less is more

It’s been ages since I’ve posted. I’m not ashamed because life happens, and naturally more important things take precedence. Sure, I’ve thought about picking it back up many times. But between being lean on time and other obligations – throw in the fact that the ‘life & style’ theme feels tired and diluted. All of this mixed together was the perfect storm to just.. quit. I’m not saying that “I’m baaaack”, but I certainly do miss the writing. It’s a satisfying outlet and it forces me to stay abreast with creatives. Really a win-win to dive back in. So we’ll see how dedicated I remain.

I want to start by sharing what 2017 has looked like so far. So many up’s and down’s already, and it’s only April. So many victories, so many struggles, and so much learned – and with excited anticipation I know there is so much more to learn this year.

But one key teaching I am in the midst of mastering is ‘less is more’. I’ll try not to bore you with the gritty details, but at the start of the new year – I knew I wanted to take a different approach to my day to day. So I started small – deleting Twitter and Facebook. I wanted to streamline my social media outlets in greater hopes that I would: 1) stop comparing myself unfairly to others, 2) remove myself from environments that (primarily) bred negativity, 3) free up time to invest in myself + others. It’s now April and I am still free of Twitter and Facebook. I can confidently tell you that the only void I have is not knowing my friend’s + family’s birthdays (whoops). Otherwise, hakuna matata. Literally. It’s quite liberating. Less is more.

(*Disclaimer: Also, I gotta say – the dedication I’ve had to keep Twitter and Facebook deleted, has even surprised me. Granted, like any millennial addict, I get my fix somehow. I still check in on Instagram and Snapchat a ridiculous amount of times, daily. So let’s not kid ourselves. However, I’m hoping to cull back my time on these platforms, too. But you know what they say – let’s walk before we run.)

Another related initiative I had was to “become a minimalist”. I was incredibly inspired after listening to “The Minimalists” podcast, and after watching their documentary on Netflix. In short – I learned that this lifestyle is hardly adoptable for me. Let me start by saying – I’m not materialistic. But I’m also, not, not. For example: anyone who will purchase an unnecessary knick knack at TJ Maxx that serves no purpose.. for their coffee table.. is not a minimalist. If it serves no purpose, and you own it – very much NOT a minimalist. But, fortunately – I am an organizing cyclone when unleashed- so purging was extremely cathartic for me. I have since rid myself of attachments, donated to the Goodwill, given things to friends + family, and sold some items too. I am more thoughtful on what I purchase, and what items I bring into my life. Still nowhere near to being a true minimalist, and although I know it will never be fully attainable for me – I chalk this one up to a win. Less is more.

And finally, I bring you to my most recent ‘less is more’ goal, and what I believe will be a source of many (not annoying, I promise) posts in the future – the Whole 30 diet. Today was Day One – and was a big catalyst in me opening my laptop and logging back into L&D. I want to chronicle this journey.

I have to say – I’ve never been much for (safe) diets, and I’ve also never really stuck to one. Nonetheless, I wanted to give this one a go because, guess what? Yeah – you guessed it, less is more! And this diet unquestionably embodies that mentality. In short – I’m cutting all crap out of my diet. No sugar, no processed foods, no artificial anything, and so much more. Restrictions is the name of the game, but I’m so looking forward to the results. I’m also excited to learn to take this lifestyle and use it as incentive to navigate around the kitchen – a place of unchartered waters for me up until now! So we’ll see what this turns into. Accountability report? Maybe. Food diary? Quite possibly. Burn book? Ask me when I really need a Coca Cola.

So there you have it – the year of ‘less is more’. Thanks for reading, entertaining my ramblings, and appeasing me. I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store for us all.

 

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Gaby Aghion – Chloé’s Fearless Leader

Last week, Chloé founder Gaby Aghion passed away at 93 years young. Since her passing, I have read many articles on her life and her legacy at Chloé, but this piece at WWD is perhaps the best, most uplifting, and a true testament to this fashion pioneer.

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My favorite quote from the article comes from Aghion herself:

“A lot of things did not exist in France. Everything was yet to be invented, and this thrilled me,” [she] told WWD in 2012. “I was carried away: It was like a tornado. I designed a small collection and decided to present it myself. I went to source the buttons, the fabrics. I was sticking my neck out.

