I have a different but fun post for you today. I was recently contacted by the hip hop blog called Rap Fiesta, and I’m excited to share more about them. I know that there have been a lot of new readers since my last post, and a lot of them are people who are interested in music. I think this will introduce some of you to a new platform and creative outlet that will help you in your own creative journeys. However, for my other readers who are here for fashion, don’t worry; we’ll touch on that, too.
To start off with, I want to share what Rap Fiesta is and what they do. As I mentioned, they’re a hip hop blog, but they’re also so much more than that. Started in New York City, they were originally founded by individuals who were fascinated when it came to the industry, many of them being artists themselves. They knew that hip hop was multifaceted and that there was more than just music; there was a community, too. RF began to create a space where artists could come together and create the best music possible all while inspiring others.
One of my favorite things about Rap Fiesta is that they truly have a desire to help creators. Every Thursday, they hold their Rap Fiesta Radio competition in which they present music from different artists. These artists then get feedback from a live audience who will later vote for their favorite song. The prize? A coveted article on RF’s blog. As someone who has known individuals who have participated in these competitions, I can attest to how badly they want to win and be featured on their website. And who can blame them? RF has an abundance of insight and connections when it comes to hip hop and the thriving music industry.
I also talked about fashion with them and asked if that affected any of their decisions or the artists they work with. Rap Fiesta let me know that they’re “keen on looking at how artists carefully piece together their image” and that “fashion is key to that.” They recognize that what you wear says a lot about you; it sets the tone for who you are as an artist. RF also thinks that looking the part is important because it ties back into branding and marketing which ultimately helps with the success of an individual. In addition to this, they invited me to talk to them about the cultural influence of hip hop on the street style movement. You can find this and other great pieces on rapfiesta.com!
I encourage you all to check them out, and if you’re an artist, don’t hesitate to reach out to them on Instagram @rapfiesta! They’re a great resource, and I want to thank them again for giving me the opportunity to talk with them on their blog. It was really insightful and fun for me!
I have a really fun and different post for you today. My friend Marquis, aka MarqtheMilkman if you’re familiar with his music, talked to me all about his music, inspirations, and personal style. Marquis and I met at college since we’re both a part of the same major, and if there’s one thing that you should know about him, it’s that he’s ambitious and driven. He’s dedicated to his passions in life and won’t let anything get in his way when it comes to achieving them. I hope you all enjoy this interview and get to know his fun sense of style and personality.
Emily: Who/what influences your style?
Marquis: A lot of people influenced my style. I feel like I have my own style now though. Some of the main ones that influenced me are Travis Scott, Playboi Carti, and Kurt Cobain if we’re talking fashion specifically. I try to gather as many sources as possible and create something of my own so that I’m the most unique crayon in the color box, you feel me? I’d rather stand out rather than fit in if that makes sense because this day and age if you just fit in with the rest of the people nothing really makes you special. I want to be different than the status quo.
E: How has music impacted your life in general? Has it impacted the way you view fashion?
M: Man, music is probably one of the only things that is keeping me alive at this point. I feel like music gave me something to work really hard for, and I just keep striving to be better than the day before. I grew up trying a whole lotta things, and this was finally something that I was actually pretty good at. I want to take the skills that I have and make something of myself. One of my goals is to become one of the best artists in my generation and win a Grammy one day.
E: What inspired your latest album, The Jersey Devil?
M: Well, I think The Jersey Devil inspiration comes from my upbringing. I grew up in a pretty religious household so a lot of my rhetoric is of Angels, Demons, or omens and things of that nature. I wanted the beats and other things to be more eerie, darker tones; I wanted it to be lower stuff with more of a wavy vibe then I have done in the past. I used to actually try to do more lyrical stuff but I’m on a whole new wave now. Sonically, I wanted this to be my best project ever. This is my third year rapping and this felt like my true start on the rise to the top. I took about six or seven months to make sure everything was completely right.
E: A lot of musicians base their songs and lyrics from experiences they’ve had or people they’ve met. Is there any experience or any person that has inspired a song or lyrics?
