NYFW, Real Talk, Recap

Fashion To Go: NYFW SS16 RECAP

Now that the dust has settled it’s time to make a little sense of the flutter of layers and slits and skin and glitter that we’ve seen over the last 8 days. I’m breaking down {what I think were} the most talked about, most insta’d, snap chatted, and downright most ooh and aahed over shows from NYFW SS16.

First up, Proenza Schouler

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Admittedly, Proenza Schouler is not usually on my radar. Of course, I’m a big fan of the their bow shoe and the iconic PS1 bag, especially when I was selling it hand over foot during my Nordstrom days, but not noted on my end is what Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough have been sending down the runway the past few seasons. Trust that this lack of attention changes now because OH THE BEAUTY. PS models were all tied up in ribbon and bows but in the coolest, most un-sweet way. A bi-chromatic color palette, aside from small interjections of deep, saturated teals and reds, along with many ruffles and bared shoulders had me thinking of Spanish flamenco dancers. We saw this look with Dolce & Gabbana last season (and always) but PS showed flamencos dancing to the tune of FKA Twigs, eating dinner at the Nomad hotel and partying at the Boom Boom Room. Enter the age of the NYC Flamenco, catch it SS16.
Next, Public School 
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We all waited with anticipation for the Public School runway show as Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne find themselves in a whole new chapter. The pressure was on as the duo not only manned their own line but also taking over at DKNY this season to lend a much needed, refreshed eye. Add in the fact that their once underground line, Public School, has exploded and is now a household name (among the style-savvy set, at least). We have all been begging the question, “Will they deliver?” In a word: YEA BABY! It’s always a treat when a collection carries an invisible sign saying TRANSLATION NOT NEEDED. So many wearable pieces! Perforated silk tops, high-slit midi dresses to go over denim with ease and oversized sweaters that will no doubt be worn over white skinnies and pencil skirts come spring. There was a bit of confusion, though, when clean-lined tennis dresses and skirts piped in bright orange made an appearance on the runway, looking noticeably different from the rest of the models doused in black and blues. A little haphazard sure, but all items shown are still very high on my spring shopping list.
And Givenchy.. 
Undoubtedly the most buzzed-about show, Ricardo Tisci’s SS16 Givenchy presentation paid kind homage to NYC’s past while simultaneously looking ahead to a very dark and sultry future, but in the best way possible. As a glowing orange sun dipped into the Hudson on the evening of September 11th, crowds waited on the highline for the show to begin. Simple silhouettes in tulle, lace, leather and beading added a dynamic aspect to the (yet again) bi-chromatic color palette. The texture took over for color, like a striking black and white photo. My favorite look was worn by Joan Smalls: a tight waisted, strapless gown volumized by massive tufts of fur (I think fur?). Wondering now which starlet will have the guts to wear it during award season.
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Most of the menswear lines presented in during the inaugural Men’s Fashion Week in July but Tisci preferred his boys and girls to fraternize together and what a lovely sight it was, like everyone was headed out to a very cool European ball. Givenchy suits are cut crisp and clean, no bags and no extra breaks – that’s my kinda suit. And nothing is sexier than a tshirt under a tuxedo blazer; also hoping famous dudes will for this look on the Red carpet. That means you, Ryan Gosling.  We simply cannot ignore that lace blouse and matching tie combo either.  I’m making a mental note to reach out to Givenchy’s PR team to see if they’ll make this for the girls. #OneLoveOneLace
Finally, Marc Jacobs
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Too many good looks from my always-favorite Marc Jacobs. My gateway drug to designer labels was the now defunct Marc by Marc line. Truly heartbroken to see the line go, but I was giddy when I saw the MBM girl hasn’t quite gone away. Jacobs designs for two girls; his namesake line, Marc Jacobs, is demure and secretly sexy. She’s covered up and walks with a secret on her lips. The Marc by Marc girl was rebellious and quirky. She is glam grunge, or maybe not glam at all. Set in the Ziegfeld theatre, models marched a red carpet runway, did a proper step and repeat and then sashayed right into that theatre full of spectators. Red white and blues smeared thoughout the color story made me think that American Grunge may be taking a victory lap. I’m crazy about the mismatched crest jacket and powder blue suit. Come spring, ring me up because I’m having it all.

