Simply Stylist 2015

Simply Stylist outfit illustrated by the lovely and talented Jeanette Getrost. Outfit details: Dress- Wells Grace Pink Mania Pumps by Brian Atwood Bag by Ted Baker.

Simply Stylist outfit illustrated by the lovely and talented Jeanette Getrost.                                                                                               Outfit details: Dress- Wells Grace Pink Mania Pumps by Brian Atwood Bag by Ted Baker. 

The prospect of going to a networking event, by yourself, especially one led by people whose careers I’ve followed and been inspired by for many years, can well, be quite intimidating. And that’s initially how I felt when I walked up to the theater at the Grove. I checked in and was amazed at how incredibly organized the event was. Each attendee that was part of the “Fashion and Beauty” package was greeted by very enthusiastic volunteers for the event who gave us our badges (I was so excited to see my Blog name as part of my name badge) along with Simply Stylist binders. Inside the binders was the itinerary for the afternoon. (Even though I had already downloaded the Simply Stylist App I was still totes excited about the binder.) I contained my excitement and walked through towards the giant step and repeat where I had anticipated taking the very cliche Instagram photo that is almost mandatory when attending events like this. Alas, instead I opted to start a casual conversation with another event attendee, Hailey. Much like myself, Hailey was also a very ambitious person. She came from a background that included interning with Rachel Zoe and explained while she loved her current job knew she was worth something more. OMG?! Me too! Or rather I should say our circumstances were very similar. While I still very much enjoy going to work every day, I get a sense of fulfillment when I do the blogging thing. Which side note, it was also very refreshing to be surrounded by a group of people who understand how much of a task it is to maintain a decent blog. Alas, I quite enjoyed the side conversations i had with this girl. Someone who knows what it means to know you’re destined for greatness and failure isn’t an option. I was quite delighted.

The first part of conference was kicked off with E’s Catt Sadler interviewing the beautiful and astonishingly witty, Alessandra Ambrosio. To be truthful when her interview first started, I initially thought to myself, now what in the world would I have in common with a super model? Sometimes, and I’m ashamed to admit this I forget that even people who have wildly successful careers started out a dreamer. A kid who wasn’t afraid of wishing upon a star and wasn’t afraid to work to achieve their dreams. “If you want it, you got to fight for it”, was one of my favorite quotes of the day spoken by a true angel. Even she’s fought her battles and made her sacrifices. Sometimes you can only make it to birthdays and a few holidays when it comes to those in your social circle. But at the end of the day if you’re doing what you love then that’s what’s important. Someone commented during a panel discussion, you only get one life, so you better make it count.

While yes it was exciting to hear from various perspectives of success in the industry, I was even more thrilled to hear about each person’s journey. And that seems to be the key to each of these stories. It’s each journey and each individuals commitment to their own success, and method of story telling I suppose as well that made each of them stand out. And standing out is key as well. Jen Chae reaffirmed this sentiment by advising the audience “it’s about being you, be the one who stands out.” And if you’re reading this you’re probably thinking to yourself, well easier said than done. That’s where you dear fellow dreamer take it upon your self to fight for your dream. Because think about it. And the logic is quite practical. If you don’t fight for your dream who will? If you don’t enjoy your own brand or business, why would anyone else? And that’s almost part of the key to success as well. “Don’t get so caught up in the numbers game” said Cara Santana. And that’s true! You’re always going to have someone else’s numbers to compare to. But at the end of the day, just like anything else in life don’t concern yourself with what you don’t have but rather what you do. Give your audience a reason to continue following you. I was at a leadership meeting about 2 years ago, and the moderator said something that I have always found inspiring and true to this same exact concept. If you light something on fire, whether that be a business or your blog or your own sense of fashion, people are going to come to watch you burn. Sounds kind of gory I realize that (please forgive me, I’m watching the “Walking Dead” season finale as I type this, sacrilegious but pursuing a dream is a sacrifice and I’m just not paying attention to commercials.) Either way the sentiment is the same, be true to yourself. Be the one who stands out. Believe in yourself, and your brand and be genuine and kind a long the way. Don’t be afraid of the word no, because at the end of the day you’re probably going to hear a million no’s but it’s going to make that one yes that much more special. And that’s one of the other things that stayed with me while I was driving home. At the end of the day, this journey is your own. Nobody can take it from you. And as Michael Costello pointed out “don’t set one goal, set many.” And once you reach your end goal figure out a way to do it better.

Needless to say by the end of the panel sessions I was feeling tremendously inspired. Like I could conquer the world. And that feeling of empowerment and success, is something that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. I learned a ton, was inspired lots and made connections that I hope will last a life time. LA is a big town and with all the lights one rarely see’s the stars in the sky. But if you look close enough you’ll find exactly what I did and I’ve truthfully known all along. The stars in the sky don’t shine as bright because there are simply beautiful souls on the ground whose passion and dreams shine far brighter. It’s a cheesy sentiment I realize but I have always had an affinity for cheesiness. I like it and it works for me. I cannot wait until the next panel! And who knows maybe next time I might even travel to Chicago or New York for a conference. Time to start considering meeting global dreamers.

