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spotlight: katelin sisson

17 Apr

katelin sisson - cover photo - 5On the first day of spring in downtown NYC, I met Katelin Sisson at the cool and cozy restaurant, The Smile for a coffee and some chat.  Waiting outside, I spotted her walk down Bond Street looking relaxed yet super stylish.  Her 8.5 month baby bump was barely noticeable.  A testament to Katelin’s wellness and balanced lifestyle, she looked radiant.  After catching up on typical baby and mama-to-be talk, we discussed yoga, Katelin’s long-time commitment to the practice and her yoga retreat based company, Yoga for Bad People.

Katelin joined the Jivamukti yoga training program in 2006 out of a passion to further understand the mind and body connection and support her already established relationship with sports.  She has been a dedicated athlete her entire life.  With yoga’s foundation rooted in mind and body, she was hooked immediately and recognized how athletics and yoga effectively compliment each other, producing results that nurture both inner and outer selves.  Her focus is on helping others through physical ailments, connecting them back to mental and emotional issues.  “Katelin’s classes work to combine the mechanics of an athlete and the grace of a yogi.”

In 2012, Katelin and co-founder Heather Lilleston whom also trained at the Jivamukti school, launched Yoga for Bad People (YFBP).  Unlike typical retreat programs, YFBP  “seeks out locations around the world that lends itself to quiet time and reflection as well as a multitude of physical activities, athleticism and nightlife.”  The goal is to provide a retreat with no strict set of rules, less rigidity and one that, “our friends are actually going to want to go on”.  The structure of a yoga retreat exists, but without the extremes.  Katelin and Heather are both very “of this world”, recognizing that although yoga is the focus, individuals have their own method to achieving balance in the mind, body and soul experience.  If after taking a yoga class, you’d like to kick back with a margarita while discussing mindfulness and awareness, so be it.  No judgements on this retreat.

Katelin is especially flexing her mind and body connection these days since her first baby with fiance Marcus Antebi, founder of the popular NYC based company Juice Press, is due on May 2nd.   Embarking on the biggest adventure of her life, Katelin’s commitment to a healthy and balanced lifestyle has left her oozing with beauty, strength and grace.  While her body has been going through changes over the last nine months, I wanted to know about her soul, her style and how the relationship between both have been affected by her entrance into motherhood.  Here’s what she had to say…

DSC_0590Katelin, what is Your Soul Style?

Though I have lived in NYC for a bit of time now, I am a New Englander through and through.  NYC has certainly helped me to evolve in terms of my personal style, but I like to keep my childhood and family traditions (blue collar meets the  beach) alive, as well as my background in athletics.  I am a pretty even keeled person but my twelve years in New York has allowed me to gain a healthy edge for lack of a better term.

How do you describe your style?

I think I would describe my personal style as a combination of high fashion mixed with the ever evolving street style. Because of my profession, I am constantly wearing more performance based apparel.  I think the trick is finding the balance between all those different avenues.  So all of that combined?  Mostly I like high quality, comfort and class.  Usually pairing up classics with something new to keep it fresh.

What does your style say about you?

I think it says, “she is laid back, but she cares”

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Since you are a yoga teacher, is your style reflective of that?  Does yoga influence your style?

Gosh, I hope not.  Just kidding.  By that I only mean that I try hard not to.  I do like a fair amount of high quality athletic gear and if I have to teach multiple classes in a day it’s helpful to have a very versatile outfit so I don’t have to completely change my clothes ten times per day.  My business partner (Heather Lilleston) and I have been talking about and working on developing a line of day to night, work to dinner yoga gear.  It gets old walking around in black stretch pants all day long. Time to reinvent the “yoga uniform”.  Mostly you have to become a master of layering.  But not it in the weird draping cotton/spandex blend kind of way.  I guess that’s what I meant by, “Gosh, I hope not”.

Did your style evolve over time or has it stayed consistent?

Of course all things evolve.  Earlier in my life I was influenced by my musical tastes, as well as regional relevance (New England winters can be harsh).  But now that I have come into my own here in New York, I think my style has really stayed consistent, depending on the season of course.

You’re expecting a baby in the coming months.  Has your style changed while your body has transformed?

I have actually really enjoyed working my pregnancy into my look.  I feel like the trends worked in my favor.  Cuffed ankle slacks (basically fancy sweatpants) are everywhere.  That said, my style was never very restrictive to begin with (meaning I don’t wear a ton of tight clothing) so I don’t really feel like I have had to change it up too much.  Towards the end, all your shirts, even the long ones become belly shirts so that was/is something to work with, but totally manageable.  I never had to dig too deep into the maternity fashion world.  Though there are a couple decent options.  Hatch is great.

DSC_0568Any advice to women on how to embrace style throughout a pregnancy?

Stick with what is comfortable and don’t be afraid to show that you are pregnant.  That does not mean wear clothes that are too small, but it is certainly no reason to wear a tent!  Have a few things on hand that make you feel great and lock down your shoe game for whatever season you are dealing with.

You’ve lived in NYC for quite some time. Where are your favorite places to shop?

VEDAReformationCreatures of Comfort.  American Two ShotJ.crew and Zara for basics.  And online.  I love some online shopping.

Where do you draw inspiration from?  Do you have a style icon?