M: All of my music is based off of the different experiences that I’ve been through in life or things I’ve seen or heard. Most of my slow songs are sad songs, and they’re inspired by girls I’ve come in contact with in the past. I want to make music for people that come from all walks of life and stuff; songs that people can relate to because it’s real music. It’s stuff that I’ve been through. My music is for anybody and everybody, so I want to put my real experiences into it, and it doesn’t matter who my listeners are.
Big thank you to Marquis for talking with me and for being so open about his experiences and music! Be sure to check out his new album and singles on different streaming platforms by searching “marqthemilkman.” For more information, make sure to follow his Instagram, @marqthemilkman.
I hope you’re all doing well and staying safe. I thought that I’d share some of my favorite things right now during quarantine because now is the perfect time to try new products! I have a bit of an assortment of items here; ideally, I’d like to have some more items in the fashion category, but with staying home for the past month, I honestly haven’t been very fashionable. I hope you enjoy this post nonetheless.
Hydroflask 32 oz Water Bottle in Watermelon: I’ve had a hot pink Hydroflask for the past two years, and I’ve absolutely loved it; it’s forced me to drink so much water by carrying it around with me. Unfortunately, that water bottle was one of the things I left behind in my dorm room, so I decided it was time to get a new one. These water bottles are just great in general because you can get your daily water intake by drinking only two of these a day, and the water stays cold for so long.
Olaplex No. 6 Bond Smoother Reparative Styling Creme: My mom bought this awhile ago and gave it to me to try out, and I really like it! I put it in my hair when it’s wet and let my hair dry with it still in. It smells amazing, and I like the way my curls look after I use it. It helps them dry together and not separate which is great. If you want something that will leave your hair soft and hydrated, I recommend trying this out!
Fringe Stationary ‘Best Year Ever’ 2020 Planner from Anthropologie: This planner is great, especially since I’ve been doing school online and have had to keep track of due dates and assignments. It has a whole section that shows a calendar for the month but also day by day slots where you can fill in your plans. I’ve been looking online to see if this is still available, but it’s unfortunately not; however, if you want a great planner, definitely look on Anthropologie because they carry the cutest stationary.
Nespresso Vertuo Coffee Maker and Espresso Machine: We’ve had this coffee machine for awhile now, but I’ve been taking full advantage of it now that we’re in quarantine and I’m back home. I love how the espresso tastes both hot or iced, and there’s a lot of different capsules you can choose from (my favorite is vanizo). It also leaves foam on top which makes it look really pretty and taste great. They make a ton of these in different colors/styles, but I’ll link the exact one I have here at home.
Sally Hansen Good. Kind. Pure. Nail Color from Ulta: I decided to try this nail polish out because I heard good things about it, and I’m so impressed and love it! I have it in three different colors, but my favorite is the pink one called rose petal. I love that the formula is 16 free and doesn’t have any toxic chemicals in it. It lasts a long time, goes on great, and is super opaque. Ulta has a buy one, get one half off right now, so I totally suggest you get your hands on a couple of these!
Pink Tie Dye Hoodie from Marissa Bruno: Last, but certainly not least, is this pink hoodie from Marissa Bruno. I’m sure so many of you have probably seen these hoodies on Instagram or your favorite influencers; I know a lot of people are selling tie dye right now, but hers are seriously the best because the colors are so rich and vibrant. This hoodie is so soft and cozy while remaining cute and fashionable. I’ve been living in it ever since I got it in the mail, and it’s been one of my favorite items during quarantine.
School is officially out for me, so expect tons of more blog posts as I finalize a posting schedule! Big things coming. Thanks for sticking around 🙂
One of my best friends recommended that I write a blog post about this, and I thought it was such a good idea. She expressed to me that she sometimes ends up with random items after shopping that she doesn’t love or knows how to incorporate into her wardrobe. Another person I talked to also told me that they had a similar problem, and that in general, she struggled finding pieces that could be implemented into several outfits. I feel like this might be more common than people realize, and I’m here to share my own tips for shopping smart and creating a wardrobe you love.
Tip 1: Buy the basics. When it comes to curating a great wardrobe, staple pieces (such as a great white and black tee, a leather jacket, the perfect fit of jeans, etc.) are a must because they’ll be in your closet forever. So many stylish and timeless outfits can be made out of really simple and minimalistic pieces because accessorizing is key and can completely bring your outfit to the next level. I recommend investing in good quality basics so that you’ll have them for a really long time.
