Make-Up at the Gym..like a lot of it

Bela. Marin County. May 2017.

I love Bela, she’s so real and doesn’t hide who she is. Ask any woman if they wear make-up to the gym, most will lie. Here’s my mini-interview with Bela, mom, make-up artist & a whole lot more:

Mara: “In your opinion, what’s the most essential item of make-up you need?”

Bela: “So I can’t just pick one, I feel every girl needs concealer, a touch of blush, defined brows, a little bit of eyeliner (although I cake it on) mascara and powder. My favorite translucent powder is Beauty Counter’s loose powder, it’s great for oily skin.”

Mara: “I’m crying of laughter, this is make-up you would use on a film set, or on Broadway!  And this is your normal, every day routine -So What about BB cream, oils, stuff that you can wear to the gym?”

Bela: “Mara, I mean let me be clear, I do FULL face all day, everyday, gym, no-gym, school drop-off or no school drop-off, EVERYDAY”

Mara: “Can I quote you verbatim on Haute Drop-Off”

Bela: “Hell yea”

Bela and I volunteered together, our job was to put make-up on women in a charity fashion show. The women who sat in my chair, came out looking like they were on serious drugs or they lost in a street fight.  Obviously, I tried to convince them of my theory that, “black and blue makes the eyes appear 20 years younger”, horrified because my lie wasn’t sinking in, I gave Bela the ‘save me’ look, and so she did. Bela dove in and fixed my terrible make-up job.  From then on, I knew she had my back -and we became quick friends.

A row of lower back stars.. and how about this delicious kid? Bela grew up in Southern California, and visits her brother in West Hollywood frequently – apparently, he also is head to toe G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S.

Sexy shoulders.

Loooong legs..and this gorgeous child was so fun and delicious.

I love Bela’s pop of tattoos  – you don’t know she has them – and then they just appear

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Bela knows how to look good for the camera, and I think I should be her agent :).

Those low ankle boots are a 90’s throw back.. love them, flattering and make short cut-off’s look rock-n-roll…(do people still say that?)

When your mama has legs as long as a super model, you hold on to those things for support.

I always had friends much taller than me, it’s always a funny combination. It’s helpful to have tall friends for so many things, especially if you are trying to get the attention of a bartender. They ALWAYS see the tall people first, weird.

And as mothers, we can’t always pose for photographs – I mean, these kids want to do things, they want to climb  – I love how Bela’s holding her daughter’s faux fur jacket, so she can climb the play structure.

 

 

 

 

Haute Philogynist..(google it)

Jenny. Mama. Feminist Activist. Fashion Designer. Marin Country Mart. May 2017

Jenny has two clothing lines.  Jenny Irene, a children’s line focused on a few simple designs (bonnets, tunics, playsuits, overalls), uses handmade and vintage textiles to create each piece. Her daughter’s adorable bonnet is by Jenny Irene, check out the designs here, www.jennyirene.com 

After the election, Jenny started making ‘smash the patriarchy’ tees for her family and friends. Inundated with requests, Boro Boro Shop was born – a line of t-shirts, totes and enamel pins all with feminist messages. WE all should be wearing them!! www.boroboroshop.com 

Jenny is comfortable in her own skin.. and confident in her style. She’s a beautiful woman who designs what she LOVES- this jumper rules!! I’d look like a house in it, but I have boobs the size of watermelons – so yea..

I love indigo, denim and anything resembling denim.. and so does Jenny. Check out that small red tattoo.. Style tip: if you feel like ya look “uncool” – put your hair in a high bun, I’m telling you – it adds this “I got mad style” vibe.. try it & thank me later.

Do you have a fondness, love or admiration toward women? Then I here by declare you a PHILOGYNIST. A re-usable bag from Jenny’s line. It makes me happy to know that women support other women – sexism is so engrained in society, it’s status quo  – it’s up to all of us to teach, point out and make a big F(ing) deal about misogyny, sexism and inequality facing ALL women.

