Thoughts on Identity

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What lies about ourselves and our identity do we believe, and what truths does God want us to know? God does not believe in shame for us, but love. Maybe you are reading this and thinking the opposite, or experiencing some very strong emotions one way or the other. Either way, however you are feeling is completely fine. Not that I have to tell you that! In case I haven’t said this before, this is a safe space to have your own thoughts and opinions, and I respect you and would love to hear from you offline if you like.

I used to beg God to be taller and skinnier so I could book high level modeling jobs in print and runway. The more I tried to change myself the less it worked. I told myself many lies about my self worth about what my body should be to be desirable and valued. Maybe I could trick my body into cooperating, I thought. I started doing crazy things. More on that in a separate post. I began believing lies about who I was, much to Satan’s delight, and veered into a dangerous direction of destruction. I was miserable, and lonely. If I’m being honest with myself, I wonder if I kept myself hostage in torment because being brave meant breaking those chains that held me back. But it’s impossible to break your own chains. Unless you’re maybe Batman or Lois Lane, and alas, I am not.

One of the most memorable healing experiences for me was eating lunch with new friends my first week of high school. I know, right! High school. Let me tell you, I was so worried about not having any friends or anyone to sit at lunch because we just moved to a new state days before it began. I was such a mess, my eye started twitching and I was convinced I would be an outcast forever. I couldn’t understand the obsession with grits or sweet tea, and how would I figure out what style adidas shoes were acceptable here? Welcome to my 14 year old brain. Not to mention, the humidity was on a new level my hair could have become it’s own leading role in a scary movie. Some things don’t change. But back to high school. On the first day, fortunately, some of my neighbors and I all missed the bus. Even more fortunately, of their moms gave us a ride, a friendship was born, and now we all had people to sit with at lunch. I always felt anxious eating around new people. I still have trouble multitasking eating and talking, but now that’s because I am so into both. I used to have this weird habit of ripping my food apart before eating it. However at lunch that day, no one commented on my weird eating habits. No one pointed out the contents of my lunch or that my bagel was ripped to shreds. Instead we probably talked about cute boys and how annoying third period was and why does the cafeteria smell like death. We literally just ate and talked together. Eating in community was one of the most healing things I have ever experienced. The second happened years later, eating in a community where we prayed and I learned God created food to nourish us and that it was designed to be a good thing, not bad. What a way to live.

This is not a post to shame models or sizes…or tea preferences… of any kind. If you’re a 5′ 10″ model for Oscar de la Renta, work it! Own it. Love it. This is a post on how dangerous shame is, an insight of my own experiences in that, and how powerful and beautiful we are in our own identity, and exploring who God and more on his character.

One of my lifelong goals is to inspire change in the fashion world and modeling industry to become more body positive of the hot bod you’re in, not an unique look only intended for a minority. I read that only one in every ten thousand people are naturally the height and weight of runway models.

I know I got a little lengthy on that middle paragraph about the perils of hs, so thank you for bearing with me. This post was inspired by Humans of New York’s post today starting with “I call them clobber verses”. Thank you for sharing, and go follow them if you don’t already!

*Psalm 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made”

Photo cred from Jason Bone Photography.

Menswear with a Twist

Ciao, friends & fashionistas!

First of all, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday season!

Second of all, let’s talk fashion and the process.

Prompted by recent events*, I am being encouraged to follow through on things I never have before.  For example, tonight I realized I have five unfinished drafts just waiting to be shared. *Face palm*.  I have advised many aspiring designers on visionary and creative movements, but only recently began sketching designs. I definitely haven’t mailed any Christmas cards yet and there is a mysterious pile of laundry in my room I should probably investigate. Whether it is a written draft or mental idea, self doubt or laziness, my trend is to begin in my element, quickly stop trusting my instincts at the first gust of self doubt, and subsequently, abandon all movement, casting it aside it like last season’s runway line. Time to leave this trend behind <boy, bye!> and embrace lasting style, for today and 2017.

What makes the creative process so dynamic for me are the experiences that inspire movement, life, and the elusive whisper of something unseen. What inspires you? I invite you to take a look at some of my fave looks from this shoot with Dinah. Below, observe several looks infused with varying prints and solids perfect for the modern workplace or out and about. Cropped tops, wide leg, contrasts, accompanied by a dash of eclectic, incorporate a structured masculine line with a softer, feminine twist to create an unusual blend of self expression, style and direction.  Both ready to wear and office artsy looks offer several shades of blue, peach, and earth tones.

