Rugged & Fancy

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The top knot, the new It Girl hair style seen on streets and runways alike. And, get this, it is the easiest, lowest maintenance hairstyle EVER. Thank you, fashion gods for passing this one on down to us all! It’s seems like the longer this style sticks around, the less concerned people are with polish and the more vertical the knot gets on top of the head. And I dig it all. It’s so low maintenance!

As a woman who washes her hair once or twice a week, relying on the miracle work of Big Sexy Hair dry shampoo, John Masters Organics sea spray, and tons of argan oil (any brand will do for me), the top knot gets me through those days where I slept a little funny on my mane, resets my waves, and helps me get out the door in a hurry.

Pick your style: messy/high, voluminous/polished/high, polished at the crown—do what’s right for your hair and your face shape. Experiment. Shake it up. Literally. And bobby pins are your friends.

Via Pichaus.


Via Pinterest.



Via Happiness Is…



Via Pinterest.

The top knot, the new It Girl hair style seen on streets and runways alike. And, get this, it is the easiest, lowest maintenance hairstyle EVER. Thank you, fashion gods for passing this one on down to us all! It’s seems like the longer this style sticks around, the less concerned people are with polish and the more vertical the knot gets on top of the head. And I dig it all. It’s so low maintenance!

As a woman who washes her hair once or twice a week, relying on the miracle work of Big Sexy Hair dry shampoo, John Masters Organics sea spray, and tons of argan oil (any brand will do for me), the top knot gets me through those days where I slept a little funny on my mane, resets my waves, and helps me get out the door in a hurry.

Pick your style: messy/high, voluminous/polished/high, polished at the crown—do what’s right for your hair and your face shape. Experiment. Shake it up. Literally. And bobby pins are your friends.

Via Pichaus.

Via Pinterest.

Via Happiness Is…

Via Pinterest.

Early Spring, My Favorite Things

Early Spring, Favorite Things: Stripes, Tunics, Panama, Suede, Camo, and Products
Early Spring, Favorite Things: Stripes, Tunics, Panama, Suede, Camo, and Products by morganjonesjohnston 
It is FULL ON Spring here in the South, albeit a little early. And I am not complaining because it means I get to whip out my early Spring staples: Breton stripes, straw hats, and low boots.  I lean towards a color palette this time of year in the neutral persuasion. It just feels right next to a patch of daffodils or a giant blooming camellia.  This time of year I feel like I am shedding my Winter skin of layers, the shroud of chunky knits and leggings. 
I have literally worn my new thin knit striped Vince sweater (not pictured, a TJ Maxx score) almost every day, in combination with denim or khaki, layered over white or black tissue thin tees, a straw hat that is actually a flower pot from a thrift store, and loafers, mocassins, architectural platforms, boots. And my new House of Harlow Carmen shades, pictured above.
I like the idea of having a uniform that evolves as the weather shifts. It operates not only on a perfect understanding of your true style but the function of the clothing you choose. It creates a linear evolution of your look that you really must evaluate, like writing a novel or a taking a voyage around the world. 
And it’s not just about the clothes. It’s a full sensory experience. I am a woman fully dedicated to my favorite products and scents. I find something I love and I wear it until I evolve to something new.  For example, in the past four years I have worn TWO fragrances, one and then another: Prada Eau de Parfum and now Hermes Voyage d’Hermes.
Prada, via Sephora
Hermes Voyage d’Hermes, via Amazon.
And now I have a few new items to add to my arsenal of favorite scents, thanks to an amazing Birmingham-based boutique Bellewether.
1. Apothia products: I first smelled the Soul candle in one of my favorite stores, Imogene and Willie in Nashville. (That’s their women’s camo blazer pictured above, my favorite piece for 2012 so far. I think it is just BRILLIANT.) Anyway, it has the most sensual scent, neither feminine nor masculine, and fills a space so smoothly and quickly. I will be burning this for a long time. And I really want to try their Casa scent, too.  These scents come in a Hand and Body Wash. That’s my next purchase.
2. The other Apothia product that I am literally obsessed with is the IF Body Wash.  The most delicate, slightly sweet floral and fruity blend truly makes you feel clean and moisturized. I can detect the faint scent on my skin all day and I LOVE it. And my husband loves it, too.
Tomorrow, a more in depth look at Spring appropriate suede boots and the Breton stripe. Get outside. It’s so beautiful!
What a little hiatus there, huh? I’ve been so blessed with photo shoots and travel and life happenings and generally good busy-ness that I have totally neglected the blog. Wah-wah. But with Spring upon us, or fully in its early throes here in the deep South, I am reenergized and totally inspired.

Amelia Earhart, pictured above, borrowed from the lovely Quite Continental, was one of the original Rugged and Fancy ladies. I am so obsessed with her style. Function and texture and cut and a little pattern. Functional accessories. Want to see more? Check out Quite Continental’s amazing post on AE style, here.


