29 October 2018

I'VE BEEN INSPIRED BY SOMEONE UNEXPECTED

HOW IT BEGAN

The first time I really saw a man wear his suit and not allow the suit to wear him was around 2011. I was in the eleventh grade at the time. I had just left school for the day. I skipped volleyball practice that day because of my anxiety. I was just hanging about alone. I wanted time to myself. All I wanted was a second to breathe. So, I left my former midtown high school and walked further downtown. A couple hours later, I found myself in the village walking from east to west. It’s one of my favorite areas in NYC. It’s a calmer neighborhood. I had a lovely stroll through the streets of Manhattan.  I wasn’t expecting what happened to happen, but it did. It was then I saw the man in the suit. 
This man was being photographed as he walked down the streets of New York. I don’t think anything important was happening that day. Men casually walk around in suits, right? He was just walking. I didn’t know who he was then, but I was instinctively pulled into a daze when I saw the suit he wore. I looked at the suit first. I preceded to look at the attractive man wearing the suit and back to looking at his suit. Most people may not have thought twice about the suit because the man wearing it is so attractive. The made-to-perfection, tailored suit was a perfect fit. He definitely wore it. He owned it. In that moment, I became instantly fascinated with suits. I became fascinated with types of suits and the art of tailoring (not that I know how). It turned out the man was David Gandy. After that day, I’d become a fan of the man behind the suit and the suit itself.

IT WASN’T UNTIL RECENTLY WHEN I REALIZED HE INSPIRED ME.

Over the years, Mr. Gandy would do interviews, magazine spreads, and grace the world with white pants in Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue commercial. Let’s not forget his work with Marks and Spencer as a designer and model for their Autograph collection. It makes me miss the old Christmas advert with David and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. He played the Mad Hatter, Aladdin, and Scarecrow in the Christmas Advert for M&S. He’d go on to venture into other things like writing, directing, and running his own businesses and brand, and creating and working with charities. I was always fascinated with hearing what he had to say. He never spoke for the hell of it. There’s always substance coming from this man with style. 
Gandy is a man with ambition, but he is also known with making sure he achieves what he wishes, continues to progress, and he never stops just because he got to where he wanted. Ambition, as wonderful as it may be, isn’t enough. Doing the actual work to make things happen is just as important. Someone doesn’t become the top male supermodel just by doing the bare minimum. The same thing applies to everyone with the things we wish to do. How am I going to get my PhD if I do nothing? How am I going to become a professor and work in fashion if I don’t go out and work for it? No one is going to say, “Here, Darianne. This is the world on a silver platter.” 


There’s always a plan. There’s always a five-year strategy behind everything. I never understand people when I say to people, “Where do you want to be” and they say “Well, I don’t know.” Then I say, “Well how are you going to get there?” It’s like a game of chess. You’re positioning things all the time to get to where you want to be and what you want to achieve.

I’M EXECUTING MY PLAN AS I WRITE THIS

This summer I wrote about how I didn’t want to know what happens next. I didn’t want to know about the future. I wanted to be free and one with the planet and that’s about it. That still stands. I do not want to know what where I will be and when, but I can dream and work hard to make my dreams a reality. Not wanting to know the future and coming up with a list of goals and a plan to achieve those goals aren’t the same thing. First, nothing is set in stone. Second, I can achieve many goals and still not have the outcomes be what I wish them to be. There’s a possibility that I can achieve one career goal, but not the other. This also ties in with the idea of not having regrets. As long as I try and work really hard for what I want, there won’t be anything for me to regret (not that I have any). As long as a strive to reach these goals and the things that make me happy, then I will be fine. Having a plan doesn’t mean that I know my future. I’m not Psychic. This isn’t an episode of That’s So Raven. This is me making sure my future is secured while going where the wind blows. A girl can multitask, right?
As David humorously said before, “I never tell people my five-year plan just in case I don’t get there.” I personally think it’s better to move in silence. Sometimes people make too much noise about where they want to be and how they are getting to where they want to be, but they don’t actually get there. Sometimes they don’t do anything. It’s all talk. I was one of those people talking the talk until I said it was time I walk the walk. I am proud to say that I have been walking the walk. I’m being vague as anyone should be. It’s the early stages of a plan I’m executing. It’s not about secrets. It’s about achieving what I want instead of just talking about it. Whether I succeed or fail, how I move and when I move should be on a need-to-know basis. I don’t want to make a lot of noise. Instead, I wish to show with my actions. Time will tell. Just know it is all part of the plan.

