Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Blogger Meet-up: pre-IFB in NYC, at the MOBar

Animal Magnetism: Jasmine of Vintage Vandalizm feels the call of the wild. As in wild, amazing style.
Last Tuesday, the evening before the IFB Conference in New York City, Jennine Jacob of IFB and The Coveted, and my own personal blogger rock-star, Vahni of Grit & Glamour hosted a small blogger meet-up cocktail party at the posh MOBar lounge inside the Mandarin Hotel in Manhattan. Over 50 bloggers attended, many coming in from all over, including one of my all-time favorites, Anika of By Anika. She flew in all the way from Oslo, Norway and this was her first visit stateside. Let me just say as an understatement, it was amazing to meet her! In fact, it was blast meeting so many of my blogger friends that night.
Me, with the foxy Fajr of Stylish Thought
Street Style: Lee Oliveira with the handsome Jaime at the MObar
Norwegian Would: The Amazing Anika of By Anika is in the house!
Texan Firebrand: Elyssa of Dress With Courage
Stop Making Sense: Nubia of Nubia's Nonsense simply sizzles!
One thing I have to say about personal style bloggers: we are a warm and wonderful bunch. You'd expect since we write about fashion, that we'd be a catty crew, but it is in fact the opposite. You could not meet a friendlier crowd. I got to meet some familliar faces and make the acquaintances of some not so familliar ones.

One of the warmest people I met was the lovely and talented Wendy Brandes, New Yorker, jewelry designer and stylista of the first rank. She is so bright & tiny & fashionable, that it boggles my mind she has room to be warm & witty and friendly too. But she is, in spades; I was absolutely smitten with her, and it made my week when she did a post on the event and mentioned me! Whaaa? Yeah! You can peek at it HERE. So let me just say for the record that as cute as she is in her pictures, Wendy B is even more gorgeous in real life. And let me warn you that I will be name-dropping her like a jackhammer for the next couple of months. WENDY B WENDY B WENDY B!!!!
Cute as Marbles: the talented WENDY B WENDY B WENDY B!

Another person who is STUNNING in person is Jennine Jacob the powerhouse behind the Coveted Media Inc, and IFB, which is thee essential network to belong to if you are worth your fashion blogger salt. She came up to each and every one of us and introduced herself. I was struck by how sweet she is. I was so nervous in meeting her, I am pretty sure I just blurted something out at her, and then kept overly quiet. Which is a rare thing for me, trust me folks. And I didn't even make a move to take her picture, I'm going to regret that because I'd love to prove to posterity that I got to rub elbows with this classy lady. How can a mover and a shaker be so damn nice? Well she is, and it was a thrill to meet her face to face!
Vahni of Grit & Glamour hugging the adorable Alexis of North On Harper
So in my blogger life there are the blogger rock-stars: they are the ONES that I read fanatically, follow them on ALL their social media venues, with whom I feel very connected to. I met so many of them that night! What a dream come true to meet the gorgeous street style photographer from Australia, Lee Oliveira, and his equally handsome partner, Jaime. Lee + Jaime felt immediately to me like old friends, that is IF your old friends were AS HANDSOME AS MOVIE STARS, and lived across the world from you. I was instantly at ease with those two and can't believe I haven't known them forever.
Advanced Style: Street Style Sweetheart Ari Seth Cohen is sooo getting a drunk text by me in the future.
Another street style photographer I was THRILLED to meet, is the man behind the lens of one of my all time favorite street style sites, Advanced Style. Ari Seth Cohen is freshly 30, and he  loves to capture the style of "the sterling set," namely the style mavens of the plus 50 crowd. Mr. Cohen has chronicled many of MY personal style icons, including Iris Apfel, Judith Boyd (Style Crone), and my dear amiga, Sacramento of Mis Papelicos. So when I met Ari, the first thing I blurted out was that I was a HUGE fan and that in 4 years I wanted him to take a picture of me. The biggest compliment of the evening was the fact that HE KNEW WHO I WAS, AND HE READS THIS BLOG. "Oh yes, I know who you are," replied Ari, "I love your blog. I send all my ladies there." Which he does, I know to be true because my stats show I get quite a number of visits from the readers of  Advanced Style. By the end of the evening I had that gentleman's number and was threatening to drunk text him. So put that in your speed dial, peeps.

