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Hi, nice to meet you.
I'm Hallie, a Midwest native, New York City transplant and the mind behind corals + cognacs. If you're looking for an online destination for stylish inspiration and musings on Manhattan living, you've come to the right place.
I hope you enjoy reading corals + cognacs as much as I enjoy writing it.
FAQ //LOCATION: New York, New York •BY WAY OF: The Midwest (Cleveland/Chicago) •HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? Attainable, trendy and fun. I’m constantly wearing unexpected pairings – like statement pumps and a graphic tee. •FAVORITE ITEM IN YOUR CLOSET? The vintage Gucci clutch I thrifted for $40. •ANY OBSESSIONS? I like my coffee black, my heels high and my martinis dirty. •GUILTY PLEASURES? Complex carbohydrates and shoe shopping -- both in excess. (And SoulCycle, as a result.)
ARE YOU A FULL-TIME BLOGGER? No, I work as a Development Manager and Contributing Editor at Glam.com. •WHY DID YOU START YOUR BLOG? I've spent nearly seven years on the corporate grind, where sartorial humor and an expertly crafted color-block can get lost in the boardroom. As a result, I decided to create a blog -- a space where I’d hoped my writing, styling and excessive shoe collection would be better comprehended. •WHAT’S IT ABOUT? Living stylish and spontaneously in New York City – and beyond. I aim to inspire others to have fun with fashion and to live lightheartedly •HOW’D YOU THINK OF THE NAME? To be honest, the name just came to me. I’m a big color-blocker and a sucker for alliteration in writing. It just fit. •WHAT’S THE CORRECT WAY TO WRITE IT? corals + cognacs.
HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE IT? corals and cone-yaks. •WHAT KIND OF CAMERA DO YOU USE? A Canon T3i with a 50mm f/1.4 lens. •DON’T YOU FEEL WEIRD TAKING PHOTOS OF YOURSELF? Absolutely. Everyone looks at me like I’m insane – especially when it’s cold. Wouldn’t you? •DO YOU WORK WITH ADVERTISERS/SPONSORS? Yep! Shoot me an e-mail and let’s talk. •HOW ELSE CAN WE KEEP IN TOUCH? On Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Oh yes, leaving the Charlotte Ronson after-party — and we’d just committed to having a NIGHT. Was that the best decision? Probably not? Was it a great one nonetheless? Definitely.
12:10 a.m. Outside of Avenue in New York’s clubby Meatpacking district, Jess and I cab across town to meet Ashley at our favorite local east-side bar. It’s never a bad thing when you know the bartender, is it? (Until the next morning, that is…)
1:30 a.m. We spend the next few hours bar-hopping and boy dodging — was EVERY creep in New York City out tonight? Eventually, we spill into Los Feliz, a tequileria located in the heart of the Lower East Side known for great music and bad decisions.
3:20 a.m. Vodka sodas, lots of dancing. Rinse and repeat.
3:55 a.m. Booooo… The decision to go home wasn’t chosen, it chose us. Because this bar is closing. And they’re kicking us out.
4:05 a.m. Ash (I think) propositions finding late-night pizza, but I responsibly (LOL) make the decision to put myself in a cab and head home. Such a grown-up.
4:15 a.m. I’m home now. Hello there, my faaavorite doorman… Hi! Don’t judge me tonight. I know you’ve seen way worse than me walking with my heels in-hand down this hallway to that elevator… Which seems oddly far away, no? Doesn’t it? Anyway… Yes, I’ll see you in a few hours. Good night and good morning.
New York Fashion Week | DayThree| Spring 2015
9:00 a.m. My alarm sounds. What!? Where am I? Nope. Today is cancelled. If I am to be a remotely functioning human being today, this can’t happen.
10:30 a.m. My back-up alarm sounds. Okay, this is slightly more manageable. I’m up and can barely muster washing my face, let alone shower standing up. Oscar Blandi dry shampoo to the rescue!
10:35 a.m. All of the coffee, Advil and B-12 vitamins. Another 10 minutes in bed and I’ll be good as new.
10:50 a.m. That 10 minutes turned into 25, but I’m up and rummaging through my closet. This September season really snuck up on me, as I was busy with other things — things like juicing, working out at the crack of dawn and steaming each of my pre-planned outfits. (Haha, sike. I was actually busy drinking the Hamptons dry of rosé, doing some blog housekeeping and spending lazy days along the New York waterfront.) But seriously, how do I have NO clothes?
11:00 a.m. Another alarm on my phone sounds, but this one isn’t for snoozing — it’s alerting me that I’m really really late to my first show of the day today. Shit. Guess we’ve gotta chalk this one up.
