I've been trying to organize all of my feelings and thoughts about Fabb before writing this, because the whole experience was wonderful and overwhelming. I still can't believe I was accepted into the conference, and I basically walked around with a huge grin on my face the entire time. You can kind of see that in the photo above. I tried to absorb the aura of high fashion all around me, and not act like a blabbering fool. Cameras were constantly flashing, and there was so much going on. It was like being on some exotic bling island with gorgeous glamazons everywhere.
So, I'm a total Eva Chen fangirl. I mean, I knew I would probably like her...but wow. She has done such a fantastic job as editor of Lucky magazine: her emphasis on high/low fashion that is accessible for every budget, how she embraces bloggers, and just her way with people. She's really nice. Like, so nice that I think her staff must love coming to work every day. And she's so cute. Not some shark in stilettos, but a relatably beautiful woman doing big things with a dose of humility. Yeah, fangirl. Totally.
One of the bright moments during day one was the appearance by Eva Mendes. She was just so fun to listen to. Even though she's a movie star, she still shops at thrift stores and wears vintage. In fact, the belt she had on was a $3.99 thrift shop find! Her line for New York & Co. is inspired by ladylike icons of the past, like Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren. A high point for me was when Eva Chen asked her the interview question I had sent in to Lucky a couple weeks ago: "How did you discover your personal style, and have you ever had any awkward fashion moments?" Her answer was great - she basically said that she had worked with many stylists who had helped her, but that she loves form and structure with a shot of flowy femininity. She said that she had an awkward fashion moment on the red carpet, where she basically wore everything at once, but she was able to laugh it off. Very cool.
The panels on day one were filled with information: lots of info on social media, staying true to your writer's voice, and using the internet's resources to build your brand. If you'd like to see the entire Fabb schedule, go here. It's so interesting how blogging has become this unstoppable machine - well, self-publishing in general has - but it's nice to work with the traditional and print publishing industry still. There's just something about turning the glossy pages of a magazine that can't be replicated in a digital format. And I hope that is always true. Life wouldn't be the same without those chunk-a-bunk September issues.
The next morning, we met at the Conde Nast building for breakout sessions - smaller, more intimate classes in which we had the opportunity to interact with top tier bloggers, magazine industry veterans, and entrepreneurs who had discovered the formula for success. One of my favorite "How I Made It" sessions was the one with Jess Lee, co-founder of Polyvore, and Tamara Mellon, co-founder of Jimmy Choo and now a writer and entrepreneur of a new eponymous company of ready-to-wear clothing. Hearing Eva Chen and Hayley Phelan ask these powerhouse women to talk about their struggles and successes was so encouraging. Jess is a total rock star, and is so smart. She is a software engineer who had a vision to enable fashion curation so that women could plan outfits, and then buy the very items they put into those sets. I use Polyvore all the time on my blog. It's a fun and useful tool.
Tamara Mellon was so elegant and inspiring as a single mother who had faced adversity and come out the other side, successful. She's a great role-model. She also had on some fantastic leather pants, with integrated stilettos, which she designed! I can't wait to see the rest of her line. Her book, "In Her Shoes" was one of our gifts, and I am thoroughly enjoying it.
After our final session, we made our way out of the building, and received a ginormous gift bag, filled with about 40 lbs of beauty products, coupons, and even full-size handbags and clothing. It was pretty hilarious seeing me try to walk back to the hotel. I finally just hailed a riksha and paid the dude $25 to take me the rest of the way, because I was hunching like Quasimodo after 2 blocks.
The glamour and excitement made me feel like Cinderella for a couple days, but I was also glad to get home to my family. I met so many fantastic new friends - the networking was really the best part of the whole conference. Bloggers are pretty terrific people, and I am excited to cultivate these friendships online. Look for my next post to highlight some of these new friends and their blogs. They are very talented, and I can't wait to share.
As far as outfits go, it was so hard to decide! It was a little intimidating to know that I'd be in the same room with over 300 fashionable bloggers, not to mention editors and publishers. My sister let me raid her closet, and I borrowed a few items from her, but the rest of what I took to New York was my basic uniform - classic silhouettes in a neutral palette.
Sorry about the poor photo quality - our cameras were having a hard time with the ambient lighting, and this is the best we could do. (I forgot my tripod.) My dress is from Orla Kiely, and I wore it with matte black tights, ankle strap black Nine Wests, and carried my green Shoedazzle mock python bag. I got so many compliments on that bag - everyone was shocked that it wasn't designer. I'll try to feature this outfit on a post soon.
This outfit was a mix of new and old. I picked up the blazer from TJ Maxx a couple weeks ago. Winter white was all over the conference, so I felt very on-trend. The skirt is vintage from Decades Boutique. You probably recognize it from other posts if you've been following this blog for awhile. I wore it with kitten heels, and a black bow belt that came with a cocktail dress I bought a few weeks ago. The shirt underneath is just a thin cotton blouse from Marshall's. I wore a couple other outfits to some of the other events, but didn't get any pictures. Sorry guys, I just didn't want to annoy others by constantly asking them to snap my pic!
Until next time, New York. I feel lucky, indeed.
Top photo taken by Charlotte of Milk 'n Honee