Two belfries in the plateresque style reflect in a liquid looking glass, as I walk past the outstretched pond in San Diego’s Balboa Park. It’s a deliciously sunny day, and the sky is a vibrant blue.
My Georgian dress is just as bright, the color of the goldfish in the lagoon (thanks, Mari for introducing me to Georgian fashion!).
If you look up the dress’ pantone name, you’ll find “international orange,” How fitting, that I’d buy a dress in this culturally transcendent shade: I learned that the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco was originally garnished in this hue. The cutouts in this Dots Tbilisi number reminded me of the iconic bridges’ stencils. Plus, the name is on theme, for the sheer fact that I purchased and had it shipped to me from the other side of the world. In one dress, in one place, I’ve traveled across California and the world.
As I take in the Spanish Renaissance architecture before me, I swing my Louis Vuitton bag that my grandmother gave me, to and for. I long to capture this moment and mail that memorial postcard to my brain. I’d like to store it next to the black and white photo of two women dressed in Edwardian finery, walking the same grounds my mother and I are right now. Much of the elaborate architecture we’re beholding, was built during 1915-1916 Panama California Exposition. According to the Balboa Park website, it was one of the first times such “ornamented flamboyant architectural style” had ever been used in the United States.
But it’s not just the arcadian aesthetic that makes these 1200 acres such a wonder. It’s the wooden botanical gardens building (apparently one of the largest pieces of lath architecture in the world) filled with 2100 tropical plants and palms. It’s the troubadours dotted around the park in an unplanned orchestra that create a score for your already visually cinematic experience. It’s the San Diego Zoo and the array of museums. I walked around in my jacquard shoes, reminiscent of a garden itself. Perhaps wearing them was a foreshadow through footwear, being surrounded by such fantastical nature from flowers, to water, to sunlight.
Where should I wander next and what trend would you like me to wear?
Here in Southern California, the weather is gradually catching up to other fall customs like pumpkin spice everything, the beginnings of the 2021 award season, and fashion week.
The fall runways tend to inform trends of the season with an autumn in New York state of mind: Meanwhile on a late-summer getaway to San Diego a few weeks ago, I was determined to make La Jolla Cove my fall fashion runway—and since September in SoCal is still soaking up the sun of late-summer, especially at the beach, here’s how to be a fall fashion girl in that sort of setting.
One fall 2021 catwalk trend that I had to try while wandering the hidden caves of the cove with shoes in hand: hues that pack a punch. In 2021, what you considered an autumnal color palette is left in the pre-pandemic past. This citrus-colored knit top would normally be a summer pick, but vestments with vibrance are the talk of fall fashion trend reports.
Here’s why: Tangerine and bright colors in general, give the soul a dose of vitamin-C and serotonin boost necessary to brighten one’s world after a heavy year and a half-of the pandemic. While we’re not quite out of the woods yet, there is something to be said about improving morale in the midst of your circumstances, and one way to do that, is with what you wear (disclaimer: I’m not saying it’s going to be the end all, be all of solving your problems). You don’t even need to take my word for it. According to fashion psychologist, Dawnn Karen, “Mood enhancement dressing, aka dopamine dressing, simply means selecting clothes that increase your happiness, raise your spirits, and make you feel better, stronger, safer, or more empowered.” In Karen’s book, Dress for Your Best Life, she writes that western cultures associate orange with “freshness, fun, humor and sunshine.” In eastern cultures, “happiness and spirituality,” or even “wisdom.” Personally, I have felt all those things when dawning this orangesicle garment (you can’t see it, but the bottom part has a white ombre affect like one)—whether wearing it oceanside like in La Jolla or out in the field on-camera reporting. And when it does cool down, I have a matching tangerine jacket to add over it for a chic, monochromatic look.
Leopard print is always a go-to for me when I want to feel lively and fun, so I opted for an accordion-pleated skirt in the pattern. Sure, it’s a wildcard, when my top is already pretty loud. Hear me out: leopard print continues to be considered a neutral in the fashion world, according to a comment CEO of Who What Wear, Hillary Kerr said in an episode of the podcast she hosts with the same namesake, so perhaps it’s not as out there as one may think. I added some tortoise-shell cat-eye sunglasses to match, and a fuchsia lip for those final touches.
