Looking to my Inspirations

The hardest part of my morning is hands down deciding on what to wear. I can spend hours adding and taking away layers, scouring through my closet and drawers, basically wrecking my room until it is unrecognizable, until I find the perfect combination. When I’m deciding on this perfect combo, usually depending on my mood that day and what I want to express through my clothing, I look at my eclectic choices of inspirations and role models in the fashion industry who always have the upper hand on style and flair.

My first candidate for outfit inspiration is Rachel Zoe. With her bohemian glam glow and endless stock of bell bottoms I find myself wearing fringe vests and flare jeans more and more everyday.

Retrieved from CelebMafia.com

Retrieved from CelebMafia.com

For those days I can not bare to get up and just need something comfy yet trendy to get me through my day, I look to this generation’s It girl, Gigi Hadid. She is the queen of all things street style and athleisure wear (and of the runway).

Retrieved from Harpersbazzar.com

Retrieved from Harpersbazzar.com

A type of style only few can conquer, the side of fashion with no rules, I save for the days I want to make a statement and display boldness. From mixed prints, to colors no one would ever imagine together, Iris Apfel and Leandra Medine (Founder of Manrepeller.com ) have this scene covered.

Retrieved from WWD.com

Retrieved from WWD.com

Retrieved from Manrepeller.com

Retrieved from Manrepeller.com

Who I like to think of as a style doppelgänger of myself, Danielle Bernstein (Founder of Weworewhat.com ) is an entrepreneur, businesswoman, fashion blogger and a newly emerging designer. On top of her accomplishments she is also a fashion chameleon who is always on top of trends and never misses a chance to put her own spin on things, and not to mention, she is one of FIT’s very own alumna.

Retrieved from Weworewhat.com

Retrieved from Weworewhat.com

Until next time,

-Faith

FIT: Expectations versus Fantastically Incredible Truth

alivia-cooneyHey city starlets! It’s time for another poast in which I toast FIT’s Precollege Program for opening me up to a world of coexisting creativity and focus that I didn’t know existed, let alone could enter before college!

I had high hopes in signing up for my Product Development class this fall. After five weeks of immersing myself in the program, the school, and the surrounding culture of Chelsea, I can say with all honesty that my experiences have exceeded even the highest of my expectations.

Stepping off of the LIRR train and onto the Penn Station platform, my first day began a little astray from schedule, but nonetheless in an Average Alivia fashion: Immediately after finding my way out of Penn (harder than you’d think, considering there’s literally hundreds of directory signs) into the hustling-bustling habitat that New York City is so renowned for, I walked a full two blocks in the opposite direction from FIT. The only unfortunate unexpected part of my experience at FIT thus far? Navigating the city without a sense of direction!

Entering the concrete, blue business building (poetry is alive) into class, I anticipated entering a community of like-minded artists and up-and-coming enterprisers. I wanted to view these potential friendships as networking opportunities, with equal parts potential for creative collaborations and business collaborations. Within minutes of starting the class and meeting my peers who I would be spending the next 11 weeks with, I knew my anticipation proved accurate!

While I expected to value these classmates from a business standpoint, I did not expect to form such natural friendships so quickly and easily. These friendships are not just all-business; they are honest and fun as well.  It wasn’t even two classes in before I started having kinds of conversations with these girls that I don’t even have with friends at school who I’ve known for years. I went out after class to stores with these girls without any prior plans, so fluidly and without any initial awkwardness. There is a natural kinship: we are all one tribe. Even apart from the amazing girls in my class, I’ve had inspiring and promising interactions with many other millennials in the area, from store clerks to fellow shoppers. I don’t make friends nearly as easily and quickly with people in the suburbs as I do with city people. Such a refreshing vibe that I didn’t even know I needed. My (cliché) advice for anyone in the precollege program? Don’t be afraid to talk to people!

