Beauty Through a Lens

In January of this year, I wrapped a year long photo project with photographer Matt D'Angelo. It began as a Natural beauty Project (NBP) and evolved into a creative portfolio building piece for Matt, the models, and myself.

This Saturday evening at Fusion Salon (home away from home!) I will be debuting  some favorite photos from the NBP as well as the a handful of others from developing local photographers and models.

Here are a few of my favorites from the NBP:

Thanks to the spark that Matt started, I began reaching out to local photographers, entering hair competitions, expanding my styling skills, and capturing a very attractive, marketable side of what I do: hair, wardrobe, and makeup.

Proud as I am of the work accomplished,  the artistic desire to push myself keeps kicking my butt...I just can't shake it. As my good friend and photographer Hannah Betts recently put it, "Andrea, you know you can do commercial style work. It is now time to stretch yourself."

So....let's see what happens next, shall we?!

Here are a few teasers from the upcoming art opening.
SATURDAY Sept 22. 6pm-10pm. Fusion Salon.

Come hang out with me, have a drink on us,  and view this artistic processes as it evolves.

Photos Top by D'Angelo Photo, Models Leah Kane (top) and Anna Dana (bottom). Photos Bottom by Hannah Betts Photogrpahy. Model Anna Dana.

Shoe Essentials Fall/Winter 2011

.Shoes. Cant's live with out them. Really, truly a personal favorite. Keep your eyes peeled for these Fall/Winter Essentials:

Riding Boots. Preferably in cognac or some grey tone. Mmm, so wonderful and comfy.

 Oxfords: cute, gender bending. Buy them in leather, canvas, or suede...just get a pair. Any color, nuetral or bright will do. For shorter legs, I suggest buying a pair with a built in heel or wedge. Wedge oxfords are my favorite

Flirty Maryjanes. Update your closet. Softly pointed toes and a nod to the 40s are all around us. Engage your desire to play dress-ups.

Army influenced desert boots. A tip: wear them with short, tights and thin scrunch-able socks to show off the boot as a main accessory...a perfect way to transition from summer wardrobe to fall.

Images: Top Center Tall Color Block BDG Boot, Center Right 80%20 Oxfords, Center Left Minna Parikka Heart Maryjane, Bottom Center Clarks Desert Mali Distressed Suede Boot

Rochester: Fashion Flash

Dear readers,

First off, my apologies for falling off the face of the earth this summer. I have been focusing energies on a fashion/beauty photographic project about to be wrapped up. (Images coming soon!) I am back and in business.

If it's any consolation, the fashion mood is JUST shifting now, as it always takes AMPLE time for Rochester to AMP up. But, never fear! Fashion is in the sweet smelling air of fall!


Two major upcoming events will be defining style this season.

Fashion "Week" of Rochester

Rochester's first ever Fashion Week has been declared for Sept 30-Oct 2. More of a expose week-end, it boasts of a 3 day foray into what Rochester has to offer: a boutique crawl through 14 of the area's locally owned and operated destination stores; The Art of Fashion, a still modeled fashion show at Four Walls Art Gallery; and the weekend culminates with The Height of Fashion, a live runway show hosted by Rochester's own Memorial Art Gallery. This sounds built for success.

One criticism: scheduling for this event was not clearly defined online or in print until a mere 3 weeks before the event. Even the local area stores selling tickets were not updated with details before/at the point when tickets arrived. For the sake if fashion aficionados awaiting in anticipation, get your info out there sooner!
Eye Candy hosts during Fashion Week's Boutique Crawl Thurs, Sept 30th.

Dado Fall Fashion Show

Dado kicks off it's third bi-annual fashion show October 19 at Good Luck, with a preview of fall/winter samples to salivate over. Don't fix what ain't broke seems to be the theme, as jewelry shown remains to be by Mann's and Futurpointe performs at intermission for the second time consecutively. New to the mix and will be hair (and makeup?) by Rock, Paper, Scissors Salon, an up-and-coming salon in the area salon circuit. One can't help but wonder why Scott Miller pulled out of Dado's fall/winter preview to do Fashion Week of Rochester...makes for a slight sense of competition. But, who are we kidding, here? Rochester's scene is just burgeoning such that the reality is beaucoup room for growth. 

