Incorporating family heirlooms into your look

“I am my ancestors’ wildest dreams”


Influence

If you follow me on social media, you may know that my grandmother passed away back in December of 2018 a couple of days before Christmas. Naturally, I was heartbroken. So much of the woman I am today is due to the immense influence she had on my life. She was a nurse and I became a nurse. She was the original world traveler and taught me the value of collecting passport stamps. As a toddler, she taught me the value of education, which inspired me to excel academically throughout grade school and enter a Top 20 University for college. Last but not least, my grandmother was the original fierce, fabulous fashionista! She was unapologetically “ON” at all times. Yes, she was the type to rock pearls and furs to the grocery store. LOL Furs were her best friend and she prided herself on her collection of fur coats, hats, and stoles. Needless to say, I’ve got it honestly. I get all of my bad and bougie traits from her. Grandma Ruby taught me well! 🙂

Keeping the legacy alive

The day before she passed away I decided to do a photoshoot with a vintage Saks 5thAvenue fur stole she passed down to me in 2015. I kept this prized heirloom tucked away safely in my closet for special occasions only. However, this day I decided to incorporate the heirloom and create a fabulous look with it—one that would honor her legacy and show her influence on my life and style.

An unforgettable moment

Shooting this look, I literally embodied her essence. It was surreal! As I stroked the fur of the stole, I felt her presence right there with me. It was as if she was reassuring me that she would always be there. I always knew she was proud of me, but I genuinely felt it in that moment. It was a moment that I would never forget.

Making her proud

Grandma Ruby tried to keep up with my blog as much as she could, but unfortunately she never got a chance to see the photos from this shoot.  She passed away the very next morning. Her legacy most definitely lives on in and through me! You are looking at “Lil’ Ruby” (as she would call me sometimes). I am proud to honor the original Mrs. Cockrell. 

In Loving Memory of my grandmother Ruby C. Cockrell
(my favorite photo of her circa late 1980s)

Other ways to incorporate heirlooms into your look

Her heirloom means even more to me than ever before. If you have something that belonged to your loved one, don’t just sit it in your closet, incorporate it into your daily look! I also have a scarf from my great-grandmother that passed away that I use as a neck-tie. If you have a broach or pin from a loved one, you can pin on your blazer or on a beret. Every time you see that piece it will remind you of their love and support and wearing these heirlooms helps you to create a style all your own.

Style details

Not only is this look in honor of my grandmother’s legacy, but its the perfect look for a fancy night out on the town. Valentine’s Day is approaching and you don’t have to break the bank to look like a million bucks. Trust me! I found this top at a local Houston thrift store for less than $10 (amazing, right?!), the skirt was $10.50 from American Apparel, and the YSL pumps were less than $300 from a second-hand store (another great deal!). Remember, it’s not how much you spend that makes your look. It is how you put it together!

How do you plan to incorporate your family heirlooms in your next look? Or rather, what is another way you can honor the legacy of your loved ones? Comment below so I can hear from you!

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How I Conquered New York Fashion Week in 2 Days

“I’m living my best life…”

Indulging Life

My latest living spree was my very first New York Fashion Week experience. I was only in NYC for a weekend getaway so naturally, I crammed a ton of things into 2 days! But, that’s what a living spree is all about—indulging life no matter what. For over 6 years, participating in NYFW was a bucket list dream of mine.  However, I always came up with an excuse not to attend—I’m not qualified to be there; I have to work; I am not prepared, etc. This year, I refused to get in my own way again and I finally took that leap of faith! This blog will cover some specifics of the fashion, but I would like to focus more on the experience I had in hopes of inspiring you to take a leap and do something you’ve always wanted to do as well. You never know the outcome unless you try!

Top: SHIFT StyleHouse | Skirt: Marshall’s (old $7) | Booties: Steve Madden “Wagner” | Handbag: Kisa Kisa

Fueling My Creativity

NYC is pure magic and is always a source of inspiration and entertainment for me. Although I’m from the South, I’ve always loved the hustle and bustle of the city. Maybe it’s the tall skyscrapers and city scape that make me feel fearless or maybe it’s the creativity that I see simply by people watching. Whatever it is, it’s like a breath of fresh air. I wanted to enjoy the city and some of the entertainment and sights on the first day in order to maximize my time and also my experience. I dedicated day 1 of my living spree to exploring the city.

Rose Mansion was the first stop on the agenda for Saturday. Rose Mansion is a traveling museum dedicated to the history and making of rosé. It’s also every blogger’s dream because it’s filled with tons of boomerang and photo ops—a “content” castle if you will! While walking through the rooms of the museum, we sampled 10 different rosé from all over the world while learning the history of this classic beverage. Although Rose Mansion had nothing to do with fashion week, it was an awesome way to get my “creative juices flowing” (pun intended lol)!

(Enjoying Rose Mansion with Friends Shyla and Danielle!)

