In The Hothouse

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Photos: My main gal Danielle Martin of Ch.25

Well spring has sprung both in a figurative and literal context. Much like a fledgling seedling I’ve spent the last half of winter slowly germinating in a seething hotbed of sheet. That’s right, you heard me. I was dealing with a lot of sheet.

I think theres a reason “In The Hothouse” is often used when referring to a state of anger, outrage or a highly stressful and  pressure packed state of being.  You feel bogged down by layers of nasty feelings, both towards yourself and outside influences and just as you begin to break through these layers of crud and find yourself in the sunlight, you meet the heat. Excruciating temperatures so overpowering that it takes your breath away and weighs down upon you like a searing wave of sticky fog. It envelopes you like a dark claustrophobic box, making it impossible to breathe.

Next come the showers, heavy and unrelenting. Bogged down, you begin to feel like you just can’t win. Then, just like that, you begin to blossom.

And so I’ve been planted in the sunshine of the summer. The soil and soot still surround me, the heat still beats upon me and the rains still break down on me but I am strengthened by them.

Ps. Totally had my first, and second, panic attacks while I was ‘living’ in the hothouse. Not fun. Plants DON’T have panic attacks. People do. Total sheet.

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NYFW: Son Jung Wan, An Artist’s Perspective

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Well, I’m back home in the bluegrass and fresh off a New York Fashion Week high. Of all the amazing experiences, chance encounters and fashion gazing this past week entailed I must say that two experiences stand above the rest as emotionally evocative and creatively inspiring. Both my trip to The Museum Of Modern Art (aka the MoMA) and Son Jung Wan’s Fall 2015 fashion show made lasting impressions on my modern mind. It’s funny how life, and fashion, imitate art.

When I ventured backstage at Son Jung Wan’s show with The Kentucky Gent, I was instantly drawn in by the lush jewel tones, luxe furs, eye-catching metallics and perfect pops of the most alarming neon orange. These elements alone are brilliant but as a combination they manifested in to one full bodied collection, alarming in a refined manner. The colors and textures combined on the runway in the same way a master artist brushes, scrapes and blends across a canvas to create an invigorating scene against a stark white canvas. I was mesmerized.

Two days later I found myself at the MoMA, standing somewhere between Monet and Van Gogh staring at a painting by Matisse and wondering if Son Jung Wan herself had stood there a season previous, plotting the outcome of her Fall 2015 collection. It was around this time that it hit me like a ton of bricks and like a true renaissance woman I began to cry, in the middle of a gallery surrounded by angry mothers, rambunctious children and passive aggressive tourist photographers. I couldn’t remember a time in my life that I had been surrounded by so much beauty in one place, at one time.

Every artist, every painting, every great inspiration I had read of since childhood stood right before me. Van Gogh’s Starry Night, Monet’s Water Lilies, Warhol’s Soup Cans, Frida Kahlo’s self portraits and Diego Rivera’s Flower Festival; they were all there. But this specific painting by Matisse which I had never paid much attention to caught my eye and I stood still, tears welling up in my eyes and I saw it all come full circle. NYFW had just become more than a parade of designer bags, photo hungry bloggers and street photographers; at that very moment I saw Son Jung Wan in Matisse. I saw life in the art and art in the life surrounding me.

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The Piano Lesson, 1916© H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society, New York

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All Photos Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Central Park Snow Day

centralpark-3 Staying just two blocks from Central Park is maybe the highlight of our stay at The Hudson Hotel, although their library and lounge may be a close second. When we heard we’d be getting a fresh powder the night before, we planned to head straight to the park and take in the sights. It turns out all of the parents in the metro midtown region had the same idea, as the park was flooded  with squealing snow bunnies in jewel toned snow suits. Gotta say, according to the #NYFW forecast, those little snow bunnies are right on trend. Jewel tones, fur, metallics and neon pops were ALL the rage this season! I’m thinking I need an orange faux fur lined Son Jung Wan inspired snow suit, just because.centralpark-19 centralpark-9 centralpark-12centralpark-21centralpark-17centralpark-23Photos By: Danielle Martin of Ch.25 Photography

Sweater: Vintage (similar here on sale), Skirt: Vintage from my Grandma (similar here and here),

Scarf: Vintage (similar here on sale), Boots: Sold Out (similar here)

The Diva Wears Prada

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A few nights ago I went on a major fashion documentary binge. I started with Advanced Style, which in turn lead me to Ultrasuede: In Search Of Halston, then on to About Face and finally I landed on Unzipped. If anyone ever wants to take a crash course in preparation for the NYFW scene, I highly suggest these documentaries.

