Say Hello to My Little Flats

IMG_3236I got these new tribal printed Roxy bad boys at TradeHome and I couldn’t be more pleased! Apparently, TradeHome is a store chain that doesn’t spread past the midwest, but if you live near one and you heart comfortable shoes, it’s worth a peek. You won’t find many bargain store prices there, but they make sure the comfort, quality, and style of the shoes they stock are well worth the price.

P.S. Who doesn’t love a little hidden splash of hot pink? These shoes officially contain my favorite insoles. Hmmm, favorite insoles. . .the thing I never knew I always needed!

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Fashion Photography

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In my never ending quest to get better at all things fashion, sewing, and blog related, I’ve gotten back to practicing modeling. If you remember my Photo-Oh-No post, you know it’s an uphill battle! I teamed with my friend Duke, at his 2K1 Photography studio for these shots. If you didn’t see my previous post on some of his work, check it out HERE.

These aren’t my designs, but I did style the looks, which was really fun. Modeling is definitely harder than I would have thought, but I think with practice I’ll be able to take really good shots of my work for this blog. I’ve got dresses I’ve made that I want to share with you that I’ve held back on because my only option is the old selfie-in-the-mirror trick. It gets old. I’d really love to hear from any models and photographers out there on handy tips you’ve picked up. The hardest part for me is to not clench my jaw. The pics from this session were a little expressionless because I was so focused on the posing.

As always, I’m gladly accepting the challenge to learn something new and become great at it. That’s what life is about to me-learning and growing as people in the areas we’ve been gifted with talent or interest in. After  all we have to be willing to be bad for a while in order to become good. As a perfectionist, there are a lot of areas in life I’ve kind of bowed out on because I was too embarassed to look bad. That’s why I never played any sports. Well, that and a total lack of hand-eye coordination and general athletic ability. But I’m finding that with age, I’m gaining confidence-confidence to try and succeed and even the confidence to fail. What is failure, after all, but a step on the road to success?

I wish I had the attitude I have now when I was a teenager, but I certainly won’t let getting a late start hold me back. Sometimes I look at the 8 or 9  years after design school “wasted” that I could have spent in fashion. I think it would have been so much better to pay my dues in the industry when I was younger and to already be established now. Then when I step back from my pity party and look objectively, I think of the many wonderful people, experiences, and achievements God has blessed me with in that time. And I KNOW His timing is perfect. And I know He’ll make a way, even if that way is something totally unexpected. I spend most of my time being a complete stress case about things I can’t control, but I’m learning how to relax and trust Him for my life. As if I could ever make a better plan for myself than He can!

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Indy Talent

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What happens when talent comes together? An explosion. Magic. Rainbows, unicorns and all that. (Ok, so maybe no mythological creatures.) But you can guarantee that when you have a team of talented people working together toward one common goal, you’ll end up with an amazing product! In this case, a trio of talent from my home town came together creatively to end up with these stunning pictures. I’m so proud to know each of them personally, and I may be even prouder of their work. It speaks for itself, doesn’t it? And the best part (well, for me and my state, at least) is that they are all right here in central Indiana! We’re seeing the Indianapolis fashion scene turn into a legitimate fashion industry right before our eyes! And these are 3 of the up and coming designers, fashion photographers, and models to keep on your radar. From the looks of things they’re going places…and taking our city with them!

Independent designers, this post is for you! Inspiration to keep you going and working toward a more local based, sustainable fashion industry. Home-grown no longer means a cheap knock-off of the big industry version! Now it means talented people working in an industry who have heart, tons of creativity, and the power to customize through smaller orders. You don’t have to be just a number. You don’t have to wear the same mass-produced shirt as everyone else. You don’t have to support the often dangerous work conditions in other countries. Now there’s a growing, viable, and beautiful array of independent fashion designers-bucking the trends of big business-and surprisingly available to suit your fashion needs! (Side note: How do those big stores sell 25,000 pieces of one item and somehow still talk us into shopping there to show off our individuality? Not saying I don’t enjoy shopping, just don’t treat me like an idiot through your advertising campaigns, please!)10924177_328998773960382_9211932062066269646_o

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The Designer: Erica, does custom fashion design work as needed and produces one of a kind clothing and accessories for babies, children, and young adults. She specializes in cool clothing with an edge. Have a diva daughter who loves dressing like her favorite Monster High dolls? Hit Erica up on Facebook and she can make you what you need! Her Facebook handle is Darkstress Love. (Even the name is cool.) https://www.facebook.com/erica.hawkins.718?fref=ts P.S. Who doesn’t want that cute skirt in their own size? I know I do…in a midi length with some ballet flats and and a cute lacy crop top with a clutch? Uh, YES please!

The Model: Erica’s amazing daughter Taylor. She’s close friends with my daughters, and I can tell you, she’s one of the sweetest girls I’ve ever met. But you’d never know that based on her ice-cold poses! This girl nails it…consistently. She’s got the makings of a runway model…graceful, poised, but with a gaze that looks beyond the camera and out of the page. It will be neat to watch her grow up and mature as a model. She’s so naturally talented.

The Photographer: Duke. This guy is a modern day renaissance man! When I met him, he was producing music primarily…and honestly, I assumed that since he was doing it out of his house, it couldn’t be very great. Until I listened to it! He’s a man who obviously has a beautiful talent for artistry in many forums and once he’s dedicated to learn a new medium and create, his work starts out great and keeps climbing from there, and it’s been great to see him expand into photography. The name of his business is 2K1Photography. Check him out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/duke.greer.5?fref=ts

There are people that labor to create art and there are people who art just flows from, and all three of these artists are in the latter group. Feel free to get in touch with them if you like their work, whether you’re a local and would like to work with them, or you’re an out-of-towner who just wants to give them a word of encouragement on a job well done. If we as a creative community would reach out and continually build each other up, what could our world look like? I bet it would be a bit more beautiful! Being creative does NOT mean you have to be catty! There’s enough room in this world for everyone to create. Letting other artists shine will not hinder your productivity or business, it will stimulate and inspire it.

I plan on showing you more from these three gifted creatives. And you can look forward to collaborations between designers. That will be coming soon, as soon as time allows, and we’re very excited to see what the mix of our two very different styles will bloom into. That’s another thing that’s so cool about designing independently. You have the flexibility-and the privilege-to work with other talented people who are just as passionate and excited about fashion as you are. You can share common and contrasting viewpoints on style, and you can make something out of nothing together. I thought I was leaving fashion behind for good when I decided to stay in Indiana permanently instead of heading back to the LA area. Boy was I wrong! And now, looking at everything objectively, I could never have been as happy working in a big company where designers have so little input and the quantity trumps the quality to such a huge degree. I now live in an area that boasts a sizeable and vibrant fashion COMMUNITY. That’s right. Community. And thank goodness we’re small enough to live with others in our industry in a way that expresses that word to its fullness- sharing, loving, working, creating, celebrating, and growing. You watch out, rest of the world. Indianapolis is on the scene to stay.

Click Here to see my post on how to stay truly inspired as an artist.

Click Here to see my own photo shoot fails as I try to navigate the world of modeling for this blog.

Click Here to see a borrowed post on two inspiring fashion start ups in Southern California.