Some of the bloggers looked EXACTLY like they do on their blogs. The warmth of Anika? EXACTLY how she is in real life. She was instantly recognizable. An added bonus was hearing her voice: it is like a chai version of sweet tea. Warm & spicy, with the most delicious British lilt in her English. She is someone I had imagined I could be friends with in real life, and upon meeting her, am certain it is so.
Possibly the most unflattering pic of my arm but I don't care! It's the only pic I have of me and V!
Another incredible meet in real life, was the first time glimpse of MY glamazon blogger rock star, Vahni G of Grit & Glamour. This woman nearly always produces the urge in me to blurt out I LOVE YOU! after I reading her blog posts. So here it is official: VAHNI G, I FUCKING LOVE YOU! This woman smells exactly like you'd imagine: fun and sexy and smart. She is GORGEOUS, terribly glamorous and YET so down to earth, all in the same breath. I loved seeing her in the flesh with her signature flood of shiny black hair, sexy little number and sky-scraper stilettos. I squealed at her that night more than once, and kept blinding her with my iPhone's camera flash. I was admittedly a bit star-struck, and quite possibly drunk. So a public apology for all my squealing, but AMIGA, love makes one do all sorts of crazy things, the least of which is snapping photos of said object of affection with one's camera phone. AND AYES LOVES YOUSE!

A quick post by V of the event can be peeked at HERE.
Stylish Grit: V of Grit and Glamour and Fajr of Stylish Thought
Poster Child for Adorable: Sammy of Sammy Davis Vintage
Everything Just So: Blogger and Pal Jill Burgess poses with our glamazon, Vahni
Fearless Fashion: +30 Blogger,  Elyssa of Dress with Courage
Beautiful Soul: Casee Marie is the heart and soul behind the blog, The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower.
Blogger Babes: Grechen of Grechen Blogs and Marissa of A Well Appointed Catwalk
Oh there were sooooo many more! I got to meet some "old" friends who I hadn't met yet: the bee-yoo-tee-full Fajr of Stylish Thought, Elyssa of Dress With Courage (read her post on the meet-up and IFB con HERE,) the charming Alexis of North On Harper, the magnetic Marissa of The Well Appointed Catwalk, and Casee Marie, The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower. 

AND I got to make some new friends too: charming, lights-up-a-room folks like Austin-based Grechen of a million blogs, namely Grechen Blogs, who is also heading up, along with Elyssa, a +30 Blogger group (you can follow them on twitter HERE.) Oh, I can't forget to mention the purrfectly gorgeous Jasmin of Vintage Vandalism, the sparkling Sammy D of Sammy Davis Vintage OR the lovely Ivie of Casual Corporate, aka My So-Called Corporate Life.

My "date" for the evening was Brooklyn resident and fashion writer, Jill Burgess who blogs for Everything Just So. I was staying in Brooklyn for my New York visit and it turned out that Jill lived a block away! I'm so glad I got to take the subway with her (she played the gracious tour guide) and we enjoyed our chats to and from the events. Jill: I am so glad we got to hang together! You can read Jill's post on the IFB events by clicking HERE.

I'd say this blogger's meet-up was a smash success! I had a GREAT time. In fact, Jill and I closed down the place! We were so full of bubbly (I love a good champagne!) and high spirits, that we didn't get back to Brooklyn until almost 2 am. Which in my book, means a VERY good time.  And just a few hours of shut-eye, before we were to meet again the next morning to ride into Manhattan's Milk Studios for the IFB conference!




What a fun post. Thank God I don't look smashed in every photo! It was such a treat to meet you and so many bloggers in NY. Only wish we could have chatted more!

Much love to you babe, always. And I'm with you on the Jamie/Lee love. You couldn't get better guys. You can see why Lee and I bonded after we met in February. He's so kind, funny, and genuine. Just like you.


Santina said...

Whoa, attractive people overload! I don't know where to look! Thanks for sharing your photos - looks like so much fun! I wish I was able to attend the IFB conference this year...there's always next time, right?

WendyB said...

Man, have you boosted my self-esteem today! I seriously needed that! Meanwhile you need to come back to NYC asap.

Anonymous said...

Looks like it was a BLAST! :)

Marissa said...

This is the sweetest post, and everything you say about Annika, Wendy B, V and Elissa is incredibly true. It was so great to meet you, Bella! Wish we could have spent a little more time together. We'll have to make a lunch date for next time around. xo

Casee Marie said...

I got zero pictures of this night and the very swanky MOBar (not to mention the herd of wild fashionistas inhabiting it) so all the more reason that I adore this post and the uber-charming snaps you grabbed!

(Did I take that one of you and Ari? I think I did? I feel cool! Unless I didn't, in which case I feel stupid. But I didn't get a chance to rave fanatically at Ari over his beautiful blog - I'm too shy a person for fanatical raving - so if he's reading this...insert fanatical raving here. And I hope he found his phone so he can get those drunk texts from you!)

