Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Mystery Christmas Baby

My sister is very selfish. She is having a baby and decided not to find out the sex. HOW RUDE! This baby is supposed to be born on my birthday (Dec 23) and not only is it my right to know the sex, but it’s my birthday, so throw me a bone.

Christmas babies are the best. I speak from experience. I mean, it’s kind of a big deal this whole Christmas situation, and then to throw a birth in the mix is awesome. Not biblical awesome, just super cool awesome. 

I have been looking around for some gifts for this baby, but since SOMEONE won’t tell me what it will be, I am severely  limited. However, I  found some pretty cute and gender neutral items that I am kind of excited about.

1) These awesome red ankle boots by Livie and Luca. Sure “it” won’t be walking, but there are certain highfalutin stuffed animals you want to impress in the crib.


2) A 50-pack of baby bibs. If this kid is anything like my sisters oldest,  he/she will be barfing around the clock., cool site!


3) A wallet. Because it’s never too early to learn the value of money. And I am sure his/her older siblings will be charging for entrance into the play room.


4) And obviously a Leap Frog Blackberry so we can follow @mysterybaby on Twitter and stay updated on all his/her ongoing. Start ‘em young, that’s what I say.


If I had an inkling of what this baby is, then I would personalize the gifts, but I am left with no choice. Selfish I tell you, selfish.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Me and the boys


What I love most about this city is just getting out and walking. Making sure that I am dressed up enough for a nice lunch, but comfy so I can cover some miles.  I don’t like to be all “matchy matchy” with Eric, but I felt like these two looks complimented one another, and I think he would look sharp in an outfit like this. I was inspired today by grey's and blacks and my dog Elton, he is there in the middle.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Let the Road Be Your Runway

A few years ago, when I really picked up my running, I decided that in order for me to stay motivated and excited about the long distance routes, I needed to feel good about what I was running in.  New sneakers helped, as did cute socks. But I needed more; something better than plain running shorts and a Vuarnet tee (yes, I have one.)


I quickly learned that these items cost good money and I told myself I would work with what I had, but add in a few new pieces. I bought a few running skirts and some fitted tops, but not much else.   I am writing about this now because I recently came across the blog by Swedish TV reporter and fashion writer, Sofia Hedstrom.


Sofia is a smart and beautiful fashion journalist  and TV correspondent who works around the clock. In 2007 she decided that she needed to have a balance between work and life. So, she began running.  In her blog, Sofia Hedstrom: Investigating Runner, Sofia stated that she always runs in a dress and , “ I run with make up, with red lipstick and they assume that I will be a bad runner. But then I like to show them that I am actually a good runner.”   She has also run the NYC Marathon in 3 hours and 45 minutes, which is close to an hour an a half before I finished mine. So, next time I run a marathon, the trick will be to wear more makeup and definitely wear a dress.

Check out Sofia’s blog at Sofia Hedstrom: Investigating Runner.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Photographer Hunt

My brother is an unbelievable photographer. He’s been shooting since he was in his teens and I’ve always been amazed at how he can take something very simple and create a magical perspective on it.  If I had my way, he would shoot my wedding. However, there are two reasons why this won’t happen. One, I don’t want to put my brother to work on the most special day of my life. Two, I still haven’t seen the photos from my college graduation, which was over ten years ago. It’s like that saying about living with a plumber, yours is the last toilet to get fixed. Same with this.

I have been trying find someone who can create those magical moments in an artistic and creative way. Through this process of reviewing wedding photographers, I’m finding an underlying theme; they are all the same.  I am not trying to be uniquely different, not at all, I just want to find someone who can capture this day in a way that reflects my personality. I mean, I am going to have these forever! The website OnceWed has really caught my eye; the wedding stories told  through images are so beautiful and ethereal.

The wedding of Kyla Piercey and Kevin Curley.

Joyelle West is a photographer I came across recently as someone who will get in there with you and create a story behind the camera. What I don’t want to do is tell the photographer what angles to shoot and where we should stand, I think I will be pretty busy that day and the last thing I want to do is organize a photo shoot. Joyelle is one of those creative women that will create the scene for you.  She takes the time to get to know who you are so she can be on your team.

I love this photo, it struck me immediately.  I don’t know what it is;  the clarity, the simplicity, the joy. It’s all of those things together that create a beautiful shot. Her website is full of portraits, editorial, and her travel shots are incredible!  Joyelle is based out of Boston but travels all around. Her website is

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Academy of Art University at NYFW

Once again I am impressed by the unique designs and detailed numbers that come down the runway at the Academy of Art University shows for Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week. I’ve gone for the past few years and I always walk away impressed with these students and the clear vision for their collections.  Models come down the runway in sets of six and each grouping is completely different, which is so refreshing. Oh, latex! Fun, leather! Ooh, look at all of those prints! You get the gist.


I did indeed forget to bring my camera and my phone camera is a joke, so  I am going to hand it over to Chictopia for the photo coverage. One of my favorites was all the beading from student Maria Korovilas. She  hand beaded all of her pieces which took over 600 hours to complete. Think about that, 600 hours. Well worth it, the pieces were gorg.

Click here for Chictopia’s coverage.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Happy Socks equals happy feet.

A few weeks ago my fiancĂ© passed on the Happy Socks website he found through He kind of sent it as a joke,  but I later found out that he was actually serious about these multicolored and multi-patterned socks.


Out of context, I couldn’t quite accept these. I mean, you absolutely have to display serious confidence in wearing these or the whole idea of them goes down the toilet.  I told him he was being silly and I put them out of my mind, until this morning. On the subway there were two men, not together, donning a pair of Happy Socks and man did they look awesome! Indeed these break up somewhat mundane ensembles that men tend to wear to work.  Conservative to the ankles and then it’s a party the rest of the way down to the toes.

