Monday, July 29, 2013

Right Now in Five: July's Wrap-Up

Summertime.
And the livin' is easy,
Fish are jumpin',
And the cotton is high.
 
I blink, and I swear it's almost coming to a close. Final plans are being made. Thank goodness- not all hope has been lost. Labor day weekend getaways provide us with one last hoorah!
We're already looking to fall--i.e. cooler weather, pumpkin spice and cinnamon-covered everything. The fall and holiday season (combination) is probably my favorite, truth be known, but I don't think we should be rushing just yet to arrive there. Although, I am already immersed in fall fashion week here in New York. Big things are in the works. Pivotal moves and riveting creations...be on your toes, readers. But, back to the present. July has almost escaped through my clutches, but I'm saving a few highlights for you.
Drumrollllllllllllllll.
 
This is the July wrap-up of what's trending in my mind, on my body, and bumping around in my world as of right now.
Yes, right this very second.
This is real-time.
 
One:
"Orange is the New Black"
 
No, no, no. I'm not referring to the new fall color palettes. You must have already heard about this Netflix-only series. Come on. Everyone's talking--well, writing, more so--about it. And, not to jump on the bandwagon, but it is goooooooood.  It was just released on July 11, and I think that it took me a total of 24 hours to watch the entire 13-episode season. Yes, you did your math correctly. I devoured this. It's based off of Piper Kerman's memoir "Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison" (Grab this read off of Amazon for one of your final pool and beach reads!). Piper, the central character, is engaged and living a lovely life in New York City until her past of wild child ways and recklessness finally find her. She's convicted of transporting a suitcase containing drug money from ten years earlier. Now, she's been sent to prison for 15 months.
Whoaaaaa.  
Bad decisions rising from that deep, dark closet we've buried them in?
I couldn't think of anything more terrifying...or engrossing! to watch the repercussions of when it's someone else experiencing it.
All I can say is, I'm glad it isn't me.
orange is the new black, women in prison, Piper Kerman memoir
Courtesy of Lionsgate and Netflix
Two:
 Clear-Framed Sunglasses
 
As shown in "Spotlight On: Karen Walker" as one of my personal picks from her eyewear collection, clear is cool. Why? Well, they generally take on the hue of your ensemble, reflect the colors nearby, or blend in to whatever your look is on that chosen occasion. Easy. Cool. Flattering shapes. Sienna Miller and I clearly share fabulous taste, considering we both are rocking the Benjamin Eyewear "Kayne" sunglasses in clear.
 
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Three:
 Custom, Handmade Hats
Yes, my dear. Heads are where it's at.
 
Citing a selection of my write-up on  www.StyleDefinedNYC.com,  
If you’ve ever uttered the words, “I’m just not a hat person” and believed it, then you haven’t met Alessandra Rivera. The New York City-based milliner and Parsons alum, nestled in her cozy Nolita studio, devotes her days to creating one-of-a-kind, handmade hats.
As an avid hat lover and wearer myself, it never struck me to actually invest in one that fit me like it should, rather than slump down, wiggle around or break down after just a few wears. I don’t really know why. We invest in handbags, flattering dresses, and tailored suits. We see the bigger picture. Quality seems to trump quantity over time. Feeling good in what you’re wearing is the end goal, right? Well, why not hats? And, that’s exactly what Rivera felt we were all missing out on. --Read MORE of my review HERE for the full scoop.
Drop-dead head-toppers, here we come.
 
Swooning over these summer-to-fall styles: 
SHOP--
 
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*Images courtesy of Alessandra Rivera
 
 
Four:
 Feminine touches by Paper Wings
 
I was introduced to this brand by Suki Mulberg, who founded the incredible operation that is Style Visa, "your own passport to global design and culture." Style Visa represents a number of brands- from home décor to accessories and gifts, but also, rare and unique items from all around the world. Style Visa aims to bring together global (and national as well) designers with style seekers, in short. Here they are in this one-stop, shop! Here, Style Visa brought my attention to Paper Wings. Jen Goff, the creator, based out of Portland, Oregon, attributes her designs to "organic forms, natural lines and simple shapes." Every piece reflects just this aim, with a natural fluidity that's delicate without looking or feeling too dainty or contrived. I especially adore the necklaces she's currently featuring, because they're feminine without being "too nicey-nicey." You know me--that's boring, honey. Yawn-move on.  And, Paper Wings has succeeded in striking that all-too-difficult balance- one in which the design remains strong but not quite silent. Instead, it whispers. Wear them alone, or mix them, like I would typically opt for. I say, Load it on- every piece mixes well and adds a custom touch to an ensemble without competing with or overwhelming your look. Done.
 