If anything is to be learned from Aghion’s life it is to do just that: stick your neck out. Take a risk, a leap of faith, just jump. Aghion went against the fashion grain in all aspects of Chloé. From naming her fashion house to selecting the venues for her shows to creating a new type of RTW. She didn’t stick to the status quo, instead she created a new one. And I admire her. Oh, I admire her.

Thank you for being a pioneer, Gaby.

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Be sure to read the full article here.

The Art of Adornment

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It was my first trip to Henri Bendel and I stood there staring at the vast display of jewels, and I was in awe. Rows of dainty, intricate, over-the-top, beautiful jewelry was just begging for me to gaze longingly, to coo “ooh” and “ahh”. And gaze longingly I did, until a lady approached me jolting me out of my trance.

“Can I help you?”

“Oh, no m’am. I’m just looking, thanks.”

The conversation didn’t end there, though. Upon hearing my accent the kind sales associate picked my brain, curious about where I was from and what I was doing in Manhattan. I welcomed the conversation and as it winded down, she promptly directed me towards a table of the daintiest bracelets I had ever seen.

She began throwing bracelets on my wrists, pairing colors, stones, and chain width. I was having a BLAST. (As I’ve said before, I am a freaking sucker for a good sales pitch). And what happened next was one of the most valuable lessons in “dressing” I had ever received.

Grabbing my wrist, she placed a bracelet made up of a tiny rope, and a small, clear stone. “See how this bracelet echoes the colors, and weight of your necklace?” she asked.

She proceeded to assess the canvas she was working with. She looked at my earrings, my watch, necklace, etc. and it immediately all clicked. I think that I inherently knew all along that “oh, this goes with this, this goes with that” and blah, blah, blah. But until this sales associate at Bendel’s began to verbalize to me the art of adorning myself in jewelry, it never really hit me that it really is an art form. An art form that we can trace back to the very beginning of time. Jewelry speaks to our heritage, our family, our inheritance, our interests, and it more oftentimes that not, speaks for itself.

The combining, the curation, the actual wearing of the jewels is an art form in itself. Learning to pair dainty bracelets with chunky necklaces, drop-earrings with cocktail rings. It’s all a fun art of self-expression. However, the art truly begins with the jewelry, and recently I can’t get enough of these fantastic pieces:

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The bracelet from Bendel’s that I was suckered into. It used to be.. cleaner… hmm. Life happens.

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Monday Musings

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It’s here. Welcoming us with its open arms of spilt coffee, blistered heels, deodorant stains, frizzy hair, mascara in the eye, and all the other travesties that Monday mornings always seem to bring. All we can do is push through, slap a smile on our face, and come home and take a long, relaxing bubble bath.

Until you can make it home to slip into your pj’s, take a moment during your lunch break to mull over these “Monday Musings.” Worth your time, will add a wealth of knowledge to your Monday, and heck – may even make you smile.

1 – “The 10 Highest Paid Jobs in Fashion” from the Fashion Student Digest. As graduation looms over my head, I constantly find myself in a state of staring into space, head spinning, trying to iron out the next few months of my life and the career path I want to hone in on. Articles like this really help to put things into perspective. I’d like to be a Chief Marketing Officer, thanks.

2 – NYFW is in full swing. On day FIVE to be exact, and so far, Spring/Summer 2015 is looking flawless! If you are unsure of how to get in on the behind the tents, on the runway, inside scoop, here are “25 Instagram accounts to follow this NYFW” from the StyleList. Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller is number 1. Did you expect anyone else?

3 – Lillian & Dot’s list is fab, no doubt, but the list you NEED to read is from WhoWhatWear and it is “Your Ultimate Guide to Shopping the Best Fall Trends”. It’s the most precise fall-fashion roundup I have seen thus far. Cannot wait for it to get cooler so I can waltz out of the house with a.. er.. blanket draped over my shoulders.

4 – The “25 Must-Read Books For the Fall” from Flavorwire. I’m currently reading “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn, so I’m extremely behind on “trendy” reads. However, this list is on my radar. I can’t wait to get my hands on “Women in Clothes” edited by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, and Leanne Shapton.

5 – The new “I WILL WHAT I WANT” campaign from Under Armour is genius. I initially saw the short commercial on Misty Copeland of the American Ballet Theatre a few weeks ago and was floored. Then it wasn’t just a few days ago that I saw this special on The Today Show. Not thinking it could get any better, I watched the film on Gisele Bündchen. I don’t know about you, but I just got a huge amount of motivation to go work my tush off.

