Wear is… Alessandra DeMarino?

Hi! Welcome back to Wear is She Wednesdays, a series that highlights one special girl each week to let her shine! Every Wednesday, we feature a different “she,” and get the scoop on her style, what makes her tick, and how the heck we can learn to be as awesome as she is. Today we’re asking the question everyone wants to know… Wear is Alessandra DeMarino?

Alessandra DeMarino
jewelry close up

WEAR IS... ALESSANDRA DEMARINO?

If you're looking for an endless stream of eclectic style inspiration, look no further than the wonderful world of Alessandra DeMarino. Her eye for fashion is wonderfully imaginative and the unique looks she creates remind us that getting dressed should be fun!

Greater still, is the woman beyond the clothes. Alessandra is funny, intelligent and a major sweetheart (yup, some people really do just have it all). So keep reading for her thoughts on Disney channel actors, tennis skirts and being a better person.

Hi, Alessandra! Please introduce your wonderful self!

Hi! I’m Alessandra DeMarino, or Alessa as some people call me 🙂 I am a Media student (about to graduate!) in NYC, pursuing a career in fashion PR. I moved to NYC from Atlanta four years ago, and it’s probably the best decision I’ve ever made. Living here has opened me up to sustainable living practices, the world of film, and truly the best pizza! 

1. What was your personal style journey like? And did you make any mistakes along the way?

It’s been a long journey! I first really got into high fashion when I was 12. I didn’t have the resources to buy any of it, but I would shop at my local mall and pick pieces that spoke to me- or were similar to something I would see in an editorial. I definitely looked like a walking Disney channel actor, but hey it was the 2000’s! As I got older I would delve into research on historical fashion, textiles, and sewing silhouettes to learn more! My style currently is inspired by modern Copenhagen women’s fashion, 1980’s silhouettes, 1990’s take on 1960’s mod, and of course the iconic 80s/90s power suits! 

Alessandra DeMarino
Alessandra DeMarino

2. Who or what inspires your style most currently? 

Right now I’m very inspired by vintage fashion magazines and vintage sewing pattern sketches! (I’ll link a pic! It’s hard to describe lol) I’m also inspired by both minimal color palettes and vibrant colorful palettes. It’s honestly hard to choose which I like more!

Alessandra DeMarino
vintage sewing patterns

3. Is there anything on your thrift list right now?

Oh yes! I want a 60’s mini dress, some vintage silk patterned scarves, and a tennis skirt! Thrifting is my go to, besides buying second hand designer items. 🙂

4. What’s one tip you could share for finding your personal style?

Dive into old magazines! Find looks that resonate with you, and try to find some vintage pieces that are similar! Then try to mix it with some of your favorite contemporary pieces. This always seems to do the trick for me! 🙂

Alessandra DeMarino green acne pants
Alessandra DeMarino red cowboy boots

5. What’s your current favorite item in your wardrobe and why?

I just purchased the greatest pair of vintage 90’s Tommy Hilfiger platform boots! They have the greatest chunky square toe, I really love them!

fame and partners dress
Alessandra DeMarino outfit

6. And the bonus question I like to ask everyone before they go: What’s something you’re really proud of right now?

Honestly, I’m proud of my mind and my heart. I strive to be the best possible me in my work and social life. I try to be a compassionate and understanding person in everything I do! That’s all we can do as people, right? Strive to be loving and better people. 

Where else can we find you, Alessandra?

Honestly just my insta, @alessademarino, haha I’m not great at maintaining other social media channels!

Wear is… Rachel Rubi?

Hi! Welcome back to Wear is She Wednesdays, a series that highlights one special girl each week to let her shine! Every Wednesday, we feature a different “she,” and get the scoop on her style, what makes her tick, and how the heck we can learn to be as awesome as she is. Today we’re asking the question everyone wants to know… Wear is Rachel Rubi?

