How to Break into Fashion

Be really, REALLY sure that you love it, because it ain't easy, it ain't (always) glamorous, and most fashion people are effing crazy.

Still want to work in fashion? Fine, but you've been warned. 

They say "It's all who you know" and I agree, but let me take that one step further- "It's all who you know to get yourself in the door, and what you can do to keep you in the door." I don't care who your father is, if you can't hack it, you won't last. How did I get my start?

Find yourself a Fairy Godfather 

As a sophomore in college in New York City, I was very fortunate to have a fairy godfather enter my life. Michael Bevins was a real estate client of my mother's, who is an extremely talented costume designer for theater and film. He also happened to be a pattern maker for The Row. I also happened to have been obsessed with the Olsens since Passport to Paris, and jumped at the opportunity when he asked if I would like to intern for The Row. It was a new operation at the time, only two seasons deep into the line, with a handful of employees, myself being the first intern. I worked in the tiny design studio in the garment district two days a week, for nothing but the experience. I wasn't being paid, but I did get to play with vintage Alaia, rare Balenciaga (a shearling coat that weighed more than Ashley), and attend meetings at the offices of Solbiati (manufacture of some of the finest fabrics in the world) amongst others. It was the golden era of Olsen style- the witchy, super tall Balenciaga boots that MK wore constantly, dozens of fur coats, and all the vintage Cartier jewelry. I got to see how a piece was produced from inspiration to fabric sourcing, pattern making, first draft samples, second draft samples, production, to market meetings with buyers. I learned about product licensing, design, and the chain of command (designer, technical designer, financial controller, pattern maker, sample maker, sales executive, etc...) It was exciting to hear stories from The Girls upon their return from Paris Fashion Week, and how Karl loved the fur capelet that Mary-Kate wore his cruise collection party. It was a bizarre parallel, as we were all excited 19-year olds basking in one's Karl Kompliment, but I was a broke college student, and they were billionaires. I absorbed every moment I could, and when it was time to part ways and finish up the school year, I knew I had achieved something really special, that I would one day write about in my book (as soon as I figure out how to get around all the non-disclosure agreements I've signed). 

Take a Risk and cold-email

A shot from a Hollywood Hills shoot with Emily Vancamp

A shot from a Hollywood Hills shoot with Emily Vancamp

So your foot is in the door, now what? 

In 2011, after six years of working in fashion and film in New York, I decided that I needed to move to Los Angeles, where big budget things were happening. I knew no one. I moved in with my gracious aunt and uncle in Newport Beach, and was quickly connected to a colleague of my uncle's, wife (sounds complicated, but you should mine contacts anyway that you can). She was the head of PR for Stella McCartney, and agreed to have lunch with me. Evidently she saw something in me, and asked me to make her a list of the celebrity stylists that I wanted to work with. She laughed when I opened my notebook and had already done this. She provided me with some email addresses, and I took it upon myself to cold-email each one. This is a very important skill to master if you want to work in the entertainment industry. You must make yourself sound smart, capable, eager (but not creepy), like you know what you're talking about, and are worth having around. A week later was my first day of work for Petra Flannery, on the set of a Revlon commercial starring Emma Stone. Petra hadn't even met me in advance, I spoke to her assistant briefly on the phone the night before, and met her for the first time in the dark parking lot of her Beverly Hills studio at 5am. We jammed her Range Rover full of racks and raced off to the rose gardens in Pasadena for the shoot. For three years I worked consistently between LA and New York, assisting several major stylists, and doing styling jobs on my own as I cultivated a network of fellow assistants, agents, and producers that I still rely on today. And boy do I have some good stories for it (stay tuned for that time Justin Timberlake high-fived me backstage at The Hollywood Palladium after the Grammys)

Find a mentor

Be fearless and reach out to people who you want to work with

Work harder than everyone else

Take what you've learned and do your own thing

I'm summarizing my complicated, hilarious, and terrifying journey (which I am still on, by the way) to hopefully provide you with some insight and inspiration if you too once watched The Rachel Zoe Project and thought "I want to do that!". I've glazed over the fact that most of the very successful 'fashion people' you will encounter, are unfortunately, bat-shit crazy, and generally unhappy. I've been burned more than I've been helped, which is why I feel compelled to let you know that it doesn't have to be that way- you CAN be nice and work in fashion and be a boss bitch- without being a bitch. Stay focused, stay centered, and never forget to treat people well, because people always remember how you treated them. One day, that assistant whom you snapped your fingers at in front of Robert Downey Jr., will have her own shit going on, and she will write a book, and she will tell that story. (Again, as soon as I hire legal counsel to navigate the NDA's that I've signed.)

If you'd like to know more about about how to get started in the fashion industry shoot me an email or comment down below! 

