Tuesday, April 29, 2014

"You've Got The Music In You, Don't You?"

East Village is no doubt one of the most unique and exciting places to explore, wine, or dine. Just walking through for a short time with Ben Zweig, we stumbled upon so much colorful graffiti and a small garden we didn't know existed. I am so excited that it's crop top season again! If anyone would like me to, I can do a tutorial on this simple type of bustier you can make in a couple hours if you have basic sewing skills. It's easy, comfortable to wear and requires elastic instead of a zipper. Leave a comment on here or my social media if you would find it helpful. 

Sorry for my angry faces- this is why I'm a better designer/stylist and writer than model, but hey, I try! I promise I was having a ton of fun and was happy on the inside. And, a bunch of teenage boys were yelling things at us so that didn't help things at one of the locations. 

Photography: Ben Zweig

Outfit Highlights: Vera Wang for Kohl's cardigan, handmade crop top, Modcloth skirt, and Gap flats

Style Tip: People think that showing skin can be "trashy" but not at all! If you wear a crop top that fits well with a high-waisted skirt, especially one that flares out you are totally daytime appropriate and still ladylike in my opinion. Showing a couple inches is cute and looks a little retro. If it makes you more comfortable or the wind is blowing, throw a cardigan on.

Song of the Day: "West Coast" by Lana Del Rey because I cannot WAIT for the new album to come out! Every song on the last one was great which is so rare for me to personally find on any album, so that really excites me.

Friday, April 25, 2014

"Love Like A Sunset"

I wouldn't normally wear a white dress with bright tights, but when it has a floral print with a couple subtle yet bright colors, I thought that it would be a fun pairing! If you don't already live in New York City and know this, the next time you visit check out the garment district for pop-up sale shops. I've found fun dresses such as this one, and nice bags from stores that are either pop-up shops, extensions of factories, or discount show rooms. This particular dress is from around the Herald Square area, but the entire district ranges from the mid 20's to high 40's in terms of streets, and would go from about 8th avenue to Broadway. Usually they are factories with an excess of products trying to sell them quick and cheaply so they are fun to browse for amazing deals. However, don't pay too much because often these kinds of places let you haggle. If you want somewhat cheaply priced quality, go to a designer sample sale. Though I don't care about brands too much, I would rather pay for something that I know for a fact is a quality name than a random tag in a somewhat sketchy garment district shop! Also, be sure there are no major imperfections since you will not be able to return it. I wouldn't pay more for 40 for a bag and 30 for an (amazing) dress from these sorts of stores to be honest. At the really cheap ones, you can find garments for 10 and it is so much fun to just get that type of deal and have something new to wear a few times!

This is the second series of photographs that I took with Ben Zweig. The last two sets are coming for next week's blogposts, and those are large but amazing sets of photos. Stay tuned because I can't wait to share them!

Photography: Ben Zweig

Outfit Highlights: Dress from a pop-up garment district sale shop, my mom's old pendant, booties from DSW, and tights from Uniqlo

Song of the Day: "Love Like A Sunset" by Phoenix 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"Don't You See Your Dreams Lie Right In The Palm Of Your Hand?"

It's amazing to have gone to school in my hometown of Connecticut with such a talented person as Ben Zweig. We were in school together since we were very young, both singing in choir throughout the years. I told him that I was looking to work with a broader range of photographers for my blog and that I had seen his fantastic work on his food blog. I didn't have a true grasp of his passion for photography until I met with him in person and saw the way he works. I'm simple honored that he photographed me and it was such fun to spend Easter Sunday shooting with him. I'll be sharing the sets of photos from the springtime themed shoot over the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned. In the mean time, please check out his website and learn more about Ben Zweig and his talents!

This look consists of a mish-mash of pieces! The blouse is from Maurice's from years ago. It used to be long-sleeved but it got damaged and my mother shortened it for me. It's special to me because first of all, it's hard to find pretty pieces that bright turquoise color, and secondly because I met my boyfriend Ben (Martini) when I was wearing it! Is it weird that I remember life through a series of outfits? With very important memories I remember exactly what I wore, no photographs needed. The printed shift dress was quickly and simply made by me out of some fabric my mother gave me from a yard sale that she didn't like but I just loved of course! The "necklace" is a drapery piece from my crazy high school days when I would go with my mother to interior design shops and get items for the home and make them into wearable pieces. Even though they would probably say I was Holly Hobbie or something on Project Runway, I feel so "me" in this slightly retro-feeling and colorful look and what's a better feeling than that? 

Photography: Ben Zweig 

Outfit highlights: Altered sheer blouse, handmade shift dress, and an interior design piece I made into a necklace. 

