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“Fashions fade. Style is eternal.” – Yves Saint Laurent

…And in the middle of it all, there are trends.

The latest trend in the cosplay world is the idea of a cosplay aesthetic. This is the idea of putting together a collage of imagery that best illustrates your cosplay character and the way you portray them.

So, since I’m all about style – and, to a lesser extent, trends – I decided to try my hand at a cosplay aesthetic for Alice Cullen.

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With this, I tried to really bring the most important elements of Alice’s life and character together. I wanted to use a combination of photos, featuring me, Ashley Greene as Alice, and Alice as she’s portrayed in the illustrated guide. My cosplay has been majorly influenced by all of Alice’s forms in film, print and illustration, so it only seemed fitting.

Here’s how I made my choices, panel by panel:

  1. First of all, I knew I wanted to showcase her name. When Alice woke up, she didn’t remember anything about who she was, where she came from, or even what her name was. She chose the name Alice Cullen after a baptism by fire, where she was shown a glimpse of who she could be if she had the strength to pursue a vegetarian lifestyle. Becoming Alice Cullen was the first decision she made as a newborn vampire, and it altered the course of her destiny.
  2. Secondly, I wanted to showcase her golden eyes – another extension of the choice she made upon waking. Plus, I invested good money in theatrical contact lenses – I like to show them off!
  3. The third photo is a candid that my Bella, Christilynn, took of me at the Carver Cafe during our trip to the Twilight filming locations. I like this photo because I think my expression looks enigmatic, which is how I think Alice would look much of the time when she’s at school or around humans.
  4. There was no way I could include a cosplay aesthetic without including the most important person in Alice’s life: Jasper, of course. I’ve always loved this photo because it illustrates Alice and Jasper’s relationship the way Bella saw it: intense intimacy while barely touching – the opposite of Emmett and Rosalie’s ostentatious relationship.
  5. The next set are two photos are from my We’ve Met Before photo shoot. I’ve always loved the imagery of Alice sitting alone at a diner day after day, waiting for Jasper to arrive, which is why I wanted to create my own version of it.
  6. I also included a close up photo of the gloves I wore that day. Alice understands that true fashion is in the details, and I really wanted to illustrate that point by showing I’d imagined Alice in that scenario from head to toe to the tips of her fingers.
  7. The seventh photo is one of my expressions that portray Alice having a vision. I can imagine that Alice has several visions a day and has likely schooled her expression into remaining neutral during them – after all, she can’t let everyone know that something is different about her, although humans can usually tell. Still, I think that Alice wouldn’t be able to help herself during a particularly worrying or odd vision, which is why I included a somewhat pensive photo.
  8. Lastly, we have Alice as she appeared in the Twilight illustrated guide – likely the closest portrayal we have to Alice as she appeared in Stephenie Meyer’s mind. I love this version of Alice because she doesn’t look like Ashley Greene, or Rachael Leigh Cook, or any of the other actresses that the fandom has suggested as the perfect Alice Cullen. This version of Alice is the product of pure imagination – just the way I like her.

I won’t lie: it was hard choosing only eight photos. I wanted to include shots with Bella! Of me in the driver’s seat of a yellow Porsche! But in the end, I wanted to portray who I think Alice is, and that isn’t defined by her friendships or the cars she drives.

If you’re a cosplayer, consider making your own version of a cosplay aesthetic – it’ll get you thinking about your character in ways you might have overlooked before!

xoxo,
Alice

Cosplaying Alice Cullen has given me so many amazing opportunities in life. I’ve been able to travel to beautiful locations in the United States, made friendships that will last a lifetime, and explored the part of me that loves to perform and meet new people.

Unfortunately, there is a downside. And I don’t think I’m the only one who feels it.

Whether we like it or not, cosplay puts a set of expectations – both internal and external – on the person wearing the costume. Once you don that costume, you automatically open yourself up to the thought – and even criticism – of other people.

Here’s some feedback members of the Olympic Coven alone have gotten:

Your Rosalie isn’t thin or pretty enough to be the most beautiful woman in the world.

