A Study in European Fashion

A Study in European Fashion

There’s one word to describe the European lifestyle: Effortless.
After a small dab of lipstick and pulling from the few classics in their wardrobe, they grab their coffee and a small breakfast while enjoying a cigarette on their way to work and in the subways pull a hair tie from their pocket to tie up their hair into a bun and a sprits from a travel perfume. Before you know it, they’re at work and look like a model walking out of a designer showroom. What’s their secret? They don’t try.
Quite contrary to the American morning routine. A run to the gym, a fast HIIT routine, run back, shower, dry hair, choose from 5 different potential outfits from a large wardrobe of fast fashion, lipstick, foundation, mascara, false lashes, curl hair a bit, okay wait did I remember deoderant? Oh gosh. Wait, I’m going to be late. I need an uber, wait budgeting. Do I have time for my morning green juice and ginger shot? Oh gosh, 30 minutes, when’s the next L train?
Yeah, that’s basically me. Admit it, that’s probably you sometimes too.
We could all benefit from the “food is nourishment not calories enjoy life just breathe” lifestyle. But quite frankly it’s not easy and takes time to transition one way of thinking to the next. Let me enlighten you with a bit of fashion inspiration to offer some ideas for your morning routine.
Here’s the Pinterest board to help you envision this Audrey Hepburn way of life.
Embrace the Light
Colors like pastel pink, beige, and white always look fresh. You automatically look like a breathe of fresh air with this color scheme with the occasionally pop of red or black. Call it effortless sophistication.
Go Natural
I used to wear so much makeup, people barely recognized me when I didn’t wear it. I started watching French makeup videos instead of the smokey eye routine with a dense cat eye and started to embrace my natural features. Suddenly, I have an extra 20 minutes before work to grab that coffee and read W.
Classics Go a Long Way
Never underestimate the power of a well-fitted pair of jeans, a white button down, a white tee shirt, and a strong blazer. There are so many different ways to dress these pieces up or down and will never go out of style.
Tie It Up, Tuck It In, + Belt It
Embrace your figure. You’re a woman and have the figure so might as well enhance it’s proportions with clothing. Accessories and styling does wonders to your basics. Try tying your button down at the waist, layering gold necklaces, and pair with high waisted pants for an easy work look with a touch of femininity.
Most of All, Don’t Overthink It
Looking good is also about being yourself. Don’t try to be someone you’re not or people will sense it and it will alienate you from the people around you. Be approachable, smile, and embrace the clothes you already have by styling them in unique ways. Trust me (your bank account will thank you).
A Guide to Serenity

A Guide to Serenity

I like to talk about adrenaline and rushing from place to place, but some days, like today, I like to appreciate the serene moments. Being a designer in New York, I’m usually going through some drastic change or special occasion so I don’t come across these moments often. The times that inspired my brand the most are the quiet moments I’ve walked by the terrace in Brooklyn Heights while watching the sun set or waking up when everyone else was asleep. My jackets are mostly inspired by people I’ve come across in New York that had such an aggressively cool presence, it pushed me to start purchasing spray paints and coating my jackets in metallic colors and designs. Brick + Clover was established after I traveled to Cyprus and it suddenly became very hard to get back into the swing of the New York rush after living the serene lifestyle by the beach. Now I use both as separate outlets to appreciate how we all love the adrenaline rush in the morning before work (loud music and a shot of espresso) and at night all we need is a book and a cup of tea to appreciate the end of a full day. It’s an expression of lifestyle. How we all need balance to fully express who we are as people being complex beings with a past, present, and future. My art and design is a study in psychology, really. Even my portraits (being as straight forward as they are) are simplistic in the fact I just want to capture someone’s essence in the subtleties.
I thought it was time I compiled a compilation of things to summarize the feeling of serenity. I have a board on my Pinterest called “Holocene” I’ve been using to curate a collective of images to capture this feeling. It’s the feeling of contentment and balance. For some of us this feeling is as simple as our drive home from work, listening to that one song that we listened to on the second date with our love, or maybe waking up in the morning with your cat and eating cereal by the window. It’s simple really, just the feeling of quietness in the chaos that is our life.

Free People: Roshambo feat. Christopher Abbott

This is a fashion film I reviewed for Fashion Mingle a few years back and it’s still my favorite video on the internet. There’s something so unexplainably nice about running into someone by surprise and reuniting with them. Catching up with someone after a long time and remembering the good times you’ve had with them in the past makes us aware of how time passes. With no real plot points or objective, this short is simple and balanced leaving us with a feeling of peacefulness.

Foals – Out Of The Woods

And here it is: Foals. Everyone who knows me knows I am completely and utterly obsessed with this band and it’s simply because they capture every emotion in every song. This song is not loud or quiet, it’s just nice. It makes me think of a weekend in Connecticut with my boyfriend, sister, and brother-in-law.