Another thing I didn’t expect about the program was the time commitment. I knew it would be an all-day project once a week, but I did not expect the lingering influence it has in my life all week long, each week. I’m not just talking about assignments and projects; this class has honestly changed my worldview. I’m much more focused. I no longer let petty daily high school happenings weigh me down, because I have an inner drive that gives me strength. Now that I’ve been exposed to such a great environment, it is all I can concentrate on. I’m constantly working on posts for this blog, projects for my class, and seeking out opportunities to be in the city as much as possible. This concept is so important to me and many of the other girls in my class. The gift never leaves.

I think the most major part of my experience at FIT that I didn’t expect was the fun and fantasy-like adventures that I go on before and after, whether it be for food, shopping, or entertainment.

Generally, I don’t stray too far from seventh avenue (my route from Penn to FIT), partly because of convenience, partly because I have strict parents, and partly because I still have no sense of direction.

As far as shopping is concerned (and I know from personal experience that it is a major concern for many FIT students), there are literally tons of diverse options within walking distance. Listed below are some of my favorites, sorted into categories, and complete with the respective price ranges (according to Yelp). Also important to note is that these are not all clothing stores, but rather unique stores of all kinds that are hard to find dupes of outside of the city.

Buffalo Exchange – 114 W 26th St ($$)

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(reposted from pinterest.com/buffaloexchange)

I’ve mentioned this store before, and I will mention it again. Buy, sell, and exchange unique, trendy, seasonal apparel. Must be 18 or older to sell/exchange, unless you are accompanied by an adult with ID.

Lasting Art – 110 W 28th St ($$)

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(reposted from yelp.com)

I’ve recently discovered one of the most underrated, beautiful streets in Manhattan; West 28th Street, also known as the FLOWER DISTRICT! So lovely! This store in particular is known for their authentic artificial flowers.

New Dragon Toy Wholesale Inc. – 101 W 27th St ($)

One of my favorite things about the FIT area is the huge amount of specialized wholesale stores. This one is a toy store, so it’s a bit more niche-y. I went here to buy my ten year old sister  some birthday presents just last week. (Thankfully, my economic choice was worth it, as she loved her new chachkis!) These stores may not be known for their quality, but they are great for quantity. When I took a class at FIT in eighth grade, I once got about five packs of printed leggings (all the rage at the time) in bulk for just twenty-something dollars. Sadly, I never took note of the specific name of that store, but if you take a quick stroll down this block alone there are several stores that can satisfy this purpose.

Rock Star Crystals – 146 W 26th St ($$)

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(reposted from yelp.com)

Just a few stores down from Buffalo Exchange, this store sells exclusively crystals of all kinds, in both raw and jewelry form. The idea is that crystals possess certain healing powers. I literally gasped when I first walked past it, it is so strikingly beautiful. It is stores like this that remind me how much money I need in order to live out all my impractical whims.

Strand Bookstore (in Club Monaco) – 160 5th Ave ($$)

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(reposted from pinterest.com/shienru)

Our class visited Club Monaco on a field trip a few weeks ago in an effort to study their floor plan and its relationship with product development. However, I was quickly whisked away by a strong fragrant scent toward the far side of the store. I’ve always loved and appreciated bookstores as a whole, and this one is easily my new favorite. It has such a vibe! Filled with rare collectible books all about art, feminism, fashion, and other liberal arts, I would be completely content living there for weeks on end with no outside interaction. It also had one of those wheely ladders like in Beauty and the Beast. Easily the most aesthetically pleasing bookstore I’ve ever been to. I’m in love!

Truemart Discount Fabrics – 261 7th Ave ($$)

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(reposted from commonthreadupholstery.com)

What fashion student wouldn’t appreciate a fabric store? I have yet to go inside, but being directly across from the FIT campus, it is so tempting AND convenient.

Uniqlo – 31 W 34th St ($$)

A store specializing in basic clothing essentials ranging from t-shirts to leggings to socks. It’s one of my personal favorite stores because of its practicality, which has granted it locations all over the world. From a product development standpoint, I appreciate the business model.

