Meet the Wearer: Corina Nika from Cocorrina

I assume that many of you already know Corina, the lovely Greek designer and blogger that gives us a good reason to be obsessed with Pinterest (her illustrations are soooo pinable!). 

Corina is an old friend of mine, who I’ve had the honor to meet back in 2014 after almost two years of me following her blog and creative journey. She is highly talented; through her unique illustrations, personal way of writing and stunning collaborations with huge brands (see: Virgin Money, Elie Saab etc)  she has captured the attention of thousands of people all around the world.

Being Greek these days CAN be tough but she has chosen the wise path of designing her own life exactly how she wants it. She left the capital, Athens, to go and live with her husband in one of the most beautiful islands of Greece, Kefalonia. If, by any chance, you are not familiar with her blog, I totally recommend that you go ahead and visit it now. You’ll instantly fall in love with her work and beautiful island life. So much that you’ll reconsider your big city life 😉

But enough with the introduction. Let her speak for herself with this lovely interview she gave me:

I know that you like to experiment with new techniques every now and then… How would you describe your creative process and do you feel that you have certain inspiration sources that help you grow as a designer?

My main inspiration is design itself. Yes music, nature and being in peace helps, but designing and being creative in general is where my inspiration flows at its best. My creative process is quite simple, depending on the project always, find a nice peaceful spot and start sketching. Colors and different kind of elements in this process are all a perfect fuel for brilliant ideas and inspiration.

How do you start your day? Do you have any morning rituals that make a difference in you life?

Most of the days my mornings start early – around 7am. The first thing I jump onto is meditation and 45min youga session. Then a swim at the pool to cool off, a shower and my morning continues with a shower, breakfast and feeding my dog and cats.

What is you all-time favorite project?

It’s currently in the works and it’s so hush hush! Right after that, I’d say the patterns for Gallivant State. There was something very relaxing about this project, no stress no crazy deadlines, I had complete freedom of my inspiration and creativity to come up the textures that were printed on the totes and surf bags. 

If you could time-travel what would you do?

Definitely go to the future! Like, 500 years from now, even more. I’ve been always fascinated with all kinds of sci-fi movies and am dying to see how we will be living in a century from now.

What would you advice your young self, if you could go back And what would you tell all those people out there that want to pursue a freelance career?

Any advice I would have given myself I wouldn’t even have listened. I’m so stubborn and I need to experience things firsthand in order to learn my lessons. One thing that I’ve struggled though and know would make my life much easier, would be taking the time to really get to know my services, what i offer, create good process explanations and contracts for my clients to be covered at all times. One of the things that can make a project wrong is bad communication and not being upfront with your client on what to expect from you, listing all the steps. 

How had your life in Greece affected you as a designer? We all know that Greece is having a hard time nowadays, but on the other hand you have the opportunity to live in a magical place. How do you deal with that situation in Greece?

Back when I was starting freelancing / teaching myself how to be a designer, things were definitely difficult. My husband and I had gone through a couple of rough years before I managed to establish myself as a designer. With the social media and blog, I’m extremely lucky to be working with people from all around the world, which is something I prefer. As a result I could be working from any place of the earth and still be happy. 

And lastly, if you had to choose on mantra / quote to follow you for the rest of your life, what would it be?

” Be present. Be here. On repeat. “

 

 

 

 

 

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Wear Me #10: The Nudes

Bracelets / Bag / Top

When I think about summer, regardless my geographical location, I always have a feeling of easiness and calmness. I’ve been thinking lately that summer is a state of my mind. This superb condition where everything around you just is what it is in its simplest form, without overthinking involved. Especially when it comes to fashion, summer to me is so easy and relaxed. If you think about it, people are forced to feel comfortable with their bodies during summer. You know, even if you don’t go to the beach, chances have it that you will be at least a bit hot and you’ll expose more of you 🙂 And that is good. Because what’s the ultimate goal of fashion after all? To express our true selves, without trying to hide who we are. 

Or at least that’s what fashion stands for in my head and that’s how I try to communicate it in my life. 

So, summer is a state of mind. Relax, be yourself and smile 🙂

INSPO CRUSH: Helmut Lang Resort 2017

I’m so in love with these outfits from the Helmut Lang Resort 2017 collection. Literally I feel that I need to update my wardrobe asap. How annoying when you find the perfect jumpsuit and you already own two others? Like…seriously? couldn’t you release this collection a few months back?

