Fashion

Gotta Love A Bird Print

Before anything else, I understand that items of clothing with birds or animals isn’t for everyone. With that said, I used to work at a zoo and that made me love animals even more, so I don’t have a problem with wearing cute animals printed things. Matter of fact, my problem was that I had too many items of clothing with animals on them. Haha! Knowing that, it got out of hand and I had to cut down on the “animal printed clothing” tremendously. Although I don’t have as many animal printed items anymore, it doesn’t mean I won’t buy more. It just means I am more selective with my choice of animal prints.

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Today’s blog post is going to be about an outfit I wore when the sun was blazing in Chicago. The dress I wore is a black summer dress, printed with colorful birds and flowers (bought at Old Navy). The dress was the perfect choice for a hot, sunny day because the material was breathable. It was heavy and it was absolutely comfortable. The black knit, overlay sweater was made by my friend Ms. Murillo. She has these amazing knitting skills that I wish I had, and I’m so glad I have this piece to pair with other dresses. The beige wedges are Crocs. Now, I’m fully aware I’m mentioning Crocs wedges again, but they’re seriously the best things ever made and I wish I had 20 pairs of Croc wedges. I highly suggest you go into one of their stores and try on a pair. It’ll definitely change the shoe game. Last and not least, my sunglasses. Found those Calvin Klein beauties at TJ Maxx and bought them for only $12! What a deal!

So, if you’re like me and you love clothing with animals on them, please comment below and let me know the best places to find those types of clothes and/or brands. I could use a chic, animal printed anything.

Best,

Michelle

 

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Fashion

The LBD- Little Blue Dress

Before I write anything else, I wanted to mention that this post is not a diss to the original LBD. I live for black, chic dresses and they are my favorite to wear. With that said, this post is just to switch things up with the Little Blue Dress.

I wore my cobalt blue dress for my Mom’s birthday outing. We went to Cítricos, which is a restaurant at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Side note: I could live at the Grand Floridian and I would live content for the rest of my days. The ambiance, the customer service, and the smell! If Disney can figure out how to bottle up the smell of Grand Floridian’s lobby and make it into a candle, I would buy 20.

The dress: I bought it from a store called roz&ALI. To my surprise, it’s the rebrand/ extention of a place called Dressbarn (which most are very familiar with). I would usually go to Dressbarn to get special occasion dresses, but once I stepped into roz&ALI at Orlando’s Premium Outlet in Vineland Avenue, it was a breath of fresh air. From dresses to shorts to blouses, everything in the store was current and I could have easily see myself buying good quality pieces to make multiple outfits.

One of my biggest problem with plus size clothing is that (a lot of times) there isn’t a shape or structure to clothing items. Most plus size clothing is about comfort, which I get. Comfortable clothes are necessary in a wardrobe, but it shouldn’t be an everyday thing. Personally, I like items that flatter my figure, instead of putting baggy clothing to “hide” the fact that I have a tummy or rolls on my back. Regardless of what I put on, they’re going to be there. So, why not wear something that’s going to make me feel beautiful and confident about myself, rolls and all?

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roz&ALI offers women the best of both worlds. Their items are comfortable and chic and can make any woman feel happy in their own skin. When I tried on the blue dress on the first time, it fit like a glove. The laser cut details is what drew me to the dress in the first place. Little design details are what make dresses unique, so I’m always looking for those type of things in an outfit. Also, I am loving the cold shoulder trend this year! Seeing that the dress had that element, along with the ruffled sleeve, I was sold. More than that, I felt amazing in the dress! My black wedges with the black and gold bow accent are actually Crocs. Family and friends know about my love for Crocs, but I’m loving the fact that they are creating shoes that I can wear with multiple outfits. I honestly need more Crocs shoes in my life because of how cute they are and how easy it is to walk in them.