Anjelica Huston, via Quite Continental.
And I am so inspired by this image, too. Women’s menswear is the ultimate power statement. Look how icy hot she looks. Totally in command. Give me a well structured jacket and pant and bow tie and crisp button down and some giant shades and I am ready to take on anything. Yes, please. Now, thank you. You are dismissed. Not yet.


Photo by Andre Villers, via Picasso Mio.

Cher at Studio 54, via Vintage Threads.

I see a brilliant crossover between these two images. Yes, the hats and averted gazes, but the irreverence in context—Picasso with cigarette and pistol in studio; Cher in henley and old jeans and suspenders in raging glam Studio 54. 

Image via The Refined.

And I think this is the most amazing man, ever. 

Sometimes you just need to lay out some inspiration to get yourself going again. Look in unusual places. Talk to unexpected people. Have no expectations of the end result. Challenge yourself. And always, always strive to go somewhere new, even if you have a foot in the influence of the past.  

Have an awesome day. And I will see you tomorrow!

What a little hiatus there, huh? I’ve been so blessed with photo shoots and travel and life happenings and generally good busy-ness that I have totally neglected the blog. Wah-wah. But with Spring upon us, or fully in its early throes here in the deep South, I am reenergized and totally inspired.

Amelia Earhart, pictured above, borrowed from the lovely Quite Continental, was one of the original Rugged and Fancy ladies. I am so obsessed with her style. Function and texture and cut and a little pattern. Functional accessories. Want to see more? Check out Quite Continental’s amazing post on AE style, here.

Anjelica Huston, via Quite Continental.

And I am so inspired by this image, too. Women’s menswear is the ultimate power statement. Look how icy hot she looks. Totally in command. Give me a well structured jacket and pant and bow tie and crisp button down and some giant shades and I am ready to take on anything. Yes, please. Now, thank you. You are dismissed. Not yet.

Photo by Andre Villers, via Picasso Mio.

Cher at Studio 54, via Vintage Threads.

I see a brilliant crossover between these two images. Yes, the hats and averted gazes, but the irreverence in context—Picasso with cigarette and pistol in studio; Cher in henley and old jeans and suspenders in raging glam Studio 54. 

Image via The Refined.

And I think this is the most amazing man, ever. 

Sometimes you just need to lay out some inspiration to get yourself going again. Look in unusual places. Talk to unexpected people. Have no expectations of the end result. Challenge yourself. And always, always strive to go somewhere new, even if you have a foot in the influence of the past.  

Have an awesome day. And I will see you tomorrow!

Thanks @captkelly! @rebelking @terrapinprints @freddiefoureyes @jack_knife @hollisterhovey @tedshred @bowtieguy @moderntraditionalist @shopstels @magiccityshannon @indigoraven @millermobley @son_of_origins @carynorton  (Taken with instagram)

Thanks @captkelly! @rebelking @terrapinprints @freddiefoureyes @jack_knife @hollisterhovey @tedshred @bowtieguy @moderntraditionalist @shopstels @magiccityshannon @indigoraven @millermobley @son_of_origins @carynorton (Taken with instagram)

The New Mint

So at the request of one of my favorite ladies, Jana Mobley of ALA>NYC, I dedicate this minty fresh post! I’ve been so obsessed with creating these fun editorial-like spreads on Polyvore lately. It’s such a great way as a stylist and a blogger to create a mood board or inspiration board for a look or theme or idea. It’s concise and you can see everything all in one space as opposed to posting so many images to have to scroll through. And there’s a great artistic element to it! There are some really amazing users on Polyvore doing some really creative things. I really recommend going and exploring.

So my lady Jana is currently out on the road on a two week shoot with her husband, photographer Miller Mobley and my husband, producer Duquette Johnston on a really exciting shoot in four locations around the country. She and I have been texting and emailing along the way about fashion and favorite shops and stops in each city. Duquette took the crew to our favorite Nashville spot, Imogene+Willie on their first stop, and I hear a few people left with some serious denim! 

Anyway, this post started as a fun little board on Polyvore, which Jana found through a link to my Polyvore from a previous post on my blog. She messaged me from the airport with songs of love of this amazing mint color and a request for shirts/top ideas in this amazing color but in something other than a traditional button down.

So Jana, this goes out to you!

Freshly Minted: 3 ways to wear mint green
Freshly Minted: 3 ways to wear mint green by morganjonesjohnston 
Mints at Every Price
Mints at Every Price by morganjonesjohnston 

Feeling Spring, brightly, boldly.

It may be January, but here in the South we are already having 70 degree weather. I know, right? WTF, you say. Our immense backyard is lush and verdant, filled with the most amazing colors of plants and flowers that have been tricked into blooming 2-4 months early. Again, WTF. The royal violet of periwinkle, the neon pinks of camellias (Alabama’s state flower), fluorescent yellow of pansies still going strong from last September, and the wild Kelly green of shoots of narcissus popping up EVERYWHERE. 

