Farewell, Friends

 

 

We’ve had a lot of fun over the last year and a half, but all good things must come to an end. Thank you to everyone who has been apart of this incredible journey with us ❤

Xoxo,

S & H

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Video Taken & Edited by: Daniel Nansel

Music in Video by: Yuni Wa

Photos Taken By: Daniel Nansel

Photos Edited By: Hannah Lewter

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Damsel in This Dress

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Go back in time and ask any of us at five years old where we wanted to be in twenty years,

I guarantee it would be right here.

Wearing a couture gown,

Modeling alongside a stallion

for a lavish photoshoot.

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As we would have then,

we adorned ourselves with flowers,

 

And held hands as we smized

and slayed before the camera.

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We felt glamorous and beautiful and powerful

Even as the wind whipped our faces and the mud soaked our shoes.

It didn’t matter.

We were exactly where we wanted to be.

Laughing. Loving. Creating.

 

XOXO,

Sabrina, Hannah, and Emily

Photography by: Hannah Hall

Edited by: Hannah Lewter

Clothes by: Romas by Linda Rowe Thomas

More Than Just a Pretty Face

 

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Gigi and Bella Hadid. You probably know them as the faces of fashion houses and the faces on magazine covers. The ones who jet set around the world to glamorous photoshoots and post Instagram stories of themselves with teddy bear face filters.

But, they are more than that.

Why is it that when someone is naturally inclined towards playing the piano or building a model rocket, they are applauded for it, but when someone has a talent for modeling, they are dismissed as just a pretty face?

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Let us tell you, modeling is a helluva lot more work than you think it is. It’s standing out in the freezing cold for hours to get the perfect shot. It’s putting on some hip hop music and practicing different expressions in the mirror for hours on end.

It’s essentially creating and embodying an entire character in just one still frame.

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Gigi and Bella are some of the best at it, and we frequently turn to them for both modeling and fashion inspiration (can you guess who was inspired by whom?).

Sure, having a pretty face helps, but not everyone can do it.

There are plenty of beautiful people out there who don’t know the first thing about modeling.

 

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But we do know a few things about it, and it is still a daily challenge for us. If you don’t believe us, just come shoot with us sometime! Or think back to the last time you had photos done and recall that the way you held and moved your body naturally did not look natural on camera.

Modeling is an art, and it’s a skill. And it’s one that deserves your respect.

xoxo, S & H

 

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At Long Last, An Ensemble For You!

 

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We started Ensemble of Elan almost a year ago, and our intention was never for it to be just a blog.

We always wanted to do something more and provide our fans with a tangible way to join in on this experience with us.

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Over the course of 2017, we learned that starting a business takes a lot of trial and error. We began by offering a wardrobe creation service where we helped clients clean out their closets, alter their current clothing items, and find new ones from our original collection. That did not last long, so we then thought about starting a clothing rental service where fellow fashion bloggers could rent clothes for their photoshoots.

 

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Long story short, neither of those ideas turned out to be feasible because they cost too much money & effort, and we could not make it profitable and keep it affordable.

So, we decided to go back to an idea that was simple and relatively inexpensive: an online clothing shop.

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We launched our debut collection last Friday, and we will be releasing new items on a weekly basis. Almost all of the clothes we are wearing in this shoot are from the collection (Save for the metallic coat. We did not have a warm enough coat in our collection for the below freezing temps, so sue me -S).

We hope you love these pieces as much as we do, and please let us know if there is anything else you would like to see in the shop!

Xoxo, S & H

 

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Photography by: The Gray People

Editing by: Hannah Lewter

Hannah’s Wearing:

Ensemble Open Back Sweater (coming soon) | Ensemble Wide Leg Pants (coming soon) | Ensemble Military-Inspired Jacket (coming soon) | Ensemble Metallic Heels (coming soon) | Ensemble Chunky Knit Scarf (coming soon) | Amazon Embroidered Purse | Aldo Classic Sunglasses |

Sabrina’s Wearing:

Ensemble WANG Sweatshirt | Black Tiered Mini Dress | Who What Wear Metallic Puffer Coat | Marc Fisher Ankle Boots (similar) | Zara Crossbody Purse (similar) | Rue21 Cat Eye Sunglasses (similar) | Forever 21 Duster Earrings (similar) |

The Wide Open Secret: Sexual Harassment in a Post-Weinstein World

One emerging fashion model. One professional photographer. Two feisty bloggers/business owners/feminists. Here are our thoughts on the recent surge of sexual harassment allegations in the aftermath of Harvey Weinstein.