The cubic white façade looks like a modern Mount Olympus from the 101 Freeway. But it’s not a haven for the gods—even though much of the European art within the Getty Museum’s wings do depict the Grecian and Roman deities in the brushstrokes of the Renaissance masters.
When I lived in LA, The Getty Museum was my safe haven after a long day of classes in grad school. I’d venture there at least twice a month on days off from Entertainment Weekly of ABC7 LA. If the well of inspiration drained, one look at resplendent tapestries, embroidered with scenes of royalty in gondolas would conjure creativity. A study of a medieval manuscript covered in calligraphy and an illumination of the Goddess of Fortune would bring light to all of the unwritten stories in my head.
When the pandemic hit, it was the first time since I’d been a frequent visitor of the pearly white museum with travertine floors more iconic than the yellow brick road, closed its paradise for over a year. Within that time, I moved out of Los Angeles, going into the city mid-week, AKA my weekend from on-camera reporting, but I hadn’t taken the chance to visit my old favorite, the Getty since they reopened a few months ago. Getting back to the Getty was a homecoming in a way, and I was beyond homesick. That’s why when my blogger bestie Mari suggested the museum for our next visit, I was elated, excited, but apparently, not expeditious… The plan was to arrive to Mari’s place early enough to pick her up after work and make our 3:00 p.m. ticket reservation (during this pandemic, ticket reservations for visiting the Getty are now a thing) Alas, we arrived at the fashionably late hour of 4:00 p.m., I in a fitted Zara jumpsuit the color of a brook with a buttery brown belt and sandals to match.
Despite going through an entire day at work, Mari was ready, 2:30 p.m. on-the-dot in her monogrammed shirt, Gucci belt and flared jeans. I arrived at 3:30 p.m. In my defense, I had a two-hour drive ahead of me with a stop to make along the way, and perhaps I had not properly calculated how long it would take to curl my hair into place, fill Maximus (my white steed of a car) up with fuel, and wade through traffic along the Grapevine. Thankfully, Mari was completely understanding, and said we’d make the most of whatever time we’d have at the artsy oasis, which was only an hour. So without further ado, here is how we made the most of our sixty minutes at the Getty, and how you can too, if your trip is a mere pitstop.
Why Arriving at 4:00 p.m. May Not Be As Bad as You Think: Yes, arriving shortly before the close at a museum with eight extensive exhibitions may seem like poor planning on your part. Especially out-of-towners may think this isn’t the best idea, but hear me out: When you come to Los Angeles for a day trip, you may want to get a sample of as many places as you can before heading home, so after spending a day window-shopping in Beverly Hills’ Taschen bookstore and dining at Croft Alley (A personal favorite of mine for a cuppuccino and avocado toast) you can dip into the Getty for about an hour, rather than spending the entire day at a place with not as many dining options. Granted, I have spent an entire day at the Getty before and am a nerd like that, but most days, I’ll go to a museum for a couple hours at most anyway. Plus, going as late as we did, Mari and I experienced something we never had before: a practically private tram ride. We lounged across multiple seats, unused to the quiet on the Getty’s crucial transportation device, allowing us to spread out and get lost in the Tram’s benevolent tunes reminiscent of Disneyland’s Monorail. The music became the soundtrack of our ride as the panoramic windows showcased the 101 freeway from a bird’s eye view. Perhaps that’s why the winged wanderers do not tire of their flights: it’s extremely peaceful up there. When this metal dragon arrived at its sky-high perch around 4:10 p.m., that’s when most museum goers made their mass exodus to the descending tram. We beat the rush of tourists, most art rooms quite empty on the latter half of a Tuesday. Plus there was a point where the Getty actually offered half-priced parking (ten instead of 20 dollars!) if you came at 4:00 p.m., but they have discontinued that since reopening. When and if it comes back though, your pocket is going to thank you for showing up late too!
