I didn't think of myself as the likeliest candidate to hire a personal stylist. I mean I know how to dress myself. Separates and accessories are my 'thing'.
Sure, I didn't always know what I was doing fashion-wise. I blame 12+ years in a Catholic school uniform. I remember those years, wishing I could stand out from the crowd, wishing I could indulge in the back-to-school shopping extravaganzas like the public school kids. But alas, I was limited to plaid skirts and soccer uniforms. Meh. Oh and I had a mom who liked to dress me and comb my hair right up until 9th grade. I know, GASP, right?
Once I was 'of age' to pick my own outfits, I quickly learned what worked and what didn't. I mostly stuck with a muted neutral palette. Lots of solids, mixed in colorful accessories. Bought a few go-to pairs of shoes and voila - a grown up wardrobe was born!
A few months ago, I found Diabolina's blog and I was impressed at the guts someone had to have to display her outfits daily for, like, the whole world to see. The frequent posts, the colorful outfits and her witty charm kept me coming back for more.
I started questioning my outfits and my wardrobe. Suddenly, I was paying more and more attention to what I was wearing every day. What was going on? All from a blog? Written by a stranger? Who had no idea I was reading?
I'm happy to report that I finally did have a chance to meet and work with D and feel less stalker-ish, more friend-ish. When she mentioned she was considering doing personal styling work, I was thrilled for her and told her I was interested. My engagement photo shoot was coming up and I had an amazing photographer lined up. I knew I wanted to look fabulous but I was unsure of where to start. Diabolina immediately stepped up to the plate and hit the ground running.
We initially met over lunch at ChinChin to discuss options. She asked me lots of questions. What was the location of the shoot? What kind of look was I going for? What were my fashion likes and dislikes? What makes me feel confident? What does Steven (my fiancé) enjoy seeing me wear?
It was in that conversation that I realized just how important fashion is to a person, how it can be soooo much deeper than wearing something simply because it's cute. Fashion can be about your history and who you are now and how you want others to see you in the future. It can be about function but it's also about inspiration. It's about having fun and taking chances. It can be a metaphor for how you live your life.
Early on D decided that I was an A+ at separates and accessories. She knew I could pull together a good casual look for the shoot. So she thought we should focus on a dressier look.
Confession: I don't enjoy shopping. And although I love to dress up, I feel like dressier looks require more scouring and searching and trying on and ugh. I have no patience. No bueno.
Thankfully, Diabolina came to the rescue by shopping for me. Plus she created, the most valuable resource that, in my opinion, will take her far as a stylist: THE lookbook of all lookbooks! Based on my shape, my personality, my likes and my style, she pulled together a customized Flickr folder for me full of nearly a hundred options for the shoot and beyond. Dresses, accessories, shoes, separates - you name it.
She chose things that would flatter my figure, colors that would work well with my skin tone and prices that would fit in my budget. She commented on every single picture. It was like she was talking me through why certain cuts and designers and styles would work for me. I'm not sure how many stores and racks and websites she perused, but I do know that I had lots to choose from.
From there, I chose half a dozen dresses to try on. We had our second meeting at Diabolina's stylish home. So fun to pull belts and shoes and necklaces from her own closet to mix in with the dresses we had picked!! She even had Mr. Diabolina weigh in with the male opinion - eeks!
Although I liked several of the looks we tried, I fell head over heels with this one. Karen Millen. Diabolina scored it for just $75. Originally close to $300.
I decided I really had to have it even if I didn't end up wearing it for the shoot. I love, love, love it
In the weeks leading up to the shoot, I became obsessed with my lookbook. Diabolina's suggested looks translated into things I was able to easily find myself in stores near me/in my price range. Things I would never have considered prior to our meeting. The whole experience taught me that even if your wardrobe is pretty great already, it doesn't hurt to open your eyes to other possibilities.
The final looks I wore to the engagement shoot were directly influenced by Diabolina's lookbook and by all of her recommendations via the blog. I completely attribute my styling to all of her guidance.
I really really enjoyed working with and getting to know the fab blogger I love to follow! Diabolina definitely has a gift for conceptualizing a fashion idea into reality. I wish I had more money and more time and we could have dragged the process on for even longer. If she could dress me daily, I'd be the happiest girl alive!
- The Modern Type
And did I mention she is a mind-blowingingly talented photographer. Check out her stunning recent work at The Modern Type.
To see more of The Modern Type's GORGEOUS engagement photo shoot pictures, visit Jasmine Star Photography.
Finally, if you are interested in discussing a styling consultation, email me. Thanks to all of you for the support over the last year. YOU have helped ME transform in more ways than you know. Kiss.