 

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As a fresh face in the modeling scene, I am currently experiencing many of the challenges that come with this profession. You have to have the right connections and live in the right location, but most importantly, you have to have ‘the look.’ In the fashion and entertainment industry, looking a certain way can propel you pretty far. However, many people do not realize that there is a lot more to modeling than having desirable physical qualities. Succeeding as a model requires persistence, practice, and risk, and one of the biggest risks involves potentially putting your physical, emotional, and spiritual safety in harm’s way.

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I am lucky in that I have yet to face any abuses of power myself, but the research I have discovered while working on my senior thesis regarding the sexual harassment and mistreatment of models is rather shocking. As young women try to enter into the fashion world, they often do it with little experience or know-how, which leaves them unguarded and vulnerable to predators, which can be their photographers, agents, clients, or bookers. Sexual harassment has been widely tolerated by the fashion and entertainment industries for many years, and things are just now starting to change. As a model, I would recommend to others to always do their research before agreeing to participate in a new project. Talk to other women who have worked with those photographers or agents, and take what they say seriously to keep yourself safe.

Sofiya Stasiv, Fashion Model

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Photographers have a lot of power in this industry.

Particularly in the portraiture scene, it’s no secret that the vast majority of photographers are male and the vast majority of models are female. There is a power dynamic there that spans centuries and yet, I often see photographers write off that dynamic as unimportant or even nonexistent simply because of the ‘age we live in.’ So, I think it’s important to first establish that–in case there was any doubt–there is still a lot of inequality between men and women. Our society has not magically pushed past it; we have only made some progress. Of course, sexual harassment is not limited to just male photographers encroaching on the space of female models. It exists across the gender spectrum and throughout various other jobs in the industry. Yet, I certainly won’t pretend that the former is not particularly potent in its presence.

I approach my own work with this understanding. Many of the people I work with are female models, and a big part of their work involves being vulnerable for someone they often don’t know very well. That alone is an immensely difficult thing to do, but it is further compounded upon when the industry is so full of photographers taking advantage of that vulnerability. I don’t really wish to make a case for photographers on this issue since, as a whole, we truly aren’t the victims of the situation.

We have to do better. That starts with educating ourselves on the nature of consent, listening to women’s experiences instead of silencing them with our own preconceived notions, and understanding that the label of ‘creative vision’ does not give free reign to treat people as objects or sexual tokens.

Most importantly, we have to understand the power we wield as photographers in a male-centric industry with a male gaze. We can either be boons to the improvement of our societal standards or maintain the status quo, subsequently furthering the justified feeling of fear people may have when working with us.

Errick Jackson, Fashion & Portraiture Photographer

 

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Until fairly recently, men could abuse their power and sexually harass or assault women without much fear of repercussion. It was even written into some of their contracts. Frequent sexual harassment was an ‘open secret’ in Hollywood and across the country. Women were often pressured to keep their mouths shut or risk losing their careers. Those who did come forward were often vilified or called liars who were looking for money or attention. And considering 99% of rapists never serve jail time, it’s no wonder that many of these women chose to keep these incidents to themselves.

But something broke after the allegations about Harvey Weinstein came to light. New allegations are coming forward every day against men in entertainment, politics, and business, and they are actually being taken seriously. For the first time in history, powerful men are facing consequences for their actions. Some call it a witch hunt and think that because there are so many men being accused, it cannot possibly be true. But ask any woman alive if she has ever faced sexual harassment, and the answer will almost assuredly be yes.

We still have a long way to go in changing our culture, but we have made a lot of progress in the span of just a month or two. No longer do women have to fear losing their careers by coming forward and ousting their bosses or directors. In a post-Weinstein world, any man who has ever abused his power to sexually harass/assault women (or men), will have to spend every damn day living in fear that one of his victims will come forward and his career will be ruined. And that is one of the biggest victories. It is difficult to stomach that many of these men will never be brought to justice in the eyes of the law because the statute of limitations has passed, but at least we can rest easy knowing now that they are the ones who cannot sleep at night.

