Monday, March 31, 2014

Fashion Happy Hour Takes Over Galleria Gum in Wynwood




Cast Photo of the evening's blogger hosts and stylists. It was such a pleasure getting to meet and mingle with such stylish ladies (Back row: @mightyxmari, @christinicalia, @fiercelythriftin, @alamodemaya, @kasinkeila.  
Front Row: @freshlysqueezedfashionista, @co_vol, @bianca_fash)
This past Friday, I had the pleasure of attending the Fashion Happy Hour event at Galleria Gum in Wynwood. As a new blogger on the scene, these events are a great way to not only meet other local bloggers in your city, but also get to experience an array of talented local vendors eager to show off their goods. After many months in Brickell, Fashion Happy Hour made its debut in Wynwood, the mecca of all things art in Miami. Not only did I get to mingle with my fellow blogger babes and peruse some of the merchandise over some libations, I also got to savor some pretty cool art work scattered throughout the gallery. 

I was extra pumped when I was asked to style one of the models (provided by the D.A.M.A Schools) at the event using only the inventory from the vendors on site. I was up for the fashion challenge! Once I met my beautiful model, Allison, we hopped from table to table picking out items for her potential look. The first piece I fell in love with, a tropical motif sheer button-down blouse, gave way to the rest of the outfit. The blouse came courtesy of Love Shopping Miami, an online shop carrying everything from bright clutches to leopard shorts. 




I also picked up a coral envelope clutch for my model's look at Love Shop Miami, which I later purchased for myself!







Accessories took center stage at the Love Shopping Miami Pop Up. 

Floral jackets and denim corset crop tops are some spring and summer essentials available at Alma Mei boutique.
With my look, I wanted the focus to be on the mix of patterns and fabrics that could bring something fresh and different to the table. Pairing the unexpected together, breathes new life into an outfit that could otherwise remain in the "playing it safe" box. I found a great pair of black and white tribal print shorts at the Alma Mei booth that went really well with the tropical blouse. Style is all about taking risks and this was one of those risks that fashionably paid off at the end. I wanted to add an extra something special to the outfit so when I spotted a light denim corset crop top, I had an instant 'aha!' moment. I layered the denim top underneath the blouse and had it peek out just a bit. 



Chapter Three Creations was one of my favorite vendors of the night. I absolutely love her handmade one of a kind pieces. 
Now that the outfit was complete, we needed the final touches in the form of accessories. My first stop was at the Chapter Three Creations table. The owner and designer, Claudia Fernandez, hand crafts and paints each item herself, giving each piece a one of kind feel. I picked out a few of their copper wire bracelets to go with my look. Additional bling bracelets were provided by Shop Arm Candy, also at the event. 


My next find was a big statement necklace from Addiction. I also snatched a black beanie that I thought would really compliment the look. 


Allison sporting a chunky necklace and 'Boy' plated beanie from Addiction. 

I wanted to keep her earrings simple and I was able to do that with the help of jewelry line, Tarbay. They had the most unique pieces, including the heart shaped wire earrings I picked out. 


And with that, my model was set for her runway debut. It was fun getting to hear all the positive feedback on her outfit and on all the pieces I used. I kept describing her look as "urban-tropical" since we blended styles and pieces to achieve something vibrant and upbeat that still oozed street cred. 




And here's what yours truly wore to the Fashion Happy Hour event! 




On Me: 


Skirt: Kensie

Muscle tee: Forever 21
Shoes: Dolce Vita
Blazer: Urban Outfitters
Hat: Urban Outfitters
Crossbody: Marc by Marc Jacobs 
Necklace: Aldo shoes 

In Style,


Kat 


**** ALL PHOTOS PROVIDED BY @THELOUISCOLLECTION. FOLLOW HIM ON INSTAGRAM ****

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Style Spotlight: A South Miami Children's Boutique Teaches Parents How to Save a Buck With Style


Here's a newsflash for you if you haven't already heard. Babies are expensive. And because there is nothing you wouldn't do for that small (and sweetly manipulative) little human, you are willing to spend hundreds of dollars on whatever new gadget you read about in parenting magazines. You're also willing to buy 18 stroller toys because the sales assistant at that mega baby department store told you that your baby needs constant stimulation. And he must be right. Right?! By the time your bundle of joy hits the six month mark, you're drowning in swaddles and have maxed out every credit card trying to keep up with all the latest baby trends. But fret not parents because two very savvy moms had the brilliant idea of bringing you the top baby items at a fraction of the cost. Where is this mecca of good deals I speak about? It's right in our great city waiting for you to come shop and consign!

