Graduation Weekend Instagram Style Diary
With all our traveling and various comings and goings, it can be hard for Tristan and I to always find tons of time to shoot content for the blog. For that reason, I am trying to do a better job of keeping my Instagram/Instastories (@theblondera) as updated as much as I possibly can, as a way to easily show you my daily outfits and adventures in real time. The past couple of weeks have been filled with festivities to celebrate Mel (my little sister) graduating from USC! I flew back from Europe a couple of days before the graduation ceremony to give myself a chance to relax a little before everything started.
Upon touching back down in LA, our first stop for dinner was Gracias Madre, a plant-based Mexican restaurant in West Hollywood that you have probably heard about a gazillion times, but is sincerely worth the hype. The funny thing was that everyone who was sitting around us was having the most typical “LA conversations” (think: horoscopes, acting gigs, dietary requirements and just general ridiculousness). As I had only been back in LA for a couple of hours, I was slightly dazed and truly felt like I was just scrolling through Overheard LA (one of my favourite Instagram accounts)!
The next night we headed for sushi in West Hollywood and I wore a pink Zara cropped-sweatshirt, a silver pleated metallic skirt (similar) and pink loafers (similar). I kept the look interesting with a vintage wooden necklace from Portugal (this haul) and a Parfois cross bag (last seen here).
The following evening we went for dinner with my Dad at Church & State in DTLA, one of my favourite restaurants in LA! If you haven’t been or you are visiting the city, I *highly recommend* putting this at the top of your LA-dining list. The weather was rather gloomy, so I kept warm (for LA) in a black Topshop sweater, pink Topshop cut-out skirt, Mango sandals (last seen here), H&M Collection sequinned bag (last seen here), and vintage scarf (this haul).
Then it was time to start the celebrations! Mel was part of a sorority at USC and so the first official celebration was a beautiful brunch at the Jonathan Club — a private social club located Downtown. Growing up in England and the East Coast of America, social clubs are quite a predominant part of people’s social lives. However, I had no idea that the same type of exclusive clubs existed in LA. The city seems far too chilled and open-minded to have these grand boys’ clubs! Women and minorities were not admitted until the 1980s, and membership costs around $45,000 after invitation by or marriage to an existing member! After that, you are still responsible for $500 a month in dues.
Let’s just say that I am rather happy that I got this opportunity to have a peak around inside and wine & dine without having to invest the equivalent of a car.
For this event I wore an elegant Diane von Furstenberg dress with Mango sandals and my go-to H&M Collection sequinned bag (last seen here). The lower-heel on these sandals helped to keep this look day-time appropriate. Mel looked stunning in a BCBG dress and nude strappy heels.
After brunch the girls (Mum, Mel and I) headed to West Hollywood to pick up Mel’s cake from Magnolia Bakery, have a coffee and catch-up at Kreation Kafe, and then pick up some new shoes at the outlets just down the street.
Then it was time for the big day!! I am so, so proud of Melly and the amazing young woman she has matured into. Will Ferrell was the USC graduation speaker and he was absolutely fantastic. If you haven’t listened to his speech yet, I highly suggest you do. He was hilarious (as one would expect), but also had incredible advice and perspective for any recent graduates.
For the big day I wore this stunning 1960s vintage dress that I picked up in Southport (in this haul) a few months ago, specifically for Mel’s graduation. I loved the vibrancy of the flowers and the way it tightly fitted my curves, yet still looked classy. I paired it with a blue Rebecca Minkoff bag (that I stole from Mel) and Saks Fifth Avenue grommeted sandals (on sale!) and bauble earrings that I picked up the day before at Saks Off-Fifth! I love actually going into these outlet stores, but their website is also amazing if you unfortunately don’t live near to one.
For her graduation dinner we headed to 71 Above, a new fine-dining restaurant in DTLA that has the most incredible views of the city. Located on the 71st floor (if you couldn’t tell by the name!), the restaurant sits 950 feet above ground level. If you reserve a table with window views (which I recommend if it is a special occasion), then you have a set 3-course dinner with 5 different options for each course. All of us were blown away by everything we ate, it was truly a special evening.
If you don’t want to indulge in the set-course menu, you can also just go to the bar at 71 Above for cocktails and an à la carte menu! This would be the perfect place to surprise your date with!
On Saturday evening one of Mel’s closest friends threw a party at her beach house in Manhattan Beach. Over the past couple of years I have come to know Mel’s friends quite well, and so it was lovely to be able to celebrate their accomplishments with them. Obviously these are by a professional photographer and are not Instagram photos, but they are too lovely to not share!
For the evening I wore a one-shoulder faux-leather Zara minidress and strappy heels courtesy of Mel’s wardrobe. To accentuate the sexiness of the dress, I glided my hair into a slicked back ponytail (thanks coconut oil!) and donned these Zara multicoloured pompom earrings.
The day after graduation was Mother’s Day! Told you this was a big celebratory week. Earlier in the year, my Mum and I spent English Mother’s Day together in Liverpool. For American Mother’s Day, Mel and I took our Mum and Tristan’s Mum to lunch at Ivy at the Shore in Santa Monica. With its pink decor, delicious food, and fantastic champagne and cocktails, it was the perfect place to celebrate mothers and female friendship.
As you can see, it was a whirlwind weekend filled with lots of amazing food and outfit changes. The morning after we headed off on a week-long trip to San Francisco and Napa, check back tomorrow for a similar Instagram Style Diary from that trip!