2 Girls, 8 Looks: An L.A. Blogging Duo Shows Off Their Irreverent Style

[UPDATE: This story was originally published on July 17.]
Considering the endless sea of style-snapping chicks on the web, it can be pretty tough to make our blogger radars go ballistic. But, when we recently got a heads up on the blog The Smoking Nuns, that's precisely what happened.
Holding positions as collections manager at the FIDM Museum and Galleries and the head designer for jewelry line Much Too Much, blogging babes Dani Killam and Blair George are legit fashion-industry insiders — and it shows. Not only that, but their playful senses of humor permeate through every post on their twice-as-nice site, with each daring outfit feeling like a winning fashion experiment. We caught up with the moxie-laden ladies and snapped some super-fun pics while we were at it. Click through to meet your new quirky-cool authors of inspiration.
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Photographed by Lani Trock
1 of 19
How did your friendship start? Do you ever disagree with the others' outfit choices?

Dani (left): "We met in college at UC Santa Cruz and have been going strong for nine years! I never disagree with what Blair wears — I love her style and look forward to seeing what she chooses when we shoot. The fact that we don’t have the exact same sense of style makes us dynamic." 

Blair (right): "I love Dani’s styling because it often inspires me to go farther than I would on my own. Plus, if she ever wears something that I don’t relate to, I know she's reaching an audience that I wouldn’t have. Hopefully, if our readers don’t relate to my particular style, they will to Dani's, and vice versa."

On Dani: Silence and Noise Blazer, Shareen Again Two-Piece Ensemble, H&M Baseball Cap and Cocktail Ring, Forever 21 Bangles, Fioni Heels.

On Blair: Forever 21 Blazer, Vintage Bathing Suit Top, Forever 21 Shorts, George & Laurel Necklace, Love Culture Shoes, ASOS Rings, H&M Bangles.

Photographed by Lani Trock
2 of 19
What made you decide to start your blog?

Dani: "Blair and I established The Smoking Nuns because it was an easy way for us to share our different points of view. We find it very fulfilling to get together, discuss looks, shoot, and edit — it’s a process that builds our creative voice. "

Photographed by Lani Trock
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3 of 19
What do you think has been the most groundbreaking moment in fashion and why?

Dani: "It has to be when Paul Poiret took women out of their corsets, gave them pants, and stuck turbans on their heads. This, to me, was a turning point in fashion in terms of the possibilities of personal style."

Photographed by Lani Trock
4 of 19
Dani and Blair kick up their very stylish heels in their Los Feliz neighborhood.

Photographed by Lani Trock
5 of 19
What do you think it is about L.A. that fosters an irreverence in regards to style?

Blair: "L.A. is known as a city full of young and aspiring artists, but much of the focus in the fashion industry is on red-carpet looks. I think the creativity is already here, we just need to change where the spotlight is shining."

Photographed by Lani Trock
6 of 19
Who would you anoint the most powerful style icons ever?

Dani: "Diana Vreeland, Jackie Kennedy, and Anna Dello Russo."

Blair: "Iris Apfel, Diane Kruger, and Solange Knowles. Basically, any woman that shows confidence, versatility, and inventiveness is a hero of mine. I also particularly love those ladies over at Advanced Style."

On Dani: American Apparel Bodysuit, Vintage Shorts, Silence and Noise Vest, H&M Belt, Vintage Earrings, Aldo Heels.

On Blair: Vintage Skirt and Vest found at Shareen, H&M Necklace, Vintage Shoes, George & Laurel Cocktail Ring, Forever 21 Knuckle Ring.

Photographed by Lani Trock
7 of 19
At what media outlets do you find inspiration?

Dani: "The Style Section of The New York Times is my favorite thing to read. That, combined with my personal collection of fashion history books, gives me plenty of inspiration.

Photographed by Lani Trock
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8 of 19
Which brand do you find aligns most with your personal aesthetic?

Dani: "It would have to be the love child of Thom Browne, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Stella McCartney."

Blair: "For me, it would be Kenneth Jay Lane mixed with Marc Jacobs and a dash of Versace. I love the opulent classicism of KJL, the vibrant sex appeal of Versace, and the quirkiness and experimentalism of Marc Jacobs."

Photographed by Lani Trock
9 of 19
What's your approach to dressing when you look at the closet in the morning?

Blair: "I usually start with a single piece that I’m excited about and build off of that. Whether it’s a piece of jewelry or a pair of shoes, I use that item as a building block then construct an outfit with juxtaposing patterns, colors, and textures."  

