Who knew a seemingly classic Red Dress with a modern twist would provide me with so many beautiful opportunities to represent it from coast to coast? Well, apparently my best friend in the world, Tony, did – because without his encouragement as we passed by the inviting craft and street fair of lovely Astoria after exiting our adorable Airbnb, I wouldn’t have stopped to try it on, subsequently fall in love, haggle the price down in a way my Jewish Grandmother would be proud of (shout out to my Safta Rita, the thrifting Queen with impeccable taste), and walk away only $8 later with one of the now main characters of my closet! This Red Dress dares to gloriously hug my curves with its horizontal stripes (*gasp* sorry, not sorry, to burst that body negative myth for you, but stripes are for all shapes and sizes) and show off my skin sexily with it’s open neckline and high to low skirting style.


(Photographer: Sada Reed)

The first thing I did after purchasing the dress was to throw it on over my Olive colored leggings, and along with my favorite pair of studded cowgirl-meets-city-girl boots and Ray Ban-inspired sunnies, called it an ensemble extraordinaire! That day, it felt like Tony and I took over Manhattan, or at least a good portion of Central Park, in all of it’s blossoming Springtime glory, serving as our own personal backdrop and runway (a.k.a. #StoryOfMyLife).






The first set of photos you see here were taken almost exactly one year ago, and provide you with my own personal New York styling state of mind. The second set of photos were taken just last weekend while back in ye olde LA stomping grounds of my beloved Venice Beach. This traveling photo diary showcases the power that one Red Dress has to take over two coasts, one year apart, providing us with this epic #FlashbackFriday full circle fashion moment!

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(Photographer: Myself)

Ethereal Floral Headpiece + Grimy Subway Station = Manhattan Magic

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(this and following photo taken by: Anthony Palumbo)

In this moment I was the Queen of my own urban jungle – owning all the spontaneous energy that this one-of-a-kind city has to offer!

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Rachel in Wonderland doesn’t begin to sum up my #stopdropandyoga mushroom moment with the Mad Hatter! One thing I know for sure is I like it when my fashion sense gets curiouser and curiouser; looking fancy as fuck whilst still being able to stretch out, let my belly breathe, and be comfortable in my own beautiful body at any moment, is quintessential to my fashion existence.


(Photographer: Myself)

Back on the public transit for an experience totally oppositional to the many negative ones I have on BART – every time I visit I just want to scream, “I fucking love you New Yorkers – you people just get it!” They have surely seen it all, done it all, and been it all, and are thusly shocked by very little (quite refreshing). They also know how to enter a subway car and leave enough space for every passenger – sometimes even providing entertainment in the form of talented dancers, or dare I mention actually speaking to one another and exhibiting movement of any kind during rides!? Bottom line: I felt totally free to be me, even in this flashier dress that called attention to my sexiness, and I will always consider NYC to be one of the realest runways out there for me to slayyyyy each time I return (shout out to all my beloved Wheaton College alumni New Yorkers – you know who you are boos)!


(all LA photos by Photographer: Sada Reed)

And just like that, I am back to the future where the Venice Beach bike path meets the boardwalk and things start to get freaky real quick! For nearly two years I paraded around these parts, but being back here in my Red Dress felt like pure home.


I am a lover of much socal flora and fauna in general, but bougainvillea above all else speak to that fiery spark in my soul!


At any given moment, on any given day in Venice, you could find me strolling on the canals. Whether solo or with my soul mate, this is one of my happiest places in all the world…so I can’t give away its secrets too much here!


Ethereal yet ferocious, this photo captures exactly how I feel about this sacred space, which is why I am serving up ‘Goddess of the Galaxies Realness’ – proving that this treasured Red Dress of mine isn’t just bi-coastal, it’s Universal (and I can’t wait to have more Bay Area adventures in it)!


captured here with my soul sister Heidi Rushforth, designer and creator of Free Bohemia Jewelry and Nasty Gold Apparel (*future collaboration in the works!*)


*Follow more of my Photographic Adventures on my Instagram: @somewhere_under_the_rainbow, and send all Body Positive tips my way for possible future use in an article: rachel@wyvmag.com*