(Final sample of the day: Sway Rose’ from Texas)

Next stop was Dumbo Brooklyn to experience the infamous Washington Street—everyone’s favorite street for a photo op. This location is popular because of its corridor-like view of the Manhattan Bridge. As you walk closer to the bridge to the end of the street, there is a spectacular view of the East River. I’m always searching for a breathtaking view when I travel and this spot definitely lived up to the hype!

Top: Thrifted | Pants: ModChic Couture | Metallic Pumps: Zara | Tassle Earrings: Ch0ked

Essence Street Style

After exploring the city on Saturday and catching up with friends, I finally got to the nitty gritty of my NY fashion weekend experience on Sunday. First stop—Essence Street Style. “Street Style” began as a section of Essence magazine and has since evolved into a block party and staple of NYFW.  Hundreds gather in fabulous “street style” fashion to celebrate black culture, community and style. When you look around, everyone was dressed to the nines and photoshoot ready. I was beaming from ear to ear and taking notes at the same time ☺

Top: Thrifted shirt tied into bandeau | Pants: House of Chic L.A. | Wedges: LolaShoetique

There were numerous black-owned vendors at the block party, so I did what I do best—shop!  My first purchase of the day was a stunning gold choker. I had been looking for a statement a piece just like it, so you can imagine how excited I was to finally find it! I also had a chance to see the new Lebron James limited edition women’s sneaker, which is the result of a collaboration spearheaded by incredible black women designers and a partnership between Nike and Harlem’s Fashion Row (“HFR”), a movement founded to increase diversity in fashion. It was great to see the shoes in person and also to learn about their ground-breaking significance, especially given that the shoes sold out in little over 5 minutes after they launched earlier that week.

(Ran into Houston Beauty Guru and Founder of Lamik Cosmetics, Kim Roxie)

(Lebron James Women’s Sneaker)

My First Fashion Show

After spending less than 30 minutes at Essence Street Style Festival, I hopped in a Lyft and rode from Brooklyn back to Manhattan to attend my first fashion show. I was beyond excited! Not only was this the first real fashion show I had ever attended, but it was definitely my first time attending as press and receiving a media pass! Back in May, I attended an event in Houston titled “A Girl’s Guide to NYFW” in collaboration with handbag designer Elizabeth (“Beth”) Purpich. At the end of the event, Beth announced that she would be showcasing her designs at NYFW and passed out invitations to all attendees at the event! I was so excited and at that moment, I made the decision that I would attend my very first fashion show since the opportunity presented itself. I kept in contact with Beth via email and she offered me a VIP/Press pass and an opportunity to interview her prior to the show. I was honored and elated!

(Pictured with designers Elizabeth Purpich and Veronica Purpich)

During the Cesar x Beth Fashion Show, Beth showcased her handbags in collaboration with the clothing designs of Cesar Galindo. I was so honored to attend and support designers who are both from Houston. The show boasted a colorful mix of zebra prints, sequins, and florals all with an “Afro punk” vibe. I LOVED almost everything the designers sent down the runway and would definitely wear some of the outfits personally. I think most of us millennials are looking toward Africa for fashion inspiration and creativity, so the designs felt timely and on point.

The Interview with designer, Elizabeth Purpich

The highlight of the night was my interview with Beth and her sister-in-law Veronica. This was so special to me not only because it was my first interview experience, but also because I learned that Beth is on a living spree herself! During the interview, Beth noted that she is a self-taught designer, whose vision for creating handbags came to her in a dream. She brought that vision to life in the form of the now popular “Longhorn” handbag. This was the catalyst to her starting a one-of-a-kind designer handbag line. Prior to releasing her first line, she had no prior experience in fashion or design.  She simply followed her dream and the rest is history. Five years later, the Elizabeth Purpich collection is not only a successful handbag collection in Texas, but all over the country. Beth’s living spree is pursuing her dream through embracing her creativity and embarking on a journey that has unlocked her true potential! Watch a clip from the interview below:

(Beth was excited to receive her “My Living Spree” tee!)

(Pictured above with designer Cesar Galindo)

The Magic of Time Square

After the fashion show, I literally stumbled into Times Square! My face lit up like a kid in a candy store. Walking up and down the blocks on Broadway, seeing all of the lights and billboard signs was literally a dream come true. I had forgotten the magic of Times Square. It was in that moment that I stopped for a photo op (as always lol) and made the promise to myself that I would be back. I promised myself to never diminish my potential and to always believe in myself. I vowed to operate as if I belong in any and every situation and to always seize every opportunity that comes my way.

Two Day Takeaway

I definitely wish I could have stayed longer than 2 days because there was so much more to see and do. Experiencing NYFW in two days was nearly impossible, but it worked for me in my own way. I was grateful for the experience I had, the inspiration I gained from being in the city, and the connections I made at the shows. I learned that it’s all about setting intentions and putting yourself out there. Never allow fear to keep you from doing something because you never know what good things can come out of it.  Next year, I plan to do NYFW again, but bigger and better than ever!

 

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