02 December 2013
This Comme des Garcons skirt is from the 2005 collections, I think. It's one of the pieces I bought that day I mentioned in my last post. Normally I would never wear white -- I own about like, 4 white things that aren't t-shirts -- but I figured it was both too good to pass up and a good challenge. It falls at an awkward length and it is utterly shapeless to the body on me... and I love it for those exact reasons. I don't know how it can be so difficult to wear yet also so romantic and soft, it's why it drew me in.
The tuxedo jacket I'm wearing with it is my dad's from his prom. He gave me black and white tails a few years ago, the black tailcoat was too beaten up and huge on me but I couldn't bear to let go of the white jacket. I usually only wear it in my underwear and watch Tilda Swinton movies in it. But this jacket was the most natural thing I could think of to go with this skirt... no shirt. I don't own enough of the right shade of cream and I can't bear to break the color scheme up to distract from the skirt. This is my version of the power suit. Now if only I was like eight inches taller and liked wearing heels. Then everyone would be in trouble. #iconicexecutivelooks
For a more SFW look, my friend Emily noted it'd look good with a knit so I pulled out this one I stole from my mom. I think she knit it herself.
When I wear this skirt I feel like Eva in this scene. The Dreamers forever.
In any case, I wore the knit+skirt combo to buy onion dip and hang out with my cat.
Just wanted to share a pretty thing I like. I was apprehensive posting some of these because boobs but then I laughed because total autonomy and ownership of my own images and direction and also who cares. I'm trying to grow a little bit at a time.
See you soon.
28 November 2013
Hope you're all having a nice holiday weekend -- I know it can be hella triggering and terrible (usually I totally dread it), I hope it isn't the case for you and you are surrounded by people (and food) you care about. This morning I spent the day gloriously in bed, brainstorming pitches and watching Zoolander. It's a bit frightening how it never gets old. Thinking up pitches on fashion criticism while watching Zoolander is just.. really surreal and funny. Because honestly it's not that different from real life. Which makes it even funnier.
Anyway --- these weren't taken by Tayler, she's gone home for the break. They're actually in my new studio! But it's still under construction, so it's close cropped. I am embarrassingly rusty at taking my own photos now, but I think these came out kind of cool. Blurry and void of details, yes, but let's all pretend it's #art. Optimism!
Ok, I felt absurd with all those blurry photos, so here is ONE where you can actually see me. Bah.
But to the clothes.... my new parka makes me feel very Blade Runner especially with my new haircut. And I am finally wearing my vintage leather pants I thrifted a month or two ago -- during Rookie weekend, so I guess it's been two months? Time flies. It feels so long ago. I was on a mission that day for some CDG because I heard someone had sold a bunch of theirs to a consignment store, and I ended up going on a really dramatic mission throughout the neighborhood looking for a mysterious CDG collection and also leather pants. I lucked out and found these in the first store I went to, for I think $12! I ended up finding way more than I bargained for and ended up having a panic attack in the dressing room with a frozen bank account because I couldn't leave without buying more than I probably should have. OH WELL. I DON'T REGRET IT AT ALL.
I'd rather resell things I don't wear than walk away wondering what if, anyway. There is so little that I actually really want in my closet nowadays anyway so when I find multiples of things that inspire me I can't just turn away! I don't wan't to wonder what could have been. That applies to more than just clothes.
Hope you're having a delicious day darlin. See you soon.
17 November 2013
This weekend has been super packed with makeup and brilliant babes -- my skin is crying out for pampering but I think it was totally worth it. I've been trying to be more productive lately, and so there is a few things you can read from me on the internet. I'm really proud of my Chanel SS14 Makeup Tutorial on Rookie. I also did a quick nail post for Capitol Couture (the Hunger Games Online Magazine), too.