We Knew Our Favorite Spots Ahead of Time: Mari and I are art buffs, to be sure so we navigated those rooms like pros. She has an extensive background of technique and art history, an interest fueled by a mother who is an artist. My love for art also ingrained in me from childhood flourished after studying abroad in London and taking humanities classes in the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, and British Museum. My professor was an art historian who frequently lent her expertise to the BBC. In a transportive British accent, she taught us about European painting techniques like hierarchy of size, linear perspective, intentionality of light and how the literal anatomy of human depicted in the art could tell you when it was composed, and which master painted it. Mari and I are both fans of European art from 1600-1800, whether the Italian and British Renaissance or British Enlightenment (Peter Paul Reubens and Joseph Mallord William Turner, anyone?).
Another personal favorite of mine is the wing with all the French Rococo paintings. It’s the most unique part of the whole museum (which is saying a lot, because these rooms house priceless, one-of-a-kind pieces), because rather than art mounted to stark white walls, they’re extra ornaments to elaborately decorated rooms with colored damask wallpaper, gaudily gilded furniture with splashy gold reminders that King Louis XIV was the sun king, and elaborate china. If you are not familiar with the Getty, it may be helpful to browse their current exhibitions online so you have a game plan for what you want to see in the short visit.
We Dressed the Part: I’ve made the mistake once before of sporting Gucci loafer heels with pearl detailing to the museum because they were “quite comfortable,” only to realize that a certain amount of time going up and down the Getty’s travertine steps and eventually missing the last tram and having to physically walk downhill to my car, can make them otherwise. That’s when I was still pretty green at the Getty. By now, I knew better: wear something chic yet comfortable. Polished leather sandals were the way to go, as was this jumpsuit made of cotton. With it’s puffy princess sleeve and a ruched neckline, was incredibly flattering to my natural curves yet felt like sleepwear. Paired with my go-to pearl earrings with a gold rim, a red lip and my Louis Vuitton purse with an Italian silks scarf tied onto It, I had achieved the off-duty look I was hoping to.
We concluded the night with a tacos and beer at Mari and Anton’s favorite place in Ventura. You see, that’s why we’re close: we can do refined artsy things the early part of the day, and conclude with a no-fuss meal. My kind of perfect day, even with a late start.
The ocean breeze and sun blew a combination of mist and sand in my thick raven tresses. With hair of my texture it tangled, but I didn’t care in the least. I welcome it. The grains might as well have been glitter. The ocean spray was a christening. Because Malibu brings out a glow in me that cannot be duplicated anywhere else.
It’s a place I used to call home —a place where I received my education, first became an adult, and learned to soar. The seagulls fly Above my head, their wingspan a salutation, a welcome home. They know my admiration for their kind. How their instinct is to wander and travel far and wide, yet they still find solace on the beach. One perches itself on the roof of a blue lifeguard shack. He’s peaceful. He’s a messenger from the divine to enjoy this slow pace before the rush continues. As I write this, it’s August 3. Time stops the eve before my 25th birthday. I’m on the cusp of the beginning of the second quarter of life, and it’s thrilling. Thank you God for these moments of serenity, and the moments of saturation.
Now, I pick this entry up as the sun sets on my birthday. Year twenty-five marks a quarter of a century of life. It’s been a full one, it’s been beautiful, joyous, sometimes heartbreaking, full of hope, and full of lots of love. I used to be under this delusion as a teenager that at 25, my life would be wrapped up into this beautiful bow, that I’d have everything figured out. I’d be married to the man of my dreams, settled in my career, and the rest of life would be the “ever after” of my hero’s journey. I was in for an awakening I am extremely grateful for: Twenty-five is the genesis of the rest of my very abundant life. I haven’t figured it all out, and as I’ve learned from mentors and friends I look up to that are older, you’re constantly learning and evolving.
This past year alone, I’ve excelled leaps and bounds as a human being. There’s a fire and strength within me that has always been there since I first opened my mouth. It’s been there since I sang at the top of my lungs as I swung on my backyard swing at five years old and proclaimed, “I will fly on my father’s wings, to places I have never been,” (if you understand this reference, I have the utmost respect for you).
