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Beauty Is…LIMITLESS | A Very Refined Brunch

Photos Courtesy of Sara of Tutti delMonte

New York Fashion Week is in full swing!  Thus begins the whirlwind of endless fashion shows, cocktail parties, running around the city in too high of heels, and lots of inspiration!  

From the outside it can look completely glamorous, and  don’t get me wrong it is glamourous.  But there are other moments too, moments of loneliness walking into a show where you know no one and everyone is on their phones so busy with social media that real life connection is disregarded.  My insecurities can totallyflare up, comparison begins, and it can be a downward spiral from there.

Personally, after shooting and attending 14 seasons of Runway I have found that while it can be an amazing experience filled with fancy runway shows, parties, and fashion I can leave the week feeling exhausted and to be honest lonely.  

The interesting thing though, is that the more I share my personal experience, the more and more other women shared that they left Fashion Week feeling the same way.  It’s like we’re all walking around Fashion Week wishing we had a friend, and it is just going to take a few of us speaking up and saying “Hey…I’m lonely here…let’s be friends!”

There are so many powerhouse, feminine, authentic, dynamic women in this industry and in the world.  The reality is that none of us are competitors, we are teammates and with arms linked we have the power to really impact not only the fashion industry but culture as a whole.

It is my vision to create a space for a group of women in the Fashion Industry that have influence and hearts for investing into the whole woman.  My intent is to create a space and dialogue for authenticity, community, creativity, and dream up ways that we can encourage and inspire one another.

It is my belief that creativity begets creativity and free people free people, and this starts from the top.  If we as women and leaders in the fashion industry show others that depth and community and beauty can truly be lived out, then I believe we can blaze a trail for our culture + young women all over the world to do the same.

With this heart came A Very Refined Brunch.  A brunch hosted by The Refined Woman at the beginning of Fashion Week to do all of the above.  It was scary putting myself out there, and hosting my very first event at Fashion Week. 

What if no one comes?  What if I look silly?  What if others judge me?

Whenever we put ourselves out there to create something beautiful we will receive resistance, even if it comes from no one else but ourselves.  Putting aside my fears and insecurities (was NOT easy friends, but)  I moved forward with hosting this brunch, and it ended up being everything I could have hoped for and more. 

Women came who knew each other, and who didn’t know each other, and we all connected.  We talked about beauty, what we’re passionate about, how we want to change the fashion industry, culture, and the world.  There was laughter and tears.

And with honesty I can say that we all left that space feeling connected, and realizing none of us are alone.  

As women we are powerful.  Our voices matter, and there is endless possibilities when we join together and create.  A Very Refined Brunch is just the beginning.  

Beauty truly is limitless.

XO,

Kat

Thanks to some rad people we had some wonderful swag bags.  Thank you Jenna Kutcher, Esther Jean Designs, Conscious Magazine, Darling Magazine, + Ira Lippke Studios.

One of my photography mentors + inspirations, Ira Lippke, opened up his lovely studio to host our event.  How beautiful is his space?

What’s a brunch without a Mimosas Bar…with gold rimmed glasses?

Hilary of Dean Street Society sharing her heart on beauty!  I adore that gal!

Molly of Glitter + Rye did all the decor + florals!  She is like Pinterest in Real Life!

Ashley, the lovely lady above of Esther Jean Designs, made lovely hair pieces for each of the ladies!

Naturally Delicious catered our amazing brunch.  From Parfaits to Lavender Shortbread to mini coffee cakes; it was JUST PERFECT!

Molly of Glitter + Rye also created the Bouquet Bar so each lady could create her own floral arrangement to take with her!

And of course we had some fun over on Instagram!

Again thank you to the Amazing Sponsors:

Ira Lippke Studios | Jenna Kutcher | Conscious Magazine | Esther Jean

And to an amazing Community of Women that believed in me, supported me, ran errands for me + prayed for this event:  Dianna, Karlin, Francesca, Jenny, Cari, Lindsey Shea, Erica, Elizabeth, Jenn, My Mamma!

Monochromatic Monday | BURGUNDY

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Stadium Wool Coat | V-Neck Pleated Top | Lace Skirt | Patent Leather Heels | Sassy Flats | Clutch | Lipstick | Floral Sleeveless Top

New York Fashion Week is in full swing!  It’s such a tease as all the designers are showing whites + pastels for 2015!  However, I’m getting pretty excited for Fall in NYC; it’s pretty magical.  And I just love a good jewel tone…don’t you?

