Miranda Bennett x Kick Pleat

Hello hello, my darlings, and happy Monday!

To much surprise, I am not dead, but I have returned to “slay the game” yet again. (; That’s what I hear the kids saying nowadays, so I thought I’d be a cool kid and give it a try.

I know I took a long hiatus from The Studded Collar, and I was surprised at how much time had passed since I was last here on these pastel pages. However, as of late, I have been planning a lot of exciting new changes and even more fun content that I am beyond excited to share with you all. Eventually, I will publish an article detailing more of what has passed and what is yet to come, but until then, stay tuned for today’s exciting share.

On Friday, I had the chance to meet and interview Austin-based designer Miranda Bennett at Kick Pleat. Ms. Bennett is an Austin based fashion designer focused on sustainable fashion. All of her garments are produced here in the USA and the textiles are naturally dyed in-house. Meeting such a talented designer was such an honor and I had so much fun chatting with and getting to know her. Read on to learn more about the local designer, brand, and what keeps her inspired.

Kay B: You focus on sustainable fashion – what made you gravitate to plant dyed apparel?

Miranda Bennett: I think the main [idea] for me was reducing the toxic effects of creating apparel. The garment industry is not known for its environmental consciousness. Thankfully, recently, it has become a lot more of a focal point, and there’s been a lot more transparency in people’s production process. I mean, for me, there’s that side of it- the environmental impact – but from the aesthetic side of it, I just felt like the pigments and the colors I could get from natural dyes were really special and had a really unique quality to them. I also love that we can formulate the colors in-house and on a small scale. I think that gives us a nice advantage in terms of being a small line because we can create things that are unique to the studio that we formulate and dye ourselves.

KB: You call your pieces “seasonless” and I found that to be a term I gravitated towards more than timeless. What you define a  seasonless piece to be?

MB: My thinking with that is that it’s something that you can literally wear through the seasons and year round whether it’s a matter of layering it differently or accessorizing it differently. It also, to me, indicates that it is something you are going to have season after season. So the idea is that these are like heirlooms or forever pieces so their things that you would have in your closet and draw on the following week, the following month, or the following years. It refers to a “wearablity,” but also something that you’ll have past a certain trend point or a certain season.

KB: So would you say that they’re pretty breathable and easy to layer?

MB: All of the fabrics are natural fibers, so inherently, they’re gonna be more breathable. We use primarily silk, linen and cotton.

KB: You like to say that there’s a dialogue between all the editions that you release – how do you maintain a fluid conversation between your pieces?

MB: We basically have core silhouettes that are the linchpin of the collection. What I mean by that dialogue is that with each new edition, we’re re-examining the cut and the fit of those core pieces, and we’re going to execute them in new fabrics or new color ways, or play with the proportions. That continuous dialogue means here’s the style that’s been a really well established piece of the collection- how does it react we alter the length or add a sleeve, do it in a different fabric… or even seeing it in a different colorway. But it can also inform other styles that can kind of gravitate around those core pieces, so as we introduce new silhouettes, there are definitely departures from our existing core styles.

KB: Do you like to sometimes look at the first edition and see how it has progressed to your most recent one, then examine that flow to get inspiration from that?

MB: Yeah, definitely! And that’s something that even on our Instagram- every time we share a different piece of apparel, we also reference when it was first introduced in that fabrication just to kind of hearken back to that and contextualize those pieces.

KB: Where do you get your inspiration from when you’re coming up with new editions and new pieces?

MB: The launching point is the way that a garment drapes on a woman’s body. It’s really less about having a very literal theme and more about wearablity, and drape, and ease and how something can be flattering to different body types. A starting point is pieces that we already have and kind of looking at how they’ve worked, what was successful about them. There’s definitely also those flashes of seeing a style, or shape, or color and then kind of inform that. It’s always, for me, going to go back to drape. I’m not a sketcher, I’m a draper, so for me it comes from being very hands on and seeing how something wears.