That song was always a lion’s roar. It was always the crescendo of the waves of the ocean. But the strength and fire within me have ignited like no other as of late. Fear has cowered before the woman looking at me in the mirror, (thanks be to God who is responsible for that). And yet that woman is still the little girl who watched Disney movies and dreamed fiercely. She didn’t quite fantasize about being a princess, although she always wanted to have a royal’s grace while having the strength of a lady knight like Kaylie in the “Quest from Camelot.” When Beauty and the Beast’s Belle said, “I want adventure in the great wide somewhere,” that girl with the thick raven hair and wide brown eyes said, “me too.” When Hercules said, “I will go the distance,” she whispered, “me too.” That girl is still me, even as my features have sharpened and my voice has deepened into that of a woman.
This year alone, not even thinking back to the last 25 years, my becoming is evident. It’s been forged in tears, in laughter, and smiles. This year alone, I’ve lived in three time zones while living in the same place (more on that in a future blog post about my on-camera reporter anniversary).
That girl is still me as I’ve seen the best and worst of humanity as a reporter. I’ve covered a hostage situation, shootings, and I’ve braved the snow of the Grapevine. I’ve not only experienced but had to report about a pandemic. But I’ve also attended and covered the Oscars. The American Music Awards, interviewed the former Secretary of State and current House Minority Leader, and introduced myself to both of them with the utmost confidence. I’ve realized my worth, even when it’s been tested. I’ve aced that test. I’ve been studying 25 years for it and was never going to fail.
Quarter two is just around the corner. I plan to make it even more interesting than the past 25 years of traveling to 12 countries, studying abroad, attending London fashion week, countless award shows, interviewing A-list celebrities, world leaders, dealing with a pandemic, promising to fulfill my family’s legacy, getting a bachelor’s and master’s degree at world renowned universities, starting my own talk show, recording my own original music, dating, sitting on the edge of my seat as my parents and grandparents have orate their beautiful life stories, crying on my loved one’s shoulders and gladly returning that shoulder, serving and receiving, loving and being loved, accepting God personally into my heart and receiving his blessings while hoping I can help carry out his blessings to others, being on television every single day, singing and writing songs, writing and finishing two novels, blogging, exploring new cities with delicious cuisine, breathtaking historical architecture, watching lots of movies, devouring hundreds of books, collecting pieces of clothing with their own stories to tell while creating my own in them.
You bet I’ll continue to be well dressed while blogging about all of it along the way.
There’s power in patterns. They are like roadmaps to who we are—whether that’s a recurring behavior or an echoed motif throughout an article of clothing. As a forward thinker with a vintage soul, I embrace change like an old friend. Meanwhile, I tend to make a tradition of what works. I’ve always been a repeat offender in wearing silk scarves, to the point where I found myself yearning for one in the form of a dress.
This quarter-sleeve button-down number is a canvas for mix-and-match patterns. Printed on the satin: a green and black chevron that seems to imitate snakeskin and contrasts bag-chain imagery, patterned on a blue and orange backsplash. Perhaps it’s because the scarf print is a head nod to luxury, like Hermes or Versace, that pulled me to this garment. Weaved into that is a modernity and sense of legacy at the same time from both brands that embody the scarf print. In the sunlight, the colors become more vibrant. In the slight breeze on a hot day in Bakersfield (these were taken back in April, so not the unbearable triple digits yet), they dance. Thus, steps taken toward Luigi’s, an Italian eatery in town that has been there since 1910, became more of a strut. Trust me when I say it was a fast one at that, because I was extremely hungry, and that Wild Mushroom Agnolotti was calling my name with a warm Italian accent!
Fueled by that delectable half-moon ravioli dripping in brown butter, sage & parmiagiano reggiano (yes, the flavors were ambrosial), my dear friends Mari, Anton and I continued to explore Bakersfield’s old charms. Surprise, surprise, I’m also a creature of habit when it comes to a love for historic architecture. That’s why no matter what city I’m exploring, whether it’s one I’m visiting, or the one I call home, I gravitate toward stuccoed columns like a moth to a flame, and so does Mari. She’s actually the one that discovered the architectural splendor that is the Baker Branch Library: a building coated in baby blue and fashioned with Grecian pearl columns. The aesthetic harkened me back to the library of Kenwood House in London’s Hampstead Heath. Baker Branch Library appeared to be Kenwood House’s Edwardian sister clothed in the neoclassical style who decided to settle down in Kern County. It was a déjà vu moment taking photos there, to be sure: it was a comfort in the familiarity of one home (London) echoed in another (Bakersfield).
