Monday, October 24, 2016

Model Monday: Jasmine Sanders

Hey Brainiacs,

This Model Monday (another beautiful, gloomy blue Monday of rain!) we're turning the focus to Jasmine Sanders, a.k.a. Golden Barbie.

Sanders is a 25-year-old German-born American model who has risen up on the runways through her social media platforms.  While her association with the Kardashian-Jenner clan (an advertised friendship with Kim and a feature in one of Kylie's lip gloss videos) has helped catapult her into the spotlight, she was doing pretty well on her own with millions of Instagram followers and a budding career in print modeling.

Somewhat short for a model, Sanders stands at only 5 foot 9.  What she lacks in height she makes up for with her toned, smooth body, her flawless, startlingly symmetrical face, her icy blue/green eyes, and her blonde hair.  It is these physical characteristics that coined her the nicknames like Golden Barbie and Goldilocks when she was still in elementary school.

Walking dozens of shows each season and getting significant partnerships with fashion brand advertisements and editorial features, Sanders is considered part of today's social media model brat pack, setting her amongst Kendall, Gigi, Hailey, Stella, and Bella.

What do you think about Jasmine?  Overrated?  Amazing?  Comment with your thoughts.



Thursday, October 20, 2016

The First Lady's Last Dinner

Michelle Obama has been known for many things over the past 8 years.  She's advocated health in elementary schools and fought childhood obesity, launched many programs to aid parents in ensuring their children get a healthy and balanced diet, installed tennis courts nationwide to help kids be more active, helped lower the cost of fruit and vegetables at markets, and helped create job opportunities for veterans.  Perhaps most notably, she and her husband created Let Girls Learn, an initiative that encourages girls to go to school and stay in school globally.  She's been the ultimate nurturer, putting our children first for hopes of a better future.  However, google Michelle Obama this week and the first thing that comes up is VERSACE.

While Michelle has done much more than dress well over the past 8 years, let's not rule out how often she has slayed on red carpets, at government dinners, and basically everywhere she goes on a regular basis.  I'll admit, when Michelle was first talked about as the Best Dressed First Lady back in 2009/2010, I was a little skeptical.  After all, who can beat Jackie O when it comes to style?  However, I've come to see that Michelle has so much more than style: she has a daring, playful, fun sense of fashion that crosses a line First Ladies are NEVER supposed to cross.

As a rule, being a First Lady means wearing pantsuits.  It means being Carolina Herrera and Ralph Lauren's #1 customer.  It means being conservative, ladylike, and proper.  But WHY?  Why, because your husband is the President of the United States, does that mean you have to sacrifice your sense of style, of sexuality, of fashionable spontaneity and creativity?  This is something Michelle Obama has never done, and something I respect her for, which is why it was the ultimate going out with a bang moment when she donned $12,000 Atelier Versace gown to the Obamas' final state dinner with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and wife.

Michelle dropped jaws in this chainmail couture piece by Donatella.  Why is this a historical moment?  Ever since the origination of the brand in the 1980s by Gianni, Versace has been notorious for being the brand that is all about sex appeal.  With Versace, nothing is left to the imagination.  The woman is a sexual being and she embraces her power; it's meant to exalt women and make them feel beautiful.  However, Versace is not what you wear when you're trying to be the conservative First Lady.  Thank you Michelle, for this final gift to America: being the first First Lady with the balls to wear Versace and embrace your feminine self.  You GO!

Thoughts? Comment.



Monday, October 17, 2016

7 Times Fashion Was In The Rain

Hi Brainiacs,

It's a joyous day in Southern California, simply because of the fact that it's actually raining.  You know you're in a drought when the local news station does an entire segment on the light misting we're experiencing.  However, it's much better than the usual sunny hell we live in.

If you're like me and this is your favorite weather, then you must be having a fantastic day already!  If you're like most Southern Californians and you hate this and you're terrified and you're hiding under a blanket and you never want to leave your house again and you're on the verge of tears, can you keep it to yourselves so the rest of us can enjoy it before it shoots back up to desert hell on earth temperatures?

Anyway, I figured for a special rainy day post, I'd feature some classic shots of fashion taking things outside to a beautiful rainy day.  A combination of two of my favorite things: an angular model with a timelessly chic look and a gloomy day with black clouds and slick streets.  Here are seven times fashion looked better in the rain:

1. Quintessentially British

Because what screams England more than Cara Delevigne, plaid, and dark weather?  Shot for Avenue Magazine.

2. Only Versace

She'll probably get hypothermia, but she'll look sexy doing it.  This photograph makes sense because it represents Versace, the notoriously scantily clad, over-the-top Italian luxury brand.  I love the contrast between light and dark and the shiny streets.

3. A Bright Rain

Because who said all rainy days had to be dark and gloomy?  Here, photographer David Burton captures the light in an otherwise colorless weather.  The expressiveness of the model adds even more to her vibrant outfit and the colors of the life happening behind her as she darts across the street.

