Thoughts on… fashion. Thanks mom.

So, for the last few days, I’ve had some rather deep thoughts on my over arching love for all things fashion. Yep, fashion. I’m pretty much a lover of all things fashionable. I think that it really all comes from my mom and some of her friends.

My mom grew up in an era of wearing white gloves at college, to church, and so many other locales. She has always had a great sense of fashion and style and truly has been my personal stylist most of my life. Now granted, I think that at times my mom may think that I am a little too daring when it comes to my choice of color combinations, but hey, what else can you do – I love really bright colors! In my book orange, orange, orange, oh and maybe some purple generally never hurt.

Mom is a big fan of Elie Tahari, http://www.elietahari.com (hello to Mrs. Rori Tahari my high school classmate). Read as pretty much will wear the clothes of Mr. Tahari all day long if she can. They just work for her. She’s 4′ 11″ and super petite, so she is at the size where shopping is probably a joy more often than not. Except for shoes, having a very narrow foot does leave her looking for shoes at times, but she is an elite shopper. At 78 years young, she rocks it. When were in Paris a few years ago mom wanted to go everywhere in 4 inch heels, that’s all she generally wears anyway (“flats are for girls under 12” – yep, always loved that quote), anyway, after a day and a half of cobblestones I finally had to take her to a shoe store to by some kinda fashionable tennis shoes. Don’t get me wrong my mom does wear things other than heels, just not to anything but the grocery store or driving with the yard man to home depot, or maybe to pick up food from the local church for distribution to those in need. Anyway, she’s my style icon and I love her for it! Rock on momma.

I remember as a kid going with her and her mom shopping looking for a purse to match an outfit and hopefully finding some shoes too. Going to every store and back again, swapping this for that, until the right look was found for that special occasion. That is probably why now I enjoy shopping for clothes, doesn’t even have to be for me, I generally don’t shop as much as just buy for myself… that is another story.

So getting down to it, I think I have a jacket addiction – I guess I have a jacket for every occasion, but really, I think I have too much. I also just need to pair down my clothes closet. I seem to do it every season, and I really am not buying so much anymore, more classics – at least that is what I keep telling myself, oh and cool t-shirts from T Shirt Printing in Coventry too. So, I was in a no jeans for the year phase during 2011, and I pretty much stuck to that mantra until I arrived in Houston. Jeans just work in Texas. Yeah, I think it is just a Texas thing. I arrived in Houston in July 2011, and by August I was in my jeans like Flynn. Time to retire a few pairs of jeans to the second string to revive that 2011 mantra… we’ll see how long that lasts.

I’ve taken/gone shopping with many friends to assist them in their purchases. Mind you, I generally put the caveat out there that I’m not always the best at minding the budgets of others, but I’ll help you get the look you want – or at least what I think looks good on you.

The Sartorialist – Scott Schumann – I love his eye. I think that he has helped to awaken my eye and get me back to truly one of my loves – admiring fashion. http://www.thesartorialist.com/ . I’ve reawaken my love for cameras and capturing those precious moments in time. When I was in high school I was a semi professional photographer – I did have to go to school and all, but I did make some decent date money taking portraits, filming and videoing (my dad was my assistant and generally the videographer) weddings, and other photographic pursuits. It was fun and I truly enjoyed it and it allowed my creative juices to flow.

Ok, I’ve told several of my friends that I should have been an architect, maybe even an interior designer, or maybe a shoe designer (All I need is funding for my (J)ota (P)ei line – any backers?), but truly all of that is just a result of my love of fashion and the “eye” I guess I have for what I think just works. I’m not saying that everyone likes my look, but hey it works for me.

So what’s in the cards… I was thinking of maybe doing a little design work – interior maybe, a little style consulting, or who knows what the near term will hold. Either way, waiting on a call from someone, somewhere to do something. Actually, I’m not waiting on a call, but that air of longing was there for a moment… Ahh fashion.

