#Fashion

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For those of you longtime followers, you know this jacket is one of my favorite and hardest won garments. You can read the story of how I wrestled it from the hands of gay man in a Parisian thrift store here. What I love about this jacket is how perfectly it embodies the idea of “fashion.” High fashion is a little crazy and most ensembles require a serious degree of casual cool to pull off. Especially in Boston you should’ve seen the looks I got strolling down Newbury Street in a glorified pimp jacket. But hey, you gotta make sacrifices for #fashion. #fashion2

To make this look especially meta, photographer Rebecca Isenhart shot it in front of a store. Because let’s be honest, nothing is more #fashion than shooting an outfit in front of a fast-fashion consumer abyss. 
#fashion3To tone down the crazy, I paired the jacket with a leather mini skirt, a black knit top, and the fashion world’s current favorite accessory: the lace-up flat. This keeps the focus on the statement piece and also gives an otherwise frumpy silhouette a little sex appeal. #fashion4In case you didn’t see it the first time, this jacket has a glitter amoeba pattern embroidered on the back. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better. #fashion6

Jacket: Thrfited/Fought for in Paris, Skirt: Forever21, Shoes: Primark

Photos by Rebecca Isenhart.

Bundle Up

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During the first real winter storm in Boston it feels appropriate to feature Wellensteyn, an incredible winter coat manufacturer that just opened a store at the Wrentham Outlets. As you guys know, I have never worn a serious winter coat. Even last year when we got the most snow in Boston EVER I insisted on wearing a fashion-first, warmth-second coat. Thanks to Wellensteyn, all that has changed. View More: http://stephanieritaphoto.pass.us/celina-artistsI always assumed that you couldn’t get a heavy duty winter coat that was also cute. Most of them look like hideous black sleeping bags and I’d rather be cute and freezing than bear a close resemblance to a dumpster diving camper. Turns out I was wrong. The Wellensteyn coats are designed to fight off the cold, in some cases even sub-arctic temps, while also looking nice. They come in a variety of styles for men and women and a range of colors and thicknesses. View More: http://stephanieritaphoto.pass.us/celina-artistsThe coat I chose is a grey metallic with a fur hood. My favorite feature is the waist belt that gives the coat enough shape to remind the world that there’s a woman under there. It’s form fitting but still spacious enough to layer with sweaters on those particularly icy days. View More: http://stephanieritaphoto.pass.us/celina-artists

Now that we’ve covered style, let me attest to the warmth of this coat. I sweat when I wear this. Even in below freezing temperatures, even with just a t-shirt underneath. You can walk outside in the middle of a snowstorm and still feel like you’re in bed. Admittedly, I’m new to the warm coat game, but this is better than I ever expected. View More: http://stephanieritaphoto.pass.us/celina-artistsI styled it with thigh high boots and no tights on a warmer day (35 degrees) but it would work just as well with fleece leggings in today’s snowstorm. A lot of the time I still put style over comfort, but now at least I don’t have to get frostbite because of it. View More: http://stephanieritaphoto.pass.us/celina-artistsYou can find my jacket, the Lichtermeer, here. If it’s too flashy for you there’s a variety of other options available on the Wellensteyn site. Go forth and be warm!

Jacket: c/o Wellensteyn, Boots: Gifted

Photos by Stephanie Krist.

Please Note: Wellensteyn gifted me the Lichtermeer jacket, however, all opinions are my own.

Attagirl!

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I fell in love with this flapper inspired dress a few months ago at H&M. But the $50 price tag was out of my range. Just before Christmas I popped in again for a last minute present and saw this beauty marked down to $15! I wore it for Christmas and New Years, it’s a more interesting option than the typical sequined, bodycon dress. The slang “attagirl,” meaning well done, originated in the flapper era. View More: http://stephanieritaphoto.pass.us/celina-artistsView More: http://stephanieritaphoto.pass.us/celina-artistsEven though the dress is a little oversized (I could only find a medium) it’s sheer underneath the fringe which gives it a little unexpected sex appeal. View More: http://stephanieritaphoto.pass.us/celina-artistsI found these vintage pumps at a thrift store and have been dying for a special occasion to wear them. Even though the style looks great with casual clothes, they shine most with an elegant, retro ensemble like this one.View More: http://stephanieritaphoto.pass.us/celina-artistsSometimes I twist and shout in the secret back hallways at the MFA. Everyone needs a stress reliever! View More: http://stephanieritaphoto.pass.us/celina-artists

Dress: H&M, Belt: Thrifted, Shoes: Vintage

Photos by Stephanie Krist.

