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The Louis Reign brings you navy, white, and a dash of vintage blue

Summer calls for bright colors, winter calls for dark colors, and fall calls for a mix. Sometimes finding the perfect fall color balance is a challenge, but Christine of Louis Reign has autumn style on lock as she posed for our 2017 Blogger Look Book, again.

Our look book features Christine in a fun ensemble from head-to-toe. She pairs a turtleneck, no-sleeved top with long navy, pinstriped pants. She finishes the outfit with a jacket, a golden watch, a cross body pocketbook, and black leather ankle boots. Perfect for the changing weather of fall!

This season each day’s weather forecast is a surprise, one day it is hot one day it is cold. This outfit is versatile. Just take off the jacket, and the outfit still works for a warmer fall day. Switch out the jacket for a blazer and head over to your next business meeting. Have a short amount of time to get prepared for a night out? Swap the ankle boots for stilettos, and you are ready to go! This look is like a chameleon; it is sophisticated enough to be able to transform to accommodate a bunch of different occasions.

Lastly, Christine’s vintage Louis Vuitton bag pops in comparison to her navy and white outfit. The bright hue becomes the center of the outfit. All eyes are drawn to the stand-out color, making her crossbody bag the centerpiece for the entire ensemble.

Join the conversation—show us your fall and winter statement pieces on Instagram.

By Samantha Aronson | Photos by Yegide Matthews


Chillen with Chi; Your Guide to Bright Colors in Fall

When you think of fall fashion, bright pink probably isn’t a color that crosses your mind. However, a chunky sweater most likely will. Bright colors are unexpected during the autumn season, but they are not stopping style blogger and beauty queen Chinyere Adogu of Chillen with Chi from wearing over-sized sweaters that are simply ideal for the cold weather.

For our latest Look Book feature, Adogu pairs a candy pink, cable knit sweater with a glossy, leather skirt. The mix of fabrics creates a fashion-forward outfit—who cares what the season is! The raven colored mini skirt makes the cozy sweater pop even more. Adogu explains that she loves experimenting with color. “My style is effortlessly chic! I love colors! Color-blocking, mixing prints, a pop of color or the same color head-to-toe.” Her off the shoulder top plus the geometric mini skirt definitely pushes the boundaries of fall fashion yet makes total sense. Her look is easily a summer to fall transition piece.

Complementing her outfit is her choices in accessories; a brightly colored matching pink bag and fishnet tights. The tights take this look from playful to edgy. If you’re more on the relaxed side try pairing this look with sheer black tights. Finishing off her fall trend ensemble is her suede mid-calf high boots; a solid base for the intentional pop of color at the top.

We have to know. What’s your statement piece for this season? Show us and tag us on Instagram.

By Samantha Aronson | Photos by Yegide Matthews

5 Delicious Autumn Inspired Salads To Eat Now

Eating healthy is an important part of our lives, as it should be. We all know how vital it is to incorporate a healthy balance of fresh fruits and vegetables into our meals, but what do you do when the weather starts to change and fall finally arrives for good? Do you stop eating your beautiful salads that are piled high with fresh leafy greens? Of course not. Cooler weather does not mean that you have to cut out salads completely. Here are five salads that will inspire you to stay healthy during the fall season.

1. Roasted Sweet Potato Quinoa and Black Bean Salad by Erin Clarke, Well Plated:

Erin Clarke, Well Plated

Erin Clarke, Well Plated

This delicious salad would be perfect during any season. However, the mixture of warm vegetables, quinoa, and greens are ideal for fall weather. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a master chef to make this either. It is simple enough that anyone can make it.

2. Tuscan Kale and Apple Salad by Sonali, The Foodie Physician:

Sonali, The Foodie Physician

Sonali, The Foodie Physician

This salad is just as amazing as its name. The Tuscan Kale and Apple salad is filled with delicious vitamins and nutrients and it is hassle free to make. The pairing of kale and apples are perfect for this time of year. You can enjoy it while sitting in front of the fireplace while sipping on a cup of hot cocoa for an extra sweetness.

