Haute in Cleveland (Cleveland, Georgia that is)

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Alexis. Cleveland, Georgia. July 2016. Such a good high bun..

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My love for this town in the North Georgia mountains is in part because I grew up going to sleep-away camp in the deep south and was lucky enough to be “adopted” by a family, with roots in Cleveland, Georgia. It’s pretty funny that I went to a Jewish sleep-a-way camp which was modeled after the film Meatballs (well, that’s what I think) to be entrenched in Black Southern culture. It’s one of the best gifts I received in my life. W.E.B. Du Bois in his book, The Souls of Black Folk talks about how to truly know the soul of a culture, a community is by being a part of that community, eating together, sharing, laughing..and that’s how I became the first Black Baptist Southern Jew.

In all seriousness, one day I’ll write about this more, but I love this town and its people.

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Nail Art…

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Studded sandals are always a good idea – I love the ones by Balenciaga

Haute Pin-Up Mama. Vintage Bikini at Weekend Drop-Off.

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Andrea. Mom. Psychologist. Lover of Shoes. Atlanta, Georgia. June 2015.

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1950’s Vintage inspired high waisted bathing suit shown here. The red and white checkered bikini top fits in perfectly down in Georgia where Andrea makes her home.

Fashion Notes: Bathing suit by Unique Vintage, http://www.unique-vintage.com, Shoes by Vince Camuto, Sunglasses Cat Eye Retro from http://freyrs.com , red leather wrap bracelet handmade birthday gift from a friend, earrings by Charriol

Unique Vintage and Freyrs have such a great collection of vintage inspired clothing and accessories at affordable prices.  Thanks to Andrea, I’m learning about these online stores – now I can get a sexy 1950’s pin-up bikini – -you think they come with the pointy bras?

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Legs. Swimming Pool. Platforms. Palm Springs circa 1950 or 1970?

If you want to elongate your legs, go for a high cut bathing suit…if you are short waisted, a high waist will not be flattering, but a high cut one piece will look stunning.

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So much to say. This is just incredibly flattering and sexy. A high waisted bottom paired with a halter top just adds curves – even if you are shaped like a stick.

Gold Heels. Full Floral. Haute Fashion Designer Mom.

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Necy. Atlanta. 2014. Mom. Designer.

Fashion Notes: Gold heels, tight t-shirt in white and full floral skirt, probably made by Necy.

The fitted and short white top works well with this full skirt – -and Necy is tall and thin, making her less concerned about proportions, she looks great in clothing. The skirt falls right at the skinniest part of the leg – the ankle..that’s a great way to show a little skin, and some pretty ankle action :) Once again, this mother has style – it’s in her blood, and she just knows fashion.  Wish she walked by me every day.

Dena Has EIGHT Kids. Yup. That’s Haute.

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Dena. Atlanta, Georgia. November 2014.

Fashion Notes: plaid button down: J.Crew, A-Line Skirt: Anthropology, Boots: purchased in Italy, Bag: Chloe Mini Marcie. Kids: Oillily (via hand me downs)

Dena has 8 kids ranging in age – she’s very young too! Married to a prestigious Rabbi, Dena embraces the traditions of Judaism..all while being stylish.  Personally, I have no idea how Dena manages to get dressed, let alone look amazing.  But the secret to having so many children — you have lots of older siblings who act like mini-assisitants. I hear one of her kids does hair and make-up on her mom before school drop-off :)

A-Line skirts are tough to pull off.  I’ve tried and feel it makes me look like I have large hips.  I happen to be narrow in the hip department (it all seemed to travel to my boobs) and don’t need to look full on bottom and top.  For women like Dena, who are narrow on top – A-line skirts look amazing.  I would pair it with a fitted top to avoid looking hefty…Dena rocks it well.

When I was living in Atlanta, and miserable, Dena befriended me. She didn’t even mind my mini skirts showing up at her Shabbat dinners – no judgement, they just wanted me to embrace my culture, even though I explained several times that I’m not Jewish, they didn’t believe me (weird).  Dena even took me to the Mikveh, where my naked body was inspected by an older Jewish woman.  In a Mikveh, you’re not supposed to chat, but I had to know, what did this woman think of my body?

Dena elbowed me quite aggressively to stop my chatter, this was supposed to be a spiritual experience and I was messing it up with my commentary.  Finally, my body was “approved”, the woman tapped me on my head and said something about me being kosher.  It was then, I was told to dive into a pool of “special” water and completely go under.

For women, the purpose of the Mikveh is to achieve “purity” after menstruation.  After, you are supposed to make a baby.  I failed, because my boyfriend (before we were married) and I had a huge fight, and I kept yelling “you are ruining my spiritual moment”.

