Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Balenciaga Spring 2018 Menswear

While people of all shapes, sizes, and even careers walked for Vetements the past few seasons, Demna Gvasalia used a similar approach for Balenciaga's men.  This season, Gvasalia took a page from the Dolce & Gabbana book and centered his show around the idea of family.



It's Domenico (Dolce) and Stefano (Gabbana) who typically celebrate motherhood with their shows.  Each runway appearance of the brand feels like an intimate, joyous, Italian family gathering.  For Balenciaga, Gvasalia dared to show man as a family-oriented being.



Is this a step forward for fashion and society?  The clothes, which were expectedly amazing, were the last thing I noticed when looking at this show.  Showing these men as dads, as nurturers, takes away the pressure from women to be in this role.

This is what I love about fashion and art.  It's so much more than just fabric on a model.  When utilized properly, fashion can convey messages powerful enough to alter the dichotomy of the world we live in.



Although these children do look a little confused as to why they're being paraded before a crowd of fashion insiders and celebrities.

What are your thoughts on this collection/model choice?  Leave a comment below!

XOXO,

Taylor

Monday, June 19, 2017

The 10 Best Sandals for Summer

Hi Brainiacs,

As the heat wave takes over this week, I'm 99% miserable but 1% excited to start thinking about SHOES!  Avid readers of my blog are aware that I believe in investment pieces.  What is the point of buying a cheap pair of shoes that are going to fall apart while you're walking down the street?

Here is a list of my favorite shoes of the season and why you should invest in a pair:

1. Marc Jacobs


Because black is year-round and that combined with the bold studs on these sandals make a statement. You can find these studded wonders for an alarming amount of money here. But, can you really put a price on fashion? Don't answer that.

2. Stuart Weitzman


These frayed-ankle sandals are perfect for the Fourth of July. They're the ideal balance of soft femininity and sex appeal.

3. Loeffler Randall


The return of the stud! However, these are a lot more subtle than Marc Jacobs'.  The velvet allows a romance that complements the roughness and danger associated with studs.

4. Steve Madden


Beautifully simple and beautifully affordable, Steve Madden always makes sense.  These are the type of sandals you can keep forever because they'll never NOT work. Or you can just tell yourself that because you're too cheap to buy another pair. Either way.

5. Tibi


This sandal is incredibly simple and another that will make it through season after season with its style.  The block heel allows stability and comfort while still looking great. 

6. Alexander Wang


Wait! I didn't forget about you people who don't like high heels, and neither did Alexander Wang. Much like the rest of his designs, this shoe is all about ease, comfort, and simplicity.  It's made with cotton denim--does it get more comfortable than that?

7. Nicholas Kirkwood


Proof that you're allowed to be both comfortable AND fashionable. You don't need to think about Crocs when you have a pair of these.  The pearls and gold embellish bring these sandals to the next level.

8. Manolo Blahnik


Because leopard print always makes sense.

9. Prada


A modern take on a retro classic, and as far as I'm concerned, this color is the only acceptable option. Thanks Miuccia. 

10. Miu Miu


Leave it to Prada's little sister to bring it for this summer. Your feet will probably sweat profusely, but isn't it worth it for this pair of rabbit fur, crystal-heeled sandals? I don't know if you can get more extra than these.

XOXO,

Taylor

Girl Scouts Attack the Gender Gap

Hey Everyone,

Fall of 2018 will bring to the Girl Scouts something that has never been seen before: the possibility to earn badges in cybersecurity.

The Scouts will be adding 18 new badges to their collection, allowing girls to learn data privacy, protection from cyberbullying, and online defense.  All of these badges will be available to Scouts ages K-12, while the older Scouts will be given the option to learn coding, ethical hacking, and creating/working around firewalls.



Rather than learning how to cook or sew, this next generation of girls will be given more of a level playing field with boys when it comes to pursuing education and/or careers in the maths and sciences.  Since Silicon Valley is basically all male, this is a great opportunity to diversify the field.

