Goodbye, USA, You’ll Always Be YBD
I cannot believe that my US tour is about to come to an end. I’m pretty sure that Ted would apply for a US doggie passport if such a thing existed. We have had a wonderful time spreading the word about Young British Designers across the US and made some amazing friends along the way.
Strangely, I flew back to the US from London right as the Olympics kicked off. Work was calling in California, so Ted and I jetted off for 10 days of meetings and, of course, necessary relaxation.
California is now one of my favorite spots ever. For things to do and nightlife, it is almost as good as London! But, I didn’t quite realize that it would be amazing beginning the moment I landed!
First visiting San Diego, I quickly discovered that the city has fabulous food in addition to cutting-edge fashion. My PR friend Crosby Noricks of PR Couture (who also has a fabulous new book just out) mentioned that I should pay special attention to the ride from the airport, which indeed was gorgeous. With Crosby, I enjoyed grilled cheese made of cheddar cured in claret at Counterpoint. I also did some fabulous shopping at Buffalo Exchange in Pacific Beach.
After San Diego, I headed to LA to take in the sites, celebrity, and the eclectic food. Indeed, the culinary highlight of my trip may be the delectable churros con chocolate at Churros Caliente in Santa Monica introduced to me by Rachel Meis of Rachel Meis Communications. Rachel is one of the loveliest people ever and knows simply everyone, so proved the perfect tour guide.
Thankfully, Rachel pointed me to some fabulous places for hiking and walking, which seemed to balance out the delicious food. Ted and I discovered the beauty of hiking to Inspiration Point in Will Rogers Park, which afforded an incredible panorama of LA.
Not content to stay put in LA, I grabbed little Ted and a rental car and drove around California and the coast for a few days.
Our first stop was San Francisco. There, we had meetings with several influential West Coasters, including blogger Marie Denee, who is both gorgeous and down-to-earth.
Ted and I then set off to meet Gretchen and Britt Hackman, the women behind Nubry, in person. Only knowing them from their style advice and posts on Twitter and their website, it was fabulous to hear first hand their take on the future of fashion and what it takes to have original style.
Back in NYC, I’ve had the chance to do some quiet reflections (yes, even with Ted around) about my trip and what it means to be part of YBD.
Supporting young designers is and is not all about the fashion. All of the YBD designers, like most emerging designers, possess incredible skill and creativity. They make unbelievably beautiful clothes and accessories, as the products on our site reflect.
But, it is more than the design and craftsmanship of young designers. It is their passion and sheer dedication to their craft that is so inspiring. I am amazed at all of them and feel like I have the best job in the world!
As a PS, I also have the best bosses in the world in Deb and Julian. Seriously, what kind of boss lets you borrow her puppy as a traveling companion for weeks on end? Incredible!
Thank you USA for a wonderful trip! Ted and I can’t wait for our next adventure!
Why I’m Proud to be YBD
I am safely arrived in Seattle with Ted, who has slept pretty much since we got here. He had a hard time being so admired on the long flight from Heathrow.
On the flight over, I spent a lot of time working on various promotions we’re doing and several spotlights we’re prepping about our designers. While working, I once again found myself amazed at the tremendous talent that surrounds me.
Our staff at Young British Designers is amazing, dedicated and hugely inspiring to work with. I look forward to work every day, which is something I didn’t expect coming so soon in one of my first jobs after finishing university. All of us at YBD are committed to the same goal of our shared passion for young British design talent.
YBD designers represent the best of up and coming British design as well as the future of fashion. With each collection, our designers create a unique find because they may contain pieces that will never be sold anywhere ever again.
British fashion is, well, simply cool. It is perhaps hard to define but always British. Much like our team at YBD, really. Maybe this is why we love what we do so much. We put in long hours and often work till the words start to go fuzzy on the screen. But, we keep going because it’s all worth it.
The sheer genius and energy of our designs endlessly inspires us. They are an amazing group and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to be able to work with them.
Oh, I perhaps forgot the most important part: Ted and his good friend, Mungo. My traveling companion is the sweetest puppy ever, even if quite opinionated about, well, everything. I am very grateful to Deb for lending him to me as I tour around. This trip wouldn’t be the same without him!
Western Road Trip
Sorry to be away but the most recent leg of my US tour had me in a car with Ted visiting various sites out West. We saw Mount Rushmore, scurried through Denver to escape the fires, wound our way to Santa Fe, saw the Grand Canyon, and ended up in Vegas for the Fourth of July.
Yes, you heard right: me, in a car, with Ted, driving around in the middle of nowhere. I, of course, did my best to look as YBD as possible, even in Vegas on the Fourth of July. I decided that blending in was nigh on impossible. So, I’ve been wearing my Simeon Farrar Union Jack tee as a swim coverup. Great conversation piece and did attract interest from few cute guys, which was an extra perk.
One of the highlights of this round of my tour was attending the opening of Puccini’s Tosca at the Santa Fe Opera. Ted was hugely disappointed he couldn’t come, particularly after gaining scores of admirers on the Plaza in Santa Fe.