I generally get inspired by what I see in the streets, from the construction workers to the Upper East Siders (UES).  For me confidence goes a long way.  My brother Grahm is inspirational as well.  He has a certain ease about his style (he actually is the style example of construction worker meets the UES).  In terms of style icon, I say I don’t have one, but am lucky enough to have very successful friends in the fashion industry, so I tend to wear what they are coming out with – lucky for me.

Do you have any style challenges?

I would say that liking high quality, well made clothes has it’s price, along side the cost of living in a major metropolitan city.  But the good stuff lasts longer. The ole verbiage ” you get what you pay for” rings very true when it comes to clothing and accessories.  Honestly, the greatest challenge is keeping up with the ever evolving fast fashion culture in New York while remaining true to myself in terms of what works for me.

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Do you have  favorite fashion/style moment?

I honestly can’t remember my favorite moment or most amazing outfit.  But I do think there is a specific feeling that comes when you are wearing something that suits you perfectly on a particular day, in a particular moment.  A feeling of confidence and comfort.  That is the style moment I aim for. 

And your worst?

That day when all you can think about is going home to change your clothes.  And the year of my life that I wore raver clothes, oops.

Must have item in your wardrobe?

My VEDA leather sweatpants.  No brainer.  And my black slip on vans. 

Three things people don’t know about you….

I am a soccer (football) super fan.  Manchester United, specifically.  I am also really looking forward to the upcoming World Cup in Brazil.

The girliest thing about me is that I get my nails done without fail, once a week.

I am extremely competitive no matter what it is, a road race or controlling the TV remote, I like to win.
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Katelin is wearing, sweater: VINCE // leather pants: VEDA // jacket: ZARA // hat: SOFIA CASHMERE // scarf: MADEWELL // sunnies: ILLESTEVA // sneakers: VANS // bag: J.CREW

For retreat schedules and more information on Yoga For Bad People (YFBP), hop on over to their website and follow along on instagram, facebook and twitter for your daily dose of inspiration.  Find Katelin directly on instagram, facebook and twitter as well.

 

 

spotlight: fe noel

5 Mar

fe noel - cover photoThere is nothing more inspiring to me than an ambitious young woman who’s pursuing her dreams.  Someone who radiates with creative energy and has the courage to bring their art to life.  Felisha Noel, owner and designer of the clothing line, Simply Intricate, is exactly that girl and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her for a feature post.  Fe (pronounced “Fee”) is a born and bred Brooklynite who came into the fashion industry in a pure and organic way – her skills were learned through application and hands on experience.  While going to school and working towards her degree in finance, she began by opening up a clothing boutique in Crown Heights, Brooklyn called “The Wagon”, which carried high end vintage mixed with some trendy pieces.  The shop remained open for four years and after closing its door, Fe took with her a desire to develop her own line, one that would combine the beat of New York City streets with high end luxury.  Simply Intricate was born in 2011.  “Defined by simple silhouettes, plunging necklines and comfortable fabrics, each design exudes an innovative mix of sensibility and sensuality. Created for the uptown downtown gal who is not afraid to be chic and daring, the brand also curates a lifestyle for the young and fearless.”  Fe is dedicated to not only the pieces that she designs, but the emotional experience she can provide for her clients.  Just like Your Soul Style’s philosophy, her goal is is to enhance what’s already inside of you.  Through the lens of Fe’s vision, the line continues to grow and evolve, keeping things feminine and classic while also staying true to it’s foundation of refined sexuality.  The Spring 2014 collection is inspired by old school mob movies – think menswear pastel suits, tailored to the silhouette of a women.  I visited her studio out in Brooklyn and we had a chat about Simply Intricate and personal style too since they are one in the same.  Here’s what she had to say about hers…

DSC_0237Fe, what is your soul style?

My soul is alive and curious.  I’m always yearning for something different, something new.  For me, monotony is a nightmare.  This reflects in my ever-changing and evolving style.

How do you describe your style?

My style is very feminine, fearless, and sexy.  I love everything about being a woman, especially one that takes risks.  I’m such a dreamer so what I wear depends on how I feel and the role I want to play for the day. Ever since I can remember playing dress up has always been my thing.

What does your style say about you?

My style says, “You see that girl? She has personality and oomph!”  To stand as an individual and create your own style takes courage.  I like to have fun and be daring, but I have high regards for class.

DSC_0224Where do you draw inspiration from?  Do you have a style icon?

My inspiration comes from sultry, classy women both fiction and non-fiction.  I love old school movies where the women are irresistible and powerful.  One of my all time favorite characters is Elvira played my Michele Pfeiffer in Scarface.  I also take inspiration from the men in my life – my male family figures are very tailored suit and tie type of guys and my boyfriend and his group of friends are really into that Brooklyn high fashion street culture.  For me, mixing those two together is perfection, best of both worlds.  Ultimately I feel like inspiration is all around, it’s just that some days I take the time to actually notice and acknowledge it.  I wouldn’t say I have one particular style icon, but rather a full pot that I mix together.

Did your style evolve over time or has it stayed consistent?

My style is continuously evolving.  When I sit down each season to design for Simply Intricate, I realize how much my tastes have changed.  The older I get, the more refined I’m becoming.  I’m into dressing for the occasion and making sure the fit is right for me.  My look always has to reflect how I’m feeling.  I’ve learned over time how to appreciate quality fabrics and well-made pieces and to skip the trends.  My ideal closet will start with Banana Republic and Ralph Lauren and end with Alexander McQueen and Tom Ford.  Crazy, right?  Sounds like two different women.  I guess you can say I’m the epitome of a Gemini woman.

