Beauty Is ...

Beauty Is… LIMITLESS | A Very Refined Brunch

11.17.14

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Photos Courtesy of Sara of Tutti delMonte

New York Fashion Week is in full swing!  Thus begins the whirlwind of endless fashion showscocktail 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

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Thanks to some rad people we had some wonderful swag bags.  Thank you Jenna KutcherEsther Jean DesignsConscious MagazineDarling Magazine, + Ira Lippke Studios.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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And of course we had some fun over on Instagram!

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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!

News / Style

The JCREW Presentation | A.K.A My fave Day at NYFW

11.17.14

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Do you remember Em + I’s first Fashion Week together a few years ago + how we met Jenna Lyons and it was sorta the best day of our lives?  (#kiddingnotkidding)

If you know anything about Em + me you know we love us some Jenna Lyons.  She is one of our style icons.  In the last decade she has completely turned JCrew into one of the most across the board wearable All American classic brands.  Jenna Lyons is JCrew.

As a photographer we also look up to Bill Cunningham.  He is the Father of Street Style.  You know you’re a photographer at Fashion Week when everyone is gawking over the celebrities + you’re gawking over the person taking the photo.  That was me at JCrew yesterday.  Everyone wants to be shot by Bill, and he’s this old little man just doing his thing, pushing people out of the way, doing his job.

So you can imagine the level of my excitement when Jenna pushes past the crowds and says “Bill let’s take a selfie”!  She pulls out her phone + they start taking some iPhone pics.

Basically two of my biggest fashion + photography icons are in front of me taking pictures.  I grabbed the above picture, and it’s now one of my favorite pictures from any show I’ve attended/shot.

Anyways, the show was incredible; it made me so excited for Spring Summer 2015.  I want one of everything!

XO,

Kat

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These two boys were just darling.  They kept leaning over and telling secrets + when I asked them what they were talking about they just smiled at me.  (I can only assume they were talking about how much loved me right?)

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This lovely gem stole the show in my opinion.  She embodies the All-American girl + also my favorite type of clothing a.k.a. clothes comfy enough to be sweats, yet also extremely fashionable!

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This was one of my favorite looks + something that I can see myself wearing Fall + Spring to be honest.

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But this gal’s outfit was my favorite.  I love a good army green + loved the mixture of different textures:  the pleated skirt with the army jacket.  I am so down for that.

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I’m just going to go ahead + put this out in the universe:  I think this guy has  a crush on me.  I mean look at those eyes (don’t try + tell me it’s his job to eye-flirt with me…I like to think he only gave those eyes to moí).

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Another favorite outfit.  I love how JCrew takes classic silhouettes and makes them so modern; it makes it easy to purchase a few pieces each season + build upon them.  (Like this classic pleated skirt)

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This lovely lady wins the award for Best EyeBrows #ammiright?

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And there is Miss Lyons just being her fierce, powerful self.

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At first I thought Bill was taking my photo, but he was really taking the photo of the lovely European model next to me:)

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You know I love a good white-on-white look.

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I found it interesting that for the most part the women’s looks were much more put together than the men’s looks.  I mean I love the above, but it seems like women are dressing more up + men are dressing more down these days…thoughts?

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Style influencer Nick Wooster above.

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For the men it was all about the bandana look around the neck; it reminded me of the 90s when my mom put scarves around our necks in elementary school.  I sorta loved it.

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And again…Miss Jenna Lyons for the win folks.  Bravo Jenna for another fabulous collection.

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All Photos by:  Kat Harris

Check out some of my favorite current JCrew Looks.

Beauty Is ...

Beauty Is…FREEDOM

11.16.14

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.

XO,

Kat