Tuesday, September 16, 2014

New York Fashion Week

I just returned from the Big Apple to Los Angeles a couple days ago and it is nice to be back in the community where I live and back in my husbands arms! New York was a blast and the city has so much to offer! It is full of life and houses various cultures from all over the world in one little place! I could defiantly see it's a place where people come to fulfill dreams they have and I think that's one of the reasons I love it so much!

This particular outreach was much of what I anticipated and then some. It was so difficult in every way. I was sick with a cold and on top of that, your body really hurts after walking on concrete all day. Everything I've ever battled in my past I was faced with all at once. And I struggled to not fall into the ways I used to think about myself. I caught myself comparing who I am to others, not feeling thin enough, pretty enough, tall enough, successful enough, stylish enough…everything! It was really hard entering back into a world that I had come completely out of only months ago. New York itself was amazing and I love it, but this fashion outreach was incredibly streneous and I know that the enemy really tried his hardest to bring me back into the dark hole where I used to live. I know he was throwing every temptation of mine out there for me to latch onto because myself and the girls I was with were gaining territory back for Jesus in the fashion industry.

Even though I was exhausted the whole outreach, I was able to do so much and also made a point to see a lot! The first part of the week I partnered up with other girls who came from around the world to reach out to the fashion industry with a nonprofit called Models For Christ. We would go out front of Lincoln Center, interviewing and photographing people, letting them know what we are apart of, encouraging them and doing prayer walks. It's really quite a sight standing outside Lincoln Center during this week, there are so many well dressed people waiting to get their photos taken for blogs and magazines! And then when we were inside, many of us were backstage just being a light in a dark place, bringing peace to stressful situations and loving everyone we came into contact with.

There was a ton of cool stories from all of us being outside and inside Lincoln Center, but I will share with you my two favorite stories!

Last season in LA we worked with the wonderful Betsey Johnson, and knowing that she lives in New York we let her assistant Brandon know that we would be in town and that if they needed help their fashion show to let us know. And sure enough we found ourselves at Betsey's office in the Garment District of NYC running errands, measuring and cutting fabric, sewing buttons on dresses, pom-poms on heels, veils and veils onto teairras. It was so much fun and kind of humorous that we were doing the same jobs that interns who go to school for years end up doing. We spent a few days throughout the week at her office doing these different projects, getting to know Betsey, Brandon and the interns more before her big show. And just like last season, my good friend Jessica was invited by Betsey to pray over for the evening. With everyone huddled around Betsey, Jess and Brandon backstage, Jess got to pray over everyone before the show began (It's a powerful sight to see!) And we know through our presence and through conversations with these individuals, that they believe in the power of prayer, want prayer and that they are having encounters with the Living God and the peace He gives.

While I was at the Jeremy Scott show, which was a trip in itself (literally, it felt like a throwback to a 90's rave) I saw a myriad of celebrities, Miley, Whoopie Goldberg, 2 Chainz and a bunch of other people I didn't know but were apparently famous. No, I didn't really have much contact with any of them…but there "just so happened" to be this model that was walking in the show, whom I have been praying for. So naturally that caught my attention more than anything! I had a $5 gift card for Starbucks, sitting in my pocket for a special encounter such as this. The gift card sat inside a sleeve that I was able to write a small letter of encouragement on prior to the show.  I decided I would wait for the show to end and for things to die down a bit before I approached this model; she was the one I knew had to get my small gift. The show went on and after I waited for the room to clear out and the model was gone! I thought maybe she had left the venue already. So I prayed asking that Jesus would just put her in front of me so I could give her this gift, sure enough she turns the corner and is standing right next to me. So I called her by name and told her I have something to give her; she waited in anticipation as I struggled to pull the card from my pocket. I told her what it was while she made eye contact with me, tilting her head and looking very surprised and then began to share words of thankfulness. It was about a 30 second interaction, but I know that nothing is coincidence and it doesn't just happen that I'm in the same room with the same model I have been praying for by name. Something happened with that little gift and note that struck a chord in this models heart; I may never find out what it was exactly, but I do know that God is relentlessly chasing after her. 

Despite the struggle, knowing that real change happened this past week, that people's hearts were softened, people encountered God's love and that lives are being changed makes fighting the things of my past so worth it. God loves the people in the fashion industry just as much as He loves the poor orphans in Kenya, it may seem weird in our minds because these people have everything, but with out God we have nothing and all is vanity.

-Gracie xo

I fell in love with this city upon arrival
A look inside and around Lincoln Center where the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is held

These two girls were just a few I got to work with. The blonde is Emily, she is from Australia and the other is Erin she is from SoCal

These were some of the shows I was apart of
Mara Hoffman | Photo by: Vogue
Vivienne Tam | Photo by: Vogue
Reem Acra | Photo by: Vogue
Skingraft | Photo by: Deux Hommes
Jeremy Scott | Photo by: Vogue

Some stylish babes outside of Lincoln Center
@songdani & @helloitsroxie
@diddyofdc & @nickyottav

Betsey Johnson and our time in her office

I made that teairra! | Photo by @xobetseyjohnson

Betsey was interviewed by Entertainment Tonight

Milk Studios for the Jeremy Scott show

Columbus Circle

Times Square

Central Park
"Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one." -John Lennon

Out at coffee with just a few of the Beauty Arise staff

Freedom Tower & 911 Memorial

I meet my favorite fashion blogger at an Elle Magazine Party

Back to California!

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