Let me start by saying I'm no "expert" in fashion. I've never worked in fashion, never studied it in school. But, I like to think that I have an above average sense of fashion. My friends like borrowing my clothes and my sisters steal them so I'd say that's a good telltale. Recently, New York Fashion Week hit the streets and I followed the new styles and shows via Snapchat, Instagram stories and of course, Vogue's photo slideshows. Vogue has an index with clickable links to photos of each designer's show. It is very helpful when one is deprived of a ticket, as most of us common folk are.
I wouldn't consider myself a fashionista because that seems very professional, I've come up with my own term, fashion-ish-ta. Seems more fitting. Before I get to my runway review...Story time.
I did have one fashion week experience of my own and I must say I was feeling pretty glamorous. One my favorite bloggers, Amber Fillerup Clark, was walking in the Rebecca Minkoff show and posted that she would be having a meet and greet after she hit the runway (ugh, the life.) So I thought, "umm amazing I'll go and meet Amber and my life will be close to complete... this is awesome." I was struttin' myself down to 96 Greene Street, trying to feel confident in my Free People skirt and $3 Charlotte Russe crop top as I passed a man in a full Gucci jumpsuit, when I approached a very long line outside of the Rebecca Minkoff store.
I approached a security guard outside the Rebecca Minkoff store. "Umm hi, is this the line to see Amber?" He looked very confused and replied, "this is the line for the Rebecca Minkoff after party."
I paused thinking my dreams of meeting Amber were crushed. But, I figured I'd ask to go inside anyway...And he said yes. To be fair, I think anyone could go in but small details like that aren't important.
So there I stood, inside the Rebecca Minkoff after party holding a glass of champagne.
And there she was in all her glory...Amber! I definitely cut the line to meet her but I wasn't taking any chances and one must be assertive when meeting a celebrity. Luckily it seemed quite organic because the girl talking to her asked me to take their photo. Hopefully, I didn't act too weird or awkward as I low key...Ok, high key fangirled over her to her. But I told her about my blog and how I love her style and how she is an inspiration and she was just so sweet. I even tweeted at her later and she responded so that's when you know you've made it. I thought all the excitement was over and I was still shaking a little from talking to her when a photographer approached me and asked if I wanted a photo with Rebecca. I embarrassingly said, "Rebecca Minkoff?" as if there was another Rebecca to take a photo with. So in one day, I met two amazing people and I feel that this is a true fashion week accomplishment.
Now to the runway, back to the fashion-ish-ta take. I have picked my favorite and not-so-favorite looks of 2017 New York Fashion Week for you all and again, not an expert but who doesn't love playing fashion police every now and then? Sorry if I offend ~fashion~ but let's be honest, some of these "designs" are quite unsightly.
* All photos are from Vogue and AOL...I have linked the photo slideshows to each.
Best Trend: Sparkle and Shine
So I was into that whole matte trend for .5 seconds but I've always been a glitter kind of girl. I mean seriously who doesn't love a little shine in their life? I've noticed a lot of shimmer and glittery looks in many shows and I am very excited about it.
Worst Trend: The Way oversized
OKAY WHAT IS WITH THE OVERSIZED BAGGY LOOK? Like seriously I don't get what is appealing about an outfit that looks 50 sizes too big. I get form fitting and not skin tight but the whole, "I'm wearing my dad's Sunday best" thing is not cute and it never will be.
Oh, please no trend: Orange is the new black
I'm just not a fan of orange and I see quite a lot of it on the runway...Please fashion gods, please no.
Best: Rebecca Minkoff
Let's start with Rebecca Minkoff because I kinda-sorta know her.
First off, here is the jacket I tried on which I absolutely LOVE but was upwards of $500. By the way, the back says "feminista" and the lettering artist, Brian Kaspr, was at the party with a booth painting anything anyone wanted on the back which was one of the most creative and seriously impressive things I've ever seen. Check out his website because I'm now obsessed with him. Inside the store, there were really cute t-shirts also but I don't see them on the website or in the show. Overall, her clothing and accessories are super wearable. It's not anything insane that only a celebrity could wear, which I think is very appealing. Floral for spring is really nothing new but I love a good floral rocker-chic look. (I also think I need one of those fuzz jackets...thoughts?)
