+beginning+

Taking sartorial risks and not following other people is what makes you stand out.

Zac Posen, American fashion designer (1980-present)

A few months ago, my school hosted a fashion entrepreneurship and networking event.  In theory, this was a wonderful opportunity, but the actual event wasn’t as useful as advertised.  However, I won’t deny that this event was somewhat helpful.  I had the chance to talk to people in various parts of the fashion industry, ranging from entrepreneurship to PR to finance.

The panel members and guest speaker all repeated variations of the same sentiment in regard to working in fashion.  Everyone said it is an extremely cutthroat and competitive field, though they were few lucky ones who were at the right place at the right moment.  For them, this “coincidence” contributed greatly to their success, as well as their pride to return to their alma mater to talk about this.

I had an issue with their words because general statements like these are simply just useless pieces of advice for anyone, regardless of industry.

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When asked what I want to be, I always say, “a successful fashion designer and businesswoman like Coco [Chanel].”  Despite the wishful nature of my career goal, I have no reservations, nor do I have a starry look in my eyes that success will come easy to me, let alone launch my own fashion house.  I am well-aware of my numerous disadvantages when trying to break into the fashion world, though it is a double-edge sword, as I do have some unique advantages.

My Bachelor of Science in Mathematics if very far off from the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design, or other similar degrees that many notable fashion designers have.  I do get the value in a fashion degree because there are things that you can only learn in school.  Colleges teach students discipline, which include a good foundation in the basics of creating apparel and accessories.

Going to fashion school is also extremely beneficial beyond the classroom.  It helps with creating connections in the fashion industry, as most fields, even finance and entertainment, are heavily reliant on a good word of mouth to get you the much-needed exposure towards achieving your dreams.  Teachers and peers can help each other meet potential employees, like seamstresses who can work in-house to create your sample, or introduce you to fashion magazines that can do print work featuring your stuff.

While I haven’t reached the point where I have launched my fashion house or shown in New York Fashion Week, I wouldn’t call my college choices deal breakers to make it big in fashion.  Interestingly, my choice in major has greatly contributed to my creativity, as well as my focus on detail – two skills that are valuable when designing.  You may not believe me when I say this, but the most creative people in this world are those in love with understanding numbers.

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Besides the creative aspect of a successful fashion line, it’s also important to understand that an atelier is also a business.  It’s great when high fashion designers create covetable pieces that the cream of the crop (i.e. Hollywood actors and actresses, socialites, etc.) are fighting on line to wear.  However, to sustain a brand in a world where you’re not the only talented designer creating desirable apparel, you have to keep in mind that you’re a business that also runs on generating revenue.

Looking at the business side of a fashion house, there are many things that go into running a good business.  These include a good HR department, possibly a team of in-house lawyers, a marketing team, a finance department, as well as many more.  Without these things, yes, you can make great clothes, but you can also rack up tons of lawsuits from employees and former employees that can drive you and your business to bankruptcy.

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Thanks to my choice to attend an arts and science college, I get to meet lawyers who know about fashion law, experience the day in the life of startup businesses, as well as learn how to maximize on numbers, so as to generate sales that count.  Obviously, a great deal of college is what you make of it.  Through my choice, I was able to befriend lifelong friends of various majors who may possibly be future employees at my fashion house.  I know that if I need an accountant to keep a close eye on funds, as well as a marketing expert who can bring in models and actresses as the brand representative, I have a plethora of friends to pick from (happy emoji).

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In the end of the day, don’t get too bogged down when you have trouble achieving your dreams.  Not going down a traditional route to realize those dreams may actually be a blessing in disguise.  And don’t be afraid of asking questions or grabbing opportunities just because you’re scared of rejection.  You’re bound to get rejected, regardless of your career path.  It’s never too early to become acquainted to the bitter taste of rejection, so that you can truly understand the determination it takes to make things work.  While it would be nice to have a smooth sailing from the day you created your dream to the day it’s finally realized, that’s not how life works, unless you have a genie.

xoxo,

the girl who’s going to create a successful atelier like how the tortoise won the race

IMAGE CREDIT: Michael Hazzard Photography

+warfare+

Fashion fades, only style remains the same.

Coco Chanel, French fashion designer and businesswoman (1883-1971)

Ever since I was little, I always wanted to own a Burberry trench coat.  I know other brands make their own versions of it, but there isn’t anything more iconic than having a Burberry trench coat with your initials monogrammed on the inside.  When I was younger, my mother promised me that once I graduated college that she would buy me one.  As I have only one more year of school left, hopefully it’ll be a dream come true in May 2018 🖤!

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I always dreamt of being an adult, tall and able to wear the form-flattering trench coat featured in the Burberry ads, or during a fashion week collection, paired with a blanket-like poncho.  I would jealousy stare at pictures of models, celebs, and fashion bloggers who wore this consistently trend piece, and would turn green with envy whenever someone wore their trench coat on the streets of NYC.

