Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Creative minds think alike?

Recently I was very intrigued after I watched the HBO movie Temple Grandin. The movie is a true story about an amazing woman living with autism. The scenes that struck me the most were her visions and motivations working in her brain. “I see in pictures” she says in the beginning of the movie, and throughout the rest of the film every thought flashed pictures and scenes that her mind has captured throughout her life.  After seeing this, I was immediately inspired by her as a person. She is famous for being an accomplished adult with autism and has been extremely influential as an author and speaker on the subject of autism. Temple is a beautiful, smart, powerful self-advocate. There is nothing more inspiring than that.
I have become fascinated with different people and their minds. I am so interested as a stylist/writer/creative director in other artists and their thought process. I watch and listen to people very carefully. Last night I was at Kathleen Kennedy’s apartment, (a seriously talented painter), She showed me some of her paintings and immediately I wanted to know what they meant and what her inspirations were. She told me that some minds can just see it and understand all of the things I was asking.
In further conversation I decided that every craft is different, but I think all creative minds except and appreciate one another. I am obsessed with thinkers, writers, designers, photographers, painters, drawers, musicians, pottery/jewelry makers, chefs, teachers...anything that gets the creative mind working. I’ve come to realize that people focus on what they have the power to communicate with. I am visual, verbal and social. I have a mind that can see the beauty in a painting but may not understand the thoughts behind it, so in turn I need to ask and talk about it. When people work with pottery I can see them using their hands while creating something their mind is picturing but I immediately want to understand what made them curve the handle on the coffee cup. With photography I can tell what the whole picture is trying to portray. This makes me a good stylist because I can see and hear what people want and what will ultimately make the best picture. For personal styling, when an individual is telling me what they want to dress or look like I see the end result in my head. When I style a photo shoot it is so important for me to hear and grasp the photographers inspirations and desires while gathering some of my own. Again, I put together in my head the whole picture and bring it out for the end result.
All of this is why I am so into Temple, she has a creative mind and has never let anyone stop her from inventing and creating things for the world to use and see. Temple is not just a mentor for people with autism she is a mentor for all people.

"The world needs all different kinds of minds to work together"-Temple Grandin

Sunday, September 26, 2010


After purging our closets Hanna and I decided to have a yard sale. (and I quote) “Not your typical yard sale” in not getting up at 7 AM to go scrounging through trash bags, and treasures (which I LOVE). 

“Purchase Our Purges” we called it, 4 to 6pm, wine and snacks are served and your dream yard sale will be fulfilled on the patio! Classiness was planned, sweat was gathered, and wine was consumed. Our yard sale gathered a perfect group of our favorite gals to do what we do better-gabbing, spending, and dancing. We played bluegrass, made a beer run, and showed off our flat footing/clogging skills. This yard sale wasn’t just a good plan to make make money, it was a camaraderie that us women folk needed. Revamp your closet, gather your group, and throw unwanted treasures together for your friends to want. (Side note: wine leads to more purchases...It’s Science!) We will continue to have our “classy” yard sales, it is a release of unneeded stuff and a gain of perfect memories!

Dancin' feet
Happy night

Thursday, September 23, 2010

(some) Lessons of a Stylist

Whenever I am styling other people MY personal style is put on hold. I need to work with their details, opinions, personality, and shape. All of that helps decide what trends I can or shouldn't do for the individual.
Take Andrew for example, when I first met him his wardrobe consisted of solid t’s and jeans. Now that he has entered the fashion world with his photography it is (passed) time for a change. Andrew is willing and ready to try new things 1/2 for his work and the other 1/2 to improve his wardrobe. Shopping with him is easy, he understands his shape and personality, and he is willing to go out of his box (it was a small box-so the world is his). 
Another example is my sister. While going through her closet the other night laughing at sweaters she has held onto since the beginning of time. She told me she doesn’t like certain things “yeah, skinny jeans are great on most people, but I’ve never been into them.” As a stylist statements like that put you in your place. She is choosing her style and what she is comfortable with. I listened to her and grasped what she was saying. We purged some old sweaters, chose outfits for fall, and moved forward...both on the same page. 
An open mind is a great way to develop your own style-but don’t force anything, stay true to yourself.

Here are some shots I took while shopping with Andrew.

All photos taken in JCrew dressing room (gotta love JCrew style for classic boys)!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Visions of fringe and crochet danced in my head...

