Summer Day at The Met

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Hey Upper East Siders, I went to the Met last weekend with my mom to see their annual Costume Institute exhibit (we went last year, too!) and walk around the UES and wanted to share some pictures from our day! This year, the exhibit was: Rei Kawakubo/ Commes des Garçons: Art of the In-Between. We also visited a few other areas of The Met, including the impressionism wing and a new exhibit, “Talking Pictures: Camera Phone Conversations Between Artists”.

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These (above) are actually paintings of the images the two artists sent back and forth.

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The “Talking Pictures” exhibit was really cool. The premise of the exhibit was to partner up a few pairs of artists, let them only communicate between camera phone photographs for a given period of time and then document that conversation. Each pair interpreted the “assignment” in a different way: one pair sending one picture per day, then painting each image for the final display. Another pair of artists were both pregnant, so their conversation was framed in their pregnancies, among other world events. These conversations happened over the course of a few months, and happened to be the time a little before and after the election and inauguration, which was an interesting way to frame these conversations. Did the election/ politics/ policy influence these conversations or even come up? Overall, I really enjoyed this exhibit and highly recommend stopping by if you’re at The Met.

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After that, we headed to the Costume Institute. Seeing Kawakubo’s garments in person was amazing. Her designs are extremely thought provoking and I enjoyed reading about her and learning about her design process, which is an art in and of itself. A quick side note: I wouldn’t recommend this exhibit for those not interested in fashion or her designs specifically, because to “outsiders”, it can seem fairly strange. As you’ll see from my pictures, her designs are very different than most fashion houses or designers and can seem quite strange. In my opinion, this exhibit doesn’t even compare to how wonderful last year’s exhibit was, but it was a fun day going to the Met and getting a better understanding of Kawakubo, Commes des Garçons and her impact on the fashion industry. That being said, I would recommend this exhibit to those interested in fashion because it does prompt some interesting conversations and topics.

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On our way back to the lobby of the museum, we took a few minutes to wander around the Impressionist area of the museum. Impressionism is one of my mom and I’s favorite styles,  so we had to stop to see some Monet and Degas. It brought me back to Paris!

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We also had to visit The Met’s Rooftop before leaving the museum. It was such a beautiful day, we couldn’t resist stopping for a good photo-op. I was wearing one of my favorite outfits of the summer: my striped culotte jumpsuit from Flutter, the boutique where I work. It’s super comfortable and chic, plus it matched my comfortable shoes! I have a few other pairs of black sandals that I wear with it, but these black lace-up flats were the most comfortable for a day of walking around the museum and the city.

After our morning at the museum, we wandered around the Upper East Side, grabbed lunch at Sweetgreen (my favorite- I’ve missed it while living at home this summer!) and did a little shopping. It was such a great mother-daughter day in the city. Hopefully we’ll be able to go back, to a new neighborhood or two, once or twice before I head back to school at the end of the month.

Have you ever been to the Met or have another favorite art museum in the city? Tell me about it in the comments below! 

Floral Wrap Dress in New York City

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Last week, some friends and I went to New York City for a fun day trip. Living so close to the city is one of the things I love most about where I live. Being able to hop on a train and be in New York City or Philadelphia in an hour is something I really treasure and have been taking advantage of this summer!

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My friends Lexie, Caroline, Cammie and I spent the day downtown. We walked the High Line (the best way to walk downtown- scenic and breezy. Perfect for a warm summer day!) to get to to the Whitney, then spent some time exploring the museum. I am wearing my new favorite summer dress. It’s definitely not something I would usually reach towards, but as soon as I tried it on, I knew I needed it (plus it was on major sale!). It it a little low cut, so I paired it with one of my favorite bralettes from Free People. I also layered a rose-colored beaded choker, my fortune cookie necklace (my lucky charm!) and a lariat necklace from Urban Outfitters (similar). We had a big day of walking planned, so I wore my favorite comfortable and cute sandals from Sam Edelman. My favorite summertime bag is my blush Kate Spade Beau Bag (similar), one of my most treasured gifts!

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After spending the year in design and art classes, I have a whole new appreciation for art and see it in new ways. That being said, I could’ve spent an entire day in the Whitney. The art is incredible and very much along the lines of what I spent my year studying and re-creating, so seeing certain artists/ movements/ techniques was really amazing after working hard this year to emulate those very pieces! Another thing I loved about the Whitney was of course the views. There are a few decks outside on the upper floors of the museum that offer beautiful views of the city.