Tip 2: Save outfits you like and compare them. This is kind of like doing an “inventory” of your style. Go on Instagram, Pinterest, and other apps and save pictures of outfits or items that you like. Once you’ve collected a good amount of images, go through them and see if there are any similarities. You’ll usually be able to spot some trends with the images you save. For example, when I look at my fashion board on Pinterest, I see a lot of outfits that are simple yet sophisticated and chic. Doing this can help you discover more of your personal style.
Tip 3: Do not impulse buy. Alright, I think we’ve all been guilty of this one before. It’s really easy to see something that you like and want to buy it right away, but this is one way that we end up with random items in our closet with the tags still on them. Before buying an item, ask yourself these questions: Where would I wear this? Are there other items that I own that would go with this piece? Would I be able to style this?
Tip 4: Ask others for their opinion. Whenever I’m trying something on and I’m just not sure if I should buy it, I text my mom and some of my friends. I’ll send a photo of myself wearing it, and then I hear what they have to say about it. If you have a friend who likes fashion or is someone who knows your style well, go shopping with them! Ask them what they think of outfits. You can even ask them to create an outfit for you; this can be a really fun thing to do and can also introduce you to new styles that you might have not thought about wearing before.
Tip 5: Patience is a virtue… even when it comes to shopping. Don’t force yourself to shop, and if you know you need an outfit for an upcoming event, don’t wait until the last minute. Always give yourself plenty of time because stores put out new inventory weekly and the last thing you want to do is buy something that you end up not loving or feeling comfortable in.
I really hope these tips are valuable and can help some of you. I’m also thinking of everyone during this time of uncertainty right now; I hope you’re all healthy and doing well!
I hope you’re all coping well with self isolation and staying inside 24/7. Like many of you, I’ve been spending plenty of time on the internet. I decided to compile some of my favorite clothing items for spring that I’ve found while browsing. I’m hoping that it will start getting warmer in the next couple of months and really starting to feel like spring.
Here are the pieces I’m showing (from left to right):
Organza Puff Sleeve Ponte Top from Topshop: I saw a lot of tops like this last year and thought they were so cute. About a month ago, I was walking past Aritzia and I saw a shirt that was really similar to this one. I ended up going online later and finding this one from Topshop and bought it during a Nordstrom sale. It is so pretty, and the sleeves are what make it so beautiful. It looks so flattering and girly on, and I’m so excited to pair it with some jeans and shorts in the next few months.
Feeling Butterflies Mauve Pink Ruffled Side-Tie Mini Dress from Lulu’s: This dress is gorgeous, and I think it would be the perfect dress for a spring/summer event or to just wear out and about when the weather is warm. I love the color of it, and the tiered ruffles are super cute. I also like that it’s a wrap dress; we saw a lot of these last season, and I don’t think they’re going away anytime soon.
The Traveller Ribbed Knit in Sky from Verge Girl: I love the color of this top and its ballon sleeves. I think it’s such a great shade for spring, and it doesn’t seem too thick which is nice. It can still get a little bit cold in the springtime, so this would be the perfect lightweight, long sleeved top to wear. I also really like the ribbed material of it! Ribbing is so in right now.
Jude Light Wash Distressed Mid-Rise Skinny Ankle Jeans from Lulu’s: These jeans are really nice, and I like that they’re distressed but not too ripped. I especially love how they have it right above the hem of the jeans by your ankles because that adds such a nice detail. These are mid rise, but I like that they show it paired with a bodysuit because you know they’re not too low where it looks weird if tops are tucked into them.
Wilfred Free Oracle T-Shirt from Aritzia: I have this t-shirt in black, and I’m not kidding guys, it’s the most flattering tee ever. I’m seriously considering buying it in white after I write this blog post because it’s so chic and a perfect staple piece. It’s really casual but the way it looks on is just so sophisticated and cool. If you decide to buy one thing from this post, get this, and thank me later.
