Graduation is not the end – it’s the beginning!

This Saturday, I’ll be graduating from American University’s School of Communication with a BA in Public Communication and a minor in Marketing. I’m sure it comes as little surprise that I’ll be moving back to New York at the end of May, and while I’m feeling very sad + nostalgic about leaving DC after four years, I’m ready for NYC!

To commemorate the occasion of my college graduation, I partnered with Tiny Prints, an awesome company that offers chic and modern stationary, to design beautiful graduation announcements.

In true DC fashion, I headed over to the gardens at the National Cathedral with my lovely and talented friend Ada Thomas, who photographed my shoot. It was a beautiful spring (summer?) day and the perfect opportunity for me to style a graduation outfit and take some pics for the grad announcements.

Stacey Levine graduation American University

Though I decided to design an announcement that only featured one photo, I wanted to share some of my other favorite shots as well!

Stacey Levine

Stacey Levine

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Dress: H&M // Heels: Vince Camuto // Necklace: BaubleBar (similar) // Lipstick: MAC Retro Matte in All Fired Up // Hair styled by PR at Partners // Graduation announcements c/o Tiny Prints

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Interview Outfits: Dress For the Job You Want…Within Reason

For my final college semester I’m taking a class called PR Portfolio, which is essentially a public relations capstone class where we work in teams to create a PR program for an actual client. The class is amazing and my professor is fantastic – it’s basically a culmination of everything I’ve learned in AU’s School of Communication over the past four years. Another great thing the class does is prepare us for the “real world” – whatever that means. Each week my prof hosts Career Corner, where she tackles another topic we’ll need for after graduation, such as negotiating a salary, turning an internship into a full time job, etc. It’s pretty fab. 1

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Last week, we discussed interview outfits. How do you dress to interview for a job in a field where each company’s dress code is vastly different? The professor showed us the following visual as a depiction of an appropriate PR interview outfit. 3

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A lot of the class, myself included, had some major problems with it. One classmate brought up the point that she would feel like a child dressing in her mother’s clothes in an outfit like this. Another mentioned that in an office where your interviewer might be rocking jeans and flip-flops, this seems off-message and inappropriately formal. I’ve interviewed and interned in many different office environments – I’ve worn outfits at different jobs that range from jeans and a t-shirt, to sky-high strappy heels, to corporate dresses. But at none of these jobs would a suit have been an appropriate interview outfit choice.

So stop rambling, Stacey, and tell us what we should wear, right? PR is a professional but creative field, and we need to represent our personal brand when interviewing. The outfit you choose is a huge part of that. Here’s how I feel about every interview (in the PR industry, to be fair) – dress professionally, dress appropriately, show your style & creativity. There’s a difference between being casual and being stylish.

Here’s my typical interview outfit formula: black/grey/white dress + blazer + memorable necklace + closed-toe pumps + leather purse = a foolproof interview outfit

On top of that, the clothes you wear need to be of good quality (note: not necessarily expensive, just good quality!), ironed, fit you appropriately, and they should also be comfortable! If you can’t walk in heels, please god, just wear flats (clean, leather or patent leather, black or neutral flats). Now, of course, you can always wear a skirt/blouse or pants/blouse combo, which is just as good! For tops, I recommend silk, tie neck or button down, etc. Dresses are just my outfit of choice – no tucking/bunching to deal with!

Still not sure what to wear? Check out some options for Strategy in Stilettos-approved interview styles below!

Dresses

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 Blazers

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Necklaces: Statement/Delicate

interview appropriate statement necklaces

delicate understated necklaces for job interviews

Pumps/Flats

shoes

Purses

bags

I’d love to hear/see what you wear to internship + job interviews, and what types of outfits you think are appropriate. Share in the comments or tweet @staceyalevine!

Fashion Week Favorites

New York Fashion Week is half over, and I’ve been compulsively clicking through Style.com – have you? Luckily, they’ve got front row photos of every piece from every collection. Here are a few of my standout favorite looks so far!

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ZAC Zac Posen

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Milly

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Zac Posen

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Kate Spade

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Tory Burch

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Tory Burch

erin fetherston

Erin Fetherston

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ZAC Zac Posen

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Zac Posen

prabal

Prabal Gurung

Countdown to New York Fashion Week #FW2014

With New York Fashion Week beginning in just two days, the world of social media is buzzing with talk of the upcoming shows. In recent years, social media has given the average fashion fan the tools to participate more than ever before in one of the most exclusive events of the year. Runway shows are now streamed online via YouTube and other sites, we can glimpse the designs as the swoosh down the runway, thanks to Twitter, Instagram, and Vine, and we even have exclsuive access to (and sometimes interaction with) designers and models through Facebook and Twitter.

Because of this new consumer power, sometimes we forget who the real fashion moguls are. I love the hands-on experience of NYFW that the internet (and blogging, of course) brings. But we never could have gotten to this point without the original fashion commentary: the magazines.

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Traditional editorial fashion still serves as the roots of the fashion industry, and this year, the historically exclusive industry has gone back to basics a bit. IMG Fashion, the company that produces New York Fashion Week, told The Wall Street Journal in December that the inclusiveness we’ve experienced for the past several years is about to change.

