If you were unaware, this right here is my sister, Charlotte. You can also call her Charli, or Chuck when she’s feeling sassy (though that’s her regular disposition). I think you can see a bit of that in her outfit, too. She’s a one-button-rebel wearing our mama’s vintage cardigan, + denim shorts, Doc Marten’s, & grandma’s clip-on earrings.
We wound up in Westwood of Cincy where most wouldn’t assume there are many treasures to be had in this part of town, but we spent some time digging that day and found ‘em; murals that recently popped up by Girl Mobb, and the cutest playground you ever did see.
Charlotte has the perfect, sprightly spirit to roam with me and explore. And even if we were to come up empty-handed, time with her would still always be worth my while.
I look forward to packing up a picnic basket and heading to this park with my sisters & niece next time I visit Cincinnati in warmer days ahead.
I was fortunate enough to spend a month in Philadelphia this summer. I had to live out of a suitcase, which is difficult for a woman who dresses based on her mood... I loathe packing. Probably because my luggage is overweight 90% of the time. Luckily I could cram my shoes and purses in my boyfriends suitcase. Not so sure how I am going to get back to Cincy without paying that overweight fee but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.
While in Philly, I met the lovely Khrystyna Ryan. I found her through Insta and reached out and offered to buy her a cup of coffee and chat on creative things! Not only did she reply promptly, she bought me the cup of coffee! And along with coffee and good company, she fed me honest advice and sincere encouragement. She invited me along for a shoot the following day and brought her beautiful cousin along to model for us. We roamed quaint streets of Philly, and I scrambled some outfits together out of my crazy suitcase to style Vladka (These Ukranian beauties with cool names—I think that's a requirement of models these days, no?)
Luckily Vladka and I are similar in size! And she finally made my vintage Gucci scarf-made-shirt come to life! Along with a Reformation denim mini, a thrifted lil' purse, and vintage men's Levi's with a vintage men's Hawaiian button-up from Reunion Clothiers #vintagevintagVINTAGE.
Philly, you've been kind to me thus far. I am falling in love with this city of brotherly love.
Molly, Molly, Molly. Where do I begin with you? You vivacious, crazy creature, you.
Molly and I have been friends since I moved to Cincinnati at age 9. That was a scary time for a shy girl like me knowing absolutely no one (yes, me, shy, I know. There was actually a time when that was the case). One thing that helped me break out of my shell was joining a local cheerleading squad. That's where I was first introduced to Miss Molly Farrell. Not only did Molly physically cheerlead, she as a human gives off an aura of all things peppy, cheery, fun, and entertaining. She is a cheerleader. And as the years have gone by and our friendship grows, she's been one heck of a cheerleader for me.
Recently Molly and I went to a local bar where absolutely no one we knew was dancing, and very few people were dancing in general. With Molly by my side, that didn't matter. We had so. much. FUN. Given that we were of the few on the dance floor, the DJ basically played every request we gave him. It was like our own private event. Excursions like this are to be expected with this rambunctious, silly lady.
When we aren't sweating and making fools of ourselves on (and off) the dance floor, we both enjoy the fun in beauty and fashion. Molly is pretty open-minded when it comes to dressing, but I loved being the one to dress her and have complete control, pushing her out of her comfort zone just a little further. Molly is wearing my clothing; head-to-toe. Okay, and a little bit borrowed from my sister (but what's hers is mine at this point).
Molly ka-hills it in my For Love and Lemons Dress that I purchased from the beloved (and local) Idlewild Woman. What I love about this dress is its juxtaposition of innocent and sexy. Everything about it screams girly, with a touch of unexpected "hot" from a dramatic front cut-out. She's wearing my sister's Aldo boots (on sale too!) that are cute and magically comfortable. And peeking out of them are my thigh-high socks from Urban Outfitters (also seen, here). Lastly, atop her head is a felt hat to tie it altogether.
My ultimate favorite thing about doing this--dressing women and photographing them--is the ability to make people feel special. Molly thanked me for "making her feel pretty." She admitted to me that she doesn't always feel that's true about herself. While that broke my heart, it also encouraged me to keep doing what I'm doing. As a lover of people, I know I was put on this earth to lift up others. As a woman myself, I obviously relate to women (and our fashions) the best. As I continue with my blog, I want to regularly feature women that I find inspiring (not to say that men are excluded!)
