Sarah Neely

Styling: Behind The Scenes

Sarah Neely
Styling: Behind The Scenes

As you all have read in my previous blog post, on September 15th I was blessed with the opportunity to style the amazing Dawn Richards at the Poze Bazaar fashion show.  Nevertheless, not only did I Style Dawn but I was also able to style twelve beautiful models for an all-black scene and the events host Christina Lee.  This was the most people I've ever styled in a single day and I must say it was challenging but yet fun.  The Poze Bazaar fashion show was an experience I will never forget because it showed me that I am capable of doing anything that I put my mind to.  V Monet (the mastermind behind the show) asked me a month before the show if I would be interested in styling an all-black scene for the show and I couldn't turn that down because fashion is something that I absolutely love doing.  The model casting was in Birmingham, Alabama so of course I wasn't able to attend any of the castings (I live in Mississippi) but luckily I was able to pick my models via video and pictures.  Initially I had a total of 12 models (2 males and 10 females) so I did what I normally do to pull looks which is to reach out to boutiques and designers via email, in person and social media.  A few responded and a few ignored my response (which is typical in the fashion industry) but I didn't get discouraged because of my faith with God I knew things would work out. In the end I had a total of two boutiques and two designers who I was able to pull looks from in addition to the few pieces I chose from my wardrobe (as seen below).  For those of you wondering why there are no pics of the male models, it's because the male boutique in my town that I was scheduled to pull from flaked on me the day before the event.  This particular boutique gave me the run around about their clothes, stated he forgot about the event and then claimed this weekend would be a busy weekend and they would not be able to fulfill the agreement.  As a stylist this was very upsetting and disappointing (because I truly want to put my state on the map and let people know that Mississippi has fashion too).   As expected, by this time I'm about to lose it because for one I'm pressed for time (had my uncle's funeral that morning and still had to drive to Grenada, Mississippi to pull my last look for my female models before driving to Birmingham for a private dinner with Dawn at 7:30pm) so I'm like fuck, what am I going to do?!!How will I have time to pull 2 looks in less than few hours? So I just said this is out of my control I will style 12 females and not include males in my scene which ended up working perfectly (I actually ended up having enough clothes pulled for over 20 models). 

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For those of you wondering why there are no pics of the male models, it's because the male boutique in my town that I was scheduled to pull from flaked on me the day before the event.  This particular boutique gave me the run around about their clothes, stated he forgot about the event and then claimed this weekend would be a busy weekend and they would not be able to fulfill the agreement.  As a stylist this was very upsetting and disappointing (because I truly want to put my state on the map and let people know that Mississippi has fashion too).   As expected, by this time I'm about to lose it because for one I'm pressed for time (had my uncle's funeral that morning and still had to drive to Grenada, Mississippi to pull my last look for my female models before driving to Birmingham for a private dinner with Dawn at 7:30pm) so I'm like fuck, what am I going to do?!!How will I have time to pull 2 looks in less than few hours? So I just said this is out of my control I will style 12 females and not include males in my scene which ended up working perfectly (I actually ended up having enough clothes pulled for over 20 models). 

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How did I get the opportunity to style the host?  

Last minute I was asked if I have clothes for the host, so of course I do which she was perfect size for the items I had on hand.  I chose to style Christina Lee (as seen above) in designer Ottdubai's printed gown and Mehk's black silk longline dress. Doesn't she look amazing? 

There were a few who agreed to create looks but at the last minute wasn't able to follow through which kind of had me running around like a chicken with my head cut off so I asked one female designer name Tiera Reynolds (T.R. Designs) who lives in Grenada, Mississippi to create a look the week of the event and she agreed to create the look which is seen in the image above. Thank you so much Tiera for completing this look last minute. I truly appreciate your support. Make sure to contact her for your custom pieces. You will not be disappointed. 

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Not to mention Shannon Warren, owner of Shan Latris, is an amazing designer. When it comes to styling (really whenever I I need anything) she is always available for me to pull pieces. This is a day I will never forget. I was supposed to pick up her pieces the night before the show but of course I was late returning to Tuscaloosa to pull her pieces. This woman is truly a gift from God.   On the day of the event, she drove to Birmingham not only to bring me her designs but also to assist me in steaming all my garments for the show. When I tell you I am forever grateful for her. She also has a website launching soon so make sure you shop with her and support her. 

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In addition, I'd like to thank Cinderella Closet out of Macon, Mississippi. I reached out to them via social media and she almost forgot about me because I didn't contact her until the week before the show. She didn't have many black pieces but when I say she still came through in the clutch with two amazing looks (which are seen above).  I want to personally say thank you and I truly appreciate you for believing in my dreams and being supportive. 

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Finally I want to thank Trina Archibald, owner of The Sunrise Boutique in Tuscaloosa Alabama. I am forever grateful for you. I thank you from my heart for allowing me the opportunity to pull these looks (which are the few shown above) from your beautiful store. You are amazing and I truly appreciate your support. Make sure you shop with her and support her. 

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As I stated, this was truly an experience where I learned a lot about myself. I learned it's ok that things doesn't work out as planned and that there are ways around things to make a situation better. I learned to not get discouraged when people don't keep their word because it's not a reflection of you and that everyone will not do business the way I may do it. I learn to not focus on the negatives but instead accent the positives. I learned that people will say no to something they worked hard for as well and to not take it heart. I learned to be patient because it's not always about me, my wants and needs. I learned it's ok to ask for help and to put my pride to the side. I learned to not be quick to say yes to something you may not can follow through on just because you don't want to miss that opportunity. Last but not least, I learned to have fun, rest and live in that moment because on this day I was able to make a lot of people smile through something I truly love and that's styling.