May 5, 2015

{STYLE} Denim Two Ways

Denim is one of the foundations of most women's wardrobes, and while I have a few pairs I LOVE, I've often struggled with knowing how and where to wear them with ease - in a way that feels authentic to my style. But every so often I find a pair of jeans that I just don't want to take off; there was a slouchy, distressed pair recently that I wore until they literally fell apart, and more recently, this pair of skinny jeans from Ava & Viv that are so comfortable they feel like leggings. I travel a lot - so finding a pair of denim that is comfortable enough to sit on a plane for 6+ hours with or fall asleep in is basically my holy grail! 

Since I first wore these babies to the Lilly for Target launch event in NYC, they've been my second skin, wearing them to a Dodger game last week, to Malibu over the weekend, and out to dinner with Ali (paired with a statement-making heel, naturally!). Probably my favorite thing about a good pair of jeans - whether it's a fab budget buy (this pair is under $35! -- and psst, look at all those other 5-star reviews) or a splurge in a designer pair, is the versatility they extend to your wardrobe. Whether I'm wearing them casually to run errands and walk Frankie around the neighborhood, or dressing them up for a date night, they're a classic foundation that feels good to wear hours (or days) on end. 

This post is part of my ongoing partnership with Ava & Viv by Target.
All content and opinions are my own. 

May 1, 2015

Pink is a Neutral

Oh, the many odes to pink I've written on this here blog... A lot has changed about me over the past 29-years of my life, but one thing that has remained consistent is my unabashed love for pink. I've had the privilege of working with a number of great brands over the years - and one of my favorite teams to work with are the people at Addition Elle. Not only are they kind, creative, and create rad collections (including their jaw-droppingly-gorgeous lingerie line with Ashley Graham) - but more recently I'm convinced they're actually making the clothes for me, (remember this outfit??). Obviously, that's a bit of a stretch - but they nail down my style so well that it certainly gives me a moment to pause and be grateful that I can find things that speak to me so well. 

As we inch towards summer, my wishlist from Addition Elle is growing tenfold -- I'm loving the sporty vibe of this short sleeve mesh hoodie and this graphic pop-art inspired bodycon! Summer is seriously around the corner... Whoa. Where do the days go? 

All content and opinions are my own.  

April 29, 2015

All is Full of Love

Though the past month has seen a lot of grief and sadness, these last couple of weeks have been filled overwhelmingly with so much love, support, and gratitude. It has been such an incredible time - from strangers and acquaintances sending notes to say hello, or thank you, or other well wishes - to gathering with friends and family to celebrate all the good things in life. Last week, my mom and sister hosted a small gathering for friends and family in Los Angeles to begin the celebration for Ali & my upcoming wedding, and a few days later I celebrated my birthday, and again this weekend I got together with some of my closest friends in New York to dance and sing and share some version of a "bachelorette" party. I've had a smile stretched across my face the vast majority of these past two weeks, and cannot begin to express my gratitude for all the positive energy, celebration, and love!

I was so excited to have the opportunity to wear a custom dress made by my friend and brilliant designer, Christian Siriano. I met Christian about 5-years ago during an interview for Vogue Italia, and we've been close friends ever since. When Ali and I got engaged, there was no question or hesitation that I'd be working with Christian to create something special for the occasion. It's such a privilege to be able to create a memorable piece that is made specifically with me, my body, and my tastes in mind - and with Christian at the creative helm, it has truly been an incredible experience. We even conceived of creative details - like using a stretch mesh panel at the back, since the rest of the dress was made out of silk organza, to give a little more comfort and flexibility to the silhouette. I also splurged on a couple more special accessories. It's amazing how much I've been able to justify for the sake of having a special fashion moment in the celebrations surrounding our wedding! I fell in love with this quirky, playful bag (a flower pot -- which had a little April Showers bring May Flowers play on it) that I could not resist. And then these shoes - which, shockingly, were incredibly comfortable - but the real deal-closer was the inscription of "Wifey for Lifey" stamped in light blue metallic foil on the bottom sole and a stacked-heart heel. 

It was such an amazing day - I honestly felt like a princess the whole time. My sister made me a fresh flower crown with pink ranunculus and dusty miller (some of my favorites), and MCed a series of games that had us all laughing. My mom created a candy table with cake pops and cupcakes and other pink treats (touché), and potted small succulents for each of the ladies to take home with them. It was so great to have family and friends come together - including Ali's mom and grandma - to celebrate. Even writing this over a week later, I can't help but have that mega-smile plastered across my face again. We're officially less than a month away from our wedding... I can hardly believe it! 

