> THE NEW YORK BLONDE >/b:skin>' }
January 15, 2017

Shiny Objects are Closer Than They Appear

When Lauren Santo Domingo made the claim sequins and feathers were her two favorite food groups, I knew exactly what she meant. Unlike many girls who are more comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt, I feel much better in sequins and a flounce. Why would you want to dress down, when you can dress up? Have we stored our holiday looks in the back of our drawers already? I know my sequins still hang brightly in my closet, ready to be styled appropriately and worn on the town. Plus, when the weather hits a record 60 degrees in the middle of January, anything goes!

Happy hour was about to get a little happier when I chose to layer my sequin cardigan over a surfer tee and straight leg jeans. I was so pumped to pull this out since I haven't had the opportunity to wear it since the holidays. Plus I added my pearl drop earrings for a glamour pop as opposed to my normal studs. I love this look and I love the balance of the overall ensemble between dress-up and dress-down. You should never be afraid of shiny objects in the day. If you style the sequins accordingly you can really get away with it and I guarantee you will receive compliments for your risk-taking look. I proudly wore this to drinks with friends after work....without a coat!







Don't forget to shop the look on my Shop My Looks page. 
January 10, 2017

SHOP SALES WITH ME



Sales these days are anything but modest. I define a "sale" when clearance is reduced by over 50% off the original price. I mean, did anyone REALLY pay full price at J.Crew this holiday season… As clearance email blasts come through, I wanted to share some of my favorite online sales. A lot of shoppers stick to their normal shopping behaviors, hitting up Zara, Anthropolgie, Artizia and the occasional Net-a-Porter. Most of us are hesitant to deviate from the norm, and I think miss a lot of the amazing sales that are only a click away. These are those sales that I patiently await for twice a year and pounce on once they are announced. 

No surprise here. Moda’ offers an incredibly, highly curated and edited assortment of high-end brands in every category. Generally, prices are way out of my budget. One day I hope to scoff at $1k price points, but for now I can wait for their annual final sales. You can finally score Johanna Ortiz and Isabel Marant at clearance way below the original MSRP. This is a perfect stop for occasion dressing and that special purchase you were waiting to make with your gifted Christmas money.

The original site that first brought luxury to the internet is no slouch for a good sale. At up to 80% off you can officially score those sought after boots you have been drooling over all season. I actually love to shop this sale for my summer wardrobe. Resort has finally been reduced to “normal” prices and I don’t feel bad spending for a romper originally priced at $500+ now that is on clearance. They are super easy on returns, which is a big help in case you purchase something you actually hate. The site generally takes additional slashes later in the season if you can wait it out.

I find most of my friends have never heard of SSENSE, which makes sense… get it... hehe.  A Canadian site boasting over 150 brands like J.W Anderson, Pierre Hardy and MSGM, this assortment is definitely edgier and more “city-chic”. Prices are still on the high side, but I find at the end of the season they are reduced to reasonable price points. I actually found this site while perusing Farfetch.com, an international website that collects assortments from boutiques all over the world and houses them under one platform.  I always search SSENSE for that end of the season coat or boot that I have had my eye on.

The epitome of LA lux, FWRD combines super high-end and super edgy on one site. They rarely promote their sales, so it is never easy to know when exactly to shop the site. I always find their sales are congruent with your Net-a-Porters, Barneys and Bergdorfs of the world with the same markdown cadence. The later you wait, the better the sales. Yes, the price points can still be a bit high, but if you are in a bind for that one-of-a-kind piece, look no further than this online retailer.


I know a lot of these sites are still on the pricey side. I by no means have bottomless pockets. Ask anyone and they will tell you I am a super savvy shopper. I would just prefer to spend $100 on one item that will hold its value than $100 at Forever 21. Not everyone feels the same way, but wouldn’t you rather have high-fashion than fast-fashion. These are some of the best online sales I have experienced. Has anyone found better? Would love to know!
January 8, 2017

CAREER FILES WITH SUSAN SHEK

Susan Shek is a doer, someone who took a passion and turned it into a full time, successful and flourishing career. This is a female who continues to grow her ever-expanding photography company. Not only is her work outstanding, she just happens to also be my wedding photographer :)

If you happen to consistently browse my blog (I hope you do!), it should be of no surprise that I tend to favor female entrepreneurs. Women who take the reins on their passions and create professions from pure ambition are not only inspiring to myself but to scores of other females looking to follow their own dreams. I recently caught up with Susan and discussed her thriving business as she provided insights like when she decided to take a leap of faith and start her company...or simply finding your perfect selfie:

When did you first begin photographing? Was it something you were always passionate about, or was it a hobby that you decided to make into a career?
I grew up in a very tech savvy household. My father always had the latest gadgets. He brought home cameras sometimes and I always had a love for taking pictures with my point and shoot or polaroid camera.
I started dabbing in night club photography when I was taking pictures of the people having fun and the DJs spinning a good set. Then my friends from college started getting married and needed a wedding photographer but they didn’t know where to look, so they asked me to photograph it. From there and 11 years later I’m still in love with weddings and capturing love.