I’ve always stuck to a monochrome palette. I’ve worn black and grey my whole life. (Seriously, I was the four year old wearing LBDs and wayfarers.)  So when the shocking hues of greens, yellows, oranges, and pinks started popping up in collections in the past couple years, I was kind of repelled. But something in me has changed. Maybe it’s this year’s take on pattern, paired with these electric hues it just feels…good.  It feels alive and fun and fresh, versus some regurgitation of the neon spandex/slap bracelet era I grew up in. The 80s and 90s never really compelled me.

So here is a truly electric inspiration board I whipped up. Be bold, go wild, and have no fear. If you’re reaching for a Pop Art inspired neon printed pair of hot pants, you might as well commit to the rest of the outfit. (But there’s a couple more classic looks there too.)

Neons and Patterns: Four Ways
Neons and Patterns: Four Ways by morganjonesjohnston 
And one more little treat/thing/confession…I have a DLS (that’s a DIRTY LITTLE SECRET, y’all).  I kind of have a thing for pop music. Sidenote: I do have really great musical tastes, among my all time faves are The Velvet Underground and Nina Simone…but I kind of LOVE pop music. I sing it. I dance to it. It’s HOT. 
And this song is MY JAM lately! Seriously, listen and love it and play it while you’re getting ready to go conquer the world. So good!

POC! Or, pop of color. Or where art and fashion meet.

POC: Pink and Orange
Every time I see the wonderful orange and pink pairing trend, I immediately think of Mark Rothko's boldly colored, vibrant paintings (a few of them had this orange and pink motif, with a touch of persimmon, creme, or sienna).  Rothko's paintings are an amazing primer in how to color block, look at the proportions, the colors, and look to the more subtle strokes for accessories.
I love taking a painting and drawing a look from it. Perhaps this will become a regular little feature…
So orange is my favorite color ever. I want everything orange! Here is a little help on how to get a pop of that POC at every price point!
POC: Orange at every price point

So as I mentioned in my last post, I just wrapped an incredible three day shoot with some of my favorite clients to date, Schaeffer Eye Center.  The first day of the shoot we did some amazing fashion forward stills and video—we had an amazing runway set with fluorescent tube lighting, another set with floating orbs, a white seamless set, and another set, all created within Workplay's Soundstage.

The looks were very modern, sleek, edgy, and monochrome for the most part, and with the amazing, dark sets, I really wanted hair and makeup that would pop against all of it and complement the product, the incredible eyewear (ranging from Tom Ford to Retro Specs to Judith Lieber and more). Also, the overall look needed to be lasting, a consideration for the duration of the ad time.  

The images above are the mood boards I created going into the shoot to give to our amazing hair and makeup artist, Celine Russell.  Drawing on runway looks from Marc Jacobs, Jason Wu, Chloe, and more, we had strong brows, bold lips in orange red and fuchsia,  and sleek hair. Celine and her assistant Joanna drew upon these boards to create about a dozen looks that were just BEYOND.

I can’t wait for the campaign to debut! As for the fashion styling that day? I can tell you that I had a black sequin blazer, a vintage Valentino belted jacket, some feather details, some leather leggings, sky high heels, and perfect suiting on the men. 

Wheweeeeeeee!!!!! I am coming off of a whirlwind week of traveling and shooting. Had a wonderful shoot over last weekend with some of my favorite people, Miller Mobley and Jana Mobley, my perpetual girl crush! It was run and gun, but I had a night in one of my favorite hotels, The Battle House Renaissance Hotel and Spa.
This week I have worked on one of my favorite shoots to date, for an upscale eyewear retailer. We had three days of shooting in the most amazing locations, on the most amazing sets, from custom built runway sets (that Duquette co-designed) to a helipad, 40 degree pool and more.  It was amazing, and I can’t wait to see the finished product running in print and on television!
Meanwhile, I FELL IN LOVE WITH TOM FORD.  Well, two sets of Tom Ford frames. Pictured above. Like, literally thinking about them all day long. Mostly the ones on the right. Here’s the thing, a lot of people think I should get the ones on the left. They are classic, timeless, very pretty on me in that Upper East Side pulled together way. But I am drawn to the ones on the right in a way that I simply cannot fight. I think it’s my innate style, beckoning me. And here is my reasoning behind it all—I want to, in the words of my friends, Bow Tie Guy and Modern Traditionalist: “Kick the door down” with this look, and honestly my look should kick a door down all the time.  That’s just who I am!
I know the glasses on the right are kind of polarizing in terms of opinion, but I really love that about them. Someone who hates them today, but love them four years from now, when I am still wearing them. (I am not a full time-focaled person, just a side note.)  I think of Iris Apfel and her signature glasses when someone questions the “trend factor” of the glasses. I don’t believe in trends. I believe in something really fabulous. You fall in love with something and you have a relationship with it. It could be fifty years in duration. I’ve never rushed into a relationship. I kind of pine over something and make a move. Have I mentioned I’ve been thinking about these Tom Ford’s all day long every day??  I’ll make my move soon. When it’s right. Like a relationship. Gosh, I’m so nervous!!
I feel like I should get them drunk first.
For allllllllllll of your optical needs, I ABSOLUTELY recommend you go see BORDEN at 
Schaeffer Eye Center at the Colonnade.  The man is a genius.

