Friday, July 01, 2016

ROW TO RIO

I am so excited to announce that my host-sister is going to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, representing US Rowing and Team USA! If you don't know what "host-sister" means, you can check out my post explaining that here. We have watched her work so hard for the past three years that she's been living with us, and I can't believe she is finally going to the Olympics! She will be competing in the Women's 8+ boat.

Last week, US Rowing had a fun event announcing and celebrating the  team at the Olympic Training Center in Princeton, and host families were invited. We had such a fun night celebrating Amanda and her teammates. And of course, I loved getting dressed up in a red, white and blue spirited outfit- maybe I'll even repeat it on July 4th ;-)


All of the Team USA Rowers! 






Go Team USA! Don't forget to tune into the Olympics and cheer on the Women's 8+  :) XOXO

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

CLASS OF 2016


I still can't believe I graduated last week! Its all been such a whirlwind from the actual ceremony to prepping for my grad party (graduation was on Tuesday, party was on Saturday). The ceremony was on our school's turf field on Tuesday evening. There were lots of thunderstorm warnings, but at 6pm everything looked clear so we headed outside. Turns out, about halfway through graduation, it started POURING. So, everyone (my class of 310 plus all the audience) ran inside to our gym, we waited the storm out for about 30 minutes then headed back outside to finish the ceremony. Not the best thing for my hair, but it sure made for some fun laughs and memories. It was definitely a graduation that no one could forget.

While it was a little crazy, the graduation ceremony was lovely. Its still so crazy that high school is over and I'm moving into college in a few short months. I am so thankful to have had such a wonderful high school experience and I'm beyond excited for what the future holds. For now, that means a relaxing summer break and a European vacation coming up!



dress (similar) // necklace (similar) // earrings // shoes 









At least the thunderstorm made for a cool sky and picture after the storm! 


Stay tuned for my graduation party recap post coming soon. Congrats Class of 2016! XO

Monday, June 27, 2016

SENIOR PROM



Senior prom was so great. The entire night was incredible. It started with pictures at my house with my boyfriend and five other couples. From there, we headed to the prom and spent the majority of the night dancing away. We had a live band instead of a DJ which was a special touch to the night. They did a really great job singing fun, current music that we could all sing along and dance to. 

Prom went until around 11pm, then our school hosted a post-prom for the rest of the night. From midnight until 4:30am, the school was filled with food, decorations, games and even a hypnotist show. This year, our entire school was decorated with a "Back to YOUR Future" theme, so there were tons of old pictures from our elementary and middle school days as well as posters from movies, TV shows and music that we grew up with. After post-prom and being awake for almost 24 hours, my friends and I headed back to my house to sleep for a few hours, then we were off to the beach for the weekend! 

It was a super busy and jam-packed couple of days but such a fun way to spend one of my last weeks of high school. So lucky to have such an amazing family (shoutout to my mom for helping me get ready) and friends to spend the prom/ weekend with! Now without further ado, here are the much anticipated prom pictures: 




Dress: Parker Black (sold out) | Shoes: Sam Edelman | Earrings: Nadri (old, they're my sister's but matched the dress perfectly!)

Friday, June 24, 2016

LINK LOVE VOL. 2


So, this isn't going to become a weekly series necessarily, but I wanted to post something quick today before logging off for the weekend. The weekend is filled with celebrations and festivities, including my graduation party tomorrow! The above picture is from my high school graduation this past Tuesday. I still can't believe its all over! There will be full posts on my graduation and graduation party in the next week or two, so stay tuned :-)

1.  Obsessing over Blair's outfit. To me, this is the quintessential summer ensemble. 

2. Carly published such an important post this week all about summer skin safety and health. As nice as a sun kissed glow looks, healthy skin looks even better. 

3. The cutest blue and white dress for summer. 

4. I made a blog Instagram, so be sure you're following along @empirestylesblog!

5. My host sister (explained here) is going to the Summer Olympics in Rio!!! SO incredibly excited & proud. Go Amanda, USRowing & Team USA! 

6. So in love with how Shelby styled these fun wide leg pants! 

7. Frannie's outfit is perfect for so many summer occasions from an Al Fresco dinner to graduation parties. Definitely need to recreate ASAP. 

8. Jamie shared a bunch of fun places to visit in NYC (that you probably haven't read about a million times already).  Definitely bookmarked for my next city trip! 

9. Technology is changing everything in our world- including fashion. Read all about the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute exhibit, Manus x Machina, which showcases the work of the hand and the machine and technology's influence on fashion. 

10. I am so in love with this necklace. So simple, but so beautiful. A graduation gift to myself, perhaps? ;-)

Happy Friday! Do you have any fun weekend plans? Comment below!! XOXO

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

MANUS X MACHINA: FASHION IN AN AGE OF TECHNOLOGY


Technology is a huge buzz world lately. Its not always Apple devices and digital code, though. The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute exhibit, Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology, defines technology most simply as "the machine", or things not done by hand, in order to juxtapose the work of the hand with the work of the machine. Ultimately, the exhibit shows that the best garments come from techniques in which the hand and the machine are used, thus showing that even as we move forward in the current age of technology, the hand should still be used just as often. There are simply details, especially in haute couture garments, that will never be done by the machine. There are also things that will never again be done by hand. It is less about solely picking "the hand" or "the machine", but using both of them.

