Schoolgirl Revisited

1.23.2015

I went to Catholic school for Middle School and High School and wore a uniform every day. The schoolgirl aesthetic has continued to appeal to me throughout the years, especially a great pleated skirt. Not only are they flirty and fun, they're also incredibly flattering. I teamed up with Sam Edelman to create this remixed girly look. I paired the sweet navy blue skirt with a whimsical white blouse with beautiful and delicate floral detailing. To ground the look I added high black boots with a slight chunky heel. I shot this look over the weekend while visiting Philly with Alex. We loved checking out the sights and eating amazing food (especially the aptly named "Mr. Martino's Trattoria." I hope to go back in the summer for better weather!  
Special thanks to Sam Edelman & Style Coalition for sponsoring this post. 

Winter Chic with Kung Katherine

1.22.2015


I love finding talented local designers who bring a fresh eye to their collections. I was so excited to work with Kung Katherine to showcase a look from her Fall/Winter line. Kung Katherine, originally from Hong Kong creates beautiful garments with both Eastern and Western inspiration that are incredibly chic and timeless with unique and eye-catching details. I instantly fell in love with this gorgeous navy blue sheath dress with stunning lace appliqué flowers. The horsehair & cashmere coat adds texture and color to the outfit with an elegant cut. In addition to wearing her beautiful clothes, I had the opportunity to chat with Kung Katherine and ask her a few questions about herself and her designs.

1) You've worked with incredible designers like Donna Karen and Oscar de la Renta. What made you want to start your own line?
A: Coming from an entrepreneurial family, designing and operating my own brand has always been in my plan. When I was at Oscar de la Renta, I learned so much. I was taking lots of notes -- not only on designs skills, but also on operation and management knowledge.  

2) What was your inspiration for the F/W collection?
A: FW14' was inspired by Helmut Newton's Polaroid Series - Through this, I challenged the crash between provocateur and classic. 
3) How has New York shaped you and your designs?
A: New York City constantly pushes me to do better in all directions. You find yourself surrounded by the best in any trades of work, which I find very impressive and inspiring. You can also find endless creative resources from all the museums, operas and architecture in this city.
Special thanks to Kung Katherine for sponsoring this post. Photos: Jeff Thibodeau

Weekend Warrior

1.15.2015




 A couple weeks back, there was a perfectly pleasant weekend. Just lookin at these photos makes me cold! I love this swingy accordion style top I scored on sale at Anthropologie paired with my favorite Madewell skinny jeans, leather jacket & quirky pumps from Cole Haan. The colors meld perfectly with the graffiti in my neighborhood in Broooklyn, I feel like I'm part of the background.
I can't wait for this coming weekend- Alex and I are heading to Philly for the long weekend to visit Alex's sister & friends.  


Chilly Grey Scale

1.07.2015


So it's really really cold. It's now officially my third winter in the Big Apple and I don't know if I'll ever be used to the northern chill. What makes the season especially tough is actually being outside all the time. In most other cities you run from the indoors to a heated car but in New York we walk. We walk a lot. This black and white look keeps me nice and toasty with a knitted turtleneck, long black coat and flares. For a pop of color I added my beloved Kate Spade purse & red lips (MAC Ruby Woo!) 

This look was featured in an article in my hometown's (Lexington, Kentucky) Saturday paper. My sweet mom emailed an editor telling them about my blog and life in New York and they picked up the story. Such a lovely surprise. 

Winter White (Red & Blue!)

1.06.2015


Dress & Coat: c/o Brooks Brothers, Shoes: Seychelles, Gloves: Kate Spade (similar), Hat: Handmade
I feel like this post is a bit of an homage to my Winter White post from last year. It was one of my very first posts with a professional photographer (love ya, Jeff!) and I was so proud to finally feel like a 'real blogger.' A year later I'm sharing another winter white look with this gorgeous white frock & navy blue trench from Brooks Brothers. For my classic flash of red I added my new hat from Street Scene in Lexington (here's one similar) plus red lipstick & suede pumps from Seychelles. Minus the hat, the look is quite classic and elegant, but I love adding a dash of fun and kitsch (not to mention warmth). Stay tuned for more winter looks as the temperatures continue to drop in the Big Apple.
Photos by Jose Martinez. Location: Union Ave, Brooklyn NY

