Thursday, June 30, 2011

America's Next Top Model Nashville, TN Casting: July 9, 2011

America's Next Top Model is casting talented and beautiful ladies for its 18th cycle in Nashville, TN on Saturday, July 9, 2011. Auditions will take place from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM at Paul Mitchell the School Nashville located at 5510 Crossings Circle. Find out more details about ANTM's casting call

Weekend Update: New Orleans and the Gulf Shores

After a much-needed vacation to New Orleans and the Gulf Shores, I'm back in Nashville and ready to blaze forward. But before I get on with the typical Nashville Fashion Blog postings, a re-cap of the week is definitely needed.

As previously mentioned, I went to NOLA with a girlfriend and met up with another girlfriend who lives there. As excited as I was about getting away for nearly a week, other than a day at the beach, no plans were made as to daily activities. So, I was a little unsure of what to pack. Of course, every time I told somebody I was headed to Louisiana for vacation, I got the standard reply, "It's going to be hot down there." Yeah, ok, I get it. I loaded my suitcase with half a dozen sleeveless cotton dresses I figured would be great for the hot, sticky Louisiana weather I'd heard so much about. A pair of jeans were reserved for the plane (I'm always FREEZING on airplanes), and shorts and J. Crew tanks packed for good measure.
Skimmers, flip flops, my favorite black wedges, and an additional pair of Chuck Taylors, encompassed my shoe collection, and a variety of light jewelry was packed. I assumed I'd be ready for anything.

Dresses like the J.Crew Vacation one for $88 are perfect for comfortable, fashionable, vacation wear.

The first night of arrival was spent catching up with the girls at a local watering hole. The second day we went to a local art festival where I met some cute girls with feather jewelry for sale. After a few minutes of discussion, we discovered they had recently showcased their merchandise at Bonnaroo and had made friends with the Lucy Pop Salon gals. Interesting! 

The afternoon allowed me to eat my first Po' Boy sandwich, and since I saw duck on the menu, I couldn't help myself. Seriously delicious. 

Next, we strolled down Magazine Street, which has an atmosphere of 21st Ave., but with a lot more shops and its a hell of a lot hotter. You can find anything from home goods and apparel boutiques, to candy shops, pubs, and upscale grocery stores on this NOLA shopping street. I was a little surprised, though, that I didn't find more apparel shops I was into, but many of them housed garments with a Louisiana summer feel that didn't meet my aesthetic. 

A glimpse of Magazine Street.

I wasn't sure what this place was, but how NOLA is this?

There was, however, one craft-fully designed clothier with vintage-inspired pieces that made me want to put on some bright red lipstick and support my troops. I snapped a picture of a jeweled necklace and vintage dress on a dress form that I loved.

I found out that this boutique (which I can't remember the name of) has all one-of-a-kind 1940's/50's inspired dresses exclusively designed by the store owner. It reminded me a lot of the pin-up clothing section at Katy K's, except more vast. 

Even though I wasn't exactly into the clothing stores we patronized, I died for the interior design stores. I am a firm believer that fashion and interior design share similar attributes and if you have a passion for one, you're likely to have a natural knack for the other. Many of the home stores concentrated on goods with a historic Southern charm and a French twist. However, a few of the modern stores- furniture with sharp edges, brightly colored bar stools, and giant coir lamps- had me drooling.

It's incredibly difficult to shoot window displays, but this West Elmish store was to die for.

Adorable window display for a local candy shop. 

After a day of shopping and an evening of dinner with new friends, we headed out for the night. This night I paired my black, breathable, Vera Moda dress with black skimmers from Urban Outfitters. I was told we'd be doing we'd be doing a lot of walking and to dress for the summer heat; I figured a short dress and flats would meet both these criteria while still being fashionable.

Our first stop was Harrah's Casino. I'm not sure how it's possible, but I had never been to a casino before; gambling my hard-earned cash aways isn't exactly appealing to me. That being said, I had a blast.  The $2 I blew on penny slots was well worth the fun and experience of my first casino.

Ballin' at the penny slots!