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After exploring the Whitney, it was lunch time! We wanted something quick and healthy, so we opted for salads and smoothie bowls at Le Pain. I had an awesome arugula + tabouleh salad with avocado and lemon basil vinaigrette with an iced latte. It was so nice to sit inside with some AC for a little bit! After our healthy lunch, we decided it was only appropriate to counter that with some sweet treats at Sweets byCHLOE and dō. I had a (vegan) chocolate cupcake from byCHLOE which was really good. I had eaten lunch at byCHLOE a few times but never dessert, and was skeptical of how good a vegan cupcake could be, but let me tell you, it was delicious. We were walking to Washington Square Park when we walked by dō, the super popular cookie dough place you’ve probably seen on Instagram, and decided we had to give it a try since the line wasn’t around the block, haha. Caroline and I shared a small, and we couldn’t even finish it together! The final dō verdict is: tastes great (we got the salty + sweet flavor!), but can’t handle more than a few bites. I’m glad I got to try it, but I wouldn’t necessarily go back.

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After lots of desserts, we decided to take a break and sit in Washington Square Park for a bit. I was laughing to myself because on every trip I’ve made to the city this summer (which is quite a few!) I’ve ended up in Wash Sq. Park. Usually, I don’t spend a ton of time in The Village but somehow I keep finding myself there this summer. After a little relaxing in the park, we headed to the Flatiron district for some shopping. We stopped at Free People, Paper Source and a few other stores for some window shopping. We also stopped at Madewell to give our friend Shelby a visit! It was so great to see her while we were in the city, and I never turn down a visit to Madewell 😉

All in all, it was a wonderful day in the city with three dear friends of mine. What is your favorite thing to do in New York City in the summertime? Comment below!

Chambray Ruffle Sleeve Top

I felt like I was in such a fashion rut at the beginning of the summer. I was working almost every day and felt like I had nothing to wear! I hadn’t really done any shopping for spring or summer, so I decided to pick up a few things halfway into the season. One of my favorite outfits I’ve put together since is featuring two of my new purchases: my chambray ruffle sleeve top and my long beaded necklace. The top is super comfortable and versatile, which I love because I can wear it into the fall. As for the necklace, I have been seeing this trend all over Pinterest and Tumblr lately and have been looking for the perfect necklace with which to test it out.

My two lovely friends Lexie and Caroline (be sure to follow them!) headed into Princeton for some good old fashioned girl time featuring dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant, shooting blog pictures and lots of laughs. Spending time with “your people” is one of the best feelings in the world, and that’s how our entire night was!

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What new trends have you tried lately? Comment below! 

Cultivating Creativity

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I’ve spent the last year in what some would call art school. I’ve taken drawing, painting, design and computer imaging classes with some of the most creative, innovative, inspiring people I have ever met. Throughout my life, i have always admired “creative” people and wished I could be like them. Those who could be inspired by their surroundings and create something. I thought I never had that potential. I was creative, but in a different way. I could never make art. Sure, I could write a very well-written, thought-provoking piece on a topic that deeply interested me, style pictures and outfits and maintain a blog, but creating art, no way. Spending this last year taking many visual studies classes, I learned that I too am truly capable and creative, and anyone can be.

We live in a world dictated by results, wanting to do things the right way and following formulas. We have a set idea of results we need and do our best to get there as efficiently as possible. Instead of rushing through life to achieve results, I learned that the best results often come from creative exploration. Some of my best works were those where I had the most opportunity to play and experiment. There are no SparkNotes or short cuts for creatives.

I was so frustrated with my professor for giving us a final project in which our only instructions were to create a twelve panel mixed media work that “explored the motion of time through space” using the various techniques and styles with which we had worked throughout the term. What the heck is the exploration of motion through time and space?! And how the heck was I supposed to write an essay describing what I painted?! But I figured it out, and my work had a purpose. And I got that A+. Why? Because I was given creative freedom. I was given multiple weeks to explore and play around with various techniques, styles and ideas before settling on the final piece. I worked with my fellow students, got their advice and also critiqued their work and got inspired from them. And the work of my peers was so different than mine, but equally beautiful. Seeing how everyone took this confusing, vague prompt and created something expressive, meaningful and well crafted was inspiring in and of itself!

