Friday, December 30, 2016

5 Fashion Inspired New Year's Resolutions

Good Morning Brainiacs,

It's almost 2017 which means we're all about to do the same pathetic thing we do every year: declare a resolution that we'll never complete and almost certainly forget by the second week of January.  Nevertheless, it's an idealistic and romantic tradition we have to put ourselves through annually.  

When thinking of resolutions, the cliches make me cringe: eat healthier, join a gym, achieve a higher GPA.  None of these ever happen, and yet practically 90% of people declare one of these as their resolution.  I started to think that maybe if we all chose something a little more practical and fun, it might actually happen.  Here is a list of the best New Year's resolutions to declare if you are a slave to fashion, a resolution you'll be eager to keep:

1. Wear More Black

Like a good New Yorker (where fashion reigns supreme), don this slimming, flattering, timeless color with elegance and pride.

2. Read 1 Fashion Bio per Month

Nothing makes me happier than a good read about a fashion icon.  Some recommendations are The Beautiful Fall, the story of Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent's careers, Walking with the Muses, Pat Cleveland's memoir, or D.V., Diana Vreeland's account of her time at Harper's Bazaar and Vogue. 

3. Subscribe to an Overseas Fashion Magazine

Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and Elle are go-to magazines for American fashion lovers, but it's always nice to have a fresh perspective from a foreign land.  Some favorites of mine are Vogue Paris, The Love Magazine, and Paper.  

4. Commit to an At-Home Facial Once a Week

While the creams and moisturizers we buy at Sephora are effective, they can also be seriously expensive.  Instead, devote your time to mixing a small bowl of honey and cinnamon and smearing that on your face for 20 minutes once a week.  The honey helps to tighten pores and the cinnamon exfoliates. You're welcome.

5. Get a Statement Lipstick and Make it Yours

I believe the most vital piece in a makeup kit is that lipstick.  Get a statement color and make it inevitably YOU--no one can see that shade without thinking of your sexy self.

Got a resolution of yourself that doesn't suck? Comment with it below; let's discuss!



Wednesday, December 28, 2016

6 Things from 2016 That Didn't Suck

Hey Brainiacs,

I don't have to tell you this year has been rough. I'd list all of the atrocities we've experienced as Americans and as people in general, but they're already consistently on our minds so why drive the knife in deeper?  Instead, I prefer to focus on the good.  Without further ado, here's a list of things that happened this year that actually made people happy:

1. The Weeknd's "I Feel It Coming"

Although "Starboy" is decent, I feel that this banger from Abel is completely underrated.  "I Feel It Coming" is so achingly beautiful it makes me want to cry, yet it's funky enough to make me want to get on the dance floor.  If you haven't listened yet, you need to.

2. Demna Gvasalia's Balenciaga

This is a dream come true for connoisseurs of high-to-low fashion like myself.  When I found out there would be a new head of  Balenciaga, I was understandably nervous.  This is one of the oldest fashion houses in history and it has an incredible legacy to live up to; in other words, not just ANYONE can head it.  However, there was never a better choice than Demna Gvasalia.  I've been following his groundbreaking Vetements since it debuted and his eye for eccentricity, androgyny, and simplistic beauty has blended perfectly with the high-fashion aesthetic of Balenciaga.

3. The Diminishment of the Male Topknot

It's so bad! I can appreciate a good man bun, but this hairstyle (?) where men shave the sides of their head and leave a ridiculous mop on top, only to be tied into a knot...where did this come from? Who said this was okay?  Thankfully, I think it's almost over.

4. The Rolling Stones Release a New Album

Another victory for the music world: for the first time in well over a decade, the Rolling Stones release a new album and it's amazing!  A perfect blend of classic rock 'n' roll and modernity.  Also, the many music videos they've already released are ripe with hot celebrities and the surprisingly still good-looking bad members.

5. Kanye West Checks Into Mental Hospital

Unfortunately this didn't last nearly long enough, but it was still entertaining and righteous enough to bring smiles to millions of faces (probably not excluding Taylor Swift).

6. Leo Brings Home His First Oscar

And last but not least: my man finally did it!  After year after year of being the laughing stock of the Oscars for being always the nominee, never the winner, he finally won.  The sad thing is that it was for The Revenant and not any of his dozens of other films actually worth a shit, but hey.  He did it.