To me, everything about the trench coat was appealing, from the history of the material to its waist slimming design.  The trench coat is extremely versatile: it can be worn as a jacket dress or simply as a fashionable yet practical piece during a rainy day.  For its two-grand price tag, it’s certainly an investment that every fashion inclined woman should make.

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The trench coat has a unique story – Thomas Burberry, the creator of the gabardine material used for trench coats, never intended to make these coats for the fashion industry.  Trench coats were originally made to serve as the standard Army uniform and apparel for the United Kingdom due to its fabric being waterproof and sturdy.

However, as we know about army inspired clothing, they almost always end up in the mainstream fashion scene.  Even today, the army green color and camouflage pattern are used as fashion statements by many designers, and are eagerly worn by customers who want to flaunt off their knowledge of the ever-changing trends.

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Even if Burberry didn’t intend to make this for fashion, it’s amazing how he created something that transcended time.  Very few fashion pieces have managed this feat, capturing the hearts of fashion people and regular folk alike, like Chanel’s No. 5 perfume and Hermès Birkin bag.

Hopefully I’ll be a new owner of a trench coat as I make my own journey to find an accidental mistake that spurs the success of my own fashion house.

xoxo,

the girl who dreams of making an iconic fashion piece

IMAGE CREDIT: Burberry

Fashion is a dream.  It’s difficult, and there are many aspects of fashion that are very difficult, but if you love it like I do, because I really have a passion, now, for fashion, it’s not easy, but nothing is easy in life.

Carolina Herrera, Venezuelan-American fashion designer (1939-present)

IMAGE CREDIT: PUIG

+retro+

“As a designer, you’ve always got to push yourself forward; you’ve always got to keep up with the trends or make your own trends.  That’s what I do.” – Alexander McQueen (via BrainyQuote)

Disclaimer: This post is basically +trendy+ part two, where I slowly reveal my outfits to the world. 

I typically stick to solid colors and basic silhouettes, but there are times when I want to wear something different from my “signature look”.  Whenever I do go astray, I like to wear things that have interesting patterns or designs.  However, I tend to stick to a specific outfit schedule of turtlenecks and as many black colored pieces as I can in the winter, while summers are filled with loose tops and tight shorts.

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Since I was younger, turtlenecks were my go-to shirts because they’re practical in keeping your neck warm, but they also made you look adult like.  Every kid loved to dress like an adult, especially emulating adults they thought were cool.  As I grew older, turtlenecks were no longer “in”, as people favored lower necklines covered with circle (infinity) scarves.

I was generally the odd one out, with my black turtlenecks that easily accumulated lint, while everyone else was too caught up in mob mentality.  By the time 2014 rolled along, turtlenecks made its return, and I went from a fashion pariah to a bandwagoner because everyone started to wear them again.  Coming into 2017, turtlenecks are beloved by trendsetters all around the world, and it’s almost blasphemous to not own one.

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Recently, I was introduced to Francesca’s, a mixture of Brandy Melville’s super girly feel and Urban Outfitters’ hipster look.  The two turtleneck tops that I bought were of different styles – one was sleeveless and fitted, while the other was sleeveless but looser, held together by ties at both sides.

The necks on both tops were not as long as your traditional turtleneck, ending only halfway up your neck, but it still gave an illusion of a long and graceful neck.  They could easily be paired with gold or silver necklaces, which only added a feminine feel.  It also didn’t hurt that they had a sale that day, so everything was 60% off.

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Despite my Francesca’s diversion, I wanted to go shopping to buy another pair of boyfriend jeans, as the pair I owned was a cross between joggers and capris.  I wanted ~legit~ boyfriend jeans so I could mix them up with cropped sweaters or turtlenecks and cardigans to recreate popular looks from the twentieth century, though with a modern upgrade.

I read somewhere that during Marilyn Monroe’s lifetime, she would wear boyfriend jeans to juxtapose to her feminine beauty because as seen in +tall+, structured and form fitting pants from department stores were rejected as the norm.  Boyfriend jeans are of a looser design and don’t highlight your legs’ skinniness – they’re like flared jeans, emphasizing the length of your legs, all while giving the illusion of having a tiny waist.  It was my lucky day, as the stars aligned and the Calvin Klein’s I bought were only a fraction of its original price.