So take some time to just explore. Whether that is going somewhere by yourself to get some clarity or just sitting down with some pen and paper, exploring and playing are good for the mind and the soul. If you want to learn to paint, go to Michael’s, buy some paint and paper and experiment. I am certain you will create something you never thought possible. It may even lead to a bigger, better idea. If I learned one thing in college this year, it is that the best things happen unexpectedly.

I have made it a priority in my life to take time to create and think, whether it is writing, drawing, collaging or painting in my sketchbook. Sometimes, that process means taking time to read, watch and admire others’ work. Everyone’s creative process is different, but that’s what makes it fun. Buy a cheap journal and just play. Collage, paint, draw, write, sew, doodle, finger paint… just create something for the sake of creating something. Step out of the mindset of following a specific plan for specific results. Take a step away to explore, experiment, discover and play and you too will be creative.

 

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New Year’s Style Resolutions

With the New Year, there is so much talk about resolutions and how to use the next 365 days to make yourself a better you. I love the idea of the clean, fresh slate that a New Year brings. I always make a few resolutions or goals that I try to work on throughout the year. A few days after New Year’s Day, I was sitting at home starting to pack up to go back to school for my winter term when I realized literally all of my clothes are black, white, grey or occasionally blush or olive. While often times a muted or all black look can be super chic and trendy, it also gets a little boring. So, I decided to make a New Year’s style resolution… to bring some color back into my life! Here’s some of my inspiration:

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Do you have any style resolutions this year? Comment below!

AT THIS MOMENT…


Enjoying… The last week of my senior year! I graduate one week from tomorrow (!!) and its starting to all feel real. Class of 2016, we made it 🙂
Excited About… An exciting summer ahead of graduation festivities, a family wedding and a family trip to Europe all before move-in day!
Drinking… Water, water, water. Hydration is the name of the game this time of year (and really all year). 
Listening to… Billy Joel! I’m seeing him in concert on Friday and cannot wait

Loving… Man Repeller. I’ve been reading a couple articles a day and they always make me smile. Leandra and the MR Team are such assets to the fashion community. I love their insight and humor about all things fashion and life in general. Equal parts informative and hilarious. 


Needing… Some new summer shorts. Suggestions on where I should look? Leave some comments below. 
Wanting… A cute bandana/ neck scarves à la Shelby
Watching… The West Wing. A political show from late 90’s/early 2000’s on Netflix. Start watching, you won’t regret it, I promise. #Bartlet2016 anyone? 
Wearing… Stripes, white jeans and gold sandals. Summer uniform, is that you? 

I saw Mackenzie do this post a few weeks ago and figured I’d give it a try after being very absent from blogging and the community for the past 2 months or so. Getting back into the swing of things… Lots of content coming soon 🙂 

Jamie is also posting an “at this moment” today. We thought it would be a fun way to jumpstart our summers and kick off getting back into the swing of blogging again. 

 We thought it would be a fun I want to hear about what’s going on “at this moment” for you! Either comment below or post on your own blog & share the link with me! 

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SUMMER PIN-SPIRATION

I had my last final of junior year this morning… so it is officially summer (and I am technically a senior? What?!!). I am hoping to do one or two posts to recap junior year next week: one or two posts about the academics (the college search, SAT/ACT/AP exams, creating a manageable schedule etc.) and one or two posts about some of the fun things I didn’t get a chance to blog about during the year (junior prom, Teen Vogue Fashion University, FIT precollege… )

Anyways, on to today’s post: SUMMER! I have been dreaming of the sunshine hitting my skin, the sand in my toes, the salt in my hair… ah, just perfect. As of now, my summer is going to be pretty lowkey. My family and I are going away to Mexico for a week in July (counting down the days!!) and in August, one of my friends from Drexel last summer, Gina, is coming to visit me!! But other than that, I will just be working, blogging, relaxing and chipping away at my 1500 pages of AP Lit readings for the summer.


To kickoff summer, I am sharing a few of my favorite pictures from my Sunshine State of Mind board on Pinterest. This board helped me get through the brutal winter (stressful academics & subzero temperatures) I had. This board was my dream: a no-stress, beautiful beach. Here’s a few of my favorite summer-inspired pictures to kick of the season! 








What are you looking forward to this summer? Comment below! 


XO, Nicole 

Contact |  empirestylesblog@gmail.com




This post is part of the Fun in the Sun Summer Blog Hop!