Dena claims I’m changing the details to add humor.  Quite possible as I am a master exaggerator, but  I don’t know, this is how I recall my Mikveh moment.  I’m still waiting for the Mikveh ladies opinion on my body, she hasn’t returned any of my calls.

Drop-Off in Atlanta got Haute. Brooklyn in the South.

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Necy. Mom of Aydin & Lucas. Fashion Designer. Atlanta. October 2014.

Fashion Notes: Skirt: Necy’s design, Tank: Calvin Klein, Sandals: bought at Strawberries in NY (a discount clothing store), Hair: Gorgeous.

I found Necy on Instagram, and had to have her on Haute Drop-Off. Necy recently moved from Brooklyn (as you can tell from her great style) to Atlanta. I know for sure she’s going to add some serious fashion to this Southern mecca.

Necy is building her online boutique selling her creations, like the skirt she’s wearing in the photo. Follow Necy on instagram @lseenecy for some serious inspiration.

I adore Necy’s style  -she’s a cool one.

 

Georgia On My Mind. Church is looking Haute.

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Shaniqua. Cleveland, Georgia. August 2014.

This photo was taken in front of a Baptist Church in the North Georgia town of Cleveland, Georgia.  I spent most childhood summers at a sleep-a-way camp in the North Georgia Mountains.  It was at camp where I was adopted by incredible women who worked in the kitchen at camp – through this connection, that is like family, I learned about African-American Southern culture and was exposed to church, Baptist and Methodist.  I always loved the music and passion at the Baptist church..for a little girl to witness people clapping, yelling and singing on a Sunday morning was quite inspirational, even if I didn’t believe in most of what was being preached.  I did believe in being kind and accepting, and that’s what I witnessed as a child and now.

I brought my own kids into the churches and the warmth was felt immediately.  Little kids came over to my kids with lollipops – I ran into people who knew me when I was 7 years old…It was amazing.  The style of a southern church is exciting – hats, fans, bright colors..I adore all of it.  And the younger generation is dressed casually, which is completely accepted, because being there is more important.

Here is a young mom and her gorgeous little boy (who walked right up to my boys and held their hands).  White Jeans, Leopard Print Blouse, Gladiator sandals, Oval hoops – This mom looks great…. love it.

Gas Station Haute. Atlanta Drop-Off.

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Nikkia. Mom. Atlanta, Georgia. July 2014.

I recently was in Atlanta, it was late and I stopped at a RaceTrac gas station.  I’ve never seen such an enormous gas station – slurpees in every flavor, frozen yogurt  – and lots of unhealthy food…It was booming with activity, people walking in and out buying a lot of energy drinks.

And I have to say, the people watching was quite exciting – who knew, at a gas station in Atlanta I would spot such a great group of people. So as I’m having so much fun with my kids, in walks Nikkia… I go for my camera, and my oldest says “mommy, you can’t take a photo of a mom in a gas station, your website is supposed to take photos of parents at school drop-off.” So the kid is right, but i’ve expanded and grown..drop-off could be anywhere…and nothing excites me more than seeing a mom having a sweet moment with their kid.

I love the small moments in life, and even though I get annoyed with myself for being unplanned and disorganized – I realize I’m actually lucky.  Because it’s my spontaneous nature that takes my kids at 11:00 pm, after a cross country flight to a gas stain for ice cream…and it’s these times where we bond, laugh and where their mom chats with locals.  I think i’m showing them to really “stop and smell the roses”, and to live in the moment  – I think that’s a good thing.

Nikkia was shocked that I wanted to take her photo – but I convinced her how cool she looked.  I loved chatting with Nikkia, and learned that she works at the baseball stadium in Atlanta, so awesome.  Her smile, mohawk, tattoos and bright dress makes for a great look.

 

 

Road Trippin’ Mamma. Tennessee is on FIRE at Drop-Off.

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Andrea. The Riverwalk. Chattanooga, Tennessee. April 2014.

Fashion Notes: Shorts: White House Black Market, Black tank: Banana Republic, Gladiator Sandals: Joie, Sunglasses: Versace, Earrings and Necklace: Charriol

All black is chic..it just is..

Andrea and her two young kids are taking a real old school road trip with no road map or plan–as Andrea described, ” We threw our stuff in the car and have been driving where the wind has taken us!”, sounds pretty fun to me.

In addition to being an obviously fun mom, Andrea is a Clinical Psychologist in private practice in Atlanta and also the Disaster Response Network Coordinator for the Georgia Psychological Association.