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SS The magazine about independent style!





How to wear


ONLINE CONTEST What to do (and wear) on VACATION in MADRID and more!

personal stylist? Considering a career as a

Stories and advice from the pros

Fashionnerdic’s ILANKA

STYLE SAMPLE Editor-in-Chief Tamia Stinson Photography Assistants Brandy Kaufman Tiffany Gies To subscribe, visit For information regarding permissions and advertising, contact Style Sample magazine is published bimonthly by Style Sample, LLC Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

{It’s just business } It has recently come to my attention (through trial and error—mostly error) how important it is to learn the business side of your business. While the glamorous part—styling models, taking amazing photographs, working with clients, planning events, etc. —is absolutely amazing and definitely worth the work, the day to day business activities are what occupy the most time. This is why corporations have entire departments dedicated to accounting, IT, and marketing. Those activities require a lot of time and energy. I had the opportunity to meet Project Runway designer Althea Harper, who, in a recent interview noted that her advice to design students is to enjoy the freedom of creativity and push yourself to learn your craft while you’re in school. When you’re out on your own, she pointed out, it’s about running a business. You’re not so much a photographer/designer/illustrator as an entrepreneur who just happens to take photographs or design clothing or create drawings. The fun and shiny part is a small percentage of what entrepreneurs do on a daily basis. The rest—finance, communication, taxes, filing, answering emails, marketing, etc.—is where the bulk of your responsibilities will lie. Be sure to educate yourself.


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The stylists featured in the personal styling feature in the print edition of this issue share a similar sentiment. In a series of candid interviews, they acknowledge that while being a personal stylist is an altogether fulfilling, fun, and rewarding career, everyday activities like marketing, promotion, networking, and the like are just as important as a sense of style. If you’re at all interested in styling, I highly recommend purchasing the print edition at to read the feature. I’m always interested in your feedback and ideas, so feel free to contact me, and don’t forget to subscribe at to keep up and stay in touch!





Why you need it, what to include, and where to submit it.


Got something to say? Write a guest post for! FIND OUT HOW

Vote for your favorite from July 28 - August 8, 2010 at! featuring:

Love, Maegan Domestikated Life Fvncy Glam Glam Hitchhiker Chic Steals

Avid Accents The Looks For Less Living Fly On A Dime Alisa Burke – Redefine Creativity

FOLLOW US A little birdie said to follow @StyleSample on Twitter. LET’S TWEET!






My Life as a Magazine

Fashion Speak

My blog My Life As A Magazine features rambling on my loves: entertainment, pop culture, trend reporting, magazines, fashion, retail therapy, nostalgia, Japanese kawaii cool, and a few of my favorite things.

I am a fashion stylist & blogger at Fred Boutique in Milwaukee, WI. I graduated with a degree in Fashion Merchandise Management. Fashion and staying on top of the latest trends is what I love, all while helping people make it their own!



Grechen founded her first website, Grechen’s Closet in 2004, and has since started five more blogs—most focused on fashion & shopping, one about blogging, and one on the local fashion blogger scene in Austin, TX.

Meghan is the creator of the women’s lifestyle blog, WIT & Whimsy. She also writes for and Linea Pelle’s Life + Style blog, and is an ambassador for Glamour magazine in San Francisco.


WIT & Whimsy






Belgrade Flapper

‘Cause I’d Rather Waste My Life Pretending Rachel is an English writer and photographer who is obsessed with British politics, pretty dresses, lipstick, and nail polish. And music. And blueberries. Oh, and Tiffany’s keys.

Belgrade Flapper, entering the roaring ‘30s. Covering emerging designers and local fashion tips from Belgrade, Serbia, and Southeastern Europe. @BELGRADEFLAPPER



I love all things vintage and I hate it when people judge others based on their interests. I would sell my soul for a pair of Louboutins. And I love ice cream.

Sarah is a married 20-something with two useless degrees in creative writing. A plus-size girl in a skinny world, she has adapted and thrived in the fat-shion realm with creative ingenuity and her willingness to wear anything once.

Candid Couture

Return to Sender




I’m Anna Katrina, a student and blogger currently living in Madrid. I created my blog, Passport Glamour, so girls can be the fashionistas they are while traveling and not tourists!

Carolina, 23, fashion enthusiast/avid blogger. While her day job in the financial industry has little to do with fashion, she is actively exploring the field in hopes of building a career where business and fashion can converge in a meaningful way.

Passport Glamour



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Closet Full of Nothing


A little bit of Fresh... A dash of Fly... Mixed with the style of your own Energy.

