NYFW: The Monochromatic Trend

October 13, 2017

This post is incredibly special to me for a few reasons. I held off on this last NYFW post because there is a lot of heart and soul that goes into it, and I wanted to truly give a therapeutic reflection on my experience because it comes full circle, so bear with me.

A little back story is that when I first moved up to New York, I was a little broken. It was during some of my darkest days in my 20’s and a huge growth period. I was 26 and just left everything I knew, including a 10 year relationship, all my family, and stability. But I knew it was something I had to do for myself, and had dreamt about moving to this city for most of my life. I never knew how it would happen, and then happen in the manner that it did. I had to make a few drastic choices in life to get me there, but I don’t regret my path. Mainly because living there was the biggest milestone to self-discovery in my life, as well as the most incredible experience. It brought me to who I am, what I do, what I know, how I react to life… everything. I knew I wanted more out of life at 24 and I knew that I had to go to New York. That is all I can explain about it, it was just a pull inside. Literally everyone around me told me I was making the wrong decision and judged and criticized. Even though my world fell apart around me and I left for New York alone, New York was the only thing I knew that was the right thing. Being there felt right. Don’t get me wrong, it was hard. I worked a lot, worried about money, spent a few sweaty hot summers in the city when the elite go out east, got stuck in a lot of crowded subway cars, and witnessed more than a few people actually peeing on the street. But then there were the days that I would explore neighborhoods, see the city’s secret nooks, see New York for everything it was. I am one of those people that is 100% ok being by myself in public and love walking and exploring alone. Which up until I was 26 years old, was somewhat ironic because I had never been single and was terrified of that, but I love my alone time. I did make some really great friends there that helped enrich the experience along the way and that will always be so special to me. I advanced my career there and took away valuable information and styling experience that I use today. I had goals and milestones that I set for myself while there and I met them. I made it in my own way and I will always have New York to thank… for every hardship and every blossom that it offered.

New York had always appealed to me because I don’t embody the personality to be ‘southern’. I am fast paced, love Northern food, love cold weather, am not religious, and live for fashion. I love my southern friends so much, but I have always felt out of place here. The half jew in me loved living amongst like minded culture traditions up there, and my mother lived in NYC in the 70’s, so I almost grew up knowing it was in my blood and a right of passage. Living there started out rocky. I took a job with Pac Sun to get there, and ran my own store in White Plains. I commuted by train every day, and every day had to connect in Grand Central. I spent so much time there, I would eat breakfast, find my own little corners and just people watch. I would envy tourists in love, and I cried A LOT. The reason for that is because I immediately jumped into a relationship while still mourning my previous one (I definitely don’t recommend that) and was a little lost. We lived together and it was a disaster from the start (both of our faults), so I spent most of my time alone. The only thing I truly knew, was that I belonged in this city to figure it all out. New York was my true love and it took me awhile to realize it. The relationship I was in just wasn’t good, we brought out the worst in each other, but I also was broken, so I had nothing to offer or expectations to set for myself. I spent a lot of time longing for someone to share this beautiful city with, and not realizing at the time, but that I wasn’t supposed to have that at the time. The one I needed to be with was the city. I know it’s cliche and very ‘Sex and The City’ to personify New York, but in many literary works, New York is it’s own character, and in every right. It’s mean, it’s tough, it doesn’t hug you back. But it’s beautiful and will give you what you need if you don’t give up, don’t take it personal, grow a thick skin, and work it the right way.

For the first 6 months I took the 7 train into Grand Central every day to connect to my train up to White Plains. I grabbed my favorite smoothie and orange chocolate muffin down in the food court and would hop on for a 45 min train ride North. It was my first time relying solely on public transit, being from Atlanta where we rely only on cars and the fate of rush hour conditions, but I loved it. I loved the smell and loud clanking of the train as it sped out of the city and into the suburbs. I had a few blocks to walk to the mall where my store was, and most of the time, I was late… I was the boss, so I got away with it, but I definitely skirted by. I was good at what I did, by hiring, coaching, encouraging, and eventually took the store out of the negatives, and turned it into a top producing store, where we beat LY every day and had a great staff. I was in the middle of a personal crisis but threw myself into work (for the second time, the first being the previous Abercrombie stores I ran in Charlotte before I left for NY). When I closed at nights, I would run terrified of getting kidnapped, to the train station. I guess I can laugh now looking back on that, haha, but I will never forget that adrenaline run. As soon as the train pulled into the city, I felt relief as I saw all the city lights… that’s how I knew I was home; because I felt at home!

After 6 months, I knew it was time to move on and that Pac Sun wasn’t for me, as I was trying to move towards more high fashion and something in the city. I felt out a few retailers like J. Crew, but knew I truly wanted to be with Anthropologie. I had the retail and managing experience and knew I was qualified. I had about 4 interviews and a ton of back and forth negotiation to get my dream job, and also be able to survive in the city on my income. I started as the Home department manager, then moved up to hiring manager, then eventually some styling. I learned so much from this company and the creative people there. I looked at texture, color and pattern mixing, and fashion completely differently. There were 2 sides to every store, the apparel and product (operations), and then the display side. It was fascinating to see these artists create the displays and bring a concept to life. I worked at the Soho location and then Chelsea Market Anthropologies and at each one, used my lunch break and after work to explore the neighborhoods. I rarely stayed in the store during lunch, I would always go walking to find new food places that I loved, and most of the time each really quickly then go explore, or grab something on the go to walk. I was always walking this city, and it made me so happy. A lot of times, I was sad and confused at the direction my life was going, and I questioned if I made a mess of my life, leaving everything and everyone that I had known. Sometimes while walking around I would cry because I wanted a stable life so badly and had always tried to create that for myself, only to realize that I forced it because I wanted it so bad. My personality was that I couldn’t just let it happen, I had to make it happen, but learned in New York, that I had no choice at that point. I had to just let it happen. On my days off I would take Georgia to Central Park and completely walk the entire thing, or let her run wild in the off-leash parts. I lived right over the river in Long Island City/Sunnyside (Queens) at this time, so I would get on the subway with me carrying her in the little dog carrier over my shoulder. I began to find my favorite places in the city as well as the best food. I avoided the touristy places because they were always so crowded and began to get annoyed at all the crowds of tourists… haha I guess I was slowly becoming a New Yorker. Most people that live and work there hate Times Square. I definitely hated it during the packed times of day, but I would sometimes go at night, and that is when it was truly magical. There is truly nothing like Times Square at midnight. I read an article once about someone referring to it as standing in the middle of all the action: the middle of the universe and at that time you are truly at one of the most important places in the world. That kind of spoke to me and I always thought about it when there.

