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My Universe

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Saturday  was the opening night of “California: The Center of the Universe” exhibit at The Fullerton Museum Center. It was an incredible, cosmic display of NASA pictures, sketches and early drawings and works of astronomers and scientists.

I’ve always been intrigued with the Universe, and all of its mighty elements.  I wish on shooting stars, I find images in cloud formations, and I know deep down in my heart, there’s a Divine Intelligence that’s beyond our human capacity to understand.

I was a little frazzled upon arrival. An hour before the show, I received  a call to come back to Roadkill Ranch & Boutique. There was an interesting fellow stirring up trouble, disturbing the customers, and galloping around the store displaying obscene body gestures while wearing one of our horse masks. He wasn’t too thrilled when I showed up on  the scene and ruined his fun. So, after I dealt with that problem, I realized I had an even bigger problem, I had forgotten my earrings at home. And, well, they were part of my “exhibit” outfit (I always try to dress accordingly). Good thing I literally live above The Museum Center and without a moment to spare, I was able to get back to my place, grab my Tarina Tarantino moon earrings and meet my friend Karen just in time for the opening reception.

All calmed down when I began to lose myself in the photos from outer space. I felt peaceful while looking into infinity, and my problems and worries seemed so small compared to the vast Universe.

There’s a big cosmos trend happening in the fashion industry, and I’ve been buying a lot of planetary-related merchandise for the store. We even have glow-in-the-dark moon leggings on order.  I think the Universe is trying to speak to me, and I’m pretty sure it’s saying, “Don’t let guys in horse masks keep you from living a peaceful life.”  Or, maybe it’s trying to show me how to trust in the mystery of my journey and give me the peace to know everything is going to be fine in its time.

 

The first three pics are pics of pics I took on my phone. Original photos on display by NASA’s Hubble space telescope.

The last pic is of my man-in-the-moon earrings, available at Roadkill Ranch & Boutique.

 

 

 

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Dapper Day

 

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Do you like dressing up? Do you like Disneyland? If you said yes to both of these questions, then  consider heading over to the “Magic Kingdom” this weekend for Dapper Day.

Dapper Day is a celebration of stepping out in style. This bi-annual event at Disneyland invites all who dare to be fashionable with a high emphasis on vintage styling. Although retro outfits are not required, all styles and designs are welcomed as long as you have the mentality of wearing your “Sunday Best”.

Roadkill Ranch has become a precursor to the events, and Rockabilly and Pinup aficionados frequent the shop during this time. It’s so great to see  well dressed ladies and gentleman stopping by for a quick style fix.

A vendor called me the other day to tell me about a best T-shirt seller that reads: “Proud Supporter of Sweatpants and Messy Hair.”   I had to politely decline. I just don’t think Roadkill customers would appreciate it. (That’s for another store and another park.) They might have better luck selling me something that says, “Always dress to kill.”

The first two pictures are outfits from Roadkill Ranch, modeled by Marlena Khamrov.

The last three are from last year’s Dapper Day.

Stay Stylish!

Jules

Photo Credit: Adam Petrasek, Wing Shum, OC Register, LA Times, DapperDay.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Dressember

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“Dressember is a collaborative movement leveraging fashion and creativity to restore dignity to all women.”

When I first heard about the movement to raise awareness about human trafficking through dresses, I was immediately interested. One of our customers who was in full pledge mode inspired me to get involved. I began researching, and realized Blythe Hill, the founder of this movement, was much like me. Our talents both lie in creative fields and the fashion industry, which some may view as unimportant.

Blythe says,”When I started hearing about trafficking, I felt an urgency to do something, and so naturally, I looked at my skill set for a way to engage. The problem was my interests and talents didn’t seem to line up with making a difference. I’m not a social worker, I’m not a lawyer, I’m not a psychologist. I’m not a cop. I’m someone who’s interested in fashion, trend analysis, wordplay, and blogging. My interests felt shallow in the grand scheme of things. I remember feeling powerless, and thinking, ‘There’s nothing I can do.’

I was in college, and felt stifled by the lack of time for creativity, so I decided to create a personal style challenge. I came up with the idea of wearing a dress every day for a month. When I realized the next full month was December, the name “Dressember” came to me and, since I love wordplay, the deal was sealed. So I did it; I wore a dress every day for a month. And I never planned to do it again.

The next year, a handful of girlfriends wanted to do it with me. So I did it again. And then the next year, my girlfriends’ girlfriends wanted to join in. So, when women I didn’t even know were participating in it, I realized this was a good idea.

