Boston, Culture, Fashion, fashion theory, Feminism, Pop Culture

Boston Bloggers: Boss Ladies

Photos by Elissa Garza of Style-Wire.

I’ve surely mentioned it bitterly a million times before—growing up, I didn’t really have friends who shared my interest in fashion. Between middle school and my three years at college in Florida, I met a lot of people who “loved” fashion as a status symbol, but few who executed personal style as an artistic form of self-expression. Don’t get me wrong. I am lucky to have a circle of loyal, diverse friends, many of whom have been at my side since childhood, and our differences bring invaluable richness to our friendships and group dynamics. With that said, passion is often best enjoyed with company, and my affinity for fashion felt pretty lonely at times. Then, I started Annie’s Fashion Sauce, put together an affiliated Instagram account, and everything changed.

I have encountered so many unexpected perks and exciting experiences since launching Annie’s Fashion Sauce three years ago this month but I never could have anticipated the greatest benefit of all: finding like-minded ladies to inspire and, yes, validate me. As with my fabulous go-to photographer, Miranda Mu, I “met” both Jazzy Roulhac and Nathalia JMag on Instagram, where we quickly became frequent fans of each other’s photos and personal aesthetics. It wasn’t long before we took our cyber-friendships to Facebook, where I discovered that kindred spirits resided behind the photos. Jazzy (the statuesque, retro queen in the red lip), the stylish editor-in-chief of The Beautiful Boston (a.k.a. The Happiness Blog), writer (check out her E-book, HERSTORYhere), and eternal optimist and I are surely the loudest feminists and most annoying social justice warriors on anyone’s Facebook News Feed; and Nathalia, a blogger and up-and-coming fashion designer (and mermaid) soon to appear on Season 15 of Lifetime’s prestigious and infamously grueling competition reality series Project Runway, and I are two Sagittarius ladies who desperately want to know…what is wrong with being confident???

I had only met Jazzy in person once, and neither of us had ever actually crossed paths with Nathalia when we started planning this shoot. While discussing where our three aesthetics overlap and how to style ourselves for the shoot, we decided to pay homage to iconic online shopping websites Nasty Gal and Dolls Kill, both of which have helped create a strong, millennial counter-culture of girls who embrace opportunities to stand out—women who defiantly dress for themselves and have fun doing it. We wanted to capture that spirit, because it’s what brought us together.

Once the photo shoot arrived, we experienced one of life’s most luxurious clichés: making new friends that feel like you’ve known them forever. The three of us instantly clicked, fell into squad formation, and once we wrapped, we took our little party out to dinner, where we toasted to the rare joy of finding people who “get it.” We also gushed about Elissa Garza, one of Boston’s most notable bloggers and side-hustlers, who’s found so much success through her blog Style-Wire, and who graciously volunteered to take these photos in between work and another photo shoot.

I could ramble forever about these boss ladies, but I’d rather you click on the links I’ve included within this post and get to know them and their amazing work, yourself. This surely isn’t the last you’ll see of them on the Sauce, so stay tuned and #StaySaucy. And OBVIOUSLY don’t forget to tune into Project Runway Season 15 on September 15th to watch Nathalia represent Boston’s growing fashion scene.

P.S. Jazzy and I are both wearing customized round, soft-touch sunglasses by REKS Optics. You can get an exclusive offer on your first pair by entering the code TheFashionSauce at checkout. You can find versions of everything else the three of us are wearing in the depths of Nasty Gal and Dolls Kill. Happy shopping!

 

 

 

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Fashion, Pop Culture, Travel

Osheaga

Last weekend, my best friend and I took a quick road trip up to Montreal for the last day of Osheaga Music Festival. I have a major soft spot for festivals, but haven’t attended any serious ones since my third and final (for now) Bonnaroo back in 2014, so it was exciting be back on the scene, especially in an entirely new setting. I’d never been to Canada before, and even for the flicker of time I was there, I found myself enchanted by Montreal’s French and friendly atmosphere. I kept my festival attire simple with a black bodysuit, black denim shorts, my go-to Western belt, a red silk scarf and a mini leather backpack, but quite honestly didn’t feel like squandering my time posing for pictures. It’s just not what you do when amazing artists like Leon Bridges, Grimes, and Radiohead are pouring their talent (and in Grimes’ case, a little bit of puke) onto the stage for you. (You can see a little Instagram Boomerang video of my look here.) I did, however, recently invest in a decent camera of my own, and while I’m more than rusty, I managed to snap a few festival street style shots while hammered that I’d love to share with you! I was super impressed with the eclectic mix of minimalism, boho-chic, and new-wave ’90s grunge, so here are some highlights:

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Fashion, Humor, Pop Culture

“Pink is My Favorite Crayon”

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DSC_0992Motel ‘Rosebud’ satin bomber jacket, Emma & Sam cropped tee, Calvin Klein x UO boyfriend jeans, Furla customized ‘Metropolis’ cross body bag in ‘Moonstone’ & ‘Petalo,’ Superga classic sneakers in white.