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Recently around New Year’s, I met up with my best friend, and we all know, best friends are responsible for taking Instagram-worthy pictures.  I obviously asked her to take pictures of my outfit to show off on my blog.  Below is my #ootd, well more like #ootn.

img_2111The jacket and top are not of a recent purchase – the jacket was from Urban Outfitters, but probably from five years ago, while the top was surprisingly from Abercrombie & Fitch.

xoxo,

the girl who loves taking pretty pictures

p.s. Below are more amateur pictures of what I bought.  I usually put links for anyone interested in checking them out, but Francesca’s no longer has these in circulation.

img_1651Francesca’s sleeveless maroon turtleneck top

Version 2Francesca’s sleeveless black turtleneck top with ties at the sides

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Calvin Klein boyfriend fit light marbled jeans

+trendy+

“It is ever so much easier to be good if your clothes are fashionable.” – L. M. Montgomery (via goodreads)

I love, but also hate shopping.  I love buying new clothes and shoes, but everything that I want to buy is always out of my price range.  To make matters worse, everyone always tells me to get “the next best thing,” but the feeling of regret is worse than not buying the actual product.  And obviously, knock-offs aren’t even an option, as I would rather wallow in self-pity for not having something, than having a fake version of it.

Consequently, when it comes to shopping, my philosophy is: if you can’t afford it, wait until you can.  At first, this was disheartening to tell myself because by the time I could buy it, I would either lose interest in it, or it would no longer be in stock.  For anyone who has ever wondered why my closet was so sparse, now you have an explanation: quality over quantity, and quality is quite expensive.

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It’s not all doom and gloom because SALES EXIST.  Sales, especially good ones, make faux-luxury living possible for a broke girl like myself, where full prices items become possible purchases.  They also make shopping smart; they encourage a mature usage of credit cards and paychecks, something that Rebecca Bloomwood didn’t understand for the longest time.  At this age, many of us have student loans, and quite frankly, I don’t want to be adding credit card debt to that in my early twenties just because I couldn’t handle my money properly.

While it is my money, and what I’m going to have to wear (unless I return or sell it), it’s best to be conscientious when adulting.  Personally, I’m an overally cautious spender, and it will take me at least three days to decide whether or not I will purchase something.  I heavily research what I want to buy, listing the pros and cons, reading reviews, and seeing it in person if I want to buy it cheaper online. 8 out of 10 times have all failed to make the cut, and I’m left resigned without a purchase.  However, the two times that I do purchase something are the best, as they are things I won’t regret having.

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A little while back, I bought a few things that I just had to review: Jeffrey Campbell boots and Calvin Klein baseball caps.  When you think of Jeffry Campbell’s, you automatically think of the $200 chunky platform sandals from Nasty Gal (r.i.p.), but these Chelsea boots were only a fraction of the price.  During the time of purchase, I was pretty desperate to find pretty fall/winter shoes to wear that weren’t my Bean Boots, as well as something I could wear out in the streets of New York without looking confused.  These shoes are perfect for all types of weather and always look on point, though with my huge feet, I don’t know how well the latter happened.

The second were two Calvin Klein baseball caps from Urban Outfitters in black and white (#trendy).  These chic hats are perfect when your hair isn’t being agreeable with you, or if you’re running low on time to look presentable, you can just throw one of these on.  When I bought them, they were on sale, which made them even more covetable.  I also had originally planned on only buying one, but given the price, I bought both of them.

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I would post #ootd/#ootn pictures with my new purchases, but that’ll be revealed in an upcoming post, as I bought more basic essentials to make a semi-chic/coherent look.  Stay tuned!

xoxo,

the girl who likes to wear solid colors

p.s. Listed below are links to the shoes and hats, along with amateur photos that I took.

Jeffrey Campbell Stormy Rain Boot: Jeffrey Campbell, Nordstrom

fullsizeoutput_f9a.jpegCalvin Klein Canvas Baseball Hat: Urban Outfitters

+tall+

“You can have anything you want.  If you dress for it.” – Edith Head (via Who What Wear)

Ever since I was little, there was one fashion trend that I was obsessed with – high-waisted flare jeans worn with thin black ankle boots.  For obvious reasons, however, even if you live in the most fashionable children in the world, people will judge you; your peers decide what “cool” is, and what is not, for the general population.  I fondly remember my elementary and early middle school days, where Abercrombie kids and Hollister Co. were symbols of every normal and cool kid.  Consequently, flared jeans were worn on days I did not see my classmates, while Hollister skinnies were my go-to pants during school hours.  Now that I am older and less bogged down by societal expectations, I want to wear “ugly” pants again, remembering why I fell in love with them in the first place.

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On Startup Fashion, flared jeans have a rich history well beyond the bell bottoms of the 70s.  In the nineteenth century, these wore worn by navy sailors as their standard manner of dress because of the lack thereof.  No one knows why they became a mark of a sailor, but there has been speculation on this particular design (e.g. easy to remove over boots, easy to roll up to avoid getting drenched, easy to fill with water to use as a DIY floatation device, etc.)