All I know is when I have a dress with pockets, it’s really exciting – one because I can stick things in them, and two because it feels comfortable, I like having pockets for my hands – sometimes they need a little break.

High bun.

And I had to share this photo of these adorable and well dressed kids.

 

eDrop-Off & Haute Drop-Off Unite in Aspen

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Corri McFadden. Mom. Wife. Fashion Innovator. Aspen. August 2016.

CORRI: Obviously, I saw this stylish mom and asked to take her photograph for Haute Drop-Off. With an automatic yes, and a natural ability to casually pose – I quickly knew Corri wasn’t an amateur. As we talked between shots, I learned that Corri is founder of the on line designer luxury consignment shop, eDROP-OFF. The company successful in its own right, was made famous by the VH-1 show House of Consignment, which documented Corri’s everyday challenges and successes growing eDROP-OFF into the company it is today, http://shopedropoff.com

eDROP-OFF has been featured in Women’s Wear Daily, InStyle, Marie Claire, People, and Elle, along with national television programs including The Today Show and Entertainment Tonight.

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DESIGNER BAGS & UNSOLICITED ADVICE: As weird as it may seem, since I was a little kid – I had a passion, which was rummaging through old clothes, closets and junk. The first time I entered a Salvation Army, I decided it was so much more amazing than any Toys-r-Us. As I got older, my love for rummaging grew and became more sophisticated, I began to rummage through my Grandmothers and their friend’s closets – especially the ones with vintage Gucci. I still have a vintage Gucci mini-trunk my Grandmother’s best friend Mildred gave to me – I’m pretty sure I begged her, after I found it deep in the belly of her large Miami closet. I also think this was the same day Mildred and my Grandmother gave me unsolicited advice along with my vintage designer trunk, “Mara, keep two legs in one stocking”.

So learning how Corri created a fashion empire based on her rummaging through women’s closets and re-selling their unused things – is pretty much an amazing reality, especially for someone like me.

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Corri and her equally charming husband took their daughter to the Ducky Derby in Aspen, where thousands of rubber ducks are emptied into an Aspen river – all to raise money for local charities. Since having Zelda, Corri has created a mother/daughter blog, glitterandbubbles.com, a resource for just about everything for today’s modern mamas. Corri features “rad moms” and her daughter Zelda has all of us captivated, living through her childhood experiences, all with a great sense of fashion (thanks to very stylish parents).

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Kiss my feet…cute shoes by Here/Now, http://herenowshop.com/shop/scarlett. Love how they’ve taken old school all white slip on sneakers and added a little pop art. For around $260 you can get a pair, check out the different styles by clicking the link above.

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See how Corri’s half french braid and braided top connect?

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Who says “diaper bags” have to be boring – a little leopard print adds some edge to any stroller – and most importantly mom.

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Fashion Notes: Corri is wearing Free People apparel, Ray Ban 1960’s Beatle”esque” glasses, Here/Now kicks. Leopard backpack by Coach.

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Long legs don’t care – – all black in the summer with white kicks – how a city mama does it. For more about Corri or eDROP-OFF, click the links in this post. (and let me know what you bid on!!)

 

The Creatives at Drop-Off

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Chris Natrop. Dad. Artist. Minnesota Street Project. San Francisco. Summer 2016.