While of course the exhibit is literally all about fashion, I think Andrew Bolton, head curator of the Costume Institute at the Met, is pointing us to a larger concept. As reliant as we become on all the new technologies that are continuously introduced in our world, we should never become a completely digital world. We work best when the hand and the machine work together. Of course, the hand and the machine are symbols representing pre-technology methods and new, tech-savvy methods. These symbols can be applied to most elements of our daily lives.

This message is hugely important, and applies beyond the world of fashion. Today, we are constantly looking for faster, easier ways to get something done. But is the quality always the same? There are some things that simply cannot be replaced by technology without losing some of its value. For example, a thank you note. There is a huge difference, in my opinion, between sending a quick "thank you" text or email versus a handwritten, snail mail thank you note. Yes, technologies have provided easier methods of completing that same task, but an email is not quite as thoughtful and personal as a handwritten note is.

With every beautiful garment on display in this exhibit, we see the impeccable attention to detail: hand-sewn beads and embellishments, pleats created by meticulous and detailed textile mastery and hand-stitched embroidery, to name a few. These beautiful details could not have been accomplished with an easier, faster method. New technologies are not always the answer. The same goes for the fast-fashion society we live in. Stores like Zara, H&M and Forever 21 would not be possible without sewing machines and synthetic fabrics.

I snapped pictures of almost everything on display in the exhibit, but I won't spoil everything. Plus, everything looks 100 times better in person.  Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City until August 14, 2016. I cannot recommend the exhibit enough. Even for those who aren't fashion-obsessed, I think it is worth a quick visit. Plus, the rooftop garden at the Met is not to be missed this summer- such great views!


















Have you seen the Manus x Machina exhibit at the Met? What did you think? Comment below! 

Monday, June 20, 2016

BLUE & WHITE STRIPE DRESS

Blue and white is the color scheme of the summer! My sister and I went to Francesca's about a month ago and picked up so many cute dresses and tops. The majority of the items she and I got were blue/navy and white- this dress being one of them. I am so obsessed with it; it has the perfect shape with a fun cutout in the center. I wore it the other night to my Senior Awards ceremony at school. One more day until graduation!







Francesca's Collection Dress (sold out) & J. Crew Factory nude suede sandals 

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Sunday, June 19, 2016

LINK LOVE VOL. 1


Happy Sunday (and Father's Day), everyone! Now that I'm done with school (graduation in T-2 days!), I've had a lot more time to get back to reading everyone's blogs again. Its been probably a month or so since I've been able to just sit down, relax and get through reading everything that I want to. Now that I have, I have to highlight a few of my favorite things I've read this week:

1. I think that summer definitely has the most "fun" fashion and Mackenzie's shoes are the latest example of that. I've been seeing a ton of pineapple related items lately but I think these are my favorite so far!

2. Julia shared a very personal story on her blog this week. I applaud her for having the courage to publish that and think it also speaks to a larger point about blogging that we, as readers and fellow bloggers, must always remember: what we put on social media/ blogs is not the entire picture. It can be so easy to get scroll through someone's Instagram feed and envy their "perfect life", but often times there are things going on behind the fun posts and pictures.

3. Caroline had the cutest graduation party. I am obsessed with how she decorated everything. It totally inspired me to talk to my mom about some last-minute additions and ideas for my grad party next week :)

4. I made a blog Instagram! I figured it would be fun to have one account dedicated to blogging so I be more connected to the community and to have an account that better reflects the Empire Styles brand. Be sure to follow it HERE (@empirestylesblog)

5. Everyone and their best friend knows how cool Amy's Instagram (and really her entire personal brand, in my opinion) is, but I have to take a moment to highlight it because I've been particularly inspired by her posts/ aesthetic lately. 

6. Carly & Julia just got back from their trip to Ireland. Ireland has never really been on my radar in terms of dream vacations... until now! They definitely had a packed agenda but each post/ picture I see is more beautiful that the one before. Carly's post gives a good overview of their itinerary. 

7.  Jamie always has such fresh and real perspectives on blogging. She's back blogging again & here's her latest post

8. In the past few months, Julia has introduced a new feature on her blog called GMG Now. Its an easy section of her site to catch up on everything Gal Meets Glam. Its a feed of all her social media posts (in order), blog posts and also exclusive "mini" posts. I am loving some of the "mini" posts, especially her post on mascara/ lashes and wrinkle free packing tips

9. Vogue has some great video content. Most recently, here's a video of Amy Schumer and Anna Wintour swapping lives for a day. 

10. You guys should know by now that I am o-b-s-e-s-s-e-d with Glossier (you can read more about that here). They recently released their newest product: Haloscope. I am dying to try it! 

Anything great you've been reading lately? Comment below!