Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The District, 9 AM

Nothing thrills me quite like the rush of mornings in the city. There's something about the brisk walks of passing commuters mixed with the loud signals of cars whizzing by and the haste of a restless capital in action that fills me with an unparalleled excitement. While this could very well be because it gives me an excuse to grab coffee and stride through over-populated streets in my favorite new styles (my favorite hobby by far), I have always liked to think that the real reason I adore these mornings so strongly is in the fact that it forces me and all those around me to jump into the upcoming day without hesitation. 

For this particular morning, spent in an awakening Washington, D.C., I chose to wear one of my absolute favorite outfits in my wardrobe. Let's start with what is, in my opinion, the best part (why save it for last?):

The Shoes: I am so utterly obsessed with these faux suede boots. Like, obsessed in a literal sense. I would give up a lot of things before giving up these shoes. I originally bought them in black, and ended up needing to buy another pair in grey... obviously. I'd been searching for a perfect set of over-the-knee heel boots for forever, and these were so affordable compared to a lot of others I found. They also fit better than any other pair I'd tried; I tend to like a chunkier heel (clumsiness and loose joints aren't the best combination ever), and these have that while still appearing dainty and chic. Super comfortable, super affordable, so super cute... they are the dream boots. These are by Nature Breeze and again, I bought them at a discount shop in Manhattan so I didn't find the exact matches online, but I found very similar in the same affordable price range here. (Note: mine are closest in color to the Mocha option.)

The Top: I purchased this off-the-shoulder top during my very first trip into Madewell. I had never heard of the store, but it quickly became one of my favorites. It's full of casual but classic pieces, and also has a great assortment of accessories like neck scarves and jewelry. This top is equally casual and stylish and features flowing sleeves and a Bardot cut to make it feminine and elegant. The link will be listed along with those for the skirt and the bag at the end of this post, which brings me to my next point...

The Skirt: This denim A-line skirt can be matched with so many different styles and is a perfect addition to any closet. Again, it can be casual and paired with sneakers or dressed up a bit like I did here. I love having a few classic denim pieces in my wardrobe at all times, but there seems to be a very fine line with denim when it comes to what I love and what I can't stand... so I tend to be picky! This skirt definitely makes the 'love' list; it fits well and adds a casually cute twist to many of my outfits. 

The Bag: It's by Kurt Geiger and it is the best bag that has ever happened to me... enough said. Mine is the Saffiano London Tote in the color Taupe, and I also attached an adorable pale pink flower bouquet keychain to make it more summery and to fit my style even better. You can find the add-on keychain here

The Neck Scarf: I completely adore this neck scarf and it has definitely become one of my summer essentials. Since I wear a lot of off-the-shoulder styles, adding a simple neck scarf transforms any of these looks into something so classic and vintage. This is the Francine Neck Scarf from Lou Lou Boutiques and you can find it here. I had to buy this in two shades of pink, because 1) neck scarves are basically my style aesthetic embodied, 2) pink, and 3) who doesn't want to feel like a 1950s movie star?!

I can pretty much guarantee that this will not be the only appearance of a few of these pieces (and the same styles in different colors), because I just love them so much... 

Thanks for reading! 
With love, Erin Nicole x

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Pastel Dreams & Fairy Queens

We weren't in wonderland, but it was close enough. The rosy luminance of the early summertime made this particular evening feel like I had slipped into a cotton candy-infused dreamland (even if I couldn't bring along the dragons). For someone who has a lot of pink in her closet (like... a lot), this Bardot dress has stood out to me and become one of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe. It's classically effortless, and can be worn around casually for a night out in the city or dressed up to create a sweet, feminine look for a party or other event. It feels both charmingly ladylike and chic at the same time.

I happened to stumble upon this dress while glancing through a discount shop in downtown Manhattan, and unfortunately I haven't been able to find the same one online. Mine is by Chocolate, but I found two similar, affordable options here & here. I paired the dress with these adorable faux suede black booties by Aerosoles. To complete the look, I recommend adding a few pieces of simple, elegant jewelry, such as this interlocking circle necklace. I hope this effortless yet classy look makes you feel like you've just stepped out of a storybook - it did for me!

As Audrey Hepburn said, "If I'm honest, I have to tell you that I still read fairy tales. And I like them best of all."

Thanks for reading!
With love, Erin Nicole x


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Friday, June 9, 2017

"The Sweetest Thing In All My Life Has Been The Longing..."

"...to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from — my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back.” 

The German term 'sehnsucht' translates to a "yearning," "pining," "longing," or "craving," and is a prominent theme found throughout C.S. Lewis' novel Till We Have Faces. Based on the Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche, the story follows the development of two sisters and the tension they face while following separate callings. In one of the most famous passages (quoted above), the younger sister, Psyche, explains her growing love for the God of the Mountain. According to Psyche, the closer she gets to this God, the more she feels an inexplicable desire for more of this closeness and more of the beauty she has found along with it. With her newfound love comes a type of yearning which she cannot wholly comprehend or describe. 

To me, sehnsucht describes what we, as human beings, feel in our most spiritual state. Sehnsucht describes a carnal need for that which is divine, beyond us, further than our comprehension. It is a longing so strong that we cannot fathom what exactly it is we yearn for, but it is too prominent to disregard. It is where our human capacity falters and where something far greater than us begins. 

Two years ago, I moved to lower Manhattan for school and obtained the incredible privilege of calling The City That Never Sleeps my home. Being in New York has deeply shaped both myself as a person and my understanding of the world and those within it. However, as can probably be expected, at times learning these lessons was not a total, glitz-infused dream. Although I do and have always loved this city, I regret having to admit that I spent months wondering why I was not making something more out of what I was given. In addition to this, my naturally heavy craving for an artistic outlet started to drive me a little (clinically) mental as I continued to keep it repressed. I spent numerous 2 AM hours writing drowsy thoughts and personal poetry that demanded to be let out. I once even bought a journal solely so I could print out images that were aesthetically pleasing to me and glue them all together as a very timid attempt at self-expression. 

This blog, in many ways, is something that I need and have needed for a long time. To quote Mary Shelley, "I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy one, I will indulge the other." Too often, I feel that the passion within me will escape in an entirely wrong manner if I do not use it as I should. It demands to be expressed, and I no longer want to be a slave to what sometimes feels like too strong of a passion; I want to let it out. 

The concept of sehnsucht is what comes to mind when I think about this inexplicable need to create and convey. In many ways, I think it is in making art and in raw self-expression when one best reaches this divine feeling of longing for a deeper closeness with an unfathomable beauty. So whether it is my ever-wandering thoughts channeled into words, posts on my personal fashion and style, musings on my exceedingly unhealthy addiction to coffee, pictures of my favorite corners of the city, favorite song lyrics, my 2 AM ponderings, retellings of my adventures, notes on the people I find most inspiring, recreations of character lookbooks, or turning the fantasy world that constantly lives in the back of my head into a reality on screen, I am going to share it all here. 

I hope you enjoy this glimpse into what I love as I delve into this journey of creation and self-expression. Thank you for reading and be on the lookout for more soon! 

With love, Erin Nicole x
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