Rachel Rubi at a pink cafe
Rachel Rubi at Miami Glossier

WEAR IS... RACHEL RUBI?

Rachel Rubi is a real gem (pun intended). Haled from Miami, this beautiful soul shines with creativity in not only her style, but in everything she does. She's a girl who views life as one giant inspiration and proves that interesting people certainly find the world interesting.

In a time where streamlining and "niching down" are practically gospel, Rachel fearlessly explores her multi-passionate nature in the most refreshing way. It's been such a pleasure getting to know her, so keep reading for her thoughts on Greek Mythology, paradoxes and Mid-Century furniture.

Hi, Rachel! Please introduce your wonderful self!

Hi, I’m Rachel! Born and raised in Miami to Nicaraguan parents. I’m a Creative Advertising student at the University of Miami and a huge design enthusiast. Fashion, interior and graphic design make my world go round. I’m sustainability-focused, I try to be a conscious consumer. 

1. What was your personal style journey like? And did you make any mistakes along the way?

I found my style through experimenting and being inspired by art history along with the world around me. Including Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram. I just find accounts with styles I love and somehow mesh it altogether to make my own. I went through trial and errors along the way for sure. First error was buying fast fashion. It was easy to buy what I was “told” to buy. Thrifting is what really exposed me to honing down my style. 

Rachel Rubi outfit
Mirror selfie pictures

2. Who or what inspires your style most currently? 

Effortlessness has always inspired me. Nature, the runway, creatives, art history, models and influencers inspire me. Particularly Jacquemus, Margiela, Greek mythology, the mediterranean, mid-century modern, femininity, androgyny, baroque, Parisian, and prairie styles. I’m constantly inspired by minimalists and maximalists. By shabby chic and opulence. I love paradoxes!

3. Is there anything on your thrift list right now?

Yes! I’ve been looking for a cute pair of croc-stamped brown mules. Or any designer thrift finds honestly, but it’s a little hard to come across those in Miami. 

Rechel Rubi interview
Rachel Rubi trying on a green dress

4. What’s one tip you could share for finding your personal style?

Keeping note of the things that spark joy in your life! (Thank you, Marie Kondo.) Keep a record of it and make a mood board. See what speaks to you and build up from there. That’s how I was able to find my own little style full of contradictions wrapped up in a bow of effortlessness. 

5. What’s your current favorite item in your wardrobe and why?

Currently loving my chartreuse blazer from @blaksands. It just reminds me of Eames furniture from the Mid-Century modern era—and it’s a great pop of color in my closet full of neutrals and beige.

girl having a picnic at the beach
Mejuri scarab necklace

6. And the bonus question I like to ask everyone before they go: What’s something you’re really proud of right now?

I’m really proud of the woman I am today. I’ve come to embrace change and stand my ground, finally. I’m proud of my accomplishments and of finding myself creatively. 

Where else can we find you, Rachel?

You can find me on:

Instagram: @rachelrubi

Twitter: @rachelrubies

Website coming soon: rachelrubi.com

What New York Fashion Week Taught me About Living Your Deams

New York Fashion Week guest

What New York Fashion Week Taught Me About Living Your Dreams

by Veronica R.

One glorious morning a few weeks ago, my friend, Sydney, (hey Syd), who works in the magical world of fashion sent me one of the greatest texts I’ve ever received: 

“I might be able to get you into a runway show.” 

My heart nearly burst out of my chest. As someone who’d always hoped that one day, maybe, just maybe, after I became a celebrity (for doing who knows what… locking my keys in my car one too many times..?), I may be invited to the exclusive and elusive Fashion Week. It was a dream I wouldn’t even dare allow myself to fully dream because it felt so far removed from who I was. Rather, it was just a hazy image nestled into some dark corner of my psyche that I’d occasionally peek at when drooling over all the girls on Instagram who’s lives I desperately admire. 