That’s all for now!
More NYFW updates to come this week while we watch London fashion week unfold.

xo – Haley

Casual, Daytime Look, Real Talk, Spring/Summer, travel diaries

There’s More to Explore

As the dog days of summer truly start to become their most dogged – long hot days that drift into nights, last minute trips into Zara because you’ve worn all of your sundresses at least thrice, and the fear fact that fall and winter (!) are just around the corner, I’m beginning to reflect on the places I’ve seen since Memorial Day.


Many plane rides drew me southward while numerous other free weekends led my husband, Ryan, and I to new sights in the city. There was a weekend a failed attempt to visit the Bronz Zoo on a dime turned into a full on exploration of the Bronx and a new venture into Ecuadorean food. Another weekend we lounged on an old blanket at Rockaway Beach and watched the surf set catch wave after wave. There was also a hot Saturday in July when we attended the DETAILS magazine pool party at the McCarren Hotel and then afterwards I dragged Ryan ALLL the way to the upper east side to take in China: Through the Looking Glass at the Met.

We’ve had picnics at dusk in Central Park and an evening where we ran through a torrential downpour on the way to catch Jurassic Park at the Battery Park movie theatre. The streets were so empty I thought maybe we were living out the plot from I Am Legend and two of us were Will Smith and the dog.

My husband always laughs at me come May because my alter-ego, “Summer Haley,” comes to life. Summer Haley does more, sleeps less, and takes in absolutely everything possible. Summer Haley is my best me, for sure. When my photographer friend, Julia, suggested we shoot up in Harlem, I was so game. Welcome to the best wall mural you’ve ever seen, in all its Sesame Street, primary-colored, happy-drawing glory.





My best piece of advice for loving where you live? Experience it. Every part of it. Get outside, because there’s more to explore.

Lots of love,

Summer Haley

Key Pieces // Tank – Vince | Hat & Pants – Joe Fresh | Shoes – Sam Edelman | Clutch – Anthropologie

Real Talk, Spring/Summer

Enjoy the ride, OKAY!?

Recently, I’ve taken to recording the conversations I have with the people I interview for my #BringYourOwnCoffee series. I am a very novice interviewer, so when it comes to actually writing the interview pieces out, there’s a ton of playback and re-listening to the conversations. And a lot of hearing myself talk. When I was writing last week’s piece with Julia Hembree, I was supremely disappointed with my words. It wasn’t how they sounded. It was what I was saying. As I was talking to my subject about the quest to “figure out” life and career, all she could talk about was how open to possibility she was and set a very realistic pace for herself. Plus, she was happy. She was relaxed. I, on the other hand, sounded jaded and downright whiney about “possibilities.” YUCK. I had become one of those girls.

Suffice to say, my BIG DREAMS that I had for living in NYC have been slow to come to fruition. Honestly, I wanted to be a head stylist or an editor for an esteemed publication or some title preceding by VP by the time I was 24. And seeing as that has not happened, for very obvious reasons, I have seasons where I feel discouraged or like I’ve failed. Yep, I’m one of those: very lofty dreams + perfectionist = deep sadness/fear of failure. I’ve watched dreams come true for others with relatively little effort and thought there was something wrong with me because I’ve put SO much effort into the next step and it has yet to arrive.

After a long week of more false starts and maybe some poor decision making, serious heart to hearts with dear friends and praying through my emotions, I’m beginning to see the light. People always tell me, “Haley, slow down.” “Stop beating yourself up!” “Enjoy the ride!”

Enjoy the ride?” I think, “I’m crushing the ride! I’ll enjoy it more when I get there.”

Stupid mentality. I could have been enjoyed deeper relationships with friends, giving more to my day job or more to this blog. I could have been connecting with people, which, by the way, is the secret to getting ahead in this town. I could have been loving my husband better, rather than leaning into him for … any and all emotional support.