FROM HIS SUIT TO MY STYLE

Over the years I have been inspired by the man behind the suit, but I was originally inspired by the suit in 2011 and that hasn’t changed. David describes his style as “classic Hollywood” with style inspiration from Paul Newman, James Dean, Tom Ford, and Alasdair Willis. He also says he’s influenced by British tailoring.
These days I find myself on the Brookes Brothers website with trousers in my basket that I’m going to invest in. I’m constantly reaching for my navy blue plaid jacket I got from H&M last year. With my confidence in myself growing everyday, I find myself dipping into styles I wouldn’t have thought twice about like the classic tailored look. I’ve been having fun switching between jackets and trousers over the last few months. I bringing out the blouses and I’ve been enjoying every moment in it. Of friend of mine from the university said, “Yesterday you looked like a rockstar and today you look like you’re ready for business.” My style Is definitely undefined and inspiration is infinite even when it comes from someone unexpected.

DARIANNE


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15 October 2018

GETTING COZY


I feel like I’ve been talking about my autumnal mood for ages. I’m in the spirit. It’s October. Autumn already started. Ghouls and goblins are getting ready to come out and play. Let the festivities begin! I’ve been ready for so long. When I set out to write this post, I was going to write about how warm it had been in NYC. The temperatures were in the seventies and eighties. People were wearing flip flops, shorts, and sundresses. I am autumn person. It was making me nuts that wearing chunky sweaters wasn’t possible because I would over heat.
I fell asleep writing this post. I woke up the next morning and got ready to head off to my Italian lecture. I was surprised by how the temperature had dropped twenty degrees overnight. It was COLD out. FINALLY. Because I’ve been dressing for autumn and not the lingering summer heat, I didn’t check the weather. If it was warm, I’d just take off my sweater. If it’s cold, I’ll be fine. I wasn’t expecting to be blown away on Amsterdam avenue that day. I wasn’t expecting coats and shivering people. I was unintentionally prepared after all. I wish you could’ve seen my face. I was smiling from ear to ear. I’m definitely not ready for the frigid cold that winter brings, but I am ready for cooler weather. I wanted temperatures in the fifties and sixties and that’s what I got.

After my day at school was over, I ventured into downtown Manhattan. I wanted to enjoy the weather at my favorite places. Coffeeshops were filled with people. Starbucks was filled with orders of Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I only went in for a cookie, but I understood. It amazes me how a sudden drop in the weather made people want to huddle together. It’s as if the countdown to Christmas has begun. I’m excited for that too, but I can wait a bit longer.
The cold seems to bring people together. As if on cue, the aesthetics of New Yorkers and coffeeshops are suddenly very real and very much alive. New Yorkers seem to freak when it’s suddenly hot or suddenly cold. Don’t panic New York. It gets colder. New Yorkers act like it’s suddenly December when it’s fifty degrees. When December rolls around some people feel like they’ve entered a new ice age and others think back to the sixty degree weather as if it was years ago. Nonetheless, the cold seems to bring out a happier spirit in people. At least I think so. People become jollier. I’m talking about New Yorkers here. Jolly is saved specifically for Christmas because we’re always a rush. I am gettin ahead of myself. I do apologize for that.

I guess the wait is over for cooler weather. It’s time to watch Halloweentown and Hocus Pocus. This is where the cozy blankets come out and we make homemade hot chocolate. I told my friend that the cold weather came at the perfect time. Between writing my research papers, midterm papers, and homework, I am trying to find a balance with the other aspects in my life. I do have a job. I try to have a social life. I try to find time to produce content for my blog and that's usually between classes. It is definitely a hard thing to do. I feel like I am in front of my laptop all day every day. At this point I won't be surprised if someone told me that my laptop is suddenly part of my anatomy. While I balance everything in my life, I will definitely be looking for cozy corners where I can work.

