My Little Black Dress

IMG_6826One of the staples oft’ recommended for a woman’s closet is the famous Little Black Dress (or LBD for short). Some would even say it is THE wardrobe essential. It’s a timeless classic and has the advantage of fitting into just about any fashion style. No matter if your personal style is old Hollywood Glamour, modern, preppy, goth, etc. the Little Black Dress suits all.  It can be dressed up and dressed down, depending on the occasion (and cut of the dress), making it incredibly versatile.

Misc7While the true history of the little black dress is a matter of debate, it is most often traced back to Coco Chanel with her Gallic chic stamp on both local French and global fashion. The next most notable LBD (if not of all time) is Audrey Hepburn’s famous black dress in the film, Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

IMG_6823Black also has the added advantage of being a flattering colour on anyone. Not only  that but it’s a universally slimming colour (especially if there are well-placed seam lines to suit an individual’s body type. Example: Princess seams for a flattering torso).

IMG_6798My current LBD is a sleek little number I bought in New Zealand from the store TEMT a few years back. I like the mix of business and cocktail dress that it exudes. I can wear it as-is to a cocktail party or night on the town or throw a business blazer over it for a client meeting.

Heist4(This was an outtake from a Selina Kyle photoshoot I did a few years back, hence the odd about-to-steal-something pose. 😛 )

Dress: TEMT
Tights: DKNY
Shoes: Aldo via thrift shop

Photographs: Me, Kirk Hughes (bottom two)

Outfit of the Week – Brown Peasant Dress

Brown peasant dressThey say stepping out of your comfort zone can be a good thing. In some cases, I’m rather inclined to agree. In my pursuit of stylish dresses, I tried on one that I wouldn’t normally have picked out. I tried on this little brown number (as I do love forest colours) as that year (2012) was already shaping up to be a scorcher and I needed some cool threads. Perhaps it was the fact that I had my hair curled that day (which for me, always makes whatever I’m wearing look 100 times better), but I skipped along home with dress in tow.

Brown peasant dressBrown peasant dressThough, I have a confession to make….

Brown peasant dressI have a love affair with climbing trees. Back in college, it was quite common that if friends were looking for me, I could be found in one of three trees around campus. There was the grove of trees by Peck Hall, my prayer tree by the school cafeteria, and the Anime Club tree – a perfect climbing tree so large, five of us could fit up there at us. We used to joke that there was a homing beacon inside the tree. If one member of the Club showed up and stood in the tree, within 5 minutes, at least one more Club Member would show up. If was foolproof until some school administrator got the bright idea to cut half of the tree off. I still climbed what was left of the tree, but it wasn’t the same. I couldn’t stand on the farthest thick branch (that’s right, STAND. And stand I would) like a guardian and watch the people passing below me. Which was always amusing because if a group ever passed by, inevitably the last person in the group would do a double take. Oh it was great!

Brown peasant dress in a treeI also used one of the higher crooked branches to lean on and meditate. There were times where I just needed to get away from the stress of classes, social drama, etc. I couldn’t focus on the ground, too much chatter. But there’s something relaxing about being up in a tree by oneself. Even if I was troubled, within a few minutes I’d have a smile on my face.

I miss that tree.

I miss climbing trees in general. Where I live, all the trees are very sap-ridden, tick-riddled cedars. So you can imagine my joy at finding a climable tree at Centennial Park in Nashville. I shimmied up those branches faster than you could blink!

Brown peasant dress sitting in a treeI feel like I’ve got a slight Michelle Dockery look going on in my face below…

Brown peasant dress laying in a treeI felt all sorts of frolicky in this outfit. So naturally, after climbing trees I had to go for a quick jaunt around the field. (Though I’ll admit, I’m not as much of a nature child to go barefoot. My soles were just too tender for that prickly grass!)

Brown peasant dress runningBlowing a kissLying in a fieldLying in a fieldPhotographs © Abrea Crackel 2012.

: Ross   Earrings: Handmade by a friend   Flats: Nine West via Marti & Liz  Bracelet: Target

Outfit of the Week – The Red Plaid Shirt


After watching a plethora of TV shows and movies, I’ve started noticing one understated article of clothing showing up in almost everything – the Red Plaid Shirt. For example…

Anne Hathaway – Brokeback Mountain
Amy Pond – Doctor Who

Zooey Deschanel – New Girl
And of course the King of Red Flannel himself…Clark Kent (Smallville)
SMALLVILLE "Exposed" (Episode #505) Tom Welling as Clark Kent Credit: © The WB/Sergei BachlakovSmallville Season 10 Blog
I had originally shied away from the idea of wearing such apparel as I didn’t want to identified with the ‘country girl/country bumpkin’ look. But as I suffer from a lack of regular wear (my wardrobe tends to be divided into either rough-n-dirty work clothes or borderline formal wear. Note the lack of in-between), I decided to give the Red Flannel Shirt look a try. Pair it with a pair of jeans and I guess it’s inevitable! Clichéd, but comfortable. I imagine this to be a good errand-running outfit for the crisper weather.

_MG_4550_MG_4616_MG_4526Shirt: Target
Jeans: Ross
Belt: Came with dress from A’Gaci
Boots: Nine West via Marti & Liz
Satchel: Borrowed from photographer
: Gifted
Bracelet: TargetAbrea&meAll photos © of the lovely lady in the peacoat. Abrea Crackel 2011.