Just survive today, people! Tuesday is around the corner!

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Wonder Woman

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“I wanted to be independent.”

Sitting down to conduct research on an upcoming assignment for my internship class, I came across a video that was the second in a series of fashion designers opening up their studios to The New York Times. Seeing that their second feature was on Diane von Furstenburg – I immediately swooned. Opening up your home is a very intimate thought, and to be invited into Diane von Furstenburg’s space seemed like some magical secret that I just couldn’t wait to discover. It felt like my style icon was inviting me to tea, or something of the equivalent.

(Note: for copyright reasons, I could not insert the video into my post. Please click the link below to watch the video, and read the article.)

Diane von Furstenberg: A Life in Five Floors

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Her office is just as you would expect. Colorful, vibrant, full of life, charming, electric. Words that I could imagine describing DvF perfectly. I admire this designer for a plethora of reasons. For her charitable works, a positive spirit, timeless beauty, artistic vision, and her wisdom to women all inspire and light a fire in me to pursue my passions in the fashion industry.

So while I was on this DvF kick (it isn’t the first), I continued to search for more content on both her and the brand. I came across another clip regarding Diane’s take on confidence. It’s filled with impactful and moving words. Take a look.

“So the more complacency you have with yourself, the better your life is. I was very lucky to discover that really early on.”

Complacency. Hm. Complacency is a terribly scary word. It’s a double-edged sword. Complacency can take a turn for the better or a turn for the worst. You get the point – it can have a double meaning. Regardless, we know DvF meant “for the better”,  but I’d like to focus on another word instead that I believe she would 100% support. And that word is contentment.

As a 20-something on the verge of college graduation I am typing this piece on a style icon on my life and style blog while [ironically] sitting curled up on my couch, yoga pants on, hair all a mess, socks on feet, and a tent-sized tee to top it all off. I do not look stylish, cool, effortless, or chic. I look messy. But I savor days where I can lounge and wear a t-shirt that feels like a second layer of skin. It’s comfortable and since my current job requires a much, much different attire Monday-Thursday, I am taking advantage of being anything but the “stylish” person that my career path demands I take during the work week. I’m content, and comfortable. And what’s so cool is that lately, my whole life has felt like a big ball of contentment. I’m content with my internship, coworkers, new home, new city, new state, new friends, old friends, family, and faith that gets renewed and tested every single day. You could say I’m complacent, but more accurately so I’d like to say that I’m content.

How do you reach a plateau of contentment, though? I think, as young women the climb to contentment is an ongoing one. However, the very first step is to eliminate comparison. Eliminate jealousy, bitterness, envy. Living in a very stressful world that demands so much of us and that expects us to keep up with a certain criteria of beauty, intelligence, wit, and humor can leave you feeling drained, unequipped, and never good enough. But that’s just not true. What’s true is truth, what’s right is taking care of yourself, what’s best is eliminating comparison.

Of course we each have our own goals, our icons that we admire, and that’s all well, and necessary. But when we begin to belittle our own interests, our passions, and our own strengths because they may not be as impressive as the person’s staring back at you on your Facebook screen – we have encountered a serious problem. Comparison truly is the thief of all joy. And just as Diane said,

“You have to be true to yourself.

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Pre-order Diane von Furstenberg’s new book, “The Woman I Wanted to Be” on Amazon.com!

White Hot Fashions

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As long as it’s not white linen, most style experts will nod and say, “White after Labor Day? Of course. Winter white is so hot.” However, many ladies still find themselves hesitantly staring at their white things unsure of how to incorporate white subtleties after the supposed “white cut-off date.” So here we are, staring Labor Day in the face, and Lillian & Dot is here to tell you to stick it to Labor Day, wear what you wish, and soak up the fun that this long weekend is sure to bring.

But if you’re still a little hesitant, to keep things easy for you, Vogue shares “How to Wear White After Labor Day: Ten Pieces for Fall”. An extremely helpful guide that will make you think twice about the ways you can wear what you already have in your closet!

But this weekend, you have free range – wear the linen, the white shorts, the white shoes, everything! You’ll be sure to shine!

So do you have big plans for Labor Day? I’ll be spending mine with my family exploring Nashville. I’m ready to throw on my ripped boyfriend jeans, Chucks, my favorite tee, and turn up my [currently] favorite tune: Riptide by Vance Joy. Take a listen here.

Have a safe, and happy Labor Day!

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