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Vince for neiman marcus resort 2017

Fashion - alimackin@gmail.com - April 28, 2017

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Spring is finally here and we can all start wearing loser more causal freer fitting clothes. Always such a nice change from the layers and more form fitting clothing one tends wear in the winter months. So today we are looking at Vince’s capsule resort collection for Neiman Marcus. Known for making casual, easy fit pieces with a nautical beachy vibe this collection adheres to this breezy aesthetic and will have you longing for day off from the office.

this is a small taste of the what the brand is offering for spring and summer 2017

With the relax fit cuts, and lose knits, unfussy lack of embellishments and an emphasis on touchable, breathable fabrics and a wonderful sense of effortlessness this lineup embraces much of what the brand is famous for in it’s clean and unfettered approach to modern day sportswear.

And this is a small taste of  what the brand is offering for spring and summer 2017. To see more from their current collections head to Vince.com. And be sure to check out their store locator, because shopping in person is more fun. Well at least at more high end stores like Vince. They tend to be a wee bit less crowded. Ever hit Zara on a Saturday afternoon, oh boy!

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A Day at Jones Beach and my first video with filmora

Fashion - alimackin@gmail.com - April 24, 2017

This is my first foray in to the relm of video and I was blown away at how easy it was for me to create this video with Filmora. I discovered Filmora while I was researching and watching videos on You Tube. An advertisement about making video’s popped up and it immediately caught my attention. I watched it and honestly found it hard to believe that there was software out there that made something as complicated as film editing this easy and intuitive. My mind was officially blown. Truly, the Filmora app is so intuitive that I would venture to say almost anyone could make a video using this application.

Remember how I said a few weeks ago that if I wanted to learn Final Cut Pro that I would not be able to learn via a tutorial in You Tube? Well with Filmora I can teach myself via a tutorial on You Tube and that is exactly what I did.

Film is a horizontal format so if you hold it vertically you will have to zoom in to avoid black bars on the side, but then this crops in to the image and background which of course will not look as cinematic

I shot this footage last weekend when my extended family was visiting from Paris. I shot it on my phone on the spur of the moment and really did not have anything planned out. The biggest mistake I made was holding the phone vertically instead of horizontally.

Grrrrr, I realized my mistake when I went to edit, but for moving film you should always hold the camera horizontal or in landscape. Film is a horizontal format so if you hold it vertically you will have to zoom in to avoid black bars on the side, but then this crops in to the image and background which of course will not look as cinematic. Oh well now I know for next time.

And next time I will also be shooting on my camera and not on my phone. I still plan on purchasing the Sony Alpha 5100 mirror less camera which is compact and light but features interchangeable lenses that make it on par with todays better DSLR’s but much more portable. I am super excited to start shooting and editing now, no longer put off by the thought of endless hours of tedious production work. So, what do you think? Does this encourage you to try your hand at making videos?

**And just updating things here a bit. Making the video itself was wonderfully easy. However I ran in to multiple issues when it came to exporting and having the video play on multiple browsers. I tried exporting the video and uploading directly ( IE: not to You Tube) and when I did this it worked perfectly on Safari. But that was it. With Chrome the video would play and the audio could be heard but no visuals. With Fire Fox the video would not play at all, I got the error message “error accessing this resource”. I did a little research and found a link where some described the exact problem I was having. However no solution.

So I wrote to tech support. And this is where Wonder Share like every other technology company fails…their tech support was not particularly helpful.  And as usual in these cases if you can not figure out things on your own you will not find a solution from them.

I will at some point do a more extensive post on Filmora. They did help with one very easy issue. At one point the screen was just black and this was when I was still editing it in Filmora . Everything played but no visuals. So I wrote to tech support and they let me know I had inadvertently clicked the “hide” button which is very easy to do. However in my efforts to figure out why the visuals were not playing things got moved around and I could get them back to where they had been originally. Luckily the video I had already successfully exported as an MP4 (the one that would only work in Safari) did work in You Tube. I didn’t think it would but it did. Whew. That was exhausting.

So making videos for You Tube and Vimeo in Filmora works perfectly, but if you need to embed or upload videos directly with out going through You Tube or Vimeo it is decidedly more challenging…

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maje spring-summer 2017 for lookbook friday

Fashion - alimackin@gmail.com - April 21, 2017

I am loving Maje’s more streamlined simple approach to their spring summer 2017 collection.

