• About A Girl: Mia Colona

    “If you never did, you should” is the mantra of Mia Colona, a quote that perfectly sums up why we can’t get enough of her. The NY blogger infuses fun, spontaneity and life into everything she does: the perfect inspiration for our attitude this season. We caught up with Mia to get her take on how she’s planning (and what she’s wearing) to have the best holiday season ever.
    Photos by J. Ryan Ulsh

    Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 
    I'm from Philadelphia, an East coast mecca that a lot of people don't realize is a great city for the arts. Growing up, my dad would take me to the Philadelphia Museum of Art every Saturday to take classes — painting, drawing, 3D design, you name it. I also took ballet classes almost five times a week, which eventually led to my first New York experience when I got accepted into the summer program at the Joffrey Ballet School. I'll never forget moving into a tiny apartment on Bleecker Street and walking through Washington Square Park to classes everyday at the age of 13. I was completely enamored by the energy, the fashion, the people, the culture of the city as a whole... I fell in love with it and thought to myself, "I'm going to live here someday." Currently, I'm doing as much work as I can in several different fields... modeling, styling, blogging, photography, writing... I always make a joke with my friends that no one in New York ever has just one job, and I'm definitely an example of that! 

    Describe your style in 3 words.
    Bohemian, eclectic, relaxed.

    Can you share any tips for dressing up/dressing down a party dress?
    My schedule is all over the place, so I really appreciate a dress that can go from dressed up to dressed down without any fuss. If I'm going for a fancier look, I'll add some jewelry and pull my hair back off my face. When dressing down, layering is key. A party dress can completely transform with a chunky sweater, a skinny scarf or leather jacket. 

    What's your go-to party season outfit?
    I love maxi dresses all year round, but for party season in particular, because most people will be in a short dress, so I like to wear something a bit different and make it my own. I gravitate towards prints for the same reason.. they're not the 'safe' option. This floral chiffon maxi is perfect for me, because it has a front slit and looks great by itself or paired with a worn-in moto jacket. 

    What about beauty — do you have a fall-back look for a holiday party?
    I usually like to focus on my eyes, but nothing too drastic. My go-to is a softer version of the smoky eye, with copper and warm brown tones instead of the typical black/silver look which can be a bit harsh on my olive skin. I'll use tinted moisturizer, concealer under my eyes, cream blush to highlight my cheek bones, and finish it off with a simple nude lip. Before I leave the house, I spray cucumber water on my face to keep it hydrated and give my skin a dewy glow. I have naturally wavy hair, so I'll give it a little texture with some beach mist and I'm good to go. If I want to look more polished, I might do a crown braid or loose fishtail.

    What’s a typical day in the life for you? 
    The cool thing about what I do now is that there is no "typical day in the life" because no two days are the same. One day I might be styling something in a studio in Queens til midnight, the next I'm hopping on a red eye for a shoot in the morning... I'm fortunate that I get to do what I love everyday.

    What are some of your favorite NY neighborhood spots?
    I have an obsession with NY coffee shops. I find them so charming and peaceful. I live in the West Village, so of course one of my favorites is Cafe Gitane in the Jane Hotel. It has a very European feel, and it reminds me of this cafe I love in Paris that has the same warm and inviting vibe. I also live really close to the L stop, so if I'm in town on the weekend, you can catch me vintage shopping in Brooklyn. 

    What’s a newly-discovered NYC spot that you can’t get enough of?
    I've been to the Whitney Museum a handful of times since its opened. I'd been hoping for a new museum in my neighborhood, and The Whitney is an awesome addition. It's like a time machine through the creative energy in the United States over the years, and it's really inspiring to see. They have an incredible range of work without being overwhelming, and the design of the building is brilliant. Each floor is a look into the feelings that drove the most artistic minds in the country in their time. You can easily spend hours in there!

    Your Instagram is one of our favorites —
    -What's your filter of choice?
    When I'm behind the camera, I always prefer the look of film to digital, so I try to give that effect to my Instagram. I use VSCO filters, usually C1 or P5, and bring the shadows up / fade down. If it's a moody shot, I'll add a little film grain in Afterlight.

    Any tips for someone looking to take a better IG photo?
    Try to take a more narrative approach. Instagram is really just storytelling with pictures and doesn't need to be complicated. What's your niche? What are you trying to say about yourself? Once you answer those questions, you begin to develop your own unique voice and point of view, and it becomes easier to create an aesthetic.

    What are 3 favorite Instagram photos you’ve taken (and the story behind them?)
    1. I've traveled a lot over the past year, so some of my favorites are definitely from recent trips. One in particular that stands out to me is from a few months ago in Nashville, TN. I was there working with Ryan, my best friend/photographer, and we had just wrapped a long day of shooting. We were both running on hardly any sleep, but when we're in a new place, we can't help but explore, so we just started driving. The next thing we know, it's an hour later, and we're completely lost with no cell service and hardly any gas. We come up to a winding road at the top of a hill, and all I can see is yellow on the horizon. I'm like, "Let's go check that out!" Once we get there, it's the most breathtaking wildflower field—acres and acres of land with the sun just starting to set behind us.. it was surreal.

    2. Another time, we drove to El Matador State Beach in Malibu. There are these beautiful rock formations everywhere, with sea caves and palm tree lined shell trails leading you to the crystal blue water. It feels like you're in another country. I remember splashing in the ocean that day and feeling so free, and Ryan laughing and taking film shots from the top of a boulder. I thought they would just be silly photos to commemorate the trip, but they ended up being these really vulnerable, candid shots that are still some of my favorites we've ever taken. I always find that the best photos are the ones that aren't planned or thought about too much.

    3. My 3rd favorite would be a shot we took in a massive rushing waterfall in Beacon, NY...because I wasn't supposed to be in the water at all! We were shooting around the waterfall, being careful not to get too close, because the drop was really steep and it wasn't safe to swim, but I ended up getting a little too curious and falling in fully clothed. There was this moment where Ryan was like "OMG, great shot!" and I was like, "HELP ME!" It's so funny because you can't tell at all from the photo, it looks like I'm just calmly enjoying this moment with nature, but I was actually holding on for dear life so I wouldn't get sucked away into the Hudson!

    Currently loving:
    Reading…Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
    Listening to…James Bay, James Blake, Flume, The Clash, Fiona Apple, Wu Tang... my musical taste runs the gamut.
    Seeing...The 70's - and loving it. button up mini skirts, suede fringe, flowy tunics and flares are everywhere!
    Thinking about...pizza. and calling my parents. calling my parents while eating pizza.
    Wearing… a black maxi dress with a black leather jacket and black booties. It's my 'I don't want to think about what to wear today' outfit.
    Eating...CHALAIT's 'Avocado Sunrise'.. because everything's better with sriracha + chimichurri sauce. 
    Drinking...Liquiteria's 'Skin Trip' - I swear by it!

    Inspired by… risk taking.. creating freely..  those with no inhibitions.. nature, seasons changing, being outside.. looking at old photographs of people I don't know and making up stories about their lives.. daily interactions, relationships, connections.. the different types of people I meet when I'm traveling.. anyone who opens my mind and makes me think about things in a different way.. starting something I have no idea how to finish.. those who are confident in their opinions, but willing to listen to and understand an opposing view.

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