In Praise of Routine

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I am a creature of habit. Once I get into a routine it becomes a source of comfort to me. This kind of behavior gets a lot of flack because it supposedly doesn’t breed an adventurous spirit. But I think order and organization can go hand in hand with spontaneous experience. 7df747a6-da5b-434e-ae8d-58dc1e41c59aMy most routine-based time of the day is the morning. I typically have trouble getting out of bed (hello, Monday) so I get up and leave the house fairly quickly. I make pre-made breakfasts in tupperware that I can just grab and go. On the way to work I pick up a coffee and the New York Times. Usually I get into the office about half an hour to 45 minutes early. Then I have some time to get myself settled in, eat my breakfast, and read the paper. By the time 8:30 rolls around I’m rejuvenated, informed, and ready to work.

Because I’m so used to this routine it shows up in a lot of my Instagrams. There’s something so aesthetic and pleasing to me about the paper and a cup of coffee. Last week the New York Times reached out to me to buy some of these images. It was a huge honor to work with the paper I’ve read and venerated for so long. So while I of course appreciate spontaneity, there can sometimes be opportunity right there in your ordinary routine.

Marc Chagall

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Our final creative in the Artist Series is the Russian-French painter Marc Chagall (1887-1985). Much of his work is tied to his identity as an Eastern European Jewish man and his paintings depict a lot of the folk culture that goes with that. You may recognize The Fiddler which inspired the musical “Fiddler on the Roof.” Chagall created works in almost every medium but it was his vibrant, expressionistic paintings that first drew me to him. Pablo Picasso once said of him, “When Matisse dies, Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what color really is.”

View More: http://stephanieritaphoto.pass.us/celina-artistsChagall was a simple man, a trait I tried to embody in this basic ensemble, emphasizing texture. He was first exposed to art when he saw a classmate drawing in school. He immediately knew he wanted to be an artist. He moved to Saint Petersburg to further study and there he met Bella Rosenfeld, the love of his life. The love story between Bella and Marc is another thing that drew me to the artist. He loved her so passionately that even after she died he continued to paint her in his works for the rest of his life. He married again but his heart was always truly tied to her. In his memoir In My Life Chagall describes first seeing her, “Her silence is mine, her eyes mine. It is as if she knows everything about my childhood, my present, my future, as if she can see right through me.”View More: http://stephanieritaphoto.pass.us/celina-artistsView More: http://stephanieritaphoto.pass.us/celina-artists

Chagall had spent some time studying in Paris before marrying Bella, and the couple moved there in 1923. He enjoyed success until Hitler rose to power, targeting Jewish people all over Europe. It wasn’t long before he and Bella had to evacuate France and immigrate to the U.S. Chagall became an unwilling celebrity in New York, his artwork having already received critical acclaim. Despite this, he felt lost and missed his home country. The frenetic strokes and surrealist subject matter of his paintings reflects these turbulent times. marcchagall9In many of his paintings with Bella, the couple is flying above the landscape in their own space and time. I tried to recreate that almost playful feature above against a colorful Ellsworth Kelly, paying homage to Chagall’s love of pigment. View More: http://stephanieritaphoto.pass.us/celina-artists

I love Chagall for the same reason I love Russian authors, he is a romantic, dramatic, philosophical storyteller. He paints everyday life, the human experience. Love, loss, fear, joy, the motions that we all go through. View More: http://stephanieritaphoto.pass.us/celina-artistsDon’t forget to check out the others in the Artist Series: Frida Kahlo, Francisco Goya, Cindy Sherman, and Hiro.

Jeans: Primark, Boots: Coach, Jacket: Thrifted, Shirt: H&M

Photos by Stephanie Krist.