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Welcome to my final NYFW post (unless I decide to post some looks from shows I did not attend.) Many of you may know Michael Costello from his time on Project Runway and Project Runway All Stars. That is how I first became a fan of his so it was really cool to be able to see his pieces (and him!) in person.  Unfortunately all my pictures are blurry, so I'm using photos from Getty for this post.

With his collection, most of the pieces were unwearable for us normal folk. A LOT of see through lace in the chest area, not so good for non-runway.  However, that doesn't take away from the beauty of his pieces.  The collection was full of gorgeous lace, sequins knits and luxurious black dresses. I wasn't a huge fan of the hair, but it's a runway so I guess we can let it slide. My favorite look was a black long-sleeve v-neck dress with sequins, so gorgeous!
Today we have my third New York Fashion Week post. I went to two shows on the 17th, Michael Costello and Lupe Gajardo, and both were great! Unfortunately all my pictures are blurry, so I'm using photos from Getty for this post. You can see some of my failures at the bottom of the post.

This was Lupe Gajardo's debut at New York Fashion Week. She is a Chilean designer and has been named an up and coming designer in many publications. After seeing her show I know she has big things on the horizon! Lupe's collection was made up of organic cottons, recycled denim and other natural fabrics. Some of the looks were a little bland for me, but the mixing of textures and trimmings on most of the looks were impeccable! I especially loved the tan dress with feathered trim and the back of a black dress which looked as if it had been braided. Unfortunately I couldn't find a high resolution picture of the back, so you'll just have to look at mine. Overall the collection was really wearable; it's full of great neutrals and basics, comfortable fabrics and statement pieces to amp up your wardrobe.

The first invite I got for fashion week was the Coach/Harper's Bazaar party to celebrate their Spring 2015 collection. After that the rest of my events fell into place. So I figured I would share my outfit with the main event! While this event was really fun, it wasn't my favorite part of the day since it was mostly about shopping the store (and I can do that any time.) With that said, we got to enjoy delicious macarons, get Coach-inspired manicures and saw the Spring line modeled in store, which was super cool!

I brought heels to change into for my outfit, but who was I kidding? After a day of walking around the city and then to be standing in heels in a store for 2 hours, no way! So my Coach pumps stayed safely inside my overflowing purse. Oh well, live and learn!

Thanks to my lovely friend Alyssa for taking the photos and coming to the party with me!

Coat: Sisters (TJ Maxx), Blazer: Etro (Roundabout Resale), Sweater: Vanessa Bruno (Coco's $10 sale), Tee: Everlane, Jeans: J Brand 'Maria High Rise Skinny' in Supreme (Gilt), Boots: Vince Camuto (Marshalls), Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs 'Ozzie Square Baby Aiden Bag' (Shopbop), Necklaces: Acanthus Jewelry and c/o Marrin Costello


And a few party snaps:

Now that my vacation posts are FINALLY done, it's time for a few fashion week recaps from my day in the city on the 17th.  My day started off at the Bene Rialto Lounge.  The lounge was open for a week and had so many fun beauty products to try out!  Below I will post small reviews about all the products I was able to try out and my various beauty treatments!

First, let's have a quick chat about Bene Rialto. It was created by Caryn Neary who I was lucky enough to chat with at the event. She wanted to create a new kind of marketplace designed to connect people to each other, experiences, and ideas. The space has three functions. It serves as a store, showroom and educational space for emerging designers. The Bene Lounge (where the event was held) was located on the third floor. The first three marketplace floors showcase over 60 brands of fashion, food and art.

The 4th and 5th floors are home to Bene Collective, the fashion trade extension of Bene Rialto’s retail marketplace. Bene Collective offers brands an opportunity to meet, showcase, and sell to the most influential fashion retailers and ambassadors in a warm, beautiful space.


My first stop was the JamBerry DIY nail art bar where I tried out their amazing nail wraps.  All you need to apply them is a little heat (plus scissors and a nail file to trim excess.) I used the wrap as an accent nail on both my ring fingers. The wraps will stay on your nails for two weeks and will NOT chip! Application was super easy with the mini heaters they supplied, but you can also use a blow drier. You cut the wrap in half, heat it, apply and then file off the excess.