KB: Lastly, I have to ask- what is your favorite thing about fashion in Austin? It’s very quirky and different from other cities in Texas like Dallas, where I’m from.

MB: I think just the personality of people’s style. I think everyone here has a very personal approach to how they dress and carry themselves. It’s not necessarily very trend based, it’s very unique and idiosyncratic. [Also] the acceptance that comes with it- that people can dress and present themselves how they feel is appropriate to them rather than feeling like they have to have a homogeneous style or trend based style.

A big thank you to Miranda Bennett for taking some time to chat with me, and to Kick Pleat for hosting Ms. Bennett and helping get us together for the interview. We also got to vlog a bit, and that video will be up on my YouTube channel soon. (: (Yes, I have a YouTube channel! More details on that to come…)

If you want to see the garments and editions that Miranda Bennett has brought to life, feel free to visit and peruse her website.

Also, thank you to Angie for your photography skills! You guys can check out more of her photos here.

I’m so glad to be back in the blogging game, and I can’t wait to share even more with you guys! There’s more to come, and I’m so excited for what’s in store. I love you all so so much, and until next time…

Stay Fab,

Kay B. xx

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A Night Among the Stars: FGI Rising Stars Award Show

Hello hello, my loves, and Happy Snowy Studded Collar Saturday (boy, is that a mouthful…) Yes, I have been absent from the blogosphere for much longer than I would ever have liked, but being a full time student and having such a demanding schedule really takes a toll! But I promise to be a bit more consistent from now on. (:

What better way to get back into the groove of things than to share with you my experience at my very first award show?

IMG_5930I had the pleasure of being invited to and attending the Fashion Group International Rising Stars Award Show in Dallas this past Thursday, and what a show it was! For those who do not know, the Rising Stars Awards are granted to those in the art and fashion industry who have truly made their mark in their area of expertise. These fields include art, photography, jewelry, beauty, interior design, and, of course, fashion. It was so humbling to be in the presence of such hard workers who have really made a name for themselves, and I was honored to be among them that evening.

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Along with the award shows, the night also included a series of fashion shows from big-name brands like Macy’s, BCBGeneration, Karen Millen, Nordstrom, Belk, and Aftershock London. Here are some shots from the first show by Macy’s.

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I loved the vibrancy of the collection. In every piece color was incorporated and each caught everyone’s eye. In all honesty, there were some looks that were a little too busy in color for my liking. However, each piece within those ensembles was gorgeous and we must remember that not every outfit is ready to wear off of the runway- some are merely meant to inspire!

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This is my favorite look from the Macy’s show because it displays a cute way to dress up a tee-shirt dress that can also easily be dressed down. The pop of color in the shoes was a great choice by the stylist- not too overwhelming, but easily makes a statement.

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Next came the BCBGeneration show. This collection was a stark contrast to the previous of Macy’s- here we were shown a gorgeous compilation of spring pieces in neutral tones with some sparse, light additions of color every so often. The color scheme was made of black, blue and white and the outfits themselves were not at all structured. I think that BCBG did a wonderful job of capturing the carefree and loose aesthetic of spring while maintaining a chic and put together collection. Bravo!

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The romper on the left is so cute. I love the balance of the full-length sleeves with the shorts. A great piece to own for Spring and an even better addition to purchase for Spring Break! *heart eyes*

More runway shows ensued from brands like Karen Millen…

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and BCBGIMG_5939 IMG_5992 IMG_5987 IMG_5958

Can we take a moment to appreciate how flawlessly BCBG combined two of the top trends right now- Leather AND Fringe??? Way to make it to my heart, darlings. *swoon*

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The awards were given in a staggered manner, so after every few runway shows, a few awards were given. The lovely Mrs. Shay Geyer, IBB  Designer and Good Morning Texas Design Expert was the emcee of the evening and did a fantastic job hosting the night. The first awards were for the Rising Stars in Beauty, Jewelry Design, and Art.

IMG_5850Congratulations to Dr. Nalia Malik, the Rising Star in Beauty…

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Megan Thorne, Rising Star in Jewelry Design…

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And Shayema Rahim, the Rising Star in Art!

