“I have never met a woman who is not strong. They don’t exist.” – Diane von Furstenberg
I loved hearing Diane von Furstenberg speak a few weeks ago on a panel about female empowerment in the modern world. I realize that a lot of the times our power is nurtured from a feeling of weakness. It sparks that drive. That motivation to rise against the grain. This is exactly why I don’t look down upon acts of weakness that society has made stereotypical of our sex in a negative way. Things like: we are too emotional, we can’t lift as much as a man, we aren’t as business savvy, we aren’t financially strategic or capable, we are made to only make homes and not careers for ourselves, we are shallow, we are easy, we are bitches when we are not easy. The list goes on and on and on. Whatever they are, these are not weaknesses. They are just a challenging path to realization. And I’ll take a challenge. I always have. It’s how I learned to not be afraid to be let down. It aways got easier to get up time after time. I became #InCharge of the things that made me a female. I embraced them. I found a path and I worked towards it, and I focused on that. Tripped a few times, but that just made me want it more. I still keep wanting things more and more. And I want to tell you to never ever stop wanting that extra more for yourself. Especially when you put the work in.
What makes you feel #InCharge? What makes you realize your power? What drives you to use it? All important questions of the moment. When I think of being in charge, I think of confidence. I think of taking hold of a room and keeping that attention with words, mannerisms, and energy. I think about influence. Right now, as woman, I believe that it is our time.Really, it has always been our time. But we are realizing it more than ever right now. Our voices are louder, clearer, stronger. I’m very proud of the women who make sure their voices are heard. I’m proud of my mother who came to America as an immigrant and made a home and career for herself. I’m proud of my friends who lift each other up. They inspire me. They make me feel beyond happy to be a woman. They make me want to be the best I can be. To doubt myself less. To cherish my body. To bathe in self confidence. To stand up for my beliefs and not be afraid to speak about them, be it one on one, in a group or right here on this blog. To feel #InCharge and take that charge to the next level at every moment. To dismiss moments of meekness and turn them into something bold. A statement that says look at me, this is who I am. But don’t just look. Also listen. That is what fashion is for, and that is what DVF is so talented at. Capturing women at their finest, their most statuesque. The DVF woman cannot be ignored, and that is the campaign we all should carry inside of us.
Of course I find myself writing my first real proper blog post about layering in the winter when I am in Los Angeles (where winter does not really exist). I didn’t even bring a proper coat with me on this trip, for there was no need for one. But since many of you all are still in temperatures below 35 degrees Fahrenheit, I thought it was still worth it to share a look overly abundant in winter layers and heavy textures. The more the merrier. Wool pants. A fur coat. A wool sweater. Two layers of Uniqlo heat tech tops, and a pair of heat tech leggings. Toasty socks inside these boots. A knit scarf that can basically serve as a blanket on its days off. Winter in NYC. The dreadful months we see quickly approaching once fall hits. When thinking about the weather and dressing appropriately is a task within a task. One that requires many hacks to perform well.
Despite the gruesomeness of winter on the east coast. there is in fact ways that you can still dress fashionably and with tasteful personality. There is no need to get lost under the bulkiness of everyday winter garb. What lies beneath is always the hidden secret. The statement lies in the coat. The texture with all the other things that go with it. I didn’t really plan it with this look, but the clashing patterns happened to complement more so instead in the end. That is the beauty of neutrals. They find a way to dance along with each other with the effortlessness of two ballerinas on stage. Think of it this way the next time you are stumped on a winter look. Make adding on the layers less of a task and more of a performance. And you will see just how much creativity can come out of winter’s dark bear caves. There are cities to explore. Cold cities, but cities nonetheless. Winter’s bite should never hold one back. I’ve been trying to remind myself this on weekends when the only motivation I have is to run to the deli down the street and read a book in red. Finding this balance in the season of cold is a challenge, but there are ways to make the best out of the things you can’t control. Winter most definitely can be winning, even as I write this on a 75 degree day in Los Angeles. Still it’s the truth.
This winter hasn’t been the easiest for me. My boyfriend is back in Brazil because of his visa, and we will have the winter months apart. The city feels less cozy for me without him (not even my warmest coat can make up for that!), but I always find ways to feel full inside of me until the next time I see him. Long distance is a hard task. Maybe even harder than surviving winter. Right now, I am accomplishing both. With my man, a winter away from him is worth all the sunny days we have gotten to have together so far. See you soon my love!
24 hours in Los Angeles. And then I will be on my way to Asia. I will be up in the air for quite some time in the next few days, fitting in as much sleep where I can so I can easily fight the jet lag that will soon consume me in Asia. I have lots of family time and exploring that I want to fit into my next two weeks. I’m happy to get a little piece of home before embarking on my travels. It feels like a while since my last international flight, so it’s about time I get moving again! Here is a snippet from my last trip home in Los Angeles, where we stayed a few nights at the Four Seasons Los Angeles. The garden area is beautiful there. Even on a gloomy day, the palm trees still shine. I wear dresses so much more out west than I do in New York. It’s not even only because of the weather. More the sensibility and the space and the easiness that LA brings upon me. I lay low my tough side. I soften a bit. The weights and burdens of NYC feel lifted but it’s a feeling that goes unnoticed. It just is what it is and I slip right into it. No subway noise. No busy sidewalks. No numerous bags to lug blocks down the street. Everything is just a little more simplified out on that side. Maybe the west really does bring out my feminine side that much more. It feels natural. Even for just 24 hours. I’ll take it.