The (Not So Social) World of Social Media

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As a Social Media freelancer, blogger, stylist and all around annoyingly A.D.D.  creative person; I find myself having a hard time toting the line between social and ‘Social’. 

Sometimes, I just want to grab a flaffel gyro from a food truck on the grimy snow covered streets of NYC and enjoy it as the ‘unplugged acoustic-cover version’, sans photos or status updates. Sometimes, I want to put my phone down for an entire day, gasp, and listen to my grandma tell stories of her childhood without breaking eye contact to look at a tech screen. Sometimes I want to read a hardbound book with authentic musty paper pages and listen to music on vinyl while my homemade chili simmers on the stove, all without sharing this dreamy scene on any social media outlets. Sometimes I want to go a whole week without ‘sharing, ‘liking’, ‘tweeting’, ‘swiping’, ‘snapping’ or ‘double tapping’. Sometimes, I want to be present in the present. I want to feel fully engaged without a screen to engage me. I want to enjoy moments of social engagement, rather than feeling the need to be ‘Socially’ engaged.

Does this make me ‘Socially’ inept? Should I even be in this business at all? Should I just unplug from the world and live in a tiny house in the backwoods of some north-western state, living off of the fruits of my organic compost pile and seasonally harvested garden!? Should I just give it all up, or should I just give in?

What if Facebook, Instagram and Twitter did away with the ability to ‘like’, ‘share’ and ‘follow? Would we keep posting the same snapshots, articles, selfies, food porn, tweets, status updates and general ‘Social’ updates to our accounts; even though there was no way to gage the popularity of our posts? If the answer is “yes”, our content is most likely 100% genuine. If the answer is “no”, then why the heck are we posting it in the first place?

What is the inspiration behind our ‘Social’ engagement? When Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Monet picked up a paintbrush, sketch book or chisel; what if their inspirations had been based on social media trends alone? We would be left with a surplus of ceilings decked out in designer hand bags and high end label heels. Portraits of inanimate objects and soul-less smiles.

True artistry portrays sincerity. Sharing political thought, religious intent, and personal experience by immortalizing moments in time; capturing the soul of a subject and the following the pursuit of beauty for beauties’ sake. These noble intentions are at the heart of the world’s most redeemed works of art. So what has art become in the modern world?

When Andy Warhol first dabbled in the world of popular culture, did he have any idea what affect his work would have on the modern art society? Would he be proud to know that now everyone, even stuffy art critics, are creating masterpieces out of  their campbell’s dinner vignettes? Would he love what we have become, or would he shy away from the world of pop art all together?

I find myself wavering in and out of love with the demand of the ‘Social’ game. You see, I am a very genuine person. What you see is 100% (or at least 99.5%) what you get, so I find myself continually disheartened and discouraged by this alternate realm of the universe that social media has created. It’s like a black hole in to which so many have ventured, a place where labels reign supreme and the Queen of Hearts (much like in Alice’s adventures) holds court where a true heart has no place. I feel, often times, alone in this thought; especially in a professional field where numbers talk and the quantity of ‘likes’, ‘shares’ and ‘followers’ is a direct reflection on your personal success.

But then, the world of social media is full wonders. A constant stream of creative inspiration. A feast for the eyes and a good belly laugh when you need one most. Some of my greatest inspirations have come from perusing the social web.

The creative prowess of Bri Emery and Design Love Fest, a one woman creative power house who makes me want to flip off everyone who has ever told me that I want to do too many things with my life or that I have “too much going on”.

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Jen Gotch of Ban.do who has created an insta world of glittery pink self deprivation where vintage mumu’s are socially and ‘Socially’ acceptable work attire.

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Joy Cho of Oh Joy who shows me that it IS possible to be a #girlboss and have a nursery full of Asian babies and a Target deal.

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Emily Henderson, a fellow (although far supreme) style goddess blogger whom shares my vintage brass hoarding tendencies and is the ultimate ex-HGTV-pat turned lifestyle guru turned mother turned one day first female President of The United States of America (I mean look at what that gal could do to the Oval Office, brass it UP baby!).

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I find that I am most happy when I am ‘Socially’ connected, but not ‘Socially’ attached. I do not need social media. I do not need to be told what shoes to wear, what to eat, what color of lipstick to apply or what brand of coffee to drink. I do not need likes, shares, re-tweets, tags or social media followers. I do not need to be told what to do, but sometimes I want to be told what to do (not a 50 shades reference). I do not need ‘Social’ engagement, however I do need to be socially engaged. I do not need affirmation, but I do need a creative outlet. I do not need to ‘Share’ my every thought, opinion and feeling; but I do need to share a genuine connection with the world around me. And sometimes, that may just mean that I need to take a selfie, in my car, in the parking lot of the hair salon (post bad a$$ blowout).