Yet, somehow, my dream was coming true and so much faster than I anticipated! As I was drafting up my list of 2020 goals I would’ve added NYFW to the list had I thought there was even the slightest chance it could happen for me! It was an unforgettable experience to say the least, but perhaps most unforgettable, were the 5 lessons the experience taught me about living your dreams. 

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New York Fashion Week guest
Green embroidered dress

1. Your Dream will Make You Feel Resistant – Do it Anyway 

After days of holding my breath, at 10:30pm before the big day, I get the confirmation. It’s no longer a maybe, I’m going to my first ever NYFW runway show. I see the all holy barcode hit my e-mail inbox and I can hardly believe it. And yet… almost immediately after I scream with delight, I’m ambushed by dread. An idea slowly creeps into my brain. 

Maybe I shouldn’t go… 

Why on earth would I think that when clearly, this was a moment I’d been waiting for forever and may never come around again? But to my dismay, worse thoughts were right behind it. 

Everyone will be mean to me, I hear it’s filled with snooty people… What if I get lost? I won’t know what I’m doing and everyone will be able to tell! Now I have to buy train tickets and metro cards.. I shouldn’t spend the money…

And the age old zinger: what on earth am I going to wear?!?!?!?! 

Thankfully, I’d been low-key planning my Fashion Week debut ensemble for years should this day ever come. Something bold of course, this is the ultimate excuse to dress up after all! I decided to channel Gucci and wear one of my latest thrift scores: an emerald green dress covered in embroidery, beading and rhinestones. I layered it over a second dress with a Peter Pan collar (1. for warmth 2. for cuteness) and styled it with a green belt, socks and heels. 

Creating the outfit had given me a burst of positive energy, but the moment I was done, my brain was back to convincing me not to go. I believe this is what Steven Pressfield has coined “Resistance” in The War of Art. It’s the idea that anytime we’re called to do something wonderful, make art, step outside our comfort zone, live our truest destiny, we essentially go through the hero’s journey. We get the call, but we’re afraid of it. We resist it. Some people go on resisting their whole life, feeling guilty for never leaving their comfort zone but fearfully staying comfortable nonetheless and regretting it once it’s too late. 

I wasn’t about to be one of those people. I was going to see this journey through to the end.  

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2. “Self-made” Doesn’t Exist 

As I sent myself into a frenzy trying to prepare, I was shocked and touched by how everyone around me was not only just as excited, but willing to help make it all possible. My Mom offered to spend her Sunday morning driving me to the train station rather than sleeping in. My sister gave me her train tickets and Metro card that she could’ve used for herself. My fiancee also gave me his metro card and offered to pick me up from the station when I got home.

But the kindness didn’t end there. 

On my disgustingly-early-for-a-Sunday train, I coincidentally ran into my friends John and Bridgette, on their way to a parade in Chinatown just 4 minutes from where I was headed. The whole way there, they happily helped me take pictures of my outfit, very important for such a momentous occasion! Then there was Aaron, the sweetheart standing next to me wearing fabulous blue cowboy boots. We struck up conversation and as soon as he heard this was my first NYFW, he took me under his wing and guided me along as the seasoned vet he is. 

What I couldn’t stop thinking throughout this whirlwind day though, (other than OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG), was that somehow, despite the fact that I’m essentially, how shall I put this mildly… a f*cking nobody, I’d made it to Fashion Week! And in such an endearing way, it was clear that I couldn’t have done this alone. 

And then it hit me… “self-made” is a fallacy. 

We all have help, in big ways or small. When you fill the majority of your life with wonderful, supportive, caring people, they want to see you succeed just as much as you do.

_

Bevza 2020 runway show
Blue Cowboy boots

3. Nobody is a Nobody  

I walked into the bright, airy studio overlooking a stunning view of Manhattan and suddenly found myself seated next to some of my biggest inspirations. Was I seriously breathing the same air as Eliza Cardinal Tamkin from Man Repeller? Was I really sharing precious and limited but-cheek space with Stephanie Arant on the bench? Was I honestly having a casual conversation with Alyssa Coscarelli about her Miu Miu shoes? And part of me wondered… what was I doing there again? I began to realize what an ironic choice my emerald dress was… 

I was quite literally and obviously very green in this whole world of fashion.

