Monday, January 12, 2015

When in Firenze

Ahhhh the first day of school; so nostalgic, I remember my first day of school dating back to kindergarten. The first day outfit that took weeks to plan out, getting up early and having breakfast already cooked by my dad and coffee fresh on the pot. 
Unfortunately, the older I get the less I care about my outfit (as I already have an adapted uniform that I will wear throughout the whole year on repeat) and breakfast turns into a banana because I cannot afford groceries and coffee turns into microwaved half ass coffee that has been sitting for a few days waiting to be cleaned out and remade. None the less, the first day of school is always exciting, different friends, professors and classes. What makes this year special for me is that it is a new school year in a new state and in particular for this semester, a new country - Italy to be exact. 

The beginning of my journey in Italy was a relatively rough one, the starting with the flight being delayed, twice. Then once we touched down in Paris chaos struck all around the city, fortunately we were safe in the confinements of the airport. Touchdown in Florence was decent but when out cab driver took us to our apartment we couldn't find the street and drove around for what felt like hours. Once we found the apartment we struggled to hull all of our luggage up three flights of stairs as Italy doesn't believe in elevators - or something like that. All said in done, we were exhausted from traveling for hours and starving and without power and water as out landlord has yet to grace us with his/her presence. We stuck the hour and half long wait for her to bless us with electricity and water, then we took on the town trying to find something to drink and eat as we were famished and in dire need of a legal alcoholic beverage. Low and behold we live right near the Santa Maria Novella church which is absolutely beautiful, looks almost fake as the facade actually fake as it has been reconstructed over the years. Near the Santa Maria Novella there are many adorable restaurants that we stumbled upon, found one that was open and got seated. Five girls, five glasses of wine and delicious native Italian cuisine later we were stuffed and ready for bed. 
The next few days were full of mandatory orientation classes that covered some BS and blah blah blah, cut us a break were 20 years old and know how to take care of ourselves (well most of us do). We were so ready to explore the beautiful city, unfortunately were were drained and jet lagged and the only thing that we wanted to do for the first few days were to craw in bed and sleep...which we did. 
But today was the first day of class, reality struck and now I need to pull myself together and put the bottle of wine down and really focus this semester as I am not in New York anymore and where class didn't really exist and living a hungover life everyday was acceptable and expected after awhile. 

Truly this is not my first rodeo being outside my comfort zone, especially living in suburbia Pittsburgh, going to school in Ohio - but then spending five months in the middle of Manhattan and now another five months in Florence, Italy. I am so fortunate to have this year abroad, time to travel the world, see things that I might never see again, see things I read in books and dreamed of seeing, experienced and dove right into a culture completely unlike my own. New York City is the mecca of fashion and the fast pace life, Italy is the mecca of traveling, tranquility and culture. This is the start of a beautiful love affair, an city with so much liveliness and a city with so much heritage. I cannot wait to see what this semester will bring me; will I find my Italian stallion, my one true love (if you're out there, hit me up), will I find a hidden Picasso, climb the highest mountain in the world, swim the deepest parts of the sea? We can only hope. 



xx

Friday, January 2, 2015

An almost Goodbye

There is nothing more romantic than a city full of life. 
Full of spirit, pride, joy and love. 

New York City has captured the essence of the greatest city in my books so far. Everything about New York is alluring, the sounds that I hear on my commute to work or to class during the weekday. The lights that are constantly on, racking up a mad electricity bill, but the lights that light up the brightest city in the world. The smells, oh I will miss the smells, well some of the smells to say the least. The smells of the cinnamon peanuts that are sold on the streets, the smells of the pizza shops and coffee shops that I crave every day and sometimes when I go back to Pittsburgh I miss the smells of the garbage piled up three feet high because Pittsburgh never has garbage piled three feet high (or higher). 
The five months that I spent in New York City were the best five months of my life. Every moment in the city I had I cherished and enjoyed to the fullest, it is what you make of the time that you have to enjoy. I am young, 20 years old to be exact and I am so lucky to have been able to spend my semester here in New York City. Unlike many others, I wish my semester would never end, yeah sure maybe I could survive without the class and homework but between my job that I loved, the friends that I made here and the wild and spontaneous life that I had, I never want it to end. 

Many of my friends back at home would ask me asking me what exactly am I doing in New York, I tell them that I am going to class taking a full 14 credit hours and interning three days a week busting my balls to get the grades and to impress and prove to my coworkers that I can survive and be successful in this industry. As most of my friends believed I just lived in New York spending thousands of dollars, going out to clubs doing absolutely nothing with my time here. Well they are half right, I do go out more than I should but I still wake up at 9am and am out of the door and on time to make it to work at 10am...sometimes extremely hungover but I deal with it. 
I kicked ass in this city. 
If anybody were to second guess me just watch me in an environment that I truly strive in. There is nothing more invigorating than to be around people who share the same interests and passions that I have. 

