What Models Can Do That the Rest of Us Shouldn’t

Here’s what you need to know about models: they can do things us regular folk can’t. And I don’t just mean get a date with Leonardo DiCaprio. Models can walk with a book balanced on their head. They can fit into a size zero. They can reach things on the top shelf without getting on their tippy-toes. And of course, models can rock a runway. 

Seasoned models know there’s more to the business than just a good walk. For one thing, if you notice, good models make very specific facial expressions. As they come down the runway they have a look that says, “You look In. Ter. Esting.” This turns into what I call The Sexy Squint. It’s when a model parts their lips and closes their eyes slightly to create a smoldering look that says, “You’re cute but I’m sexy.” They often hold this expression for end-of-the-runway posing. When they’ve had enough of the flash photography the look suddenly changes to, “You bore me.” They turn their back and they’re gone.

When done properly The Sexy Squint is subtle but effective. It’s really an art and models make it look so easy. Some celebrities can also pull off The Sexy Squint when they pose on the red carpet but it cracks me up when I see an average person mimicking it for random pictures. They squint their eyes like they’re trying to read the fine print without their reading glasses. And they do their lips all wrong. Either they part them too much or they puff them out, making their look like it got stung by a bee or they went overboard with the collagen. I considered vlogging this post to demonstrate this ridiculousness but decided against it. I’m not criticizing people on camera when I need to get my roots done. Also I don’t want you to see my messy office.

While I’m talking about models and runways… just to (finally) wrap-up my Phoenix Fashion Week experience, I wanted to share some photos from the final night. The show started with SJ Couture by designer Jeanne Hankerson. Her quality wedding gowns are “vintage grace infused with a contemporary twist.”

Bel Kazan, a namesake collection, was next on the runway. Her fashion is inspired by the colors and culture of Bali.

Enzoani continued the show with colorful, formal dresses.

Bri Seeley, winner of the 2012 Emerging Designer Competition, presented her fabulous, vintage-inspired fashion. I wanted to take home every single piece. Loved the colors. Loved the styles. Bri Seeley was one of my favorites of Phoenix Fashion Week.

Designer Bri Seeley (right) and her sister

Envy by Khanh was another talented emerging designer. This line is about color and cutouts. This is for the social sophisticate who will be envied.

Founded by fashion designer Natalia Acosta, Italia Rocks Couture is evening wear for the girl who likes to stand out. These dresses have lots of detail. Think rhinestones, flowers and feathers.

Madison Brown, winner of the Smartwater Model of the Year competition

Fashion from Suzanne Lay and Élevée also hit the runway. The show’s finale was Dubai designer Furne One, whose dresses have been worn on Katy Perry and Beyonce. Checkout the stunning looks from these designers by Phoenix Fashion Week here.

These Heels are Made for Walking

Ladies, you know when you’re going to a fashion show to see and be seen it’s a given that you’re wearing heels. You could have a broken toe and you’d try shoving your foot into a pair of cute shoes like you were Cinderella’s stepsisters with the glass slipper. The higher the heel the better. Never mind if you know how to walk competently in them, you’ll teeter around like a circus clown on stilts rather than wear flats. You’re not a twelve year-old girl, for God’s sake.

Which leads me to the tragic story of one woman in heels at Phoenix Fashion Week’s Thursday night show. No, I’m not about to tell you my own story in the third person so I can save embarrassment. I got to attend the runway shows as part of the media, which was totally awesome but I had to stand to take the pictures. After the Fashionably Pink Show I learned my lesson and I will never wear heels again when I have to stand in one spot for several hours then make the long trek back to my car.

Anyway, here comes this woman carrying a drink in each hand. She’s wearing maybe five-inch heels as thin as some of the models’ wrists. She decides to get to her seat by walking around the end of the runway, right where all the media are set-up. Think equipment bags, video cameras on tripods, and the requisite twist of wires which were secured down, but still. I think you can guess where this story is going.

As soon as this woman stepped around the edge of the stage her heel caught on one of the wires. She staggered for a few steps like a child first learning to walk and then… SMACK! Guuuurrl down! Shoes and ice went flying. One of her drinks landed on the runway, which had to be cleaned up before the show could start. Here’s this unfortunate lady who came out of her shoes, crumpled on the ground in front of a few dozen photographers and I want you to know not one of us took her picture or uploaded a video of her fall on YouTube. (And you thought all “paparazzi” were ruthless. Shame on you.) Yes, I did just tell you about it but you don’t know who she is. Besides, by now she’s probably wearing a wig and living in Brazil under an assumed name to escape the shame of tripping with two drinks in her hands right in front of God and everybody.

