Month: April 2014

BFW: Day 4 Recap

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The fourth night of Birmingham Fashion Week had a little bit of something for everyone. It was such a fun night!

It started off strong with opening designer Hunter Bell. She was the winner of the second season of NBC’s Fashion Star. Having southern roots (she is a South Carolina native and attended the University of Alabama), she successfully blended the style of the perfectly polished, southern femme with the edge of the downtown professional trendsetter. All of her garments are created in the U.S.–another great reason to support the talented, young designer!

The Rising Design Star challenge followed, featuring young designers who could very well be the mentors for Project Runway’s infamous unconventional materials challenge. They created looks with everything from smashed CD’s to Christmas tinsel! To keep them from getting too comfortable, they were given an additional challenge to create a second design using recyclable Pepsi products from Buffalo Rock. I see some Emerging Designers in Birmingham Fashion Week’s future!

Birmingham shoppers also got a chance to see what’s available to them in stores right now with runway shows from featured retailers MarellaGus Mayer and men’s fashions from The Baer’s Den.

Headlining designer Salence followed suit with men’s outerwear that I did not capture. Sorry, guys! I was more focused on the ladies’ looks!

Like looks from SW3 Bespoke who rocked the runway with hippy chic looks with a modern twist. Very boho. Very cool. Plus, they’re made in America! Even cooler! I noticed a pair of lace pants on the runway I live blogged about during a local event I covered for B-Metro Magazine. I’ve always loved lace and lace pants are a must-add to my wardrobe! Thanks to Birmingham Fashion Week, I’m now a fan of a brand I was previously unfamiliar with!


Of course, one of my favorite parts about attending these shows is seeing what the lovely people of Birmingham pull out of their own closets! Here were some of my fave looks off the runway!

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Thanks for reading! Can’t wait to share the BFW Finale with you!


BFW: Grassroots (A Local Fashion Evolution)

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I already introduced you to Elizabeth Singleton, Birmingham Fashion Week’s Up and Coming Designer.

Well, there are 12 other young designers who hope to follow in her footsteps!

They were featured during the first night of BFW, which focused on amazing local talent. And let me tell you, I was impressed! I REALLY wanted several of these pieces! (side note: I was also impressed with this year’s production! It was bigger and better than last year!)

My fave of the night had to go to Auburn University student Kailey Smith. I loved her use of sheer fabrics. I have seen plenty of the sheer bottoms with boyshort/granny undies on the red carpet and have not really been a huge fan. But, for some reason, I wanted to rock these sheer looks in the worst way! Don’t know where I’d wear them exactly, but it would be awesome to be able to step out in one of these looks as a confident woman! I’m rooting for you on Saturday, Kailey!

Here are more highlights from other emerging designers:

We are in the heart of the Southeastern Conference, so it’s fitting there were “game day” appropriate looks from local designers three07.

The headlining designer was Harold&MOD with such an eclectic, bohemian, vintage vibe. Perfect for any cool girl.

Birmingham Fashion Truck also showed off the latest spring trends available for a real woman on the go!! I will feature this fabulous business in a later post! Fashion on wheels?! Awesome, right?!

Not all of the hot looks were seen on the runway! I snapped a few pics of some stylish spectators and fellow Birmingham bloggers! A few other pics from the evening are also included. I threw myself in a few of them. It wouldn’t be complete without some selfies, right? Do you have a favorite look?


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I wasn’t able to attend the second and third nights of shows and I hate that! I REALLY wanted to see Project Runway alums Anthony Ryan Auld and Joshua McKinley during Thursday night’s show because they killed it last year! They were both so entertaining! But so is life. I’ll be back at the tent for shows on Friday and the finale on Saturday! Can’t wait! To see a full line-up of all designers and schedules, go to Birmingham Fashion Week’s website.

Thanks for reading!! xoxoxo

BFW Spotlight On Elizabeth Singleton

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While I was at the Birmingham Fashion Week Kick-Off Gala at Alabama Ballet, I had the opportunity to meet some wonderful fashion lovers. One person I briefly mentioned in my kick-off post was up-and-coming designer Elizabeth Singleton (seen wearing a coral dress from Kohl’s Elle collection, Candie’s nude ankle-strap heel and Coach bag).