Do you have any style challenges?

I love fashion, but I’m very aware that it is also a very expensive habit.  I have to keep myself balanced and focus on being a creator and not a consumer.

DSC_0195Do you have a favorite fashion/style moment?

My favorite style moment is when everything it just right from my outfit, shoes, makeup, accessories even down to the event.  I hate feeling like I’ve wasted an outfit, so the event I’m attending has to be perfect as well.  There is nothing more exciting than walking into the perfect place with the perfect outfit.  That feeling that overcomes a woman when she knows she looks good.

And your worst?

My awkward teenage years.  I definitely grew into my look.  Actually my favorite story is the ugly duckling, and of course my favorite part of that story is when she turns into a beautiful swan.

Must have item in your wardrobe?

Everything! (just kidding).  My Chanel riding boots and vintage army green coats with my fur stole. I can survive with just those two items if I had to!

Three things people don’t know about you?

I’m obsessed with Mob Movies
I’m afraid of the dark and still sleep with my lights on
I hate the word “diva” & “fashionista”

DSC_0264Be sure to check out Simply Intricate’s online shop here and follow along on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

spotlight: base range

24 Feb

base rangeThe fashion market is saturated with under the radar designers so when I discover a brand like Base Range, where the product is not only gorgeous, but made from sustainable fabrics as well, I’m super grateful for having this platform to share.  I was recently shopping in a local boutique called Personnel and spotted a table presentation full of beautiful bras (and underwear).  Equal parts clean, sexy, feminine and sporty, I was cynical about the bras also being supportive.  It’s been an upward battle to find an aesthetically pleasing bra that also functions well since I detest underwire, lining, thick straps and padding.  I wear a C cup and am not interested in an undergarment that feels like a full metal jacket or can be found on a playmate.  Millions of bra specialists have told me that it’s never going to happen, but alas – if you seek it, you shall find.  Base Range, founded in Copenhagen, is a line of sustainable under and easy wear with a design sensibility that balances energies of both the modern and natural worlds.  “The focus is on working with high quality, organic fabrics in innovative ways that benefits both producer and consumer while minimizing environmental impact.”  I wound up purchasing the soft bra which was not only lovely looking and comfortable, but supportive too.  AND environmentally friendly.  A major soul style win.  Free-standing Base Range stores are only open in Europe, but shop their e-commerce site which ships to the states and includes their full line of goods.  The brand can also be found at Net-a-Porter, La GarconneOpening Ceremony and Need Supply Co.  Enjoy!

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01 x bra black-438x600h

01 strap top nude-438x600h

photos via Base Range

work: sunset shoot

24 Jan

CF095698My favorite time of day to take photos is the magic hour – the short-lived window when the sun sets and light becomes soft, making your soul appear as if it’s glowing.  We took photos at this hour during our wedding weekend, and they evoke everything I felt that day – intense, on fire and like I was floating.  I styled a shoot with photographer Candy Kennedy back in early fall, with the focus on capturing the sun as it set on the hudson river.  We had to move fast to ensure we snapped at just the right moment – I literally had the models change outside along the west side highway. Things need to be precise when you are chasing the light.  But Candy got it – and the photos speak for themselves.

Have a magical weekend!  xx jenny

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spotlight: mika oakes

4 Dec

mika oakesMika Oakes is the contagious type and attracts the likes of all those that come her way.  Beautiful both inside and out, she is magnetic and has that special something that we don’t often see and very rarely can define.  We met while both studying abroad in London fifteen years ago, and have been the best of friends since.  I couldn’t wait to feature her in a spotlight post since she demonstrates much of what this movement is about.  Stylish, soulful and authentic, Mika lives the philosophy.

When I first met Mika, she was completing her degree in Fashion Merchandising.  The creative type, with both an appreciation for art and expression, this career path naturally made sense.  She worked in the industry for the larger part of her twenties, but mid-way through recognized a deep desire to be in a holistic and organic environment.  As an an old soul that aggressively practices mindfulness, spiritual growth and wellness, she was compelled to align more closely with her natural way of life.  Corporate America went against the grain and connecting with people daily on an emotional and energetic level became a major focus.  Mika decided to enroll in the Swedish Institute for Massage Therapy in NYC and while simultaneously keeping her day job, obtained her certification.  Conquering the fear of completely changing paths in her late twenties, she had the confidence and courage to pursue her dream.  Mika started her practice in massage therapy and eventually hung her (professional) fashion hat to begin living her passion full time.  She has since become a certified Yoga teacher as well, completing over 500 hours in training.  Deeply committed to the craft, her goal for students is to build a strong and steady physical and mental foundation, while challenging a practice that teaches you that the only one to contend with is yourself.  She knows from experience that this is where the real hurdles lie.  Mika uses her knowledge from the area of massage to encourage the refinement of balance, flexibility and core strength.  When on the mat in her class, there is always a lesson to be learned – be it via your mind, body or soul.

Mika has found the perfect balance of work and life, which for her are essentially one in the same.  She has embraced the uncertainties of life with grace, poise, courage and strength and inspires others professionally and personally with the wisdom gained from her introspective experiences.  Her biggest accomplishment happened this past October, when her and husband Ryan welcomed their son Jonah Mason Oakes into the world.  She is glowing particularly brighter these days.  As a brand new mom, she continues to welcome each new day with a lesson to be learned, a challenge to be conquered and emotional growth to be had.  She is the epitome of soul style.  Here’s what she had to say about hers…

DSC_0467Mika, what is your soul style?

