Easier said than done, am I right? Recently I’ve seen this in action, from an incredibly strong black woman who you wouldn’t think feared anything… my beautiful mother-in-law. In September, she married her high school sweetheart.
Their paths diverged while in college. Both of them are succeeding in their careers. Both of them have personal achievements, he married for decades and had 4 children, now is widowed; she had an amazing child, Brent, who is now my hot and wonderful husband. From when they were separated, they grew through their separated lives, to the confident people they are today. Despite fears of the past, future, potential judgment of others, they pursued their newfound love.
As a woman, despite my parents doing the best they can (I mean my dad still calls me his princess) … I have insecurities. While my mother-in-law was branching into real-life unchartered territory, it actually made me realize my fears are so minimal. I grew up an athlete, pretty much fit, even with previous pregnancies, my body bounced back pretty well. My mother-in-law’s wedding was 5 weeks after having a baby. Making motherhood look good is kinda my thing. Fashion is kinda my thing. And yet, I was nervous about how I looked. Knowing that no-one would even care, I just was quietly fixated on it.
I’m currently weighing in at 188lbs, but used to hovering at 160lbs,
This meant my dresses no longer fit. I usually encourage myself to workout and lose weight in an healthy way, by not giving in and buying a larger clothing size. But obviously, my hand was forced in this event. First, I can’t or shouldn’t really try to lose weight while breastfeeding, I fear I’d lose my supply. Second, with four kids and now I’m back to work, I’m really struggling to see when I have the time or energy to workout. Basically when I’m at work, my hubs has the newborn and when he’s at work, I have the newborn. I’m sure I’ll figure it out. But for now, what to wear???
At work the other day, a nurse said while looking at pictures of the newborn, “Don’t worry you’ll lose your belly… why arent you wearing Spanx?” Now, I consider work a safe place to be yourself, after all I’ve dedicated my life to medicine and taking care of patients. My gut shouldn’t matter. I definitely felt self-conscious, as everyone then looked at my belly. I don’t own Spanx but I thought maybe I should invest, save myself from these unsolicited comments.
As a great personal stylist, to myself lol, I thought, Bold colors, Patterns, the louder the better! I went to my go-to sites, I wasn’t sure of my size, I kinda assumed a 12. I checked out Rue-la-la, Zara, Gilt, but it wasn’t until ASOS that I hit the jackpot. Now that I had my blue dress, I had to dress my cute accessories, aka my kids lol.
I tried it on, and it fit well! I’m 5’10” and it was perfectly below the knee, the color looked just like the picture, I mean when does that ever happen?!?
So, I felt I looked good, hubs approved, I got compliments at the wedding. All good right? But I looked at some wedding pictures and I was bit horrified.
You could see the complete lower outline of my gut, and my belly button! (I’m one of those people with an outie, and am extremely self-conscious about it.) I was thinking Oh Why, didn’t I buy some Spanx.
Then I thought…
Motherhood is a blessing. My body imperfections are a badge of honor. Like my mother-in-law, you got to not only Face your Fears but Embrace them. And try your darndest not to be paralyzed by them. Inspiration is everywhere, I hope this post gave you a little.
Sooo, the Couture Fashion Week show lasted about 45 minutes, which gave us ample time, to run upstairs to our hotel room and change for… Broadway!!!
Which so happened to be a lovely 2 block walk from our hotel. Yeah I’m pretty awesome when it comes to planning. I admit I wanted to see Chicago, but my daughter runs the show and wanted to see Wicked.
So, naturally that’s what we saw. It was weird the last and only time we went to Broadway was when she was 8 and we saw the Little Mermaid!
Well, the famous Gershwin Theatre lived up to its name.
It was so awesome to be there. Little background to the show was the events that lead up to why the Wicked Witch of the East was the way she was in the Wizard of Oz.
The 10pm show was hilariously entertaining, the actresses/actors were beyond talented and their voices were powerful and melodious.
Obviously we’re not allowed to take pictures during the show, but the entire production, and costumes were perfection.
Well, this the last post of our NYC Chronicles and although it was merely a night and a day, my daughter and I had a lot of fun.
It was great having this bonding time before I have my 4th child later this summer, and she goes off to college in a year 😦
…Is what the photographer asked my daughter. But he wasn’t the only one that day. Now during New York Fashion Week, there are many beautiful 6 foot tall women walking around so it’s safe to assume that. It was interesting to see my daughter’s reaction, typically very shy, introverted girl, apparently became someone else. We were at the Couture Fashion Week 8pm show at the Crowne Plaza Times Square. By the way, the one perk to staying at this hotel is your outfit for the night did not have to be weather-dependent.
