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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Beauty, Boston, Costume, Fashion

Witchy Women: The Blogger Coven of Boston

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DSC01392Faux suede fringe jacket courtesy of Primark, Brixton hat, Spitfire ‘Intergalactic’ sunglasses.

DSC01231See Sam stun in a Rag & Bone skull sweater and Stuart Weitzman boots.

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DSC01515Kayte’s rocking an amazing combination of pieces from Free People and Forever 21.

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October is definitely my favorite month of the year. Between the beautiful foliage, temperatures that allow layering but don’t leave you shivering, and the celebration of all things scary that DO make you shiver, I really couldn’t ask for more. If you follow the Sauce, you’re well aware that I actively look forward to (and plan for) Halloween starting on November 1st, and that my personal style is inspired by famous spell-casting squads, such as the ladies in American Horror Story: Coven, and The Craft, all-year-round. So of course I lunged at the opportunity to do a witchy-themed shoot with two of my favorite fellow Boston bloggers, Kayte of Mass Musings, and Sam of Fenway Fashionista. As three New England-bred, Boston-based babes, we can attest to the fact that there is no greater place on Earth to experience the spirit of Halloween than the state in which the most famous alleged witches lived, were taken to trial, and casually burned or hanged to death. This delightfully creepy chapter of the Bay State’s history gave us the beloved Halloween flick Hocus Pocus, and let’s get real about squad goals—what girl didn’t want to be a Sanderson Sister at some point (specifically Sarah Jessica Parker)? Who reading this post wouldn’t have loved to do the honors of lighting the Black Flame Candle, even though it is quite literally virgin territory?

Kayte, Sam and I had a lot of fun brewing up our modern-day witch ensembles, and I think we may have officially coined the term “boho-goth,” which is how we’re describing our combined look. These outfits only verge on literal interpretations of witch portrayals throughout history, and could easily translate as fun everyday looks; or, if you’re down to the wire for this weekend’s festivities, an outfit like this would make for the perfectly chic DIY costume alternative to something spandex from Party City. Fringe and a bit of mid-section skin bring my look up to date, while pattern-play and a smart sense of layering make Kayte and Sam’s outfits cool for just about any casual occasion. Whether you’re cultivating your street style or fashioning a last-minute costume, a bold lip color is the essential finishing touch for your witch-inspired look. While Sam and I reached for Lime Crime Velvetine liquid-to-matte lipstick in “Riot” and “Faded,” Kayte went with the Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in the appropriately named shade of “Damned.”

Photos by @jacquelinemdn

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Fashion

Cotton Candy

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DSC_0671Pants from Nasty Gal, Kimchi Blue crop top from Urban Outfitters, Joie sandals, Jimmy Choo clutch, Oliver Peoples sunglasses, silver collar necklace from the SoWa Vintage Market.

While I’m pretty sure most of my experience with blue hair will be a practice in modern minimalism and grunge, I of course have to take advantage of the opportunity for zany summer color play. These pink trousers always take me in a fun direction, and my new bold ‘do prompted me to slightly soften my go-to night-out look by ditching my usual fitted crop tops for a breezier, more delicate cut. I love how the top’s flowy hem falls effortlessly in line with the loose-fitting pants for a look that’s comfortable and simply chic. Note to all fashion saucers: the metallic clutch is your friend.

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Beauty, Boston, Fashion, Promotional

OMG! Nice to Meet You!

DSC_0315-15Crop top by The Hanger, skirt from LF Stores, Phillip Lim clutch, Aldo ‘Istrago’ sandals.

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BostonBloggers2015-TheDangerBooth-44(From left): Sydney, myself, Gabby, Koko, & Miranda.

DSC_0331-18Jenny Bird Palm Cili Collar in Silver.

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BostonBloggers2015-TheDangerBooth-96(From left), Stephanie, Neha, myself, Sydney & Lianna.

DSC_0399-30Eddie Borgo bracelet, Michael Kors watch. Rings (from left): Cartier band, Gamine Zofia Ring Set in Silver, Margaret Elizabeth Faceted Cocktail Ring in Navy, Gorjana Gisele Ring. 356 Lacquer Creme Polish in ‘Alimersai.’

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This past Monday I attended the annual Boston Bloggers Meet & Greet at Audubon with my kickass new crew of blogger friends. Between the drinks, the delicious snacks, and the infamous Danger Booth, everyone had a blast—and since the large majority of the group are female fashion bloggers, the event served as glorious evidence that the catty stigmas of fashion culture are so out. With that said, one still feels some pressure when dressing to impress a group of fellow fashionistas…

Unsurprisingly enough, I went to the event in my favorite silhouette: high-waisted bottoms and a cutaway crop top—and in my favorite color combination: plain old black and white. The skirt’s dramatic asymmetrical hem and the sweatery fabric of my summertime top bring new life to my go-to look, and I went with my bright blue Phillip Lim clutch and Jenny Bird collar necklace, courtesy of Rocksbox, to kick things up another notch. I chose a mint-turquoise shade of nail polish to offset the bag, and added a navy cocktail ring for good measure, also from Rocksbox. If you haven’t heard of Rocksbox, it’s basically like the Netflix of jewelry: with Rockbox, you can rent and try fabulous new jewelry by top trendsetting brands like Gorjana and House of Harlow, and you can purchase the pieces you love for discounted prices. All you have to do is fill out a quick but effective style survey, start keeping a wishlist, and expert stylists will send you three pieces per box in a prepaid envelope, so returns are no fuss. You can return and receive as many boxes as you want for just $19 a month, but you can also get your first month free by using the promo code FASHIONSAUCEXOXO.