Those over the top makeup looks are my favorite to do -- I ended up spending the rest of that day with that makeup on and I think it looked fabulous huhuhu. I've been consciously trying to do more intricate looks, I'm treating my fashion knowledge as my makeup handbook and going through all of my favorite shows to emulate the looks so I can get better at blending and just general makeup stuff. It's a conscious and methodical effort of learning the aesthetics back and front to the point where I can reference them unconsciously later on when I'm trying to make something uniquely my own. It's how I work when I used to spend a lot of time on my outfits, and now it's how I work teaching myself makeup.
Click for tutorial.
Midnight recreations of Biba Fever and Pat McGrath for Galliano. Tayler did her own makeup using the MUFE Flash Palette pretty much exclusively (honestly, it is the best makeup investment in our combined arsenal). I did my makeup using Kryolan's Aquacolor to white my face out and then powdered with MUFE, and then a bevvy of eyeshadows of my own mixing (I did a tutorial on this) and MAC's Carbon. I'm wearing Illamasqua's Kontrol on my lips because on the monitor Sasha's lips read more cool blue, but I think a deeper, more wine color would be more accurate. My drawn on eyebrows are just liquid eyeliner, I used Clarins. I've listed alternatives you can use below for the same effect.
Tried to go to the Yayoi exhibit but the line was super long so I went to Comme des Garcons and played around in my future wardrobe instead. Give me like 6 years and they'll be in my closet. Tayler snapped this photo on the way to CDG, she ordered me into the light. It's nice having someone around who is even more obsessed with lighting than I am! I usually have to art direct everything. Anyway, I'm wearing a vintage coat, Cole Haan shoes and a dress that has been on the blog before. Here are your options if you'd like something similar:
Me in the ideal fall coat by Junya Watanabe. It's sold out on farfetch in this colorway, but is available elsewhere should you happen to have that $$$$ lying around. It's disgusting how perfect it fit and how beautifully tailored it is. I think I'm aspirationally more of a Junya girl than a mainline CDG girl most days -- I want to be the punk girl Junya creates.
I'm definitely more of a Rei baby though. Who could look half as good in these ridiculous coats as me? Too bad they cost more than my tuition. I'll have to wait for a sample sale. Still, walking away from playing with CDG doesn't bother me because I know I'm resourceful enough to find a way to get what I want eventually. It might take realistically like ten years or whatever but it's never a question that it won't be mine. *muffled maniacal laughter in the distance*
Ok I really have homework and deadlines to attend to, but I hope you had a rad weekend too cutie pie.
09 November 2013
This weeks shoot was like, really too heavily influenced by youtube videos we'd been watching the night before and also my obsession with Pat McGrath / Val Garland / Lisa Eldridge but I think it turned out really well. I can't avoid paying homage to my idols, it was really funny catching myself veering towards creams and colors that I had fallen asleep watching the night before. Doing Tayler's and my own makeup after this week's girlmonster was really kind of therapeutic actually, since I didn't have to worry about a story or anything like that, I could just think about my favorite makeup looks and pull from them without worrying if I'm erasing a story that is important to the portrait.
I began by referencing Lisa Eldridge's Biba tutorials, but then I remembered Grace Jones exists and so that happened too. I have to make the makeup very pigmented and stripey to work with the lighting setup we use so blurred out super blended makeup doesn't really work for the pictures right now. Another time.
This look though, besides the Biba/Grace Jones connection, was heavily influenced by how much I've been thinking about the Guy Bourdain x NARS situation lately and the power of blush. I'm really into it. I used a mixture of OCC Creme Color Concentrates (which I L O V E), INGLOT & MAC* shadow, MUFE Powder Blush*. MAC lipstick in Violetta. I've been using MUFE cream and powder blushes almost exclusively for the past few weeks and just found out they have a matte teal and purple so UMMMMM consider me a fan.
