What I Can Share With You

I haven’t written in awhile, because I’ve doing things I signed my life away NOT to talk about, so there’s professional doom hanging over my head if I tell you who did what where, and what they were wearing.

Mostly though, I’ve been sitting at home sewing.  I can’t show you any of that though, because it all sucks. I’m working on three projects simultaniously – they have all turned out crap (I wasn’t using a pattern). So I’ve spent the past couple nights scouring the internet for cheap patterns and will await their arrival before I use my beautiful, expensive fabric as practice again.

I also made a duct tape model form. While waiting for my lovely assistant, Hilarie to arrive, I took the time to pre-wrap myself in Syran Wrap which I read makes it more accurate in the long run. It took her longer than expected to arrive, and I started shvitzing inside my self-induced torture chamber. I tried doing random things around the apartment to distract from it, but I had just limited my mobility to basically taking penguins steps. Boredom ensued, and all I could do was send humiliating pictures of myself in Saran Wrap to unsuspecting friends. Sorry, if you were one of those.

Once Hilarie arrived, I was ready to have her cut me free, but instead, she spent the next hour carefully placing duct tape on me, constricting me even more, while I complained of breathing problems.

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Since all you people have still been showing up daily and I’ve got nothing to share with you, I’ll send you over to my friend Sophie’s indigogo fundraiser. In a year she lost 100 pounds, and now has excess skin that causes rashes, pinching, and as she says “a deflated balloon” body. That sounds about as comfortable as being wrapped in plastic and duct tape. She’s raising money for reconstructive skin surgery, so do your good deed for the day and help a girl out. $10 will get you a BIG internet hug and a handwritten letter! Here’s some pictures of us being adorable in preschool, and even cuter this New Year’s.

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Sophie’s Transformation

I’ll be performing in a circus and hiking the Inca Trail soon, so check back with me.

xo ZZ

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Jeffrey Fashion Cares 2013

I’ve been busting my butt working on a gangsta movie these past two weeks, but I got to take a little break from running around the city buying Hanes t-shirts to volunteer for the charity event of the year, Jeffrey Fashion Cares. It’s a night of mingling, bidding on silent auction items and the hot haut couture fashion show.

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JFC raises money for four different charities to help improve the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS and the LGBTQ community. The Hetrick-Martin Institute provides a safe and supportive environment for young people and their families. Lambda Legal tackles outdated and not-so-civil rights of this community ranging from marriage to parenting to health care. The AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA)…well it does just what its’ name says. Not only do they test the newest HIV therapies, they also provide information on HIV to disadvantaged communities worldwide. Lastly, the Point Foundation, this charity provides scholarships and more to outstanding LGBT students.

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My role in this event was to help out for the fashion show – the usual tasks like setting up hair and makeup, catering, dressing room and the collection. Since the runway would be the last part of the evening, I was free to join the paying attendees after setting up. Good thing I wore a semi-respectable dress and heels because I was rubbing elbows with Emmy Rossum, Cyndi Lauper, Ireland Baldwin and Cat Greenleaf. The event was held on the giant, war ship, Intrepid, so I enjoyed my cosmos and delicious hors d’oeuvres surrounded by space shuttles.

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Don’t you love my gaffer’s tape belt?

Reluctantly, I had to step away from the tiny cupcakes to get back to work. One very notable difference between JCF and Fashion Week was that walking the runway would be all male models. Let me repeat that, ALL MALE MODELS. And not skinny 18 year olds. Strong, manly men with six-packs and devilish smiles. So, I decided my skills would be best allocated in the dressing room “helping” undress and dress them. They are just as comfortable dressing in a room full of people as the female models, but more so, in that they play it up for the camera. It was a fun time…

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You're welcome, America.

You’re welcome, America.

Have I embarrassed my dad (or myself) enough yet?

