Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sun and Sand {Dirty Ballerina Pt. 2}

This past few days has been full of anticipation as I waited patiently to be able to share with all of you my collaboration with the brand, Dirty Ballerina.  I'm so happy I was given the opportunity to be a part of their website relaunch, and was able to choose two outfits to style: the Twiggy Yellow Co-Ordinates, if you missed it yesterday you can view it HERE, and the Butterfly Wing Jogger Pants, images are below.  You can shop their full collection exclusively at Nordstrom.

I LOVE  joggers!  They are my go-to pants for spring and summer.  They are fun, trendy, comfortable, easy to wear, and can be dressed up or down in a snap. For this shoot,  I wanted the images to get people excited for the upcoming season, so my family and I headed out to the sand dunes for an enjoyable Saturday breathing in the hot summer weather tease.  As my brother frolicked in the sand, my mom captured beautiful images of me soaking up the sun.

As you can see, I went for a boho-inspired look, and paired the joggers with my Free People lace crop top, panama hat, fun accessories including a special beaded necklace gifted to me by my grandma, and completed the look by going shoeless.  As my brother rolled down the sandy dunes, I was able to enjoy the warm sand tickling my feet.  Summer, I'm ready for you! <3

< butterfly wing jogger pants c/o dirty Ballerina Nordstrom >

Photography by Skai Photography

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"Born to Stand Out" { Dirty Ballerina Pt.1 }

Hello, everyone! I recently teamed up with the brand Dirty Ballerina for the re-launch of their website. I styled two of their pieces, available exclusively through Nordstrom: the Twiggy Yellow Co-Ordinates, images are below, and the Butterfly Wing Jogger Pants, images to come. Thanks to my photographer, Skai Photography, aka mom -- we were able to put together a fun vintage-style shoot to showcase the adorable Twiggy Co-Ords.

What I love about this brand is that they are all about embracing individualism--hence the motto, "born to stand out." Not one person in this world is exactly like another. We are all made differently with our own set of ideas, interests, and values. And if we are able to embrace those aspects of who we are without being swayed by extrinsic social forces, granted that those ideas, interests and values are good, then each and every one of us would have the potential to be amazing, and do amazing things. Think about it, have you ever tried to be like someone else? Or acted differently to please everyone else? I know I have, and although, at the time, I felt uncomfortable with being myself, I felt far more uncomfortable trying to be someone else. My parents taught me that to truly love myself, I must look deep within myself and know who I am — to acknowledge the good things, and the hardest part, the not so good things about myself. To love and embrace the good things, and work on the things that needs improving. They would say to me, “The greatest rewards and happiness will come when you are on the path of seeking to become a better person.” And they are right, after realizing and accepting that it’s best being me, everything fell into place. I became happier, and a much better person once I started putting my energy in loving, and improving myself rather than in trying to become someone else.

It is true, we ARE best and DO best when we are ourselves, even if it means standing out from the crowd! Who wants to be like everyone else anyways? If we speak our own minds and express how we feel, who knows, maybe there is someone out there that feels the same way, but is too afraid to speak up. We all have the potential to be “good” leaders, shakers, and changers in this world, if we choose to be. All it takes is for us to embrace individualism, be our genuine selves, live a life of grace and compassion, and walk with the knowledge that we are not alone -- there are so many others sharing the same path of life, but walking it in their own unique ways.

< crop top c/o dirty ballerina nordstrom  //  skirt c/o dirty ballerina nordstrom  >

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Mint Julep

As you may already know, I am a sucker for vintage dresses. And from what I have mentioned, you can view on my previous post HERE, I love how vintage dresses were made to fit, and flatter a woman's body.  The Mint Julep dress from Shabby Apple is the perfect vintage-inspired dress. From the dotted swiss material, peter pan collar, to the fit, flare, and length of the dress, you would think it was vintage.

If you are like me, and love anything vintage including vintage-inspired dresses, head on over to Shabby Apple to view their collection of beautiful vintage-inpired pieces.

