A brand that everyone can be a part of

Author Archive

Tres Belle Collective and Shear Conviction present, Killer Style!

Two young ladies go to two of the hottest fashion and styling businesses in the city for a look that’s all their own. Tres Belle Collective vintage clothing and Shear Conviction’s Salon/makeup/photography studio. Little did they know that the results would be dangerous.The hot and sick combination of Tres Belle vintage would prove to be too much for these two hot models. What ensues after they have tried on their amazing clothing along with getting their hair and makeup done is shocking

Annie Cosgrove succumbs to the style and shear magnitude of Tres Belle and Shear Conviction. She never even makes it out of the salon.

 #1 Vintage Vinyl Raincoat by Kenn Sporn for Wippette $72

#2 Vintage Leather Chanel Handbag $320

#3 Lace Bangle Bracelet $18

#4 Vintage Workout Leotard $22

Janasha Hampton lasts just long enough to get home but falls victim to the Killer Styling as well. These hot looks for the summer are to die for. And these young ladies are living proof?

 #1 Vintage Hat with Veil $30

#2 Vintage Secretary Shirt by Talbots $24

#3 Custom “Box by O.” Cigar Purse $88

#4 Vintage Pencil Skirt by Ms. Robinson’s $38

#5 Vintage Leather Belt by Milos $22

If making you look good was a crime, Shear Conviction and Tres Belle Collective would be guilty as charged. For more information visit.


The Numbers Game

We are an interesting breed aren’t we? And when I say we I mean the heterosexual male. It has been my experience that we have two behavioral patterns down pat. We assert our maleness through conquest for one. And for two we have to at all times hide our weaknesses. That is what it means to be a man. Not only in this society but in the majority of cultures. No wonder the deities in the dominant cultures are male. Our leaders for the most part continue to be male. And any sign of weakness in males in these societies are looked at in either two ways. You are a homosexual and homosexuality is bad. And you are a wuss and that’s bad too. So we jump through hoops to win acclaim and respect from not only ourselves but the women in society as well. Our maleness depends on their approval too. And the greatest way to estimate a woman’s approval of us is to get them to…….Gasp…….Sleep with us. Nothing asserts our maleness more than winning the favor and sexual desire of the most sought after women. This is the proof of our status. Never mind how we truly feel about them as individuals. It’s mostly  to fuel the already fiery ego that engulfs us when we are heralded as the top of the crop. But it also blinds us to the truth that we are doomed to being less than a feat for aspirations and less about our humility and character. I am as much a participant in this behavior than anyone I know. And that is why I am writing this article. I feel deep inside that I as well as the majority of us have been trying to define our importance by how many women we sleep with, How much money we have, How good we are at fighting and inflicting damage to others and How resourceful we are. Anything beyond that is child’s play. We are without a doubt in competition with each other for honor, sex, and the necessities, (you know? food, water, shelter) But how far does one go to prove himself? What type of moral responsibility do we have not only to ourselves but to our society as a whole. How can we live in a world where there isn’t this hyper primitive way of thinking that drives our actions. I am not a religious person in the least but at least the religions though contradictorily do advocate the idea of humility, patience, kindness, and humbleness. While at the same time advising stoning. Nothings perfect, but I think the former ideas are something to aspire to. But most, Even the most religious people do not. In fact, I think they mostly prefer the stoning over the humility.

So where does that lead us?

I don’t know where it leads you. But it leads me to the conclusion that I need to rethink how I interact with people and become more than my surroundings, friends, and society suggests. I have been trying to prove my maleness not only to myself but to others around me. In competition with them over what I thought was important. But I realize that my moral, and ethical responsibility to my self is to become successful at accomplishing creative and financial goals and not to achieve those goals at the expense of others. A difficult task indeed. To celebrate everyone’s differences rather than use those differences as a marker of what I think is appropriate ways of being. We too often condemn people for being themselves while hypocritically hiding our own indiscretions and what we deem as weaknesses. If all of those things that I listed above is what is a sign of my maleness, my importance in society, and my reason for being. Then I think I need to rethink my position of importance. And rewrite the conditions for myself. Equality is the goal no matter how impossible it is to realize.

Shoot the shooter volume 1. Featuring Lauren Wakefield.

Lauren Wakefield is a photographers photographer. She knows how to capture the emotional impact of a hand gesture. A special glance, A certain movement or characteristic of an individual that’s all their own. A stunningly beautiful woman herself she knows how to relax a subject and make them feel comfortable enough to shine through when she takes their photo. I stumbled across her photography on facebook. When I added a friend of hers whom I work with. She had taken some of the greatest candid photos of a mutual friend Stefanie Miller. I had no idea that the same woman who took those amazing photos was a regular that would come into five star and have dinner with her boyfriend. I thought to myself that this is an opportunity to learn from someone who is really gifted and at the same time promote her work. So I introduce to you through this interview the very talented and lovely Lauren Wakefield.

Hi Lauren. I have about twelve questions so here we go. In your blog you list that you have found true love. How has that affected the work that you do as a photographer?

