Thursday, September 29, 2011

SWEET SUCCESS: Alberta Ferretti Internship

Even though I was only able to intern at AEFFE USA (the company that is the home to brands such as Alberta Ferretti, Philosophy, Moschino, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Pollins) for only a few short days during fashion week, I learned an incredible amount of information about how fashion houses are run. Converting from interning at a well-known fashion magazine (Allure), to working with a start-up fashion brand (Maiyet), to then helping out at a high-end runway show (Philosophy), I definitely received a great amount of experience in different departments on the fashion industry this summer.
{Inside the showroom}
After I helped dress models for the Philosophy show during February fashion week, I thought that this experience would probably be quite similar. However this year I worked the few days before the show as well and little did I know how much time and effort goes into those short 15 minute shows. Monday morning when I arrived, no time was spared before they handed me a stack of around 70 invitations that needed to be hand delivered to areas all throughout Manhattan. Getting to the office at 8:30am, I was already out by 9:00am ready to start my wild goose change throughout the city. Starting in Midtown West, walking over to Columbus Circle, back to Times Square, all the down to the Flatiron District, exploring Meatpacking, then Soho, over to the West Village, and heading all the way up to the office again, I was walking around everywhere for a straight 8 hours. Dropping off VIP invitations to dozens of luxury hotels, important guests were awaiting their invitations to the show just 2 days later. When I returned to the office around 6:00pm, my feet were definitely in need of a rest; I think that I walked around more that day than I have the whole time I have been in NY! (I now permanently have the map of the city ingrained in the back of head).
{The stack of invitations I hand delivered}
The day of the show was exciting and chaotic all at the same time. When minuscule problems arose, they had to be dealt with immediately and seemed to turn into a much larger deal than anticipated. Not having enough seat tags or all of them not being the right size, handwriting not being identical, chairs not being in a specific arrangement... its the little things that people barely even notice that cause the biggest dilemmas. After dealing with all the unexpected emergencies, the whole set-up for the mansion looked exceptional. A spiral staircase entrance, 4 rooms, a courtyard, it was evident that a lot of careful planning went into picking the perfect venue. The show ended up starting around 6, after all the VIP and guests arrived; Emma Roberts showed up in stunning gold YSL shoes and a black lace dress.The models looked glamorous strutting their stuff down the staircase and through the runway in 4 separate rooms. As the show ended, the guests spent no time lingering around as most of their cars were already outside waiting for them to be taken to the airport. Although fashion week is a fun exciting time, it is no time for rest. The city is bustling at all hours and there is continually something to be seen and done. I wasn't even able to stay around for long after myself, as I had to rush to a Financial Adviser gala to meet my parents, therefore fully concluding my fashion week events.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


{U.S. Open sign}
I had the amazing opportunity to attend the U.S. Open this year with my parents, which first started back in 1881. Being one of the oldest tennis championships in the world, times have definitely changed from when this event wasn't even televised to now it being displayed in high-def 3-D flat screen tv's at one of the venue kiosks. Our box seat tickets had previously been scheduled for the day before but due to the crazy weather were postponed until the next evening. This postpone, which we had originally thought was a setback, actually enabled us to watch the match between Serena Williams and the #1 womens tennis player in the world, Carolina Wozniaki.
{Serena's opponent, Carolina Wozniaki}
Before the match, we ate dinner at Aces, the delicious restaurant of a wold-renound chef for events across the country. Honey Deuces, a Grey Goose melon cocktail was the signature drink for the evening and therefore we had to try them, you even got to keep the souvenir cup!
{Honey Deuces cocktail}
For appetizers, we ordered the portobella fries which the waiter informed us that they receive 45 cases of mushrooms every single day just to make these, needless to say they are extremely popular.
{Portobela frieswith ginger soy sauce}
For dinner we tried an assortment of entrees, including scallops, lobster salad, and ahi tuna (although they were all very tasty, I must say the tender ahi was my favorite).
{Scallops and arugula salad)
However, I must say that the mini peanut butter ice cream sandwiches for dessert might have been my favorite part of the meal.
{Mini peanut butter cookie ice cream sandwiches}
A little while after we finished eating, we headed over to explore the whole venue. There were lots of different kiosks sponsored by companies such as American Express, Grey Goose, Ralph Lauren, and a few others. After not too much longer we went to our seats and had an up-close and personal view of the action. Cyndi Lauper sung the national anthem and then the games started. At serves over 115mph, you could see the power in Serena's shots.
{Serena Williams}
The excitement continued back and forth while the fans cheered each of the opponents on. After just 2 sets, Serena had already won the game! As fans applauded and slowly left the stadium, I took in the whole scenery of unforgettable night.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fashion's Night Out