Speaking of jumpsuits…is it just me or are they extremely flattering, comfortable AND classy? I’ve been obsessing over them almost as much as I obsess over a good pair of jeans. And we all know that good denim is holy. So, you get the idea. 

What do you think of resort season in general? Oh you don’t know what resort season is, huh? Leandra explains it perfectly here. Check it out. And then tell me.

Because I’ve been thinking a lot on how brands are changing the way they see seasons. And, at the end of the day, does it matter how many collections you have a year round? I don’t know. Resort season seams a bit pretentious. As if everyone is taking vacation in winter. Like….who are we? 

But yet again, resort collections this year have been the ultimate inspiration. I’m counting days to  have them in stores and go and check some of them. So I guess it boils down to how often WE -the consumers- should or can buy clothes.

All photos are courtesy of Helmut Lang and were found on Vogue.  

Wear Me #9: Knits for Summer

necklace / bag / shoes / top / sunglasses

Many will argue with me, but I feel that summer is the best styling season. I always thought that winter is great too, but then I moved to the Netherlands and saw what true winter looks like, so I changed my mind. I told you, probably my perspective is a bit biased and many will disagree. Frankly I get that Spring probably is a bit better, styling-wise, due to the flexibility it offers. BUT, again, now that I live in Holland, spring is not a lot less cold and corky than winter, so what’s the point? 

After this ode-to-summer intro, here is why I love summer -styling-wise, so much. Summer Knits. Ha! yes I know that might sound weird, since knits are mostly associated with winter, but stay with me. Firstly, look at that top. Then imagine it with a nice pair of shorts. Huh? yeah I know! 

So that’s for today 🙂 Love ya! xx

Meet the Wearer: Kate from MesmerizeFashion

This is the first of a new post series where I will share a small interview of amazing people that I get to collaborate with. For our first post, Kate from Mesmerize Fashion was kind enough to share a few things about her with us! Ready?

Kate is a 29 year old, full time mom and freelance stylist based in Germany. She is the founder and editor of MesmerizeFashion, where you can browse through her great collection of minimal clothes and accessories, learn a few things about her obsessions and find amazing outfit inspiration. I also urge you to check her lovely Instagram account guys… When I saw it I felt immediately inspired 🙂

How would you describe your style? Do you have a “go-to” outfit?

I am an effortless minimalist, so in three simple words: monochromatic, elegant and timeless. I like feminine outfits, but I also love when elegance is combined with sporty aesthetics :). If you spot me on the street I will probably be wearing a black suit paired with leather, white trainers and a big, yet handy bucket bag.

Describe your favorite day… 

My favorite day would definitely start slowly… probably with a hot shower, a coffee and a newspaper. After this short yet relaxing routine I would probably go out with my best friend and our families for a pick-nick!

Do you have any morning rituals?

Yes! Coffee, coffee and one more time coffee 😉

If you could dress any celebrity, who would you choose and why?

hmmm…. I’ve never thought about that! Maybe Angelina Jolie or Monica Bellucci, they are the epitome of femininity for me.

Where do you find inspiration? 

I follow a lot of Australian and Norwegian bloggers. I can find inspiration practically everywhere. In magazines, the internet, TV.. I don’t have a favorite designer or fashion blogger because everyone has her own unique style. However I try to pick up something special for me from each of them.

Give us a tip on how to style myLifebox Jewelry 😉

According to my basic way of thinking: less is more, therefore I would match it with clean lines, elegant and classic clothes. For example: an oversized shirt or vest (treated as a blouse) and some nice silhouettes 🙂

Kate is wearing the BRUGGE necklace in Black 🙂 You can see how Kate styled myLifebox here. 

INSPO CRUSH: Marni Summer/Spring 2016 Collection

I bet you all know Marni and if you don’t…you should! It is one of my favorite brands and I always seek inspiration within their collections. My mom has a few dresses and once she let me wear one of them at my brother’s wedding and I felt so special in it. Their fabrics, their lack of fear to mix textures and their color palettes are only a few key factors that make this brand so unique. 

