Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Best Trends at New York Fashion Week

For many, the month of February is a signifier of Valentine's Day, Groundhog Day, President's Day or just the shortest (and with this comes the hope that it will somehow be easier to get through) month of the year. For us cool people, it means one thing and one thing only: the start of Fashion Month.

Over a span of a harrowing 4 weeks, the fashion crowd mobs from New York to London to Milan to Paris to see the latest trends and take note of what will be hot this coming season.

New York Fashion Week just ended and as usual, it managed to top the past seasons. From the celebrity puffing on something "mysterious" in the front row at Prabal Gurung to the amount of shows with the highest diversity rate in Fashion Month history (in one week alone!!!!), it's been a fantastic week. 

Diversity and proper representation of all types of people is a beautiful thing to finally see on the runway (and no longer be shocked by how rare it is), but we're here for the fashion first. Unsure of which trends you should be following post-NYFW? Fear not; I've got your back:

1. Hot pink 

Cushnie et Ochs

Cushnie et Ochs

Chromat

Why don't you wear hot pink? The color enhances everyone's skin tone, no matter how light or dark. Think about it - don't we all look a little prettier under pink lighting? Punch it into your wardrobe. 

2. Bright red


Badgley Mischka

Prabal Gurung

Lela Rose

Why don't you wear Big Apple red? Whether it's functioning as a little pop of color for your drab work outfit or decking you out head to toe for a night on the town, a nice bright red is your best friend. Red is power, red is strength. Red is FEMININE.

3. Sequins

Christian Cowan

Oscar de la Renta

Alice + Olivia

Why don't you wear sequins? Sequins are an essential thing for getting dressed. Okay, not quite, but there's no reason they shouldn't be. They bring a sense of confidence to your ensemble and they can function as a disco ball if need be. 

4. Ruffles

Jonathan Simkhai

Zimmermann

Coach 1941

Why don't you wear ruffles? Especially in the month of February. Ruffles bring a certain romanticism to any look and can soften up the grungiest of overtones.

5. Feminism

Nicole Miller

Collina Strada

Christian Siriano

Why don't you be a little more feminist? Watching fashion week and taking notes of trends is one thing, but worrying whether or not you can pull off the look at your size, color, gender and age is entirely different. Being able to see a similar body type to your own represented on the runway is a major milestone in fashion and an industrywide accomplishment.

6. Floral print

Lela Rose

Ralph Lauren

Michael Kors Collection

Why don't you wear flowers? Flowers for the sunny weather. Flowers for beach days. Flowers for movie dates. Flowers for always!

7. All the shades of yellow

Tibi

Brandon Maxwell

Derek Lam

Why don't you wear yellow? Yellow is the color of positivity, charm and energy. Yellow ensures you will have a better day. Yellow...is kind of an eyesore at times. But yellow can really be done well.

8. Royal purple

Prabal Gurung

Tibi

Derek Lam

Why don't you wear royal purple? There is no reason not to - you are a queen.

9. Hats galore

Gabriela Hearst

CALVIN KLEIN

Adam Lippes

Why don't you wear an unconventional hat? The rest of us are wearing normal hats much too often - it's up to you now to shake it up.

Which of these do you like/dislike and why? Leave a comment, or @ me on Twitter/Facebook.

XOXO,

Taylor

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

10 Things To Do With Your Gals On This Holiest of Days

10 Ways to Celebrate Galentine's Day


Leslie Knope taught me a lot about life. She taught me how to work hard, how to stay positive and how to expect nothing but the absolute best for yourself and everyone you care about. However, the most important thing she taught me is how to be a good friend to your girls. Whether you've seen Parks and Recreation or not, you know exactly what day it is today: Galentine's Day!

"Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It's like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas," Knope said on Season 2, Episode 16 and a holiday was born.

Much like there are many ways to celebrate Valentine's Day with your significant other, there are even more ways to celebrate the superior holiday with you gals, and here are my top ten:

1. Host a potluck 


What is better than a potluck? You get to cook as little as possible, mix foods that otherwise wouldn't be socially acceptable to mix and you can usually get away with eating way more sweets than necessary because it's a POTLUCK!