I rarely say I am wrong, but for fashion’s sake, I am willing to take the hit.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fall 2010: Elva Fields

I have been such a fan of this Elva Fields collection and I have mentioned it a few times in this blog before. Emily, the talented designer, brings alive vintage jewelry and accessories to make the most amazing and unique designs.


Today on her website,, she is launching her Fall 2010 collection for pre-order.  I LOVE all of her new pieces, and she pairs up some of her pieces with cute apparel from some fall ready-to-wear items.  I am sure we can all find something from our closets to compliment these magnificent baubles!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Oh Canada!

As promised, a wonderful post by my good friend and blogger, Nicole Cornell. Read this, then check out her blog Broke and Naked, please.

I recently was privileged to visit our neighbor to the north: Canada. My boyfriend and I were there to celebrate my dear friend’s recent marriage and made the trip into a nice little holiday. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that this was my first trip to Canada. Maybe it just didn’t seem like so much of a “must see” compared to the ancient cities of Europe or the spicy culture of South America, but whatever the reason, it had yet to happen and I was excited for the opportunity.

Upon arriving in Toronto, we initially couldn’t put our finger on it, but there was a palpable difference as soon as we entered this new city. We had left the USA. Aside from a mandatory visit to Niagara Falls upon crossing the border, we did not engage in a single “tourist” activity during our stay. We spent our days roaming the streets and riding the streetcars (or trolleys as I liked to call them, much to the Canadian’s amusement) and our nights eating and drinking our way through the vast gastronomy the city has to offer. It is very urban, in the best possible way, and I found myself comparing it to a Chicago/New York hybrid. It was obviously cleaner than either of these cities and every Canadian we encountered held true to the vicious rumor of them being so damn friendly!

But what was it about this city that made me go – Ok, I could totally live here. Definitely! – a statement I haven’t made since moving to New York 6 years ago. There is a definite “thing” happening in Toronto right now. First, there were construction cranes everywhere. This is a city that is thriving! Toronto is a bustling metropolis while still maintaining an ease and openness. The design stores (fashion and interior) we came across are right on the cusp of what is happening now, yet it is not contrived or fake like I often find the “next big thing” in New York to be. How do they manage to be doing and making interesting things, whether it is a restaurant, design showroom or an old distillery turned into galleries, shops and cafes? Upon speaking to Torontonians, I found out an important element of what I was trying to decipher. Toronto is one of the most diverse cities in the world. They also continued on to talk about what lovely lives they had in the city, whether they were doctors, lawyers, or candlestick makers….fine, I didn’t meet an actual candlestick maker, but lets move on.

The point is, the quality of life the city, and the country of Canada offers is such that creativity is possible. There is a welcoming ease that draws you in and makes you wonder how your life might be different were it taking place here. Or at least, makes you realize what you have been missing all these years and start planning your next holiday in yet another fascinating Canadian city.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Be Back Soon!

As I transition into my move back to New York in September, I am currently playing nanny for my sister and her two adorable little girls. What am I learning aside from tolerance and patience? That parents are superheroes!

I had NO idea it was such an undertaking herding the little childrens, especially two little girls who can give any actress a run for their money. Anyhow, the point is, I have not been able to do my regular blog posts due to the fact that I am either relaxing when they are napping, or.. well, that's pretty much it.

So, I have a guest blogger or two coming on board this week. Ain't no shame in a little help from your friends.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lessons from New Hampshire

I live in New Hampshire. It's been a year since I moved here, but I left out that vital piece of information in conversations. Many people assumed that I was still writing away from my office in New York. Whether it was due to the fact that leaving NY and moving here was too much to fathom or maybe I didn't want people to think that being in NH meant that I didn't have any say about NY fashion anymore, I am not sure. In any event, I have in fact spent the year in New Hampshire where my wonderful fiance lives with his fantastic 6 year old daughter, and our dog Elton.

Never in a million years did I think I would end up back in Brooklyn, but folks, we are heading that way. The lessons I have learned this year have been invaluable and it has also taught me that I am SO not in the drivers seat.

Though I was away from New York & Brooklyn, my love for fashion remained true. In the early part of the year I started to appreciate the L.L. Bean way of life with the signature Bean Boots and just how awesome a faded flannel looks on a casual day. There were days where I struggled to put on more than comfy pants and a tee, because I wasn't headed to any office in NoHo where I needed to look my best. There were days when Eric would come home and I would be crying because I was having a hard time adjusting to this new life. But alas, I picked up my pity pot and acted as if.

It's really beautiful up here in New Hampshire; the natural landscape paired with the crisp air is quite special. I appreciated the fact that we were an hour from the ski slopes, two hours from some breathtaking beaches in New England, and closer to my family. I have met new people who have taught me that there is something to be said for a simpler life. I figured I was meant for the city and needed to be running from meeting to meeting, coffee to coffee, 24/7 and 365. However, with my forced time away from all of that, I think I slowed down.

New York poses serious threat to my bank account because let's face it, I am deeply, madly in love with the world of fashion. Buying something kicks up some sort of high for me that I felt I needed to survive. When you are sober, there's not too many highs left and that's OK with me. But shopping is one of them, and I have really gone without this year. What a gift that has been; I am not my clothes, I am not my shoes, I am Kate, and that is enough. I forget that sometimes.

I am thrilled beyond words that we are heading back to Brooklyn, it's a feeling of going home. But now that I am leaving the place that scared the bejeseus out of me, I need to share my appreciation for it. I fell deeper in love here, I got engaged here, I met new people here and I have fond memories that I will take with me.

Here's to our new journey! I don't know what the future holds and frankly, I don't want to know. Happiness comes in all shapes and sizes, and I have never been let down with the roads I have traveled.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Day at Grey Gardens.