Whole Body at Whole Foods Market – 260 7th Ave ($$)

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(reposted from nytimes.com)

A whole store dedicated to carrying on Whole Foods’ value of the all-natural and organic, but with a focus on health, beauty, and homeopathy (another branch of liberal faux-science akin to crystals in which I am a sucker for)? Sign me UP!

In addition to shopping, there are also some sick local galleries that you need to visit. I could write a whole separate post about them, but for now I will just plant the seed.

Last Rites (325 W 38th St)

lastrites3

(reposted from art-nerd.com)

Popaganda NYC Pop-Up (72 Gansevoort St)dscf4069

(reposted from streetartnews.net)

A long day of commuting, working hard in class, and navigating the city is tiring. Below I’ve listed some cool restaurants great for a pre-class startup, mid-class break, or post-class pick-me-up. I’ve bolded the places I’ve been to, and the others I frequently walk past and hope to stop at soon.

  • Argo Tea Café – 275 7th Ave (at W 26th St)
  • brgr – 287 7th Avenue
  • Broadway Bites – Greeley Square, Broadway
  • Cafe 27 – 250 W 27th St
  • Fresh & Co – 363 7th Ave
  • Gigi Cafe – 307 7th Ave (directly across from Pomerants Art & Design Building)
  • Gregory’s Coffee – 356 7th Ave
  • The Juice Shop – 7 Pennsylvania Avenue
  • Just Salad – 291 7th Ave (They just sell bagels… just kidding. It’s just… salad.)
  • Pret A Manger – 342 7th Ave
  • RARE Bar & Grill – 152 W 26th St
  • VLife NYC – 348 7th Ave

That’s the word on the street for this week! Check back next week as we continue to “Liv” The Dream in NYC, brought to you by FIT’s Precollege Program.

The Best DIY Halloween Costume: You

alivia-cooney

Alivia

Hey guys and ghouls! It’s the Halloween season, a time to celebrate individuality, theatricality, and plain old absurdity. What better time to experiment with new styles, based on some of your favorite icons? Make every look a costume! Treat your wardrobe like it’s a Halloween pop-up store, not a uniform factory!

It has been four classes and one field trip into my weekly Sunday odyssey at FIT’s Precollege Program. It’s time for a new post that might send shivers up the skinny jeans of the fashion-conservative, while making us fashion deviants scrounge the shelves of the nearest thrift shop within seconds.

Who are you supposed to be? Are you the winner of the costume contest, or are you just another stray cat?

My Product Development class has gotten me thinking about how an individual’s fashion choices come together to create a character. At a certain point, our fashion becomes our costume; we are not referred to by name or number, but by “girl-with-heavy-contour-and-heels-she-can’t-walk-in.”

On my first day of class at FIT, the professor started the course by going around the room and having each student say where they shop. In the context of a Product Development class, this is only logical; our goal is to meet the wants and needs of the common buyer, and what better way to learn what average buyers seek than by studying the models of successful stores? From a business standpoint, we can extract the popular stores’ models by placing their products in terms of the Pyramid; no, not Abby Lee Miller’s pyramid- the Product Development Pyramid.

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On a more personal level, this class discussion led me to consider what contributes to an individual’s style. I know what stores my peers shop at, but what brought them into that store? What has influenced their fashion sense? Who are their style icons? What did they first see that subconsciously caused them to believe that this store is the best reflection of them?

To best answer these questions, I will discuss the influences and influencers of the character whose style I know best: myself.

My style icons are mainly renowned for their bold and theatrical aesthetics. I’m very passionate about music, so most of them happen to be musicians (the context of which their dramatic aesthetics are fitting). I’ve listed a few below, along with some key examples of signature looks that should say it all:

FKA Twigs
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(FKA Twigs, reposted from stealherstyle.net, glamourmagazine.co.uk, pinterest.com/passionn5050, and elleuk.com)

Gwen Stefani
screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-3-34-46-pm
(Gwen Stefani, reposted from cosmopolitan.co.uk, © Mark Ferguson/Rex via dailymail.co.uk, 90sgwenstefani.tumblr.com, pinterest.com/jennyelina)