Oh yeah, did I say that I love fashion… yeah I did! Ok, so now back to work…

JP

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My childhood in a paragraph…

My child hood was I think truly idyllic. I feel lucky. My parents weren’t wealthy, we were good, more than enough, less than others, but I never wanted or lacked anything, and as far as I knew we were the luckiest people in the world. I was fortunate that my parents were able to be at everything I was ever involved in and they supported and pushed me to excel and do well. My maternal grandparents were close, only an hour away, so I was able to spend time with them. I went to a Catholic School for K-8, with a graduating class of 10 people. It was awesome. St. Anthony’s school, and it is where I met my best friend at 4 years old… we would go to school together for the next 13 years. I went to high school at the best private school in Atlanta if not the South East, and probably in the top something in the country. The Westminster Schools – more the size of a college campus than what should have been a high school. I had dogs – 4 at one point, Angel, Mary, No one (we tried to give her away and every time she came back – no one wanted her but us), and Susan. I raised rabbits, chickens, and ducks. All in the big city of Atlanta, I played war running maneuvers through the back yard and skateboarded as much as I could during high school. I went horseback riding on weekends at our place in the North Georgia Mountains where I fell in love with riding my bike – the boy on the red bicycle they would call me as I rode it from one place to the other over a 1000 acre area, that is until I started driving my parents Cadillac at 14. I think the best thing about my childhood was that my parents loved me, and still do, and I had a close support network of family, friends, cousins, and others that loved and wanted nothing the best for me. I knew people in my grandmother’s hometown that couldn’t read or write, I didn’t know this until I was older, but they would do anything for me – more than I could have ever even have asked. They all wanted nothing, but for me to succeed. So yeah, I was fortunate, and I never will forget it. Oh yeah and Legos, can’t forget the legos… and smoked duck.

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Texas

Texas.
So, really what more is there to say. It was great to visit and truly see my new “home.”

I went to Texas this past long weekend to attend my cousin Scott’s wedding. Scott married my new cousin Dameria. I wish both of them the very best and a lifetime of happiness together. Welcome to the family!

While in Texas I was able to see so many of my cousins, not all of them, but a big chunk of the Houston crowd. I stayed with my cousins Jennifer and Greg and their son Nathan took me around town to check out places to live and to just give me a lay of the land. I really appreciated Nate for taking me around the city, it was a great tour. I really like Houston, it definitely has so much more to offer than I would have ever imagined.

Also, while in Houston I was able to see my Aunt Grace – I so love my Aunt Grace, she connects me to my father and is a true connection for all of us as family. My mom stayed with Aunt Grace. It was great for them to be able to spend sometime together. They always have a great time. Momma really enjoyed herself, and always does, in Texas. I miss u already momma. See you in a few weeks!

My cousins all really made an effort to show me Houston. Hana, Lisa (congratulations to the newest JD in the family 🙂 It was great to hang out with them all – lounges, clubs, and other spots! Simone was there too, Nate’s sis.

Doug and I also got to hang out and saw the Hangover II, ridiculous. Doug, momma, and I also went to Galveston to check out the location of my new ship. Cool. We really spent a lot more time there than we had planned, as the base OOD turned out to be an old shipmate from my last unit. The OOD was called by the watch stander of my new ship- we were taking pictures on the pier in front of the ship, and I guess he thought we were terrorists! In the end the watch stander took pictures for us 😉 I wonder what he will think when I show up in two months – hmmm.

I also was able to check out my cousin’s church. Greg is a deacon at the church. Nathan and I went to the late service – 1 PM. Wow! Kinda cool time to go to church. That was the last service of the day, but it was packed. The guest pastor actually grew up in the church! How cool was that. His first sermon ever, he was only 26. Really great message too. I can’t wait to go back, hopefully he will guest preach more in the future. I wonder what the normal pastor is like. Also, I will have to check out some of their classes and groups when I get there.

Things to do… I need to get back involved with Habitat for Humanity. I really enjoyed working with them in the past. It was really great to help other and to be able to give back. I definitely need to do something – way more than what I am doing. I am also toying with the idea of going to flight school…hmm, I think that would be a fun thing to do over the next few years to work toward earning my pilots license. Just a thought for now.

Till next time.

JP

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Dylan, Aunt Grace, me, and Momma