Most importantly, I have to feel like myself in what I’m wearing.  By nature I’m a casual person, as I teach yoga and am a massage therapist.  I am generally in something comfy that can also translate into an acceptable downtown dinner or everyday outfit.  Although I am drawn to some of the trends out there, and definitely try to stay on top of what’s in style, I create my own version of what that is or seek out something similar in the archives of my closet.

How do you describe your style?

I am my own version of bold but modest, understated but edgy, tailored but urban.  I work hard to cultivate the right pieces in my wardrobe so that I can grab anything and have it work on some fashion level on a day to day basis.  I don’t like to spend a long time getting ready, but I do like to look like I’ve got my act together.  There are only certain times that I really put a lot into what I’m wearing – and while feeling stylish is important to me, it’s not enough to sacrifice too much of my comfort.  I need to feel comfortable in my own skin despite what others (including my husband!) have to say. 

What does your style say about you?

It says that I’m easy going, approachable and culturally aware.  I like to look good but don’t take myself too seriously. 

DSC_0514Where do you draw inspiration from?  Do you have a style icon?

I have always loved Kate Moss for her classic yet edgy look.  Her style is effortless because she is beautiful and it doesn’t take much for people to notice that.  I also love Sienna Miller. Her style is kind of the best of all things: funky and laid back but also glamorous and sexy.

Did your style evolve over time or has it stayed consistent?

There’s some level of consistency to my style through the years.  When I studied fashion merchandising for a semester abroad in London, I was surrounded by European fashion and felt inspired and lit up regularly.  I feel it was then that I really came into myself and grasped what my own personal style meant to me.  I found the happy medium between the “boho hippie” and “urban chic” which is still more or less my style today.

Do you have any style challenges?  

I have a harder time dressing for fancier occasions.  When I have to dress up, most of the time I am drawn to the neutral tones – black, grey or white and will add red lipstick or maybe a heel to dress it up.   I think there are two pieces to this equation, one being that I don’t want to draw too much attention to myself in anything too risque, and two, I genuinely feel more comfortable and relatable when I am dressed down.

DSC_0445Do you have a favorite fashion/style moment?

My wedding day.  Everything about that day and what I was wearing and how I felt was perfect.  

And your worst? 

Definitely when I entered the “hippie” phase freshmen year of college.  While I pulled it off decently, the patchwork pants, flowered headbands and oversize vintage tees were definitely in a realm of their own.  

Must have item in your wardrobe?

I rarely wear high heels, but I do love a pair of black booties with or without a heel.

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Mika is a registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance, licensed massage therapist in New York State and certified in prenatal for both.  She is certified with the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB), and is a proud member of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA).  For more information, check out her website here.

Come join the movement!  I want to hear from you!  To be featured on Your Soul Style, e-mail me directly at yoursoulstyle@gmail.com.

spotlight: adela capova

25 Nov

adela capovaI met Czech Republic born Adela Capova on a recent photoshoot in NYC.  A triple threat, in the most non-threatening of ways, she is a model, lifestyle blogger and recently certified health counselor.  Adela’s career began when she was scouted in Prague at the age of 16.  While typical high school students were getting their homework done, she was simultaneously traveling through Europe (alone) for work.  Multi-tasking, hard work and independence were traits established early on that lend themselves to the women she is today.  She’s lived in Istanbul, Paris, LA, London and New York – where she currently resides with fiancé, author and CEO, Mike Cooper.  Adela is not your typical model, her passions extend far beyond the lens.  The Models Office, her lifestyle blog, serves up tips on travel, fashion and beauty, but puts an emphasis on fitness, nutrition and overall wellness, which she knows are essential for a balanced life.  She understands the pressure and expectations from her industry and inspires women to engage in healthy behaviors to reach their physical potential.  She is committed to paying forward the success she has gained from her own experience.  Adela is a part of Cleanse, an “initiative to help models achieve their career goals in a healthy and sustainable way while also helping to preserve the health and beauty of our planet” founded by fellow model, Anne-Marie Van Dijk.   She is also building her own nutrition-based brand and starting a charity organization, both due to launch in 2014.  Stay tuned!  My favorite part about interviewing Adela for Your Soul Style was that on my set she got to be Adela.  There is not much room for personal style when modeling, but on this day it was welcomed and encouraged.  She showed up fresh faced and authentic with a radiant smile.  Once stripped of the professional hair, make-up and styling, something way more beautiful was exposed – herself.  Adela and I had a profound discussion about soul, style and soul style.  Here’s what she had to say about hers…

DSC_0102Adela, what is your soul style?

My soul style is very low key and must be comfortable. I like to express myself with what I’m wearing.  I like to show my personality and it represents the mood I’m in.  I’m not crazy on following fashion trends.  I believe that clothes should not over-shine you as a person, they should complete you.   

How do you describe your style?

I like to keep things to a minimum and love wearing ‘clean’ and fresh looks.  I’d say I have a classic, minimalistic style with a twist.  I love the play of different materials and enjoy combining textures.  Since I’m an enthusiastic “clothes-maker”, I stress about the quality of fabrics and construction.  I understand the process so it influences the way I shop and what I purchase.  I enjoy sourcing fabrics, designing patterns and eventually sewing my own designs.  I’ve been doing this since I was 10, when I designed clothes for my Barbies.  It makes me happy and is a little meditation.

What does your style say about you?