3. Fall Quinoa Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Golden Berries by Amber St. Peter, Fettle Vegan:

Amber St. Peter, Fettle Vegan

Amber St. Peter, Fettle Vegan

I would never have imagined pairing berries with squash and quinoa until now. This filling ensemble was made for the autumn season, and I’m so glad that it was. From the roasted squash to the perfectly cooked quinoa, once you make this salad you will be thanking yourself for doing so. The salad mixes the vegetables of fall so very well—you won’t regret it. It’s great as a side dish on your festive Thanksgiving table or “a packed-lunch for the week.”

4. Baked Taco Salad by Cara Reed, Fork & Beans:

Cara Reed, Fork & Beans

Cara Reed, Fork & Beans

Can we agree that tacos are amazing any time of the year? Yes—okay good! They are synonymous with the warmer seasons when you’re on a run to fulfill your Chipotle craving or heading out for a Cinco de Mayo fiesta. The meaty and sometimes oily meal can leave you feeling pretty stuffed and not so fit after a few takes. Lucky for you, we found a healthy and nutritious taco salad loaded with “super food ingredients like quinoa and kale” that can be enjoyed during the fall and when the weather heats up again.

5. Vegan Kale Salad with Sweet Lemon Maple Dressing by Jacquelyn Grandy, Marin Mama Cooks:

Jacquelyn Grandy, Marin Mama Cooks

Jacquelyn Grandy, Marin Mama Cooks

Kale salads are a big trend right now as you can tell from our list. The powerful greens are packed with vitamins and nutrients that are important for the health of our bodies, such as vitamin A and vitamin C. This dish may be on the healthier side, but that doesn’t mean it tastes that way. You can enjoy this nutritious salad without feeling like you’re chewing on bland leaves. The tofu maple syrup and lemon juice dressing is by far the best part. A good dressing really makes or breaks the salad, and this one is definitely making the cut.

By Taryn Graham | Feature Image: Brooke Lark; Food Images: Courtesy of Foodie Influencer

The Louis Reign Takeover & Why Plaid is a Timeless Fashion Statement

As Cher Horowitz would say, “You see how picky I am about my shoes, and those only go on my feet.” If Clueless took place in 2017 in New York City, then this outfit would have been Cher’s iconic, yellow plaid skirt-suit ensemble. This look has transcended along the ages. Plaid never goes out of style, and neither does our Look Book!

Christine Louis of the trendy fashion and art blog Louis Reign shared with us her style philosophy on the set of our autumn photo shoot collaboration. “My style is edgy with a twist. I love neutral colors and mixing vintage pieces with luxury pieces.” Her outfit screams just that. Contrasting red, dark blue, green, and black created a bold color palette; a color palette that is still dark enough to wear during the fall. While mixing a Prada cross-body bag with a plaid skirt allows for a mixing of luxury and the 90’s vintage-inspired pieces.

We love her contrasting muted olive-green fedora hat. Christine mixes yet totally achieves a match-worthy ensemble with the hat’s distinct green hue. It’s a color that’s not on the monochromatic spectrum but still makes it a bold accent. Without it, the outfit would be on the minimalistic side. Always go for bold. Anyone can easily pull off a quintessential autumn look which consists of dark hues. A printed pencil skirt, a neutral lightweight sweater, and a contrasting olive-green fedora hat creates an outfit perfect for the season.

Let’s talk jewelry. Christine’s earrings are a statement on their own. The pair of dangling gems with a diamond-shaped base draws the eyes to her face. Finishing off her look are her classic black leather booties—perfect for this time of year and practically a cold weather essential. Christine’s look is ideal for anyone who wants a polished and lively look from head to toe this season. Have a look you want us to see? Show us and tag us on Instagram.

By Samantha Aronson | Photos by Yegide Matthews

Camille Hoffman; Art, Cultural Identity and Polly Pockets

There is work and then there is play, or so we thought. Camille Hoffman—artist, arts educator and community organizer—is not afraid to do both at the same time.

As an artist, she does not let the intensity of her works’ messages stop her from having fun with her creations. Hoffman takes everyday materials—anything from the popular Maruchan ramen packaging to medical records—and creatively gives new meaning to each element by transforming the material on the canvas. Playtime takes on an entirely new meaning in Hoffman’s studio. By repurposing consumer products, her choice of substances carries a heavy symbolic weight. Many pieces echo a dark critique of the American values rooted in colonialism and capitalism.