Song of the Day: "Ordinary Day" by Vanessa Carlton

Monday, April 21, 2014

My Brand New Youtube Channel!

I decided to start a youtube channel for a number of reasons. I wanted something else to do in a tiny apartment when I'm between my freelance gigs, and while I'd really like to sew more garments and open an Etsy shop or something of the sort I honestly don't have room! Welcome to living in midtown, Manhattan and being a young, creative professional, sigh. Anyway, when I was home at my parents' house doing physical therapy for a minor knee injury, I was really missing my friends, so I started watching youtube videos of people around my age, just hanging out and doing funny things. After a few days, I felt like I had become friends with Zoella (Zoe Sugg) and her gang of mostly British youtubers (Alfie, Tanya, Jim, Joe, Marcus, Caspar, Tyler, etc.). I thought it was super cool of them to put themselves out there and have a good laugh or inspire people, and seemed like something I could try! It would be especially fun to get friends or my boyfriend in my videos and then be able to watch it when I missed them and we were far away. Part of me almost thinks that everyone should have their own blog and youtube channel! They're great forms of self expression.

Anyway, I've always had a secret desire (I have a ton of secret desires, it's funny), to learn how to make simple videos but I never had the time to take a video class in high school or college. I don't plan to be a real filmmaker and learn to make any hardcore, really professional videos- if I was going to go into another side of the film production world it would certainly not be cinematography, it would have to be writing or producing! However, it's amazing what a simple camera, iMovie, and your imagination can create. I love trying new things, so all in all it just makes sense for me to give youtube a shot, plus my speaking and pronunciation has always been something I've felt that I needed to work on. It also sort of relates to my blog, as some of the bloggers I follow do both. It's great to see a side of someone through their writing or lifestyle or fashion photos, but video can open up a whole new world of possibility and allow you to really feel like you're friends!

While this is a fashion blog and some of the videos or vlogging I will do will relate to fashion and style, I obviously have a wide range of interests and I'm not sure if I should post every new video on here or just the ones related to fashion. I'm especially interested in filming any trips I might go on, which is called "travel vlogging", but I also want to try funny challenges with friends and my boyfriend. My boyfriend, Ben, is also starting a youtube channel which I'm excited to share and talk about when the time is right! I have a bunch of footage to still go through of videos and vlogs, but in the meantime, I have four videos up on my channel that I will link to here so far! I made most of them a few weeks ago but figured I would have to share them with my friends and blog community eventually, so secret's out and here it goes.

My First Video: About Me and My Channel

My First Haul Video: Charming Charlie, Kohl's, Sparkle, and Marshall's Finds!

Boyfriend and Girlfriend Tag with Ben (and lots of giggling)

Thanks for reading, and hopefully watching my first few videos! I really appreciate it, and would love any feedback (I know, I need to work on sound quality!) or suggestions for new video ideas. XOXO! 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

"How Many Acres and How Much Light, Tucked in the Woods and Out of Sight"

I love red, white and blue and Americana style, but it's hard to be patriotic in a non-cheesy way. It's not the Fourth of July or anything but a girl can still show her love of her country in a subtle way. Wearing two of the three colors and then adding the other as an accessory is a great option!
I got this vintage red and white floral skirt from one of the L Train Thrift Shops, a bunch of cheap but awesome vintage stores along the L Subway line in downtown NYC and Brooklyn. Wrap skirts are one of my favorite inventions ever because they fit so many different people well depending how tight you tie it! I paired it with a Topshop blouse, navy and white two-tone shoes, and some jewelry that was gifted to me. 

Photography: My camera timer! :) 

Outfit Highlights: Topshop shirt and vintage red skirt

Outfit tips: If you don't have any wrap skirts in your closet, you're missing out! They'll fit you whether you gain or lose weight and are so easy to throw on over a simple shirt. 

Song of the Day: "Mushaboom" by Feist

(Still blogging on my phone, long story, so no video but thank goodness for the decent blogger app on my iPhone anyway!) 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"I Still Remember..."

This past Saturday I ventured to Bryant Park to see some flowers blooming, as the weather was glorious all weekend long. I also saw the new jewelry pieces that will soon be auctioned off at Christie's Auction House, and found some more eggs that are part of the New York Fabrege Egg Hunt! I had to wear a very colorful, Spring- appropriate outfit, of course.

I paired a pink and white striped blouse with a flowery skirt from Tibi. I adore this Tibi skirt that is one of the new pieces I got from a costume wardrobe sale that I helped with on a recent television set. That's one of the fantastic job perks- the cheap or free designer clothes you get working in film costumes! The blue printed skirt features little white bunny rabbits which is perfect for Easter coming up soon. I can't wait to wear it again for the holiday! 