Hopefully that I’m comfy in my own skin, happy, and that I make an effort for that particular occasion, but not that much!  I like to look prepared, but not spend hours getting ready.

DSC_0131Where do you draw inspiration from?  Do you have a style icon?

I get inspiration from anywhere!  Museums, magazines, people I meet, patterns and colors of the earth, Taschen books and much more.  Very cliché, I guess?  Ask my fiancé; this is actually one of the most annoying things about me.  I pull tears from magazines and books and take a lot of photos of different textures and designs and print them out.  Our house can sometimes look like a huge recycling factory.  I can also spend hours in fabric stores.  It’s heaven on earth for me – especially in NYC, where we have some great ones.  I like to create mood boards, which are useful for inspiration to create something new and original.

My style icons come and go, although my mum’s style has always been a huge inspiration to me since I was a kid.  She taught me that it’s actually okay to have a style, any style, and to get creative with it. She used to make all of her clothes during communism in the Czech Republic.  She wasn’t afraid of being different either.  When everyone else in the 80’s was wearing puffy wedding dresses, she wore a little slip with lace.

I also admire the simple and minimalistic style of Swedish blogger Elin Kling, who I had a chance to meet.  She looks even better in person than in pictures.  I’ve always enjoyed the way Sarah Jessica Parker dresses.  She’s very original.  Eva Mendes does the curvy, sexy latin-gorgeousness kind of look very well too.  Grace Kelly is a classic, always useful for inspiration.

DSC_0155Did your style evolve over time or has it stayed consistent?

It definitely evolved, thank God, and is still evolving.  It’s like everything else – you evolve as a person, so does your style.  As I get older, I become more comfortable in my skin.  I like me better!

Do you have any style challenges?  

Yes, of course.  In my job, very often I’m asked to wear specific items for certain occasions.  There’s a lot of pressure since it’s the fashion industry.  I tend to get really nervous about it and can never find anything to wear. Packing for work trips is another challenge of mine.  I don’t enjoy that at all.  I guess all this is about confidence which is my challenge sometimes.  The more confident I am about myself, the less I worry what I wear.  I am most confident when I’m healthy and super fit.

Do you have a favorite fashion/style moment?

Princess’s Diana wedding!  Just kidding!  Whenever I get to dress-up for an event or a dinner with my fiancé and I can see how proud he is when introducing me, I feel like a fashion star.

And your worst? 

Loads!   I used to make my own clothes in high school.  I made my own dresses for prom and school dances.  They didn’t turn out the best, but I wore them anyway.  Sometimes it’s just better to wear that simple black dress.

 Must have item in your wardrobe?

A great pair of skinny jeans that fit just right, a couple of simple white T-shirts, some tank tops and a black blazer.  A nice printed scarf and you’re good to go for a few months.  Comfortable, simple and in your own skin.

DSC_0211Keep up with Adela’s latest happenings & The Model’s Office on instagram and facebook.

To be featured on Your Soul Style, e-mail me directly at yoursoulstyle@gmail.com.

spotlight: patrice batson

14 Nov

patrice batsonI met Patrice Batson by way of instagram.  Yes – instagram!  We became fast friends via our common ground of fashion and I’m pleasantly surprised by this modern, unexpected 21st century relationship.  At 27, this Bajan beauty quickly impressed me, which I now know is thematic.  While interning during Merecedes Benz Fashion Week at 17, she caught the eye of a Fashion Editor from Seventeen magazine and impressed her too.  Poached right out of the mix and asked to come on board at the publication, this was the beginning of her beginning.  After a few more years of paying her dues and learning the ropes at companies like Donna Karan, IMG Models, Chanel and Versace, Patrice landed her first “real job” at InStyle magazine in Advertising Sales.  It wasn’t until her work at Digital Brand Architects though, that she discovered her interest in branding and strategy.  She currently holds the position of Marketing Manager of Brand Development (for products and services) at ELLE Magazine.  It is here where she has found her groove, engaged in creative strategizing, problem solving and understanding the consumer on a deeper level.  She coins herself part anthropologist.  Outside the corporate walls, Patrice co-founded Cup of Tea, an interior design service.  She is passionate about helping others create a home that is personal and inviting.  Like Your Soul Style, she believes in authentic expression and feeling connected to your spaces since they are an extension of who you are.  Her dream job is to travel the world, remodeling boutique hotels.  In June, Patrice will marry Kalvin, whom she’s been with for 8 years, in the West Village of Manhattan.  Ethereal, romantic and intimate are just some of the objectives she hopes to capture for the evening.  When Patrice and I got together, I asked what her favorite part of living in this great city was and she said, “of course the food and restaurants”, but more importantly, “the people”.  Her source of inspiration from the street has provided a road map to her personal style.  So we had a chat about that.  Here’s what she had to say….

DSC_0687 - Version 2Patrice, what is your soul style?

My soul is actually pretty lazy so my style stems from that. I strongly stick to a color palette of neutrals and navy. I’m almost always in black.  It has become my signature amongst friends.  If I’m not in black, they think something is wrong. 

How do you describe your style? 

My style is minimally classic.  I love finding pieces that are simple, but will still be relevant 10 years from now.  I’m not a fashionista.  Firstly, I can’t keep up because there are new trends almost everyday.  Secondly, I don’t do well with constant change.  My “uniform” consists of skinny jeans, a t-shirt and a great jacket/blazer.  Or I’m in a shift dress.  I wear some variation of the two almost every day.  

