Fashion blogger feature: Alice In Stilettos

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

By Jody Marich

Six months after she stuck her stilettos in the fashion door, Ashley Spiker, is getting noticed. Since becoming an internet fashionista, Spiker has become a well-known name in the world of fashion bloggers.

Not only did Spiker create her blogging website, Alice In Stilettos, but she contributes to Modern Hippie Magazine, which is an online source focused on promoting eco-friendly living and style. Since beginning her blog in October, Spiker has received a lot of attention. In January alone, she had over 3,000 hits and was featured three times by the Independent Fashion Bloggers website, which is a community of online fashion bloggers. She also recently began working for, an online celebrity website, as the marketing director. With all her spare time, she is also an up and coming personal stylist. Creating her own website,, Spiker gives tips and advice for interested customers.

Her credentials include:

  • Creating and developing the fashion website, Alice in Stilettos
  • Being featured frequently by Independent Fashion Bloggers
  • Contributing for Modern Hippie Magazine
  • Attending Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, Fall 2010

Spiker is quickly getting her name out there and networking.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Spiker. A dear friend and a fellow fashionista, she tells us how she got to where she is.

How have you gotten your foot in the door in the world of fashion?

“I really took the marketing that I had, because I know how to get people interested, so I took more of that angle of it. I just started my blog in October and babied it. It honestly took a while. Then I found Modern Hippie Mag, began writing for them, and just let all my friends know what I doing. My friends really believed in me and started spreading it. I started a twitter and joined Independent Fashion Bloggers. It’s slow the first 6 months, and it’s still slow. I’m not where I want to be but I’m ok with that because it’s growing and that’s all that matters. I want to keep contributing to more sites, so I can get more traffic and more exposure.”

Spiker has learned that video is important, especially when it comes to the cutthroat field of fashion. “Because everyone is doing blogs and it’s already pretty saturated, the next thing is video. Video just does better. People are more willing to watch a video than read an article on how to bleach your jeans.” On Spiker’s website, Alice in Stilettos, she has a “do it yourself” section where she gives you a video explaining steps as well as a written version so you can better understand the process.

How did you begin Alice in Stilettos?

“When I realized how passionate I was about starting a website about fashion and style, I began to explore ideas for a name.”

On a plane ride home from New York, Spiker tried to come up with a name for her new creation. “I really wanted stilettos in the title because I am obsessed with shoes.”

With an adoration for Alice from Alice in Wonderland, Spiker had created the perfect name. “Alice is innocent, conservative, and stuck in a mindset that she doesn’t want to be in so I was like what if I take the concept of Alice, kind of grown up and expressing herself.”

What inspires you?

“We’re sitting here at Starbucks, I’m talking to you with a tape recorder, and it’s just so beautiful. I’m in a really good place in my life right now where I am very appreciative of everything in my life and I live in such a beautiful city. I like being creative. I never felt like I was good enough to write where other people would want to hear it or that I wasn’t there yet, but you have to realize that if you want to do it, you are there, you have the passion for it and I just started believing in myself.”

Who is your favorite designer?

“I have always, always had this special place in my heart for Christian Dior, especially their couture collection this season. As far as Fashion Week in New York this year, I think one of the best new designers is Irina Shabayeva. She is amazing. She has a real niche, because she does things like hand painted leather and feathers. I forget where she is from but its heavy influential in her designs. I love it. She is amazing.”

Spiker was fortunate enough to go to New York Fashion week for the Fall 2010 showcase and see the fabulous fashion first hand, including Irina Shabayeva. With that experience, she has learned a lot. She has been able to create DIY’s, write reviews of runway shows, and write other posts about fashion.

Who is your fashion icon?

“Some brilliant upcoming designers are from the middle of nowhere. They are isolated to a certain extent and they come up with these brilliant designs. I know that I have that capability. I’m not designing but I’m coming up with creative things to do. I just really like to be unique and not look at other blogs when I am writing. For fashion bloggers I really like Sea of Shoes. Her site is just amazing. She has a very elaborate style.”

Sea of Shoes was created by Jane Aldridge at just 15. She began blogging about her love for designer shoes. Two years later, Aldridge has signed a deal with Urban Outfitters to create a limited edition shoe collection. It just shows that if you believe in yourself and “just keep writing” as Spiker would say, you can make your dreams come true.

“I think Karl Lagerfeld, for Chanel, is amazing. He is weird but he’s himself. I like anyone who is so unique. And I love that Marc Jacobs said he’s not going to bring celebrities to his show this year because they’re boring. I love that designers, more and more now, are not being afraid to really express themselves. I just love anyone who is extremely unique.”

