Category Archives: fashion

Katy Bellotte: “organized chaos” turned influencer

“I was a mess, I wasn’t ready…”

Picking at her freshly painted maroon colored nail beds and staring that the white oak floors, YouTuber and Instagram influencer, Katy Bellotte, looked back on her journey from a life full of “organized chaos” to promotional boxes of Free People and Glossier at her New York City flat’s doorstep.

Accrediting her success to not being afraid to produce hard and clear content that hurts, Bellotte has grown a fanbase of 469, 387 Youtube subscribers, 159,000 Instagram followers, and the second leading podcast on Spotify for Lifestyle and Health. As a result, she has become a frequently sought after fashion, skincare, and beauty ambassador and is friendly with several celebrities such as Taylor Swift and Jenna Mourey.

Nevertheless, the road to becoming an influencer is a rocky one, and Katy’s journey is no exception. With millions of individuals fighting their way into the social media fashion and beauty scene, just how difficult is it to actually make it.

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Perhaps Bellotte’s strongest motivation came from her desire to fulfill an unsatisfied market. “…I decided that I wanted to become for others what I wanted for myself.”

Born and raised in the small, bayside town of Annapolis, Maryland, Bellotte always felt slightly out of space. “Back in my early teens, I was brutally bullied. The way that I looked, acted and talked caused me to be ridiculed. It was a tough time for me and I really wish that there would have been I’d an older girl who I could have sought advice from.”

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With her Youtube algorithm showing that most of Bellotte’s viewers being slightly younger than her age, 23, she sees herself as one of the “big sisters” of Youtube. “It has always been my goal to act as a beacon of hope for girls who have gone through similar situations and are just looking for guidance and a helping hand.”

Despite her tripod of textbooks from her previous degree at Elon University, Bellotte has still managed to make a name for herself because of the passion that she has for her hobby. “When you’re 14, you’re constantly searching for ways to label yourself and the only clear label that I could find that suited me and I enjoyed was a videographer.”

With a folder entitled, “Katy’s Creations” on her old Envy HP laptop, Katy decided to start her journey to becoming a Youtuber. Within this folder sat her first video ever uploaded: a eye makeup tutorial with one eyeshadow brush and one eyeshadow. “I remember thinking, ‘gosh, I really just want to put these somewhere, I want for other people to see them.’ I really found my worth in making videos. I loved it. I would wake up in the morning and be like, “where’s my camera?” and I am still kinda like that honestly. From there it has blossomed into something I don’t even have the words to describe”

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When in doubt, throw some avocado on it! 🥑 I’m whipping up my favorite dish of the moment, the ‘Mean Greens’ recipe from @NancyAndersonFit ’s 10 Day Detox. I’m getting all prepped and ready for the official kick off with her 10 day detox community on Monday June 18! Join us and lets get ready for summer together 👯‍♀️👏🏼 • Not only will this plan have you seeing changes quickly but it will also help you have more energy, improve your skin, health, gut and hormones in just a few days. Her results from last month are so legit- can’t wait to see how we do! To download the plan and learn more head to her page @nancyandersonfit – use the code ‘katy20’ for $20 off! #letsdothis #partner

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In spite of her popularity on social media, Katy undeterred by the numbers and fully intents on keeping her hobby and career as separate entities. “I think that as soon as you make something that you love your complete job, you start to love it less.”

Despite her strong belief, Bellotte she’s no end to her content creating anytime soon. With a New York City apartment, a social media editing job at L’Oreal, and her evergrowing life experiences, she can only see herself continue to grow. “In the words of Leonardo Da Vinci, ‘people of accomplishment rarely sit back and let things happen to them. They go out and happen to things.’ Being open and public about the things that others don’t dare to speak up about is how I’ve gotten where I am and how I’ll keep climbing.”

As a chip of her maroon nail polish fell to the ground, she looked up, “I wasn’t ready, but then again, when will you ever be? Dare to be different. Create for yourself. Work with what you have and go with the flow. You might be more ready than you think.”

Seventeen again: an interview with Kelsey Stiegman

Seventeen Magazine’s Senior Style Editor Kelsey Stiegman is living her childhood dream, sharing “Fashion is in the pit of my soul.”