I've always dreamed of living in the age of long cigarettes ( even though I don't smoke), fancy fun hats, and beautiful dresses anytime of the day. I recently watched Grey Gardens and it brought back my obsession within seconds. In fact, today my fiance asked me to come to an antique shop with him to pick out some props for a project he is working on. I discovered the dress up section and just like a little girl playing with her grandmothers hats and clothes, I was off. I am also extremely excited that Mad Men is back on, so that may have something to do with this picture:

Yes, I do realize I look ridiculous, but I walked around the store with this hat on until we had to leave. Tear. But I realized I can come home and play some more on Polyvore! So, here it is, my dream outfit of the day:

Say what you will about me, I love what I love.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Loving Lo Boheme

I am a girl about accessories; even the smallest ones can pack a big punch. For my wedding next summer, I've been thinking of what added touches I may want for not only the decor, but also the wardrobe. I've indeed picked a dress, it was the first thing to get crossed off my list. I am over the moon thrilled about this dress and while searching for the perfect hair accessory to change into for the reception, I came across Lo Boheme.

Lo Boheme oozes elegance, glamour, and nostalgia. The husband and wife team create one of a kind custom accessories for weddings, events, and everyday and I have RSVP'd yes to this party. I am trying to inject my own personal style into this wedding, but it becomes hard when a venue is set up a certain way and let's be honest, all the minor details really add up on the register. So it's the fashion added touches I love to work in as an unexpected element of surprise. Having something nesting in my hair like a few pieces you will see from Lo Boheme, is exactly the twist and beauty I need for my wedding day, I just need it.

Definitely check out their ethereal website at These photos are from the Lo Boheme website and you can view a few different collections for your personal style.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dig a Discount?

Every so often a designer will offer my readers a nice discount towards their fashions. We thought that since there is no gift giving holiday for a while, we would turn July 4th into a holiday with gifts for you! Shien Ru Tsao, the designer and brain behind The KUZA Strap, wants to offer Kickin Off readers 10% off your strap of choice. There are several fun and colorful designs to choose from, and having one of these means you can head into Fall with confidence.

Why all the sudden confidence for Fall?

Because The KUZA Strap is actually solving a major fashion problem. You know when you have this amazing and totally coordinated outfit that consists of super chic skinny jeans and your new high leather riding boots? You are so excited, except that when you sit down, the jeans pull up and they bunch at the knee. Or, if you are a city girl and you are walking the many blocks to get where you need to be, you look down and your pants are puddles around the top of the boot. Big thumbs down.

The KUZA Strap clips onto the bottom of the pants, much like a stirrup, and holds them down. No one but your cute little socks will see the strap, but who cares, they are adorably designed anyway.

$16 for normal people, but you are not normal, you are special. Special people get a discount of 10% after you type in the code Kickin10 at checkout.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Going to the Chapel of Love

When I would think about the moment I would become engaged, I envisioned tears, hugging, and just mushy mushy mushy. It's one of the biggest moments in life, so naturally you would think I would act appropriately. So, you can imagine my surprise when on Saturday, June 19th, Eric got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, my reaction was "What? What's going on? What are you doing? Is this a joke? What?!" I felt stunned, shocked, numb. I did not cry; in fact, my sister was crying so hard on the phone I could hardly make out what she was saying. After my initial ridiculous outburst, I laughed and then it all fell into place. Omg. I am engaged. SURREAL!

He took me to one of the nicest restaurants in Portland, Maine called Fore Street. However, we may as well have been at McDonald's because I couldn't focus on the surroundings and hardly tasted the three bites of salmon he basically had to order for me because I couldn't focus. And to be honest, I still don't have my whole appetite back because when I get nervous or in this case excited, it always ties my tummy up in knots.

It's been a journey for me, finding this man of my dreams. It was not easy, and I went through a dark place to eventually get to where I needed to be, which is here. I look back at my past and while I cringe sometimes at old relationships, I would absolutely do it all over again if it meant I would again end up with Eric. But I would probably complain the whole way.

So now it begins- the planning. I have an idea of what I want for my wedding, but it's been a very general idea; I never thought about details because I didn't want to jinx myself. I also didn't want to have the whole thing planned before I even got engaged! I laugh and say that my sister has been like a horse behind the gate before the race... just barely holding it together wanting to go, go, go!! And thank god for my mom who emailed anyone and everyone to share the good news, which really saved me a lot of time!! I am thrilled to be able to walk through this with my family; my two sisters and my mother. Well, I have a brother and a father, but I am sure they wouldn't be too excited to be dragged down by this. So, I am saving their souls.

I hear horror stories about the planning of a wedding, but the last thing I want is to turn this into something much bigger than it is. I read this quote recently, and I am going to try and keep it in mind for the next year, "There are only five things you need to get married: a bride, a groom, an officiant, a license, and a witness. Everything else is just fluff." It reminds me that I don't want to stress about fluff. I want to be loved, and love, and just walk through this experience with a smile, an open mind, and lots of laughing.

Stay tuned for the fashionable journey ahead!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Selah D'or at Style Week Providence

Sunday was the first night of Style Week Providence, the first ever fashion WEEK in Providence, Rhode Island ( the state I come home to for Christmas). About a month ago, I interviewed Rosanna Ortiz Sinel, the Founder of SWP, who gave me some insight into the event, the designers, and the overall process of making something big happen in such a little state.

Sunday's kickoff began at 3pm with a book signing by Boston Fashion Week founder, Jay Calderin. There were two runway shows starting at 6pm, which of only one I was able to attend; Selah D'or by David Chum.

I've been reading up on the designers showing this week, and I enjoyed reading about David Chum, the designer behind Selah D'or. David is a Boston-based designer who is self taught. With only a year and a half under his belt, he has been wowing the crowds. Though his fashion design career is brief, David knows a thing or two about beauty and art because he is a professionally trained artist whose work has been seen all over the country. I often refer to fashion as art, so marrying the two is never a surprise.

The Selah D'or show was split in two parts; SS 10 and FW10. The first part of the show featured some very structured and feminine dresses with high collars and princess seams. He showed a few dresses with a deep plunging neckline that could give Hollywood starlets a run for their money. Done right, such a plunge can be truly elegant, as seen in his work.