I can't believe it has taken me so long to finally write my Fashion's Night Out post... maybe that is because on some level I am still fathoming over all the marvelous events that took place during this year's fashion week. As my Facebook status said "Fashion's Night Out is better than my Birthday and Christmas combined...."and to some degree I could pretty much consider it my favorite day of the year. With complimentary cocktails and gourmet hors d'oeuvres being passed around by model-looking gentlemen at basically every single store, there is truly nothing not to love about this elegant night (okay except maybe the insanely large crowds and seamlessly never-ending lines to enter certain stores). Starting off in the Upper East side around my apartment, we strolled down Madison Avenue stopping in just about all the stores we passed. Chloe was amongst the first we went into and we were quickly served champagne and the decadent desserts upon our entry. 
{Mini desserts at Chloe} 
After Chloe, we continued strolling down Madison and ran into the amazingly long line filled with star-struck young girls waiting to see pop star Justin Bieber at D&G. Next we went into Lanvin who was hosting a karaoke contest, however with our singing capabilities we chose not to participate... although we did help ourselves to a glass of champagne while we sat on the comfy chairs and chatted on the top floor planning out our next move. Finding some gourmet appetizers was on our agenda and it just so happened that our next store was serving delicious mini lobster tacos. After going back for seconds we decided it would be time to find a new location.
{Mini lobster tacos}
Oscar De La Renta himself was hosting the FNO party at his store, assisted by his PR girl or most commonly known as @OscarPRgirl on Twitter (who we had the fortunate opportunity of meeting and taking a picture with). Although Oscar seemed heavily involved in his "oh-so-important" phone call, we were able to briefly meet him, until he was whisked away to join in singing with the mariachi band.
{Me, Oscar PR girl, Hannah}
Agent Provocateur was next, where we watched sky high models emerge out of limos in nothing but lingerie waltzing up to full body windows where they were modeling. After perusing most of the stores down Madison, we decided to make a change of scenery by heading over to Lexington and stopping in Dylan's Candy Bar. The top level was transformed into an actual bar and upon walking in, everyone over 21 received a wristband validating their age.Sangria was served and while sipping on this sweet cocktail we frosted out own high-heel cookies, an unbeatable combination.

{Dylan's "Candy Bar"}
{High-heel cookie and white sangria}
Celebrities were being studded throughout the neighborhood and it was exciting to run into one of the couples from the Real Housewives of NYC. Although Oscar's singing with the mariachi band was fun to listen to, the real singing talent came out when we heard Natasha Bedingfield at Ann Taylor.
{Real Housewives couple of NYC}
{Natasha Bedingfield at Ann Taylor}
YSL, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Henri Bendels, were a few more places we popped into before the saddening 11pm FNO closing time rolled around. The Hester Street fair took over Bendels 2nd floor and over a dozen local food vendors opened their stands inside this high-end retail store (a seemingly unconventional location for quick bites such as homemade mac n cheese and crepes).
{Hannah and I in front of the YSL store}
Now that another year of Fashoin's Night Out was officially over, we continued the evening by attending Christian Audigier's party at The Chelsea Room, The event was lively but we left after about an hour and headed over to Tenjune, one of my favorite Thursday night hot spots. Heading home a little after 3am, I would consider this night to be a huge success.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

SWEET SUCCESS: Maiyet Internship

As my 10-week long summer internship with Allure magazine came to a close I took no time jumping into my next endeavor, helping out at a social venture fashion start-up company. For a short 2 days last week, I had the wonderful opportunity of interning at a new socially innovative fashion brand that is set to launch during New York’s upcoming Spring 2012 Fashion Week. Maiyet, a luxury clothing brand, that will soon be in comparison to the names such as Balenciaga and Hermes, will be showcased in high-end retailers coming this January. Not only are their clothes incredibly visually appealing but their social initiative behind the company is one in its own. Partnering with companies located in developing countries worldwide, Maiyet (who’s name comes from the Greek God of harmony, justice, and truth “Maat”), is able to empower small artisans to create beautifully made products that can be sold worldwide. Some of the profit that is made from selling these clothes and accessories is then turned around and put back in the hands of the artisans to teach them the training and skills they need to improve their business. Watching how Maiyet is able to take small town artisans and give them the motivation and guidance they need to move from embroidering on poorly made fabric that they sell in their tight-knit village to embroidering on high quality textiles sold to high-end retailers is truly amazing. Each of these diverse companies that Maiyet works with is hand chosen through a selection process where the company’s founders spent one year traveling across the globe meeting with each and every small business deciding which ones they should create partnerships with.