DARIANNE

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01 October 2018

SOME ROSES ARE RED

HEAR YE, HEAR YE

When I turned twenty-three I promised that my my twenty third year would be amazing. I promised that it would be my best year yet. I learned a lot about self love and self worth the year before. I aspired to keep that momentum going. I wanted to be a forever growing and evolving sunflower. I showered myself with love and positivity which turned out to be the radiant sun I needed in life. I pushed myself for better. I tried to do things I was afraid of. I was experimenting with lipsticks. I promised nothing would hold me back from living my best life. All of that nurtured my twenty third year to the tallest, brightest, and strongest sunflower I had ever been. Cheers to that!
Of course it wasn't always easy. I tripped along the way. I fell too, but it didn't matter because I always got right back up which was important. I personally think my style improved through the confidence I began radiating because suddenly I didn't need validation from anyone or anything. I've never been one to care about those things, but I guess part of me did.

I DECIDED TO CELEBRATE

Twenty-four is a big deal to me. Just like twenty-five and so on will be a big deal to me. I had kept my birthday resolutions. I was feeling wonderful and I was beaming from all the love and care I was giving to myself. I put most of my time into my well being. People were noticing. I wanted to celebrate all that I had accomplished in just three hundred sixty-five days. 
Some time during the Spring, my friends and I booked our trip for Philadelphia. I was waiting impatiently. Then the Harry Styles concert happened. For over a month I had been reflecting on how wonderful that show was and how it is definitely a night to remember. I mean it was the best night of 2018. The next time I'd be going all out would, in fact, be my birthday. It was time to celebrate it. Off to Philly I go! There's was no stopping me, well us, as we took the city by storm.

BARCADES ARE COOL

The night before my birthday we went out to this barcade. Bars and arcades are two of my favorite things. The atmosphere in a bar is right in between the vibes at a lounge and vibes at a club. That's why bars are my favorite and the only one I'm willing to party at voluntarily. Now, when I heard the term "barcade" I thought of and old school bar decked out like Dave and Busters. My over imaginative expectation were off. It was definitely and old fashion, rustic bar. Instead of all of the newer games like Candy Crush and Halo that Dave & Busters has, the bar had more classic games like Pac-Man and the classic racing games that are found at the movie theatre. My favorite is racing. I get really serious and my face morphs due to the intense amount of concentration. My childhood came to life and I ran around playing ever game that I could. 
Somewhere along the lines were two men. One guy got the hint that it was just a girls night and we weren't interested. The other guy tried to tell stories about his life as a roadie. He hovered around and wouldn't leave. We dodged him a few times and ignored him. After awhile, he got the hint and he walked away. 
There was also the lovely bartender. She took care of us. She was really nice. She made the best Whiskey Sours and would give us water after every two drinks. She looked out for us while we were having the time of our lives. Girls must stick together. That's what I always say. If you get a bartender like that, tip them well. They care more for their customers than making quick tips. 

I PARTIED TOO HARD THE NIGHT BEFORE

When I awoke the morning of my birthday, I was fine until I wasn't. One thing I didn't know until that morning is even if you drink lots of water while drinking on a night out, going to bed when you get back from your night out is a bad idea. When I went to bed I was fine. In fact, my body was telling me that I was sobering up. I'd began to feel like my normal self. I was also sleepy from all of the excitement. 
When I woke up, I got in the shower and went back to my suitcase to grab some fresh clothes to go out for the day. When I had dressed myself, I began to feel a bit queasy and dizzy. I kept telling myself that I look to cute to be sick on my birthday. Moments later my head was in a toilet and my friend was taking care of me. She's the best. It turned out that the alcohol, though I didn't consume a lot, sat in my stomach and cause me to be sick the next morning. That's when I learned that going to bed after partying and showering isn't a good idea. As TJ Detweiler said, "This womps!"
I spend half the day feeling sick and I was determined to still enjoy my day. We stayed in the hotel room until around 4 p.m. By 4, I was ready to go back out and have a wonderful and very much sober day with my amiga. The museums had closed early and there wasn't much to do other than put something in our stomachs. This is definitely one of my favorite parts of the day. FOOD.