The second part, FW10, featured a lot of black which, for my style, isn't a color I often wear. However, the last part of the show was worth mentioning. There were a few very cool mini dresses mixing sheer organza with black and gold filled chains, studded shoulderpads, and full metal zippers. Everyone knows you have to have at least one LBD in your closet. David's dresses offer a different take on tradition, which is always welcome in my book.

His collections are available at Suneri on Newbury in Boston and Calico@Heir in Downcity Providence. He also has a great site which is I also heard that David will work with you and create a custom design that is all that you could ever imagine.

Images courtesy of Selah D'or.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Finding Love In A Pair Of Shoes

There are no words to describe my style, because to be honest I am not quite sure what it is about certain things that strike my fancy. I tend to lean towards simple and unique utilitarian these days, whereas years ago I was very much into bright colors and bold patterns.

I rarely find things that I must have or I will faint, so when I do I let everyone know that if I buy it, it's because it was meant to be in my life. Plain and simple. And I can promise you that when I do purchase such items, I will wear them to the death. This is a perfect example. Last year I was minding my own business walking down the cute streets of Portsmouth, NH when I came across a pair of shoes in a shop window. I walked by three times over the course of an hour before I decided to go in and try them on. I actually posted a blog about it last April, which you can find here.. These shoes spoke to me ladies and gents, they said loud and clear "Your feet will never forgive you if you don't buy these." I know, sounds weird, but I only speak my version of the truth. I bought these shoes, and I wear them at least three times a week in the warmer season. Point made.

So that is also how I felt when I saw these Pauline Leather Oxfords from Austrian designer Rosa Mosa. I found them through one of my favorite designers in Portland, OR who also has a boutique called IDOM. Modi, the designer, sent out a newsletter introducing these beauties and I don't know what it was, but they immediately won me over. Man oh man these are just SO awesome. I know, simple right? You look at them and there is not much to them, but that's what I love.

I need to get me a pair of these. Pronto.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dear KUZA Strap, Where Have You Been?

I have a weakness for boots. Winter boots, riding boots, rain boots, you name it, I kinda love them. I love pairing them with some skinny jeans or leggings for a comfy, everyday, casual look. What I don't like is the way my jeans don't stay put. I hate that. It seems that every six feet I have to stop and shove the bunched up jeans back in the boot. This is not convenient for me, in any way.

This is why I became an instant fan of The KUZA Strap. With new colors and designs every season, your socks will be in very good company!

I never considered myself of the Bohemian crowd, but I sure do love their Earthy Bohemian strap! So check out how this baby works and then go buy one in every color. $16 at

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.

When I was in high school, every summer season I would buy a new bathing suit from J Crew. It was usually the same style, different pattern; the basic underwire top with bikini bottom. Over the years I have pretty much stayed the course, varying a bit with the tops and experimenting with halters and bandeau's. My sister and I feel that we look best in halters, other styles kind of make us feel weird. (She and I also can not pull off any cap sleeve items; too reminiscent of Pigs in Space.) We are our own worst critics. But it's true, some cuts and styles look better on some.

I have and will always love the 1950's bathing suits. Gidget was popular for a reason. The Brooklyn designer Hayden Harnett has some totally fabulous patterns and styles from that era, but topping off at 5' 4" this suit may not look great on me. This adorable two piece is the Leda Bikini. WANT:

I also have been trying out bandeau's as of late. There is nothing worse that halter top tan lines when I show up with a strapless dress. No amount of bronzing powder will make that go away. So I tried some cute suits from Old Navy that have really worked out well! I love this Paisley pattern- normally I am a solid girl, but this one just spoke to me:

And there is no reason to stop the shopping at bathing suits, there is a whole world of beach fashion out there! I have become a big fan of hats and cover-ups. I used to care less about what I would wear to and from the beach, today it's a different story. Yesterday I was in Nordstrom and my friend Jen pulled this hot number off the rack. I love the flowy, feminine, and sheer look of this. I hadn't heard of this brand Becca, but I was impressed by this Sheer Bliss Tapestry top:

After winter I feel weird emerging from bulky layers of wool and popping into a swimsuit. It takes me a bit to get past that first "white as a ghost" sighting, but then I actually enjoy the ease of summer and beach fashions. I continue to search for great suits and cover-ups, as well as a boat for my boyfriend and a beach bungalow for me.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Bridesmaid Dress Hunt

I've been spending a lot of time cruising wedding websites. No, I'm not engaged but my dear, adorable, sweet cousin Liz is and she has asked me to be a part of it. Over the past week or so, the bridesmaids and I have been trying to find the best dresses for the big day. For us, of course.

Man, is there a lot of poopadoodle (it's a word, of course it is) out there for bridal parties. I still don't understand why, WHY, designers continue to produce hot pink satin! Amidst all of the pouf sleeves, ruched skirts, padded and severely boned corsets, we came across some great styles that, yes you have heard this before, you can wear again.

I spent a large amount of time on David's Bridal because they have an awful lot to choose from and it helps to get an idea of the dress style. However, there were some other notable websites like 57 Grand, the Fashion Lookbook on StyleMePretty and Dessy. I like to see a variety of looks; there is something elegant about traditional styles but it's in my nature to look for the more funky and unique pieces.

Below are a few dresses that caught my eye, as well as some of the other bridesmaids:

This one is from After Six. Simply put, this is a darling dress.

I thought this one was great, definitely something that I would wear again, but it's an October wedding so maybe more for summer? This green just grabbed me and took me on a mental journey down a road full of flowers, beaches, and tanned skin. It's another After Six dress available on Dessy, which is a great resource; tons of different styles and easily broken down into color groups.

This beautiful satin dream is from 57 Grand. It is the Beekman dress, and I fell for it right away. It's not for everyone, but I'm not tossing this one aside, I may just need this dress in a crisis. Like a party, that's a crisis when I have nothing to wear! This link shows it in a beautiful Grape Juice.

