Saturday, August 31, 2013

Stylenspiration: fashion feature

Today has not been a good day for me at all. I have been feeling sickly through the day & have been down in the dumps because of it. For a long holiday weekend such as this, I have my days planned with work I need to deliver, art that has been jumping around in my brain to be brought to life, & simply enough time to relax & enjoy some 'me nothings'. My challenged health has challenged all of these from happening & my mind has been in extreme thought mode. 

I thoroughly dislike curve-balls being thrown my way especially when I have my time all planned out to be fruitfully executed. Then I become my own worst critique which makes it much harder to take & to get over. 

Finally I open my laptop to see what's happening in the e-world & logging on to the blog reminds me that I have this post to put up. This feature of my work only reminds me of all else that I have to deliver & I'm finding it challenging to do so. Instead of being overwhelmed & upset, I feel a pause; I am reminded of how it is not by my power or might. Like turning out this outfit for my client was not by my power or might, but by the Grace of He Who enables me. All I have are the talents that He has put in me, & for each talent to yield fruit, I will offer all the little I have with GREAT FAITH that He will fill in the gaps & make it happen as He is known to do. 

If you are finding yourself challenged to do what it is you need to do, I hope that you are reminded that there is One Who can & Who will help you achieve it.

To see & read more on this fashion feature for bespoke tailored aso-ebi inspiration, visit:


"The LORD turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have.......Am I not sending you?" JUDGES 6:14

"My mind that I create with, my hands that I work with, my all that enables me to keep going, I surrender to You Lord because for all these You have a Purpose to Achieve." 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Stylenspire: RED - eemed

Today's outfit was defined by this skirt that I have never worn out before. It's one of those pieces that I have taken off & gone with a different piece every time I had tried to wear it. This morning, it was a good match with the same color top & my mood, so I went with it. I thought to style the entire outfit monochrome, but I chose a necklace with green gems & stones, & decided to wear the green pumps too.

The first compliment I received was a "wow! vixen, you look stunning in red". Hmmm, I thought, "me vixen?" I do stunning but I don't do vixen. Don't believe I can ever pull it off. The 'vixen' comment threw me into a loop of thoughts & I started to examine my outfit altogether. What stood out was the color red. Does wearing red come with a vixen tag? Then I thought of siren, sexy, foxy (hahaha...isn't vixen a female fox? I just googled that to confirm it). Yet all of these labels meant nothing to me & in no way represented me or my outfit. I took my mind out of the laugh box & moved on to what red really meant to me.

Blood! As that description popped into my head I thought of red as crimson. The Blood is Crimson.
There are many colors to the nature of His Beauty, but the river that flowed from Calvary is Crimson. That color is RED! How befitting that the color that represents redemption is RED. Yes me, the REDEEMED! Not your siren, not her vixen, not his sexy, or their foxy, simply redeemed. I hope you know the same applies to you too. Yes you!

Once I realized that wearing all red (almost) was an opportunity for anyone to tag me, I consciously chose to represent today's color style in the currency of my redemption. Through the day, no labeling compliment came my way again until someone mentioned that they usually think of ChristMas whenever they see a 'red & green' combo. "Nothing about your outfit is christmas-sy though", she said. 

I could not help but have a good roaring laugh at this point. What a day! 
Vixen led me to the Cross, while christmas-sy confirmed The Son that was born to solely journey on to Calvary for the Crimson River that flows just as powerfully in this day as it did thousands of years ago. World Wide Wonders, aren't you glad to be REDEEMED? & stylishly so in the color RED!


Outfit deets: Catherine Malandrino pintuk ponti skirt + Kate Spade  arielle top (good offers) + Leslie Danzis neclace (option) + Dooney and Bourke wristlet (good finds) each maxxinista fab finds from TJ Maxx // Armani Exchange watch // Chinese Laundry pumps (option)

Stylenspiration: "...for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name, you are Mine." ISAIAH 43:1

Photo credit: joyfully by V. Dodge

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Stylenspire: lace identity

My lace top is another oldie goodie that I tried on this morning for fit (since I have not worn it in over a year). I liked, so I looked to find what to pair it with. Subconcsiously, I did not think this ankara skirt with lace trim would work. Consciously, I chose to try the skirt on & voila! Perfect pairing!

The skirt is one of my bespoke tailored designs from this summer. The light fabric of the ankara & lace makes it a summer wear, though with layering, I believe the rich jewel tones of the skirt can transition into fall with me. I guess I'll have to work that style & see the result.

