For some reason when I look at these photos all I can think of is that song by The Carpenters: "I'm on top of the world lookin' down on creation...". You know the one?! Surely my parents weren't the only former hippies to introduce such music to their kids. Random thoughts aside, this view from The Top of the Rock was absolutely breathtaking. Funny story (Shelbi may kill me for sharing this)- for weeks we'd discussed with our photographer, Yash, shooting at "The Top of the Rock" while in New York. Shelbi and I both just assumed that to mean the Empire State Building for whatever reason and so when the time came to meet Yash for our photos, that's where we went. We had already bought our tickets online for a specific time so when we showed up to the Empire State Building, walked up several flight of stairs, and were slightly humiliated in front of a crowd of tourists when we were told we were at the wrong place, we were afraid we'd screwed the pooch. Luckily we made it to the actual location, the Rockefeller Center, and they still let us go up (all the way up). And Yash didn't kill us for being over an hour late (#saint). Top of the Rock...Rockefeller Center...makes total sense now. And I get why this is the money shot- you want the Empire State Building in the backdrop!
Okay so day four! Shelbi and I were supposed to shoot with Yash that morning in front of the Flatiron Building but ended up both feeling too sick/tired to make it in time. We took our time getting ready that morning and I headed to Soho at 10:30 for a meeting with Socialyte. I got to see the office and grab coffee with the sweetest employee there I'm currently working on a campaign with, so it was nice getting to meet her in person. After coffee, I hustled back to the hotel to meet Yash for photos. We had planned to knock out a lot of outfit shoots during his last few hours in the city and we made it happen! We really lucked out with the best weather on this trip, in the 60s most of the time, which made shoots pleasant and fun. After that shoot, Shelbi and I walked from the hotel over to Grand Central Station to shoot yet again, this time with good friends of ours from Houston who are launching an online boutique. Saltflat will be officially open for business on October 1st and I'm so excited- every single piece I've seen is stunning and affordable #winwin. We got to model some of the pieces which felt like a dream and after all that "hard work" ;), we headed back to the hotel to change quickly before venturing out for an evening of exploring.
We had to return a few pieces to Rent the Runway and then decided to take the subway to Central Park where we wandered around aimlessly, snapping photos and people watching to our hearts' content. We laid on our backs on a grassy hill and took in the perfect fall weather, sipping Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice and just enjoying the pause from all the hustle and bustle of fashion week. When the mosquitos rained on our party and started eating us alive, we walked a mile or so to Dylan's Candy Bar (one of my fav places on earth) before meeting up for dinner at Serendipity 3 (another one of my fav places on earth) with seven other girlfriends. Serendipity is one of my all time favorite movies and I can't resist going to the restaurant anytime I'm in NYC, and of course ordering the frozen hot chocolate! Shelbi gets to play the role of my John Cusack for the occasion and it's oh so (quasi) romantic. It was such a fun night with friends, all nine of us huddled around a table drinking our desserts and sharing stories until we realized it was almost 11pm. That's when you know it's been a great dinner.
Shelbi and I caught an Uber back to the hotel and crashed hard that night, our last night in the city. So bittersweet! I'll be back tomorrow with one final recap of the last day- if you've stuck with these posts, you're amazing. I'm mostly documenting Fashion Week happenings for my own terrible memory but the fact that any of you care to actually read them too is so sweet. Hope you have a great weekend!
photos by Ban Avenue Photography
Day three started bright and early with a photo shoot in Soho before heading to the Dan Liu runway show. I was really looking forward to the show because I lucked out and got to sit front row last year and had the best experience. This year didn't disappoint either- one of my friends best described the collection as "wearable" and I love that about Dan Liu's designs. You truly feel like, unlike a lot of designers, you could pull the pieces right off the runway models and wear them around town. We enjoyed the show and from there, I headed with my friend Alice to a special brunch at Vogue. We ended up being a little late to the event because on our walk over, we got distracted by a mass paparazzi takeover outside of a Soho restaurant and just had to wait and see who all the commotion was about. We waited 20-30 minutes before giving up and heading to the event, but we later found out Victoria and David Beckham and Anna Wintour showed up to have lunch at the restaurant where the papparazzi were posted up. Sad we missed seeing them! The Vogue brunch was just as fabulous as you'd imagine- endless afternoon cocktails (not that I was indulging), tasty food, amazing gift bags, and mingling with other bloggers that I love and admire made for a great afternoon.
From brunch, I headed back to our hotel to meet Shelbi and check out because we split our time between two hotels, Courtyard New York Manhattan/Herald Square and SpringHill Suites New York Midtown Manhattan/Fifth Avenue. Both hotels were amazing and in truly the perfect location for anyone wanting to sightsee around the city. We stayed at the Courtyard first and knowing we had four girls with a LOT of luggage (hello, Fashion Week) weren't sure how well the room situation would work. We were pleasantly surprised with the size of the room and were most blown away by how kind and accommodating the staff was. I can honestly say I've never witnessed friendlier, more helpful staff at any hotel I've stayed at in the past. I hadn't arrived yet on Thursday when two of the girls checked in, but they had an event to get to and wanted to take the subway. Being native Texans, they weren't sure where to go or what to do and one of the bellhops walked them all the way to the subway station, went inside, and helped them get all set up. Other bystanders asked him questions too, and he answered anyone that needed help. Just so unbelievably selfless and helpful! The rooftop bar at Courtyard where these pictures were taken, Monarch, was also absolutely stunning. It felt like you could reach out and touch the Empire State Building. We didn't order food but it all looked so delicious- I saw a group order some nachos that I'm still drooling over.