11:20 a.m. Finally, I decide on a black-and-white ensemble (a similar mindset to what I wore on Day One). Today, it’s a faux leather skirt and cropped white sweater. And thankfully, this felt-brim hat I grabbed on my way out the door is on-trend for fall. Plus it’ll hide my bed head.
11:26 a.m. I step into the elevator and gaze down at my wrist – oh dear. Here’s hoping that last night’s bar stamps are today’s arm party accessories.
11:28 a.m. Hm… I should have looked at the forecast. I’m already sweating, but there’s no way I’ll make my “next” show if I head back upstairs and attempt to change. Also, hangry isn’t a good look on this girl. Decision, made: Need. Sustenance. Now.
11:32 a.m. The closest, most convenient option is Starbucks, so Starbucks it is. Large coffee and an egg sammy, please. Maybe two. RUSH ORDER!
11:35 a.m. Ah, yes. There she is. I’m leaning up against the wall waiting for my order when I see her: My weird ass neighbor.
A quick anecdote, as this is unrelated to Fashion Week but it speaks to New York City’s quirky character: Every morning that I’m in my local Starbucks, I see a women from my building in there. With her damn cat. Literally, her cat. In a stroller. With a leash on it. Someday I’ll ask why, but for now…
11:37 a.m. The Barista calls my fake Starbucks name (“Gary”). I sneeze, grab my coffee and duck out the door, making a mental note to work on my early morning Bitch-at-Rest face.
11:35 a.m. Jessica swoops me in an Uber and we’re crossing town to head to Prabal Gurung. It seems we’re both in the same boat — make-up bags in lap, putting on our faces. A little tinted moisturizer and a lotta mascara is as good as it gets on this end.
11:48 a.m. We pull up to the venue, which is actually the US Post Office in Midtown. And it’s lunch hour. OMG! I will for sure have a heart attack here. Wait, what day is it? Oh, Saturday.
11:52 a.m. Man, it’s really freakin’ hot out today. And, oh — there’s some girl legitimately wearing what appears to be asbestos. It’s a cute sweater and all, but yeah… You’re wearing asbestos.
11:55 a.m. Once inside, the building is a bit of a maze, but we weave deep inside to a purple-lit room with no windows (and thus, zero ventilation). It’s funny to watch New Yorkers going about their day starting at fashion show-goers — they must think we’re insane. But then again, I think they’re insane for going to the Post Office on a Saturday, so…
12:20 p.m. We find our seats and I flip open the run-of-show, noting that the models are wearing Foot Petals (life-saving sole pads to stop feet from sliding, rubbing, and all that other weird shit that happens when you wear heels). I make a mental note to pick up some from the beauty closet at Glam’s office. How have I not thought to do this before today?
12:32 p.m. The show starts and I am AWAKE. Prabal decided not to mess with a good thing, as the inspiration for this season’s collection is similar to the last — his native Nepal. I’m all about these sporty silhouettes — get in my closet!
12:42 p.m. After the show, we’re slowly moving as a pack back toward the street when Jess freezes and turns to stare at me wide-eyed. She’s unable to form actual words, so I’m not capable of understanding what she’s trying to say (and, let’s be honest, my reaction time is less than stellar today).
12:43 p.m. I hear a distinct voice to my right — to which I turn and see Rachel Zoe directly in front of us. Buh-nanas! She’s looking chic as ever and in a denim maxi skirt. Could I pull that off? (Jury says: No.)
12:45 p.m. We exit right behind her, so naturally there is a swarm of photographers and paparazzi that run over to snap her photo. Sunglasses on, hat brim pulled down. If these don’t make their way to the Internet, it’s 100% because there are two hungover creeps in the background.
1:10 p.m. Rachel murmurs to the person next to her that her driver is late, so she starts walking in the same direction as us. She attempts to hail a cab and I just have to smile — this is Penn Station, girlfriend. You’re not getting a cab here.
1:12 p.m. We pass by her, but not before creepily snapping a photo. (Here’s a sad reality: If you don’t Instagram it, did it even happen?)
1:17 p.m. I’m in the office now and it’s completely desolate. Dafuq? What day is it? Oh, that’s right — SATURDAY. C’mon, Hal. I bee-line for the kitchen to re-fuel on the essentials. Water, water, water! It never fails, too — every Fashion Week, my dietary staple is TUMS.
1:30 p.m. Holy fuck, my inbox. Correction: Inboxes. All right, I have about 25 minutes before I have to leave, so let’s do this. Here’s hoping carpal tunnel is the new hot trend for NYFW.