Then it hit me: Yes, yes I am sitting here with all of these wildly successful and prominent people. And the reason they’re all here is because at one point, when perhaps they were still “nobodies” like me, they believed that they were somebody with something to say and something wonderful to share with the world. Thus, they grew to be the icons they are today. 

So if I could be there, in the same room with all of them, what’s stopping me from being in their position one day too? The space between us was drastically decreased, and it was humbling to realize that they’re all just humans. Talented, hardworking, successful humans, but humans. And I remembered that I too am somebody with something to say and wonderful things to share with the world. Aren’t we all? 

Because at the end of the day, “Somebodies” are just somebody, and nobody is a Nobody. 

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Claire Rose at Bevza
Michelle Song at Bevza 2020

4. The Universe is Totally on Your Side  

Okay so maybe not totally… we’ve all had those days when your hair sucks and every light is red and you’ve spilled the smoothie you made in effort to “start the day right” all over yourself and you find yourself screaming “why have you forsaken me smoothie!?!” On days like that it feels like every force in the galaxy has it out for you. 

But seriously, not to sound completely woo-woo, but The Universe, God, Mother Nature, The Powers That Be, whatever you prefer to call it, is vast, right? So just as much as there’s space for unknown forces that seem to be having a good laugh at your expense, there’s absolutely space for forces of nature that are 100% rooting for you (get it? Nature?? Rooting!??) And I’ve noticed that the more we focus on our good fortune, and the closer we get to living our destiny, the more that good fortune grows.

This was one of those days where everything was just going right! Between having friends and family who even care to help me get into NYFW, randomly meeting my friends on the train and ending up in line next to someone so kind, it seemed like these were little validations that I’m on the path I’m supposed to be on. And as one last little happy coincidence, as I left the show on cloud 9 and walked towards Miu Miu to window shop, I accidentally ran into KarenBritChick, another one of my all time biggest inspirations. I’d been playing it cool and holding back much of my excitement all day, but when this happened, it seemed like all my dreams were coming true at once and… well… I totally fangirled. Oops. 

If I scared you with my overzealousness, I do apologize, Karen. 

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Bevza 2020 runway show
Bevza 2020 runway show

5. You’ve Found Your Calling When You’re Eating Everyone Else’s Shit Sandwich 

I first heard this term in Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic (which is a serious must read BTW). The original idea comes from Mark Manson. He believes that “everything sucks, some of the time.” It’s up to us to decide what sucky things we’re willing to put up with, in other words, what shit sandwich we’re willing to eat, in order to do what we truly love. 

So the next day, after it felt like some Cinderella-status enchantment had worn off, I was back to my day job. I was regaling a few work friends with my fashionable adventures when one of them very frankly said “oh yeah, I went to that a few years ago. Hated it.” 

Ironically, his name is Frank. 

It was comments like these that had contributed to my Resistance before the show. For years I’d lusted over the idea of Fashion Week, and was disappointed every time I read an article or heard an interview with someone who revealed all it’s worst qualities. They didn’t like how tiny the benches were, they said everyone who went was stuck up, they said it was boring, etc. I half expected to find myself feeling the same way but all I could think was how exhilarating all of this was!

But that’s the thing. It all depends on your taste for shit. I was willing to loose sleep, spend hours traveling, walk around in the cold with my hands going numb and maybe even deal with some rude people just to be a part of the action. I adored waiting in line to watch slinky models march down the runway for 15 minutes with music pumping so loudly you can feel your heart vibrate. For many people I know, that’s a shit sandwich they’d never be interested in eating. 

But truth be told, I can’t wait to eat it again and again. 

New York City buildings
green embroidered dress

Wear is… Jessica Valdes?