Wilfred Free Cut-Out Knit Top from Aritzia: This is another top that I picked up from Aritzia, and it’s so unique. I know a lot of tops are out there with the cutouts towards the neckline, but this one has it at the bottom of the shirt. I tried this on in their store and loved the way it looked on. It’s another sophisticated and timeless piece. I have it in white. It’s currently sitting in my dorm room in New York but hopefully I’ll be reunited with it soon!
The Heartbreakers Knit Top in Musk from Verge Girl: This top is similar to the blue one, except the sleeves puff out and then get tight around the rest of the arm. I also love the color of this; Verge Girl has such a great color range when it comes to pieces on their website, and they sell lots of the same items in different colors. I love how this is styled with the shorts, but I also think it would be great with the skinny jeans shown above!
Guetta Mini Dress in White from Princess Polly: I saw this dress on Instagram awhile ago, and I’ve found it so pretty ever since. I feel like this would be such a great dress for something special (maybe Easter?). It’s gorgeous, and Princess Polly honestly has a lot of dresses on their site that are great for spring.
90’s Cool Star Knit from Verge Girl: I would buy this sweater right now if it was in stock. It’s so simple and basic, but I love the stars on it and I’d seriously wear it into next winter. I’d love this paired with skinny jeans since it is a bit oversized, but I also feel like this would be so comfy to throw on with some leggings if you’re traveling or out and about. I’m definitely going to keep my eyes open to see when this comes back in stock.
Knit Tie Back Top in Lilac from Verge Girl: This is another top that I think is just so pretty, and the color is what especially sold me on it. I love that it ties in the back, and it honestly reminds me of Parisian style for some reason. It is so beautiful, and is also available in several other colors!
I really hope you all liked this blog post! It took me longer than expected to put together so thank you for reading it. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy with everything going on!
I put up a poll on Instagram asking if you guys wanted a blog post with activities you can do at home, because, well… self isolation and self quarantine is truly in full effect now. I actually had to fly back from New York about a week ago, and the rest of my semester has gone fully online. I know a lot of you are probably in the same boat, and honestly, it’s very hard to adapt to life inside all the time when you’re used to a busy schedule (especially when you live in a city like New York!). Everyone that voted said that they wanted me to write this post, and I hope it can be helpful for all of you!
Start a new book/create a book club with some of your friends.
Make a new playlist.
Cook or bake something (banana bread is next on my list for baking).
Go outside for a walk if there’s an empty, open area.
Binge watch a new TV show. I recommend New Girl, Parks and Rec, You, Cheer, The Circle, Atypical, Love Island UK, Glow Up, and Queer Eye.
Make some art or color. I bought a mandala coloring book and it’s super relaxing.
Do an at home workout to get moving.
Give yourself an at home manicure. I turn on a show in the background when I do this.
Start a blog or find new ones to read.
Do some online shopping (you don’t even need to buy anything; it’s fun to browse and find new stores and boutiques).
FaceTime with your friends and loved ones.
Download Tiktok; I caved and finally got an account. Some of the videos are so funny, and I love seeing the different beauty products people recommend.
Make a coffee run to a drive through near you.
Do an at home face and hair mask.
Listen to podcasts.
Create new Pinterest boards and find inspiration.
Reorganize your room, closet, or drawers.
Write someone a letter.
Experiment with new makeup looks and new hairstyles.
Buy some stickers and decorate a laptop case.
Donate some of your old clothing.
Clean your makeup brushes.
Have a movie night with snacks.
Work on a puzzle.
Pray or meditate.
Create a morning or nighttime routine.
Declutter your phone – delete old apps, pictures, and emails.
Create a list of goals you want to accomplish in the next year.
Spend time self reflecting and journaling.
When all else fails… watch cat videos.
I hope all of you are staying inside and are healthy! More blog posts coming soon, I promise! xo
As promised, I have an interesting and eye-opening interview with Leilani to share with you guys today! I have always been so impressed with her and all that she has accomplished; she definitely inspires me all the time, and I’m so excited for all of you to read this. I think you’re going to be in awe of her confidence and how eloquent she is; I know I definitely am! Keep on reading to learn more…
Emily: When did you first become interested in fashion? What are your goals/hopes when it comes to what you want to accomplish in the industry?