To the opening night, I wore a beautiful Tim Soar bias cut dress from YBD. It was a lovely evening and amazing to hear mezzo-soprano Amanda Echalaz (who sang the title role of Tosca) again, only this time in the US not London.
After Santa Fe, I donned my Lama Peach ballerinas and did my best to play tourist. No, I don’t own Birkenstocks and indeed am severely afraid of any footwear that would imply that a person likes to go camping. I confess, my main sandals are from Atalanta Weller and thus not made for desert walking. But, I survived, though my M. Hulot bag is quite dusty…
My trip ended on a spectacular note in Las Vegas, though we really didn’t have any fireworks on the Fourth of July because of the rain. I tried to blend in but some accents cannot be hidden, especially with Ted, the constant conversation starter. But, everyone I met was gracious and interesting, so I had an amazing time!
I’m back in the UK now for a spell for my Gran’s birthday (and the disappointing Wimbledon final). But, later this week I will be back on the road for a final two weeks in Seattle, Portland, and LA, then back to New York before I finally head home.
Fashion, American Style: Austin, Chicago, and St Louis
It’s been an amazing two weeks back in the States after the Jubilee festivities in England. Several states into this round of my trip, I still miss the relaxation and amazing vibe of Miami. Yet, I’ve discovered other incredible places as well!
After Miami, I packed up my Olivia Rubin Crete sundress and other faves and headed to the very hip city of Austin. My good friend Kate, who is actually Australian, has lived there for several years for work. So, I got a chance to catch up with her and check out the fabulous shops and, as it turns out, amazing local music scene. I came away from Austin with a new appreciation for indie rock and, well, a new pair of red cowboy ankle boots. For his part, Ted made friends with a pug named Eduardo and few lizards he saw while out for a walk.
With Austin behind us, Ted and I then flew to Chicago for a few days ahead of a long road trip to St Louis and other landmarks west of the Mississippi. In Chicago, I met up with my lovely blogger friend Jena (@ChiCityFashion), who knows where everything is happening in the Windy City. The severe temperatures outside meant that Ted and I had to stay inside for most of our time there, which pretty much limited us to shopping, eating, and working out. Aside from spending WAY too much money shopping in Chicago (the boutiques Ikram and Sofia in the Gold Coast neighbourhood of Chicago are both unbelievable), I loved its diverse restaurants, especially Spacca Napoli, which has amazing pizza.
The most dramatic episode thus far of the trip was Ted’s fault, though he’ll blame the seagulls. While taking him for a quick walk by Navy Pier, I nearly dropped my coveted Bionda Castana Jenna bag into Lake Michigan. Happily, the bag landed on the edge of the pier and did NOT fall into the water. Lucky dog….
After several days of dodging the heat in Chicago, I packed Ted and my overstuffed suitcase into a cabriolet (convertible for you Americans) to head on the next phase of our trip: a two-week road trip around the major landmarks west of the Mississippi.
Our first stop over the weekend was St Louis. I had heard wonderful things about the “Gateway to the West” but didn’t quite know what to expect. The kind people at Alive Magazine (@AliveMagSTL) recommended I check out the Central West End in addition to my trip up the arch and down again. Ted, on the other hand, didn’t care at ALL about shopping. He loved St Louis for the architecture. Everywhere we went, he kept staring at the Arch.
Now we are en route to Mt Rushmore, Denver and the Rocky Mountains, then Santa Fe and other sites. Stay tuned as we explore the US as fashionably as we can!
Lots of Love,
Miami: Fun in the Sun
It has been a busy two weeks for this fashion girl! While I’ve been on a mini break from blogging, I definitely haven’t been sitting around.
After a lovely visit to Washington, DC, I headed home for 6 days to enjoy the festivities for the Queen’s 60th Jubilee and also for a fitting with designer Yan To for a signature “Magic Dress.” I then traveled last Thursday for a long weekend and some meetings yesterday.
Miami is, in a word, GORGEOUS! I hardly want to leave its sunny beaches and relaxing lifestyle. I must confess I spent the entirety of my first day on the beach, occasionally chasing after Ted who kept trying to run into the surf. It is a city made for Charlotte Taylor’s stylish yet bold pieces, such as my beloved bee sundress.
There is a really fabulous fashion scene in Miami. Blogger Annie Vazquez (@anniecvazquez) kindly recommended that I check out a Pop Up Shop on Saturday evening at the District Factory as a part of Miami’s Second Saturday Art Walk. It was a really amazing crowd full of interesting people. I also loved the chance to wander through the city’s art galleries to see exactly why this city is so well known for design.
I’m heading to Austin on Wednesday for a few days then will be taking a brief Midwestern tour through Chicago and Detroit before heading to the Southwest.
Illustration by Ruby Browning
Charlotte Taylor sundress http://www.youngbritishdesigners.com/shop/products/ss12.ct.05~bee-panel-dress~by~charlotte-taylor
Issi Volcano Messenger bag http://www.youngbritishdesigners.com/shop/products/aw10.issi.0001_a~volcano-messenger-bag~by~issi