Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My weekend with Patricia Field ♥ Benecia Fashion Week Pt. 2

There are those weekends that come and go without the faintest of memories...
And then there are those absolutely unforgettable weekends 
filled with new friends, good wine and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

This was one of those weekends.

Patricia Field, the Icon.
For those who are not aware of her work (I forgive you), Patricia is the genius behind the styles from Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada along with many others. That signature pink tutu Carrie Bradshaw dawns in the intro? Yep, that was Pat's doing. Patricia has a way of effortlessly breaking the rules of fashion with no fear. She has a confidence not only in her work but in her sense of self that can rarely be matched.

Friday Night
I began the night a wide-eyed student, hoping I would have the opportunity to just receive a few words of wisdom from a woman in the industry whom I admire the most. Benecia Fashion Week was hosting a meet and greet at a local bar in town. I had been looking forward to this event for months and unfortunately nobody was able to go with me. I debated whether or not I should go but something in my gut told me this was an opportunity I could not pass up. (Note to self: Follow your gut more often!!!) So I slipped on my lavender jumper I had been dying to wear and my faux valentino rockstuds and headed off to Benecia. 
Arriving almost an hour late (thanks bay area traffic), I made my way into the bar while Project Runway stars Richard Hallmarq and Emily Payne were speaking. I attentively listened while sipping on my complimentary cosmopolitan (perfect drink for the occasion). I sat at the bar twiddling my thumbs for a while waiting for Patricia to speak. If you have ever been in a bar alone you know the immense anxiety that comes with not knowing anyone. (I need another drink for this!) As she stepped on stage the crowd went crazy. Patricia has a way of captivating her audience and when she spoke, people craved to hear more. She discussed her career, the creation of Carrie Bradshaw and David Dalrymple's designs that were to be shown on the runway show the next day.
 After her discussion she came into the crowd to take pictures and greet her guests. I figured that was my only opportunity and as soon as the crowd cleared I walked up and introduced myself. I nervously explained to her that I was a fashion student and admired her work and then I asked her what advice she had for me. Her response was something that will stick in my head forever,"What exact advice do you want? You have to know what it is exactly that you want and then ask for it." At first I was taken aback by her response until later on I realized that in itself was her advice. She continued to explain to me that I have to always do what I love and success will follow. In the fashion industry it can be difficult to find your own unique voice among all the people and trends, but she reminded me to stay true to myself no matter what. There is only one "me" and that is the best thing I can offer. The thing that stood out to me the most during our conversation was how when she spoke to me, she looked directly in my eyes and made sure I knew that I was her focus at the moment. Even when a few ladies came by to take a picture with her she casually told them she was busy with me and that she would do that later. Even during an event specifically geared to celebrate Patricia, she selflessly took the time to speak with me. 
Not wanting to take up too much of her night, I thanked her for the words of wisdom and was about to head home. I simply let her know how much I enjoyed speaking with her and that I didn't want it to end an then she did something that turned my entire night around. She invited me into the VIP area to talk more with her. (Seriously, who turns down that kind of an invitation?)
In the VIP room I was introduced to a few of her fabulous friends. I struck up a conversation with Katherine and Isabel, two of the sweetest ladies you will ever meet. I also was able to chat briefly with Richard Hallmarq, before he was pulled away back into the crowd. In the VIP room they were playing a video of all of Patricia's old runway shows and I couldn't help but get sucked in by the years and years worth of gorgeous and unique designs she had created. In between running around like a mad woman, I got to chat and instantly hit it off with Patricia's wonder-woman assistant, Rosey.

Picture from Rosey's Instagram

Rosey. Rosey. Rosey. You know those girls that you talk to for ten minutes and just know that you will be really good friends? That would be Rosey. In between dealing with fans and keeping up on Patricia's social media, Rosey squeezed in some time to chat with me while I nervously sat on the couch. She explained to me her journey, beginning at an Art school in the Bay Area to a fabulous job in New York City. I immediately looked to her as a role model and craved to find out more. She, like Patricia, had that certain confidence to where she knew what she was doing and just did it. That's probably why the two work so well together! For as much as she had accomplished, she had the most selfless and down to earth way of looking at things. When I spoke to her about my blog she got as excited as I did and just wanted to help me in any way possible. She just has a natural instinct to want to help everyone and make people happy. I guess that's why as I was leaving to go home she invited me to dinner with her, Patricia and everyone else involved in the event.

