Holiday Cheer

I think we’re all desperately in need of a little laughter this holiday season. 2016 and 2017 have been the worst and yet, the most revolutionary years of my life. I have allowed my personal tragedies and triumphs to influence my fashion; my process is experimental, and my completed looks correspond to a visual diary. For me, developing a personal style is like any other artistic work: it does not exist in a vacuum. The stylistic choices an artist exhibits which aren’t trendy are a commentary on his or her environment.As 2017 winds to a close, across the globe we have witnessed devastation as the human spirit has been tested again and again. After all this, you’d think we need to take a break, right? America’s social and economic system turns us into automatons, instead of respecting our individual needs and desires (those which may only be found by foregoing convention and searching within). Mass consumerism will not fill the hole caused by a variety of stressors, yet it trumps our emotional needs.

My childlike spirit revels in play! I’m obviously joking when I create looks like this one. It isn’t conventionally sexy or feminine, but it’s so freeing to break the rules! Think about it: I get to share smiles with others! Isn’t that what the holiday spirit is about, appreciating what money can’t buy? Christmas and the holidays are a time to revel in both lightheartedness and sanctity. For me, this means becoming the protagonist of the goofiest Klimt painting. For you, it might mean something different.

I’m not saying it’s easy, I just want to spread holiday cheer. Self exploration: an ugly sweater here, a funny hat here, a silly night out with your friends. This simple magic, it’s where your heart lies.

xx Dina

Winter Wonderland

As you might expect, this is one of my favorite times of the year, second only to Halloween. I’m the kind of person who loves to celebrate the holiday season boldly and proudly. This year I dressed up as the literal Holiday Spirit! I wanted to drift away from the conventional red, green, or black pieces. Instead, I drew inspiration from a winter wonderland concept, brought to life by the gorgeous Chi Chi London Emmie dress, purchased through Unique Vintage. (Please keep in mind that Chi Chi is a British company, and UK sizes are 4 sizes larger than American ones.) I bought a UK 10 (equivalent to a US 6, whereas I’m a 2 to 4) expecting the dress to be a bit large, but it ended up fitting just right. Keep that in mind if you decide to buy it.
As always, I am partial to headwear. I am especially in love with berets. They add a whimsical fairy tale chic to any look. This particular lovely, fuzzy, off-white piece was gifted to me years ago. The Cinderella-inspired shoes are from Ellie, the floater cardigan is unbranded and from eBay, and the Pegasus bracelet is from Ever Faith Jewelry. My necklace was bought from a thrift store in Burbank.

My favorite part of the look is the wig! My fantastic stylist Grace, who works at Frenchy’s in Burbank, did a beautiful job. I go to her for my pixie cuts as well as any hair styling needs I might have! I always find it worth developing a personal rapport with artisans, such as hair stylists or tailors. You can come to them time and time again, building a relationship which leads to comfort with your hair and clothing, and sometimes discounts!

All my best!
Dina xx

Little Black Dress

So I’ve heard time and time again that all ladies are flattered by an LBD: a Little Black Dress. I’ve had a few black pieces in the past, but most seem too heavy for my dreamy aesthetic. I started working at Unique Vintage in Burbank a little while ago; I’ve gotten more access to their gorgeous collections of clothing. I gasped when I first caught a peek of their in-house brand Luna dress! The dress features a detachable, sheer capelet with a charming Peter Pan collar.
Overall, this versatile dress is well-worth the investment. You can remove the capelet and wear the dress by itself, beneath a cardigan or sweater, and mix and match different accessories.¬†In addition, black is flattering on any complexion, and the style is a classic. It’s a welcome addition to any style closet for any season.A rundown of the whimsical look:

That’s all, folks!
Dina xx

Pizza Pizzazz

Howdy doody, friend!ūüćēRecently, I celebrated the flamingo half of my birthday. A close friend bought me a pizza hat from my wish list, and I decided to wear it out on the town! Naturally, I went out to dinner for the scrumptious Italian dish as well. I’m near Studio City, so there’s lots of Hollywood-related artwork and memorabilia.

This is one of the few outfits where nearly everything is thrifted! The dress is from Jessica Howard Petite, which I also found at Goodwill. Nearly all my jewelry or accessories are found at various thrift stores or on eBay. My eccentric butterfly earrings were found at Wright Square Vintage & Retro Mall, a charming shop in Savannah, GA.Children of every age delighted in my spectacle! Three little girls begged their daddy for a shot with me, the Pizza Princess.

They weren’t the only ones intrigued by this look. “Excuse me, ma’am. I simply must ask, who are you wearing?” inquired the posh British businessman, intrigued by my couture style. “What is the magazine you are shooting for? I love this new look!” Definitely one of the highlights of the flamingo half of my birthday: being confused for a high fashion model in a pizza hat.

Yours truly,

Dina xx

Casual Charisma

It’s a toasty midsummer afternoon and you’ve got a barbecue to attend: you want to look (and feel!) super cute, but don’t want to compromise comfort for charm. I’ve been in this position more times than I can count, making pros-and-cons lists of the best shoes for grassy knolls and the best dresses for lounging.

Here are my top Flamingo-Swan tips for keeping it cool, casual, and sophisticated:

  1. Plan ahead.

Usually, you’ll find out the location of an event through Facebook or another app at least a week before. I always prepare by Googling the location, and immediately checking my closet for clothing and colors most suitable for the terrain. Picnic? You’re probably going to stay on grass, don’t want to risk something white getting stained. A fun barbecue followed by a frisbee game with the fam? Sneakers will be your best friend!