Wheweeeeeeee!!!!! I am coming off of a whirlwind week of traveling and shooting. Had a wonderful shoot over last weekend with some of my favorite people, Miller Mobley and Jana Mobley, my perpetual girl crush! It was run and gun, but I had a night in one of my favorite hotels, The Battle House Renaissance Hotel and Spa.

This week I have worked on one of my favorite shoots to date, for an upscale eyewear retailer. We had three days of shooting in the most amazing locations, on the most amazing sets, from custom built runway sets (that Duquette co-designed) to a helipad, 40 degree pool and more.  It was amazing, and I can’t wait to see the finished product running in print and on television!

Meanwhile, I FELL IN LOVE WITH TOM FORD.  Well, two sets of Tom Ford frames. Pictured above. Like, literally thinking about them all day long. Mostly the ones on the right. Here’s the thing, a lot of people think I should get the ones on the left. They are classic, timeless, very pretty on me in that Upper East Side pulled together way. But I am drawn to the ones on the right in a way that I simply cannot fight. I think it’s my innate style, beckoning me. And here is my reasoning behind it all—I want to, in the words of my friends, Bow Tie Guy and Modern Traditionalist: “Kick the door down” with this look, and honestly my look should kick a door down all the time.  That’s just who I am!

I know the glasses on the right are kind of polarizing in terms of opinion, but I really love that about them. Someone who hates them today, but love them four years from now, when I am still wearing them. (I am not a full time-focaled person, just a side note.)  I think of Iris Apfel and her signature glasses when someone questions the “trend factor” of the glasses. I don’t believe in trends. I believe in something really fabulous. You fall in love with something and you have a relationship with it. It could be fifty years in duration. I’ve never rushed into a relationship. I kind of pine over something and make a move. Have I mentioned I’ve been thinking about these Tom Ford’s all day long every day??  I’ll make my move soon. When it’s right. Like a relationship. Gosh, I’m so nervous!!

I feel like I should get them drunk first.

For allllllllllll of your optical needs, I ABSOLUTELY recommend you go see BORDEN at 

Schaeffer Eye Center at the Colonnade.  The man is a genius.

One of my favorite go to outfits is a pair of tights or leggings and slip/top or oversize sweater or tee. Whenever I am running around, working on a shoot, needing lots of range of movement, or even laying around the house on a rainy day, this combo just makes me feel luxe and ready to run out the door if I need to.  And just to let you know—my fave pair of tights/leggings is American Apparel, tiny tiny snakeskin print black liquid leggings. They have a little sheen to them and the slightest pattern for interest. I got them three years ago at SXSW at an American Apparel market for $10 (versus $90 retail), and I literally wear them 1-3 times a week.
The printed pair of tights is huge on the market.  Just remember if you’re going for the pantyhose/tights versus leggings/tights, you need to make sure your crotch is covered. No one is comfortable seeing that little oval bit of fabric meant to cover your lady parts, and that is not part of your outfit. (Seriously, if you think it’s too short put on a mini slip, layer lengths of the top half of your outfit, or wear a short-ish dress on top.) You want to be comfortable; you need to be able to squat down or bend over without fear of getting pregnant.  Okay, there’s my piece.
Here are the tights—What I am really seeing a lot of are (a)the more artistic, graphic, edgy prints that I am so in love with, (b) animal prints, still, and that is okay because these are super sexy and graphic and punchy!, and (c) some sexy feminine patterns.
(The lead photo above is the Yves Saint Laurent Snakeskin Print Tights, via Far Fetch.)

Gal Stern ‘Galaxy’ Tights, via Far Fetch.

Gal Stern ‘Stitch’ Tights, via Far Fetch.

Proef Square Print Geometric Tights, via Far Fetch.

Proef Geometric Triangle Print Tights, via Far Fetch.

Wolford Wilderness Tights, via Nancy Meyer.

Nicole Miller Zebra Tight, via Zappos.

ASOS Leopard Print Sheer Tights, via ASOS.

Jukebox Tights in the Pony, via ModCloth.

Gipsy Back Seam Heart Tights, via ASOS.

One of my favorite go to outfits is a pair of tights or leggings and slip/top or oversize sweater or tee. Whenever I am running around, working on a shoot, needing lots of range of movement, or even laying around the house on a rainy day, this combo just makes me feel luxe and ready to run out the door if I need to.  And just to let you know—my fave pair of tights/leggings is American Apparel, tiny tiny snakeskin print black liquid leggings. They have a little sheen to them and the slightest pattern for interest. I got them three years ago at SXSW at an American Apparel market for $10 (versus $90 retail), and I literally wear them 1-3 times a week.