Leilani: As long as I can remember I’ve been interested in fashion. When I was around six, I would cut up my mother’s Nine West catalogs and restyle the models, and I was a frequent player of dress up. The moment I knew fashion was for me was when I was about seven or eight and I was watching an episode of my favorite show at the time, That’s So Raven, where Raven was sewing and got a job at a retail store, and after this I began to explore the field. I would go on the home computer and look up fashion designers and I even applied for information about design programs that my mother had to turn down for me because I was so young.
When it comes to what I want to accomplish in the industry the list could go on forever. First and foremost, I don’t want to be labeled as a designer; I want to be labeled as a creative with designer being the first thing that pops into peoples’ minds, primarily because I create emotions and experiences with clothing being the main medium. I plan on bringing the unseen streetwear to the forefront and shedding light on numerous untapped subcultures who do in fact play into popular culture. Additionally, I plan on turning the design world upside down and removing the idea that a designer must adhere to their aesthetic and while they might branch out once and awhile they’ll always come back to their aesthetic. Personally, I think this is a thing of the past. I have so many different aesthetics, that to adhere to one is ridiculous and creatives should not be confined in this way. Also, I plan on rising to the ranks of a small fashion house with my legacy being continued after my death. I plan on being the most involved fashion designer to ever exist, with my toe in a bit of every creative field from film, editing, photography, acting, curation to songwriting. The fashion industry to me is more than fashion, it is culture in every sense, it is economics, it is well rounded creativity, and to be a designer one has to have knowledge of and be good at all of these things, and I will be the one to elevate fashion in this way.
E: Tell us about PDR and the concept behind it; how did you come up with the idea and where did you draw inspiration from?
L: Pas de Regles is the illegitimate love child of my madness, creativity, and numerous ever changing aesthetics. Pas de Regles translating to no rules in French is just that, a brand with no rules or boundaries. It it my excuse to go creatively insane, to set the bar and then break it. It is my personal platform to express societal issues, expose ignorant societal standards/ common knowledge, disseminate a personal message, and as cliche as it sounds, have fun. I came up with the idea for Pas de Regles my sophomore year of high school. I was actively looking for a name for a clothing line I wanted to drop so I started with concepts, and that lead me to the name. I’ve always seen fashion as an intricate lawless wonderland with sprinkles of authority here and there, but it being rule-less has never changed. SO I came up with the name NO RULES, but obviously that’s hot garbage, so I translated it to my favorite language, French, thus, Pas de Regles was born. The direction the brand is headed in at the current moment is, every collection will seamlessly tell a story, with Mutiny being the first, a story of the revolution against the system, and collections that complete the story to follow. Furthermore, I’m inspired by whatever vibe I’m feeling at the moment, which can be sparked by something I saw on the street or a random thought I decided to look more into. For example, Mutiny was inspired by my disappointment and frustration with the homogenous, cookie cutter individuals of today, publicized by social media. Additionally, as far as inspiration goes, one week it may be medieval times and the next it may be conversation pits; I’m forever changing.
E:Biggest accomplishment thus far?
L: My biggest accomplishment thus far is the Red House Fashion Show. I’ve always known I was going to present in a fashion show but never did I know it’d be so soon. I haven’t even been in school a full school year yet and here I am pursuing my dreams to the fullest extent. I’ve been working so hard on all my garments, making sure things are impeccable. Overall, I’m just inexplicably excited and eternally grateful for this opportunity. I feel like this is the start of my career.
E: What kind of job do you want after college?
L: Ideally I want Pas de Regles to be my job after college; I want it to bleed into my college years. I am working my hardest to make it blow up while I’m in college so finishing college is an option. This is a life long pursuit, and as I stated before it is my child, something I will never abandon and always care for. However, in the case I do have to get a job, I would love to be a designer or atelier assistant for a brand that aligns with my aesthetics such as, Off-White, Dior, Balenciaga, Rick Owens, Y-3, Kapital, Ambush, CDG, the list goes on.
Thank you so much to Leilani for taking time to answer these questions and share her world with us! Make sure to follow her on Instagram @leilanisbell and PDR @pasderegles to stay updated!