Next, we ventured to Bourbon Street. As this was my first trip to NOLA, obviously this ridiculousness of a street was also a first for me. I assumed Bourbon Street nightlife was a lot like downtown Nashville- minus the country, plus the beads. Not exactly. I have to admit that I'm glad I experienced Bourbon Street, but don't anticipate on ever returning. Scandal, filth, trash, scantily clad men and women, and drunk people filled the streets and bars. Not my typical Saturday night, to say the least. But, I sipped a Hurrican at the famous Pat O'Briens and capped off the night with a world-famous cup of coffee and beignets at Cafe Du Monde.  

Bourbon Street ridiculousness.

The greatest night cap imaginable.

The next day was beach day! We made the three-hour journey from NOLA to the Gulf Shores at a newly remodeled hotel in Alabama. And for the next two days, this was my view:

And this is pretty much all my gal pals and I did on our road trip:

It was heaven. That is, except for the massive forest fire happening behind us. You may have heard about it on the news, but this fire was blazing and even blocked the sun a few times. Crazy. By the time we left the Gulf Shores, the fire was under control. Still pretty wild, though.

Our beautiful hotel...

And just a little to the left... :(

On our final day in NOLA, we drove about a half hour away to visit a plantation and experience the historic tour. How beautiful is this house? Seriously?

Thereafter, we hit up Mother's Restaurant, a New Orleans tradition, where I ate some of the best jumbalya, greens, and cabbage of my life. Coincidently, they were filming an episode of Bazaar Foods with Andrew Zimmerman while we were there. Seriously, I could eat at Mother's Restaurant every day of my life. 

Then, our tour guide drove us through a historic cemetery where I couldn't help but snag a few shots of these exquisitely designed resting places.

The remainder of the day was spent browsing the local mall, which is similar to just about any other mall in America, but re-capping the trip with my gals.  Then, it was onto the plane, and back to Nashville.

So, I've been out of the loop for a while and missed some great events while I was detoxing from the stressors of my every day life. But, now I'm back and ready for more Nashville Fashion Blog.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Blog Update: NOLA, Baby!

I'm on vacation! And seriously, I need one. With my hectic schedule, busy work and school life, sometimes I just need to get away. So, I'm packing my bags and some gal pals, and heading to New Orleans for the next few days. Other than eating some amazing food, I have no idea what we'll be doing. However, we do have a mini-road trip planned for a day at the beach, which I couldn't be more thrilled about. I can't imagine anything better than laying on the sand, listening to the ocean crash against the shore, and doing absolutely nothing. 

I'm pretty bummed I'm going to miss all the fashion festivities this weekend, but ensure that NOLA photos will be coming soon! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Closet Case Vintage Half Off Sale: June 24, 2011

I'm almost certain this is the fifth cool fashion event taking place this Friday, June 24, 2011. Your favorite vintage retailer and mine, Closet Case Vintage, is overstocked with dresses, boots, shoes, handbags, shorts, and blouses and needs to unload a few of these pieces into your closet! So, get 50% off from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM at 2407 12th Ave. South on Friday. The event is cash only and you can RSVP here

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Opry Mills to Re-Open March 29, 2012

Finally- we have a date! For a few months, we've known that the Simon Mills Property staple was to re-open in Spring 2012, but now, the date has been set: March 29, 2012. And you better believe that Mills employees are working hard to complete the restoration necessary after the flood. I've previously posted about some Opry Mills Mall updates (see blog post here), but there have been some renderings released of the projected new space. Here's what we may see from the mall when it re-opens its doors next Spring: 

Casual Shopping.

Fashion shopping.

Food court.

photo credit:

Want to know more?! Here is a press release I received regarding the renovated Nashville shopping destination:


New stores, children’s play area and the return of the Entertainment Stage to be a part of grand reopening plans

NASHVILLE, TN (June 21, 2011) – Opry Mills will officially reopen on March 29, 2012, with a grand reopening celebration planned during early May. Four major anchors, Regal Cinemas Opry Mills Stadium 20 & IMAX, Dave & Buster’s, VF Outlet and Sun & Ski Sport, will soon join Bass Pro Shops and open for business before the 2011 holiday season.

“Opry Mills is primed for success with redevelopment progress well underway and the announcement of a great roster of fashion brands,” said Gregg Goodman, president of The Mills, a Simon company. “We are looking forward to the next several months as we prepare for the grand reopening and once again fuel the local economy with new jobs and increased sales tax revenue.”

