June 30, 2014

{NEWS} My First Collection: Nicolette Mason x ModCloth!

To say I'm excited about this is.... a huge, vast, enormous understatement. Colossal. After many, many months of secret-keeping, hard work, and serious excitement, the cat is finally out of the bag: I've partnered with ModCloth to design my first clothing collection! It's incredibly difficult for a compulsive over-sharer and obsessive chronicler like myself to not be Instagramming her way through a major life goal and milestone, but I'm so pleased I'm finally able to talk about it and share the collection with anyone who will listen. There will be several posts about this, since I'm really excited to share some of the behind-the-scenes that lead up to this point, but I'd love to start by sharing the lookbook that we shot at ModCloth's studios in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago, featuring myself and ModCloth's co-founder, Susan, modeling some of our favorite looks from the collection.

The collection will be available in sizes XS-4X (something I'm extremely proud of), and will be launching on ModCloth's site on October 6th. And, yes - they do ship internationally! 

To celebrate this announcement and ModCloth's 1-year anniversary of plus, I'm offering a $100 Gift Card! Just use the widget below to enter, and tell me your favorite pieces from my debut collection!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

June 26, 2014

{STYLE} Creating the Best Summer Ever

Historically, summer isn't my favorite time of year. I'm averse to heat, I used to not like the beach, and New York's humidity is especially good at making me always look like a disheveled mess. After a really chaotic and stressful (but genuinely awesome, just, you know, exhausting), few months, I am determined on making this summer the best summer of my life. Part of that is the list of amazing travel I have coming up, my best friend's wedding, exciting projects I'm getting ready to unveil, but it's also a really, really concentrated and intentional effort to make the most of all the little bits of free time I have popping up in my schedule. 

Best Summer Ever was definitely kicked off by my mini-trip to Summer Camp, but I've made a little cheat sheet for myself to stay focused on my goal to make this summer a memorable one. As far as general life accomplishments go, I'm feeling pretty good about things, but this is a gentle reminder to myself to celebrate all the good that's going on.

Photos by Lydia Hudgens

June 25, 2014

{WISHLIST} Turkish Delight

{Clockwise from Top Left} 
Floppy Straw Hat, Embellished Neck Maxi Dress, Round Gold Filigree Sunglasses, Evil Eye Minaudiere, Wide Fit Gold Sandals, Baublebar x Stripes&Sequins Double Cape Knot Bracelet, Faux Leather Handled Straw Tote,  Embellished Tankini, Supergoop! 50 SPF Mist, NARS Pressed Light Reflecting Powder, Deborah Lippmann "Romantic Rapture" Nail Polish, Too Faced Luminous Bronzer, Tarte "Blushing Bride" Cheek Stain, Metal Mule Sandals

In what is turning out to be a summer full of endless travel (and I am not complaining), I'm already counting down the days until my biggest travel destination of the season: Turkey. In August I'm heading to Istanbul, Bodrum, and Cappadocia with my family and cannot wait to dip my toes into the Aegean Sea and enjoy all the colors and flavors of the Mediterranean. 

Have you visited any of these cities? Do you have any recommendations? I've been taking notes from my New York Times travel books, which actually have sample itineraries for each of my destinations. I've been collecting each iteration of the "36 hours" books, by the way, and they're great! They make fantastic gifts, too.

June 24, 2014

{STYLE} Knits Worth Investing In

On the heels of another closet sale and massive wardrobe purge, I'm looking at my closet with a set of fresh eyes and a renewed perspective on the things that line my wardrobe rails for the long haul versus the pieces that come and go. While I get a kick out of my fast fashion impulse buys as much as anyone else, it's impossible not to notice the amount of wear and longevity I get out of those classic pieces that stand the test of time. I can easily look at a pair of quirky designer platform heels and yell "investment!" but the pieces that are actually worth investing in tend to take a different tone: one that is contemporary but not trendy, classic but not boring, and made with actual quality fibers. So, as I've done a major "out with the old," I'm thinking long and hard before anything new comes through my doors.

Photos by Lydia Hudgens
{Wearing} Black Sleeveless Top c/o cushie b., Cream Long Drape Cardigan c/o cushie b.,  Lafayette148 New York Leather Skirt, Kate Spade Beau Bag, Karolina Bow Heels c/o Kate Spade, Karen Walker "Number One" Sunglasses

As I mentioned last week, one of my favorite things about working in the fashion industry is getting to meet new designers and hearing the story behind emerging brands. I was recently introduced to cushie b, a line of modern classics that focuses on luxurious knitwear. Knowing that the designer, Val Thompson, is herself a full figured woman (much like Elann Zelie of Zelie for She) is enormously important to me; there's a sincerity in the approach to design and execution when it comes to silhouette and materials.

