The Refined Woman

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Weekly Round-up

With summer in the air, this week’s Weekly Round-Up is all about embracing the approaching season’s vibrant colors, sunshine, florals, etc.! 

Here at The Refined Woman this past week…

Things may have been a bit quiet around here, but trust us we’ve been here, there + everywhere!

Kat posted Weekend Getaway tips and advice for keeping it simple while traveling (Check out the full post on Verily Magazine).

And we were so honored to feature an inspiring and encouraging “Beauty Is…” by our sweet friend Lauren Scruggs.

Em got back from Tokyo + Bali + is adjusting sweet Charlie back to a Cali time zone!  (Bless her heart!)

In other blogging news we had some favorite posts from some gals we follow!

An easy romantic hair tutorial?  Umm…yes please!

We’re loving this simple and beautiful summer makeup look. Definitely going to give it a try next week when I’m in Paris with my sisters!!!

I mean honestly… pineapple mint popsicles…I’m dead.

Crushing on these colorful tribal clutches from Spanish brand Lola Nomada. They would pair perfectly with a LWD this summer!

The perfect DIY to showcase those lovely peonies before the beloved flower’s season comes to an end! #flowerwreath

How to Wear Chambray 12 different ways?  Yep…I’m all in. #chambrayonchambrayonchambray

In the summer heat and humidity I often feel like 2 hours after I do my makeup it has melted off…so I’m eager to try some of these tricks by The Everygirl to keep my look lasting all day!

Beauty is…Shifting

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Ladies I have the privilege of introducing Miss Lauren Scruggs to the Beauty Is…series.  Lauren is a dear friend, confidant, fellow Beyonce Aficianado, prayer warrior, and holds a beauty that is full of life, depth, and purpose.  Without this gal I probably wouldn’t make it through Fashion Week.  We run around town going to shows together, process life, and order takeout when we should probably be at a party!  

I’m incredibly honored to call this amazing woman my friend!  God is using her in powerful ways.  Lauren is changing our culture with a voice of beauty and grace!

XO, 

Kat

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A couple of years ago, my life took a big shift. My calendar paused, my career path changed, and my platform increased after a night of injury, or what my subconscious defined as a depletion of beauty. In retrospect, I clearly see how I easily submerged in destructive comparison after this life-altering experience. The thoughts swirled: my life story has its twists and turns; my career path looks different than my friend who works a 9-5; my passions are rearranging and not set in stone. 

I quickly came to realize that comparison is equivalent to worry; it only severely hinders and limits fruition. Plus, if we really think about it, wouldn’t life be boring if we were all the same?

Beauty makes you bloom. In essence, it is freedom to be you.  

Being confident in the fact that God purposely put specific passions in your heart is what makes you beautiful. Think about it:You have been through the struggle, through the most joyous days, and through the unknown for a brilliant reason. They each fabricate who you are and how you grow; they form a deeper compassion for others, greater patience through times of waiting, and clearer awareness of true contentment. They bring you to know that the valley produces some of the greatest realization, which results in genuine appreciation for love and life. 

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Beauty makes the mindless worries disintegrate; it makes each moment worth living. It allows you to celebrate who God has made you to be while emboldening who God has made others to be. It makes diversity attractive. It depletes jealousy. It makes us real.
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Beauty is acknowledging your self-worth, purpose, and passion without reservation. It is opening your eyes to the vastness of someone’s heart. It pushes you to boldly run down the road set before you without fear because a bump in the road or a jolly journey will only result in the fullness of who you are.

XO,

Lo

Photos by me:  Kat Harris

New York Fashion Week from My Lens

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Fashion Week is over.  Le’sigh.  

Balance + Creativity.  Those are my two words from Fashion Week, and if I had a third it would be freeeeeeeezing!

Creatively, what consistently inspires me with each Fashion Week I have attended is how committed designers are season after season to continue creating.  These sometimes less than 10 minute runway shows represent a culmination of upwards of a year of dreaming, planning, and executing. There is always a deadline. With the final bow from the designer after her September show, she knows that she has precisely 6 months until her next bow. There cannot be a moment wasted between bows.