Hi! Welcome back to Wear is She Wednesdays, a series that highlights one special girl each week to let her shine! Every Wednesday, we feature a different “she,” and get the scoop on her style, what makes her tick, and how the heck we can learn to be as awesome as she is. Today we’re asking the question everyone wants to know… Wear is Jess Valdés?

Jess Valdes of Avec Desire
Jess Valdes, owner of Avec Desire

WEAR IS... JESS VALDÉS?

Florida native, Jess Valdés, is an inspiration all around. Between the way she chooses to explore her personal style and her risk-taking personality, this enigmatic woman is one you simply can't ignore.

Her dreamy online vintage shop, Avec Desire, has been featured by the likes of Vogue and i-D Magazine and is chock-full of effortless, elegant pieces. Also, she rocks the hell out of her Doc Martens, just sayin'. Without further ado, keep reading for her thoughts on dressing for your mood, ugly sweaters and one of a kind thrift finds.

Hi, ! Please introduce your wonderful self!

Hi there! My name is Jessica Valdés, or just Jess, as everyone calls me. I’m 26. I am based in Central Florida in a small town just outside of Orlando. I graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in advertising and public relations, and I’m currently the owner of an online vintage shop called Avec Desire. 

1. What does personal style mean to you? 

To me, personal style means wearing whatever you want depending on your mood that day and not caring what other people think of your outfit choices. As long as you feel comfortable and confident in what you’re wearing, that’s all that matters. I also think personal style is just that…it’s personal. And we shouldn’t judge other people for what they choose to wear, because everyone’s style is so different and that’s what makes the world so unique and amazing! 

Jess Valdes owner of Avec Desire

2. Is there anything in your wardrobe that has special memories?

There are quite a few things in my wardrobe that have special memories. But the one that stands out the most is this yellow, brown and purple, striped long cardigan that I bought in the sale section in Forever 21 my freshman year of high school. It’s literally the ugliest thing and I’m pretty sure it has holes in it, but I wore it all throughout high school. I still have it, I don’t have the strength to let it go because it just has so many memories from my teenage years.  

3. How did you discover your style? 

I think I would have to say I discovered my initial style in my freshman year of high school because that’s when Gossip Girl first premiered and honestly I based all of my outfits off of every character, but mostly Blair Waldorf (lol). But that’s when I started really getting into fashion and just dressing for myself. My style now is definitely a lot different than it was when I was in high school. I’d say I discovered the style I have now probably within the last two years.

Jess Valdes owner of Avec Desire
Jess Valdes owner of Avec Desire

4. What’s one tip you could share for finding your personal style?

One tip I would suggest for finding your personal style is to go thrifting! If you think about it, there is just a bunch of stuff strewn everywhere in thrift shops and nothing is set up perfectly like it is in Zara or Urban Outfitters (where they are basically putting together tables and mannequins with outfits, suggesting items you should buy together).

In a thrift or second hand shop, you are pretty much forced to go treasure hunting and you end up finding pieces that really speak to you and that no one else will have. Over time you will find that you have collected these special pieces that are unique to you and your style!

5. Is there anything on your thrift list right now? 

Yes! Shoes! I find it so hard to find cute shoes that are in really good condition and that are my size. So finding good quality shoes is definitely number one on my thrift list right now!

Jess Valdes owner of Avec Desire
Jess Valdes owner of Avec Desire

6. And the bonus question I like to ask everyone before they go: What’s something you’re really proud of right now?

Something I’m really proud of is basically dropping everything I was doing at the time and taking a risk starting my own vintage shop about a year and a half ago. I didn’t know if it was actually going to turn out to even be something. But I did it and put all of my time and effort into it, and now I am able to do it full-time! My shop has been featured on Vogue.com and just recently on i-D magazine’s Instagram in a special series they have, so I’m pretty proud of those accomplishments! 

Where else can we find you, Jess?