And then I started to dream bigger. I thought, “maybe I can use Dressember to raise some money for anti-trafficking.” So, in its fifth year, 2013, I aligned Dressember with International Justice Mission and decided, “we’re gonna go big– we’re gonna try to raise $25K,” which felt like a huge, scary goal. When we hit my huge, scary goal– on the third day of our campaign– I realized what had started as a few girls in Orange County wearing dresses for fun had become a community of over 1,200 women in 32 countries who collectively raised over $165,000!”

I love how she used her God-given talents of creativity to make a difference, and I’ll always be empowered by this. Last year we posted a different dress each day from the store (Roadkill Ranch & Boutique) in an effort to raise awareness and directed a lot of people to their site. This year we’ve vowed to do the same.

We haven’t set up our own campaign bank, but since all of the money goes to the same coffer, we are encouraging everyone to go to http://www.dressember.org to get involved or to make a donation.

“THE HEART OF DRESSEMBER IS FREEDOM– THAT EVERY WOMAN HAS THE RIGHT TO LIVE A VIBRANT AND AUTONOMOUS LIFE.”

The 1st pic is founder Blythe Hill.

The 2nd pic is Marlena Khramov modeling Roadkill Ranch.

The 3rd and 4th pics are of Sydney Beaver modeling Roadkill Ranch.

Photo Credit: Dressember.org and Savannah Kaefer

 

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True Colors

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This year I’ve had the privilege of serving on the board of directors for The Day of Music Fullerton, a  city-wide musical celebration in conjunction with Fête de la Musique. It was a fun time and I really enjoyed serving the community, making new friends, and creating bonds that will last a lifetime.

As most of you know, Leo Fender (inventor of the Fender guitar) lived and worked in Fullerton for the majority of his life. His widow Phyllis Fender is still an integral part of Fullerton’s culture and is active in the community. Not only is she a docent at The Fullerton Museum for the Leo Fender Gallery, she was also our “Queen of the Day” on June 21st (the official Day of Music). And, yours truly had the honor of crowning her.

Fast forward a few weeks. I was getting a much needed mani-pedi when Phyllis Fender walked into the salon. We hugged, chatted about how wonderful Day of Music was, and discussed nail colors. (She was going for a French manicure and I was in a black and blue mood.) She began sharing with me about her latest hobby. “I’m really enjoying adult coloring books.” She said. “And when I say adult, I don’t mean nasty.”

She went on to tell me how adult coloring books are the latest rage and she finds peace and tranquility in coloring. The whole time I was thinking what a sweet little lady, as I envisioned her at home with her crayons. I didn’t think too much of it until the very next day when I had buying appointments with my book publishers. And guess what? Adult coloring books are the latest craze! Every publisher was pushing them and showing recent write-ups from The Wall Street Journal to local publications on how coloring reduces stress and promotes well being. Since I was already in-the-know (thanks to my Fender muse), I bought a few for Roadkill Ranch & Boutique.

The coloring books hit the store last month greeted with positive responses. I should have posted this story weeks ago, but you know how life gets in the way? Days turn into weeks, how quick they pass (I think that’s a song). Anyway, good thing I have people in my life who keep me accountable. My friend Brent (who also serves on the board of directors for the Day of Music Fullerton) keeps me in check on my blogging. And since he rode my ass to start writing again, I’m dedicating tomorrow’s blog to his “Diva-licious” shoe collection. So stay tuned!

The first photo is Phyllis Fender being crowned on June 21st during the Day of Music Fullerton.

The second photo is our lovely “Queen of the Day” Phyllis Fender.

The last two photos are the adult coloring books available at Roadkill Ranch & Boutique.

Photo credit: Joel Maus Studio EMP and Julie Rasmussen.

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Double Trouble

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Two bags are better than one. It’s true, Fendi, Chanel, Chloe, Mulberry and Louis Vuitton all say so!

The trend of toting two bags at the same time is coming in hard this season. Designers are featuring larger silhouettes like a tote or travel bag as a focal point and then accessorizing with a smaller pouch or clutch. Brilliant! Thanks Fashion Industry! Now all of us fashion addicts can purchase two designer bags at once without feeling guilty and be totally justified.

The first picture is Fendi, a functional and easy look to achieve. Add a tiny novelty bag to the outside of a larger one for a funky look.