Now we had general admission seats, but after the hostess saw my daughter, she asked if we mind being in the VIP front row section.
Then while we were sitting in our fabulous new seats, a photographer pulled her up onto the runway to snap a few pics, and ask her a few questions, and she was more than willing to have this spontaneous interview! I mean I stand corrected, I thought my fabulous pink pleated maxi skirt would steal the show, not my daughter, lol…
I just sat back in amazement, I vaguely could overhear them talking about how she plays club volleyball and stuff. Then she sat down as if nothing happened, but grinning ear to ear. It was kinda cool, I know she’s beautiful but it was nice she got a little unsolicited attention, because as you know high school girls can be mean!
So, since I was not media, I wasn’t as psycho about taking pictures but my daughter on the other was just snapchatting away! Here are a few looks:
So since I brought my 17 yr old daughter and the new edition ( I’m 15 weeks pregnant) to New York Fashion Week, I thought let me ask my teen if there was anything she wants to do while in NYC. And she said go to a museum and to Broadway. Gosh, we may not agree on alot but it warmed my heart that she and I share a love for culture! Maybe because her name is Monet, I named her after one of my favorite painters, Claude Monet.
Well the first full day started off, with not only an hr of her putting her face on it the bathroom not exactly following my typed itinerary, but also a hop, skip and cab ride up to the magnificent Metropolitan Museum of Art. Although I went to post-graduate school in New York, spending my last year doing clinical rotations in Manhattan, I had never been to the Met or any museum. Just was constantly studying…
Anywho, after taking 20 pictures together in front of the beautiful building we actual decided to walk in. The lobby is well, jaw-dropping.
There is a recommended admissions fee but they let you pay what you want, and I felt the admissions fee wasn’t asking for enough!
I let my daughter decide where we’d go. We had limited time because we had a fashion show/brunch to attend at 1pm.
First stop, coat check, lol.
We picked up some items to give us a little direction…
Next stop, European Paintings…
Rare moment… you’re teen is snapchatting the paintings!!! Not doing selfies lol.
I got a bit distracted, because a mosaic caught my eye on the way to Ancient Egypt… I love mosaics by the way. Like love.
Okay now to Ancient Egypt, we there were sacrophaguses, went on an old tomb walk through and actually saw some old Imhotep spells!!!
So afterwards we made a mad dash over to Ancient Asia…
Um, just so epic, larger than life…
Then somehow, we entered Ancient India. And wow!
Well, unfortunately, our time was cut short, we never made it to Ancient Greece. But from what we saw this museum was so beautiful, curated so well, appropriate and intriguing for all ages and people from all walks of life, Even Baltimoreans 🙂
Sooo, its that time of the year again, and I brought a new person along with me, my daughter!!! She’s 17 and its time to introduce to the awesomeness of NYC and Fashion Week.
It’s hard to gauge a teenager, cause they hate you one moment and love you the next, but she seemed super excited!!! Since she was there I felt that I shouldn’t cover any events as media, because you’re so busy interviewing, checking out behind the scenes, and taking pics of the models/collections; that it can be slightly difficult to relax because you want to cover every aspect, as opposed to taking it all in as a whole. Plus, anyone who has a teenage girl, knows they demand all of your attention!
Immediately after school, we went straight to the Megabus up to NYC. I’ve learned that you can judge how much fun your kid is having by the amount of snapchatting they do, and trust me we’re going over our data plan this month!
We arrived around 745pm, and I knew it’d be a great sign because we caught our first cab with ease!
My Notes: Very well tailored pants with great bombers; found a new love for paisley; loved the hair/makeup!
So I was nervous that my daughter didn’t enjoy it since we had to stand the whole time, but she loved it!!! We then had to stand in the dirty show with a lovely chill in the air trying to hail a cab. Fortunately a nice photographer from the show shared a cab with us.
Back at the hotel, we crashed for it was such a long day then of course spent our entire food budget on room service lol!
Stay tuned for further posts of our New York City Chronicles!!!
Although I’m not a Fashion Group International member, more like a hangers-on,
I leaped at the opportunity when there was an opportunity for non-members to attend the Rising Star award ceremony in DC!
So in normal Naomi fashion, I rushed from work, was halted in DC traffic for an hr, searched for parking for 20 min, and did a non-fluid wardrobe change into a one-piece pant suit of all things!
