A Night to Remember: CFDA Awards 2017

Throughout the years, attending The Fashion School at Kent State University has proven to be the best decision I’ve ever made. In my three years as a student, I have been presented with an incomparable education, passionate professors and a multitude of opportunities to emerge myself in the industry. The NYC Studio is one of Kent State’s most dignifying factors.

All thanks to the studio, I have been able to intern at the top luxury PR firm, Karla Otto, and NYLON, learn from working industry professionals, work New York Fashion Week and attend the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards. As Seth Meyers, this year’s host of the CFDA’s, would say, the CDFA Awards are considered the “Oscar’s of fashion”. He’s not wrong. I really explained it like that to my family and friends who had no clue why I was so thrilled to be attending some show titled with a mysterious acronym.

I sat in this ballroom surrounded by major industry leaders just thinking how lucky I am to have gotten to where I am today in just three shorts year. The amount of talent, drive and dedication in that one room held truly inspiring energy. What was even greater than the talent was the support. Even though there were awards to be given out, every person was there to support and celebrate each other’s talent. We’re all aware of the negatively catty stereotype surrounding our industry, but I have never met more uplifting and genuine spirits than those in the creative industries.

Of course, every CFDA Award Show is utterly groundbreaking, but I felt as this year really made an impact above and beyond the ordinary. The Board of Director’s Tribute honored Cecile Richards, Gloria Steinem and Janelle Monae’s incredible efforts for women’s rights and equality as a whole, which brought chills to the entire room. Kenneth Cole was also presented with the Swarovski Award for Positive Change for his noteworthy work with HIV and Aids. Upholding the legacy of Calvin Klein, Raf Simons was the first designer to win both Womenswear and Menswear Designer of the Year since Klein himself in 1993. Pat McGrath and Franca Sozzani were also honored for their work driving fashion towards innovative and acceptance for all.

The late Franca Sozzani worked as the editor in chief of Vogue Italia. Throughout her remarkable career, she had pushed the boundaries of fashion media for her time. Her issues of Vogue Italia had featured the first plus-size model on the cover as well as created the infamous July 2008 “All Black” issue. As someone who dreams of working as an editor, I have the utmost respect for the way she presented fashion as life and upheld the highest of standards for her magazine.

Many of the presenters served as an inspiration themselves. The infamous Anna Wintour, fashionista and girl boss Kerry Washington, style icon Nicole Kidman and the legendary Diane von Furstenberg all made appearances to honor the truly indescribable world of fashion.

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Cheers to a New Year

Throughout all the chaos, I will admit that 2016 has been my favorite year yet. I’ve grown academically, professionally and truly as an individual.

This year, I’ll be saying goodbye to Chicago for a bit while taking on a new adventure in New York City; I have officially survived my first week as an “amateur New Yorker”. It’s both thrilling and nerve-racking coming face to face with the unknown, but the endless possibilities are more than welcome.

I’m finishing up my junior year at Kent State University’s NYC Studio. The NYC program is a unique opportunity to learn from industry professionals in the classroom as well as immerse yourself into the world of fashion as an intern. I’ll be spending my semester as a Public Relations intern at Karla Otto, an international luxury public relations firm. I’ll also be keeping a long distance relationship with A Magazine as the Social Media Director.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve only dreamt about working in the fashion industry and now, it’s actually becoming a reality. I can’t wait to share with you as I embark on life in the big apple through To The Nines.

XOXO, Kendall

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Reminiscent on Renaissance

The Fall/Winter 2016 runways had us reminiscing on the renaissance era with the abundance of rich colors, draping and lavish materials. But let’s be honest, not many of us will be walking around looking like a renaissance princess on the daily. To convert these extravagant looks into something wearable, it’s important to break the trend down into simpler aspects. Personally, I love the detailed silhouettes of the sleeves and drapings which create beautiful movement. I chose to feature those elements along with a rich color story to give the outfit a fall feel. The burnt orange top cinches at the waist and provides a great contrast to the flow of the kimono. I styled the rest of the look with wine colored boots and a complementing leather bag.

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Kimono: rue21/ Top: H&M/ Pants: Saks Fifth Ave OFF 5th/ Boots: Lulu’s/ Bag: Member’s Only

The Must-Haves of Falls

Shearling swept the Fall/Winter 2016 runways in a more than unconventional way… Lucky for us, the Ready to Wear lines have adapted the extravagant furs into a perfectly attainable statement piece. As neutral lover, I can’t help collecting these pieces in blacks and tans, so they’re easy to style with the popular colors of almost any time of year- except maybe not the midst of summer. I paired my thrifted shearling vest with a boat-neck sweater and contrasted those pieces with shorts to show off my other fall must-have item: over the knee boots. These are the ultimate pair of boots for versatility. They can be worn day or night, on a warm fall day or when the air turns cool after nightfall. I finished off the look with gold jewelry and a bold, berry lip.

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Vest: Thrifted from Crossroads/ Sweater: Zara/ Shorts: H&M/ Boots: Steve Madden/ Necklace: Akira

The Return of Sweater Season

Crisp air, beautifully dreary days, falling leaves, and the return of layering: fashion’s favorite season is right around the corner. I’ll admit to being overtly fall-obsessed. This week the weather dropped to the sixties with rain showers and grey skies, and I could not have been more excited. It finally meant it was time to start bringing back my seemingly endless collection of boots and sweaters. Before I get too ahead of myself, transitional outfits can be some of the most amusing in the sense of styling. It allows for creativity to flourish and the pairing of pieces together that you wouldn’t instantly expect. During Zara’s End of Summer Sale, I picked up this simple, yet perfect black sweater dress. The material is thick enough to keep warm without a jacket but still thin for layering. I styled it with this season’s must-have over the knee boot and a complementing choker.

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Sweater Dress: Zara/ Boots: Steve Madden/ Choker: rue21

A Summer Wonderland

Some are saying that the all-white look is the new all-black… Coming from someone who wears black like it’s a religion, I don’t know if I’ll be jumping on that bandwagon. But, I do enjoy throwing in an all-white look every now and then. With the sun shining on a beautiful summer day, there’s just something about an all-white look that is truly stunning. It creates a glow and look of ease, which is basically what every woman wants to conquer with summer style. What’s so great about this look is the simplicity behind it. Every woman owns at least one white bottom and most likely an endless abundance of white tops. Styling it almost becomes a no brainer. Now’s the time to give this look a try before the return of earthy tones and Pumpkin Spice lattes.
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Top:Zara/ Denim:Forever 21/ Shoes: rue21

Athleisure

The athlesiure trend… I will honestly admit that I wasn’t a fan and still am a bit skeptical. That’s not to say it’s not taking over the market. Girls are bringing back their favorite pair of Adidas and rocking sweatshirts/shorts in an effortlessly fashionable way. For me, I’d be just as comfortable throwing on a great pair of booties or oversized sweater for the same effect. Fashion is about being playful and experimentation, so I decided to try my hand at this unstoppably popular trend. My take included a more dressed up pair of shorts that never fail to be flattering for my body type. I styled them with a simple t-shirt and satin bomber from Zara. Topping off the look with a single choker and “wannabe Vans” from Target. It was a fun experiment to embody this trend; but to be honest, I’d probably never wear this anywhere besides somewhere like Target anyway. For the girls out there who can rock the athleisure look, keep killin it and take advantage of this comfy, cool trend!

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Shorts: H&M/ Bomber: Zara/ Shoes: Target