I would love to also extend my congratulations to the Rising Star in Photography, Brandon Lyon, and the Rising Star in Interior Design, Brant McFarlain.

Besides seeing the awards and watching the shows, I did have my fair share of fun and met/ reunited with some wonderful people!

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It was such an honor to meet the lovely designer Lucy Dang who was also in the running for a Rising Star award in Fashion. I am in love with her designs and beautiful execution, and she was just as sweet in person as I thought her to be. (:IMG_5926

I also had the honor of meeing co-founder and Editor of DFW Style Daily, Leah Frazier. She was so fun to chat with and it was so great to speak to someone as accomplished as her- I gained quite a few key lessons from her. Go check out her online publication, DFW Style Daily, if you haven’t already!

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Fellow bloggers Cydni of It’s Her Strut, Ty Jones of Words and Wardrobes, and I hit it off and had some fun with the photo booth. (: They’re funny, sweet, and incredibly smart. Go feast your eyes upon their blog goodness!

OK STORY TIME~~

While chatting it up with others in the biz like Alex Young of Eat Style Dallas, photographer extraordinaire Stephanie Drenka of Geek Glam, and Velma Puente of VP Cosmetics, I would see men in police uniforms walking around the venue. My first thought was, “Wow, security is pretty tight around here if they’re mingling among the guests!” Then, later in the evening I saw the two officers looking at me from behind their cop glasses (BTW: the technical term for “cop glasses” is Aviators. Please remember this…) and they stopped me in my tracks. They asked if I was having a good time and I responded saying of course I was! Then they said that after inspecting me for a little bit they were going to have to give me a citation- my first citation!!! “Oh gosh, a citation for what, officers?” I responded with a light laugh and a smile.

“A citation… for being Fashionably Fierce!!!”

No, these were not your every day police officers.

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These were the Fashion Police.

The Fashion Police prowled the venue throughout the evening and gave out “citations” to some of the best dressed of the evening. Needless to say I was quite flattered and was more than excited to receive my first positive citation from the (Fashion) Police.

I even got to take my first “mugshot”!

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The last award of the evening was the most exciting one- Rising Star in Fashion! The nominees were Lucy Dang, the designer I had the pleasure of meeting earlier that evening; Esé Azénabor, a friend of mine and newly showcased designer at Spring/ Summer New York Fashion Week 2015; and Binzario Couture, who shared a gorgeous bridal collection.

Here are a few shots of the amazing talent. First up- Lucy Dang.IMG_6012 IMG_6014 IMG_6020 IMG_6024 IMG_6025 IMG_6076 IMG_6097

Next we saw Binzario Couture.IMG_6112 IMG_6163 IMG_6191 IMG_6192 IMG_6227 IMG_6233 IMG_6185 IMG_6189 IMG_6237 IMG_6241 IMG_6244

And last, but by no means least, Esé Azénabor

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After watching all three shows, I think everyone can agree that it was anyone’s game. All three designers were equally deserving of the award as they and their designs were absolutely phenomenal- out of this world!

In the end, Lucy Dang took home the award and now holds the title of Rising Star in Fashion. Congratulations!

After the show’s finale, I met up with dear friend and designer, Allison Mitchell, who looked fabulous as usual. I also got to chat with Esé for a bit afterwards and she, too, looked flawless and was just as warm and bubbly as ever.

IMG_6437IMG_6438Allison and Esé showed at NYFW together, pairing Esé’s clothes with Allison’s purses, and they put on quite a show! Check out both of their websites for more details regarding their work and products.

It was a dream of a night and I still feel humbled to say I laughed and danced among the stars, rising and risen. Thank you, FGI, for such a memorable night!IMG_6441

That’s a wrap! Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I did writing it. Don’t forget to follow me on my Instagram and Twitter, and like my Facebook page to keep up with me when I’m not blogging! If you have any thoughts, feel free to comment below, or, if you have any questions, shoot me an email at thestuddedcollar@gmail.com (:

Stay Fab, darlings,

Kay B xx.