I’m pretty sure Ralph Lauren stalked my dreams before making his Spring 2011 Collection...This is how I was raised to dress!
Vests, neutrals, cream-cream-brown-tan-white-white-cream, lace, crochet, high feminine collars, bad to the bone jackets, prairie skirts, man hats!!! I am drooling and I must say...patting myself on the back. I could see myself in every piece as it so perfectly flowed out of my dream onto the runway. This is BY FAR my favorite Collection of the Spring 2011 season. Ralph Lauren continues to amaze me. He is genius when it comes to unexpected mixing (a love of mine) metallics with denim and neutrals, sparkles with fringe...YES PLEASE!  Also, major points for the choker necklace. 
The silhouettes were more than stunning, they gave me a sexy and very cool 90’s feeling. This isn’t just my Spring wardrobe, it’s my lifetime style. Thank you Ralph Lauren for continuing to make things new. 
I am done ranting on RL, if you haven’t seen it please follow this link... I can’t stop watching!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Closet Time

Tis the season to revamp your closet! I know, it’s a major task for some, especially when you have a “gypsy brain” like me. I have never been one to tuck things away nicely, I drape, hang, stack, and display. My closet represents my collection of art. I need to visualize every piece that I own. My mind functions better when it’s all in front of me. This could (and most likely will) end up in chaos and result in cleaning up my organized mess more often than none.
I don’t believe in a lot of RULES for your closet. I don’t like when people say, “If you haven’t worn it in a year, toss it!” WHAT? I have things I’ve been luggin’ around for a decade that I still get satisfaction from when digging them out of the woodwork! As long as you love it every time you pass by the hanger...keep it. It’s yours and you collected it for a reason! Now, if it’s something you bought on a whim and every time you try it you find an excuse not to wear it...toss it! I think you should love everything you own. Oh and if you grow out of something, there’s no use in keeping it around so it can sit and laugh atcha! As a woman, I’ve come to terms with growing out of things. Make sure you’re healthy and happy and move on.

A good closet = a variety of layering pieces. I want to look in your closet and see all the choices you have for one great piece. This way you get more for your money and you can mix yourself up! There is no need to be seen in the exact same outfit (down to the jewelry and shoes) every time you wear your favorite top. There needs be a variety of items you’ve collected for yourself that work for YOU. Make sure you have your basics and plenty of accessories to go along. Accessories are key for expressing yourself and your closet.

I revamped earlier today and have lots to share, go take a look at your space, and see what you have to offer.

reflections of revamp:
favorite shoe I've never worn

favorite shoe I've worn the
CRAP out of

favorite shoe given to me by
a random elderly woman

collection of clutches

BOOTS that last a LIFETIME
favorite new piece for fall

favorite classics for fall


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Young At Heart

Realizations come right to you when you have conversations with kids. While hanging out with my favorite 8 year old today, this was said:

Me: Why am I so tired?
Mattia: Why am I so creative?

Without even realizing it, he put me perfectly in my place. Instead of being tired and “undisciplined” (I refuse to say lazy) I need to be asking Why am I so creative? When/where/how can I use this creativity? For me, having a creative mind makes it easier to get a little out of whack and unorganized. I am constantly thinking of new ideas and inspirations but not always following through. I don’t remember this being part of the deal when I was growing up. In those days I was full of dreams, ideas, and aspirations that I was SURE I would follow through without getting distracted by the world. I wonder what happens to our energy and gumption as we develop. I love seeing the lit up eyes of young people talking about what they want to be when they grow up or their favorite subject. I want to get back to that feeling of sureness and use it towards these days! If that doesn’t get my 25 year old bones going...I’m not sure what will.

I wanted to be a Figure Skater when I grew up...(really? yes, I know) I think I’ll stick with my Styling and Creative Direction work. Check out the photos Andrew Day and me shot today...inspired by the conversation with Mattia. I used the ties to give the adolescents an “all grown up” staple.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Two Things: Thrift Stores & Thrift Stores

What goes around comes around: This is how it will be the rest of our days. Designers and regular Joes will always be pulled towards the past. Nowadays I feel that everyone is reaching for it even more (present company included). My apartment has not a stitch of modern decor. I even have cocktail napkins that say “I live in the past it’s cheaper there”. So many of us are wrapped up in another time. We yank ideas from various decades that we wish we could experience... I live in a few myself. The 20‘s- yummy! I love the idea of pretty lipstick, sparkles, the perfect throw on beaded dress, living extravagantly, drinkin’ whisky and speakin’ easy. The 60‘s- my parents were under the influence and have unexpectedly morphed me into a flat sandal wearing...crop top diggin’ chick, with a love of music and anyone with a guitar. I was born in the 80’s and I’m a 90’s child who still can’t shake 90210 reruns, so WOW it’s been a whirlwind for me AND my closet. 

