Rome Parents = Sex Appeal.

Rome

North Miami Beach, Florida. December 2015.

This was taken at Miami Beach’s famed Bal Harbour Shops, http://www.balharbourshops.com.  Bal Harbour Shops is home to luxury brands such as; Chanel, Gucci, Goyard, Intermix, Miu Miu, John Varvatos etc..

Growing up in Miami, we would come to Bal Harbour because Saks Fifth Avenue always had the best sales..it was also a bonding time with my mother (and usually brothers) to walk around, eat a big lunch and feel like a slob among Miami’s “well dressed”. I say that in quotes, because you will also see some amazing outfits, where every single designer is displayed on their bodies.

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If you ever want to get a semi-understanding of Miami, and its people – visit Bal Harbour shops. Yes, it’s not totally representative of this city, because most people can’t afford to walk into Chanel and spend $12,000 on two handbags. Oh and usually, that’s in actual cash.  Bal Harbour Shops is Miami’s version of Rodeo Drive (only in an outdoor mall form) and apparently is more successful.

Dressed in cut off’s, a plaid torn shirt, moccasins and a bikini peaking through – I looked like the official “Bal Harbour Slob”.  Oh, did I mention my hair was larger than Gloria Estefan’s in the late 80’s… (thank you ocean water). It’s an inside joke, between me and well, me – that I always look like a mess when I should look “stylish”. I think it’s the rebel in me, saying I don’t need to conform to your fashion standards – or maybe it’s bad time management. I walked into Chanel, and everyone looked gorgeous – like they all got their hair blown out for this expedition. I stood there, and waited to be helped – and observed the mind blowing idea that there is such a discrepancy of wealth in this Country – but quickly I realized most of the shoppers were tourists – with lots of cash.

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As I walked around, I met this fun, stylish Italian family – who moved from Rome to Miami. The Italian fashion sensibility is natural and always comes with a smile.

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The little boy wanted me to capture his remote control car. Italian men can even make sneakers look chic.

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This is how we shop – practical shoes.

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This mama, like me was super excited about her new Valentino mini-backpack. Remember, I told you these are huge again. Jump suit by Missoni (obviously).

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Happiness right there!! And I hear happiness makes your butt look better in photos!

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The thing I discovered, which differed from my younger self – I didn’t care about looking like a slob in a designer obsessed land. I’m pretty darn comfortable in my skin, even when it’s not dressed “cool”. Obviously, it’s because “cool” comes from within, and part of that is having fun, being spontaneous and living life without the worry of always having to look your best.

 

In Childhood Fashion Trauma…

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Santa Monica Pier. 2015

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Childhood Fashion Trauma:

Tights are so useful, especially when you want to wear a short”ish” skirt on a cold day. They are totally old school, but I don’t love to wear them, because they bring back childhood memories. One in particular. My mom explained to me in kindergarten, that after I urinate, to tuck my shirt into my tights, to avoid the “untuck”. A brilliant mind I was, obviously – So I tried this little “tip”, only I got a little confused and tucked my skirt into my tights.  Lets just say, that was my first success as a comedic actress  – the audience roared and laughed.

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These carnival games have cost me some serious cash.

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Three floppy hats.

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Strike a Pose, Korean Style is Haute.

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Haeji. Los Angeles. 2015

My Japanese friend told me this adorable hand gesture is a cultural trend, when taking photos in many countries in Asia. Love it!!

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Fashion Notes: Bag: Philip Lam, Vest: Absolutely Famous, Shoes: BP

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What can I say? They are wearing matching faux fur vests..mother/daughter fashion.

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White Kicks still ‘HAUTE’ on the Street..

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Los Angeles. November 2015.

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Did they mean to match? It was hard to communicate with this catalog looking family, because they didn’t speak english – but we managed to work it out.

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So white sneakers are still HAUTE. Here’s New York Magazines take on the subject, http://nymag.com/thecut/2015/05/the-white-sneaker-trend-is-not-over.html#

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Love Hangover? This Mom has a Cure.

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Melinda Alexander. Mother. Stylist. Photographer. Los Angeles. November 2015.

Melinda helps women in transition heal and look stylish, If you are in LA, her next workshop is January 15: Love Hangover–Releasing Him and Rebuilding Yourself, http://www.melinda-alexander.com

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Melinda works a lot with plus size fashion.  I know a little bit about the subject. When I ran Dress for Success in Atlanta, over 60% of our clients were plus sized. And it was nearly impossible to find quality, stylish clothing – most of the clothing looked like terrible house dresses, and were not acceptable for in the house, let alone at a job interview.

We had to buy clothing for our plus size clients, and it proved difficult – most of the stuff was made with the cheapest fabrics, with no stretch. I wanted to start my own plus size line, but I have trouble writing an article, let alone creating a company solo. So when Melanie explained that her jeans are from Mode Plus, to which she added holes – I related so much. She took a boring pair of jeans, and made them so hip.

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Those sexy red lips!! I’ve tried, but seem to look like a scary clown.

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Check out the holes and the white polish..which you will always see on my nails (or gold)

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Love those brows – and leather bomber.

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Melinda, like me is a fashion mix master..

Fashion Notes: Jacket from Ross, Jeans: Mode Plus, Blouse: Alternative Apparel, Bag: Vintage Chanel from a Paris thrift shop, Hat: Vintage Borsalino from Melinda’s Grandmother, Necklaces: Stella & Dot and a few from vintage shops. Kid Stuff: Gap shirt, Children’s Store pants, New Balance Kicks.

In Spiritual Road Rage….

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I’m driving on a two lane county road in Northern California. The car in front of me is going 10 MPH, holding up so much traffic, they don’t seem to notice. I make sure they aren’t elderly or lost, nope. I take the lead for all the cars, with a honk and look.

I control myself from screaming you fucking idiot, stop driving high, it’s making us all late!! and then they pull in here..

Unwrapped Tampons are not Haute

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Mill Valley, California

I love after getting my car washed, when the car washers find stuff and leave it on your console, like my favorite blush brush, oh and an unwrapped tampon. Not needing this particular tampon, I walk over to throw it away, and the car washer says “what is that?” A cigarette? All in Spanish, (what is Spanish for Tampon?) And then maybe I start showing him what it’s used for in a “mime” type way.. Suddenly, after seeing the stares, I realize I’m horrible at miming