In the past several years, platforms like social media, live streams, and blogs have allowed us to catch a glimpse into the illustrious world of New York Fashion Week. Through a tiny window on the Internet, we’ve been able to observe the fashion elite in their natural habitat, prepping models, presenting their works of art, and posing for photographers. Twice a year, I would glue myself to my computer and phone, watching another season and another set of collections unfold on my screens. This taste of NYFW wasn’t enough. It only made me hungrier to experience the fashion phenomena myself.
This week I finally had the opportunity to realize my NYFW dreams. I was tapped by the emerging womenswear designer Mimi Wong to cover the debut of her Fall/Winter 2016 collection at Nolcha, a set of shows exclusively for independent fashion designers. The minute I stepped into the lobby, I was overwhelmed by the energy. Mimi came to meet me and whisked me backstage. I acquainted myself with the area and got to work, snapping photos and video and posting them out to the loyal followers of her label, Minan Wong. For an instant I allowed myself to relish in the fact that I’d come full circle – I was the girl reporting live and sharing the experience out to the world on social media. Then I jumped back into the moment, trying to capture every inch of the excitement – the press jumping from label to label, the designers prepping their lineups, the models in hair and makeup.
Eventually I left the backstage area and made my way out to the runway. I found my seat on the second row and settled in before the show began. Other patrons were finding their places and chattering about the collections they were about to see. Flashes came from the end of the runway like bolts of lightning as the photographers took test shots. As the lights began to dim, the conversations dissipated. Music started playing, and the first look stepped out onto the catwalk. Four labels – Cute Like Mad, Virtruvius, Planet Zero Motorsports, and Fine Art of Fashion – displayed their Fall/Winter 2016 collections before Minan Wong closed the show with her latest line of vibrant, youthful, and feminine pieces using eco-friendly fibers and sustainable materials.
If you’ve ever watched a fashion show, you know the actual show is over in the blink of an eye. The lights went up and floods of people rushed out of their seats, but my work wasn’t done yet. I met Mimi again to follow along with her post-show interviews, taking snapshots and soaking up every moment I could. An hour or two later we wrapped up, said our goodbyes, and parted ways. As I stepped out onto the streets of Chelsea, I was on a high, but by the time I got back to my Upper East Side home office the buzz had dissipated. This taste of NYFW wasn’t enough. It only made me hungrier to experience the fashion phenomena again.
Last month I kicked off a new series called the Creative Habit, inspired by Twyla Tharp’s book The Creative Habit (which I highly recommend reading). For September’s Creative Habit challenge, I encouraged you to embrace the last few weeks of summer weather and go outside every day. However, I really urged you to take it a step further, be present in the outdoors, appreciate your natural surroundings, and remove the extraneous technology, noise, and distractions to better connect with your environment.
Now that fall is in full swing, we’re slowly but surely beginning to spend more time inside. Sometimes these cooler months and increased confinement indoors can really stifle our creativity. We may start to feel more lethargic and less inspired to be creative. That’s why it’s more important than ever to develop and maintain a creative routine!
As we get older and as technology advances, we begin to work with our hands less and less. Instead of writing with pen and paper, we type on a keyboard or tap on a touchscreen. Instead of making cookies from scratch we buy dough at the store or order a batch on Seamless. When was the last time you gardened or painted or did any type of work with your hands?
I recently had an experience that reminded me of the value in working with your hands and experiencing the sensation of touch. I attended a Salsa/Burlesque class, and the instructor encouraged us to touch and feel the movement of our bodies as we danced and use our hands as an extension of movement through our arms. It was here I remembered how the hands can be used as a mode to express and communicate. I realized what a powerful tool we have available to us.
During the month of October, make a creative habit of working with your hands. Find a fun DIY project or pottery class and build something. Pick up an instrument or take a sign language class. Get festive and carve a pumpkin or craft a handmade Halloween costume. The opportunities are endless! How are you going to take on this month’s Creative Habit challenge? Please share your experience making a habit of working with your hands using the hashtag #AOCBlogCreativeHabit
Growing up in the south, fall never felt like a profound transition. Sure we went back to school and started following football instead of baseball, but the weather remained temperate, if not hot, well into October.
This year, at almost the exact moment we transitioned to the autumnal equinox, fall fell on New York City. The air has started to get cool and crisp in the early morning and at sunset, and there’s a distinct sensation that something is shifting.
