I've been in the world of fashion pretty much my whole life. At age 8, I decided I wanted to be a "shopper" for a living. Although I didn't know it then, that thinking led me to become a retail buyer — essentially "a shopper" — in New York City.
In my time working in the industry, I've found that fashion presents itself in some of the most interesting and unlikely places. Designers take images they see in the real world and incorporate them into their looks all the time. Take, for example, the dress that illustrates this story, found at Lotus. A bright yellow piece, about the color of the sun on a spring day, it has a drawing of a skyline printed horizontally across the bottom hem. When gazing at Uptown from Kings Road, the dress and the Queen City's skyline bear a striking resemblance.
As a Charlotte fashion writer (among many other stylish things), I have been living, breathing, eating and drinking fashion and style for more than 13 years. Recently, I decided to document all the ways I see fashion in the real world. You might be surprised to find that what many consider normal, everyday life is rather exciting to a self-proclaimed fashionista.
As I walked my new puppy "Jersey" — properly named for the fashion knit as well as the state I relocated from — one afternoon, I noticed all the gorgeous flowers in and around my Highland Creek neighborhood. With floral prints serving as such a big trend this spring, I could hardly overlook all of the inspiring Pantone colors of the season, like tangerine orange, solar power yellow and bellflower purple. All of these colors and floral combinations reminded me of designer Prabal Gurung's 2012 spring collection, which incorporates floral motifs handmade in London.
I love to take the kids to Rita's Italian Ice, but when I looked over at the mint chocolate chip ice cream, I instantly thought of one of this season's hottest shoes, the coveted heels by Yves Saint Laurent. Sporting a chunky heel for comfort and a stylish gold plate on the front engraved with the brand's name, the shoes are a conversation piece. Although I'm not a fan of anything chocolate, I've heard it tastes as heavenly as these shoes look. Mint green paired with chocolate brown or a bushed gold, in both the ice cream or the shoes, are perfect combinations.
Recently, I sat down for a quick meeting at Amelie's French Bakery in NoDa, in the back area near the atrium. I noticed the beautiful, tonal blue-striped wall paper. It made the wall seem taller, even "leggier," if you will, in comparison with the other surrounding walls. Vertical stripes in clothing have pretty much the same effect on people as they do on the walls at Amelie's. They elongate your figure and make you look taller and slimmer — much like the wonderfully tailored pair by designer Luca that I recently saw on a runway.
A trip to the iconic Original Pancake House with one of my fashion cohorts proved that even pancakes speak style to me. The banana pancakes topped with crushed walnuts sprinkled across the top were positioned in such a way that I almost immediately saw a Kenneth Jay Lane Wood Nugget Necklace that sold out before I could snag one of my own. Once again, statement necklaces are huge this season and are a great way to jump on the seasonal trends without breaking your bank account. I'm not sure if it was that I wanted the necklace so badly that the arrangement of walnuts and the background color of the pancakes got me going, but whatever it was, I couldn't allow my friend to start eating until I had excitedly explained my vision and snapped a picture with my iPhone.
As you can see, the world of fashion is no far-off place that's only available to those who are stylish and in the know. Fashion can be seen all around us, from the amazing architecture of the skyline in Uptown to the green textures of nature in one of Charlotte's many parks. When you're out enjoying the warm weather, what elements of style do you notice?