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"). 

July 22, 2014

{STYLE} All White Everything

Photos by Lydia Hudgens

It has taken me a long time to get to a place where I feel confident and chic wearing all white, even if I do still get a little bit anxious about accidentally spilling something on myself or leaning into wet paint (it has happened to me before... and on my way to a job interview, no less!) But because this has, despite my conditioning to avoid white, become one of my favorite summer trends, I decided to take it on for my latest editorial for navabi! Psst, they have a great selection of all white looks, too

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?! 

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