#everydaymadewell: Classical Pianist Sugar Vendil

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As a classical pianist and the artistic director of music-meets-fashion performance group Nouveau Classical Project, Sugar is creating an entirely fresh form of art. But off the clock, she’s ever the purist, finding as much joy in repeating outfits and writing in a diary as she does in commissioning wild stage costumes from up-and-coming designers. We visited her in the morning—just in time for piano practice—to get some notes on staying balanced. Sugar’s everyday, in her own words, right over here…

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My priority when I get dressed is to feel confident, and that means different things in different situations. I work from home, mostly, but I never want to feel unemployed, so I created a “working from home” uniform: boyfriend jeans and a sweater. Lately, I’ve been really into jackets and coats with clean lines. They’re sort of like a superhero cape.

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My number one style secret is to repeat outfits. It saves time, and if someone sees you in the same thing twice, a great outfit is a great outfit, so who cares?

I’ve learned the hard way not to over-plan my days. That said, I am addicted to working, so my afternoon 12:30 break is important. Making your own lunch at home is such a simple treat. So is Instagramming pictures of your cat lying on your piano.

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Usually, classical musicians wear black to blend in, but I’ve always seen clothing as a form of expression, and that’s how the Nouveau Classical Project started. The music and the clothes tell the same story through different senses. One Valentine’s Day, we played very complex Schubert and wore black lace and wild hats. Last spring, musicians were paired up with modern dancers, who moved us as we played. Everyone wore grey or black. It was worth the year it took to produce.

I always say that 15 minutes of fame really is just 15 minutes. Success, to me, isn’t putting on one incredible show; it’s more about staying in the game even when it’s challenging.

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SUGAR’S EVERYDAY

7:50am  Out of bed, drinking hazelnut coffee by 8am.
9:00am  Answering emails and tweeting for NCP.
10:30am  Piano scales. Lunch. Second coffee of the day. In that order.
3:00pm  Fully in NCP mode. (I’m the only full-time staff member!)
7:00pm  Cooking while writing a grant. (So about that “only full-time staff member” thing…)
9:00pm  Serving dinner in an apron and velvet pajama pants.
11:45pm  Writing in my five-year diary. Each page is devoted to one day and has five lines—one for each of the five years.
12:00am  Lights out.

At top, Sugar is wearing our Alliance Pullover. At bottom, she is wearing our Travel Trench Coat, Joshua Tree Jean JacketSilk Two-Piece Dress and The Twin-Pouch Crossbody.

Meet more of our friends here and shop our assortment of denim here.

P.S. We want to see how Madewell fits into your day. Share your pictures and videos with #everydaymadewell #contest for a chance to win a closet full of Madewell (aka a $1,000 Madewell shopping spree).* Check out some of our current favorite snaps, here.

*No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States (including D.C.), 18 years and older, who did not purchase any equipment for purposes of entering the contest. Void where prohibited. Enter contest by March 23, 2015. For official rules and prize descriptions, visit madewell.promo.eprize.com/everydaymadewell.