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So You Wanna Be A Designer

So You Wanna Be a Designer

 

I wanted all of our DIYStyle fans to know about this really cool new internet show. Right now I am on my way to Chicago, as a finalist to interview for the So You Wanna Be a Designer internet reality show, sponsored by Kenmore (Sears)! Last week I got a call from a casting agency telling me about this show that Sears was doing, and they were looking for designers just like me. So, I made it through the first round and now here I am, trekking to Chicago with some of my garments, portfolio and sewing kit in tow. They were really interested in what I have done with DIYStyle and now my new swimwear line Allyce King Swim. How cool is this?!

The whole thing gets going later this month, with the challenges streaming live from Kenmore Live Studios. Yes, sounds like you get to watch us in action (is that good or bad?). Sounds really cool, and the audience (that’s YOU) gets to weigh in on everyones creations and vote for their fav designer. Winner gets $20K to start their line (of course that’s what got my attention from the start!) and a new Kenmore washer and dryer.

So, think positive thoughts for me today when I get to show off my designs and skills for the judges and casting agency. Only 6 get chosen for the show. Keeping my fingers crossed! And if I’m in I need my DIYStyle fashionista’s and Creative Chicks to vote for me. I will let you know how it all turns out. :)

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THE Fashion Competition and Fashion Business Weekend

Competition Flyer Front Cover

We love fashion! And we love independent fashion designers, especially their talent and tenacity–working hard to make it it the fashion business. So, when the opportunity arose to produce an event that supports young designers, we jumped at the chance. Mark your calendars for April 7-9, 2011. THE Fashion Competition and Fashion Business Weekend will come to St. Louis, courtesy of our event sponsor, Lumiere Place, a premier venue in downtown St. Louis.

Lumiere Place

THE Fashion Competition and Fashion Business Weekend is a 3-day event, focusing on independent fashion designers, helping them to succeed. It includes THE Fashion Competition open to Junior and Senior fashion design students at colleges and universities all over the US, as well as independent fashion business seminars, a fashion industry mixer for students, designers, educators, and media, and 3 fashion shows. The fashion shows include THE Fashion Competition finals show on Friday, April 8th, LAUNCH showcasing 6 emerging designers, and the St. Louis Independent Fashion Designers to take place on Saturday, April 9th.

Fashion Business seminars are focused on helping independent fashion designers develop and grow their business. Topics include How to Start a Fashion Business, Copyright and Trademark, Costing, Branding, and  more.

Attention college professors: Drop us a note and we will add your school to our weekly email blast, updating you and your students on our growing prize list, the fashion business seminars and presenters, etc. Contact cindy@thefashioncompetition.com for more information on how your school and students can be represented.

Watch our new website THE Fashion Competition. This is event is a benefit for the Fashion Collective-St. Louis, independent fashion designers living, working, designing and selling in the metro area, and (coming soon) the St. Louis Fashion Incubator. We look forward to seeing you “under the Arch” in St. Louis! 

Some of our generous Sponsors:

 

PGM Pro logo 

Downtown Partnership logo

Coats and Clark logo

 

   

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CRUSH Fashion–6 Designers showcase Spring 2011

CRUSH Poster

 

This was not “just another fashion show”. CRUSH, held at Lumiere Place on November 13th was a charity fashion and wine tasting event, pairing six St. Louis area fashion designers with local wineries, all in an effort to raise funds for Sunny Hill, Inc., a non-profit based in the area. Sunny Hill works daily with developmentally disabled adults, teens and children, empowering them to become productive citizens and achieve their individual dreams.

So on the fabulous fashion day, all came together to make the event one to remember, and achieved their goal…..recognition for Sunny Hill, the independent designers showcasing their Spring 2011 collections, and fundraising at it’s best. What better way to encourage a love of local fashion and philanthropy!