After that I got a makeup touch-up thanks to Advance Mineral Makeup and Natalia Carrasco. The products do not contain any talc, perfumes, dyes or preservatives making it better for the skin.  Natalia didn't do anything crazy with my makeup, she just covered up some blemishes and made sure my skin tone was even. That's really all you need when it comes to makeup, and the mineral based products did a wonderful job. It didn't even look like I had makeup on.

Next it was time to get my eyebrows threaded by the lovely ladies of Wink Brow Bar. While still slightly painful (like a pinch on the skin,) the process was fairly quick and my skin did not redden as waxing sometimes tends to do. What makes Wink unique is the Wink Power Program, started by founder Umbreen. She told me that they help to empower women by learning a skill (threading) so that they can support themselves. According to her, "Every time you shape your brows at Wink, you help shape the future for women and girls all over the world."

Then it was on to hair! The lovely Giles Robinson of Color Wow gave me beautiful waves and used their products to add a bit more shine to my hair. Although, as he said, my hair is already super shiny! My hair is naturally straight and the best I can do to curl my hair is leave it in a bun overnight after showering (which flattens out within a few hours) so it was nice to have REAL WAVES for once, they lasted all day and I got home at 12:30 am.  Their products are mainly for women with colored hair, but anyone can use them! Just check out these AMAZING videos where they use root coverup powder to hide gray hairs and fix highlights.

I also quickly learned about Bottega Organica and Key West Aloe. Bottega Organica's products are 100% pure and natural. What makes them even more unique is the fact that all ingredients are harvested and processed naturally in their farms in Italy and upstate NY. Their products are "meticulously crafted to nurture the skin and prolong youthfulness without the use of preservatives, emulsifiers, artificial fragrances, colors or synthetics of any kind."

Key West Aloe uses a similar all natural approach using 100% Lab-Certified Aloe to nourish and moisturize even the most sensitive skin. I got to try out the Key Lime Salt Scrub followed by a moisturizing lotion. After that treatment my hands felt amazing, super moisturized and soft. Did you know that if you have a sugar based scrub and leave it in your shower it will grow bacteria? I certainty didn't! Luckily KWA uses salt in their scrubs, which will NOT grow bacteria.

After all my beauty treatments were completed, the lovely Emily Brickel of Chic Sketch did a quick sketch of me! Chic Sketch is a downloadable app where you send in a photo and get a personalized sketch! All you have to do is upload a photo to receive a custom sketch drawn by a real fashion illustrator.

I was also introduced to Destiny Candles, which are super cool! They're 3 things all in one. A candle, body oil AND you get a special piece of jewelry valued from $10 to $10,000. They are made from 100% natural ingredients like top grade jojoba and soy oils and melt at a low temperature so they never burn hot. I took home a "Wealth" candle and can't wait to use it!

Before I left I got to sample some of the great chocolates from Lululosophy, which are handmade in New York City by Lucia Liu. She was on hand and took me on a chocolate journey to taste some of her delectable products! The chocolates were inspired by her travels and I got to try the following:  Matcha Saké Truffle (my favorite!), HK Milk Tea truffle and Coffee Brittle. All delicious!

If you made it through this whole post, congratulations! Now go order some chocolate. YUM!
Can you believe February is already over?! I made it through the Fall/Winter portion of the challenge! From now on though, I think I'm just going to keep track of my purchases and try to stick to basics rather than doing the whole 6 month season by season thing. Because sometimes you need to buy Spring items in December...where does that go in the challenge? Who knows! But I'm glad I successfully completed the challenge for 1 year in the original form. Starting next month, my posts will have "French" removed from the title, ha ha.

I went to Roundabout's Winter Blowout sale (Westport location) on Valentine's Day and walked out with 3 great pieces! I spent $220 and the retail price of the items was at least $2200.  I also wanted a gorgeous Burberry Prorsum dress and 3.1 Phillip Lim dress but resisted them because I haven't really been wearing dresses lately. Kind of regretting the Burberry one... And my only other purchase this month was a $6 sweater from Target, quite the difference from the other purchases but I love it just the same! (Was in the wash when I was taking these photos, oops!)

