I recently had a wonderful time at our photo shoot with Jeanne, Marnie, and her daughter Inara. This photo session was our first in a series we are doing highlighting “Real Beauty” within our community. I had such fun styling these women and celebrating fashion and beauty with them. By doing this photo series, I hope to highlight how women of different ages, colors, shapes, and sizes can wear the collection at Bella Frida.

Styling women is one of my favorite things to do! I believe that creating looks for women takes much more than knowing their size. When I meet a woman for a fitting I take note of many things: the colors she is wearing, how she dresses herself (layers, fitted, baggy, low neck, etc.). If she mentions any areas she is trying to draw attention away from, I am definitely listening. (Hey, most of us have those, and we need to acknowledge it!) I want the model to feel comfortable in the look I create. I want her to feel confident and beautiful.

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So let me take you through the three looks I created for these three women. In the first look Jeanne (on the left) is wearing a Meena Mahal tunic (India) under a cotton embroidered jacket (Mexico). She is wearing her own leggings and boots. I have chosen Catori Life jewelry (New Mexico) for Jeanne because I like how the shapes and angles play with the embroidery patterns of her tunic and jacket. I created this look for Jeanne keeping in mind that she could wear this look just about anywhere: lunch with a friend, to a school event, and even out on a date.

Inara (in the middle) is a beautiful teenage girl and Marnie’s daughter. Inara has been studying ballet for many years and I noticed immediately upon meeting her that she is drawn to more dramatic fashion, perhaps because of her experiences performing on stage. In Inara’s first look she is wearing a sari caftan (India). We paired this flowy dress with large tassel earrings (Guatemala), glitter bangles (India) and her own black booties. I absolutely love how well the colors and tones within the caftan highlight Inara’s fiery hair and porcelain skin. I could picture Inara wearing this look on an outing with her girlfriends, attending a ballet performance or even a Holiday gathering.

Marnie (on the right) is wearing the Rumi jacket (India and Pakistan) and bronze petal & stone earrings (Guatemala). I chose this look for Marnie because of how the patches of vintage Pakistani material on the jacket play with the beautiful color of her hair. The earrings also add a little spark without pulling attention from the statement piece jacket. Marnie is wearing her own jeans, tank top and boots. This outfit is a fun look that gives off a unique feel and it is extremely versatile to wear. Marnie could pair this jacket with a black dress for a Holiday party or wear it just like this for a day out with her friends.

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In the second look, Marnie (on the left) is wearing a Frida knit dress under a Ketzali poncho (Guatemala). Her look is finished off with long beaded earrings (Guatemala) and her own boots. I knew even before she put it on that she would look fabulous in this poncho. The rust-colored tones look especially lovely with her hair and skin coloring. This outfit seems to capture Marnie’s playful spirit. I enjoyed watching how she came to life in this.

Inara (in the middle) is wearing a stunning handmade poncho (Mexico) and long tassel earrings, rings, and bracelet by Catori Life (New Mexico). Inara is wearing her own cami, leggings, and booties. This look was my favorite on Inara. It played with drama but added an air of sophistication. Keeping her jewelry at a minimum leads the eye to the beauty of the hand embroidery on the poncho. Inara looks stylish, modern and very high fashion.

Jeanne (on the right) is wearing a black hand embroidered blouse (Mexico) under a hand-woven poncho (Mexico). Her look is finished with a gorgeous pair of Tuareg sterling silver earrings (Niger) and her own jeans and boots. I loved how the poncho accentuated the golden tones of Jeane’s pretty blonde hair. By keeping the rest of the look monochromatic, the eye goes to that gorgeous poncho and upwards to the neckline where it perfectly frames her face.

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For the third look, Marnie (on the left) is wearing an alpaca poncho (Ecuador) and pottery tassel earring (India). Marnie is wearing her own jeans and my boots. The rustic, earthy tones of this poncho worked great with Marnie’s coloring. Because of the volume in the poncho, it is best to balance it with more fitted, streamlined clothes. Her jewelry is also simple and small in scale. This look embodies our beautiful state of Colorado and the relaxed, natural feel.

Inara (in the middle) is also wearing an alpaca poncho (Ecuador). I have paired this with a colorful, embroidered blouse (Mexico) and beaded earrings (Guatemala). Inara is wearing her own leggings and my cowboy boots. This is a very wearable look and exudes a playfulness that is so refreshing. Wearing bright colors creates energy and this is a great example. Many people can be hesitant to wear bold colors. I feel that there is too much beige, black, and neutrals worn in this country. We need more color!

Jeanne (on the right) is embracing color too! She is wearing a Frida slouchy t-shirt under a woven Ketzali poncho (Guatemala). The scoop neck of the shirt offers an opportunity to highlight a necklace. She is wearing a leather choker and earrings by Catori Life (New Mexico). Jeanne is wearing her own jeans and boots. I thought Jeanne looked great in her other earth-colored outfits but this is my favorite look on her. The green tones in the poncho really made her eyes sparkle. The clothes also brought out a more playful side of her. It is amazing how what we wear affects us!

Thank you, Jeanne, Marnie, and Inara for being my styling muses. I had such fun with all of you, and I appreciated the opportunity to demonstrate some of the ways Bella Frida’s collection can be worn. You are all such beautiful women. Thank you!

Be sure to follow Bella Frida on Facebook and Instagram so you can see more of these photos. If you, or someone you know, might be interested in participating in our next photoshoot, please reach out to me at laura@bellafrida.com.