Worst: Jeremy Scott
I don't want to shit on Jeremy too much because I do like some of his looks. That being said, I really don't understand this one trend he used for 3 of his designs. It kind of reminds me of the gems I would use to decorate journals and picture frames when I was 8? Do you feel me on that? It's like those gems were magnified x20 and then glued on black outfits. I just honestly think it looks tacky. I feel like the only reason someone would think this is fashion is the fact it was made by Jeremy Scott. If you saw this in a thrift shop or even TJMaxx wouldn't you send it via Snapchat to all of your friends with the caption "wtf" because I would. Also, do we like the monster thing? Because I could see it being a big thing just not on me.
Gucci wore a tracksuit with loafers, so I wore a tracksuit with loafers. I mean seriously, could there be any better news than tracksuits being back? Should I have saved my Juicy velour sets circa 2008? Mmmm, ok maybe I should not get too ahead of myself. I feel like it's cliche to like the Gucci line but I am also slightly surprised because I expected something insane. Matter of fact, although these pieces are very high fashion, to the right occasion, like when I get invited to a magical ball, I would ask my fairy godmother to put me in that gown. Maybe minus the purple crystal swim cap.
Hahaha haha ha ok sorry what? What's cookin' good lookin? (Sorry, had to.) I really just don't understand how people who design clothes like this get a show in Fashion Week. Honestly, if I was at this show I would have laughed out loud when the lady with the giant floral bow ?shirt? start walking down the runway. Clearly a re-gift. This takes the whole baggy trend to a new level. That dress shirt is legitimately for a giant. And the giant bathrobe? Okay, maybe that is comfortable but seriously wut? The half khaki half black pants would have gone great in the notorious Norfeldt Elementary School Opposite Day. This is a day in kindergarten where people wear things like one sneaker and one sandal. I remember the creative parents taking two pairs of pants and sewing them just like that. So, Norfeldt saw it first, nice try Vaquera. Please send me a list of what buyers said yes to this collection. Please send me the phone number or email of anyone who purchases these clothes because I would really love to understand the appeal. Also, going through this slideshow is scary because many of the model's facial expressions are terrifying! I would start by laughing but then stop right away in fear of being turned into a zombie.
Best: Alice + Olivia
I already like Alice + Olivia, not that I own anything, but in general, this designer Stacey Bendet has always stood out to me as having really cute looks and I am very pleased with the use of embroidery. I have been loving the embroidery look for a while and I am so pumped that it is starting to pop up everywhere. I mean these jeans are killer. I have to admit, my sister Erin was way ahead of the whole bell bottoms thing because she asked for them for Christmas in 2011. I found it questionable then, but the 60s and 70s styles are definitely coming back...and I am not mad about it. Also, check out the second look in the slideshow below. How amazing is that dress? That jacket? And the boots? Everything! Dead. 11/10, Stacey.
Worst: Marc Jacobs
I really wanted to love the Marc Jacobs looks. My first designer purchase was from a Marc by Marc Jacobs store in Providence Town, Cape Cod and I always love his stuff. I was honestly going to look at his show to put it in as a best but then wow was I surprised. These patterns remind me of the 60s disco dress I wore in a High School Pops n' Jazz show that was from a Party City costume set. Also, Marc, why are you on that baggy trend? What has the world come to where women's fashion is an oversized men's collared shirt? What is the Horton Hears A Who Sally O'Malley collar vibe going on? Let's leave that look to the Dr. Seuss character...She wore it better.
That's about all I have for my fashion takes. If you saw any worst or best looks you believe are worthy of sharing, let me know. I can start an ongoing gallery of contributing fashion-ish-ta thoughts because there will never be enough.
It always fascinates me to hear about people's first memories. How do we remember certain experiences from such a young age? My very first memory is from age 3 or 4, I was putting on a puppet show for my mom while she was in the kitchen. In this brief snapshot, there is chair between the entrance of the kitchen opening and living room right by the stairs up to the main level, we lived in a raised ranch at this point, and I had pigtails. But that's all I can remember. Another very early memory I have is of visiting New York City when I was 6 years old. I remember being on the Staten Island Ferry and then on some steps dancing around with my sister Erin by the bay. I remember the skyline because my parents were sure to make a point of the Statue of Liberty and the famous "twin towers." Although we do have photos from this trip, I still remember these two small snapshots. I think sometimes we mix up true memories with photographs or home videos of memories, so it is important to clarify the difference to oneself. But I also think photos can bring back details of memories we have.