In every single way.  I now know love so I can see love.  I was a very closed off, unemotional person before I met Gary and now I can see things in a completely different way.  When I see a couple on their wedding day…I know how they are feeling.  I can relate to them and their happiness.   I think finding true love has helped me understand how rare and beautiful it is…and I think that shows in my photos.  And on top of all that…Gary pushes me to be great.  He is the reason I took the plunge and started my business.  I was terrified and he convinced me to go for it.  Starting a business is the scariest thing I’ve ever done, and having someone there to support me means the world to me.

There is something special going on when you take someone’s photo. You seem to engage them and shoot them when they are doing something unique. How do you do that?

My number one goal when I shoot anyone is to make my subjects have fun.  If they are having a good time it will show in their photos.  If they feel awkward and self-conscious it will show.  I also make it a point to never put my camera down.  It’s the millisecond after a couple kisses or that spontaneous laughter that makes for the best photos. I keep shooting no matter what.  Even if I know the pose I have them in or the look on their face isn’t going to turn out well…I just tell them how amazing they look and keep shooting.  Soon enough everyone falls into what’s comfortable and those are almost always the “money shots.”

How did you get started in photography?

It was kind of an out of the blue decision.  I had spent my first semester of college at Northeastern University in Boston.  I had absolutely no clue what I wanted to do so I was an undecided major.  Realizing Boston wasn’t for me I moved home and enrolled at Columbia College.  I went to my first class, Photo 1, knowing absolutely nothing about anything.  I didn’t know how to load film, I had no idea what an f-stop was, I was completely clueless.  I had somehow decided I was going to major in Photography without any clue as to what photography really was.  Luckily, I fell in love.  I loved the magic of the darkroom (hated how tedious it was) and just couldn’t learn enough.  Early in my second year I found my niche.  I loved fashion.  I loved creating crazy ideas for photos and then making them come to life.  I guess I would say that’s they best way to explain how I got started.  The second I walked in that classroom, I got started in photography.

Are there any other creative talents or hobbies that you love as much as photography?

Nothing that I love as much as photography.  Photography is my passion and nothing can top that!  I am also a graphic designer so I do enjoy that quite a bit.  And I love to box…does that count?
Sure it does. Just don’t box me. You got the drive to knock me out.

What is your definition of success?

I think there are several definitions of success…as well as levels of success.  I am nowhere near where I want to be, but when I look back at a year ago…I feel SO successful.  Just knowing how far I’ve come helps me stay motivated and focus on what’s ahead.  I think, to me, success is being completely happy doing what you love.  It’s feeling fulfilled and waking up every morning excited with a smile on your face.  That, to me, is success.   

Do you have any advice for people who are just starting out in photography?

You are the only you.  It is so easy to spend countless hours comparing yourself to other photographers and people in general.  Realize that no matter how successful anyone else is…no one can be you.  Someone else’s path to success is not necessarily your path to success.  Figure out what it is that makes you special, and focus on that.  
Also, PRACTICE!!!  Shoot everything.  Pets, friends, trees, your significant other.  Just shoot.  I shoot Gary and Goose all the time.  Shoot in different lighting situations…different times of day…just constantly shoot.  That is the best advice I think I can give. 

Do you shoot video as well for weddings? I know there are new features on dslr’s that have HD video incorporated into the camera. Do you use those features at all professionally?

 I do not. I have enough to think about on a wedding day with photos…if I had to add video to the mix I might explode.

You’ve followed your passion and it has paid off. Do you think there is any legitimacy to the whole Secret phenomenon and the power of attraction?

I absolutely do.  I am all about the power of positive thinking.  This is embarrassing, but I have post-its on my bathroom mirror with all my goals on them.  I look at them every morning and try to focus on making them happen.  With that said, I believe working hard for what you want is the ultimate way to get what you want.  You have to go after it, but it doesn’t hurt to put some positive thoughts out there along the way.

What is the most important lesson that you have learned from your parents about life?

Do what you love.  My mom ingrained in me from as early as I can remember to, no matter what, spend my life doing what I love.  It almost didn’t even seem like an option once I hit college.  It wasn’t like…”I hope I get to do what I love.”  It was more like…”I will do what I love for the rest of my life.”  The challenge was figuring out what that was.  This isn’t to say that I haven’t had some crappy jobs, but I always knew in the back of mind that I wasn’t going to settle.  My mom showed me what it was like to live your passion and I knew I didn’t want anything less.  OH…and also to always eat breakfast!  🙂

When you get married if you had a choice of any photographer in the world to shoot your wedding, who would you have shoot it and why?

I have a list a mile long of the people I would want to shoot my wedding.  I look up to so many photographers and admire them so much.  I think when the time comes, I will just know who the right person is.

What’s the most challenging project that you have worked on? And how did you get through it?

