September 18, 2014

{GETTING HITCHED} Runway Looks & Bridal Inspiration

I swear I have not spent my whole life dreaming about weddings (nevermind the number of hours I spend each week pining over the BHLDN site), but ever since our engagement, I'm finding bridal and wedding inspiration everywhere - and this seasons runways have been filled with nuptially-appropriate looks. Since my tastes err on the side of the non-traditional, looking to ready-to-wear runways for a dose of bridal fancy is exactly my speed. 

Christian Siriano
Some of you may know this from following my Instagram already, but Christian Siriano is actually designing my wedding dress, (every time I think about this, my brain goes something like: "!!!!!!!"). I've been a long time obsessive over Christian's gowns, and his spring collection had several that were beyond stunning. I've even taken a little note from Olivia Palermo on the idea of pairing a more understated top (or cashmere sweater, in her case) with a formal skirt. On the note of color, I also love the idea of an icy blue (or any blue, for that matter) as a departure from traditional white. It feels so fresh and crisp! By the way, not many people know this fact, but Christian makes his collections made-to-order in all sizes. 




Tadashi Shoji
Ahh, Tadashi is always a designer I make sure to pay extra special attention to each NYFW because plus-sizes are consistently part of his collection, (including his gorgeous mermaid-themed resort collection which I am literally dying to get my hands on). This season, his runway show was inspired by Venice and the reflection of light against the canals, making for perfect sheer panels, reflective pleats, and gilded edges embroidered onto gauzy fabrics. 



Zimmermann
With exception to the shipwrecked-and-washed ashore feeling of the styling styling, Nicky Zimmermann's voluminous, sculptural ready-to-wear feels utterly romantic to me - and even ethereal, layering delicate lace in asymmetry and covering the sheerest peach tones with tiny, glimmering beads. While a trademark of her design approach is balancing masculine and feminine, these looks all speak to the girlish whimsy that is a trademark of my style.  


HONOR

I never miss an opportunity to wax poetic about Honor, do I? Honor is made for the pages of Lula and my inner fantasies. The collections may not be real-life, everyday makings of a wardrobe, but they're certainly apt for my daydreams and a woman's wedding, because why wouldn't you want to get married (if you were into the idea of getting married), in a dress accented with scallops or candy buttons (a little subversive hint of rainbow for the LGBT bride, perhaps), or adorned with a giant bow as if you're a literal gift to your spouse-to-be? I mean, logically, I know this isn't for everyone - but I know myself and, at the very least, Briony, would be thrilled to see these walk down the aisle.

September 4, 2014

{STYLE} Summer Forever

Labor day weekend has long symbolized the end of summer, with the start of school immediately after - and as a grown up the feeling has stayed pretty much the same but shifted from back-to-school to back-to-NYFW. Of course, the summer season lingers long into October, now - so while I'm lusting after All The Leather and layers-upon-layers, I'm erring on the side of seasonally appropriate practicality, instead. I wish I was one of those creatures who could magically wear leather pants, sweaters, and wool coats while traipsing between fashion shows and simultaneously not breaking out into a sweat, but it's 86-degrees and I'm somewhat of a realist.



Photos by Lydia Hudgens

After all, the convention of ditching white after labor day started long before the onset of global warming was fully realized. Light colors, whites, and pastels are definitely sticking around in my wardrobe, right now! 

August 27, 2014

{STYLE} Outdoor Weddings in Addition Elle

Though the rules and etiquette around dressing for weddings are rapidly evolving, there are some rules that I still think are valuable when getting ready to watch a happy couple say, "I do." There's the obvious rule of not wearing white to a wedding: though some couples explicitly ask that their guests do wear white, unless you have those directions in writing, it's absolutely best to avoid it. Instead, opting for bright, cheery colors and playful patterns (while adhering to the invitation's dress code), is the best policy.

I picked out this bright pink number from Addition Elle to wear to an upcoming outdoor wedding. The color is perfect for a lush, green setting - and the material and cut are incredibly comfortable for dancing the night away, (this one is a strong contender for daytime weddings, too - with this one being more appropriate for evenings).



This post was sponsored by Addition Elle.
All opinions and content are my own. 

August 18, 2014

{BEAUTY} My New York Story... Featuring DKNY MYNY



As a young girl, I grew up playing with my mom's perfume bottles, which she collected on her vanity and took interesting shapes and glittering forms with even more evocative scents inside them. She had perfumes that she wore to work, others for cocktail parties, fragrances that were strictly for the most special of occasions, and shiny, crystal bottles that mostly just sat on the vanity looking pretty. I was fascinated by the ritual of wearing perfumes, and as I grew up, I developed my own taste for perfumes - trying out a new fragrance each season to mix into my repertoire. Of course, while my observation certainly helped shape me, this was long before I had developed my own identity, my own tastes, and defined my own sense of style. 

I first moved to New York City when I was 17-years-old, prior to my senior year of high school, living in a university dorm room for the duration of the summer and finally feeling like I had the space and environment to find myself, (and I cannot emphasize enough what an enormous privilege that was). New York's fast pace, open-mindedness, and raw authenticity was exactly what I needed: there are few places in the world that demand that you be exactly your own person as much as New York City does - especially in the creative world. The following summer, I packed my bags for real and relocated my life to Manhattan - where the sky-high buildings and bustle were a constant exercise in personal growth and humility. Not to mention, going to school at Parsons, an institution for so many of our great designers and artists, was a constant motivator. 