Talking to confidants also provided perspective. If I look at my dreams on a more macro level, I’m right on track. Here’s the short list:

  • Become a professional stylist – many people have paid me to get them dressed, both commercial companies and private clients, check
  • Move to New York – coming up on two years here, check
  • Work for a major fashion brand – coming up on two years with one, check
  • Own my own business – this happened last month, check
  • Create fresh content on a consistent basis – I’d say that’s happening here at Hihaleyannie, check

So yea, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I think I’ve watched Devil Wears Prada too many times.

I’m casting my net now. Something will swim along in due time. But I have to believe that I’m being taught how to cast my net in the proper way – without anxiety and with patience. If you’d like to truly know who you are – allllll the good and bad, please by all means, move to New York City. This place has a funny way of breaking you down and building you back up, frequently.

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Photo Cred: Julia Hembree

With a quiet heart,


#BYOC, Real Talk

#BYOC – Julia Hembree: Smart, Young Thing

Sunday afternoon in the West Village seated in overstuffed chairs at an al fresco pizza place. I’m testing out the voice recording app on my phone, making sure that my co-diner can be heard across the enormous wooden table. She leans forward:

My name is Julia Hembree. I am 22 years old, I just graduated this spring – I live in NEW YORK CITY, the Big Apple. Life’s great, Life’s grand.

Julia Hembree, a quiet mega-talented photographer who, only a few months ago, sent me a quick note asking if I needed a photographer for my blog. Having just finished discussing the fact that my images were a little weak with my then-photographer (my still-husband) literally moments before, I freaked out and sent back one of my infamous ALL CAPS replies. It read something like this: YES YES YES!


Up until this pizza date, our shoots have consisted of micro photo-sessions. Julia peers up at the sun and then back at me and starts snapping. At the end of about 30 minutes, I’m checking my watch and Julia’s saying, “No. I feel good. I’ll have these in Dropbox tonight.” and then one of both of us is off running to the next thing. Then I get home and check my Dropbox and scream with sheer joy and thankfulness that Jesus has placed this angel into my life.

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If I’m being honest, she’s really just doing me a favor. Julia is a curator of light and stories and aesthetics. Rewind to her first few months here and we are grabbing lunch at Grey Dog in Nolita. Upon her arrival to the city, this girl had initial internship opportunities with some of photography’s most esteemed and accomplished. But she passed up the chance. She tells me of these options and how amazing it would be to work (for free) under these celebrity-in-their-own-right creative minds. But then she casually mentioned, “I think I’ll have to work about 22 hours a day though.”  My eyes widen and I try my best to be as equally casual when I say in not so extreme terms YOU CANNOT DO THAT. But now, a few months later, she’s able to reflect on why passing up an insane work schedule was the right thing to do:

JH: When I first moved here, I was a little naive. I just thought I’m going to live in New York and shoot for VOGUE. But to get to shoot things like that means taking a really hard path. 

HHA: What do you mean by that?

JH: It means working a ton. [High profile] photographers are managing so many other people at one time. There’s assistants, lighting crews, makeup and hair, and producers, while you’re talking agents and pursuing new jobs. You’re constantly having to be aware of so many elements and forgetting one thing may mean ruining a whole shoot. These people are so stressed out – most high profile photographers I’ve met have been uptight and stressed out. Annie Leibovitz and Steven Meisel are not, like, chilling out on a Friday night. Their lives are very, very busy.

HHA: Do you want that life?

JH: (Very decidedly) No, I don’t. I want to stay creative and be able to support myself, but there are other elements that are important to me, like hospitality. Everyone to a certain extent has to figure out what that balance looks like for their own job and own family.


HHA: Every day, New York City asks us the question, “What’s it worth it to you?” We’ve moved here to “do” our dreams and do them in the biggest way possible. But so often it isn’t the movie that we had playing in our heads. It takes time, it takes networking. Do you feel pressure to meet people and network?

JH: I feel pressure to learn a lot more at this stage. I have a lot of skills that I need to pick up, which often means free work. So I have to find other professionals who are willing to let me borrow their equipment, learn and still do a good job for them. Assistants who aren’t experienced really have to fight. But, I find networking relaxing actually. The fashion world seems exhausting because I don’t know everything about it yet. I don’t quite know what I’m doing in that realm, so that stresses me out. 