Chris describes his work as a “practice centered on the act of cutting paper, http://www.chrisnatrop.com.  Executed free form and exclusively with a knife, it has evolved into a stream-of-consciousness drawing technique, a meditation of repetition and reduction” What I find interesting about Chris’s work is how he cuts paper with no intended plan – for someone impulsive like me, I feel I could start saying all my work is intentionally not planned. I’m only kidding, Chris’s work was shown at The Minnesota Project in San Francisco this summer and documented by the artsy and the cool art world photographer and filmmaker, Eric Minh Swenson (photo of Eric below)

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I got to follow Eric around for a day, he was my contemporary art world pied piper, and I gladly obliged.  A character in his own right, Eric knows EVERYONE in the art world, and they know him – nothing holds Eric back, he’s not afraid to walk into the coolest art parties and leave with it all documented on film. From documentaries to stills to writing, Eric is a modern day renaissance man (it took me a long time to spell that).  Want to be in the Art World “know”? check out Eric’s Huffington Post coverage, http://huff.to/2ctGOWO – follow Eric on Instagram – he’s fun, sarcastic and his photos will shock, inspire and add a little culture to your life, instagram.com/ericminhswenson

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Chris and his wife Mari, Creative Director at Swatfame, http://www.swatfame.com which designs and manufactures the hottest names in fashion.

Fashion Notes: Mari: jeans: Rag & Bone, booties: Sam Edelman “petty”, vest: Warehouse London, tank: System Action Barcelona, handbag: Campomaggi. Chris: jeans: Rag & Bone, high tops: Vans (Timberline), top: Acne Studios. Orion is wearing Zara skinny jeans and a Zara t-shirt – his sneakers are Champion from Target.

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Mari’s amazing belt is by Samantha Grisdale “Arrow”, samanthagrisdale.com

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When you are running around San Francisco, you have to be in flat shoes – hiking in heels, even on pavement – is ridiculously hard.

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Beautiful LA family, bringing inspiration via fashion and art to all of us.

Easy Access Fashion. Haute Breastfeeding.

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Andrea. Chicago. 2016. Mom of Thora and Otto. Fashion Designer.

Does breastfeeding mean you go from maternity clothing to “earth mother” hippie (which I actually love) frocks? Meet Andrea, mom, designer, founder of Leche Libre, http://www.lechelibre.com – a company creating cool style for breast feeding moms.

Maternity clothing has come a long way from huge dresses that resembled tents, so it’s surprising that stylish clothing for breast feeding moms has taken so long to catch on. The rise in breast feeding is pretty recent, it was considered “low class” in the 70’s and 80’s, my mother was practically bullied by the nurses at the hospital when she attempted to breast feed my oldest brother.

When I had my first child, I was so determined to breast feed. Each feeding, I was faced with my child’s enormous Angelina Jolie lips coming at me.  The only person in the hospital who helped me properly was the housekeeper in the maternity ward, only issue was she had a morning shift. I needed her nurturing and support 24-7, in order to do it. I lasted maybe four days.

I’d watch these amazing moms feed their kids, with clothing that wasn’t so easy to maneuver. Additionally, they all looked like earth hippie mothers, not by intention, merely by lack of choice. But in comes design team, Leche Libre to change that…

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Leche Libre Dress.

Wouldn’t breast feeding be so much easier with “easy access” fashion? It seems reasonable right? Just unzip, and you and baby are ready to go….

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I asked Andrea, founder of Leche Libre some questions:

How has your style emerged after kids: “I feel like having kids really pushed me with my sense of identity. When I was younger I had a more hard edged punk style but then as I got a bit older, I got a little more mainstream with my appearance. Once I had kids, I sort of had a personality crisis of who I was. I felt like the cultural information I was absorbing was telling me that now that I had kids, I had to become this soft maternal super feminine sort of mommy person. I’ve always been rebellious, so I sort of went the opposite direction and started dressing hard edged again.”

What do you wear to school drop-off: At school drop off, you’ll more likely see me in my black one piece snow suit, since we are lifestyle cyclists and we ride bikes everywhere. It’s like an fashion onion, because I take that off and then I’m kicking my style inside.  I always dress in the same style, although I’m not always wearing a dress. I keep things very simple, usually opting for solid colors, often black.