Your Edward looks old.

Your Bella only looks like Bella from behind.

Your Jacob isn’t muscular enough. Shouldn’t he have a six pack?

Yeah – it’s petty. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

I’ve received my fair share of criticism, too. At one point or another, I’ve been called weird-looking, disgraceful, ugly, and even compared to a “naked mole rat.” Commenters on the Internet – especially anonymous ones – can be particularly cruel.

But you know what? They have absolutely nothing on what I say to myself.

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My own worst enemy.

Everyone knows what Alice looks like: short and delicate, with fine features. Pixie-like, with the grace and carriage of a dancer. Fashionable to the point that anyone without a Cullen-sized bank account can barely compete.

And to be honest, I struggle to keep up with that expectation.

Before I started cosplaying as Alice, I never thought about my height or my frame – whether I was short or small enough to play this character. I was just me. I never thought about the lines forming around my eyes and whether or not I looked too old to play a perpetually youthful vampire. I never thought about whether or not my own clothes were nice enough to wear during episodes of Dear Bella. I never worried about my weight and what people would think of me if I gained 10 pounds between events.

I think about those things all the time now – whether people think I’m too tall to play a character who’s 4’10 when I’m nearly 5’3. Whether people will notice if I return to Forever Twilight in Forks and I’m not as thin as I was the year before. Whether my skin looks bad and can’t be fixed with layers of vampire makeup. Whether I’m not well-groomed enough to portray someone who’s supposed to be perfect. And that’s just the beginning. It goes on and on.

I’m not an athlete, or a dancer. Do I have any business playing this character? Are people disappointed when I don’t showcase amazing choreography at events?

My teeth aren’t straight enough. Should I get Invisalign?

Maybe my nose isn’t small enough. What are my options?

How young is too young for Botox? For fillers?

How quickly can I lose weight for the next event without being unhealthy or dangerous?

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Call me crazy if you want to, but these are all actual thoughts that have gone through my head. And believe me, it’s something I still struggle with, no matter how many compliments I receive.

When I think about it, it isn’t cosplaying Alice that made me feel this way. Not really.  I always had the capacity to think like this. It just came out when my image became something that people could broadly critique, whether it’s online or whispered in corners at events.

But like I said, I’m not the only one who feels this way. Ashley Greene surely felt it, too. People told her she wasn’t small or delicate enough to play Alice, and the result was a visible weight loss that you could track from film to film.

I feel it.

Beautiful actresses feel it.

And you might feel it, too.

What I really want people to know is that if they ever have days where they hate themselves or don’t feel good enough, they aren’t alone. And maybe this year will be the year that we finally see our own worth and stop worrying about what other people think of us.

Here’s hoping.

xoxo,
Alice

I love shoes.

Boots, sky-high heels, demure kitten heels, dainty ballet flats, practical trainers – I love them all. After years of buying cheap shoes, I’ve committed myself to investing in higher quality. They last longer, for one. And they look better, for another.

I haven’t worked my way up to Louboutins or Jimmy Choos or Manolo Blahniks – I’m hoping that will come later in my career, when I’m a high-powered executive. But I can, and do, dream: About walk-in closets with gorgeous displays spanning the length of the walls. Shoes colour coded by shade, creating a rainbow for any and all occasions. Shoes for every occasion, big or small – so many I could wear a pair once and not see them again for years based on the breadth of my selection.

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Oh. My. God.

So, with shoes on the brain, I decided to take a look at Alice’s collection and compile everything we know (or have recently discovered) in one place. This was also inspired by the Twilight Saga Prop Auction, which also provided high-resolution photos of Alice’s shoes that we’d never seen before.

Here’s the first order of business before we get started: Alice wears a lot of nondescript black flats. I haven’t included these because the same effect could be accomplished with any black flats you want. If Alice wears black flats with a particular outfit, purchase the ones you like best – or dig your own pair out of your closet. Screen accuracy won’t be impacted.

I wasn’t kidding: Boring. Black. Flats.