HHA: Has your time in New York looked like you thought it would so far?

JH: I told myself it was going to be hard and planned to not even focus on photography my first year here. But then the opportunities came. I thought I would network more and I’ve networked less.

HHA: What’s your end goal for photography? Fashion or fine art?

JH: Whatever I fall into. When I’ve reached out to others in the industry, I’ve found that there’s no set answer. So many photographers in fashion are considered fine art photographers. If you devote your life to one craft, then yeah, you’ll get really good at it. But the photographer I currently assist (Daniel Castro) began as an industrial designer and only later realized that he was passionate about production and lighting and photography. And he’s been very successful.  

HHA: What do you get most excited to shoot?

IMG_0306JH: I get excited if the images turn out and they make somebody happy. I get most excited about creative expression. Finding a narrative, following a narrative, interpreting it. Creating a whole set of images that have a tone and a feeling. I’ve recently been looking into art direction and what a job like that entails.

Julia’s most proud of the We’re Making It shoot, a 5 day online art show. Each day was a different theme; she produced a shoot based off of Wildwood and ate up the producing aspect.

“I’m open,” she says. I love Julia’s career outlook because she isn’t afraid of change, she isn’t afraid of falling out of love with photography (she won’t, I bet). “Why force yourself to do something you don’t enjoy?” Fair point, Jules.

“I’m gonna keep shooting what I enjoy and see where that takes me.” And I’m willing to put money on that fact that she’ll be taken onto big things.


Cheers, Julia. And thanks for the pics.

You’ve got to see all the amazing images this girl has created. If you’d like to follow her more closely and see her work, please visit her site!

xo – Haley

Casual, Daytime Look, Real Talk, Sporty, Spring/Summer

Weekend Warrior

My week days start at 6:30 am with a 3 mile run (only if I’m really on it, 7:20am and no run, if I’m not) and they end at 12:30am with me putting the finishing touches on a blog or a tweet or a post or something that requires brain power that I usually don’t possess at that hour. I fully work full time. Day to day outfits are skirts and dresses and heels and intentional outfits – attempts to subliminally make people respect me and think “hey, she should probably style our next campaign.” But the weekend is when the magic happens.

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Weekend warrior. That’s what I am. Rather, that’s what my new summer obsession called THESE OVERALLS are. Only recently have I started experiencing this thing called “weekends” and, glory be, those two days off in a row are life changing. Saturday and Sunday lay open before me and my closet. So here I am, with two days of adventurous, city-life bliss up for grabs and this denim hero. You better believe I am wearing them TO EVERYTHING. Beach trip – over my bikini. Day at park – make it french, opt for a Breton striped shirt. Concert in Brooklyn – racer back tank and platform sandals. Fourth of July Weekend in Connecticut – still not sure, but will report back about this on Monday. I think my husband is a little over the ‘alls, but I honestly can’t stop. I feel younger and cuter, I feel patriotic, I feel gutsier, I feel this weird mix of nostalgia and the pride you get when your outfit is actually ‘on-trend.’

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I guess if I had an Independence Day wish for you, I would wish that you find what I’ve found. Whether it’s overalls, a vintage army-green jacket, or a sundress that just won’t quit, I hope you stop thinking about what you need in your wardrobe so much and just buy what makes you feel happy. Make my July 4th wish come true (please, sorry mom) – shop these pieces I’m loving and experience the Overall Attitude life change. Be the weekend warrior you’ve always dreamed you can be. And then let that bleed over to Monday.  Deal? Deal.


Hoping God blesses you, your closet & our lovely country this weekend.

Happy 4th ya’ll.

– H

Key Pieces // Overalls – Forever21  | Top – JCrew | Watch – Skagen

Fabulous images by Julia Hembree

#BYOC, Real Talk


Today is my first BRING YOUR OWN COFFEE (#BYOC) and I’m featuring a talented, graceful writer named Kelsey Miller who epitomizes gumption and self-love. She is a Senior Features Writer for Refinery29.com, a fashion and lifestyle website that makes my very short list of dream places to work. Kelsey writes a weekly column called The Anti-Diet Project that chronicles her journey of self-acceptance, intuitive eating, and rational fitness. So yea, we’re going to jump right into the deep end of the Fashion-Related Issues pool and talk about body shaming. A few months ago, while perusing the website, I stumbled across this article and, in particular, this quote:

” Just because it doesn’t feel like success doesn’t make it a failure.”