What does your style say about you? 

My style says that I’m comfortable, yet pulled together.  It took me a while to find my style and while it’s still evolving, I’ve reached a point where I’m finally comfortable in what I wear.  And it shows.  I recently cut off all my hair and feel like that has a lot to do with my style right now as well.  I was nervous because I thought I’d have to dress more feminine and girly which is so not me.  But, I’m pleasantly surprised that this hairstyle has enhanced my personal style even more.

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Where do you draw inspiration from?  Do you have a style icon?

I work in one of the most stylish buildings in NYC – the Hearst Tower, so my favorite pastime is going to the cafeteria and people watching.  It’s definitely a catwalk situation and I enjoy it because I’m inspired to up my game.  I wanted to start a style blog about the fabulous people in there, both men and women, but I’m too lazy.

I also draw inspiration from my fiance’, Kalvin.  He’s one of the most stylish and coolest guys I know.  I’m obviously bias, but it terms of style, there are not too many men that can go from a boardroom meeting to a Jay-Z concert and he does this effortlessly.  His closet is much bigger than mine, yet his style is very defined.  If Ralph Lauren and Tom Ford had a baby, it would be Kalvin.

Other than that, my style icons are the French Vogue gang.  They’re literally the best dressed women I’ve ever seen.  I definitely worship at the church of Emmanuelle Alt, the fearless leader and Editor-in-Chief.  She is responsible for making me go home, strip my entire closet full of the ‘fluff’ and streamline it.  I’m constantly editing because I feel overwhelmed with too many options.  Women don’t typically say, “I have too many clothes”, right?  Well, I guess I’m rare.  I’ve applied my edited closet approach to many other aspects in my life, like my desk at work.  It has a curated theme.  Less is more.

Did your style evolve over time or has it stayed consistent?

My style has definitely evolved.  Thank god!  I seriously don’t even know what the heck I was thinking with some of my outfits, but I guess everyone has to go through that period of finding themselves.  I’m so glad it’s almost over!  For a long time, I tried to dress like someone else and it didn’t quite work out for me.  Once I started dressing like myself, it all clicked.  Over the past year and a half my style has been consistent – timeless with a modern twist.  What has also helped is taking the time to find designers and brands that work for my body and are also of a certain quality.  I’m a huge fan of J.Crew, Theory, A.P.C, Francisco Costa from Calvin Klein, Chloe and Rag & Bone.  I adore finding designers that bring bring something fresh to the table like my friend Fe Noel of Simply Intricate.  The top and skirt from this shoot are hers.

Do you have any style challenges?  

My biggest style challenge is my lack of unlimited funds.  I’m at a point in my life where stores like H&M are just not cutting it anymore.  Don’t me wrong, I love H&M, but I’ve started investing in my clothing as I’ve gotten older.  I find it important.  Since the investment pieces are indeed, major investments, I have to pace myself so I don’t go broke.  Especially since I’m in the process of saving for both a wedding and a new home! 

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Do you have a favorite fashion/style moment?

My favorite style moments are anything Michelle Pfeiffer wore in Scarface.  I’m actually not a huge fan of the movie, but I find myself constantly playing it to watch her style.  It’s effortless, chic, sexy – just genius.  She mainly wears neutrals and simple suits and that (to me) is the epitome of sleek femininity.  My goal is to dress like that by the time I’m 30.  

And your worst? 

Take your pick of my many disasters from kindergarten to my mid-twenties.  I seriously cringe when I click through old facebook pictures and see some of the outfits that I put together.  The irony is how I thought I was so fashion forward and stylish! 

Must have item in your wardrobe?

My Balenciaga moto bag with rose gold studs, now discontinued.  My finance’ bought the last one in North America as a Christmas gift last year and it has been with me every single day since.  It instantly adds a bit of luxe, bad-ass-ness to anything I put on.  I hope to hand it down to my daughter one day.  This is probably weird, but sometimes when I shop I say to myself, “would my future daughter want to wear this in 20 years?”  You’d be surprised how many things I put back on the rack because of that question.  Look at her, already helping me make major fashion decisions!   

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Join Patrice on instagram to keep up with her latest musings on travel, fashion, random inspirations and a peek behind the scenes at ELLE!

To be featured on Your Soul Style, e-mail me directly at yoursoulstyle@gmail.com.

spotlight: lauren matina

7 Nov

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 4.55.14 PMIt would only be natural for Lauren Matina to pursue a career in media since receiving an undergraduate degree from one of the countries top communication schools and her father having a long standing career with CBS Sports.  Not so fast.  You know what they say about assuming.  Lauren did begin in television production, but quickly knew it wasn’t the right fit.  Followed by a brief stint as Jeff Goldblum’s assistant, she then decided to pursue her real passion: fashion!  She landed an internship at What Not to Wear with Stacy London and after interacting with creative women whom she was inspired by, fell in love with wardrobe styling.  For the next few years Lauren networked in the NYC styling scene, assisting on jobs, learning the ropes and gaining the necessary skills to become a lead stylist.  She still continues to assist, but has spearheaded the styling on current projects including the Levis Kids Spring 2014 presentation, the launch campaign for European denim brand Orta Blue and an editorial shoot for the September issue of Creem Magazine.  She is also the freelance Market Editor and Stylist for Better Homes and Gardens.  Lauren now spends most days visiting showrooms, pulling looks and attending photoshoots. With such an outward focus on style, I was curious about her personal approach.  So we sat down and had a chat.  Here’s what she had to say….