XO,

Kat

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Fashion Week Round-up Y’all

In honor of New York Fashion Week, we’ve gathered some lovely fall pieces from the designers we are dying to see this coming week!
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OUTFIT | Overalls for Fall

Some trends it takes me a season or two to get on board. Luckily, overalls are still hanging on and it took me that long to find the right pair. A lot of the newer overalls being sold are more slimming and flattering but if you know me you know I just want everything baggy and boyfriend-like. I think I probably own at least 6 different pairs of boyfriend jeans + jean shorts.

I found these vintage Lee overalls in Tokyo of all places. For some reason Asia has the best secondhand stores full of amazing American made brands from back in the day.  

Kat snapped these pics on our way to Pizza when she was in town a few weeks ago. I miss her already. 

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xo, Em

OUTIFT | Two Toned Pleated Skirt

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One of my favorite colors to wear is blue.  Whether it’s a classic denim, or a cobalt blue cami, there is something so radiant about this color.  

A few weeks ago one of my friends said that we wear colors that we’re naturally drawn to + that those colors say something about who we are on the inside.  At first I thought this was a little weird, but then he told me what it meant.

He said blue symbolizes truth, trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, and heaven.

Now that stopped me in my tracks, because it does speak to a lot of who I am and who I strive to be on the inside.  I think we are drawn to things in this world that envelope beauty, authenticity, and truth.

And maybe…just maybe that’s why I’m so drawn to blue.

Am I crazy?  Maybe, but that’s ok:)

XO,

Kat

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Also, full disclosure Em picked out this outfit for me when I was visiting her a few weeks ago!  I love when she plays dress-up with me!

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Photos by:  Em

OUTFIT:  This is an old cami, but JCrew has some great ones + this one imparticular is fab! |  Thank you TopShop for a great Pleated Skirt.

Shop more of the look below:

weekly round up | 8.22

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Man, has this week flown by! Anybody else with me? I also felt the first sense of a brisk fall breeze while on the patio with friends last night, which was only a reminder of summer’s imminent end. Yet, I think I’m excited for the change of seasons…Cue moody nail polish, sweaters, booties, football season + autumn leaves! Anyway…here’s this week’s roundup of some fun + interesting links :]

Refined Recap : 

Hope you saw this week’s “Beauty Is…” featuring the inspiring and compassionate Dianna.

Check out this shoot with Verily we did with midi-skirts for every woman’s body!

Jenna Lyons’ office feature seriously made my day. We couldn’t love her anymore than we already do.

Would you try the “tie-it-around” trend? I saw numerous girls rockin’ it at the Beyonce + Jay-Z tour!

Totally random, but totally hilarious and on-point honest slogans! I was dying.

Are you addicted to all-white everything? ‘Cuz I am, and this post by Erin didn’t help the situation.

Loving this fun pink fall manicure idea from Free People.

Pearls are a classic, but I really love how they’re making a comeback.

I could seriously consume an açai bowl twice a day and with this recipe that may actually end up happening…

This blueberry, cucumber spritzer sounds refreshing + perfect for a Friday evening.

These jam-filled corn muffins are making me hungry.

I have apartment envy. Katie’s kitchen is extremely adorable.

This little daily dose is a wonderful reminder to power through tough days.

xo,

Lauren

Beauty Is…FREEDOM

Long story short:  Dianna + I became friends via Instagram.

When we finally met in person I’m pretty sure it involved a lot of jumping up + down, squealing, Beyonce dance moves, and of course laughter.

Not only is Dianna a woman who is an incredibly gifted hair stylist (like y’all she’s the real deal), she loves God, loves people, and has committed her life to being an advocate for women enslaved in human trafficking.  She is using her gifts, talents, and voice to impact the world in a very real and tangible way.

Dianna is magnetic, passionate, and a champion for the people in her life (myself included), and I am incredibly honored to have her as a cohort and friend.  

Dianna you inspire me to want to change the world.  You are leading the way.  You my dear are a torchbearer.  Love you more than you know,

Kat

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Anyone who is free has taken their freedom for granted at some point. I’m sure you are taking your freedom for granted right now. You have the luxury of reading this blog right on your smart little phone wherever you are (hopefully not while you are driving!), or on your computer in Starbucks while drinking a $5 latte and not a thought crosses your mind about the people who fought for that freedom.