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In addition to a series of inspiring panels, there was a "Brand Experience." And an experience it was! Event attendees were introduced to a variety of brands in the courtyard at the Grove. I loved that each of the brands encouraged the use of social media as means of participating in their various services offered. Although I felt really bad for my new friend who was looking forward to a massage and was stalled because she couldn't get a signal to download the vendor's app.

In addition to a series of inspiring panels, there was a “Brand Experience.” And an experience it was! Event attendees were introduced to a variety of brands in the courtyard at the Grove. I loved that each of the brands encouraged the use of social media as means of participating in their various services offered. Although I felt really bad for my new friend who was looking forward to a massage and was stalled because she couldn’t get a signal to download the vendor’s app. This photo was taken at the Nation LTD booth. The very enthusiastic host of that booth encouraged each passer by to stop and take a polaroid. The polaroid was then immediately pinned to a bulletin board and we were told to put our Instagram handle on our picture. This was mine!

Jeanette Getrost painting very diligently as some of us waited almost 2 hours for our turn.

                    Jeanette Getrost painting very diligently as some of us waited almost 2 hours for our turn.

Social Media, a win win for all who participate.

                                             Social Media, a win win for all who participate.

Thank you E Salon for my gorgeous braid!

                                                         Thank you E Salon for my gorgeous braid!

Finally had the absolute pleasure of speaking with the immensely talented Michael Costello. Yes, the man behind Beyonce and so many other diva's fabulous gowns. I got the opportunity to tell him how long I've been a fan and how I've just loved watching his career blossom to the magnitude of notoriety in the fashion world that it is today.

Finally had the absolute pleasure of speaking with the immensely talented Michael Costello. Yes, the man behind Beyonce and so many other diva’s fabulous gowns. I got the opportunity to tell him how long I’ve been a fan and how I’ve just loved watching his career blossom to the magnitude of notoriety in the fashion world that it is today.

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End of Season Sales: Time to Get Your Running Heels On

Top: Zara Skirt: Guess Shoes: Valentino Hat: H&M Sunnies: Elizabeth and James

Top: Zara Skirt: Guess Shoes: Valentino Hat: H&M Sunnies: Elizabeth and James

There are a plethora of reasons why the beginning of a new year is so promising. In addition to metaphorically beginning anew there are also plenty of opportunities to start a new section in your wardrobe in the form of after season sales. And after taking a short road trip out to LA yesterday some of the big names, Topshop and Zara are having some of the best end of season sales I’ve seen in quite some time. Literally, pieces that were once $100 now only $12!

My shopping buddies were quick to remind me some of the pieces I found were not in tip top shape but alas when you’re buying something below company costs or just right at that value, I really can’t complain about a blemish that can more than likely be removed with some steam and a Shout wipe. If you are one of those people who nit picks on even clearance items being in less than pristine condition, please keep in mind you are already getting a discount. That associate whom you’re asking for a discount from, or even manager for that reason is not only there to help tell you whether or not the piece looks spectacular on you, but to run a business. Not all businesses have the luxury of sending their damaged pieces out to refurbishment centers. I get reasonable discounts if a zipper is truly broken or there is a huge hole that will take some time and money spent at an alterations place to repair but if it’s a deodorant mark that can be rubbed out or a wrinkle that can be resolved with some steam, take your deal that’s already marked and run. Don’t feel so entitled to having something practically free. OK my rant is over.

Side note? How freaking cute is this top I got at Zara yesterday for only $10?! I was a little reluctant to get a small, usually I get my tops in a medium because I don’t like them too tight but the way the sleeves were put on this actually left for some breathing room. And let’s be honest, while unlike my Dad I will probably never run an actual marathon, I feel like I’ve been training for a shopping marathon my whole life. Even in heels! Who walked the blocks down Wilshire, Beverly Blvd, and Rodeo yesterday? This girl! Even Olivia partook in the adventure. Which is perhaps the reason both she and I were exhausted today. We shopped till we dropped.

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Top: Zara Skirt: Guess Hat: H&M Shoes: Valentino Sunnies: Elizabeth & James

Facing the Music, and A Modern Tale of Survival by Nick Carter

Facing the Music, and A Modern Tale of Survival by Nick Carter

Yup, another successful Backstreet Adventure with my Backstreet Bestie in the books. So we are not 12-years old any more. Annnnd your point?

Let’s be honest, I was probably just as excited Friday morning as I would have been had I been 12 and my parents picked me up and said I was going to see my favorite boy bander Nick Carter. I may or may not have fan girl squealed at some point that day, you may never know. In the event you are not a twenty bopper or ever had the pleasure of meeting someone whose image was once plastered on your wall at one point in time, it is basically the equivalent of meeting Santa Claus for the first time and comprehending the awesomeness of that moment. If you have no idea what that moment is like, then I feel sorry for you.

