Always someone that deems sophistication at any given moment, I was the girl that preferred to wear backless long dresses to revealing short ones and high waisted trousers with a silk blouse to jeans and a crop top. In my opinion, there is something very telling about a woman that chooses to cover up and leave things to the imagination versus those that choose to give it all away up front (but, then again, talk to me when I’m wearing a blazer as a dress at The Blond dancing on a table and you’ll say I’m a total hypocrite). My interest in sophistication extends beyond my wardrobe through. My parents have always said I am wise beyond my years and an old soul. I much prefer to share a meal with a close friend in a foreign city than eat chicken wings and watch a football game. I guess that’s why I moved to the most international city of all immediately after I finished high school and never looked back.
The saying, “All That Glitters Is Not Gold” is a common phrase amongst artists, writers, and musicians. It means that not everything that looks true turns out to be. Neil Young used it in his “Don’t Be Denied” song to convey his realization that even success wouldn’t make him happy. I find myself having the same conversation with people over and over again about how unhappy they are. The common thread is that they dedicate their lives to their job, they have had above average success and can fund whatever lifestyle they want, but they remain uninspired and passionless. What a sad world that they live in.
Working in industries that require work drinks and hobnobbing into late hours of the evening, it can be exhausting and you can easily slip into an rabbit hole of horrid habits. It may seem that I’m drinking when I’m out, but really my go-to drink is usually sparking water with an orange slice, a pot of fresh mint tea, or a Shirley Temple. I've always loved Shirley Temple's as a flirty, playful alternative to alcohol. Even now, I frequently order them at establishments whenever I go out with friends and I have a huge smile across my face when I finally get to devour the cherry at the end.
During the holidays, I always like to spend some personal time reflecting on my choices and decisions the past year- this extends from the new friends that I have made to those that I may have lost- and a reflection of my work, my personal relationships, and my health. I look back and reread my posts from the past year and funnel through hundreds of photos that I have posted on Instagram. Is this a brand that I am proud of? How much travel is too much travel? What should I share, what should I keep private? Should I be posting more instant-photos versus those that fit perfectly into my color grid? All these questions seem so small in a world so big, but back to having an inspiration and passion- my blog is mine. So sooner or later, these questions are valuable in the grand scheme of things. It’s difficult in a sense to have a brand where you worry about the way you are portraying your life to others and whether it seems appropriate to share. I wrote about it here in a prior post, and after a year filled with absolutely once-and-a-lifetime travel, I will say it again, “I question whether or not I like the image that my "personal brand" is conveying with being defined by outfits, design, and travel that is far-reaching for most”.
I’ve spent a lot of time this past year building an even stronger bond with my girlfriends. While we may not all live in the same city, at our core, our values couldn’t be more aligned that we talk so much that it feels like at any point in time, I can call them and they know exactly what is going on in my life. I like to ask that question to people, “How many people at any given time know what is going on in your life?”. I think it’s very hard to keep relationships going without being spread too thin, but it’s important if you want to continue having those strong relationships that will transcend time.
My girlfriends are all quite eclectic and inspiring in their own sense. These iconic women have cast off the expectations that came with their upbringings and forged their own unpredictable paths, strewn with colorful characters, intense passions, and daring choices- both through personal and work endeavors- and above all, are inspiring to me. My girlfriends are of all ages and some couldn’t have more opposite lives to myself (i.e., husband, children, private schools- things that I absolutely cannot relate to at this stage in my life), yet we relate on a deeper level that looks past all the surface level things. We are woven together through an invisible thread that bounds us to one another, and it seems like after this past year, we are bound for life. I would do absolutely anything for them.
While someone’s life may seem that they have it all, I guarantee you that everyone has struggles and things they are working on with themselves. All That Glitters Is Not Gold. The best advice that I have ever received and one that I will pass onto you is, “Always keep learning. You are your biggest commodity”.
Coco wears: Vintage beaded vest, Chloe Silk Top, Valentino Silk Pants, Prada Sandals, Chanel Wallet-on-a-Chain. Photographer: Bethany Halbreich. Location: Korea Town, New York City. City Guide: New York City