100 years ago, your freedom was fought for you by women who believed that it is our right to vote, work, hold office, have an opinion, and even to wear pants in public. We get to be thankful to those ladies everyday. Whether we leave the house in boyfriend jeans and no makeup, or glamed up and red carpet ready, we can choose how we want to look everyday. The women who fought for us were empowered and they were determined for their daughters, grand daughters and great grand daughters to be empowered as well.

I promise, this isn’t a political rant. I’m just painting a picture for you⋯

In countries like Cambodia, Brazil, Kenya, Uganda, Mexico, and Thailand, women are not afforded the same freedom and opportunities we are here in America. I know this because I have seen first hand in each of these countries what it means to not be free.

Since 2011, I have traveled to developing countries with an organization called THE TRADE to teach the skill of hair dressing to women who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to have an education. It was my choice to begin my career as a hair stylist 15 years ago. I have always had a natural talent for styling hair since using all my mother’s expensive hair products on my Barbies at the tender age of 5. As much as my mom wanted me to attend some big 3 or 4 letter university and get my degree in something fancy, she allowed me to believe in the beauty of my dreams. She saw what gave me joy.

My dream was to make women feel beautiful, not just look beautiful. Now, my dream is to see women be empowered through a dignified career and making women in their communities feel beautiful. When a woman feels beautiful, you can see it. It’s more than a good haircut. When you feel beautiful, you exude joy and joy can’t be faked.

The ladies in our programs around the world have been abused, exploited, and trafficked against their will. There was no joy in them at all. We saw the beauty in each one of them that they never had the freedom to see in themselves.

Throughout the course of our training, the beauty that lies within each of our students slowly begins to surface. Their self-worth is being built. Their value is being shaped. They are no longer weak, but strong. Their trials turn into triumph. They are no longer victims, but victors. Their hurt turns to hope. When you have the freedom to hope, to love, and to live, you can be anything you want to be, which is truly beautiful.

Beauty Is…Freedom.

XO,

Dianna a.k.a. Lady Dianna

 

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Photos by:  Me…Kat Harris

Make-up by:  Melina Ruiz

Dianna’s Wardrobe:  I adore Dianna’s blue Forever 21 romper.  Check out my favorite one; it’s from Zappos!  Of course I’m in love with her JCrew grey sweater HERE + shop the post below withs some rad options for floral pants!

XO,

Kat

OUTFIT | Fresh Floral Pants

Do you ever go to take a photo of your outfit, see the image, and then remove your necklace because all of a sudden it’s too much?

NO? Just me and my own styling insanity. 

Ok then.

Here’s some photos Kat took of me in my current favorite floral/jungle pants. Normally I wear them a bit lower on my hips but this time I decided to experiment with wearing them a bit higher up and tucking my silk cami into the front.

Let’s just not talk about the necklace incident, shall we? Deal. 

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While these trousers from Zara I could not find online anymore, I did however find a whole BEVVY of amazing printed pants. 

Find your perfect pair below. 

xo, Em

weekly round up : BEST WEEK EVER

Hey friends!

Em here, it was the BEST WEEK EVER because Kat was visiting us! we had so much fun getting to catch up and dream big for what’s on the horizon for The Refined Woman.

I’m so grateful for Lauren putting together this week’s roundup because Kat and I were busy doing THIS : 

That’s right ya’ll, new photos for The Refined Woman team!

EEEEEEEEEP.

We were so lucky to get to work with Jessica Burke + Melissa Hoffmann to make our dreams come true. We can’t wait to see the magic Jess captured behind that lens of hers!!

Patience, friends. The rest of those photos will come soon enough. 

Now onto our weekly recap with Lauren : 

We’re at that time of year when I get a little giddy with the thought of fall (mostlybuying new sweaters), yet at the same time seeing summer fade away makes my heart sigh. So here are some links from this week that get me excited for fall, but also remind me to cherish these last days of summer!

Kat wrote a lovely article for Darling Magazine about experiencing her sister trip purely in the moment.

AND…it was Em’s birthday Tuesday!!

How chic is Helena’s grey blazer simply paired with a white tee and black skinnies?! (also perfect for transitioning to fall!)

This dewy cheeks look is literally perfect (and SO easy) for the hot + humid days ahead.

Loving Mango’s minimalism in their new fall lookbook. Simplicity = Stunning.

This mini cobbler looks absolutely divine. I think I’ll save both for myself!

Can’t wait to try this lip stain technique come fall ~ C’est très jolie!

Seriously crushing on Julia’s camel sweater coat. Seriously. Get in my closet.

Love this reminder to find the positives in life’s moments.

xo,

Lauren, (& Em + Kat)