Ok, ladies and gents- get dapper, get set and GO!

Dado Fall Fashion Show- Tues, Oct 19th. The third bi-annual show slated to be a success. 

Spring Style Notes

Spring is soon upon us and it is the ideal time to shop. New inventory is pouring in and if you like a steal, then cleverly mix up some winter clearance into your spring wardrobe.

andrea's spring must-haves

denim leggings

This is the new rage. Trendy and comfortable, you can't go wrong. Occasionally referred to as jeggings, jean leggings look best paired with tunic length shirts.

All of the prominent denim companies have a version of this trend; so, GO find your favorite pair!


 (above, top: Joe's denim from, available in Rochester at A Step Apart; above, bottom: H&M leggings available at H&M retailers)

shirt dress/men's dress shirt

There's nothing sexier than getting out of bed and throwing on your boyfriend's rumpled button up. New takes on this style range from ultra feminine, body forming to loose and literal.

Which ever direction you steer, make sure your shirt is long enough to graze your cheekline (down below) and pair it with your new denim leggings!

andrea's pick:
Matt shirtdress by Jack by BBDakota, above,  keeps it structured and girly by hugging the natural waist. Available at Thread in Rochester.


Love your legs?? Show them off in a cutesy romper. Here's the key: WEAR with wedges/espadrilles to keep those sunkissed limbs looking toned.

Hate your legs?? Buy a full romper that draws attention to your arms. Problem solved.

The point is, buy a romper this Spring!!

andrea's picks:
Lucca Couture Jumper, above left, available at Urban Oufitters
Dolce Vita Romper, below right, with peekaboo lace back   available at (Dolce Vita sold at Dado of Rochester)

 (above left, Floral Playsuit available at

hidden wedges 

Hidden wedges are spectacular. They give the allusion of wearing a flat while still adding height and tone to the leg- perfect when wearing a romper. Best of all, they are comfortable to walk in. This may be fashion's best kept secret, as they are not easy to find. 

andrea's pick: 
Molly Classic by 80%20, above, available online at
(Note: any hidden wedges by 80%20 are amazing, although it is difficult to find retailers in this area. I use to find styles first, and then the site will direct you to online retailers where you can purchase.)

(above, Aldo hidden wedge booties available at all Aldo locations)

The Essential T-Shirt

Every season I find few of those amazing essential pieces and this week, I found winter's perfect T-shirt as Target in the maternity section of all places! No, it won't make you look pregnant. In fact the only thing maternity looking whatsoever about this T is that is is super long- perfect for layering under countless outfits this winter! I bought in in every color on the rack.

Criteria for the perfect T-Shirt:

1. First glance. Check!
How great does it look on that hanger? This Liz Lange T is a burnout material that is both stylish, but not soo burnt out that it will only last 5 washes. It comes in bright white, soft grey and deep pink ( pink threads woven with subtle black threads- very nice.)

2. Fit.  Check!
A good t-shirt need to fit longer rather than wider. This particulaer T is extra long, falling midway down the bottom when fully stretched. The armholes need to be cut high enough to make an attractice cling across the bustline. V-neck or crew depends on your body type and preference. For example, I have narrow shoulders, making V-neck an ideal choice to visually enhance them.

3. Feel. Check!
The fabrication of a great always includes a goood blend of cottonm, preferably 60% or more. I prefer my T's preshrunk, but in this case, cost wins that argument. Such a deal.

4. Price. Check!
Only $12.99 online and currently reduced to HALF-PRICE in target stores NOW.

Check out this Perfect Layerable T-shirt at here !!

The Heaven's Shine Down: New East Ave Boutique Opens

I get so excited when I see something fresh happen for Rochester fashion! Savvy shoppers out there NEED to check out EYE CANDY on East Ave ( ).

Opened by graphic designer Nadine Hall of Penfield, Eye Candy has bold, simplistic atmosphere. The walls are bright and colorful, allowing the clothing to take centerstage against them. The music was quirky in that indypop way that make you want to nod your head to the beat while you shop. I must also add, when I went in the heat was ON and I heartily appreciate the warmth when I'm standing in the dressing room in my underwear!

Best of all, Nadine was attentive without imposing that irky obligation that you MUST buy what you opt to try on. Therefore, I purchased!! Yes and I wholeheartedly plan to spend a nice chunk of my next paycheck on the Recession denim that I tried on but could not afford this week.