Outfit of the Week – Schoolgirl

_MG_4278(NOTE: I have since absconded this outfit as after viewing photos from the shoot. I hadn’t realized just how short the skirt was (in certain shots my bum was completely in view, not very ladylike). My personal style has also changed since when I shot this a few years ago. But nevertheless, people seem to enjoy this outfit alot, so I thought I’d let it see the light of day again. Enjoy!)

Although I didn’t put this outfit together until I was well out of school, the whole ensemble made me think of a British Commonwealth schoolgirl. (It brought back fond memories of living in New Zealand and watching students all neatly filing into schools with their matching uniforms. Granted, I’m sure it was no fun for them, but since I never had to wear a school uniform here in the States, I found the whole look rather intriguing.) Originally I had slapped on the outfit haphazardly to keep myself warm backstage during a runway show, but after hearing a few squeals of admiration from other models I decided to document what silly thing I had put together.

The setting here is at one of my alma maters – East Literature Magnet School in Nashville, TN (now known as East Nashville Junior High School). I attended there for 8th, 9th, and part of 10th grade. Sadly, my desire to devour classic literature and be challenged academically there was not satiated there so I moved on to another school. But as far as this blog post goes, it makes for a great backdrop!

_MG_4314_MG_4352The top part that I’m standing on in the photo above was a popular spot for us more adventurous students. We’d jockey for position to get the highest spot then see who could jump off and gain the ever-coveted ‘cool stunt’ status. After doing this photoshoot and knowing how high up that precipice is, that has got to go down as one of the dumbest things I ever did in middle school.


I would like to say that I’ve traded in my textbook-laden backpack for a lighter, more svelte, grown-up tote, but nay, I’m still using my school backpack for transporting my work supplies. (Though I have to give credit where due, Swiss Army makes fantastic gear. My backpack, which I bought at Target about eight years ago, not only holds up, but has little to no signs of wear at all! Best $50 I ever spent.)

_MG_4294 _MG_4455In college there were seven of us that all had this same Swiss Army backpack in my TV Production class. So we all agreed to put something on our backpacks that signified it being ours so there was no mix-up in picking up someone else’s backpack by mistake. So while everyone else put on various band and music-related memorabilia, I flew my geek flag in the form of a Bumblebee keychain. Even when I go on film or TV sets these days, this backpack will still appear (inevitably a grip or best boy will have this exact backpack), so Bumblebee still comes in handy!

_MG_4260 Dress: Forever 21
Tights: DKNY  
: Topshop via Ebay
Shoes: Goodwill
Glasses: Gifted
Backpack: Swiss Army via Target

All photographs taken by © Abrea Crackel 2011.

Outfit of the Week – An Ode to Chambray


A Lesson in Shopping Strategy:
Being the frugal sort, I rarely spend over a certain price point. This dress was $130 or so from Talbots. I really liked the cut, though sadly, their smallest size still didn’t fit me. A thought then struck me….a couple hours and a few clicks later, I managed to snag the smallest size on Ebay for a mere $20. Then, I took it to an alterations place and had it custom-tailored to fit. So I now own a beautiful custom-fitted dress for a fraction of the store cost!

Along with the flattering feminine cut, the chambray material is deceptively light and breezy. The shape feels polished, but the rustic fabric keeps it casual.  I find this to be a perfect dress to wear visiting places, like a new church, family gatherings, or even a nice afternoon out with friends patroning a local cafe.


A proper skirt swish! It’s a beautiful thing.

IMG_2567 65055_607866525932620_982713095_n

Looking back on it, I feel like this outfit is still missing something….a belt perhaps? (I’m still learning about this thing called ‘accessorizing’). Any suggestions? Possibly a thin light brown belt?

Dress – Talbots (via Ebay) Shoes – Steve Madden Necklace – Borrowed (my mom’s!) Umbrella – Ross

Photography: Ryan Booker (

Outfit of the Week – The Cat in Black

One of the new sections on this blog, known as Outfit of the Week, will be a look into my personal wardrobe. Some will be photos (such as this post or like many personal fashion blogs). Some will be illustrations (as it is absurdly hard to find clothes that fit me. But rather than wallow in the lack of a dream wardrobe, I can put pencil to paper and just draw it all! Who knows, maybe in the future I’ll be able to finally craft those doodled dream outfits).

Without further ado, here is my first installment of Outfit of the Week!


An oldie, but a goodie. I originally put this outfit together for a business interview, only to look in the mirror and feel a Selina Kyle vibe coming on. It’s no secret that Catwoman is one of my favourite comic characters of all time – the Princess of Plunder, the Madam Moderne, the elegant jewel thief turned anti-heroine. When wearing all black, especially in a sleek suit, I can’t help but think of Ms. Kyle.



Given the more classy business look of Selina Kyle in the recent movie, The Dark Knight Rises, I decided to have a little fun and do a TDKR-inspired shoot at Union Station in Nashville. You can view the full series here (complete with story!) —->


Blazer: TEMT (New Zealand Shirt: Marshall’s  Skirt: Charlotte Russe  Pantyhose: DKNY via Marshall’s Shoes: Aldo via Marti & Liz   Sunglasses: Borrowed from MUA  Leather Gloves: Ebay (bought for a Tifa Lockhart cosplay years back)

Photographers: David Merritt and Kirk Hughes
Hair & Makeup: Adriel Porter
Photo Editing: Me