K. Voler Spring/Summer Collection 2010






12 18 8




The latest happenings from around the blogosphere. One Question, Three Bloggers with Raijean of Swa-Rai, Amy Claire of Confessions of a Fashion Editor, and Meriel of Hurricane Lemonade. Edited by Rachel of ‘Cause I’d Rather Waste My Life Pretending











Featuring Shonwer, Wearable Dreams, My Little Fashion Diary and My Fashion Insider.


Highlighting the style of Caylee of If You Seek Style.

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One trend, two ways. Edited by Carolina of Closet Full of Nothing

Belgrade Flapper explores the style scene in Belgrade, Serbia; Anna Katrina of Passport Glamour tells us how to look our best in Madrid.










Six bloggers show us how to be stylish in tropical paradise.


Fashion illustrator Angie Wang is the talent behind the quirky illustrations at Wangie. By Meghan Donovan of WIT & Whimsy

Fashion photographer Polina Osherov takes beautiful images that tell a story. By Jenna Templeton of My Life as a Magazine Black Milk designer James Lillis combines dedication to his craft with a wicked sense of humor. By Alexis J. of Candid Couture For Jenna Colombini of New York Design Shop, owning her own business was in her blood. By Katie Schuppler of Fashion Speak Eighteen-year-old Ilanka of Fashionnerdic looks to fashion as both an escape and an art. By Sarah Russell of Return to Sender






Issue #6

Giveaways are all the rage, and can be a useful tool if done correctly. By Grechen of Free!Grechen

A career as a personal stylist is an exciting prospect for independent fashionistas, but what does it take to make it? Six professionals weigh in. By Randolph Black of Black Mary Jane (Available in the print edition)

Issue #5

Issue #4 Did you know you can purchase previous and current print issues of Style Sample magazine? Visit our page at to catch up issues you may have missed!


NEWS The latest happenings in the blogosphere

BLOGGER LINDSEY CALLA LANDS NATIONAL TV APPEARANCE Having appeared on five morning television segments on shows on FOX and The CW in various cities across the country, Saucy Glossie’s Lindsey Calla is slated for her first national appearance. The regional segments paved the way for her appearance on a show called “Mirror, Mirror” on the Living Well HD channel, and should air in July.


“Recently, I’ve been showing how you can dress thinner in pieces you already have in your closet, but the topics do range,” says Calla. For the national segment, which tapes in Houston, she plans to talk about the latest trends and share styling tips. All of the previous segments are available at

British Cosmopolitan is launching the first ever Cosmopolitan Blog Awards, looking for the best bloggers in nine categories, including fashion and style. Five bloggers in each category will be chosen at the beginning of August, while the blogs with the highest number of votes will be chosen at the end of August. In addition, style site Catwalk Queen is looking for fashion talent new to the blogging world to add to their team of London Fashion Week bloggers. If you can spot a story and identify the leading trends, they want to hear from you! To enter this category you must have a blog that’s less than six months old or not yet published. Entries are due by August 4th, 2010. To submit a blog and find more information, visit the “Your Life” section of


Send your tips and information to with “News” in the subject.


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the world with the most open of arms.”

iPublicist is a virtual PR showroom where stylists and bloggers can download product images and post story requests from Australianbased fashion and beauty brands. Though headquartered in Australia, “We welcome bloggers from around

To get started, visit, login as media, and start downloading images, contacting brands directly, or sending briefs and requests to brands by category. Browse member fashion and beauty brands for topics such as summer shoe trends, campaign and lookbook images, gift guides, and more. When you register, you may also choose to receive new client lists monthly, and new product and press releases weekly. Bonus: the service is free!

FASHION ON FILM Diane Pernet of A Shaded View on Fashion presents A Shaded View on Fashion Film 2010, the third edition of Paris’s annual film festival dedicated to fashion, style and beauty. Pernet, along with special guest judge Tavi Gevinson of Style Rookie, will judge entries from emerging fashion filmmakers. To enter, submit your best fashion film feature or short around the theme of fashion, style or beauty. The selected filmmaker will have their film screened as part of the next edition of ASVOFF opening in Paris. Entries are due July 12th, so click over to for details.




question  THREE


bloggers 

 

Different perspectives, shared experiences Edited by Rachel of ‘Cause I’d Rather Waste My Life Pretending

If you could publish your own fashion magazine, what would you include in it?

Amy Claire, Raijean, Meriel, SWA-RAI FASHION & BEAUTY CONFESSIONS OF A FASHION HURRICANE LEMONADE EDITOR BLOG I would include all things fashion, whether it’s handbags, shoes, accessories or clothing! I would feature the best fashion designers and beauty products. I would also spotlight women who live a fashionista lifestyle—as women we all have our own concept of what’s fashionable, and I would highlight those women. Finally, I’m very girly, so my magazine would be reflective of who I am as a person!