The Met

Going to a museum by yourself is the most serene experience. Watching people just stand in front of a work of art and process their own interpretation of its beauty forces me to become mindful and detach myself from the chaos in every other area of my life.

Find balance today by becoming aware of the cool air in the morning or watching the sunset before work. Text someone you haven’t spoken to in awhile, and keep in touch with the past by listening to a song you used to love.

While in Cyprus

While in Cyprus

After three months of waking up at 4 am to make a flagship store in Midtown Manhattan look visually appealing, I quit my job and escaped to Cyprus for a month to experience the Mediterranean summer. I went from attending corporate meetings and fashion blueprints to watching the sun set by the pool while drinking Greek coffee. I had to get used to transitioning my blazer staple to a bikini.
Life in New York can be summarized into one word: adrenaline. Everyone walks down the streets with a cigarette and a coffee while running to work and checking their emails – all at once. According to the New York standard, if you’re not booked solid with brunches and meetings, you are not fulfilling your life purpose. I was starting to question why I was always running on empty, seeking real meaning in the consistent state of chaos and sleep deprivation. Was it for money? Was it for passion? Whatever possible answers raced through my head, it wasn’t enough to keep me going.
My boyfriend was in Cyprus (also known as home for him) all Summer so I booked a plane ticket after quitting my job. Cyprus taught me a new mindset that really challenged my desire for the New York rush. I learned how to savor each moment and become mindful. I sat outside and observed life around me. Sometimes, nothing would happen for hours and I would just breathe deep and become aware of the cool breeze and palm trees. Suddenly, my New York bubble bursted being surrounded by buildings entitled with the Greek alphabet and hearing emphatic and enthusiastic friends drinking cocktails by the pool. The culture there is all about enjoying the company of those you love and allowing life to just happen. You don’t have to book 8 reservations and spend $100 to enjoy an evening like in New York. You could simply stay in and talk to friends over a drink or a coffee. This way of life was far more enjoyable that taking Ubers all over the city to try to find a place to get drunk after a hard day of work. Life was balanced and serene. No adrenaline in sight.
My most vivid memory in Cyprus was on the back of a quad bike at sunset. I was riding on the edge of the island watching people on their balconies just living life. It wasn’t only the bike ride and experience of holding onto the love of my life; it was such a wholesome experience just witnessing dads and their daughters play games outside and seeing single women enjoy a coffee with their cat and a book. Life was being lived as if everything was exactly how it was supposed to be.
Now that I am back in New York moving, job seeking, and embracing an era of change, I am looking forward to creating those serene moments and living life not for the adrenaline rush, but for the balance and beauty of the serene moments. Θα είναι ωραία.
Home

Home

Most of us wake up everyday to a soft light and the sight of a place you’ve seen many times. Perhaps you’re typically alone when you wake up and have comfort in the feeling of having the bed to yourself and waking up to make coffee and watch some videos or read a few pages from your favorite book. Others may wake up to the sight of someone familiar. Their embrace makes you feel safe. The familiarity feels like home and creates a feeling of stability, security, and comfort. Once you arise from bed, it’s time for the routine of breakfast, coffee, and work. Whether you grab your coffee at the same place down the street or you make it with someone you love in the kitchen, this is just another part of your routine that makes you feel safe. On your way to work, you take the same route of trains or car ride while playing that one song that reminds you of all the memories you had while hearing it. At work, that first “hello, good morning” you exchange with fellow coworkers everyday brings a sense of comfort. Once we are back home and return to that familiar environment, we catch up on a few pages of that book or tv show catching up with the same story we’ve been following for some time.
These are the feelings that help us to know what to expect. Only for me, my home is not one person or one place. It’s spread all over the planet and split amongst so many people l get lost in the desire to feel that comfort of routine. You could say I live in New York but according to the Summer I had, I would say I haven’t properly lived here in awhile. I have a home in Bushwick where people are covered in tattoos and dress like it’s fashion week as they pick up their morning coffee. I have a home in Cyprus that has palm trees in the back yard and open windows with a view of white buildings covering the streets. I have a home in Brooklyn Heights with families everywhere and a beautiful skyline view that lights up at night. I have a home in Connecticut with grass and trees everywhere and bunnies that jump around during the day. I have a home in Michigan with two gentle dogs I grew up with and a live piano typically playing in the background. Each of these places house people that are so significant in my life, it only increases that feeling of home when I wake up to the same sight of the sun through a different window.
Each home has countless memories of board game nights, hours of deep conversation over tea, making pancakes on Sunday mornings with Miles Davis playing in the background, afternoons drinking on greek coffee in the backyard while drawing pictures of the people around me, and evenings laughing in front of the tv sharing commentary with people I love. We long for the consistency and seek this feeling of comfort, but for some of us the feeling of home changes everyday. Each person and memory creates this general feeling of home that changes over time and creates and general feeling of comfort. Knowing the sun will always rise in the morning and someone I love will share morning coffee with me is enough to make me feel okay. Home is not always where we sleep. It lies in memories and feelings that come and go.