Lately, the weather has been as unpredictable as my travel schedule. But without that crazy travel schedule, life wouldn’t be as exciting. So I guess I can’t really complain. The best thing about this city is that nothing ever really stops it even when the weather begs to make things differ. When it rains out, I don’t like to go hiding into the depths of my apartment. Instead, I work hard to make my day go on like any other normal day. Or at least, as much as I can make it go on like any other normal day. Yes, things get splashed and a bit stained, but that doesn’t mean the world has to stop. Instead, black, grey and brown are the answer. Layer them up. When the city looks like a puddle, I say dress like a puddle. A fashionable one. And go on with your day. Lots of other important things to do I say.
Off to Tulum, Mexico today. NYFW updates coming soon . . .
Hello Monday 🙂 It’s been a hectic past days into New York Fashion Week, full of sore feet, cold ankles and over packed schedules. I’ve been heavily collapsing into my bed before midnight each night, starting mornings early with my friend Beatrice who is in town from Los Angeles. Without her, I probably wouldn’t still be up and running. Her energy is so recharging. This past week has been the biggest laugh fest out of all of my 12 seasons of fashion week so far. And wait . . . back up . . . this is my 12th season of fashion week? What a crazy thought. This shy girl from the valley has come a long way it seems. Fashion week in this city has become a sort of second nature act now. It’s like a marathon . . . you have to practice and work up a tolerance built from love even when there is pain. Because that is what fashion week is all about. Love and pain, but it’s worth every bit. And even though I enter each week feeling maybe a little bit lacking in the mental and physical preparation department, as the days go on like the whirlwind they are meant to be, I am overtaken by a swept up feeling that carries me relentlessly throughout the early mornings and extended evenings (that even the blisters on my feet seem to have disappeared for a moment). So that when I look back on these days of dashing around, shooting, editing, writing, it feels something like a dream as real life settles back down like dust.
There have been a lot of things I’ve learned from attending fashion week. But I’ll share just one. I’ve learned to practice gratitude. The years of hard work it’s taken to move from standing to the third row to the first as each season comes . . . those well earned beads of sweat should always act as a reminder to never take anything for granted when it comes to this industry, that can sometimes rip you up and spit you out (a saying that you all can relate to, I am sure). I sure know the feeling from working behind and in front of the scenes for many years. It’s not as easy or as pristine as it seems from all the photos and videos posted on every fashion goer’s social media. But the energy . . . that always feels the same. And that first beat of the runway show gets me every single time. And it feels good to be there.
A lot has changed since my first runway show. These past few years have really seen the growth of the fashion blogger’s influence. It’s been amazing to watch, especially as someone who has been in this space since the very beginning. It can also be easy to feel like one is lost in a sea of influencers with numbers through the roofs. But then I remember, that doesn’t matter at all. Everyone is here for different reasons inspiring to others. And I am still here for a reason, and you readers remind me of that every single day. I find that my fashion taste becomes more refined and pinpointed with each fashion week, and I am grateful to be able to share this growth with you all, alongside other things more personal to me. I’ll continue on for the next few days unfazed by the numbers or the so-called glitz of scene. I’d rather be stressed after five outfit changes than falling into the digital trap that can keep one discouraged, when really there is no reason to be discouraged at all. We are all here for the appreciation of fashion and to celebrate with our friends. Remember when I was discouraged to where red for a reason that I couldn’t really figure out? Well, I ended up wearing red (lots of it) for the first three days of fashion week. I think I needed its boldness to keep me going . . . and right in the nick of time.
Back in town and on a very addictive Rio de Janeiro high. A bit underwhelmed with NYC at the moment after visiting a city so full of sun and life. I was only away for less than a week . . . but still. I think it’s the weather here. And maybe the restless flight I had. I just feel like I’m missing a few things, some that I know exactly what they or, others I can’t quite touch upon exactly, but I know that they exist somewhere. It’s just a restless sort of feeling I guess you can say. When one gets used to a life of dashing around, getting back home can sometimes feel a bit weird. Like home has been reversed. Like maybe being in someplace new feels more like home. But I think that will change soon. It has to. This upcoming week is going to require a hell of a lot of energy, and I have a long way to go to gather it all up in one big ball. I put together my fashion week schedule as soon as I got home from Rio. I slapped it together in a zombie like nature at 8am, running off the tiny cup of coffee that I consumed on the airplane before landing. How can it always be like this? The next thing. The next thing. The next thing. As soon as I catch a break, the next thing seems to come too soon. I should be lucky, most people would say. Ugh, I know that I am, and I would never take anything for granted. But sometimes I just want to catch my breathe a little bit more at times. Sit down and read a book fully. Write an essay without so much stop and go along the way. Print out those photos I took years back in black and white and take my watercolors to them because I’ve been talking about it for a year now, and still haven’t gotten one inch closer to doing it. Is there something wrong me? Obviously not, of course! But sometimes I just feel like I can’t catch up with myself . . . myself out of all things. A strange feeling indeed. I cherished my time in Brazil with my man (more of that coming to the blog very soon hopefully), and I just wished I could hold onto that feeling a little longer. It’s crazy to think how easily sunshine and the touch of someone you care about can make you think of nothing else in this world. Lost in the best sort of way. It was only 6 days, but it sure felt like something longer.