But those flats aren’t important – here’s what is.

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The first shoes we really see Alice in are these cute pewter flats by Sam Edelman. She wears them with at least two outfits in Twilight, including her Knitted and Knotted Limehouse Sweater Coat in the cafeteria scene, and again with the Diane von Furstenberg Oleada dress in the “meet the Cullens” scene.

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These flats are adorable; I have a pair myself, and I receive compliments whenever I wear them. It’s worth noting that they’re also available in copper, if you’d like to put your own spin on Alice’s look for every day life.

It’s also worth mentioning that both versions of these shoes are incredibly difficult to find. If you see a pair on eBay in your size, snatch them up!

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Next up: Alice’s Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star metallic lo-tops. These are the shoes she wears to play baseball in, and later again when the Cullen family is attempting to stage a diversion for James.

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These shoes are a staple in the All-Star lineup and are incredibly easy to find on Amazon, eBay or other re-selling sites. If you’re buying them new, you can expect to pay up to $90 for them – but they’re easy to find for much less if you’re willing to get a pre-owned pair.

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It should be noted that these are available in a variety of metallic shades. Keep an eye out for the ones that are light silver – that’s the screen accurate colour. Also note that the shoes she wears with her diversion costume are slightly different, featuring red and blue lines instead of black.

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Next up: Alice’s purple and brown velvet vintage Nike high-tops, which she wears during the final confrontation with James in Twilight. These ones are new to me – I’d never been able to get a good look at them before the Twilight Saga Prop Auction.

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These shoes are difficult to find, given their status as “vintage.” In fact, I’ve only seen one pair for sale on a re-selling site since I figured out the brand – which wasn’t all that difficult to do, given the visibility of Nike’s signature “swoosh.”

I hated these shoes when I first saw them, but admittedly, they’ve grown on me. They bring a feminine element to the high-top style, and let’s be real: Only Alice would wear velvet shoes with a Victorian pattern while ripping someone’s head off.

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For anyone who argues that Alice is not a practical woman when it comes to fashion, I’d like to take this opportunity to point out how many pairs of sneakers have been included in this post so far.

Alice wears these black Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 trainers several times throughout Eclipse – particularly in scenes where the Cullens are training to take on the approaching newborn army.

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Most famously, Alice wears them with her ruffled teal hoodie from H&M, paired with a graphic T-shirt by SONG featuring a dog wearing a bowler hat.

These shoes are relatively easy to find on eBay, Amazon, or through the brand directly.

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And then we get to these: The shoes so nice, Alice wore them twice.

These adorable kitten heels are crossed-strapped pumps by Marc Jacobs. Alice first wears them paired with her Floreat Blushing Avian blouse when she’s teaching Bella how to walk in her wedding shoes. They were part of the Marc Jacobs 2010 Fall collection, and the brand colour for these pumps is called mud.

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Alice wears these shoes again later in black when she’s lounging on the couch with Jasper.

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I love these shoes. I have a pair in mud, and I’m still searching for them in black. They give me a bit of a height boost without making me feel like I’m teetering on high heels, which is always appreciated.

Like the pewter flats by Sam Edelman, these shoes are difficult to find in either colour. They also run about half a size small. Try searching for them on eBay with terms like “Marc Jacobs heels” or “Marc Jacobs kitten heels.”

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Next we have Alice’s Capezio heels, which she wore paired with her bridesmaid dress at Edward and Bella’s wedding. The Twilight Saga Prop Auction was the first time I’d been able to take a good look at these shoes.

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According to the lot listing, these T-strap, open-toe heels are made of leather and are painted purple with butterfly pendants stitched on top. Basically: They’re almost custom. You may be able to find the base shoes at Capezio – based on minor paint chipping, they look like they might have been beige – but you won’t find them in this colour. The butterfly pendant stitched on top was likely an addition by the costuming team as well.

