All in Lifestyle

German Castles & The Soul of Story

Fairytales. How we love to dream about these idealistic worlds where glass slippers fit and straw can be spun into gold. According to anthropologist Joseph Campbell's monomyth, "The Hero's Journey," virtually every story is made up of fairytale ingredients — a call to adventure, a wizard mentor, a hero prince, a daunting dragon.  

 

Day Twenty-One: Latvia Lovin'

 

Liepāja, Latvia — I got another stamp on my passport last night! I have also been properly introduced to eating pickled herring for breakfast. 

My mother's oldest brother, Dan, and his family have been settled in the Baltic country of Latvia for nearly 20 years now,running a summer camp and sheep farm in Ergli.

Dan's oldest kids, Jonathan, 15, and Anna, 13, go to school in Bath, England, and invited me to come home with them for the week as schools and some businesses take their May bank holiday. I had time off from my internship and it was only a 2.5 hour flight from London to Riga, so I thought I might as well! 

 

Day Four: Old School Couture and Fried Plantains

oday, 10 a.m., London — After a ten-month hiatus, I was finally able to sit down in a proper sewing studio with my beloved Juki’s long lost British cousin. I bathed in the silky glow that the ivory in-work wedding gown left on my hungry fingers and delighted in every tiny stitch. 

My new friends, Appa, Nyleeta, and Tina and I took turns sharing our Harrods research with Lucy Tammam (our boss), with wide eyes and enthusiastic hand motions. 

But the excitement did not stop there.

 

Facing Giants and Jigsaw Love Letters

When I was a little girl, my grandfather sent me a letter all the way from Arizona.

When I tore open the white envelope, a sea of tiny jigsaw pieces and giggles spilled over my kitchen counter. Instead of a letter on notebook paper or stationary, Grandpa had sent me a puzzle with a note on it! 

 

Swinging Cityscape

Vintage Dresses, Swing Dancing, and Homemade Ice Cream. What could be better??

“Would you mind zipping me up?” 

Only a fashion designer can say that some of their greatest friendships begin in a dressing room. 

Delaney, however, wasn't a model about to walk the runway, or a bride being fitted for her gown. Delaney is a Biology major at Columbia University. 

 

Activia Training Scholarship -- Fitting into Boxes and Telling Stories

The ribbon of my seventeen years has unraveled from its spool at a hundred miles per hour, spilling over the edges of different boxes.

There’s the Farm Girl Box of green woven fields, sweet horse kisses, and starlit nights in the tractor. There’s the Student Box strung with stubby lead pencils, science fair ribbons, and graduation honors cords. Lastly, there’s the Fashion Designer Box of newspaper clippings, VIP lanyards, and beads sewn until my fingers bled. The colors, textures, and memories from each box vary, but together they tell a story.

 

14 Reasons Fashion Shows and Dog Shows are Pretty Much the Same Thing

From Fashion Week to Westminster Dog Show, last week was certainly excitement-packed. The marked similarities between the shows is something that still makes me laugh. From munching Filet Mingon with celebrities like Lindsay Lohan at Nicole Miller’s after-party to finding a photo of Miranda in the dress we created overnight in the New York Times, it was surreal as well. Sometimes I pinch myself to see if it’s all a dream, but in reality, all I can do is say thanks to the Man Upstairs who keeps dragging me along on these crazy adventures.

And what a sense of humor must He have!

Nicole Miller: New York Fashion Week 2017

SoHo, New York -- "What are all these people doing standing around in the snow?"

My cab driver, Ahmed, swivels his wrist in disgust at the sharply dressed men and women that slog across the street. A green Gucci bag collects a thin layer of frost, and an Armani coat is pulled tight around the wearer. 

"It's Fashion Week," I say, raising my hands to the small heater. "There's nothing practical about Fashion week."

Practical. Practical like five pairs of size-nine Doc Martin boots in the seat next to me. 

With one final disgruntled flip of the wrist, Ahmed replies, "Crazy fools."

Miles & Hyde: Time Travel and Mustard Messes

On the fourth day of my friend, Lizzie Hyde’s, visit to New York, she and I did a lot of walking through wardrobes just like that. 

We’d packed our bags with necessary time-travel items and boarded the subway at nine, sharp. We had books for the subway ride, emergency snacks (eaten at 9:08 a.m.), and a 64-pack of crayons.

We climbed through the wardrobe, past aisles of cotton candy, through swarms of seagulls, into the saturated Coney glow. 

The Cyclone was closed, so we swept crumbs from our hotdog rappers and put our crayons to work decorating around smudges of mustard. 

Miles & Hyde: The Murder of Bonnie and Clyde

Another round of New York City adventures with two Oregon farm girls.

Chinatown, N.Y. — Pagoda roofs sit like ballgowns atop the heads of jenga-stacked businesses, and neon signs splash characters and symbols across their sprawling skirts. Red and gold awnings, umbrella tables knolled with green Opo Squash, King Crabs, and vibrantly packaged sweets abound. 

Moments earlier, my friend Lizzie and I were passing a glossy skyscraper that stands like a compass needle in the heart of the financial district. In a matter of a left turn, we find ourselves immersed into another world entirely. The briefcase-toting businessmen on the previous block are replaced by storied grandfathers bent over their tables of goods. 

 

 

Miles & Hyde: The Hot Chocolate High

Chandeliers toss prisms of soft blue and gold about the cocoa-infused room. A red leather chair rests on the warm wooden floor below me, and the murmurs of other guests rise and fall with Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud.”  Rows of buttery fresh-made pastries wave from a glass case.  

A black-clad waiter sets a tray with six tea cups onto the marble table. Four contain varying shades of thick chocolate, and the other two sit below mountains of whipped cream garnished with nutmeg. 

My friends, Lizzie from Oregon, and Fahanny from Ecuador, my mother, Rebecca, and I reach for our orders of hot chocolate, eager to hold the floral cups in our hands after a full afternoon in New York’s January snowfall.