Now about the runway show… Kent Denim was the opening designer. The clothing line is what you’d expect based on the name but they also have graphic tees, jackets, and button-up shirts.

And there were male models without shirts. See all the flashes in the second picture? You should have heard the women squeal when this guy walked the runway. Put a topless guy with a six-pack in a crowd of dignified, mature women and suddenly they’re all giggling teenagers again.

Next on the runway was Mabella Chic, one of last year’s emerging designers. This is a line “for the independent woman who knows what she wants and is not afraid of expressing herself through fashion.”

That’s Brittany Brown on the left from America’s Next Top Model. I met her at the Fashionably Pink Show and she’s as sweet as sugar. She said being on Tyra’s show was one of the best things that’s ever happened to her and she still has to pinch herself to believe this is all real.

Both of these next two looks are great but I wouldn’t attempt to pull off the first one. Not before I got a personal trainer, if not plastic surgery.


Davinci, another men’s line, was up next. Their target customer is a hipster “looking for vintage looks and retro cuts.”


Other designers of the evening were Living Dreams, Ofra Style, Shawl Dawls, Samantha Patterson, Cafe Bleu, and Mariska.

For more pictures, visit my Flickr page. It isn’t filled with pics of male models without their shirts though. Sorry to disappoint.

The Fashionably Pink Celebrity Fashion Show

The Fashionably Pink Celebrity Fashion Show at the Musical Instrument Museum on October 3, 2012 was the official start to Phoenix Fashion Week. The show raised awareness and funds for Susan G. Komen for the Cure®. Nancy Brinker, Founder and CEO of the organization, was the evening’s honored guest.

A cocktail reception featured a red carpet entrance and charitable silent auction.

Living Dreams, one of this year’s emerging designers

Alexa Zellers, Ms. Arizona Teen USA

Hosted by Brittany Dawn Brannon, Miss Arizona USA 2011, the show opened with a touching video montage of breast cancer survivors discussing who “raised them up” during their diagnosis and recovery. Jasmine Horméz sang “You Raise Me Up” accompanied by the Sweetwater Strings Orchestra and a dance performance by Kaleidoscape Dance.

Each talented designer participating in Phoenix Fashion Week featured pink fashion on the runway, modeled by breast cancer survivors and celebrities. Dubai-based designer Furne One dressed Raina Hein, runner-up on cycle 14 of America’s Next Top Model.

Raina Hein in Furne One fashion

Raina Hein and Brittany Brown

Heather Bilyeu, Million Dollar Listing, models Bri Seeley fashion

Breast cancer survivor rocking the runway

Among the celebrity guests in attendance:

  • Brittany Brown, America’s Next Top Model
  • Heather Bilyeu, Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing
  • Arie Luyendyk, ABC’s The Bachelorette
  • Herb Sendek, ASU Basketball Coach
  • Beth Troutman, Host of Right This Minute
  • Alexa Zellers, Ms. Teen Arizona USA
  • Jennifer Irene Gonzalez, Supermodel
  • Lacey Nymeyer John, Olympic Swimmer
  • Johnjay, 104.7 KISS FM
  • Rich Berra, 104.7 KISS FM
  • Kyle Unfug, 104.7 KISS FM
  • Super Snake, 101.5 JAMZ
  • Jackie Morales, 101.5 JAMZ
  • Phil Westbrooks, former Chandler Vice Mayor

See more photos on my Flickr page. And if you want to buy me a new camera, that would be okay with me.

Phoenix Fashion Week

Have you ever felt fashionably awkward, like you were still wearing your 90s’ hypercolor tees and denim overalls with one strap down in a room full of fashion-forward fashionistas? Well, while I’ve loved the design of this blog, it’s time for an update. Nouns & Violets is soon getting a total makeover. I’m really excited about the updated version and can’t wait to reveal it.

Speaking of fashion… (we were, weren’t we?) Phoenix Fashion Week is here! I had the amazing opportunity to attend last night’s Fashionably Pink Celebrity Fashion Show and I’ll be attending several more runway shows during this exciting three-day event. Stay tuned for more picture-filled posts!

Erika Frantzve, Miss Arizona USA, walks the runway sporting Dillard’s fashion

And the Award Goes To…

Did you watch the 2011 Golden Globes? I didn’t. It’s for the best since I have no interest in watching The Office get the shaft. Can some Gleek explain to me why Glee deserved to win the Best Series award? Did Jim Parsons really deserve to win Best Actor in a Television Series over Steve Carell?

Turns out, there is an award recently given that I won’t be disputing. Kristy at Pampers and Pinot graciously bestowed the Stylish Blogger Award on Nouns and Violets. How cool is that?

