Independence//Dependence

Independence. It is something we all aim to possess and incorporate into our daily life. It is also something each of us interprets differently depending on our own circumstances. For some independence means being able to afford rent without the help from one’s parents, and for others it means being perfectly content in one’s own company. Who are we to judge whether someone should be independent or dependent?

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I have always been independent in my own interests and style. I pride myself in the fact that I dress the way I want and do what I want without the opinions of other’s affecting me. I mean it is pretty necessary to not care what others think when you are out on the streets of London with a photographer who has a camera with a two-foot-long lens pointing at you…

Although I am very independent in most aspects, I depend on my family and friends for love, support, and some good laughs. Without them I would not have turned into the person I am today.

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It is weird to think about your own style as being independent or dependent, as if it were a person itself. However, one’s style is truly dependent on this concept. You either dress the way you want because YOU like it or you dress that way because SOCIETY likes it. Or in a fashionista’s case, the way the fashion industry likes it.

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Trends like yellow-tinted sunglasses and fishnet tights are completely dependent on the opinions of the fashion industry. Even I can’t admit that I made those style choices simply because I liked the style and wanted to wear it; I tried them because they were on-trend and worn by some of my favorite bloggers.

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Just like our own personalities, I believe it is essential that our individual style is comprised of both independent and dependent pieces. Us humans need to be somewhat dependent on others in order to form meaningful relationships in our lives. We also need these relationships to expand our own outlook on life and grow as individuals. Our style works the same way in that without trying “trends” we don’t know what we like/dislike and what looks good/bad on our bodies.

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In this look I was inspired by the off-the-shoulder trend currently circulating throughout the fashion world. However, I made it my own by adding my favorite black boots and a jeweled bag I found at a local market in London.

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Whether it is with your clothes, personal goals, or hobbies, don’t be afraid to look to others for their thoughts and opinions. We often condemn people who depend too much on the opinions of others; but sharing ideas is necessary to grow into your own form of independence.

See more street style posts by following me on here, InstagramTwitter, and Facebook. If you enjoyed this post, check out Too New York for London- a Lookbook.

Photos by Colton.

Too New York for London- A Lookbook

As my 5 month adventure in London comes to a close, I have been thinking, how have I adapted to the European culture? There are some little things that you pick up from being in a new country for so long, like calling eggplant aubergine, or the side that you walk up the stairs, but can a country really change someone’s core?

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I am a firm believer that I will always be a New York City girl (sorry London!). While I love London and would never hesitate to move here for a few years, New York City will always have my heart. After all, the city is written all over my outfit choices.

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My style has definitely changed a bit to fit the European persona, but it still remains very “American”. While every girl in London is sporting her culottes and trainers with socks, I continue to wear little flowy dresses and my leather jacket. And, after all, black clothing is a New Yorker’s second skin. I don’t think I will ever stray away from my all-black wardrobe no matter how much I attempt to add some colorful pieces to my closet.

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While my fashion sense has stayed relatively the same, I have definitely grown into a more mature woman while living in London. I have always considered myself a very independent person, going to events on my own and taking the awkward steps to meet new people. However, since being here, my independence has grown to a new level that I never knew it could. Being away from your friends and family, having absolutely no one familiar, is a scary thing that forces you to step completely out of your comfort zone. Independence is no longer a choice but a way of living.

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I am excited to bring this newfound independence back with me to the States (and my British lingo begins to show!). I have developed an appreciation for people in my life and just good people in general that I am confident will make me enjoy my life in New York City even more than I had before.

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When I return to New York City at the end of the month, I will always have a piece of London in me. You can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl!

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See more Shoreditch street art and style posts by following me on here, InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

Photos by Colton.

A New Year, A New Adventure

2017 is just a few hours away and with this new year comes the new year’s resolutions. Have you decided yet what you are striving for once the year turns? Many people make it their goal to exercise, eat healthy, or maybe read a few more books, but a new year is about so much more than just these minuscule goals. Yes, miniscule. In the grand scheme of life are these things the secret to your happiness? Definitely not.

In the middle of January I am leaving the United States in order to study abroad for five months across the Atlantic Ocean, in London. As the day of my departure comes closer and closer, my parents and friends keep asking me why I have to leave. Of course my parents thought I was crazy when I said this, but I told them it was because I was getting too comfortable here.

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I am someone that needs to be constantly challenged or I get bored and fall into a “funk”. In the last few months I have been experiencing this funk greatly. While I was happy, I knew I needed a change and I to push myself outside of my own limitations. What better way to do this than to move to a new country where you know nothing about the culture or the people?

There is something so frightening yet so exciting about living an entirely different life for a few months. I am ready to meet new people, explore new cities, and experience the discomfort of something entirely new. When is the last time that you went into something blind and alone? These leaps of faith are the ones that help us to learn the most about ourselves and grow into the person we want to be. It gives us a sense of clarity about what we love, appreciate, and want in the future.

