Monday, November 14, 2016

Model Monday: Greta Varlese

Hey Brainiacs,

This #ModelMonday we're talking Greta Varlese, 18-year-old model represented by Elite and The Society.  Varlese was born in Italy and raised both in her native country and in Switzerland before moving to New York to pursue a career on the catwalk.



Varlese is known for her simplicity; whether she's being featured in a Valentino campaign, on the pages of fashion editorial, or strutting down a runway in the name of Lagerfeld, it's her clean face, dark hair, and icy blue eyes that cause her to stand out.  In her daily life she maintains a minimalist aesthetic, wearing basic colors and easy clothing.



Varlese has a large presence on Instagram, a must for any model of today.  41.8K followers watch her work, travel, and live her daily life.  A veteran who's been around since 2014, Varlese has made quite a name for herself in the fashion industry.



What are your thoughts on Greta?  Like, dislike?  Let me know in the comment section!

XOXO,

Taylor

Sunday, November 13, 2016

How to Still Be Stylish In a Uniform

This is a conflict I've been trying to remedy since I was 17.  Unfortunately, I've yet to have a job where I don't wear a drab uniform; in fact, I've recently picked up a SECOND job which, surprise, requires a uniform as well.  It's difficult to feel like yourself when a balding man in his forties slangs a boys' L your way and tells you to put it on over a pair of Dickies, but there are a few tricks I've picked up to still make the Boy Scouts of America look my own.

1. Have fun with your hair!


Maybe you can't fully embody the Gwen aesthetic, but you can still have a good time.  I always try to wear my hair in an unruly bun, a sleek series of braids, or another creative undo of some sort.  If you have a job where it's practically pointless to curl or straighten your hair because you know it's just going to get messed up, sometimes it's easier to go crazy with the bobby pins and hairspray.  Brighten up your own day.

2. Get your nails done.


Don't keep them looking like crap!  Take care of your nails.  Sometimes when it's slow at work and I don't have much to do, I find comfort in admiring my hands.  Strange, but it helps.

3. Put on a cute pair of shoes.


Again, this may not be possible if you work at a job that requires you to wear hideous black sneakers or something, but if you have a little freedom in your footwear,  choose a pair that best suits you and your personality!  One of my jobs makes me wear hideous sneakers and I hate it, but my other job allows me to wear what I like and I have so much fun every day picking out the best pair to go with the rest of my outfit.  It's the little things.

Following these simple steps can help you have a better day at work.  It gives you confidence, makes you feel like yourself, and quite simply just brings a smile to your face!  Give it a shot; who knows, maybe you'll get through the day without wanting to cry.

XOXO,

Taylor

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Lady Gaga's Latest

Good Morning Brainiacs,

Today's post is dedicated to my queen: Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, more commonly known as Lady Gaga.  An advocate of civil rights, an active member of the LGBTQ community, and one of the strongest feminist voices of our current generation, Lady Gaga is an inspiration to me.  She exudes nothing but love, acceptance, and overall: talent.  She's a chameleon, changing aesthetics every few months and yet always remaining true to herself.  A theater major at her college in New York, she's an award-winning singer, dancer, and actress.  However, something she's known for worldwide aside from her performance talent is her sense of style.  Here is a collection of Lady Gaga's most recent looks (because overall, there are just too many to feature) to lift your spirits if you happen to have found yourself a little down over the past couple of days.  Happy Thursday!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

How To Enjoy Your Family Thanksgiving Getdown

Hey Brainiacs,

Coming to us at the end of the month (which seems to be approaching at rapid speed) is the holiday we all simultaneously love and hate: Thanksgiving.  I think we can all agree that it's a blessing to see the family we rarely get to see throughout the year, and yet at the same time it can be infuriating.  Annoying questions from distant aunts, uncles tussling your hair and teasing you for "growing up so fast," little cousins whining because they didn't eat enough green beans to get a second slice of pie--this can all be enough to drive us mad.  Take that with the self-loathing you feel after you've been forced to unbutton your pants, the impending hangover you can foresee after you've cracked open one beer too many, and the anxiety you feel as the clock nears midnight and you're expected on the battlefield (a.k.a. Black Friday front lines) and Thanksgiving can really take a toll on a girl.  Here, Taylor's Brain does you the courtesy of breaking down possible Thanksgiving disaster scenarios and teaching you just how to maneuver yourself before it's too late:

Problem #1: The uncle who asks you why you don't have a boyfriend...

Any woman in her late teens/early twenties can empathize with this situation.  Good old Uncle Bob has had a few, thinks he's hilarious, thinks he's really carrying the party on his own back when he throws this question at you.  It's meant to tease you, embarrass you, get an "adorable" little reaction out of you (or maybe he's just asking to find out if he has a shot).  Is your uncle ultra conservative?  Did he just get back from a huntin' and fishin' trip?  If so, I offer you the golden answer to this question: tell him you're a lesbian.  He probably won't speak for the rest of the night.  However, if your uncle is an informed and thriving part of the LGBTQ awareness community, this may not work. Instead, I invite you to hit him with this: "I keep trying to meet someone but they all turn out to be EXACTLY like you."

Problem #2: You're designated as the babysitter for your little cousins (against your will)...

If you're anything like me, you're just NOT a fan of kids.  No matter how hard you try, no matter how related to you they are, you just don't get it.  They may as well be aliens for all the sense they make to you.  However, society tells us that all females instinctively love and are wonderful with children and so more often than not, the younger women who don't have children of their own are expected to dote on the kids of the family.  This can make for a very. Long. Evening.  The solution?  Pretend to get in a fight with the child over a toy or a slice of pie.  Throw a tantrum right alongside with the child; the ADULT adults will be so horrified at your juvenile behavior that they'll just silently move you away from the youngsters.  Problem solved.