Photographed by Lani Trock
10 of 19
Who do you think is killing it in the fashion industry in L.A. right now?

Dani: ""Because of the blog, we've had the opportunity to work with many of L.A.’s up-and-coming designers. We love local brands like AGAIN, and are longtime fans of CC Skye."

Photographed by Lani Trock
11 of 19
What's a typical day like in your respective jobs?

Dani: "I'm the collections manager at the FIDM Museum. We have a historic fashion collection of around 13,000 objects, and my role is to make sure items are cataloged and housed properly. I also help with installations and curatorial research. The job can have long hours, but I get to hang out with Schiaparelli and Vionnet on a regular basis!"

Blair: "I'm a designer at a jewelry company called Much Too Much — I work with companies like Urban Outfitters, Free People, Bebe, Nasty Gal, Forever 21, and Pacific Sunwear. A day in the office entails research on the major and minor fashion trends throughout the year and interpreting those trends into jewelry. We also do private-label design for developing artists in the area."

On Dani: Vintage Blazer, Diane Von Furstenberg Dress, Erika Walton Bracelet.

On Blair: Urban Outfitters Denim Blouse, American Apparel Bowtie, Forever 21 Necklace, Virgin Only Jeans, Vintage Clutch with Vintage Brooch, CC Skye Cuff, Forever 21 Ring.


Photographed by Lani Trock
12 of 19
What are your fave stores in L.A.?

Blair: "For clothing I love Zara, Nasty Gal, H&M, and Goodwill, but when it comes to accessories I hit up the jewelry district. As for vintage, you'll find me on any given weekend at the Melrose Trading Post or Silver Lake Art Craft & Vintage market searching for hidden treasures."

Photographed by Lani Trock
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13 of 19
Let's all just take a moment to reflect on Dani's badass Hot Wheels bracelet. Vroom!

Photographed by Lani Trock
14 of 19
Describe your style in five words.

Dani: "Elegant, funky, humorous, strong, and feminine."

Blair: "Bold, quirky, confident, gaudy, and inventive."

Photographed by Lani Trock
15 of 19
When was your "a-ha" moment when you knew you wanted to work in fashion?

Blair: "I grew up in a family of creative women, so it's been in my blood since birth. My mother and aunts raised me sewing, quilting, and knitting, and I made a lot of my own clothes (I even sewed my formal dresses in high school because I could never find exactly what I wanted in the contemporary stores!). I've always had this yearning to make something unique."

Forver 21 Chevron Wrap Coat, Urban Outfitters Floral Top.

Photographed by Lani Trock
16 of 19
What's been the most memorable moment for the blog so far?

Dani: ""It was pretty awesome when The Smoking Nuns was selected as Google's Blog of Note within the first few months of launching! It gave us a huge boost, and got our name out there even more."

Vintage Top, H&M Jeans and Scarf, Miriam Haskell Earrings, Vintage Brooch, Jeffrey Campbell Heels.

Photographed by Lani Trock
17 of 19
What's your most prized possession?

Dani: "My most prized possession is a jewelry set designed by Miriam Haskell from the '30s. It’s a family heirloom — I’m all about sentimentality and nostalgia."

Photographed by Lani Trock
18 of 19
Tell us a little bit about your jewelry line George & Laurel.

Dani: "We both have a great love for jewelry and the industry knowledge to make this business into a reality. My inspiration usually comes from personalities when designing for George & Laurel — I imagine a kind of woman and her energy. Then, I attempt to convey that feeling through a collection. It's part character study, part fantasy."

Blair: "We're currently launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund our first collection, "Ladies Who Lunch." It reinterprets the conservative female role with a more liberated feel. For example, the color palate was inspired by delicate macaroons, whiskey, ashed cigars, and rare steak. The women who wear these pieces are boisterous and enjoy the fruits of life, while still getting down to business."

On Blair: Forever 21 Chevron Wrap Coat, Urban Outfitters Floral Top, American Apparel Pants, Forever 21 Cuff, ASOS Stacked Rings, Forever 21 Cocktail Ring.

Photographed by Lani Trock
19 of 19
Where do you see yourself in five years?

Dani: "Essentially, I want to be doing what we’re doing now, but with greater resources. I want to continue to be creative, collaborative, and make each other laugh."

Blair: "In five years we'll be planning the George & Laurel Spring '18 collection. After jewelry, I would love to expand into other accessories and possibly interior design. I want my mitts on everything!"

Photographed by Lani Trock
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