The collections of designers Melissa Rae Brown, Miriam Coffey, Anna Friss, Paul Gibson, Allyce King, and Laura Kathleen Planck walked the runway, with over 400 excited partygoers in the audience. Here are some highlights from the show:

Sunny Hill logo

Kicking off the show on the runway, Victoria James, Sunny Hill’s CEO welcomes the audience

 Vicky James, Sunny Hill CEO

and introduces Mallori Nicole, an uber talented young performer (and model), singing “Happy”

  Mallori Nicole

Sunny Hill client rocks the runway with DIYStyle/Game Day model Blair!

Sunny Hill Client

Allyce King Swim logo

Looks from the Allyce King Swim Spring 2011 Collection

Allyce King Swim-Look #1 Allyce King Swim-Look #2

Allyce King Swim-Look #3 Allyce King Swim-Look #4

Allyce King Swim Designer-Allyce King

Allyce King Swim Designer-Allyce King

Blue Bird Denim logo

Looks from the Blue Bird Denim Spring 2011 Collection

Blue Bird Denim 1 Blue Bird Denim 2

Blue Bird Denim 3 Blue Bird Denim 4

Blue Bird Denim Designer-Anna Friss

Anna Friss

 

DIYStyle logo

Looks from the Game Day-DIYStyle Spring 2011 Collection-Designer Allyce King

Game Day 1 Game Day 2

Game Day 3 Game Day 4

 

Laura Kathleen logo

Looks from Laura Kathleen Spring 2011 Collection

Laura Kathleen 1 Laura Kathleen 2

Laura Kathleen 3 Laura Kathleen 4

Laura Kathleen Designer-Laura Kathleen Planck

Laura Kathleen Planck

 

Miriam Coffey logo

Looks from Miriam Coffey Spring Collection 2011

Miriam Coffey 1 Miriam Coffey 2

Miriam Coffey 3 Miriam Coffey 3

Miriam Coffey Designer-Miriam Coffey

Miriam Coffey

 

Penny Rae Vintage

Looks from Penny Rae Vintage Spring 2011 Collection

Penny Rae Vintage 1 Penny Rae Vintage 2

Penny Rae Vintage 3 Penny Rae Vintage 4

Penny Rae Vintage Designer-Melissa Rae Brown

Melissa Rae Brown

 

REIGN logo

Looks from REIGN Spring 2011 Collection

REIGN 1 REIGN 2

REIGN 3 REIGN 4

REIGN Designer-Paul Gibson

Paul Gibson

I was so proud to produce the show, and all were thrilled with the response from the audience as well as the media and press. Thanks to everyone for all of their talent and hard work, front of house and behind the scenes, including the over 60 volunteer models, Hair team from American Image Salon, Make-up team from Kolours Salon, our photographer Mark Schwigen, video producer Matt Schmitt, and our tech team Jon Cummins and Zach Mielke. We could not have done this without all of you!

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Endless Scarves

Endless Scarf-Printed Silk

 

It’s Fall and time for some new wardrobe spruce ups. One easy add is an endless scarf. Some call them ring scarfs, loop scarves, or infinity scarves……either way it’s just an endless ring of fabric, finished (or not) so that it’s a loop. SOOO very easy to make I’m not sure why anyone would buy these ready made. Here’s my version for just about any fabric, silk, rayon knit, textured, you name it. Follow the steps below, and soon you will have a wardrobe of scarves only limited by the thousands of fabric choices in your favorite fabric haunt. And don’t forget about vintage scarves. these can be remade in a ring the same way.

Step 1: Purchase enough fabric to get about an 18″ x 60″ piece (50″ – 72″ is good). Trim all the edges neatly so you have a nice rectangle.

Step 2: Fold the fabric piece right sides together, matching long edges. Stitch a narrow seam starting 3″ in at the beginning, and stopping 3″ from the end. You can use a serger (if you have one) like I did to make it even faster!

Endless Scarf Step 2

Step 3: Turn the tube right side out. Match the short ends, right sides together and stitch a narrow seam, securing the ends of the scarf together in a ring.

Endless Scarf Step 3

Step 4: Tuck in raw edges and hand or machine stitch the opening closed.

Endless Scarf Step 4

That’s all there is to it! Super simple, and made in less than 10 minutes of sewing time (it actually took me longer to trim the fabric straight than to sew!). And don’t press these flat after you are done, just steam to remove wrinkles so you have a nice billowy or drapey shape.