2. Have a pajama party


There is nothing more liberating than putting on a pair of ridiculous pajamas with your adult friends and basically mimicking the seventh grade.

3. Send cute Valentine's gifts to your gals


Aren't able to see your Galentines on this special day? Send them something to remind them that they are strong, independent women who don't need ANYONE or ANYTHING (except a little teddy bear from their dearest girl friend).

4. Collaborate on a plan to take down the patriarchy


Hey, one of us has to figure it out sooner or later, right?

5. Say no to bras


Of course, many of us do this every day, but February 13th should mean an endless supply of boobs swinging free in solidarity!

6. Give each other radical makeovers


Except make it look least stereotypical as possible. Everyone is expecting you to go for the eyeshadow and the blush and the lipstick. Instead, go for the fake mustache and the vampire teeth and the bald cap. Make each other laugh.

7. Take a communal nap


It's a Tuesday, we all need it anyway.

8. Go to a waffle house dressed like characters from Parks and Recreation


This one is for traditionalists, those with nothing but absolute respect for the origin of the holiday.

9. Have a dance party


My roommates and I have been studying this for months and we've found the results to be quite emotionally lucrative. Don't question it, just put on Madonna and do your thing.

10. Tell your girls how much you love them


You really should be doing this every day, but make sure you don't let the 13th go by without telling your girls how much they mean to you.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Will NYFW Fall 2018 See More Diversity?


I was scrolling through Twitter earlier and I came across a tweet about which collections viewers are looking forward to seeing for New York Fashion Week, which one follower responded to with, "DIVERSITY." I couldn't help but think about what this might look like.

Runway diversity has been a big issue for NYFW (and Fashion Month in general) for its entirety. Yes, we are seeing models of more ages, weights and heights on the runway, but it's still uncommon. It's still rare enough for us to notice. It's still so jarring that it distracts from the clothing to actually see someone wearing them who isn't a size 00, six feet tall and white. The runway is not diverse enough.

However, this is 2018. #MeToo has happened. Cameron Russell has outed the industry via Instagram for its rampant abuse and ill treatment of models. Other models have come forward and spoken out about the cruel ways they are treated before and during shows - the constant pressure there is to lose weight, to to stand for hours and hours, to take off their panties and "just let it happen." Maybe this time, diversity is actually going to happen.

Women are at a point where we have given up. We've given up on pretending we're having a good time with a man because we're too scared to admit otherwise. We've given up on being the "bitch" at work because we spoke our minds. We're done being told what we're supposed to look like - for once, are we allowed to be the ones who say what we look like?

As far as I can remember, a woman has never told a man what he should do to be conventionally attractive. We've never made them into that ideal form of beauty and then treated it as our possession, like we own it, like it owes us something. Men have always had the freedom to be men, and sadly I can't even imagine how that must feel.

The fashion industry tends to be even harsher than that. I have been watching Fashion Month from Southern California since I was a little girl, but I have never seen myself on the runway. Isn't that sad? I've never seen a woman who looked anything like me and I know billions of other women haven't either (as well as men). 

In my opinion, nothing is better than Fashion Month. I love the collections, the street style, the front rows, the ambiance. I'm obsessed with it all. But what would make it even better would be having representation of every type of person on the runway. That's what we want to see this season. TRUE diversity.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Kanye East (And no, I don't mean Kanye West's bad side)



There are a lot of things about American culture just waiting to be made fun of. From our evident reduced intellect in comparison to other nations (oh come on, let’s face it) to our tendency to revert back to 1950 more often than seemingly possible for a first-world country, we are far from perfect.

None of this is a secret, especially not to Estonian artist Tommy Cash. Cash, who has renamed himself “Kanye East,” enjoys spoofing American culture in a variety of artistic means of expression.

A rapper with a Vogue-proclaimed genre of “sinister-meets-sexy ‘post-Soviet rap’,” Cash is infamous for his disturbing music videos. He’s also apparently into fashion as he’s just released a clothing line full of inside jokes and Slavic imagery.