I think what I love the most about them though is the fact that their target group is a wide range of confident women who are not afraid to stand out. And I really admire that. Because I’ve been the girl in my life that didn’t always to stand out, especially through her clothing choices. And I think it is a great pity to limit your creativity only in order to comply to the dressing norms. 

And Marni knows exactly how that is and “fights” against it. 

This collection is by far one of my favorite too…The killer color combinations mix perfectly all the feelings I have for summer. The silky options are great for more formal occasions while there is a certain element of safari-like outfits that completes the collection.

And then…the jewelry. Marni never ceases to amaze me with its huge, statement jewelry. Something I have a certain love for as you know! 😉

What do you think about their SS16 collection? anything you’d love to wear?

Wear Me #8: Summer Breeze

Necklace / Sunglasses / Bag / Dress

For those of you following me on Instagram this necklace is no news, since I shared it last week as a sneak preview of my summer collection. For the rest of you though….guys this is my new necklace 🙂 I named it “Dragonfly” because it reminds me of hot summer days near a lake with dragonflies playing around the water. 

But in general my whole collection reminds me of some soft version of an “Ice Age”. Maybe it’s the plexiglass that has an ice-y feeling, or the soft, pale colors… don’t know. 

This outfit is what I want to imagine my self in aaaaall summer. I wish the weather in the Netherlands allowed such dresses in June. But no. In Holland you wear tights and a warm jacket on the 1st of june. That’s how it goes around here.

That’s why I count the days (minutes as well) till I go to Greece in one month! Oh boy the summer dresses I’ll wear..! And with my new collection I’ll feel like a queen of summer, haha! 

How To Stay Focused When You Work From Home

Are you wondering how you can stay more focused when you work from home? Whether you’ve decided to work from home every day of the week, or just a few, having a neat environment around you is of high importance. And I know because I’ve spent hours and hours working from home, either while studying or while not affording renting a studio for my business (you can read my previous post about my workspace in Greece here). And boy it was challenging sometimes. You know, being able to wear your yoga pants all day is not always the best. I know however that if I learned something from all this, is how to f***ing stay productive and efficient while working from home. And here’s my takeaway: 

Follow ‘the bedroom’ rule

What is the bedroom rule, you ask? It’s the rule that in order to have a long and fulfilling night’s sleep, you must keep the bedroom for only two activities. Namely intimate activities and sleeping, of course. This means no TV’s to watch movies, and no taking your paperwork to bed with you.

The reason is so that space remains sacred; you only relate being in the room to the proper activities, and nothing more. Well, the same rule should be applied to the room or space from which you work at home. Keep it solely for working. No browsing the web listlessly, no novels or movies. Keep the space sacred for work. The benefit is two-fold. Firstly, your brain will know it is supposed to be working when you’re in there. Secondly, you don’t get sick of the space because you’re spending too much time in there.

Set your rules

Having your own rules about working from home, like the one above, are all well and good. But what about rules for everyone else? If you live other people they need to know the guidelines. These might be things likes; don’t disturb me between 9 am and 11 am every weekday, unless it’s urgent. Or; no using my desk for random activities. 

But even if you live by yourself, setting rules about your workspace is the most important thing. What I did and hasn’t served me very well in terms of productivity is that I was always having lunch on my desk while watching “How I Met your Mother”. You see where’s the problem, right? If not, let me elaborate.

Don’t mix activities because then at the end of the day you won’t be able to remember whether you had a productive day or not. If you want to watch an episode of anything while eating, go to the kitchen, your living room, you name it, but get the heck away from your desk 🙂

Make a schedule and stick to it

When you work from home, you don’t have a boss breathing down your neck. Not literally at least! Maybe just via email. You also don’t have colleagues to cheer you along, or to provide light relief after finishing a hefty mornings work. This means you have to maintain your own discipline to get things done. You can do this by keeping schedules, but being sure you stick to them. A monthly calendar 2016 is a good starting point. Also have weekly planners so you can divvy up your jobs even more clearly and in a more detailed manner. Be sure to keep both up-to-date. Calendars and planners without info and deadlines in them are about as useful as no calendars or planners at all.

What I do is that I have a physical calendar that I always keep with me and then once every a couple of days I go through my digital calendar too and check whether they are in line. That helps me a lot because I don’t feel constantly depended on my phone to check my appointments or to-do lists.

