leading ladies: misty & amy

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Ballet and fashion have enjoyed a mutually propitious relationship for quite some time, volleying inspiration throughout history and resulting in some pretty amazing collaborations.  But the bond goes so much deeper than the beauty and glamour they share, and who better to showcase that bond than two of ballet and fashion’s leading ladies, ABT soloist Misty Copeland and Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Amy Astley?

If you’ve ever wondered what a conversation between these powerhouses might consist of, you’re not alone, and you’re in luck.  As part of their fantasy-indulging “Possible Conversations” series, online editorial platform, The Thick, has brought Copeland and Astley together (in a super luxe setting, to boot) for an exclusive feature.  The resulting discussion does not disappoint, diving right in passed the glitz and straight to the grit.

I was so pleased to follow the conversation into truly honest territory, in which the ladies weigh in on the juxtaposing grace and strength that can exist within a single creature.  So much of fashion pursues a seemingly unattainable “easy” chicness, and the mastery of ballet revolves around making each impossible step look natural.  One comment in particular, from Ms. Astley, really struck me:

“Whether in dance or fashion, if you can get to the top, you know you’re made of stern stuff. It’s sort of like ‘Swan Lake.’ The swan is so beautiful on the water, but underneath, the legs are working like crazy.”

When I teach ballet to younger students, this is one of my favorite examples to use.  In an attempt to calm their often rambunctious port-de-bras and shift some of that excess energy into the lower halves of their bodies, first I ask my students what a swan looks like from our point of view, gliding over the water.  “Elegant!  Soft!  Smooth!  Feathers!  One time I fed swans with my grandpa!”…you always get that one giggle-inducing response.  Then, I ask them to show me what a swan’s feet and legs are doing under the water, and their rollicking interpretations never fail to spread a smile across my face.  It’s such an accurate illustration of the work that goes into making something look effortlessly beautiful, and the fact that Ms. Astley used this comparison to link fashion and ballet just makes me love the special connection between them that much more.

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The ballet world can feel so isolating, with its strong focus on physical aesthetics and that winding road towards an impervious perfection, but an inside look at the fashion industry lends comfort in its lipstick-masked strength.  Amy and Misty cover so many relevant topics, comparing views on beauty, art, femininity and what happens when you’re just a tad bit of a glutton for punishment (sound familiar, anyone?).  I highly recommend playing fly-on-the-gorgeously-bookshelved-sapphire-wall of this Possible Conversation.

photos c/o The Thick.

modeling MAC

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Perched on my invisible post, I swirled the world around like a 6-year-old having their first go at Spin Art.  Faces spun together from all ends of the emotional color wheel; Surprised, confused, excited, distracted, alarmed, awed- all blended between florescent lights and flattened grey carpeting.  Touching down with just the tip of my toes, I paused to steady the world for a moment, and it occurred to me what a strange circumstance I had gotten myself into when I accepted the job just one week prior.

It started the morning of a rehearsal for Time vs. Money, when Viktor walked into the studio, flipped on the lights and, without hesitation or the hint of trepidation in his voice, asked me my cup size.  “A or B?”, he inquired.  Assuming the question came in regards to a costume, but leery of a costume in which the size of my bra carries so much significance, “Umm…C?”, I continued the interview with another question.  “It’s only A or B, which is it?”, refusing to accept my fullness.  I assured him we’d better settle on “B”, and he started tapping away on the flat keyboard of his cellphone, all before even revealing the reason for his inquiry.  They don’t call him Boundless Plotnikov for nothing.

Finally looking up from his 4-inch screen, Viktor explained to me about his talent scout friend-of-a-friend and the search for a dancer to model at an event the following weekend.  He didn’t give me much information, but the promise of a check during my first month of summer lay-off spread my mouth into the dubious wide crescent of a happy Cheshire Cat.  A short bit of internet correspondence later, it was all arranged.  I was booked to model (spin dance) on a pedestal (wobbly plastic perch of terror) at the MAC cosmetics counter in the Nordstrom downtown.

When I arrived at MAC on the first day, a painted girl in a chic black, multi-textural ensemble led me down a hallway to a teeny dressing room I never knew existed.  I remember thinking to myself, This is total Nordstrom VIP.  A moment later, another beautifully painted lady entered with her tool belt arsenal of brushes, goops, powders, and creams.  She sat me down, drapped a robe over my shoulders, and with a smile she sprayed, brushed, moussed, twisted, braided, wrapped and pinned me until an hour had passed and my hair stuck coiled like a tight astronaut’s rope atop my head.  Her true forté, the makeup portion, she completed with the light yet purposeful hand of a practiced profession in under 20 minutes.  The speed of the procedure only highlighted her artistry.  In keeping with the theme, a launch of the new Alluring Aquatics collection, I emerged from the secret room a vintage-inspired synchronized swimmer from space, with an intricate cap of braids and the soft, dewey maquillage of a mermaid.photo 1 photo 2

hair, makeup, and photos by Loran Diciolla

playing model

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Today Brenna and I headed to the Hope Artiste’s Village in Pawtucket to model some clothes for a little boutique in downtown Providence called Shoppe Pioneer.  We were pretty nervous for our first ever modeling gig (unless you count the RISD fashion critique?), but today’s photoshoot pleasantly surprised us;  We both left smiling and feeling like we’d conquered a real fear.  Three cheers for moving out of your comfort zone!  Woo!