Acceptance of this snazzy award means sharing seven facts about myself. Taking a cue from Kristy, I’m going to make them style-related. Here are my 7 Fashion Confessions:

1.  When I can’t find a clean pair of white socks, I swipe a pair of my husband’s socks.

2.  I also like to wear his robe because it’s warm, soft and reaches to my wrists and ankles.

3.  For Christmas my husband gave me a tan “blanket with arms” but it is NOT a Snuggie. Mine is infinitely superior to a Snuggie. My favorite thing to do when the kids are asleep is curl up on the couch with my blankie and read or use my laptop.

4.  I seem to have an endless supply of message tees in my closet that I need to donate. Yesterday I found a bright pink one that says, “Jerks <3 me.” I know it was before I met my husband but what was I thinking?!

5.  I can’t ever remember the rule about white shoes and Labor Day. Is that still being enforced?

6.  I know enough to not pair a brown belt with black shoes but I refuse to drag my purse into it. I have a few favorite purses that tote around what I apparently believe are life’s essentials: wallet, prescription sunglasses, Chapstick, gum wrappers, old receipts, crumbs (how did those get in there?), lotion, cell phone, hand sanitizer, and occasionally my Kindle. I’ll use any colored purse despite my outfit and the season.

7.  I’ve hidden all evidence of my ghastly 1980s hairstyles. (Oh, don’t even ask about the days I owned my crimping iron. And I vehemently deny any allegation that I ever ratted my hair. Ever.) This pic survived though. It’s what came a few years after this that’s been banished to the vault.

All I think when I look at this now is: 1) split ends and 2) what’s up with those bangs?!

Even now I have to question my fashion judgment since I think Natalie Portman looked great but she made the Worst Dressed List. Granted, she could lose the necklace but her red shoes really brought the look together, I thought.

Now I get to pass my joy onto others. In no particular order, I’d like to present the Stylish Award to these fine blogs*:


My Frugal Lifestyle

Where is the ME in Mommy?

Life Without Pink

Her Book Self

Brown Gingham Creations

Brookhollow Lane

Whimsical Musings

Cori’s Big Mouth

Multiple Mama

Stories of an Imperfect Mom

*I know some bloggers don’t like passing on bloggy awards and that’s okay too.

Winner Announcement: Stella & Dot Crown Charm Giveaway

A heartfelt thank you to all those who entered my Stella and Dot Crown Symbol Charm giveaway.  I am pleased to announce the winner:

Jennifer R. #22

If you participated but didn’t win, you are in luck!  As a thank you for entering and visiting her website, Stella and Dot stylist Jean Choate is offering the giveaway entrants a 10% discount on all orders placed from now until Friday, July 23rd!  To take advantage of this offer, please notify her when ordering that you entered this giveaway.  Contact her directly HERE.

BUY IT: The Crown Symbol Charm is available for purchase HERE.

BOOK A TRUNK SHOW: If you didn’t win the giveaway, you still have a chance to get this piece or any other beautiful Stella & Dot jewelry for FREE!  All you need to do is host a Trunk Show and take advantage of the generous Hostess Rewards.  Visit Jean Choate’s webpage HERE for more information.

Check out Stella and Dot’s new Fall/Winter line that debuts today! Find gorgeous pieces like this Anastasia Brooch.

Why not stand out at your holiday soirée with this Audrey Cluster Necklace paired with the classic, adjustable fit Audrey Cluster Bracelet.

Browse Stella and Dot’s Fall/Winter collection HERE.

Kristen Stewart’s Fashion Mojo?

The Daily Mirror thinks “Kristen Stewart has got her fashion mojo on.”   Okay, I like this dress…

and maybe this one…

But what’s up with this one??

I guess they’re all an improvement over this…

Heels would have changed this look dramatically.  Her body is saying “young movie starlet on the rise” but her feet are saying “grungy teenager.”

Mom Jeans to Jeanswear

Jessica Simpson, former fashion victim of the “mom jeans,” is previewing her new denim line: Jessica Simpson Jeanswear.

She went from this…

to this…

UPGRADE!  Good for her.  She deserves it.

Material Girl Fashion

Material Girl, the new fashion line by Madonna and her daughter, Lourdes, is hitting Macy’s stores August 3rd.  The fashion line will feature 80s-esque pieces and of course… bustiers.

Sketches of the Material Girl fashion line

What do you think?  I like it.  I’m an 80s girl all the way.

Ashley Greene

Ashley Greene, better known as Alice Cullen from the Twilight franchise, at the MuchMusic Awards in Toronto June 20, 2010.  What do you think, Best or Worst Dressed?

Personally, I think in an outfit like this you won’t make the list at all.