Oh, you know we are all checking the pricetags, holding our breath, at places like this. FEAR NOT for the little black dress for under $100 is with you. Clothing options included a sundry of pieces for under $100 and a few just over. Men's clothes, naturally ran a little higher, but the basic tops for men and woman alike were $40-$50. The men's section was fitted with some decent outerwear; the woman's was not. (I did find this peculiar. And you know I love my jackets.) Instead, the woman's had a feisty show of holiday dresses and pieces that can be mixed and matched. Is this tactic a sign of inexperienced buying or a smartly targeting the demographic? I'm prone to think the former, but time shall tell. Time shall tell.

Recession denim, currently at Eye Candy (Pics from Penguin shirt, below (pic from

Start with Structure

Whether its building a house, a haircut or an outfit, STRUCTURE is the first step. With clinging jersey knits continuing to gain popularity, this art principle continues ring true.

Here are some suggestions sure to structure the body better in your latest trendy outfit:

1. Express Lined Camisoles

Love handles- you just cannot have them. Express lined camisoles are long lasting and have superb spandex, making anyone's flab a bit firmer. And, they can easily be tucked in and keep you insulated in the winter.

2. Control Top Pantyhose

When an ensemble does not work with the camisole, shear control top pantyhose do the trick, even under dress pants and jeans. Hanes makes a great version that make you forget you even put them on, Hanes Barely There. These target both the love handles and a less than perfect behind. 

3. Leggings

Tunics. T-shirt dresses. Legging Jeans. Legging Dress Pants. Capri Length. Calf-length. Full length. Everywhere we turn there are legging. A good rule of thumb: if born before 1970 and/or weigh more than 150, leggings are not for you. Middle aged women tend to look stuck in a past decade and ladies beyond a thin frame tend to look unkempt donning this popular trend.

Leggings are comfortable, casual or dressy and relatively inexpensive to replace. But in this case, do yourself a favor: ONLY purchase leggings of quality material that is not transparent. IF purchasing legging  jeans , be aware that only a unisex long, lean body type ever looks spectacular in them. When it comes to legging dress pants, a little spandex goes a long way. Finally, these pants are NEVER to be worn with natural waist shirts (think fingertips and longer). For some dresses, consider replacing leggings with solid black tights.

I have a love/hate feeling about leggings. They've been so good to me, but they can never be a part of a professional office wardrobe. And, as the babydoll shape fades out of popularity, it's to be expected that leggings will finally be replaced by fabulous tights. On the other hand, the eighties trend continues to carry on the skinny pants/legging styling. So, stay on the lookout for more professional versions and be prepared to spend a little extra to get a cut and quality that make your body look its best.

Featured: American Apparel Leggings. Photo from

Spring 2010 Sees Bold Bursts of Orange

The Spring 2010 runway has already revealed that orange, borderline-lipstick-red is a common color being used by designers. This trend lends itself, although is not limited to, the tribal theme emerging among the New York designers.

(Left to right, top to bottom: Luella, BCBG Max Azria, Phillip Lim, Vivienne Westwood Red Label, Paul Smith Woman. Photography from )

Thread Fashion Show

Things were happening at the Thread Fashion Show this past Saturday. I went for the evening backstage, as a stylist, and thoroughly relished in the 1940s glory of the hair.

Things were smooth sailing. The music was hot, the models were spunky and I am pretty sure every person in the room (guy and girl included) walked away with a crush in the austere model Brandon Boyer. The clothes?? I am sure a few ladies fell in love with the red riding jacket, as well. Fall classic!

Next year, I would love to see this show in a venue with a bit more panache. And, it would be great if some other local vendors were involved. More clothes would prolong the length of the show and that was one area for improvement.

(Photographs Courtesy of Mike Ford)

Thread: Burglary and Fashion Show

Have you heard? Thread (located on South Ave) is hosting a fall fashion show at Tilt Nightclub on Saturday September 12. The theme, Outlaw, speaks to the recent burglary at Thread a few weeks ago...and perhaps the edginess of this fall's fashion as well? Can't say I quite find the fashion this fall pushing any boundaries. Either way, the fashion show couldn't have been aimed at a better week, considering Rochester's Insider Magazine did their best version of a fall fashion preview this week and Thread was in every shot.