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I am loving Maje’s more streamlined simple approach to their spring summer 2017 collection. Clean lines and relaxed fits are what they are known for but this season it seems the appearance of effortless ease is front and center. From basic broomstick skirt bottomed frocks, to sun dresses and maxis this lineup is all about keeping it real. And keeping it relaxed yet playful.

Add some retro vibe prints, floor skimming pleats and an array of studded sandals and this collection will be sure to have you feeling uber chic in a carefree kind of way.

Perfect for strolling the city, sight seeing or meeting your friends for lunch. The palette is firmly rooted in the earth tones with an occasional appearance of brilliant yellow, tangerine or peach. Add some retro vibe prints, floor skimming pleats and an array of studded sandals and this collection will be sure to have you feeling uber chic in a carefree kind of way. And I will be sure to stop in to Maje next time I am in Paris, as I heard through the grapevine or via another blogger that Maje is less expensive in Paris then New York. Cha ching!

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Link Love Express-#9

Fashion - alimackin@gmail.com - April 17, 2017

Hello everyone and happy spring! Time for another installment of Link Love Express. I rounded up a number of interesting products, services and videos that I hope you will find inspiring and useful. So let’s begin:
1) I am sure some of you have heard about the controversy around plastics. Not only are they not biodegradable but some believe they may be linked to health problems. It has been reported that chemicals can leach out of plastics and get in to your food which of course you then ingest. So when I saw an advertisement on Face Book for a Beeswax “plastic” wrap I was all ears. This wrap of course is not plastic, but a reusable sealable wrap made from organic muslin and bees wax. So if you are like me and a bit concerned about using plastic wrap be sure to check out www.beeswrap.com

2) I had a wonderful time in Florida on my last vacation and I wanted to send my friends a thank you card, but I didn’t want to send them the same old thank you card. Yes, traditional post cards are fine, and there are many cute and fun thank you cards out there, but I wanted to add that personal touch. Enter the TouchNote app. The TouchNote app can be used on your phone or your desktop computer.

It works on both the iPhone and Android. This super fun app allows you to make post cards, greeting cards and stretched canvas artwork from your photos. I tried it out and it is super easy, I sent out my first post card this weekend. And the best part is that they have centers in the US and abroad, so if want to send something to someone over seas the price is the same as if you were sending it from your home country. How cool is that? Check them out at TouchNote.com

3) Have any of you ever heard of Instagram pods?? I know what you are thinking—something else to have to keep up with and master. This came to my attention via an article on IFB. It is essentially a group in Instagram with specific parameters that you would join with the expectation that you would adhere to said parameters.

And why would you do this? Apparently to increase your engagement. Hmm. According to IFB, engagement on Instagram is down. OK, many of my regular readers will know I already called that. So I am not surprised.

Many are blaming this on the new Instagram algorithm, but I don’t think the algorithm is why there is this drop off. It didn’t help, but this not the core of the problem.

playing and gaming the system with fake followers, automated following and commenting, and the practice of immediately unfollowing someone as soon they follow you back after they followed you…

I believe this has to do with there being way to many players and way too many of these players doing exactly that: playing and gaming the system with fake followers, automated following and commenting, and the practice of immediately unfollowing someone as soon they follow you back after they followed you, and commenting back on your own photo instead of visiting the other person’s feed and commenting on one of their photos.

In the past people engaged by commenting on each other photos and following one another. Now it is all about having the most followers while simultaneously following very few. This is supposed to be a “good look”. Well that has led to exactly where I said it would— a drop off in engagement which ultimately will lead to Instagram no longer being the go to app for wunderbar marketing.

So the idea with pods is that you join a agreed upon group, and then you all have to comment and like each all of each others photos. Is it just me or does this sound like what it is—desperation. It also sounds overwhelming and time consuming.

I think this is kind of the being of the end of Instagram being this big marketing tool

You can read the article on IFB, if you do tell me what you think. But I think this is kind of the being of the end of Instagram being this big marketing tool. Yes it will still be around and will be used as it was originally intended—an inspiring source of personal photos. But the break the bank social media go to app, not so much.

4) My regular readers will know I often speak about transformation on the blog, and how fashion, makeup and even having a blog can help one tap in to this idea of transformation. Transformation can be alluring, powerful and scary. Have you ever done anything that felt transformative?