2. Comfort first.

I know it’s summer, so it’s tempting to gravitate towards the most flattering neckline or mini-skirt. But, as much as I love feminine dresses, if I’m going to be running around in the heat, I can’t afford to compromise movement. Cute shorts are always an option! And for this particular look, I chose a cotton dress (Lauren Ralph Lauren, a gift from a friend), knit for my skin to breathe.

3. Accessories dress you up!

My cotton dress is figure-hugging, so it flatters me, but it’s also super stretchy! The lacy neckline draws attention to the focal point, my face, while the stripes add a hint of fun. (Plus this was my Independence Day outfit, so I had to fit the theme.¬†ūüėČ)¬†But it’s the shoes that are the real winners here! They’re my charming Taylor Swift red velvet Keds, complete with cute white rhinestones! I got them at a discounted price from eBay. Keds or Chuck Taylors are always divine, and the spicy red hue flatters every complexion!

Additionally, I add a delicate punch with my celestial stud earrings. They’re tiny enough that they’re comfortable for the outdoors, but add a dash of ethereality and sparkle.

4. If in doubt, do without.

I advise people not to wear anything that’s ill-fitted or has loose straps. The last thing you want is to have your mind off your friends and family, and on some element of your attire which leaves you self-conscious. The most attractive part of your wardrobe is your smile and I promise you that, even if you dress down, staying present will add charm and allure!¬†And always remember: sunscreen is your most valuable beauty trick! Stay SPF-safe out there, lovelies.¬†ūüėé

Have fun with your looks, and send some my way!

Dina xx

Follow Your Heart!

I believe everyone makes a statement with what they are wearing, whether or not they’re being intentional about it. And life is short, why not express yourself as openly as possible?

Kiki’s Delivery Service has been my favorite movie since I was 11 years old! (I remember literally crying because I couldn’t be Kiki! She is that magical.¬†‚ú® )

Hot Topic¬†is one of my favorite stores for pop culture-themed clothing. The entire Studio Ghibli Her Universe collection, from which¬†I got this Kiki tank, is fabulous. The silhouettes¬†are well-designed, and the Ghibli-themed prints are more than just a stamped-on afterthought! Even though I normally wear¬†retro-style tops (think Peter Pan collars and polka dots), I made¬†an exception to show some Kiki love! I kept¬†a vintage feel with the structured, waist-defining skirt (found at Goodwill) and cute sandals¬†(Chelsea Crew from Modcloth). The¬†delicate jewelry pieces play up the sweetness of the outfit. They’re from various online stores, like Amazon and eBay.

It’s important for me to make breaks with my typical fashion structure to play with my look! Exploration is part of following your heart. Mixing and matching is such a fun way to explore new combinations that might send a great message you never expected!

Also,¬†check out the fun pairing of the design on the shirt and my favorite cross-stitch purse! I’m obsessed with the purse (from Debois Textiles) because it’s so goofy: it¬†features a Baroque-era gentleman proposing to his demure lady. It celebrates my love of love!¬†ūüíĖ

‘Til next time!

Dina xx

Santa Monica Sweetheart

When the weather was a bit warmer, Flamingo-Swan adventured to the Santa Monica Pier! This look highlights another example of splurging on wardrobe staples that will continue to serve you, time and time again.

I ordered my swimsuit, a dainty Esther Williams piece, from¬†popular retro boutique¬†Unique Vintage. A¬†little under 100 bucks, it’s¬†a total investment. The craftsmanship ensures that the piece will hold well for many trips to the beach, the print¬†and design are impeccably on period, and, lastly, it’s just so darn cute!! My cloche hat is from ModCloth and my Ray-Ban-style sunnies are from Cherry Pick Vintage. If you’re willing to spend a little time, you can always find items you love on sale both in-store and online.

First off, the color red is sexy¬†on almost any woman, regardless of complexion. This pinup halter swimsuit shape is iconic: Marilyn herself is well-known for showing off her famous curves back in the 50’s. And as usual, I love pairing sweet with sexy. I’m in love with this look because the colors match perfectly, but the prints are comic and contrasting.¬†The geometric shapes in the polka dot print, the stripes, and the sunglasses play off each other just enough to be silly! ¬†Let’s disarm with charm!¬†ūüíó

Dina xx

Hollywood Princess

A belated birthday post: I celebrated my special day, fit for a princess, strolling down Sunset Boulevard! ¬†Let’s face it: who doesn’t¬†have that ideal “birthday look” floating around in her head? I had the perfect pink dress in my imagination, and I was¬†even willing to splurge a little extra! Sometimes though, life throws you a curve ball and you have to work with what you’ve got. I went to every thrift store you could think of but eventually came to terms with the fact¬†I was not going to find that¬†sweet dress Molly Ringwald would die for. And sometimes, the perfect one¬†is hiding in plain sight.¬†ūüėČ ¬†Like this white princess dress I found at SquaresVille¬†for under $30!

Once I let go of the ideal pink dream, I saw how perfect this one is. The satin, rosy strips are dainty and alluring! The flouncy cap sleeves would make Anne of Green Gables cry for smelling salts. But I still wanted to feel like a glammed up Audrey in Sabrina.

The sexy devil really is in the details. As long as you perk up your makeup and accessories, you can make any demure look more flirtatious. The accessories were all hints of beige, pink, and gold. (The shoes are¬†Violet & Red! My headband? DSW!) So my look was less “damsel in distress,” I went hardcore on my makeup at MAC. Hot pink lips, intense eye makeup, and blush. I also painted my nails trendy pinks and golds with glitter!

Altogether, this look was still relatively inexpensive. I can afford to splurge a bit on the makeup and dress because I cycle other items, like shoes and purses, within my wardrobe regularly. Check back next time for more thrifty tips!

Dina xx

P.S. You get a bonus prize of Flamingo-Swan at the most whimsical restaurant ever: The Bazaar by José Andrés. This modern art is just too cool for me.