The truth. I’d put in real people’s opinions, and pictures with no airbrushing because, as they always say, “beauty is truth, and truth beauty.” There are a lot of us out there who love beautiful photo editorials and adore reading trend reports, but don’t like the falseness and the commercial element of the fashion industry at the moment. We need something to read, too!

I would cut down on the amount of brand advertisements, and use work from amateur and young photographers instead. There is so much untapped talent from some of these photographers, and I would make it a priority to share it in the magazine! Being a beauty blogger, I would also focus on the makeup and beauty side.


Funny/interesting/thoughtful comments from the blogosphere

“If I was major rich I would use the monies on my transformation into a supercyborg.” Seen on Win Dirtyrich + Purple Rain, Fashion Hayley “Such gorgeous sadness! Even your rings are beautifully melancholic” Seen on Tête, FrouFrouu



blogs 

My Fashion Insider


Fresh faces and unique concepts in the world of blogging

Jesa, US massive and share my adventures. When I moved back to the States I started publicly blogging after being encouraged by those same loved ones. I was also inspired by street style blogs and my interest in photography. What’s your favorite aspect of blogging? Interacting with other creatives. It opens your eyes a little wider to how small the world can be at times and it’s serendipity when you meet other digital loves who think on your wacky wavelength. What do you call people you’ve “met” online, but not in real life? Digital loves? Epically cool creative types? Probably the latter.

Wearable Dreams, @WearableDreams

What is your blog about? The easiest answer would be that my blog is simply about my life. I share my artwork, my stories and my exploration into both photography and fashion. Why did you start blogging? I first started blogging a couple of years ago, as a way to involve loved ones in my life in Italy. It was an easy way to make the world feel a bit less


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What is your blog about? My blog shares with the world some of the things that inspire my life, mainly fashion-wise. I post about my daily outfits, inspiration photos, juicy fashion news and a lot more, all with a personal writing touch (I try!). Why did you start blogging? The idea just hit me. I wasn’t even reading any fashion blogs at the moment, I was just a “freelancer” who loved fashion and kept digital and physical archives of everything I could get my hands on—still do! Who do you hope to reach? When I started I was really unaware of the fashion blogosphere that surrounded me, so I was kind of lonely. But now I’ve opened my eyes and discovered this whole new amazing worldwide community! What’s your favorite aspect of blogging? Realizing that there are actually people who love what I love. And finally feeling accepted for that!

My Little Fashion Diar

What are you usually doing when you’re not online? I’m working on commissioned paintings and working as a musician. Where are you from? I’ve moved constantly throughout my life and am still a bit of a nomad, so a safe bet would be to just say the USA.



rg, @katnani

Luca, Italy

Shonwer What is your blog about? Mine is not properly a fashion blog—I prefer to call it a “lab,” because it’s a concentration of all the things I love and I like to explore and try. It’s about art in general, because that’s the tool that allows you to express yourself­— in much the same way as fashion, design, architecture and photography.

Nadia, Portugal

Why did you start blogging? My intention was to share opinions and ideas about things I like with other people from all over the world—this is still my motivation.

ry, @emifashiondiary What is your blog about? I wanted to have a diary. My Little Fashion Diary is like a diary of what I like to wear and what I want to buy, as well as a fashion blog about style, shopping, trends, and anything that inspires me! Why did you start blogging? I loved reading fashion blogs to inspire me and one day I just thought, “Okay, let’s do it!” What’s your favorite aspect of blogging? I love to share my passion. I think that we are all different and we don’t feel the same about every trend, so

it’s interesting to hear different points of view. We all can bring something to the fashion world. What are you usually doing when you’re not online? I work a lot and I love to travel all around the world and spend time with my friends, my family and my little pug! Where are you from? I’ve worked in Paris and now I’m living in Luxembourg.

Who do you hope to reach? I hope to reach everyone who loves fashion and art, people with dreams who are determined and open to discussion, as well as people looking for style or inspiration. Being a reference point for others would be great. Describe your style: Simple and versatile: a few wellmatched pieces. What’s your favorite aspect of blogging? Sharing ideas and thoughts with others from all over the world is absolutely the most exciting thing, because it allows me to have new experiences I never imagined. What are you usually doing when you’re not online? I like learn whatever life can teach me: I like to read, watch films, take inspiration from other people, and I like to observe my surroundings. But I also like to hang out with my friends like everyone else. Where are you from? I came from Rimini, a small town in North Italy. It’s near the sea, full of tourists and a lot of fun for young people!



If you’d like to be considered for “Blogs to Watch”, complete the online submission form at!



Caylee Marie, 23 Location: Indianapolis, IN Occupation: Sales associate Blog: Twitter: @cayleem Name:

SINGULAR STYLE CAYLEE SAYS... I always find myself shopping at H&M because

If I was in an art show, you'd see lots of black and

I never leave home without my iPhone.