Photography: Maryann Samreth

Outfit Highlights: Skirt by Tibi and handmade belt by my mother 

Style Tip: Mix colorful prints! Stripes and florals with at least one of the same colors in both are a lot of fun to pair together. 

Song of the Day: "I Still Remember" by Bloc Party. I'm unfortunately blogging on my phone because I don't have my computer charger at the moment, and will put up this video link later! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

"To Tommy, From Zooey"- New Macy's Collection Panel with Zooey Deschanel and Tommy Hilfiger

It's no secret that I'm a huge Zooey Deschanel fan when it comes to her music and acting roles, as well as her fabulous personal style. I can't think of a better role model for girls trying to find the balance between being feminine and wearing dresses, and being strong and independent. She was one of the founders of a website called HelloGiggles, which helps girls realize that you can do both at once! Her new line of dresses are for a modern woman who likes to be girly and wear vintage-inspired pieces. She designed the collection with Tommy Hilfiger, and it was great to attend the discussion for the collection launch at Macys this Monday evening and hear about what went into their process.

The collection is comprised of sixteen dresses total, and designed around the color scheme of red, blue, and white. Having two quintessential American icons come together for a such a cute and preppy collection had splendid results and I feel like their design aesthetics worked well together. They call the theme of the collection "mod-ical", pulling together the words "mod" and nautical". 

When Zooey imagined the collection, she said her dream was to do a line of dresses. She said that she does in fact wear pants (shocker!) but for her, dresses are so easy to wear. Along with Mr. Hilfiger and the design team, they had to find the right length for the pieces so they would be stylish and not uncomfortable. Mr. Hilfiger explained that Zooey played a huge role in the design process, from choosing the shapes to finalizing details and picking out buttons. This is always impressive to hear when it comes to busy celebrities "designing" lines for various stores and brands, so I applaud Zooey for it. The pieces are very 1960's and 70's-inspired, and also use stripes in a new and interesting way. Ms. Deschanel explained that stripes were very close to her heart, but she hadn't seen them used creatively very often and wanted to change that. 

Several of the audience members were wearing dresses from the new line, and went up on stage to display them to the crowd! I personally adore the collection, and I can't think of better pieces that sum up the idea of being a "Modern Romantic", just like myself. Check out the collection at Macy's today. The dresses range from $98- $199. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Fashion In Technology Panel with "In Style" Magazine, asap54, Farfetch.com, and Fashionista.com

Last night at the Apple Store in Soho I attended a Fashion in Technology panel with Ariel Foxman, editor of "In Style" magazine, Daniela Cecillo of asap54, and Jose Neves of Farfetch.comhttp://www.farfetch.com/; facilitated by Lauren Indvik of Fashionista.com. They discussed how  shopping and fashion marketing are continuously changing in the modern age and where they think fashion is headed as new technologies develop. 

"In Style" magazine has 11 million monthly readers including those on their mobile app and social media websites. In their magazine, they refer their readers to whatever source has the highest merchandise count, whether it is online, in a department store like Saks, or elsewhere. Ariel Foxman, editor, says that fashion is a tricky system today, where photos are seen worldwide before the merchandise hits the store. However, trend itself isn't any more accessible- there are just more platforms now to buy or find something or chat with others that have a view about a product. The downside is that it's much harder to find the right information for yourself and "In Style" is an example of a professional editorial that can do this for you. 

Jose Neves of Farfetch.com expanded on this by discussing how everything has changed in the way that people get inspired. Bloggers create trends more quickly and globally, but there is still old media such as magazines and physical retailers that are the brick and mortar of the industry. There's few very famous brands like Chanel that are not online and people will still go to the store. These are the brick and mortar of fashion. 

Jose explained what Farfetch.com can do that a brick and mortar store can't. The website helps you shop boutiques that are otherwise not available online, such as in Meatpacking and SoHo here in the city. His website is expanding quickly, with many people discovering the website through Polyvore.com or Shopstyle.com. The millennial consumer thinks that if a product is available somewhere it should be or is available everywhere. Kids these days don't think on or offline are separate and the same goes for how they use taxis or eat at restaurants with different apps and websites. Fashion is a little behind but it is getting there. 

Daniela Cecillo explained the functionality of her popular app, asap54, and where it fit into the discussion. If you see something you like, like a dress, then you can take a photo of it and upload it to the app. The app will find that or similar things for you, as well as provide a social, interactive experience with other users. It also works with food and art and shows where to obtain what you're looking for, much like a magazine but with more options. There used to be no way to buy things when Daniela lived in Brazil, but now with online shopping and shipping options, there's endless opportunities and ways to shop. She also added that a lot of times sales associates look you up and down and make you feel uncomfortable in stores, and that time constraints are another reason people like herself online shop. 