For me, fashion is an endless novel where each day the protagonist dresses for a new role. Student, teacher, painter, muse, model, activist, traveler, dreamer, femme fatal, heroine, #girlboss and housewife. The roles are as endless as the possibilities that present themselves as I step out the door each morning. Heck, sometimes I don’t even have to step outside; I just shift around the house in my matte neon lipstick and vintage mumu duster coat and instantly I’m a 60’s Hollywood heiress.

On the particular day we took these photos, I felt a bit like a former Broadway baby turned boutique studio dance instructor. Slinky black shift dress, bright vintage scarf, blingy cocktail jewelry in a tasteful yet unabashed fashion statement and dark designer sunglasses with a nod to a glamorous bygone era. I felt like I could choreograph a pre-fosse musical, one with a technicolored intro and brightly colored floral costumed ladies with platinum bobbed hair. And then I began to dance. Yup, not a choreographer.

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Photos By: The Kentucky Gent

Dress: (Vintage) Similar Here, Tights: (Gifted) Similar Here and Here,

Scarf (Vintage) Similar Here and Here,

Earrings: (Vintage) Similar Here, Sunglasses: Prada

Sock Hop

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Often times I feel I’m living in the wrong era, but then I remember that I love living as an independent female free from the constraints of a pre millennial society. Although I love my independence, I sure do long for a time of Saturday night sock hops, drive-in’s and sweethearts sipping on the same milkshake (where the man paid for all of it)!

Really feelin’ the tunes?  Take a looksie at this playlist and ‘stroll’ on through the day.

50’s Sock Hop Playlist

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Photos By: Danielle Martin of Ch.25

Tassel Sweater: Asos Similar Here, White Sweater: Similar Here and Here,

Skirt: Piperlime Similar Here, Socks: Hanes, Boots: Similar Here

Varsity Blues

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A couple of summers ago I visited a church yard-sale and came away with this vintage varsity jacket, a matching vintage varsity sweater, and an Incan rug boasting the figure of a caravan of pack llamas amongst the Peruvian mountains. When a very sweet middle aged woman saw me carrying out this jacket she shouted out with joy, explaining that it was her daughter’s and she had been on the Seneca Flag Team. Obviously, I already knew this. Next, this sweet woman excitedly snapped a photo of me on her iPhone and texted it to Lori, the former color guard champion of Seneca High.

Sadly, the matching sweater was stolen last year by either some teenage punks or a homeless man during a photo-shoot in the alley. As the sweater was unattended at the time of its disappearance, I like to think that it was the latter prospect. One day I fully expect to pass a homeless Seneca High fan in my red varsity sweater and I will beam with pride. Not for an alma mater but rather because I know Lori would be proud and that she’s probably out there somewhere reminiscing about the flag flying glory days of ol’ high school.

To create this look, I pulled the Piperlime sequined pants that I purchased as a part of my Cold Spring Capsule Collection. You can read more about my capsule collection here and here!

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Varsity Jacket: (vintage) Similar Here or Here, Shirt: (vintage) Similar Here, Pants: Piperlime, Shoes: (last season) Similar Here or Here

NYFW: My Essentials

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In prepping for NYFW, I have to put a lot of thought into my wardrobe situation. Rather than paying to check a bag and risking losing it, which I dealt with this summer, I am going to try and cram my entire week’s worth of ensembles into my carry on. With the help of the packing gods and a few tricks, this just may be possible!

Rather than packing a heavy winter coat, I plan on wearing my fave leopard stunner on the plane and packing several thicker sweaters (seen here, and here) in my carry on. I recently purchased these boots in hopes to work them in to my Cold Spring Capsule Collection and wear them throughout my NYFW escapades. With a few other key pieces, I just might be able to bypass the bag check all together! Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 10.53.00 PM

#1. Ankle Boots

Seen previously here, I made sure to give these guys plenty of wear to work them in before the big NYFW trip. Blisters & freezing toesies are not on my essentials list!

#2. Cozy Scarf

I recently purchased this blanket scarf on post holiday sale at Target. It’s just as soft as it is pretty!

#3. Cross-body Bag

When traveling or doing a lot of commuting I always strip down my bag to the bare essentials to lighten the load. With subway and taxi rides across the city I’m trading in my Kate Spade for a smaller option.

#4. Leather Gloves

Most designers have caught on, but when investing in leather gloves make sure to check for tech screen friendly fingers. Have a pair that aren’t compatible? Not to fret, try this tutorial. It worked great for my vintage leather gloves!

#5. Thick Socks

There’s nothing worse than cold feet when traveling or commuting. Thick tights, leggings and socks will all help to make you feel ready to hit the town. You might even try making a style statement like these gals!

#6. Warm Coat

It’s no secret that I’m in love with my faux fur Leopard coat, but boy those look alike’s can be pricey. Try this economical option, or this one I just saw the other day!