Cash gets his inspiration from other street-style brands like Yeezy, Off-White and Vetements. “We took Life of Pablo and twisted it,” Cash told Vogue. The artist’s latest collection includes “Life of Pavel,” T-shirts, Pavel being the most common name in Russia. “While Kanye had a big booty girl, on this version, I had these bread sandals that I made and Dom Perignon in a bad Russian toilet. This is kind of like when broke guys drive very good cars, but they still live with their moms.”

It’s also convenient that his given name is Tomas Tammemets, which is eerily similar to Demna Gvasalia’s fashion brand Vetements. “Tammemets is my real second name and it means ‘oak forest,’” he explained. “There is nothing more Estonian than my second name.”

“Tammements” is inscribed on the hoodie from his line, which is dedicated to Estonian pop sensation Anne Veski.


I don’t know about you, but I think Tommy Cash (Kanye East? Tomas? Tammemets?) is a riot. Anyone who doesn’t take every single thing in life ever too seriously is my hero because of how rare that is.

Cash uses his artistry to pay homage to his Soviet roots, poke fun at America and be unapologetically himself.

But let me ask you, why isn’t this considered cultural appropriation?


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Be nicer to Women, Women!




“She’s ugly in person though.  She just takes good photos.”

“That girl’s face looks like the back of a Crunch bar.”

“She’s cool, but she’s kind of a slut.”
In my experience, growing up female means growing up surrounded by ugliness.  I don’t mean ugly appearances, but ugly speech.  As far as any of us can remember, growing up female means tearing down your fellow females for their appearance and/or sexuality, which is exactly what the patriarchy has always taught us and exactly why we’re attempting to dismantle it for good.  However, when it comes to shaming women for sexual behavior and/or physical traits, it is so ingrained in us I’m afraid we’ll never be able to stop.

Depending on where you grew up, little girls got mean as early as preschool, but I personally started noticing a visceral change in almost all the females in my life when I was in middle school.  

Middle school is when shit gets real - boys’ voices are cracking left and right, half of your class is in a training bra, and most mouths are full of metal and surrounded by pimples.  This is enough trauma on its own, but to be female means it’s time to become either a slut or a prude, because once you hit puberty, there is no other option.

I went to private school from preschool to 8th grade, so you know I’ve seen my fair share of cattiness.  However, the first time I experienced how mean girls can get when it comes to boys was at church camp in middle school.  Yes, church camp.

At the time, I was really close with two best friends.  Their names were Mia and Jenny.  Mia and I got along because we both liked to prank people.  We had a strange, mildly obnoxious sense of humor and loved to circle the cleft chins of teen heartthrobs in J-14 Magazine and laugh at how they looked like butts.  Jenny shared a similar sense of humor, so when the three of us were together, we never stopped laughing.  

When we turned 13 and went to church camp, though, things got a little weird.


Jenny was beginning to hang out with another group of girls at camp - the kind of girls who were already doing their makeup and hair.  They had those 2007 side bangs we all miss so much.  Their nails were acrylic and their capris were short shorts.  Jenny was straightening her hair, wearing lacy bras.  Mia and I didn’t really get it, so we stuck to our bunk and looked at our magazines.

Then I remember noticing something strange.  Whenever our group would cross paths with a boy group, Jenny would treat Mia and me differently.  She would get a little meaner when talking to us.  Suddenly, our corny jokes weren’t funny to her anymore.  The boys were funnier - hilarious.  She couldn’t stop laughing, even when they weren’t necessarily telling a joke.  She dumbed herself down for them, which always amazed me.  How could a person sleep at night knowing they had acted naive about a subject in order to impress someone?  In what world is cluelessness attractive?

Pretty soon, girls like Mia and I went from feeling betrayed by our friends for changing on us to becoming one of them.  We all do at some point.  The name-calling came soon after that.  You like a boy, he likes you back, another girl likes him, he goes with her instead.  In middle school, rather than understanding a boy picking someone over you has nothing to do with your own worth and everything to do with his personal preference and intentions, we called the girl he liked a bitch.  We called her ugly, slutty, stupid, cunty, fat, sloppy, fake.  Oh, and your friends hate her by default.  While this may not be such a problem if it was just a middle school phase we all inevitably had to go through, the reality is that this is still our reality.  We never outgrow the mean talk and the instinct to tear each other down.  We just get better at it.

