Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Oh, these times are hard...

... and they're making us crazy, don't give up on me, baby...

The simplest things in life are often, I think, the very best things. They’re the things we rely on for hope and comfort in times of trepidation and sorrow.

Though many things have changed for me this year – new job, new apartment, new opportunities – and will continue to change, and I’m excited to see a new horizon, there are still plenty of things I’m going to miss.

Sometimes you gain one thing only to lose another. I suppose this is the universe’s little balancing act. One minute we smile; the next, we dissolve into tears. We may not understand what’s happening at the time, until one day it all falls magically into place and makes perfect sense. At least, we hope it will.

Reasons to rejoice on a cold, rainy winter evening: comfort food (vegan chick’n stew with “clouds,” featuring a "gravy" base made from scratch, seasonal root vegetables, and dumplings made with almond milk), Christmas lights, the company of a loved one, the companionship of a furry friend.

We may not ever know what the future holds. And while there’s fear in the unknown, there’s joy to be found in surprises.

Happy early Christmas to you and yours…

-E

Monday, December 19, 2011

Bringing back the blogging!


Hi all!

I've missed my friends in the fashion world! Even though I no longer work in the field (I'm a full-time news reporter now!), I would like to dive back in, pick up where I left off, and immerse myself in the fashion blogging universe... if, of course, you'll have me! My hiatus was much-needed. The break wasn't for too long, thank goodness! I saw many of you over at my tumblr, This Gal Friday, so I don't feel as though I missed too much! :)

Blogging has always been a great outlet for me. As a professional writer, I tend to get bogged down with work, and miss the creative side (though I do have plenty of freedom at the newspaper where I work, and pretty much set my own schedule and chase my own story ideas each day). My intentions in bringing back Ip & Audrey are twofold: 1) to break back into the fashion industry, to perhaps transition to magazine editorial work and 2) to serve as a portfolio for my photography, fashion writing, and perhaps even my music. I am pursuing my music career on the side more and more; recently, I landed a paid gig that will see me performing at a large venue in Boston this spring, recording some tracks and touring India a year from now! I am an "indie" singer-songwriter-musician, however, and do not have a recording contract (but if that ever changes, hey, I won't complain!). Somehow, I'd like to continue climbing up the ladder as a reporter, whether I wind up at a fashion magazine, working for a fashion website again, reporting from red carpets and fashion shows or landing some TV work, I'm open to it all! The future, as always, is wide open, and I'm excited to embrace it all.

So, this blog is back and will see some changes, and I hope you'll be here to take this journey with me! Stay tuned. And if I don't see you soon, Happy Christmas!

Love love love,
Erin

P.S. Yes, the photo I posted is from last year; I cheated! New stuff coming SOON!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ip & Audrey has moved!

Greetings, fashion bloggers and friends!

My apologies for the lack of updates. I was hoping to keep my fashion blog up and running but, alas, real life has gotten in the way. After landing my dream gig as a full-time news reporter, I no longer have time to cover runway shows or pull together outfits and photo shoots. Maybe, one day, I will again. But for now, it's all local government and school committees and tropical storms from here on out!

But if you miss me and my blogging (I miss you, too!) feel free to follow my adventures and musings in a new space. I will be chronicling my day-to-day reporter adventures, joining the ranks of tumblrs worldwide with This Gal Friday. I hope to see you there!

Peace and love,

Erin (aka "Audrey")

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Water, water

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On Saturday I took a trek to the tip of Cape Cod at Provincetown to gaze at the sea. It is the coldest, deepest part of the ocean I have seen on this coast. The waves crashed violently as the wind howled, icy, still, for March. I scanned the horizon for an end in sight; silly me, there is none.

So easily and so often, I am struck by the powerful force of nature. Cold, unrelenting, unstoppable. As beautiful as it is frightening. I am humbled by its vastness and awed by its majesty. It makes me feel so small, and well aware that everything around me could be struck, shaken, crumbled, vanished in an instant.

My mind and heart is with the people of Japan. I may be far away, distance-wise, from their tragedy, but I am keeping their pain and sorrow close. As I gaze at my calmer coast, I can only imagine what they have been through and pray for their stamina and safety. I have yet to go over there but I will soon and, when I do, I want to help.

Here, you can view the Boston Globe's coverage of last Friday's earthquake and tsunami. Or watch the chilling footage, below.



And if you feel compelled, please offer Japan your help, here.

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There is always hope.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Best of the Web Award!