DSC_0508Lauren, what is your soul style?

I’m a fashion stylist with a wide variety of clients.  Some days I’m working on an edgy editorial, other days I am doing women’s service pieces or assisting another stylist.  My look must be relatable to everyone.  I want people to stay focused on my work and the project.  Not some loud color or crazy trend I’m wearing.  I like to look classic, yet modern.  If I’m ever in doubt about a purchase, I think if Audrey Hepburn was a 27 year old NYC stylist today, would she wear this?

How do you describe your style?

I wear a lot of black and neutrals.  I’d describe my style as clean, classic, feminine with a slightly modern twist.  I toughen up my look with leather and metallic details.  I’m not into super loud trend pieces or logos.  Less is more.  I like clothes that can transition from day to evening since I’m always on the go.  I don’t have a 9 to 5 job by any means.  I have to be dressed to be on my hands and knees, unpacking boxes of clothes and then to meet a top designer to go through their new collection.  I have a lot of days like that. 
 
I’m young and I’m on a budget so am fortunate to get gifted product through my editorial work.  On any given day I’m generally wearing at least two items I’ve received for free.  You get creative quick when you’re trying to make it in New York.  In this shoot I’m wearing a sweater from the ladies at Simply Vera and rings from Alexis Russell.  Love her.  Love all her stuff.  I like how she mixes metals because that’s how I wear mine.  I don’t have time in the morning to decide if its a gold day or a silver day.  That said, I believe in splurging on key pieces.  I think every woman should own one great handbag, coat and pair of shoes.  This Stella McCartney bag was a splurge.  Every time I wear it, I feel like it puts the icing on the cake.  
 
My favorite designers are, Vince, Alexander Wang, Rag and Bone, Stella McCartney, and Helmut Lang.  I’ve recently become obsessed with Maje.  Do they have sample sales?

DSC_0552What does your style say about you?

My style says I’m confident about who I am and what I do.  My style reflects my industry and the city I live in.  It shows my feminine side, but has a touch of “don’t mess with me.”

Where do you draw inspiration from?  Do you have a style icon?

I draw my inspiration from a variety of sources, film being one.  Everything from Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca to Kerry Washington’s wardrobe in Scandal.  I find it fascinating how wardrobe can make a woman’s character come to life.  Film is a classic example of fashion story telling.

I’ve truly lucked out to have assisted many amazing stylists, each with a unique style.  Stacy London was the first one I worked with, albeit indirectly, I learned about what shapes fit and flatter specific body types.  Never underestimate the power of a belted waist.  Christine Bibbo Herr of NYC Pretty is all about color, mixing prints and having fun.  I learned how to have fun with color from her.  Carla Engler, who has worked in fashion at Harpers Bazaar for years has a great eye for classic style.  I learned how to identify beautiful fabrics and textures from Susan Breindel.  With her, it’s all in the details.  Then Anastasia Marano came along and I was introduced to a young, hip, New York vibe.  She’s amazing inside and out.  And lastly how could I forget you!  Jenny!  I love your laid back yet elegant style.  Every single stylist I’ve assisted has taught me something.

Did your style evolve over time or has it stayed consistent?

Oh God, a constant evolution.  I went to an all girls Catholic high school and lived in a plaid skirt and knee highs for 4 years straight.  I got out of that place and I was like, “give me a halter top and a mini skirt!”.  I spent my college years trying to do the whole overtly sexy thing.  Looking back, it was a bit text book.  I quickly realized this wouldn’t serve me well in the professional world.  Post college, I went through a very girly stage too.  Lots of headbands, ballet flats, and cardigans.  Lots of sparkle.  Very “cute.”

Before I made the decision to pursue fashion styling full time in my mid-twenties, I went through a quarter life crisis.  It was a tough time, but I became a tougher person.  I started taking myself really seriously.  Who and where I wanted to be.  I started meditating on my core values and my life goals.  I was always a goofball, the class clown, but I became more focused and intentional.  I started showing up early, staying late, and generally busting my ass.  I think I came out of that period with a more classic, minimal, slightly tougher style.

Do you have any style challenges?

My biggest style challenge is finding great quality and design within my budget.  You can only buy so many pieces from Zara and Top Shop.

Do you have a favorite fashion/style moment?

My best fashion moment is to come.  I hope it’s my wedding day.  I want to look stellar.  No, I’m not engaged.

And your worst?

New Years Eve 2003.  Bad mini skirt with buckles and a thin lace satin spaghetti strap top.  I’m sure there was some sort of strappy high heel involved in this as well.  I can’t believe I just told you that!

Must have item in your wardrobe?

A well fitting black leather moto jacket.  I live in mine.

DSC_0546Check out Lauren’s portfolio here and join her on instagram for the inside scoop on what’s happening in fashion!