What is your job and how did you get it?

“I am the new marketing director for a celebrity gossip site called Sleekfly, which is based out of Tampa. It’s really fun and I get to work from home. They are going incorporate my blog into their site. It’s a celebrity news site, like Perez Hilton without the attitude.”

Spiker is in charge of promotions as well as their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

“I had a Google alert set up for ‘fashion writer needed’. I think I had applied to almost every fashion writer job known to man and I was like this is crazy there is always going to be someone who has better credentials than me. Literally, the day I thought, maybe I should go back to marketing, I was on Craigslist and it just said social media something, so I sent out my resume and it turned out to be a celebrity gossip site. It was just meant to be.”

What made you want to get into fashion?

“I just like looking creative. I don’t like when people are creative in every other area in their life but when it comes to what they are wearing they don’t care. People are visual. I don’t see why anyone isn’t, to a certain extent, interested in fashion. You can enjoy fashion in a way that is best for you.”

Spiker just created her personal stylist website. She wants everyone to feel confident and proud of the clothes they wear. “Be honest. I think that’s the most important thing about styling is to be honest with your customer. Who cares if they get mad at you, you were honest with them. Stylists are trying to help people find clothes that look good on them.” As we swapped stories about working in fashion, Spiker and I both believe that “everyone is self conscious about something, but sometimes you have to be brave enough to try new things.”

How would you describe your style?

“Eclectic. I like city chic mixed with vintage.”

Paris is one of Spiker’s favorite places to go. She studied abroad for French and fell in love.

“I think that’s really where I got my vintage style from. When I studied abroad, there were so many wonderful boutiques but things I just couldn’t afford so I tried to find the places where local girls shopped.”

Once she began creating her own unique style, Spiker wanted to find more vintage clothing in the US. She began looking for stores locally in Sarasota and Venice as well as online. She says Ebay has a great selection. “Just be careful because sometimes you can get charged for things that you haven’t purchased.” She suggests the site ASOS, an online fashion store with hundreds of brands and thousands of pieces to choose from. “I have learned a lot through fashion bloggers, when they say where their stuff is from, so there is a bunch of new brands that I’m so excited to check out.”

What is some advice you want to give people who want to get into the fashion world?

When she answered this question, she immediately came up with these five suggestions:

  • Be confident
  • If this is what you want to do, go for it.
  • When you write something, bring the value to people so they want to read your stuff.
  • Be friendly and make friends
  • Last but not least: Believe in yourself.

“If you stick to these things, honestly you will improve.”

When she first started her blog, like many, Spiker was intimidated, thinking no one wants to read what I have to say. “When I was first getting into it, I was like man I only have two articles up here but I wanted the content up there so I was given some advice, Just keep writing. As you know, as a writer, you keep going, you keep learning. You don’t want to put something up on your site that you’re not proud of or you don’t have a point to. I think blogging is just a good way to improve, get yourself out there, and build your content.”

Her personal stylist website is the next step she is taking into making it in the fashion world. “I want to give people a portfolio of picture and things they look good in.” With her career taking off, and her name floating around the fashion world, Spiker is excited to see where the future takes her. From one fashion blogger to another, Ashley Spiker has what it takes to make it in the fashion world. With her unique style and personality, this bubbly fashionista will definitely make a name for herself.

French Elle celebrates curves!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A couple posts back, I wrote about how the fashion world is seeking change for the "skinny" image. This cover, from the April issue of French Elle, is a perfect example of how fashion is emerging and beginning to embrace all body types. It's Elle's first ever issue dedicated to plus size models and fashion. Hopefully it won't be the last!

Tara Lynn, a plus sized model/actress, is featured on the cover looking fabulous in a white Hermès jumpsuit. The issue includes a special edition 20-30 page spread devoted to plus size fashion. Lynn, along with three other models, including Johanna Dray, were the stars of the spread that was all about, "Aime Vraiment Les Rondes," which means "loving the round."

The "Spécial Rondes" also known as, The Curvy Issue, is dedicated to giving tips, tricks, fashionable brands and beauty secrets for women with curves.

Vogue Curvy is another great example of the new image that the fashion world is embracing. I recently did a post on the new website that was launched in February. With stars like America Ferrera and Jennifer Hudson being featured in the 'Curvy Icons' section, the website is devoted to creating a positive image for curvy women.

As the recent discussion of Health Matters: Weight and Wellness in the World of Fashion occured, more people in the fashion world are taking active steps in creating a more well rounded image for women. With more magazines and website devoting time and pages to women who aren't a size two, the fashion industry is turning a new leaf.