Momentum is building for the reopening of Opry Mills with the announcement of several fashion forward retail additions, which will appeal to style conscious shoppers. Popular names, which will be new to Opry Mills, include Coach Factory Store, Calvin Klein, Tommy Bahama Outlet, Talbots, Chico’s, White House Black Market, Under Armour Factory House, and The LEGO Store.

More familiar names have already committed to being a part of the reopening during spring 2012 such as Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, Banana Republic Factory Store, J.Crew Factory, Brooks Brothers Factory Store, Ann Taylor Factory Store, Victoria’s Secret, Tommy Hilfiger Company Store, Off Broadway Shoes, and a greatly expanded Forever 21. In addition, Rainforest CafĂ©, Aquarium Restaurant and Opry Mills’ Food Court will provide family dining options.

Opry Mills’ visitors will delight in its timeless design, which will only enhance the shopping experience.  In true Nashville fashion, Opry Mills’ popular Entertainment Stage will return as a unique feature of the center, showcasing live entertainment and other exciting activities.  Plus, additional family entertainment options will be unveiled, including a new kids soft play area.

Construction on the landmark property began nearly two months ago after the announcement of Opry Mills’ agreement with its lenders, Helaba Bank and Nord/LB, to finance the rebuilding of the mall during continued litigation to have its insurers comply with their obligation to pay the amounts they agreed to in the event of a flood loss.

About Opry Mills
Opry Mills is located seven miles from downtown Nashville, between Interstates 40 and 65, and is within walking distance of the Grand Ole Opry and the 2,800-room Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.  For the latest information about the ongoing restoration process at Opry Mills, please call (615) 514-1000 or visit  Opry Mills also may be found on Facebook ( and on Twitter @shoprymills.

About The Mills, A Simon Company
The Mills®, one of Simon Property Group's five real estate platforms, is comprised of 16 value-oriented retail destinations totaling over 24 million square feet. The Mills offers a unique brand of shopping with a mix of popular name brand outlets, value retailers and full-price stores, plus family-oriented dining and entertainment concepts. The Mills are well-located in major metropolitan markets and many are recognized as leading tourism destinations. Notable properties include Arundel Mills (Baltimore), Gurnee Mills (Chicago), Grapevine Mills (Dallas), Ontario Mills (Los Angeles), Opry Mills (Nashville), Potomac Mills (Washington, DC) and Sawgrass Mills (Ft. Lauderdale/Miami).

Simon Property Group, Inc. is an S&P 500 company and the largest real estate company in the U.S. The Company currently owns or has an interest in 392 retail real estate properties comprising 263 million square feet of gross leasable area in North America, Europe and Asia. Simon Property Group is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana and employs more than 5,000 people worldwide. The Company's common stock is publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol SPG. For further information, visit the Simon Property Group website at

Photos from the Modest Is More Fashion Show

Last Friday, June 17, 2011, was a day/night of firsts. Around 11:00 AM I found myself on a stage, adorned in a cap, gown, and scholarly sash, hugging and congratulating my first two graduating students. Words cannot describe how incredibly proud I am of these two talented women, and how surreal it felt to sit across from a hundred or so students, moments away from receiving their diplomas. I am so lucky to have the job I do; I don’t think anything could be more rewarding.

That evening I attended the Modest Is More fashion show at Rocketown, which the Art Institute sponsored. I had been held up, finishing grading a few papers, so when I arrived at the show, it was just about to start. Although I had a seat saved for me, I stood at the end of the runway to ensure I a) got some great shots of the outfits to share, and b) got a great look at the clothes myself! I chatted with my pals Will and Alicia from Nashville Fashion Events, commenting on the garments, looks, and designers, and a few others as well.

The show kicked off with an introduction from an American Idol contestant and looks from the featured designer’s, Melissa Tabor’s, collection. I was surprised at how many designers / local boutiques were highlighted. What I thought would be a thirty minute show lasted about an hour and twenty minutes. Although I snapped shots of most of the looks, with over 170 photos taken, I decided to pair that down to a select few. Here are a few of the looks from the Modest Is More Fashion Show:

Featured Designer: Melissa Tabor

Je Well's Couture Designs

This model in the purple dress was my favorite of the night. She had such energy, confidence, and spark. This jewel made those outfits shine. 

Charlee Rose

OMG. These kids. I died. Once this first adorable little girl burst onto the runway, the crowd erupted into applause, coos, and screams.