As one of my tasks while interning there, I researched each of the companies and tried to find as much background information on them as I could (some being very difficult because they had no website and were no where to be found online). Some of the main countries they work with are Africa, India, Colombia, Kenya, and Indonesia. Especially after my trip last summer to Africa, I was definitely able to see the potential in their artisans. The talent is noticeably there but their motivation and drive is what they were truly lacking, which is where Maiyet comes in to lend a hand.

Being a start-up company, they still had not launched their own website, which ended up being really interesting advantage for me. I had the opportunity to sit in on one of their meetings with the web design team they were working to create their site. Decisions had to be made right and left, down to the exact color grade of the background on the homepage. Whether the logo was going to be straight or curved, the littlest decisions seemed so important and everyone gave their personal input. Another one of my tasks was to look at other comparable designer’s websites and jot down ideas for what Maiyet may want to include in theirs (things as simple as the “Shipping & Returns”, “Legal”, and “Privacy” tabs).

Also, as social media is becoming larger than ever, I browsed Tumblr for ideas on what types of pictures and postings Maiyet may want to include in their own. Little did I know how much time and effort went into the small things that one does not really think about when working with an already established brand.

Although I was only able to lend my help for a short two days, I believe I was able to leave with an abundant amount of knowledge about how fashion start-ups are born and how showrooms are run. In my last 30 minutes, I was given a tour around their 4th floor loft that was filled with inspiration photos, fabulous textiles, and interesting photographs. With models running in and out for casting, samples being altered right in front of my eyes, and phone calls being made across the globe right next to me, this was definitely an exciting environment to work in. Maiyet seeks to “celebrate the rare, unexpected, and exciting” and soon will be in available for purchase in a store near you.

Monday, September 5, 2011

CollegeFashionista Bio

My first CollegeFashionista post became live today! I am so excited to start my internship being a Style Guru for my school (University of California - Santa Barbara), so I decided to share the pictures from my bio on my blog.
{H&M White Hairband, Chanel Bow Sunglasses, Vintage Pearl Necklace, L&F Polka Dot Dress, Samantha Thavasu Bag, Mia Wedges}
I scored this brand new navy polka-dotted dress at the amazing LF sale. Their only sale of the season is definitely not to be missed, as the entire store is 60% off, unreal if you ask me! After sifting through my entire closet trying to decide what to wear for my CollegeFashionista bio picture, I decided on this summery ensemble. This taxi-filled background on busy Park Ave seemed to be perfect background to portray my fast-paced life. My style can be described as extremely girly and feminine yet trendy and chic at the same time. Many may refer to me the ultimate "girly-girl"
{Jewelry: David Yurman Heart Ring, David Yurman Chain Bracelet, David Yurman Heart Bracelet, David Yurman Cable Bracelet, Michael Kors Watch}
My jewelry collection clearly demonstrates my girly-girl style, as I am naturally drawn to anything diamond and sparkly. David Yurman is my definitely go-to jewelry designer and as each Birthday, Christmas, or other Holiday passes I seem to keep adding new pieces to my growing collection.

SWEET SIP: Grilled Cheese Martini

Grilled cheese sandwiches.... tomato soup..... martinis.... sounds like 3 very delicious things..... but together? not so much. When I first read an article about this very interesting drink on Urban Daddy (one of my all-time favorite websites), I automatically put it on my bucket list as a "must-try". So one Friday evening before we went out, I dragged my apprehensive friend along with me to Bleechers and told him we were about to try one very intriguing cocktail. As we entered this small storefront known for it's hand-made cheeses, we made our way down to it's darkly-lit restaurant named "The Cellar". Our enthusiastic waitress sat us down promptly and before she could even hand us the menu, I already knew exactly what to order, "two grilled cheese martinis please," I said excitedly.
{Grilled Cheese Martini}

Only a few minutes later she arrived back with our drinks, not entirely sure what I was expecting them to look like, this definitely was not it. Rimmed with some sort of chunky chipotle-looking substance, I decided to ask her exactly how this unique drink was created. She went on to explain that they begin by making their famous grilled cheese sandwich allowing it to sit in a tub of vodka for 24 hours. Then after the liquor has been fully infused with the cheese flavor it is poured into a martini glass over a cube of iced tomato soup, topped with a full tomato. A splash of balsamic vinaigrette is then added with a touch of pepper and voilĂ , the drink is served!

In a hesitant toast, we each took a sip of this so-called savory drink and prepared for the best. Giving each other a "Hmmmm....... well this is interesting......" look, I set my glass down and quickly ordered a plate of cheese and crackers to wash down this indescribable taste I had in my mouth. Needless to say people must order this drink for its appeal and not its enjoyment... better luck next time!