Just like Santa, I thought long and hard about what I was going to ask him. After all, I do run this little thing called a fashion blog and how awesome would it have been to ask him something fashion related? Totally awesome right? But then, the fun suckers over at Barnes and Nobles, well, sucked the fun out of that idea and basically said no pictures, just an autograph and move on with your life.

If I had not already met Nick at least 2 times prior I probably would have been upset. But gazing into his beautiful blue eyes and all worries just seem to disappear. While I missed an opportunity for a fab Instagram photo, and what I could only assume would have been a short and sweet answer of a fashion related question, I opted to utilize my two seconds and ask him how it felt to have a published book. After all, I hope to one day have my own book published and any advise from a published author would be appreciated. Clearly he was in the zone because he looked up at me kind of puzzled and shook his head. You mean I didn’t tell him how much I’ve loved him since I was 11? I have never told him that. Strangely previous encounters involve me asking him how Aaron is doing. I just saw him a few months back though and he looked great so no need waste a question.

“What was the question?” Nick Carter responded. (O-M-G, I have Nick’s attention I thought. Keep calm I tried to Jedi mind trick myself.) I then asked how he felt when the book finally got published. He starting muttering about the process and then I interjected, “accomplished?”

“Yes”, was his response. Panicked because the Barnes and Noble chaperon was clearly getting nervous and made me feel like my 2 seconds expired 5 seconds before I even walked up, I quickly told him I was proud of him. Not that Nick Carter needs my approval for anything, but he smiled a smile that smile I’ve loved since “As Long As You Love Me”, my heart melted and basically me and my BFF drove home on a cloud.

His book, from what I’ve read is amazing. It’s a heartfelt, soul bearing “here I am world despite my flaws” kind of tale and naturally I love it. Granted he could have written the dictionary and I probably would have reported back that it was the best dictionary I’ve ever read cover to cover, but as someone who is not perfect either, I appreciate his honesty and attempt to share his positive outlook on life with the world.

Really and truly Nick, I am proud of you.

He wrote my name. Life. Is. Complete.

He wrote my name. Life. Is. Complete.

Top Shop! I Finally Made It!

Top Shop! I Finally Made It!

So after a month or so of the store officially being open, I finally ventured out to experience the 2 story greatness.

Located at the Grove in LA, Top Shop is everything I could have hoped and dreamed it would be. When you walk in, the sight of all the clothes, styles and trend stories literally is enough to take ones breath away. I’d be lying if I said I did not squeal for joy. The first thing I saw, was this uber cute, very structured floral lantern bandeau dress. (Lately I’ve had a thing for structured pieces.) I was afraid of price points but considering the design that was put into the majority of the pieces, I’d say they were pretty reasonable with a few notable exceptions. The exceptions to these price points? $20 for a basic cropped tee? No thanks. And most of the pieces were made of polyester, but again they have notable accents in design, and embellishments so people such as myself who have reservations about investing into polyester experience no buyers remorse.

I fell head over heels in LOVE for their screen print skirts!  This one had two slits on each side of the skirt making it easier to walk in.

I fell head over heels in LOVE for their screen print skirts! This one had two slits on each side of the skirt making it easier to walk in.

I was only half way through the first floor of the store when I realized I had a pile that was already growing bigger then me. I thought I was in trouble but then my friend pointed out they have a PETIT section! Let it be known this is perhaps one of my favorite things about Top Shop! There is something for all body types and the thing that always lacks from Forever 21, and H&M. Then one of the friendly associates started a fitting room for me in the personal shoppers side of the store. This aspect of the store reminded me of Nordtstroms for some reason. The idea to enhance the customer service experience is there, but the execution falls somewhat short. I was put in a beautiful fitting room, offered water etc. But the service kind of stopped there. I was not given alternative suggestions, offered a variance of sizes etc. Perhaps it was because I brought one of those brutally honest friends who told me when one piece was simply not working. Friends like that are rare but appreciated.

Unfortunately this piece was not available in petit, and I looked like I was drowning in the fabric. But with a few alterations and this would be amazing!

Unfortunately this piece was not available in petit, and I looked like I was drowning in the fabric. But with a few alterations and this would be amazing!

I ended up walking away with a super cute black and white striped mini dress and a very retro floral print, black and white skirt. Only $140 spent! Not too bad! I probably could have done a lot more damage if I was not focused on expanding my work wardrobe.

I loved the structure of the sleeves in this piece!

I loved the structure of the sleeves in this piece!

In case you needed a reminder of all the MUST HAVE TRENDS for spring 2013…Top Shop’s got you covered

While I have yet to venture out to a Top Shop, (still can’t believe I’m only an hour away from the closest one eek!) I know I’m sold on the goods they have to offer before I even step through the door.

And this video is just a reminder as to why I love their concept. It’s rumored that their concept to production to delivery to the fashionistas around the globe’s closet is impeccable. Umm did we not just see these looks on the runway? Bold prints, bright colors, vintage looking lace pieces. The graffiti print leather jacket with the studs…AMAZING! Does this piece remind anyone else of the paint splattered clutch featured in the Carrie Diaries? No? Just me? I can deal with that.

Top Shop? More like one stop shop!