4. The Girl Stands Out

Similar to the last photo, except here the model is the focus of the picture.  The background isn't exactly dark, but it's dull enough to not really be captivating.  Instead, our eyes go straight to the rich colors of the model's outfit, complexion, and eyes.

5. Jump!

A much older shot, but still beautiful and simple.  I can't help wondering if she actually made it or if the photographer got the shot and then she fell to her soggy demise while the male model straightened out his tie and walked next door to get a sandwich. Who knows.

6. Woman In A Tree

This is a classic shot for Vogue by David Bailey.  The model looks so tragic, so unconcerned, so effortlessly chic.  It's so simple and beautiful.

7. Power Stance

Finally, this is a shot done for Korean Vogue.  I'm obsessed with this shot.  While it's sharp and bright in contrast, it also seems like a little of the color was sucked away to leave us with a rigid, raw shot.  The model, looking straight at the camera and holding her umbrella with both arms, has such a distinguished look of power I almost want to faint.  That with her rain-kissed hair, intricately tailored dress, and bold lip color is just making this a winner.

What do you think of these shots?  Have any of your own you'd like to share?  Leave a comment!  Or, you can just comment telling me the following: What's your favorite thing to do with a rainy day? (Besides reading my flawless posts).



Model Monday: Romy Schonberger

Hey Brainiacs,

Happy #ModelMonday!  This week we're talking about Romy Schonberger, Dutch model who burst onto the scene in 2011.  She's recently made more of a name for herself on the runways, walking in shows as big as Emporio Armani, Kenzo, Chanel, and Valentino.

She's gotten some editorial work in smaller magazines, but she's been making strides, being featured in American Harper's Bazaar's March 2016 magazine.

Romy has a European intensity--her dark eyebrows, prominent mouth, and symmetrical face make for a smoldering look.  Colors are her friend, though black and white work brings out the angles in her face and body, which constitutes some fabulous photography.  Do you like Romy?  Is this a model you'd like to see more of?  Comment with opinion, good or bad!



Saturday, October 15, 2016

Book Club: American Psycho

Good Morning Brainiacs,

It's been a while since I've done a good book club post, but I reserve them for books that really speak to me.  Unfortunately, it's kind of rare to come across a really excellent read.  However, Bret Easton Ellis never fails to live up to my expectations.  Actually, who am I kidding--to surpass those expectations, each and every time.

No, this book isn't new.  In fact, you've probably all seen the movie at least once or twice.  However, I think it's necessary to talk about what a genius Ellis is and what a piece of art he has left us with.

This book makes you wonder: What kind of man is Bret Easton Ellis?  What kind of a person can so fluidly, convincingly, write from the first-person perspective of a psychotic, egotistical, megalomaniacal, unhinged serial killer?  Interestingly enough, Ellis did get a lot of shit when this book came out.  People were questioning his morals, his character, perhaps even the danger of being in the same room as him.  However, if you're a writer or even just an avid reader, it's easy to pick up on the absolute brilliance it took on his part to be able to pull this off.

American Psycho is written from the perspective of Patrick Bateman, a yuppie from Wall Street.  You know the type: Harvard Business School alum, Armani suit, dating the perfect blonde, blah blah blah.  The reader is lead to believe this is all there is to the character: a douchey group of friends who smoke cigars together, cheating on his girlfriend, expensive lunch meetings with executives.  A stereotypical white-collar elite from Manhattan.

Partway through the novel, we're exposed to a different, darker, much more hilarious side of Patrick.  I don't want to spoil anything (although I'm sure by 2016 this isn't really a mystery), so I won't go into too much detail, but the way this story is written is comparative to how Eminem raps about murder and rape: it's completely satirical, creative, and not to be taken seriously.  It's a piece of art.  The story jumps wildly around in Patrick's brain, taking us for a convincing ride in his psychosis.  Never really pitying him, yet never really loathing him.  Just kind of...along for it all.

Have you read this? What are your thoughts? Leave a comment!!



Monday, October 10, 2016

Model Monday: Stella Maxwell

Hi Brainiacs,

Happy Model Monday! Most of you may recognize this one simply from her name-drop in G-Eazy's rhyme, but she's so much more than a model sitting next to a rapper.  STELLA MAXWELL, everyone.

Maxwell is a runway veteran, making her first appearance on the catwalk in 2009.  However, she has only recently been a household name since her appointment as a Victoria's Secret Angel in 2015.

She is ranked amongst Angels like Jasmine, Romee, Elsa, and Taylor who appear not only in VS campaigns but on all of the highest ranking runways during Fashion Month.  She has also been featured in numerous magazine editorial fashion spreads.

Maxwell is known for her doe-eyed, youthful look that can turn sultry and intimidating with the blink of an eye.  She's extremely versatile, a must to be a successful model/mannequin.  Maxwell is of Irish descent but raised in Belgium, Australia, and New Zealand (I'm a little jealous).  She now splits her time between LA and NYC, so hang outside of enough celebrity kickboxing/cardio studios and you might get to see her.  Just don't be too creepy about it.

Like Stella? Hate Stella? Tell me why/why not.  Enjoy your Monday!