Keep your desk & desktop tidy

A tidy desk equals a tidy mind, right? Right! Keep your workspace as clean and tidy as you would if it were being inspected every day! That means no clutter, no mess, and whittling down the items you actually need close at hand. 

If you are a designer, let alone a crafter, like me then probably you will create messes pretty much all the time. And I know this is part of the fun. But working from home means that when you “leave” work you stay there. Which literally means that you need to deal with your mess 24/7. No good. 

So do yourself a favor and clean up after you. 🙂

Now that we addressed the perks of having a tidy desk let’s talk about your desktop? Your computer or laptop’s desktop that is. If you have your files and documents all over the place, it can really slow you down. It is also a sure-fire way for important things to get accidentally lost, or permanently deleted. Keeping everything into neat and tidy folders will also mean you don’t have to waste time looking for it when you come to need it. On the topic of important documents, make sure they can be accessed online, so you can continue working when traveling or away from home.

Make it cozy

For me that’s by far the most important thing. That has literally saved me at times where I was feeling completely lost and uninspired. Personally I feel amazing in places with natural light, nice plants of fresh flowers and coffee 🙂 So what I do is that I do my best at making my working space as close to that as possible. You might not have always natural light pouring in from the window. Especially if you work long hours and the sun is not up anymore. But you can always take care of all the small details that will make you feel more comfortable while working. Having your favorite mug next to you, good music, some nice candles and fresh flowers and boom! 

So what are your tricks to keep you productive while working from home? Tell me all the secrets!

How to Create a Stylish and Versatile Work Wardrobe

ESCADA / THEORY / JASON WU

Most of us spend a third of our lives working. I have talked a lot on how important it is to save time from getting dressed in the morning. However, feeling confident in the workspace is really important. Therefore,  putting together a wardrobe that reflects our chosen career and our personality would be amazing. In my Minimalist Wardrobe series, I share all about my casual outfits, but I don’t work in an environment that requires a special dresscode from my end, therefore I thought that I could share with you who do need to follow certain guidelines, a few tips on how to develop a Stylish and Versatile Work Wardrobe.

It mind sound like a no brainer, but I’ve seen people totally forgetting where they work, when it comes to their outfit. We all have different jobs and lifestyles. Some people work in an office environment and others outdoors, for example. More and more men and women are opting to work from home. When buying work clothes, it is important to purchase garments that are suitable for your work environment. This should be your first consideration.

Personally, lately I find suits and jumpsuits very attractive and totally great for working environments that require a well-thought, neat outfit. And since I don’t need to dress like that everyday (because let’s face it, jeans rock!) whenever I need to be in a meeting I dress up like a #girlboss. 

Where do you work?

If you work for an employer (rather than for yourself) is there a dress code? If so, you will need to adhere to this. Recently a couple of my friends started working in really big corporate firms and two days before their starting date their manager briefed them thoroughly on how they should dress depending on the type of client they will meet that day.

If something like that applies to your working environment, you will need a well crafted wardrobe to choose from every morning or you will end up waking up an hour earlier only in order to find what to wear (and at the end you won’t even feel so great).

When putting outfits together, don’t forget jewelry and accessories. They play a large part in the whole ensemble. Choose your basic garments first and then pick out accessories to match. Select items that will work with several outfit choices. If you’re buying fine jewelry to last for several years, do some background research first. Read expert reviews such as the Ritani Review and always use a reputable trader.

Style and Comfort

Which is more important, style or comfort to you? You may have different views on this. I would say that both are equally important. But perhaps I would lean slightly more towards comfort 🙂 There’s no point looking the picture of elegance if you feel uncomfortable all day. Therefore, opt for well-made, well-cut items. Choose quality over quantity. And please opt for flattering cuts.

Versatility

Versatility is also an important consideration. Find items that will work well within the office and also in a client meeting. Also, think about the whole day. If you regularly go out straight after work, you will need items that look great in the day and evening. Items that can be dressed up or down are useful.

Where to Start

Few of us have the luxury of creating a brand new wardrobe from scratch. We have to work with what we have and build on that. A good place to start is to have a good sort out. Go through all of your clothes and decide which items you’re going to keep and which you can discard. Don’t throw them away. Give them to friends or charity. Clothing swap parties are very popular right now.