The printed pair of tights is huge on the market.  Just remember if you’re going for the pantyhose/tights versus leggings/tights, you need to make sure your crotch is covered. No one is comfortable seeing that little oval bit of fabric meant to cover your lady parts, and that is not part of your outfit. (Seriously, if you think it’s too short put on a mini slip, layer lengths of the top half of your outfit, or wear a short-ish dress on top.) You want to be comfortable; you need to be able to squat down or bend over without fear of getting pregnant.  Okay, there’s my piece.

Here are the tights—What I am really seeing a lot of are (a)the more artistic, graphic, edgy prints that I am so in love with, (b) animal prints, still, and that is okay because these are super sexy and graphic and punchy!, and (c) some sexy feminine patterns.

(The lead photo above is the Yves Saint Laurent Snakeskin Print Tights, via Far Fetch.)

Gal Stern ‘Galaxy’ Tights, via Far Fetch.

Gal Stern ‘Stitch’ Tights, via Far Fetch.

Proef Square Print Geometric Tights, via Far Fetch.

Proef Geometric Triangle Print Tights, via Far Fetch.

Wolford Wilderness Tights, via Nancy Meyer.

Nicole Miller Zebra Tight, via Zappos.

ASOS Leopard Print Sheer Tights, via ASOS.

Jukebox Tights in the Pony, via ModCloth.

Gipsy Back Seam Heart Tights, via ASOS.

It’s a big, big day, y’all. The National Championship is up for grabs between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the LSU Tigers. I will admit I have only recently gotten into football, mostly for the fun of dressing up and going to parties/cookouts, the tradition, and the camaraderie you have between millions of people with just the mention of “Roll Tide” or sporting your crimson colors.
Today I came across this really amazing article about the history of the pachyderm as our mascot. I am going to fully quote the article, but it came from Roll Bama Roll.

 
Alabama football has been associated with the elephant since the 1930s. The official account of how the pachyderm was adopted as the symbol for the team goes back to a reference made by Atlanta Journal sports writer Everett Strupper but there are other versions of the story.
What is generally accepted is the practice of referring to the Alabama team as “the red elephants” became common in the early 1930s (an association head coach Wallace Wade was not particularly fond of). Still, the team was known as The Crimson Tide and the pachyderm didn’t become adopted as the school’s official mascot until 1979.
Yet, despite the unofficial status as the Crimson Tide’s mascot, the elephant was very much part of the school’s football traditions by the 1940s. It was in that decade that a live elephant mascot named “Alamite” was a regular sight on gamedays in Tuscaloosa (show above in 1945).
For several years it was traditional for the pachyderm to lead the homecoming parade and Alamite would also bear that year’s queen onto the field prior to the game as this photo from the 1947 contest against LSU shows.

By the mid-1950s, Alamite gave way to a mascot-for-a-day that would be brought in for the homecoming parade and other activities. Reportedly, the cost of keeping the giant animal proved too expensive for the university.
The University of Alabama’s “Spirit Planning Committee,” a group that included representatives from numerous campus organizations, would spearhead the effort to bring a live elephant to campus as part of homecoming celebrations. These temporary mascots were usually from traveling circuses and would often appear in their performing regalia. Here is a photo of one of these elephants on The Quad for a pre-game pep rally in 1954.

 
During one period, the Iron Bowl would feature a parade through Birmingham and an elephant and tiger from the Birmingham Zoo would be included to represent the two schools.
The first costumed elephant to appear on the Alabama sidelines was introduced in the 1960s. The first person to don this garb to cheer on the Tide was Melford Espey, Jr. This incarnation didn’t catch on for reasons the following photo makes clear.


The push for Alabama to officially adopt a mascot started in the late 1970s when student groups appealed to Coach Bryant who was also the Athletic Director. He then turned to Espy to take responsibility of the task. The result was the Big Al we know today who debuted at the 1979 Sugar Bowl. When the Crimson Tide beat Penn State to earn the national championship, Big Al become a part of the Alabama football tradition.
Yet live elephants still were periodically part of the gameday festivities after that time. When the UA Alumni association began the Bama Blast event in 1979 part of the activities included bringing live elephants to the campus. Kept in an enclosure on the quad, these were used to give rides to children during the Homecoming festivities and, apparently, were used in a few of the school’s pre-game celebrations. In 1982 a 24-year-old man was injured when he crawled into the enclosure and one of the elephants threw him into the other.
The practice of bringing live elephants to campus was revived at least once more after that in 1990 when a pair were on the UA campus prior to the 1991 Homecoming game against Tulane.



 


Need some game day motivation? Duquette Johnston’s “Roll Baby Roll” is one of my favorites!

Want some more? Beitthemeans’s “Roll Tide Motherfucker” is pretty hot, too.

It’s a big, big day, y’all. The National Championship is up for grabs between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the LSU Tigers. I will admit I have only recently gotten into football, mostly for the fun of dressing up and going to parties/cookouts, the tradition, and the camaraderie you have between millions of people with just the mention of “Roll Tide” or sporting your crimson colors.

Today I came across this really amazing article about the history of the pachyderm as our mascot. I am going to fully quote the article, but it came from Roll Bama Roll.