Her creations, though serious in their message, are the result of the excited energy that radiates from dedication and palpable passion. From February to May of this year, Hoffman has been a Van Lier Fellow at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD). Her passion has been put, quite literally, on display.

On a recent visit to MAD, I caught a glimpse of Camille Hoffman in the studio and the sight was inspiring. After meeting her and seeing, firsthand, the texture and intricacy of her pieces, I needed to find out more. Hoffman kindly agreed to an interview and what resulted was a flourishing conversation of art, creative upbringings, Polly Pocket dolls, and the undeniable need for good friends.

The Brightest I’ve Ever Seen Them, 2016, oil, acrylic, nature calendars, plastic, carving on wood panel.

When did you first get started in art? Were you always interested in it growing up?

I grew up in a house where art and thrift was embraced as a lifestyle and a mode of survival. Coming from a long line of stylishly frugal artists, our old Chicago bungalow was filled to the brim with family paintings and carefully curated chachkas. Everything we owned was made, traded, or purchased on a shoestring budget with a unique story to tell. As a kid, I didn’t always appreciate this lifestyle, especially when it came to comparing it to the “normal non-artist” houses and toys belonging to my friends.

 At the height of the 90’s Polly Pocket craze, this 11-year old materialist sentiment was especially fervent. Compact, but luxurious, Polly had every pretty plastic amenity her teeny tiny heart could desire—a pool, a veranda, a king-sized bed—all perfect and pocket-sized. Her mini crib in pastel pink represented the sleek and sparkly world that I so desperately wanted to own, but would never actually fit into. Of course I begged my mom to buy a Polly for me (the deluxe one just like Shannon’s), but mom wasn’t having it. After weeks of putting up with all my annoying antics, she proposed that I just make my own damn Polly Pocket. She reached deep into our cupboard for some plastic cups, and together we crafted a mini mansion shell in SOLO red. We took tiny glass beads and scotch tape from her jewelry drawer, and then made the most lit chandelier! My tiny king-sized bed was crafted with recycled fabric swatches and lined with the finest Maxi mattress pad (only the best in comfort for my Polly)!

I didn’t realize it at the time, but looking back, my homemade Polly Pocket housed my primary lessons in art-making as anti-capitalist agency. Through frugality and invention, my mom opened up a new and expansive world to me by empowering me to create my own.

Describe your art process from conception to creation.

Everything I make comes from a never ending (and almost fanatic) process of observing, playing and collecting. Whether it be walking down the street or engaging in conversation with my neighbors, I’m constantly picking things up or taking mental notes about color combinations, textures, and even smells. In my studio I have a ridiculous reserve of materials I’ve collected from the street and dollar stores over the years, such as plastic tablecloths, calendars, to food packages. Having these objects scattered about helps me to further conceptualize my ideas and my compositions when I’m working in the studio. I also reference a lot of printed historical and anthropological texts while making lots of sketches and writing lots of notes.

Eventually my experiences, materials and research coalesce into a clearer idea for a composition. Once I’m actually making the work, I’m engaging in a process of pure play with materials and layering. So much of my work involves intense research, and then a complete trust and letting go of my analytical and rational brain in order to create.

Sunset for Fred Church, 2016, acrylic, oil, plastic tablecloths, nature calendars, Top Ramen packaging, tiki party favors, plastic bag, and photos on board.

What stories are you trying to articulate with your mixed media work? What narratives do your materials express?

I’m currently working on a series of invented landscapes that respond to American Romantic landscape painting, such the Hudson River School, and the underlying messages surrounding Manifest Destiny in these works. As an American citizen and painter who’s been formally trained within the Western canon, I think a lot about the ways in which these beautiful and epic landscapes have warped my own ideas around nature, culture and the American dream, as well as my own understanding and acceptance of my Filipino and Ashkenazi ancestry.

In my work I am investigating how painting has historically projected an image of an American value system that continues to violently omit the cultural and economic contributions of Native Americans and immigrants. Considering the nuanced ways in which American colonialism affects my present day existence within a globalized and capitalistic society, I am riffing off of American landscape painting tropes while purposefully merging disposable materials that have been collected and accumulated in my everyday life. Some of these materials include papier mâché medical records, paycheck stubs and credit card offers, which I use to build dense and highly textured surfaces, along with dollar store nature calendars and plastic bags and tablecloths. I then blend these materials in with traditional oil paint in order to create invented territories that implicate my own body, history and presence in a critical and layered way.