But WAIT! There's more! (I hope you all read that like they say it in the infomericals) This past Saturday I got an email from Roundabout saying they were having an even bigger blowout on their Winter pieces for a limited time! So I texted Lydia and we met up to shop! They still had the Burberry dress, so I HAD to buy it, it was fate! I also bought a different Phillip Lim dress and a Balenciaga sweater dress that was brand new with tags! The Phillip Lim dress is missing from photos because my mom is repairing a small hole in it.



THE RULES
  1. Just five seven standout pieces per season.
  2. Quality over quantity.
  3. Basics don’t count.
  4. Accessories don’t count, unless you’re spending a lot more than usual.
  5. Socks and underwear don’t count.
  6. Shoes do count.
MY PROGRESS

Part of my Seven:
  1. Altuzarra for Target Embroidered Pleated Georgette Dress ($54.99)
  2. J.Crew Embellished Intarsia Llama Sweater ($44, J.Crew Factory)
  3. J.Crew Intarsia Reindeer Sweater ($44, J.Crew Factory)
  4. Marc by Marc Jacobs 'Pyo' Sweater ($66, Saks Off 5th)
  5. DKNY Oversized striped knitted cardigan ($94, Net-a-Porter End of Season Sale)
  6. *NEW!* Paul Smith velvet book print blazer via  Roundabout Resale ($91, retail $600+)
  7. *NEW!* Burberry ruched dress via Roundabout Resale ($90, retail $795)
Basics: 
  1. Ella Moss Vest in gray via Marshalls ($79.99, paid with gift card)
  2. Altuzarra for Target Python long sleeve shirt ($19.99)
  3. August Silk Sweater via Marshalls (birthday gift)
  4. Midnight by Carole Hochman pajamas (also available here) via Marshalls (birthday gift)
  5. Banana Republic ($19.50 at the Factory Store
  6. Elie Tahari for Design Nation jacket c/o Kohl's 
  7. Everlane Box Cut Tee - Aquamarine ($5 after coupon)
  8. Everlane V - Muted Black ($5 after coupon) 
  9. Everlane The Cotton Heather U-neck (Christmas Gift)
  10. Everlane The Cotton U-neck - Slate (Christmas Gift)
  11. Everlane The Fall Seed Stitch Raglan - Cool Gray (Christmas Gift)
  12.  Cocogio Cardigan (Christmas Gift)
  13. Lauren by Ralph Lauren Blue Suede Jacket via TJ Maxx ($80 after gift card)
  14. Tinley Road Indigo Tank via Piperlime ($5.99)
  15. Daniel Rainn Velvet Burnout Top via Piperlime ($15.99)
  16. *NEW!* Merona Sweater via Target ($6) 
  17. *NEW!* Brooks Brothers Burgundy Cotton and Silk Blazer via Roundabout Resale ($40, retail $750) 
  18. *NEW!* 3.1 Phillip Lim Black Open Back Knitted Dress via Roundabout Resale ($32, retail $375)
  19. *NEW!* Balenciaga Knit sweater dress via Roundabout Resale ($72, retail $300+)
Shoes:
  1. Coach 'Nacie' pump via Marshalls ($69, paid with gift card)
  2. Cole Haan 'Minetta' Sandal via Amazon ($74, paid with gift card)
  3. Vince Camuto Ankle Boot via Marshalls (birthday gift) 
  4. Naot 'Yama' Shoe (c/o) 
  5. *NEW!* Jimmy Choo 'Blend' Pump via Roundabout Resale ($75, retail $795) 
  6. *NEW!* Duo 'Ani' Boot (c/o)

Accessories:
  1. Movado Bold Watch c/o Lucky & Movado
  2. Kendra Scott Naomi Double Ring (c/o)
  3. Marrin Costello Pearl Crescent Necklace [$66 after coupon, not available online yet] 
  4. Lo & Sons "O.G. Bag" ($236 after coupon code) 
  5. Marc by Marc Jacobs silver ring ($24, TJ Maxx)
Exempt items:  [gifted items from brands or family members that would normally fall under my standout pieces]
  • Philosophy Top c/o Marshalls ($19.99)
  • For Cynthia Sweater c/o Marshalls ($16.99)  
  • Tory Burch Cardigan via TJ Maxx (birthday gift)
  • Eight Sixty Florence Double Vee Tank via Piperlime ($11.99, not counting because it's more Summery...I know, cheating!)

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