I'm excited and honored to announce that Ip & Audrey is the recipient of a new award: Careers in Fashion is bestowing its Best of the Web award for Ip & Audrey's green fashion coverage.

Top Fashion Schools

Yay!

This is an amazing honor and I couldn't be more thrilled for my little fashion blog! Thanks to all of your for your continued support. Let's party!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chasing Unicorns

See, I used to play with unicorns... and feed them coffee. And yes, I am a dork.*

Thank you all for your sweet comments on my last post! I am happy to report that, yes, unicorns do exist... because I got the job! Ok, well, it's not the job, it's a job, but it's a journalist one, and that's what I'm most excited about. It's only taken me, oh, three and a half years to get here, but I'm here now! And everyone has to start somewhere!

I am still working at my current job, and will be for the next few weeks, but pitched my new editor three stories today. He picked one of them, and then assigned me nine more. Nine?!? I freaked, which included tears and hysterical laughter (I was by myself staring at my laptop in bewilderment, so no one knew, thank goodness!). I mean, I'm excited and all, but it's been a few years since I've written anything besides a blog post! My last published paper article was in 2007! A little freaking out is definitely in order. But, hey, this is what I wanted! So I'm going to calm the crap down and just go for it.

My first front-pager, back when I was 21. I was a baby!*

And because I have a tendency to blather on about things that have very little to do with my, oh yeah, fashion blog, I am creating a space to blog just about work/writing stuff... because wouldn't reading the witticisms and woes of an aspiring reporter be fun? Or something? I'd like to think so! And if you think so, you can check out This Gal Friday. Yup. Super original, I know. ;)

Thanks, again, for all of your kind words and support! And do check back soon for a few new giveaways, plus a super-cool all new blog layout... I've been dying to unveil the new designs for a while, and everything is finally coming together!

Have a wonderful weekend... I'll be in New York, and hope to throw a little Oscars viewing party! While we're on the subject, who are your favorite nominees? I am firmly entrenched in Camp Franco. I'm also on Team Portman, simply because I like her... and haven't seen all the other nominees' performances. And hey, it'd be cool if all the big winners this year were twenty- and thirty-somethings, no?


*Please note that these horribly embarrassing images are from my college days, when I was horribly embarrassing and unabashedly dorky on a daily basis. Well, ok... Some things never change... ;)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

This Gal Friday

I'm a big believer in dreams coming true, even if they take a little while. Since childhood, it's been my dream to write for a living. And since graduating college (a few years ago now), I've been trying to break into the newspaper business. But a big and nasty villain called the economic recession decided to gut that business in particular and make it nigh-on impossible to find work in the field. Nowadays, full-time writing jobs are so elusive that I'm beginning to equate them to unicorns... as in, it would be cool if they actually existed, but at some point we have to grow up and face the fact that they're nothing but a myth.

If only there existed a job where one can wear pink, and type on a pink laptop and, ooh... unicorns!

Well, not anymore.

Call it a comeback! More and more publications seem to be opening their doors to new writers once more. As I've spent the past few years freelancing, working odd jobs, just trying to "make it" as a writer, I'm more than ready to brush up the ol' resume and take the paper business by storm.

Yes, I'm a dreamer, but I really feel that this is the year "my dreams will match up with my pay," to quote Feist. Not that journalists get paid a lot... but at this point, any salary would easily fit into my dreams scale; all I require is a roof over my head, some Ikea furniture, a few whimsical odds and ends from Anthropologie, and some Trader Joe's groceries in the fridge.

Do I sound like a hipster-writer-blogger, or what? ;)


Of course, as a fashion blogger, I just had to create a journalist's dream wardrobe. Thank goodness Polyvore allows me to indulge my love for Kate Spade and Anthropologie without actually spending my whole paycheck on their lovely wares...


I would love to sprint around in an outfit like this, whether I become a big city professional or remain a small-town typist. But no matter where I end up, I know one thing for sure...

I need an iPad so I can rock this sweet case by Kate Spade!Kidding. Mostly. :) But I do love the newspaper print, and black, white and red happens to be a favorite color combo. Perfect for the aspiring writer, no?

So. I plan to be dashing off to interviews here and there over the next few months. Of course, I will continue to post updates here... and get back to blogging as usual. And you'll be happy to know that I have a few goodies up my sleeve before the month is out... more exciting giveaways! Stay tuned!

I hope wherever you are, you're enjoying the middle of February, inching ever closer to spring!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

There can only be one...