By the mid-twentieth century, baby boomers made flared jeans a symbol of deviant behavior – behavior that does not conform to social norms and value, but not necessarily behavior that elicits negative response.  Army wear, or thrift wear for the matter, was turned into street wear, something fashionistas today understand quite well.  The young baby boomers rejected the department stores their parents loved and went to army surplus stores to kick start another popular trend today, reform fashion, where clothes are transformed to give it a “me” feel to it.  60s’ Anti-war sentiment meant clothing reform consisted of hippie logos, like peace signs and flowers in an edgy, counterculture look to their army apparel.  Everyone wore the popular bell bottoms regardless of gender, rejecting the straight-leg pants the older generation wore.

In the 70s, fashion designers began to incorporate this style into their own work because bell bottoms were no longer counterculture; they were the newest “it” item to own.  Sonny and Cher were known for their dramatic bell bottoms, which were laughingly called “elephant bells,” and served as the height of 70s fashion.

However, by the 80s, skinny jeans became the new ~in~ pants and they have been the trend since then.  The 90s brought back the bell bottoms, but with an appropriate upgrade.  These bell bottoms were of denim, to match the 90s denim craze, but were subtler and less dramatic than the original bell bottoms, favoring a small flare at the bottom, instead of having a flare that began at the hips.

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Interestingly though, 2016 was filled with recycled trends from the 60s-90s that have been upgraded to fit today’s standards.

Céline’s S/S 2015 collection showed flared pants runway looks, and a brief look at and Abercrombie and Fitch’s stuff online also offer flared pants.  We all know that if high fashion pays homage to the past, then we should be embracing them as well.

The beauty about flared pants/jeans is that it makes you look taller and skinner, and quite frankly, who would deny the chance to look like a model?  I would love to add four extra inches to my height, but at my age, I know that won’t be happening, so you have to “fake it ’til you make it.”  If I can’t be Kendall Jenner tall, then I will wear flare jeans that will give me the proper silhouette.

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In my lacking wardrobe, I only own one pair of flared pants, and they’re my yoga pants.  In all honesty though, everyone should buy a pair because they’re so lightweight and relatively comfortable.  If anyone loves flared pants/jeans like I do, leave a comment with some recommendations please!

xoxo,

the girl who wants to make flared jeans classy like Audrey Hepburn did with the LBD

p.s. Below is a picture of the pants that are like the ones I currently own.  I would list a brand, but I have no clue where I bought them, most likely because my mom bought them for me.  (Thanks Mom!)

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Image Credit: Reformation

+couture+

“Black-and-white always looks modern, whatever that word means.” – Karl Lagerfeld (via BrainyQuote)

A few months ago, I went to a private showing of this year’s Met Gala, Manux x Machina: Fashion In An Age of Technology.  According to various media outlets, Anna Wintour front Vogue and the other event organizers sought to display how fashion keeps with the times in today’s fast-paced society, by incorporating technology into designs traditionally made exclusively by hand, so as to maintain the uniqueness of each fashion house.

When you typically see pieces brought to life by high fashion creative designers like Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel and Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy, you will notice that they are all painstakingly made by hand by their respective ateliers’ army of seamstresses who turn 2-D dreams into 3-D pieces to show off on magazine covers and runways.

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In a world filled with seven billion people and counting, the demand for couture pieces are on the rise.  It is impractical for ateliers to solely utilize a group of dressmakers who make pieces from scratch.  Prêt-á-porter outfits are for the modern age, in which clothes are made by machines and can be worn right off the runway.  The Met Gala reconciles and celebrates the union between these two methods of textile production, showing off beautiful dresses that demonstrate the best of both worlds.

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To my surprise, many dresses were handmade fabrics that were made early in the twentieth century.  The fact that they could still be used to design fabulous dresses was amazing, especially because you would expect fabric that old to lose its vibrant color.  The event clearly explained why people wait months and dish thousands of dollars to receive their own once-in-a-lifetime creation.  The creativity of the designers shown through these dresses fit perfectly with an art museum, as wearable art is the best type of art.

Some pieces that stuck out were Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel wedding dresses, as well as Christopher Kane’s anatomy of a flower dress.  Iris van Herpen was also a big hit, as many of her pieces, like the synthetic feathered dress, perfect for any evil Disney stepmother, were comparable to Gareth Pugh’s creations, like the black and white straw dresses that resembled armor.

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Listed are some of the designers and fashion houses that partook in this beautiful exhibit, along with pictures of the designers’ awe-inspiring creations.

  • Christian Dior, Dior
  • Christopher Kane
  • Iris van Herpen
  • John Galliano
  • Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel
  • Martin Margiela, Maison Margiela
  • Miuccia Prada, Prada
  • Nicolas Ghesquière, Balenciaga & Louis Vuitton
  • Raf Simons, Dior
  • Riccardo Tisci, Givenchy
  • Sarah Burton, Alexander McQueen
  • Yves Saint Laurent

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(via Metropolitan Museum of Art)

xoxo,

the girl who wished she lived like Blair or Serena, but mostly Blair