I didn't have as much time to do my own makeup (this always happens) but I knew I wanted a kind of hazy mask like I remember happening at Valentino one year, and also, glitter. That lipstick is Morgana's Cryptoria, I've worn it on the blog before here. The gloss on top is INGLOT. The glitter on my eyelids is Naked Cosmetics on top of a combination of MAC and OCC eyeshadows. My gradient eyeliner is Makeup Geek Eyeliner in Poison blended into Urban Decay*, and I used a combination of blue butter london mascara* with Collection 2000 mascara.
Can you tell we both like Cindy Sherman? Like a lot? Sidenote: the identical body language was not on purpose AT ALL, which makes it EVEN BETTER. Talk to you soon babies.
* denotes product that was c/o the brand as a gift or editorial consideration. I don't blog (or use) about products I don't like or use myself, these are all things I keep in my kit now. I highly recommend all products mentioned! If you ever want in depth reviews of makeup, you can always ask me on my makeup blog.
04 November 2013
Pretty much every Saturday now is dedicated to artmaking with Tayler now, it's my only free day of the week really but I spend most of it working on my girlmonstering photo series. These snaps aren't part of it, they're just pictures we decided to snap at the end of our shoots today to commemorate our working together and our excellent outfits. I've had a rough past month or two and so I decided to wear Scott's dress throw myself into things I love and not look back. It's working and I'm really grateful and inspired by my friends and the work we're doing.
Tayler and I dyed each other's hair impulsively last weekend and watched My Mad Fat Diary together as a bonding ritual before our photoshoot the next day. I let her do what she wanted with it really, we couldn't find my regular dye in stores (it was the weekend before Halloween also, so venturing into Ricky's was similar to a gauntlet in Hell) so she just used a bunch.
What I would give to go back in time and run some dry shampoo through my hair before these photos, oh my god. Oh well, these were shot in like twenty minutes, you can't expect perfection. I put my makeup on real fast and didn't bother to wash the product off my hands from when I was doing other girl's makeup. That's all black lip tar on my hands by the way. Tayler's wearing a CDG skirt she spied at Tokio 7 when she went shopping with me (she went back and bought it cause it haunted her....I'm a good influence), you can see why we're friends.
I think this snap was just to adjust the lighting but I like it the best, I think. Anyway, I hope you're all having a rad weekend. If you're located in or around NYC and you're queer and/or a WOC and down to be a model for our photo series just drop me an email, we're always looking for models. Here's kind of a moodboard and general idea of what we're focusing on if you want to know more. We're keeping all the photos under wraps which is so hard! We want to show them SO BADLY but I think keeping it close until it's ready and more finished is the right thing to do. I'm excited and proud of what we're doing though. I think you will be too once you see.
28 October 2013
Shot these the same day as the last outfit post actually, and I've been wearing this suit in some variation ever since I grabbed it off of Choies. I've been looking for a patterned suit for months -- maybe even a year? This fits like a dream. Being petite can be incredibly annoying when most inseams are for people several inches taller than my 5 ft 2 frame, but I seemed to have lucked out this time.
I'm super into the graphic lines of this suit, for some reason it reminds me of J.W Anderson though he wouldn't and hasn't done a suit of this nature before. Most people are saying I look like a new version of Beetlejuice, which I'm into so long as it's not Robin Thicke's version of Beetlejuice a la that horrible performance. I think I mostly look like a game show host. It's cool seeing this suit out of the context of my life though and just on a grid. I kind of am way more into this than I am a quick street style photo simply because you can actually tell this is editorialized.
People have a hard time realizing my internet life (and those of other bloggers) are pretty much editorialized fictions at this point. You're seeing what we want you to see. That's ok, that's fine, I think, I think knowing you're being presented choice aspects on purpose is much better than being led to believe otherwise. The outfits I post on this blog are real, and I do wear these things, and I certainly think all these thoughts about fashion and beauty and queerness, but I'm also dealing with friendships and sadness and school and so many things I'd much rather keep close to my heart and never tell the internet.
