So with all my NYFW posts completed, I thought I’d just conclude with my general thoughts on the whole weekend, and to use it as an excuse to post more photos (ie. from the Juicy Couture After Party and a second trip to SoHo)! It truly was the best weekend of my life. I’m still on a high from it all. During my first trip to NYC, I was awkward, shy, totally unconfident, and miserably cold from the snow. I hid behind Robert the whole time, but this time I was completely the opposite and on my own: I approached people; people approached me. It was actually kind of weird having people approach me…It’s definitely something I don’t think I’ll ever get used to.
I had amazing conversations with just about everyone who would talk or listen to me. I feel like I walked away with 10 new best friends after the trip. I love how easily it was to talk to people this time around. Starr, Tieka, Jen and I talked about blogging and certain issues like commenting back, the importance of a good blog layout, making themes for posts, and so many other things that I can’t remember during the after party like it was the most natural thing in the world! Jen, Jenny, and I hung out like we've done it our whole lives. Home is now a little different after this experience. It’s been weird adjusting not having these bloggers so accessible and near to me, even if they were only accessible for a short weekend. It’s hard not to miss them now that I’ve met and befriended them. Knowing that some of them are across the country and that I have to wait another year to meet them again just make it even more of a torture. In a sense, I feel even more lonely than I did before because now I'm surrounded by people who don't really get me and so far away from people who do.
I’m so much more confident about who I am now. To be honest, sometimes I didn’t wear the outfits that I posted out, mostly out of fear of being misjudged; but now I don't bother to bring a change of clothes. I've said this before, but many of my friends and family have never seen me in a high-waisted skirt! And to continue with this honesty...before this trip to NYC, I was pretty exhausted of blogging—I just didn’t see the point of it. But now I know that it’s not about having the biggest number of followers, or having the best photos, or having the most sponsors, or having the newest clothes, etc; it’s about meeting people with similar interests and building friendships. I’m so glad I started a blog, even if it was out of sheer boredom. I am so eternally grateful for having the second chance to meet these amazing girls since the first time didn't go too well.
Whether I win another trip or not, I’m planning on making a trip to NYFW a yearly thing, and I really hope we have these reunions even when we’re grandmas! Talking to and hanging out with these girls was seriously the best part of the trip, not attending the fashion shows or roaming the city during Fashion’s Night Out. I even opted out of a VIP dinner to get some more time in with Jen and Jenny. All the bloggers are so down to earth and sweet! I truly miss them all. Just by having them as my friends, I would consider this blog a success. Before, I was way too obsessed with the numbers and producing new content with new clothes. But at the end of the day, they're just numbers and clothes, these friendships are priceless. I am so glad that I decided to stay true to myself with my outfits in NYC, because everyone else did too. I think I’m starting to accept and even like my style too.
I can’t believe I fulfilled a dream of attending fashion shows during NYFW. It was such a surreal experience watching models walk down a runway and seeing the clothes up close during presentations. I also can't believe I was invited to speak at such an important conference and with the top dogs in the industry! I was definitely a ball of nerves before my panel, which was the last one, so I don't think I enjoyed the conference as much as I should have, but everyone was so encouraging before and after my panel. Starr even came up to me seconds before my panel began and told me that I looked beautiful and that I'll do great; that was seriously one of the sweetest things anyone has ever done for me. And it was just what I needed. It was also insanely surreal that Chantal of Cocorosa hung out with Jen, Jenny, and I and gave us photo tips, and for her to tell me that she reads my blog and was her favorite speaker.
I didn't get to say too much during the conference, mainly because Dino-Ray of the SF Chronicle stole the show with this humor, and because I just didn't know when to chime in since I didn't want to interrupt anyone. So I guess I'll just wrap up this post with the gist of what I wanted to say but didn't get a chance to...
Social media has definitely given the fashion industry the tool to include more people. The fashion industry is so stereotypically exclusive that it's amazing how many opportunities have opened up for us "normal" people. Case in point: I'm neither tall nor skinny and yet I was still given the chance to go to fashion shows and speak at a fashion conference. Social media itself doesn't make the industry exclusive, the people do. We really have to stop with all this competition/jealousy between each other, whether it's subconscious or not. We're a community, and we should be working together to make it stronger and better for future generations because I'd like to think we're the pioneers of fashion blogging. I definitely don't want to see this as just a temporary media fad. While I do think there is an exclusive circle that creates all the trends (ie. designers), we are the ones who actually make the trends a trend; because what's a trend without followers and execution?
I think the stem of our competition and jealousy among ourselves is the start of sponsorships, which include money and free things. I think this has been a really smart move on businesses to include "real" girls in their ads because they are so much more relatable, and it's a more affordable way to reach more people. And who doesn't love free stuff? It just worries me that I haven't seen a whole lot of "bad" reviews on items: is it because people are afraid of jeopardizing their relationships with their sponsors? Probably, but they shouldn't be. Reviews should be objective, honest, and strictly business. I agree it is important to maintain good relationships with businesses, but as with all relationships, honesty is the best policy. I also think it's important to consider the possibility that businesses may be reaping more benefits than the bloggers are in these relationships. Therefore, these relationships also need to be fair.
While fashion does affect everyone, whether they acknowledge it or not, I agree with Dino's comment on that we can afford a little exclusivity. It's kind of nice being a part of something that most people are not. I don't know about you, but I don't tell many people about my blog. It's my secret life, and I love that it is. It has helped me develop my personal style dramatically, and I have met so many amazing people through it! Everyone had such unique and loveable personalities, which is why the entire conference stressed the importance of being yourself on your own blog. You can be inspired by others, but take that inspiration and make it your own instead of imitating it. I'd like to think that I have done that. Fashion has come to the cyclical, bidirectional point where it's rare that an idea is truly original, but that doesn't mean we can't try! But don't try too hard...just be you!
As Connie said in her Goodbye EIU post, "Be you and be unapologetic."
Thank you to Chictopia for this opportunity, and to Jen for letting me stay at your place, for taking most of my photos, and just for being the amazing, sweet, smart, funny, and gorgeous person you are!
Until next post,