And I don't know what the bride wants to do for jewelry, but the collection from Elva Fields by Emily Wheat Maynard had me at hello. She offers One of a Kind, Limited Edition, and Vintage. Everything is beautifully crafted with a combination of colors that really catch your eye.

You want to know which one we picked? Well, that's a secret. I actually didn't post it on here because I thought it would be more special when it was revealed on the big day. It sounds silly, even as I write it, but there has to be some element of surprise for the bridesmaids, right? Come November, I plan to post photos. We are ready to rock this party!

Monday, April 26, 2010

StyleWeek Providence. Yes, Rhode Island.

Over the years I have lived in many states, cities, and towns. Some still have a special place in my heart, like Colorado and New York, but in the end of the day, I call my home Rhode Island. Over the years I have recognized the beauty of Rhode Island and the culture that Providence has to offer. Sure, it's the size of my pinkie, but don't be fooled, this little state packs a big punch.

Many people know of the Rhode Island School of Design, aka RISD. RISD churns out some amazingly creative and talented artists, fashion designers, textile designers, and so much more. However, there is a new wave of fashion coming to Rhode Island, and Providence is ready to show it's stuff.

I recently received an email from my mother who forwarded the monthly newsletter from RI Monthly magazine about what's going on in the state for Summer. She sent it to me with the note "Check out Style Week!" Wait, what? Style Week? In Providence? Sure enough, it's true, and I wanted to get to the bottom of it. I went on their website, and contacted the founder, Rosanna Ortiz Sinel who has quite a colorful resume featuring fashion PR and fashion writing.

Rosanna took some time to chat with me about the event and below is some more information on how StyleWeek Providence came to be and what to expect.

KickinKate: How exciting to hear about a StyleWeek in Providence! Can you tell me how this came about?
Rosanna: I have been a freelance fashion and style writer for some time- so I would cover other fashion weeks in the area. When I moved to Providence I didn't realize what an amazing city it is- how convenient, accessible and creative! So, it just made sense to develop a fashion week with Providence as the canvas, not only showcasing Rhode Island designers but national ones who are established but not yet mainstream. I wanted to produce a fashion week that was about the commerce of fashion- a week that is taken seriously and is open to the editors, press and people who are serious about fashion and who legitimately care about these designers futures.

KK: Was this an effort? I imagine in any city it takes a lot of work, and convincing, to get everyone on board.
R: Oh definitely!! When I initially came up with the idea I was thinking four days max. However, after learning that so many people were interested in seeing this grow, we had to make it a full seven days. You do come across many trials and tribulations during the planning process but it was something that the city of Providence really wanted to see happen. The city of Providence and the Mayor have been our biggest advocate as well as the people of the city; they want to see something new and fresh. So, to answer your questions, yes it's a lot of work to coordinate, but well worth it!

KK: People must be excited about this. There hasn't been anything like this in Providence before. Are you getting a good response from the community?
R: Oh my gosh, the response has been tremendous! It really touches my heart that so many people are so excited about this. I was not expecting this to become as extensive as it has. I really wanted to help make the city of Providence flourish and get some talent noticed. I didn't realize that it was going to be welcome with such open arms on a community level. One thing I must say about Providence is that there are some amazing, talented and real people in this city. I am simply amazed and can't say thank you enough.

KK: That is SO nice to hear! It's such a small state and there are some struggles, especially most recently with the extremely high unemployment rate and then getting hit with the recent debilitating flood. But, Rhode Island is strong and resilient and people are ready to push forward, move on and get back to life. StyleWeek Providence is a step in doing that!!

KK: How are you spreading the word?
R: When I first presented the idea I immediately signed on with Miamore Communications. They are a boutique PR firm which has really helped in building the StyleWeek brand. I actually now work for them! We promote a lot through social networking- follow them on Twitter at @styleweekprov- and have partnered with Rhode Island Monthly as our print media sponsor. We have also been covered by the Rhode Show and will be partnering with a new internet platform called GoLocal Prov which launches this week. Much of the buzz about the event has been by word of mouth- you can never underestimate how far that goes!

KK: You are highlighting independent designers, which I love. I feel like all of the talent out there is undiscovered. How did you go about finding the designers to be part of the event?
R: When I was covering other fashion weeks in the region I picked up some great designers who I thought would benefit from StyleWeek Providence. However, I must say that many of them found us. After I would sign a designer, there would be recommendations and so forth. It was important to me that the designers showing had the technical skill and image that we would want to see at Bergdorf's or Nortdstrom. So, I interviewed each designer and had to see their line ( if I didn't know it already) before we designated them a spot on the lineup. I must say, the designers we have in our show are nothing short of breathtaking.

KK: Are there any particular designers that you are really loving?
R: This is such a hard question! Honestly, there is something in each designer's collection that I would wear. It honestly is like picking a favorite child! I can't because they are all fascinating and bring amazing creativity to the table. I don't have a favorite, but David Chum for Selah D'or brings a unique edge to his look that I go crazy for. Nirva Derbekyan has my favorite separates. Jonathon Peters and his exaggerated collars- amazing! Maya Luz has a sophisticated rock look that I can see being my next favorite craze!

KK: You have a fashion PR background and also a background in fashion writing. What is your role in this event?
R: That's a good question! There are not many people on our staff so we continuously wear many hats! I am basically just the Executive Director and Producer of the event. I work with the logistics, designers, buyers, sponsors and press and make sure that this will be one of the best weeks that Providence has seen in a long time. Honestly, my job is nothing without my team. These people have worked so hard to help me make this happen.

KK: Do you plan on doing this twice a year, like NYFW, or is this an annual event?
R: This is the magic question. I have been toying with this questions for months now. What I want for StyleWeek Providence is to be a twice a year event, focusing on the seasons like New York. We are going to have to see, however this will most definitely happen again in June 2011. You never know though, stay tuned for January!