My favorite candy is Sour Patch Kids, because I

I work there!

The last thing that made me laugh out loud was

my kitten - she's a character! When I was little, I wanted to be a cartoonist.


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white fashion photography .

love the sour then the sweet .

Learn more about Caylee on her blog, If You Seek Style

Make a splash in a BRIGHT and BOLD colored swimsuit this summer!


Whether you’re GIRLY or SPORTY, highlighter hues make perfect looks for those HOT SUMMER DAYS at the beach. By Carolina of Closet Full of Nothing




Helene Berman

SWIMSUIT, Zimmerman

BRACELET, Roberto Cavalli


THE Lida, Fashionista Talk



Diane Von Furstenberg

Sara, Lumedisco


WATCH, Adidas

BIKINI, MB Beach Couture




style 


 in my

An insider’s view on style around the world.


stays up when New York takes a nap.”

Belgrade, SERBIA Svetlana, Belgrade Flapper Belgrade means “White city”, but jump to no conclusions—it is in fact a lively, noisy, hysterical, laid back, grey, vivid, crowded, open, exhilarating, irritating city with two million inhabitants, two big rivers, and not one but two fashion weeks that are less than a month apart.

Photo: Sever Zolak

Design Influences


Belgrade style reflects its architecture: art deco masterpiece next to a worn-out socrealistic building, facing some of the most significant modernist examples in this part

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of Europe, all shaded by a classicist palace. Its energy keeps citizens up late at night and might also explain the incredible amount of bright local talents, from enthusiasm-driven underground studios, to already famous ex-pats like Roksanda Ilincic, a regular fixture in British Vogue.

Shop Away

Exploration of numerous local designer boutiques is a rewarding and authentic experience. One of the most beautiful is the self-titled shop of Tamara Radivojevic, a St. Martin’s graduate who combines exquisite tailoring and luxurious fabrics. Drop by Identity boutique for edgy, not too feminine, not too punk JSP creations and enjoy decoding the pop references of their current inspirations. Studio Alternative offers

playful constructions in muted hues by the Stevancevic sisters. All-white Dragana Ognjenovic boutique has the atmosphere of a retro couture studio, but her minimalism and modern, sharp aesthetic will instantly bring you back to the 21st century. Vintage is not big in Belgrade, but there are still several places to visit for rare finds from the ‘30s to the ‘80s, like Jane Doe, Retro Chic or Smizla.

The Style Tour

If you can, plan your trip around Take Away Fashion, a monthly event that gathers 50 - 100 young designers in a rough, industrial part of the city. Dive into the bubbly crowd for the freshest ideas in clothing and accessories.


{ What to pack: MADRID, SPAIN } ANNA KATRINA of Passport Glamour Madrid, Spain is an old but beautiful city filled with art, history, tapas, and a constant flow of cava. The city oozes culture, from the outdoor spaces in Retiro Park, to shopping on Serrano Street, to Plaza Mayor, to flamenco dancers, and both modern and famous museums like the Thyssen. Even though this city seems historic, the Madrielnos keep it alive with nightlife and fashion. To look your absolute best on your trip to Madrid I suggest:


These are fashion-forward but loose in all the right places, allowing you to feel the breeze yet stay cool in the summer sun. Tuck a loose tank top into them for day, and pair them with Marc Jacobs flats. High-waisted shorts,


These peep-toe flats will keep you comfortable and cute while walking the cobblestone streets of Madrid during a day of sight-seeing or heavy shopping. For night, pair them with a flirty day dress and wear them for drinks at El Champandaz, Madrid’s famous cave bar. Make sure to drink the jota jota!

Finish your tour in Supermarket concept store, where you can shop local designers like Ana Ljubinkovic, Dejana Momcilovic, Ana Sekularac, Morfium, as well as Acne jeans, S.N.O.B, and United Nude every night until 1AM. Grab a seat by its huge bar and watch hip young things pass by. Prepare for a long night—Belgrade stays up when New York takes a nap.

Marc Jacobs flats,

MESSENGER BAG In heavily populated Madrid, you will find yourself in huge crowds. A messenger bag is the perfect accessory to keep all of your belongings safe while still looking adorable. This bohemian shoulder bag with a small section of fringe is perfect. Messenger bag, Anthropologie

VISIT MERCADO SAN MIGUEL Must-see Mercado de San

f Top: Supermarket concept store; left: Dejana Momcilovic dress; below: a creative building facade.

Miguel is the perfect place to get your Spanish tapas fix. The market is filled with a variety of tapas, including a huge selection of cheeses, coffee, meats, sushi, smoothies, hand-made potato chips, wines, and more. You can pick and choose what you like and enjoy it standing up like typical Spaniards, or take it to go and have your own picnic.

