Ceci Johnson- A True Inspiration!

I just had the honor to attend a lecture and Q&A by Ceci Johnson at my school, FIT!

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Ceci Johnson is the founder of Ceci New York. She is an expert in luxury invitation designs, branding, and visual styling. Ceci started her company ten years ago and since then she is the “go-to” girl among an international high-profile clientele, including royalty, A-list celebrities, the president, and leading luxury brands. Like myself, Ceci has been fashion obsessed and dedicated to a lifetime pursuit of glamorous individual style her whole life. She is a wife, daughter, and new mother who still has time to follow her dreams and look completely gorgeous, fabulous and most importantly- happy!

What led to me add Ceci on my personal list of amazing and inspirational woman was not just the fact that she created a business and company I dream of working for, but she was also friendly, sincere, and so down to earth. Her work ethic and passion combined is what drove her to be so successful and I applaud her for that! I’m sure that everyone else in the audience could agree that tonight you could feel Ceci’s passion as she told stories about her business. When asked questions about how she became so successful, she was very honest explaining that she wouldn’t be so successful if this wasn’t what she loved to do. She never short changes herself and always stands up for what she believes in. She sets very high stands and expects them to be met and that is another reason why she is so successful.

As a fashion major and event planning minor, I was SO into what she was saying from the moment she started speaking. I have to share a few words of advice Ceci shared tonight:

“Inspiration is all around you, but as a designer you must also define the target, whether its a client or a brand.”

“In a world of clunky binders and template invitations I saw a niche for a truly couture design. and I went for it!”

“Don’t give your work away for free. Nothing – and I mean nothing – says commitment like a deposit and signed contract.”

Something I am going to have to paraphrase, was her answer to the question, “What was the moment when you were like, ‘wow, I made it’?” She thought for a second and then explained that when she started out she wanted to get involved in a little event, and she did! When it was over she was surprised how easy it was, so she set her goals higher and higher. The fact that she keeps setting new goals allows for amazing confident boosting moments when she reaches them! How cool is that?!

Attending FIT was always a goal of mine, and I reached it. This is only the beginning, because I will never stop setting new goals!

After Ceci’s words of wisdom tonight I felt increasingly excited about my future and a lot less scared. I came to the realization that throughout my whole life I have had passion and love for being creative, not only in fashion. I put creativity into everything that I do. From baking giant cupcakes, to redecorating my house without my mother’s permission. I started my own small line of jewelery. I created bracelets, earrings, embellished hats, and hair accessories because I loved doing it. I guess I never really realized how awesome that was because I was just doing because it came natural to me. I will paint mine and my friend’s nails crazy prints and designs, because, again it’s something that makes me happy. I could go on and on explaining all the ways I have been creative my whole life, but it’s really more than that. Finding what you want to do, to be your career, is finding what truly makes you happy. It has to be a part of you. You could have your life up in jumbles and everything could be falling apart, but when you have your creativity, that’s forever; My creativity, and my passion for fashion, will never disappoint me or let me down.

Ceci Johnson, you and your kind words are seriously a blessing and I thank you SO SO much for sharing your story!
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I HIGHLY recommended you check out her website http://www.cecinewyork.com and from that check out her twitter, instagram, and pinterest!

The NYC Mark-Up

Lemme’ have a quick rant.

It’s not a surprise that just about everything in NYC is more expensive that what’s sold in my home sweet hometown. Produce, clothing, bath supplies, home goods, food, ect… it’s all pretty pricey in the Big Apple. Don’t get me started about drinks at the bars/clubs, though. That might a whole other post for another day. Anyway, being a girl that doesn’t carry cash on my person often (because plastic is fantastic), finding 2 dollars in my purse earlier put only one thought in my head: Roll Up The Rim To Win! Hello, Tim Hortons! I have felt pretty left out seeing all the social media lately about my friends and their daily wins. So, I walked five blocks just to order my $1.89 large coffee with one cream and two sugars. I just wish someone would have gotten a picture of my face when the woman told me $2.58. Really, Tim Hortons? You let me down in more than one way; I also got a losing cup.

Today’s lesson: You can’t do anything with 2 dollars in NYC that wont leave you with food poisoning, still hungry, or stranded.

Ashes to Ashes, Cheese & Fashion

Wednesdays are sometimes more exciting than my Fridays! Why you ask? I only have one class and it ends at noon. My roommate/BFF, Lindsey, and I like to refer to Wednesdays as “be a human day” because we get time to explore this amazing city. Most of the time it results in finding great places to eat!