My world was rocked. As someone who has struggled with disordered eating, some severe body-shaming, and a relentless pursuit of perfection, (which, for the record, is a TOTAL racket) I felt a wave of relief wash over me. I had to talk to this lady. So I sent an email. And I got a reply. A few weeks later I was sitting in the ping-pong table-laden staff lunch area with Kelsey at Refinery29 HQ, geeking out a little, (alot) and discussing this revolutionary little idea called The Anti-Diet Project.

Hihaleyannie: This series, and more specifically your piece about shame-based language, really resonated with me. What has the response been at-large to The Anti Diet Project?

KM: When I put a post up, it always resonates with somebody. Even if it’s just a few people, then that’s really rewarding. The whole point of (this) is to put myself out there in an exposed, raw way. I try to put this through the lens of my own experience.


Kelsey Miller | Author of Big Girl, Senior Features Writer, Refinery29.com

HHA: Talking about struggles with food or your body is incredibly vulnerable; it’s one of the things I admire most about The Anti-Diet Project. When you began this journey, did you start it just for yourself?

KM: Yes, absolutely. It was two-part decision though. A – I really wanted to do this for myself, I had really hit a bottom. I also knew I couldn’t be the only one.  B – I also needed structure. That’s something that people love about diets; there’s structure and somebody to report to. Maybe it’s not the healthiest impulse, but I still felt like I needed that. I didn’t feel capable of standing on my own two feet alone. I really wanted to create a feeling of community and kinship. I’m just so thankful that people responded!

HHA: Right, because it totally could have gone the other way..

KM: I totally could have gotten, “You’re an idiot.” I get plenty of that, believe me.

HHA: Why would anyone say that to such a healthy idea?

KM: The culture is still very much in the other direction. You’re supposed to weigh a certain weight and you’re supposed to get there through a certain, specific method. They imply that if you’re not eating on a diet, you’re going to be eating junk. I was never a junk-food person.

HHA: Sometimes it’s hard to balance a hectic work schedule and a healthy lifestyle. You end up feeling like you can’t win.

KM: You can’t. I still really struggle with eating mindfully. It’s really a constant battle. Doing anything mindfully, especially while doing five other things at one time, feels almost impossible. When I’m more stressed, I definitely gravitate toward comfort food. It’s a little antithetical because I don’t restrict myself from that, but I do try and recognize what’s going on when I crave something really powerfully. Sometimes it’s PMS, but other times I could be going through a stressful period. That’s when I recognize, “Okay, something’s going on here.” It doesn’t make me bad for emotionally eating, but it’s a signal that something’s going on that needs to be addressed….The point of it is is NOT to feel like I MESSED UP. Beating yourself up is what perpetuates the cycle.

HHA: How big of a part does The Anti-Diet Project play in your life?

KM: It is my lifestyle. In the last two years, it’s been one of the biggest focuses of my life. What’s most interesting is that while I was going through this lifestyle change, I was also writing about it and then while I started writing about it, I started writing my book. It’s not always easy to balance the doing with the reflecting though. I don’t think anything is finished here. I had to change my mind about that; when you’re on a diet, you get to finish. This really is the journey.

HHA: Have you seen a change in your world upon taking on this mentality? Has this affected your friends and family?

KM: Oh yea, but everyone does their own thing, which is why I try to not be too preachy. While I think everyone should just learn to eat what’s right for their body, many people just want to try something else. I was judgmental about that for a long time because I was burned by dieting and it led me down a really dangerous path.

HHA: We are surrounded by skinny-culture in the fashion industry. Does working in an editorial (fashion) environment create a struggle for you?