NYFW: Son Jung Wan, An Artist’s Perspective

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Well, I’m back home in the bluegrass and fresh off a New York Fashion Week high. Of all the amazing experiences, chance encounters and fashion gazing this past week entailed I must say that two experiences stand above the rest as emotionally evocative and creatively inspiring. Both my trip to The Museum Of Modern Art (aka the MoMA) and Son Jung Wan’s Fall 2015 fashion show made lasting impressions on my modern mind. It’s funny how life, and fashion, imitate art.

When I ventured backstage at Son Jung Wan’s show with The Kentucky Gent, I was instantly drawn in by the lush jewel tones, luxe furs, eye-catching metallics and perfect pops of the most alarming neon orange. These elements alone are brilliant but as a combination they manifested in to one full bodied collection, alarming in a refined manner. The colors and textures combined on the runway in the same way a master artist brushes, scrapes and blends across a canvas to create an invigorating scene against a stark white canvas. I was mesmerized.

Two days later I found myself at the MoMA, standing somewhere between Monet and Van Gogh staring at a painting by Matisse and wondering if Son Jung Wan herself had stood there a season previous, plotting the outcome of her Fall 2015 collection. It was around this time that it hit me like a ton of bricks and like a true renaissance woman I began to cry, in the middle of a gallery surrounded by angry mothers, rambunctious children and passive aggressive tourist photographers. I couldn’t remember a time in my life that I had been surrounded by so much beauty in one place, at one time.

Every artist, every painting, every great inspiration I had read of since childhood stood right before me. Van Gogh’s Starry Night, Monet’s Water Lilies, Warhol’s Soup Cans, Frida Kahlo’s self portraits and Diego Rivera’s Flower Festival; they were all there. But this specific painting by Matisse which I had never paid much attention to caught my eye and I stood still, tears welling up in my eyes and I saw it all come full circle. NYFW had just become more than a parade of designer bags, photo hungry bloggers and street photographers; at that very moment I saw Son Jung Wan in Matisse. I saw life in the art and art in the life surrounding me.

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The Piano Lesson, 1916© H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society, New York

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All Photos Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Central Park Snow Day

centralpark-3 Staying just two blocks from Central Park is maybe the highlight of our stay at The Hudson Hotel, although their library and lounge may be a close second. When we heard we’d be getting a fresh powder the night before, we planned to head straight to the park and take in the sights. It turns out all of the parents in the metro midtown region had the same idea, as the park was flooded  with squealing snow bunnies in jewel toned snow suits. Gotta say, according to the #NYFW forecast, those little snow bunnies are right on trend. Jewel tones, fur, metallics and neon pops were ALL the rage this season! I’m thinking I need an orange faux fur lined Son Jung Wan inspired snow suit, just because.centralpark-19 centralpark-9 centralpark-12centralpark-21centralpark-17centralpark-23Photos By: Danielle Martin of Ch.25 Photography

Sweater: Vintage (similar here on sale), Skirt: Vintage from my Grandma (similar here and here),

Scarf: Vintage (similar here on sale), Boots: Sold Out (similar here)

Brooklyn Babushka

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Babushka! I sometimes feel the need to dress like an old Russian woman. This has really paid off because here in NYC it is BITTERLY cold! On my first day here in NYC I walked 50+ blocks, visited the Christian Louboutin showroom for a private fitting with The Kentucky Gent, ate my first slice of $1 pizza and was asked for directions to 9th street because I was lookin’ like a local. All that happened within the first hour here in the city. Did I mention I was in red soled heaven. I mean Blake Lively and I touched the same shoes.

Yup, tomorrow Im going apartment shopping. Is two cats, two dogs and one husband a little excessive for a studio in The Meatpacking District? #pethoardersanonymous

Photos By: Danielle Martin of Ch.25 (My Meatpacking District Lovin’ Soul Sister)

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The Diva Wears Prada

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A few nights ago I went on a major fashion documentary binge. I started with Advanced Style, which in turn lead me to Ultrasuede: In Search Of Halston, then on to About Face and finally I landed on Unzipped. If anyone ever wants to take a crash course in preparation for the NYFW scene, I highly suggest these documentaries.