< dress mint julep by shabby apple >

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Mellow Yellow

If you have been following me via my blog or my instagram, I'm sure you know that I'm a girly-girl, and I fancy vintage skirts and dresses. It's hard not to when each piece that I have or have come across, is so figure flattering -- even for a petite young lady like me. The dresses accentuates my curves at just the right places, and make me feel so beautiful without even trying. It's a rarity that clothes are made like that anymore, and when they are, it's quite a splurge on the budget. So for now, I enjoy scouring through the thrift racks searching for pretty dresses like the one I was wearing below.

As you can see, this dress is simply beautiful. I found it while thrifting with my mum a few weeks ago. The bright yellow stood out like a sore thumb on the rack, and when I pulled it out, I knew immediately that I had to have it! The embroidery on the dress couldn't be more exquisite, and the color, cut, and flare of the dress was perfect. I love wearing yellow with a little red, so I wore red lips and matched my lipstick to my multi-color shoes and clutch.

This dress makes me feel like a burst of sunshine. It's hard not to feel gleeful when wearing bright yellow.  Have a lovely week, everyone!

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Dream Chaser

A few weeks ago in my calculus class, my professor told us about the beginning of his teaching career and how he taught a below-100-level class. He jokingly said that teaching that class made him sweat bullets. Of course, the class laughed, then a student said to our professor, "It must be frustrating to be smarter than everyone else!" Then, in all seriousness, our professor looked that student in the eyes and said along these lines, "I don't think I'm smarter than everyone else. I've seen the work of so many students with much more intelligent minds compared to mine. They are able to pick up and understand the material quicker than even me. And it upsets me when those students don't apply themselves because I had to work that much harder to understand the same things as them when I was learning the material."

I see my professor as such a brilliant man, and to hear him say those humbled words struck my heart. We all have the potential to be the best of whatever it is we choose to do, we just have to work hard for it--some of us, harder than others.

Each and every one of us has the potential to reach our goals, it's just a matter of whether or not we are willing to completely and indefinitely set our minds to it. I'd hear these exact words from my parents often, but for some reason, they would go from one ear, and out the other.  I guess it's part of being a rebellious teenager, and not wanting to hear what your parents have to say--but now that I have gotten all the teenage angst and rebelliousness out of my system, I finally understand, and appreciate their unwavering guidance and wisdom. With two months left before I graduate from high school, and completing my associate of arts degree at the same time, I can honestly say, I'm ready. Ready to go after my dreams, and set my heart, mind, and soul into achieving them. Here's to dreaming big, and to a bright future ahead! xx Kitana

< skirt: thrifted vintage similar item // coat: lulus // top: tommy hilfiger // jumper: jcp // bag: coach // shoes: urban outfitters // sunnies: steve madden >

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Sunday, April 5, 2015

How To Mix Prints

Lately, I've been completely obsessed with mixing prints -- and my favorite combination is mixing floral with plaid. The difference between the two prints lend a perfect balance in combining feminine and masculine qualities to an outfit. And when done right, the harmony between the two, creates a beautiful mix. Here's a few tips that I found on explaining how to successfully mix prints. Enjoy!

< vintage skirt thrifted  similar here and here // top this one works too here // clutch c/o lulus // watch anne klein >

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Repeat colors.
The most essential thing to remember when you're mixing prints is that the prints should have at least one color in common. Repeating colors is the way to help prints complement each other instead of clashing. Colors can pull two completely different prints together and make them look like they were made for each other!
One way to repeat print colors is to choose two prints with the same dominant color. For example, you might have a lime green-striped skirt and a paisley with a lime-green background.
For a slightly bolder look, choose a less dominant color from one print and match that color with your second print. For example, if you have an ikat print with a touch of rose, pair it with a rose-colored plaid.
The colors don't have to match exactly, but they should be close enough that it's clear they are meant to go together.

Pick a big print and a small print.
If you have too many prints in the same size, your outfit or home decor could end up looking busy. Think of prints in terms of their size, and choose a big size and a smaller size to go together. Having prints in a range of sizes creates visual harmony instead of headaches.
For example, if you have a skirt with a large floral pattern, try pairing it with a thin-striped top.
If your couch has a big plaid pattern, use throw pillows with a smaller print.