KM: People here know my deal. They get it. I’m kind of the go-to person when it comes to body-positive fashion. Sometimes people come by my desk and tell me, “I wanted a burger, and I got one and I wanted to let you know.” And I think that’s awesome. R29 covers fashion in a really innovative way; I’ve really admired the way we’ve covered fashion in that we don’t just defend everything that fashion does. We talk about the ups and downs of the industry.

HHA: This last year, curves were a big deal in pop culture. It almost seems that the mentality swung the other way, like that everyone should have curves and a booty. What’s your take on this?

KM: Just another thing that we’re supposed to have, but we don’t. It just makes it harder for women! It’s a little counter corrective, but we need more average sized bodies. Skinny-shaming still isn’t okay. I don’t subscribe to the idea that there’s a “Real Woman”, like that “real woman” have this or that. I struggle with that too. Early on, I wrote about super-skinny models. But I shouldn’t have been judging them saying that so and so has an eating disorder. You can’t see health in a picture and wagging a finger like that, doesn’t help anyone.

HHA: Every time I meet someone who truly LOVES themselves, I’m totally blown away. It’s so hard to openly, genuinely love yourself. KM: And this is where the trollers and the haters come in. People don’t like to see somebody who is confident in their body and open about it. People want to see our shame and our self-deprecation. When you put yourself out there in a loving way, it’s always going to get under someone’s skin. That’s because of their own insecurities.

HHA: How do you deal with that?

KM: I’m an open door. I read everything. I went through a phase where I also responded to everything and that was my fighting instinct. But then I had to really think about the person that I want to be; I don’t want to be the kind of person who engages with that. I don’t need those messages in my mind and I don’t need to validate that. When it comes to the jerks, I try and recognize that a lot of times there’s big pain behind the mean words. It’s a goal, I don’t always achieve it. But really, that talk also gets boring. That’s compassion, you guys. And wish you could have seen the look in her eyes as she told this to me. True grace and true love of people in this girl. She takes “being mindful” to a whole new level. Thanks again, Kelsey. Keep following Kelsey & The Anti-Diet Project; be sure to pick up her book Big Girl when it drops in January. Do books drop? Not sure.

Here I am loving life whilst chatting with Ms. Kelsey Miller of Refinery29.com

Loving life whilst chatting with Ms. Kelsey Miller of Refinery29.com

I’m not sure that I’ll know what to do with this blog after this post goes live today because for as long as I’ve been building this site, I’ve been thinking and praying about writing this piece. Typically food/weight/body issues can be filed under the VANITY category, but hear me when I say that rarely are these issues stemming solely from a need to be the prettiest. Often times, self-hate and body issues deal with not feeling like ENOUGH; emotions are tightly woven into a tricky web of confidence and performance issues. If you’re truly struggling with a problem, reach out to a friend or click here for more direction and guidance.


– H

All photos courtesy of Kelsey Miller, taken by Harry Tanielyan.

Real Talk

Let’s Begin

W E L C O M E to my new Z O N E.

You came! You made it! I made it. It’s been a little bit of a journey to get here and I have that weird feeling of tentative success that one might feel when hanging the first picture up in an otherwise empty apartment wall. This could look terrible or amazing, but it’s honestly too soon to tell.

I decided that it was time to launch a new space for myself largely for selfish reasons. I want a space that reflects me and hopefully acts as a little emotional vehicle for me to ride around in while this weird, weird time called my mid-twenties is happening. This is my house, my space; we are gonna get honest and thoughtful and hilarious up here.

For me, writing (and blogging) has been such a satisfying way to navigate life, share what clothing and trends I’m completely in love with (or scared of – that means you, crop tops!) and enlighten others about the wide world of fashion. This industry has a way of transforming lives and totally shaping the way a person views the world. If you’re in the industry – you either fully accept this (moi) or are totally oblivious to this bubble in which you reside. If you’re NOT in the industry, you  most likely think we’re all crazy to consider investing a small fortune on bags/shoes/denim and simultaneously have no idea what we do on a daily basis.*

*This part is dedicated to my mom. I know she has no idea what I do for a job.