Endless Scarf-Rayon Knit

This is a look that’s just as chic paired with jeans and a tee, as it is with a fitted sheath dress. These scarves make it “sew” easy to add a shot of color to your fall fashions. And check out our Tube Scarf project too. It’s made basically the same way, just a wider version to be worn as a shrug or fuller scarf.  

Just wish shopping for a new pair of jeans was this easy. :)

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Nina Garcia’s Look Book

Nina Garcia’s Look Book

Now that Season 8 of Project Runway is underway, we get to see Nina Garcia on a weekly basis dolling out advice and critique to the challenged designers. As the fashion editor for Marie Claire (and formerly Elle magazine), Nina has the up-to-the-minute info on what’s hot and what’s not. And, she can disseminate a “look” and give advice on what works to be fashionable and stylish on a dime. So when her new book arrived here at DIYStyle, we were intrigued, but not surprised to see that she has now taken veritably every notable occasion and turned it into a “What to Wear” opportunity, conveying her pro style sense.

Nina Garcia’s Look Book” with illustrations by the beloved Rubin Toledo hits the bookstore this week. An easy read, just like her previous books (“The 100″ and “Little Black Book of Style”), this one gives guidance for every category of life and style possible. With sections for work, dating, day, night, holidays, life events, weddings and dream travel she pretty well covers it all! Here are some of the topics (including some that will make you smile):

  • The Sweatpants Trap: What to Wear when you work from home
  • Come Fly With Me: What to Wear on a business trip
  • Love Hurts: What to Wear when you breakup with your boyfriend
  • The New Crew: What to Wear when you meet your new boyfriends friends
  • For the People: What to Wear when you are volunteering
  • Curtains Up: What to Wear to a Broadway play
  • Reality Bites: What to Wear when you are single on Valentines Day
  • Youth Gone Wild: What to Wear to chaperone a school dance
  • Objection Your Honor: What to Wear to Jury Duty
  • Matriarchal Chic: What to Wear to your daughter’s wedding
  • On the Road Again: What to Wear when traveling 

All throughout Nina infuses us with her personality–laid back tongue-in-cheek humor and fashion tips, as well as the expected (per her other books) quotes and bits of wisdom from fashion icons and others that just make the book generally fun and energetic. Read the entire book cover to cover in one sitting or (like we did), just pick it up, turn to a section and start surfing around. Either way you will come away with what to wear guidance from the best fashion guru around. Just tell your girlfriends “Nina Says”!

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Michael Drummond::Project Runway Season 8!!

Michael Drummond

Can you believe how excited were were at DIYStyle to find out that one of favorite St. Louis area fashion designers is a contestant on THIS new season of Project Runway! Lucky for us that we snagged an interview with him for DIYStyle long before PR got hold of him :)

Watch the video on our vodcast page (it’s Episode 52), and cheer Michael on when the new season of Project Runway starts on July 29th on Lifetime. Check out Michael’s page for PR to see his casting video and more. You know the Creative Chicks at DIYStyle and loads of other fashion lovers in STL and beyond will be rooting for him. You go Michael……..we LOVE you!

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DIY Lingerie

Lingerie Pattern

A girl can never have too much lingerie. And it’s even more fun to add to your stash when the goods are created by yours truly. So, our original DIYStyle Lingerie pattern (panty party anyone?) now has a sister…………tah dah……..check it out! Our first panty pack along with the Cami and chemise was styled a bit girlie. Sporty was more the theme here with a cute little halter and comfy beater tank, string bikinis and boy short. And, these pieces stitch up in a snap, just right for beginning sewers. DIYStyle for McCall’s 6128. Hope you have fun with this one…………….

