A Fringe Frenzy

 I hung up the phone and let out the most agonizing groan. I knew I was being overly dramatic, but when I agreed to go to a vodka launch party with one of my BFF’s, I didn’t know it was actually a “white party,” too. Ugh, I hated white parties. Matter-of-fact, I hated any type of party that forced my hand in fashion.

Despite living in South Florida, I have this hard and steadfast rule about white: I only wear it when I’m getting married and since I’d already trudged down the aisle twice, I’d pretty much retired it from my closet. I called my date to break the white wearing news. He groaned out-load, too. Mind you, I had only received the dress code confirmation a few hours prior to the party.  

With less than two hours to shower (because I had just jogged on the beach path behind my house) and shop, I only owned the two white aforementioned unwearable wedding dresses. I found myself in a major fashion pickle; one that I was bound and determined to free myself from. After all, how hard could it be to find a fabulous white dress in Miami?

I drove like a bat out of hell (with my seatbelt on) to several beautiful little boutiques. Nothing. I called my stylist who dresses me for Deco Drive; she was out of town. I called a reliable vintage store; the lady who answered laughed at me and quipped sarcastically: “You want a white dress for when?” I hung up my cell phone with the realization that I was royally screwed. So…

I did what any stressed out “I have nothing to wear” woman would do. I drove to the nearest Mexican restaurant and ordered three extra cheesy tacos with extra Pico de Gallo and amazingly gooey guacamole. I’m a lucky girl in some ways, mainly because I didn’t get that “I need chocolate STAT” gene, but try to take a taco away from me when I’m in a fashion frenzy and you may lose an arm.

Coincidentally, said taco place (Salsa Fiesta) happens to be right behind “Kore”…a fantastically funky and all-around-fabulous clothing store. I’d always loved the boutique, but because of my aggressive work schedule, which consists of a lot of out of town travel, I’d never really taken the time to shop there. Maybe my taco craving was God’s way of nudging me closer to a little slice of retail heaven.

After all, I had nothing to lose (except my fashion dignity when I showed up to a white party in black.) So, I mauled my tacos and walked around the building to Kore, where I was greeted with…

A sing-songy “hello” and a sweet “let us know if we can help you with anything.” “Please, child,” I thought to myself, “you have no idea how much help I need.” I made a mental list in my head: a white dress, a girdle after my taco binge and now that I was thinking about it, I needed a shower, a manicure and a blow-out, too, though not necessarily in that order. I closed my eyes, inhaled then exhaled deeply and decided not to take my fashion frenzy out on the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed blonde who offered to help me.

And boy, was I glad I did, because within fifteen minutes, 20-something-year-old Alexis Entner (a Miami fashion student and Kore fashionista) styled me in a long-flowing, Grecian-inspired, white dress. She added a cool white and gold Art Deco necklace with matching earrings, paired it with a pretty purse, a beige belt (to off-set the white and give me more of a waist line) and a decadent antique-looking white shawl. And just like that, I was ready for the white party. It was a great night, too. My friends and I ate, drank, laughed and danced the night away, but more importantly, I met Alexis…

A young, aspiring, savvy stylist who not only had a groovy sense of style, but also a great sense of self. I instantly trusted her. Maybe it’s because I felt that despite knowing the trends, she also instinctively knew their limitations. In other words, just because something’s in style doesn’t necessarily mean everyone’s gonna look good in it. What’s more, she helped me with something personal that was really important to me.  

She didn’t do it for television accolades, red carpet credit or to be featured in my blog. I was a nervous wreck the day I met her. My hair was sweaty from my morning jog and mushed down flat from my added sunhat. I was wearing a house dress, no make-up and smelled of cheesy tacos. Despite my obvious shortcomings, she was beyond professional, caring and classy. By the way, those are the kind of accessories that aren’t for sale.

Alexis would go onto style me for a red carpet event at the 2014 Cannes International Film Festival in Nice, France. She would step in (at the last minute) to be my on-site stylist for a very important magazine shoot and for whatever reason, every time I ended up in a fashion frenzy, Alexis would gracefully show up with a good heart and a great attitude.

Enter fringe. Our collaboration for the blog was easy and effortless, but I had to go a little further, so you could get the tone and texture of Alexis’ personality.

Shireen Sandoval: You’re by far one of the most stylish girls I know. How does one look fierce in fringe?
Alexis Entner: My grandma says: “Everything is good in moderation.” Fringe is one of those things.