So here I am, back in NYC, in the midst of pre-NYFW meetings and outfit pulls and schedule making and intense socializing, feeling a teeny tiny bit clueless yet knowing the exact movements and things to say to be productive. Clueless not in the worst sort of way; just in a frazzled sort of way. In a “I wish time could stop” sort of way so I could spread my love evenly amongst all of my grounds. Wouldn’t that be the life? I am also Clueless because of the checkered blazer that reminds me so much of Cher Horowitz, whom I drew my outfit inspiration from while in the back of the car driving down the streets of Venice as we passed by this salmon pink apartment. Salmon pink is my favorite color. Funny how a thing like a color can lift a spirit in the most effortless of ways. It reminds me to keep myself in check. To expect the best out of even the most simple of things. When it gets down to it, that is all we ever really need. And it feels so good to be inspired. Don’t ever forget what it feels like when it happens. Already, I’m feeling a little less clueless and ready to get back in the game. Sun and sand from Rio still lingering in the back of my mind and down in the bottom of my bags, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
My sister Natalie and I are excited to promote the Cafe Bustelo “El Café del Futuro” scholarship program. This scholarship is in partnership with HACU (Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities) and open to all students of Latino descent living in the United States of America. Scroll down for more details and the link to enter!
I am proud to share a bit of my sister’s and my story of education and motivation to inspire applicants to enter this really great scholarship.
We were raised by our parents to be very education focused growing up. Our Hispanic father, born and raised in Los Angeles, always shared his stories of how education was the key his success today. Our grandfather was an immigrant from Mexico and worked as hard as he could to make sure his children could get the education they deserved, and our father wanted to make sure he did just that. Family support played a huge role in our decision to stick with our school books, even when our minds wandered to playtime (more often than not).
One of the things that I remember the most from my childhood was our family trip to the local library after school. I was so proud of myself for having a library card, and I used it with pride and enthusiasm. I would go once a week with my parents and sister, and each time I would take home around 3-5 books, which I would always finished before our next trip. My imagination grew from those library trips, and my writing skills today have been influenced from all those year’s with my nose stuck in a book. I’ve always wanted to tell stories because of those books that I read, and if it wasn’t for our parents, who knows if that would be the case today.
And as we got older, we felt it was the right choice to keep close to family even when it came to our careers. Hispanics are very family oriented by culture, and our dad always stressed the importance of family growing up. There is so much trust that comes along with family, that it just made sense for Natalie and I to work with each other and support each other in our careers today. Our support for each other has helped us grow in ways unimaginable, and I don’t think either of us would be exactly where we are right now if we didn’t work together.
Along with family, taking the road less travelled was very important. Our father always believed that going against the mainstream was worth the hard work. Our father has always been a hardworking, successful salesman, much like our hardworking, handy grandfather. But he always wished that he pursued more of his personal passions when he was younger. He said, “It’s better to dream big and possibly fail, than dream small and always wonder.” My sister and I always took that to heart, and our careers so far have been based fully on jumping at unexpected chances to reach our goals. Getting a good education, and making the most out of the education given to us, is a huge part of who we are today. And every single step of the way from then to now has been worth it 🙂
This mindset is something that we share together via our digital platforms, and for me that is this very blog right here. This is where I share my voice, my stories and my inspirations. I started this blog my last year of college with my future in mind, and when I strived to be a writer after switching my major to English Literature at UCLA. It just goes to show, that hard work, commitment, a great education and familial support can take one a very long way.
The essay topic:
Describe how your Hispanic/Latino heritage, family, and the community in which you grew up has inspired your desire and motivation to obtain a college degree and you they plan to give back to your community.