In late 2008, stylist and designer Kelly Framel thought she had something to contribute to the growing personal-style blog community. And considering the response to TheGlamourai.com, which Framel started in September that year, it seems the style blog community agrees–Framel's carved out a reputation for herself, her style and the bold, statement jewelry she creates with new and vintage materials (she loves vintage herself, though we'll get to that in a minute).
"Because of my blog, I’ve made like-minded friends all over the world, worked with brands I never thought possible, launched my jewelry line, and redefined my career and role in the fashion world," Framel said. "It requires more time and hard work than I ever imagined, but at the same time it is so rewarding."
Framel's also gained a reputation in the blog community for innovative color and pattern-mixing, revealed in even the briefest of glances through the photos of Framel's everyday costumes, as she calls them. She's offered mini tutorials on the art–which can be one of dressing's trickiest–on her own blog, and she kindly stops by the Fashion Channel today to give us a few tips and tricks, as well as a heap of pretty photographic inspiration.
Tell us a little about your personal style.
I am a vintage addict with way more "statement pieces" than basics. I am inspired by women like Iris Apfel, Edie Beale and Catherine Baba, who love jewelry, layer all the way, and never met a pattern or color they couldn’t conquer! Whatever I wear, it’s always topped with massive jewelry, lots of big rings and serious sunglasses.
In terms of color and pattern, what do you look for?
I’m most comfortable in earthy tones–I always prefer the sepia tinged version of any color over its purest form. So I’ll choose chartreuse over lime, rust over red and navy over royal blue. This predilection extends to my pattern picks. I like classic polka dots, dusty florals and leopard prints; all offer a vintage vibe that’s not too retro.
How do you work with and pair different colors and patterns, and what are some tips for people who want to mix and match their own patterns?
When mixing it up, either the prints or the colors should match. For instance, it’s relatively easy to wear two types of stripes, or any two prints in black and white.
What should people avoid when attempting to mix patterns?
Don’t just throw things together and hope for the best. There’s an art to mixing prints. I inadvertently learned how to do it from my childhood painting instructor. For the first few years I was practicing, she limited me to tonal work in white and raw umber oil paints. Once she felt I was ready to graduate to working in color, she threw 100 pieces of fabric onto the floor: prints, solids, different weaves, knits, etc. I had to sort them by tone, ignoring the trickeries of texture and patterns. Little did I know that this would prove to be an invaluable lesson in dress. It trained me to see things in absolutes, not to be distracted by the details. Looking at broad tones over trivialities allows you to mix tenaciously.
Is there a way a person can ease into pattern and color mixing?
I organize my closet like those fabric swatches in the art studio: in order of color and tone. This makes mixing much easier–if two pieces are close enough in the closet, then they can likely be worn together!
Adding patterns and mixing up colors are such great ways to emphasize your individuality. In this age of mass production, it enables you to create a look that’s totally unique–and that’s empowering!
Kelly's Color Picks
So what color does Framel favor most?
"Quite honestly," she said, "my favorite color is leopard print! It is the khaki of my life–it’s totally versatile and goes with anything. Second favorite? Gold. Pile me up with leopard duds and gaudy gold jewels and I’m the happiest girl in the world!"
Photos courtesy Kelly Framel/TheGlamourai.com.