STYLING: SWITCHED UP ON A STAR

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Pretty stylist switches places with pretty weird stylist and the two awaken to find their fashion wishes come true!

Inspired by their favorite Disney Channel original, Kasi and Meggie swap styles for this exclusive collaboration between The Peahen and Selva Beat, an environmental lifestyle magazine.

My style was born in Milan. I took a solo trip there in college to study fashion journalism and, for the first time, felt creatively free. Aesthetically, the city is intriguing because it’s this confounding mix of heritage and modernity at every corner.

In a single day, I could go from hunting for vintage in romantic Brera to studying window displays at Prada’s Renaissance store to exploring new age architecture and concept shops.

And the city still informs how I dress. I live for a Prada show to see if ugly or pretty is in each season and I frequently search for ‘intrecciato’ on Poshmark. But mostly,  thanks to Milan, I gravitate toward structured garments that look super refined. Quality coats, uber lux belts, old school millinery, things that most 29-year-olds turn their noses up at. Yep, those are my jam.

It’s a look my nonna nods at in prim approval most days. But when she catches me rounding the corner after Sunday supper, she wags her finger and yells, “Madonna, i tuoi antenati sarebbero morti!” realizing had on a neon crop top and gold chain underneath my vintage tweed. [My translation: My god! Your ancestors would roll over their graves!]

Style Evolution

Living in Austin, I’ve become even more experimental. And my style isn’t as constant as it used to be either. You may catch me in retro athleticwear in the a.m., a breezy 70s dresses in the afternoon and a plaid 40s blazers the next day for coffee.

I’d describe where I am now as a fusion of fancy and funky, it’s just-left-of-center.

I’m also fixated on this idea of making fancy fashion more freeing. Mainly because I love high-waisted pants, belted looks, and stilettos but I feel like a slave to pain when I wear them. I get FOR REAL cramps from pants that are too tight and then I can’t work! Holler if you hear me.  

“I think it’s important to have clothes be less restrictive. Women are already fighting enough battles, our clothes shouldn’t feel like another source of repression.”

I’m working on evolving my style with an eye for this, but I also don’t want to look like a total bag dress lady! I avoid that by choosing lux silky fabrics. Most days I got for oversized separates with good draping. I like things I can play with by tying or belting to make them mine (and to stay cool in Austin).

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A creatures in her natural attire: my everyday wear, pre-switch. Pants Throwback Vintage; shoes vintage Ferragamo; bag woven in Mexico, blouse Goodwill, vest secondhand Elizabeth & James.

Meggie & The Switch

When I met Meggie, The Peahen’s style muse in Switched Upon A Star I knew she’d get my idea of fashion without restriction or fuss.

She’s a humor-no-fool, creative badass who works as a stylist and set designer, typically bouncing between Austin and artsy haunts like Marfa for shoots. Her tagline, “You Stay Pretty. I’ll Stay Pretty Weird” sums up her style. And it’s one I admire, though mostly from the safe confines of my Instagram feed.

Scrolling pre-shoot, I stop on a pic in her feed and think, “How does she mix 80s gym shorts and a fiercely red boudoir tank with so much…oomph?! I’d look like Ronald McDonald at prom if I wore that. So when we decided to switch roles and style each other for this shoot I was eager (love a challenge!) but intimidated as hell.

Meggie Styling Me

A few days before the shoot Meggie texted me a picture of an oversized pullover sweater and a corset she wanted to put me in and my initial thought was, “How the heck will the corset show if the sweater isn’t an open cardigan?”

“Ohhh, she wants to put it on top of the sweater!” It was this flip-the-norm approach that broke down my established views on style and made working with her engaging. Sure, her look took me out of my element, but I was way more comfortable them than I thought.

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She combined her unconventional, corset-over-sweater look with oversized pants that she hoisted up and cinched with a red, Brighton-style belt, transforming them into makeshift paper bag pants. Normally, a style like this would swallow me whole (I’m only 5’3”) but by breaking it up with pops of color and playing with volume, Meggie added an element of symmetry that made it wearable.

What a fashion wizard! As I stood on the street in my color blocked stilettos, I busted out some wonder woman poses.

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Also, I loved that Meggie obsessed over tiny details. She had me wear an orange eye to bring out the color in the belt and heels and kept the jewelry super simple to emphasize the clothing (I’m honored she let me wear her signature Tiff’s necklace). If this picture could talk it’d say RAAARWWW.

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Letting my guard down and taking on Meggie’s style persona defied my expectations. And it also inspired my quest for paper bag pants to call my own (taking ethical recommendations, please).

Me Styling Meggie

To style her, I had to tame my inner Hermione who wanted to study everything about her vibe. Pre-shoot, I kept reminding myself to be intuitive, rather than rational and focus on what I know.

So I started with aesthetics. Her body: banging and proportional. Perfect for the retro clothes I love. Her hair: recently tinged a rockin orange. It would pop against something green. Her vibe: unafraid. This gal can definitely carry bold prints and silhouettes.

When I laid out the facts like this, I was jammed! Then, I faltered. Will she think everything I put her in is too prissy? How do I keep her cool intact? What if my pieces don’t fit her right?! But I reached for my Balance Doterra oil and got it together. I put her in something timeliness and tailored and carried on.

Two looks, one shoot 

Wearing my decisive hat, I shopped for one knockout piece in a brilliant shade of green and built a complete look around it. I picked a jazzy wrap blouse with the powerful structure of a blazer and high impact details like a huge wrap belt and gold lame lines. It looked like it had built-in jewelry, which is why I loved it so much!

I wanted to focus on the blouse so I kept the bottom of Meggie’s look clean by having her wear a sleek, wide-legged jumpsuit underneath. Then, I added a tiny little Badgley Mischka bag for a now element (sunglasses aren’t the only microscopic things these days).

The look came out pretty refined so I decided to do a second one that played more to her style. I added a punkish plaid blazer (because faaaaancy ladies are never without a coat), bold belt, and shiny heels. I kept the entire look red and green to add Christmas kitsch. Also, location!! It was just as important as the clothes. I chose the Driskell because it amped up her regal look.

Honestly, the best part about styling Meggie was the process. She was supposed to be the client but she made ME feel like a GODDESS stylist. All the initial fear I had of styling someone different than me? So not necessary. She liked everything I put on her because we both know good vintage, is good vintage. And a shared appreciation for it is a great equalizer.

Bounce over to Selva Beat to see the timeless and tailored look I created and read Meggie’s perspective.

What do you think about the switch?

Makeup, Magdalena Antuña.

Kasi’s Outfit

Clothes – Stylist’s own

Shoes – Vintage Kenzo

Meggie’s Outfit (on Selva Beat)

Blouse –  Vintage, Uptown Cheapskate

Blazer – Vintage, Uptown Cheapskate

Bag – Vintage, Badgley Mischka, Goodwill Boutique

Shoes – Secondhand Zara, Goodwill Boutique

Earrings – Vintage, New Bohemia

Black jumpsuit – Stylist’s own

Hire me to style for you!

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