The Insider spreads had potential to be more interesting but stayed predictably commercial, with a Walmart-appropriate friendliness. Could this be because the inventory was limited to the whopping THREE  Rochester clothing boutiques that promote a general interest in the skate/street culture? Why didn't they contact Krudco for some least for some shoes? (I wish that they'd hire me to style those shoots...they are less than interesting. That said, I DO honestly appreciate the beautiful backdrop of Veneto's exposed brick wall).

I don't mean to be a Negative Nancy, but my last point of contention about those Insider spreads: nowhere did it clearly state where any of those clothing stores could be found or contacted OR who styled the shoots.
Keep it comin', Rochester, but let's step it up.


The Quest for Eyeglasses

For goodness' sake, you'd think you could find a decent pair of eyeglasses in this city! That was my initial thought, after my new puppy devoured my frames. I set out to find a new style.

The truth is, you can find a decent pair. Sure, finding the ideal pair, much like the ideal haircut, requires a bit of searching but if there is anything Rochester has in abundance, it's some great frames. I've recently gone from East to West Rochester checking out the frames. Here are my top recommendations:

1. Eye Openers.
Located on Monroe Ave in Brighton, you will find unique frames and attentive service. It's best to book and appointment in advance. Take advantage of their annual "Garage Sale" the first week of August. This unadvertised event is highly sought after, as designer frames are on clearance for as low as $30. One downfall is that they have mainly daytime hours.

2.Our Village Optician
Located in small town Brockport, home of SUNY Brockport College, "Lee Lee" carries an incredible variety of frames from dozens of different venders. Best variety, by far, including Coach, for the brand snobs out there (NOT my style to advertise a brand blatantly, but thank the good Lord that the world is full of diversity!). Downfall: ONLY daytime hours and you can only order frames Monday-Thursday, when Lee Lee is working...ahhh!!! It's like they are trying to lose business.

3. One Hip Chic
Located on Park Ave in Rochester, this is a true boutique. The atmosphere, presentation and selection of frames is well thought out and the most unique in the city. You want some funky frames? This is the place. European, Bob Dylan-esque, retro flare, or just plain unusual. One Hip Chic is the most fashion forward shop of the city, and its surrounding area. You will also pay the most!! (Completely worth it.) Bonus: clearance rack in the back. There really is nothing truly negative to say about this place. Keep in mind, the selection is won't find anyone else in the city with the same pair of glasses if you purchase here, but this means the selection is limited, as well. Hours are decent; prices are $250+.

4. Empire Vision, Brockport Location
This is the best chain store in the area. Why Brockport? The Buyers/Merchandisers target this location with trendier frames, due to the immediate college population in the area. Absolutely worth checking out, especially if you are budget minded.

So, where did I end up buying some new frames?  I found the perfect shape at Our Village Optician, but the color didn't sell me enough to spend $334 dollars on one frame (lenses included). Instead, I found and equally funky, albeit a bit less unique, pair at Stearling Optical of Henrietta in TWO colors and bought them both for a great bargain. This August special included getting $100 off your first pair of glasses and 50% your second pair. Both frames (lenses included) came out to be $342,  just $8 more than the pair I had deliberated over in Brockport!! Yay for me!!

Sure, I could have hooked my husband up with a new pair of glasses instead. But after all that research, I deserved a couple different pairs to go with my ever-evolving wardrobe. This time, it was ok to be selfish.

Fashion in Rochester?? August 24, 2009

So, here we go: my simple thoughts, ideas, discoveries and suggestions about Rochester style, music and art as it relates to fashion.

Rochester. Great place to live. The general job fields here revolve around education and  hospitals. Here I am, post college, newly married and finding life in Rochester. But, very little fashion (or, so is seems).

I am no fashionista. I am a displaced fashion major in love with inspiration, history, color, style, texture, silhouette and a good buy. I am a twenty-something year old, semi-hipster with some solid indie rock in my ipod and a love of learning. My favorite childhood game was dress-ups and I never really grew out of it.

My goal: to get an intelligent discussion about Rochester fashion into an open forum. 
(That's right Emily Shearing. I said intelligent.)

Awesome. Thanks for checking me out.