Meet Kel. She is what I like to call a chameleon of fashion. You name any style, trend, or category and Kel has not only worn it, but rocked it better than most. What's her secret? Yes, she is a stunningly beautiful women on the outside. There is no denying that. But, if you ask me, her fearless attitude and definitive nature in fashion choices are responsible for her captivating presentation of style. She has never ceased to surprise me. A muse of mine, Kel has challenged me to embrace what I like now, at this very moment, this very second, with no regrets.
I have known Kel for 11 years and am proud to call her a friend that has transformed into family. Through hardships and successes, through belly-aching laughs and uncontrollable sobs, through Face Time calls and hand-written notes, our friendship and bond has not only sustained, but grown. She was one of the first people I contacted when I first began this notion of "starting over" career-wise and bailing on the path that I had worked so hard to create. From Betsy Johnson to Tumi, Kel has worked in various facets of fashion and I was anxious to hear her take. Her support was overwhelming and genuine. Just like Kel, it was frank. If I wanted to make this change, and I wanted to make it bad enough, then I was going to do it. And, that's that.
Kel recently made the trek out to Pittsburgh for a girls' weekend and I could not miss this opportunity to help style and shoot her for a post. I wanted to show what her words of encouragement are supporting... how those positive vibes are being put to use.
Like most of us, Kel's clothing reflects her life and the current happenings surrounding it. Right now, Kel is a single parent raising a spirited and adorable little boy named Grey Phoenix. She has been through some seriously tough times, yet I have never witnessed her spirit stronger. Her laugh still catches on like wildfire when most would die out. Her energy still saturates a room when most would dissolve. I wanted that strength, with a side of sass and fun, to be reflected.
This outfit, first and foremost, needs to be functional. Raising a child is no easy task and one needs to be able to move and play. We grabbed her favorite pair of light washed skinny jeans from Loft as our base. The great thing about these is they possess a bit more slouch than a typical skinny jean giving Kel more freedom to move. Next, an over-sized sweater from Free People in a neutral color that feels more like a blanket. We went up a size to exaggerate the over-sized look giving it a bit more drama. Hair was left wild and natural with the single braid adding a hint of femininity. We topped the locks off with a sienna beanie from Free People that I am dying over! The slouch to this beanie is perfection. Yellow Ray-Bans in the same color family as the beanie and a dark berry lip add just enough pop of cool. Finally, this Lucky Brand necklace. For Kel's everyday life, I would go sans necklace. BUT, I am obsessed with it and was feeling the triangle chain at the moment.
Sipping on wine this past weekend during the moonlit hours of the night, The Doors on vinyl as our background music, Kel and I chatted about the past two years and how they have shaped us. How refreshing it was to not only hear, but feel, her determination to make the best of situations. Her latest tattoo-in-progress is a phoenix. It represents her son and rebirth, rising from the ashes. I could not have picked a better representation for my dear friend. Parallel to her tattoo, Kel's journey is a work in progress; and, there is beauty at the end of each. Kel, you are a force.