Happy Sunday everyone!
Wait, it’s Sunday? Where has the time gone! As for me, the time has gone by very quickly this past weekend because I had the most FABULOUS time in NYC! Why, you ask? Let me tell you!
[fun fact-I’m enjoying an Apple Carmel Pop as a write this, and you should grab one while you read it, to make it that much sweeter!]
This past weekend, Oct. 19th, I got the opportunity to go to Teen Vogue’s Fashion University for the third year in a row! Let me tell you, this was probably my favorite year of them all no doubt. Because I know I can talk A LOT, I’ll try and condense this as best as possbile, but still giving you a play-by-play. Also, one of my good friends Isabel who is a ZTA sister of mine came with!! [Check her out on her blog, Just a Taste of Fashion, for a great read!]
First of all though, many people ask me how I get the opportunity to go to TVFU, so I’ll explain. Around June/July/August, Teen Voge advertises in their magazine, website, instagram, facebook-everywhere, about their Fashion University. Ever since it’s inception, I’ve wanted to go. I can remember being 14 and *dreaming* of going when I was 16, because that’s how old you must be, and when that time came I was SO excited about applying. The application is listed on their website sometime in the summer, and it really is a full application. You must explain your fashion aspirations, your fashion idols, why you would want to be able to participate in this amazing event, your interest in the fashion industry, and you must show off some of your talents-whether that be sketches, outfits you put together, or projects you’ve done. (I usually use some of my clothing sketches and #OOTD’s.) After you apply, you wait for what seems like FOREVER to see if you are accepted! Whenever I go to TVFU, there seems to only be a few hundred gals/guys,
so I must think that you actually do have to be somewhat interested in fashion to go.
Another question I get a lot is, “What is it?”. Well, I like to think of it as a weekend filled with the best in the industry giving advice on how to get into the fashion world, they share their own experiances, and they answer and questions students have with eagerness. Every single person I’ve ever listend and talked to at TVFU has ALWAYS been so helpful and inspiring.
So any who,back to how the trip was! (Which was fabulous by the way) As I said, I’ll give you a day-by-day overview.
This morning I woke up oh-so-tired after throwing my 21 year old boyfriend (wait…what?) a surprise party! Which he LOVED by the way-so needless to say, I was exhausted.
(ok back to the story…)
We flew from NWA to Chicago-which by the way, I actually didn’t know we were connecting with another flight, so when the captain said we had landed in Chicago, it was definitely a Home Alone moment. After waiting for what seemed to be FOREVER, we finally boarded our flight, but on a different plane than what was supposed to be the one we were to take due to technical/mechanical/hydrolic issues-talk about stressful. So needless to say we got to NY a lot later than expected, meaning I didn’t get to go to the Express Kick-Off event Teen Vogue hosted, which mad me sad, but oh well! We ended up going to eat at a fab restreraunt and just walking around the city for a bit.
Oh what a day! All day Saturday was filled with classes through Teen Vogue University.
The first session: Everyone attended this, and basically it was a Q & A with the editors of Teen Vogue. The great Amy Astley (Editor in Cheif), Andrew Beven (Style Features Director-who also has a fantastic show on the tube called Breakfast with Bevan-check it out), Elaine Welteroth (Beauty and Health Director), Sheena Smith (accessories Director), and a few others spoke. During this session, they each explained what they did at Teen Vogue, how they got there, and gave tips on how to basically become successful in the industry. They all had incredible advice, but a few of my favorite’s came from Amy-she was talking about style, and how obveously everyone at the event loved it-but what really stuck out is when she said that “Style helps you get out of bed everyday”. If I could explain why I love fashion, this would probably be the perfect sentence to explain why. Because it’s a form of self expression, you can dress however you want! It’s just so fabulous to see how everyone expresses themselves. Anyways, getting off-track. For those wanting to make it in the industry, another tid-bit was said about that- Amy said to always ALWAYS BE PERSISTENT. Basically tag all the people who you want to see your picture in the picture so that they will have the chance to see it, and use a 360degree point of veiw-use all forms of social media, instagram, facebook, twitter, vine-everything! Also, since you’re documenting things, they will always be there, so if you’re ever in need of inspiration, look at your social media!
