Kate Spade test

Recently these bags arrived to the photo studio where I intern, and I felt as if someone had delivered a box of luxury sweets. The splendid colors! The sleek leather finish! In an instant, my mind flashed back to the trendy young women I’d read about in Meg Cabot’s books who always donned their chic Kate Spade New York handbags. This is what Meg must have been raving about.

Naturally I found myself collecting, even hoarding, the handbags to style for my test photos. In one hand I held the sweet lavender and savory magenta totes, with tones resembling the delicacies found inside a coffer of Ladurée macaroons. Either of these beauties can add exceptional femininity and playfulness to any summer ensemble, easily becoming a girly girl’s go-to accessory. In the other hand I clutched the sultry black tote, a bag that I instantly gravitated toward due to its malleable aesthetic, which can adapt to any outfit, day or night, all year round. With all the different ways a  Fashionista can wear these bags, it’s no wonder they make them in so many colors!

I styled the dark bag with the bright ones on either side and after a touch of photo magic (about an hour of lighting set-up) I made them look like they were dancing around in bag heaven. I would totally play with all the purses that come in to the studio, but what attracted me to these handbags was the way the designer achieved simple elegance without compromising fun. A mature girl should always make time for amusement.

Always Deviate,




Test 1 copy

The portrait of the perfect sunset reflects against white hot sunglasses. In the distance, banana tree leaves brush against each other in the afternoon breeze. Vibrant lipsticks bloom among the flora and fauna. Sparkling accessories, little critters in their natural habitat, slither and curl endlessly. This is Glam Island.

For my first test shots at my styling internship, I wanted the tropical tones to emanate a feeling of empowered femininity, possibly gained from walking through the jungle (near the beach!) in stilettos. I dream big. My co-worker, who is clearly a photo and lighting genius, quickly obliged, making the set look like a balmy midsummer afternoon. With a few of the products in the studio, some wooden blocks, a draped faux reptile cloth and a random leaf found in a box in the corner, the show was on the road.

At first, I positioned the Michael Kors Selma satchel at the center of the shot. Its firm structure contrasts its soft, neutral hue, making it the perfect girly tote for summer. (Also, it’s a crowd pleaser.) Then I realized there was much more going on. The glimmering Jessica Simpson princess heels deserved equal attention. A fellow stylist brilliantly rolled up a Chan Luu leopard print scarf like a beach towel, playing on the jungle island theme. Some of the accessories, like the Steve Madden sunglasses and the Kate Spade watch, were made to resemble treasures in the sand, while others, like the Chan Luu necklaces, were coiled up like tropical serpents.

It was a fun challenge to create this odd mixture of summer essentials. I was thrilled that my co-workers, my teammates, were excited to help me realize my vision, and even more excited to play around with these precious products for a few hours. By picking statement pieces that you naturally gravitate to, you can create a look that fulfills your personal style goals, even if those goals are to walk gracefully through nature in strappy sandals.

Always Deviate,






Florida is most popular for its sunshine tendencies. Everyone believes the Sun is always gleaming in our state, but the truth is the weather here can be just as gloomy as anywhere else on the globe. Recent scattered showers, gray skies and palpable humidity have made it difficult to dress well, so it’s great to see a Fashionista taking a risk with a beautiful outfit on an ugly day.

Alexandra 4

The sweet pastels and simple elegance of Alexandra’s outfit stood out against the afternoon’s cloudy background. On a day where most people opted for leggings and Hunter rain boots, this Fashionista sported a casual black  T-shirt dress and polished beige penny loafers. The outfit tapped into the ease of college life, but it was respectable and appropriate enough for meetings with a professor or announcements at a club event.

Alexandra called on the themes of spring in a gorgeous sea-foam green scarf. Her vintage style pink leather backpack matched the scarf’s flowers, and a green stone ring also played into the earthy tones. Her sleek black leather Daniel Wellington watch juxtaposed the organic flow of the look .

Alexandra 5

Alexandra 6

You can stay stylish no matter what the weather looks like if you create an outfit that is  practical and pretty. Remember that April showers bring May flowers, and who knows what the spring season has in store for you if you’re rocking cool threads and a cute smile!