The changing of seasons can be time to slip into a slump or, oppositely, get caught up and carried away with transformation. I urge you to ease yourself into autumn, and start fall in style with five of my favorite seasonal activities:
1. CURL UP WITH A NEW BOOK
One of my favorite fall pastimes is holing up in my apartment on a Saturday with a good book and a warm cup of tea. When weather permits, it’s also lovely to embrace the chill in the air, pile on a scarf and some layers, and soak up the last remaining months before winter by posting up on a park bench and reading outside.
2. STAY ACTIVE
Bikini season is over and the weather is getting cooler, but it doesn’t mean it’s not important to stay active in the fall and winter months. Prepare for rich foods and overindulging during the holiday season now by maintaining your exercise routine. Staying connected to your body will also help you weather the transition!
3. RECONNECT WITH FRIENDS AT YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD BAR
Fall is a time when everyone tends to return home and settle into their typical routines. Now that everybody is back from irregular summer schedules and trips, it’s a great time to come together and reconnect. Simply gather with your friends on a Friday night at your neighborhood bar and catch up!
4. REASSESS YOUR BEAUTY ROUTINE
When the weather changes, so should your beauty routine. With cooler temperatures, drier air, and increased winds, it’s important to keep your skin nourished. Reassess your bases, like moisturizer and foundation, and invest in products that will keep you hydrated into the winter.
5. SUPPORT THE LOCAL MUSIC SCENE
Concerts are a great indoor activity for fall whether you’re planning a date night or enjoying a girl’s night out. Indulging in artistic entertainment will help boost your spirits and eliminate the cold weather blues. Scope out your city’s venues, check out the tour dates for your favorite artists, and support the local music scene this season!
It’s the fourth and final installment of my Transitional Fall Fashion series – the go-to fall outfit!
First, I want to extend a big THANK YOU to everyone I worked with in this series:
Model Mercedes Bleth for looking beautiful in each and every look I styled.
Photographer Logan Potterf for being an amazing director and having a keen artistic eye.
And last but not least…
Encore boutique for supplying all the apparel and accessories featured in each and every look.
Next, let’s recap the first three parts of the series:
Fall 2014 Must-Have: The Chic Sneaker
Fall 2014 Must-Have: The Hand Chain
Fall 2014 Must-Have: The Vest
PART IV – THE GO-TO FALL OUTFIT
It’s good to have go-to outfits in your closet locked and ready for that day you oversleep or impromptu girls night.
Choose pieces that are quick and easy and make you feel and look good no matter what your mood.
A flowy neutral-colored sweater + denim + booties pretty much sums up my go-to fall ensemble (pun intended).
Up your essential-fall-outfit game with my fourth and final Fall 2014 Must-Have: Coated Denim!
FULL OUTFIT DETAILS
Top: Encore Exclusive
Coated Denim: Seven For All Mankind
Bootie: Sam Edelman
Mercedes Bleth photographed by Logan Potterf
Today I’m coming to you with Part III of my four-part series, Transitional Fall Fashion featuring apparel and accessories from Encore boutique.
If you live in the Athens, GA area, you can visit Encore to purchase every piece featured in this series. Don’t live near Athens? Don’t worry! You can call Encore directly to order a particular item or you can simply use these looks as inspiration for your fall wardrobe.
Part III showcases the layering accessory that should be your best friend this fall: the vest!
Don’t forget! A new season doesn’t mean you have to purchase a completely new wardrobe. Many pieces featured in this series are basics you already have in your closet that can be enhanced by a few key purchases, like my fall 2014 must-haves!
PART III – FALL’S BEST FRIEND: THE VEST
The vest is my third must-have accessory for fall 2014. They’re a fun, functional, and flattering!
Adding an asymmetric sweater vest over this graphic tee and bralette instantly gives this ensemble a cozy fall vibe.
FULL OUTFIT DETAILS
Graphic Tank: Feel the Piece
Sweater Vest: Encore Exclusive
Bootie: Diba True
Maybe a structured shearling/faux leather vest is more your style. Pair it with your favorite plaid button down for a quintessential fall look.
FULL OUTFIT DETAILS
Button Down: Encore Exclusive
Shearling/Faux Leather Vest: Wells Grace
Bootie: Diba True
Mercedes Bleth photographed by Logan Potterf