The second picture is Chanel. Drape a few cross-body bags over your bodice while carrying your main purse. (It’s all the rage.)

The third picture is Chloe. Just carry two in the same hand (no big deal).

The fourth picture is Mulberry. Cross-body over bodice and tote in hand. (My fave.)

The fifth is Louis Vuitton. Just do it, carry two (everyone’s doing it).

This is one sure way to drive handbag sales up for the season. Pretty soon we’ll see designer shoes hanging off of designer bags. Then we can buy two pair of designer shoes, one to wear on our feet and the other to accessorize our two bags. Woot!

And, if anyone tells you that you have too many handbags or shoes, get rid of that person! You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life! The only extra baggage you need is CHANEL!

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Feeling Blue

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I’m feeling blue, but in a good way. Denim is my boyfriend and we’re in love.

After seeing a lot of fall collections the past few weeks, I’m excited to see the “denim on denim” look. Typically in the past, your outfit of the day (#OOTD) would consist of one denim item, but now it’s all about layering different jean washes and denim shirts with jackets to create a casual yet sophisticated look.

This industry moves so fast, I haven’t even had time to take pictures of the new jeans and indigo skirts we received yesterday. Although, I somehow managed to go thrift store shopping and purchase 20 pair of used jeans for an art project. The Roadkill Girls decided to shred denim strips and loop them through a chicken wire frame to create a back drop for our windows. We wanted to drive the message home about the importance of the excessive denim trend this season by creating texture and adding impact.

Pair your chambray top with a darker pair of jeans for a contrast look . Or, go totally tonal by wearing the same color wash of jeans, and jacket. Add some killer accessories to kick it up a notch, or play it down with a basic white T-shirt. Relaxed fit, skinny jeans, boot-cut, flairs and skirts can all be incorporated into this look.

Take your faithful boyfriend jeans and let the layering begin. It’s an easy look to achieve; it’s comfortable, playful, and lovable. Just like a good boyfriend should be. (Wink.)

The first pic is from the Chloe runway show.

The second pic is the shredded, denim backdrop the Roadkill Girls are still working on.

The third pic is from the Gucci runway show.

Stay Stylish!

xo

Photo credit: Roadkill Ranch, Getty Images

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OH MY GAGA!

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At Christie’s Auction House in NYC last week, Lady Gaga dropped $295,000.00 on three pairs of worn Alexander McQueen shoes! The shoes ironically were worn by the star herself in her Bad Romance video and on the Red Carpet, but she never owned them, until now. The armadillo soles were handcrafted in Italy from wood and python skin and have become an iconic look for the pop star.

It must be nice to drop over a quarter of a million dollars on crazy-couture shoes. And no, I’m not jealous (fingers crossed behind back). Although I do have to say, it wasn’t a completely irresponsible spending spree; the money raised from the auction went to benefit UNICEF’s relief efforts in Nepal. Thank you Miss Gaga, that was very Lady-like of you.

She considered the late designer a friend as well as a tremendous source of inspiration and support. Lady Gaga released this personal statement to V Magazine describing her cosmic revelation of the shoes and her personal relationship with Alexander McQueen.

“There is no diamond, no award, nothing I ever wanted more than a memory of my brief friendship with McQueen. I am sad every day that I enter my closet, knowing he is not here anymore to dazzle the world with his beautiful, dark, limitless, brave mind. These shoes are the only tangible piece I have left of our work together. They came to me this morning, after a dream I had again about him. As the dream goes, I enter my closet and his clothes are no longer there. I’m tortured. The loss is deep. Mourning in my own way constantly, why he is gone, he was so talented. I hate the empty space, not only in fashion, but in the creative consciousness that fizzled when he passed. This morning I got the call I would now be the caregiver to 3 pairs of armadillo platforms, just like the kind I wore in the “Bad Romance” video, the shoes from his crescendo collection “Plato’s Atlantis,” the ones that made everyone gasp from the front row because they had NEVER seen something like them before. I was reminded this morning that he is still here. He is everywhere. In every store window. In the designs of commercial mainstream retail, fashion, in music, in the heart of every young designer that wishes he could be as free and as fearless as McQueen was. I cried all morning, convinced he was with me. Convinced that I’m loved from somewhere far beyond the eternal body and mind, outside of all the chaos. He wanted me to have them. They made their way back to me. I am here today not just because of my talent, but because he believed in me. My weird brand of art pop manic expression of my emotions was the part of me he knew he taught me. I will be grateful long after I pass and join him wherever it is they put souls like us. Long live McQueen.”

