The Refined Woman

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OUTFIT Post: Polka Dots + Leopard

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This last week I was back in LA for some shoots, and although I’m loving my new life in Brooklyn the people, the weather, and the ocean on the West coast completely melted my heart.

The weather all week was just enchanting, and this polka dot number from JCrew was sort of my newfound best friend this week.  I even tried to get out of my comfort zone a bit by mixing some patterns into the dress by adding my leopard CWonder flats!  Baby steps friends…baby steps.

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Photos by:  Sarah Shreves

Outfit Deets:

Polka Dot Fall Dress:  JCrew

Red Belt:  Target

Leopard Flats:  CWonder

Stewardess Bag:  Coach

A Refined Man is…I N D U S T R I O U S.

"The WORK of a Refined Man, the industrious nature of this pursuit in our lives comes in constantly centering ourselves as people, staying focused on who we are and what we are trying to say with our lives instead of what others want us to be and look like.” -Johan Khalilian

  • What does being Refined + Industrious mean to you? If you want to be the best version of yourself, it’s going to take work. We must be willing to embrace the crucible of life, all of the struggles, obstacles, and pain that life serves up is an opportunity for us to become refined in it’s purest sense. If we aren’t willing to roll up our sleeves and put in the work, we will miss out on experiencing our full potential.
  • Why is it important to be industrious?We live in a talent first culture, where we worship people who, seemingly, have supernatural gifts that lead them into the spotlight. Many of us want that type of life, where we don’t have to work for the life we want because it has been bestowed to us by certain unseen forces. As much as I’d love to believe in that type of reality, it just isn’t true. Sure, we have gifts and talents that I believe are God-given, but we must hone those gifts, sharpen those talents through hard work, dedication and dogged perseverance.

  • Practically, what does this look like in your life? Life teaches us daily, we must have eyes to see the lessons and ears to hear what’s being spoken to us in the depths of every moment. I’ve been a citizen of the City of Angels for a little over four years and I’ve been pursuing acting for a little over 2.5 years. So far, I’ve been rejected more than I’ve been accepted, as an actor. And, quite honestly, it sucks. And if I’m being completely honest, my life as a speaker doesn’t make it any easier to make it as an actor. Primarily because I’m often on the road speaking, when I should be here auditioning and building relationships. There came a point where I had to assess the nature of my pursuit, if I really want this, what is it going to take? I knew I needed to create my own path, one that is unique to who I am and what I am doing. So, I decided to put in work with my friends. We’d write and produce our own projects, create our own work, make our own mark and that’s just what we are doing. We just shot a short about recovery and forgiveness, called (not) tomorrow and we are working on another piece that deals with the gay marriage debate in a very authentic and honest way. We’re shooting that at the end of October. None of this would be happening if I was just sitting on the sidelines idly, waiting to be put in the game.
  • How does this impact your career? I’ve been told that I’m foolish to pursue acting in my 30’s, that it is an unattainable dream and I should just stick to speaking. It’s a train of thought that is heavily rooted in reality. Most people don’t “make it” out here. There’s an ocean full of dreams that have been left to drown, and if I’m honest, I’ve been tempted to swim back to shore and leave behind my acting dreams to suffer the same fate. I recently booked my first national commercial, after 2 years of dead ends.  It was the flair of hope I needed to keep me going, it’s actually something that I prayed about with a spiritual mentor. We prayed on July 30th, that I would book something that would give me the necessary fuel to keep on going and on August 30th, I received the news that I had booked my first national commercial. Industrious men and women put in work and let God handle the rest.

  • How does this influence your style? I’m always looking for inspiration, flipping through the pages of GQ, stalking fashion blogs, and admiring everyday people who catch my eye. My antenna is always up, I’m always searching for a signal, primarily because I feel like I have so much to learn when it comes to style. I’m constantly evolving.  I hope I never feel like I have arrived. What centers me is knowing who I am and what I want to say. My goal is to express myself through what I put on, not allow the never ending ebb and flow of trends to dictate it for me.The WORK of a Refined Man, the industrious nature of this pursuit in our lives comes in constantly centering ourselves as people, staying focused on who we are and what we are trying to say with our lives instead of what others want us to be and look like.

All Photos by Kat Harris

Gentlemen, get some of Johan’s Industrious pieces below.

Jacket: JCrew

Plaid Shirt:  Club Monaco

Denim Vest:  Levi’s

Jeans:  Lee’s (similar)

Kicks:  Quoddy

Refined at Fashion Week: Day III

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There has never been a post this long in the history of The Refined Woman because there has never been a day so epic to recount.

Though I am a fan of the Hyperbole I promise I am not exaggerating when I say yesterday was the day that all the dreams our little hearts could hold were fulfilled. 

Lest you think I still exaggerate. Let me begin with some images. I keep looking at them to remind myself it was real. 

But first, what I wore. Because that’s important, right? Maybe not as much as all the aforementioned dreams being realized, but I am happy to say that after yesterday, all the money I spent (3x more than the pants themselves!) to have these thrifted leather pants tailored seems like it was worth it.

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Cardigan : JCrew / Blouse : Lush by Nordstrom / Leather Pants : Thrifted (similar) / Heels : Louboutin  / Camera Satchel : ONA

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From Kat : What is on my bucket list you may ask?  Among sky diving and being fluent in another language is attending a JCrew Presentation at New York Fashion Week.

When Em and I found out we had tickets to the Fall 2013 JCrew Presentation there may or may not have been squeals, tears, and a little dance party.  

(Spoiler alert : we screamed like girls.)

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Here’s a shot of THE JENNA HERSELF with Anna Wintour.  NBD. (REALLY BIG DEAL.)

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From Kat : What I love about JCrew is how each season they push the envelope with their mixture of patterns, textures, and colors with classic silhouettes; it’s why they’re able to appeal to the 18 year old hipster, the 30something business woman, and Anna Wintour.  You can’t beat class, and you cannot beat Jenna Lyons innovative mixture of all things new with all things timeless.

From me : That about sums it up. This collection rocked my world in every way possible. 

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(JCREW SHOW BONUS : The guys. ) Sorry to state the obvious here, but these gentleman I mean how good looking can you get?  Really?

From Em : I think Kat may have found a husband. I saw them making eyes.

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Now, while it would have been MORE THAN ENOUGH to just see Jenna Lyons in the flesh, we were able to say hello after the show and she was so gracious and lovely to us. We may have even handed her a business card and snapped her photograph before swooning. She kissed us and the cheek, complimented our outfits, and was super sweet.  

Truly, Jenna, you are THE Refined Woman. Thank you for inspiring women in fashion everywhere.image

WAIT.

That’s not all.

At the J Crew Presentation I was able to introduce myself to a woman who really inspired me to follow my passion for fashion blogging and photography… Garance Dore. I took a photo of her at the presentation (the lighting was just OK… but Kat took this one later on which I just adore. Go Kat!)

Garance, thank you for being so gracious in person. You do not know how much it meant to me.

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and THEN. (then!!)

I took a photo of the man, the legend, the Sartorialist himself. 

As I bent back to photograph him in my heels and ridiculous leather pants I almost ATE it on the concrete of Lincoln Center. I imagine that’s where this little smile came from…

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And then I died of embarrassment and I am pretty sure I ran away. I guess it’s a good to have some moments to keep us humble, am I right?

If you looked at and read this whole post, bless you. More good stuff to come tomorrow.

xo,

Em