SS: Okay, so I can only have one fringe accessory for Fall; which one?
AE: The fringe bootie is a must for me. It’s such a versatile piece and it adds just the right amount of sass to any look.

SS: I worry about looking like I’ve gone all western rogue. When is a fashionista officially on a fringe binge?
AE: When you can hear the fringe slapping against the body of the person walking next to you. They’ve definitely out-fringed themselves.  
SS: (laughing)

SS: Style experts say fringe is now a classic. Why? I’m not convinced. Maybe it’s because I’m from New Mexico and the prospect scares me.
AE: Ahhhh! Don’t be fooled, fringe has its benefits. It adds that extra little 60’s vibe and edginess, but instead of the word classic, I would say it’s more of a tradition.  Because it’s a reflection of ethnic cultures, much like the ones you grew up around in the Southwest.  

SS: Fringe is part of this whole “bohemian babe” look. Is there anything else I need to stand out in the boho crowd?
AE: I think people forget the options that come with fringe (besides a head-to-toe Woodstock or Wild Wild West look,) the trend can be expressed through booties, satchels and even tassel materials and jewelry.

SS: What look were you going for when you styled me for the blog?
AE: It’s bizarre because before you sent me your idea, I had wanted to style you in fringe for awhile. Anyway, I was out thrifting one day when I stumbled upon this really great gypsy/fortune teller-style kimono; it became the inspiration for the look. I chose the abstract, print jumper (pictured in the blog) to recreate that look. Then I added all styles of fringe: Boho, Southwestern, Flapper and Gypsy. Even though you’re working all different types of fringe, the jumper is still the main focal point.

SS: As an up-and-coming stylist and fashion student, where do you find your inspiration?
AE: To be honest with you, it’s from people in the street. I’m not talking about “fashionable street style,” I mean everyday Miami commuters. When it comes to inspiration, I’m around the downtown/Wynwood/Midtown area and of course, social media impacts me to stay on top of trends and be as fashion-forward as possible.

SS: I hear the term “street cred” a lot in fashion now. What does it mean and can I buy two? I wanna be legit.
AE: We’ve become this documented society where we do things, wear things and post things to please the public opinion and get a reaction, but you should only wear things because you want to. If you stay true to yourself, you’ll get credit where credit is due. Street cred.

SS: What’s the next big trend?
AE: Active wear. A sports luxe look. We live in a fast-paced world now. We’re on the go and want to look fresh all the time. Now, it’s all about WHAT you’re wearing to the grocery store, not WHY you’re going there in the first place.

SS: If I handed you $5 G’s and you could only buy one fashion item what would it be?
AE: A Saint Laurent studded leather jacket. I’d pay the difference.

SS: Who is your fashion role model?
AE: I would say a mix of Nicole Richie and Rita Ora.

SS: What is your most prized fashion possession?
AE: I have this gold motocross chain that I’ve had since probably age 8. I incorporate it with almost everything I wear.

I love it when a good plan comes together. Alexis chose the jumper, fringed sweater and purse from Kore Boutique. We combined the look with fab opened-toe fringe booties from Koko & Palenki that my television stylist, Shari picked out and then we added the most decadent, fringe earrings from Myca Couture (a Miami based accessory and jewelry line.)

Getting street cred was easy when I completed the look with two of my mother’s sterling silver, vintage concho belts from New Mexico. They were both handmade by Native American Indians. She gifted them to me this year on my birthday. My lucky turquoise tiger tooth tied it altogether. Yes, Alexis did it again; styled my fringe and tamed my frenzy with grace and gratitude…that’s why “A Fringe Frenzy,” will always be one of my favorite things. 

Styling: Alexis Entner of Kore Boutique
Twitter: @uhhhlexisnicole @Kore_Boutique
IG: @uhhhlexisnicole @KoreBoutique
www.KoreBoutique.com

Fringe booties: www.kokopalenki.com
Fringe earrings: www.MYCACouture.com  

Twitter @ShireenSandoval
IG @ShireenSandoval
ssandoval@wsvn.com  
www.shireensandoval.com

photography by tod p/t4twophotography
Twitter @todp_t4twophoto
IG @Tod_p
info@t4twophotography.com

Hair & Make-up by Odette Hernandez
Twitter @Odettehernandz
IG Odett_Herndz

Editor: Matthew Auerbach
MattAuerbach@yahoo.com