At what point did you feel secure in your business? Was there a turning point where you felt your business could be a full time career?
During the third year of my photography business, I started getting a lot of referrals and repeat clients who wanted me to also photograph their maternity and family photos, that’s how I knew my business was going to continue to be successful. I took a leap and spent a lot in advertising to get where I am now.
In your first year of freelancing, how did you continue to stay focused?  What did you do to persevere during more difficult times in the beginning ?
It’s all about trial and error. You can’t give up something you are truly passionate about. I love finding those moments in between and the moments that you could so easily forget. I wanted to capture all of it. I always had people tell me I couldn’t make a hobby my job, but I didn’t listen to them.
Since it is the holiday season and many of us will be taking photos of friends and holiday outfit selfies, any photographing advice?
Find your angle, look into a mirror and practice your best. Make sure you have a fun festive outfit on too!


Below is some of Susan's fantastic work, courtesy of myself and my fiancé from our engagement photo session.
For more information on Susan, please visit her website at http://www.susanshek.com/
Follow her on Instagram @susanshekphotography
January 3, 2017

NYBLONDE GUIDE TO MAUI

 After a six day stint, I arrived back home to chilly temps and gray clouds, but still so happy to be back in my own apartment! In case you happened to totally disregard my Insta posts, my fiancé and I took a wonderful trip to sunny Maui to celebrate the holiday season. It was a nice reprieve from the chilly temps on the east coast. Swimming in the ocean in December is always a treat and never ceases to amaze me. The blue waters, warm winds and swinging palm trees are no match for snow, rain and sleet in the Northeast. I am so excited to share with you not only our trip, but my top recommends for anyone planning a vacation to Maui, Hawaii.

Stay: We chose to book our five night stay at the Andaz Maui. This newly finished resort focuses on contemporary finishes with a modern feel. Perfect for a couple looking to steer clear of water slides and amusement park features that would otherwise be found at more kid-friendly spot. A high recommend for a couple searching for relaxation during the winter months.


Do: Hawaii is a destination that you can really make your own. For the adventurous types there is plenty of hikes, nature walks and hidden waterfalls to satisfy your thrill seeking personality. For the relaxing folks, there is never a need to really leave your hotel as long as a beach chair and a cool breeze satisfies you. As for my fiancé and I, we chose to meet in the middle. Our stay was balanced with beach naps and mountain hikes perfect to experience both sides of Maui.


Maui Easy Riders: I must say, I was a bit skeptical when we booked this Road to Hana tour. An all day excursion sounded far from pleasant when I could be lounging on the beach. However, even a city girl such as myself could get behind this awesome, mountainous, scene satisfying journey up the hills of Maui. The sights we saw and the hikes we walked were anything but beyond glorious. This all day adventure is the perfect answer to break up the relaxing beach days and enjoy the Hawaiian nature.




Eat: Who wouldn't expect the freshest, ripest and most wonderful farm-to-table options when eating in Maui. The locally grown fruits and vegetables are nothing short from amazing and if you aren't eating the catch of the day, you really need to upgrade your foodie game. We made a res at some great restaurants, perfect for the Hawaiian fix we were seeking when sitting down to dinner.

Ka'ana Kitchen: Situated in the Andaz Maui, this restaurant offers the freshest Hawaiian options. I am not one for hotel fooderies. I prefer to venture outside tourist ridden areas to discover more locally sourced options. Just because a "star chef' writes the menu, doesn't always mean it is the most authentic to the region. Ka'ana however does an all-star job here. Fresh fish and locally grown veggies make up this delicious menu.

Monkeypod: A local favorite, this spot was just a few minutes off the Waliea strip. Again, fresh offerings all the way on this diverse menu. Unlike other spots in Maui that focus on a specific genre, this menu had a multitude of options. Lobster pizza, potato gnocchi, and shrimp dumplings were just some of the highlights we enjoyed during our meal. The crowd was a good mix of locals and tourists and the place was packed. Always a good sign the food is solid and keeps the neighbors returning.