1:52 p.m. I literally accomplished nothing. Zero things. Negative things, actually. You know how when you have so much to do for so many different things that you just kind of sit there? Yeah… At any rate, time to head back uptown.
1:58 p.m. I hop in a cab for the Mara Hoffman show, which “starts” at 2 p.m. Two shows is probably all I can handle for today — It’s been one of those when putting one foot in front of the other is near-impossible, which is a situation that’s amplified when hurried New Yorkers are all like “get the f-ck out of my way” and tourists are stopping to stare.
2:00 p.m. Okay, Mara, I’ve arrived. And I’ll be honest with you guys, this one was somewhat of an out-of-body experience. Do I fully remember getting from the entrance of Lincoln Center to my seat? No. No I certainly do not.
2:18 p.m. The show, however, I do recall: Mara’s signature graphic prints are hard to forget, but I did notice she strayed from her typical bright, playful patterns and palettes and opted for a more subtle collection this season. I’ve really enjoyed watching her evolve as a designer, and the shows in which I can actually picture the clothes in my closet are usually my favorite. I’m pretty sure there was a marijuana print that made it’s way up and down the runway, but my eyes cannot be trusted today.
2:35 p.m. Phew, okay. Onto the next! I’m walking across the Pavilion toward the Zappos Recharge Tent, where I come across Martha of Marnani Design Studio. She’s an incredibly talented illustrator and her designs have become a recent obsession of mine (below). Cool, right? She says each of these characters takes her approximately 30 seconds to create. Girl’s got talent!
2:38 p.m. We chat for a few minutes until I’m off to meet my photographer, Lydia. We attempt a few outfit shots in but it starts raining — naturally. Thank God I opted to wear a hat today!
3:05 p.m. All right. Up next on the agenda: I’m scheduled to meet a few representatives from Zappos, a brand I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with all year. I spot one of them, Molly, and give her a squeeze, joking about my hectic morning (and leaving out a few of last night’s details, of course).
3:10 p.m. Molly nods toward a chair and a camera, which is positioned right smack in the middle of Lincoln Center’s bustling courtyard. Apparently, I’m filming a video today. Oh, not just filming? I’m MC’ing it? Shit. Is MC’ing the right word? Either way, time to prep. Do I have time for coffee? No? Okay.
3:10 p.m. I assume the position between two of the Zappos representatives, Karrie and Galen. I joke about how it’s been a “crazy day,” because you have to set the precedent somehow. The producer hands me a microphone and raises her hand to signal that the crew is ready. GET IT TOGETHER, CORALS!
3:12 p.m. Lights, camera… Here goes nothing! Click below (or here) to watch the short video.
3:35 p.m. That wasn’t so bad, was it? I loiter around the Tent for a bit (free green juice, which we can all agree this girl needs) before walking over to the Empire Hotel for the rewardStyle party (rewardStyle is an affiliate marketing program that bloggers use to monetize their content).
3:55 p.m. After a long, long wait outside, I finally get up and it is PACKED. If I’m going to navigate this crowd, I’m going to need a drink in-hand. When in Rome, right?
4:05 p.m. I’m back in the saddle, my friends. This time with some wonderful concoction of vodka and flavored water. BRILLIANT! Two birds, one stone.
4:15 p.m. I always enjoy rewardStyle’s Fashion Week party, because it’s one way to get everyone you want to see in one place. You know? It’s also a great opportunity to meet new friends and bloggers. And, well, there’s free drinks.
6:35 p.m. I suppose I should head back to the office for a bit — a decision that is primarily fueled by the fact that we have a fridge of water and a cabinet of protein bars.
7:15 p.m. One quick cab ride later, I’m back in the office to find Glam’s editorial team. We all take off our shoes and commiserate over our inboxes, while noshing on pretzels, cold pizza and the like. (Surprisingly, I don’t want to amputate my feet just yet — must be the Foot Petals.)
8:03 p.m. We decide to rally by ditching the Fashion Week scene, so we hop in a cab and head uptown to Benihana — which is the most touristy, amazing table-side teppanyaki dinner one could ever experience. We like to go the exact opposite of the glitz and glam surrounding NYFW, and this is a perfect place to do it. Sake, sake, sake BOMB!
8:35 p.m. Tonight could very well end up like lat night, but let’s just see where it takes us…
10:10 p.m. What I can no longer put into words, our chef puts into fried rice. And that is exactly how I feel about you, complex carbohydrates. Exactly how I feel.
Lastly, this is it for Fashion Week recaps this season, you guys, so I hope you’ve enjoyed them… I’m ready to move on and I imagine you are too, no? Just think — next season is a mere four months away. God help us!