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If you have the feeling of extreme comfort in your life, go out and destroy that feeling. Move somewhere new, take a trip alone, or do something that scares you. You will never know what you can learn about yourself until you try. Nobody progresses anywhere by being comfortable in life. So make 2017 a year of growth and happiness, not by losing weight or earning an A in one of your classes, but by going outside and experiencing life.

Be sure to follow me here, on Instagram, on Twitter, and on Facebook in order to keep up with my European adventures!

 

Sculpture Garden in the Heart of NYC

Yes, you read that right. This beautiful sculpture garden is in the middle of downtown Manhattan, hidden away between two quiet streets. If you’ve happened to stumble upon this garden while walking down Elizabeth Street, consider yourself very lucky. It is not everyday that you find a gem like this one in such a busy, evolving city.

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The Elizabeth Street Garden is the perfect place to escape the hustle of the city streets and curl up in a good book. The garden is full of hidden pathways leading to benches and tiny tables with chairs. The giant sculptures and blooming flowers create an atmosphere buzzing with creativity and inspiration. This space is so important in a neighborhood like this one where there is only three feet of open space per resident. Us New Yorkers don’t get the luxury of open space to call our own which is why this garden means so much to so many of us.

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Around since 1903, this garden represents a time in history. It was originally built in partnership with a school, by architect C.B.J. Snyder, and served as a civic and social center for the surrounding residents. In the 1970s the school was torn down but the garden remained.

Sadly, potential developers are looking into destroying this one-of-a-kind space in the city, turning the garden into just another apartment complex. Whether you are a native New Yorker or someone across the world who someday hopes to visit this garden, please take the time to send this electronic letter to those who have the ability to protect the Elizabeth Street Garden.

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It pains me to know that a place full of history, wonder, and a unique perspective of art could be destroyed for more city housing. Everyone deserves to seek the same creative inspiration that I have, from this space. The sculptures, flowers, and even people this space attracts have influenced the way I dress and the lens I view the world by.

The garden has reminded me to dress with a sense of ease that is pleasing to the eye and unique to myself. It has also showed me how to mix classic pieces with more modern ones, like these crepe pants and dark leather jacket. Just like the garden is a reminder of the simple beauty in an ever-changing city, my wardrobe remains classic and refreshing while I continue to grow and change.

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My favorite piece in the garden? The greyhound sculptures, of course. I have been a sucker for greyhounds ever since my family rescued my sweet, three-year-old baby girl, Luna, this past May. Coming to this garden reminds me of her when I am missing her most. And, with the greyhound winning the National Dog Show this November, the statues might just be a lucky charm for the future of the Elizabeth Street Garden.

 

Brooklyn (Bridge) Baby

Yeah my boyfriend’s pretty cool, But he’s not as cool as me, Cause I’m a Brooklyn baby, I’m a Brooklyn baby…

If you don’t know those lyrics, you should get familiar with them. I’ve mentioned my love for Lana Del Rey before and I won’t fail to preach my love for her again. And hey, I was in Brooklyn, so the song fits.

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Friday afternoon I ventured over to Brooklyn with my father who has been dying to experience the magic that the Brooklyn Bridge is in person. The Brooklyn Bridge is often something that is overlooked by New Yorkers and people in the surrounding area because of all the tourists it attracts. But this bridge is no Times Square. It may be overly crowded (with over 7,000 people a day might I add) but it definitely deserves to be appreciated for its structural beauty.

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The Brooklyn Bridge began construction in 1869 by John Augustus Roebling but wasn’t opened until 1883. My dad religiously read a book all about the construction of the bridge, so naturally he was spitting out random facts to me along the journey. He explained to me that the reason why the construction took so long was due to the injuries and illnesses Roebling, as well as all of the workers, kept facing throughout the process. Roebling eventually became too sick to finish the bridge so his son took over the project. His son eventually became ill as well and was forced to view the construction of the bridge while bedridden in his little Brooklyn Heights apartment.

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While walking across I was amazed by the fact that these ropes were holding up an entire bridge. Just think of all of the math and engineering behind this structure. The Brooklyn Bridge wasn’t even renovated until just last year, showing how strong the support of the bridge is. It truly is a structural masterpiece.

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As the Brooklyn Bridge’s architecture continues to be viewed and appreciated from people all over the country, including New Yorkers themselves, it is also being used as a way for these people to make their own artistic statements. I love to admire the different quotes people write on the bridge as well as the designs of the stickers posted on the rails. Lovers even began locking locks onto the bridge to symbolize their infinite love for one another, just like they once did on the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris, France.  However, more recently, couples have been tying earphones to the bridge as a more affordable option to the locks.