[Isabel and I at Teen Vogue Fashion University flashing our name tags & ZTA crown]
The second class: The Statement Sisters-Danielle and Josie Snyder who started Dannijo, were SO uberly cool and inspiring. They talked about their jewlrey line and how they got started, and gave great advice on how to follow your dreams! It was interesting to me how one sister was more of the creative side and the other was more on the buisness side, yet they both created a beautiful product, always.
The third class: Luxury for the Current Age, with Thakoon Panichgul, of incredibly chic design house Thakoon
(pronounced Tac-oon, like Racoon). His story was incredible, first of all. He started as a journalist, but everytime he would interveiw a designer, he found himself wanting to change things about their clothes, or asking why they did certain things to the garments. He really got kicked off when Sally Singer from Vogue wanted for him to do a colabboration with Gap, and then be put on the cover of The September Issue (also known as the fashion bible, sigh) so of course he agreed. At the same time he won the CFDA award, which is so prestigious.
After talking about his humble beginnings, Thakoon gave some advice. He told us to always keep a mood board-meaning a collage of images you love and find inspiring. He also explained how he liked instagram, but refused to look at it for inspiration. He talked about how with insta, you look at an image for only a few seconds, then pass by it-with print images that you see everyday, they start to become at one with you, and you may be inspired by them without knowing it.
When asked who his muse was when he is designing, he said not one face comes to his mind-but he likes it that way. His type of girl can be sporty but elegant, classic but chic-“you can feel her energy”. For more advice about finding inspiration, he said go to places that you wouldnt think of. For example, go to the buisness district of New York-and guess what folks, I did just that. It was interesting to see how even by just looking at suits on men and fancy outfits on women can be inspiring.
One last thing thta I thought was interesting that Thakoon said was that we are loosing a sense of quality, which is SO true. We live in a world where we just throw away things-we buy a shirt from Forever21, wear it 5 times, then trash it. So whenever we see things that are highly priced, we don’t understand why-and it’s because those articles of clothing are handmade, with only the finest materials. He challenged us all to find a leather jacket that was $100, feel it, then go to Bergdorf’s and find a leather jacket and feel it-notice the difference?
[Thakoon, the wonder boy]
The fourth class: The Accrssories All Star, with Jessie Randall of Loeffler Randall. Can we just take a second to gasp in awe of the beautiful things she makes?
Goodness gracious. For this class, Jessie talked about the entire process of making a shoe-which let me tell you-is a LOT more than you would think. Yes, they have to design the shoe and find out where they will be selling it, but there are about 133,467,956,475 more steps that just those two. Jessie, was very inspiring, since she originally didn’t plan on being a shoe designer-met her husband and realized that she didn’t enjoy what she did. She knew that she liked shoes, so why not design them? And that’s what she did! With the help of her fab team and her husband, she creates THE MOST amazing shoes every season, without a doubt.
The fifth class: Beyond the Runway, with supermodel Coco Rocha. Not only was she serously so inspiring, she was HILARIOUS! No but really, this native Canadian was making me giggle so much. Coco talked about how she was discovered [at a dancing competition when she was 14], what she liked and disliked about modeling [the pictures, the bad things], and the most interesting of them all-how she changed history for models as we know it. Coco explained how when she started modeling, young adult’s rights for modeling and acting were not the same. Child/underage actors were provided their own tutor for classes, they were treated well, they weren’t scrutinized, and they could only work a certain amount of hours in a day. Child/underage models however, under the age of 18, didn’t have any of those rights at all. Coco was NOT happy-she changed the modeling industry once and for all by becoming a memebr of a modeling alliance that begged for the same rights, and they got them. She really was such an inspiration for empowering young adults and young women!! And if you want to see how hilarious but also inspiring she really is, check out Andrew Bevan’s Breakfast With Bevan.
[Impossibly funny Coco,far right]
The sixth class: Keynote Speakers, which was Emily Weiss with her beauty blog Into the Gloss, and Stephanie Mark with her blog The Coveteur. Into The Gloss is a beauty blog that not only focuses on beauty products, but how people wear them-the latest products, and several other aspects. I love reading Into the Gloss because Emily is always ahead of the curve and always knows what is on the edge of being new. The Coveteur is probably one of my favorite blogs EVEEEERRR. The Coveteur basically goes into people’s homes and takes beautiful pictures of the things they own, mostly their favorite items or things that are just lovely. They take pictures of actresses, designers, models, ‘it’ girls-and one of my most favorite recent ones, the Editor in Chief of Teen Vogue, Amy Astley.
Another favorite of mine happens to be probably my most favorite fashion icon, Lauren Conrad.
[Isabel, myself and Courtney of Sunshine Full of Smiles (who I met at FIDM’s 3 days of Fashion a few years back!)]
That was the end of classes for the day! That night was the Topshop event, which was fabuloouuusssss. Isabel and I headed down after freshing up at the hotel and then headed down there! When we got there, the party was in full swing! On all 4 levels of the Soho Topshop, something was happening! On the top floor however, mini snacks were being passed around, I got a tiny donut, some mini cotton candy, and the best of all-delevious ice cream with honey and all kinds of goods!
But back to the shopping. This event put on by Teen Vogue was great because we got 20% off our purchases, which I took full advantage of. One thing I got that I will talk about is this AMAZING white faux fur coat. It looks like sheeps fur, and is a very classic, loner boxy shape which I CAN’T WAIT to wear with oxblood tights and pretty skirts.
After the shopping event, Dad and I went to an incredible steak house, which I forgot the name of…oops. Then called it a night after walking around the city for a bit, but not before I got the COOLEST Essie silver/gold dotted nail stickers,
shown later in the post.
Sunday was just all around a fabulous day, for many reasons. First things first though. Isabel and I got our usual Starbucks, since it was a bit chilly in the city, then headed down to Conde Nast for our final class and graduation. Our final speaker was Phyllis Posnick, Vogue’s Fashion Editor/Stylist-quiet the legend. She talked about the crazy-beautiful pictures she’s created for Vogue, that tell stories in a way you might not ever think about. Two of my favorites included the story on face creams, which isn’t at all a creative thing, but she made it that way by dumping cream on a model’s face to make an amazing image that captivates the reader. Another of my favorites was the story about punk being a new ‘thing’. She took crazy punk afros and put them on models in the nude, so that the focus was that punk was “in”. I loved hearing her approach to things. It was also interesting to hear her talk about how some images published seemed controversial to some, but really there were just telling stories that needed to be told. I loved listening to Phyllis and how honest she was, with telling stories and answering questions.
[One of my favorite photos I talked about by Phyllis]
2013 Teen Vogue Fashion University graduate!
After she spoke, it was graduation time! I went to get my diploma and headed outside to wait for Isabel. When were finally met up, we started to walk back to the hotel. As we were walking, I noticed a car with a well-dressed woman getting inside. My heart literally stopped and I thought I was going to have a panic attack-it was Amy Astley!!! Isabel and I contemplated talking to her or asking for a picture, but I KNEW that I would regret not speaking to her for literally the rest of my life, so I yelled “Amy!” as she was getting into her car [I know, how un-classy, but what can you do], and she turned around! I asked ever so politely, “Would you mind getting a quick picture with us??”, since it seemed as if she was in a hurry. She paused for a moment, and then said YES!! She got out of her car and handed my phone to her chauffeur, who gladly took several photos of us. Not only was Amy literally so nice, but she seemed genuinely interested in what we had to say-which was a pleasant surprise! We chatted quickly about Phyllis and just the whole Teen Vogue experience, it was so incredible getting to speak with her! We finally said our goodbyes, and I left feeling as if I was on cloud 9, literally. We got back to the hotel and I was freaking out to my dad, explaining what had happened-literally too cool for words.
[All hail Amy Astley]
Later that afternoon, we decided to head down to the heart of Soho for some local shopping and to an event I had been waiting for all week, with Lulu Frost & J. Crew. We tried to take the subway, but of course we all got lost-not a good idea for semi first timers.
