Coach's Comeback + 1941 X Opening Ceremony

If you love a well made handbag like every girl and her brother, it's time to turn back the calendar to Coach's classic designs where it all started in 1941.  As you will read on their website, "The Coach brand stands for authenticity, innovation, and relevance..."  Since I inherited my first Coach bag, a saddle bag hand me down from my Mom, I have appreciated their desire to craft a quality material, accessible to the masses.

During the first decade of the 21st century, with what appeared to be store on every corner in New York City and in every mall in America, Coach seemed to creep away from that iconic style, focusing more on mass production, quantity over quality. With a new executive creative director at the helm, Stuart Vevers, there appears to be an intentional return to quality equivalent to that of their very first products made in 1941.

You may or may not be as familiar with the Opening Ceremony brand.  Established in 2002, what was first a single store front in downtown NYC is now a global community brand and one of my favorite on line sites to shop for unique fashions for myself and my clients with an edgier taste. "Coach and Opening Ceremony team up to bring a special lineup of Opening Ceremony-exclusive handbags.  Taking 'American floral's and 'Wild Beast' prints from Coach's Spring/Summer 2016 collection, these bags also feature whimsical silhouettes from Bonnie Cashin's past designs."  Here are a few of my favorite designs from the unique collection... 

Get Your Green On (My Client On The Today Show!)

So yesterday was a very exciting day for one of my awesome brainy babe clients, and because it was exciting for her, naturally, it was exciting for me.  Michelle Icard is THE expert on providing guidance and resources to tweens and their parents during those difficult, sometimes downright excruciating, middle school years.  Strapped with a cape, AKA her namesake business, Michelle In The Middle, she speaks to adults in order to help ease adolescent social stress. Um HELLO!!! Where was this Glenda The Good Witch when I was in middle school??!

Anyway, Michelle nailed her segment, and represented the 704 like nobody's business.  The opportunity to help her choose the perfect dressing was great fun.  We had several winners, but when she put on this emerald green "house dress for the 21st century working mom" (I just made that up), her entire bedroom suite lit up like Oz.  We wanted something brainy and sophisticated, like Michelle.  A solid to stay it on the conservative, more business than fashion side, but still possessing head turning qualities. I think we hit the jackpot!

If you have children of any age (in other words your spouse acts like a child at times), this segment is for YOU.  And just because it is St. Patty's Day, I've selected a few green numbers for you.  Shop them all HERE if you are unable to see the below dresses!

Spend A Little....

Spend A Lot... 

Sparkle And Slim

Poolside Gossip print by Slim Aarons or Poolside Party and Desert House Party
Photography by:
Brennan Booker. Sequin Romper: French Connection (old) similar, and this one or this one, Cut Out Shoulder Sweater: Yigel Azrouel, Glitter Corset Belt: Raina Belts from KK BloomBoots: J.Crew, Flower cuff: Blydesign, Cleo Cuff in Rutilated Quartz: Thanks to eb jewelry studio, Pearl and Brass Necklace: Thanks to Kristin Hayes Jewelry, Earrings: Lauren Kingsley's Stella & Dot. Hair: Aurora Casteen at Borealis

Best Yet

I think this is my best editorial work yet.  It is a collective effort... photography, models, location, hair and makeup, clothes, props, weather, etc that make a package complete.  I've always struggled to feel the "styling" is relevant when you are looking at, simply, a $5,000 couture gown on a beautiful model.  I think the credit there should go to the clothing designer. The styling in this photo shoot is much more restrained and clean than my usual expression of art and creativity, but for this particular shoot, I believe it was necessary to let the designer wardrobe do the talking and the models wear the clothes versus the styling itself be at the forefront. Alyn and Matt wowed in SouthPark Magazine

Photography: Joseph Bradley, Hair and Makeup: Jami Svay, On Location: Ritz-Carlton Charlotte

Street Style: Plaza Midwood

We are closing into Christmas, and I am slowly but surely getting close to have shared all of the photos from the Southpark Magazine's FALL FASHION Issue.  Despite the fact that it is definitely too cold to still wear the below dress, at least if you are in Charlotte, I hope you are still enjoying the outstanding fashion.  This truly was my favorite photo shoot to date.  I loved moving from one neighborhood to the next around the Queen City.  At the complete opposite end of the spectrum from Ballantyne, Plaza Midwood is one of Charlotte's most eclectic and a favorite for many.  Outside of the one photographed in the below image, I'm having a hard time to think of another Dairy Queen located in Charlotte. If there is, this one is definitely a fan favorite.  In a city where everything seems to keep getting torn down for "bigger, newer and better" (I call hogwash on better), this DQ is the OG.  We kept Chelsea styled down and totally fun for this shot, just like the neighborhood. 