Soooo, these pictures are just a little sneak peek., but stay tuned for more awkward, hand-on-hip poses.  And try your best not to laugh at me, or we’re not friends anymore!  Just kidding we will always be friends.  But seriously, don’t laugh, kay?!  Happy Sunday, all. x

pretty things

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I’m not sure if it’s the unrelenting low temperatures outside or the fact that my current ballet schedule has me missing out on all hours of daylight, but lately I’ve been gravitating toward bright colors, pretty packaging, and fresh looking interiors.

I’ve been meaning to get a calendar for weeks now, and after perusing Anthro, Whole Foods, Barnes & Noble, Frog & Toad and all the usual calendar shopping hotspots with no luck, I decided to bite the bullet and order this one from Rifle Paper Company.  To say that I’m eagerly awaiting its arrival would be a massive understatement.

I’m also enjoying my new Hanae Mori  No. 7 perfume- happy early birthday to me!  Happy Monday all. xx

wonder cream

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After reading about it all over the internet and getting several rave reviews from friends, I decided to bite the bullet and buy the mystery substance that is “BB Cream”.  Without much understanding of what this stuff actually is, I was worried that my $8 might have been spent in vain- but boy, was I wrong.  As the title of this post suggests, BB cream is the makeup of wonders.  It’s lightweight, moisturizing, and smoothes out my complexion just as well as a heavy foundation; all without that horrible cakey look.  One of my favorite features?  It’s SPF 30- no more sunburned cheeks!

Have any of you tried BB Cream?  What did you think of it?

sniff sniff

I’ve never been the type of girl who could spend hours sampling perfumes.  For me, it goes a little more like this:  Go in, spritz, sniff, spritz, sniff, walk over to Dior Miss Cherie, spritz, sniff, purchase, go home.  Dior’s classic citrusy-jasmine infused scent has been my signature since high school; I’m comforted by it, people recognize it as smelling “like Kirsten”, and it has always felt fresh and light, no matter how many empty bottles I’ve collected.  However soothing Miss Cherie may be though, sometimes it takes a daring new perfume to add that perfect dash of spice to your life.

Enter the above four fragrances.  The first, Hanae Mori’s ‘Eau de Collection N° 7‘, is at the top of my nose’s wish list right now.  Inspired by Parisian pastries, this sweet, fruity fragrance comprises hints of exotic flowers, a dash of French dessert, and a strong citrus smell.  One of my favorite things about this perfume is how well it sticks to my skin.  Love, love love.  The  second perfume I’m coveting right now, Viktor & Rolf’s ‘Flowerbomb‘, has been on my radar since this summer.  Now, as an anti-floral-perfume kinda gal, a scent whose name literally describes an explosion of petals seems like a terrible choice.  But alas it is impossible to resist Flowerbomb’s bergamot, tea, freesia, jasmine, orange blossom, orchid, rose, and patchouli combination.  If you’ve ever smelled Juicy Couture’s Viva La Juicy, you’ll understand why I’m loving the label’s newest spinoff fragrance, ‘Viva La Juicy La Fleur‘.  Just imagine the original smell freshened up with a light hint of flowers.  The last perfume I wish I were wearing, Marc Jacob’s ‘Dot‘, encompasses all of my favorite smells: red berries, vanilla, musk, orange blossom, jasmine, coconut water, honeysuckle, dragonfruit and driftwood.  It’s energetic yet light and I looove it.

What’s your fragrance of choice?

summer to fall

summer to fall
One thing that I have unsuccessfully tried to find all summer long is a versatile, comfortable, chic maxi skirt.  This is one of those items that has been on my shopping list for far too many months.  You know the story, every year June rolls around and I find myself lusting after all of those gorgeous maxi skirts out there on the interwebs, but more often than not I end up reaching for the miniskirts, then all of the sudden it’s August and I force myself to exchange my maxi skirt dreams for a pair of new jeans or a nice chunky knit.  However, this year I think these ankle-dusting beauties are sticking around to watch the leaves change!  I can already see so many outfit possibilities incorporating maxi skirts into fall layers (read: leather jackets and maxi skirts play well together).  So that’s that!  I shall continue the hunt, but for now, I’ll just have some fun mixing and matching on Polyvore.
Top, $160 / Scoop neck top, $52 / Black lace shirt, $4.74 / mae scoop neck t shirt / LnA yellow maxi skirt / Grey maxi skirt / Dorothy Perkins ankle length skirt / River Island floor length skirt, $35 / Steve Madden heel sandals / Oasis ballet flat shoes, $55 / Bamboo sandals / H&M shoes, $13 / Chloé genuine leather handbag, $1,810 / Chanel shoulder handbag / Handbag / Chanel vintage bag / Kate Spade earrings / Dolce&Gabbana pearl hair accessory, $575 / Ray-Ban acetate sunglasses / House of Harlow 1960 round frame sunglasses / NARS Cosmetics lip makeup / OPI nailpolish, $17