I got a lot of compliments about this outfit & it's turning out to be one of those days that I just want to keep the outfit on forever. I'm sure you can identify with that. Yet no matter how lovely & flattered we can be in a fabulously styled outfit, our identity is not in the outfit. It is in Christ the Creator of all things bright & beautiful Who graciously provides for each stylish ensemble.


I knew my day would be busy with errands, so I chose this kitten heeled pink suede pumps. For oomph effect, I would also wear it with the black d'orsay pumps  for afterhours mingling.

Outfit deets: DIY Ankara lace trimmed skirt (bespoke tailoring by me) // Ralph Lauren lace top + Izabela Nine West suede pumps + Gold on Gold Leather Michael Kors Darrington leather bracelet + Juicy Couture ring + Swarovski Crystals ring all TJ Maxx maxxinista fab finds // Jayra Nine West d'orsay glitter heels (herehere, or here)  // Movado Bold Series watch

Stylenspiration: "Do you ever wonder how others identify with your style? If emulated, what message does it send out? What is your style identity?" 

Photo credit: joyfully by V. Dodge

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Stylenspire: providence orange

Good up-bringing & decorum instills in us modesty & humility to graciously accept compliments, but I find that there are different categories of accepting compliments (if we'll take a moment to be truthful). The me that honestly accepts the compliments with gratitude; the me that cringes about it & walk faster away; the me that returns the compliment with one of my own to the giver; the me that brushes it off with a tinge of pride & a 'what else is new' attitude.

Someone I greatly admire recently complimented me on how beautiful I always look. He finished his compliments saying "the beauty of who you are is a testament to God's Providence in your life & I thank God for you!" Wow!!! I walked away hearing his voice over & over in my head.

I love creatively styling with different fashions; for me it is as in-bred & natural as breathing. I know that I am fruitfully blessed by God but I have never seen His Providence in me with what I wear or how I look. If asked, I will tell you of those gorgeous shoes I desire, or the boots I am working hard to justify buying. When I think of God's Providence, I think on all those blessings I don't have now; & I am not talking about material things. I mean this is my Heavenly Father, & His Providence is beyond what I can put into words. Yet, is it not from this same storehouse of His that He provides & fills our simplest needs? My littlest needs? 

How often do we cross the line by belittling God's Grace in our lives in the name of humility? Or without conscious thought like, "the blessings I have are far too small & I am waiting for the bigger ones"? Which of the 'compliment accepting' category do you fall in? No judgment, not even to myself, but how about we start with a heartfelt whisper/shout of thanks for little blessings in our lives; more so for the bigger ones & the ones that are about to manifest.

I am thankful for this beautiful orange tux-styled jacket that only cost me ten bucks off the clearance rack (grateful that my friend Flo did not snatch it from me; for this dress that is an oldie goodie & continues to serve its purpose; for my gorgeous shoes that I just love wearing; for this hairstyle that I can proudly say I did by myself; & for the priceless smile that testifies to good health, good life & the abundance of God's Grace.


Outfit deets: Dress & Gucci platform pumps are oldies but goodies from Marshalls // Orange tux-style jacket was an awesome maxxinista find from TJ Maxx @$10.00 // Handbag Rebecca Minkoff 

Stylenspiration: "let the world see the purity & reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles & the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle & quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight." 1PETER 3:2-5

"It is not about the beauty of who you are. It is in the blessing of Whose you are." 

Photo credit: joyfully by V. Dodge 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Stylenspire: falling green

Though weather forecasting has no confirmed premonitions to the end of sunny days as we know it, the tell tale signs of fall can be seen in the natural realm. The vibrant greens of the leaves are moving on to jeweled golden hues, announcing the advent of the fall season. 

The gathering of leaves at my feet is a testament that the summer is winding down, but more so the fall fashion campaign has hit us full on. Leaves aside, once the September newsprint issues of the holy grails of fashion hit the news stands in August, the trumpet call has officially been sounded for a new season. While the upcoming NewYork Fashion Week transports us to the 2014 era of all things fashion for Spring/Resort/Summer, fashion is asking us to spin stylishly into the fall season. 

As there is still some green through the remainder of our sunny days, I styled today's outfit in this color palette as I enjoy my last rays of longer daylight. The greens I have on boasts of the different hues you can find green in, while the gold & brown of my leopard print shoes puns the promise of lasting summery brightness.