Always Deviate,


Katie’s Office Outfit


Katie 1

Katie Campbell is the image of the college professional. She writes, edits and curates content for a major online news organization. She breaks news on TV and informs listeners on the radio. Most notably, she always shows up in style.

On this Florida afternoon, Ms. Campbell kept it fresh and profesh in an all-black outfit. She matched a simple V-neck blouse with soft pants and added a light-weight blazer with ruche sleeves. But an all-black get up would be blasé without bold accessories, so Katie donned a transfixing necklace with indigo stones, which matched her sapphire blue sandals.

Katie 2

Katie 3

Katie 4

However, Katie’s best accessory was, and always is, her dazzling smile. She’s always ready to help fellow journalists with story or research ideas, she has a wealth of knowledge on just about any topic, and her alluring positive attitude always makes her the first person I greet when I get to class.

Always Deviate,





Alyona 1

This is one of my professors, Russian family psychologist Alyona Prikhidko. She’s impressively intelligent and unconsciously hilarious. She’s the kind of person that will say, “Excuse me, I’m speaking,” if you interrupt her while she’s talking, but in the most elegant and inoffensive way. Also, there’s the whole effortlessly fabulous aspect of her persona that is incredibly alluring. She’s basically my role model.

Alyona always brings her A game when it comes to her attire, even if it’s for a class at 8:30 a.m. Recently, she wore this striking red blouse with a subtle gray cardigan and ferocious leopard-print trousers. The whole outfit really suits her zealous personality and also parallels her fluffy red hair.

Alyona 2

Adorning the look was a gold medallion, a simple watch and a charm bracelet. She wore a brown leather backpack, which she says isn’t her favorite but is actually quite cosmopolitan, and nude, patent-leather smoking slippers.

Whether you’re a student or a professor, it’s important for the Fashionista to redefine what dressing professionally means in the fast-paced life of the university world. No longer do women have to wear a blazer and a pencil skirt to look feminine and respectable. Covering up doesn’t have to mean looking conservative. By incorporating colorful and comfortable pieces to a wardrobe, the career woman can break free from the rigid (and boring!) social norms of “officewear.”

Always deviate,


Hike Chic


Jennifer 1

As a native Floridian, I’ve never experienced the real autumn season before. I’ve never felt the leaves crush under my feet as I walk, or worn multiple layers of clothing in November, or tracked possible snow storms that might interfere with my plans.

This year, instead of heading to the mall the day after Thanksgiving, my family shook up the routine and headed to the mountains for a hike. We packed up the leftovers, chilled a few water bottles and bundled up for the trail to Morrow Mountain, North Carolina.

jennifer 2

The view at 20,000 feet was astounding and inspirational. Nothing can compare to the power you feel when looking out into a valley where tractors look like ants and great lakes are no larger than puddles. There’s an overwhelming sensation that the world is yours to take, something you can fit in your back pocket.

On the downside, it was freezing cold and my face felt like it was going to split in half. However, I made sure my body was comfortably warm, and my outfit chic, by turning to my favorite basic pieces. Since temperatures throughout the northern hemisphere will continue to drop as winter blows in, here’s a tip on how to step out in style for any outdoor activity.


When you’re layering, it’s important to start from the core. Under all the outerwear, I wore a burgundy knit sweater from H&M. Soft, comfortable and easily addictive, it’s the perfect bottom layer for any winter look.

Over the sweater, I wore a black down coat from London Fog, a comfortable choice for temperatures ranging from 40 to 60 degrees.

But I’m well-acquainted with the kind of chill that crawls down your spine and flash freezes your bones, and I knew the down coat wouldn’t be enough. Enter the orange wool coat from Zara, a brilliant statement piece for fall that is roomy enough to fit several layers, but not too baggy as a stand-alone piece.

jennifer 3

Staying true to my minimalist nature, I donned simple accessories. A rose headband, an elephant-printed scarf, cat-eye sunnies and small glistening studs were more than enough to decorate the look. I stashed all of my belongings in a The North Face Jester backpack, and I laced up a pair of Nike Free sneaks, a hi-lo style tip I took from the London girls.

jennifer 4

Putting together a fashionable look is like a puzzle: you have to fit the right pieces in the most logical way. Remember that, and you can conquer any event in style.