The Children's Exchange is simply put, every parent's dream. Babies outgrow everything from newborn swings to that Burberry trench coat you swore she would wear more than once. And those items end up stored in a garage or a basement without much further use. But at a boutique like The Children's Exchange, located in South Miami, you have an opportunity to not only put money back in your pocket, but it allows those items to have a second chance with a new family. Plus, it's easy to get overwhelmed in those ginormous baby stores. At The Children's Exchange, owners, Rebecca and Cecilia, make sure your visit is personalized to help you find exactly what you're looking for! 

Besides having a knack for finding great baby deals, Rebecca and Cecilia have a fun and ambitious entrepreneurial spirit that allows their business and friendship to thrive. I got a chance to speak with these two mommy moguls about what it takes to run their fashionable neighborhood spot. 


FSF: I am so excited to feature The Children's Exchange on the blog's style spotlight because it is such a great store that is every tiny fashionista's (and parent's!) dream! Was the store something you created when you yourself became a mom


TCE:  The store was actually first opened in 1981 by two moms just like us!  My partner, Rebecca and I purchased it about five years ago and totally revamped it. At the time, she had one child and I was a newlywed. We had worked together at a boutique in the Grove for about two years then we went our separate ways to work as buyers. We had both always wanted to open our own store one day and she first heard about the business being for sale and during one of our buying trips, she suggested buying it together and re branding the business to really reflect modern day families. We have both always loved fashion and retail and when this opportunity came up we just couldn’t say no! Five years and five kids later, here we are!

FSF:  Being a mom and a business woman is not an easy task. How do you find, or at least try to achieve, that balance with two small kids? 


TCE: Finding a balance between home and work definitely isn't easy, but it really helps having a business partner that has the same passion for her family as she does for her business. Because we have one another and a great team behind us, we feel like we are very lucky to have the luxury of family time without leaving the business unattended.





FSF: The baby industry is a big bucks business. There's a new gadget out every week, a new stroller, a new clothing collection. You spend a lot of money buying into every baby fad. But here, parents can get a break. How does the store work?


TCEThe store is an amazing concept for new parents and "veterans" alike.  We are extremely careful that everything we take is in perfect condition which allows new parents to purchase high-end baby items in tip top shape at a fraction of retail price. For the parents that have baby items just lying around, they simply drop off the items at the store and we take it from there. Once their items sell, the consignor can either pick up their check or, most often, use the proceeds as store credit.


FSF: What are your most popular items that parents are always in the market for? 


TCE: Strollers. Parents are always in need of some kind of stroller...jogging, double, umbrella, etc and we ALWAYS have strollers.

FSF: How do you determine what to consign and what not accept?


TCE: For clothing consignment the pieces must be freshly laundered, with no defects and they must meet our brand criteria.  If for whatever reason something is brought in that we cannot accept, we donate the items to one of three local charities.  The larger items need to be brought in clean and disinfected and with all their corresponding pieces.

FSF: What would you tell parents if they have any hesitations to purchase something that's been previously own? 




TCE: We are VERY careful with everything that is accepted. We have a meticulous three point check system before any article of clothing is put out on the sales floor and the larger baby items need to be personally inspected by one of the owners before it's sold.  We make sure all our employees are knowledgeable on recalled items and receive daily notices from the Federal Consumer Products Safety Commission that keeps us informed as to what those products might be.

FSF:  The clothes here is out of this world. You carry so many unique pieces for both girls and boys. Why is it important to you to feature some out of the box wardrobe staples? 



TCE: We pride ourselves on only choosing the best of the best clothing and products when it's brought in and our customers really appreciate our selective editing efforts. Also, since we both have always loved fashion we thoroughly enjoy finding special, one-of-a-kind pieces for our kids and customers.


FSF: 
Every season, there's the must have baby item or fashion trend, what are we seeing for spring/summer? 


TCE: Aden + Anais "easy-swaddle" blankets!  They're the best, they're super soft and they simplify the swaddling process so parents don't have to struggle for the perfect swaddle.  We absolutely love this product!

FSF:  What is one item every new parent should have for their child? 


TCE: An Ergo baby carrier.  They allow you to carry your baby hands-free in a super comfortable carrier and the babies absolutely love being so close to their mom or dad!


The Children's Exchange owners, Rebecca Millares-Macias and Cecilia Herrera, have made this consignment store for tiny tots a shopping destination for all Miamians.
FSF: Between both of you, you have five delicious kiddos! When you aren't running the store, what are some things you and your family like to do for fun in Miami? 


TCE: Our kids love being outside so whether its a park, beach or boat day if we're outside - they're happy!