LITTLE NONNA’S

Located on Locust street, Little Nonna’s sits in the center of the street. It’s almost undetectable because it blends well with the rest of the buildings. Little Nonna’s is a small, beautiful restaurant that I fell in love with. When we got there, we were asked if we wanted to sit inside or outside which would be covered by a glass roof.I chose outside! Before we got there I mentioned wanting to eat outdoors even though it was raining. Off we went to our cute little table where we waited patiently for food. I ordered the spaghetti. If you’re a vegetarian like me, you can ask them for their vegetarian option which is basically Spaghetti with a deliciously thick marinara sauce. That marinara sauce is to die for. My mouth watered a lot and I wanted to lick the plate. We also ordered the garlic bread which was just as amazing. Have you ever had a meal that was so delicious you almost cried? I couldn’t eat it all because I still felt slightly sick from the night before, but I will definitely go back to Philly just for this restaurant.
The highlight of my birthday dinner is when the rain pattered on the ceiling. Everything was perfect. I was having dinner with my best friend while on vacation under a glass ceiling while I was still slightly nauseous and in love with the moments passing by. The rain got heavier. It rained so hard that the small pipes couldn’t drain all of the water. The water began to leak through the ceiling. Most people would be angry with birthday outfit getting soaked. I couldn’t help but laugh. The people next to me moved one by one. When the man who sat directly next to me moved, I got soaked. It was all in good laughs. It was the best laugh I had in the last 12 hours. They gave us free gelato which is always a plus.
If you’re ever in Philadelphia, visit Little Nonna’s and let your taste buds sing.

7 P.M. IN PHILLY

When we were done eating, we took our left overs and walked off the pasta. I couldn’t feel my stomach. I was beyond stuffed. We found these apartments that were all connected by these alley ways. I fell in love with the spot an had to get my photo taken. This shoot is the result of that. I danced around in circles as my friend took photos of me. She directed and guided me as the sun slowly set.
As time went on, we walked through the south side of Philly. This isn’t our first rodeo, It had definitely been awhile. We saw businesses booming. People were hanging out together. Bars were open and people were laughing about. Sex shops had people walking in and out of them as if they were having a semi annual sale. We saw new places and old places. We even passed the corner where I hopped into a puddle a few years back. With nostalgia hovering over our heads, we took in the night life that Philly offered.
We made it to the pier in a very short time. We were trying to figure out what to do and where to go. That’s when the fun took off.

BY THE END OF THE NIGHT

There were two places we would eventually go after dinner. The first was Dave & Busters. If you don’ know, Dave & Busters is a giant arcade with a bar and restaurant. We played as many games as we could. The highlight for me was none other than Halo. Halo is an X-Box game I used to play when I was younger. Seeing that the Dave & Busters had the arcade mades us spend the rest of our coins on the game. I also love a good racing game. Need For Speed was one of my favorite games growing up. Dave & Busters has a few versions of that. The virtual bowling was fun. Candy crush gave me a headache, but I kept playing. There were a couple of other games we played. I can’t remember the names of them, but it was so much fun. We were on cloud nine as we ran like children to get to the other games before anyone else could take them.
Dave & Busters closed at midnight. I wasn’t ready to go home. The night is still young. Why not continue to enjoy myself? Next and last stop was a bar/club. It was a spacious place with multiple dance floors, to die for nachos, and a good DJ. Anyone who can mix Reggaeton into their setlist is alright with me. We ate our delicious nachos. We enjoyed the view of the bar/club’s view on the water. The night ended with me downing several pints of water. Have fun and stay hydrated. That’s what I that morning. The place closed at two in the morning, but we were out of there before then. It’s was time for some much needed rest.

24 AND FOREVER MORE

When I was twenty-three I wished for happiness. At twenty-four, I will for all the same and a bit more. Happiness comes from within. Happiness can’t be achieved if my mind, body, and soul isn’t at their best. There is a delicate balance I wish to keep. For one, I’d like to wake up early and drink tea instead of coffee. I’d like to better my diet. As a vegetarian, sometimes I don’t get what I need from food which leaves me without energy at times. I want to be fit again. That’d be fun. I’d like to continue to find my way with being one with the planet and radiating positivity all around me. It’s all about equilibrium. It’s hard in a city like New York, but it’s possible. I want to follow the wind and the music wherever they take me. I want to dance the night away whether there’s music or not. I want to enjoy moments for what they are and make wishes at 11:11 twice a day. Life is short and I realized that more and more as I get older. More than ever I want to be as free as a bird.

Darianne

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