Outfit deets: Top + Bottoms + Lauren Ralph Lauren lime Newbury mini (similar here) + Juicy Couture ring + Necklace are all fab maxxinista TJ Max finds // Paris Hilton leopard print bow pumps

Stylenspiration: "He sends His command to the earth; His Word runs swiftly." PSALM 147:15
The glowing brightness of the sun, the shining silver of the moon, the glittering display of the stars, autumn, winter, spring & summer that do His bidding all give testament to the Glory of the One True Great Artist.

Photo credit: joyfully by V. Dodge

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Stylenspire: yello? denim

Colored denim is so easy to wear. It is a fun way to infuse color with no hassle. The yellow summery shade of this pair beckoned to be paired with a light affair, so I chose this chiffon top. The outfit seemed to need no statement jewelry & I opted for arm candies.

Now I love summer, & I love summer, & I love, love, love the summer season, but I am kinda wishing for the next 'wardrobe call' i.e FALL. I don't know if it is because I started this style editorial, or that I am just in love with the feature fall trends that my favorite designers are broadcasting. It could also be because I almost have all the trendy fall features in my closet & I am itching to flaunt. Hahaha! There is ever a plus to buying what you love as I do. 

Earlier in the Spring, my friend PJ had encouraged me to buy these sandals & I have quite enjoyed it through the summer. My hesitation on getting the sandals at that time was a matter of "another pair of shoes?" LOL! I mean at what point will I ever say no to shoes? NEVER! Even with all the hesitation I can muster up. 

The sandals & purse I chose nicely complemented my outfit as they each had yellow hues in their color make up. Most people find it easier to choose colors that complement each other as opposed to color blocking or radical color combination (as I am prone to do). When unsure, I say you stick to colors with the same color hues to complement one piece to the other. Key to that is to work your knowledge of Primary colors.


I once again removed the shoulder strap of my bag to carry it as a clutch.

Outfit deets: Top + Tank + Paige Jeans + Michael Kors belt + Nine West Sandals + Resin & Gold bracelets + Swarovski ring all TJ Maxx fab finds // Rebecca Minkoff M.A.C Shoulder Bag // Armani Exchange watch

Stylenspiration: "Style is a sum of so many things - beginning with a sense of who you are & having self confidence." Kate Spade

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Stylenspire: bow-tifully

A friend of mine once asked me why I wear a lot of bows. I laughed & thought on it for a moment. I do wear a bow often enough & it is mostly when I have a Kate Spade design on.

Kate Spade is notorious for her colorfully lively efeminate & poetic designs. Everything they create screams cute & pretty & beautiful all at the same time. Today's outfit is reminiscent of this with effortless chic.

My skirt determined the makeup of how this outfit was put together. This skirt is soon en-route to London & for one last wear, I paired it with a mesh mimick-collar top, a beaded bow tie, adding the belt & the flats made the look come together.

Choice of colors came in the beads of the bow tie, my Ray Ban sunnies, & shoulder bag which I carried as a clutch (I removed the straps). Working the bow theme gave a unique aesthetic to the whole look. Each piece on its own was simple & could have been ordinary, but bringing them together as a whole gave it the oomph.


The bow tie I am wearing is one of my 'see art - see style' designs. It was snipped off a thrift store hat that I paid 50cents for. Talk about a FABFIND!

Outfit deets: Top + Pleated chiffon skirt + Kate Spade belt + Kate Spade  flats (similar here + Ray Ban Wayefarer + Juicy Couture watch + Swarovski crystals rings are all TJ Maxx maxxinista fab finds //  Rebecca Minkoff M.A.C shoulder bag // bow tie is a thrift store find

Stylenspiration: "Enjoy the little things." Y.S

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Stlyenspire: laser laced

I started this post thinking of the design similarity of my dress & shoes. They are both laser cut. Earlier I was listening to a Joseph Prince sermon & he made reference to how the Word is "living & active; sharper than any double-edged sword"; "what can be sharper than a two-edged sword?" he asked. A laser! 

  Naturally, my mind wandered to the reference Joseph Prince had made & I started to consider all I know about laser cutting. A double-edged sword can only cut on two sides; the flat planes of the sword cannot cut, but the pierce of a laser cuts on all sides.


"Laser cutting works by directing the output of a high-power laser, by computer, at the material to be cut. The material then either melts, burns, vaporizes away, or is blown away by a jet of gas,[1] leaving an edge with a high-quality surface finish."

