The Best of 2014

Page 365 of 365. Weird enough, today is our 365th day this year, and 2014 sure did fly by! In order to properly ring in 2015 this evening, I intend to establish proper closure to 2014 with a list of my best moments. The Oxford English Dictionary defines best as “of the highest excellence; surpassing all others in quality.” Therefore, here are my own personal moments of “highest excellence” and my favorite things that “surpassed all others in quality.” Cheers to the end of 2014 and hello 2015!

The Fashionista’s Best Moments in 2014:

  • 17th Birthday: spent with great family members and even better friends; complete with my favorite meal and several surprises

    ©  Molly Donahue, 2014

    © Molly Donahue, 2014

  • Junior Ring Ceremony: a memorable day, receiving my beautiful high school class ring

    ©  Bridget Donahue, 2014

    © Bridget Donahue, 2014

  • Fourth of July Weekend: family reunion with my mom’s side of the family, spent at the beach; complete with many laughs, a lot of sun, and a crab feast

    ©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

    © Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

  • Trip to Annecy, France: an amazing week with nine classmates, learning about the history of our high school and taking in the breathtaking scenery

    ©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

    © Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

  • First Day of Senior Year: hard to believe I’m a senior, but a great start to a fabulous school year

    ©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

    © Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

  • Trip to NYC: a marvelous day in the city to attend the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, as President of Think Pink Society at my school

    ©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

    © Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

  • Getting into College: the first acceptance was the most memorable and exciting, but all four letters have been equally amazing

    ©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

    © Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

  • Kairos XVII: a remarkable four day retreat, spent with close friends and making even closer ones

    ©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

    © Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

The Best Moments in Fashion & Culture  in 2014 (according  to the Fashionista):

  • Best Trends in High Fashion:
    • Winter 2014: faux fur

      © Marie Claire

      Chanel                                         © Marie Claire

    • Spring 2014: full midi skirts

      Calvin Klein  © Style Caster

      Calvin Klein
      © Style Caster

    • Summer 2014: pastels

      Burberry © Vogue

      Burberry
      © Vogue

    • Fall 2014: shearling

      Tommy Hilfiger  © Style.cm

      Tommy Hilfiger
      © Style.cm

  • Best Fashion Shows:
    • RTW: Tory Burch Spring 2014 
    • Couture: Christian Dior Fall 2014 
  • Best Red Carpet Look: Sarah Hyland at the 2014 Emmy Awards

    ©  Red Carpet Fashion Awards

    © Red Carpet Fashion Awards

  • Best Beauty Product: NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in “La La”

    ©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

    © Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

  • Best Hair Product: Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray

    ©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

    © Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

  • Best Nail Polish: OPI’s “Christmas Gone Plaid”

    ©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

    © Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

  • Best Book: Tory Burch In Color by Tory Burch

    ©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

    © Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

  • Best Songs:
    • Pop: Blank Space by Taylor Swift
    • Country: Leave the Night On by Sam Hunt
    • Hip Hop: Flawless by Beyonce

      ©  iTunes

      © iTunes

  • Best TV Show: Project Runway (Season 13)

    © International Business Times

    © International Business Times

  • Best Movies:
    • Drama: The Fault in Our Stars
    • Comedy: Neighbors 

      ©  iTunes

      © iTunes

  • Best App: VSCOcam

    ©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

    © Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

That’s the Fashionista’s two cents. May all you darlings have a fabulous NYE! Cheers to many more “best moments” in 2015! xo

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Dressing Well…For Me, Myself & I

Scrolling through Facebook, I noticed an enticing story shared by a friend. Elite Daily, a popular news source for “millennials,”recently posted an article entitled How Dressing Well Actually Affects All Areas Of Your Life Positively by Sheena Amin. Paragraph after paragraph, I was feeling increasingly connected to Amin and her cause. Amin reaffirms that people, women in particular, do not dress up to impress others. Instead, people put on their favorite pair of skinny jeans and a beautiful blouse for themselves. Amin values portraying the best version of oneself, as she states, “I’m definitely not saying that dressing well makes a person, but it certainly affects how someone feels about him or herself. No one is more conscious of your physical appearance than you.”