It was lovely meeting you, Bella, and thank you for introducing me to the very fun Jill - we gabbed all night and at lunch during the conference. It was so surreal to talk about blogging (you know, using my voice as well as my words) and to share insights on the blogging experience. I'm sure that pretty little room at the MOBar will never again see the variety of dazzling personalities as it did that night!

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

I love these photos, but it is hard to look at them and not be completely depressed that I was not there. I would love to meet everyone and sit and talk...especially you Bella! Looks like so much fun!

Sandra @ said...

So so so jealous! Wish I coulda been there and meet all my fave blogger gals. Isn't Wendy the most adorable thing EVAH?!

Susan Tiner said...

What fun! I feel like I was right there will all of you. Thank you for sharing the great photos and links. More bloggers to visit :-).

Unknown said...

sounds like you all had a really good time! thanks for this post, makes me feel like I was there as well :)

Helga said...

Holy shit!! What a glam bunch of hot wenches!! If I'd been there,I would have been hell pissed and squealing like a stuck pig and draping myself over all and sundry,including you!!! That Jasmin is giving me the horn!!!
Ha,I had a dream the other night that we Skyped...and I told Vix and Sarah,and they both wanted to know what you were like,and I said LOUD! Yup,we'd hang like old buds,I reckon.
FAB POST-fun,fun,FUN!

The Closet Shopper said...

So jealous. They were the lucky ones. They got to meet YOU! And now it's my turn goddammit!

So happy you had so much fun. I loved reading your recollection of events. I was smiling and squealing the whole time.


Jenmarie said...

Wow, you had the time of your life didn't you Bella? Thank you for sharing all the photos with us :) You're a doll!

gabrielle said...

sammy IS the epitome of cute. boy, how i miss her! i love events like that, everyone is so stylish and dressed to the nines!


Anonymous said...

The universe kept us away this time; next time we will meet. I'm very happy you to got to meet your fellow bloggers, though. Big hugs!

Rebecca said...

It looks like you got to meet tons of fantastic bloggers.

the Citizen Rosebud said...

Thank you Rebecca, I really did. It was an experience I'll savor for a lifetime for sure.

Best Of Palm Beach said...

Aw so you glad you had an amazing time, wish I could have been there to meet you in person. Next year hopefully.

Anonymous said...

I am truly so envious...Anika's eyes are a gorgeous blue. And you got to meet Ari???

Daisy said...

Everyone looks gorgeous xx

Heather Fonseca said...

What fun! Wish I could have been there with you.


Sara Kristiina said...

Looks so much fun, and lots of beautiful people! :) I want to meet other bloggers too, especially YOU!

Stephanie Loudmouth said...

This is the best NY post I've read yet. Hands down.

A BRIT GREEK said...

Such a brilliant post! LOVING all these photos and blogger rock stars!
I wish I wasn't so damn far away... but anyhoos, I felt like I was there with these pics!

Everyone is looking super fab!

mispapelicos said...

My dear Bella, somehow I feel I have been there through your words.
I shall check all the new bloggers you had met.

Elle @ (Eat.Style.Play) said...

Ugh! I can't wait to make some blogger friend connections! I wish i was there!

Jill said...

Bella! It felt like fate that you were staying literally around the corner from my house in Brooklyn and I feel SO lucky to have met you and attended both IFB events with you. It was like a bonus IFB Conference! And it was a blast drinking champagne and shutting the place down with you and the other gals and guys who stuck around, woo-hoo! Who needs sleep? I will sleep in my next life! I hope you return in February so we can get the party started again. Love you, honey! XO, Jill

Anonymous said...

Intelligent, entrepreneurial, gorgeous people! Diana from

SeƱora Allnut said...

whouuu, so pretty bunch of lovely bloggers, all of you are so inspiring and stylish!!!
really awesome meeting!!
besos & fun

Anupriya DG said...

Oh. My. God. You got to meet such an amazing bunch of DIVAS!!! Wish wish WISH I could be there having fun with you guys!!! Sigh!

Can't wait for the IFB conference snaps!! :)

Kara Endres said...

I love meetups! It is really interesting that for fashion bloggers we're all so nice and welcoming- you're so right.

The Style Crone said...

Glorious photos and such a vibrant, beautiful group of people. Thanks for sharing your adventures!

Unknown said...

WOW!!! What an awesome experience ... one I dream of getting to do one day too! I am SO living vicariously through your photos!! ^_^

Antionette Blake said...

Looks like everyone had a fantabulous time!