PH5 x Deco Miami

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This past NYFW was the third time that Deco worked with PH5, a NYC-based knitwear brand run by designers Wei Lin and Mijia Zhang. I love working with these designers because they always are down to do nail art, which is not always a given for fashion week shows. The designers wanted to incorporate navy and oxblood rectangles on the nail, which is 100% on-trend with all of the geometric manicures on Pinterest right now. Grace Kingsley led the Deco team with Angel Johnson and Laura Streeter for the February 8th show.

PH5 has gotten some media attention from the show, with Forbes for highlighting the brand's Chinese roots and The New York Times covering how the designers invited Girls Who Code to model their clothes. The designers utilize computer programming to design the stitching for their collections... who knew!

Deco Miami created the look for PH5 using taupe Café Con Leche as the base color, with oxblood Tied Down and navy Brickell Blue for the rectangles.

 

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Cheeky Valentine's Day Gifts for 7 of your BFFs

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I love Valentine's Day. I have very fond memories of going to the drugstore to pick out the coolest Valentine notes to give away to my classmates, and then stuffing my face with conversation hearts and pink cupcakes after the ceremonial Valentine's Day party.

Valentine's Day as an adult doesn't involve as much mass giving, and if you want to give your close friends a thoughtful little treat, your best options are candy and/or Deco Miami polishes. Here are some color ideas for for everyone in your squad.

1. For your newly single friend: Boy Bye, Don't Call Me Baby Girl,  Black Like My Soul.

2. For your "I am an independent woman and don't need no man" friend: #Slay, Male TearsSeñorita.

3. For your selfie queen friendFeeling Fuego, Better Than The Photos, Instafamous.

4. For your friend who will be listening to Drake and longingly gazing off into the distance all February 14thChampagne Mami.

5. For your relationship therapist friend: Not Your Fortune Teller.

6. For your friend who is in a relationship: Tied Down.

7. For your friend who loves to drink: Rosé All DayTequila Sunrise.

Museum of Ice Cream {What You Need To Know}

I went to the Museum of Ice Cream this past weekend! After being super bummed out that it was completely sold out at its Miami location, MOIC extended its stay for another month and will be open until the end of February.

If you don't know what the MOIC is (hello, non-millennial!), it's basically a space that is transformed into an Instagrammable haven where every room serves as a colorful backdrop. If you just smacked your hand into your face and sighed, yeah, I know, it's so millennial, but it's a fun reason to get off the couch and do something on a Sunday afternoon.

I had trouble finding a guide for what to expect once I booked my ticket, so this post serves as exactly that. Here are my own FAQ's that the MOIC's website doesn't cover to help you have your best MOIC experience.

1. Don't show up without pre-purchasing a ticket. I waited for a friend by the entrance for about ten minutes, and three large groups walked up to the door trying to go without pre-purchased tickets in the time I was standing there and none were able to get inside. The MOIC is very strict about tickets which can only be purchased online, so don't wing it.

2. It's probably okay if you're a little late to your entrance time. I bought an afternoon ticket for 4:30 pm, and it wasn't clear to me if I had to arrive at 4:30, or if I had until a certain time to enter. Miami is so unpredictable with traffic and I was worried about having time to park and walk over, and I ended up getting to the door a few minutes after the time on my ticket. The doorman was super chill and basically said that the important thing was that I had a ticket. Don't freak out if you're running a little late, you'll be okay!

3. If you want a cool shot with the sprinkle pool, don't "start" with a group that has kids. There is just one timed room in the MOIC, and that's the infamous sprinkle pool. You only get five minutes with the pool before you're ushered out, and I was a little disappointed that I wasn't able to get more than one shot in this area because of the kids jumping around me. Not faulting the kids here because if I were little I would definitely be freaking out in that room, but if I did it again, I would stall my entrance (the sprinkle pool is the very first room) and try to enter with only adults. 

4. Give yourself two hours to walk through the entire MOIC. I couldn't find any info on how long it would take to get through the exhibit, so there's your answer! I think it's timed so that it takes an hour from start to finish, but since I was doing photos, it took me longer. No rooms are timed after the sprinkle room, so you can go at your own pace through the exhibit. On that note...

5. Take your time walking through. You can go as slowly as you'd like through the rooms, but you cannot go backwards. Take your time as you walk through the rooms and overtake photos, because you can't change your mind and run back to a room to snap a quick picture.

6. If you want to take photos, book an early afternoon time. There is lots of lighting throughout the MOIC that is deliberately placed for taking awesome pics, but nothing beats natural lighting! I had a solid hour of light (started walking through close to 5PM) and was bummed about it being dark on the top floor where it would have been awesome to get a nice, bright shot on the roof outside.