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Lastly, we have Alice’s battle boots from Breaking Dawn Part 2 – the subject of a previous post on Go Ask Alice Cullen. Previously thought to be either LD Tuttle “The Weave” boots, Ally booties by Anthropologie, or Grafton boots by H by Hudson, these gems are actually Philadelphia boots by Schuler and Sons.

At one time, these boots could be purchased at Anthropologie. Like most Alice items, your best bet to find them now is eBay – and they, like everything else, are rare.

And for those who were wondering: After years of speculation, it was actually the lot listing for the costume on the Twilight Saga Prop Auction that confirmed this find.

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Sometimes, no matter how hard you sleuth, you just can’t beat the official source.

That’s it from me! I hope those of you who are hunting for Alice pieces find this a useful resource.

And remember…

“A woman with good shoes is never ugly.” – Coco Chanel

xoxo,
Alice

The Twilight Saga Prop Auction

In my experience, even when you love something, the passion you feel and the attention you put toward it ebbs and flows.

For me, costuming is no exception.

I love my work as Alice – and the thrill of spotting or purchasing a piece I’ve been eyeing – but it’s been years since we’ve had a steady diet of Twilight content to fixate on. I’m exposed to the Twilight fandom every day online, but it isn’t the same as having new books to read or new films to watch. In fact, my Twilight life at this point has largely narrowed down to three things: maintaining the Olympic Coven‘s online presence, creating my own Alice content via Dear Bella, and assisting with the fan experience at Forever Twilight in Forks.

But every so often, you get a spark of inspiration from an unexpected source.

Enter the Twilight Saga Prop Auction.

The Prop Store has partnered with Summit Entertainment to bring a two-day live auction of Twilight props, costumes, accessories and set pieces to Twilight fans. The live auction will be hosted from November 19-20 at the TCL Chinese Theatres in Hollywood, California, but even if you can’t attend, you still have a chance to own a piece of Twilight movie history. You can register to bid online, which is called absentee bidding.

From a costuming perspective, this auction is a treasure trove. Every item featured was screen worn by Twilight actors or their stunt doubles, so there’s a level of authenticity and star power that you don’t get when you buy something on eBay. But that’s not what excites me about this.

I’m excited because some of these items present once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

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This dress, which Alice Cullen wore in Breaking Dawn: Part II, is custom made – no wonder I couldn’t find it on eBay!

Many of the pieces for sale were created or customized just for the film. You can’t find them anywhere else. You could own Bella’s blood-stained wedding dress! You could own the wall of graduation caps, or Aro’s Volturi throne, or the costumes owned by the Amazonian Coven! As a fan, that’s an unreal prospect. When do we ever get opportunities like this?

Putting the star factor aside, I’m also excited because there are important nuggets of information to be found all over these auctions. For example, almost every Alice auction comes paired with a costume tag that includes brand information for every piece Alice wore as part of that particular costume. For people like me, who have spent a long time researching select costume pieces to no avail, that’s a big deal.

These  tags are helping costumers everywhere identify these pieces and giving them an opportunity to buy affordable versions in their own sizes. And alongside those tags are beautifully high-resolution photos, allowing us to see details that we couldn’t glean from film screen captures.

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Take the Shipley Halmos trench costume that Alice wore in New Moon, for example. Although the trench was identified only recently, we spent years thinking that Alice wore the Anthropologie Drawing Parallels blouse beneath it. As you can see from the above auction photo, however, the blouse she actually wears is semi-sheer and light grey with very fine pinstripes.

And, based on the accompanying costume tag, we now know the brand: Joie.

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Now that we have all of this information and more, we’re about to have a surge of unspotted Twilight items brought to light. This means we’re better able to make a choice: what am I willing to spend at auction versus what am I able to find on my own? The reality is that not everyone can afford to bid, but rather than being punished for that, the inclusion of these costume tags allows for just about anyone to buy their own version of a particular piece – if they can find it. And I think that’s great.