Marina Diamandis
screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-4-12-10-pm
(Marina Diamandis, reposted from pinterest.com/janbergazzi, elle.com, pinterest.com/billboard, and fanpop.com)

Nicole Richie
screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-4-22-51-pm
(Nicole Richie, reposted from Nicole Richie for House of Harlow 1960 by Vijat Mohindra via rebloggy.com, peoplemagazine.co.za, pinterest.com/churachura, and celebitchy.com)

Stevie Nicks
befunky-collage
(Stevie Nicks, reposted from imgfave.com, pinterest.com/alanalda45, pinterest.com/mollymcisaac, and pinterest.com/9gypsy)

St. Vincent
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(St. Vincent, reposted from tumblr.com, © Ben Hassett for Harper’s Bazaar, pinterest.com/twotickets, and vanityfair.com)

Aside from public figures, I also draw a lot of the inspiration for my aesthetic from other media, like movies and TV shows. Sound similar to choosing a Halloween costume? For example, I’m greatly influenced by the aesthetic of 90s cult films like Clueless (1995) and Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997), as well as Tim Burton movies like Coraline (2009) and Edward Scissorhands (1990). I love wearing hyper-feminine 90s-style crushed velvet and chokers whenever possible, and I love to style it in as whimsical a tone as possible. The theatricality! I also really love the look and feel of old school low budget films, like the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). It doesn’t get spookier than that! Various television characters, for example Fran Fine from The Nanny and Samantha from Sex and the City, as well as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (QUEEN of wearing the same outfit for thirty years), have also contributed to my look. It sounds funny, but I also find unlikely inspiration from nonhuman characters like Betty Boop, Jessica Rabbit, and Miss Piggy. The more imaginary, the better! What can I say? It’s a concept!

miss-piggy-front-row-fashion-jpg-pagespeed-ce-briemqggut
(Miss Piggy, reposted from femalefirst.co.uk)

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(Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, reposted from sugarrockcatwalk.com)

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(Texas Chainsaw Massacre, reposted from evilontwolegs.com)

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(Fran Fine from The Nanny, reposted from racked.com)

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(Samantha Jones from Sex and the City, reposted from buzzfeed.com)

To best express the influence of such nouns (people, places, things) on my vibe and aesthetic, I shop mainly at local and online boutiques (mainly for statement pieces, which would fall under the top “fashion” part of the pyramid).

These stores include:

~Buffalo Exchange (locations all over the U.S., including five in NY, one being a block away from FIT in Chelsea at 114 W 26th St)
~Dolls Kill (dollskill.com)
~Fashion Nova (fashionnova.com)
~Free People (freepeople.com, locations all over the U.S., Canada, and U.K.)
~House of Harlow 1960 (houseofharlow1960.com)
~Mystique Boutiqe NYC (mystiqueboutiquenyc.com, locations in Manhattan and Long Island)
~Nasty Gal (nastygal.com)
~O-MIGHTY (o-mighty.com)
~Ruby and Jenna (rubyandjenna.com, locations in NY and NJ)
~So Aesthetic Shop (soaestheticshop.com) ~ use the promo code “Harmony” for 10% off
~Twenty5A (twenty5a.com, located on Long Island)

Where will you buy your daily costumes? Will you mix-and-match and DIY, or will you choose a prepackaged number off the wall? What character will you be? Will you masquerade as the most convenient persona, or will you take the time to develop the best product, a conglomerate of all your favorite icons and influences- you? Creep in the comment section below and tell your tale!

Join me next week as we continue to “Liv” On The Edge of true enterprising artistry, brought to you by FIT’s Precollege Program!

~Alivia

Lights, Camera, Action!

Image

In this week’s amazing blog I decided to write about inspiration, because any artist knows that the worst thing is the terrible, no good, and dreaded ARTIST BLOCK. Here are some simple tips to avoid the dreaded ARTIST BLOCK.