7. Leave your 50mm lens at home. I primarily take photos with my 50mm lens, and if you know about cameras, you know that this lens doesn't have any zoom and you need to really stand far away to get a full length shot. Having to shoot like this was a little difficult in these rooms since there are people (especially kids!) milling about. 

8. Don't feel embarrassed if you want to do an outfit change. I paid good money for my MOIC ticket, and so I was going to get exactly what I wanted out of this experience... meaning photos in two or three outfits! There are bathrooms on the second and third floors, so if you wanted to do a quick change, plan to do it.

9. Show up hungry. Yes, you are given ice cream at the Museum of Ice Cream! There are four treats throughout the exhibit, one on each floor. I won't tell you what they are so that you can be surprised when you go.

10. Have fun! The experience was unique, and I would absolutely go to another MOIC in a different city. The MOIC is really about taking photos in a cool space, so keep your expectations curbed to this and roll with it.

Oxblood + Fuchsia { Winter In Florida }

When I was a kid, I remember packing for winter Florida vacations and feeling very confused about what to bring. My warm weather clothing shouted SUMMER! and I felt silly wearing sunflower dresses and brightly colored shirts in January and February when my family made our annual trek down from Maryland to see my grandparents.

(Yes, I was a very fashion conscious kid and rarely approved of the clothing that my mom bought me. I have a vivd memory of having a meltdown before a friend's birthday party because my mom made me wear a shirt with a big fluffy peter pan collar, which were the bane of my existence at nine. I blame years of enduring Catholic school uniforms on my hatred of collars.)

Anyway, spending time in Florida as an adult doesn't make the question of how to fashionably dress for winter in the tropics any simpler. Changes in weather give us the opportunity to introduce variety into our style, and this doesn't happen very often down south when the weather is consistently "warm", "hot", and/or "humid". So when cooler weather rolls in, it's time to break out the long sleeves. Or, bell sleeves, in this outfit's case.

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I was torn between oxblood and fuchsia for my nails, and added the swipe of MILEY WHATS GOOD on top of TIED DOWN last minute in the car before hopping out and shooting. Tied Down is a very mature color and didn't seem right against that colorful Free People cropped sweatshirt, and the pink added a hint of playfulness to the nails to tie everything together. 10/10, will be doing this design again with other colors. 

Can we talk about how gorgeous the buildings in this shoot are? Almost all of the buildings in South Beach are securely guarded by gates which makes it difficult to do pictures, but sometimes you can get lucky and a resident will pass through and open it for you. The mint and white building just happened to be under construction, and the workers let me stand a few feet past the gate to snap a few pics.

Don't Call Me #GIRLBOSS

I hate the term girl boss. Like, hate. I cringe every time I hear it, and I want to break every millennial pink mug that I see flaunting the phrase. Yeah, I know, I probably seem irrationally cynical and bitter if you've never given this phrase much thought, but let me explain: being called a girl boss feels like a slap in the face when you are a young female entrepreneur carving out your way in the business world.

When I first started working on Deco back in 2015, I was convinced that my biggest professional obstacle would be my gender. Well, I was half right, and I quickly discovered that my gender and age were wrapped together into one even taller hurdle. When you're 20-something and tell people that you're starting your own business, they look at you like they want to pat you on the head and say "that's cute of you". Why? Clearly if you're in your 20's, you have no idea what you're doing. (Cue the eye roll.)

The challenge of the YFE (young female entrepreneur) is that she has to convince others that she's a legitimate business person. How does she achieve this? Hard to say, but it's definitely not showing up to a bank meeting with this notebook. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of overindulgent sparkly stationary, but part of being a deft YFE is crafting a professional persona that minimizes the fact that you are young, and emphasizes your competence. In the business world, you don't want people to think of you as a girl, just plain old boss is better. 

As I type this post and stare at the picture of that pink #girlboss notebook, I wonder, do I subconsciously hate feminine things? But the more I think about it, definitely not. My issue is that mainstream #girlboss seeks to empower women in business by focusing on superficial qualities, like having a highly Instagrammable office space or consistently posting about how busy you are on social media with hashtag girlbossAs someone who doesn't value keeping up this kind of business appearance, I suppose being called a girl boss makes me feel lumped into a group that does, which devalues my accomplishments to me. Entrepreneurship is a dynamic career path, and there is much more to being a successful YFE than whatever the #girlboss movement entails.

So just to reiterate, please don't call me a girl boss. Yes, yes, I am young, female, and a boss, but I would prefer to just be called an entrepreneur or boss if you need to put a label on it. I loved Nasty Gal and was always pleased to see Sophia Amoruso in the internet news until things, um, crumbled, but I wish that the phrase would have died with (the first iteration of) Nasty Gal.