I really do believe what’s meant to be will always find a way, just like these shoes found their way back to Lady. So, trust in the mystery of your journey and believe in the power of your dreams.

The first pic is of the coveted shoes.

The second pic is Lady Gaga wearing the shoes in her Bad Romance video.

The third pic is an Instagram photo Gaga posted from her New York balcony after she brought the shoes home.

The fourth pic is of her and her fiancé Taylor Kinney on their way to her performance with Bono.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, Lady Gaga

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The Rose

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One of my favorite movie lines is from The Devil Wears Prada.  Meryl Streep, who plays Miranda Priestly, the tyrant magazine editor, asks her staff what they’ve come up with for spring. “Well…they’re showing a lot of florals right now, so I was thinking..”

Miranda: “Florals? For spring? Ground breaking.” She replies in her usual, sarcastically-irritated and far-from- amused voice.

It’s just so typical and expected of the fashion world to do flowers in spring and trees and leaves in the fall. However, this season, there’s a new twist with roses for fall. Although it’s not completely groundbreaking, it is a fresh take on the “love” flower.

A single red rose has always been symbolic for expressing deep affection to someone. It’s been used in poems and writings for centuries that pertain to emotions (remember Bette Midler’s song The Rose?).  And a multitude of roses? Well…that’s just pure bliss!

The first pic is from the Alexander McQueen runway show. The collection is full of heavy fabrics emblazoned with roses. Designer Sarah Burton calls this collection The Spirt of the Rose. She describes it as, “A flower that begins with a tight bud that opens into a lush bloom and then eventually collapses back onto itself in gorgeous decay.”

The second pic is of Roadkill Girl Sydney Beaver in our House of Fame dress, Jeffrey Campbell glittered Mary Jane shoes and our rose stud earrings. We surrounded her with all of our rose hair clips for a dramatic statement.

The rest of the pics (including the rose-encrusted sunglasses) are from the Dolce and Gabbana runway show.

Look for heavier weighted fabrics like wool, faux-fur, velvet and paper-thin leather parading the rose. Add sheer overlays and lace layering pieces for ultra-feminine style.

And just because it’s not spring, doesn’t mean you can’t express yourself in a deeply emotional and purely fashionable way by wearing a rose (or twelve).

I’ve attached Bette Midler’s beautiful ballad, The Rose, for your listening pleasure. (Duet with Wynonna Judd.)

Photo Credit: Getty Images, Infinitas, Roadkill Ranch, Savannah Kaefer

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My Muse

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It wouldn’t be right to resurrect my blog without reiterating my undying love for Marc Jacobs. After a two year blog-hiatus, I had to ask myself a few questions to make sure I still felt the same way about him.

1. Do you still think he’s a genius? Ummm…YES!

2. Do you still think he sets the trends for the entire Fashion Industry? Ummm…YES!

3. Do you still think he’s adorable? Ummm…YES!!!

4. Do you still have fantasies about being stuck in an elevator with him? Ummm…YES! (Only to pick his brain of course.)

5. Do you still dream about walking down the aisle with him? Ummm…YES! (The aisle of one of his runway shows.)

OK, it’s still there!

This season Marc has commissioned  Cher to be one of the new faces for his fall collection. The 69-year-old, mega-superstar has successfully reinvented herself once again by modeling. (She’s also on the cover of Love Magazine this month.) He brilliantly swings the pendulum on this and adds 14-year-old Willow Smith in the same collection, showing us age has no bounds in fashion.

The collection is very dark in tones, rich in texture and polished immaculately, evoking a feeling of strength and power. Inspired by the late Diana Vreeland (a fashion hero for Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and special consultant at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art ), Marc says, “The collection is a garden of hell. That’s what fashion is, this paradise that’s sort of hellish in a way. You love it ’til you hate it, you hate ’til you love it!”

Look for faux fur details, nail heads and grommets embellished on clothing, and sleek, polished accessories.

I’ve attached the short video below of the runway show and Marc talking about his 2015 Fall collection. It’s so much better to hear about this masterpiece in his own words. It’s short and worth a watch (or two, or three). Wink! Wink!

Happy Monday! Stay stylish and stay creative!

Pic 1. Cher

Pic 2. Willow Smith

Pic 3. Cher and Marc Jacobs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala.

Photo credit: Getty Images and Marc Jacobs

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