Anything from 2016 you can recall that doesn't make you want to cry?  Post in the comment section!



Monday, December 26, 2016

The Morning After

My favorite thing about Christmas is everyone being together.  That sounds obvious, but I mean that I love to see wildly varying personalities and characters all stuck under one roof.  It's this magical time of year because people who wouldn't usually become friends are thrust together because of the holiday, and it usually turns out to be a really beautiful thing.

This post is a little more personal than usual, but that's okay.  I want to use it to thank everyone who came to my Christmas and made it so special; you all know who you are.  It was my last Christmas in California and in my childhood home, and it truly was one to remember.  

In honor of things that don't usually go together but somehow work, here are some of the great fashion editorial shoots overtime that have nothing in common and no theme whatsoever, but are beautiful and fascinating in their own ways.

Please comment with your own Christmas story--how did yours go?  I want to know!



By Guy Bourdin

By Guy Bourdin

Pat Cleveland, 1977

Ruth and May Bell by Harley Weir

Karl Lagerfeld

Naomi Campbell for Vogue Paris

Naomi - Vogue Italia

Lady Gaga by Steven Klein

Lara Stone by Patrick Demarchelier

Molly Blair for Vogue Italia

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Best Fashion Christmas Stories

Hey Brainiacs,

I know I've been posting a lot about the holidays, but I don't think anyone listens to me at this time of year unless I drop the word "Christmas" once or twice.  Okay, and maybe I'm also a little in the spirit.  With no further ado, here is my compilation of the best fashion Christmas editorial stories throughout the years to pretty up the blog and feed all of your Christmas fetishes.

1. Dolls and Dogs

From Korean Vogue.  What did you ask Santa for this year?

2. Vintage Christmas

One of my all-time favorite American Vogue covers--I have a print of this framed and hanging in my room.  Who else can say that?  Probably multiple people, but no one reading this I bet!  

3. The Human Tree

Because apparently no one celebrates Christmas quite like the Koreans, another spread from Korean Vogue.  I love how this is so dark and creepy, yet fundamentally festive.

4. Cold Weather Envy

Wow! Who else would wear this is a heartbeat?  A Christmas-inspired shoot from Vogue.  The blue theme makes this less stereotypical and cheesy and more fashionable and sexy.

5. Christmas in China

Again with the Eastern celebration of Christmas; here is Harper's Bazaar China with their version of the holiday.  Do you think maybe this is somehow paid for by Tiffany's & Co.?

6. The Edible Purse

Not really. In fact, DON'T try to eat this purse.  Charlotte Olympia's Christmas line circa 2012; even the designers join in on the fun.

7. Christmas in New York

The spirit of Christmas is found in all facets of fashion, even in the department stores.  Here is one of Bergdorf Goodman's many world-famous Christmas displays.  Overwhelmingly beautiful, isn't it?



Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Tradition of Lying

The tradition of Santa Claus is weird, right?  I mean, it's almost immoral.  How we've been able to get away with teaching our children to never lie and always be good citizens while simultaneously lying to them about three, significantly made up characters (the aforementioned Mr. Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny) for hundreds of years, I'll never really understand.  However, even the most religious parents, those who preach the Ten Commandments and shame dishonesty, have no problem looking their kids in the eye and saying, "Yeah, some fat bearded old guy is gonna shimmy down our chimney tonight and give you whatever the hell you want. Just don't forget to leave me--er, him, milk and cookies."

I'll never forget the Christmas Santa Claus brought me a Bill O'Reilly book.
I was probably seven or eight and barely had any clue who Bill O'Reilly was.  If I did have any clue, I certainly wouldn't have wanted to read The O'Reilly Factor for Kids.  Nevertheless, Santa found it necessary to chuck that shit down my chimney.
I remember opening the gift, seeing the book, and feeling very...confused.  Why would Santa give me this?  Who is this old man who slightly resembles my father?  Did I ask for this and forget about it?
I looked up at my parents with a smile, perhaps too protective of Santa Claus to admit that he had fucked up.  I figured maybe he got the wrong house, but I didn't want to out him to my parents.
"Wow," I breathed, "This is so exciting."  I was praying to God they wouldn't ask me any questions about this O'Reilly dude, like who he was or why I was interested in his writing.  They both seemed really happy for me, like they were proud of Santa Claus.  I didn't really understand.