So it was a chilly, 3 block walk to the event at the
upscale venue of Kimpton Mason & Rock. Immediately greeted with champagne, as I perused the lobby, hoping my outfit was appropriate, and it was (phew!)
I had a fan girl moment when I met a prominent DC fashion blogger, Style MBA!
Although out of the FGI loop, I felt welcomed there, everyone was quite friendly. There was a lot of fun energy in the room.
Of course the only seat left was near the front, so I nervously took it. Apparently I was at table of DC fashion superstars, Linda Lizzio (FGI District director), Martha Slagle (General Manager of Neiman Marcus, Chevy Chase), just to name a few… I sat next to a talented makeup artist and Beauty Nominee, Aleah Dorsey of Lipp Beautifully and her husband. Which is funny because I never wear lipstick because I feel like my lips are kinda big and I look like a clown. Well, even though it was her night to shine, she was nice enough to take the time to describe her hand-made lipsticks, how there’s a color for everyone, made me feel unashamed of one of my most dominant features. It was pretty cool.
Then there was the food!
Now for the moment we all were waiting for… the Awards Presentation!
The categories were womenwear, menswear, accessories, jewelry, photography, interior, new media , beauty and styling.
This was such a great experience! It was awesome being amongst so much local greatness. I want to congratulate everyone, FGI-DC, the nominees and winners, it’s wonderful for your work to be recognized by esteemed colleagues. And it’s award ceremonies such as these that fuel the competitive spirit within to continue to stay driven, work hard and push fashion forward.
Very few people can say, their little brother launched a Sneaker Collection. Well, I am one of them! Last Wednesday, we drove down to Washington, DC for his launch party, you to live vicariously through my brother’s awesomeness! His company No Kings Collective sneaker is in collaboration with BucketFeet. It’s called ” 7’s ” celebrating seven years of hustle in the art game!
So in June, I was strolling in Southern Florida; and being from Baltimore, MD, of course I am in awe of the height of coconut palm trees. But until now, did I understand the magnitude. Why am I talking about fruit and trees?
Well… Its been awhile since I gave some love to the world of sustainable fashion.
Earlier this week I caught the Ethical Fashion Forum webinar of their annual showcase of what’s happening in sustainable sourcing and showcase of their suppliers.
***All images are from Ethical Fashion forum, just took pics during the presentation, see offical (and better) slides on their website! ***
Part 1: Fabrics and Fibers
Clare Lissaman, director of product and impact, did a wonderful of maintaining the flow of the webinar, and keeping our interest peaked!
So why is a webinar on fabric and fibers important? All fabric starts with fibers.
So apparently we consume 25% more fiber than 25 years ago and the increase in polyester is a direct correlation between the increase in fast fashion. Totally makes sense!
3 Major Trends
#1 Innovation from nature
We mostly use cotton. Cellulosics (ie rayon). Recent technology has figured out how to make fiber from dead silkworms, What da?!? And don’t throw your fruit away… in Italy and Sicily, cellulose fibers are being drawn from actual Oranges!
And in the Phillipines, a new use for the pineapple after the harvest, a leather alternative? Yes, its called Pinatex! Sustainable in so many ways, for instance, allows those Phillipino farmers in that region to supplement their income. And don’t forget the role of bananas and coconuts in textiles!
Continuing on the leather alternative vibe, Cork is now being used!
Love that distressed denim style? Well the amount of sandblasting required to make that look causes “stress” on the factory workers lungs, and the environment. So one company found a way to print on that faded and holey look!
Georgia Institute of technology has invented an ingenious way to use clothing to harness electricity from solar power and movement!
There is a heavy focus on millenials and millenials-at-heart (like me,lol). Its pretty clear that authenticity is critical. Consumers are now holding the corporations to be more responsible. Important aspects of provenance include: the artisans’ creative ways of making their handwork/handmilling fit in the 21st century without losing their heritage; recycling fiber (i.e. taking waste from the sea and turning it into yarn); innovation like growing leather; and of course upcycling!
Source Founding Partners
So at this time the mic was turned to Christopher Stokes of Global Organic Textile Standard. I learned soooo much here! The GOTS is about organic fiber not only farm-grown but the whole of the processing to actual clothes made.
Although the materials may be 95% organic fiber & 70% organic (cellulose); the chemicals required to extract the fiber, sometimes makes it not organic. So a high level of environmental criteria is needed through the whole supply chain.