I won’t be alone in this enlightenment process either. THIS IS WHAT I AM MOST EXCITED ABOUT. Each month, I’ll be grabbing coffee with a comrade in the fashion or entertainment industry to learn more about what their little slice of pop culture contribution looks like. I can not give you internet coffee, but I will definitely be reporting on the conversations had at said coffee meetings. Wait til next week – you’re going to LOVE my first guest interview, seriously, it’s gonna be good. smp (111 of 121)

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#BYOC (Bring Your Own Coffee)

So that’s the rundown. New space. New outfits. New chats. All this and more peppered in with tales of the city and how I constantly manage to inappropriately over or under think normal situations.

Really, really excited you’re here. Cheers.


Key Pieces // Top + Bottom – Fashion Pills | Shoes: The Kooples | Jewelry: Anthropologie, JCrew X BaubleBar

All photos taken by the amazing Julia Hembree.

Daytime Look, Real Talk, Spring/Summer

My Own Beat

Navigation in this city can be tricky. Do you know that I’ve actually used my compass app on my phone to get around? MY COMPASS. I have pulled a freaking Lewis and Clark and navigated myself using the moon’s gravitational pull. So many times I’ve thought I was headed South when I was actually headed North, only to find myself lost, stuck in the middle of traffic with only my music and a ridiculously sad sense of direction. The wide-eyed “what’s happening now” scenario constantly bleeds over into my personal and professional journey as well. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought I was walking into “my moment” only to find out I stumbled into a dead end or more commonly, a detour.

Of course, missteps and misnavigations shouldn’t be cast in such a poor light because, really,  those are the teaching moments. How glorious it is when I find myself lost somewhere in Manhattan and can realize that I have, in fact, been in this spot before.  Those are the moments I relish because I can stick my head up, pulled the earbud out of my ear, scan for a cross street and walk confidently in the right direction. Sometimes I arrive late to my destination, other times I make it right on time. Rarely am I early because sadly, I’m just not an early-arriver to anything. My best friend makes up for that for the two of us.

What I’m getting at is that you have to figure it out for yourself, which -EUREKA!- I guess is what being in your 20s is about. I’m sorting out my personal style (downtown chic, if that’s a thing) and finding out what it is exactly that I want to do with my life and my time here in this crazy-wonderful, butt-kicking city.  I’m getting there ya’ll. This kid is getting there. I’m finding my own beat and it’s honestly so sweet.*








Weather’s warming up y’all. I’m ready to ditch this vest and soak in the sun. All photos by the amazing Julia Hembree.

Until Next Time,

Haley Hoover, SMP Stylist

Wearing: Vest – Intermix (old, spring version here) | Jacket – Banana Republic (old, similar) | Shirt – Billy Reid | Denim – Paige | Shoes – Nine West (old, similar) | Bag – Zina Eva | Headphones – Beats by Dre | Rings – Topshop | Sunnies – Borrowed (similar)

Fall/Winter, NYFW, Real Talk

Why You Should Care About Fashion Week

Photo Cred: imdb.com

Sound the bell and close the FW15 books, for as the sun set in Paris on Friday, fashion month finally came to a close. Air France air jets destined for LGA and LAX are loaded up with lucky exhausted fashion market editors who  just underwent an immense intake of fabric and aesthetics – not to mention loads of pop culture (thanks Kimye).
And you must be thinking – what does this have to do with me? If you’re not fashion obsessed and choose to NOT spend your time trolling Pinterest for Street Syle pin-speration or style.com to try to figure of out what number look you loved most at the Chloe show, you must be wondering what all the fuss is about.

There’s this marvelous scene in the movie The Devil Wears Prada where Miranda Priestly, a powerful fashion Editor, tells her plebeian executive assistant, Andy Sachs, who could not care less about the editorial world that she’s stumbled into, exactly why fashion has to do with her.  “You’re in fact wearing a sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room.”

She really wasn’t exaggerating.