I hope this inspires you to be bold this season and follow the unspoken voice that prompts you toward all you are meant to be because <you’re fabulous!> & all of the exciting things to come your way.

Thanks for stopping by, fashionistas! Cheers and until next time,  xoxo FS

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*Why it takes tragedy to inspire movement, I am at a loss. Inspired by one of the dearest, colorful and most beautiful of souls, I gravitate toward fashion as a form of self expression, connection, forward change, new ideas, and more. My thoughts and prayers are with anyone experiencing a loss. If you’d like a specific prayer or encouragement, message me and I will reach you back! ❤ Love, FS

 

 

Fashion Events To Watch

Check out some of our fave fashion events coming up in the southeast!

Atlanta
Rag Trade
Are you an emerging fashion designer or passionate about the industry? Stop scrolling and check out Rag Trade and their events. We like this one on July 27th – perfect for you future fashion PR experts.

Raleigh
Redress Raleigh Fashion Show at CAM
Vibing with the eco chic revolution? Check out Redress Raleigh and their latest fashion show August 19th at the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh.

Spoonflower
In the mood for a sewing social? Grab your gear and head to Spoonflower every third Tuesday for a Pins & Needles class.

Charlotte
Rising Talent-Music
Have you heard of Jason Jet? Well, now you have some music homework-check out the latest news here.

Fashion
Rock the Curves Fashion Show August 4th. For the deets and to reserve your ticket

The Fashion & Style Industry-The Charlotte Summer Show!
Snag your ticket here.

Miami
Funkshion: Swim Fashion Week Miami
Hotter than ever, Miami Beach’s triannual fashion event is spicing up July with their swimsuit fashion extravaganza this week

Cheers, Fashionistas! Thanks for reading and being your fabulous self.
xoxo Fashion Stoppe

Want to submit your upcoming fashion event? Email us at fashionstoppe@gmail.com!

 

Fashion Faves

Hello, fashionistas! :]

Cheers to a new and fabulous year ahead. I hope you are feeling inspired and rejuvenated for an enlightening 2016. If not, I do hope you find some restoration soon – you deserve it!

To start off the year, I want to share with you some of my fave go to looks-some for winter, going out, and pieces that speak to my heart! I believe what and how you wear something affects who you are, how you feel, and where you are going, whether it’s a conversation with a friend or your personal journey.  Sometimes it’s whimsical, others reflective, perhaps mournful, silly, experimental, loud, distracted or successful. Are these things you think about when you get dressed? Why do you wear what you wear? :]

I’ve been incorporating color into the looks-something that has taken me several years to transition! Black has been my go to for a long time. While I will always love a chic, timeless, or edgy black ensemble, I’m so glad I invited some color back in.  🙂

One thing I will add for us to dwell on as we enter 2016…you are Loved* no matter what! Also, you have a unique and beautiful purpose** now, before, and ahead. Something I wonder about personally day to day, (i.e. what is my purpose in life?!) but we can meditate on these versus as we adventure through life. If not, please enjoy, I hope you are inspired by the fashion. I would love to hear what inspires you!

*”For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” Ephesians 2:8

**”For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

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Photos from Dinah Pittman

xoxo Fashion Stoppe

 

 

A Brooklyn Style Snapshot

Hello, Fashionistas!

Earlier this year, I had the privilege of falling in love-with Brooklyn! The borough’s artsy vibes mixed with wonderfully edgy fashion gave a new meaning to inspiration. –> Fun fact, did you know that the original meaning of ‘inspiration’ comes from the Latin, ‘inspirare’, literally, ‘to breathe into’, and figuratively, ‘inspire, excite’*? (Thank you, Professor Seiger!) Meaning, what if every breathe we took came infused with energy, life, spirit, colors, vibrancy? The catwalk would probably explode with excitement. I would probably explode with excitement. It would be worth it.

Back to Brooklyn! The Borough of Inspiration. I regret that I did not truly capture everything, but I invite you to browse some of the photos below. If you live in Brooklyn, you will probably wonder, where are the chic skinny black pants, loose but perfectly draped charcoal, white shirts, combat boots whose destiny is somehow both stealth seduction yet seamless, city street navigation? Not to mention the edgy couples who share each others’ skinny jeans and color boards, whitewashed jeans and fitted jackets, multi color patterns, hats hinting at a story, energy escaping the fabric, poise and color like a Mary Poppins meets Oscar de la Renta street painting, lights and smoke, endless cropped tops and basketed bicycles. I assure you, they exist! True Confession on the missing photos: I was too shy to ask enough people to take their photo.  I know!! The worst. I guarantee I stared at way too many people, hoping they would read my mind and strike a pose. It didn’t work. Sigh. Next time, I would ask 100 people.  Until then, hope you enjoy! 🙂

Thank you, Brooklyn, for keeping it 100! Until we meet again.