There are so many things that I have learned about myself in these five short months. I learned that I do not want to be a retail buyer, something that I thought I wanted to be my whole life. But that I want to be a writer, no David Sedaris or Maya Angelou, but a writer that travels all around the world to experience things that others may never be able to, I want to let them know what it is like on the other side of the fence. I want to tell people my visions and dreams and opinions through my writing  Sure they make crap money but hell when did I ever think I would get a job that I would make bank - never.(But let me remind you that this is simply a blog post and does not reflect the skills that I have, I'm writing this late at night and without my glasses on so cut me a break).

I learned that I truly work well with people, strangers or people I have known for years, I simply love socializing with others. Learned that I am really good at small talk and that it is truly necessary to have the ability to pull shit out of your ass just to spark a conversation with someone who might become a friend for a lifetime. I learned that it is sometimes better to listen than to speak. You find out a lot about people if you just listen to them, what their interests, problems, life stories, ideas versus telling them yours. Sometimes you hear something from somebody and it sparks an idea in your own head, or a cord that makes you realize that you have been doing nothing but talking your whole life and it is nice to not talk and to listen for just a moment. 

Today I went to Union Square, back to my stomping grounds. I had no plans for the day, it was one of the most gorgeous days that I have seen in the city in awhile. Got a cup of coffee and walked around for a little until I decided that all I want to do for the day is to sit on a park bench, without my earphones or my phone in my face, and just watch people. Breath in the fresh air, have the sun shining on my face, watch the others around me. New York is a busy city, sometimes there is no time to stop and smell the roses. In the five months of living here not once did I take a walk to a park and just sit alone and breath. We forget to, we get so caught up in other things and we always ask ourselves where the time went and weeks, months, years roll bye and we ask ourselves what did we do? We can't remember because we didn't step back and evaluate what we did. That is exactly what I did today. I took a moment to look back and think about what I have done while I have stayed in this marvelous city. I learned that I have done so many amazing things, met so many amazing people and made connections that I will have for the rest of my life. 

This surly is not the most 'fashionable' blog post I have ever done. But it probably is the most heartfelt one I have written. 
There is not one thing that I have done in this city that I regret doing, or not doing. This is not a goodbye, this is a 'I will see you later'. 
In a few short days I will be heading to Florence, Italy to continue my schooling and traveling and spending money that I don't have for the remaining five months of the semester. Not quite sure what trouble I can cause over there. Frolic in fields of lavender, champagne toasts onto of a mountain somewhere in Greece (maybe), spending my mornings waking up watching the sun rise on this side of the world and before bed watching it set and the stars to come out and the moon to take the suns place, letting it sleep just like everybody else. It was a wild ride New York, it sure as hell was one wild ride.  

xx

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

An afternoon in the Showroom



Sometimes I just can't seem to get away from showrooms, working in a showroom three times a week can be all I need. But a change of environment - showroom wise - is nice to mix things up. For class we took a trip to a blooming designer, Daniel Silverstein. Starting his career at a young age, actually a recent FIT graduate age. He landed a spot on the TV show, Fashion Stars where he was one of the youngest in the bunch, working side by side with the equally amazing and notorious fashion icon Nicole Richie. 
Daniel is such an inspiring designer, he started working as a knitwear designer at Victorias Secret where he came to realize how much waste there was in the fashion industry. We waste so much without even knowing because we ate so naive and just want those damn clothes. 
He wanted to change the way we looked at clothes, wanting us to appreciate the beauty that clothes have, but also the beauty of the environment and that we are in control of it. 
He is such an aspirational designer, wanting to change the world, one dress at a time. He also knows so much about the industry from the design, to the aspect of the fashion, just the industry as a whole. 
In his showroom which doubles as his design studio, I cannot imaging working in such a small studio but in the Garment District you work with what you have and make do and he does. whether he is working out of his small studio with only 6 other employees, or working out of his apartment in Brooklyn, he makes it work and in the fashion industry that is all you have to do. 