But if you are thinking of bidding on that once-in-a-lifetime piece, like I am, just remember the following:

  • Set a budget, but be realistic. These pieces are rare, and you will have stiff competition. You won’t be getting items for $100 or less. Every auction includes an estimate of the price they’re expected to go for, and if that number makes you uncomfortable, don’t bid.
  • But remember… you have six months to pay the full price of your item. The Prop Store and Summit Entertainment are generously allowing us to pay for these items in installments.
  • Consider all the fees. If you’re bidding online, you’re paying an extra 25% on top of the price of your winning auction. This includes the fee taken by the auction house itself (20%), buyer’s expenses (3%) and credit card processing fees (2%). And don’t forget shipping costs, too.
  • There’s something for everyone, and it might not be clothing. These items are expensive, so many people will be hesitant to bid on items they can’t wear in their everyday life or won’t fit into. Even if you aren’t the same size as Kristen Stewart or Ashley Greene, there are over 900 lots to choose from. There’s something out there for everyone!
  • Consider the reality. Before you drop thousands of dollars on Edward’s Cullen crest cuff, ask yourself how that item fits into your life and what you’re going to do with it.

…Or don’t. If you have the money, go nuts. Who am I to judge?

Just be aware that if you’re bidding on any Alice pieces from Breaking Dawn, you might be bidding against me. And I’ve been told that I’m a frightening little monster. 😉

xoxo,
Alice

 

 

 

 

Forever Twilight in Forks

I don’t often talk about my online Twilight life with people I know in the real world. Inevitably, they don’t understand. Of course, there will always be people who are supportive – people who think it’s cool or unique or quirky – but largely, the response from my peers and family is confusion.

I’m a woman in my 20s with a thriving career, a fiance and my own home. I’m getting married in 2018 and I have a close social circle. I have my life together. And because cosplay represents escapism to people who don’t understand its full breadth, I’m often faced with the question of “why do you keep doing the Twilight thing when you have so much else going on? Why would you use your vacation time every year to go to Forks so you can pretend to be a vampire?”

I’ll tell you why.

Sassy AliceBecause it’s fun – THAT’S why!

My first trip to Forks was in 2010 with Christilynn of Inside Bella’s Closet, who’s one of my best friends to this day. But I didn’t return to Forks in an official Alice Cullen capacity until Stephenie Meyer Day 2013. Now called Forever Twilight in Forks, my yearly excursion to Forks is a weekend-long festival that celebrates all things Twilight – right where the magic began.

The first time I visited the town, I was enthralled by its beauty – and yes, Bella, by how green it was. As soon as you descend upon Forks, the mist starts rolling in – even if the weather was entirely clear moments before. For the first time, I could relate to Bella while I was there. Like her, I grew up in a big city. I would find the transition to a small town difficult, too. I could feel her isolation, her sense of resigned acceptance, in exiling herself to Forks for her mom’s sake. Being there added another dimension to the story. And when the mist was particularly thick, you could almost – almost – expect a vampire to step through it.

It was the most beautiful place I’d ever been. And every year, Forever Twilight in Forks strives to capture that magic and bottle it as an experience for fans.

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There aren’t many safe spaces left where being a Twilight fan won’t result in being mocked or judged. Official Twilight conventions no longer exist, and these days, it’s up to fans – and the city of Forks – to keep that luster alive. And they do. Year after year, hundreds of fans flock to Forks during Bella’s birthday weekend to meet other Twilight fans, explore the Pacific Northwest, and yes – even have their photo taken with pseudo-vampires like me.

So why do I keep returning to Forever Twilight in Forks?

Because Twilight fans are an amazing group of people. Because the commitment that Forks has shown in bringing the franchise to life for fans is admirable. Because it’s fun, and it allows attendees to reconnect to the fandom and characters they love without fear of judgment. Because seeing Alice Cullen and her family makes a beloved series feel real for the people who need it most – if only for a split second.

Where else could you attend a Volterra-themed masquerade ball with actual Volturi in attendance? Where else could you attend Bella’s birthday party and have her sheepishly hand you a slice of cake? Where else could you visit the real Cullen House and be greeted on the porch by Esme, with Edward seated at the piano inside?

Those experiences are unique to Forever Twilight in Forks. And that – that is why I keep going back.