In the age of Instagram ponzi schemes and weight loss teas, not many people would respond to an arguably too-kind “Hey girl! Please check your DMs!” comment on one of their Instagram photos. But Kelsey is one of a kind, and for that, I am forever grateful.

Corresponding via email, Kelsey gave me an inside look into her pure devotion to everything fashion and how it drove her to leave the midwest and head to the east coast to accomplish a lifelong dream.

Born and raised on a farm in Gilman, Illinois, Stiegman’s upbringing was in her words the “polar opposite” of what her life is now – styling outfits at video shoots and attending NYC Fashion Week nine seasons in a row.

After graduating Illinois State University with a degree in apparel merchandising, she moved to Brooklyn in 2015 after telling her professor and peers that she’d one day move to New York and work for Seventeen, “and that’s exactly what I did.”

Starting as an editorial intern, she made her way up the ladder until being promoted to Senior Style Editor this past January.

I can’t remember how I began following Kelsey on Instagram all those years ago, but if fashion, travel and quirky nail designs are your thing, following her is a must. With an enviable, cohesive neutral-toned Instagram feed and an obsession with Harry Potter that many of us could vibe with (she did a whole Harry Potter vacation in London), it’s a toss up between wanting to be her and wanting to be friends with her. 

As more studies are proving that social media is harmful to your wellbeing, Stiegman showcases a healthy relationship with the app, thinking of it as a hobby, “I really love it and love creating content for it.”

We’ve entered the age where what we post online does matter, especially when it could make or break our chances of getting a job at our dream company. For fashion students looking to get into the industry, Kelsey suggests, “Instagram is a great way to show your personal style, writing style, and understanding of social media to a future employer.”

A typical day for Stiegman begins at 7:30. Out the door by 8:45, she hops on a train to Midtown Manhattan to start her day at Seventeen, a publication under Hearst Publications. She fills her day with meetings, video editing and writing articles focusing on entertainment, beauty and style – most recently stories involving A-list celebrities like Justin Bieber and makeup mogul Jeffree Star.

She still has time for the occasional after-work happy hour.   

“I love it”, admits the self-proclaimed Ravenclaw, “Working at Seventeen is more than a job, it’s really become part of my identity.”

To unwind on weekends, she explores NYC, “I’ve got a long New York bucket list I’ve been working to complete for years.”

The road to Senior Style Editor wasn’t an easy one. Work experience was Stiegman’s saving grace and what ultimately scored her her in at Seventeen. “Degrees are important, but work experience is what sets you apart.”

Her advice? “Internships are what you make of them. Just being vocal and asking for new responsibilities can give you great opportunities that could relate to your future career.”

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Getting lost in Peñíscola, wbu?

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While being an editor has its perks – including free clothes from many of our favourite brands – Kelsey “lives in jeans and sneakers” and enjoys going crazy at vintage shops throughout the city, usually leaving with a bag of clothes from L Train in Park Slope Brooklyn” where “nothing is over $35.”

The editor owes much of her 20s and 70s style to her great aunts – who left her many of their best pieces, “I think they’d really get a kick out of knowing that their clothes are now being worn to fashion week.”

However, her go-to outfit, “it’s my extra-long Teigan jeans from Reformation, a turtleneck, and a vintage blazer, with pointed-toe boots.” Currently Kelsey’s favourite piece is her vintage leather blazer.

Although the life of a fashion editor is anything but normal, Kelsey exudes humility and relatability. On the weekends, she’s clad in sweatpants. When she’s not re-reading the Harry Potter series, she enjoys books on serial killers and ghosts, and spending time with her husband.

With an Instagram boasting over 17,000 followers, a CV recounting experience from top publications like Cosmopolitan and Seventeen, Kelsey Stiegman lives and breathes fashion, calling it her “art”.

So, if you pass a girl donning cowboy boots and cateye sunglasses, that’s Kelsey. And she’s probably looking fabulous.

Becoming a blogger: Scarlett Dixon on making the jump from journalism to blogging

Scarlett Dixon is a 25-year-old blogger from London, who is perhaps better known online as ‘Scarlett London’. As the epitome of ‘Instagram goals’, Scarlett boasts over 70,000 followers on the platform, along with over 13,000 subscribers on YouTube, but it’s really her blog that kick-started her career.