RENT A BOAT AT RETIRO PARK Retiro Park is full of small restaurants, water-fountains, a lake, and grassy areas to have a picnic or just lay in the sun. My favorite thing to do in Retiro Park is rent a boat on the man-made lake. It’s both romantic and fun without being dangerous (no life jacket required), so take the person you love, or just hang with your girlfriends.





Time Enough for Drums



English Rose



Iva Messy


Spectator sport wedges, Anthropologie

Ready to Retro dress, Modcloth

Wedges are all over, but I’ve never seen a pair quite like these. Bright green meets a mix of patterns in these 1970’s-style summer must-have sandals.

Get caught in a lush forest in this vibrant vintage-inspired frock. This dress has just the right amount of magic and mystery!

Parrot ring, Forever 21

3 Minute Miracle, Aussie

Acccessorizing is an absolute fashion must, especially in summer. This gorgeous parrot ring would go perfectly with a lovely maxi dress and a long gold necklace.

Perfect if your hair becomes a crazy ball of frizz at the slightest hint of humidity. Don’t leave for your jungle vacation without it!

NARS Body Glow, Sephora

Etro tunic, Net-a-Porter

Give yourself a natural glow in minutes and smell luxurious with NARS Body Glow. You’ll look like you live in paradise all year ‘round.

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Elegant and feminine, this tunic exudes tropical sexy. Slip it on with confidence and look effortlessly passionate and timeless in your vacation state of mind.



Mariel’s Castle



Lip & cheek stain, Stila This wonderful shade will enhance your skin’s golden glow with an easy to blend formula that adjusts color according to your ph levels. Oh, and did I mention it tastes like mango?


Transient Withdrawal

Tregnano necklace, Aldo

The colorful beads on this necklace lend a little island fun to simpler ensembles; the mixed in golden chains keep it modern and complement your tan-tastic skin.

Palm tree bralet, Topshop

Brownie polish, Nailed

I’m really loving these bralets at the moment and the print on this is absolutely beautiful!

I have this shade, and it’s such a gorgeous color. Looking down and seeing it on my hands makes me feel all happy and summery!

Staring at Stars hat, Urban Outfitters

Pins & Needles romper, Urban Outfitters

Style & Cigarettes


Summer heat and humidity bring to mind the lush colors and exotic flowers of tropical paradise.

Hats are a great way to cover up beach hair and shade your eyes so your gorgeous peepers don’t have to hide behind sunglasses.

When you’re on vacation, you can’t be bothered with separates. Rompers are perfect for the beach, and you can always bring a skirt to transition from day to night.






Fashion is an art that can take on all kinds of forms. After one visit to Wangie, the edgy and stylish blog by 23-year-old Angie Wang, you see just how expressive and different it can be when illustrations come to life. By Meghan Donovan of WIT & Whimsy

Angie’s drawings: Top, Weiwei; center: Diane; top right, Ciara; far right, Lauren


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Blogger Susie Bubble is a great inspiration, too. Her sartorial bravery is what really defines fashion for me: enthusiasm taken so far that it becomes transgressive.

into the fashion industry as I’d seen Paul Pope’s work in comics prior to his work with Diesel and James Jean’s illustrations in the Fables comic series before he designed for Prada.


I started drawing animé and Art Nouveau, and grew up surrounded by concept artists and character designers for video games, comics and movies. All of which had a big influence on the stripped-down presentation and over-the-top editorial choices for Wangie. I set out to create a hybrid of concept art and avant-garde fashion when I started Wangie in March of this year.


Kazuma Kaneko, the concept artist for the Shin Megami Tensei video game series, is a continual inspiration for Wangie because of his amazingly creative costume designs. Blogger Susie Bubble is a great inspiration, too. Her sartorial bravery is what really defines fashion for me: enthusiasm taken so far that it becomes transgressive.


Paul Pope, Yuko Shimizu, Veronique Meignaud, and James Jean, if they can be said to be artists working in fashion. Admittedly, I’d been following all these artists before they got

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT BLOGGING? Blogging has allowed me to interact with people I never knew would be interested in fashion. I’ve had guys tell me they would like to wear my designs, which is so flattering (and surprising)!

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE DESIGNER? WHO WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO WORK WITH IN THE INDUSTRY? Iris Van Herpen or Hussein Chalayan. I think Van Herpen’s work is particularly appealing to those like myself with a graphic design background as the line is a sort of sartorial equivalent to what you find today on design blogs.


I’m living it. Between illustration and comics, I’m living my dream now. As for the future of Wangie, I’m in talks about turning it into a book, which I’m very excited about.