Sweet Valentine: Daytime Look

Hello, hello, hello my darlings, and Happy New Year!! I apologize for being unable to ring in the new year with you all and for the low supply of new posts, but you know well enough that I am never far from you and return as quickly as possible. (: I hope that 2014 holds fond memories for you all and that new ventures, lessons and sweet times lie ahead in 2015.

Welcome to my first post of 2015! (cue the confetti) With the first major holiday of the year already a month behind us, we have Valentine’s Day to look forward to. Yes, even if you do not have a significant other you can still expect to have fun on V-Day! Whether you will be spending the day with your lovie or taking on the town with your best girl friends, you can still look killer while doing it.

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Dress: H&M | Shoes: Steve Madden | Jewelry: Charming Charlie | Nail Polish: Maybelline ColorShow

Valentine’s Day dawns the most pink, red and white than any other day of the year, but you do not necessarily need to put together an outfit that makes you look like you covered yourself in glue and frolicked through Hallmark’s Valentine’s Day isle. I’ve put together a daytime look that is perfect to wear while with your girls or your boyf and it includes the festive colors in a more wearable fashion. (:

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Note that my dress is not all red, white, or pink, but within the pattern, pink is the predominant color. I accented my look with neutral-toned, gemed jewelry to add a touch of formality. The look is sweet, feminine, and is perfect for a fun day with your special loves.

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Believe it or not, this is my first bubble skirt purchase (a bubble skirt is one that comes out at the dress’s waist line and has a rounded figure), and I really like it! I appreciate the placement of the waistline- dresses that have their wait’s seam at your natural waist are some of the most flattering as opposed to an empire wait that makes your torso, at times, appear smaller and your mid-section wider (depending on your body type).

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When wearing a dress as busy as this, it’s best to choose a solid colored shoe. That’s not to say that the shoe itself can’t make it’s own statement. These suede, ankle-strap, open toed platforms from Steve Madden are simple in their neutral tone, but don’t fail to stand out with its thick straps and heel.

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I opted for a soft, romantic look since this is a daytime outfit. I love how the muted fuchsia lip pops but doesn’t appear harsh with the other softened makeup features. A light rosy blush and a soft smoky eye married beautifully with this ensemble. Like this post and comment below if you want to see this make-up tutorial!

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Just some candids of me being… well, me. (:

Well, my darlings, that’s all I have for you today! I hope this inspired you somehow and that you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed putting this together for you. Remember that regardless of whether or not you have a Valentine, you should show some extra love to others- it’s what keeps our world moving after all!

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Stay Fab,

Kay B xx.

Flower Child

Good morning darlings, and Happy Tuesday!

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Top: Delia’s

Skirt: Forever 21

Belt: Cotton On

Sandals: Target

Bracelet: Nordstrom

Scrunchie: Forever 21

Yesterday I had a few errands to run and wanted a casual yet light and girly look. I opted for my new favorite floral skater skirt and a light scoop neck “Awkward” Tee. I tucked my top into my skirt and after looking in the mirror was happy with how it turned out.. but my outfit needed a kick.

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My skirt is a little high-waisted, and my waist is pretty small, so what better way to define and cinch in my waist than with an edgy belt? I love the gold studs on this belt. It adds some edge to an otherwise flirty-girly outfit (despite the immense amount of black.) The leather belt adds definition and a little something extra to the outfit.

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Since I was on my feet quite a bit yesterday, I wanted to be comfortable so I wore my go-to black, strappy sandals. I have worn these so much this summer, I’m surprised I haven’t acquired a tan resembling the sandal straps yet!

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Because my outfit was predominantly black, I wanted to add some color without clashing with the flower colors. I chose this woven, blue, jeweled bracelet from Nordstrom. I really love the color of this bracelet and the simple gold, jeweled dome in the center. It’s simple and captivating.