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DIYStyle Guest :: Jan Saunders Maresh

Sewing for Dummies cover

 

When I was asked to write Sewing for Dummies, I was thrilled and…I’ll admit it…flattered. As part of the Dummies author group I rub elbows with experts on everything. Computer geeks of the tallest order like Andy Rathbone, Windows for Dummies (15 million books in print), to famous coaches — Notre Dame University’s Richard “Digger” Phelps, Basketball for Dummies. But as I revel in that warm momentary glow, reality slaps me in the face as potential readers – sewers with years of experience tell me they are put-off by the title. After all, they don’t consider themselves “dummies” and figure that a book like this is for beginners – which it is – and it isn’t.

So let me clear this up. The Dummies formula is familiar to readers – a great resource presented with a sense of humor that breaks down a topic into bite-sized pieces.  And here’s the good news for readers who sew.  Whether beginner or experienced – each chapter and each topic within each chapter is written as a standalone.  So you don’t need to read anything before or after that chapter or topic to understand it. 

How do you use this in your everyday sewing projects? As you work through your next project and your next step is to sew a dart, edgestitch that pocket, or insert a zipper, flip to the topic in the book and see how I suggest you do it. My hope is that you’ll read my words, hear my voice and find a better, easier way to get the job done. Keep the book next to you as you sew, make notes in the margin – use it to your heart’s content.  When you do, I hope that you, treasured reader, will understand that “Dummy” is a term of endearment.

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DIYStyle Boutique Launch!

DIYStyle Boutique

Well it was inevitable. DIYStyle is located in the metro St. Louis area. Our DIYStyle vodcasts have included designer interviews from around the nation as well as several designers from our own backyard. SO, when we heard that local independent fashion, jewelry and accessory designers needed a place to showcase and sell their collections, AND we had the opportunity to expand into the space next to the DIYStyle Workshop we knew we had to take the leap! This Friday evening marks another phase for DIYStyle…..the opening of the new DIYStyle Boutique!

Launch Party Flyer

Excitement is in the air! We’ve been busy sprucing up the space, working with Habitat for Humanity of St. Charles ReStore (thank you Andrea!), and pulling ideas together to make a small space work for a showroom/boutique. If you are in the St. Louis area join us for our Launch party. You will get the chance to meet a few of the designers, shop their collections, and support local independent fashion.

We’ll also be carrying a few designer supplies, a section we hope to keep expanding as we grow the Boutique. And this fall we’ll add the Boutique shopping to the DIYStyle website. Let us know what designer supplies you are looking for and we’ll be sure to source and get them in. I know our BIG roll of pattern paper was a long awaited item that designers just cannot do without.

Back to work………we have a Boutique to open!

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Susan G. Komen St. Louis :: Survivor Event

Balcony at MAC

 

A sea of pink! That was the view, as we stood up on the balcony overlooking the ballroom at the Missouri Athletic Club. DIYStyle was honored to produce a fashion show for the St. Louis Susan G. Komen affiliate, at their annual Survivor luncheon. As the designs to be modeled filtered into the dressing rooms, and the over 600 women arrived downstairs came into the Art Deco Room, it was evident….Pink was the power color and theme for the day.

DIYStyle created the “Dreams to Design” fashion show to showcase Rejectamenta fashions that were inspired by breast cancer survivors and their stories, with student and alumni designers from Stephens College. These designs, collectively called  ”Breaking the Pattern” are made from recycled materials and are very PINK. In addition, DIYStyle created a special collection of T-Shirt Surgery designs from Race for the Cure Tees. Together, these unique collections had quite an impact on our “pink ladies” at their dessert reception Sunday!

Heidi Glaus News Channel 5

We were definitely excited to have Heidi Glaus, from News Channel 5 as the emcee. Heidi had visited the DIYStyle studio and Workshop a few months ago, so our introduction was quite entertaining as she relayed the story of making panties and then trying them on (on live TV!). And so we started…..to the song “Halo”…………..and this model walked out on the runway:

Poker Cards Dress

And then these:

Mop Dress  Hanger Dress

Shells Dress  Bullets Dress

Starburst Wrappers Dress  Breaking the Pattern Model Parade

Matt our DIYStyle video producer did a wonderful segment with survivor interviews we did at the local Komen office, coupled with pics from last years STL Race for the Cure (did you know St. Louis now has the largest race in the country with over 65K participants!?). Yes Matt, you did bring tears to everyones eyes (he told me he would do that). This was actually our time for models to do a quick change for the next set.