You can catch up with Angie on her blog,




Noir Blanc 20

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Indianapolis mother of two and film noir fan Polina Osherov looks to art, movies, an emotion, or location to inspire beautiful images that tell a story. By Jenna Templeton of My Life as a Magazine


aving been shooting as a hobbyist since 1988, in 2004 Polina decided to go pro, sharing her visual story-telling, dramatic lighting, and cinematic compositions with the world. We chatted with Polina about her latest “Mad Men” inspired shoot and candy-pop poolside spread, as well as some inside tips and tricks for other like-minded photographers.


I started shooting as a high school student while I still lived in Melbourne, Australia. After I moved to the States, I went to College of DuPage and almost completed the two-year associate degree in photography, then I got distracted and decided to go into medicine instead. Some 10+ years after that, I realized that my passion for photography was still there and so here I am!


I shoot with a Canon 5D. My favorite lens for fashion is my Tamron 24-70 2.8, and for portraits I like the Canon 85mm 1.4.


If it’s an office day, I settle in behind my desk and start dealing with all of the things that need to happen either in preparation for a shoot or in preparation for delivering the final product to my clients. If it’s a shoot day, I go over my equipment to make sure that everything is packed, powered and ready to rock before hopping in my car to go! I try to get all of my shooting done during the day so that I can spend evenings with my family, but usually after the kids go to bed, I am on my Mac editing images.


It’s ironic that, as a fashion photographer, I spend less time behind the camera than doing everything else associated with it. I scout locations and models, and coordinate most of the shoot details. I spend time doing creative research and looking for inspiration. Then, there’s specific creative prep before shooting: conceptualizing, figuring out lighting and shots, and brainstorming with the client and the stylist. There’s the post-production and delivery of images to the client. And that’s just stuff I do to shoot! There’s also everything associated with running a business­—paying bills, sending invoices, filing taxes, updating the blog and the website, and producing and distributing marketing material! Most days, I do a combination of all of these things. Like most other professions that are considered “glamorous,” there is actually very little glamour involved—just a lot of really hard work and long hours. I love what I’m doing, so I am not complaining by any means!



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I love dramatic lighting and cinematic compositions. My favorite shoots have as much to do with the model and the clothes as they do with the location. I love a rich, textured, colorful backdrop for my images. I love telling a story with the image, and having a great location is an important part of that.


The best way to improve is to practice, practice, practice. You should also seek out and pay attention to good, honest critique from someone whose work inspires you and who is making a living doing photography. I am a fan of studying other photographers’ work, trying to figure out how they lit something or post-processed it. I’ve made some great discoveries doing this.

DO YOU HAVE ANY TRICKS & TIPS YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE? Tip: Always bring a bag packed with non-camera equipment essentials: makeup, hairspray and bobby pins, sunscreen if you’re shooting outside, duct tape, clothing pins or clamps to cinch in clothes on skinny models, double-sided tape, and granola bars for those long days when there is no time to stop for food.

One trick: If you’re shooting a number of outfits, shoot your least favorite outfit or location first. It usually takes a little while for both the photographer and the model to “warm up”, so you don’t want to “waste” your favorite look on the warm-up phase.


As far as my contemporaries, I am a big fan of Annie Liebovitz, Steven Klein, Miles Aldridge & Marc Lagrange; as far as old school, I love Karsh & Henri Cartier-Bresson portraiture.

See more of Polina’s work online at, and follow @posherov on Twitter.



designer { { 


Designer James Lillis’ Black Milk line of leggings is informed by his dedication and wicked sense of humor. By Alexis J. of Candid Couture Fashion Schooled

When it comes to fashion school, Lillis has a very no-nonsense attitude. “If you get an idea for a piece, go make it. Don’t sit around drawing it. And if you’re not prepared to make it, don’t even talk about it.” He compares fashion design to fixing a toilet: “There are a huge number of real problems to solve before you get something that actually works. And you know you are going to get your hands dirty.”

Lillis with a model sporting his creation, Galaxy leggings. Below: Moonwalker bodysuit.

Designer James Lillis started Black Milk in early 2009. But what exactly did he have in mind when he first bought himself two sewing machines? “I would teach myself to sew, buy some beautiful stretch fabrics, and make insane leggings.”

Well, mission accomplished. His designs, to put it simply, are insane. Black Milk collections include highly stylized and unique leggings as well as jackets and bodysuits, with the occasional skirt thrown in for good measure.

I really care that my customers are happy. I’m obsessive about it.

Becoming Black Milk

James decided to become a designer because he got such a huge buzz out of seeing girls wear clothes that he had made. “I just got addicted to it,” he says. He knew it was time to start Black Milk when he experienced “profound disappointment with the small army of girls wearing bad saggy cheap leggings. A few people (guys) have told me that after spending a bit of time with me, they can’t walk down the street without noticing all the saggy knees and cheap cotton.” A very noble cause, indeed!