I am really looking forward to StyleWeek Providence. I will be covering it on the blog, so even though you may not be there, you can envision! StyleWeek Providence will be held June 6th- June 12th. For more on the schedule of events, click here.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Obviously I Had to Buy These Shoes.

I am pretty sure my boyfriend is going to wave the finger at me in shame when he reads this, but I have 100% justification for this purchase. They literally were calling my name, like a puppy in a shelter. You gonna turn your head at that? He is all for me loving fashion and writing about it, but seeing as I am in a little teeny tiny bit of debt, shopping needs to really be put on hold.

Ever since I left New York and moved to New England, I haven't really had any desire to shop. It's just a whole different ball game up here and there is less temptation, which is good. Until today. I was walking down adorable Pleasant Street in Newburyport when I came across the vintage and consignment boutique, Modern Mille's. OK, I have to fess up, I have seen this boutique before and I made the decision quite a few times to walk across the street or make a phone call at that moment. These things help me to avoid any temptation. Today however, with the sun shining and that adorable 50's polka dot dress in the window, it just felt right to go in.

Let's first talk about the fact that I am obsessed with Mad Men and wish I could have access to the whole casts wardrobe. Now it seems as if my wish has been granted. What we have here are amazing adorable shoes, dainty and darling bags, floral and patterned full dresses, and the most fab vintage hats. Walking into the fitting room, I had six things, three of them shoes. I walked out with one pair of the most dreamy black oxford heels from the 40's. And for what you ask? Thirty- two bones my friend. Do you love them? I LOVE them!!! They are below and you can look, just don't drool on them please. And yes, that is a mesh toe.

I don't know, I mean sure, maybe I do still have a lingering addiction to shopping. Can you blame me? I work in fashion! However, over the past year, I have drastically limited my intake. Every other month or so I may come across something that strikes my fancy and I make a judgment call. Will I be up all night thinking about these? If so, then I need to do what's best for my health and buy the item and have a long, solid night sleep. Also, if you ever need any help justifying anything, give me a ring, I will help you out. Just email me at OfCourseYouShouldBuyThose! (Take note: this email is not in effect, yet)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Heading to the Mall? Check Morals at the Door.

I don't shop in the mall often. It's not that I go out of my way to avoid the mall;I just don't ever really find anything I need in there. This weekend however, I made an exception due to the fact that there wasn't much else to do where we were staying, and the mall seemed like a good option for aimless wandering, which I like to do.

Now, I know that many of these stores in the mall are not targeting someone like me. For one, I am over sixteen and don't have an allowance to spend on clothes. Even knowing this, I was so shocked by the advertising and marketing around the store Gilly Hicks. I would say I smelled the store from quite a distance away. I don't think there is anything worse than Cinnabon mixed with super potent cologne, possibly AXE. I am pretty sure they are blowing fragrance out of their vents.

Now, Gilly Hicks wasn't a store I was familiar with; it's the first time I had actually seen one. It has the overall same look as Abercrombie and Hollister with a beach and cabana feeling as you enter, followed by an abyss of blackness and loud, loud music. This doesn't bother me, because if you are targeting preteens and teenagers, then something mimicking a dance club is probably appealing to them. What I do have a problem with is the pictures of topless girls on the walls. Girls, mind you, who were not a day over sixteen. In these same rooms were G-strings, lace bodysuits, and corsets. You know, because when you are thirteen that's what you should be wearing...

Here's why I hate this: Someday, I plan on having kids and I don't want them feeling like they need to look twenty five when they are just hitting puberty.

Trying to hide my disgust, I walked quickly trying to get out of the dark, cave-like maze yelling to my boyfriend so he could hear me above the music "Get me out of here!!" I walked past young girls holding hangers of black lace training bras, low-ride thong underwear, and the shortest shorts I've ever seen. I don't want to be part of this; this loss of innocence, loss of childhood, just for a buck.

I think the worst part was seeing a young man, probably seventeen at most, walking around SHIRTLESS. Why? What is the point? Who is running these companies, and do they have no value of childhood innocence? Being an adult isn't all that its cracked up to be. I can't tell you how many times I think back to my middle school days and wish I could get back there, even if for a moment.

I'm aware that I sound like an old lady and you're probably waiting for me to say, "When I was young..." I just felt moved to express my sadness about this particular scene, in a mall, just like any other in America. At times like this I grab onto the memories of my youth and what shopping was like for me. Jeans at the Gap, skirts with built it spandex (remember those?), and desperately seeking the perfect Esprit sweatshirt. Times have changed, no doubt about it. I guess I am having a hard time accepting the change, especially when it affects our youth. It just seems to me that morals have been checked at the door, and that is just a shame.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ready For Some April Showers?

With a few days hitting above 65 degrees this March, it was very easy to unsubscribe from the Winter Wonderland Newsletter and sign up for Spring's in Session! However, this happens every year. There are a few days that come in out of nowhere and pull the wool over all of our eyes. As I write this it is rainy and cold and I am trying to remember what warm feels like.

And now that April is less than a week away, we have April Showers to look forward to. Anyone who lives in a metropolis knows that rainy days suck. They just do. I can't tell you how many times I have had to go on editor desk sides in the rain in NY and I always came up looking like a wet dog. Hopefully, I didn’t smell like one. As Liz Lemon would say, Deal Breaker.

Rain is uncomfortable at its best. It's gross and cold and even for someone who has stick straight hair like me, somehow I manage to produce some serious frizz. So, for these upcoming Spring Showers I thought I would share some of the things I have worn that have worked, as best as a rainy day will let them.

Kamik Ellie Rainboots. These are a lifesaver. I wore these once during Fashion Week and a few people stopped me under the tents and said they were fab. Why? I think it’s the feminine fit they have and the subtle chocolate brown fabric under the outside coating. They are warm, because they are lined with Polartec, and they do not leak! I have had them for years and I am someone who likes to head straight for the puddles, so if they were going to leak, they would have by now. Big thumbs up on these!