Something I’ve never understood is society’s need to place women into one of two categories: slut or prude.  There is no in between; there is no other option, and if a woman is a slut, she is also uncredible, gullible, disgusting, and/or a slave to her needs (see: Marilyn, Monica, and most recently Stormy Daniels).  These women are fetishized and attacked alike for their personal life choices.  They are stripped of any chance to be credible or to be taken seriously.  They’re just The Infamous Whore.  Meanwhile, the men in question are anything from looked over to glorified.

As Olivia Munn asked the crowd at the 2018 LA Women’s March, “Why is it different for girls than it is for boys?”  Because we let them be better.  When we tear each other down, we allow ourselves to be the inferior sex.  If an entire room calls a woman a whore and half of the room stood up and said, “No she isn’t, you are a sexist,” would things be different?

Another modern day example stems from the babe.net story about Aziz Ansari.  I don’t need to tell you what happened: An anonymous woman who is referred to as “Grace” is approached by a tipped-off trash publication that is obviously out for money and attention.  Grace agrees to tell her story.  It’s reported in an irresponsible, sensationalist manner.  Backlash follows.  Grace is seen as the stupid loose girl who put herself in a bad situation, exaggerated it and tried to profit from it while simultaneously ruining a man’s career (which, by the way, is still perfectly intact).  Poor Aziz, the man who chased a woman around his apartment so he could shove his fingers down her throat and then shove them inside her.  The movement has gone too far.

Actually, it hasn’t gone far enough.  The thing is, everyone keeps saying this movement will be a success when men no longer put us down.  When we finally feel safe on the streets and even in our homes; when we know we won’t have to watch out for sexual coercion in our professional lives.  

All of that is true, and it all sounds amazing, but we won’t consider this movement complete and successful until women no longer rip each other to shreds because of our own insecurities that men have projected on us.  Personally, I know I will not be satisfied until I never hear a woman say to me, “Look at my ex’s new girlfriend.  Isn’t she a cow?” ever again.

I don’t want to hate any women because I feel they are competition and I need to put them in their place, and I definitely don’t want a woman out there talking shit on me because she thinks her boyfriend likes me.  I’m tired of calling people whores and sluts and bitches.  I’m tired of letting men talk about how horrible their exes were as if it uplifts us women to hear that (and doesn’t it?  Doesn’t it give you a thrill to know that his last girlfriend was a psycho and you are so much better?) and not jumping in to say it doesn’t matter.  

Stop looking every woman you pass on the streets up and down and judging everything she’s doing incorrectly and everything you could be doing so much better than her.  Start smiling at her, telling her she looks good with that haircut, demanding that she has a lovely day.

Be nicer.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Just A Body


I don’t know how other people recover from anorexia.  Of course, I know what it looks like on the surface, but each experience is different from the next.  Mine is mine, yours is yours.  

I get the sense that many people believe my recovery has been great, smooth, successful, which is why I need to make this blog post.  It’s been a long time since I’ve updated you on the symptoms, effects and experience of my recovery.  Because of that, none of you really know what it’s been like.  Some of you closer to me have asked questions which I love, but a lot of it I just dealt with on my own or in therapy because I knew it would be too difficult to explain.  I also didn’t want to be That Girl who never shuts up about the fact that she had anorexia.  However, lately I’ve been thinking.  While I feel that most people I know can’t truly understand the things that recovery did to me because it’s such a unique human experience, it’s ridiculous of me to think that no one could.  There could very well be a person out there struggling with the exact same things I was, and instead of just saying “Fuck it, I came this far, I might as well keep going,” they relapse.  I’m here to save that person.

Recovery isn’t pretty at all, but it’s still worth it.  If you’re currently struggling and you’re thinking about recovery, this is for you.  So let me tell you about my scary, ugly, traumatizing recovery and still somehow convince you to do it because I promise you: It IS worth it.

I’m finally at a point where I feel stable.  I feel like Taylor, I feel healthy.  I’m not unsure of walking on my own two legs because my knees might collapse.  I’m not going to bed at 7 every night out of exhaustion, starvation.  I have friends, I go out, I have people over.  I go to work, I go to the gym, I dance.  I read, I write, I cook a variety of food and I’m not scared to try new things. But my own hesitation for health and obsession with control is the reason it took me so long to get here.

