When Life Gets That Way, There's Always Style (Follow Your Arrow Wherever It Points)

Watch Kacey Musgraves tell it... 

If you save yourself for marriage you're a bore. If you don't save yourself for marriage you're a whore-able person.  If you won't have a drink then you're a prude but they'll call you a drunk as soon as you down the first one.  If you can't lose the weight then you're just fat.  But if you lose too much then you're on crack.  You're damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't.  So you might as well just do whatever you want.  So, make lots of noise, kiss lots of boys, or kiss lots of girls if that's something you're into.  When the straight and narrow gets a little too straight roll up a joint, or don't (I'm from Asheville, there's no secret what we'd do). Just follow your arrow wherever it points. Yeah, follow your arrow wherever it points.

If you don't go to church, you'll go to hell. If you're the first one on the front row, you're a self righteous son of a-can't win for losing, you'll just disappoint 'em. Just 'cause you can't beat 'em, don't mean you should join 'em....

Photography by Brennan Booker, Dress: Marchesa Notte gifted by a client, Sunglasses: Illesteva from  (also LOVE these), Addison Weeks Bendall Cuff, eb jewelry studio Cleo Cuff, Headboard: One Kings Lane, Pira Lumbar Pillow: Anthropologie, Moroccan Wedding Blanket: Anthropologie, Plaited Metallics Pillow: Anthropologie, Threshhold Curtains: Target, Lamps and Lampshades: World Market, Jewelry Box: Pottery Barn,  Desert Plate: Anthropologie, Jonathan Adler Dolls Canister, My Daily Devotional: Jesus Calling, Meanwhile There Are Letters, 

Ready, Jet, Go!

Every project becomes my favorite to date, but this one is so good my eyes burn. For anyone that thinks this work is glamorous let me just tell you it is anything but!  I am a freaking work horse.  Blue collar to shame.  That is a small exaggeration but not really.  It all just goes back to perception.  We think everything looks good from the outside, but there is always a story.  Okay Jody and Amy DO look good.  Maybe that's why my eyes burn.  Anyway, the amount of blood sweat and tears that went into these Louboutin corset boots, but it was all worth it.  

Joseph Bradley Photography Models Amy Lee Whero of Marilyn's Agency and Jody Lee Petty.  Hair and Makeup by Jami Svay.

Dissecting the Bride: Avant-Garde

My first bridal editorial is in the books.  A big thanks to Carolina Bride for asking me to be a part of their 25th Anniversary Issue in which I was given the opportunity to style and source the wardrobe for a story on Fabulous Furs. It was such fun working with the editor to come up with a neat story about how to incorporate fur into your winter wedding, no matter your personal style.  We came up with six styles.  The editorial opened with probably my favorite look, Avant-Garde.  Is there any surprise?  Night time was upon us, and the location- a park of dense woods located in Myers Park just across from the Duke Mansion, served as the perfectly dark and moody location for a daring look.

Model: Kady McKenzie, Photography: Emby Taylor, Flowers: Flowers by Lingky, Hair and Makeup: Jami Svay, Dress: Winnie Couture, Fur: Pre-Owned Cuerulean Mink Stole from Douglas Hertzberg Montaldo's Furs, Fascinator: Nordstrom, Earrings and Bracelets: Kristin Hayes Jewelry

Fabulous Furs For Your Winter Wedding

Y'all!  I'm EXCITED!  My first bridal editorial ever!  If you are looking for High Style for your winter wedding, go check out the 25th Anniversary Issue of Carolina Bride on news stands now!  Our featured editorial is about how to incorporate fur (real or faux) into your winter wedding, no matter your personal style!  The six looks include Glamorous, Classic, Bohemian, Minimalist, Vintage and Avante Garde.  Thank you to Carolina Bride for including me on this super fun project with a stellar team!

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.

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.  

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!

Julie Lopez Shoes

I'm way over due sharing my excitement for this wonderful high fashion comfortable shoe handcrafted in the heart of Tuscany.  I was drafted to work with Julie Lopez Shoes to style their Spring and Summer catalog, and I fell in love with everything about the company... the shoes, the comfort, the fantastic mother daughter power duo running the company.  Check out all of their styles here, including my personal favorite, Layla.

Your Head Looks Weird

If you live in the Charlotte area, next time you are at SouthPark Mall or in the area, be sure to snag a copy of SouthPark Magazine.  I very worked hard on this one, along with an amazing team of individuals, businesses and boutiques, and I am flattered, humbled and excited to be a part the May issue.  The below picture is one in the series of images where I get to show off some really amazing clothes from a few of my favorite local boutiques.  My oldest son, Hank, now 7, saw the below image come up on my facebook page.  I couldn't help but chuckle at his reaction to seeing me dressed up like this.  (Let's be honest, I am a working mom of two active boys, the only time I look like this is for a photo shoot.  The next closest I come is on Sunday for church, date night or when I am meeting clients, but it is a loooong way off from this.

Hank: Mommy, is that you?
Me: (Excitedly) Yes!  What do you think? 
Hank: I don't get it.  it's weird.  Your head looks weird.  You look like you are someone else.
Me: Okay, well, does the rest of my body look like me?
Hank: Yea.
Me: Well, then do you at least like my outfit?
Hank: Why would I like it?!  I'm not a girl! (Runs upstairs to yell at little brother Worth for singing Let It Go again).

Ahh.  The honesty of a child.