Alabama football has been associated with the elephant since the 1930s. The official account of how the pachyderm was adopted as the symbol for the team goes back to a reference made by Atlanta Journal sports writer Everett Strupper but there are other versions of the story.

What is generally accepted is the practice of referring to the Alabama team as “the red elephants” became common in the early 1930s (an association head coach Wallace Wade was not particularly fond of). Still, the team was known as The Crimson Tide and the pachyderm didn’t become adopted as the school’s official mascot until 1979.

Yet, despite the unofficial status as the Crimson Tide’s mascot, the elephant was very much part of the school’s football traditions by the 1940s. It was in that decade that a live elephant mascot named “Alamite” was a regular sight on gamedays in Tuscaloosa (show above in 1945).

For several years it was traditional for the pachyderm to lead the homecoming parade and Alamite would also bear that year’s queen onto the field prior to the game as this photo from the 1947 contest against LSU shows.

By the mid-1950s, Alamite gave way to a mascot-for-a-day that would be brought in for the homecoming parade and other activities. Reportedly, the cost of keeping the giant animal proved too expensive for the university.

The University of Alabama’s “Spirit Planning Committee,” a group that included representatives from numerous campus organizations, would spearhead the effort to bring a live elephant to campus as part of homecoming celebrations. These temporary mascots were usually from traveling circuses and would often appear in their performing regalia. Here is a photo of one of these elephants on The Quad for a pre-game pep rally in 1954.

During one period, the Iron Bowl would feature a parade through Birmingham and an elephant and tiger from the Birmingham Zoo would be included to represent the two schools.

The first costumed elephant to appear on the Alabama sidelines was introduced in the 1960s. The first person to don this garb to cheer on the Tide was Melford Espey, Jr. This incarnation didn’t catch on for reasons the following photo makes clear.

The push for Alabama to officially adopt a mascot started in the late 1970s when student groups appealed to Coach Bryant who was also the Athletic Director. He then turned to Espy to take responsibility of the task. The result was the Big Al we know today who debuted at the 1979 Sugar Bowl. When the Crimson Tide beat Penn State to earn the national championship, Big Al become a part of the Alabama football tradition.

Yet live elephants still were periodically part of the gameday festivities after that time. When the UA Alumni association began the Bama Blast event in 1979 part of the activities included bringing live elephants to the campus. Kept in an enclosure on the quad, these were used to give rides to children during the Homecoming festivities and, apparently, were used in a few of the school’s pre-game celebrations. In 1982 a 24-year-old man was injured when he crawled into the enclosure and one of the elephants threw him into the other.

The practice of bringing live elephants to campus was revived at least once more after that in 1990 when a pair were on the UA campus prior to the 1991 Homecoming game against Tulane.

Need some game day motivation? Duquette Johnston’s “Roll Baby Roll” is one of my favorites!
Want some more? Beitthemeans’s “Roll Tide Motherfucker” is pretty hot, too.

Happy 2012, y’all!! Are you feeling good? Because I am. The last thing I am going to post ever about 2011 is about our fantastic New Year’s Eve celebration, spent in the company of about 30 people at the studio of Jason Wallis, dear friend, amazing photographer and videographer, and founder of Birmingham Supper Club, for the Push Start Kitchen NYE Supper.

Push Start is something really special, run entirely underground by a dear, old friend of mine Chef Zack Meloy and his amazing wife Christina. It’s invitation-only, and once seats fill up, that’s it! You will find yourself in the company of a couple friends, maybe, or total strangers, bonding over the joys and ecstasies of food and life and who knows what else.  They’ve got some huge things brewing for 2012, having already been featured on TBS’s Trends With Benefits (check the clip here) and plans for things that are so exciting I kind of pee my pants a little. 

Here is what we ate:

New Years Eve
MENU:
(includes wine pairings and evening champagne)

-Cocktails and canapes
-Queso fresco, salted cucumber noodle, marinated grape, pistachio praline, chicory
-Sweet potato dumpling, baby kale, pickled mustard seed, baby kale
-Sous vide pork loin, white bean puree, garlic confit, coriander brown butter, braised collards, cilantro croquant
-Pink grapefruit sorbet, pomegranate syrup, candied lemon
-Ancho chile chocolate cake, white chocolate cremeux, banana chip, cajeta, smoked salt
-Candy and cordial

So good. Each course featured a food believed to bring good luck in the New Year. Yes, oh yes. Look, I am not a food writer. I don’t pretend to be. But I know good food, and I felt the ecstasy of something beyond satiating as I ate each course. I felt the progression of tastes and simple complexities of each dish. They made sense, and basically made my night with my husband, friends, and strangers beyond merry. There were several collective audible gasps of “MMMMM!” and that is a grand thing from 30 people, in my opinion. 