Capishe: Inside Hotel Waliea, the menu here is printed daily to reflect the freshest options of the day. Superb service and a cozy outdoor setting, this makes for a great date spot. I especially loved the vintage vibes of this boutique hotel, with a cliff side view and low slung trees, it was perfect for a romantic night out.

Maui nights and Maui days are sure to leave any tourist feeling refreshed and ready to head home to face a new year. The only complaint I can make is of the 9 hour flight back home, leaving me tortuously tired for the next day. It was well worth the flight, but if only I could have stayed just a bit longer....


For more information see the links below:

You can shop all my looks on my Shop Page on my dashboard:)

















December 14, 2016

Resort Wear 2017

Resort Wear 2017

While Resort may be the dreamiest of collections, it is by far the most impractical. In my eyes, Resort was reserved for the Voguettes and M'Odettes of the world. Girls who are whisked away to magical islands and private resorts for fantastical parties and glamorous beach nights. These visions are a far cry from my reality, where my Resort collection is made up of ensembles from summertime fun and vacations of the past.

In an effort to infuse some newness and refresh my look for my holiday ahead, I will indulge in an occasional Resort purchase. This buy is hardly impulsive, as I have had my eye on it since September, impatiently waiting for a sale. This leads to me my Resort time picks above, where a Zimmermann set and Muzungu basket bag will make for ideal presents to myself for my warm climate trip. Plus, I’ll add some funky earrings and rose colored glasses, because...let’s be honest, everything is better when it is rose colored:)
Though not all of us will travel to a faraway land filled with palm trees, soft sand and crashing waves, we can still embrace Resort and style that diaphanous Ellery blouse or floral Dolce skirt with a winter piece, providing a light contrast to our dark wool knits and black, suede boots. Think of this season as a time to embrace bright colors, ditsy prints and silky fabrics as a defense against the gray clouds, snowy days and freezing temps. So the next time you grab a tropical style dress, think of it not as just a piece of clothing, but as a sort of reprieve from the cold and as a reminder that after Resort comes Spring.

click on the products above for direct links

Scroll through The New York Blonde blog for more resort inspiration and original posted content.


December 7, 2016

THE NEW YORK BLONDE







In case you forget your name, just create a jacket that features it on the back:) No, in all sincerity, I have always been in the business of creating and a friend of mine requested a custom designed look for the fall weather. I created this piece for her, (her being blonde), and loved it so much I made one for myself. I was initially hesitant to design something with my blog name emblazoned on the back, but when pedestrians began approaching me about the look, I knew I was onto something.

Using a vintage Levis jackets, I chose white lettering and pink feathers to finish off the denim creation. It is super feminine, but remains edgy-- my favorite type of look! I plan to wear this with skirts and dresses, an unexpected layering piece that will add a casual layer to the holiday festivities of the season. Plus, I can continue wearing this into Spring and Summer, double bonus points for something that will definitely remain in my closet for seasons to come.

For additional inquiries please contact me thenyblonde@gmail.com

December 6, 2016

SPOTLIGHT ON: UHLALALAND

I love discovering new designers. In today's world of never ending information, it is challenging to find something new, but when I was shopping via Esty, I was so excited to click on the store UhLaLaLand.

UhLaLaLand is the brainchild of Ariana Maran, a designer from Portugal who takes inspiration from runway styles and trend-right looks. Her Etsy shop consists of mostly statement blouses with exaggerated sleeves, ruffle adornments, cutout details and off-the-shoulder looks. I especially love the femininity of her designs, influenced from some of my favorite current designers like Johanna Ortiz, JW Anderson, and Isa Arfen. Best of all, each piece is hand crafted to your measurements, ensuring that lots of love, care and attention went into each item before being shipped off to the rightful owner. 

I placed my order for this off-the-shoulder look a couple weeks ago, impatiently awaiting its arrival. I love the edgy femininity with its ruffle flounce and bow at the chest. Most of all, I have not met an off-the-shoulder top I didn't like, which is why I was immediately attracted to this beautiful blouse. The woven cotton is light for an evening out and not too restricting or binding like so many other tops on the market. I cannot wait to order my next top and already have my eye on the next purchase I will be making.