For instance, requiring monitoring of water use, control of energy use and require effective waste of water. There must be compliance with social criteria i.e. no child or forced labor. They have found having 3rd party verification increase consumer trust and prevents “green wash” (a new term I just learned!) In fact, you can check out the GOTS website to search a company’s certification. And if you ever thought of who certifies the dyes and chemicals, 409 suppliers of colorants, look no further! And they are in line with the Greenpeace Detox campaign!
Next, Ms. Lissaman discussed Fairtrade Cotton (UK, US, CAN, NZ, AUS). Those at the short end (farmers) should get some of the value back and that would cause huge benefits socially. Together farmers are more empowered. I learned fairtrade initiative is trying to shift ownership from the retailers to farmers. Eventually or hopefully rather cotton will come 100% from fairtrade farmers. Now I am for sure, like by far, no expert but she further went into the Fairtrade sourcing program. So fairtrade cotton goes into spinner but the cotton that comes out but its a mass balance, so it not only benefits farmers, mills but enables the fibers to blended with other cottons & fibers. Fairtrade Textile Standard: focuses on working conditions, wages, gender equality, environmental protection and worker’s rights. So, so important.
Lastly, the Source Members, this part of the webinar was run by Qiulae Wong, head of marketing. So I made sort of directory below with links to the companies for designers and smaller brands.
Bebe Cotton Knitted: nice for new designers and smaller brands because they can do small runs; completely vertically integrated
So, a few months ago as I was perusing Eventbrite, trying to see whats the haps on the fashion scene in NYC, and I saw FashionistaCon. I thought that sounds awesome, but I felt the epic nature of the event would be lost on hubs once he saw the cost. But over the next 6 weeks Fashionista.com kept feeding tempting info like the costume designer of the Sex and the City will be there. Omg, What!!!
So I made sure I was off that day, it would be a quick up and back on a school day so kids wouldn’t even notice I was gone. Fast forward to a week before, I came across a little discount code, and just bought it!
So, hubs surprisingly was okay with the purchase. I bought a megabus ticket at 4am and caught the 7am up to Manhattan!
Now Fashionista.com has been my go to source for fashion news, even after I’ve read Business of Fashion and WWD, they have a particular take on events that speaks to me.
For some reason, I was nervous, I mean its different to say your a fashionista and actually be around real ones. As a fashion writer/blogger, I’m in my comfort zone being behind the scenes, you know sometimes scooping up an emerging designer’s first interview. But I thought to perfect your craft you got to be where the leaders are, understand the history, and figure out how to make it your own.
Once I arrived in NYC, I paid too much for a cab to only take me 2 blocks in traffic, but I made it! So once a put my coat in coatcheck, and perused (aka Snapchatted) the room…
Then, a very kind blogger told me that I did not completely zip up my dress in the back… Unlike when Carrie said in SATC to her publishers about her book cover, “No matter how fast paced the city, I always manage to get my clothes on…” True words to live buy, I guess its the hazards of dressing in the dark and rushing from Baltimore to NYC on a whim, lol.
Anywho, now that I was dressed, confidence renewed, I was ready to soak up the fashion knowledge… I missed the 1st megabus, therefore missing the first speaker & panel (darnit!) but there was so much more on the agenda!!! Oh by the way, and I tried to include lil bits from the Q&A, hope you enjoy!
Interview with Cathy Horyn…
She definitely embodied, what I’m trying to be. She wore a fantastic black top and pants, black heels, just real hard-edged chic. I remember listening to Laura Sherman on American Fashion Podcast who described Cathy Horyn as authoritative, and I agree, she’s also quite provocative.
Q & A:
Why did you want to work in fashion? Love how fashion has a PLOT; didn’t care about the clothes but the PEOPLE.
How did your writing evolve? Worked at Washington Post in the 90s, where she was encouraged to have a strong voice, opinion, and to well “Just let it rip!” Continued to become selective with her writing , yet continue to keep herself entertained
What’s your view on the role of social media? Changed greatly because of Instagram; twitter is contagious and her favorite because its a challenge to compress your thoughts
What’s the future of the fashion critic? Named some of her favorites: Kennedy Fraser (tend to write fashion’s effect on society), Eugenia Sheppard (personalized fashion), John Fairchild (editor of WWD and founder of W mag). She stated the biggest challenge is saturation, with so many sites to look at, its hard to sustain your voice.
How do you know when your ready to move on? Chose the people first not the title because you’ll be more in sync with them; once you get the experience, move on.
