When I was a little girl, my absolute favorite thing to do was to raid my mother’s closet, put together elaborate outfits and parade around the house. As I got a bit older and was trusted to stay home alone, I took my little hobby even further – completing the look with a full face of make-up and even nail polish. I would walk from room to room, putting on accents and pretending I was a princess. I also remember many times when I would see my parents’ car pull up earlier than expected, and have to sprint to the bathroom, to take off all the evidence, feverishly wiping off the nail polish and scrubbing my face clean. It felt so exhilarating to turn myself into this grown – up, fabulous version of myself. As the baby of the family, with a sister who was nine years older, I was constantly trying to be more grown – up and as much like her as possible. She always had all the newest, coolest clothes and make-up, and was my absolute fashion icon.
As I grew up, my love of fashion turned into a career ambition. I attended The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, in San Francisco, graduating magna cum laude and dreaming of a life in New York where I would turn my dreams into a reality. But reality has a pesky way of getting in your path sometimes and for countless reasons (some of which I am to this day trying to figure out), I instead settled for a less adventurous but successful career in a completely different field.
As years passed, I told myself that next year will be the year that I will go after my passion. I would hear stories of people walking out on their jobs and resurfacing years later, living the life they had always imagined for themselves. This sounded incredible, but I was not this person. I had a house and a child and my days of taking those kinds of risks were over. So until just recently, I had sadly thought that the creative flame in me had had gone out and that the little princess who used to run around with red lipstick smeared on her face was now only a distant memory. After all, as you get older and your “this will be me someday” gradually becomes a “this is me” and your dreamer self of the future is forced to face the reality of the present, it is so easy to see only the negative and to get down on yourself for not accomplishing every goal and dream you had once predicted in your diary as a teenager. It is so convenient to want to walk away from your aspirations, using the “all or nothing” excuse. Well, the lesson that I am learning now is that dreams can become a reality in many different ways. And sometimes just planting the seeds can be just as much fun as watching the flowers bloom.
My unexpected fashion adventure that eventually led to this blog began over the holidays, when my daughter Grace got sick. Luckily I had a bit of time off work and got a chance to let the poor muffin get as much cuddling time with mommy as she wanted. This led to a few long days of her little sleepy body draped over me while she slowly got better. While Grace slept, I passed the time by playing with my phone and looking at my friend’s Instagram pages. Serendipitously, I clicked on a hashtag #fashionblogger… and fell into the rabbit hole. As I plunged deeper and deeper, flying past #Ootd, #Currentlywearing, #FashionDiaries, it was as if I had entered a secret world, filled with characters just like me. Girls who were just as obsessed with fashion, with pages and pages of beautifully styled outfits and inspiring looks. Fashion junkies from the very well known bloggers who attend fashion week and have thousands of followers to girls who just want to share their every day fashion adventures, one outfit post at a time. I felt like I was home. Suddenly I knew that blogging was something I had to do.
That very day I started an Instagram page @trendswithv (now @lombardandfifth) and now finally this blog. Thank you so much for coming on this journey with me. If you follow me on Instagram, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the warm feedback, encouraging comments, and positive words that got me to this first blog. I’m sure I will learn countless lessons as I step onto this new path but the one I have already learned is that it is truly not the destination, but the journey, that makes life an adventure. So don’t be afraid to start something just because you’re not sure where it can take you. Not knowing is half the fun! Now let’s talk fashion!
Photography by Sohail Mamdani