Why did you start Leche Libre: “Maintaining a look while breastfeeding was hard. As I said above, I felt as though there was all this cultural information telling me I needed to change who I was as and a lot of it was coming from clothing to breastfeed in. A lot of the breastfeeding apparel readily available five years ago was all flowy drapey maternity/nursing knitwear shirts and dresses. I felt like this was NOT my style at all. I wore it for a while, but just couldn’t get down with it. That left me with just a cami tank top under shirts and jeans, but I didn’t really like this all the time. After having a baby and feeling frumpy already, I felt like I was forced to dress frumpy to breastfeed, which just sort of complicated my feelings of identity crisis. I believe in the transformative power of fashion to help us define who we are. I knew I needed to do something about it. I was learning sewing at the time, so I started altering a few vintage patterns and made myself a few nursing dresses. I got a great response from other moms, which inspired me to go ahead and start my own line.”

Describe Leche Libre style: When I started my line, I liked the idea of creating an edgy urban line for mommies which fights the stereotypes of soft. I play with blending masculine and feminine themes in my apparel. I’m starting Leche Libre to help breastfeeding women represent their own personal style.

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Andrea’s take on camouflage 

In Haute Rides.. This is how a cool, designer mom takes her kids to school in the morning, I’m pretty confident I will never be that cool. Considering, I couldn’t even find my keys this morning to drive my kids in a boring “crossover” car!!

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Thanks to Andrea, for having the courage to start a company and create clothing to make women feel stylish, confident and capable of feeding their kids in public.

 

Meringues, the Supermodels of Cookies.

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Janet. Mill Valley, California. Fall 2015.

Janet is a fashion veteran turned baker. She and her business partner Jane, founded The Grand Meringue, http://www.thegrandmeringue.com. It’s no surprise fashionable Janet is in the Meringue business, after all they are the “supermodels” of cookies. The Grand Meringue started based on an old family recipe that was conceived at Janet’s great grandmother’s hotel in South Africa.

The meringues are not only delicious, but also act as accessories.  They are the kind of thing you would see at a New York Fashion Week event  – this high styling desert may be used in place of flowers at any party. The meringues are so cool looking, it’s no wonder Jane and Janet’s creations are so coveted.  And for all you skinny people, Meringues are carb free – well, except the sugar.

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Fashion Notes: Dress: Free People, Wedges: Pedro Garcia, Cuff: Dannijo

Janet is a mother of three, business owner and a self described lifestyle and design addict.  She knows how to wear clothing – this long dress, has become less bohemian and more sophisticated with Janet’s touch.

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I love the light accessories and this Dannijo cuff.  I seem to overload, this is pretty and tasteful.

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I never buy sheer dresses because I know I’ll never make the effort to find a slip, or I’ll just expose myself and hope no one notices!  This Free People dress has a sheer layer to protect from any possible “skin” sightings.

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A slight Pedro Garcia wedge to navigate Mill Valley’s hills. Blue polish is always a little funky.

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Aren’t they gorgeous?

 

Arkansas Style. Haute Documentarian.

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Michael. Marin County. 2015.

Michael is an artist and filmmaker. His work has been in numerous film festivals and museums across the Nation. Michael is working on a documentary, OCEANIA, http://www.oceaniathefilm.com.

The film looks at opposite ends of the Pacific Ocean in search of what ties us together, examining climate change, cultural history and looking above and below the sea. Kiribati, the island nation is the film’s focus, an island predicted to be uninhabitable by 2030 due to rising sea levels.

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Michael shows that a dash of simplicity is sometimes is all you need. Michael was raised in Arkansas, no where near an ocean.  His Southern roots come out in his style, his shoes slightly resemble Bucks by Bass, www.ghbass.com, the official shoe of the South – and I love them!

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I love hearing about the work people are doing to improve our world. Film is an incredible teaching method, and we all know climate change is real and scary. It has changed the way indigenous people live, because the resources are just not available. Modern society has moved forward so quickly, and now we are realizing the dreadful mistakes and terrible consequences of our actions.  Films like this will not only educate, but hopefully move us toward making significant shifts in how we operate as a society.