 

Hot child in the city: Staying cool in the heat of NYC

Remember back in college (or wherever you were in 2006), when you were avoiding working on your visual language project (or whatever you studied) and you discovered Polyvore? Oh what a time waster it was... but really, what a great way to plan outfits, whether they be using things you own, or fantasy (oh all The Row slip dresses and Givenchy bags!) As the heat continues to turn up in NYC, allow me to share with you some chic melt-proof summer outfits... 

To Stroll The Met

Stay cool and dry with a cotton tee dress, comfy flat sneakers, and a smallish bag. Don't forget to layer delicate jewelry and add an anklet- so summery.

Happy Hour

Add red lips to a great summer work look- a sheer white tank, strappy nude heels, and a fun skirt.

For the Beach or Boat

Stay cool and protected in a panama hat, cut offs, and crisp white vans.

Job Interview 

Stay polished but not sweaty in a tailored sleeveless vest, silk tank, and neutral colors. Add a chic leather portfolio.

Sunday Brunch 

Pair a cool cotton sundress with tan booties and sunglasses to hide that hangover.

Packing for a Weekend in The Hamptons

It's that time of year again... when everyone has babies. Oh, and it's officially summer. But seriously, I guess this horrible winter upped the spring/summer baby births this year... sooo I'm heading out to The Hamptons to see my BFF's new baby! Scroll on down to see what I'm bringing!

I like to drive out in something loose and comfy, that I won't have to change out of for dinner or drinks. So, these loose printed pants and linen tank will be perfect. 

On Saturday we will be camped at the beach all day long, so a simple and cool bathing suit, shorts, a lightweight sweater and a straw fedora for when I've had enough sun, will be cozy for around the fire pit. 

The summer face- keep it simple, bright, and long-lasting. I love the Rimmel BB cream, it's the only one i've tried that offers great coverage and I swear, it stays looking fresh longer than any of my true foundations. The Rimmel matte natural bronzer- also my new fave (better than Hula *gasp*). Tarte Amazonian Clay blush in Tipsy (which I will probably be anyway) is a super bright coral/orange that makes you look like you've had a few sips (in a good way). The Maybelline 24 Hour Color Tattoo pots- look no further for a 1-swipe, stay-ALL-day, sweat proof, crease proof shadow. Love this NYX mauvy-shimmer eyeliner, and the Revlon Lash Potion is a great naturalish mascara. And for lips- the new Maybelline Color Elixir that everyone is talking about- in Coral, for a smooooooth long-lasting glossy stain.

And the wildcard- NYX Matte Lipstick in Indie Flick- super bright and matte orange- amazing with a bare eye and tan!  

Happy summer xo

The Definition of White Tie and Thoughts on the Met Gala

White–tie adjective: 

characterized by or requiring the wearing of formal evening clothes consisting of white tie

and tailcoat for men and a formal gown for women <a white–tie dinner>

The most formal of dress codes, fancier than The Oscars, and a rare occasion indeed. The only time men wear tailcoats, and women wear evening gloves. So why were the majority of attendees at this years Charles James white-tie gala, dressed like they were going to a Golden Globes after party? Hollywood… *eyeroll*

Charles James was an English-born Couturier who came to fame dressing high society ladies in Chicago and New York during the 1940's and 1950's. Not much was every spoken about James, he sort of disappeared. I discovered James when I kept pinning his dresses and researched who he was. Shortly thereafter Bazaar published a story on him, and now he's got a retrospective at The Met opening. The modern incarnation of James, is Zac Posen, and if you know anything of James' designs that is stunningly obvious. 

He may look like a Renaissance Chancellor, but Posen will always overshoot a dress code, than underdress. Dita VonTeese's gown is his modern take on James' famous  Clover Gown&nbsp; designed for Augustine Hearst in the 1950's.&nbsp;

He may look like a Renaissance Chancellor, but Posen will always overshoot a dress code, than underdress. Dita VonTeese's gown is his modern take on James' famous Clover Gown designed for Augustine Hearst in the 1950's. 

Personally speaking, I would've jumped at the chance to go big or go home with the white-tie dress code. When else in your life could you wear satin opera gloves and your man, a dinner jacket with coat tails?! It's so Kate and Leopold. By the way, ticket price for a seat at Le Met Ball- $25,000 (Not that any of these actors paid).

But alas, Hollywood's starlets and stylists kept it typical, if not disrespectful, with bare midriffs and short hemlines. Click through for my completely guttural, honest, and probably harsh reviews. 


LA > NYC < LA

Two months in New York, is there anything better? Yes- two month in New York during the holidays, and having solid work the whole time! I was very lucky to be home on the east coast from Thanksgiving through New Years, and despite the ridiculous amounts of snow, I got a lot done! Met babies, was in a wedding, filmed a TV show pilot with Colin Quinn and Jerry Seinfeld, made a feature film with my mentor- Michael Bevins (costume designer of Amazon's Alpha House). Now I'm back in the LA groove... taking meetings and de-frosting! 

Check out my trip below ...