 
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Shop my look and other Paper Wings picks:
 
 
  
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style accessories=
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.
 
..Stay tuned for more from Style Visa. And in the meantime, check out more of their top designers HERE.  
 
Five:
 Reunions.
...and, dance parties.
Mainly, dance parties AT reunions.
 
Well, so July has hit me like a brick wall. Believe me, it's been a good time. A realllllyyyyy good time. I've been channeling my 21-year-old self. I have been brought to my knees, though, and I have ultimately had to accept the fact that I am NOT 21 any longer.  I am sleep-deprived, and my body aches in desperation and fear. I didn't necessarily completely abandon all responsibility, because let's face it, I can't. I do have to function as an adult now. It's a sad day of self-awareness and realizations. I traveled down and throughout the south this month. I've visited my hometown of Memphis (more on that to come, don't fret).  I re-visited my many wild days of youth and hunger for life, love, and travel and hopped on to Warped Tour once again to visit old band friends who have always played and continue to play, girlfriends, crew members, vendors, etcetera, and we all pretended to be young and carefree again. Oh, and I discovered that a good friend of mine had established a widely popular reality television show, based on him and some of other friends, entitled "Warped Tour Roadies." They're filming the second season now, and it's apparently a huge hit. I might or might not be making an appearance. Oops. Hilarity, though. Everyone's a superstar these days. Hats off to my friends-new and old. We grew up. But, we still know how to harness our inner animals for a few good days of indulgence. After Warped, and it was just that...warped...I had even mooooore friends zooming in and out of New York on tours. More reunions. It's been... a lot. July, you were that kind of girl. See the photos. They tell you just enough without divulging everything. ThisKindofGirl would never expose everything. A girl needs her secrets. And, maybe to protect the not-so-innocent.
 
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In the meantime...
you know where to find me... 
I'll be here, being that kind.

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Friday, July 19, 2013

What I Wore: Rock(a fella) Right to Mount Vernon

I'm melting,
I'm melting...
  
They're no question-
Heatwaaaaaaave!

"I feel it Burnin',
right here in my heart.
It's like a heat wave."


It's hot.
Hot as Hades.
As much as I LOVE to be outside, I do find myself savoring every moment with my beloved A/C as much as I possibly can. Mid-day fitness classes? Get that out of my planner!
But, when I'm out, as I so often am, I absolutely have to think about the fabrics I'm wearing, and how much of a hot mess I'll look during & after transitioning from one stop to the next. More air, please. Less. Easy-from makeup to apparel...and speaking of, shoes that won't cause my feet to swell up like balloons and turn into a mobile slip-and-slide on me.
Sheer, paper-thin shirt? Check.
Airy, light skirt? Must.
These legs can't be bothered with superfluous fabric!
And, around Rockefeller Center, which actually feels like the epicenter, the torturously fiery sun of New York City in the summer, this is...
What I Wore.

“The secret to success is to do
the common things uncommonly well.”
John D. Rockefeller

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The Vitals:
1. Tresics black sheer, cropped tee
2. Free People cream and neon green embroidered A-line skirt

4. Louis Vuitton snap wristband
The link above is to a similar style. Mine, though, is in the traditional brown monogrammed print.
5. Fendi oversized clutch
I purchased mine from Second Time Around, an upscale consignment store, in Boston. But, you can click HERE for some similar options, on SALE, at Overstock.
6. Antonio Melani tiger print, pony hair pumps
I've owned these since I was 18! Actually, I think that was the last time I also wore them, but I have re-discovered their appeal. I've almost given them away a hundred times, but I'm sold again. They've been reborn!

7. Tom Ford "Nikita" Cateye Sunglasses.
With my affinity for cateye shapes, Tom Ford designs some of the very best. "Niko," "Nikita", and "Anastasia" are all favorites of mine. You'll never want to lose another pair in the name of a good "I'm on a boat! party" again. I know.


Picture it.
I'm walking.
And expectedly, I'm sweating.
I'd wanted to get out of the tourist trap of hell that is the Rockefeller area.
Park?
Eh.
It was packed, and my legs would stick to the grass immediately.
So, I ventured to an indoor place of interest that I'd heard mentioned by some eighty-year-old man in an Irish Pub.
Always trust those guys.
I'm serious.
They pass on the most entertaining, darndest, and some times, the most useful knowledge that you can't read up on Wikipedia.