Follow the 60-30-10 rule.
If you're mixing three different prints, aim to have the largest print take up 60 percent of the look, choose a medium print to comprise 30 percent of the look, and have the smallest print make up the last 10 percent as an accent. This balances the overall appearance of the prints and keeps them from being too overwhelming.
For example, you might wear a maxi skirt with a large floral pattern, a mid-top with a medium stripe print, and statement necklace with a small colorful print.
In your home, try pairing wallpaper with a big, bold print with a chair or sofa with medium print and accent pillows or lamp shades with the smallest print.

Use a solid to break up prints.
Sometimes two prints that would otherwise clash need something solid to break them up. Choose a solid color that matches both prints and feature it prominently in between the prints, rather than having the prints layered on top of one another. This gives the eye a chance to rest instead of jumping back and forth between busy prints.

Mix two similar prints.
Prints that are similar in scale but come in slightly different colors can layer beautifully. This is a great way to mix prints if you're after a more conservative, monochrome look that works as well in the office as it does on a weekend.[2]
For example, if you have a peach and white polka dotted top, trying pairing it with a black and white polka dotted skirt.
At home, try working with 2 - 3 different plaid prints in one room.

Mix bold patterns with low-contrast patterns.
Another great way to incorporate a variety of prints is to choose one that's bold and another that's low-contrast, such as a neutral-toned ikat print. This allows you to create an interesting, finished look without too many overwhelming colors or prints.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Stripes & Leopard

Creative layering was such a big hit during the fashion shows this year. Designers like Marissa Webb and Rebecca Taylor layered soft, flowy, midi skirts under dresses. It looked so flawless, and beautiful, I couldn't help but want to try the trend myself.

Instead of layering a skirt under a dress, I ended up layering a dress under a dress. Since my stripe dress was form fitting, and shorter in length, it worked perfectly under my vintage Audrey-inspired navy dress, and made it look more like I was wearing a shirt under a dress.  To give the outfit a bold statement, I played with prints by combining leopard with stripes.

Fashion is all about having fun, and shedding new light to something that has already been done before.  And like with everything, authenticity happens when you add your own personal flair.  -xoxo Kitana

< dress isaac mizrahi for target (similar style) // stripe dress french connection (similar style)  //pumps  nine west (similar style) >

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< denim jacket Abercrombie // navy blazer gap (similar item) // pleated blouse Forever21 // skirt forever21  (similar item) // clutch: Gigi New York  >

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Heart of the lion, Spirit of a lamb

Not too long ago as I was going about my daily Twitter feed, I stumbled upon this beautiful quote that  instantly captured my attention, and immediately resonated with me.
It didn't say who wrote the quote, but whoever wrote it got the wheels turning in my head.

In this world, there are some people who make the mistake of confusing kindness for weakness. I, however, believe that kind people are not weak. It is a value that takes strength to be kind to all. Treating someone with kindness, when they have not earned it or deserve it, takes a special inner fortitude and grace.

It is easy to be rude and treat people with disrespect, but for them to feel the need to bring others down simply to feel okay with themselves, is a sign of weakness and lack of self-discipline. A person who has a healthy self-esteem and a strong sense of self-worth does not need to demean others to feel good about themselves. In fact, they understand that by building others up, they are building themselves up.

People who understand the strength in kindness have a lot of respect for themselves and believes that all people deserve to be treated with respect as well. They are open to critiques and advice of others, and are continuously working to better themselves. With that comes a great deal of understanding and wisdom. In the eyes of a kind person, self-worth is not jeopardized nor is threatened by others.

People who fear the loss of power and control lash out at those around them, and are never willing to share what they already know. People who are secure with themselves lead with the belief that no one can diminish them, and will always lend a helping hand. To a kind person, building others up is a great way to create positive energy for all.

Sometimes, it's hard to be kind, and it can take a great deal of effort, patience, and concentration, but it is worth it! Strength is found by the happiness of knowing that one has lived virtuously, and with kindness.

Let's spread a lot of love wherever we go, and walk with a heart of a lion in a spirit of a lamb wherever life may take us. -xoxo Kitana

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