Women are able to see that you can look sexy and stylish, no matter what size you are.

It's quite exciting to see the representation of women changing in the world of fashion and magazines. Hopefully this is only the beginning of a more diverse image of women and fashion.

Stay Fabulous!

5 fabulous Spring dresses under $50

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

While looking at my Google alerts, I stumbled upon Marie Claire's 108 Spring Dresses. After looking through their choices I decided to write a post about my 5 favorite spring dresses under $50. Since a lot of college students, don't have deep pockets, I am hoping this post is useful for the fashionistas out there.

Each spring, super cute dresses pop up. Every girl should have at least one spring dress in her closet. These 5 fun and flirty dresses are my top choices.

1. Urban Outfitters, Kimchi Blue Strapless Knit Dress: $48
This feminine dress includes two fabulous trends. It has a ruffle top & a floral print. My suggestion is to add a chunky belt
to increase the boho/vintage look. Pair it with a cute wedge or gladiator sandal to complete the look.

Forever 21, Twelve by Twelve, Pearl Trim Military Dress: $32
This military style dress is right on trend for spring. The military trend that sprouted up last fall has only gotten bigger with spring and summer trends. This dress will give you a sleek edge while staying uber stylish. To add extra edginess to this look switch the belt out with a studded belt.

3. dELiA*s, Jade Floral Dress: $44.50
This floral dress is fun and flirty while still being very girly and fashionable. The print gives the dress a vintage feel yet it's still very stylish keeping up with the floral trend. This is a perfect little dress for a night out with friends or a fun filled day, like Easter!

4. Modcloth, Halter Monitor Dress: $44.99
This adorable lightweight chambray dress is stylish and chic. AND the best part about it is it has pockets! Chambray is one of the most popular trends this spring. This dress is super fabulous and can be dressed up with wedges, heel clogs, or strappy sandals. It can also be dressed down by wearing ballet flats, gladiator sandals, or cowboy boots, my personal fave. I would also suggest finding a fun belt to wear so you can break the color up. Use it as the focal point in your outfit.
Halter Monitor Dress

5. Alloy, Erika Studded Dress: $46.90
This fabulous dress is perfect for spring and summer. The gold studded detail throughout enhances the boho chic look. You can dress it up with lots of bangles,a long chain necklace with charms, and boots or keep it simple, just wearing a cute pair of sandals. Embellishment and detail is a huge trend right now, so this little dress is a perfect choice.

Hope you like my picks! HAPPY SHOPPING :) & remember,
Fashion is fun. It is uniquely you!

Fashion world seeks change for 'skinny' image.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Anna Wintour and Michael Kors spoke on a panel last night, about the troubling weight issues in the fashion industry at the Harvard Business School in Boston.

At the 13th Annual Public Forum, “Health Matters: Weight and Wellness in the World of Fashion, the two spoke as well as Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianov. With between 500 to 1,000 people showing up to hear them speak, the event raised over 150,000$ for Harris Center, an eating-disorder clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The panel discussed efforts to prevent future eating disorder issues as well as the struggles that are occurring in the industry now.

“We want healthy-looking girls, the readers want healthy-looking girls.” Wintour said. “Except it is not always easy to dress them.”

Some of the sizes literally don't fit the models. In order to get work, they are forced to lose weight. With the panel agreeing that most sample sizes are between a 0 or 00 many worry about models well-being.

The three agreed that the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s initiative, which started back in January of 07', has brought a lot of improvement to the fashion industry. The CFDA initiative is encouraging designers to have a minimum age requirement, along with health standards like, banning alcohol and tobacco behind the scenes @ shows. They are also pushing for an alert system between designers and agents to get models treated when the first signs of anorexia or bulimia appear.

Mr. Kors pledged, "I will not use any models under the age of 16 in the future."

Vodianova was able to bring a personal note to the table. Having suffered from an eating disorder in the past, she was able to break away from it when she had children. She believes that many models suffer from eating disorders because they are so young.

"Their sense of self-worth is handed over to a bunch of people who don’t care about their self-esteem."

With the hope that the fashion world takes notice of the serious issues involving models health issues, Wintour and others are taking active steps in promoting a more well rounded/ positive image for women who aren't a size 0.

"It’s not only a hope, everyone at Vogue has made it their intention to praise different body types," Wintour said.

The recent launch of Vogue Curvy is a great example of things changing in the cut throat industry of fashion.

Vogue's April issue will feature the 9th annual "Shape" issue, with an interview from Kate Dillon, a plus-sized model who suffered from an eating disorder in the past.

Be the Buyer

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

ModCloth, a vintage e-retailer, has come up with a brilliant idea.