ModelChelsea LewisPhotographerZach AlstonHair and Makeup: Chelsea Kimrey.
Nicholas K Dress and assorted Thakoor silver jewelry from ChezElle Boutique

Street Style: Midtown + Kristin Hayes Jewelry

This was my Madonna shot.  I think it all came together in my head that this Midtown needed an outfit like this.  It is thrown together with this sorta gaudy, sorta cool 80's mixed mashed type of style.  I think about the old Midtown Mall, which previously served the community for decades, right where Chelsea is riding up the escalator by Best Buy at what became today's Metropolitan. Chelsea looks very late 80's/early 90's sexy and hot yet demure behind those red lips, side swiped hair and gobbed on mix and matched accessories.  Basically, I cannot ever get enough of my special friend Kristin Hayes' vintage caviar for jewelry.  QC Exclusive  just included her in their current issue.  Check it out on news stands all over the QC.  I can't help but wonder if they secret shopped my Instagram in order to further popularize my not for long hidden gem soon to be super star.  Having two young boys, I knew just what to expect on an escalator, but Zach capturing this photo was so impressive to watch.

ModelChelsea LewisPhotographerZach AlstonHair and Makeup: Chelsea Kimrey.
Keepsake Subtract Dress and Miss Mochilla bag from KK Bloom, Vivetta Botanica Shirt from Capitol, BCBGeneration Carnival Dress Sandals from Sloan Boutique.

Click HERE to shop Chelsea's outfit.  Also, be sure to nab the current issue of Southpark Magazine to see lots more of Kristin Hayes Jewelry, as well as Carolina Bride in January.  Your bridesmaids will covet your taste and style.

Goodwill GW Pop Up Store

I am so proud of my philanthropic partners over at Goodwill of the Southern Piedmont. Goodwill is opening a concept store called "GW" at the Epicentre for one week only, Monday, November 30th – Sunday, December 6th. Taking place in the space where Revolution used to be location, GW is a boutique that will feature many of their high-end items from the store.   GW is being modeled similarly to that of other trendy boutiques with color blocking, selling women’s clothing, accessories, jewelry and shoes, as well as a small area for men in the back. 

To give you a pictorial idea of what to expect at GW, I've including some images of the shop that Goodwill has passed along to me.  Partnering with this fantastic organization over the last few years, I've obviously spent some time at the stores.  But let me tell you, what you will see at GW isn't what you would expect to see at the regular Goodwill stores.  I mean, certainly bits and pieces, but GW is going to be the New York City Upper East Side Carrie Bradshaw version of Goodwill. Take a look here...    

Yep! Just in time for the Christmas holidays and your favorite tacky sweater parties, GW even has an entire section dedicated to tacky Christmas sweaters!

Also, I had to share some of these outfits put together by some local fashion bloggers for my friends over at Scoop Charlotte.  Nice work ladies!

Store hours for the week are as follows:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

  • Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

  • Sunday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Don't miss it!

Gift Guide For The Style Obsessed Coffee Table Book Collector

A few clients and friends have texted and emailed to ask if I'll be sharing my top Gift Guide picks for this holiday season. You ask and you shall receive.  SO.... here is my first of the season; Coffee Table Books For The Style Obsessed!  My own coffee tables, chairs, radiator box covers and side tables are piled high with them, so I thought I'd share a few of my favorites with you.  Since I'm equally in love with one of a kind fashion, emerald shiny interiors and impeccable manners, none of which ever go out of style, there's a little bit of all three here.  I hope you enjoy, and stay tuned for me in His, Hers, Wee Ones, Hostess Gifts and more!

Street Style: Myers Park

The Winter Style Issue of Southpark Magazine is fresh out on the news stands now, but that won't stop me from not sharing the last few looks created for the Fall Fashion Guide in September.  This fashion forward interpretation of Street Style in nine popular Charlotte neighborhoods was one of my all time favorites.  The image below was taken in my own neighborhood of the Myers Park area at my home away from home, Park Road Shopping Center (Blackhawk Hardware popcorn anyone?)

ModelChelsea LewisPhotographerZach AlstonHair and Makeup: Chelsea Kimrey.
Sundry Madras Plaid Basic Shirt at Denim House, Keepsake Cream Midi Skirt at KK Bloom (similar),  My Grandmother's Vintage Purse, J.Crew Ankle-Strap Leather Heels (similar here and here), Kristin Hayes Jewelry Vintage Brooch, Target Oversized Black Sunglasses.