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Talented though he may be, Lillis is also humble. When asked about his mission statement, his reply was that it was absurd for someone in his position to have a mission statement. “I’m a fashion designer, not a ninja.”

Leggings Love

The designer says that knowing people spend their hard earned money on his designs and seeing people come back for more is what he loves about his job. But what makes Black Milk so special? What makes those girls come back for more? “I really care. I care that my pieces are comfortable, I care that they look amazing, I care that they fit well, I care that they last, and I really care that my customers are happy. I’m obsessive about it.” Lillis is inspired by women’s bodies, and his dream project is to design outfits for “an uber-cool futuristic movie.” There is also a swimwear line in the works. Head over to for a preview, and be prepared for a heavy dose of deliciously wicked humor.

Shop Black Milk at www.blackmilkclothing. com, read James’ blog, and follow @JamesBlackMilk on Twitter.



BLOGGER  business    

with a

Jenna Colombini of New York Design Shop helps fashionistas live their style dreams with DIY fashion online. By Katie Schuppler of Fashion Speak



ave you ever wanted to be the next Marc Jacobs or Karl Lagerfield, but the cost and availability of materials seemed unattainable? Now all of you aspiring or working designers can put those thoughts aside. Online do-it-yourself boutique New York Design Shop was launched by Jenna Colombini in November 2009. It provides do-ityourself materials, inspirations, and tutorials—all on the same site!

As the head of her own enterprise, Colombini attends runway shows, reads tons of magazines, and follows fashion and style bloggers around the world. “Seeing fashionable everyday people” is her favorite source of inspiration. When a trend has been spotted, noted, and is deemed “To D.I.Y. for,” Jenna and her team sketch concepts, pull together materials, and gather the appropriate clippings. All of this thought and research is how the instructional tutorials are created—no sewing required.

Instead of attending fashion school, Jenna received a Communications degree from Ithaca College, and took The Life of a Virtual Fashionista a break to travel to Europe. Upon Colombini arrives at work around her return, she joined the merchan9:30 am, checks e-mails, and drinks dising department of her family lots of coffee! After checking in, “I business, Jay Company Trimmings, work with co-designers developing which was started by her great new tutorials, filming videos, and regrandmother. There, Colombini designed fash- Above: Fitting a look on searching products that work with ion trims, em- a mannequin, starting the trends”. At N.Y.D.S. they also utilize Seeing fashionable bellishments, morning routine, NYDS the magic of Twitter. “It’s a fun way to everyday people is and accesso- workspace. share our work with fans!” ries to be used a personal favorite source of inspiration. by various clients in Voices of Style the world of fashion. With a client base made up of girls and young women, Perhaps her fond memory of her grandmother’s fa- Colombini asserts “We have fabulous customers! They’re vorite slacks—“brown pants with iron-on butterfly ap- independent designers, city fashionistas, stylists, and pliqués”—sparked her interest in the family business. people who want a fun activity for parties.” The fashionHere is where she discovered her true calling: D.I.Y. able clientele loves the low prices, tutorials, and style fashion retail! of the website. The staff at N.Y.D.S. loves nothing more

Make it on Your Own

The New York Design Shop is “a place for D.I.Y. fashionistas to play around and get inspired!” They provide materials to start from scratch and make it possible to revamp something already in one’s wardrobe.

than receiving emails with questions or advice on D.I.Y. projects from fans. Now anyone can design on a dime!

Go ahead and start designing at and follow @NYDesignShop on Twitter.



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eet Ilanka. She’s from the Netherlands, and probably more fashionable than most self-proclaimed fashionistas— yet she’s only 18. I had the chance to interview Ilanka about her blog, FashionNerdic, which just had its one-year anniversary. She wasn’t always the trendsetter she is now, but she is sure to be in the coming years, with her eyes set on the future—and her happiness. Ilanka just graduated as a social culture worker, but she already knows that is not what she wants to do with her life. “Fashion has such an influence on my life, and I am certain that if I want to be happy, I will have to do what I love.” Following her dreams already, she has applied and been accepted to art school, where she will study lifestyle and design with a focus on styling, photography, designing, and writing. Ilanka’s preparing to take the fashion industry by storm, but it wasn’t always that way.


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fa in in te re st ed al wa ys wa s I Al th ou gh Her passion then turned into her blog, FashionNerdic, which she started in order to express her thoughts and style. Surprisingly, she did not have friends that shared her strong interest in fashion. With her signature asymmetrical haircut and devotion to all things colorful, Ilanka‘s unique sense of style is refreshing, as is the poetic prose accompanying her photos. A writer and a fashionista, she notes, “I see fashion not only as part of my life, but a form of expression and art. I tell stories through what I wear, see, and hear.”