If you have not be sure to watch this videos from the Vlogger Miss Yanyi.  Yanyi recently left her 80k a year job to make videos for You Tube full time. In the middle of  the video or so we cut to the day she actually gave her notice. She is in a private cubicle in her office at work, and is speaking via her phone right after she gave notice. She is flustered and a bit overwhelmed as she shares this very pivotal moment in her life.

In the video itself where she is speaking right outside her apartment, it is a number of months after she left her office job and she speaks in detail about the decision that led her to make this choice, why she made it, and how it effected her. And affected her it did. It is like you are looking and listening to two completely different people. The transformation is remarkable. And it is certainly inspiring to see someone take a leap of faith and not only be transformed but to also be empowered and happy in their own skin and their life. So if you need a little transformative inspiration be sure to watch.

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Fendi Pre-Fall 2017 For Lookbook Friday

Fashion - alimackin@gmail.com - April 14, 2017

Ruffles, lace and bows all find a home in Fendi’s offering for pre-fall 2017. With a decidedly feminine and romantic tone this collection is an opulent homage to decretive embellishment. Certainly less stark then what we have seen from the brand in the past. It embraces the idea of decadence but in a manner that is wholly approachable and moder

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Ruffles, lace and bows all find a home in Fendi’s offering for pre-fall 2017. With a decidedly feminine and romantic tone this collection is an opulent homage to decretive embellishment. Certainly less stark then what we have seen from the brand in the past. It embraces the idea of decadence but in a manner that is wholly approachable and modern.

With a palette of peach,topaz, rust, pale pink and brown it eases us in to the cooler months and adds to the feeling of cozy romanticism. Dresses and skirts are flared, flowing and full. From pleats to lace to high low numbers with scalloped edges and contrasting under-sides to draw-string mini’s the esthetic is all about being a girl.

this collection is a wearable yet unapologetic ideal of fashion first and may office wear be damed

Patterns and texture also take center stage in the line up with pequin patterned suits and dresses, and tone on tone stripes and florals playing together nicely in a homogenous application found on an ankle skimming frock.

But the stands have to be the accessories from the excusitly embellished handbags the brand is known for, to the edgy athletic sock boots to the decretive sock pumps this collection is a wearable yet unapologetic ideal of fashion first and may office wear be damed.

To see more from this collection head to Vogue.com 

Photo: Yvan Fabing / Courtesy of Fendi

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Wake up! Summer is coming! Travel to Barcelona with some fashionable young women and get your video game on

Fashion - alimackin@gmail.com - April 12, 2017

Last week I wrote about the emergence of video. My interest in video was peeked as it is becoming more expected now in the work place, or in my line of work. Ah the wonderful world of graphics and art direction where everyone thinks they can do your job—expect when it comes to the tedious production elements of technology that’s when the hand the reins over to you. Hmmm.

At any rate I have been seeing this skill listed more and more often. Which is not surprising given the rise of You Tube, Insta-Stories and Snap Chat.

A couple of weeks ago I attended a discussion at Fohr Card. Forh Card is an agency that matches influencers with brands. And one of the things the founder spoke about is the need to know and incorporate video in to your brand and or blog or website.

So now not only is it something that is becoming necessary in the work realm but it is also making a very prominent foray in to the online world of blogging

He went on to underline how Instagram impacted blogging, and how many bloggers were behind the eight ball when it came to Instagram and how the same thing is set to happen with video. So now not only is it something that is becoming necessary in the realm of work, but it is also making a very prominent foray in to the online world of blogging.

And another point that was stressed and the exact words are and I quote “ you have to enjoy the process, not just the end result” And this is where moving in to video will be challenging for some—as I said last week it is a process. And may be too much for some. Though you could always shoot footage yourself and hire a film student to edit it—this could be an option. Just a thought.

you have to enjoy the process, not just the end result

At any rate here are two travel vlogging videos about traveling to Barcelona. Watch both of them and note the difference in how they are presented. The first one has much less talking and captures a lot of environment imagery and details. It is punctured with speaking, which is just enough. It gets the point across in an entraining and engaging way, and keeps you from reaching for the mouse to fast forward.

Both have the same slice of life, follow along with me in my travels vibe, but to me the first one is more effective

While the second video which you can watch here,  has much of a straight forward kind of reality TV way of shooting with a lot of talking and minimal editing. The danger with this style though is the boredom factor with too much talking and not enough visual interest.

And the test lies in, would I watch it again?

Both have the same slice of life, follow along with me in my travels vibe, but to me the first one is more effective. And the test lies in, would I watch it again? The first one yes most definitely, and not just to learn. The second one, probably not. Only if I needed some specific information.