Interview with Patricia Field…
Omg the one the only… Patricia Fields! So animated, engaging and was rocking that cashmere sweatsuit! I thought this is the lady who basically told us what to wear in the early 2000s, and the reason that every girl attending the Sex and the City movie, wore a big flower on their top (well, except for me, I missed the memo)
Were you always interested in fashion? her love grew subconsciously
How did you get into retail? Comes from an enterpenerial family, “She knew business, she knew fashion but had to learn the fashion business.” ; its importantto grow with what you feel confident and strong in..
“Don’t follow the money, if you’re happy, it will come.”
How did you go from retail to SATC? Referred by a friend, and said she loved working on SATC because she got to elevate the reality, get on her tippy toes and fly off to Mars!
What influenced you? Early Hollywood… So with her work you will see an infusion of glamour/beauty/optimism mixed with quirkiness
“Nothing like making people happy, there’s a lot return”
Her visual explanation to fashion today..I love her!
Interview with Christian Siriano…
Next up, Christian Siriano! Now this Maryland native, went to Baltimore School for the Arts, probably around the same time, I was attending there after school wishing my mom would stop sending me for ballet lessons!
Anywho, he has dressed Michelle Obama, Scarlett Johansson, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Kerry Washington, Victoria Beckham… and so many other stars. But I love how he also does seasonal collections for Payless, and Lane Bryant, just so versatile, with a true understanding of all women!
“It’s a challenge to make clothes fit everyone…but couldn’t imagine alienating one group.”
How important is internship? Good because not all fashion is fabulous, take the opportunity as an intern to ask many questions. Have to be obsessed as with fashion because as a designer there are a lot of hard days.
He states he was always a creative type but interested in money, lol. When it comes to advice, not everyone will give you the best advice because it’s based off what has happened before.
How did you grow deliberately and keep control? He stressed the importance of team, who wants success as much as you do, i.e. is former intern is now his sales director. He tries not to micro manage everyone, which shows his trust in his team.
Hardest part of navigating the red carpet? He stated that at one point in time he had 9 amazing women in custom pieces 1 week after fashion week; but stated its a good problem to have. He tries not to be too calculating and allows everything to be organic.
What’s it like being a champion of body positivity? He is trying to make it no longer a conversation. (love this!)
Panel: What does it Mean to be an Influencer Today?
Hubs and I don’t rely heavily on monetizing techniques to maintain our blog, fortunately our careers allows this to be a fun passion for us. Plus, we are so not models, lol.
But I did learn how partnerships work with brands. Authenticity is critical! With a huge stress on aligning talent (blogger) with the brand. The brand should be inspired by the talent and vice versa. Brands prefer long term relationships, the days of one post on social media is a thing of the past. This panel is really chockful of everything you need to know, aim for and perfect as a fashion blogger. Definitely check out the links above, for more information on brand partnerships, Next model management, Kate Spade, and one of the most well know bloggers, Danielle Bernstein of WeWoreWhat!
Interview with Linda Rodin…
The last speaker was Linda Rodin, a supermodel in the 60s, stylist and now skincare guru! So, she accidentally fell into beauty after 30 yrs as a stylist. She developed a blend of essential oils for your skin, basically as a chemistry project in her bathroom. I love her authenticity, she wouldn’t make products that she wouldn’t use. She also stressed the importance of a good team.
“Not easy getting old, but I’m not trying to hide it”
She’s become great by persevering! Simple as that.
I just wanted to mention… I loved seeing the people who write to us daily… The actual editors of Fashionista.Com, they all did such a great job!!! One of the statements consistently across the board of these megafashion panelists was, what we know these people for, doesn’t define them. They are so much more. It seems that they spent their lives driven by dreams, fueled by their fashion desire; preparing for the unknown, priming them to flourish in opportunities … Now they are relishing and so deserving of their achievements! Overall such an inspiring event!
P.S. So the day after this conference, I went on a week long Caribbean cruise with hubs, so I’m just getting to check out my awesome swag bag and finish this post, lol!
So in November, we started Style Muse Mondays, and every Monday on our Facebook page, we post a fun outfit, appropriate for travel, date night, or your normal stylish day to day! As you know, I am a busy career-driven mother of 3, and wife to Brent, so I want to look effortlessly chic (like seriously very little effort needed because I just don’t have the time, lol) … So for a little style inspiration, check our Facebook every Monday, or I will link the pages at the end of the month via a post!
We are currently working on two campaigns, so lucky to be affiliated with Brands, Romwe & Missguided that I rock, almost everyday!!! Check out the links below, from my recent trips to New York, and then my cruise to the Caribbean!
What I wore when I got a little inspiration from Lady Liberty!!!