Sadly two girls from our group headed back to Houston on Sunday so Shelbi and I moved over to the SprillHill Suites by ourselves. We were equally pleased with our stay at this hotel and since it was only two streets over (less than 5 minute walk) from the Courtyard, it was also in a prime location. We could walk and see pretty much anything we wanted to see- Grand Central Station, Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, Times Square, and SHAKE SHACK. Shelbi and I are self-proclaimed Shake Shack fanatics- we have to get it every time we're in New York. The SpringHill beds were so soft; I don't usually sleep well outside of my own bed but I slept like a rock both nights we were there. The hotel also had a gorgeous rooftop that I'll share pictures of soon!
After checking in to our new spot, we were supposed to head to both the Leanne Marshall and Lisa Hoang runway shows, but that didn't happen. We were pretty exhausted and once we sat down on those comfy hotel beds, there was no getting up for a little bit. We finally rallied and headed to Rockefeller Center to take pictures at the Top of the Rock (which I'll also be sharing on here soon). I had never been up there and the view was truly breathtaking; it cost about $37 to go up which seemed a little steep to us but I recommend going up at least once if you never have. From there, we hurried back to the hotel to change and head to the Free People and Vogue Rooftop Party. This party, y'all...was really something. The venue was something out of a movie and I kept having to pinch myself just to ensure the whole scene was actually real life. It was September 10th and once night fell, two strips of light shown brightly from Ground Zero in remembrance of those lives lost 16 years ago. In the midst of such a happy and celebratory event, it was an important reminder to remember to stop and cherish every moment.
From Free People and Vogue, a group of our Houston girls were starving and decided to head to Shake Shack (to my pregnant delight). Without knowing, we ended up at the very first SS location in Madison Square Park and ate outside in the perfect 60 degree weather under strands of lights hanging from trees around the park. It was truly one of those "perfect New York moments" like they talk about in Serendipity and it's one I'll never forget. No matter how busy NYFW gets between endless shows and meetings, what I always enjoy most is the time I get to spend with my girlfriends. I looked around the table that night- there were about 10 of us- and just felt so unbelievably happy and lucky to have such an amazing group of girlfriends. If any of you are reading this, I love you all!
I was supposed to attend the Angel Brinks and Jarel Zhang runway shows that night but as a post burger-induced coma would have it, Shelbi and I were ready to get back to those comfy hotel beds. I missed a total of four shows that day and I hate doing that but again, food and friends come first. Day three may just have been my favorite day in the city.
I'll be back with two more recaps soon! Happy Hump Day, friends!
photos by Ban Avenue Photography
Day two was another amazing day in the city! We woke up early to get ready for a photo shoot with Vicki Bartel Photography in Soho- the photos came out amazing and I can't wait to share! After the shoot, Shelbi had a meeting just a few blocks away and I tagged along to grab some juice with her before slipping out and exploring a little around Chinatown. I didn't buy anything (shocking!) but it was fun to take in the sights and sounds of the city for a bit. After her meeting, we met back up and headed to the Banana Republic presentation which ended up being pure madness. The presentation was open to the public so the line was forever long; after waiting 20 minutes or so we had to bail and head to Rent the Runway. I was sad to miss the Banana Presentation but just couldn't make it all happen. I got to pick out some beautiful pieces from RTR that I'll be sharing on here soon!
From there, I got an Uber and went back toward Chinatown to a meeting with my rewardStyle rep at Milk and Cream Cereal Bar. It was my first time going there and Y'ALL. It was so good! I got this huge pink cone full of vanilla ice cream mixed with Cap'n Crunch, topped with chocolate syrup and Fruity Pebbles. It was sugar overload and I ate every bite. The meeting was also a great one because I've been dying to meet my rep for over a year now and she was the sweetest & so hopeful. After eating all the ice cream, I headed back to the hotel to shower and get ready for the Lulu's party. This was an event that I was so looking forward to because it was one of my favorites from last year and it didn't disappoint! The venue was spectacular- amazing views, the prettiest florals, fun photobooths, a DJ, etc. It was a really great party! Sadly we had to leave pretty early to head to the Annual rewardStyle Rooftop Party, which was also nothing short of fabulous. I kept telling my girlfriends that I'd never seen so many pretty people in one room- it was insane and somewhat intimidating. But I also got to meet girls I've "known" forever only on Instagram which was really neat. I pretty much had to pry Shelbi away from the party because we had to head to the Philipp Plein show at 9pm.
I'm not sure where to even start with the Philipp Plein show because it was something to see, alright. It was much more than just your typical runway event- it was truly a show. I'm talking jaw dropping burlesque by Dita von Teese, live performances by Future and Nicki Minaj, and an overpacked crowd of thousands inside the famous NYC Hammerstein Ballroom. As soon as we got to our (nosebleed) seats, one of the girls in our group, Stephanie, pointed down a couple seats and said, "Is that EJ Johnson"? Our friend Dawn was sitting right next to him (I was two seats over) and she introduced herself- sure enough it was him. It was pretty cool but he definitely wasn't the only celebrity there- we were in the company of Paris and Nicky Hilton, Olivia Culpo, Bella Thorne, and more. The line outside just to get in the show was absolutely insane- even though my friends and I all had been personally invited, there was a long while there that we didn't think we were going to get in at all. Luckily we did because it was definitely a night none of us will ever forget!
After the show, it was around midnight but we were all starving so we walked down the street to a deli and grabbed some pizza. We got some funny looks from bystanders as we chowed down on our $1.50 pizza slices while decked out in our cocktail attire with faux fur and Gucci galore, but we didn't care. That stuff hit the spot and we headed back to our hotels full and sleepy. I also should mention that the weather was absolutely perfect the entire time we were in New York- in the 60's and 70's and ideal fall temps. It was definitely a tease now that I'm back to this Houston heat! New York, you were pure magic.
I'll be back soon with a full recap of day three!