** To learn more on The Children's Exchange, go on their website at http://www.thechildrenexchange.com/ **


In Style,


Kat Buccio 

Miami Style Map: 50 Years of Flipper and Fashion




When you think Miami Seaquarium, you think Flipper, you think sharks, and you think of that geodesic sea lion dome that has become an iconic South Florida landmark. And this year marks the 50th anniversary of Flipper! Here's some trivia for you. Did you know that the Miami Seaquarium is the oldest aquarium in the United States? And did you also know that the TV show, Flipper, was filmed at the aquarium for a good four years? Besides housing thousands of species of sea life, the aquarium boasts some pretty groovy architecture that dates back to when it was originally built in the mid 1950's. It remains fairly untouched (aside from structural updates through the years). 


The Seaqaurium happens to be one of my favorite attractions in Miami. I came often with school and with my parents and I can still recall the excitement and anticipation of sitting in those bleachers (just close enough) waiting for Lolita the Killer Whale to splash the audience with one single jump. I recently took my two year old to visit the aquarium for the first time, but we didn't make it past the dolphin tank at the entrance of the park. Instead, she tripped and fell as she was running towards the dolphins and we spent the rest of the afternoon getting stitches at a local hospital. Needless to say, I plan to return soon and this time with a helmet and some knee pads. 


The inspiration to shoot at this location came from my tropical motif shorts. The print has an island retro feel to it and my photographer, Natalie, thought the aquarium would be the perfect backdrop to capture this look. I love this outfit. Besides being ridiculously comfortable, it's island chic without being too literal. I love the way it pops against the mid-century arches inside the park. 




I paired the shorts with a lace crop top and a boater hat (both from H&M). I like that the top is loose and the details of it don't get lost with the shorts. Instead, each piece stands out equally. Plus, this lace crop top hides my tiny muffin top well. Mission accomplished. 





They have these circular shaded seating areas around the aquarium and I think they're so mod! I love the way Natalie photographed my hat and the rest of the look. Feels very symmetric! 



I couldn't resist a few shots on the boardwalk and with this outfit it was a must. I have to mention the rest of the details that complete this look. You can easily wear this outfit with a pair of metallic sandals or even something with a bit of color, like green or coral. I chose to wear mine with my Minnetonka ankle slip ons. It really feels like I'm not wearing any shoes. The fuchsia earrings are from a local street vendor in Manhattan. 


If you want to spend an afternoon getting up close and personal with sea lions, dolphins, or flamingos, come to the Miami Seaquarium. It's bound to bring out the kid in you. And it's a good excuse to bust out that Hawaiian shirt you've been secretly dying to wear again since Halloween. 






On Me:

Shorts- Forever 21

Crop top- H&M
Hat- H&M
Shoes- Minnetonkas
Earrings- Street Vendor
Necklace- Brooklyn Charm 

In Style, 


Kat 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Miami Style Map: A Midsummer Night's Dream on the Key.






Meet one of my favorite dresses in my closet. This dress has miles and stories to tell. It has taken me from the streets of the city, through my journey of motherhood, and now to a new chapter in my life. This dress encompasses comfort, confidence, and a carefree 'joie de vivre’ sensibility that can only come from something that is truly cherished. I know I’m getting pretty deep over a prairie dress but everyone has that one (or two) piece from their wardrobe that they can’t live without because it's just meaningful. And this dress, from the H&M Conscious Collection, does that for me.





I love the location Natalie, from Suna Photography, used to shoot this dress. As always, she was on point when it came to capturing the essence and mood of my look. I think it stands out perfectly  in its element. This was also shot on the grounds of Bill Baggs State Park in Key Biscayne. Who would have thought, woods in Miami! The first thought that came to mind (after I oohed and awed a bit) was Robert Frost’s The Road Less Traveled. This is exactly the setting I picture each time I read that poem. Ironically, the poem deals with that paths you choose to take in life and don’t we always find ourselves in a situation where we have to figure out which road to take next.  These shots are ethereal and you can really see the details and femininity of the dress.




I love the lace work and trims on the upper top of the dress. There's a sort of quaint characteristic in those small details. The soft ivory color against my eclectic collection of bracelets gives the look a hint of character and a fun mirror into my personality. 



No dress of mine is complete without a pair of boots underneath. It's my way of rejecting a 'too girly' vibe and giving it some of that freshly squeezed and rugged flavor I like when I convey my style mood. I love my Troopa boots because they're all beat up from love and probably snowstorms. And I don't care. I'll wear them until they have holes in them.





I've been really digging the flower crown/headband trend lately. I'm probably late on that trend, but my philosophy, as I've gotten older and style wiser, is that if something doesn't work for me, I'm not going to buy into it. This I like, but in moderation. You won't see me with a full blown flower arrangement on my head. But how pretty does this dusty blush flower headband from Haute Blossom (a local Miami vendor) look with this boho dress? I feel like one of the fairies in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream. The whole outfit just feels graceful.



On Me:

Dress- H&M

Boots- Steve Madden
Headband- Haute Blossom

In Style,


Kat