-xoxo Fashion Stoppe

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Brooklyn Vibes. Photo Cred: J P NYC

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Brooklyn Graffiti

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A trendster seen near Washington Square Park, Manhattan. Isn’t she beautiful?!

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Seen in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

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Absolutely loved their street style! Also, they were the sweetest.

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Apparently, I love Brooklyn graffiti.

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Exploring in Brooklyn.

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Totoro, totoro! Fashionistas living that knitted life.

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with Love from Brooklyn! xoxo

Thank you for reading! Find what inspires you, and remember, you are fabulous!

Cheers darlings,

❤ Fashion Stoppe

Follow us on Insta & Twitter!
Insta: @fashionstoppe 
Twitter: @fashionstoppe

 

*Regarding ‘inspiration’: My college voice teacher, Professor Seiger, shared the meaning with me! Here is a link with the skinny on inspiration 🙂

Notes: First and last photo cred: J P NYC. Others are original.

Model Spotlight: Rising Talent and What it Takes

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“Modeling has made me into the confident woman that I am today.”

Meet Mara Wuliger, runway and fashion model. Learn why she fell in love with modeling and how to succeed in the industry.

Mara’s natural beauty and graceful strut are some of her trademarks. She walks the runway, works edgy fashion shoots and features in music videos. Here are some of her favorite looks.

How did you get into Modeling?

For my whole life, my cousin, Shane Knee, has always been the one to tell me to model, so I’ve always had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to, but never really did anything about it until the Trend*Setting Fashion Show (where Mara and I first met!) in 2012.

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Trend*Setting Fashion Show 2013

What obstacles did you face? How did you overcome them?

I did not have a lot of confidence and self esteem about myself, but many people told me I should try modeling. Ever since I have become a model, I have learned to be more confident. To really know my inner beauty along with my outer beauty.

Ever since then, I have been exploring modeling more and more and it has made me so happy! I feel like I am a part of something really fun. Also to be honest, I really love being able to play dress up and get my hair and makeup done-it would make any woman feel gorgeous!

What is one of your favorite photoshoots?

I really liked my first photoshoot with Demode. It is my favorite shoot so far! We used what we had around us to create really cool photos! We climbed roofs and I got to pose by this really cool car. It was a lot of fun.

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DemodeClothing.com

Sounds like a blast. Do you have any advice for aspiring models?

Do what you love, which is modeling. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not good enough. When you’re facing a No, know that there are many more Yes’s waiting for you in the future. Keep working hard and focus on becoming what you want.

“Modeling has given me passion and fire in my life. I love how when you go to a modeling gig, you just feel so at home with everyone, it’s almost like a small family.”

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Thanks Mara! Look for her next on Charlotte Fashion Week. http://www.charlottefashionweek.com/

The SMART Takeover

 

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Super. Mighty. Awesome. Righteous. Triumphant.

The SMART Hat Collection is a stylish clothing and accessory line that transforms the fashion industry as we know it. From urban streetwear to a fun night out, SMART’s clothing, hats and accessories send a stylish and positive message to wearers.

<Below catch an exclusive interview with designer and founder of the SMART Hat Line, Dinah Pittman.>

This collection is inspired by a 10 year old with Asperger’s dream to bring confidence for end of year test takers. Fast forward one year, and the line has taken off. Most recently, the SMART Hat Collection was a featured designer in the 4th annual Trend*Setting Fashion Show with producer, Latrisha Valdez-Rushing. Now, SMART continues to grow with big plans for the future, including raising awareness and giving back. Something that never goes out of style.

We were fortunate to do be featured in a photoshoot for the SMART Line. Working with multitalented designer Dinah Pittman is a joy! She radiates energy and love. Her line is a true reflection of her and her son’s heart-sharing faith, love and style. Check out some of the looks and our fave pieces of the line.

Here are some of our favorites.

Head down Leopard

One of our faves, the Custom Designed by God tee. Available for men or women. Look for a standard or baby tee. Plus, who can resist an animal print hat?!

<For you formed my inward parts, you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made! Psalm 139: 13-14> You are truly Custom Designed by God. You’re beautiful and there is no one like you!

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The SMART Hat Collection keeps us on our toes 🙂

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Meet Model Brandi Crenshaw. Dress it down, dress it up. She pairs a SMART tee with a colorful tutu perfectly. Check out some other ways she pairs the look at smart-hat.tumblr.com and shop the Look Book!

<So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27> God intricately, purposefully and intimately designed you. He is interwoven in the fabric of our beings. He is our ultimate Designer and Inspiration.The Smart Hat Collection reminds and connects us to our true selves, meant to be in harmony with God.

SMART Tank + Hat

We love how versatile the SMART tank can be! Add to a skirt to hit the town, incorporate flops and a suit for the beach, or add jeans for a casual look. You’re going places.

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 The SMART Guy. Meet model, Payton Bolin. This tank is perfect for khakis or jeans, casual or comfortable wear. Don’t forget your SMART Hat on your way out the door.

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Below: Exclusive interview with Dinah Pittman, designer, founder, stylist and photographer!

Learn the designer’s fave pieces, how to get exclusive news and more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet the Designer of the Smart Hat Collection: Dinah Pittman
What started you on the Smart Hat Collection?
Well, my son, who had just turned 10 at the time (he’s now 11), was getting ready for the 4th grade End of Grade testing. For all kids, this is a big deal, and sometimes it can be super scary. When you throw in Asperger’s syndrome, which my son was diagnosed at 5, or any other learning difference, for that matter, it can be even more difficult to provide encouragement. During that time, he said to me, “Mommy, I think I need to make a ‘SMART’ hat to help me pass my EOGs.” So we did just that.

I told him we should think of words that SMART could stand for. He started calling out words for each letter: ‘SUPER, MIGHTY, AWESOME, RIGHTEOUS’, and we later thought of ‘TRIUMPANT’. This made me think of the fact that these are all words we use to describe God, and things that we strive to be. So, the SMART hat can encourage us to be our best, and define ourselves with these words.

Such an inspiring story. Recently, SMART made its runway debut at the Trend*Setting Fashion Show. What was going through your mind during that?
I was super nervous, because it was the first time I had presented my line, or anything at a fashion show. I really appreciate LaTrisha Valdez-Rushing (producer) for her encouragement and the opportunity to present my collection. I just wanted everyone to get the message, and I think they did.

What is your source of encouragement with this line?
Honestly, the grace of God. With all that He has done for me, I would dare not allow the gifts and graces He has given me be wasted or not used for His kingdom. So when people say, “I love your message”, I know I’m doing the right thing.

Love it. What are some challenges you’ve faced pursuing your line? How do you overcome them?
Major challenges have been funding. I have some things in place that are helping with that part. Another is dealing with people who only have their interest at heart. You have to separate friendships and work, and figure out who you can and can’t work with.

So true. Business is a tough balancing act.  What advice would you give to a new designer or artist starting out?
Stay true to the gift or passion that you have been given, and don’t try to work in anyone else’s passion. God has given us certain gifts to equip us to do work so that He will get the glory.

Just DO IT. Wise men have told me, don’t be afraid to fail, that’s the best thing you could ever do.

Words of wisdom. What is your fave piece(s) from the line?
My favorite is anything with “DEX” the Brainiac on it. I designed him and I love the way he looks on anything! Alsodex image, I love the shirts that say “CUSTOM DESIGNED By GOD” because, we are just that…Custom Designed by God, for God, and to do His work.

Anything else you want fans/people to know?
Just that God is greater than anything. Any problem, any sickness, any situation…anything! And if you give Him the glory, He will bless your socks off!!

Also, we support Autism Awareness and Breast Cancer. Once we get to a certain point, SMART will be donating some of the proceeds to a camp in Georgia that facilitates activities for children on the Autism spectrum, as well as one of the causes for Breast Cancer research.

Where can fans follow you on social media?
Our blog is smart-hat.tumblr.com. Fans should subscribe to become a part of the SMART Insiders (they will receive special emails updates, news, product releases, and special discounts!!)

More on SMART Hat:
Shop the looks and the snag the latest news: smart-hat.tumblr.com
Follow SMART on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wearSmarthat
Be inspired on Pinterest: Pinterest.com/thesmarthat
Check that Insta: @smart_hat with posts featured on my Twitter: @iamdmari

Thank you so much for the interview and exclusive news on SMART. We can’t wait to see your SMART takeover!

Red Purse Side Look

 

*All looks and photos were styled and taken by Dinah Pittman.

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