This decision is based on research.  The CEO of the Girl Scouts surveyed members and found that most girls had a desire to learn more about computer science.

I'm upset this wasn't an option when I was younger.  I was a Girl Scout for a few months before I quit because I was so bored.  The most useful thing I learned in there was how to antagonize the troop leaders until they were literally red in the face and shaking with rage.

What are your thoughts on this? Personally I think this is an amazing opportunity to close the gender gap and break the glass ceiling, something that's been talked about for years but NEVER really acted on.  It's 2017 and we're still moving glacially slow when it comes to gender equality, and that's not okay.

Comment below with your opinion.

XOXO,

Taylor

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Justifying Nature

Actress China McClain posted a photo of herself wearing her natural hair on Instagram this week with the message: "Haven't ever really worn my natural hair but I'm sick of straightening this magic.  I'm a black girl and I'm hella proud."



What's problematic here is that this is newsworthy.  Multiple outlets posted articles about the fact that this actress posted a photo with her natural hair.  Don't get me wrong, I think it's amazing that she feels empowered and wants to lift up other women on her social media, but should the act of wearing your hair natural be considered brave?

It's not fair that women, and specifically women of color, have to justify wearing natural hair or forgoing makeup.  It's not fair that we have to say "No makeup day" or "bedhead" to "apologize" for the fact that we're being ourselves.

This photo shouldn't be newsworthy, but it is.  This should be a photo of a young woman living her life.  We shouldn't need to be told that we can love and accept ourselves no matter what our nature looks like.  We should already know this.  We should already be allowed to love ourselves unconditionally.

What do you think about this?  Am I wrong?  Do you agree or disagree?  Again, I think it's great that she feels empowered and is empowering others via her social media platform.  But again, I don't think this is something that should need to be said.

Comment with your thoughts.

XOXO,

Taylor

Thom Browne Resort 2018

Hey Everyone,

Sorry it's been a while, but it's difficult to get into fashion when you're forcing yourself to gain 30+ pounds (of health, yeah yeah yeah).  But I'm back!  And so is Thom Browne.

For his resort collection, Browne played more with pastels and textures than ever before.  His designs are typically renowned for their impeccable tailoring, but the focus of this collection is more on the fabrics and the colors.

Here are a few of my favorite looks from the collection:



Enlighten me: what are your thoughts on these looks?  Find the full collection here: http://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/resort-2018/thom-browne and pick out your favorites I didn't mention.  We can argue back and forth on whose selections are best.

XOXO,

Taylor

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Princess No More

Hey Brainiacs,

Sorry it's been a while, again, but I am finally done with finals!  And with the completion of finals comes the completion of my undergraduate career.  This means no more late nights stuck in class, no more studying material I couldn't care less about, and no more pretending to listen to professors who bored me half to death.

To celebrate the end of this little slice of hell, I've been doing basically nothing.  I'm literally sitting on my patio and scrolling through the websites of Vogue, WWD, and Bazaar.  However, this brought me to my writing topic of the day: Princess Mako of Japan is giving up her royal title.



While studying at the International Christian University in Tokyo, Mako met Kei Komuro, a paralegal (not a royal).

As is Japanese imperial tradition, in order to marry Komuro, Mako would have to give up her official title and role as a princess, which she has decided to do.



Initially, I wasn't sure how I felt about this.  Giving up her entire destiny for a man?  However, lately I've been softening up to the idea of love.

Why should Mako have to marry someone she likely doesn't care about in order to keep her title?  And what exactly does the title of "Princess" do for a girl anyway?  Free tiaras?

I think it's bold of Mako to follow her heart and pursue the man she truly loves.  Connections like that don't come around frequently, and you can't just throw them away.  If she has met someone she wants to spend every day with, wants to share her secrets and quirks with because he will love her at the end of the day no matter what, then she should be happy.  She should be with the paralegal, crown be damned.