There are still limits with what is possible these days and reasons we must have physical stores. Of course, as Ariel pointed out, nothing can put you in the fitting room and a person's biggest concern is that a product won't fit properly. Customers only want to do so much overnight delivery and returning, though he believes that there is a really great solution out there to solve the problem. He mentioned the possibilities behind 3D printing, and that in the future this might be possible at home. A person could manufacture it with their own machine when they're ready to buy a garment, and chance details until they like it, reprinting it along the way. This is somewhere in the future but likely to happen eventually. 

The panel closed with a discussion about how technology is implemented in stores. Jose talked about the concept of getting in line at one counter, and how it is already ancient compared to how far society has progresses. It really shouldn't be the case anymore, and customers should always be able to pay with their card and phone. Ariel spoke about how while many store like to show off all their technology implemented in the store, the sales teams need to better learn how to editorialize the products and not overload it unless it has true benefits to those shopping. 

I look forward to seeing how the technology and ideas they spoke about come about as fashion and technology progress together. It's an exciting time, with an ever-expanding market and new ways to bridge the gap between fashion and consumers. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

"It's a Hard Parade, Just Be Courageous..."

I am feeling in such a spring-y mood lately. Just walking around the city this evening with 60-degree weather, seeing everyone alive and enjoying the sun after work made me so happy. I love nothing more than weather around 65 Fahrenheit, wearing a light jacket and feeling a soft breeze. While winter is fun for the holiday cheer and other winter activities around New York, nothing compares to everything there is to do when it's nice out. My favorite spring and summer activities in New York include Smorgasburg (a delectable food festival in Brooklyn), rooftop bars including two of my favorites, The Wythe Hotel and The Standard Hotel, picnics in the park (Central Park or a small greenspace near home), and walks along the East or West Side Paths. This year I hope to make it to the free outdoor movie screenings in Brooklyn Bridge Park in Dumbo with a view of the city, visits to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Bronx Zoo, as well as a host of free concerts, many of them outdoors! 

Spring and summer are also a time to show off your cutest blouses, such as this one from LC by Lauren Conrad! The peter pan collar and bow print was too cute to pass up. I wore it with a bow bracelet and a bow belt since I'm never one for playing a theme subtly. I paired it with a black and white herringbone pencil skirt that I feel like I've had forever (because it matches everything!) with gray tights and my favorite black bow flats. What does your Spring wardrobe consist of? 

Photography: Benjamin Benson

Outfit Highlights: LC by Lauren Conrad blouse from Kohl's, bow belt from Forever21, bow bracelet from Charming Charlie, and flats by Katie and Kelly from DSW. 

Style Tip: Wear what's displayed in your outfit's print, whether it's bows in this case or flowers (flowers in your hair!) or an animal (an animal ring, perhaps). 

Song of the Day: "Backyards" by Broken Social Scene since you should be creative and discover your own backyard this Spring whether or not you live in a city!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

"Laugh Until Our Ribs Get Tired..."

I went to Washington, DC this past weekend to visit my boyfriend and was delighted that the cherry blossoms were beginning to come in! Although they weren't completely at peak bloom, there were many white and soft pink flowers to see around the city and adjacent towns. This simple yet girly outfit was the perfect weekend ensemble to welcome in sunshine and flowers. I made this floral skirt years ago, and paired it with a polka dot blouse, cardigan, and keds. A heidi-style braid and some ladylike accessories complete the look!

Photography: Ben Martini

Outfit Highlights: Gap Cardigan, Keds, and jewelry from Charming Charlie

Style Tip: Don't be afraid to add some sparkly, fancy accessories to a look you're going to add comfy, cute sneakers to- it keeps it interesting! 

Song of the Day: "Ribs" by Lorde

Thursday, April 3, 2014

"I'm So Fancy, You Already Know"

I love this dress because it's easy to wear to work, and then out! It would be appropriate for winter and summer, which is an element that I especially like in garments. The leather panel and stretchy tweed fabric combination is gorgeous. I like shift dresses, but this one isn't unflattering or too unfitted like so many of them are. It's stylish and would work well on many body types, and can be easily belted if you like. I paired some gold jewelry with it, including a couple bracelets and a gold and a small rhinestone collar necklace. My beloved chain and bow bag was the perfect final accessory. Wearing my hair up in a loose but classic style allows the focus to really be on the look. Cheers to shift dresses and happy hours outside from now on! 

Photography: Benjamin Benson

Dress: Apt. 9 by Kohl's and vintage necklace

Style Tip: Wearing sparkly and/or gold accessories with black really pops!

Song of the Day: "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea