Sequin Gowns & Mermaid Crowns : February 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

K. Nicole Couture {Fashion February}

Hurray for Fashion Week!! I know I'm a  little behind on posting these, but I've just been so busy collecting stories! So keep your eyes open for all of my Fashion February posts!!  My first Fashion Week, which was this past September, I attended shows as an intern and enjoyed the experience of a lifetime!  This time around, I got to go as a full-blown fashion blogger!!

First on the itinerary was the K. Nicole Couture fashion show!! Thanks to my good friend Angela, I got an invite to the show, plus was able to bring my friend Emma with me!  After having a conversation with my new PR friend, Eduardo, I was able to score an interview with the designers!! [Thanks again Eduardo! You're the best!]

But first, some background on the designers!  K. Nicole Couture is designed by this fabulous duo, Kera Anderson (right) and Nicole Styer (left).  Based in my hometown of Philadelphia, PA, the girls met and became friends at Nicole's clothing and accessory store, N.R.S. Boutique located in Center City Phila.

Snapshot from their show, courtesy of the K. Nicole Instagram page!

The Interview

So I got to sit down with the girls for a quick, pre-show chat! First I asked about their collection.  They told me they are really inspired by the fabrics and textiles they find and mixing and matching them together. They're also both really excited about outwear for spring.  When I asked, both responded with jackets and coats, particularly the classic trench. [By the way, I couldn't agree more!] Nicole said, "We're really heavy in this collection on coats, and that's what we really started with." Seeing as this was not their first time showing a collection, I asked if the process has become easier.  "It was definitely harder at first," said Kera.  "We're definitely learning from the first time around, still ironing out the best way to go about everything," Nicole added.  I was also really curious to know more about how they became a team. Kera told me, "She had a piece, a dress hanging in her window and I just had a different vision...  So, we just re-tweaked the dress she had already done and it came out fabulous!"  Lastly I asked if they had any advice for young designers. Nicole told me, "Just really stay true to what you want to do.  Don't compromise too much on your vision." Duly noted girls!!  

The Collection

Can I just say, I absolutely loved this collection.  I definitely saw the outerwear influence, especially in some of my favorite pieces.  The feel was a mix of Victorian meets classic meets a little bit of 70s.  The construction was impeccable and there was a modern twist to all of the looks.  Overall, I felt the collection was cohesive and beautifully done! Here are my top five looks!

Check out previous collections and more on the K. Nicole website!

What I Wore

As I'm sure you know, I switched my outfit a good twenty times before deciding.  There are still a few things I would have changed, but time is precious. So I went with this look, inspired by my Kate Spade bag!

Cardigan: Saks Fifth Avenue | Blouse/Skirt: American Eagle | Belt/Necklace: Target | Bag: Kate Spade

The After Party

After the runway show, we got to hang out with some super cool people!! I got to see some old friends and make some new ones!  The music was great and so were the drinks!  It had even started snowing during the show, so a bunch of people took advantage of the scene, including us!

I had an amazing time at this event!  I feel truly honored to be able to spend quality time with the designers, who were super excited that I was from Philly btw, and they were so nice! Truly inspiring for a young aspiring designer such as myself.  I can't wait to see what they have in store for us at future shows!

XO, Briana

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Lillie Couture {Fashion February}

Hey everyone!

So this post is going to be the kick off to a series of Fashion Week posts! Hurrah!  As you know New York Fashion Week was this past week, February 6-13th.  Also, Philadelphia Fashion Week starts next week! So February is a very busy month for me! But here is the first event of the season for me!  So I hope you enjoy it and be on the look out for more "Fashion February" Posts!!

Lillie Couture Designs

So last Friday I had the honor of being invited to the Lillie Couture Designs Fashion Show!! Lillie Couture is a beautiful label by designer Latasha Hall.  She's a Philly girl, with her Fashion Design degree from our very own Art Institute of Philadelphia!  She says the Lillie girl is "fun, fresh, and effortlessly fashionable."

The Cocktail Hour

When we arrived, there was a small cocktail hour with hors d'oeuvres, cupcakes, and cocktails.  I got to catch up with my friend Erika of Your Chic is Showing, and hang out with Angela-to whom I owe this invitation and much much more!

The Collection

The collection was a twist on an Alice in Wonderland theme, with enough whimsy and fantasy to go around.  The pieces were intriguing with outstanding fabrics, handcrafted embellishments, and tediously perfected ruffles.  The collection was also styled with themed headpieces and masks, which were absolutely adorable. 

I really loved the collection.  I thought it was beautifully made and well thought out.  I also really liked the use of Alice in Wonderland.  She successfully got her inspiration across without it being "costumey" which is difficult to do.  My favorite piece was the white dress in the top photo.  I think any girl could pull that off and the fabric was to die for.  I mean, look at those ruffles!!  I also loved the final dress, which is shown in the center left photo.  It was just breathtaking.  I can't wait to see Latasha's next collection!  She's got a great eye and wonderful ideas!

Here's the last looks video! For more, check out the Lillie Couture website! 

 XO, Briana

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Curvy Life

So as you probably already know from seeing photos, I ride the curvy train.  My entire life I've battled with my weight.  I was never thin, ever.  And I've got everything going against me.  I've got the worst genes for being fit; curves run in the family, I'm Puerto Rican (which says enough in itself), and I'm also destined for diabetes.  I've dieted for as long as I can remember and I've tried every trick in the book.  After a while, trying to be something you're not can get exhausting.  In recent years, I've settled myself with the fact that I will never be "thin." I'm just not built for it.  But the best part is, I'm okay with that!

SO much baby-swag!

Currently, I'm a little over 5'5" and wear around a size 14, depending on the brand and fit.  Throughout my life I've fluctuated from as low as the higher end of a 12 to the lower end of a 20.  As is expected, my body changed as I got older, and one day during my junior year of college I realized that I now had hips. (I call them my "mama hips")  I was no longer stocky and boyish, I now had curves!  I wasn't exactly pleased about this, wishing I had been better endowed up top.  But then again, I like being small on the top and I'd probably be really uncomfortable if I was bigger than my measly B cup.

What I'm trying to get at is, even though I have had times where I wanted nothing more than to have a flat stomach and wear a real bikini and low rise jeans, I also have times where I'd rather have a bacon cheeseburger.  Here in lies my problem.  I just love  food too much to sacrifice it.  And I'm not just talking about Taco Bell and McDonalds, I'm in love with gourmet food! Like, Diners, Drive-In's and Dives is one of my favorite shows.  I blame this on my upbringing.  My dad was a chef for a good while and then worked in the restaurant industry for the larger part of my life.  So I was, and still am, lucky enough to get fed top notch, delicious meals on the regular.  Do I want to wear that fitted LBD, yes.  Do I want to sacrifice eating that Beef Wellington, HELL NO!

Guys Dig Curves!

So a lot of girls want to lose weight because they think guys will like them more.  I was guilty of this at some point, but I have learned better.  In the least conceited way I could possibly sound, I think I'm pretty damn good looking.  Yeah, I'm chunky (as we refer to it in my family), but looking past that, I have a pretty face, fabulous hair, and a great fashion sense! Or so I've been told...hahaha. And that's just physically.  I'm also a good person with talent and a sense of humor.  Also, so I've been told. But the biggest part of it all, is that I'm confident.  I know that sounds lame, but I could not be more serious.  When it comes to guys, your glowing confidence highlights all of the things you love about yourself and shadows the things you're not so keen on.  If you think you're pretty, he's bound to think the same.  It's like some kind of Jedi mind trick. There are plenty of guys who dig the curves!  And not just "chubby chasers," regular guys!  Everyone has their type! I seriously have plenty of good looking guys give me a once over, or that have liked me at some point.  And realistically, I've had a lot of creepy guys do that too, unfortunately.  But that's not the point! You catch him looking at you, you're confidence is no doubt what really caught his attention.  Dazzle him with your smile, and who knows what could happen!  Now I can't really say much past that point, since I am uncomfortably single.  But I can say, I have a pretty good relationship with myself, and that's the first step!

The Clothing War

Another thing that has taking me a long time to get over is clothing.  Being plus sized and finding cute clothes is like trying to find a needle in a haystack, for lack of a better, less obvious metaphor.  But really, after sifting through the moo moos and grandma items, you're left with either really crappy, cheap, trend based clothes or more ugly things.  And then the next level is the ridiculously overpriced stuff that's probably still ugly and come in black, navy, or brown.  There's also the super fun category of plus sized clothing that just isn't flattering.  Like, if you're a plus sized gal, you're probably not planning on wearing a fitted dress with cutouts anytime soon.  And if you are, kudos, but maybe you should reconsider that one.  In my lifetime of "curviness," I've developed a pretty good sense of what looks good on me, and what is flattering.  I'm really good at hiding the things I don't want people to see and I probably look thinner than I actually am most of the time.  Which is cool by me.  I'm quite ok with not constantly worrying about my weight and still looking good.

Be Healthy

Now there is a line to draw, as there is with anything.  It's ok to be curvy.  Hell, it's freaking great!  But within your limits.  I eat what I want, but I also don't eat three cheeseburgers for every meal.  The goal is to be curvy and healthy.  Your health is so important! Don't sit around all day every day. Get some exercise, go outside, take vitamins, eat healthy foods that you like (I know there are at least some!), and treat your body right! We weren't made to starve ourselves, but we weren't made to gorge either.  As I said, there's a line.  You just have to know where that lies for you!

The Fight

Over the past few years or so, the sad reality of girls and body image has surfaced in a major epidemic.  There are so many girls who think they're too fat or too skinny or too tall or short or what have you.  Since I was old enough to understand this, I have been doing what I can to fight this kind of thinking.  Among many others, I believe that every girl is beautiful in her own way.  You don't have to be thin to be pretty, but that doesn't mean that thin girls aren't pretty! All shapes and sizes are beautiful! We are called individuals for a reason: because we are all our own unique being.  No two people are alike! So why do we all try so hard to look like that supermodel? No one will ever look like her, except for her!  And being a curvy girl, I say we are all beautiful!  We all have the potential to be happy if we let ourselves! 

XO, Briana