The online vintage clothing store has let the customers be the voice of new clothing. With samples displayed on the website, customers can comment on how they like a piece.

Started back in October of last year, the new approach is getting a lot of attention. While most online stores don't interact with customers, ModCloth welcomes opinions.

1. An item is shown. Then customers are asked if ModCloth should carry the piece. The customers vote.

2. If you like an item, Promote it.... share it on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

3. Leave comments and advice.

If a piece gets enough votes, it will become a ModCloth product.
This super cute dress was just picked: so adorable and one of my personal favorites!
(ModCloth new addition)

ModCloth uses visitors fashion advice to improve buying decisions. It has created a community for people who have a common interest.

With user experience improving, this new crowdsourcing technique is creating a whole new way to shop the web.

Check out ModCloth and help them better serve the fashionistas out there.

Remember fashion is fun, it is uniquely you!

Details, Details, Details....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

From dresses to shirts, shorts to jeans, embellishment and hardware on clothes are super hot this spring and summer.

Embellishment on necklines is a huge trend. Choosing a shirt with an embellished neckline allows you to accessorize other areas of your outfit instead of adding a necklace. With a detail on the neckline, you outfit will look more stylish, giving you an accessorized look.

(Forever 21: $19.90)

Spring tops are popping up everywhere that have removable necklaces, a perfect way to add accessories without having to think a lot about which one to choose. An added plus is you easily remove it when you have to wash your clothes!

This top is from and it has a detachable necklace... super cute!


Studs, beading and rhinestones seem to be everywhere, from shoes to shirts; these accents add spice to any piece.

Studs give you that edginess while keeping up with that rocker 80’s trend that is lingering this season. You can find this hardware on anything from clutches to shoes, to a little black dress or a jacket, whatever your style is there is something studded out there for you! Start with an accessory piece, like a studded belt over a cute dress, or over sized tee and go from there.

(EXPRESS: Belt -59.50, Purse-79.50, Shirt-34.50)

Rhinestones add a glam factor to any outfit. Jewels scattered around a top spice up a normal tee.

One of my favorite looks is the boyfriend tee with an embellished breast pocket! Super cute and a great way to spice up a plain tee.

This boyfriend tee is from Express. I have 3. I have 2 that are plain which I put sequins tops under and one with a rhinestone pocket... I LOVE these tees! They are so versatile. This is one of my favorite ways to wear it, only I like to drape one side off the shoulder.


Sequins are a must.

With sequin details, ranging from a strip on the sleeve to a flower focal point sequins should be in your spring wardrobe.

I absoulutely LOVE this one from Mango... it has embellishment on the pocket AND the shoulder: FABULOUS!

( Mango £19.90 )

The famous sequin tanks are everywhere! Put it under a boyfriend tee with some skinny jeans and you have a super cute school look.

Graphic tees are another great way to sport this trend. Tees are adding the bling effect. There are feminine v-necks with flowers made of sequins or rocker tees with a saying and studs, whatever your style there is one out there for you!

(Express 29.50)

Although the neckline is the most popular place to add embellishment, shoulders are getting a lot of attention this season. With trends bringing focus to women’s shoulders, this added detail is perfect without taking the big plunge and wearing shoulder pads or a strong shoulder piece.

Remember fashion is fun. It is uniquely you.


The fashion world bids adieu

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Alexander McQueen's unfinished collection was finally unveiled.

At a private showing, McQueen's Fall/Winter 2010 collection was revealed and reminded the fashion world of the huge loss that occurred from his tragic death on February 11th. With opera music playing in the background as pale models processed in his dramatic designs, many audience members had tear filled eyes.

His collection included an element of Old World romanticism with intricate details including gold embroidery on almost every piece, angels, wings and hints of religious embellishment. McQueen used inspiration from Old Master paintings, carvings, and sculptures. He even went as far as to use photographed works of art including Botticelli, and weaved, imprinted, and embroidered onto his pieces. Deep reds and gold hues were used along with dramatic pieces, including capes, to create his theme: Byzantine art.

The 16 piece collection was 80% finished when McQueen unfortunately committed suicide. Sarah Burton, who worked alongside the fashion icon for more than a decade, completed the intricate collection along with the rest of his team.

The reveal gave the intimate audience the idea that McQueen was having thoughts of the afterlife. The details and designs created a look of Angels and Demons, much like McQueen wanted to achieve. In the final weeks before his death, McQueen even twittered "Hells angels [sic] and prolific demons" which people now understand after seeing his final collection.

I absolutely fell in love with this collection. The final piece, a high-collared long jacket adorned with gold feathers worn over a white tulle skirt, was breathtaking.