Speaking from personal experience, I most certainly feel better about myself on the days I decide to take off the old pair of sweatpants I slept in and slip on a more attractive ensemble. Amin’s article reminded me of my college essay. The essay that helped my acceptance into four universities that offer a major in Fashion Merchandising. The essay was my one opportunity to share my voice with a group on intimidating college representatives sitting around a large, round table…and, clearly, it helped my admission! The following 600-word essay is a glimpse into my intellect, spirit, and what I value most…including this blog. Enjoy!

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Her charm was just that she always stood out against her attire, that her dress could never be noticeable on her; it was only a frame, and all that was seen was she.—Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

With a giant bowl of freshly popped popcorn on the table, my three sisters, my mother and I could barely contain our excitement on Friday nights. Once the clock struck nine, we turned our undivided attention to the television. As the youngest of four girls, I especially looked forward to Friday nights because my mom allowed me to stay up past my bedtime in order to watch my favorite show—What Not to Wear. Even at the age of six, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Stacy London and Clinton Kelly help women ditch their tired wardrobes for clothes that empower them to feel more confident and highlight their unique and individual attributes.

Now at age seventeen, I refuse to settle for simply watching the experts inspire women; I have the urge to influence others, myself. Despite the fact that the only people I might be influencing are my parents, my sisters, and a few loyal followers, I share my inspirations and opinions from the fashion world on my blog—Confessions of a Preppy Fashionista (www.talktrendytomeplz.wordpress.com). Between research, formatting, and self-imposed deadlines, keeping a blog takes effort.  Passionate about fashion and how it affects society, I don’t find such effort tedious; on the contrary, I find it extremely rewarding. In a way, a post on my blog is essentially a journey into my character. Behind that computer screen is a living, breathing girl who simply made a commitment to communicate her outlooks. Through such communication I’ve had the opportunity to connect with other bloggers and readers who share their style and inspirations with me. Not only has blogging provided me with a creative outlet, but it has bolstered my social media skills. Having amassed 120 followers on the Instagram account linked with my blog (@fashionista_mkd) in under six weeks, social media provides the ideal way to connect and collaborate with others’ who share my interests. Not only do I address trivial aspects of the fashion world such as this season’s hot color, but I also make a point to promote natural beauty.

Similarly, as described in the epigraph, behind Anna Karenina’s luxurious gown, lies an authentic woman. Her beauty in that elegant dress is only skin deep; below rests an independent, spirited, woman, notorious in seventeenth century Russian society. Although fashion then was quite different than it is today (in terms of the garments themselves), one aspect of style has not changed: how women desire to present themselves. Women want to be seen for their beauty—inside and out—not simply have their garments regarded as beautiful. True and palpable beauty is not material—found in clothing—but it comes from within. The clothing and adornments women use to enhance their natural beauty simply emphasize the best version of themselves.

                  From my six-year-old self who never missed an episode of What Not to Wear, to my now seventeen-year-old self who sifts through Vogue every night before bed, fashion has always been my greatest passion. Although not much has changed in the last eleven years, one clear distinction distinguishes my contemporary self. As a mere child I was mesmerized with clothing itself. Presently, with a deeper appreciation of fashion and society, I value the brains behind the clothing more above all. How women envision themselves in beautiful clothing—the best version of themselves—is truly empowering. I would not trade my Friday night ritual for anything.

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Works Cited

Amin, Sheena. “How Dressing Well Actually Affects All Areas Of Your Life Positively.” Elite Daily. Elite Daily, 26 Dec. 2014. Web. 29 Dec. 2014. http://elitedaily.com

A Very Merry Monogrammed Christmas

Santa sure knows the way to my heart…through those three little letters that I call my own! From necklaces and earrings to sweatshirts, I found several monogrammed items under the tree. More importantly, I found a monogramming machine! Words cannot begin to describe how surprised I was to find such a fabulous gift.