In the very first episode of the podcast Serial, Sarah Koenig discusses the reason why we remember certain events and why we also often forget events from only a few days prior. I've often found myself pondering this opening sequence, although it has been about 2 years since I listened to Serial. She opens episode 1 discussing how it is very hard to account for your time. Mundane daily tasks such as, "how you got to work on Monday" and what the weather was, who did you talk to and did you go to a store? If so, did you buy anything? Trying to account for a day is difficult, let alone a day that was 16 years ago. With social media, phone photo archives and text messages, this has become easier because we can look back to spark memories. Only a few photographs document this trip I took to New York in August of 2001, but I am positive that I have a vivid memory of the skyline with the towers.
Sarah Koenig asks teenagers about a day weeks back, and they struggle to remember certain days. She separately asks her nephew Sam and his friends about one day and they all recall it differently. One friend remembers being at a movie with her nephew but he recalls working that night. However, one friend remembers the day clearly because it was the last day of state testing and he had saved up to go to a nightclub. She concludes that if a significant event happens, you remember that plus events that happened throughout the day much better. When nothing significant happens you are not likely to remember.
5 weeks after this visit to New York City, terrorists attacked the World Trade Center. I think people underestimate how much children pick up on because I very clearly remember my mother calling my family frantically. She was so worried because my uncle was in New York City that day. I never got the full story, so I called him yesterday to ask what really happened and what it was like to be there. I have heard versions of the story, but never asked myself.
"Part of the reason everyone was freaking out, is because they couldn't reach me and part of the reason they couldn't reach me is that they were all talking to each other and I couldn't get through. I called a million times but everyone's phone was busy. No one had a mobile phone."
I remember everyone freaking out, and I remember my mom being on the phone the entire time, so that memory checks out.
He was on what is called a "road show" which apparently is when you take a company and list them on a stock exchange before they are owned by multiple institutions. So when you are in this process you travel around the world and tell the company story. The week of 9/11/2001 was the week they happened to be on their New York stop.
This road show was actually the trip he met his wife on. She was a flight attendant and he gave her his card, how cute is that.
Back to the story.
They got to New York the company he was meeting with had an office in the World Trade Center. Now, he can't remember what time or what floor the meeting was on exactly but he does know it was in the morning. So that was the original plan, morning meeting in the World Trade Center on 9/11. At the last second, there was another meeting scheduled for a location in Midtown and since the first company had an office in Midtown as well, they switched the location.
"We had the meeting in the Midtown office and when we walked out of that meeting to go to the next I could see the Twin Towers, even from Midtown, looking down and I was like, 'look there's a fire at the top of the Twin Tower' it was only one tower at this point, but I was like, 'that Tower is on fire.' No one knew what was the cause of the fire. Then we went into the second meeting and it was on a trading floor so there were all glass walls and while the CEO was making the presentation, I could see through the walls that everyone was crowded around a TV. I went over and figured out what was going on so we stopped the meeting and all left."
As they were walking outside, the second plane hit.
"What I remember most was the smell, it smelled so powerfully of burning plastic. It was much more than just the visual of the towers on fire."
Everyone was trying to figure out what to do but he knew they had to get back to the hotel and re-book the rooms since they had already checked out with plans to fly to the next location later in the day. He knew that was not going to happen anymore. Luckily they got the rooms back. At that point, everyone was just trying to figure out what to do. No one had any idea what was really going on.
Once the visuals of the planes came through they were sure it was terrorists but it was terrifying because everything was just so unclear. Everything in New York City was closed and they couldn't leave for two days. The only way to get out of the city was walking because the subways were shut down. They were able to leave two days later because the company had a private jet and flew out in the 45 minute period the sky was open again.
"I was lucky...I'm pretty sure we were going to be halfway up. I don't think we were going to be at the top... But I'm glad I never had to know."
When I asked what was going on my parents told me what happened. My dad also showed me the footage of the planes a few days later. Everyone was talking about it so there was really no hiding this from a kid who clearly knew something was going on. I remember thinking this was an accident and I was confused when I started to figure out it was on purpose. Of course, my parents didn't go into detail about what terrorism was but for the first time, I knew that there are bad people in the world. I always consider this a loss of innocence moment in my life.
On September 11, 2017, I visited the memorial. I wanted to talk to people, ask them why they were there, use their quotes in this post, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. This is one element of journalism I struggle with the most, the compassion for people's emotions. I just didn't want to ruin the day or moment for anyone even though I just want to share a story for the sake of storytelling. As I walked up to the memorial I felt an overwhelming wave of emotion. The kind you feel in the back of your eyes before you tear up. But once I looked over the edge and heard the water and saw the flowers placed out all around the memorial, I felt differently. I could feel the sense of unity and community, it was very special and unique to feel that everyone was there for different reasons, yet all the same to show a pride and respect for the country and the people who not only lost their lives but the people who lost their loved ones.