And then there’s the aspect of balance.  As opposed to last February with Em when we ran ourselves completely ragged, my goal this February was to remain balanced in the chaos.

This meant me making choices and practicing saying no to some really fun things (Any FOMO’ers out there will sympathize with me on this).  

It meant choosing a night in as opposed to going out for a fancy dinner, church instead of a runway show, the ballet with friends and not a networking event, flats instead heels (some of the days), one on one coffee dates and not a late night swanky party.  It was good for me to tangibly walk out balance, and to be present with the idea that working hard is important, but we are so much more than what we do.  

I will say I dearly missed Miss Em this Fashion Week; it’s much more fun to go to things with a partner in crime.  Thankfully though God provided some wonderful buddies for me to run around with.

I walk away from the past week exhausted, yet inspired.  Inspired to keep creating + to keep striving for balance in my life.

Now onto my photo journal…I just have so much to show y’all

First off:  Alice + Olivia.  Hands down the most creative experience all week.  The Alice + Olivia presentation was comprised of 7 unique fairy tale experiences in the McKittrick Hotel where the infamous play Sleep No More is housed.  Not only were the clothes beautiful, you truly felt you were on this fairy tale journey through the mind + heart of Stacey Bendet.

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Like I said Fashion Week wasn’t all work, I got to run around the city with my sweet friend Lauren.  From coffees to Hillsong to late night Bingo at The Standard we had a blast together.  I’m so thankful for this girl.

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Then I got to meet + photograph this fellow Southern gal Anna, who is not only super sweet, but an uber talented stylist!

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I just can’t really talk about the Nautica Menswear Collection.  Oh em gee, those men were so incredibly handsome.  Oof.  That’s all I’m going to say about that.

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Mid-day coffee breaks at Saturday Surf were a must.

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My heels came straight off after the shows, and fit nicely in one of the slots in my fabulous camera bag.

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Night at the Ballet; it was inspiring + melted my soul.

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Y’all might not know this, but I was first introduced to fashion week, over 3 years ago.  I photographed in the pit for 12 seasons, and as crazy as it is I found myself missing it terribly this season.  Maybe next September I can find myself back in the grind!

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Mara Hoffman’s Collection was ethereal + bold.  Her mixtures of geometric + tribal-esque patterns were surprising and refreshing!

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Wall-o-instagram in Lincoln Center.  You could use their hashtag #mbfw + if you were so lucky + (if you had a gazillion followers) your picture would appear on the wall!

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Dear Monique Lhuillier,

You slay me.  Season after season after season.  You make style look so effortless and chic.  Your work embodies femininity and strength.  You inspire me.

Love,

Kat.

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This gold + creme dress was my favorite!

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Then sometimes you go to shows, and you feel like you’re herded cattle and have to wait outside in the 15 degree weather for 45 minutes.  #notglamorous #imsurprisedmyfeetstillfunctionbecausetheyweresocold….

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…only to be let inside + realize that your seat has been taken + this is your view of the show…

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BUT THEN…my whole day was worth it because I saw the legendary Bill Cunningham.

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And this leads me to my final show:  Nanette Lepore, which was an exquisite way to end my week.  (Not to mention I sat across from effortlessly chic and elegant Kelly Rutherford AKA Lilly VanDerWoodson)

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It pains me to say I cut out so many images…guys I shot so so much, but in not wanting to be redundant/bore you to death I tried to keep it down.

That being said, if you have made it to the end of this epicly long post, bless you.

Until September, I bid fashion week adieu!

XO,

Kat

A Refined Woman | Brynn Watkins

1. Who is Brynn Watkins, and, aside from Being Elliott, what are some other projects you’re involved with?

I am a woman who is always looking for the next thing. I am always looking forward to the next step, the next collaboration or the next styling job. I love making connections and meeting new people with interesting life stories so I can learn and gain knowledge from their experiences. I am driven to a fault. 

Projects are always coming at me from any which direction. Right now I am working on a summer styling shoot set in Montauk—think ”Mara Hoffman” esque.  