©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

© Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

I first learned to sew from my mother, and I’ve loved it ever since. For as long as I can remember all my Halloween costumes and sisters’ matching Easter dresses have been handmaid by my mother on our 30 year old sewing machine. Therefore, she decided it was time to upgrade our machine…and why not chose one with a monogramming capability?!

©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

© Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

© Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

The Brother SE400 is the perfect fit for those who want a great bang for their buck. This budget-friendly sewing and embroidery machine cannot do everything, but that’s totally fine with my mother and I. Whether it’s hemming a pair of my father’s pants or adding a simple monogram to a handtowel, the Brother SE400 is perfect for us!

©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

© Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

As the fashionista and monogram-queen of my household, I have already taken over the machine and used to to personalize anything and everything in sight. Unfortunately, the Brother SE400 did not come with any monogram fonts included, so I decided to purchase my favorites online (http://www.8clawsandapaw.com). Since then, I’ve spent all waking hours in the basement spicing up headbands, pillowcases, undies, and beyond! Keep your eye our for some DIY projects from the fashionista and may your 2015 be filled with happiness, peace, and monograms!

RTR Snags a Spot on M Street

One of Gerorgetown’s most beloved new additions- Rent the Runway. The popular dress rental site has become exceedingly quick and simple to use. From cocktail dresses, black tie ball-gowns and even accessories, Rent the Runway has a vast selection of of attire for any occasion. In my eyes, there is just one hole in the process. As with any online shopping purchase, you can’t try on the garments until the mailman drops it on your doorstep. With a rental for a wedding, cocktail party or school formal, you most likely end up receiving your dress on the day of the event!

© Rent the Runway

© Rent the Runway

The new M Street addition solves any and all problems with RTR’s operation! Although the storefront is only blocks away from me, I have yet to visit. But, once my school’s formal rolls around I’m sure I will take a trip to Rent the Runway. Now that you can choose from a wide selection of gorgeous gowns AND try them on prior to a rental, you can have the best of both worlds!

© Rent the Runway

© Rent the Runway

Not to mention, the style of the store certainly reflects the beauty of the dresses! I cannot wait to walk through the doors of the storefront and see what lies within the racks. Keep an eye on my Instagram (@fashionista_mkd) to see when I finally make the trip!

What I’m Watching: The Carrie Diaries

Scrolling through Netflix on a rainy Saturday morning, I hoped to find a sentimental Christmas movie. With my search proving fruitless, I settled on a show I had heard little of. Having never watched an episode of Sex and the City, I chose The Carrie Diaries simply by the vibrant and intriguing advertisement on Netflix.

Since Saturday morning, I have indeed been binge-watching The Carries Diaries, because I’m beyond obsessed! Considering how much I love adolescent Carrie Bradshaw, I cannot wait to engulf myself in Sex and the City. Netflix needs to step up their game and add Sex and the City to its selection of titles!

© Huffington Post

© Huffington Post

From her fabulous sense of style (even the the ’80s) to her ability to write so eloquently, I truly admire Carrie. She’s landed her dream job (and mine!) as a mere sixteen year old, and manages to lead both of her lives to their fullest. With a simple push on my keyboard, I have found my new favorite show as well as my new fashion and lifestyle icon. Time for me to custom make my own handbag with a little paint!

“In my years of playing dress up as a child, I understood that what you wear could define you” – Carrie Bradshaw, The Carrie Diaries

©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

© Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

There’s A New Sheriff In Town

With the tragic passing of the fabulous yet witty Joan Rivers, there are large shoes (more like stilettos!) to be filled on Fashion Police. According to CNN Entertainment, E! has chosen Kathy Griffin to join the (fashion) police force! The new Fashion Police team will debut on January 12, 2015, with live coverage on the red carpet at the Golden Globes. As a dear friend of Rivers and a fellow comedian, Griffin ought to prepare to dish out the humorous witticisms. Let’s see what this fiery redhead can do in the fashion sphere!

© kathygriffin.net

© kathygriffin.net

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Works Cited

 Emanuella Grinberg. “Kathy Griffin is the New Chief of ‘Fashion Police’.” CNN Entertainment. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., 1 Dec. 2014. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.