Ironically though, the first video has less views then the second video, but this may have to do more with the fact that they film makers are from an Eastern block country and their access to world wide web and the like is much more highly curtailed then it is the west. What say you? Which type of video do you prefer?

Image via Hotel Praktik

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Sunny Skies, Cancelled Flights and another weekend with the Frenchies

Life - alimackin@gmail.com - April 10, 2017

Throwback Monday? Yes. I am missing Florida but the weather here in NY is improving so there is hope.

Throwback Monday? Yes. I am missing Florida but the weather here in NY is improving so there is hope. I just had to share this fun photo from a day at the beach in St Petersburg. Originally I was supposed to go to Florida this past weekend with my stepbrother and niece who are visiting from Paris, but it got very complicated as it was a big spring break weekend and the prices skyrocketed. My brother also wanted to go to Key West which is four hours away from Miami, but I was only going for the weekend and wanted to stay in Miami due to time constraints. In the end I went to Florida last month and went to Tampa instead and stayed with friends. I had my own room with a TV in it and my own bathroom and the whole trip cost me $263. Not bad.

And it was a good thing that I didn’t go with my brother, because I would have never made it to Florida. This evening after work I traveled home as usual, and as I was putting the key in the door I thought I saw my step brother Jerome. But it couldn’t be, he is in Florida, he left this morning. I must be seeing things, this person who looks like my step brother and who is wearing a similar jacket is probably a guest of my neighbor, but then I heard his distinct French accent and then I saw Fanny trailing behind him.

Frustrating for them—but we got to spend another weekend together so there was a silver lining after all.

Yuppers their flight was cancelled, along with dozens of other flights. It was blamed on the bad weather in the middle of the country and in the south and a shortage of pilots due to them being stranded in various parts of the country. And they did not have a flight available until Monday night. They were supposed to be in Florida Friday night. So if I had stuck with the original plans I would have had to scratch the whole trip as I was due to be back at work Tuesday morning. So that would have been that. I would have never made it to Florida. So for me it worked out, although a bit frustrating for them—but we got to spend another weekend together so there was a silver lining after all.

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Marni Pre-Fall 2017 for Lookbook Friday

Fashion - alimackin@gmail.com - April 7, 2017

With an androgynous deconstructed edge Marni’s collectin for pre-fall 2017 is an understated take on the female form

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With an androgynous deconstructed edge Marni’s collectin for pre-fall 2017  is an understated take on the female form. Man tailored trousers and shirt waists are topped by overtly feminine fur vests, while over-sized slacks and pull overs are layered over one another but offered in rich fabrics with pops of girlie yellows and baby blue.

Marni’s line up for fall is a fun and quirky balance of feminine mystic and masculine edge

Ruffles and overtly constructed pieces like the peplum blazer come together in a ying-yang balancing of boy meets girl. Pattern mixing adds some playfulness to the line up which is also peppered with uber-fem frocks that keep it from being to austere. And with the pretty lace up block heeled pumps and array of smartly structured bags Marni’s line up for fall is a fun and quirky balance of feminine mystic and masculine edge.

To see more from this collection head to vogue.com

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Video, Vloggers and the future of blogging…

Fashion - alimackin@gmail.com - April 5, 2017

We all know the world of blogging is changing. When isn’t it?  It seems it has been changing ever since blogging became a “thing”. First it was enough to just snap some pix and write about your day and post what ever you were wearing—remember the early days of  The Man Repeller? Then it was all about beautiful professional looking photography shot with an expensive DSLR and carefully styled looks.

Then bammo! Instagram arrived on the scene and suddenly everyone with a smart phone was an influencer. And the blogs that really blew up, also had super robust Instagram accounts. Then it was all about SnapChat and Insta Stories which of course led to a “renewed” if you will, interest in video.

Yes, You Tube has been around for quite some time and people have been posting videos to the platform for almost a decade. And yes we have all heard the term “vlogger”, a term most people associate with makeup tutorials. But now it seems poised to be the next influencer take over. And we are not just talking beauty and makeup vloggers and tutorials.

It seems that if the Instagram phenomenon is any indication then having a static blog with no video could be a problem in the future. What say you? Do you think it is important for bloggers to have videos on their blogs? Or to have a YouTube channel they post videos to on a some what regular basis? It seems it never ends…right?