You can find me on Instagram, @jessmvaldes, where I share personal style and lifestyle content. I also have an account for my vintage shop, @avecdesire, where you will find all things vintage shop related like new arrivals, sales, etc. My shop website is https://www.avecdesire.com

Wear is… Beth Jones?

Hi! Welcome back to Wear is She Wednesdays, a series that highlights one special girl each week to let her shine! Every Wednesday, we feature a different “she,” and get the scoop on her style, what makes her tick, and how the heck we can learn to be as awesome as she is. Today we’re asking the question everyone wants to know… Wear is Beth Jones?

B. Jones style outfit
Beth Jones outfit

WEAR IS... BETH JONES?

4 years ago now, the YouTube gods were kind enough to leave a video from Beth Jones in my suggestion box and I was instantly hooked. She's a fearless stylist and avid thrifter who believes in always playing dress up and wearing whatever makes you feel incredible, despite what others might think.

Her YouTube channel, instagram and now book, Outfit Magic, are packed with so much thrifty goodness and the joy she feels when getting dressed transcends the screen so palpably, you'll want to play dress up too.

Between her bright personality and her endless creativity when it comes to personal style, she's someone you simply can't help but adore! Don't be surprised if you soon find yourself binging her glorious fashion content or thinking "maybe I should make this better with a blazer..."

It's an honor to feature Beth today, so keep reading for her thoughts on confidence, starting her channel and Carrie Bradshaw.

Beth Jones in her wardrobe
Beth Jones gingham dress outfit

Hi, Beth! Please introduce your wonderful self! 

I am Beth Jones. I work as a fashion stylist and I have a Youtube Channel. I am located in Orange County. I am all about ALWAYS PLAYING DRESS UP, hunting for treasures in thrift stores, and mixing old with new. 

1. Who or what inspired you to start your YouTube channel?

I started a Youtube Channel in 2010 to share hair tutorials on my fashion blog, but didn’t invest too much time into building my channel. In 2015, I was pregnant with my 2nd son and found myself watching a lot of Youtube videos and got inspired to bring new life to my fashion blog by bringing people into the world of thrifting for vintage treasures. 

2. Clearly, Carrie Bradshaw is one of your biggest style icons. What is it about Carrie that inspires you so much and who or what else is inspiring you currently?

Carrie Bradshaw was the original queen of playing dress up. To me, everyday she was a new character. She let everything around her inspire her outfits, often mixing in vintage. I am currently really inspired by the 80s and 90s.

Beth Jones midi skirt outfit
Beth Jones zebra shirt

3. You're fearlessly experimental when it comes to your personal style. Have you always been so confident or did you learn to be?

I honestly always have been. I am more of a theatrical person so I have always loved to play dress up. I’ve never minded if I stood out in a crowd. 

4. What do you love most about thrifting and vintage and is there anything on your thrift list right now?

I love never knowing when I am going to find a surprise. I love how a find inspires all kinds of outfit ideas. I love the inspiration that comes with it. I am currently looking for winter skirts (pleated or plaid), 90s Mary Jane shoes, and wide-leg high waisted trousers.

Beth Jones and Taylor Made Style
Beth Jones Gucci outfit

5. What exciting things can we expect from you and B. Jones Style this year?

Even more video content (IGTV, Youtube, etc). I love sharing through video, so definitely more of that. Some new B. Jones Style products. And hopefully, some exciting travel adventures!

6. And the bonus question I like to ask everyone before they go: what's something you're really proud of right now?

I am proud of the ALWAYS PLAY DRESS UP community that has been formed through B. Jones Style. It is really exciting that B. Jones Style is less about me and more about all of us.

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You can find Beth on her YouTube channel, B. Jones Style, her instagram, @bjonesstyle, and on bjonesstyle.com! And be sure to pick up a copy of Outfit Magic for some serious style inspiration and thrifty tips that'll have you creating your own sartorial magic in no time!