Then there was Grand Central. I have so much admiration for the history and beauty it holds and think about how 100 years ago, people passed through those exact doors and train platforms. I love the smell and the sounds. Once I was working in Manhattan, I didn’t have the need to pass through Grand Central every day so I would go on my days off. I could take the time to admire every detail and just sit and people watch. I loved and appreciated that when I first moved there, I had a purpose to be there… like it was part of my daily routine to pass through a place so beautiful and historic. {side note, I am fascinated by the old world stories of this place and the ‘secrets’ this place as well as city holds. I can get lost down a rabbit hole when googling the history of NYC and it’s tunnels} Anyway, I remember vowing to myself that whatever my future would hold, I would come back to this city and this special place in a hopefully much better place mentally, but with a few life goals accomplished. I’ve been back a few times for various reasons and always made a stop at Grand Central to pay homage to a place that nurtured me when I needed it. I would grab my bagel (toasted dark with waaaay too much butter) and smoothie and sit and just enjoy my surroundings. But this past September, I went up to NYFW… with a purpose again, but one I created. NYFW was my reward for a year of extremely hard work and hustle. New York is my mecca and being able to be there because of something I created from my number one passion was actually extremely emotionally overwhelming for me. It meant so much to be there, and be at a happy place in my life, finally feeling like I reached was I was always reaching for… I have a stability, support, and unconditional love in Robert that I never had and always needed, and the life we have created with our children. It was what I would walk the streets and cry about. Ha, that seems so dramatic but it’s the deep secrets I went through.

This photo shoot in Grand Central meant more than just pretty staged pics in a pretty place. To me it was capturing an accomplishment, a nostalgic moment taking in my past and evaluating my present. I just stood there and took it all in, and Katie just snapped. It was like I was taken back to the time when I lived there and longed to be the person I worked for now. And I’m not saying it’s all been rainbows… life is all about ups and downs and going through a lot to appreciate what you have. I stood there appreciative of my journey and the role that NYC played to get me to where I am now. These pictures mean so much to me and I wanted to just share a little peek into my journey into why I’m so obsessed with this city, more than the amazing energy, fashion, and culture… I mean I could go on. But for now, I’ll plan my next life goals to work towards and enjoy the journey to get there. I’m not done with you New York, you’ll always be a part of who I am, and I will most definitely be back.

this picture was the one I recreated, taken when I lived there, 5 years ago.

I won’t talk more (which if you’re still reading, thank you!), but wanted to briefly touch on the monochromatic concept because it’s my favorite trend that is going on right now. You can definitely try it within your own closet and I urge you to, to spice up pieces you already have because you will probably be wearing them differently! I love this look with any color really, whether it’s a colored pant and sweater, or trying the popular colored midi skirt. And you don’t have to do the exact same shade, it can be different shades of the same color. My shoes are insanely amazing and I get compliments wherever I go. They are a bit of a splurge, but they are even more worth it the more I wear them, and more than I thought they would be. I love Jeffrey Campbell styles and shoes, so definitely take a look at what they are creating this fall! You can shop a few options from this post below, although my sweater and skirt I only found in store at H&M in New York. Ugh, another reason to move up north! Happy Friday, thank you so much for reading and listening to a little bit of my mind!

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  • Reply Megan October 13, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    loved this post, friend! we sound so similar with our love of people watching and just aimlessly wandering around alone.

    • Reply mireille.citypeach@gmail.com October 16, 2017 at 11:56 pm

      Thank you Megan! We definitely need to take on a city and wander together! Thank you for reading!!! xo

  • Reply Ashley October 16, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    This is such a good post! Loved reading about your personal life. Also the pics are amazing and I can see the emotion in them. This reminds me of how I ran away to Philadelphia in my 20s 🙂 your story is much cooler though! Xoxo

  • Reply Jessica Camerata October 16, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    I just love this post so much! I love when we have these full circle moments. They help to validate what we’ve been working so hard for. xoxo

    xo Jessica
    My Style Vita

    • Reply mireille.citypeach@gmail.com October 17, 2017 at 12:11 am

      Thank you for reading! I know you can definitely appreciate a lot of that as you’re one of the OG bloggers!!

  • Reply January Hart Rizzo October 16, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    Such a wonderful read and great insight into you, my friend. Loved reading every bit of it and your thoughts about your journey so far. Can’t wait to see what the future holds for you! xo, January

    • Reply mireille.citypeach@gmail.com October 18, 2017 at 1:58 pm

      Thank you January! Thanks for stopping by and reading! I love having friends all over, especially blog friends like you! xo

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