Mount Vernon, Mt Vernon, Mount Vernon in NYC, museums in New York City, historical sites NYC, old houses in New York, 1800s landmarks, guided tours New York, East River history in New York City, Mt Vernon New YorkNot too terribly far from Rockefeller, a little up and a good bit over east, hides a piece of New York City history, a reminder of the past and the evolution of the greatest city in the world. Wink. This gem rests in such a quaint and quiet street, on 61st between First Avenue and York Street, overlooking the East River and the 59th street bridge. I moseyed on over to the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden. It is a stone house in the middle of midtown Manhattan, situated amongst some of the tallest buildings and modern displays of architecture. Old meets new, literally, side by side. The Mount Vernon Hotel Museum was built in 1799 as a carriage house, for a wealthy New York City gentleman's "country home" wayyyyyyy up there at 61st street. That was the country. At this point in time, New York City consisted of the lower tip of Manhattan...from the Seaport up to 14th Street, the most northern boundary of the city. Imagine that! So, people rode steamboats and fancy horse-drawn carriages up to what is now midtown and above, in order to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. It's laughable, thinking of the city's current layout. They either built a second home up there in the "country," or they'd retreat into hotels and even day-resorts, where they rested, ladies drank tea in Victorian-style parlors, the gentlemen played cards or drank a bit of whiskey, they rode horses, and even swam in the East River. Yes, that was a loooooong time ago. I'm positive that some things are still swimming in that water, but I'd prefer not to know about those. The man who originally had built Mount Vernon as part of his extensive secondary home eventually fell into bankruptcy, and by 1826, it was turned into a hotel and somewhat of a "spa" for the city folks who desperately sought refuge from the pollution and overcrowded, dirty streets of the New York City.

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Jazz in the garden?
 Sign me up.

This girl loves a good show.

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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Found: Brooklyn Fringe with Benefits

Once upon a time,
 
it was a nice afternoon in late June.
I'll fill you in on where I've been since, next time. But, travel back with me--almost July.
 
I'd been packing my schedule with a great deal of power flow yoga at Yoga to the People and, in addition, a milder, more urban social flow in Bryant Park (check their schedule to experience it personally as well--you won't be sorry) with 200 of my closest New Yorkers. Two very different yogi experiences, but each serves a special purpose for me, in terms of what I seek and receive. Both are good for the mind, body and soul. You get it, reader.
 
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I'd been attending the expected New York outdoor summer film screenings with hundreds of others in public parks across the city and Brooklyn, complete with terribly & adorably cliché blankets and picnic-esque food items.
(Click the link above for a full city-wide schedule)
 
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Back to that nice June afternoon I mentioned.  
 
And, that day was an even nicer one for a bit of wandering around my neighborhood, enjoying the cooler summer weather and soaking up the bubbly energy by the East River--people galore doing exactly the same thing as myself. I should have left it at that--enjoying. But, no! Of course, I stumbled upon some wonderful shops and stands, per usual, and I couldn't help myself! When it's one of a kind, how can you let it go? The moment, otherwise...
"just passes you by" (Thank you, My Best Friend's Wedding). And if I remember one applicable yoga principle correctly, it's to steady the breath, still the mind, and to be fully present in that moment. OK, so most likely, that task isn't referring to embracing that very moment when you discover some rare and incredible fashion find, but come on...bear with me. I'm bringing this full-circle here.
This is our safe place, guys. I'm confessing, though, and sharing with you all, so my low resistance to fabulosity becomes just a personal minor fault that carries benefits. I admit it! I'm no match. I'm weak when left to my own devices. But, my weakness is your gain in this haven for real-talk.
Enjoy.
 
 
 
 
1. Bandit Brand fringe tee
Bandit Brand tent= $30
    I found this Bandit Brand tee at the weekend-long Renegade festival on the Williamsburg waterfront. We're all regulars at every weekend's Smorgasburg here in Brooklyn on the East River, a fantastic display of artisanal food, drink and everything we gluttons LOVE, and The Artists and Fleas market, featuring local, emerging designers as well as vintage pop-up stores. But, Renegade brought together designers and store-owners from around the country, touting anything and everything from stenciled posters to handmade baby clothing to rare industrial furniture. I don't do well at these food, clothing, drink and gift-item extravaganzas. And when I say that I don't do well, I mean that I do tooooooo well. I become unnaturally giddy, eyes bulging. The adrenaline runs. The hunt commences. Adventures in shopping addiction. Conjure the image of Veruca Salt, running wildly through Willy Wonka's Chocolate factory like a woman gone stark-raving mad with greed!
"I want it! I want it now!"
This tee is super comfortable, unpretentious, moderately funny (to me, at least) and is a no-brainer for summer. Pair with shorts or a high-waisted skirt. In actuality, I almost purchased ten different styles of Bandit Brand's shirts, but I had to reel myself back in. It was painful. It truly was. I adore a good, casual-cool, rock'nroll t-shirt. Adorrrrrrrrre. Now that I've given this shirt a few test runs before completely losing my marbles and over-purchasing, I've made an informed executive decision:
I need more.
 