Look at the items that are left and put together different outfit combinations. Mix and match and try unexpected pairings. Aim to create a small capsule collection each season. Add to the collection slowly and build it up over time.

Shoes and Handbag

Don’t forget shoes and handbags. Look for items that match several outfits. Again, opt for quality over quantity. When choosing shoes, think about where you will need to wear them. If you have to walk a mile to the train each day, comfort is an important factor. Believe me, I’ve been there! 

In summary, pick out clothes that are stylish as well as comfortable. Think style, rather than fashion trends. Well-made garments, with a flattering cut, are likely to last longer than their cheaper counterparts. Begin by working with what you have and find unexpected combinations. Then build up your wardrobe slowly. Find outfits that are versatile and will take you from day to evening. Use accessories to transform outfits and dress them up or down.

 

Minimalist Capsule Wardrobe SS ’16 (+free printable checklist)

Since April is just around the corner, it is about time to build our Spring/Summer Wardrobe, don’t you think? I know you’ve been waiting for this post a long time and I’m sorry if for some you it comes a bit late. You see…I live in the Netherlands and it is not more than a few days that the weather has started to show Spring signs, so it was really difficult to me to shop lighter clothes while wearing my warm sweater. Anyway, my Minimalist Wardrobe for the two coming seasons is ready and below you’ll find everything I think it is absolutely necessary to have in order to rock. 😉

So, I’ve talked again in the Fall/Winter Minimalist Wardrobe post on how helpful it is to have a Capsule Wardrobe, both in terms of time and money saving. But let’s recap for a moment…

Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.

— joshua becker

REASONS TO DEVELOP A MINIMALIST WARDROBE

  • you’ll save time: chances are that every morning you spend too much time deciding your outfit
  • you’ll save money: even if you buy only costly pieces, you’ll find yourself saving money because you’ll buy less often and spontaneously
  • you’ll gain confidence: since your clothes will be chosen one by one, based on what is flattering your body so you will never have to worry again in the middle of the day whether you’re dressed nicely or not

BASIC RULES / GUIDES

  • buy only what you really love: G O L D E N rule. Guys I mean it. Don’t ever buy something just because it is nice, or you like it, or it looks ok on other people. Spend money only on stuff you fall in love with. The ones you cannot imagine your life (outfit) without. 
  • choose quality over quantity: of course we all have bought the 5$ t-shirt we randomly found at the market, but when it comes to basic pieces that you’ll want to keep for years, it is better to choose the best you can find. 
  • go for flattering not “in fashion”: the core of a minimalist wardrobe is exactly that the pieces are neutral, more or less monochromatic – so if you mix them all up you’ll still look pretty amazing – and basically and most importantly s u s t a i n a b l e. So, it is way better to invest in things you look confident wearing and buy fancy accessories and jewelry to spice up your outfits and feel “trendy”. 

GET YOUR FREE CHECKLIST HEREhttps://mylifebox.leadpages.co/leadbox-1001.js

Since this is our second round of building a Minimalist Wardrobe some of the pieces below will already exist in your closet…which is GOOD because you’ll need to spend less in order to make this one. Also, as you might have noticed, our wardrobes are not seasonal but biannual which allows us to start buying now and gradually build our wardrobe. Chances have it that you won’t need your swimsuit yet, so you could probably leave that purchase for June for example. that way you can save money and avoid spending a ton at once. 

Below, as usual, you will find my 34 pieces wardrobe for that period. Most pieces are either the exact same I own already or the ones I’m planning to buy within the next months (hello espadrilles from Anthropologie). If you are interested in any particular item, just click on the photo and you will be directed to the product’s page. 

Also, you can download your own printable checklist that will help you develop your Wardrobe. Again, I’ve left a few extra empty lines so you can add your favorite pieces that might not appear in my list!  

TOPS

DRESSES & JUMPSUITS

SHOES

BOTTOMS

OUTERWEAR

BEACHWEAR

GET YOUR FREE CHECKLIST HEREhttps://mylifebox.leadpages.co/leadbox-1001.js

I hope this checklist helps you streamline your wardrobe and make it as amazing and functional as you want 🙂