You can assume from a street style photo that oh yes, I'm living and loving in Da Big Apple, running from this and that to this and that. Glamour! Getting That Guap! So on. Some of that is real. Sometimes I am so lucky to go to events and things. But mostly I'm hustling to get my homework done and overthinking myself to tears on the L train from being overwhelmed from ALL the feelings, and the thought of presenting a magazine-glossy glamorized (and at this point, very standard) street style photo seems wrong to me. Also I have never been good at that? Most of my outfit posts have been me with a tripod in my neighborhood when nobody is walking around, and then me running back into my house. The quick street snap is not real, it never was. I want to explore how weird and complex and intricate I can get with myself in a way that a street style photo can't serve. I know what my clothes look like in the context of my life and work and things, I want to see them in my own imagination via weird photoshoots and stuff. So that's what's happening with Tayler. It's not a perfect interpretation and it won't ever be, but I'm ok with exploring.
14 October 2013
My last post on budgeting seemed to help a lot of you and I've gotten a bunch of follow up questions -- here is one I thought would good to answer as a follow up to that post. Thank you as always for commenting and reading, nothing makes me happier than talking about clothes and consumerism in a way that helps people be more informed (and ultimately more empowered) individuals. Anyway -- how to hunt for out of season clothes.
|Oldschool Tao CDG shirt, a miracle find at a thrift store cross country via a friend, for $10. Original post.|
Some other places you can look that aren't ebay......Farfetch, which also sources from international places, and their sales are pretty good. It's only the sales that are not current season though.
Consistent eBay searching will lead to niche re-sellers of specific brands, and you should save those for frequent visits. Maybe even contact them and let them know you're on the lookout for a specific item, and they might have the means to find that for you and sell it to you. This isn't uncommon and it's actually how a lot of re-sellers get their rent paid. Re-sellers are often just as fanatic as you are about brands, so make friends with them! I try to maintain relationships with consignment stores and retailers in general because they'll sometimes set things aside for me because they KNOW I will buy it when they call me up. Shoutout to dot.COMME for putting me on their newsletter as soon as they launched -- they know their market.
|FW2010 CDG jacket via eBay. Original post.|
Offline? Look up consignment stores in your area and keep a folder. And then bother them constantly. Just last week I visited my favorite (Tokio 7) and came out with CDG, Prada, and Vivienne Westwood all for around the price of one of the items on sale anywhere else. The CDG skirt I got was $200 for FW2005 and that wasn't available at either archive sales CDG has had in the past, or online on ebay hunts. Sometimes the only way to get things is luck and foot traffic.
You can also of course, contact the brand directly via a sales associate and maybe they'll be happy to help. This would truthfully work better if you've already purchased from them before and have some kind of relationship with them. But regardless, if you let them know specifically that there is a piece you MUST HAVE in your life, they will maybe be able to help, either by checking their warehouse or by notifying you when the next archive sale is. Either way, you never know unless you ask. You've got to be proactive and resourceful, really. This is all encompassing advice.
Long post for simple advice: you have to be obsessed. Really. Obsessed and resourceful! Constant online searches and networking with people with similar obsessions will get you many places. If they trust you they'll share their secrets, too. Birds of a feather flock together, you know what I mean? I knew to go to Tokio 7 for lots of CDG last weekend because a little birdy told me there would be good finds. If you make your desires known people will keep you in mind if something pops up. Look out for sample sales, archive sales, get to know stores that stock your favorite brand, get to know their sales associates, get to know online resellers, get to know brick and mortar resellers, and then: pursue and pursue and pursue until you get what you want. It works.
