Monthly Archives: March 2012

A 5-inch Recommendation: Made for Giants Studio

I love Baltimore for all the hidden talent waiting to be discovered just around the next corner, in the little studio up the street, at a show a friend invited you to. I met Nicole Fallek at a small feature show in a coffee shop in Fells a few years ago. She liked my shoes, I loved her photographs.

Nicole was showing landscape photography that evening. Her compositions were of natural elements overtaking industrial constructs. There was a peaceful reclamation and elegance in her work, especially for such a young artist. In her current professional portfolio, on facebook, Nicole presents both design and photography work. Find Made for Giants here:

Her promotional design work combines her photography with daring graphic design to create flyers and posters which capture the spirit of any event. Whether the goal is fresh, hot or thoughtful, Nicole kicks it out. Her business cards give you a reason to carry something other than cash and your mobile.

Out of her creative artwork, I can’t choose from the design vs the edited photography. She doesn’t photoshop models into impossible sizes, but plays with colors, shading and form to create pieces of great imagination. Any model is lucky to be seen through the lens of Nicole’s camera. Currently, though, Nicole makes posters hot again with her design.

From Nicole’s page:

Just another reason to LOVE Made for Giants Studio!


Party of one

When I killed it with the execution of a perfect symposium at work, I immediately wanted to go out for a drink with a girlfriend. When a friend of mine recently rocked it at work, she was roaring to share her success with friends, too. Women like to be acknowledged for their accomplishments.

It’s not because we need to be applauded by an audience. We don’t need a grand show of support, but it is in our nature to look for approval. Growing up, girls learn how important it is to have friends, maintain friendships, be a person who attracts other people. Girls learn to play in groups; that to have fun, they must share and be included. As girls grow up, they learn achievement means inclusion and the acceptance of their social group. If it isn’t a group activity, your own success can at least be shared with the group, and if it’s not accepted, it’s almost as if it doesn’t count.

On the other hand, boys often parallel play. They don’t need to be in a group to achieve or to feel as though their achievements are valid. Boys compete regularly, they take personal pride easily, without needing the acknowledgement of those they have just beaten. They are taught to know easily the accomplishments they have achieved.

So, all grown up, as women, we immediately look to share our accomplishments, for validation that they do truly count; that they are as great as we believe they are. We are still playing with our group of friends, looking for confirmation that we’re included. We do not trust in our own judgments of what we have done. It needs to be another person to say “Nice job!” We were there, we know it was a nice job; but it’s hearing another person say it that suddenly makes it real to us; the external validation we’ve learned to seek.

If only girls were taught as boys to believe our own eyes and ears when it comes to success. Instead, there’s a learning cuve for women where our own opinion of ourselves is concerned. Learning how to celebrate, party of one, is the accomplishment that finally needs no acknowledgement.

Feminism with a side of chivalry

No one opens car doors anymore. Men don’t do it and women don’t ask for it. In a society obsessed with “equality” opening the car door has become a relic of mom and dad’s generation. What was once a small yet sincere form of communication between two people is now thought to be unnecessary and fussy. Men and women have simply lost appreciation for each other.

Feminism might as well be a four letter word these days. For all the work of suffragists and employment activists to propel women into the political and business worlds of the US, there is a misconception the feminist agenda is a reversal of gender roles; based on taking power from men and giving it to women. Rather, feminism is simply the acknowledgement both genders have the ability to make valuable contributions throughout all areas of society. Feminism isn’t about equality as much as it is equity, the opportunity for women to prove themselves in any area of expertise free of bias.

Men and women both have unique characteristics which result in varied perspectives on the same issue and culminate in dynamic problem solving, when the contributions of all are considered valid and valuable. Feminism is not an absence of men; it is an honest appreciation of abilities of both genders. In this way, chivalry is an easy compliment to feminism. They need not be mutually exclusive. Chivalry is a social expression of feminism, an acknowledgement of what both genders have to contribute.