Street Style: SouthEnd

ModelChelsea LewisPhotographerZach AlstonHair/MakeupChelsea Kimrey. Black Sheep Skate Shop.
Indie Ella Kimono, Keepsake Playsuit, Jan Michaels Brass Flower Pin from ChezElle, Koolabura Fringe Booties from Sloan, Mere Jewelry Earrings from KK Bloom, Cleo Cuff c/o eb jewelry studio, Cross Necklace c/o Boho Beads, Addison Weeks Pink Opal Bendall Cuff

Hi Everyone!  I'm back with another outfit from SouthPark Magazine's Fall Fashion issue.  This might be my favorite of the collection.  I think it isn't any one specific element but every aspect combined.  The outfit, Chelsea's look at the lens, her natural hair, and most of all, the skateboarders cruising by and candidly jumping into the shot with a "supermodel" one by one... Zach just kept snapping, and voila!  Picture perfect.  

I can't believe it, but I have been absent for almost a month!  I was at a brewery run one night a couple of weeks ago and someone asked me, "are you still writing on the blog?"  It made me feel so good to know the Queen City Style was missed!  Times flies when you're... busy. Not a day goes by I don't think about the Queen City Style and what an important part of my life this blog has served, so thank you for being here.  

Street Style: Uptown Funk You Up

ModelChelsea LewisPhotographerZach AlstonHair and MakeupChelsea Kimrey.
The Row Zip Front Long Sleeve Mini Dress at Neiman Marcus, Hermes Vintage Silk Scarf from J.T. Posh, J. Crew Ankle Strap Leather Heels, GiGi New York Clutch from Monkee's of Charlotte, Kate Spade Sunglasses. 

Because I can't get enough of Russian "princess" Miroslava Duma.  That's pretty much it.  Oh, and I really ladies would DRESS to impress uptown.  That, and this photo opp was another chance to put my Hermes Silk Scarf (purchased at a fraction of retail at J.T. Posh) to befitting use.  That was my inspiration for the Uptown Street Style look for SouthPark Magazine's Fall Fashion issue...

noteworthy.

I am very excited to share with you the launch of my friend, Emily's, new digital magazine and website, noteworthy.  As the title states, Emily is sharing a little bit about a lot of things stylish, only which however, she views as "noteworthy."  I'm tickled she asked me to be a part of her launch!  I sat down with Emily to give her my two cents on one of the season's hottest trends, the flare denim jean.  I appreciate Emily speaking accurately on my behalf in that, while I do love the flare jean, a trend is personal and should never be forced.  Without further adieu, if you've had those bell bottom blues since the last (not so) fair attempt with boot cut jeans in the late 1990's, I'm excited to share with you my top picks for this season.  See the entire list and more over at noteworthy...

Street Style: SouthPark II

ModelChelsea LewisPhotographerZach AlstonHair and Makeup: Chelsea Kimrey.
Alice + Olivia Luisa A-Line Midi Skirt at Neiman Marcus, Enza Costa Printed Cashmere Sweater from Denim House, Joie Paxton Laser-Cut Bootie, Ceri Hoover Pony Hair (also here) and Heather Benjamin Antique Tusk Ring from Sloan, Vintage Chanel Chain Necklace at Monkee's of Charlotte (also these earrings), Kristin Hayes Jewelry Vintage Brooch, Chain and Stone Necklace, Earrings from ChezElle, Blydesign Brass and Floral Cuff, Alexis Bittar Assorted Lucite Braclets from Denim House (also here and here), eb jewelry Studio Green Quartz Cleo Cuff

The Making Of A Photo Shoot About Trains

A little diversion from the SouthPark Magazine Fall Fashion pictures to share with you a few photos from the making of the Our State Magazine story about The Allure of Trains.  If you love romance, travel and nostalgia as much as I do, you will love this story.  This was my first time working with Our State Magazine, and I was absolutely taken by the beauty of these machines located at the North Carolina Transportation Museum.  I wanted to share a few images taken by husband and wife photography duo, Brett & Jessica, out of Raleigh. As you can see it was a grey day, but you never would have known it looking at the cover of the magazine...