 
 
For her Etsy Shop:





December 4, 2016

THE NY BLONDE X COACH



The holiday season is officially here! Shopping for presents, grabbing hot chocolates and visiting Christmas tree lightings are all part of my many NYC holiday traditions. It is easy to get caught up in holiday activities and I need something easy to carry with me on my city excursions. I need something small, portable and functional. You think this would be an easy accessory to find, especially during the gift giving season where wallets, clutches and pouches are the classic present for any office secret Santa :). In addition to needing a new accessory, I also wanted something that would be both fashion forward and add a pop to my overall ensemble while out and about in the city.




 In my search, I found the perfect accessory when Coach gifted me with their new Rexy  wristlet. The golden mustard color acts a perfect contrast to my neutral outfits and the kitchy Walrus is a fun addition to my accessory collection. When I was younger I used to carry Coach wristlets, and in all honesty I am not sure why I stopped. They are functional, fashionable and are offered in an array of designs. You may have seen others displaying their affection towards the REXY Coach collection on Instagram from the likes of Emma Roberts, Chrissy Teigen and Kendall Jenner. Celebs and models have all fallen hard for the dino assortment and there is so much to love. Bright colors, fun characters and an array of choices -- you can't really go wrong. I especially love this wristlet because it adds just a bit of flavor to a generally more monotone, NYC look. This will be the perfect add-on for all of my shopping hauls during the holiday season.







This post was in collaboration with Coach. All opinions and styling are my own. Thank you for supporting The New York Blonde collaborations!





November 16, 2016

BRIDAL GOWN PREVIEW

I can easily claim that wedding planning is truly a stressful activity. However, there is one part that has been delightful- gown shopping:) It has taken me over two months to find my gown. Throughout the process I have been phtotographng my favs, both as a reminder in case I wanted to purchase it and in order to create this post. Since I FINALLY found my gown, which I will not be revealing until the big day, I can share the many styles that did make the final cut.

I went to at least six various stores in search for the perfect gown. Plus, being in New York, the plethora of options are endless. You can be a boho bride, rustic bride, glam bride, chic bride, beach bride, the list goes on.  The gowns below are some highlights of my shopping experience. All of them are beautiful and it was an extremely difficult decision to make, as you only have one chance to wear the perfect wedding dress.

1. Monique Lhuillier:

While I ultimately did not buy my gown here, the ethereal and dreamy styles are fantastic. I loved the blush color of this one below. The frothy concoction of pink tulle was adorned with sparkling crystals throughout. I initially thought I wanted long sleeves, being my wedding is in the winter, but alas, the sleeve length was not my favorite.


Another Monique, this style was fully embellished with paillettes, crystals and sequins. The dress is aptly named Sugarfina for a reason. The A-line silhouette features ornamentation resembling falling sugar crystals on both the bodice and hem.


2. Inbal Dror

I really thought I would end up with an Inbal Dror. Her designs are incredible! Truly works of art. So much so, Beyonce wears her creations on stage during performances. The bead work on these gowns is breathtaking. I went to Mark Ingram to try them out, but sadly her gowns are mostly fitted styles and I was on the hunt for a gown with a fuller skirt. 


3. Lazarro

If Lazarro sounds familiar to you, it's because he is always mentioned on the hit show Say Yes to the Dress. His designs are truly bridal. You immediately feel like a bride when you put on one of his creations. In addition, there are so many different types of brides he caters to in his work, that I guarantee almost anyone could find a gown for their wedding day. I was not in love with the taffeta silk bottom from the dress below, but I thought the illusion top with stunning. 


This Lazarro was tried on at the famous Kleinfelds. No, I did not say "yes to the dress" here, but I loved the bottom of this gown. It came straight from the runway, as I went to the Fall 2017 Lazarro trunk show to try on this dreamy dress. It was definitely a front runner in my decision making process. However, ended up not being the one. 


4. Carolina Herrera

Oh man did I love this wedding dress. That dopey smile was in full form the whole time I had this gown on. The floral applique throughout and peplum detail was perfectly bridal. I just loved this style. However I am a winter bride, and I felt the flowers were too spring for me. 


That floral applique on the veil is just beyond!


5. Marchesa

When I started shopping for my wedding dress I always looked to Marchesa gowns for inspiration. Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig have their pulse on the dreamiest of gowns and appropriate their red carpet designs into their bridal collections. Another trunk show I went to, this came straight from the Marchesa Fall 2017 show. I tried on a lot of gowns from this trunk show at Saks. I was in love with all of them. Truly a dream come true for any girl to walk down the aisle. 


While I will not tell you what I ended up with, I can guarantee it is amazing and a dream dress. So excited to take you on my journey while I plan my New York City wedding.

For more wedding gown inspiration, follow my Pinterest boardBlack Tie Bridal