As of next week, I will be recovering for 11 months.  That’s almost a year, but it did not go by smoothly.  Don’t get me wrong - I love my recovery and I love the point I’ve gotten to.  It has also been the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through.

I’ll start out by saying that for the first 8 months, I still did not take in enough calories.  I was much too stubborn and I did not want to get bigger.  What resulted was me getting bigger anyway (because although I wasn’t quite taking in enough calories, I was definitely taking in way more than before) while having all the health problems I suffered from drag out rather than disappear within a few months.

I’m not sure what the average recovery feels like, but mine was by no means average.  I refused to stop exercising and refused to incorporate foods I was too unfamiliar with or afraid of.  I stuck to a pretty restricted diet, the type of diet someone has when they’re “on a diet.”  It was enough for an average person, but not enough for someone who was already severely underweight.  I continued to ignore hunger pangs by telling myself it was irrational for me to still be hungry.  If I had eaten an entire bowl of oatmeal and a banana, I should be full.  A normal person would be, and I’m normal now so that means I’m full too.

I was wrong.  I was wrong for eight months.  This just proves how strong of a hold eating disorders have on your mind - I refused to even consider I might need to take in more calories.

My recovery has been full of things I can’t really explain and don’t necessarily care to dive into, so I’ll list them without much detail.  If you read this and think to yourself, Hey, that’s me and I need to know more, then please message me.  I have no problem speaking more on the subject.

I have been asked if I was pregnant.  I have felt so intensely unattractive and insecure.  I have gotten my period again and had to experience puberty all over (I should really write a book on puberty because I have been through it TWICE now with incredible intimacy, pimples and crying and all).  I have experienced heightened emotion that terrified me and seemed neverending (see? Puberty.).

I have felt constant brain fog - brain fog that does not go away unless I eat.  Brain fog that made me feel stupid at times, incompetent, as if I was reversing in intelligence or losing my memory.  And again, I don’t mean a bowl of oatmeal and a banana.  This brain fog is cruel and relentless and it does not go away until you have taken in thousands of calories. Believe me.  

A notorious theme in eating disorder recovery is feelings of unattractiveness.  I have felt like the biggest person in the room when I had only gained 5 pounds.  I thought I was done gaining at 5 pounds.  I have wanted to give up so many times.  My anorexia constantly tells me that no one will love me anymore if I get too fat.  Every time someone isn’t able to talk to me or see me, a voice in my head tells me it’s because I have gained way too much.  I have sobbed, screamed, grabbed at my fat and prayed for the ability to rip it off my body.  I have stayed home and wallowed on days I haven’t felt good about myself (literally busting out of all your favorite clothes doesn’t help this, either).

I haven’t been strong every day.  I haven’t even been strong most days.  But the one thing I’ve always made sure to do is tell myself at the end of the day that I chose this for a reason, and there is no going back.

Eventually, eight months in, my friend told me I needed to take in more calories.  I’m not sure why, but I listened.  Although it was being suggested to me by professionals and close family, I chose to listen to this friend - not in spite of the fact that he had never had an eating disorder and had absolutely no knowledge on the subject, but because of it.  Somehow I allowed myself to take advice on my eating from a normal person because that’s finally what I wanted to be: a normal person whose life didn’t revolve around eating.

After I listened to my friend, I started eating uninhibited.  I ate anything and everything (except meat: I’m still vegetarian, which is a lifestyle decision I made six years pre-ED) I ate like I haven’t eaten since I was a little kid at a birthday party.  My hunger absolutely terrified me.  It (obviously) caused me to gain more weight and I was really nervous that my hunger would never stop, but it turns out the experts were right.  Eating until you’re satisfied is the only way to fully beat anorexia, physically I mean.  And that looks different for every single recoverer, so for me the only thing that worked was to stop counting my fucking calories and just eat when I felt like it.

Miraculously, everything I read about that I should expect to happen, happened when I finally chose recovery for real. Yes, I ate like a starving person for quite a few weeks, but maybe that’s because I was a starving person for three years.