2. What is Being Elliott all about?

Being Elliott is all about helping women discover the whimsical fascinations of life through inspiring ideas, style tips and personal touches which create their special looks. I really want to make women smile at the end of the day.  If Being/Elliott can help do that, than I am ecstatic. 

3. Why did you start Being Elliott?

I needed a platform to share all my crazy creative energy! I love fashion and finding inspiration from other blogs and content out there and I thought..why not contribute to that inspiration myself? It is now my passion and escape.

4. Describe who you think your typical reader is (her style and attitude towards life)?

She is independent, bold , knows what she believes in and is willing to fight for it. She also knows you don’t have to spend “an arm and leg” to look like a total fox.  

I pray my reader always remembers to laugh at herself and to think of others before her own needs. I want to be her friend :) 

6. Share your Favorite designer and why.

Oh gosh…. what a tough question!

Right now, I am loving 3.1 Phillip Lim. His style of minimalism and elegant line is really hard not to fall in love with. I have yet to find a piece he has designed I can’t see eye to eye with. 3.1 Phillip Lim was meant to be in my closet.   His price tag is another issue :)

7. Share three products you are currently obsessing over and why.

-My Elize Cuff from Stendahl Jewelry is the perfect piece. I just slip it on my wrist and it takes my outfit to the next level. Love.

-My new scent from Goest Perfumes called "Dauphine". The subtle hints of rosebud and almond musk is an instant confidence booster. 

-My favorite new book and current read from my editor at LOLO Magazine, Lauren Scruggs’  Still Lolo.  This is an inspirational story about faith overcoming all obstacles. I can’t put it down! 

8. Advice for bloggers just starting out?

Be bold and develop your own unique voice.  Also, don’t be scared to reach out to brands and companies you love. Who knows what can happen. Try! Try! Try!

Refined at Fashion Week: Day V

Our travails at Fall 2013 New York Fashion Week have come to an end for now, and I can honestly say this has been my most favorite Fashion Week experience.  Maybe it was because I was with my partner in Crime (Em), maybe it was that we got to attend shows of some of our favorite designers (Billy Reid, Trina Turk + JCrew), but I think a big part of it was all the new + old friends we got to meet and play with in the city!

We worked our little tails off, but we also played our little tails off as well.  I really do think NYC is the city that doesn’t sleep, or maybe it’s the city that I never sleep in…

Either way, enjoy our last Refined at Fashion Week post with some of our favorite Behind the Scenes and Street Style that we photographed!

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A little dance party after the Billy Reid Show last Friday night…

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Sweet Heather who let us stay with her in Union Square, and was our official photog after Billy Reid when we had our lil dance par-tay.

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Late night in Union Square after drinks at The Ace Hotel.  Nemo couldn’t keep us out!

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Bristish Blogger Ella Catliff looked poised + polished as usual!

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Did I run after the GQ Men so I could snap their pictures?  I don’t…maybe!?  I mean come on how handsome are they?  And I adore Justin Doss’ white denim in February (and his smile too).  

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Miss Alicia of Cheetah is the New Black

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Shea of Cheyenne Meets Chanel with Mateo her beau.

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Dallas Gal Courtney Kerr.  This is her Grandmother’s Fur Coat; it kinda took my breath away.  See more about her outfit on her blog HERE.

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Sweet friend Shannon Yoachum of Lolo Mag + Style by Lolly.  She’s another Texas lady that I just adore.  Check our more shots I grabbed of her on her blog HERE.

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In the midst of Nemo, Anna of In Honor of Design and I grabbed some photos in Union Square and a yummy coffee at Joe’s.  She might be one of the cutest southern gals I’ve met!

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Finally Miss Lauren Scruggs (a dear friend from Dallas) with Shannon Yoachum.  The Texas ladies were representing at NYFW this season!

Well friends, that’s all for New York Fashion Week this season; it was unbelievable, we loved every second of it, and feel so blessed to have gotten to meet such lovely people, go to fabulous shows, and prance around the city as The Refined Woman!

XOXO,

Kat + Em