All right, so there is my two-cents about Push Start. It’s worth far more than you pay at the dinners. Go now while you can get in on it, and here is how you can connect with them:

Their web site: Push Start Kitchen

Their Facebook: Push Start Facebook

Their Twitter: Push Start Twitter

And here is how to get connected with Birmingham Supper Club: Birmingham Supper Club

I can’t believe it’s time to ring in 2012! We’ve never ones for partying on NYE really; we go out and make the rounds only to realize time and again that the crowds are too much for our liking and we’d much rather be in the company of each other and our dogs. (And generally with Duquette in the middle of the street with a rocket launcher of fireworks like he’s a ten year old boy again!)
This year we are hosting a dinner party New Year’s Eve Eve, while the decorations are still up, with some of our favorite people, friends new and old. Nothing brings you together like the promise of a new year and good food and great company.  And, of course, a few fires (in the fireplace and a couple in the Grove). And for the actual festivities, we will be going to a party at a friend’s house, where we will write down our grievances from 2011 and stuff them into a dummy that will then be thrown into yet another legendary fire.
I am not going to advise you in this post on what to wear—wear what you want! Wear what makes you feel grand and yourself or comfortable and proud. I just want to say that I hope you all find yourselves walking into 2012 with a great sense of action to do great things in the coming year, a plan to find authenticity in your lives and the work that you do. May your passions grow and your hearts soften in 2012, and never forget that home is where your family and friends surround you!



Okay, if you wear a little sparkle, I hope you look like this Cecil Beaton portrait of the Marchioness of Casa Maury!
HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM RUGGED AND FANCY!!!

I can’t believe it’s time to ring in 2012! We’ve never ones for partying on NYE really; we go out and make the rounds only to realize time and again that the crowds are too much for our liking and we’d much rather be in the company of each other and our dogs. (And generally with Duquette in the middle of the street with a rocket launcher of fireworks like he’s a ten year old boy again!)

This year we are hosting a dinner party New Year’s Eve Eve, while the decorations are still up, with some of our favorite people, friends new and old. Nothing brings you together like the promise of a new year and good food and great company.  And, of course, a few fires (in the fireplace and a couple in the Grove). And for the actual festivities, we will be going to a party at a friend’s house, where we will write down our grievances from 2011 and stuff them into a dummy that will then be thrown into yet another legendary fire.

I am not going to advise you in this post on what to wear—wear what you want! Wear what makes you feel grand and yourself or comfortable and proud. I just want to say that I hope you all find yourselves walking into 2012 with a great sense of action to do great things in the coming year, a plan to find authenticity in your lives and the work that you do. May your passions grow and your hearts soften in 2012, and never forget that home is where your family and friends surround you!

Okay, if you wear a little sparkle, I hope you look like this Cecil Beaton portrait of the Marchioness of Casa Maury!

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM RUGGED AND FANCY!!!

So maybe I am late to the game in loving the refined classic look of Scotch and Soda's men's and women's wear. But I am kind of in love. They have a really great grasp on timeless basics, blending classic and modern elements of design to create collections for men, women, and children that are cohesive and perfectly succinct. I hate being overwhelmed with a collection that is all over the place, touching on every design trend/element and has more pieces that I have time to look through. It muddies the statement of the line. Anyway, I was so excited to see Scotch and Soda has an online store up, and their web site is simply gorgeous and so easy to navigate!
Since Rugged and Fancy is really a place for both men and women alike, I am going to share my top picks for the gents first and then my choices for the ladies. 2012 is going to bring some growing changes to R+F that we are very excited about, but that is all for another post on another day!
Let’s get to it!!
FOR THE GENTS, ALL VIA SCOTCH AND SODA (click the images to link):

French Farmer’s Jacket (very Bill Cunningham, non?)

Crew Neck Sweater with Scraping Edges.

Denim Look Shirt.

Easy Dressed Checked Shirt.

Sailor Sweater.

Sailor Knitted Pull.

Basic Granddad Tee.
FOR THE LADIES, ALL VIA SCOTCH AND SODA (click the image for link):

60s Inspired Woolen A-Line Coat.

Military Style Cotton Jacket with Leather Sleeves.

Military Canvas 2-in-1 Parka.

Basic Shirt.

Knitted Cowl Neck Top.

V-Neck Pleated AUDREY Dress.

So maybe I am late to the game in loving the refined classic look of Scotch and Soda's men's and women's wear. But I am kind of in love. They have a really great grasp on timeless basics, blending classic and modern elements of design to create collections for men, women, and children that are cohesive and perfectly succinct. I hate being overwhelmed with a collection that is all over the place, touching on every design trend/element and has more pieces that I have time to look through. It muddies the statement of the line. Anyway, I was so excited to see Scotch and Soda has an online store up, and their web site is simply gorgeous and so easy to navigate!

Since Rugged and Fancy is really a place for both men and women alike, I am going to share my top picks for the gents first and then my choices for the ladies. 2012 is going to bring some growing changes to R+F that we are very excited about, but that is all for another post on another day!

Let’s get to it!!

FOR THE GENTS, ALL VIA SCOTCH AND SODA (click the images to link):

French Farmer’s Jacket (very Bill Cunningham, non?)

Crew Neck Sweater with Scraping Edges.