I ate so much that I felt sick but my body did not feel right until I ate more, so I did.  I listened to my body and no one else, and the strangest thing happened.  I hit a point where my appetite curbed.  I began eating like a “normal person,” the way I remember eating when I was just a kid. I’m no longer crippled with hunger every time it’s time to eat - my body is no longer panicking every time it’s gone without food for a couple of hours.  My body is beginning to trust me to feed it again, because I’ve been doing so properly for the first time in a long time.

The truth is, you need to get a little uncomfortable to properly recover.  You need to get “big” according to your standards, bigger than you’ve ever been, and then you need to learn to accept that.  The weight you’ve gained is armor against the illness that threatened your life.  This isn’t to say you can never lose it or tone it to feel more confident or healthy, but it’s likely that you need to wait a few years before you have the mental strength to do this in a non-destructive manner.

People are going to challenge you.  Those who don’t know about your eating disorder will assume you’re going through something or caring less about your health because here in America, we’re taught that the only positive change in weight is less.  They might make comments on your weight.  You need to shun those people and create your own world while you’re recovering, because it isn’t necessarily your body alone that you have to save: it’s your mind.

The best things I’ve done for myself in recovery look nothing like gaining weight.  They look like enrolling myself in a dance class because when I am dancing, I am happy and I am Taylor.  They look like taking a day off from the gym because I am sick or tired or just too busy with something else to do it.  They look like taking up positive habits like cleaning house and reading more and writing about anything and everything that has nothing to do with my eating disorder (well, this obviously doesn’t count).  

If you are struggling, the way to move isn’t backwards.  It’s forward, into recovery, into your new life, because you are not your eating disorder: you are a beautiful soul with talents and ambition and (hopefully) a good amount of charisma.

It’s just a body.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Women's March 2018: Take Your Protest Home


Today, I expected to go to work.  Not literally of course, but I expected the march to be full of anger, longing, desperation for equality.  I expected to come out of it feeling as if nothing had changed and nothing ever will, as I usually feel with national social issues in our country.  Most of all, I didn't expect to see very many men.  I was wrong.

Don't misinterpret my words - it was hard work.  It was hard work to stand amongst 500,000 (Los Angeles was the NUMBER ONE city today) men and women fighting for the same exact thing: equality among our genders.  As I've mentioned before, I didn't have a lot of faith in #metoo when it began.  However, I held my breath as day by day, more women came forward and spoke out about what horrible, despicable things that nasty men had done to them.

I cried every time I read about another woman because it reminded me of situations I'd been in and feelings I'd felt that I didn't think I could share with anyone because I'd be seen as a slut or a liar.  I cried because I thought to myself, okay, this is great, but all we're doing is beginning the conversation.  Is anything actually changing?

Today made me realize that, I'm not the only one hoping for a change and willing to do what it takes. I'm not the only one frustrated with the fact that our president has been accused of sexual abuse or harassment by 19 women and is still contently in office.

When you march down Hill Street surrounded by half a million people who want to help give you a voice for the first time in history, it's hard not to be overcome with emotion.  I was instantly shocked by the magnitude of male presence there, and how peaceful it was (except the guy who stood behind my roommate and I trying to grope our butts.  Fuck you, dude) despite men's history of being...well...completely atrocious.

Quite a few powerful women (and one ally of a mayor Eric Garcetti) spoke to the mass of supporters about the importance of equality and living in a world where women don't have to be scared to go out with a man, where women don't have to perform sexual favors to advance in the workplace.

Viola Davis' call to action and Olivia Munn's graphic retelling of a young woman's date rape both shook me with anger and filled me with hope, but it was Mayor Garcetti's speech that instilled a possibility for real change.  While I hate to admit that I garnered the most hope from the only male's speech, Garcetti called his fellow men to call out each other and protect us from abuse and coercion.  I'm convinced girls can run the world, but in order to get there we need help from the men in charge who are also on our side.

They have the power now, and we can't just take it.  We have to convince them that we are as worthy as they are to own it, that we have worked just as hard.  It doesn't please me as much as it does you that we have to do this, to fight for our fundamental rights, but that doesn't excuse the fact that we HAVE to.  We have to be patient and be confident that they will share it.  We have to hope that they will hear us.