To the legendary Alexander McQueen: May you rest in peace, knowing that you are one of the most influential and inspirational designers in the fashion world. Your unique designs will forever live on.


(Pictures from & InStyle UK)

We're all mad here!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

As the release of the old classic, Alice in Wonderland, creeps closer, the fashion world has taken notice of Tim Burton's eccentric and whimsical designs.

The sweet, innocence of Alice mixed with the dark, twisted ideals of Burton, have created a fashion frenzy for designers and the fashion world. They have been inspired by Burton's creations, adding goth like pieces with touches of femininity.

Donatella Versace referenced Alice as one of her inspirations for her spring/summer 2010 collection of flowing pastel gowns.

Disney is even launching a line! Disney Consumer Products collaborated with designer Sue Wong to create a high end dress line inspired by the movie. It's a special limited edition spring line that has just launched called: Sue Wong for Walt Disney Signature. Pieces are influenced by key characters including Alice, The Red Queen, The White Queen, the White Rabbit and the talking flower garden. There are unique details while incorporating femininity and romance. The collection can be found at department stores like Bloomingdale's, Macy's and Nordstrom's to name a few and you can also check the pieces out @ Sue Wong for Alice in Wonderland.

(from the Disney Blog)

With many s/s 2010 collections channeling their inner wonderland, some pieces to look out for are: bow headbands, OPI Alice in Wonderland nail polish collection, fantastical pieces, and Alice in Wonderland inspired jewelry. The jewelry below are from Tom Binns who created pieces like the Mad Hatter wrap bracelet (below) and the Tea Party pendant necklace (below). Both I absolutely LOVE!

Tom Binns: $ 178 Tom Binns: $66

One of my favorite pieces inspired by AIW is this long chain pocket watch necklace for $28.00 @ Urban Outfitters: it's FABULOUS!

Stores around the world are creating whimsical window displays to recreate the look and feel of the highly anticipated movie.

The key to Alice's appeal is that she is liked among everyone: adults and children. She is a human who has a sense of wonderment. She is a girl who is sophisticated yet whimsical while still being feminine and cheery. The characters wear creations that are appealing yet fantastical. With the movie incorporating high fashion while still focusing on the whimsical wonderment, the fashion industry has hit the ground running with pieces inspired by AIW.

Enchanted pieces are springing up everywhere. There is already an influence that the movie has made on the fashion front, but with the fall runway shows being introduced, it's definitely apparent that the AIW inspired trends will be popular well into the fall season.

What do you think about the influence that AIW is having on the fashion world!?
I personally LOVE it.


Ruffled Up!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Hey Dolls! Ruffles are totally in ... AGAIN!

With many designers incorporating ruffles into their runway looks, it’s safe to say this fun and flirty trend is still “haute” this spring season.

With so many trends out there, ruffles have been a fashion staple for a while now. The look of ruffles this spring include lose, flowing ruffles, that create a soft romantic look, and tight, tiered ruffles, that make a bold statement when added to any outfit.

(Forever 21: $19.80)

(BCGC: $338)

Ruffles are showing up on everything from skirts to shirts, sweaters to shoes, this trend is definitely one to try. It adds a spark of femininity while having a flirty edge to any outfit.

At the 2010 Golden Globes, many celebrity icons, including Heidi Klum and Zoe Saldana, wore this trend, which increased the popularity.

Tiered dresses and ruffled skirts are great choices for this spring and summer season. Whether it’s a short tiered tube dress or a denim ruffled skirt. These pieces will give you that fashionista edge. Pair a ruffled skirt with a form fitting top, cute belt, bangles and wedges and you will look super cute while staying stylish. Add a military shirt into the mix, and your style just jumped up another notch.

(Forever 21: $29.80)

(Victoria's Secret: $39.50)

Designers like Chloé, used ruffles to create a bohemian chic look while Marc Jacobs used an abundance of ruffles to add that va va voom to nearly half of his spring collection.


This oh-so-hot trend works with almost any look and it can be really forgiving if worn right. * Be careful though, because ruffles do add volume, so make sure it’s a flattering fit. Since they tend to flow outwards, this trend can sometimes make you look bigger than you are.

Some pieces that have ruffles include:







With big to small ruffles, flowing to tight, this trend has taken over. Whatever your style is, ruffles can fit into your wardrobe. This trend gives you the look of sweet seduction.

Remember, fashion is fun. It is uniquely you!


This is one of my favorite looks!
(EXPRESS: skirt- 49.50, Shirt- 49.50, Belt- 29.50, Necklace- 69.50)

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