In the end, they raised $800,000 that night, 97% of it going straight to the charities, so by oogling the eye candy all night, I helped contribute.

xo ZZ

The Sewing Studio Part 2

After finishing my drawstring bag in my sewing class, I got to work on two more projects. First, I made a zipper pouch, which required using the serger, my new favorite tool, and putting in a zipper. I think I’ll find a chain or piece of leather to turn it into a clutch.

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The last three days at sewing bootcamp were spent on making a skirt. In my naive mind, I thought it would involve wrapping the skirt around me and adding a zipper in the back. That was not the case.

Before even starting on the fabric, I had to cut out the delicate, tissue paper, pattern pieces, adjust it to my size, then lay them out like a puzzle on my fabric and pin it down.

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Once I cut out the fabric, I could get to sewing, which was even harder. Reading pattern instructions is like putting together Ikea furniture… and if you’ve ever seen anything in my apartment, you know I’m terrible at that. There is always a backwards facing piece somewhere, and a lopsided drawer. I ended up sewing my pieces together wrong TWICE, so I got lots of practice at removing seams. Silver lining, I guess.

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The skirt required sewing darts, pressing interfacing into the waistband, making a straight hemline and lots and lots of patience. Thankfully, my Sewing Studio teacher Nasya had enough patience for the both of us. I wanted to give up several times when I had completely sewn the wrong piece on the wrong place – but she gave me the push to fix it, and answer every single one of my (mostly stupid) questions.

I’m glad she did, because my first ever piece of clothing I made turned out pretty well. Cute enough to wear out in public! Not to toot my own horn, but Toot-Toot motherf@$%ers! (Exsuse the grainy pictures, they were taken in the uber-fabulous bathroom of Beauty & Essex, champagne complementary. Also, I can now check off number 16 on my Bucket List.

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I’m now taking orders for custom made clothing* by BZZ**, let me know in the comments what you’d like !

xo clothing designer ZZ

*Must be a short, pencil skirt with a slightly crooked zipper.

**Comments also open for designer name suggestions.

Watch out Calvin, here I come!

Since I was little, I dreamed of being a fashion designer. I spent hours sketching in my notebooks clothing I dreamed of making – for myself, and sometimes for my dolls. As I grew older it became less and less of an attainable dream career (or at least that’s what I thought) so I put it on the back burner. Going into college, I thought choosing to get a degree in fashion design was unrealistic…so instead I chose to live at Disney World for the 5 next years. Because that’s real life.

But now that I’m in New York I can’t get away from it. I get inspiration from women walking down the street, seeing the huge array of ideas on the runway at Fashion Week, the street style waiting outside, and even from the architecture on 77th street and Madison.

If I’m going to become the next McQueen, Wang, or de la Renta, I’ve got to start somewhere. And that somewhere for me learning to sew. So I found the Sewing Studio and signed up for their Intro Bootcamp. It’s a weeklong course, 3 hours a day where you learn how to use a machine, different types of stitches, how to follow a pattern, and all the other beginner necessities.

The first day we learned how to set up our sewing machines and practiced some stitches on muslin. Sounds silly, but I was pretty psyched to see that I had sewn two things together, and not by hand.

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The next day, using actually fabric we made a drawstring pouch. It looks simple enough, but it was actually way more gauging, pressing, and sewing that I thought. So I’m pretty impressed with myself that I finished it. Obviously, my standards are low.

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The final product…

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Who needs a shoe holder, laundry bag or toiletries case??? I think i’ll be able to recreate this on my own.

xo ZZ

Everpurse – The Purse That Charges Your Smartphone

That sinking feeling when your phone pops up and tells you you only have 20% battery life left. Your stomach drops, your heart starts beating quickly. Deadphonaphobia. I just made that word up, but the illness is real.

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My phone dies a lot. As a new New Yorker, I use it to find what train to get on. Where the restaurant is. Or what restaurant to go to. To call up to your friend instead of buzzing so as not to alarm the dog. Taking pictures of a girl reading a ‘How to Train Your Pet Mice’ book. These are all very real scenarios to me.