Denim Look Shirt.

Easy Dressed Checked Shirt.

Sailor Sweater.

Sailor Knitted Pull.

Basic Granddad Tee.

FOR THE LADIES, ALL VIA SCOTCH AND SODA (click the image for link):

60s Inspired Woolen A-Line Coat.

Military Style Cotton Jacket with Leather Sleeves.

Military Canvas 2-in-1 Parka.

Basic Shirt.

Knitted Cowl Neck Top.

V-Neck Pleated AUDREY Dress.

How was everyone’s Christmas?? We had a lovely time up on the mountain at my Dad’s with my family. We built toys and baked cookies and watched two little red-headed monsters (my nephews) rip through a sea of wrapping paper and bows. 
There are a few star things that I found out about from Christmas time, and a few gifts I want to show off—so check back tomorrow. (Tumblr issues with uploading photos…geez!)
But today, I want to talk about the importance of a great pair of sunglasses. Note: I am perpetually annoyed by people calling them “sunnies.” I’ve tried to do it; just doesn’t work. They’re sunglasses. Forevermore. 
Anyway, I’ve been a classic Ray Ban girl for YEARS. Even though I collect vintage glasses/sunglasses.  There’s just something timeless about a black or tortoise shell Wayfarer or an old pair of Aviators. And the comfort factor of Ray Bans cannot be beat. This is a major reason I cannot go back to cheap and cute sunglasses from drugstores/boutiques. 
But there are times that I want a more signature shape of sunglasses, even though I would say people identify me with my Wayfarers after three years of nonstop wear. Sometimes I want something a liiiiittle more exaggerated, a little more bold, but still with the classic appeal of my signature style.
Here are a few amazing sunglasses that have this exaggerated classicism that I think is becoming a major style statement, not just in accessories but in the wardrobes of many with exaggerated pieces like new takes of Fair Isles, absurd and lovely blanket coats, plaids gone wild, and more.  Of course, everyone has a different take on what constitutes the classics…more to come, for sure. 
Now, the glasses.

Karen Walker Soul Club, via Revolve Clothing.

Karen Walker Number Two, via Revolve Clothing.

Karen Walker Harvest in Black/Gold, via Revolve Clothing.

Karen Walker Super Duper Strength, via Revolve Clothing.

Karen Walker Super Francis Basic Wayfarer, via Revolver Clothing.

Karen Walker Deep Freeze, via Revolve Clothing. 

House of Harlow Chelsea Glasses, via Revolve Clothing. 

Spitfire Clip-On in Black/Gold Frame, via Revolve Clothing.

Replay Pop Sunglasses, via Revolve Clothing. 

Replay Audrey Sunglasses, via Revolve Clothing.

Poolside LTD in Black Gloss, via Revolve Clothing.

How was everyone’s Christmas?? We had a lovely time up on the mountain at my Dad’s with my family. We built toys and baked cookies and watched two little red-headed monsters (my nephews) rip through a sea of wrapping paper and bows. 

There are a few star things that I found out about from Christmas time, and a few gifts I want to show off—so check back tomorrow. (Tumblr issues with uploading photos…geez!)

But today, I want to talk about the importance of a great pair of sunglasses. Note: I am perpetually annoyed by people calling them “sunnies.” I’ve tried to do it; just doesn’t work. They’re sunglasses. Forevermore. 

Anyway, I’ve been a classic Ray Ban girl for YEARS. Even though I collect vintage glasses/sunglasses.  There’s just something timeless about a black or tortoise shell Wayfarer or an old pair of Aviators. And the comfort factor of Ray Bans cannot be beat. This is a major reason I cannot go back to cheap and cute sunglasses from drugstores/boutiques. 

But there are times that I want a more signature shape of sunglasses, even though I would say people identify me with my Wayfarers after three years of nonstop wear. Sometimes I want something a liiiiittle more exaggerated, a little more bold, but still with the classic appeal of my signature style.

Here are a few amazing sunglasses that have this exaggerated classicism that I think is becoming a major style statement, not just in accessories but in the wardrobes of many with exaggerated pieces like new takes of Fair Isles, absurd and lovely blanket coats, plaids gone wild, and more.  Of course, everyone has a different take on what constitutes the classics…more to come, for sure. 

Now, the glasses.

Karen Walker Soul Club, via Revolve Clothing.

Karen Walker Number Two, via Revolve Clothing.

Karen Walker Harvest in Black/Gold, via Revolve Clothing.

Karen Walker Super Duper Strength, via Revolve Clothing.

Karen Walker Super Francis Basic Wayfarer, via Revolver Clothing.

Karen Walker Deep Freeze, via Revolve Clothing

House of Harlow Chelsea Glasses, via Revolve Clothing

Spitfire Clip-On in Black/Gold Frame, via Revolve Clothing.

Replay Pop Sunglasses, via Revolve Clothing

Replay Audrey Sunglasses, via Revolve Clothing.

Poolside LTD in Black Gloss, via Revolve Clothing.