And then the DIYStyle Race for the Cure, T-Shirt Surgery Collection walked (rocked) the runway….to the songs “I Will Survive” and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”:

T-Shirt Surgery 1  T-Shirt Surgery 2

T-Shirt Surgery 3  T-Shirt Surgery 4

T-Shirt Surgery 5  DIYStyle T-Shirt Surgery Model Parade

Talk about audience participation! Clapping, laughing, and rocking out to the music….everyone was having a fantastic time. And our models definitely nailed this show for all (thanks girls–you’re awesome!). And a special thanks to our A/V guy who mixed all the music, timed everything precisely (slides, video, lights)…our own Jon Cummins (yes nepotism here–he did a GREAT job).

Group shot 1

Group Shot 2

Group Shot 3

And kudos to our talented designers!

Designers for the show

Such a wonderful cause….we were SO pumped to do this show. The women inspired all of us, and I think we inspired them as well. “Dreams to Design” is hoping to be on tour in a city near you. Let us know if you have a Susan G. Komen related event where the collection can be included! And, watch for the video of of the show to be posted very soon.

Think Pink….and support your local Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure! We’re walking……how about you?

   

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DIYStyle at Swap-O-Rama in St. Louis 4-10-10!!

Swap O Rama STL

 

The Swap-O-Rama has landed in St. Louis this weekend, and DIYStyle will be there! Join in the wardrobe refashion fun, and dig in to find the gems you can restyle into this season’s pick pieces. Best yet, it’s all FREE!!! The whole deal will be held at the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park, this Saturday, April 10th, from Noon until 4pm. Come early for the best selection, and bring a bag of your own closet misfits to add to the pile. We’ll be helping at the sewing stations and giving away some cool prizes. Stop by our table and say hello and learn more about our upcoming workshops, and the new DIYStyle Boutique. We’re really excited to be a part of this. AND Allyce just did a segement for Great Day St. Louis (KMOV 4 in STL) on wardrobe refashion  that airs today too. Fun, fun, fun………..sew on! 

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Pi Day is Allyce’s Birthday!

Pi Day Embroidery

When Allyce was in school they had “Pi Day”, on 3-14 (you know pi is 3.14….). She loved it because she got dessert on her birthday, March 14th TWICE! Both as a special celebration at school (with pie of course), and again at home with her favorite confetti sprinkles birthday cake….talk about sugar overload! So, when we discoved a FREE embroidery design by a super company called Urban Threads, celebrating Pi Day we thought it would be a great way to celebrate Allyce’s 23rd birthday AND get you all a free Pi Day embroidery download!

So, if you have not yet checked out our new bestest (is that a word?) machine embroidery friend, then this is the perfect time to see all of their fab designs. Don’t waste any time either. This free download is only available until March 14th. Not your grandmothers embroidery (I know–you’ve heard that before!) REALLY! Watch for new projects coming on DIYStyle that will feature their edgy embroidery. We think they are way cool………..

And Happy Birthday Girl!!! We love you :)

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Project Runway:: And The Winner Is…

Main

There are nine designers left! Everyone that voted for who they thought would still be in the running is correct so far. That means everyone who posted their fav PR designer in the early post will receive a gift from DIYStyle! Keep an eye out for an email from us announcing what you won.

Seth Aaron

Last week’s episode was titled “Hard Wear,” and a couple of the designs looked like they were pretty “hard to wear”. The designers were instructed to create an uncoventional look using hardware materials instead of their usual fabric. 

Maya Designing

This week’s challenge winner was Jay. His design was quite amazing–who thought that someone could make such a fashionable outfit out of a black trash bag! Even Heidi said that they have never seen anything like it. Also, in this challenge the designers had to create an accessory to go with their look. The braided belt that Jay created looks like genuine leather!

 

I really liked Maya’s accessory. She made a very bold necklace out of keys that I think was simply amazing. The judges even said it was the strongest accessory.