Scarlett set up her blog in 2011, as an aspiring journalist looking for somewhere to showcase her work for future job opportunities but it wasn’t until she’d graduated university (with a First-Class Honours degree) and began interning at women’s magazines that she realised her blog could be more than just a hobby. ‘Magazines were going through a transitional period and there was a general unease about the future of them. It wasn’t the most pleasant environment to start working in and it definitely steered me towards my blog’, she says.

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Take a walk on the wild side 🐯 A couple of months ago, I would have deleted these pictures and immediately felt deflated. My eyes would have been drawn instantly to my hips (an area I’ve always felt conscious of) and I wouldn’t have been able to admire the animal print jacket, the way my hair looked or the fact there was the most adorable little green car behind me! We all have our individual insecurities and the things that immediately draw our attention when picking apart photos of ourselves. It can be even more all consuming when your job revolves around taking & posting photos of yourself 🙈 I honestly don’t really know what has changed in the last few months other than that I’ve learned to appreciate all of the individual parts that make me, me! We all have little things that we (ourselves) notice daily, but no-body else does. So the next time you walk past the mirror or see a photo of yourself, I dare you to look at yourself with fresh eyes. Don’t immediately glance at the usual places. Admire everything that makes you, you! You are beautiful, strong, magical, mighty and smart! ❤️ loving yourself is seen as a narcissist quality, but we carry so much love in our hearts – you have to give a little to yourself sometimes! Photo by @lauraslittlelocket

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Having made the jump to blogging as her full-time career in 2017, Scarlett considers blogging to be ‘more of a lifestyle career than a traditional job, as you share lots of parts of your life as part of your blog – so the lines are pretty blurred in terms of ‘switching off’. A difficulty for Scarlett is her work/life balance – working for herself, it’s common that she feels guilty if she’s not doing something constantly, despite having frequent manically busy periods.

There’s no typical 9 to 5 day for Scarlett. Her career involves a lot of behind-the-scenes work – ‘Usually you’re working with brands (as your clients) who have a set brief to follow for each campaign. You have to put together a creative idea, essentially pitch it to them – and ensure it’s still on brief but fits with your audience. Then we plan shoots, find locations, edit et cetera. It’s all very varied and can be very busy and manic’.

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Q: if you had a looking glass that could see into your future, would you want to know what it had in store for you? 🌸 My A: probably not. I think that some of the best things in life are surprises and embracing change and the unexpected is all part of growing older and more wise. I do think sometimes we have to trust that things will all work out how they are supposed to. I guess if you looked at your future, it wouldn’t make much sense to you in the present. We will only be able to see the joined dots looking back, not forward. What do you think? Would you want to know your future if you could? Ps: I’m not in NYC (I wish) but these are a few pictures from my trip a year and a half ago that I never shared! 🌸🙈

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Being a lifestyle blogger, Scarlett’s online content is heavily focussed around fashion, beauty and travel, amongst other topics – but she doesn’t feel pressured to keep up the image that she portrays online. In fact, her online style is typically what she would wear in her every day, offline life – ‘when I’m out and about with friends/family – I tend to wear the same kind of stuff I’m pictured in on my Instagram. The only difference is that I might not have my hair extensions in. I’ve always been a very low maintenance kind of person’, she says.

But things haven’t necessarily been easy in Scarlett’s blogging career – ‘I think dealing with online vitriol is probably the hardest thing I’ve had to deal with’. Within the last year, Scarlett has come under fire by online trolls who criticised her Instagram for being ‘fake’ – one tweet turned into criticism on a mass scale, through newspapers and national TV. As someone who describes herself as ‘a pretty sensitive person naturally’, Scarlett says ‘It was such a tough time, because thousands of people who have never met you are attacking your character and making wild, defamatory assumptions about you. I’ve pretty much read everything I possibly could about myself and feel I have a much thicker skin.’

The biggest lesson she’s learnt? ‘Just to go for it. There’s no time like the present and the best way to learn is through experimenting with different things. My blog didn’t start out looking like it did now – and no-one expects you to be perfect either. Don’t try and emulate anyone else, offer something unique and different. Think about what you are offering to your readers. You are your niche, so let everything that makes you you shine’.