We all want to belong somewhere. And Forever Twilight in Forks is that somewhere for Twilight fans.

xoxo,
Alice

Forever Twilight in Forks 2016 is hosted in Forks, Washington from September 7 – 11. Visit http://www.forevertwilightinforks.com for the official event schedule and to purchase event tickets.

 

 

Your dream Alice Cullen

I read Twilight before I saw the film. I read Twilight before the movie cast was announced and the faces of actors replaced the fantasy versions of the Cullens I’d created for myself. And while it’s been easy for me to re-read Twilight and imagine certain actors in their roles – Kellan Lutz as Emmett, for example – I’ve never gone back to the novels and pictured Ashley Greene as Alice.

To be clear: Ashley Greene is stunning. Her portrayal of Alice was sweet and she made the best of the role she earned. But she isn’t who I imagined as Alice – not even close.

Why? I think it comes down to Alice’s aesthetic in the films.

Based on Stephenie’s description of Alice, I pictured her as an eccentric: her hair pointing in every direction, her clothing a fashionable mishmash of styles that only she could possibly pull off. Someone who, in real life, would belong with the artists, the musicians, the drama kids at school. Someone with small features, a combination of soft lines and hard angles: sharp cheekbones, large eyes, rounded nose.

In the film, Alice looked too coiffed to be the strange one, the frightening little monster. Every hair was in place, perfectly flipped and teased. Her style in the later films was almost matronly – too old for someone who was supposedly a high school fashion plate. Her style lacked expressive design. Yes, the Cullens possess a certain expertise when it comes to blending in – but despite that, the weird one, the little one, always manages to stand out.

When I’m portraying Alice, I take my cues from her film portrayal. That’s what everyone has the most visual reference for and what they expect to see. As a collective, Ashley Greene’s casting wiped our imaginations clean of whoever it was we pictured when we first read Twilight.

But for me, my perfect image of Alice is out there – and no, it isn’t me.

So, age and realism aside, who do I think embodies Alice’s aesthetic best?

Winona Ryder

Winona Ryder

To me, Winona Ryder – in a perfect world – would have been an amazing Alice Cullen. She’s tiny, striking, and looks fantastic with cropped hair. A real pixie cut, slightly unkempt. There’s an edginess to her that suggests the frightening little monster – that although she’s beautiful, she’s also different in a way that’s almost imperceptible.

Audrey Tautou

Audrey-Tautou

Audrey Tautou is a slightly sweeter-looking Alice Cullen: Alice as the ingenue. Like Winona, she’s small and looks striking with short hair. She’s Alice as best friend, the vulnerable Alice who woke up alone after being changed. I can easily imagine her meeting Jasper at a diner in Philadelphia.

Rachael Leigh Cook

Rachael Leigh Cook

My third choice – although there’s no real order – was also who Stephenie Meyer imagined as Alice, so I guess I’m on the right track. And Rachael Leigh Cook might actually have played Alice if the films were made during a different time. She’s spunky Alice, pretty and playful. The Alice who would instigate an argument with Edward just to irritate him.

All of my picks for Alice looks fairly similar, which says to me that I definitely have a type. But maybe your Alice looked different, and that’s completely okay, too. Who did you imagine as Alice? Or has it always been Ashley Greene for you?

Tell me in the comments!

xoxo,
Alice

It’s been a while, but I’m back with a new episode of my YouTube web series, Dear Bella!

In this episode, Alice attempts to share some fashion wisdom with Bella – while acknowledging that Bella just isn’t mature enough yet to become a fashionista. Through five helpful fashion tips, Alice introduces Bella to the reality that Bella – like Alice herself! – is a petite woman and needs to be dressing properly for her proportions.

Check it out and share – these tips can apply to anyone, and I’ve been wanting to explore the concept of how Alice deals with being “extra petite” while refusing to compromise her fashion sensibilities.

xoxo,
Alice

Dear Bella - Fashion Tips, Life TipsClick the picture above to watch Dear Bella #8!