The thing with rain is it seems to come at you from all directions. At times I have been convinced that it's coming up from the ground. I also find that umbrellas only help when there is no wind and it’s a perfect "movie rain", meaning, it actually comes straight down. I love this Big Fish umbrella from First, it’s a shout out to way back when and it totally makes sense in a city like NY when you are walking with crowds and would rather not poke someone’s eye out ( and you can be sure someone will sue you). It also protects from the chest up, so you can be sure that your makeup won't turn you into the killer clown.

Continuing on the topic of crazy, all over the place rain, I found that a waist length rain coat was no good. I don’t like when my jeans get soaked or the back of my legs. Maybe some people do, not this girl. L.L. Bean has the best jacket for these rainy days. Its called the Trail Model Rain Coat and it comes in different colors (I have brown). I can't say enough about this jacket. It totally takes the hit for me in the rain, but when I come indoors and disrobe, I am dry as can be! I tried to take a pic of mine, because I can't find one big enough for the blog. Elton didn't like the idea, so he used it as a rug. It made me laugh, so I put it in.

Now you're prepared, go get 'em!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spring Cleaning Mix, 2010.

Last year I posted a list of songs that helped me get through spring cleaning. Over the past year, I have heard some amazing new music and recently I was rocking out to some pretty cool tunes that helped me feel good about weeding out my beloved clothes. Because we all know, in order to grow we gotta let go. And let go I did. As you can see below, I was having a pretty good time doing it.

The music helped me to keep going, to be OK with the fact that one of my favorite blouses just didn't work with my style anymore, and therefore needed to go. So, here are some song suggestions, if you are going through the same process:

Vampire Weekend- Horchata
Broken Social Scene- Backyards
Doves- Satellites
Phoenix- Rome
Lily Allen- The Fear
Lady Gaga- Any song here folks, cant go wrong
Scott Sullivan- Princess Jean Jellypop
Annie Lennox- Pavement Cracks
Ingrid Michaelson- Maybe
Slumdog Millionaire- Track 10
Freelance Whales- Location

Anyway, it's all just a suggestive music list. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Kimberly Hendrix: No Bedazzler Here.

I'm always drawn to the beautiful clothing of the 1920's, specifically the flapper style. When I see pictures of those chic hairdos, long, dazzling dresses detailed with beads and satin, I just want to rush out and redo my whole style. There was a night back in my late teens when I did dress up as a flapper; hair accessory, makeup, dress and all. Actually, my whole family did, because my brother's wedding was a 1920's theme and we all played the part. I have secretly been hoping they would renew their vows so I can rush out and play dress up again. However, weddings cost money, so I think a vow renewal on paper would be more realistic. But hey, I will still dress up in their honor.

So, naturally when I saw Kimberly Hendrix's collection, K.Hendrix Couture, a couple of years ago I was smitten. There is something about the draping of the fabric from the beading that is just so sexy and elegant. The ethereal photography puts the clothing in a landscape of fantasy, but make no mistake, these are very wearable pieces, for any occasion and any style.

What's even more beautiful about this line, is that her pieces are revivals. Her statement about the brand is this:

reuse. recycle. renew
everything can be beautiful in the right hands. Kimberly collects, updates, reworks, meticulously edits, creates and presents only the most unique and fabulous ever-evolving treasures for your collection. every creation is one-of-a-kind, as it should be.

Kimberly Hendrix
spent many years as a vintage collector, and over time she decided to transition into making one of a kind pieces much like the designs she was collecting. The K.Hendrix Couture line features beading, embroidery, raw edges and use of high end green materials.

Kimberly notes, "I am really trying to create a luxury line for everyday and I am so focused on reusing and recycling in every way I can. I truly believe in the beauty of imperfection and I do not want to create a stuffy line only for rich women. I want women to intermingle these special pieces with their everyday clothes. I mean there is nothing wrong with sequins during the day. Isn't it possible to have ready-to-wear couture?"

I strongly support ready- to-wear couture! Isn't it what we have all been dreaming of since days of trying on our mothers gowns and heels as a young lass? You can view current and past collections of K.Hendrix Couture at

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Eva Longoria Parker Dazzles in Adriana Carador.

As a designer, it's quite exciting to see everyday people wearing something from their collection. It's even more exciting when a celebrity is seen wearing the collection! And having that someone be Eva Longoria Parker is over the moon exciting!

Last Thursday on the NBC show, The Marriage Ref, Eva Longoria Parker wore two pieces from the Adriana Carador collection. As always, Robert Verdi styled her beautifully and the colors of the jewelry, the dress, and her makeup looked amazing!
"Eva exudes glamour, style, and grace and we couldn't be more flattered and thrilled that she was wearing our collection. " Adriana Carador

Above, you can see Eva rocking the Drops Earrings and..BAM... that Vinho Ring. The ring made quite an impression; Seinfeld commented on it during the show. Quite stunning, don't you think?

For more on the Adriana Carador collection, you can head over to and

(Eva Longoria Parker photo from Jewelry images by

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ava Anderson Non Toxic: Fixing What's Broken.

There is no denying that we live in somewhat scary times. It seems like every minute there is some report about the harmful chemicals in our food, air, and personal care products. But, I have to ask: Do you know what's in your beauty products? Do you feel safe with your face lotion because it’s natural and organic and has been advocated by editors and beauty professionals everywhere? Well, unless you are using oats and water to wash your face, then you are consuming some very toxic ingredients through the things that are supposed to make us beautiful. It's easy for me to want to swear off everything and live off the land, but I also don't want to spend the rest of my life living in a bubble and fearing exposure to everything.