Picture from Rosey's Instagram

See me? Yeah way at the end, there I am!
Along with Patricia Field, Emily Payne, Richard Hallmarq....(had to name drop, sorry not sorry!)
We walked to the end of town to a gorgeous restaurant along the bay. Unfortunately the food didn't match the amazing atmosphere but that's a whole other story in itself. (Let's just say there were many meals sent back that night) I sat next to Rosey and her boyfriend, Dylan and we spent the whole night chatting about everything under the stars. It was more like talking to long lost friends than people I  had just met. We laughed and drank good wine and all I could think of was how lucky I am to be here. What if I had decided not to come? What if I had gone with a friend? 
Fate sure has a funny way of working things out.
After an unforgettable night I decided to call it quits when Rosey insisted I come to the fashion show the next day as her guest. I was not planning on going but I could not resist her offer!

Picture from Rosey's Instagram

Benecia Fashion Show
After coming home and telling my boyfriend about my night he was probably twice as excited as I was about everything. Being the awesome boyfriend that he is, he came with me to the show the next day. Now keep in mind my boyfriend enjoys fishing, football and beer.... so a fashion show isn't exactly his typical Saturday night. However, he knew how significant this was to me so he toughed it out. (Brownie points!) We got to the show and were greeted by Rosey and her adorable parents. She seated us in the second row behind Patricia and cushioned Kyle's experience by feeding him drink ticket after drink ticket. (I think the free beer definitely helped)
 I was chatting with Rosey's dad when she pulled me aside and asked me to help her backstage with something. That quick little favor turned into working backstage the entire time, prepping and dressing the models. If you work in the industry, you know that is like a sacred privilege. We were showing David Delrymple's designs so we worked right alongside the designer to get everything ready. The adrenaline rushing through me, I spent the evening running shoes and bags back and forth, ripping clothing off of models and squeezing them into the minuscule leather leggings (keep in mind-sweat + leather leggings is not an easy combo). While dressing the finale girl the zipper snagged which practically gave David a heart attack, yet somehow we got that sucker on. 
It was insanity.... and I loved every minute of it. It reminded me why I chose this career, I truly love every aspect of what I do. That was something Patricia really stressed during my conversation and that night just reiterated it.

Picture from Rosey's Instagram

Kidnappings & Afterparties
After all the hustle and bustle was over I was able to say a final goodbye to Patricia. She thanked me for helping with the show when in reality I was just honored to be a part of it. Meanwhile, throughout the show Kyle had formed a bromance with Rosey's boyfriend Dylan and practically begged them to come hang out with us in Sacramento. These two were down for anything and since Rosey had kidnapped me all weekend it was only necessary that I return the favor. So the four of us relaxed and chatted and played pool and drinks... Lots of drinks. I was dreading the next day when we had to take them home but these New Yorker's had to catch a flight back. Not even a day later Rosey was texting me about blog ideas. (this girl never sleeps! haha) Hopefully I can make it out to New York soon to visit these two and I would die if I could make it out there during Fashion Week. It's crazy how quickly you can go from strangers to friends with someone but these two made it very easy.
& I miss them.
& they need to come back!
But I guess a trip to NY never hurts ;)

I Learned
This weekend was filled with many suprising life lessons.

Have some balls.
Don't be afraid to go places alone. I think that is the thing that holds too many people back. The fear of looking like a loner or not having that comfort zone to talk to. Sometimes it's good to do something out of the ordinary and get out on your own. If there is something you want to do and you can't find a friend to join, just go do it! You never know what could come from it.

Love what you do.
This was stressed tremendously by Patricia each time I spoke with her. Her passion for styling and creating is contagious. You can just tell it is something she loves and it makes those around her want to be a part of it. Patricia is living proof that following your dreams pays off. I would rather spend ten years failing to do something I love then ten years succeeding at something that makes me miserable.

Good things come to those who hustle
I think we can all agree this refers to Rosey... That girl works her booty off and in return she is respected and appreciated by everyone around her. However she never flaunts her success. Instead, she tries to help anyone around her that she finds deserving. One thing she told me is that she appreciated was that when she invited me to the show, the first thing I said was,
 "do you need any help with anything?"

Know your worth.
This weekend really let me reflect on the fact that it's ok for me to say that I deserve success and opportunity. All I could think when I first was invited into the VIP room was I am the luckiest girl ever. As the weekend progressed though I realized that it wasn't luck at all.
 I showed a general interest in the industry Patricia has mastered and she appreciated that.
 I showed kindness and was invited to a fabulous dinner, only to gain a really awesome new friend.
 I showed a willingness to help and in return was invited to help backstage at the show.
These things didn't just happen, I made them happen. 

To end this I am going to be super cheesy and conclude in the only way I know how...
with a Carrie Bradshaw quote.

"Some people are settling down,

 some people are settling and

 some people refuse to settle for anything less 

than butterflies"

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