When I first saw Elizabeth, I thought she might be a model because she is super tall and gorgeous. Turns out, she was the winner for last year’s BFW Emerging Designers competition. She was also invited to return to BFW as the featured Up and Coming Designer on opening night! So, I made it a point to check out her designs. On the night of the gala, Elizabeth said she wasn’t really nervous…more like excited. But that changed the night of the show when she said the nerves finally arrived! But she need not worry! She had a great showing with looks that were classic, easy and fresh. My favorite was the knotted skirt and tank combo.

Here’s a look at some of her other designs that graced the runway.

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Elizabeth is a true inspiration to local, aspiring designers. She took the title of Emerging Designer and ran with it. She said winning last year’s competition gave her that boost she needed to believe in herself and move forward with her passion for design. She packed up and headed to the Big Apple where she holds a part-time job which gives her time to focus on her designs. She also had the chance to intern with acclaimed designer Rebecca Minkoff. Click here to follow Elizabeth’s budding career!

This year’s Emerging Designer finalists could learn a thing or two from Elizabeth. If she could give them any advice, it’s this:: Don’t stress yourself out too much and take the time to enjoy everything that’s going on!

Good luck to all of this year’s young designers and good luck to Elizabeth on her continued success!




Birmingham Fashion Week Kick-Off

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Birmingham Fashion Week starts tonight! I’m more than ready to see famed designers show their hottest Spring trends. Young, local designers also get a chance to show off their innovation and creativity! It will be awesome!

To set the tone for this week of fabulosity (yeah, I stole Kimora Lee’s catch phrase, don’t judge me), show organizers held a kick-off gala at the Alabama Ballet center for dance on Saturday. In attendance: show organizers Heidi Elnora and Jeana Lee Fleming, models, stylists and one budding fashionista!

It was a perfect night to get dressed up and also get an inside look at the Alabama Ballet costume shop!

I love seeing what everyone is wearing, so my goals for the night were to meet new, fashionably-invested people and to see what people were wearing!

I didn’t even take my own pic, but I did manage to get in front of the camera with fashion week co-founders!

Because I couldn’t shop for anything new, I wore a two-year old lace dress I purchased from Lotus Boutique (a local business), my Charlotte Russe Outlet necklace featured in a recent blog post, Madden Girl heels from DSW and a sequin clutch from Forever 21.

Here are details of the organizers’ fabulous outfits!

Heidi Elnora, along with Birmingham Fashion Week co-founder is a bridal gown designer, future TLC reality show star and former Project Runway designer! So, I thought it was fitting she could barely tell me about her outfit! She doesn’t have to remember brands/designers. She is a designer. All she remembered was her skirt and alligator bracelet were from Nordstrom Rack, her other bracelets are by Shalla Wista. About the pic, Heidi..I thought I had a good front view from you! Sorry for the candid shot! But you still looked so fab!

Jeana Lee Fleming, Birmingham Fashion Week co-founder, dressed to the nines in a backless dress by Alexis, flea market clutch!, Lisa Kerns cuff and Jimmy Choo heels. Talk about high-low mixing!

Jeremy Stephens, Creative Director/Lead stylist for BFW, owner of Aia the salon

Stevi Mahaffey, Fashion Week junior board member: Free People skirt, self-styled T-shirt (I should have taken a pic of the back, because it was shredded)

Rachel Rohler, assistant to Heidi Elnora: Billy Reid dress, Steve Madden shoes, thrifted bag. (By the way, I wasn’t familiar with Billy Reid, but after searching through the designer’s site, I’m officially a fan!)

Ashley Burgess, model (winner of last year’s BFW Fresh Face model competition): Urban Outfitters dress, Aldo shoes

Anna Marie Parrish, model: Charlotte Russe dress, shoes from Burlington Coat Factory

Brantley Willis, hair stylist: Christian Dior Blazer, Gap shirt, Frye shoes // Brian Avery, hair stylist: Brooks Brothers blazer, button-down, Izod pants, Del Toro loafers.