Street Style: SouthPark I

The third look for SouthPark Magazine's Street Style photo shoot was one of two we granted to the SouthPark, given the neighborhood is the magazine's namesake.  This was the first time I have worked with Paul Simon or Paul Simon Women on a project.  I haven't been in the store in years, and to be quite honest, I had the stereotype in my head that this was a place for only my Mom to shop.  Not so.  I look at Chelsea's chic modern look, and I don't think "my Mom's clothes" for one second.  I always tell my client that the fit is the very most important thing with your clothes.  Secondly, the styling is what personalizes an outfit.  The three pieces; the pants, sleeveless turtleneck sweater and cape, all from Paul Simon Women, are the base pieces to this outfit. It's no secret that fringe might be the fall season's single most popular trend, so the cape was my starter piece. The end result could have gone in a number of directions.  The hat, one of my most prized pieces from my personal collection, is a total statement maker. For whatever reason, Chelsea's makeup, hair and hat, (Kudos to HMU Artist Chelsea Kimrey) remind me of a Parisian Nancy Sinatra.  The Loeffler Randall Rider Bag is also my own. After hours and hours of souring boutiques all over Charlotte and coming back to the studio with an arsenal of options, I still found this one to be the best fit for the overall look.

ModelChelsea LewisPhotographerZach AlstonHair and Makeup: Chelsea Kimrey.
Rani Cashmere Fringe Cape, Autumn Cashmere Cotton Cable-Knit Sleeveless Sweater and Lisette Same Plaid Stretch Pants from Paul Simon Women Cole Haan Boots, Eugenia Kim Hat, Loeffler Randall Medium Rider Bag, Double Happiness Necklace at Sloan Boutique

What I Wear Every Day + Free Shipping Code

If I'm not the only fashion blog you follow, one thing you know about me is I love anything and everything that no one else has.  Another thing I think most others do want, however, is to be comfortable while looking good. Enter La Senorita Jolie.  If there was ever a call for every day clothes that feel like pj's for the stylish and put together, it's La Senorita Jolie. This IS a sponsored post, but I am only sharing my secret with you, because I feel 100% passionate about the product.  I wear their tees, sexy sweatshirt and maxi dresses all summer long.  I wear them on set when I am styling commercial shoots and all the time when I am with my children. Today was Fall Parish Day, which is one of two casual days at our church, and I found my new tie dye maxi and black cotton shawl perfectly suitable for the occasion.

If you're interested in hopping on the LSJ train, you can shop all their looks here.  If you're interested in REALLY hopping on the train, you might want to consider completing an application to work as an LSJ stylist. The clothing is easy to layer, understated and affordable. The product is available in sizes XS-4XL, so it's a product for REAL women.  Interested in learning more?  Check it out here, and if you order anything for yourself, be sure to use the Free Shipping Code: KMJBHC.

SouthPark Mag: How It Went Down & Get It

Model: Chelsea Lewis, Photographer: Zach Alston, Hair and Makeup: Chelsea Kimrey.
Adrienne Landau Fur from Denim House, MinkPink Crop Top from KK Bloom, Alice + Olivia Loran floral jacquard skirt from Neiman Marcus, Eugenia Kim hat, Joie taupe suede boots and Nima jeweled clutch from Sloan, Twine & Twig Cowrie Collar, Chakoor silver bracelet from ChezElle.

I shared this photo last week at the bottom of a previous post.  This project is one of my favorites to date, if not my favorite.  A big thank you to SouthPark Magazine for putting their trust in me and giving me so much creative freedom for this shoot.  When I met with the Editor to discuss ideas for their Fall Fashion editorial, she asked me for my ideas.  My first question was "Do you have any parameters?"  Her answer?  "Fall Fashion".  Okay. Well, let's play ball!  I had not given it any forethought, because I was just so excited for a second opportunity to express my love of fashion on the pages of this great magazine.  But goodness, the proverbial flood gates were wide open.  No trends. No boring catalog sales pictures. Just straight up art, created with an amazing team and the intent to showcase the fall fashions available at some of Charlotte's hottest boutiques.  

The cover shot, taken in Dilworth, is one of my favorites. Just about every single items the model, Chelsea, is wearing, comes from a different store.  If you are interested in how the outfits came together, the crew came to my house; my basement transformed into a studio.  I mixed up some Buffalo Trace and Coke, along with fresh muddled cherries. We turned up the music, and suddenly I was that little girl at my Grandmother's house. Mixing and matching her clothes with my Great-Grandmother's.  This skirt, that hat, these shoes, that shirt, no this one, these earrings, this necklace, another necklace, oh wait one more.  Oh hell, just put 'em all on.  And so the outfits were born.  Not too much time, not a great deal of thought, but certainly a fair amount of discretion. If you live in the Queen City, be sure to visit these stores, or you may shop the post straight from this page, below the above image. 

Kate Moss In My Life

This is going to be one of those quickly written posts.  More and more they seem to be lately, but the Queen City Style is where it all started for me, and I love it (you) forever more. I was perusing Pinterest (my favorite social media time suck, because I am a slave to all beauty in the form of imagery), and I came across this photo of the person who is, if I had to say I have a style icon, my style icon; the incomparable Kate Moss.