I have always loved the color pink. In case this post title doesn’t ring a bell, it’s a line from Aerosmith’s ’90s single “Pink,” which I liked so much that I named a pink teddy bear Stephen Tyler. (I was an interesting kid.) Given that I was seven or eight, I understand why no one felt compelled to tell me that, in this case, “pink” was being used a euphemism for the vagina. (Funnily enough, that’s also the story behind the singer Pink’s stage name…I like fun vaginal facts.) ANYWAY, I have always been into pink, but shied away from wearing lighter shades until recently. Considering my newfound confidence in wearing pastels and my affinity for bomber jackets, this one was a no-brainer. The pink jacket and purse give such feminine vibes, so I decided to balance this look out with these amazing Calvin Klein, khaki-colored, cropped boyfriend jeans. These jeans fit with unparalleled perfection, and I have a close relationship with denim. No one does it quite like Calvin, am I right? Unfortunately, these pants were designed exclusively for Urban Outfitters and are completely sold out. Their medium blue acid wash counterpart, however, is still available here.

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Fashion, Pop Culture

Favorite Things

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DSC_0547T by Alexander Wang tank dress, Maje ‘Bacary’ bomber jacket, Furla customized ‘Metropolis’ cross body bag, NikeiD customized AirMax sneakers.

If I could rewrite “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music, it would include the items that make up this outfit: T by Alexander Wang staples, bomber jackets, dainty Furla bags, and cute but comfortable sneakers. They come together harmoniously for this look, and isn’t it just the best when your loves ones get along? This outfit combination is a foolproof way to look on-trend this summer. With so many bomber jackets available right now, you want to find ones that are unique but versatile. I’ve been living in this one, which is definitely bizarre at first sight, but completes just about any outfit comprised of neutrals. Plus, Bella Hadid and Lucy Hale have it, too. (Just don’t forget who wore it first!)

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Boston, Culture, Fashion, fashion theory, Pop Culture

Concert Daze

Concerts are just about my favorite summer activity, and concert/festival attire has become a highly sensationalized, perhaps pressurized movement in fashion. I, myself, wait with baited breath to see what stars like Kendall Jenner and Vanessa Hudgens will wear to Coachella, and spent a long time curating looks for all four days of Bonnaroo Music Festival, three times over. When it comes to enduring heat, dancing and sitting on grassy lawns or stiff bleachers, all while feeling confident, cute, and occasion-appropriate, denim shorts have proven themselves as the MVP of my concert and festival experiences. Kimono dresses, maxi skirts, and all that jazz just don’t quite measure up for me. Consequently, my collection of denim shorts has grown too large to fit in one drawer, and I find myself hunting for more unique pairs with fun embellishments for more variety. Over the weekend, I rocked two different pairs of embellished denim shorts to two concerts over two consecutive days.

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Mishka ‘Demo Derby Keep Watch’ tee, Maje ‘Ilion’ denim shorts, vintage belt. Photo by Matt McKenna.

For a daytime, Third Eye Blind show out at Indian Ranch, I paired this neon Mishka tee with tastefully bedazzled denim shorts for a look that embraced ’90s nostalgia. I added a Western belt to incorporate a more current and sophisticated trend.

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Sandro shorts, Out From Under x UO high-neck tank, UO ‘Luke’ lace-up boots, Furla customized ‘Metropolis’ cross body bag. Photos by Miranda Mu.

I love this rich, gold-studded burgundy with a minimal black tank for a nighttime show. I wore this to see Modest Mouse at Xfinity, and, as opposed to how I dressed for Third Eye Blind, went for a more sleek and modern look. These lace-up boots are great for any show, comfortable enough to walk and dance for hours on end. Cross body bags are my favorite in everyday life, but they’re especially great at shows, you know, so I can throw my hands in the air and such. Also convenient for holding a beer in one hand and a hotdog in the other.

I’m headed to Osheaga Music Festival in Montreal for a day at the end of the month, and something tells my I won’t stray too far from my festival fashion formula. Stay tuned to see if I manage to keep it fresh, regardless.

 

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Fashion, Pop Culture

Annie in Wonderland

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DSC_1355Marc by Marc Jacobs x Disney sweatshirt, Maje pants, Sandro coat, Superga Classic Sneaker.