I feel very fortunate to have this memory of the skyline with the towers, and in a way, I feel that this has always given me a special connection with the City. I imagine that being only 6 years old, I am one of the last generations and age groups to possibly be able to remember the day. Although September 11, 2001, it is a blur of traumatic snapshots, it has also engraved the skyline into my memory. I feel that the reason I have wanted to move here for so long is that I have held onto this compassion for New York my entire life.
So in trying to wrap up all of these thoughts and stories into one, I suppose I'll just leave you with this:
We rarely ever think anything is the last time, we always think there will be more. We think we have forever, but we don't. We never know the significance of a moment in our lives until it becomes a memory. Life is beautiful, then it's ugly, then it's spectacular once again. It can be mundane and routine and then it can shine brighter than every moment before it. But at any moment, whether it be sparkling or seemingly just another day, it is important to remember that just the significance of it existing another second in the universe is a reason to feel blessed to breathe in life itself.
Ok so, remember that time last week I said I wanted to find a place that is more independently owned and less of a chain but still really amazing? I found it. Its name is Loco Coco and it's pretty adorable. My friend Morgan and I were on the hunt for a perfect birthday bowl to celebrate turning 23 and (in quotes) "thriving" and came across Loco Coco a few shops down on the corner of Lexington and East 64th Street. As we stood at the doorway with pink neon lights shining on our faces, we were greeted by a man sitting on the bench outside wearing a Loco Coco's t-shirt. We would soon find out this was the founder/owner, Max. He is only 23 years old and had recently graduated from Northeastern University. He told us that he created this place to add a more healthy and natural spot in the city. He was sick of the chain-like açai bowl spots in New York and thought something different and fresh needed to be born. So here he is now, running the cutest little Açai place I've ever seen. And, I have a feeling there are more to come. (Yes, ever category is going to be 5/5.)
Name: Loco Coco
Location: 835 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10065
There were so many base options to choose from I was almost overwhelmed but with help from Max, I came to the decision of their most popular Açai bowl, "Purple Rain" which has a base of Acai, Banana, Blueberry, Pineapple and Coconut Mylk. I like how they spelled it "mylk" because to be honest I've always been confused why non-dairy products are labeled "milk" because they aren't. Anywho, I have never had a base that has pineapple in it and it was definitely different. It had this sweet and tangy taste to it that, at first, Morgan and I couldn't figure out. But after looking back at the menu and seeing pineapple we had one of those "ah-ha" moments and decided we like it.
The add-ons "purple rain" came with were granola, blueberry, banana, raspberry, chia seeds and coconut flakes but I ended up swapping the raspberries for strawberries and we both added PB because...Well, PB is life and I'm grateful I have a friend who understands this. But, the PB was extra. All of the dry ingredients were in little glass bowls displayed on the counter and it just looked so instagrammable and fresh.
FINALLY. That's all I have to say about this.
Price: $12.51 (With the PB add-on and tax)
This is the most expenive I have gotten, but also the largest by far. And, I didn't have to add the PB.
For starters, Max was really nice but then the people working inside were equally as kind and energetic. One of the guys working saw me taking photos of the place and he goes, "ohhh, yeah! Instagram straight flexin?!" With a huge smile and in a non-judgemental way. I'm like yes, you understand me. Then the girl who was making our bowl was like an artist putting everything on so beautifully and she even asked if we wanted the lids off because she already knew we wanted to take a photo. The inside was all white tile with a neon pink "Loco Coco" sign which is very hip and in. I mean, if you own an açai bowl place you have to know it needs to be a place people can take good photos. If you didn't take a photo of your bowl, did you even have one?
Overall tastiness: 5
Overall, I would say Loco Coco Açai is a huge success on all levels. If I have to take someone in the city to an Açai bowl place, I would come here for said reasons above. I just really love how original and clean the entire design feels and looks. It is also in short walking distance from Central Park, the perfect place to enjoy a bowl. The bar-like area inside has stools, which is always a plus for me and there is a bench outside. They also have pitaya bowls, which I am dying to try. So Max, if you are reading this, we loved your place. 2 thumbs up at 5/5 all around.
Next week I think I am going to try and make my own...Wish me luck.