Michael and his team have been operating via grants and donations. This is a labor of love – love for the Pacific Ocean and the people who have lived by its side for generations.

 

What is this the Met Gala? Haute in Boca.

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Rachel. Boca Raton, Florida. Fall 2015. Fashion Shots Lemore Zausner.

Growing up in Miami, we made the trek to Boca Raton quite often. My grandparents lived close by, like many of their friends, they migrated from Long Island to retire in warm weather.  Before they moved, my dad was transferred to Miami from the Manhattan office of Ernst & Young.  It was shocking to me, that only an hour north from Miami,  a place so opposite existed.  Boca was clean, Boca had great shopping, Boca had manicured lawns, Boca had lots of bagel shops.  Boca had women sporting 10-carot diamond rings shopping at Publix, using coupons at check out.  As a kid, I noticed the difference – “Mom, this place is filled with Jews and they really like to bedazzle (Boca completely missed 1990’s grunge)!”, my mom explained that Boca was very similar to many towns in Long Island. At the time, I was in too deep as a “fake hippie”, so Boca didn’t fit my “scene” and I suddenly appreciated moving to Miami from Long Island. (what? I didn’t know how to use a bedazzler.)

At the time, Boca seemed flashy, loud and pushy, but it also was filled with warmth and personality.  I consider it a rite of passage that I got knocked over by an 86 year-old woman at Loehmann’s over a Prada back pack.  And I’m convinced those numerous experiences watching my Grandmother Sylvia push her way up to the front of the deli line, with all the other “just as assertive” women taught me a thing or two.

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Since my childhood observations, Boca Raton has changed a lot, and I know some pretty cool people, who have made this city home. One of them is Rachel Silver-Cohen, founder of Silver Unpolished, http://silverunpolished.com which embodies all things Silver.

Rachel is bold, unafraid and brave. She is unapologetically “unpolished”.  Rachel doesn’t hold back, I admire that greatly – whether it’s in her writing or verbal banter. She is authentic and confident in her own skin (and when she’s not, she will tell you).  Her blog features  advice, funny stories, pop culture, fashion etc.. and her fans can’t get enough.

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Wanting to collaborate, we came up with Rachel rocking a gown at pick up (or drop off) as a fun way to mock Boca Raton stereotypes. Here, she’s playing the role of loving mother (aka queen) in head to toe diamonds, picking up her kids from the school bus stop.  Rachel, who’s obviously an expert accessorizer, is even donning a tiara!

The exaggerated way Rachel is running to hug her son, is a play on the stereotypical “Jewish mother”, treating her kids like they are the Messiah. In reality Rachel (and me included) at school pick up are usually half dressed, lucky to have showered! On most days Silver admits to barely making it out of her car (her mobile office).

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Silver happily played the role of Boca Raton Glamour Mama, and here are more amazing photos.

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Check out the peep toe heels and asymmetrical dress.

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Those diamonds and pearls look pretty heavy.

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I love that no one is reacting to Rachel’s over the top school pick-up look… I guess she could of been filming a new episode of “The Real Housewives”.

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Destroying stereotypes right here – even with her tiara and gown, Rachel is sitting on the pavement, not wasting time worrying about staining her dress. Boca Moms Rule!!

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My favorite photo – I guess it’s obvious, but love is every where – even if it comes with a little extra bling. Here’s to all the Haute Boca Mamas, keep doing your thing..

 

Fashion Designer Mama. Sexy in Halter Dresses.

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Rebecca Bruce. Designer. Mill Valley, California. September 2015.

See what happens when your kids play soccer? You meet fashion designer mothers, who have cool bikes, and look like models.

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Bay Area Fashion Designer and Mama, Rebecca Bruce has been designing ready-to-wear since 1986…Shown here in her own halter dress design.

Rebecca’s work has been showcased in film, on CNN, at SFMOMA’s ModernArt Ball and California’s Top Ten Designers Fusion Show in L.A. Including publications, The San Francisco Chronicle, Essence, W and Elle. Check out her work, http://www.rebeccabruce.com

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Rebecca has a showroom in Mill Valley, where you can try on her pieces and feel her imported fabrics, ranging from mohair to the finest wool and cashmere.

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I love how I look totally dorky wearing a helmet and leaning against my uncool bike – but Rebecca looks opposite.  A great mix of California laid back style infused with that Northern Cali outdoor style… she does it so well..

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Now that’s a gorgeous back. Rebecca is lucky, and she’s also a former model. Great Genes!! I never loved the way I look in a halter dress, so I especially admire women who can pull it off….WHY CAN’T I.. WHY!!!!!!!!!!  (a little funny?)

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Gorgeous Mama. Sexy backside.

 

Naked & Free. Angela Izzo, Haute Human.

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Angela. Videographer. Photographer. Creative Human. Pacific Palisades, CA. 2015.

Since I was young, I had this fantasy of joining a commune where I would experiment with hallacunegenics and travel with a group of my close friends on a re-vamped school bus. The fantasy continued like a W fashion editorial, where we would all be dressed in eccentric designs and I would be adorning the largest door knockers on my ears. When I stare at Angela’s photographs, my inner bohemian/urban/school bus fantasy comes to life.

In my early 20’s, I was a full on mother, with desperate breaks in between.  This usually consisted of an all nighter on South Beach, walking in the door and having to feed a baby or two. Or it would be an LA get-away visiting my brother, and dipping my toes back into the life before kids.

Many mothers would make comments about my “need” to let loose, with remarks like, “Mara, how can you want to go out that late anymore” or “haven’t you grown out of the desire to go out until 4:00 a.m.?”.  Feeling a bit out of place, because I knew my answer, a big fat NO!! I still haven’t “grown out” of wanting to be wild and free, and I hope I never do.

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Members of The Chris Robinson Brotherhood. LA. 2015. Shot by Angela.

I met Angela at a Chris Robinson Brotherhood show in LA. We both stuck out in a sea of Tie Dye and “jam band” fashion.  With a camera on hand, and pink hair – I wondered who is this young, fresh face beauty, with an obvious love of all music? Angela’s creative energy captivated me, and we decided somehow we would have to collaborate.

Raised in New York, Angela has made Los Angeles home  – and is fully immersed in LA’s Art Scene..

Angela has an impressive resume.  Shooting musicians, celebrities, artists and interesting people, Angela has developed a reputation with her unique eye, and humble attitude. She thinks outside of the box, and her work is exciting, enticing and approachable.

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Nude Photo Shoot. Pacific Palisades, California. 2015

I adore naked photographs. I know why.  The courage it takes for a person to expose themselves in obvious and not so obvious ways, means a great deal to the observer.  When Angela announced on Facebook that she was embarking an a nude photo series, the comments from her friends poured in, “I’m in”, “tell me where and when” etc.. I realized this group of friends were not all skinny, young things..they are creative souls who feel comfortable having Angela behind the camera.  I found myself wanting to be a part of this series, because I truly feel inspired by Angela’s work.

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Lauren Barth. Musician. Joshua Tree, California. 2015

Angela’s images, www.izzoimages.com are not only gorgeous, but soulful and allow me to imagine a bohemian life filled with non-stop adventure and new experiences.  I try to lead this life, whether I have responsibilities or not and California has provided the landscape for so many to fulfill these adventures.

Angela took some amazing photographs of a mom and gallery director in LA, here’s the link http://www.hautedropoff.com/haute-mama-la-drop-off-arts-coolest-players-and-parents/

Angela is one HAUTE HUMAN.

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Look at this group- – I love the idea of using clothing to portray a time period you particularly love – even if you weren’t around to experience the decade. Music has such a heavy influence on who we become.. this is such a cool shot, and I wish I styled them!!