It's the middle of winter here in the big I.L. and I have to say I'm ready for some summer.  Although this season's winter fashions are better than ones of the past, I feel myself looking to the sky and tapping my foot till the sun breaks through. This weekend is Style Max here in Chicago and I honestly could not be more excited.  What fun trends await us? Here in the Midwest, us fashionistas gotta make do with what the Big East and Wild West send our way. Being the step child of style isn't ideal, but with where we're situated, it's a fact of fashion.  The is my favorite Style Max to work in, because its all about looking forward. It's debuting a brand new season and brand new ideas. 

And when you're feeling like everything is the same, something brand new jump-starts the heart.

In a few weeks, the day after Valentine's Day to be precise, my boyfriend will begin his officer duty in the U.S. Air Force. I never pictured myself in this position. I've done the distance dance before and while it's completely doable, its also exhausting. Instead of looking up new fashion blogs, I'm looking up air force bases. I'm joining support groups instead of book clubs. I'm spending every precious moment with him instead of a more balanced existence. It's not easy but I would not change a thing.

I think what startles me the most is that I've never been the one left behind before. I've always been the one leaving. I grew up moving around the U.S (as I've mentioned in past posts) and for me, the goodbyes always meant a long car ride to the next big adventure. The thrill of newness is a roller coaster, but I guess I forgot that the ride is about the screams, but also the moments needed to catch your breath. You can't spend your life screaming upside down...and you can't stay upright...you just have to stay in motion. The comfort of familiarity warms my spirit like nothing else. Saying goodbye and staying behind is my new adventure, minus the car ride. Right now my roller coaster is creeping up the mountain. And I'm craving that next big thrill.

Life and fashion aren't so different.  There's the memories you hang onto with the same grip you use to cling to that vintage pendant or faded pair of jeans. You wear them throughout your life, and they sustain you while you're searching for your next style swerve. They enhance your outfit and give you that same glow that comes from knowing real love. They're the sentimental pieces, the ones that the moment they represent matter more than the piece itself. They're the pieces you received when you were screaming.

Fashion, unlike most things in this crazy world, is self propelling. It wants to grow and it cannot be restrained to some dull sense of normalcy. Fashion keeps us in motion even when we're tempted to try and be still. It craves the unknown with its flips and turns, always pulling us back onto the ride... even it if means waiting in line.



We Love You Facebook.

Facebook is the People Magazine with people you actually know. A guilty pleasure of mine is going through people’s profile picture albums. Why? Because you can tell a lot from a person's profile picture album, and usually, with all the privacy settings these days, it’s the only album people feel completely comfortable displaying. The profile picture album is an evolution of self, and thanks to Facebook, you are the editor of your own evolution. Let’s face it. You don’t just throw up any photo. You know the exact moment when a “profile picture” flash has gone off and the camera has dimmed. Your smile is sparkling and your skin is flawless. You look like a celebrity, which is perfect…because Facebook has granted you the stage. The paparazzi? Your 657 “friends.” The comments can be left on any thought you choose to share with your public. We can show our affection through “likes” and we can show our annoyance with facebook chat banter.

My boyfriend is always yelling at me to “get off facebook.” Which, I find immensely amusing, given the fact that if I ever asked him to “get off ESPN Fantasy Football” or god forbid “get off the internet and skip setting your line-up”…this would unleash the gates of hell. My reply to him is always the same, “I'm checking what’s going on in the world.” I check CNN too…but the news on Facebook is far less dismal and much more interesting.

With the stage open, we each have our one act play: The Status.  Either you’ll get rave reviews with “likes” and “need a love button” or the people will shun you... casting their written retorts or even worse…their silent indifference.  The older we get, the more our statuses share. Between all the engagements, babies, big moves, new jobs, and jolts of epiphanies I read about on a daily basis, it’s truly inspiring to see all that is going on in all of our little lives. For that is the one thing Facebook drops its curtain around, The Big Picture. Facebook is an enabler of small town celebrities, a supporter of ignorant declarations, and a window to the world of close mindedness.

And yet… I love every minute of it. Facebook is my favorite gossip blog. I always check in. I tag every photo. And yes, it even bugged me when my boyfriend was reluctant to be “facebook official.” Without facebook I’d never know about the high school friends I haven’t talked to since high school. I’d miss the 30 albums that some girls feel the need to post (we get it… your life is clearly glamorous), but most importantly, I’d miss the funny thoughts, inspiring adventures, and sentimental pictures that I share with my fabulous friends on a day-to-day basis.

Andy Warhol was a wise man for many reasons. One observation lights up now in my mind, 

In the future everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”

Leave it to Generation Y to go above and beyond. 15 minutes? Nah.

I'd prefer a lifetime.




tales of a [townie]

I spent tonight at the local coffee shop talking about life with the same friends I've had since high school. We grew up together, and like a good pair of jeans, they have weathered through of all life's changes and rough patches with me.  I call a small town in the Midwest home. True, New York is my mother, but this small town raised me. I heard a quote from a wise young man I recently met. He said, "It takes a village to raise a child." I've never heard something I could relate to so well.

You'd never know all three of us were college graduates, all decked in the sweats and scarves, saving style for tomorrow morning.  We talked about how here we are in winter and everything seems to be going wrong. We all have our struggles. Between imminent goodbyes, the quest for a full-time job, and the teetering balance between youth and finding wisdom...we're holding our umbrellas up even under the sun.

Following our coffee date, my best friend Sarah and I went driving. We drove, and much like the modernists before us, we found comfort in life's mobility...the chance to never quite belong.  Belonging to some is a novelty, to many an opportunity, and to few a fear. The freedom that comes with such constant motion has been a key local for my best writing inspirations. Driving around makes you look around yourself, brings back memories and makes you think.

I turned to Sarah,

“this town feels like a story that’s ended. and we’re the ones hanging around in the last chapter.”

She nodded and knew all too well what I meant. We played the old punk rock that used to offer my wild spirit solace and we drove together in silence, save the occasional comment about what would be our next big adventure.  It's times like tonight where I thank God for the friends I've been blessed with. I don't say it enough, but entering in 2012, I'm happy and honored to have the same friendships since my teen years. 

For, even though it seems like a faint light in the distance, success, love, and blessings are in store for us all... We just have to wait for the next chapter to begin. It's always in between books that things seem open ended. But winter is a 5 month test of the will.  If you want your sunshine, go out and make it, nature can't always be handing you a good start to your day. Going forward I'm hoping to adopt more of this mentality, and enjoy this plateau that I've seemingly come upon. It's an adjustment, that's for sure. After all the work of high school and college, life after college doesn't come with homework. Yet, it presents the most daunting task any of us have ever seen... building your life. Putting these pieces together is what separates the success stories and the townie tales.

So hello 2012. How nice of you to stop by...



PS. More fashion articles to come. 2012 is a year for good writing!