Stepping into 2017, I never thought that this would year that I finally made it to New York during fashion week. My last visit to the Big Apple was more than seven years ago during a transit to the suburbs.
As I cultivated an escape plan from Alaska for a few weeks to South Jersey, it dawned on me that New York was within my reach. Being adventurous, I figured why not? Why not take this shy Alaskan girl to the overcrowded Manhattan.
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One thing was missing though! New York Fashion Week (NYFW) meant that I needed an outfit that would stand out. I sifted through my closet for the “perfect” outfit but nothing seemed to cut it. I reached out to Valerie of With Flare Designs at the very last minute.
Worried that I’d be out of options, I tossed a few African print attires in my luggage. Val and I hashed out the details and she went to work. All I knew was that she would be making an exceptional patchwork beauty that was guaranteed to be a showstopper.
I’ve always known that With Flare Designs crafts spectacular pieces. But nothing prepared me for what I got! You know, With Flare is the mastermind behind some of my favorite African print pieces like this reversible ankara patchwork dress and this ravishing high-low skirt with patchwork details.
With my understanding of the intricacies of patchwork I was not sure that Valerie could outdo herself one more time.
I held my breath, heart racing as I opened the Express Mailbox containing my NYFW 2017 outfit. My hands were shaking as I unfolded the nicely-packaged jumpsuit. I was in awe! Like how could someone literally cook up this style, cut and sew it to perfection in a few days?! Valerie did and I was not about to let her down.
Indeed, I was ready for my 1-day visit to Manhattan for New York Fashion Week. The aura, the people, and the vibes made my feet tremble as I maneuvered my way, feigning confidence, through the streets.
I wore this outfit for my first photoshoot before making my way to Clarkson Skylight Sq., where professional photographers and press laid in wait for celebrities, designers, and influencers.
As I stepped out of the car, I realized I had no sense of direction. So I unlocked my phone scrambling to call my friend as I waited to cross the streets. As I spoke to her, I was inundated with five or so photographers. I’m pretty sure I looked visibly scared.
The rest of of my time in that area seems like a blur. I remember holding my breath and my cape hoping I don’t trip as I tried to pose in front of the cameras. I believe a photographer kindly hinted to me to get off my phone.
It felt surreal. I could feel the air go in and out of my lungs as I struggled to strike a pose. I eventually made my way across the street to meet up with Hollie. Chatted with her for a few then figured it was time to prepare for my next shoot and an event that I had to attend later that evening.
As I wait at the light to cross again, a few more photographers came my way. This time, I felt a little more confident. I had to do Valerie justice! By the time I got to the car, I felt a sense of relief. Special thanks to With Flare Designs for coming through with my stunning ankara patchwork jumpsuit. Here’s to more New York Fashion Week experiences!
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I am wearing:
Black classic pumps (similar)
Amrita Singh Reversible Bib Necklace
With Flare Rainbow Patchwork Jumpsuit
Fitbit ‘Blaze’ Smart Fitness Watch (Special Edition)
Photos by Lauren Bloom Photography