But here’s the thing about patterns: we also need to be unafraid of breaking them, to be willing to try new things, because change is good for us. Moving to Bakersfield was a change for me after living in Los Angeles the past few years. But in a way, it feels like home, because I’m from Central Valley originally. Moving here has helped me grow so much as a person, things I plan to detail in a future blog post. Stay tuned!
As we were snaking the path of the pearl white Rosewood Miramar Hotel, the grounds laced with well-manicured green shrubs, my blogger bestie, Mari and I realized we were lost.
That’s when we came across a petite woman with black kitten heels, the words, “Dior” printed on the white ribbon bow. They were like Dorothy’s red slippers, but rather than clicking them together and chanting “there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home” I imagined one clicking this high fashion footwear together and exclaiming the words, “j’adore Dior! j’adore Dior!” Another fairytale rather, came to mind when the woman with the coveted shoes and kind eyes told us that she worked at the Dior pop-up at the hotel and could guide us to it. She introduced herself as “Alice, like Alice in Wonderland,” when we asked for her name.
Mari and I followed Alice down the path, and I cracked the joke, “Nice to meet you Alice. Thank you for leading us right to the fashionable wonderland we’ve been looking for! We were so lost.” We finally arrived to it fashionably later than expected. Before Mari and I was a white-paneled haven identical to the rest of the hotel, save for being outfitted in hot pink Dioriviera toile window panels that matched the rest of the ready-to-wear pieces inside. Ever since Mari sent me the link announcing this Dior pop-up, I knew it had to be our next adventure together, even if it would be a trek all the way to Montecito from our respective corners of Southern California to do so.
Montecito truly is a West Coast Wonderland: The Santa Barbara community is home to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, Oprah and many other mega figures, for good reason. It’s widely known as the American Riviera, its coastline a U.S. equivalent to that of the French Riviera, another famed haunt for movie stars during the Cannes Film Festival. Perhaps that is why I subconsciously embodied Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco and an Old Hollywood style icon, in my look for the day:
I dawned a crisp-white dress with golden-rimmed tortoise-shell buttons, cinched at the waist with a buttery brown leather belt, with strapped sandals to match. I finished the look with a red lip, lush curls that danced in the ocean breeze and my grandmother’s Louis Vuitton bag, with an Italian silk scarf tied on the handle. In this outfit, I truly felt like a movie star, and Mari and I arriving to this Dior pop-up was a key plot point to our day. We enjoyed perusing the ready-to-wear Dior collection, curated in the form of an art exhibition and taking photos on the Dior hammock surrounded by spring blooms. Online shopping has changed the brick and mortar experience in that way: Since it’s more convenient to window shop online and build a weightless cart, the in-person shopping experience has to offer something extra: it has to well-curated and become an experience for the shopper. After a year of barely doing anything in person, a luxury pop-up like this one was a breath of fresh coastal air.
We took a turn wandering the Rosewood, marveling in its beachfront calm and classic beauty. “It has kind of a Hampton’s feel, doesn’t it?” Mari said to me while I enjoyed my vegan chocolate gelato by the pool under an Orangesicle-evoking canopy. “I was literally about to say that!” I exclaimed excitedly, the two of us soul sisters ever in sync. “It really is like the West Coast’s version of the Hamptons!” We concluded the day at Mari and Anton’s house over homemade gnocchi, chilled Lambrusco and a Paul Rudd film. For one day, I felt like the entire world was far away.
So this one’s a bit of a throwback, number one because this San Francisco trip was ages ago. Number two, the look is a recreation of Jackie O’s simple yet unforgettable street style photo in Capri. As far as I’m concerned, Jackie-O circa ‘70s was the height of her reign as American fashion queen. One cannot help but be transported by the sepia photograph of Italian riviera al fresco dining in the spring, as Jackie walks by in her signature oversized sunglasses with her sister by her side. In a crowd of pedestrians, Jackie seems to make time stop in an outfit so simple, yet incredibly chic: a black sweater with a flowy polka dot maxi skirt, cinched at the waist with a statement belt.