As for the gorgeous polish, it’s by Somerville-based 365 Lacquer, a vegan and non-toxic polish company dedicated to making fun colors without harmful ingredients, and without testing on animals. I have to admit, I can be a bit calamitous (by which I mean careless), and have therefore stuck almost exclusively to gel manicures for the last two years, so I felt a bit wary of going back to regular polish. But 365 Lacquer promised a quick-drying, long-lasting product—and they weren’t lying. I’ll admit to a couple of chips within the first 48 hours, but they weren’t caused by faulty polish; so many consecutive gel manicures have left my nails in a slightly weakened state, but on my nails that have managed to stay strong, 365 Lacquer has stayed strong, as well. Plus, they just released a neon collection that’s sure to get you even more excited about summer.

Fashion photography by Miranda Mu | Group photos courtesy of The Danger Booth.

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Fashion

Retro Casual

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DSC_0196-35Blouse & sunglasses from LF Stores, Rag & Bone pants, 3.1 Phillip Lim ‘OMG’ pouch, Jeffrey Campbell ‘Purvis’ platforms.

One of my favorite things about dressing for this season is the way cheerful springy-summery prints and colors prompt me to create modern takes on retro styles. My paisley button-down, cuffed pants, platform loafers and matchy-matchy accessories all have a ’60s/’70s vibe, but details like the cropped cut of my blouse, stacked rings, and my oh-so-millennial “OMG”-embossed clutch bring the look up to date.

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Beauty, Fashion, Humor, Pop Culture, Promotional

Taking Bill Murray to Brunch

It’s Monday, so let’s talk about the weekend…

DSC_0827-13Piece Apparel Bill Murray sweatshirt over an LF blouse, J Brand ‘Maria’ skinnies, ALDO ‘Istrago’ heeled sandals.DSC_0814-10

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DSC_0880-Edit-26Oliver Peoples sunglasses, House of Harlow earrings, NARS Velvet Matte lip pencil in ‘Dragon Girl.’DSC_0786-3

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DSC_0881-27Sandro Paris purse, Gorjana rings.DSC_0873-25

Who doesn’t love Bill Murray? Not only is he an accomplished actor who’s consistently made audiences laugh and truly think since the ’70s, but he’s also proven to be one of the most mysterious and spontaneous members of the SAG. It won’t take you much time lurking on Reddit to discover elaborate stories about Bill Murray’s wild nights with unassuming fans who are left baffled by the actor’s nonchalant sense for adventure, and his apparent ability to disappear out of thin air. Between his hilarious days on SNL, to his tender moments with Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation, to his roles in the wacky world of Wes Anderson, I was so stoked to see that Piece Apparel included Mr. Murray in their “Old Man Crew” collection of sweatshirts, which also honors men such as Rod Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld, and Johnny Cash.

With respect to Bill’s affection for the unexpected, I decided not to pair my oversized sweatshirt with boxers or my TV remote, and instead dressed it up Sunday-brunch style. In my experience, brunch isn’t such an obviously glamorous occasion. It’s usually a group of hungover friends peeling themselves off their mattresses in the interest of good food, good stories from the night before, and, questionably enough, more drinks. That being said, Instagram and other social media outlets have deemed brunch the official favorite activity of “betches,” and, fortunately or unfortunately, an obligatory photo op. Brunch-obsessed consumers have prompted fashion magazines to address brunch outfits on the regular, and they typically suggest flouncy, frilly ensembles that seem more appropriate for an old-fashioned tea party or somebody’s baby shower. So, if you’re like me, and tend to wake up on Saturday and/or Sunday morning lacking the energy to mix joyful prints, or just want to be more comfy than you ever could be in a strappy sundress, try dressing up your favorite sweatshirt or tee with forgiving stretch-skinnies, a statement bag, and a bold lip. (A good shade of lipstick and big sunnies are the best tools for looking polished when you’re feeling less-than.) I think graphics with a sense of humor, like these other witty tops by Piece Apparel, make the perfect palette for a look that’s chic, but not too serious, which is exactly how brunch should feel when you’re doing it right. For those who feel confident in their styling abilities, add a statement necklace or a Peter Pan collar to further elevate your look. As for shoes, go with something comfortable but sleek. While I personally find these ALDO heeled sandals light as air, if the idea of walking in heels after a long night out makes you want to crawl back under the covers, just reach for your favorite pair of ballet flats or slides.

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Fashion

Spooky Sauce

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P1070077 (1)Millau dress from LF Stores, wool hat & sunglasses from Nasty Gal, Jeffrey Campbell ‘Stoppard’ oxfords, Brandy Melville tattoo choker, and necklace by House of Conigilio.

Coachella just wrapped up its second weekend, and I find myself still enchanted by its street style scene. As evidenced by my last post, I just can’t seem to get enough of the hippie-witch combination, so where better to shoot the result of my inspiration than a cemetery? What I love about this Millau dress is the fact that, with my darker, spooky accessories, I look ready to cast an evil (but stylish) spell; but with a nude pump or white sandal, a delicate gold necklace and soft curls, I might just be able to pass for an angel. As many of you saucy readers may be looking for a white graduation dress in the upcoming weeks, it’s important to consider which ones can serve as a blank canvas for a variety of looks going forward, and which ones might just sit in your closet after celebrating. After all, this is the time to start asking yourself serious questions about your future!

Photos by Deanna Soukiasian

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