Photography: Zach Alston. Hair and Makeup: Deme Fourtounis. Jumpsuit: Yoana Baraschi (from ChezElle), here in black. Kimono: Tracy Reese (from ChezElle), and here. Wedges: Jimmy Choo (from Coplon's) or here. Earrings: Kenneth J Lane (from Coplon's), similar here. Ring: Available at ChezElleNecklaceby boe.

Olivia Palermo, The Band Jacket And Me

Last week I couldn't help but throw myself a virtual deuce when I opened up my WhoWhatWear email to see none other than the one and only Olivia Palermo in the headlines wearing a jacket the publishers stamped with a big APPROVED by the one and only most impeccably dressed of all impeccably dressed women. This would typically come with no added excitement or surprise for that matter except for the fact that the jacket she was wearing, a Band Jacket, reminded me of the one I just wore in a Christmas photo shoot three weeks prior.  Even more, it resembled the one I styled on super model Amy Lemons in Charlottesville, Va. last Fall.

I'm just going to seize this as an opportunity to say I'd be lying if I didn't say I love hitting the trends before they actually become a trend.  Want to jump on the Band Jacket band wagon? Here are a few of my current favorites for your lassoing pleasure. 

'Tis The Season

Photograhy: Zach Alston. Models: Emma Claris and Tyler Von Seggern (Marilyn's Model and Talent Management). Hair and Makeup: Tia Rivers. Freaturing Kristin Hayes Jewelry.

'Tis the Season from one very special young couple on their first Christmas together!  This photo shoot with models Emma and Tyler was so much fun.  Everything about it was so magical and perfect.  Thank you to a good friend for opening her gorgeous home.  It was all made for a very prominent magazine if you ask me!  I had to get in on the action in the last picture.  How do you like my sexy tough model pose?  Ha!  Merry Christmas Everyone! I hope yours was filled with love, laughter, family and eggnog to your hearts delight.

What The Hell Is A Pork Lawn?

Photography by: Joseph Bradley Photography.  Wardrobe c/o: Taylor, Richards & Conger, Banana Republic.

Styling Darin McEntee was easy an the eyes.  What more is there to say?  Oh, well he did give me a replay of the most hysterical episode of Family Fued of all time, and I almost peed in my pants in his passenger seat.  Whether you like pork or don't care for it, you NEED this for your hump day.  

Styling Mollie Bradford

From a styling standpoint, this is probably one of my favorites of all time.  It's no secret I love, love dichotomous fashion.  In this case, I mixed some of the most fantastic vintage garments I could find.  If you are in the Charlotte area, surely you've visited Sleepy Poet Antique Mall. Sequestered in the middle (only because everything is sequestered in this unfathomable shop within a shop warehouse) is Kitschy-Cool-Vintage.  From costume to everyday wear, you will find some of the most unique pieces at an accessible (thank you for turned me onto this word Emily Maynard) price.  Zach Alston captured model Mollie as a China Doll dream.

Behind The Scenes Fav For The Ladies

In preparation for an upcoming photo shoot on Thursday, I came across one of my favorite Behind The Scenes videos.  It is one of my favorites for many reasons, but if you are female (or not), there's likely really no guess work.  Happy play and rewinding. Click and watch.

Engagement Gone Gorgeous

Donna recently took these photos of my family's precious neighbors and good friends, Lauren and Sterling, along with their babies Simba and Bear, and they are just too gorgeous for me not to share.  Congratulations to these two beautiful people!  You may contact Donna here.

Styling Avery Viditz-Ward

Model: Avery Vitz-Ward The Society Management. Photography: Zach Alston.  Hair and Makeup: Shaun Colomb.

This was my first time working with young stunner Avery Vitz-Ward.  The theme for our shoot was white and wood, and we repeated hints of navy blue or black throughout as well.  This 16 year old glamazon who recently signed to The Society Management Group (Adriana Lima) is a stunner at 5'10", with fierce moves to boot.  How great is the second picture?  I'm looking forward to great things ahead for Avery!

Styling Jake Mercer and McKenzie Walden

Models: Jake Mercer, Boss Models and McKenzie Walden, Tout. Photography: Zach Alston. Hair: Shaun Colomb Makeup: Teri-Lyn Hiroshige. Wardrobe Assistant: Arianna Gallardo

Just a touch of sexy for your weekend from one of my favorite shoots.  Hope yours is smashing!

Styling Nick Silverstein At The Humane Society Of Charlotte



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Clothing provided by: Belk, Blank Canvas, Silverfly and Taylor, Richards & Conger,

I reached out to some of the best in Charlotte's menswear for this comical and fun photo shoot styling Nick Silverstein at The Humane Society of Charlotte.  Photographed by the wildly talented young chap, Zach Alston, along with makeup and hair styled by Deme Fourtounis, Nick's exotic smoldering good looks deemed a perfect pair for our morning on set with our kittens and pups.

Styling Allison Dunavant



Photography: Kristia Knowles and Doug Brooks.  Lighting: Carl MillerModel: Allison Dunavant. Wardrobe: Se Moi. Hair and Makeup: Deme Fourtounis. Videography: Kenneth Quiller II 

Without question, this is one of my favorite shoots ever.  It was an all star weekend jammed packed with models, clothes, make up, accessories, flashing lights, flying clothes, laughter and creativity just pouring from everyone on set. When I look at these pictures of model Allison Dunavant, the first thing always on the tip of my brain is Those Eyes.  She reminds me of Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver.  Is it just me?  See it all go down here.  Gaaahh! Those eyes!!