I did my own rendition of the look with pieces sourced directly from my closet: an olive maxi skirt with buttons down the middle, a cashmere black sweater that I want to live in forever, and a tan, bejeweled belt (another item I can thank my mother for). Being in the presence of Karl the Fog (yes, San Francisco has a name for the blanket of clouds that seem to be a permanent resident), I opted for over-the-knee suede boots instead of Jackie’s sandals, and cat-eye sunglasses (I have a pair of oversized Prada ones similar to Jackie’s but left them at home, oops!).
In my mid-twenties, I’ve found myself enthralled by simple outfits from mid to late 20th century ladies who understood that setting the style standard doesn’t mean you have to wear something whimsical every day (although, I’m all about that clothing genre, as you guys know if you’ve followed me on this blog for a while). It means you have to wear whatever it is you’re putting on, every single day—even if it’s just a tank top and shorts—with a nonchalant confidence. Embodying this look just does that for me as I walk a less populated cityscape than usual (bear in mind this was a couple months back). I have to say, I miss the hustle and bustle of cities especially San Francisco: the pedestrians polka-dotting the streets, a part of the metropolis’ very fabric.
When I visited San Francisco in these photos a couple months ago, I drank in the bird’s eye view of the city from a high point at the University of San Francisco. From a near aerial view, it still looked like the same breathtaking city I grew up visiting and loving dearly with its Victorian houses in a kaleidoscope of colors. The painted ladies existing alongside more modern skyscrapers and cathedrals with flying buttresses reminiscent of medieval times. To me, the contrast has always enriched the area and seemed to fit beautifully together. But visiting San Francisco in pandemic times made me realize the people walking around with an array of styles and from diverse backgrounds is what truly made this city, and any city special. Granted, more and more people are strolling around San Francisco as it opens up, but I truly miss the city in full swing. I felt the same about Los Angeles as I sat in a Santa Monica coffee shop typing this post.
The pandemic has put cities to sleep for a very long time, and I have a glimmer of hope for California gradually returning to normalcy sooner rather than later.
It’s the garment, so avant garde, so unique that you equate to a priceless artifact that belongs in a museum. Well, for me I can’t help but feel this way about this corset top with a Hellenistic print on It, because it legit looks like Grecian pottery from ancient times—so shouldn’t it be in the British museum next to the Elgin Marbles, or something?
There was this one day B.C. (before COVID) where I posted a slideshow of me in this piece and the second photo of a Greek vase with the caption, “who wore it better?” I’d even be remiss to call it my hero item, because it also probably has demigods of Troy inscribed on it. So, a literal hero top.
When you put a top like this—like you would priceless pottery—on a pedestal, it’s easy to be reluctant to wear it, except on special occasions. You think that the top is too special, that wearing it in everyday life is too casual and will deplete its novelty. But that isn’t the case. A hero top should be celebrated, should be shown off. It’s all about finding unique ways to dawn it each time. And like most quality pieces in your closet, it can be dressed up or down.
Wide-leg high-waist jeans were the go-to pairing for this corset pottery top for a photo shoot with friends. Denim has a way of making a statement top like this one feel more down-to-earth and making the wearer look more girl-next-door. But let’s be real, I’m a girl next door, but my house is filled with an eclectic blend of historic items as well as shiny new pieces. It’s a place to feel inspired and feel at home at the same time. Don’t mind my extended metaphor. Mind you, the jeans had to be balanced out with ancient-inspired jewelry: a chain necklace with a golden coin and matching earrings (that are actually from a different jewelry brand) reminiscent of King Midas’ treasury.
Princess Diana was known as the “People’s Princess.” She was a combination of relatable and aspirational in the way she cared about others and the way she dressed.