I am not really a fan of the whole smoking-cigarette hanging out of the mouth thing, but if smoking looks cool on anyone, it's Kate Moss.

Anyway, you know how Pinterest is.  You see one picture, you click through, you pin it, you click through another, and the next thing you know you are on Pinterest for the night.  In saving the top photo to my Kate Moss board, I came across another photo that struck me, and I quickly remembered why.  The below photo was the inspiration for my Night Street Style photo shoot for the Carolina STYLE winter coffee table book that photographer Zach Alston and I shot with the one and only McKenzie Walden.  And then I realized, if there was ever a Southern answer to Kate Moss, it's McKenzie.  As Zach would say, WERK.

You see what I mean, yes?  It's there in her eyes.  Thanks to my friends at Denim House, Kristin Hayes Jewelry, Innovative Eye Care and, of course, my pal's Hot Wheels.  If you live in Charlotte and you don't know these stores and designers, you simply must go check them out. and say hello for me!

My Week Behind The Scenes

I am coming off of one crazy busy work weekend.  As you may recall from a previous post, this weekend I was a presenter at the Southern Women's Show.  I shared my tips for Fall and Winter Teacher Style on a budget that will not break the bank.  A HUGE shout out to my lovely assistant, Phanta.  I would have been in over my head in preparations without her.  Thursday afternoon and evening was a full one of creating outfits for the upcoming weekend's eight outfit changes for 12 models.  Thank you Phanta and Prosecco.

Earlier in the day I took an almost four hour bicycle adventure with Wild Nugget Worth over to Park Road Shopping Center, onto the Greenway, through Freedom Park, UP East Boulevard to Carolina Smoothie, back down East Blvd to the playground at Freedom Park and back on the Greenway through Park Road Shopping Center back home to meet Phanta, as well as a client, to give her this cool Free People jacket in time for Fall.

Back to that bike ride.... Most of our tours start with a visit at Black Hawk Hardware for some popcorn.  Like all the rest, this one did too.  Almost always, Willie is outside helping a customer, and we stop to say hello. I was trailing Worth, and as he approached Willie he put on his breaks.  With little reaction time, so did I.  And then I Super Womaned it over the handlebars, arms out wide flat on the concrete.  No idea how I was saved from a face brake... it must have been the Southern Women's Show Angels... I managed to make it out with only a handful of major bruises and a sore neck.  Willie came to our rescue with popcorn and a water for me and Sprite for Worth.  Needless to say, our next stop was to the bike shop for a new helmet for me.

Friday morning, clad in my DVF Supa Star Wrap dress, I loaded up my trusty rolling rack, and I was off to the show.  Thanks again to Phanta, to all the models, Marcia, The Southern Women's Show, The Charlotte Observer and everyone else involved.  We had a great first day.  If you missed it but want to know my top Teacher Fashion pics, do not dismay!  Pick up this Sunday's paper, where you'll find it all in the Style section. 

Bright and early Saturday morning I was off to High Point for a quick shoot with my friends at Julie Lopez Shoes.  We always have a great time on set, and I got to work with two of my favorite hotties, Jillian and Amy.

I've told you about them before, but if you haven't checked out Julie's shoes and you are on the market for a good looking, comfortable, Italian-made luxury shoe at a less than luxury shoe price, take a look. I LOVE my Layla nude python pump.  By noon, I was back down I-85 to Charlotte for another round of Teacher Style dialogue with the adorable Cristina Bolling, staff writer for The Charlotte Observer, followed by an IMMEDIATE crash in my bed before two more rounds on Sunday.

I hope YOU had a wonderful weekend.  One last thing, if you are over at Southpark Mall, be sure to grab the September Fall Fashion issue where we captured some pretty fantastic street style looks covering nine Charlotte neighborhoods.  Thanks to SouthPark Magazine for putting their trust in me.  One of my absolute most favorite projects to date!

NOVIS

Last Thursday I attended, along with my friend Emily, Poole Shop's annual Back To School event.  If you follow me here or on Facebook or Instagram, regularly, you know Poole Shop and it's mother store, Capitol, are two of my favorite.  Both stores bear a curated collection of the most out of this world clothing and accessories you truly can't find anywhere else in Charlotte, or the Southeast for the matter.  Thursday night's event was a star studded one among the design goddesses.  The sisters of NOVIS (the two gals second from the left) the twins of Lizzie Fortunato Jewels, the sisters of our very own Twine + Twig, and the lovely Dasha from Veda all represented.

I'll tell you a little about each of these designer's work, but today, just look at Novis' out of this world gorgeous, stunning beautiful collections.  A few pieces on Sale here. These girls are just babies, and so much talent!