Reaching for the past presents a subject: VINTAGE SHOPS.
This has become so overwhelmingly popular, even for designers and celebs. This (hate the word, hate the word, hate the word) “hipster” vibe has taken control of our culture. It has become difficult to stand out from anyone if this has always been “your thing”. 
All of that said, vintage shopping has always been one of my first loves.
If you want secrets...I have them! Even though I said I wouldn’t give any away. Is anyone keeping up? This is a good thing!
SHOP SMART (oxymoron for some, I know). Don’t just run into the first cute&trendy vintage shop in SoHo and pick up a dress that is O-so-fab “you think you saw Mary Kate wearing something like this in a mag just yesterday”. A lot of these places are overpriced, COME ONNNNN!!! If every dress in there is marked $100 you’re NOT shopping smart. Even if you have the money, it probably isn’t that special.
That brings me to my next point: It’s ok to walk away with one piece as long as you are completely in love with it. Give me an estate piece, or a one of a kind chunk of jewelry. Walking out of that cute&trendy vintage shop with something you couldn’t find anywhere else (and the price was right) is your goal for shopping smart.
Now here’s the real deal: From my calculations a lot of what you’ll find in these perfectly merchandised vintage shops, is taken from a regular cheap-o-thrift store. Items have been marked up and made to look extra fresh and trendy. Thrift Stores are my 1st 1st love. There is nothing like scouring the aisles of A Goodwill or (my fav) “A random” and finding just what you need for $5!!! Again, shop smart, check your choices!

Use your imagination or look through a mag. Get inspired and hit the thrift! Some people say they don’t have the patience, in that case...CALL ME! 
(my) Rules for vintage/thrift shopping:
-NO STAINS or holes
-Make every purchase special, remember it has a story.
-Always buy a new head scarf
-Never pass up a vintage/antique clutch, they are great to funk up your event threads.

One Vintage Shop that has NEVER let me down is (a town favorite) Design Archives. They always have something perfect for me (and then some). Check them OUT!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Personal Style = Personal Opinion

I am not a supporter of blogs where most of the posts are other people’s work without recognizing/giving credit/naming inspirations. Tell me about it, don’t plaster a picture trying to make it your own statement. What did you like about this ad? Did you appreciate the smokey eyed, stringy haired, waif-like gal with her sheer boyfriend tee draped perfectly over her beautiful boney shoulder wearing badass motorcycle boots? (pardon my run-on sentence). Did you appreciate the photography/art direction and what the brand’s true statement of the ad was?
I am so inspired by people who strive to be their true self. I think your personality has everything to do with your style. I have a small list of people I’ve been inspired by that I will share later. These people have ALWAYS made their own mark on the world. I think this is key in finding not just your personal style, but also your soul. I want someone to look at me and know what I have to offer to the world with no question. Maybe you haven’t found yourself yet, maybe you are always evolving into different forms of yourself. This is what life is about. This is what fashion is about.
In conclusion, take advice, search for inspiration...but always have your own. 
MY OWN: head scarfs, fringe & leopard print are always in.

My local inspirations: they have always stayed true to their souls and style.



continued favs:
Marc Jacobs
Stella McCartney
Ralph Lauren

Monday, September 13, 2010

Not another fashion blog...

Fashion blogs are already out there and well taken care of. You have everything you need to know at your fingertips-literally. If you have never had a STYLISH BONE in your body you can find how-to's on where to wear, what not to wear, and how the hell you can and can’t and shouldn’t wear. Fashion is a passion for some but a hobby for others. It is a subject for lots but a feeling for few. I don’t know where this blog will take us, but I do know I will tell stories, write ideas, start conversations, give away advice but not secrets, inspire and share my inspirations. If you want to join me I would love it! If not, I get it...Who’s to say I have anything to say but me?

I will write about life, people, passion, and feelings (that will include fashion).

Yours Truly,
Whitney Melton