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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.
You know that nagging feeling that you get in your gut on a Saturday night? The one when you don’t really want to go out, but for whatever reason you feel like you should — so get dressed and do it anyway.
Generally, it ends the same way:
You spend way too much money at a loud, crowded bar on expensive vodka drinks that can’t even get you drunk. So all in all, a waste of make-up and one of those “shoulda stayed home nights.”
You know the ones…
I have to be honest — that’s how I felt about Fashion Week this season.
Nonetheless, I partook – but my involvement was minimal this season. I did mainly because I felt obligated to get good, hilarious content to write about again and because, well, I live here. Might as well, right? I should.
(Saturday night syndrome!)
Perhaps it’s a hybrid of February and the deep freeze here on the East Coast, but, you guys — if I’m being honest, the entire Week felt like a totally different experience this year to begin with.
As a result, this is the first and last NYFW update from me this season — and while I’m sorry if that disappoints you, know that I have plenty of other great stories to share coming down the pipeline. Without further adieu…
Day One (and only) | Here’s what went down:
8:35 a.m. I woke up late, naturally, which is a habit that I’ve exhausted all methods of elaborating upon. This happens every season (month, day, year), so it should come as no surprise. I’m such an asshole — can someone help me become a morning person?
I have no idea how Fashion Week came around so quickly. I did try to plan my outfits in advance, but naturally, things did not go according to plan.
8:42 a.m. I’m standing in my kitchen — which, in a New York studio, also means bedroom and living space — holding open the fridge, staring into it blankly (my mom hates when I do this). I debate whether or not I need to wash my hair, but not before an attempt to talk myself back under the covers.
8:45 a.m. A quick personal pep talk does the trick — decision made. Ass in shower, STAT.
9:27 a.m. My body has quite literally rebelled in every way, shape and form at the idea of venturing outside and up to Lincoln Center. I shattered a plate (of avocado toast — tragic!), spilled coffee on my white jeans and burnt the shit out of my neck with a curling iron… Though thankfully, it’s turtleneck season. On my first attempt out the door, I forgot my wallet, too.
On mornings like that, you’ve just got to throw up your hands and be like “Okay, Universe. I acknowledge you… Bitch.” You know?
9:42 a.m. It’s freezing even inside my apartment, so I decide on tights under pants as a suitable option — and to capitalize on the recent athleisure trend (rejoice!), I slip into my new favorite Nike’s. They match the black-and-red plaid jacket I’m wearing (this one), so it’s fine.
9:44 a.m. I grab my headphones to accompany me on the long commute and make my way uptown, bravely yet blearily stumbling through the New York City chill. Showtime in fifteen minutes.
10:18 a.m. Upon arrival, I find myself being herded (literally) into the Theatre with nearly 200 other late-upon-arrival attendees. Some had seats, some did not — but these girls were not about to let the bitch in front of her get a better seat than she. Gauntlet thrown!
10:21 a.m. I locate my seat and sit down next to another blogger who is wearing – I shit you not – a white lace bralette type-of-thing and Jeffrey Campbell Lita’s… To each her own, I suppose.
“Want to take a selfie?” the girl on her left asked candidly. She whipped out her selfie stick and captured a few strategically angled snaps. Clearly, not her first time. I look around for the hidden camera, as I’m not sure this is real life. (It is.)
“What’s your Instagram,” she cooed. “I’ll tag you.”
I closed my eyes and made an attempt to count to 10, but I was pulled out of said meditation when I heard “how do you spell blonde?”
Wait, what? Seriously? NO. Joke’s over – where are the cameras? Come on out.
10:26 a.m. I debated making a run for it, but just as soon as the thought entered my mind, the lights dimmed and the tarp back from the runway. Showtime.
10:27 a.m. The lights dim and the music starts, which makes me smile. Here we go! This is what I love about Fashion Week. The opportunity to see the time, effort and construction required to complete and show a full season’s collection first-hand.
One by one, the models made their way down the runway. And, surprisingly, I realized that I felt different toward Fashion Week this season.
It wasn’t a feeling that I was used to – which used to be that intoxicating high I’d get from rushing around with an IV of coffee, attempting to be in six places at once… That’s fun, sure; but this season, it was more like a peaceful sense of gratitude. And I was okay with that.
To be honest, it’s rare to see something entirely new at these shows. (Though next season may be different, since it’s no longer at Lincoln Center…) Despite this, it seems that invites to Fashion Week have become a form of validation of success for some. And in my experience, there tends to be a bit of an ego surrounding this.
I wish that wasn’t he case. That’s logical, of course, but in my experience (being around it), there tends to be a certain ego associated. And quite frankly, I didn’t want to be around it.
Plus, with the mental and physical exertion that goes into SoulCycle training, it just isn’t possible to have the fifteen-hour days like I used to.
10:52 a.m. On the way out, I went to make a quick pit stop in the bathroom, but an intern guarding the door held out her hand and told me that there was “no running water today.” Of course – why would there be?
I wrapped myself in a blanket scarf, pulled on my puffer coat and made my way out of Lincoln Center.
11:05 a.m. I walked for awhile away from the madness in an effort to find a coffee shop that wasn’t flanked with bare-legged show-goers and electricity-deprived photographers.
11:10 a.m. I found one, ordered a big-as-my-head beverage and sat. Just sat.
Some days, taking time to do nothing is often what brings everything into perspective.
I’m not sure if you can relate to this, but it’s weird to quite literally feel yourself growing up. But, you know, it’s also refreshing in a sense.
The past year has brought me a welcome dose of perspective, and part of growing up, I think, is being comfortable with turning the page at some point in your life.
That’s not to say I’ll never be a crazy, NYFW-obsessed blogger again — give me 70 degrees and a martini or two and we’ve got a different story (/blog post).
For now, though, I’m happy where I am. Why try to fight that?
Oh, and in case you’re wondering what happened next, here’s the spoiler alert: FOOD.
3:30 p.m. Carbs. Chocolate. Alcohol.
4:05 p.m. Jess joined me at the coffee shop after a few hours (wherein we consumed a shitload of food – including avocado toast, baguettes and nutella spread).
After a few hours, I went home, changed, dabbed concealer under my puffy eyes and headed to Cynthia Rowley’s after-party.
We only stayed for one glass of champagne, as the allure of red wine and sweet potato fries in a tucked-away corner booth was unbearably strong. And, honestly – why try to fight that, too?