I paired my cushie b. knits with another classic investment piece, a Lafayette148 New York leather pencil skirt that has been in my wardrobe for a few years now - perfect for my days where I need to err on the side of professional and a little more buttoned-up, all while being incredibly comfortable. While I've owned some great luxury sweaters in my lifetime, the touch-and-feel of this knit is a whole new experience; it is easy and relaxed while still looking and feeling tailored, and I know it's not the kind of material to stretch and lose its shape - something that will help keep it in my personal rotation for years to come!

Of course, there are still a few quintessential foundation pieces missing from my wardrobe. Somehow, I still haven't found the perfect pair of blue jeans that can go from day to night, or a fabulous white button down, nor a classic trench... The hunt is on. I guess this is growing up?

This post was sponsored by cushie b.
All content and opinions are my own.  

June 23, 2014

{WANDERLUST} Camp Kate Spade in The Hamptons

As a child, I desperately wanted to go to sleepaway camp. I was obsessed with the images of camp out of Salute Your Shorts and Camp Nowhere and was pretty much positive that the camps my classmates were going to each summer were a pretty close approximation of the ones that Andrew Keegan secretly ran. My parents, always using any opportunity to instill good work ethic and strong academics, instead preferred that the "summer camps" I went to take a much more stern approach in the vein of algebra, reading comprehension, and writing. Of course, I understand and appreciate why they favored the academic route, but it was hardly the most appealing and fun way for 10-year-old-me to spend her summers.
A couple of weeks ago, when my friends at Kate Spade asked me to join them in the Hamptons for #CampKateSpade to celebrate the opening of their East Hampton's store, I was obviously thrilled. It was, thankfully, nothing like Camp Anawanna, and instead the most perfectly planned three-day adventure with some of my favorite magazine editrixes.  Every little detail was thought out - including putting Kate Spade touches in all of our rooms (like a candle at the nightstand, a vase full of peonies, an embroidered robe, and a 2 Park Avenue Babe bag filled with all the necessities for the weekend - from bug spray to beach towels). Their team literally thought of e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g, and the getaway became the best case study in How To Throw Any Kind of Party Flawlessly. And no shade to my friends who spent their summers at Riverway or Camp Ramah, but I'm pretty much positive this was better.

Throughout the course of the weekend, we played board games and Cards Against Humanity and watched the horse races in the decked out penthouse, watched Troop Beverly Hills with a roaring camp fire and glasses upon glasses of rosé, did Yoga on the lawn, had a dinner party at Tutto il Giorni with Kate Spade creative director Deborah Lloyd, toured the new Kate Spade East Hamptons shop (which is full of exclusive styles, from handbags and accessories to dinnerware only available at their Newton Lane location), lunched at Babette's (watermelon mimosas and a heavenly quinoa bowl!), went to the beach for paddleboarding, suntanning, and swimming, cooked s'mores by the campfire... It was, genuinely, one of the most fun weekends ever. I'm feeling especially grateful that this is one of the perks that comes along with my job; is this real life?! 

Click Through to Continue....

Kate Spade's Hamptons boutique is centrally located at 17 Newton Lane, East Hampton, NY.

June 19, 2014

{STYLE} Powder Blue Gingham

One of the biggest joys I get out of working in the plus-size market for Marie Claire is getting the opportunity to discover and share new designers and brands that are emerging and specializing in sizes 10+. My newest designer crush was found through the indie darlings at Re/Dress, and it's Los Angeles-based Zelie for She. Zelie for She was launched in 2012 when designer and blogger Elann Zelie  graduated from design school and began blazing her own path for fashionable, on trend clothing - and it's all nicely priced under $100. It's worth noting that her own personal style is a adorable and definitely translates into her collection - full of tutus, matching bralettes with skirts, and great textiles, (this embellished number is a new favorite).

Do you have any new designers/brands you've recently discovered?? I'd love to hear about them! 

Photos by Lydia Hudgens
Note: This post was NOT sponsored; I'm just really excited to see new, independent, women-owned businesses emerging left and right in the plus-size market. As usual, when a post is sponsored, I will always disclose. 

June 10, 2014

{EVENT} The Third Annual Shop & Swap!

Shop & Swap is an awesome event I've participated in for three years now, and it has become one of my favorite events of the year. It's all happening this weekend in NYC! Join a group of 7 awesome bloggers as we purge our closets (I'll be accepting cash and credit), with some serious deals to be had in sizes 8-26, and accessories in all sizes as well. Plus, you'll get to preview new collections from our sponsors, including ELOQUII, Fashion to Figure, Simply Be, Evans, and Karen Kane
More perks? There will be a photobooth, plenty of refreshments for a hot summer day, and major giveaways, including a gift bag from Ted Gibson, loads of cute pieces from ModCloth, denim from James Jeans, a Marc by Marc Jacobs tote filled with goodies from Swimsuits4All, and a ton more. I'm not just looking forward to sharing my wardrobe and meeting some the girls out there in the blog community, but also shopping from the closets of my fellow hosts! It's going to be a lot of fun, and I look forward to seeing some of you this weekend!! You can RSVP to the event here on Facebook