We all need to be encouraged... constantly. If I can do that by styling someone and making them feel like a model, I will most definitely continue to do so.
Ladies (and gents if interested), of all ages, shapes, sizes, etc. I'd love to rummage through that closet of yours and help you feel confident in the skin you're in and the clothes you like. Feel free to reach out to me if you are ever in need of a confidence boost. Let's get together, take some pretty photos, and just have fun.
You are beautiful. Please know that. And if you don't, well, that is why I'm here to show you that that is the beautiful truth.
It is my honor to introduce to you, my best friend, Megan Yards! I am so excited to finally feature her on my blog, especially because she has been a creative source behind many of my posts.
Megan is such a reliable friend--even at a moment's notice (given my random/last-minute nature), she's always eager to do what it takes to support me. A girl like me needs a gal like her.
Simply put, she is an all-around good friend. I am oh, so lucky to have her.
Our love for exploring new places and picking out outfits together is why her help really has made this blog possible. Anytime you see me photographed, it's usually Megan behind the lens. Overdue it may be, but it was finally her turn in front of the camera.
We went to the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) to shoot our photos for today, 1) because it was freezing and we needed to be inside! and 2) because this building is a work of art all while letting in enough light for great photographs. I love that they are constantly changing the installations at CAC, making it a new escape each time you go (yet remains a reliable source for great coffee, always, thanks to Collective Espresso--best mocha in the city, FYI).
From its currently sloped, skateboard ramp-esque walls, to the kaleidoscopic dome in the UnMuseum, the CAC is simply spectacular time and time again. Its modern interior pairs well with Megan's personal style. She embodies the words "sleek" and "simple." She is a lover of black, black and more black. In terms of color, black may seem boring, but in the game of fashion, it is the epitome of chic. While I myself am drawn to color, I can agree with Megan in the sense that nothing will ever compare to a woman's
little black dress.
What I truly respect about Megan's style sense is that she sticks to what she loves and knows. She is conscious of what works for her and what doesn't. And as you can see, she's savvy in keeping black from being too unadorned; her lips coated in color with L'Oréal's Infallible Pro Matte Gloss in Shanghai Scarlet, her body draped in a blush cape from Forever 21, and some shimmer she picked up from TJ Maxx, around her neck, all help to keep her look current and polished.
The sunlight against this artpiece made for some stunning photos of Megan.
This is my little sister, Charlotte. Ain't she a babe?
It's been awhile, but you've seen her before, here.
Her look has changed quite a bit since then, and so has my camera (thank goodness).
On this day, Charlotte and I, along with my other sister, Sarah and niece, Azirae, went out exploring to celebrate Charlotte's 17th birthday. As we were on our way downtown, with no destination really in mind, we drove up this particular street (only because I was going the wrong way... go figure) just when it had stopped pouring rain.
I looked to the left of us and noticed this old building and all of its potential. I had to pull over.
And then what I quickly discovered is that there is no cooler lighting than after a good rainfall. Holy moly.
Charlotte looked amazing and so did this eery, rusted building with shades of pink and tan.
It was a random yet lovely spot to capture my babe-ly, little sister.
I love how her outfit unexpectedly brought out the colors of this vacant building so nicely. Charlotte is wearing a dress from a local boutique that all of us Flanigan girls love: Kismet--cute, unique stuff at affordable prices. And of course, yet another vintage piece from our mom's closet, passed down to her: snake skin Dr. Marten's. Oh, yes, snake skin. Don't you wish you could find those on shelves nowadays? Her hair is simply swept to one side and naturally drizzled from a touch of rain. And as for those pouty lips of hers, they're layered with NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Sao Paulo.
Tip: despite any unfamiliar territory, if something catches your eye, you more than likely should pull your car over and photograph the unpredicted moment. It was well worth it for us that day.
Go get lost with the people you love.
Happy Birthday, Charlie.<3
I wanted to enhance the "eeriness" I spoke of before, so I used VSCO's filter titled "C8" to really bring out these to-die-for colors. No editing involved, just a bad ass filter thanks to Visual Supply Co.
Behind-the-scenes view: my sister and niece were my little umbrella assistants.
I ended up getting so many photos from this day that I'll cherish forever. I'll soon share the rest of our excursions with you in a separate blog post.
Thanks for reading!