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If the floral skirt wasn’t enough, well say hello to my flower power scrunchie. Yes, scrunchies are back, and I wear them proudly. It was way too hot for me to wear my hear down (my hair is short, but it’s so dark and thick and it’s like wearing a woolly blanket on your head…) and I didn’t want to do anything elaborate to my hair, so I just braided my bangs straight back and held my ponytail with this scrunchie!IMG_9812

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So you probably notice a lot of florals in my outfit, but you should know that floral prints are my favorite of all prints! They can translate into any season, and they can be styled in many different ways! Florals don’t always have to be girly, but you can definitely call me a somewhat girly Flower Child.

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Until next time, sunshines,

Stay Fab,

Kay B xx

Warby Parker: Waterway Collection 2014

Hello lovelies!

August – the Sunday of summer, the final sip of iced tea, the last head toss toward the sun. Whatever August is to you, it’s here, and things are just heating up so don’t end your poolside staycation just yet; looking at the sun never looked so glamorous.

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I’ve partnered with eyewear company Warby Parker to announce the exciting news of their new line. Let me introduce you to Warby Parker’s Eyewear Waterway Collection 2014. Inspired by warm coastal travels and poolside fun, the Waterway Collection is a breath of fresh air. These 5 styles will have you craving for an excuse to wear them 24/7, I know I’ve already thought of a few!

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1. Percey

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Here’s Percey. He’s versatile as he can be either sunglasses or perscription glasses. No matter the selected use, Percey will make you look trés chic around the clock. I personally love that the frames are clear: Warby Parker has totally modernized a clear frame that can at times be seen as outdated. Percey here looks way ahead of his time and style, and you can too with these sunnies.

2. Welty

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Meet Welty. Welty is dressed in Marine Pebble frames that seem to make beautiful, blue ocean waters and dream filled skies come together. Believe it or not, Welty is a pair of prescription glass frames; who knew that seeing so clearly could look so chic? The frame’s design is similar to that of the tortoise frame style, but what I like best is that it’s not in the dark brown or black color. Rather, it’s in dreamy, light blue hues and it will definitely brighten up your face and make you look captivating!

3. Griffin 

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Now, Griffin is my favorite of the bunch. His whiskey tortoise frame and slightly tinted lenses give him a mysterious yet confident and edgy air. I love that the shape of the frame is a combination of wayfarer, round, and round frames to make it look more unique. Griffin doesn’t need to have a screaming design to stand out in the crowd, so definitely pick him up if you want to look simply outstanding.

4. Bensen

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Bensen. He’s smart, simple, but there are two sides to this fella. The top part of these prescription frames appears black and sleek, but there’s a cool, nearly ombré effect that makes it fade into a crystal blue at the bottom! Who wants basic, solid frames when you can have such chic dimension? If you want some prescription frames that are as unique as your style, check Bensen out!

5. Piper

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Last, but definitely not least, this is Piper! When I first met her, she gave off a very beachy, glamorous vibe. Her frames are in a beautiful Sand Castle color that are slightly translucent but have enough color to have you ache for sand in between your toes. I particularly love that the frames are slightly winged out at the top; it’s a flattering feature for any face! Whether your working on your tan at the beach or taking a day on the town with the girls, you’ll look fabulous with Piper. (And how unique is that color?! *swoon*)

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I don’t know about you, but after seeing this collection I want to take every single one home! I think my favorite part of this whole line is how unique each frame is! Like each person’s style, no frame is the same- it’s unique and makes it’s own statement. That’s what I’m all about, and that’s what fashion is all about! Warby Parker really hit it out of the park with this one.

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The Waterway Collection is out NOW! Go check out the amazing Waterway Collection 2014 online at www.warbyparker.com/sunglasses for their sunnies or http://www.warbyparker.com/eyeglasses for their prescription glasses! You can also check it out at a Warby Parker store and showroom near you! Tell me in the comments which pair of glasses from The Waterway Collection is your favorite! Mine is either Griffin or Piper. (:

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Until next time my darlings,

Stay Fab,

Kay B xx