I moved from the East Village, to the Financial District, to a teeny-tiny West Village (Bleecker Street, no less!), 5th-floor-walk-up that would be my home for four years, to finally, finding my place in an exposed-brick corner of Brooklyn. Like the people of New York, each neighborhood has it's distinct personality, and much like the company we keep, each has inspired my own personal history in different ways. I've seen friends come and go and settled into a group that has surpassed friendship and become my family. I've fallen in love multiple times, had my heart broken, broken hearts, and finally met the person with whom I'm shaping my future. I've gone from student to intern (to intern, to intern, to intern...) to design professional to freelancer to pursuing my dreams. By every account, New York City has made me the woman I am today. 



I was excited to try out DKNY's new MYNY fragrance, inspired by New York City, which is a little sweet and a little spicy - just like the place I've called home for the last 11-years, while the gorgeous pixelated heart bottle reminds me of my childhood of fawning after fragrances in beautiful vessels. The scent truly feels like a celebration of all of the possibilities and the passion that NYC has to offer. Now that I'm on vacation, I've brought the perfume with me - it was like tucking away a little piece of New York into my luggage.  

You can create your own pixelated heart on the DKNY MYNY hub starting tomorrow, using photos from your social channels, like Facebook and Instagram, that you can share with your friends and family using the hashtag #MYNY! 


You can pick up the fragrance by heading over to DKNY.com. Now that I have the perfume, I can't wait to check out the shower gel when I get back to NYC!  




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

August 15, 2014

{STYLE} Hidden Gems


Wearing: ASOS Salon Organza Bomber, White Skirt with Sheer Panel (up to size 14 here, 14+ here), Karen Walker Super Duper, Moschino Cheap & Chic Embellished Heels (sold out, similar here), Miu Miu Satchel
Photos by Lydia Hudgens

While I'm currently across the world on a major adventure, I'm starting to feel the initial pangs of homesickness for New York. It's confusing - I've recently been having a lot of love/hate feelings about NYC (no matter how much everyone, including myself, romanticizes the place), but all it takes is a few days away for me to start thinking of the dirty, smelly summer streets with a bit of fondness - especially with all my favorite gems throughout the city.

One of my favorite neighborhood spots is a bright little coffee & pastry shop called The Bakeshop. I initially came across it by searching out an outlet for macarons (I know, I know) closer to home, and found that they also have some seriously stellar coffee. I'm partial to their dirty chai lattes (chai with a shot - or two - of espresso), but on a visit last week before I headed out of town, Ali, Lydia and I shared an assortment of their colorful macarons. It made for a perfect, cheerful last hurrah before I rushed home to pack my bags! I suppose this dose of colorful optimism is my antidote to all the horrible things happening in the world right now. Sometimes fashion & sweets can be the saccharine momentary escape that I really need.

August 4, 2014

{STYLE} Crop Topping It

Photos by Lydia Hudgens

I've never exactly been big on prints -- though, in fairness, I probably would be if I saw them properly executed in my size more often! Alas. That said, when I see one I love, it becomes a huge staple of my wardrobe - especially when it has functional details like secret pockets. Eloquii has been consistently impressing me lately with their on-trend-but-accessible take on prints, and this crop set is no exception, (I also love this take on deco stripes). 

As I begin packing my bags for a month-long whirlwind travel adventure (a mix of work, vacay, weddings, and family time), I'm all about pieces that can do some serious mileage.  A set that looks chic but not-too-dressy for daytime when paired with flats or a low heel and a simple cardigan or jacket, and can easily transition to a night out with heels and some bare shoulders is exactly what I'm excited to devote some of my precious luggage real estate towards. 


{SHOP THE LOOK}

July 28, 2014

{Inside the Studio} The Colorful World of PEPPERCOTTON


I'm pretty transparent about my addiction to Instagram, but what I didn't expect when I first started documenting my life in lo-res photos, was that the photo sharing platform would become a place for discovery, exploration, and connecting with other creatively-minded people. A few months ago, when my friend and mentor Karen Robinovitz shared some photos of PEPPERCOTTON's rainbow-hued, sparkly jewelry on Instagram, I immediately clicked through and became obsessed with their wares. Their aesthetic is a hyper saturated wonderland that travels from the 1970's to an intergalactic future, where candy-colored pop culture reigns supreme.  Don't be surprised if you find Barbie paraphernalia or plastic cake toppers woven into their jewelry alongside Swarovski crystals and raw cut gemstones, all handmade in their light-filled Greenpoint, Brooklyn studio. 

The duo behind the brand, Patrick Culpepper and Aurelia Cotton, met while studying at Rhode Island School of Design in painting and apparel, respectively. Upon graduating in a dismal economic climate, the two decided to collaborate and create their own success - using a stockpile of deadstock and vintage Swarovski crystals that they had stumbled upon in Providence. I instantly felt bonded with their experience, having graduated from Parsons at the same time and seeing so many of my friends struggle to find any work in the design industry, across all fields. 

Since partnering and moving their operations to New York City, PEPPERCOTTON has been featured in Vogue Japan, Harper's Bazaar, W Magazine, Vogue Italia, and stocked internationally at high-end boutiques (think Opening Ceremony and tenoversix). Meanwhile, their stock and collection continues to grow on their own site - with new, unique, and one-of-a-kind pieces added regularly (P.S., they're also offering an exclusive 25% off everything with the code "NMASON25").