Those creeps.

What about you? Did "Santa" ever bring you something completely irrational, something you never would have dreamed of asking for?  Hypothermic socks?  A Bible?  New toothbrush?  Leave a comment with your own confusing story below.

Until my next post, as we survive the holiday season together.



"Daddy, what's the 'No Spin Zone'?"

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The 6 Inevitable Circumstances That Make My Christmas, My Christmas

Finals are almost over and what that means for every college student like myself is that we can finally stop cramming useless information into our poor little brains and start getting excited for Christmas!  At this point it's only two weeks away, which is actually better because it's less days I have to countdown before the holiday is here.

No matter how old you are, Christmas is always dear to your heart.  That's even how the song goes, isn't it?  However, we all celebrate in very different ways.  Whether it's the stereotypical white Christmas or something your own, we all expect our traditions year after year.  What would Christmas be without them?  Here are a few of mine:

1. Hanging up empty stockings

It's pretty nonsensical, but every year my mother, father, and I hang up stockings for each of us.  This used to be really cute and wonderful when I was cute and wonderful enough for my parents to load my stockings with little Christmas toys, but now that we're all old hags around here, they stay empty. Yet, we continue to hang them up every year.  Is this neurotic?

2. Decorating the tree in the exact same format 

I swear, I don't know how she does it, but every year my mother hangs up the exact same ornaments and the exact same lights in the exact same arrangement in a tree that is in startling resemblance to every tree we've ever had.  She'll even go as far as to CHANGE the ornaments my dad and I might have hung up in order to fit her routine.  I sincerely hope we're not the only family with these eccentricities, because this is starting to sound less like a nice post about Christmas tradition and more like a psychiatric confessional.

3. Eating Christmas cookies for breakfast

No, ours look nothing like the above.  However, it's still tradition that after we open presents, we sit around drinking coffee and eating the cookies that I've been baking like a madman for weeks straight.  Is this a healthy and nutritious way to start the day? Do we care? Well.

4. Grandma rolling up in a new Christmas sweater

With the same expression on her face as this guy.  No, actually she never seems to care very much about the sweater.  It's usually a present from someone else in the family and she's like, eh. Yeah. New sweater. Nevertheless, it happens every year.

5. Wearing a Christmas dress I was gifted that morning

Style. Unfortunately I haven't actually done this for years, but when I was younger I was always gifted an elaborate and beautiful Christmas dress, something so ridiculously fancy it could only be worn one day a year.  Is this post just an excuse to hint at someone in my family to buy me a Christmas dress? Well.

6. Going to bed in a food coma and slightly depressed

Every year it happens.  I go to bed with my stomach still bulging and happy from all of the glorious food I've eaten all day.  Simultaneously, I'm sad because while I waited so long for Christmas to come, it's over in a flash.  I now have to wait another 364 days for another one.  None of my presents are new, all my family members have gone home, and life is crap again.

What are some of your Christmas traditions that make your holiday YOURS? Leave a comment below!



Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Model Diversity

Diversity is such a buzz word, right?  We've all been raised to embrace it, at least on the surface.  However, is it ever really practiced?  And how do we even know how to practice it in a culture that has been so against it (both on the surface and beneath it) for so many hundreds of years?

This is a topic that confuses me and probably always will.  We think we're doing better, right?  Fashion designers are placing plus sized models in their shows, celebrities, "older" models, black models, Hispanic models, Asian models, short models, trans models.  It makes us happy, proud of ourselves, like we're changing the world one step at a time.  However, what's problematic here is that these models are still considered "plus sized."  They're still labeled "transgender," or "black," or "real person."  They're still not considered just plain models, equal to the Amazons from Switzerland or the all-American Georgians with a 23-inch waist.  They're the "diverse" models, the models brought in so the designer won't look racist.

How can this ever be changed?  The only solution I can think of is to never draw attention to it.  Tell the fashion editors/writers to stop recapping the fashion shows by discussing the diversity of the models or the way the pieces reflected a different, foreign culture.  I think once everyone involved in the show is just seen as a person involved in the show, that's when things will ACTUALLY be equal.  Will this ever happen? Doubtfully.

What's your opinion on this topic? Do you agree? Disagree? Did you miss me? Did you even notice I was gone? Comment below.