08 October 2013
Juggling work, an internship (my dream internship, no less!), school, and a social life is a grind I am trying to perfect with some difficulty -- but I'm making it happen because I have to. A fortnight ago I teamed up with my girl Tayler on a few photo projects, one of which were these snaps of a beautiful suit sent to me by a lovely young designer -- and reader -- named Elliy, of the brand Loop Theory. These photos were a long time coming. I was actually sent this suit probably a month or so ago, but with my friend Massiel, my most faithful blog-photographer and cohort off in Japan doin her graduate school thang I have been trying to find someone I trust as much to work with for photos. I don't mind working alone, but taking photos on top of my bed with a tripod gets old way fast. So I'm excited to be working with Tayler, and to be able to finally show this really cute suit off because Elliy is a smart and kind person who has created a very beautful collection.
|I'm wearing: Loop Theory Suit c/o, Vintage necklace, Bonlook glasses c/o.|
A little about Loop Theory -- you may recognize the prints on this suit if you're into architecture, or have ever been to Yale, as they are manipulated snaps of the Ivy League campus. Here's an excerpt from Elliy's brand statement:
Yale was where Loop Theory and all the memories surrounding it were first created. This collection's surrealist designs entail both metaphysical and metaphorical reflections of an illusive Yale based in reality but perceived only through memory in the realm of mind.
This outfit is from her Pre-Fall collection and comes in a skirt version as well. It was hard deciding what to style, but I decided on a suit option instead of a dress for more outfit options. I'm interested in playing around with how these very unique prints play off other patterns in my closet, as I don't have anything quite like this. How would you style this? I'm thinking plain white button up or t-shirt would be most predictable and casual, but I'm also neither of those things.
30 September 2013
I know we're well past NYFW (my favorite day of fashion month already passed in Paris, too) but I thought it was important to showcase the work of Michael Doyle, from the Art Institute Show from NYFW this season. I wasn't feeling up to going so I asked Tayler to scope it out for me and I regret not going now if only for Doyle's work. It's very dramatic and beautiful and reminded me of my favorite illustrations for my favorite lady, Salome -- the Oscar Wilde retelling of the story. I've written about how much I love her for Rookie already.
When I looked more into Doyle's inspiration, I wasn't even surprised. Verbatim:
My collection "Of a Neophyte" is inspired by the Art Nouveau artist Aubrey Beardsley. He was an early 20th Century artist from the UK who made grotesque and sexually charged paintings inspired by (or mocking) his aristocratic upbringing. My collection is inspired by costume and history, yet my personal level of creation and innovation makes the clothes very special and of a time not seen before. I stay as conceptual as possible and create clothing that is not a carbon copy of my inspiration.
Aubrey Beardsley was the illustrator for my favorite version of Salome. I remember flipping through Wilde's play in middle school and staring at how lethal and beautiful the illustrations were. I've always gravitated towards the gothic, I guess. Gothic women actually had FEELINGS, so know? Feelings like RAGE and bitterness and things I was feeling as a bullied marginalized girl in middle school who was questioning her sexuality and getting real tired of people calling me Chinese Chicken or Jackie Chan's little sister and then asking me to do their homework for them. Gothic women killed their men and looked fabulous doing it. I've always admired that. I still do, haha.
I think Doyle's interpretations are really beautiful and I wanted to share them because he's been overlooked a little, I think. Ok, I'm back to doing homework. I'll talk to you soon -- I have so much to share!!! Much love.
23 September 2013
Got an email the other day -- and quite a few similar -- that I'll address them all in this post for future reference. Here's the email:
Let me give you some background on how I accumulate nice things, first, so you know where I'm coming from. I won't give you my like, tax records or specific details about my class status (y'all don't really need to be that much up in my business, I come from a working class background and I receive financial aid from school, that's the basics) but essentially I afford my luxury lingerie and CDG via a lot of bargain hunting and budgeting of my income from working 6 days a week. It might seem like I have an endless amount of CDG, this is just because I only like photographing and memorializing the items I'm wearing and love the most and those happen to be it. I'm presenting to you an editorialized version of my life and you shouldn't forget it. Anyway, I buy the majority of it myself, though there are a few pieces here and there that were gifts from friends or from the designers because I'm a lucky girl. Mostly it's all me working a little bit above minimum wage and budgeting seriously for months at a time. This is going to be a LONG post, so half of it is under the cut.
|From this post : A CDG mix of gifted clothing and clothing I bought. The TAO CDG shirt was a $10 thrift find from a friend, the CDG skirt was around $120 at the annual archive sale. Shoes were a gift from the brand and the jacket was on loan. I bought my glasses at a local vintage store.|
How do I budget?