-S & H

 

 

Hannah’s Wearing:

| H&M Statement Sleeve Blouse | Goodwill Blue High-Waisted Trousers (similar) | Target Embroidered Ankle Boots | Amazon Fishnet Socks | Amazon Yellow Circle Sunglasses | Zara Black Quilted Crossbody Bag with Lion Detail |

Sofiya’s Wearing:

| TJ Maxx Floral Wrap Dress (similar) | Goodwill Leather Jacket with Fur Collar (similar) | Marc Fisher Buckle Ankle Boots | Goodwill Quilted Leather Purse (similar) |

Sabrina’s Wearing:

| Zara Chunky Beige Sweater (similar) | Express Flared Trousers (similar) | Amazon Embroidered Heels | Lulu’s Faux Fur Snood (similar) | Amazon Statement Strap Purse | Kohl’s Blue Sunglasses (similar) |

 

Photos by: Errick Jackson

Good Fashion Is Meant to Be Shared

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, for which we will receive a small commission if you click on our link and buy a clothing or accessory item. Our opinions on those pieces are always our own! ❤

There are two types of people in this world: Those who don’t want anyone to copy their look, and those who want everyone to copy their look.

We can easily say we fit into the second category, but what about you? Let us know in the comments!DSC_5274DSC_5667I’ve seen a lot of other industries starting to share more and more (think AirBNB or Uber), so I asked myself, how could the fashion industry incorporate more sharing as a way to save money and the environment?

It seems wasteful for everyone to build their own fully comprehensive wardrobes with every style and every trend, especially when most of us get tired of looking at the same old clothes day in and day out anyways.

What’s the answer then? Renting clothes instead of purchasing them. To use this type of service, you do have to get over the fact that a lot of other people are going to be wearing not only the same styles as you, but the same exact pieces as you.

You may have heard of Rent the Runway, Le Tote, or AirCloset, which allow you to rent stylish clothing items from their enormous (and amazing!) collections. One quote from a clothing rental company CEO (Satoshi Amanuma of AirCloset) that stuck out to me was:

“I want to offer people, especially busy women who don’t have spare time to buy clothes, more opportunities to encounter new clothes and apparel brands, and to enjoy fashion more.”

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By renting clothes, you effectively get a brand new wardrobe every month without having to put much thought or effort into it.

No unwanted clothing gets thrown away because every item gets enjoyed for the first time over and over again.

The only catch? You have to share it.

This could be the next big transition in the fashion industry, and I am excited to see where it leads.

-H

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I for one see someone copying me as the ultimate compliment.

I’ve never been one of those people who, if you ask me where I bought something, refused to say because I didn’t want you to have the same purse/boots/whatever as me.

If I love that piece and it brings me joy, I want to share it with other people, so they can experience the same happiness that item has given me.

There are plenty of people out there who do not feel the same, and when I ask them where they bought something, they hesitate to tell me. That’s fine if you feel that way, but for the record, there is plenty of amazing fashion going around, so there is no reason to try to hoard it all to yourself.

You probably noticed that Hannah and I are wearing the same ankle boots in this shoot. A lot of fashionistas would cringe at the thought of wearing the same shoes as someone else for a photoshoot, but we DGAF.

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If Hannah finds an amazing pair of earrings, or I find the perfect pair of jogger pants, we actually encourage the other to go out and buy one for themselves.

I truly believe that one of the reasons we are such good friends is because we share this approach to fashion, and I think this mentality is crucial to making it in the fashion industry.

Good fashion is meant to be shared.

-S

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Hannah’s Wearing:

| Forever 21 Mesh Top | Gap Boyfriend JeansAmazon Pink Velvet Booties | Goodwill Purse (similar) |Amazon Geometric Sunglasses | Target Bar Necklace (similar) |

Sabrina’s Wearing:

| Forever 21 Overall Dress | H&M Ruffle Sleeve Top (similar) |Amazon Pink Velvet Booties (self-embellished with pearls) | Amazon Embroidered Leather Purse |Amazon Vintage Metal Face Earrings | TJ Maxx Sunglasses (similar) |

 

Photography by: Rainwater Reflections Photography

Editing by: H+L Creations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fashion, Friendship, and Feminism of The Bold Type

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, for which we will receive a small commission if you click on our link and buy a clothing or accessory item. Our opinions on those pieces are always our own! ❤ 

 

We love The Bold Type  because it doesn’t hide its femininity.