For me, fashion is an endless novel where each day the protagonist dresses for a new role. Student, teacher, painter, muse, model, activist, traveler, dreamer, femme fatal, heroine, #girlboss and housewife. The roles are as endless as the possibilities that present themselves as I step out the door each morning. Heck, sometimes I don’t even have to step outside; I just shift around the house in my matte neon lipstick and vintage mumu duster coat and instantly I’m a 60’s Hollywood heiress.

On the particular day we took these photos, I felt a bit like a former Broadway baby turned boutique studio dance instructor. Slinky black shift dress, bright vintage scarf, blingy cocktail jewelry in a tasteful yet unabashed fashion statement and dark designer sunglasses with a nod to a glamorous bygone era. I felt like I could choreograph a pre-fosse musical, one with a technicolored intro and brightly colored floral costumed ladies with platinum bobbed hair. And then I began to dance. Yup, not a choreographer.

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Photos By: The Kentucky Gent

Dress: (Vintage) Similar Here, Tights: (Gifted) Similar Here and Here,

Scarf (Vintage) Similar Here and Here,

Earrings: (Vintage) Similar Here, Sunglasses: Prada

The NYC Bucket List of a Breakfast At Tiffany’s Obsessed Hipster-Tourist

A week from today I’ll be stepping off of my plane at the JFK airport and hitting the big apple with my jet setting besties, Josh and Danielle, to take over Manhattan one iconic scene at a time. Because I have dreamed of this moment since like FOREVER, I have compiled a very important and extremely rigorous Bucket List for our 10 day stint in NYC. All actions are inspired by the most perfect film of all time, Breakfast At Tiffany’s [aka the Adrian Bible], and shall be committed by yours truly without fear of the outcome. If you are an Audrey Hepburn obsessed NYC hipster-tourist like me, your itinerary should read as follows….

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#1- Eat a Donut In Evening Gloves, In Front Of Tiffany’s

Upon stepping off of the plane; wave a black silk evening glove clad, rhinestone-encrusted hand in the air to flag down the nearest cab. Take that taxi directly to Tiffany’s. Find the nearest locally roasted, artisanally crafted, free trade coffee shop. Purchase a black coffee and a croissant. Trot over to Tiffany’s (luggage and all, because you have not yet checked in to your hotel) and enjoy your freakin’ “Breakfast At Tiffany’s”.

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#2- Befriend A Homeless ‘Cat’.

By this time, you’ll be missing your pets back home because you got up so dang early that you missed your daily kitty-cuddle-fix. First things first, find an alley. They’re all over NYC so this should be a piece of cake. Call ‘kitty-kitty’ into the abyss. Move towards any sign of life in the dark corners of this god forsaken land. Keep your pepper spray handy, as the shuffle in the shadows could be a deranged criminal druggie shooting up behind a dumpster or possibly even a famous NYC jumbo rat (don’t know which is worse).  If the shuffle is either of the latter, spray that mother fudger with all your might. In the off chance that the being moving towards you is indeed a poor stray feline (probable a 0.00139% chance), pick that mangy cat up and squeeze it tightly as you shower it with tears of remorse and gratitude. Then, gingerly place the feline back on the ground. You will most likely be covered in either cat scratches, fleas or mange. Visit the nearest drug store. Tend to your wounds.

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#3- Check In To Your Hotel and Freshen Up.

Two very dirty things just happened. You just ate a flakey, sugar encrusted croissant with gloves on and you coddled a disease ridden stray cat behind a dumpster. You’ve got important things to do and you cannot be looking like a homeless croissant loving cat lady. Tote that luggage down to 22nd Street and check in to your hotel. Take a shower. Brush yo teeth. Floss. Rinse. Apply ointment to any cat inflicted wounds.

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#4- Call A Few Friends (From Your Suitcase Phone) and Make Plans

Once you are thoroughly bathed and mended, grab the rotary phone from your suitcase and make some plans with your unsuspecting friends. Dinner? A Show? Maybe even a little illegal activity? They’ll never know what they’ve gotten themselves into with you.

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#5- Pre-Game

You know it’s gonna be a long night, it’s time to pre-game. After you’re done convincing your straight laced friends to unknowingly go raging with you, pick up the phone and call room service. Order a bottle of milk. Once the hotel attendant arrives, grab that champagne coupe you carefully wrapped up in bubble wrap from your luggage. Pour yourself a cold one and get your game face on.

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#6- Shape Your Eyebrows and Get Dressed

Both are very important. A woman with a weak brow will not be taken seriously. Likewise, neither will an undressed woman. i.e. The Kardashians, these women have a history of lacking in either one department or the other. Address the brows, and dress the body.