 

 My personal favorite is still Seth Aaron. We will just have to watch and see what happens…

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DIYStyle Read::Sewing for Dummies

Sewing for Dummies cover

No, you don’t need to be a “dummy” to buy this book, or even a beginner sewer…..the simplicity of organization of hardcore info in this sewing handbook is what we all wish for when in a late night sewing pinch! Like me, you have probably perused several of the Dummies books, most of them pretty darn useful and written in a voice that I can understand. Sewing for Dummies is just that, from this easy-to-navigate category of books by Wiley. Written by industry veteran (and a long time friend) Jan Saunders-Maresh, this book is a must have for every level of sewist.

I love books that are an easy read, especially when I am grappling with a subject that is new or seemingly difficult to me.  Just check out the other Dummies books on my shelf…mostly internet and computer related. Jan has a knack for making the step by step instructions for everything from zippers to pockets, and piping to slipcovers as easy as pie, and fun to boot. Some of the included cartoons are so on target, and hit home. A lighter note when you are trying to figure out just how to get that particular technique down.

Sections in the book cover major sewing opportunities, including Fashion sewing (our fav of course!), Home Dec, Alterations, and the “trademark” top ten lists. Sewing for Dummies even has some handy charts included, perforated so you can keep with you as you hit the fabric store. Fabric conversions, sheet sizes and needle specs are included to take on the go.

Sewing for Dummies has become our go-to handbook at DIYStyle for all of our sewing questions, especially used in classes at the DIYStyle Workshop. Add it to your list of must have tools for your sewing room. It’s reassuring to have a good friend like Jan at your side even if it’s only in book form. Now, we just need to talk Wiley into staffing a midnight to 7am Sewing for Dummies call hotline for those of us that are truely sewing dummies (more like zombies) when we’re up sewing all night long! For now, the book will do….and very nicely I might add.

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Project Runway::Cover Girl

Project Runway designers in the sewing room

Heidi Klum is the quintessential cover girl model. So when the cover of Marie Claire was offered up for the win on last week’s challenge on PR, and Heidi as the model for their expertly designed creation, you can just guess how the scramble to win this coveted prize ensued. The designers put their thoughts into sketches, but something got lost in the translation for several of these guys. A cover look needs to be outstanding design-wise, color-wise, and truely unique. I can’t believe how may looks were created in this challenge with muted or even flesh like tones. Blech.

Some looks were awesome….

Ben sewing a favorite design

Ben’s fun colorblocked dress

and some others not so much.

Anna’s separates-losing look

And they sewed away, winner or not.

Auffed and The Win

But I was pleaseantly surprised at the outcome……from the king of glitz and glam himself!

Anthony’s Blue Dress won the cover of Marie Claire!

Anthony, with his pageant ways found a way to tone down the glitz a bit and drape this incredible design. This will definitely make a stand out cover. Can’t wait to see this issue hit the newstands in a few weeks.

So what will happen this week? And who in our blog contest is still in the running? Check in later for the scoop. And thanks again to our friends at Brother for their cool behind the scenes pics!

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Boho on the Brain

nicole

I have not blogged in forever! My last semester of college is proving to be a busy one. The departmental fashion show, marketing plansbooks, and dog sitting are taking over my life. But, I’m so very glad to be back.

After interning with DIYStyle over the summer, I learned the art of being able to create my own handmade projects. I’ve always been a big fan of doing different things with my hair. I’ve been wearing headbands since my gradeschool days (you know…the plush, thick, plaid ones? Yuck!) They’re still a staple item in my wardrobe. I wear them to class and I wear them out at night.

SO back to the DIY business…you guessed it! I’ve started making my own headbands! I actually started creating some of them this summer. When I get free time at school, I’ll try to whip one up if I get a chance. My favorite right now would have to be the bohemian style bands. Nicole Richie is a big fan of this look (as seen above). I’ve played around with names for my headband collection and I decided to go with “Boho on the Brain.” Let me know what you think! They’re made of mostly recycled materials.

Oh, and THANK YOU to my very fabulous and cooperative room mates, Lucy and Lindsay, for agreeing to be my models!

linds

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