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[Gift] The saying ‘when you wait for a bus and they all come along at once’ basically sums up this series of photos. Fun challenge for your Monday morning – how many London buses can you spot? Typically they all pop along when I’m trying to take a picture – I also had a fluorescent yellow road sweeper in the background on one image, so I very badly edited him and his truck out. I hope everyone has a wonderful Monday! ❤️😘 Disclaimer: the bag, shoes and trousers I am wearing in this image have all been gifted by Dorothy Perkins, who I am proud to work with on paid content from time to time. However this post has not been paid for, I just adore their clothes – and this handbag, which comes on all of my adventures with me! The scarf and coat are from Boohoo, who do kindly gift me items of clothing each month.

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So, what’s next? For one, she’s publishing a book in April – ‘it’s very exciting and has been in the pipeline for a little while now. I blog a lot about taboo subjects – such as chronic illness and digestive health, so all I can say is that it’s linked to that! Watch this space’. And that’s something she hopes to carry on with – writing is and has always been Scarlett’s main passion and she hopes to publish a fiction book in the future. If her current work is anything to go by, it’s certainly something to look forward to but, for now, you can find her work at scarlettlondon.com.

5 Reasons why Azzedine Alaïa exhibition at London’s Design Museum is a must see

Six months after passing away, Maison Alaïa has decided to celebrate the legacy of Turkish haute couture designer Azzedine Alaïa.
The exhibition, running from 10th of May to 7th of October 2018 at the Design Museum in London, is Alaïa’s temple.
It showcases the couturier most recent works, including a gown modelled by Naomi Campbell during the very last show of Alaïa, held in Paris in July 2017.

Here, it is what you can expect…

1.You get to see Alaïa obsession for perfectionism up close
“Azzedine would not release any design unless he was satisfied with it, so there are no deconstructed pieces on show here, only the finished works,” Mark Wilson, long time friend of the couturier, explains to Vogue.
Renowned for working like a sculptor, Azzedine would take care of every step of a garment production. From the fitting on the model to cutting the patterns and polish details of outfits before the show, Azzedine would do everything himself, which is quite unusual for a designer in modern era.
There is no need to deconstruct his famous one-shoulder leather dress to appreciate the creation, you will be able to value the piece in all its details right at the entrance of the exhibition.

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Campbell during the last Azzedine runaway

2.You get to see pieces worn by Alaïa muses
Among the 60 pieces collection, you will get to see creations worn by supermodels of the like of Naomi Campbell and Grace Jones and singer Tina Turner. What they have worn has now become iconic and distinctive sign of the designer style.
As Wilson explains to Vogue, when Azzedine passed away they were 90% done with the preparation of the exhibition and the designer ensured there was a balanced theme throughout the showcasing. He included a series of famous bandage dresses, versions of the flamenco dress that are embroidered in metallics, and pieces that show use of rivets or exotic skins.

3.You get to appreciate Alaïa knowledge of good presentation
Before passing away, Azzedine recut every piece to adapt it to the mannequins. He was aware of the elongated figure which would have made his creations look much more impressive, knowing the relevance of a great silhouettes.

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Famous Maison Alaïa flamenco dress

4.You get to see how Alaïa empowered women through fashion
More than once throughout his career, Azzedine affirmed his main obsession was to make women look good and comfortable in their clothes, which were supposed to be uniquely designed to fit women with different bodies and features.
At the exhibition, you will be able to check out how all the dress can be re-adjusted to ensure the owner feels special in it.

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Azzedine Alaïa with model Frederique 1989

5.You get the notion of timeless fashion
Maison Alaïa pieces might have been created 30 years ago or tomorrow. They are timeless and you cannot put a date on them. Indeed, as explained by Wilson to Vogue, the unicity of Azzedine work was that he did not follow a theme throughout the season, but he would follow his own style and inspiration, often working on the same piece to reach his ideal of perfection.
To prove Maison Alaïa is still very much love by the public, last year in June, they opened up, a boutique in New Bond Street, London.

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Interior designs at Maison Alaïa, New Bond Street, London