This might sound silly, but you should watch movies and surf the internet for your idol. For example, when I’m drawing fashion designs I watch old movies and look at pictures of my idols: Audrey Hepburn, Anna Wintour, Jackie O., and who can forget Coco Chanel.

If you’re not doing fashion designs; look at things that interest you such as food, beaches, even your own backyard. Sometimes, it helps just to do nothing. It may sound weird that I am saying to do nothing. When I say “do nothing” I mean scroll through pics on Instagram, look at snapchat, and facebook. Our generation has so many social media apps it is pretty hard not to find something to draw.

Once for a class I was assigned to design a skateboard. I had gotten ARTIST BLOCK… but then after staring at my phone I got the best idea! Why don’t I make the iphone screen the front of my skateboard. My skateboard eiphone picnded up being super cool.

If nothing comes to you, try listening to music. The song could have a meaning to you and might remind you of someone you know. This may cause you to draw things that person enjoys.

Try drawing what you’re feeling, you never know it might just be your best drawing. It is also great therapy. The simplest feeling such as sadness is a great example. Picasso painted a whole period of blues just to show how he was feeling.

The hardest thing to find inspiration for is photography, because you want your photo to express yourself. It is also really hard because you might want to try something and it reality is just that it is not working out. For example, when you want to take a picture of someone jumping, and you don’t to get them until they are already on the ground. You want the
in the air! So when taking a photo try timing it out. Just take pictures of things that interest you and that could be anything.

Comment how you find inspiration. Also tell me if I helped you. Thanks for reading and until next time!

-Livia

Hangouts and Whereabouts

My Train to FIT

My Train to FIT

Saturday, what a great day, it just so happens to be my favorite day. My day to myself, and my day to do what I want, when I want; everything else can wait until Sunday.  On Saturday mornings I start my best day off right. There’s no waking up on the wrong side of the bed on Saturdays when my alarm clock goes off at 7:24! Getting up so early in order to arrive FIT in time and also have the time to grab a coffee with my friend that travels with me by 9:15 isn’t always easy, but so worth it. Coming from Queens, I get dropped off at a small train station by my house; sometimes this is where I grab my first cup of coffee. As an avid coffee drinker, there is no such thing as too much coffee.

As soon as my train pulls into Penn Station, I go into mad dash mode; got to get that coffee. The hustle down to my favorite spot around FIT is one of excitement.  If you’re looking for the best cup of coffee on all of 7th avenue, head to Gregory’s Coffee. Better than Starbucks (which is also en route to FIT), Gregory’s sells all different types of coffee, from Macchiato to café Americano.  My personal favorites from Gregory’s are the caramel macchiatos, and their to die for chocolate chip cookies.

Gregory's Caramel Macchiato

Gregory’s Caramel Macchiato

On my first day of class at FIT, having an art supply store (Barnes and Nobles) on campus came in handy. A great tip that may come in handy before your first class at FIT would be to check your student FIT account to make sure that any and all supplies required for the class are in your possession, beforehand. Something as simple as having all the supplies you need as soon as you need them is so rewarding and beneficial because you could focus on your artwork, without the hassle of have to pick up the supplies late. My Professor was very understanding and did not require me to visit Barnes and Nobles but, if you can while at FIT, make use of the on campus supplies.

Breaks at FIT are about 15 minutes long, just enough time to make it across 7th avenue to buy more coffee (usually  where I end up going), or to buy a snack. Usually during breaks, my friends Sofia and Rachel and I make our way down to Dunkin Donuts on the other side of the street.

A restaurant that is worth trying near FIT is called Brgr. A healthy alternative to junk food, with the same great taste; Brgr only serves grass-fed meat. Known for not just their grass-fed cow jokes hanging across the walls, Brgr serves the best shakes around FIT. If you are a student taking two classes at FIT and you are wondering where to try for a great lunch, visit Brgr.

These are my favorite chill out spots this spring at FIT. I hope these come in handy; whether you’re in the mood for a burger or just some early morning coffee.

Thank you for reading this week!

Yours Truly,

09Kathleen