A Year in the Life: 2014

1.02.2015

The year was off to a fabulous & grown-up start with my move to my first apartment on my own. I’ve spent the past year making it my own — see more photos of the progress hereherehere and the official home tour here.
{Home Tour here. Photo from my interview on The StyleLine here.} 
My darling mom surprised me with a spontaneous plane ticket for her work trip to Puerto Rico. We even surprised my dad at the airport! It was a wonderfully relaxing trip despite the rain and it was such a pleasure to spend time with my parents. 
{Photo from Instagram - don't forget to follow me @rachmartino}
 My good luck kept coming with a trip Westward with Lacoste. The entire experience was incredible from the road trip from L.A. to Palm Desert with a few incredible bloggers and 1 amazing photographer to the two wild days at the Lacoste Pool Party compete with free food trucks, a refreshing pool with alligator rafts, a very open bar and a slew of celebs. 
{Blog post from the Event here, Official Lacoste Video here, My 'Day in the Life' video here}
 Another surreal episode of 2014 was my first real photo shoot with Refinery29 & T.J. Max at Jack Studios. 2 days choc-full of wardrobe changes, lights, makeup and hair, I got the chance to see first-hand what being a model would truly be like. I quickly decided it wasn’t really for me, but for those 2 days, I loved seeing the process (and of course, the fashion!) See the full feature here
{Full feature on Refinery29.com here. My blog posts about the experience here.}
Later in April I experienced my first ‘Con.’ I’d heard a myriad of things about VidCon, ComiCon & BeautyCon and boy, was it a trip to see it for myself. Thousands of screaming girls with makeup and YouTuber gurus on their mind! I felt flattered to be speaking on a panel with quite a few girls whose careers I’ve followed and admired including Helena of Brooklyn Blonde, Amanda of MakeupbyMandy and Whitney Port. My friend Helen from Nashville even joined and I was able to sneak her into the Talent Lounge where I chatted it up with Claire Marshall, who I have a total girl-crush on. 
{My 'Day in the Life' video from BeautyCon here.}
Without a doubt, my favorite trip of 2014 was Alex and I’s twelve day excursion in Paris. I was invited to be a part of a video project for the luxury/travel brand Maison Ullens. After wrapping the shoot 
{video here}, Alex and I had an unprecedented week and change of blue skies and sunny days. The weather was so beautiful, in fact that we didn’t end up stepping foot in a single museum because we kept saying, “maybe if it rains.” Initially our itinerary out us in Marseille for the final weekend, but due to the strikes, our train was cancelled and we spent the whole trip in Paris. As bummed as we were to miss my Friend Laure down south, our last night in Paris, coincidentally La Festival de la Musique ended up being unforgettable. We watch the sunset over Notre Dame with friends as an old college pal Devon, now living in Paris played tunes along the Seine. Check out her album here
{Posts from Paris herehere, herehere, here, here. Video here.}
For most families Christmas (or sometimes Thanksgiving) is the Holiday most synonymous with family. For me the 4th of July has been the day I associate most with my big, Italian family. This year I headed from JFK to LAX to celebrate Independence Day with the Martino clan. I have almost 30 cousins on my Dad's side so needless to say it's a big get-together complete with swimming in my grandparents pool, tons of grub and a very competitive volleyball tournament. Being clumsy we are, my cousins Tiara, Alexie and I created our own mini-team "Duck, Swerve, Scream." Yes, we have tee-shirts. This year in particular, I fell deeper in love with Southern California and after a particularly cold winter in NYC, the wheels in my head started turning. But, don't worry, I'm not going anywhere anytime soon. 
For me personally, this year was the year of the blog. My New Year’s Resolution from 2013 had been to expand and grow RachMartino.com and I’ve been so excited with the progress. I hired an incredible graphic designer, Kelly-Ann Mount of Spirit & Haven to redesign my website. The process was eye-opening and forced me to answer questions about myself and my brand. The result came to final fruition in July and I’m overjoyed with the way it looks, an expression of myself in a way I never would have expected years ago.
{See more about the process on Kelly-Ann’s site & my original Pinterest Inspiration board here.} 
Another surreal moment came in August when I was featured on an episode of B.O.R.N. To Style on the FYI Network. I filmed the episode back in April, so it felt like forever to see the show live on T.V. My parents were so psyched and I’ve officially knocked ‘appear on television' off my bucket list.