Unlike a lot of other shows and movies, this one does not portray liking fashion and makeup and manicures as a weakness.

Rather, The Bold Type uses classically feminine ideas as a vessel to show that badassery can come cloaked in Givenchy.

Despite the somewhat predictable plotlines and borderline cheesiness, this show passes with flying colors when it comes to the three F’s:

Fashion, Friendship, and Feminism.

(Like seriously, is that our perfect slogan or is that our perfect slogan?)

 

The Fashion

Sometimes we have to ask ourselves: does Scarlet have hallways or runways? With Jane, Kat, and Sutton strutting down them in leather pants and thigh-high boots, we sometimes feel as though we’re in the front row at a fashion show rather than a high-rise Manhattan office building.

We were hooked on The Bold Type as soon as we saw this trio dressed to the nines, holding hands, and screaming into the passing subway train in the opening scene. We were confused, but we were hooked.

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J, K & S are bold in their love lives, their careers, and their fashion. And obviously it helps that they don’t exactly have to follow an “office dress code.” We will never forget when Sutton walked into work wearing a plunging, form-fitting jumpsuit; it gave us goosebumps (and near heart attacks).

When we were putting together our own outfits for this post, we constantly asked ourselves if we were being “bold enough.” These three are always ahead of the fashion curve, so we did not want to settle for anything less.

 

The Friendship

The always-have-your-back brand of friendship in this show feels like a breath of fresh air after decades of being fed stereotypes about selfish, backstabbing female friends.

No matter what life throws their way, Jane, Sutton, and Kat always show up for each other.

 

Fashion Ideas: Black Floppy Hat, Gray Tee, and Layered Necklaces

 

When Sutton was afraid to take a position as an underpaid assistant to further her dream of having a career in fashion, Kat offered up her own apartment where she could live rent-free to put her financial worries at ease.

When Jane faced her fears and got tested for the BRCA gene mutation, Kat and Sutton dropped everything to come with her and hold her hand, both while she got tested and while she learned her results.

And when Kat started to question her feelings towards Adena and own sexuality, Jane and Sutton helped her accept herself as she was, even if she didn’t fully understand it.

 

The Feminism

We could write an entire post about the feminism in this show (and we probably will eventually), but for now we will focus on one facet: Jacqueline Carlyle.

Jacqueline is the Editor-In-Chief of Scarlet magazine, and she turns the “Miranda Priestly” character on its head by coupling her authority with compassion and vulnerability, particularly in the season finale.

(We won’t ruin it for you, but it is a must watch).

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Women in power are often portrayed as “bitchy” or “unlikable,” but Jacqueline is neither. She knows what she wants and how to get it, but what sets her apart is that she pays as much attention to the means as she does to the ends. She listens, she apologizes when she makes mistakes, and she welcomes fresh ideas, even if they are not her own.

Jacqueline demonstrates exactly how the ability to empathize is a competitive edge.

We want a boss like Jacqueline. We each want to be a boss like Jacqueline. And so, we will leave you with one of our favorite quotes from her, which perfectly captures what many of us see as the essence of the female experience:

 

“I expect you to have adventures. I expect you to fall in love, to get your hearts broken. I expect you to have sex with the wrong people. To have sex with the right people, to make mistakes and make amends, take a leap and make a splash. And I expect you to unleash holy hell on anybody who tries to hold you back.”

New Fashion: The Bold Type

Sabrina’s Wearing:

| H&M Dotted Mesh Top | H&M Leather Pants | Zara Gray Flats (similar) |Amazon Velvet Statement Strap Purse |Amazon Birdcage Earrings |

Hannah’s Wearing:

| Goodwill Gray T-Shirt (similar)| Goodwill Pinstriped Wide Leg Pants (similar)| Vince Camuto Strappy Heels (similar) | Target Black Felt Hat | Daisy Chain Layered Necklaces (similar)| Goodwill White Clutch (similar)|

 

 

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