Before I talk about today I’m going to bring you back a week! S’mac is a NYC dive that everyone has to goto!!! Its a great place to eat, and ONLY eat macaroni and cheese! The BEST mac n cheese EVER! It gets better… They offer vegan and gluten free options! Needless to say, I was in heaven!! Honest to blog, one of the best things I have ever eaten! I cannot wait to go back! Here’s a picture of my meal last week to make your mouth water!

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Back to today… Took a big step of being an adult today and went to Ash Wednesday Mass all by myself! Normally I dread going anywhere alone, but I felt okay going to get my ashes today because I know my nana was by my side the whole time. It was a beautiful church and only 3 blocks away from campus! Thinking about going back every once and awhile!

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The last 6 hours of the day can be described in one word; Sketching. Being my last semester in college, I’m creating my portfolio to show future employers (fingers crossed!) I’ve been working on it since January and will be for another month and a half! Today I focused on making some rough copies of spring/summer looks! Hope ya like ’em 🙂

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Coco Forgot: Fashion is also at the Super Market!

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening. Fashion is everywhere.” ~ Coco Chanel

My favorite fashion quote said by the queen of fashion herself, Coco Chanel.

If you are not aware it is currently Paris Fashion Week A.K.A. the event I dream to go to one day! Today was certainly a day to remember for Mr. Karl Lagerfeld as he showed off the Chanel Shopping Center for the first time! He is a genius!!! The show transformed the Grand Palais into a couture market of “goods” plastered with that iconic CC logo we all know and love. Chanel EVERYTHING! Pasta, soda, door mats, Pringles, Coco Pops, bath salts – everything, even, an entire DIY aisle of hard hats, vests, paint pots, and chainsaws. Half-filled plastic shopping carts made their way around the market as awe-struck guests found their seats.

The very surprising selection of Lady Gaga and remixes of Rihanna were played as models carried shopping baskets made of Chanel chains or the quilted leather classic, strutting about and browsing the shelves. They then made their ways into small groups making purchases, picking up some food here, something to drink there, filling those empty shopping carts aisle to aisle. It looked like it was a typical day at Wholefood, just with the most fabulous shoppers.

Oh and the fashion, the actual point of the show, was a lot younger and fresher than Chanel usually shows us. I was very thrilled to see the candy-colored tweed suiting layered over glittery tops and metallic jeans. Also, tissue-thin leather tracksuit pants were partnered up with sporty quilted cropped jackets, all paired with sneakers, some boots, padlock necklaces or multi-strand pearls. The girls sported full ponytails streaming in tweed rags.

One of the best parts, an announcement came overhead at the end: “The shopping center will be closing shortly, please help yourself to the complimentary fruits and vegetables and please come again.”

Chanels transition the past few years to attract a younger customer hasn’t been smoothing sailing, until today. I believe that the classy woman age 18 to 80 can find something delicious to add to her closet! It was what Chanel of 2014 should be. Chanel is back on top, in my opinion, and setting the bar very high for all other designers!

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86th Academy Awards Fashion Favorites

I don’t know about you, but I started watching the 2014 Oscars at about 1pm yesterday. No one should be surprised that I’m just as interested in the fashion as I am in the wins! So I narrowed down my list to my top three most dazzling fashionistas of the night!

2nd Runner up goes to…

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Julia Roberts is America’s original sweetheart for more than one reason, but I think we can all agree that she is flawless. I was SO excited to see her in this Givenchy gown! Her most popular accessory- her smile- was also with her. That smile may be a reason why I loved her look so much last night. Let’s not forget that this was her first public appearance since the death of her sister, which is probably why she got so emotional during “The Wind Beneath My Wings.” Back to the fashion… I wasn’t surprised she wore black, but the lace overlay was SO elegant, especially over her chest! The peplum is always a hit or miss, but her’s was the perfect length and fit her like a glove. Hair, make up, earrings… all stunning!

First Runner up is..

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Lupita Nyong’o was a goddess in that blue Prada dress! It was exciting to see her in something not so structured, but still perfectly fitted to her. I can’t imagine how many designers are begging her to wear their dresses! She is definitely a new It Girl who I have been following lately. She never has a miss! Double kudos to her for winning her first Oscar!!

And the winner is…

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Kate Hudson was PERFECTION in Atelier Versace! My jaw is still dropping! The neckline, the cape, the shoulders, the color, the fit, the train… I can’t describe without saying perfection! Just the way the twist in the front contours her body and compliments the flow of the cape is, again, perfect. Without the cape, I think, it would have been too much skin, but she worked that cape! Seeing a dress like this makes me know I am definitely in the right major because I am obsessed! If she wore this to every red carpet event in the future, I wouldn’t complain.