The intricate laser cut design on my dress is so pretty. The silk fabric is cut to look like lace & I cannot help but think of the fiery-piercing process that created this delicate beauty.

Likewise, the shoes.

Living under grace, I think on how we are laser cut on all sides by Him, through Him, & for Him. Not unlike silk & leather, the process of our cutting in this life is to yield a beautiful result; that the image of Whom we are created for might reflect in each of us.

I know that there is a process of 'His laser cutting' being done in some area of your life. After you enjoy the stylenspiration below, take a moment to reflect, understand & yield to His process; the fiery cuts you are experiencing will produce the rare beauty of who you are, to the Glory of Who you were created for.


Outfit deets: Jessica Simpson dress/belt + Juicy Couture Karina booties are maxxinista fab found from Marshalls // Salvatore Ferragamo bag + Swarovski Crystals ring + Jessica Simpson crystal tri-color leather bracelets are maxxinista fab finds from TJ Maxx // Movado watch

World Wide Wonders, remember that through any fiery trials, His Presence is with you. He will never forsake you whom He has chosen for His own. "Do not be afraid for I am with you" (Genesis 26:24) is His unfailing Word of promise to His chosen ones who are experiencing "the fiery furnace of affliction."

Photo credit: joyfully by V. Dodge

Monday, August 12, 2013

Homenspire: wall art

I love the above wall art in the stairways at work. It was recently done just before this past Spring & I have since enjoyed taking the stairs (sometimes) just so I get to pause & enjoy looking at it. I loved it so much I wondered how I could recreate it at home. At that time I knew I would be moving to a new place & with my love for all things art & colorful, I started researching how to get this art recreated for me.

I deliberated on buying wood that was already laser cut, then spray painting it. I thought it would be easy to find but not so. The laser cut wood I found online where quite expensive & not big enough. I gave up trying to find something that would work after five months of looking. I started to look for other options for the wall. I have been in this new place for three months now & the white walls where driving me nuts (with a recent past experience  I was too lazy to paint the whole apartment, plus I wanted something creative & different. 

I walked into a Home Goods store two weeks ago (Home Goods is a TJX Company store) & I saw this room divider. Immediately I was drawn to it because it had the look I wanted. But I was stumped! How do I hang a 'room divider' on the wall. I also picked it up for weight & it was somewhat heavy. I kept circling it, while my brain was working a million watts per millisecond. I wanted to find a way to make it work, but I did not think it possible so I left the store without it (not without taking a picture of it though). 

For two weeks my mind raced on all possibilities of how I can use the divider as my wall art. I decided to just go for it. I am after all a risk-taker; I do try a whole lot of things, some that become stellar creations & others not so much. Once my mind was made up, my only other fear was that that specific wall divider will have been sold. 

TJX Companies almost always only have one-off items. If you wait, you may never find that piece again. With grace on my side, I did find it in the same store. I brought it home super excited. I already had my choice paint from Home Depot so I was good to go. 

In my living room.
First I unscrewed one end to change it from the original position to make sure it all folds in the same direction.
In this picture, I have it screwed back on, folding in the center direction.

Used measurements I took to tape off wall section where to paint.

All done!

I love it!
I used 6inch screws to hold it up on all four corners & in the middle. I must say that it came out beautifully too. I love it! I also painted my fireplace & hung up a mirror I got from the Home Goods store. I shared that picture below. 

I still have a few paint & art projects I need to do to get my apartment home into the style that I love. Fashion is not just about the clothes you wear, your home has to fashionably reflect your style & passion. Little thoughts & creativity around the house makes it warm & inviting. I am a home buddy & I do love to have friends over & my passion for all things creative & beautiful is evident here.

I hope you are homenspired to put a creative spin on your home style. Enjoy!

Deets: Room divider + Mirror from Home Goods // Glidden paint + painter's tape + paint brushes from Home Depot  

Stylenspiration: "A little bit goes a long way; find ways to creatively beautify your space to reflect your style." 
& you don't have to break the bank to do this, or refurnish the entire home. Revamp small spaces, paint just one wall, artfully use various colors of picture frames in varying sizes to put up pictures of love ones, refinish your sitting area/work space, colorful throw pillows, add colorful hands blown glasses, faux flowers are huge now & they make them to look real these days. The possibilities are endless; open your mind to it.