Fashion Week gives us all a sneak peek of what we’ll be wearing this coming fall or, in some of our more midwestern or southern regions, in two falls. No matter if you pre-order runway looks via Moda Operandi or dash to Ann Taylor LOFT and H&M when you have a free 45 minutes, you better believe all looks will be replicated. I like to take NYFW to study and plan ahead for what my wardrobe will require in six months. I get it, this is not everyone’s life and may sound completely absurd. But put yourself in my shoes – living in a Fashion Hub and working in the industry requires a certain reflection of knowledge and current events, like any other profession would require. Kind of like in Devil Wear’s Prada when Andy doesn’t start to find favor in the workplace until she showed that she “cared” about what was happening around her. It doesn’t matter if you paid $500 or $15 for that cute little top, some version of it was worn by a model at some point during fashion month.


Photo Cred: Marieclaire.co.uk


Photo Cred: Vogue.com

An avid fashion follower would also note that Fashion Month tends to reflect the general mood of culture. More recently, the fashion world in general has been trying to reroute priorities and focus on real topics. Karl Lagerfeld sent a woman’s revolution down Chanel’s Spring 2015 runway and a week ago, Dolce & Gabbana celebrated mothers and the impact a tender relationship can have on all of us. A few years ago, things were all dark and broody and now it seems that a shot of optimism has been infused into this realm of “pretty things.” Beauty (and yes, slowly but surely, even size) is celebrated here. Who said the fashion industry was out of touch?

And at the end of the day, Fashion Month celebrates individualism and the spirit of outwardly expressing yourself. We didn’t see the same looks at Oscar De La Renta as we did at Alexander Wang, but why would anyone expect or want that? The fact that so many people are wanting to create something transcending or elegant or striking is staggering, but the fact that this desire manifests itself in SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS is inspiring.


Photo Cred: Vogue.com

All this aside, don’t we care about those amazing street style shots the most anyway? Fashion Month is the time to ditch your go-to/un-inspired looks and find the ensemble that makes you feel your coolest and boldest. So don’t worry about policing Instagram or Refinery29 or WWD like your life depends on it – that’s why the girls at Style Me Perfect are here! We’ll break it down for you and tell you exactly what you need to know. Just please know that Fashion Week is an actual thing with impact, and yes, it does apply to you.

Ready to shop? Give me a shout if so!


Haley Hoover, SMP Stylist

Daytime Look, Fall/Winter, NYFW, Real Talk

This Time Last Year – A NYFW Story

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is has come and gone once again and New York City is a-buzz and a-twitter (really) with the constant sightings of supermodels and super ensembles. It’s amazing feeling to sit in the crowd at a show at Lincoln Center, watch the lights fade and glow and see the tallest, slinkiest 19 year old pounce down the runway in a sheer jumpsuit or floor-length knit sweater dress or fitted off the shoulder cocktail dress. This is inspiration in real life, this is months of work and planning and coordinating and sourcing.

I wish we could all present a summation of the current state of our lives every six months – wouldn’t it look terrifying and amazing? Now that I’ve lived in New York for over a year, I like to measure things by “this time last year” scenarios. The swiftness of change in this city is amazing. This time last year, I was wandering Lincoln Center with my husband trying to figure out a way to get inside the wondrous “tents.” It was freezing – I wore my black pea coat and a green cotton scarf as a turban. I think it was snowing.

Flashforward 6 months and I’m back at the tents, Fashion Week passes in hand, marching proudly into Lincoln Center but feeling bewildered as soon as my feet pass the threshold.

Flashforward 6 months later and we’re here again, for the final fashion week in Lincoln Center. Instead of standby for every show, I have a handful of invites (standing tickets, but sometimes I get to sit if not enough people show up) and know the difference between the Salon and the Pavilion (the Pavilion is better, the Salon runway lights make the models look like ghosts).

I know it’s not the blogger way to be enamored with life or talk about how things are maybe a little different than what instagram portrays, but really, this gradual climb is so rewarding everytime a new milestone comes along. I can’t wait for these FW15 collections to hit stores in August and I can’t wait to see where we are this time next year.

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That’s enough outdoor time for me. Stay warm, America.

– Haley

Wearing: Top – Kate Spade Saturday, Skirt – Kate Spade Saturday, Trench – Club Monaco, Tights – Nordstrom, Shoes – Vera Wang, Bag – Longchamp

All photography credits – Julia Hembree Photography