I won't name the brand I use, but it is backed by dermatologists, so naturally, I thought it was safe. Last week I was challenged by Ava Anderson of Ava Anderson Non Toxic skin care to look up my products and review what the ingredients are. Ava sent me a link which explains in layman's terms, what each ingredient means and what it can do to a human being. The website is Cosmetic Database and the link is here. Take a minute or two and look up your brand of products. What I found was alarming, and I assume you will feel the same way.

For Ava, a sophomore in high school, these facts were just too much to handle, and she decided to do something about this. That something launched this January, and its called Ava Anderson Non Toxic; a skin care line where every ingredient in every product scores ZERO on the Cosmetics Database toxicity scale. First. Ever. In the world. I cant help but wonder, with so many "responsible" adults running the beauty business world, why a sixteen year old is the first one to successfully fix what's broken in the personal care industry?

I contacted Ava and her mother Kim, who works with Ava on the day to day business aspects of the company. I have learned so much from Ava and Kim, more than I wish I ever knew. But, being educated and aware is the first step to fixing whats wrong. I wanted to pick Ava's brain, so I did, and here is the result:

KickinKate: First off, you are my new hero. Seriously. I am truly impressed! You are sixteen years old and recently launched the world's first non toxic skin care line. When I was sixteen, I wasn't doing that, not even close. What got you started on this path?

Ava Anderson: Thank you. I saw a report with my mom on the news about the Teen Study performed by the Environmental Working Group. They tested the blood and urine of twenty teenagers across the country looking for known carcinogens, neurotoxic ingredients, hormone-disruptors etc and every single teenager tested positive for every ingredient. This really shocked me especially because I was fourteen and they were focusing mainly on teens.

KK: Wow! That is shocking and scary.

KK: There are so many reasons why I am thrilled about you and your brand. Recently I watched a documentary called America The Beautiful, which touches on a few topics, one of them being all of the harmful ingredients that large corporations put in everyday skincare and makeup. It's scary to think that we are at risk from the products we wear every day, to make ourselves look and feel beautiful. Why do you think companies use these ingredients, when you have shown us we can be offered a line that is 100% free of toxic chemicals?

AA: Because they always have, and no one is telling them that they cannot. We are poisoned for profit. I think a great quote on the topic is from Edward Kennedy in 1997, "The cosmetics industry has borrowed a page from the playbook of the tobacco industry by putting profits ahead of public health."

"We are poisoned for profit." ~ Ava Anderson

KK: It looks like you have got a pretty good team working on the brand, which is smart. Can you tell me how the team came about? They all seem to have specific roles that are imperative for the business to grow.

AA: My mom is President and my dad is VP. They both have a lot of experience in business and because I only recently turned sixteen, there are a lot of business things I cannot do, i.e. sign a check. We hired three fantastic people that were former employees of Princess House – our COO, IT Director, and Consultant Services Manager. They all understand the direct sales industry and have been so important to the success of our business. We have also brought on board a National Training Director, to help all of our consultants be successful. We have close to 500 consultants around the country in over 35 states since our launch a few months ago in December.

KK: How do you juggle running a business, being a full time student, and a teenager?

AA: School is my priority. I meet with mom after homework and studying. I call her at lunch and in the car ride home for updates and information. We try to make interviews on days off, and in the evening. Most of the initial product development happened over the summer. Next summer will be the same. I am also going to have a small foundation that will give “seed grants” to other teenagers with great ideas who wish to start a business.

KK: Can you take me through an average day?

AA: School, homework, check in with mom. Work on a new product, check formulations, research on toxic issue. Possibly an interview, or approval of bags, boxes, brushes, samples. Lots of time on the computer and always time for my friends. On Wednesday evenings we have a National Conference call with our Director of Training, that I participate in. I love hearing the enthusiasm from the consultants all over the country.

KK: My jaw is dropped, really. You are obviously so motivated and driven to turn this product into a great success. We need more people like you running the businesses of the world!

KK: I saw the press release on PR Newswire, how else are you spreading the word? I can just see a celebrity getting a hold of this and really loving it.

AA: The press has been really great so far. This is how many of our new consultants around the country are finding us. Most recently, we were featured in Vanity Fair Italy, Teen Vogue, and Glamour. Most of our local press came from one article by our local newspaper. The National Press is coming from our PR team in New York. They are really amazing. Last week on a day off from school, I went to New York to interview with Teen Vogue, Self, Fitness, and Natural Health magazine. There is a lot going on in this area. I get really excited every time a new article or post is published because I know people are getting this urgent health message that they probably would not have gotten had they not read the article.

KK: Congrats! Those one on one meetings with editors are so important and I am sure they are 100% behind the cause!

KK: As an alumni of Moses Brown, I often find myself tracing my small success now back to my time there. I have nothing but good things to say about the teaching staff there and the school life. Now that was over 10 years ago, but do you feel like MB has been a part of why you are able to do such a magnificent thing at such a young age?
AA: I love my school. It is a place that allows me, and my peers, to do anything and be our best self. We have a classmate who was in a film with Ben Affleck over the summer, due to release in the Spring. I also have two good friends who started a cupcake business and they give all proceeds to the hungry in America. We have big ideas. The school and Headmaster have been very supportive.

I want to thank Ava for her time. As you can see, she is a busy girl and Ava Anderson Non Toxic is growing fast! I told Ava to let me know if there was any information she wanted me to add. Ava wants to share with the public that currently, Europe bans 1,342 toxic ingredients, whereas the United States has only banned 9, and that manufacturers can legally hide 600 toxic chemicals in the word “fragrance” or “parfum” on your ingredient label…and they do! ( This chills me to the bone.) Johnson & Johnson and Walmart are currently being sued for using one of the 9 banned ingredients in their baby shampoo. This affects everyone. Remember, just because your high end lotion cost you half of your rent, doesn't mean its safe.

Also, Ava Anderson Non Toxic is coming out with cosmetics, a baby line, bath and body line, a men’s line, and more to replace all of the toxic products that touch us daily. You can find much more eye opening and helpful information on and on their Facebook and Twitter pages.