Islara Vazquez, Alabama Ballet finance manager: Ann Taylor loft top, vintage skirt, Worthington shoes from DSW

And, last but not least, new fashion blogger buddy, Rachel Tindall from To Hell In a Handbag. Go check out her blog!! ASOS dress, Boutique 9 heels, Target bag.

Here are a few other pics from the night! Included, are images from the costume shop tour (which was absolutely breathtaking!)

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I will be there for the first round of Birmingham Fashion Week shows from: up and coming designer Elizabeth Singleton, retails from Birmingham Fashion Truck, as well as featured designers Three07 and Harold and Mod. Can’t wait to share with you!!

Thanks for reading!



Loophole Love and Giveaway!

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Most of you probably know I’m a huge fan of Banana Republic. Well, I just became an even bigger fan because they have given me the BEST LOOPHOLE EVER (details on how you can also enjoy it below)!! For budding fashionista newbies, the loophole is for my current shop-free challenge. I’m not shopping for 6 months (i.e. not spending money on clothes/accessories) and not repeating entire outfits.

Banana Republic is apparently doing a trial run on “$25 off entire purchase” coupons for every Wednesday in April (their typical Wednesday coupon is 40% off one full-priced item). I received an email with the special coupon and also got another coupon in the store! If I could do a back flip, I would! So, if you’re looking for me on Wednesdays for the remainder of the month, it will not require U.S. Marshals to track me down.

Here’s what I got the first two Wednesdays of April. Remember, I had a paper coupon and emailed coupon! Quick math for you: there are 5 Wednesdays in April, so that means $250 worth of free duds!! Because I can’t spend a penny, my purchases cannot exceed $25. No biggie! I’m ok with getting a $20 top or $25 bracelet. OR ANYTHING for that matter. Just give me that guilt-free loophole!!

Week One:

A black, lace shell with coral piping details. I plan on pairing this several ways: with white pants, with coral pants, with jeans and a white blazer, with a white pencil skirt. It was only $15.99, so I also had enough left over to get a pair of socks that I’ll be giving away to my Instagram followers.

I also took home a tweed-front top with white/yellow detail and black back. Expect to see me wearing this with white pants, white pencil skirt, maybe even some red pants! It was $19.97, so I also had enough left over to get another pair of socks!

Week Two: I really scored, big time! Markdowns were an additional 30% off and it was combine-able with the coupon! Heaven on Earth for any bargainista, lemme tell ya!

I got this floral blazer. Retail $140. Marked down to $29.97 and then 30% off. Total price: $21! so… Free to me! *insert cabbage patch dance here* I’ve already paired it with a white shell, red pants and black heels with a gold cap-toe. But it will be on heavy rotation this summer. I’ll also pair it with, what else? white pants/skirt (of course), layered over dresses and maybe even my coral jeans. I’m digging this model’s look as well, so I could easily re-create it with a striped khaki sweater!

With my second coupon, I scored this graphic black/white 3/4 sleeve sweater. Black and white sweater. Need I say more? Will go with just about anything! It was $24.97 and 30% off!

You can get in on the $25 off action, too! I’m going to give away at least one (maybe two of them, if I can pry it from my own hands) coupon! If you’re interested in getting one of the coupons, just comment below and you will be included in a random drawing for one (or two) winner(s)! Be sure to follow me/comment on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter for an upcoming post with additional chances to win!

Thanks for reading and good luck!!

Oh, yes! It’s Ladies’ Night (and men can come, too)!

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High end shopping is not something I can typically afford, but it is certainly something I appreciate (and try to copy!)! That’s why I’m so excited to share I’ll be attending and covering a “Night Out” with Style Blueprint’s Faces of Birmingham. The event will be held at Gus Mayer , a local, upscale women’s boutique at the Summit shopping center.

gus mayerIt’s a night of tax-free shopping, giveaways, great music, complimentary cocktails and free hors d’oeuvres! It’s definitely a see and be-seen event for anyone interested in fashion and trends (pssst…it’s also free to attend!)