April 6, 2015

Feeling Alive

It has been a week. A real long, hard week. Not one that I had expected or anticipated or built into my highly-detailed calendar, either. Last week, I was blindsided by news that completely devastated me and much of my community. A close friend of mine, someone who has been a source of personal inspiration, who helped conceive my entire concept of queer and femme community, who was filled with so much light and sass and unapologetic fierceness, took her own life. Death and loss is always hard, but there is something unique about the way suicide impacts the people left behind - including a multitude of questions that cannot be answered. Even if we can begin to wrap our heads around the "why," the grief is compounded with guilt and anger and the heaviest sadness. I was blown away by how friends and strangers came together to support and love one another, but it was still so much to bear. Each morning I woke up with my heart pounding out of my chest, and with the most innocent of comments triggering me into tears. And I kept thinking about her, and how I would process these feelings with her, and how she'd respond to all the public grieving. And I thought a lot about my own past with depression, and how I was so grateful to still be here. I needed more than anything to disconnect, to be with my friends who also knew her and could share in our memories and pain and grief, and who could help lift the heaviness even slightly. 

Ali and I ventured north to San Francisco, where we spent the weekend with our friend Alysia (a brilliant, soulful writer who is currently fundraising to self-publish her graphic memoir, here). We cried. We cried a lot. But we also laughed, and took in the sunshine at the top of Dolores Park, overlooking the city, and crossed the bay bridge, and climbed to the top of a hill overlooking all of Oakland and the East Bay, and indulged in dumplings and the best ice cream from Bi-Rite and Humphrey Slocombe (honey-lavender and secret breakfast, respectively), and we marched through the mission - a neighborhood which holds so many of my most transformative memories. We promised each other to feel alive and keep ourselves alive and keep our extended communities alive - because we all really need each other. And with that, my chest stopped pounding and breathing felt a little easier. 

Yesterday, Ali and I drove back down the coast. From San Francisco to Los Angeles, through Santa Cruz and through Monterey and through the forests and coastlines of Big Sur. I wanted to feel awestruck. I wanted to be reminded of all the greatness surrounding us, and of how lucky we are to be alive and experience even a tiny fraction of the magnitude of this earth. I wanted to experience the views, to treat myself to the $5 bunches of local flora from a tiny town called Moss Landing, to eat fresh avocados and to smell the crisp air that blended together sea salt and eucalyptus and drops of rain. We saw a beach full of sunbathing elephant seals, and giggled as they made their way across the sand. With so much heaviness in the previous week, I so badly needed to be surrounded by beauty and sheer positive energy - and somewhere between the hills of San Francisco  and the redwoods lining the edges of the sky and the rocky cliffs of Big Sur and the seaside that glimmered in tones of teal and cerulean blue, I found it. 

If you are struggling with your mental health and are in need of support or resources, please, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or access to help find healthcare providers in your area.  

March 26, 2015

{STYLE} Cactus Flower

I know I keep going on and on about my newly bicoastal life, but... it's just been giving me so much inspiration lately! I'm falling in love with LA all over again with a fresh set of eyes (living in a city as an independent adult is very different than inheriting your parents' likes and dislikes as a child), and just as soon as I've discovered something amazing I'm back in NYC falling in love with everything there, again, too. It's been completely spiritually invigorating even though it has also been exhausting, (no, really; I was in NY last week and it was one of the most brutal weeks of my life)! I've found a sort of balanced chaos that completely suits this stage in my life - one that is full of transition, excitement, and newness, and I can't imagine two better cities to act as the backdrop for all of these experiences.

I'm still figuring out what my "LA style" is, exactly. Fashion in LA is remarkably different than it is in NY. It's more relaxed and casual (unless you're rolling down a few particular blocks in Beverly Hills), and the always-close-to-perfect weather means there's definitely less emphasis on practicality. That's something that lends itself nicely to the approach to shoes, too! Not only are sandals perfect about 80% of the year, but more driving and less walking* means I can get away with heels that are just a little bit higher. And damn, do I like it. 

This dress (from the Zelie for She's True Love collection) was a no-brainer for me and my newly minted west coast life. It's simple and casual, but the wrap-around-the-waist detail gives the dress a little extra shape and intrigue. I've swooned about Zelie for She before, and if you haven't already checked out this woman-owned, based-in-LA brand -- run, don't walk. All of her collections are made in a limited batch and always sell out. Wearing it with my new favorite heeled sandals (yes, I confess to buying them in a second colorway, too...), bucket bag, and a killer cactus flower necklace from my favorite costume jewelry brand Lulu Frost made it the perfect look to get around town on a sunny afternoon.

*I'm actually still walking a lot. One of my dealbreakers was being in a neighborhood that was too residential; I've spent way too long in NYC to go from the convenience of leaving my apartment and having everything within a 7-block radius to relying on a car to accomplish anything. All the essentials are still steps away from our new home - restaurants, grocery stores, great bars, coffee shops, shopping (yikes)...

My style has, in part, always been influenced by my surroundings... I wonder where it will take me next!