I’ll never forget seeing a picture of her for the first time amongst my mother’s mementos in my grandparent’s house. I was about eight years old, and I was caught off guard by a glossy photo of this stunning woman with blond hair and a resplendent diadem sitting on her head. Her smile seemed to jump off the page, and her eyes were kind and striking at the same time. As someone fascinated by royalty at birth (back then it was obviously Disney princesses), I asked my grandma who she was. “That’s Princess Diana,” she said with a smile. “She is one of the most beautiful women in the world with a beautiful heart to match.”
My mother and grandmother would go on to tell me about what a humanitarian Diana was: She worked toward destigmatizing HIV and AIDs, leprosy, devoted her time to those experiencing homelessness, and so much more. Actually, Princess Diana was involved with over 100 charitable organizations at one point in time, according to Time Magazine. Those who know about my affinity with Audrey Hepburn may see a trend here: a style icon in my eyes is someone who knows that a well-dressed woman’s best accessories are a big heart and shimmering soul.
Speaking of outfits, Princess Diana’s have stood the test of time. Watching The Crown season four revived my obsession with her fashion choices. My wardrobe is already dripping with ‘80s and ‘90s attire, thanks to my mother’s closet that I’ve ‘shopped’ from time to time. So naturally, I’ve been able to seamlessly recreate a good dozen of Lady Di’s looks without spending a dime. That’s why this will be the first of a series of Diana outfits that I’ll be dawning on the blog!
This “princess off-duty” look is one I ironically have worn on my days off countless times without knowing Diana wore it first! The fact that she dawned it on the beach decades ago, makes me love it and want to live in it that much more. It’s the epitome of ‘90s minimalism that allows the wearer to exude effortless radiance, rather than the outfit overshadowing her. It’s simple, sporty and classy, just like Princess Diana. The look consists of a black spaghetti black tank top and crisp white Bermuda shorts cinched with a black leather belt with a square buckle. I accessorized with vintage gold hoop earrings, a dainty watch courtesy of my grandma, and some square sunnies that were my mom’s and are now back in style! On a sunny day traipsing the lush gardens and art halls of The Huntington with my blogger bestie Mari Makatsaria, the outfit served me well in the comfort department too.
Who is your style icon, and why? Let me know in the comments below!
“Oh my goodness Kristin, I love your suit. Where did you get it?”
“Oh my goodness Kristin, I love your [green and blue houndstooth] dress (pictured above). Where do you shop?”
Every time I get these questions, I grin at the appraised garment with delight, and say: “It’s this really chic boutique called “Mama’s Closet.”
“Oh, that’s super cool. Where is that?”
I laugh, as I reveal my best kept secret—well actually it’s not really under wraps. I tell people all the time and am super proud of it. “I literally mean, my mom’s closet.” My mom is such fashionista and had some of the most iconic clothes from the ‘80s and ‘90s. I’m talking statement dresses with sharp shoulder pads, like this one with sheer sleeves and a bejeweled belt. My mother wore it when my father officially asked my grandparents for their blessing to marry her. That in itself made the dress feel like home when I wore it. Then it took on another sartorial story when I wore it while covering the American Music Awards this past year.
I’m gushing about off-the-shoulder metallic tops with another matching belt adorned with rhinestones. It’s a part of an unconventional suit, that I sported to a fashion-forward shindig in Los Angeles, pre-pandemic.
And I’m enthusing about her emerald green jumpsuit with rhinestones dropping along the back, reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe. This one has been a favorite on rotation. I’ve dawned it on my 21st birthday on a wine train journey through Napa and many other times after that.
And although I don’t have pictorial evidence on hand of my mother’s original stylings of these—the plethora of unique skirt suits, like this red wool one with crested-gold buttons and this baby blue number mom wore to my baptism, have been my uniforms while reporting on-camera over the years. By the way, these outfits are just skimming the surface of my mother’s clothing collection, now a part of my treasure trove.
My mom doesn’t just own aspirational clothes—she’s worn them with such style and grace because she is a gem beyond measure. I’m so thankful to call my mother not just my style icon, but my best friend and confidant, my role model and my hero. Love you so much, mama!
Also, a special Mother’s Day shoutout to my grandma, who actually has made a few pieces for my mother that I now proudly own. She is also a stylish and strong lady, who I look up to very much!
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! What is your favorite thing about your mom or being a mom?