The funny thing is, I wore the dress the same day I bought it. That’s how you know I loved it. Usually, I save pieces of clothing I buy and I keep them in my closet until I know which day I’m going to wear them. With the little blue dress, that rule went out the window! From the moment I wore it, I had multiple complements come my way, which is always delightful and a highlight to my day. The best part about that, it was a conformation for how I felt in the dress; I felt confident, flirty, and put together. I strongly believe that people complimented me for exuding that emotion. Even if the compliments didn’t come my way, the way I felt in that dress was all I needed to make me happy.

Best,

Michelle

P.S.- I bought a Size 18 in this dress and yes I wore Spanx. Ladies, we all know Spanx is the undergarment angel and that we all need to smooth things out from time to time. Especially in dresses. Haha!

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Art & Design

I’ll Just Move to France

There is nothing I admire more than a talented woman who knows her worth. A woman who pursues her dreams, without limitation and fear. Mary Cassatt was definitely that and more. If you’re not familiar with Cassatt, I suggest you read the rest of the post. Reading her story is nothing but inspirational and probably would’ve dominated the social media world if she were here today.

Born around the 1840s, Cassatt was born into a pretty wealthy and established family; her father being a real estate and investment broker. Skip ahead to the 1850s where her mother of all trades taught Cassatt the following: homemaking, embroidery, music, sketching and painting. As she grew older, her family lived in Europe for several years to experience culture; eventually becoming a very well-rounded individual.

Of all the trades she was taught at a young age, painting became her passion. So much so, that she wanted to go to school to become a professional painter. At the age of 16, she enrolled in Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. It was uncommon for women to attend school or pretty much anything that was male dominated, so she wasn’t welcomed with open arms. With a mixture of negativity and the school’s curriculum, Cassatt grew tired and moved to France to learn from Old Masters. All by herself. You go girl! 

Passing over Cassatt’s story where her father’s disapproval, submitting work under a different name, the Franco-Prussian War, and becoming an established artist from 1872-74, she befriended Degas in 1879! It started as being an admirer of his work to being one of his strongest friends. Through the connection, Cassatt was able to submit 11 pieces of work with the Impressionists of 1879 (Monet, Manet, Degas, Caillebotte, need I say more?). It was definitely the highlight of her artistic career.

Most impressionists are known for landscapes, light and movements. Cassatt was known for her portraits of women, more specifically, mothers and their children. Which brings me to The Child’s Bath. Painted in 1893, it shows the relationship between mother and child.

According to The Art Institute’s Art Access online, it states, “In rendering this subject, the artist relied on keen observation rather than idealization, yet still portraying great intimacy. The woman’s gestures—one firm hand securing the child in her lap, the other gently caressing its small foot—are both natural and emblematic, communicating her tender concern for the child’s well-being. The two figures gaze in the same direction, looking together at their paired reflection in the basin of water…The many paintings, pastels, and prints in which Cassatt depicted children being bathed, dressed, read to, held, or nursed reflect the most advanced 19th-century ideas about raising children.”

The Child’s Bath creates various feelings for me. Whenever I look at the painting, it reminds me of the relationship I had with my grandmother. Our bond was like the painting, effortless and filled with love. My grandmother was the type of person who would do anything for the people she loved, even on her toughest days where the world got the best of her. With that said, the painting reminded me of summer days where the house was too hot. We’d go outside, turned on the water hose, filled up a bucket, and cooled ourselves off. Once we were done, she’d sit next to me with a towel (just like the lady in the painting) and dry me off before I entered the house.

I believe the toughest part about losing someone you cared for are the memories. They hit you in tiny waves and all at once, but they’re all we have left. The Child’s Bath  hits me like a tidal wave, but that’s why I hold the painting dear to my heart.

I am completely grateful for Cassatt’s existence and influence in the art world. She managed to almost always show women as the main subject, relationships between them, and relevancy in women artists. Cassatt was the second woman impressionist to showcase her work amongst Impressionist giants. To display work next to influential artist is probably the most intimidating feeling to have, but she just focused on her art and craftsmanship. Taking an opportunity and creating beautiful artwork that shows more than a technique(s) is what I aspire to do as a designer.

-Michelle

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References

  1.  http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/exhibitions/Impressionism/Cassatt
  2.  https://www.biography.com/people/mary-cassatt-9240820

 

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