Tuesday, June 15, 2010

If You Only Visit One Store In New York...

As written for fashion blog iheartheels.com
It was March of 2002. I was living on a college girl's budget and had come to New York for the first time ever. My much more fashion-savvy friends immediately started raving about this elusive H&M and demanded to go. I didn't understand. Until I saw for myself. I was smitten. Fabulous clothes! Shoes! Accessories! More clothes! I could spend $100 and walk out with five outfits. To this day, I don't know what it stands for (Hugs&Mustaches? Hearts&Milkshakes?), but I remain ever loyal. So of course when my friend Julie at iheartheels.com asked me to cover H&M's Fashion Against Aids event last month, I jumped at the chance. Side note: I interviewed at Seventeen during that first H&M-filled visit to New York. The following summer, Julie and I ended up interning together at the iconic teen magazine. We discovered we were sorority sisters *cue secret handshake*, and a friendship was instantly born. Moving on...

New York's Fifth Avenue H&M store was packed to the gills with fashion lovers and shoppers at the May 19 event, which boasted a 20% discount on everything (squeal!), appetizers, drinks, live music, you name it. Basically, I shopped. A lot. And I also admired their new Fashion Against Aids collection — 25% of every single sale made from this collection will be donated to various HIV/AIDS prevention projects. That's a hell of a lot of money... especially seeing as the collection is gorgeous and is bound to sell out. Some of my favorite pieces from the FAA collection:

I fell head-over-heels in love with that angelic white ruffled maxi dress after seeing it on one of the models. When I tried it on, it didn't look quite right on me, and I almost cried. (Sadly when I left Kansas for NYC over six years ago, my hips came along for the ride.) Luckily, I was able to find a few pieces worthy of my Beyoncé-sized booty. $200 worth to be exact. Sigh. It's not really spending frivolously when it goes to a good cause, right? xx

Friday, June 4, 2010

That Girl (You Know The One)

So my coworker/friend Nicole is, for me, That Girl. You know the one — she's charismatic and always looks immaculate, even while pregnant and wearing 4-inch heels. When getting dressed in the morning, sometimes I think to myself, what would Nicole pair with this? Would she opt for the beaded necklace? Would she belt this cardigan? This is usually followed by me saying fuckit, picking up the same Get Up Kids hoodie off the floor and bouncing off to work in my Converse. Said Nicole has also bled into my eating habits. Afterall, it was her who first told me about that damn Blueprint Cleanse. She is the one who said that berries are better for you than bananas, thus forcing me to buy a bag of frozen berries that I inevitably threw out because they tasted like tart, tangy mush.

For fear of sounding creepy, let the record state that I am easily influenced in general, doesn't matter who you are. Whether I'm taking business advice from Jami, boy advice from Jessi, permission to eat croutons for dinner from Meagan or love-handle reassurance from Crista. While the aforementioned ladies make up some of my best friends, Nicole will forever be That Girl for me. The one who makes wearing heels look effortless, who has the willpower to only eat half an office brownie (not five), who at first glance appears to be the epitome of one of those all-together New York "fashionistas" — the intimidating kind — that I used to see in magazines and on TV while growing up in Kansas City. Yet one might be surprised to find that her humor (she was the one who loudly pointed out the peculiar-shaped sweet potato in the office minifridge) and inner beauty very much outshine her chunky cuff bracelets that I covet on a daily basis.

For instance, her 365 Heartbeats Project has me looking at life just a little bit differently. She spent the better part of an evening photographing me in the rain on a deserted New York street (see above) for this project. As awkward as this was for me... with N's help, I was able to laugh at myself. And ironically, it was a quick shot taken the next morning (at left) that she ended up posting — I like to think that it captures a part of my soul that is very genuine. That je-ne-sais-quoi that is inside of me and what my dad refers to when he tells me to "stay golden."

My point is this: Oh. I don't really have one. I told her that I would post about her cute new weekly fashion blog on AOL's Lemondrop.com (read it — so you, too, can be That Girl... or at least look like one) which got me to thinking, Is there anything that this chick can't do?
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