Holidays are when family traditions and idiosyncrasies are really exposed. My family in particular tends to go a little overboard for most occasions (Birthday EXTRAVAGANZA, 5 Days of Christmas, Halloween Week, etc.) I was discussing the phenomenon of the fashion that goes along with Christmas craziness with a Jewish merchandiser I work with; she was celebrating Christmas for the first time with her boyfriend’s family. She seemed more than terrified as I described my snowflake sweaters and red tights paired with green suede (Marc Jacobs) heels of Christmases past. After a long pause she replied “I think I have a red cashmere sweater I can wear….” She then made me promise to document my 5 days worth of outfits to educate her in proper Christmas apparel. I told her I would do better and go public (no matter how incriminating!) to remind others that fashion is about having FUN! Isn’t that how “tacky Christmas sweater” parties were started? This year, try making your own family’s Christmas Eve a tacky holiday sweater party (spoiler!)
Tonight is my last night in the apartment I have lived in for 5 years. Packing up all of my belongings was much more emotional than I expected. I moved into this “perfect apartment” as I call it after a major turning point in my life. My miniature pinscher had tragically passed after being poisoned at the dog park, then I graduated college and my roommate of 4 years moved to California. Thankfully, a designer I worked for came to my rescue and offered me his rent stabilized, one bedroom apt WITH A YARD in Chelsea… it was finally the light of sunshine I needed. Most importantly this was the first time I was able to pay my whole rent and truly support myself 100% as a model, which was my ultimate New York goal. I was so proud of this apartment and quickly made it my home… my friends did too. These walls have witnessed countless birthday parties, engagement celebrations, breakup heart to hearts and everything in between. The number of foster dachshunds that have used my home as a halfway house still make my heart ache with endless love. And of course there is Chili. Chili came in as a foster dog months after I moved in and hasn’t left my side yet. The two of us have had many ups and downs (including the 3 months we slept on the living room floor together after his debilitating back surgery) but we now draw strength from each other in perfect harmony.
So, saying goodbye to this home of mine is heartbreaking, but it is time. I am no longer a 22 year old trying to find my place in the fashion world. I now know who I am as a woman and discovered my niche in the modeling industry. I have a clear vision of my taste in style and no longer apologize for who I am or what I wear. And besides, I’m only moving 10 blocks away- I’ll always be a Chelsea girl through and through.