Don’t worry all, there will still be live streaming. But the media lists have been cut by 20%, and the guests who are most valuable to designers (read: celebrities, Anna, Grace) will get access to private green rooms and exclusive interviews.

So, in the spirit of the major fashion magazines doing a NYFW takeover (more so than usual), I wanted to share a roundup of the most-discussed fashion brands in 2014.

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MediaRadar looked through January and February issues of the top 7 women’s fashion magazines (Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, Marie Claire, People StyleWatch, Vogue, and W) to see which brands received the most Edit Credits (AKA singular mentions or images of a brand in a magazine’s editorial). Here’s what they came up with:

The top 20 most-talked-about brands by fashion magazines are:

  1. Christian Dior
  2. Yves Saint Laurent
  3. Michael Kors
  4. Celine
  5. Prada
  6. Louis Vuitton
  7. Chanel
  8. Valentino
  9. Calvin Klein
  10. Gucci
  11. Marc Jacobs
  12. Alexander Wang
  13. Lanvin
  14. Dolce & Gabbana
  15. Ralph Lauren
  16. Proenza Schouler
  17. Miu Miu
  18. Fendi
  19. Donna Karan
  20. Diane von Furstenberg

Granted, several of these are international brands – but it still builds up excitement for the amazing shows we can expect to see over the next few weeks!

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Styling Bold Prints

This post has been a long time coming! A few months ago, I was gifted a great butterfly printed top C/O Nieves Lavi. Nieves Lavi is a New York-based contemporary design label classified by original artistic prints and simple, yet sophisticated silhouettes. Their pieces have been worn by celebs from Sarah Jessica Parker to Tyra Banks.

Upon receiving the top (which I chose to belt), I decided to do a post featuring bold prints, and how to style them! In addition to pictures of myself, I’ve included some cute printed looks I found my friends sporting around campus! Check it out below.

For Warm Weather:

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Cute Casual:

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Preppy Chic:

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Boho Chic:

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5 Fashion & Beauty Brands That Are Rocking Social Media

The fashion industry was arguably one of the first industries to successfully embrace social media as a branding, PR, and sales tool. Now there are tons of brands that are taking advantage of social media, from Oreo to Smirnoff  to Starbucks. But as a tribute to our favorite fashion and beauty brands, let’s take a look at some who are rocking the world of social media.

Oscar de la Renta

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Oscar PR Girl is Erika Bearman, Director of Communications for ODLR. She is widely known as a trailblazer in blending the worlds of fashion and social media. According to Erika, “I think that it’s important to be a member of the tribe that I’m studying. I feel that we know our social audiences better because I’m a part of it.” She positions the brand’s voice as confident, high-end, classy, and personable, specifically through her blog and Twitter.

DKNY

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The voice behind DKNY PR Girl is Aliza Licht, SVP of Global Communications for Donna Karan International. For years, the identity of DKNY PR Girl was a secret – until she “came out” on YouTube in Oct. 2011. Her Twitter bio boasts, “I’m your well-placed fashion source bringing you behind-the-scenes scoop from inside Donna Karan New York & DKNY and my life as a PR girl living in NYC.” and her tweets and blog posts live up to that. She interacts with fans of the brand via social media and has recently added Instagram into the mix.

Bergdorfs

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Cannon Hodge, Berdorf Goodman’s social media manager, is the formerly secret identity behind the @Bergdorfs Twitter and Instagram accounts, as well as the Bergdorf’s blog, 5th/58th. Her voice is that of a fashion expert, simple and elegant, with tweets such as “Want your eye cream to have extra zip in the morning? Store it in your fridge.” and “Printed blouse + layers.” Reading her convos with everyone from Lena Dunham to the everyday fan makes every follower feel like an insider in the fashion world.

Prabal Gurung

Unlike DKNY and Oscar de la Renta, Prabal Gurung’s social media team is just that: a team. The brand doesn’t claim to be the voice of one person’s fashionable life, but is about the fashion industry from more of a “from the offices of PG” perspective. Prabal Gurung’s team has taken advantage of Instagram, posting several cropped images in a row, so when viewed from the main Prabal Gurung page, you can see the release of their new Fall/Winter ’13 editorial campaign. Genius!

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COVERGIRL

COVERGIRL has done a stellar job of engaging fans and positioning themselves as a brand for makeup must-haves. Recently, they’ve turned the conventional rules of Instagram on its head when releasing brand new images for their campaign in partnership with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Using an innovative twist, they utilized a similar strategy to Prabal Gurung’s Instagram release above. Check it out below!

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Top 5 Best Dressed at the 2013 Emmy Awards

Did I watch the Emmys? Unfortunately not. #collegelife

Was I following the red carpet fashion coverage online? Absolutely.

Here are my picks for the top 5 best dressed at the Emmys this year!

Kristen Connolly in Nicholas Oakwell

Laura Dern in Naeem Khan

Kate Mara in J. Mendel

Carla Gugino in Georges Chakra

And saving the BEST for last…Rose Byrne in Calvin Klein!

Who were your picks for best dressed at the Emmys this year?