Hands down…my first wedding.  I have done a lot of personal projects that were very challenging, but nothing compares to my first wedding.  I was terrified.  I had so much anxiety and nervousness running through me I’m surprised I didn’t puke.  There is so much pressure that comes along with wedding photography and I was getting my first real dose of it.  Luckily, it went very well.  You can ask Gary, I was having nightmares and panic attacks the weeks before.  It was horrible.  I got through it by just believing in myself and trusting that I could do this.  Once I walked into that hotel room I didn’t have a choice.  This was happening.  From the moment I decided to start my photography business to the day of that wedding (and still to this day), I was learning as much as I possibly could.  I was frequenting hundreds of wedding photographer’s blogs, reading books, googling, going to workshops…you name it, I did it.  I was a sponge. Had I not done that, I don’t think that day would have been anywhere near as successful as it was.
For more information about Lauren Wakefields photography visit http:/


Ironing Out: Inspiration

A little Q and A with Flat Iron Arts Association President and American Contemporary Artist Kevin Lahvic

Viewsual Suspects: What are the two things that determined why you are so passionate about art?

Kevin Lahvic: “First, I would say gratitude, or appreciation. Like a lot of people, I grew up hard, in a very poor and depressed environment. It was through art that I found my way out, both mentally and physically. Second, I think that all humans are, by our very nature, artistic. We are at our best when we recognize and embrace our need to create and labor to produce something we feel has worth. Self-expression is the purest form of freedom.”

Viewsual Suspects: How do you strike the balance between artistic expression and business practicality?

Kevin Lahvic: “Hmmm, always tricky that one…

I feel that everything I do begins as pure expression, but there is an obvious need to sell. Those damn kids want to eat every day. The simple fact that the public has responded to something and that it is generating income, can be a powerful influence on continuing in that direction. I don’t think the existence of that influence is necessarily a bad thing, as long as you recognize it and keep it in perspective. I believe you can live to paint and still paint to live.”

Viewsual Suspects: Do you believe that there is such a thing as good and bad art?

Kevin Lahvic: “Even, (or especially), in my own work, I believe there are pieces that are “better” than others. But “bad” art, no, there’s no such thing. The mere act of creating is good and can be nothing else. The product may fail to completely hit the mark, but that is part of the artistic process. It’s all good. An artist, to find success, has to be allowed the luxury of failure.”

Viewsual Suspects: A catastrophe causes you to have to make a decision on one of your pieces out of many being saved. What piece of yours would you choose to save first?

Kevin Lahvic: “Damn, that’s impossible to answer.
I truly enjoy spending time looking at my finished pieces. They make me happy. I also like seeing other people get something out of them, and I am absolutely thrilled when someone is so touched that they want to possess something I’ve done. But, the simple truth is that creating the painting, doing the work, is where I find the greatest joy. Once a painting or drawing is finished, I leave a bit of myself there and move on. So, I would save a blank canvas, because I always believe my next piece will be my best : )”

Viewsual Suspects: Switching things up a bit I want to stop asking questions briefly. So give me some insight into the phenomena of everything happening for a reason.

Kevin Lahvic: “Our existence in this world is brief and linear. Being conscious of that, of our own mortality, we spend a great deal of our short lives searching for answers that we can’t possibly ever find. I think believing that there is some intelligent design to it all, and that everything happens for a reason, allows us to remain relatively sane. I believe that art, at its core, is driven by our need to search for those unattainable answers. When I am immersed in the process of creating, it is the closest I ever feel to finding those answers. When everything falls into place and an end product is “correct” I sincerely feel that there is something larger than myself at work. I believe.”

Viewsual Suspects: When you are in the creative process, does the thought ever enter your mind about wanting to impress people with your work?

Kevin Lahvic: “I suppose it would be dishonest to say “no” but I do feel that impress might not be the right word. Attract is closer to what I hope for. I think artistic expression is an obvious form of sexual display. We are presenting who we are to those we would hope to attract. Basically saying, “Here I am, are you in?”

Viewsual Suspects: Are there any famous artists that you would like to work with or collaborate with that you haven’t worked with already?

Kevin Lahvic: “I think collaboration is the single biggest catalyst for inspiration. And even if it’s simply viewing what other people have created, or speaking with them about what they’re into at the moment, it can be very energizing. I am constantly trying to involve others in the things I’m doing. I spend a great deal of time organizing “events” that are basically just opportunities for people to produce and share their work. I thrive on that, and get a lot out of it in return. As far as “famous artists” go, I would have loved to have spent an afternoon with Picasso. I think we would have enjoyed each other.”

Viewsual Suspects: You said something on your facebook page that really grabbed my attention about your children that was sincere and heartwarming. What bit of advice would you give to parents on how to better their relationship with their kids?

Kevin Lahvic: “I believe that all children really need, is the knowledge that they are loved unconditionally. Beyond that, I think the best thing we can do as parents is to get out of their way. Let them fall down, be there to pick them up and encourage them to keep trying. It is a miracle how a light touch can mold far better than a heavy hand.”

Viewsual Suspects: What’s your definition of beauty?
Kevin Lahvic: “Beauty is in the moment, in EVERY moment. The trick is to notice it.”

Viewsual Suspects: What’s your definition of love?
Kevin Lahvic: “Love is open arms, complete acceptance and total forgiveness. It is giving someone a safe place to cry and never a reason to need it.”