... winner of the $100 Shopbop giveaway, but I wish there could be more! Thank you all for entering, and for following my blog! I appreciate each and every one of you and like to take any and every opportunity to say thanks and give back.

That said, I put all of your names into a hat (some of you earned multiple entries!) and have found our winner... Carmen! Congratulations!

I want to thank Shopbop for this amazing contest!

Again, thank you all for entering and for keeping up with my blog! I have some exciting new content on the way, so stay tuned!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Shopbop Giveaway!

Just what you need to ease the winter blues: a $100 giveaway courtesy of Shopbop! Read on for all the deets...


During the frigid winter months, your coat is arguably the most important piece of clothing you'll wear. A great coat should be three things: stylish, versatile and warm. As temperatures drop this season, Shopbop's got you covered-- literally!

One lucky reader will win $100 to shop the Shopbop sale. Shop for the latest trends from your favorite designers, like Alexander Wang and Michael Kors, or browse the site's collection of cozy winter outerwear.

Whether you want to keep it classic, set a trend or hit the slopes, a coat from Shopbop's designer collections will help you do it!

Classic

There's nothing more classic than a pea coat. Wear one to the office or for an evening out and you'll look refined and professional.

Trendy

If you really want to make a statement, a faux fur vest like the bold HHN by Haute Hippie Mongolian Vest should be your go-to piece.

Sporty

Puffer jackets are a perfect choice if you lead a more active lifestyle (or just live in a frigid place!). Casual and sporty, puffer jackets from Shopbop will keep you warm and stylish on the slopes or on the street.

Enter to Win!

Just leave me a comment telling me: when it comes to winter style, do you go for classic, trendy or sporty? Winner will be chosen at random, to keep it fair. Bonus: If you follow me on Twitter, Google Friend Connect or BlogLovin', you'll earn an extra entry! Just tell me in your comment which one you've opted to follow. And if you follow all three... that's three extra entries! Woo-hoo! Oh, and muy importante... this giveaway is also open to international readers! So what are you waiting for? Enter this awesome contest!

The giveaway will close on Sunday, February 6th at midnight. Good luck!

Wherever you are, I hope you're staying nice and toasty this season!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Goofy and giddy

Hi y'all,

I am home all week recovering from a wee little surgery. No worries, all is well. :) I get to lounge around and find ways to entertain myself. So I was beyond happy to stumble upon the new She & Him video for "Don't Look Back." It's very retro, very bright, and very, very giddy. Just like me, on oxycodone! In fact, I'm thinking this video looks even better on oxycodone. :D Nope, I'm not crazy. Just really, really happy. :)

Enjoy!

She & Him - Don't Look Back from Merge Records on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Let it snow!

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The phrase is used to death, but when the earth turns winter white and the winds won't cease to blow, there's nothing left to say but... let it snow!

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Taking these pictures proved to be quite the challenge yesterday. I (optimistically) set my camera on my tripod, and scampered to my "posing areas" as quickly as possible... quite a few times, the camera was knocked over. So. Not the best idea to use a tripod during a nor'easter.

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The blizzard-like conditions also required a change in footwear. I started out (again, optimistically) wearing a pair of brown lace-up sweater-lined booties (all faux leather and acrylic "wool," FYI, fellow vegan fashionistas!), which have treads on the bottom but also stiletto heels. So. NOT the best idea to wear stilettos in a nor'easter! The things you learn... ;) I switched to my waterproof rubber duck boots, which also have heels, but chunkier ones. Yes, my "snow boots" have heels. My co-workers at the Environmental Police like to tease me over this.

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These boots complement what I consider to be a practical winter weather ensemble! My Anthropologie Southward Stop dress is corduroy, and therefore quite warm (side note: I wanted this dress for months; eBay score!). I added a draped, cranberry-colored cardigan for a little extra warmth, along with eggplant-hued sweater tights. When that still proved a tad too chilly, I added a faux leather jacket. No puffer coat required! Really! Ok, truth: I was frozen solid after mere minutes, as my entire outfit was covered in snowflakes. But for a winter wonderland photo shoot? Worth ever freezing second!

And because today was sunny and slightly above freezing, I celebrated with an iced coffee. Yup. Guess I'm more of a New Englander than I thought!

What about you? Did you get buried in snow?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Shoes Got Sole: CSN Stores Product Review

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New year, new shoes, new product review!

CSNStores.com was kind enough to send me a voucher for one of their online stores. I chose ShoesGotSole.com, and after much perusal, decided on this pair of beautiful red booties! I have always wanted a pair of red shoes; I'm usually a pink kind of girl, but red is such a power color!