 She speaks quite a bit about the Sony Alpha 5100. Another techie gadget I am adding to my must have list

So today I am posting a few videos on making videos, when in Rome…The first video is about Final Cut Pro, video editing software from Apple. It costs $200 and you can buy it out right and install it on your computer and not have to rent it on a monthly basis via the cloud like you have to do with Photoshop. This is certainly affordable, so something to consider. You can also use IMovie which is free and comes installed on all Apple computers. But even with all the advancements in technology I am not going to sugar coat it, video editing is time consuming and there is a learning curve. If I do end up buying Final Cut Pro I will have to take a class to get me started.

The next video is from Shameless Maya and is about setting up a home studio. I have to say the Shameless Maya series are super fantastic. Very informative on an array of topics and Maya does such a wonderful job of communicating, in way that is fun and easy to understand and follow. And the third video is also from Shamelessly Maya and is about Cameras. She speaks quite a bit about the Sony Alpha 5100. Another techie gadget I am adding to my must have list.

At first I thought I was hearing things, did my cat just fart? What was that?? Did I pop one of the bubbles on the bubble wrap?

Well I hope you enjoy these videos and find them helpful. And just a side note here about Monday’s post. But when I went to set up the second soft box the weirdest thing happened. I got the stand set up and  the soft box mounted to the stand with out a problem. But when I went to unwrap the light bulb I heard an electrical popping sound. But thing is, it was not turned on, or even inserted in to the soft box I was just moving it around as I unwrapped it. How can that be?

At first I thought I was hearing things, did my cat just fart? What was that?? Did I pop one of the bubbles on the bubble wrap? Though of course it sounded like neither of these two things. The first time I heard it I was not sure, as I was moving the bubble wrap around so it was not clear. But then it happened again, a second time with a two or three popping sounds in a row. Very similar to the popping sound a strobe light makes when it is fired though not as loud. The popping was not loud, but I distinctly heard it. Weird. Needless to say I did not attempt to connect and plug in this light. I wrote to the manufacturer and will keep you posted.

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A Rebecca Minkoff cross body and Ted Baker wallet in lavender and pink, bring on summer!

Accessories - alimackin@gmail.com - April 3, 2017

Spring is officially here, though it may not feel like it at times. But rest assured in another month or so it will be time to finally shed the winter coats, boots and black bags for maxi dresses, sandals and pastels. I bought this bag last year at a Rebecca Minkhoff event I attended through the New City Style Collective.

Spring is officially here, though it may not feel like it at times. But rest assured in another month or so it will be time to finally shed the winter coats, boots and black bags for maxi dresses, sandals and pastels. I bought this bag last year at a Rebecca Minkhoff event I attended through the New York City Style Collective. The event was wonderful; filled with bloggers, influencers, champagne, photo ops and shopping. So of course I did indulge, and I picked up this bag and a lovely bow-tie blouse.

The event was held last fall and this being a spring bag, as you may have guessed it was on sale. I got quite the deal on it. I took this bag with me to Florida and it was perfect for walking around sight seeing and shopping.

as this is a cross body bag it is not huge so right before my trip I bought this pink mini wallet from Ted Baker. And I am so glad I did, an excellent choice for a on the go wallet.

It felt so good to be in the warm sunshine and getting to wear summer clothes and use this oh so chic bag for the first time. I just loved using it. It is easy to open an close, big enough for my phone which I kept in the back slot on the outside of the bag and this is with it being zipped up in this cat pouch which I got in Paris last fall, plus a wallet, sunnies and this mini shine spray from Oribe.

And as this is a cross body bag it is not huge so right before my trip I bought this pink mini wallet from Ted Baker. And I am so glad I did, an excellent choice for a on the go wallet. I just wish my trip was longer. I returned to a cold, dreary snowy rainy New York. Ugh, not fun!

And just a heads up, this is the first photo I shot with my Limo Studio lights. Or should I say light. I set up one light and then realized that the battery on my camera was dying. So I fired off a few shots and then had to stop. But not bad considering I shot with one light and did this in five minutes or so. I spent more time setting up the light and working on the image in photoshop.

These lights shoot kind of blue. I had my white balance on “day light” which they are balanced to be, but it was definitely blue. You can adjust your white balance settings or adjust this in Photoshop or Lightroom. But for $75 I am super happy with the soft box set that I purchased. And stay tuned for more product shots using these lights. I have much to learn, but I enjoy the process so it is all good!

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