Blogging has literally changed Ilanka’s life—she went from a girl interested in fashion with no one to relate to, to an internet fashionista connecting with other fashionistas around the globe! She gets invited to fashion events, showrooms, and even fashion shows. Ilanka says, “Since I have been blogging I feel like I have finally found ‘my place’ to share any thoughts, feelings, and styles.”


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Style Seeker

“Although I was always interested in fashion, after a dark period it my life, it really became my passion.”

Her style is eclectic, ranging from floral dresses paired with fitted blazers, to tribal themed jumpsuits, and always featuring fabulous heels! She’s bold and unafraid to wear what she wants to wear how she wants to wear it, despite modern fashion trends. Her blog exudes creativity—often creative on a budget, featuring such brands as ASOS, H&M, River Island, and New Look. She proves that there are truly no boundaries to personal style. Because of her unique style and blog, opportunities presented themselves to her early on. She has sat with Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist to discuss street style and upcoming blogs. She was featured in Le Tour du Monde by Vogue, which lists the top 45 blogs from around the world. These opportunities have not changed her; she still remains sweet and modest, and completely devoted to her readers, “These experiences are amazing, but cannot compete with my readers. I get so much satisfaction reading their comments and receiving their sweet emails.”

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Ilanka finds inspiration everywhere, from blogs and fashion magazines, to food and weather, and more importantly, from everyday life. She tries to live every day like there will be no tomorrow—and puts that attitude and thought into her look each day. How would she describe her style? She prefers keywords: Feminine, colorful, high (she always wear high heels or wedges), and clean (when it comes to accessories).

Blogging advice

Ilanka, clearly wise beyond her years, offers great advice for up and coming fashion bloggers. She suggests being true to yourself, posting frequently, and using good quality pictures to attract readers. She clearly follows her own advice, but acknowledges that “Not everyone can understand where I am coming from, but I simply don’t care. I wear what I want, not what others like to see. And if they cannot accept that, too bad.”

“I am still going to be myself. It may sound harsh, but I am convinced that if you can’t be yourself, you can’t be happy. Be yourself no matter what.” Sage advice from a young old soul.

Visit Ilanka online at, and follow @fashionnerdic on Twittter.



GIVEAWAYS the right way


started doing giveaways to provide “thank you” gifts to my readers. They’re also good for a quick boost in traffic or to increase Twitter followers or newsletter subscribers. The caveat is to be careful about how often you do them, and the kinds of things you give away. Giveaway fatigue can set in quickly, and your visitors may start to resent the lack of “regular” posts. Here are some tips for running a successful giveaway:

Blog giveaways are all the rage, and can be a useful tool if done correctly. By Grechen of Free!Grechen



Contact a company you already work with and see if they’re interested in providing an item for a giveaway. They benefit from the traffic to their site and you get to provide a “gift” to your readers. If you’ve been doing giveaways for some time, and they’re successful in getting a lot of traffic, you should require the sponsor to pay for their giveaway, just like they would buy an ad. They stand to gain quite a bit from the partnership, and you deserve to be compensated for your time and visitors. Do not sell yourself short.

Giveaways can be a good way to boost important stats, but remember that numbers are only part of the picture—the quality of your visitors is more important. Don’t require your visitors to jump through too many hoops to enter. Think about what you would do to enter a contest and try to make that how you run them on your own site.

RUN TIME Don’t run giveaways for more than a few days or a week—you will get most of your entries the first day.



I always have sponsors send the winner their prize directly—but if you are worried that they may not follow-through, then ask your sponsor to send the product to you first. I’ve never had that happen, but I have had to chase a sponsor down on occasion.

If you’re in the US, online giveaways are pretty straightforward. However, there are a few things to consider in order to stay on the right side of the law. You may want to come up with basic contest rules to cover any potential liabilities. The rules governing your contest or giveaway should include:


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PROMOTING YOUR GIVEAWAY Use Twitter and Facebook, and reach out to fellow bloggers. Don’t be tempted to submit your giveaways to every sweepstakes site out there— you may get a quick boost in traffic, but it’s not quality traffic or repeat visitors. I ran into this problem when promoting my own giveaways, so I started free!grechen as a place for fashion bloggers to promote their giveaways to women who are interested in fashion, shopping, and beauty.

How to enter and who is eligible You may choose to exclude participants from certain countries or below a certain age. How winners will be selected If winners will be drawn randomly, a random number generator like is useful. Limitation of liability Legal-speak stating that you won’t be liable for technical glitches, mail delays, and other factors outside of your control.


Featuring four pages of candid interviews with professional personal stylists from LA to New York to London to Paris, the feature includes: • Information on using your blog to build your clientele • The importance of training • How to promote yourself • Resources to get started • and more! If you’re interested in styling, you don’t want to miss this feature!








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Style Sample Magazine Issue #8