What do you think about this?  Does this matter to you at all?  I'm not sure why I care so deeply about Princess Mako of Japan's love life, but it's a slow Wednesday.

XOXO,

Taylor

Thursday, May 4, 2017

May 4

Today is a special day, and not because it’s May the Fourth. I’m not a Star Wars nerd, so frankly I don’t give a shit.  Today is May 4, and that marks two months of recovering from anorexia.

I could tell you that this has been a miracle, that this has been a happy sixty days, but that just wouldn’t be the truth.  The truth is that this has been the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to go through, and the only thing pushing me along is the knowledge that this is the right thing to do.

The truth about recovery is that it isn’t pretty.  You don’t start eating three balanced meals and suddenly become normal again.  You have to go through hell—payback for the hell you put your body through all those years.

When I first began recovering, I thought I was dying about fifteen times a day.  It begins with the increase in metabolism, which is sudden and dramatic and you are just not ready for it. 

Starting out, I couldn’t eat like a normal person.  Based on the danger my body was in, I had to eat like a teenage athletic boy just to make any semblance of progress.  No matter how much I ate, it wasn’t enough.  My metabolism, which I had so cruelly ignored for three years, was back and vengeful as hell.  My eyes would glaze over, in desperate need for food almost every hour on the hour.  I would shake until I got something in my stomach.  My heart rate would rise and fall drastically throughout the day, a reminder that I was still at risk for a heart attack (and still am).  I went through a period where I swear I could literally feel my food metabolizing and disappearing before I had even finished swallowing it.  I had to keep eating, eating, eating, but don’t forget: I have a disorder.

“Have,” because even though I’ve chosen to recover, I’ll still live with anorexia.  The experts say you can never get rid of an eating disorder—only learn how to manage it.  “Have,” because even though I want to get better, I want to be happy, I want to be healthy and normal again, there’s a voice in my head that will never stop telling me to put down the food.  The voice in my head will never stop telling me to exercise longer, to run faster, to drink more water instead of eat.  The voice is getting duller, but it’s still there.

After the metabolism began to regularize, I noticed another wonderful (note: heavy sarcasm) side effect of recovering: it all goes straight to your stomach at first.

A doctor explained this phenomenon to me: when you starve yourself, the first thing to break down is your muscle.  Next, your bone density.  Then, brain chemicals are messed with.  Eventually, your stomach lining begins to deteriorate, causing your organs to sag.  When you begin to refeed, your body isn’t sure whether or not you’re going to put it through a deficit again, so to protect itself, the fat all goes straight to your stomach to protect those vital organs.  After you’ve been eating regularly for a while, it begins to redistribute and you have a normal, balanced body again.  But this can take months—even a year. 

Beyond the fact that I’ve been wandering around the past two months looking slightly pregnant, I’ve been experiencing a resurgence of hormones.  Another thing that happens when you starve yourself—your body stops producing enough hormones.  Get down to a low enough body fat percentage and you lose your period, too.  This sounds like a dream come true, but it’s a nightmare.  Imagine not feeling like a woman anymore.  Beyond just the loss of sexuality is the loss of feelings in general.  Happiness, sadness, anger—it’s all numbed.  You’re not really a person anymore.  You’re not really living.

Recovery is the exact opposite.  About a month in, I began to feel thirteen and raging all over again.  Mood swings, random fits of anger/sobbing/hysterical joy.  Deep depression for what I put myself through, followed by delirious happiness that I’ve been able to pull myself out.  And then, after three years without, I got my period.

As of today, I am the minimum “normal” weight for my height, gender, and build.  I am menstruating again, I’m experiencing life, and I’m eating enough to make it through the day without collapsing mentally, emotionally, and physically. 


I know I still have a long way to go.  Shit, I haven’t even really gotten past the stage of looking slightly pregnant at all times.  I have a lot to learn, a lot of fears that remain to be tackled, and a lot of physical and emotional damage to repair.  But two months ago today I decided to live my life again, and I’m really proud of myself for sticking to that.