Fashion on Display - Behind the Scenes

In case you didn't see yesterday's post, a fashion shoot collaboration that I was a part of has been featured in the latest issue of Meuse Magazine. I'm definitely still celebrating over here, and I wanted to share with you some behind the scenes shots of the process. (photos by Elizabeth Langford).

The shoot took place in a small window display of an art gallery in Downtown Mesa, Arizona. We basically were given a blank slate to work with, and brought it all to life using the interior design talents of Christina Brian.

We created about three different sets, which took about an hour preparation for each one. All of the team members really pitched in to make it happen as quickly as possible.

The shoot took place at the beginning of fall, so it was still pretty hot in Arizona. It didn't help to be in a non-ventilated space filled with sun light. I think we got a bit slap happy.

Thanks to a salon and boutique in one, Adorn Style Lounge, we were able to prep the model and change her outfits next door. Once Morgan was ready to start modeling we had to place her behind the glass, which posed a bit of a communication struggle. Let's just say Michelle and I used a LOT of faux sign language. haha!

We made sure to photograph every little detail because you never know what a publication is going to look for and need for their layouts.

If you are ever curious of what I look like when I'm hard at work, it looks a little something like this...

That is my analytical pose. haha. And, apparently I like to accessorize with rolls of masking tape.

Lessons learned from this shoot:

1. Set designers and prop stylists add so much dimension to a photo shoot. Can't wait to work with more.

2. Sticking a model in a glass box definitely makes it hard to communicate and fix the clothes when needed.

3. Working with a wonderful team of people committed to a vision can give you so much more than you imagined.

photographer // Michelle Herrick //
wardrobe stylist // Alex Evjen //
model // Morgan Kaiser //
hair & make up // Brittany & Cami //
set design // Christina Brian //
photography assistant // Elizabeth Langford //
wardrobe provided by //
Meuse Magazine //

It's in the family

I come from a loud, big Greek family. We are the total stereotype with generation after generation of the same names. We have the Nick's and Nicole's, and there have been three generations of the name "Alex" except Alexander was turned into Alexandra when I came along. ;) We roast the lamb every Easter, my yiayia totally had plastic covered furniture throughout her house and did I say we're loud?

My cousins are like my brothers and sisters, and my cousin Steph and I are two peas in a pod. We may be six years apart, but we both have loved dance and fashion since we could talk. The rest of my family members are SERIOUS athletes - that kind of skipped me.

Steph definitely got the tall beauty genes in the family - growing to be 5'9" and drop dead gorgeous. So gorgeous that she has been a signed model since she was 16. Yesterday she shot me a note telling me she was on the front page of modeling Sachin & Babi, and today you can see her modeling Betsey Johnson. (If you've never heard of RueLaLa, go sign up and tell them I sent you ( It's just as good as GILT, and they sell men's, women's, travel and home decor!)

One day us Vailas girls are going to do a shoot together! Until then I can't wait to see what Steph does next!



Golden Nuggets - Model Makeup

It has been awhile since I've shared what AVE Styles has been up to, and more importantly, any golden nuggets of knowledge I have gleaned. So, I've decided to start a blog category called "Golden Nuggets" where I'll tell you guys any practical tips I pick up from the biz.

So, here's my first bit of gold...Most models are trained on how to do their own makeup and hair for local fashion shows.

I was a dresser for a fashion show a couple weeks back over at Scottsdale Fashion Square with models from The Agency Arizona, and I really loved the hair and makeup they were all sporting. So, of course, I asked who the makeup artist was, and they replied that THEY were the artists.

So, how do they make sure that they are all going to look cohesive? The Agency tells them to wear natural makeup and shows them how to apply it during orientation. They also show them how to do their hair properly.

No wonder models always look awesome, right?

Well, it got me thinking that as much as we read about makeup trends in fashion magazines, learn how to execute a smokey eye or draw an awesome cat-eye...clean and natural is always the way to go because it matches everything. I follow some street style blogs such as The Sartorialist, and whenever they show models in every day life they always have simple makeup.

So, in the past week I've experimented by not wearing as much makeup, and it's weird...I'm getting MORE compliments. Maybe Coco Chanel was really on to something, less REALLY is more.