You can see me even if you aren’t in the Birmingham area! I’ll be covering the event live via social media for B-Metro Magazine from 5-8pm Thursday, April 10th.

Sidenote: I love this local lifestyle magazine and have always secretly wanted to work for them ever since I learned of their existence when moving to the Magic City. So, of course I’m thrilled to finally be connected in some capacity!

Another thrilling moment: a friend of mine said she heard an ad on the radio announcing I’ll be among the other live bloggers at the event! I’m still dragging my jaw on the floor! The budding fashionista was mentioned on the radio?! I’m still in disbelief!

So, please take a second to check me out here:

Facebook: budding fashionista

Twitter: @buddingfashion1

Instagram: @buddingfashionista

I’ll be looking forward to sharing all of the fashion excitement as we get ready for the 4th annual Birmingham Fashion Week!

2 Months Down, 4 to Go!

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I just realized I went the whole month of March with no blog post! oops! It was a relatively busy month. Sorry!

That means it’s April. And THAT means I’ve now gone two months without shopping!! Can you believe I’ve come this far? Well, don’t believe it completely.

I used part of a gift card! Day 49 was the day of weakness. I do believe my previous blog post mentioned something about being able to use gift cards and rewards. I did get two comments on Instagram saying it would NOT be cheating to use those resources. That is all I needed to hear to know I should be able to use those non-cash/credit funds guilt-free!

I got a $25 gift card from my local Outlet Shops of Grand River by donating 10 gently used items to King’s Home. With spring break upon me, I decided to use it for a replacement hat. My straw fedora from last year was trampled and tattered, so I just replaced it with a $10 one from Charlotte Russe. Here are a couple of ways I wore it on a beach trip.

I really feel like this hat amps up any spring/summer look and I instantly feel cooler when I wear it. The hat also looks great with maxi dresses! It will definitely be on heavy rotation this season!

While at Charlotte Russe, I also discovered how cute and affordable their jewelry is! I wasn’t sure about the quality, but for $5 each, I had to give a couple statement necklaces a try.

I’ve worn one the black one once. And so far, so good! I would say I’ve already gotten my money’s worth! (sidenote: Costume jewelry is NOT something I like to invest a lot of money in. No matter how nice it is, it’s not going to last forever, so you just will never see me paying more than about $25 for a fake necklace.)

Other than that, I’ve bought a few things for the kids (all on sale, of course). And that’s it.

That means I’ve been remixing my existing wardrobe to keep from repeating outfits. I admit, I’ve even resurrected a couple of things out of my “goodwill” pile to stretch my options. (Don’t forget, if you want to keep track of my daily outfits check out the budding fashionista Facebook page.)

By not obsessively shopping as I’ve done in the past, I have learned a thing or two.

1. I actually feel liberated! I cannot remember ever going even one month without shopping (since I started making money), so this is a completely new experience for me. It’s actually been an exciting challenge! Sure, it sucks when I see friends make purchases or find great deals, but in the end, not spending feels pretty darn great.

2. My shopping habits may be changing after this is all said and done. I have quite the urge to buy more unique pieces and more luxury items. After not spending for two months, I feel like I really want my money to make a statement. I spent some time with an old friend a while back and she had on this super fab long sweater coat-poncho thing that I thought was just amazing! It was unique and totally made a statement when she walked in the room. It helped me realize I want my buck to make a bang! Don’t get me wrong, more often than not, I will still be swayed by fabulous deals. But, the difference is, I know I will be ok if I pass up a great deal or two with the intention of making different purchases later.

Who knows? By six month’s end. I may not know what to do with myself and go right back to my old ways. Hopefully, that will not be the case.

Now, I would be remiss to say I am not salivating over trying some new spring trends. So, stay tuned for an upcoming post on my wish list for this season (which will hopefully coincide with some things I’ll be seeing at Birmingham Fashion Week!)

Happy Spring!!