sweater makes me more confident in this look.

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T-Shirt – American Apparel, Jacket – Olivaceous, Boots – Steve Madden

#4) Military jacket. Yeah, mid-calf boots make me look shorter, but I love ‘em too much to let go. The fourth piece that is always okay to wear with these leggings is some sort of over-piece: a fur vest (not cropped), a white blazer, a military jacket etc. Again, it’s nice to have something that covers you’re hips a bit. Also, something like this military jacket has a very similar “voice” to the leather leggings. They’re both edgy and cool without competing with each other. No idea what I’m talking about? Just take my word for it.

Okay, ready to embrace this look? My leggings are See You Monday, but MICHAEL Michael Kors, Mimi Chica (they’re matte–super cool), BDG (available at Urban Outfitters), and American Apparel all make some great options.

Have Fun!

Me vs. Campus Security

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When I first started college, I thought I was the coolest person ever. At orientation they gave us temporary, paper ID cards and said that our official school ID’s would be mailed to us. I remember when my official Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) ID finally arrived: I held it in my hands and thought, “This is for real–I’m officially living me dream.”

In that moment, my FIDM student ID card was probably the greatest thing I had ever had possession of…

Now I hate the damn thing.

See, here’s the problem: You need to have your ID card on you at all times. You need to scan it to open classroom doors, you need it to get your books, and you need it to get into the school elevators. Always. But let’s be realistic, I’m 19 years old and I would lose my head if it wasn’t attached to my body…I am constantly losing my stupid ID card. I leave it at home. I leave it in my car. I leave it in a different purse. It ends up in the laundry. I leave it in the restroom, classrooms, the cafeteria–you name it! If you don’t have your student ID on you, and security catches you, you have to go sign up for a temporary pass.

I’m famous with the campus security by now. And they hate me. (Though I’m convinced I’m secretly their favorite student…)

This morning, I was carrying a whole bunch of books and I was late to class. As I walked into the school lobby, I realized I had no clue where my ID was. I tried to just sneak by the security guard and slip into the elevator with a group of other students.

Obviously that didn’t work.

“Nikki, where’s your ID?”

“C’mon, you know me!” I looked down at my arms full of books, “You’re really gonna make me put my stuff down on the floor and dig through my bag for my ID?”

“Yes.”

So that’s what I did. Luckily, I did find my ID in my bag and, after I did a brief “happy dance”, the security guard let me into the elevator.

Then, our teacher gave us a 10 minute break during class, and I decided to leave campus and run down the street to Starbucks. I took my wallet and sunglasses and left my giant school bag in the classroom. I got out of the elevator on the ground floor and started walking out, then I saw the security guard and realized my ID was upstairs in my bag.

“Hey, I left my ID upstairs in the classroom, I’m just running to Starbucks. I’ll be right back.”

“Go get a temporary pass.”

“But I showed it to you this morning,” I reminded him, “Remember my ‘happy dance’?”

He didn’t care. So before leaving campus, I went and signed out a temporary pass. For the millionth time.

When I got back to campus (my break was long over, and I was going to be late to class again) the security guard asked to see my pass. And wouldn’t ya know, I couldn’t find it.

“I must have left it in Starbucks,” I said.

“Go back and get it, Nikki.” …He was serious.

Decidedly, I’m just going to take my student ID to a tattoo artist on Melrose Ave and get it tattooed onto my body somewhere. That way I’ll never be without it. But until then, it’s just Me vs. Campus Security.