Always Deviate,


Orange and Blue Magazine

Gents, Ladies

O&B 2

This fall, I was involved in the semester-long production of the spring 2015 issue for Orange and Blue Magazine. After my painstaking work as a writer, photographer and copy editor, and the group’s overall effort to make the spreads Flawless***, I’m happy to announce the magazine is going to print! Before the other staff members and I hand out copies to unsuspecting strangers and leave stacks at random locations (watch out Gainesville, we’re coming for you!), I’m giving you a sneak peek of my favorite section.

O&B 3

O&B 4

Naturally, I took on the glorious task of bringing the fashion spread to life. With a little help from my friends and some inspiration from NYFW all stars, like DVF, Missoni and Trina Turk, I styled more than 15 outfits in less than a week!

When styling these guys and gals, I focused on creating an effortless style with bold colors and fun prints. It was important to highlight something for every occasion, from office chic to a fancy night out or lunch with friends. All of the models are wearing pieces from their own wardrobes, so you can use the outfit details featured in the magazine to easily devise similar styles on a college budget.

O&B 1

Pick up a copy around UF or look through the online version in early December.

Always Deviate,


The last look of summer


Kelsey garden 2

Sixty degrees has finally shown its face in the north central Florida area, so we’re packing away the mini dresses of summer and unleashing the North Face jackets. But before we officially say “so long” to the shorty shorts and the flowing tops, there’s just enough time for a final summer look.

Kelsey garden 1

Kelsey Martinez, a Style Deviant favorite, knows how to glam up for a bye-bye-summer party. Decked out in a geometric black cropped top and wide-legged printed indigo pants, this Fashionista waved goodbye to the warm October days in style.

We accessorized the look with a gorgeous gold bracelet and earrings, added a feathery black necklace and packed a few necessities in a monogramed clutch. Even if you have to throw on one of the aforementioned fluffy jackets, this outfit is totally worth enduring the chilly fall breeze.

Kelsey garden 3

The moment for midriff-revealing tops and comfortable palazzo pants may be fleeting, and it might already be too cold in your town to brave an outfit like this, but it’s never too late to accessorize like a goddess!

Always Deviate,




In the Moment: Sitting Pretty


We’re well into October, and while most people in other parts of the northern hemisphere are making sure to grab a jacket before leaving the house, we’re lounging around in tank tops here in Florida.

Warm days with a light breeze create the perfect setting for flirty skirts and dresses. When I ran into these Fashionistas, I knew I had to let the world know what the University of Florida girl is wearing in the early days of fall. It might as well be springtime over here.



Both of these ladies opted for gorgeous floral styles matched with strappy sandals. On chillier days, it’s also smart to pack a thin long sleeve, like a denim shirt or a soft cardigan. I also found them taking it easy with beautiful smiles on their faces, a nice surprise during midterm season.

Whether you’re enjoying what’s left of the glorious weather of early fall, or you’re starting to bundle up in winterwear, don’t be afraid to incorporate some optimistic flowers into your look. Most importantly, don’t forget your optimistic smile.


Always Deviate,



In the Moment: Simple and Chic

Gents, Ladies

Walking around campus in the early days of a new semester always reminds me of my first morning as a university student. I hopped off my 8 a.m. bus, excited to meet all of the other well-dressed college kids, only to find everyone dressed in T-shirts, gym shorts and Nike Frees. The average attire was disappointing, but UF steadily redeems itself every time I catch beautiful faces looking effortlessly chic in the morning.

Broward girl 1

This Fashionista, outfitted in a beige, embroidered blouse with a navy skirt, is the epitome of elegant college youth. She’s ready to take on the day in tan leather ballet flats, a cream messenger tote and a leopard-detailed bracelet. A look that suits her ready-for-class attitude.

Broward girl 2

Cole 1

This gallantly fashionable gentleman really caught my eye with his minty-fresh pants, a look we’ve seen previously and one that never seizes to surprise me. He contrasted the radiant, resort green with a subtle orange polo to create a pre-fall look ready for the changing seasons.

Cole 2

In college, I’ve learned that not every experience will turn out how you create it in your mind. You have to put your best, most fashionable foot forward and work to make things happen, whether it’s a series of excellent outfits or a series of excellent grades. Put on a smile and be prepared for changes.

Always Deviate,