To be featured on Your Soul Style, e-mail me directly at yoursoulstyle@gmail.com.

spotlight: diane walker

31 Oct
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Diane Walker, Creative Director and co-founder of Sweenie Manufacturing Corporation, a full service design and manufacturing company, has been connected to the fashion industry for the majority of her life.  At the ripe age of 18 she traveled oversees to Paris and Milan for modeling, but after spending time in front of the camera realized her stronger desire to work behind it.  She quickly relocated to New York via California, attended Pratt Institute and was on the road to fulfill her passion of becoming a fashion designer.  After graduating from Pratt, Diane worked in-house for private label companies, but her ultimate goal had always been to run her own.  Her skill, ideas and talent could not be contained (or limited) in the four walls of a corporate environment and after 15+ years of working for others, she broke free in pursuit of her dream.  Sweenie Manufacturing was conceived in 2008 with co-founder Stacey Demar.  They have become the “go to” brand incubator for emerging fitness designers with a focus in active, swim, and yoga.  Diane works hands on from conception through execution phase and brings clients design ideas to life.  The company has launched powerhouse brands such as Body Rock Sport, HotDrop Apparel and Naked Sports Gear, with a growing list of clients including celebrity fitness expert, Simone De La Rue of Body by Simone.  Running a design company requires constant creativity and focus on new and innovative collections.  Since Diane spends much of her time helping others develop their vision, I was curious on what inspires her own.  Here’s what she had to say….
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Diane, what is your soul style?

Growing up we didn’t have a lot of money compared to others from the wealthier part of our North Cali farming community.  Instead of trying to compete with the best, I became creative and learned how to refurbish/restructure the clothes I had and mix them with newer pieces.  My influences at the time were Madonna and Cyndi Lauper – not to date myself.

As I moved on and gained experience in the fashion industry, I wore clothing that projected confidence and commanded the respect of becoming a head designer.  These days, I am more comfortable in my skin and dress in ways I feel are most flattering.  I mix high and low fashion and shop from retailers that range from H&M to Coach.

How do you describe your style?

I think my style varies and depends on what I feel like and where I’m going.  Sometimes it can be a pencil skirt and tee and in other moments, baggy jeans rolled up with heels and a crop top.  My style is mostly casual and comfortable with touches of femininity.  I always like to add a drop of rock edge whether that be with statement rings or leather pants. 

diane - element shot 1What does your style say about you?

My style says that I’m confident in who I am and my ability.  Because Sweenie is focused in the activewear markets, I get to test and wear the product we produce.  Some days it’s just me in a pair of cool metallic leggings and a lace tank, heading to contractor and fit meetings.

Did your style evolve over time or has it stayed consistent?

My style has evolved over time.  When I first started in the fashion industry, I dressed slightly masculine because I thought it would help me be taken more seriously.  Over time though, I learned to own my femininity and softer sides, while simultaneously embracing the strong and edgy.

Must have item in your wardrobe? 

A new asymmetrical fleece vest that I purchased last month in Greve, Italy.

diane - element shot 2Do you have a fashion design idea you want brought to life?  Contact Diane at diane@sweeniemanufacturing.com OR Stacey at stacey@sweeniemanufacturing.com for all inquiries.

To be featured on Your Soul Style, e-mail me directly at yoursoulstyle@gmail.com.

spotlight: dina weisberger

24 Oct

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 10.00.12 AMOne of my goals for Your Soul Style has been to share weekly posts featuring how YOU define your style.  Yes, you!  We all interpret style differently and our expression is unique.  This is what makes us individually beautiful.  I want to hear about what your special something is.  I want to hear your stories.  Like a jewelry designer who explained to me that unless she deconstructs and re-creates her pieces, she doesn’t feel emotionally connected to them.  Or one of my male clients who feels comfortable in only black and gray.  Or my wife Dina (above) who leans towards menswear inspired choices, but keeps silhouettes tailored so she can simultaneously embrace her femininity.  And I never feel complete without a scarf around my neck and vintage bangles on my arm given to me by my Mom.  All of us have our way of showing up in the world which helps to silently define us.  These are our style uniforms!  Your Soul Style will be a platform to share and inspire each other with our individual perspectives.  Answering questions like, What does style mean to you?  Where do you draw inspiration from?  What does your style say about you?  I want to know it all!  Are you ready to join the movement?  Keep an eye out for weekly posts spotlighting people from all different walks of life.  

DSC_0728My brave and beautiful wife has agreed to be my first feature.  So I asked her the question I’ve been asking myself for years:  Dina, what is your soul style?

Style is about expressing my individuality and making something mine.   It’s about walking down the street and not seeing someone in the exact same outfit.  It’s about being comfortable in my own skin and using it to feel my best.

How do you describe your style?

My style is a blend of preppy-nerd influenced by street and surf, topped off with a touch of masculinity.  I can never have enough hats, sneakers, or glasses in my repertoire.  Some might call it ‘butch chic,’ but to me the term butch just makes you think of your 5th grade gym teacher.

What does your style say about you?

My style says, I care about how I look, but I’m not seeking your approval.

Where do you draw inspiration from?  Do you have a style icon? 

I love Carolina Herrara.  I’ve never bought her clothing, but there’s something about her look and presence that I really admire.  

Did your style evolve over time or has it stayed consistent?

My style has been pretty consistent.  I’ve been mistaken for a boy since as far back as I can remember, but it’s never had me waiver in terms of how I dress.  I love and embrace all of my feminine qualities, but putting on a skirt or a dress is pretty much the equivalent of dressing in drag (..and not the ‘fabulous diva’ drag). 

Do you have any style challenges?

Translating my weekend wear into a funky and stylish, yet work-appropriate outfit for 9-5.

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Do you have a favorite fashion/style moment?

Any event I get to wear my Paul Smith navy suit and black shirt.

And your worst?

My sister’s wedding, dressed in a velvet emerald green bridesmaid dress.

Must have item in your wardrobe?

A fresh pair of kicks.

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To be featured on Your Soul Style, e-mail me directly at yoursoulstyle@gmail.com.

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