I decided to build the rest of my ensemble around the shoes. The rosettes are my favorite detail, but to balance, I kept the rest of the outfit a little more menswear-inspired with straight black cords and an oversize vest.

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I'm also obsessed with my Eiffel Tower pendant! It goes with everything, I swear. Oui, oui!

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Overall, I'm pretty pleased with these sweet new kicks. Thank you to CSN Stores for this great opportunity! For you readers, I hope to kick off the New Year with a new giveaway, soon!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Fashion ballet

Natalie Portman as Nina Sayers in Black Swan.

Thanks to Black Swan, ballet style is finding its way back onto the center stage of fashion. Dancers and their lithe, graceful figures have long been envied and exalted by the fashion industry, but this spring, we're expected to see a lot more dance-inspired looks on both the runways and the streets. The New York Times recently highlighted this in a 'Ballerina Chic' slide show, where you can view the inspirations behind the costumes in Black Swan (designed by Rodarte) and glimpse how ballet was big in the Spring 2011 shows, and will therefore be all over retail in the coming months.

A department store opening in the U.K. last year, featuring a resplendent ballet theme.

Feeling the dance wear craze coming on? You can get started now... Just pop over to American Apparel for leotards and tights, dust off those old dance shoes and pull on a cozy shrug... You'll be pirouetting en pointe in no time!

Here are a few ballet-inspired looks I cooked up on Polyvore... I love seeing an array of pinks and grays in dance wear. Nothing screams "dancer off-duty" quite like a slouchy gray sweater, sweet ballet flats, and a giant pink bag!


Of course, I had to include a nod to the darker side of dance, as depicted in both "Swan Lake" and Black Swan's sinister version of the tragic tale...



But if you find Black Swan to be too twisted a portrayal of a dancer's life, why not look a decade back to Center Stage?

Nina Sayers, meet Jody Sawyer... Now who would win in a dance-off?

Center Stage is a much lighter take on the world of professional ballet, and is one of those films that's so bad, it's good! If you care more about costumes and dance sequences than actual acting, this flick is sure to delight!

An Academy Award winner it is not, but who needs Oscar when you've got happy feet? And, you know, a normal-ish psyche...

Well, I don't know about you, but I'm ready to lace up the toe shoes and don some legwarmers... Dancing makes for great exercise, especially during the winter months when it's too cold to go outside (I'm a cold-weather wimp and won't work out in the snow... unless, of course, I'm skating!). So... Anybody dare to wear a tutu?

Monday, January 3, 2011

You say you want a resolution...

Happy (belated) New Year, everyone!

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Now, I'm not someone who gets into New Year's in a big way. I don't go to crazy NYE parties or brave the cold to watch the ball drop in Times Square. Growing up, I always spent New Years' Eve at my grandparents' house, eating finger foods and watching the ball drop on TV, and that's exactly what I did this year... save for staying up for the countdown. After a six-hour drive, I was exhausted and wound up dropping long before the ball did! But it was still nice to welcome the new year, surrounded by family in my hometown.

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[This is not my hometown. This is where I live now. But it's pretty. :)]

But I don't consider the mere change in calendar date to be cause for celebration, or even a time to make new goals. You can set and accomplish goals on any random day of the year, after all. I am constantly making lists and attempting to check things off, one by one, finishing things as I'm able to. And I tend to mark the passage of time by birthdays or, when in school, by semesters. Or, since I've switched occupations many times in the past few years, by a job's start and end dates!

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So I'm not going to bore you with a list of my New Year's resolutions, because I don't have any. Around my 26th birthday, however, I was inspired (by a few other bloggers) to make a list of 26 things I'd like to do before I turn 27. After reviewing this, I was surprised that few of my goals have anything to do with work... I found myself writing things like "learn French" and "create comic book."

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Career goals have consumed me for a long time, but when I get to the heart of things, the desires that are nearest and dearest to me have more to do with personal enrichment than professional advancement. I always was less ambitious and career-oriented than I was passionate and creative. As I've gotten older, I figured that was bound to change, but I'm happy that my creative spirit is still alive and well. Somewhere, my inner songbird still chirps happily! As stupid as that sounds... But, hey, maybe one of these days I'll get around to sharing some of my songs with you... Wouldn't that be fun? Something I think my blog definitely needs... guitars! And kittens! Yes. I promise to deliver both of those things!

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Ok. So this picture happens to have both those things... Yay!

What are some of your goals - we won't call them "resolutions" - this year?