This post operates on the premise you have some source of income, if you don't, I'm sorry, this post will probably be useless to you. Moving on from that point, to manage income & expenses, I use the app called Mint on my phone (available on both android and apple products) to track my finances and have multiple budgets laid out for my finances.
- By being specific. I have my monthly budget laid out pretty specifically into four to five categories, but I tend to adjust it every two months according to my income and priorities at the time.
- By holding myself accountable. If and when I go over budget, I pay myself back so I don't fall behind on my budgets or goals. If I over spend in a category, I make up for it in another that month and sacrifice one thing for another. This is super important: self-restraint and recognizing your discipline is the really the only thing that keeps you on track in the end. No one is (I hope) making you buy things outside of survival necessities like rent, groceries, medications, transportation -- it's you making these choices, so you need to be very conscious about your limits.
- By making it simple. I mark down my paydays and automatically have a certain amount of money go from one account into my savings every payday. This is super simple, lazy budgeting, you don't have to worry about it that way. It's just done for you. Putting aside $50 a month automatically into savings, taking into account interest, means you're automatically saving minimum $600 a year. That's awesome and basically effortless.
- By using every resource available. I use financial calculators on a regular basis. There are plenty of them online, I use the ones on Mint.com, but you don't need to. Here is one, I just plugged in an example amount. $900 can get you so much CDG on ebay via resellers, or multiple items at their annual sample sales, etc.
|Source: Time Value Financial Calculators|
18 September 2013
Some quick snaps from London again for you -- like I said my last London update, my camera wasn't very helpful so these are from my phone. I also forgot to bring any makeup besides lipstick and CC cream so I look different than I'd like, I feel like this look would have been killer with a really bizarre eyeliner situation but alas. We look totally miserable by default but I swear we were actually happy. I'M SORRY I'M AN IRL DARIA. Anyway! I've been saving this Junya Watanabe dress that I scored at the last CDG Sample Sale for months and months -- I got it at a bargain price, still made me hyperventilate at the register but when it comes to once in a lifetime dresses, I kind of just grit my teeth and remind myself I work to buy things I dream of. Still, it's just so much LOOK, you know?
When it comes to such a bizarre dress, it's really important for my own enjoyment of wearing the garment to research it's history. It's pretty far removed from traditional dresses, literally made from parachute fabric, and the most practical reference I have for it is like a high fashion version of those Tripp NYC Baggy bondage pants all the mall goths used to wear when I went to high school. I love the images of this season from Junya:
When we went to Selfridges to try on pretty things (well, actually for me to frolic in the La Fille D'o lingerie section) it was very funny, because I tried on the red leather Junya Watanabe leather jacket I linked up above and it looked virtually the same as my vintage leather jacket I'm wearing in these photos, though mine was less than 1/7th the price. Goes to show you you don't necessarily need to buy the label to buy the look. Though when it comes to some items like this parachute dress, sometimes you just can't find imitations. Even with the Junya jacket, it had knitwear detailing and super stiff, corset leather which is very different from this jacket. Still, it's all in the details. Even the vintage and thrifted things I buy are very on-brand...it's about weird proportions and cuts, and you can find those things in the most unexpected places. Want a CDG tricot look? Go into the school uniform section of your children's apparel store and frolic. Few people would know the difference if you style it right. In fact, it's even more admirable if you can achieve the look without buying into it, sometimes, I think. It's important to me that when I'm thrifting and come across the occasional designer label, that I don't buy the thing just because of the label. Would I really wear it? Really? Even if it's CDG, is the the specific aesthetic of CDG (for there are many) that I obsess over or is it just a pretty tag? And I usually put it down and move on. I haven't regretted many sartorial decisions because of it.