I’m not really sure what this says about love… Love isn’t worth the expense? Or maybe love just never lasts? After all, if thousands of locks are being removed every year, yet they’re supposed to represent infinite love, what is this saying about the fate of relationships in today’s society?

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If you know anything about Brooklyn you know that it is known for its industrial structures, some of which just happen to be reinvented into something new. I stumbled upon this park, St. Ann’s Warehouse, locked away in an open-air warehouse, after reaching DUMBO (the neighborhood located under the bridge).

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This park was full of plants and trees as well as big brick walls with arched alcoves for you to sit on and relax.  As it turns out, the building itself holds artistic performances throughout the year, from plays to concerts to poetry readings. In 1980 it was the National Historic Landmark Church of St. Ann and the Holy Trinity, hint the current name of the warehouse. From the looks of this building, a church was the last thing I would have guessed this to be.

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Brooklyn is a borough that makes a statement. From the architectural structures to the fashion bloggers roaming the streets to the inspiration that covers every corner, Brooklyn never fails to inspire.

Esabitchin’- A Presentation in Sustainable Fashion

At the close of New York Fashion Week I was invited to a conscious fashion exhibition party called Esabitchin’. Naturally, I jumped at this offer because I love seeing sustainable fashion showcased by up-and-coming designers.

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When we walked in there was a table set up with cards displaying the details of the event. Following the theme of sustainability, these cards were unique in that they could be planted and grown into the flowers pictured on the table.

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The first designer that caught my attention was Lindy Fox. Her collection featured lots of earthy tones and geometric shapes. Fox uses upcycled material in order to create beautiful pieces like the ones featured above. If you are unfamiliar with the word upcycling, this means she reuses fabric that were once used for something else.

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I then found my way to Zero Waste Daniel‘s presentation. His clothes are made from brightly-colored, crazy-patterned fabric scraps. Daniel is aiming to do big things, starting with saving three tons of pre consumer textile waste in 2016 alone. Not only does he make a statement with his designs but also with the purpose and goals behind them.

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Last but not least is Study NY. This collection was definitely my favorite because it embodies my style the most. It is simple but makes a statement with the silhouettes and color-blocking of fabrics. Tara St James, the genius behind this brand, uses sustainable fabrics as well as ethical production methods to make each piece.

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Dying over the sweater vest and denim blouse combination!

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As for me, I of course had to sport my favorite sustainable fashion brand for the night, EILEEN FISHER. I am wearing one of my favorite silk dresses of hers and knee-high, suede boots. Be sure to read about my EILEEN FISHER experience for all the scoop on the brand’s latest sustainability projects.

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A night of fashion wouldn’t be complete without a little bit of art as well. Throughout the event this artist was live painting on a canvas in the outdoor courtyard of the space. She was painting everything from jeans jackets to polaroids.

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Please check out Esa, the company that put together this event, and educate yourself on the importance of sustainable fashion. It is just as easy to create beautiful clothes using ethical practices as it is to create clothing in harmful ways.

 

And the Summertime Sadness Sets In…

Summer is soon coming to an end and as Lana Del Rey once sang, “I’ve got that summertime, summertime sadness”. I know I speak for all of us when I say I am going to miss the sun setting at 8:30pm, endless ice cream cones and beach trips. Nothing compares to watching the sun set over the edge of the ocean, lobster roll in hand.

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As each season ends I think it is important to reflect on how we have changed and the person we have shaped into over the past few months. This summer I got to call the Upper West Side my home for a month, living in New York City completely on my own for the first time. From this experience I have learned just how happy one can be by being in their favorite place and being completely independent. I often found myself running along the Hudson River at night, so thankful for where I was and the opportunities given to me.

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Living in New York City and working at EILEEN FISHER (which I talk about more here), has been a growing experience where I have learned more about myself than I ever knew. I like to think that my summer embodied Lana Del Rey’s “Born to Die” album. The songs in the album touch on being fearless and living your life for yourself, without any care of the opinions of others.

I can honestly say that I lived this summer for me. I enjoyed dinner at one of my favorite restaurants with simply a book as my company. I tried a new fitness class every day through ClassPass (FlyWheel will always be my favorite). I ran around the city working one job to the next.

Not only did I channel a Lana Del Rey attitude, but I also let her style inspire mine. She is casual yet glamorous with a vintage flare. She is known for wearing beautifully colored tropical patterns (her Coachella 2015 look will always be a favorite of mine). Lana is not afraid to express herself with her unique fashion sense. This tropical mini skirt, bell-sleeved top and copper sandals embody my summer.

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As we enter this coming fall I encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone and live a fearless life. Take the risks you have been too afraid to take. Do something that makes you happy, without worrying about pleasing others. It is amazing how much we can discover about ourselves when we live new experiences and do things for our own happiness.