Sunday, June 20, 2010

Style File: Cheers to Alaina

Cinched at the Waist would pretty much be naked without the mastermind behind our header, business cards, icon image, and twitterpage design, Alaina of Live Creating Yourself.
It was through friend and fellow blogger, Bailey of Peppermint Bliss, that I was able to find the Chicago based graphic designer. The second I saw LCY's header I instantly became a fan and knew that I'd found perfect graphic designer to create a new look for Cinched at the Waist. By far the easiest interview of the Stylefile series, all I had to do was email the blogging wiz a series of questions and wala! For our first guest post Cinched proudly presents the secrets behind our graphic designer's style,  inspirations, and fav spots.

1. Gig: whats your official title and occupation?

By day, I'm a graphic designer for the nonprofit, Every Child Matters. By night, I write the lifestyle blog Live Creating Yourself and design and sell prints in my etsy shop, LCYgraphics.

2. Look: Do you dress for the occasion or according to your mood?
I always dress for the occasion. I work from home, so I'm usually wearing t-shirts and loungewear during the day. But as soon as I have somewhere to go, I'll throw on skinny jeans or my J.Crew Minnie pants with a fun top. I often grab my navy Tory Burch blazer and a colorful pair of flats or heels - again, shoes depend on the occasion. Flats for afternoon and casual outings, heels for dinners and parties. Here you can see three different ways I styled my favorite black Minnie pants.

3. Inspiration: Where do you get your inspiration from when designing?
Blogs. Blogs. And oh, did I mention blogs? All of my fashion, interior, and graphic design inspiration comes from things I see on other blogs or in doing research for Live Creating Yourself. The other biggest source of inspiration is in the graphic design of packaging. I loooove pretty packaging. I even asked the sales clerk of Sucré in New Orleans if I could take a bag home because the colors and design just struck a chord with me. I almost always save the packaging of an item if it put a smile on my face. I work from home and my office is just filled with things that inspire me... everything from books, to art, to packaging!

4. Snag her style: Perhaps name a few of your fav and go to pieces for the season.
My summer style is colorful and comfortable with a ton of fun jewelry. I like loose fitting tops, skinny capris, or a short shift dress. My current favorite go-to outfit, however, is my very first maxi dress from Boden. It's black and can be dressed up or down. It's the most comfortable thing I've ever owned.

5. Go-To Shops: what are your favs, can be local or shops you love to go to in your travels?
For better or worse, I have been a walking advertisement for J.Crew since sixth grade. It's actually kind of ridiculous how many items in my closet are from that store. But their pieces just fit me perfectly, the quality is great, and the price point isn't insane. I also love Theory and usually find their cute tops for half off at Loehman's or Nordstrom Rack. As for home goods, I'm a huge fan of Anthropologie's home decor and West Elm has a lot of versatile contemporary pieces I've coveted. Otherwise I'm an avid thrift store/flea market kinda gal. Nothing thrills me like a cheap find and a good DIY makeover. My dining chairs, for example, were a Craigslist purchase. I bought all four for $70, painted them grey and recovered them. Most dining chairs are at least $100 a piece, so this was a steal, and I get so many compliments on them.

When it comes to where I shop when I travel, I can really only speak to New York and London because they are the only other cities I've spent enough time in to the point where I've become familiar with the shopping districts. So, for New York, I'd say Soho, hands down has the best shops. It's a great mix of home goods and fashion. As for London, I adore the Covent Garden area. The market is one of my favorites and there are a bunch of great boutiques lining the surrounding streets.

6. Fav Spots: Where are your go to's in Chicago?
My favorite place to go in Chicago for home goods is Clark Street in Andersonville on the North Side. That neighborhood is home to Scout, Patina, George Lowell, Four Sided, and White Attic, to name a few of my favorites. My go-to for clothing and shoes would be the Oak Street and Michigan Avenue area downtown. Some of my favorite stores include Tory Burch, Nordstrom, J.Crew, Ralph Lauren, and my favorite, Filene's Basement, where I can find some of my favorite designers at huge discounts (Theory, Tory Burch, and BCBG to name a few).

Images & Post per Alaina