Valentine's Day is this weekend, love is in the air, and it's the perfect time to share the bridal fashion story from the February issue of Hour Detroit! The lovely and talented Cybelle Codish photographed this story at the Russell Industrial Center, a gigantic warehouse complex with some incredible raw spaces as well as artist studios. The raw spaces provided a beautiful, incongruous backdrop for the ethereal, romantic gowns I pulled for the shoot, but they did create some unique challenges. The Russell is raw - really raw, like standing water, layers and layers of dust, disgustingly dirty raw - in the unfinished parts of the building, so extreme care had to be taken to make sure all of the gowns made it out of the shoot alive and undamaged. At one point, the model was standing on top of my coat inside an Ikea blue bag with her train pooled around her to make sure it didn't even come close to touching the ground. Photo shoots are so glamorous, aren't they? ;)
When it came to styling, for the looks shot in the raw spaces, I wanted to bring in elements like leather jackets, biker boots, and black leather gloves for a rougher, edgier take on bridal. By contrast, I wanted the looks shot in the studio of painter Andrezej Sikora to be more classically elegant and sophisticated, but still artistic. The model's subtle tattoos were the perfect compliment to the styling concept, and I'm so glad you can see them in some of the final images. Her engagement ring was also perfect - she got engaged two weeks before the shoot, so we decided to let her wear her own ring throughout!
Check out all the gorgeous gowns below.
I adore shoots that tell a story. Whether fantastical fairytales or Russian mobsters, using clothes to tell a story is my favorite thing about my job. So of course when I found out we were doing a Hitchcock-inspired shoot for the January issue of Hour, I was beyond thrilled. Photographed by Jenny Risher at the gorgeous Henry Ford Estate in Dearborn, the shoot has a mysterious, noir element that I love. The models were both fantastic, creating characters that perfectly captured Hitchcock's legendary psychological drama. The final images are so cinematic, like stills from a movie.
For the clothes, I wanted everything for this shoot to have a sense of timeless luxury. Classic suits worthy of Cary Grant and femme fatale dresses laid the foundation, with plenty of exquisite fine jewelry and vintage-inspired accessories to take things to the next level. See all the looks below, and visit here to shop the shoot.
Before I was asked to participate in Stepping Out With the Stars, I had never taken a ballroom dance lesson in my life. I had seen it on television (So You Think You Can Dance is one of my favorite guilty pleasures) and I have an undying love for Dirty Dancing, but I'd never learned more than a basic box step.
With visions of Swayze dancing in my head, I went into my first lesson not knowing exactly what to expect. Jason, the choreographer, and Kyle, my dance partner, both instructors at Arthur Murray Sterling Heights, were so incredible to work with. From the very beginning, they were patient when I had trouble picking up a step, laughed with me when I couldn't quite balance in my brand new dancing heels, and encouraged me to have confidence in my ability to pull it off. In the end, I had so much fun, and it was such an honor to dance in support of Turning Point, an organization that has served victims of sexual and domestic abuse for more than 30 years.
The official video from the event has finally been released - when I watched it, I expected to cringe at my performance (you're your own worst critic, right?) but I'm actually pretty proud of myself. It's not bad for a girl who'd never set foot in a ballroom. See me dance above at minute 22:30!
To support Turning Point, please visit turningpointmacomb.org.
Also: A special thank you to ChristaMara Alix and Monica Jadan for making me look so pretty. I went to the event directly from a photoshoot, and after a long day on set, I needed all the help I could get!
When I first started styling and editing Metro Detroit Bride three years ago, my personal wedding planning days were long over, but I was so excited to have the opportunity to help other couples on their journeys down the aisle. The magazine has always been about inspiring Detroiters to plan the wedding of their dreams through beautiful images and thoughtful content.
But this year marks a milestone - the magazine has been relaunched as Metro Detroit Weddings, with a more inclusive outlook and a more modern design aesthetic. Everyone at the magazine, myself included, was overjoyed when the Supreme Court ruled to legalize same-sex marriage. Equal rights for all - especially when it comes to love - is a cause we all believe in strongly. The magazine's new name reflects that, dropping the "bride" in favor of "weddings" to show our support for Detroit couples who are gay, straight, and everywhere in between.
To launch the new magazine, our new art director, the lovely Carolyn Chin Watson, created a modern, sophisticated new logo. For the cover shoot, we knew we wanted something equally forward. For our location, we decided on the McGregor Memorial Conference Center at Wayne State University in Detroit. Designed by Minoru Yamasaki, the building is a Modernist masterpiece, perfectly showcasing the exquisitely modern, deceptively minimalist wedding gowns featured in the shoot. Photographed by the always amazing Lians Jadan, this shoot is one for the books. For gown details, visit me on Instagram!
As always, the last few months of the year flew by. Between shoots, shoots, and more shoots, and prepping for the holidays - so magical with a toddler in the house! - it was busy in the best possible way. I styled two shoots for the December issue of Hour Detroit, a gorgeous fashion story and cover shot by one of my all time faves, Lians Jadan, and a whimsical holiday gift guide shot by EE Berger.
For the fashion story, it was all about glamorous eveningwear in rich colors, all accented with luxe accessories. I love the textural contrast between the fur pieces and the gorgeous silks.
The gift guide was the playful counterpart to the dramatic fashion shoot. It is always so much fun putting together a gift guide. This year, my amazing styling assistant, Jennifer, helped pull together a selection of gifts from all over the Detroit area. We focused on some of the best local and indie shops and came up with a beautiful assortment of items for men, women, children and even pets!
For info on where to shop both shoots, visit hourdetroit.com.
Earlier this year Hour Detroit signed on as a sponsor of Stepping Out With The Stars, a fundraiser for Turning Point, a shelter and service organization for victims of domestic and sexual violence. The event is modeled after ballroom competition Dancing With The Stars, and guess what? I'm a star! I am so excited to represent Hour at this event. I've been rehearsing my routine for months, and a few weeks ago I got to perform an excerpt at a preview event at Arthur Murray Sterling Heights. Check out the video above for a sneak peek of my routine and a bit more about the event!
Stepping Out With The Stars is two weeks away, and I am both nervous and so excited! If you are interested in attending, visit here to purchase tickets!
Can't make it to the event? You can still help me win by voting online here! Every vote raises more funds for Turning Point, and every dollar counts!
It's here!!!! I have been dying to share my shoot for the September 2015 issue of Hour Detroit, and now that the issue is out, I finally can! Styling this shoot was such a dream. When Hour's art director, Valerie, shared the concept and told me Lians Jadan would be shooting it, I literally squealed with excitement. I have always wanted to do an athletic-inspired shoot combining actual fitness apparel with actual fashion, and with an incredible high school sports facility as our backdrop, it was pure magic.
When we were planning this shoot, Lians, Valerie and I all agreed that gold sports equipment was a must. I'm sure I was quite the sight at Play It Again Sports, pushing a stroller (Graydon is the best assistant ever) and trying on helmets, pads and what not to make sure they were the right size for the model. Once I sourced everything I thought we might need, I spray painted it all gold - and voila! Amazing 24k sports gear!
The day of the shoot, we arrived on set early in the morning, and I was giddy when I first laid eyes on the football field. I am a huge - HUGE - fan of the fantastic television series Friday Night Lights, and there were so many moments when I felt like we were on the set of the show. The only things missing were Tim Riggins and Tammy Taylor's perfect hair.
Check out all the images from the shoot below. Clear eyes. Full Hearts.