{See the full episode here.}
Another year, another year older. I still catch myself telling people I’m 22, or 23 sometimes even 21. But, alas on August 9th 2014, I turned 24 among great friends. Planning a birthday gathering in New York City can be tricky with friends spread across neighborhoods and boroughs across the city. Alex was a doll to cook for everyone at my place with a scrumptious taco bar. My best friend Michelle prepared the signature cocktail which was both delicious & dangerous field by Tequila. I set up a Photo Booth in my office and captured the moments as they unfolded. 
{Blog post with more photos here.}
2014 was a year of love as my relationship with Alex continued to bloom and unfold. I had the chance to spend Labor Day weekend with his family upstate in Ithaca. I had spent a few hours with his mom and dad earlier when we visited his sister in Philadelphia, but this really felt likemeeting the parents for real. Ithaca is a gorgeous city and I relished spending time with Alex’s family for a few days. 
{More photos here.}
Here’s a confession - I really don’t love Fashion Week. I love fashion, yes, but NYFW doesn’t do much for me. I know it’s partially because I live here so it looses some of the destination allure. Also, I have to work so I don’t even get to attend most of the shows I’m lucky enough to be invited to. It is, however a great time to see my blogger pals and meet new ones, especially at the after-hours parties that are often more fun than the shows themselves.
{Blog posts from NYFW Fall '14 here & here.}
Speaking of blogger friends, this year particularly I started to feel more at home in New York thanks to new friends filing my life with love. Pauline, who’s blog PaulineFashionBlog has been in inspiration for me over the year has become a lovely companion, not to mention a kick in the ass to my French vocabulary. I loved working with both Pauline and another new blogger Pal Christine of My Style Pill on the launch of this seasons collection of Mademoiselle Plumes from Comptoir des Cotonniers. Her adorable husband even shot our looks over by Central Park.  
{Blog post with Pauline & Christine for Comptoir des Cotonniers here. Pauline's post here.} 
Another exciting first for me in 2014 was appearing in print! I’ve never been in a magazine so seeing my face in Lucky Magazine was an absolute thrill. I worked on an advertorial for Crest that appeared in the November & December issues. 
{Blog post about the experience here & here.} 
As if one trip to Paris with my man wasn’t enough, I had the opportunity to go back to the City of Light in November to cover the unveiling of the Christmas lights at Printemps, presented this year by Burberry. It was a quick (and chilly) trip, but I enjoyed every minute of our long weekend in Paris filled with friends, cheese, and of course, wine. 
{Blog post from my experience at Printemps here. More photos from this trip to Paris here.}
 For the past couple of years my mom, dad and I have spent Thanksgivings in Florida at my parents’ condo in Blue Mountain Beach. It’s always a relaxing time, filled with board games, great food and long walks on the beach. This year, it rained quite a bit which forced us to really slow down and appreciate the time together indoors. I read ‘Head in Bed’ a hilarious memoir by XX all revealing the dirty laundry behind the Hotel biz. I also totally splurged at the outlet malls especially J.Crew Factory & Kate Spade. 
{Photo from Instagram, @rachmartino at Alys Beach} 
For Christmas I headed home to spend time my family in Lexington, Kentucky. This year was extra special because Alex flew south with me to meet my parents for the first time the weekend before Christmas. We toured the Woodford Reserve Distilleryvisited Downtown Lexington and hung out at my parents house playing Ping Pong and watching Holiday movies. Alex headed back to New York on Monday the 22nd and I spent the rest of the time seeing High School friends and chilling with my folks. 
{Blog post at Woodfoord Reserve here, Post in Downtown Lexington here, Video of Christmas here.} 
Happy New Year! I'll admit that this photo isn't from NYE this year. {See original blog post of this look here.} After flying home from Kentucky I had a (very painful) triple root canal on the 28th. I've been laying low at home with Ibuprofen and Penicillin while I recover. While it wasn't the perfect end to 2014, it was all and all an amazing year and I can't wait to see what 2015 brings. Thanks so much for making this past year incredible and I look forward to sharing what's next here on the blog. {In case you're interested: A Year in the Life 2012 & 2013.}

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