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2. Vintage yellow woven top
with hand-sewn flower detail and fringe trim
Vintage odds and ends tent= $20
I'm into the American Indian vibe of this top. In fact, I'm into that vibe entirely. Fringe on anything rules, translating that..."Who cares? I'm not trying to look cool. I just am"-kind of energy. Again-Comfortable, casual, and it looks easy, breezy whether with cut-offs and flat sandals or some bright red wedges for an effortless July evening ensemble.
 
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You can even throw on some heels, like these fruit punch-red Dolce Vitas,  to transition from Barefoot American Indian Princess to Queen of the Night.
 
 
 
 
 
3. Bronze leather Spike Necklace
with magnetic closure
Unknown Williamsburg festival designer=$15
 It looks like it's metal. But, it's not. Collar necklaces are an easy solution to big-bang looks without the overdosing of superfluous jewelry. And, this necklace, being leather, dances well with any fabric of your top or dress, almost meshing into one cohesive piece.
 

 
4. Jeffrey Campbell "Thelma" snakeskin wedges
in cool blues and purples
Consignment=$45at Buffalo Exchange

I really don't even need to chat about these, do I? I can't resist animal print. It's a problem. These heels almost look like loafers with heels. The ankle strap elongates your foot and accentuates everything you could ever want. I've paired these with a plain black dress for night but also an orange shift for day. Either way? A hissssss for your buck.

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5. Sperry Top-Sider "Laura" Leopard Boat Shoes
in Pony Hair
Consignment= $35 at Buffalo Exchange
Again, leopard. Sperry's are cute. They're preppy, albeit, generally a bit too preppy for me. Normally, you say boat shoes, and I immediately think of derby race parties where I desperately need a cocktail to deal with the sockless guys in Polo shirts. But, these pony hair loafers? I'll manage.  The uber-padded nature and rubber soles have me living in these already.
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I'm glad I could unload that guilt I'd been carrying.
I'm feeling lighter already after this session.
 

"This is my one chance at happiness.
I have to be ruthless!"

-My Best Friend's Wedding
I'm on a roll with this. I had to.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Spotlight On: Karen Walker

“There are no uninteresting things, only uninterested people.”
G.K. Chesterton

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“This town ain’t big enough for both of us”
is the message that New Zealand designer Karen Walker--initially cemented as a celebrity and tastemaker favorite by her statement sunnies--chose for her ready-to-wear collection entitled “New Rose.” Who are these two Ms. Walker refers to, battling it out for claim to the rights of the city’s days of prim and pretty productivity and the nightlife’s gravel-y grit? According to her, the fight consists of art school girl versus working girl. And, the combat seems to be ensuing within, somewhere beneath the garments.

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    Again, we’re seeing a movement of designers showing collections that neither entirely embody one particular kind of girl (ahem, lady) or another. Looks consisted of utilitarian outerwear, masculine trousers, and shapes that were, in general, boxy. Military green was paired with floral prints. Pleats were added while hems were left unfinished.

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    The marriage of art and work: Walker accomplishes that union within each piece, each accessory and the multi-layered looks she showed onlookers. In response to Ms. Walker’s message, I think that New York City closets, despite their actual often-microscopic measurements, are big enough for the two—the art school girl and the working girl.
These days, who can tell who’s who?
The battle begins when you open the closet door.
Catch this review and more on www.StyledefinedNYC.com .


Leave with this:

    Incorporating contrasting fabrics, prints, and looks not only add interest to an ensemble but also allow us all to express several aspects of our own personal style...rather than pigeon hole us as one "kind of girl", man, whatever. We're not forced to make a choice.

We can just be.

    Karen Walker's line represents this theory--truths can coexist simultaneously and in fact, collaborate and fuse together in order to create something whole and cohesive. Oh, and duh--
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    Whether we're still referring to fashion or not, I believe that's a stimulating point. One dimensional is hella-snooze-inducing, zzzzzzz, like the torturous monotone, repetitive alarm clock trill. I've heard it. Yawn. Pass. Over it...five years ago.

    Give me something to question. Make me wonder. Make me think. An enigmatic element goes a long way. Throw people off. It is the most efficacious approach to solidifying your presence in memory.

“She refused to be bored chiefly because she wasn't boring.”
Zelda Fitzgerald, The Collected Writings




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