We finally got off and took a taxi down to soho. As we were walking to the restaurant we were to eat lunch at, I saw the J. Crew that the Lulu Frost Do It Yourself event was at and I just HAD to go inside!! As soon as I walked in, I knew I was on cloud 9 again. When I walked in, the first thing I saw was two of my most favorite things-vintage jewels and fabulous dressed people. Since I’m a follower of Lulu Frost, I recognized the founder/creator, Lisa Salzer, as soon as I walked in and almost died. I started to create my own unique vintage piece, and Lisa herself came up and started chatting with me (insert a hugh EEEEK). We basically talked about the jewelry, and I asked why she stated the company-with her answer being that her grandmother would give her pieces, and she wanted to wear them but not in an old fashioned way basically. She was seriously SO nice, it was crazy! I finished my piece with a 20’s art deco charm, added a turquoise colored drop crystal pair at the bottom, and the chain was bronze with intricate details. As I finished my piece, I talked again with Lisa, who was so inspiring for continuing my journey with fashion, and I really hope that I get to meet with her some more when I visit the city for some more insight to the industry!
[It’s my one-of-a-kind necklace!]
After meeting Lisa and making my lovely necklace, we went and ate at an incredible little restaurant. (I had the BEEEST salmon). After eating there, we walked around some more in Soho and visited some artist’s shops were they create and make their own jewelry, so of course I had to get a few more pieces! [can you tell I really do have an obsession with jewelry…]
After walking around for a bit, we left and went to see The Book of Morman on broadway [which is SO funny, but I felt as if I needed to wash myself clean with all the bad jokes in it]. Afterwards, we ate at another amazing steak place [I think I might turn into some beef if we continue with this cycle]. After that, we were totally tired so we went back and slept the night away!
Monday was such a fun/lazy day, visiting sites in the city I had never been to. First off was a trip to High Line, the coolest renovated park in the city. The trains of NY used to be above ground-literally in the air-but after they but them back on the ground and underground, there were railroads up high that were just sitting. The artists of NY wanted to make them into something, and a beautiful park was the best option. Along the walkway, you can see several sculptures and installations by local artists and lovely views of the city. As dad and I were walking down, I took tons of pictures and enjoyed the oh-so-nice weather. Towards the end of the park, we made it to The Standard, a famous hotel in NY that many fashionistas stay, so we decided to grab lunch there at The Standard Cafe.
[Shots from the High Line]
[And showing off my uberly cool silver dotted nails]
We sat outside (which is my favorite thing to do), underneath ivy-covered trellises,how quant.
After eating at the cafe, we decided to head down to The Chelsea Market, which was TOOO cool. Inside, it was like an underground market, literally. There were different restaurants and dessert places, so I got a yummy lemon/butter/sugar/coconut crepe, because crepes are literally my favorite. As were were walking around, I noticed a vintage pop up shop, which I HAD to go into. Inside, local artists and designers were selling their goods. I was in heaven, once again. I purchased two vinyls, Frank Sinatra and The Fours, which I CAN NOT wait to listen to on my record player. I also custom made a “Flancake” necklace with crystals, which I’m so excited about.
[Flancake necklace-in love]
[Brooklyn Bridge prettiness]
After taking in the sites, we headed down to the Tribeca area, which was son interesting. I went into a local shop, that had amazing clothes. Afterwards, Dad and I ate at the best italian place, where he got pumpkin ravioli and I got regular with goat cheese [NOM]. We had a delicious dessert, and then headed back to our hotel for some sleep.
[A view in between skyscrapers in Tribeca]
Sad day, it was the last. We woke up early though since we had an afternoon flight to make something out of the day, so we headed down to NBC studios! I was SO excited about this, since we were to see Saturday Night Live studious. We saw that, a late night show studio, and how SNL crazy makeup is applied, which was so interesting. Afterwards I of course had to make the most of our last few moments, I snuck into Anthropologie on Rockafeller Center Plaza and tried on some amazing things, one which was an all sequined mermaid skirt [except it definitely scraped my legs up-ouch]. Afterwards, we went to the hotel to gather the rest of our things and we were off to Arkansas!
[Jetsetting & the cool green wall at NBC Studios]
As I said before, this was definitely one of my favorite trips to the Big Apple. Meeting Amy Astley and Lisa Salzer were definitely highlights of the trip, but also listening to the incredible speakers at FashionU and getting to see the local artist’s crafts was so fun too. The things I got from this trip to New York were to always, ALWAYS follow your dreams-be persistent and always look for inspiration, I dare you to do the same.
Until next time,