Describe your typical day while working at the Museum of Arts And Design (MAD).

My typical day involved making my work in a studio on the 6th floor of the museum while inviting people into my space from all walks of life. Over the past 4 months, I’ve had the honor of welcoming literally hundreds of people from every age, background, country and community into my space, and watched them respond to my work. From preschoolers to scholars, first-time museum visitors to museum directors, rabbis to Buddhist monks, all of these invaluable exchanges have helped me to better understand the importance and responsibility of my role as an artist in conversation with the world.

What do you enjoy most about being an artist? What do you struggle with most?

Although it can be financially and emotionally trying at times, I appreciate having the agency to craft my life around the thing that I love doing more than anything in the world, which is making my art. Even when I find myself in the midst of banal chores or exhausting side-gigs, I know that it’s all for me and for my practice. Coming from a family with a lot of love but not a lot of money, I’ve learned to never take anything or any experience for granted.

Where is your artistic inspiration derived from?

So much of my inspiration comes from the ways in which I was exposed to art as a kid growing up in a creative and transcultural household. I come from a long line of artists in my family, including my grandmother, Shoshannah, who has been one of the most influential creative people in my life. She was a painter who became active in the 1930’s and 40’s depicting the human figure in urban settings around Chicago where she grew up.

Coming from a mixed-race Filipino Jewish family and raised in a Latino community on the Northwest side of Chicago, I am also constantly tapping into material experiences that stem from my own history of cultural contradiction and ancestral disconnect. One such example includes the recurring tiki party palm tree decoration that I plant in many of my works. On one hand it’s a fun tropical trope that has adorned on the patios of many parties I’ve attended and enjoyed, but at the same time, it’s cartoon gesture can be seen as a violent caricature of an ancestral land and culture seized, destroyed and minimized to the point of exotification and entertainment. I’m interested in how these layers of personal meaning and history can be extracted from objects like these through the repositioning of their site and context.

What is the best advice you could give to emerging artists and creatives?

Practice self-care and find friends who uplift you. Surviving as an artist, paying the rent, making and defending your art in this world is hard enough, let alone trying to please people who don’t fully accept you, waste your time or don’t reciprocate the support.

Develop a routine of self-care, separate from your art practice and from others that allows you to pause in your day to day and ground your mind. Whatever the practice is, see it as the regular replenishing of love and care that only you can give to yourself.

In addition to self-care, and despite the strong solitary studio rat persona that many artists project, there exists in all of us an inherent need to feel supported, loved, and appreciated at some level. It is therefore crucial to cultivate genuine connections with friends who believe in you, who will show up for you when you need them, and who’s honest opinions you can trust at critical moments. It’s important to unabashedly put yourself out there too, in order to identify these individuals. I’ve found that it has been at the most vulnerable and open moments of my life when the right friends have revealed themselves.

By Tatiana Gallardo | Paintings by Camille HoffmanPortraits by Adrián Bará

Vivienne Hu: The Effortless Fall Style You’re Looking For

Vivienne Hu stuns again with a flirtatious and bold lineup for her Fall/Winter 2017 collection. Hu’s erstwhile run as an investment banker did not last long as her passion and skills brought her to the world of fashion—and we’re blushing about the designer’s upcoming release.

Her FW17 collection quickly debunks any negative notions you have about dressing stylish and staying warm during the coolers months. While Hu’s cocktail dresses charmingly dashed across the runway of her New York Fashion Week show in February, the standout attraction was her assortment of cozy pea-coats and parkas. The outwear pieces were garnered with audacious fur pockets, necklines, and sleeves. She makes you want to quickly ditch your boring winter layers and opt for one of her high-end pieces.

Olive green, mustard yellow, and cardinal red made a natural striped backdrop for numerous pieces, from swinging mini dresses to tailored jackets. Hu takes the guessing game out of getting ready for the fall and winter season. Now I’m not saying you should stick to one brand for all styling needs, but Hu does make the process easy with a collection of trendy jumpsuits, flirty gowns, and thoughtful accents of autumn hues.

By Yegide Matthews | Photos by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images/Courtesy of Vivienne Hu