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#7- Apply Lipstick In A Taxi

Once dressed, hail a cab and head out to meet your first unsuspecting victim friend. Apply lipstick as you bark out orders to the driver, because this is what NYC boss ladies do. And tonight, my friend, you are the boss, lady.

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#8- Dance Club Shenanigans

Meet your unsuspecting friend at a hip new dance club. Order another glass of milk on the rocks. Discuss the weather, your flight in to town, Sia’s new video and your morning window shopping; all without removing your sunglasses. You do not, however, discuss your back alley kitten snuggling or the copious amounts of cold milk that you have already ingested. You have big plans for the night and you don’t want to scare your friend off before the real fun has begun.

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#9- Rob A Dime Store

After your friend is good and sloshed, and you’re on your fourth coupe of cold milk, suggest a “shopping spree” downtown. Once you have arrived at your destination, peruse the common mask section. Playfully suggest you try the masks on “for fun”.  Then whisper in your friends ear that you saw Ryan Gosling outside, shirtless across the street. Homo or no homo he will grab your hand and swiftly whisk you out of the store at a brisk NYC jogging pace, all just to find that Ryan has ‘mysteriously disappeared’. You will secretly be smiling, behind that evil kitty mask, because you my friend have just robbed a dime store.

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#10- Meet Up With The Rest Of Your ‘Friends’ At Hipster Party

So, now that you have committed a felony it’s time to celebrate. As you hop on the subway, you turn to instagram to scope out the scene. House party in Brooklyn? Done. You ask your insta-friend to drop you a pin of their location and arrive masked in dime store mystery. You scope the scene, rich red headed Trust Fund Baby in a corner. No one puts Trust Fund Baby in a corner! You swank across the room, slowly remove your plastic kitty mask and shoot him a coy smile. Three more solo cupped cold milk’s in and you’re taking selfies in the mirror. You sneak away to the bathroom for a good solid 2 minutes of facebook stalking. You find out that Trust Fund Baby has a girlfriend named ‘Marge’. Your blood begins to broil. According to your feed, Trust Fund Baby and Marge vacation at her parent’s house in the Hampton’s every other weekend. This explains the Sperry’s. You’re beginning to feel the gallons of previously ingested milk curdle in your empty stomach. You realize all you’ve eaten today is a croissant and a bag of airline peanuts. You text your friend to stop chatting up his latest conquest and split a Lyft with you back to the hotel. Because he’s a nice-ish guy he obliges and you wait out your ride in the bathroom as you frantically rip apart the contents of your purse in search of a luna bar.

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#11- Throw A Hangry Hissy Fit

By this time, your Lyft driver has arrived and you and you make your exit. Trust Fund Baby tries to say goodbye, but you just throw him shade and ignore his advances. Once you’re in the car, it hits you. You’re hangry. Your friend tries to console you, but mere words can not satisfy your insatiable need for sustenance. You lash out in hanger, saying terrible awful things. He retorts. You assume the Kim Kardashian ‘cry face’. Crocodile tears, incoherent ranting about “Sperry’s in the Hamptons” and your need for Taco Bell. You arrive at your destination, but you are in such distress that your friend has to carry you all the way to your hotel room. He tries to lay you on the bed but in a burst of hanger you grab a pillow and hulk out, ripping the 500 thread count cover to shreds as feathers float to the ground. Your friend quickly makes his exit, you have reached a whole new level of cray.

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#12- Sob Incoherently

You pick up your phone to order room service. It’s 3am and the kitchen’s closed. You can order a ham sandwich. You hate ham sandwiches. Your cell phone buzzes. Your Lyft driver has given you the lowest rating possible. You didn’t tip that jerk anyway. You look around the room and the Snicker’s commercials come to mind, you feel like Danny DeVito. Hangry, hangry, hangry. You would literally kill for a Snickers bar. You sob yourself to sleep.

Makeover Story: Lash Extensions

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Growth serum, eyelash curler, mascara, eye make-up remover, repeat. Let’s face it, my eyelash routine had become exhausting, not to mention an expensive habit with less than dramatic results. The first time I heard about eyelash extensions, I knew I had to have them. When my salon started offering eyelash extensions, I was over the moon! My gals at Profile’s Salon didn’t even have to convince me, I just looked up into my stylist’s beautiful lashes as she shampooed my long flowing locks and I knew I needed that ‘bright eyed’ look. Next, came the questions. Do you have to wear mascara? How long do they last? Does it hurt?

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