I practically burst into tears when I discovered that Marc Jacobs had teamed up with Disney to create a collection of Alice in Wonderland themed pieces. I’ve been infatuated with Alice in Wonderland since I was five years old, and with Marc Jacobs since I was in middle school. Over the past two decades, I’ve watched the Disney animated film more times than I could ever count, and have acquired an embarrassingly large collection of Alice in Wonderland-related things, from various beautiful copies of the book, movie posters in different languages, calendars, and pretty much anything with white rabbits. I guess you could say I have a similar affection for Marc Jacobs, who was the first big designer I ever really cared about, and the peak of my obsessions with Alice and Marc coincided when I was in high school, building a collection of wacky and colorful MARC by Marc Jacobs pieces, and doing a lot of Alice in Wonderland-inspired artwork.

What is it I love about Alice in Wonderland? As obvious as it feels, I find it difficult to put into words. I guess I’ve always had an affinity for all things weird, strange, or “trippy,” if you will (I ironed a lot of psychedelic patches onto my flair jeans in elementary school), and I’ve also always identified strongly with the heroine herself. I’m stubborn, emotional, and constantly distracted, or “in my own world,” as people often describe it. I struggle with depression, and Alice’s big breakdown in which she repeatedly sings in between sobs, “I give myself very good advice, but I seldom follow it” has always resonated with me, in a way that took me years to fully understand. And I suppose that’s what I love most about Alice: I’ve related to her and her story at every stage of my own.

My love for Marc Jacobs feels connected to Alice’s early and ongoing impact on me and my taste. Though I’ve loved fashion and clothes for as long as I can remember, discovering Marc Jacobs was the tipping point that pulled me into a permanent love affair with the world of high fashion. His design aesthetic completely transformed and shaped my personal style into what has become so essential to my identity, that I’ve chosen to build a platform for me to share it with anyone willing to listen, and hope to build a career out of it. The fantasy aspect of MJ’s clothes definitely reminds me of what I love about Alice in Wonderland, so it felt like fate when the famed designer joined forces with Disney to celebrate my favorite animated film. The collection’s slogan, “I am not like other girls,” is the icing on the cake, because that sentence incapsulates what it is about both Alice in Wonderland and Marc Jacobs that have held onto my heart for so many years: my love for these two pieces of pop culture represents my inherent desire to embrace my differences and stand out. So, I just had to have this sweatshirt, which depicts a scene of very bossy flowers who are good singers but bad listeners. I think the fact that it’s a sweatshirt calls for a casual outfit, but the leather panels on my Sandro coat and Maje pants elevate the comfortable ensemble for an effect that’s polished yet relaxed.

The views expressed on this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of the SMCP company. 

Photos by Miranda Mu

 

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Fashion, Feminism, Pop Culture

The Statement Coat

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DSC_1121Maje ‘Ghost’ parka, American Apparel cropped sweater & mom jeans, UNIF ‘Rival’ boots, Nasty Gal beanie & choker, Stella & Dot ‘Rebel Pendant’ necklace in silver, Spitfire ‘Intergalactic’ sunglasses.

First I’d like to make a disclaimer: any and all American Apparel merchandise I wear on this blog (and in life) was purchased before I knew the extent of former CEO’s Dov Charney sexual harassment and exploitation of many of the company’s employees, and before I heard about the new management’s willingness to continue sexualizing American Apparel employees. Though I have made a firm decision not to shop at American Apparel in the future, I’ve also decided not to stop wearing American Apparel merchandise that I already own. I will no longer be including hyperlinks to the American Apparel merchandise that I wear and post on the blog; if you’d like to financially support their business, you will have to browse the site on your own. Another positive alternative to shopping at American Apparel would be to, if you see a product of theirs you like, visit ShopStyle.com and do a search for similar items by brands that set a better example.

Now that that’s out of the way, can we talk about my new Maje coat? Even after last year’s nightmarish winter, the vinyl parka with faux sheepskin lining has me excited about the increasingly cold weather. In addition to being strange and beautiful, the ‘Ghost’ coat is actually extremely warm, which is a good thing, because its ’90s vibes have me inclined to put crop tops underneath on the reg. If I had to describe this outfit, I’d say it’s a 2015-chic take on the wardrobe aesthetic of Kevin Smith classics, like Clerks. It’s the coat that completes the look and brings the outfit to life, and that’s the value of investing in a statement coat. There are times when you simply have to wear a coat, so why not wear one that makes your outfit cooler, as well as more weather-appropriate? Low temperatures and gray skies can make it hard to get out of bed and put genuine effort into crafting a creative look. Enter statement coat, which can magically (and literally) cloak a basic getup with a punch of serious style.

Photos by Miranda Mu

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