How am I going to get to that store, that I don’t even know the name of? Or entertain myself with a game while on the train. Or check the weather, while I’m standing outside, because I just need to know that it’s as cold as my toes are telling me. Or using Google to win an arguement with my brother. Or figure out what my boss was telling me because I wasn’t listening. Or pretend text while waiting somewhere awkwardly. Or for gods sake know what the exact time is!

And then I found the solution. The Everpurse. It’s a beautiful clutch that has a built-in phone charger.  I am not kidding. You heard me right. You can leave your house in the morning, use your phone all day at work, and then throw it into the clutch to go out for drinks afterward. No worries that when that creepy guy starts talking to you at the bar, your phone might be dead, and how will you take a faux phone call? Practical and chic.

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When you arrive home, just lay the purse on the charging mat overnight to ‘recharge’ your bag. Men the world over are going to be jealous, or really hoping Joey Tribbiani will bring back the man’s bag.

Liz Ormesher Salcedo (with the help of her handy husband) originally created the bag for herself. But when it caught on quickly with friends they decided to start a Kickstarter – the original goal of $100,000 was doubled within a week. Order your bag now, and you’ll have it in time for those long summer nights.  The Everpurse ranges from $189-319, but it’s well worth it.  I spent a week with the Persimmon leather clutch, and got many compliments on my cute bag, as well as always having a charged phone. It comes in many other fabrics and colors as well.

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Excuse me, I have to take this call.

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Outerwear by ‘Volcano Icelandic Design’

xo ZZ

Calvin Klein RTW Fall 2013 NYFW

Reason’s why I love being at Calvin Klein’s show:

1. They can afford the best models. See: the seasoned, Carolyn Murphy and fresh faced, 17 year old, Dauphine McKee. Also, Victoria’s Secret Angel, Karlie Kloss.

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2. They dress the models in luxury robes and cheap flip flops backstage and for rehearsal.

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3. Catering is the BEST. The sushi is as fresh as the sushi I ate in Japan. The mac and cheese triangles are delicious. Because it was on Valentine’s Day, the desserts were adorable.

5. They paint this room completely white every year. I helped paint the floor this year. I also helped mess it up…

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but I didn’t get a drop of paint on my clothes.

4. The runway, viewable from every angle, gave practically everyone a front row seat, myself included.

5. Celebrity sitings. Who doesn’t love bumping elbows with Jessica Chastain, Olivia Wilde and Andre Leon Talley.

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6. And of course the collection. The Grand Finale, held on the last day of Fashion Week, never fails to impress. Designer Francisco Costa strayed slightly from his normal minimalistic look and amped it up with a military take. There were stiff leather skirts paired with cross-backed bandeau tops. Bulky overcoats, touches of dark plaid, and pieces held together by scraps of metal. My favorite – a navy leather dress which showed peeks of skin as Murphy walked by.

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Now I’m off to watch the Oscars!

 

 

Trina Turk, Rachel Zoe, and Newbark NYFW 2013

I spent a couple days at Trina Turk’s showroom – seeing the stylist work her magic to put together looks, models coming in for castings, and to help pack the whole thing up to move it to Lincoln Center. It was great to be backstage for this show, steaming the clothes, helping dressers, making sure everything was in it’s place. It made it that much more special to see the models during the presentation, knowing that I had a part, though tiny, in getting in there.

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Dancing to Micheal Jackson while waiting

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The lighting, combined with the hats, made my poor iPhone struggle to get a good shot.

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Next up: Rachel Zoe. It’s always a whirlwind there. The paparazzi was extra heavy this day for two of Rachel’s guests – Miley Cyrus and model Erin Wasson. I only managed to grab a few pics.

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Last but not least, Newbark. They chose a gallery underneath the Highline to show off their new line of accessories. I wanted to slip my feet into most of these shoes and wander away.

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Two more days to enter to win the Thairapy365 Flat Iron! Enter here.

xo ZZ