xx

A day at Opening Ceremony

Going home for Thanksgiving is cool, but leaving my queen size bed with a 6" mattress pad isn't cool. Also what is not cool is missing class in which happened to be at trip to Opening Ceremony in SoHo. Fortunately I ended up going by myself to write this lovely blog post for all of you to read. 
Opening Ceremony unfortunately didn't allow me to take any pictures, probably because they thought I was going to steal all of their intellectual property, or something like that. The atmosphere was so different from many other stores I've been in. It is quirky, random, high end, sophisticated, chic, messy all rolled into one store that carries an amazing array of equally random clothes. From the notorious staircase, to the the displays and the way the clothes are being hung. 
The founders,Carol and Humberto, based Opening Ceremony off the principle as mixed ethnicity and multi cultured. Howard street where OC is located is so notorious for being the home of so many brands like Rodarte, Alexander Wang, Band of Outsiders, Proenza, and man many more.
Being in OC made me feel like I was in my zen. I felt comfortable being in a place that is so imperfect, its beautiful. 

xx

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A day at Dover




For those who have never been, the notorious Dover Street Market is a fashion and fun filled shoppig environment. You can sometimes question whether you are at a museum or a retail store holding exquisite pieces by designers from Alexander Wang to Supreme and Prada.
Dover Street Market is such a different shopping experience like what you might get at Barney's or Bergdorfs because they showcase the designers in collections that invites you to interact and really get a feel for the clothes in the way the designer intended you to. Each floor has a different vibe and each designer section had a different theme. From the bright lights and sophistication from Louis Vuitton to the ultra modern theme at Thom Brown. It really puts forth what the designer invisioned the collections to be presented. 
Of course I was making a very extensive shopping list while I was touring the showrooms from the beautiful pearl and diamond ring (must have but probably never will own...sad) to the adorable little Comme Des Garçons teddy bears and colorful coin purses. I love the mix DSM has, one section has Vans and Converse tennis shoes while being on the same  floor as designers that have prices of their shoes tripple what Vans would price their shoes at. DSM blends together the high and lows so well because they know what is funky and cool and what works in the current trends and pairs them together without worrying about the price range because the DSM customer is much different then the Barney's customer who is looking for a chic and sophisticated environment and presentation. Not a place that displays their clothes in a museum like atmosphere that someone like Jeff Koons would gain inspiration from. 
I'm so excited to go back and see what Dover Street Market has to offer next season and to see how they decorated each floor. I truly do prefer the atheistic and environment that Dover offers much more than other equally high end department stores as it makes me feel like I'm not competing for the most expensive Lanvin or Balenciaga bag, I'm buying for myself and the love of fashion as a whole.  

xx

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Around NYC: a trip to Doneger

There are some places one never thinks of going to in New York. One place for example would be Doneger Creative services, the forecasters of the fashion industry and thanks to them we in the fashion industry are always (well almost always up to date) on the newest trend, color and textile. 
On our visit to Doneger in Midtown Manhattan was so informative. We were introduced by the sweetest instructor, Michele who walked us through the daily routine of Doneger. From the sourcing to the selection of colors and textiles to marketing the books they send to their clients and so many other services they offer. As of now Doneger has a womenswear book but are soon launching their menswear book as there as menswear is increasing in popularity and acceptance.  
Doneger has been around for years and is known and welcomed by so many creative and fashion moguls from Stella McCartney to Wal-Mart. Using their services has the upper hand as they have full access all the time to all the employees in all different departments (if they have the premium package that is) while others can use other parts of their services without having full access but equal customer services. 
I have never been interested in fashion forecasting or even knew what it really is but after the introduction and walk through I realized it is essential to the industry. It is easy to take inspiration from others but nearly impossible to create something that has truly never been done before, and that is what they offer. Inspiration from the past and blending and transferring it to create something new and innovative. 


xx

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Killer Heels

Traveling around NYC when you have a job, take a full load of classes and have somewhat of a social life can get pretty challenging. Fortunately I have a pretty awesome teacher who takes us to some equally awesome places around New York. The Brooklyn Museum was the most recent study tour to see the current exhibition, Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe. 
As a high heel fanatic myself and advid shoe collector I appreciate the love for high heels and the art that they really are. It takes a skill to be able to treck around an office, club, restaurant or whatever wearing shoes that make your toes cringe but gives you that sexy arch and the height increase is also a major plus. High heels are a major piece of fashion, they contribute to the looks of the garments making them truly one of a kind. Designers collaborate with other designers to product collections that work together literally, head to toe.
From Christian Louboutin to Brian Atwood and Salvador Ferragamo the shoes that have been the foundation of fashion and the front runners of popularity. They have rocked the fun way hundreds of times and the streets of affluent and stylish celebs or above average women and men. They have influenced so many other designers. 
Experiencing all aspects of fashion is constantly inspiring as I truly learn and appreciate the industry that I strive to learn in. 

  



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