Chivalry is not just about men opening doors, pulling out chairs. Chivalry is as much about what a woman communicates in waiting to be walked to a car or helped to her seat by her date as it is about a man’s overtures. In accepting her date’s arm, a woman conveys trust and emotional acceptance. In allowing her date to open her car door, an independent woman lets her date know that while sure, she’s capable of getting into a car, she welcomes his contribution in her life. There is a quiet, sincere communication of appreciation in chivalry which has been missing since we decided men and women occupy different planets.

High Style: In shape

Size two or size twenty, the Oscars Red Carpet looks were stunning this year. Rather than choosing the latest trend this year, it seemed the Red Carpet was full of women who were choosing gowns which were made for their bodies- how refreshing!

Angelina Jolie’s Leg has a Twitter account after the Oscars this weekend. And, she’s received a lot of criticism for striking her leggy pose on the carpet and on the stage Oscar night. Can you really blame her? In Atelier Versace, Jolie was elegant and sexy; showing just the right amount of leg, with a slit that was daring, but shy of slutty and with a modest bust to balance the look. Striking a pose on the red carpet, Angelina was even striking some wide smiles, showing just how fabulous she felt in her look.

Stealing an Oscars moment and the Red Carpet this year was Octavia Spencer, from the Help. The Tadashi Shoji gown she wore cut a perfect hour-glass and was just stunning on the carpet. The draping of the skirt gave Octavia more length and pulled the eye to that fantastic waist. The short sleeve helped to taper in the top of the gown, and again, draw your eye right back to that hour-glass.

Now, I can’t write a Red Carpet review without a nod to young style icon, Emma Stone. In the flowing Giambattista Valli with avant bow at the neck, Emma was giving us all a lecture in what posture can do for you. This gown would only work on someone with a slim figure and nice straight shoulders, which Emma showed off with her usual class. The tapered waist gives the dress the shape it needs between the bloused top and flowing skirt. In motion, you get to see the slit down the bust of the dress which is oh so flirty!

And- Milla Jovovich. Model, actress, designer; what else do you expect but perfection from Milla? In a structured but not fussy Elie Saab, Milla carried on the trend of the evening, as it seemed, white for the Red Carpet. This wrapped-up look hugged her hips, and even gave her bust a little more volume, with the beaded sweeping pattern of the dress. Tapering in, without going into that awkward mermaid cut, the back of the dress also gives a nice shape to Milla’s little tush.

High Style: Flare-up

Ever get the feeling the labels are raiding your mother’s closet? This Spring/Summer season you will! From the daringly high cut of the hot pant, to the heedless long legs of the flare jeans, designers are bringing back vintage in a big way. The flare leg is one of those great styles, adding length for us petite women out there, complimenting curves for those ladies who got ‘em. There is a flare out there for every woman.

If you want to embrace the 70’s look with a blousy top, be sure to go for a high-waisted flare, to define your waist between the volume of the top and the bottom of the pant. The twist on the vintage look for 2012 is pairing the jean with a slimming top. Go for a light-weight shell (paired with a short jacket or sweater in the winter) or a clean fitted T. Nautical will be in again, so break out a striped T, if you’re feeling tidal. Whimsical prints are going to be the Spring look, so a sweet button down with a bird or floral print would look great tucked into a pair of flares.

Whatever your look, do tailor your flares so you’re not dragging your jeans behind you, or tripping over them! A decaying hem is not cute, nor is a sprained ankle. If you’re a fan of heels, tailor the hem to leave about a half-inch peek of your stilettos! If you prefer something a little more down to earth, the hem should just skirt the ground.

As always, here are a few options, all under $200.00!

Diesel Flareleg 0889U

Rachel Zoe ‘Campbell’ Flare Leg Stretch Jeans (Nordstrom)

Levi’s Vintage Flare Jeans

Guess Brittney Flare Jeans- Mystery Wash

Juicy Couture High Rise Flared Jeans (Bloomingdale’s)