Problem #3: A second (or third, or fourth...) slice of pie is calling you name...

JUST SAY NO!  I mean, unless you're still hungry.  Then by all means, go for it.  But 9 times out of 10, when we go back for seconds (or thirds, or fourths...) at Thanksgiving dinner, we do NOT need it.  Sure, we're all entitled to a cheat meal, but not a cheat banquet.  Don't ruin the delicious dinner you just consumed by gorging yourself until you want to be sick.  Again, if you're anything like me, you'll definitely wake up the next morning sweating cranberry sauce and hating yourself.  Solution: Cut your slice of pie into 2 or 3 smaller pieces and eat them very slowly.  This will give yourself the illusion that you're going back for seconds when really, YOU are the victor.

Problem #4: You want to go home but your parents refuse to stop talking...

Hopefully at this age this is easily solvable for most of us: DRIVE SEPARATELY.  However, if you're without car and find yourself dying of boredom, plan ahead and bring reinforcements.  Phone charger, laptop, a book, some homework.  Do what you gotta do.  Keep in mind this may be one of the few times a year your parents get to see their siblings; take one for the team and wait it out.  It's one day.

And there you have it! How to get through Thanksgiving for the curmudgeon-y twenty-something year old.  Think of more problems you may face that you need help solving? Send them my way! I'm here to make your life easier...or at least funnier.

XOXO,

Taylor

Monday, November 7, 2016

Model Monday: Maya Koshaba

Hey Brainiacs,

While ALL Mondays are special simply for being devoted to models, this Model Monday is particularly significant because of who is being featured: Maya Koshaba, and up-and-coming model who I've had the privilege of knowing closely.





Half Spanish and half Middle Eastern, Koshaba is much like the model of the 21st century that Vogue has deemed a "slasher": she is a model/actress/publicist/writer.  Koshaba is a woman of many talents and the equal amount of drive and ambition for each of them.  She spent most of her life in Texas where she began her career as a publicist, but a little over a year ago she packed up everything and moved to NYC to pursue all of her true passions.



Koshaba's strong features and a willingness to learn and adapt have made for a strong kick in the door of her career.

As far as aesthetic, Koshaba exhibits that thing I love to talk about: versatility.  She can move through shots seamlessly, giving the viewer a sultry look, a glimpse into her affable humor, or a thoughtful mysteriousness all within the timeframe of a few seconds.  Her dark hair, thick eyebrows, and pouty lips make for a face that's difficult to turn away from.

As far as her goals as a model: Koshaba entered into the fashion scene with hopes to empower women.  "I'm a real woman with curves," Koshaba said with a proud smile.  She wants nothing more than to push the envelope in everything she does and make a statement to women everywhere: We're all real, we're all beautiful, and we should all love everything about our bodies.

What are YOUR thoughts on Maya?  A model you'd like to see more of? Less of? Leave a comment with opinion!

XOXO,

Taylor



(Photography by Thomas Garza)

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Holiday Wish List

Hey Guys,

An avid reader of Taylor's Brain is well aware that I like to push the envelope.  I like to discuss current events/changes in the media and in our culture that provoke discussion.  I like people to disagree, to argue, I like to see everyone's point of view.  However, with this shit-storm of an election, I've had about enough argumentation and debate to last me through the New Year.  I sort of just want to lay down on a plush couch with a glass full of egg nog and stare at the pretty colors.

That being said, I figured this was the perfect time to talk about my holiday outfit wish list!  We all have one, don't try to deny it.  Every year we tell ourselves we don't need a new outfit, we need to pay our bills, fill our tanks with gas, donate to charity, whatever...and then the mall ambushes you with their glittery and festive holiday dresses and your AmEx just won't say no.

I tend to gravitate towards all things glittery.  For months November-January, I prefer to be a walking disco ball.  So, here are some of my top choices when it comes to the holiday dresses of the moment (and this year, they really brought it):

1. Shimmer Mini Dress

(Urban Outfitters)

Even the background of this shot makes me think of winter and Christmas lights.  This dress is absolutely stunning; anyone wearing it is bound to light up the room.  Personally I'd pass on the lace choker--the dress speaks enough for itself.  Pair it with a pair of ultra-sheer black tights and either some little black Mary Janes or black pumps. Glittery earrings are a must.

2. Crushed Velvet Strapless

(Urban Outfitters)

Another winner from UO.  This one is so sexy, I believe it would give confidence to anyone who puts it on.  So maybe don't wear it to your family party.  However, going to a really elite countdown party on December 31?  Here is your dress.  Hair should be half up, half down with loose curls grazing your black.  Strappy, barely there heels like the ones pictured are ideal.  No jewelry; let the dress have its moment.

3. Sequined Jumpsuit

(Dress the Population)

WHAT!!! Own the night.  No one else will be at the party as far as you're concerned.  There is literally one time of year that this jumpsuit is acceptable, and now is the time.  Embrace your inner disco ball and freak your uncle out at the Christmas Eve party.

4. Bedazzled

(Topshop)

I saved the best round of dresses for last because, well, no one does it better than Topshop.  (I mean, okay, obviously top designers do it MUCH better than Topshop, but when you work at a grocery store and you're a college student...you know).  This dress stood out to me for the simple reason that it's completely derivative of Marc Jacobs' latest collection, which is both frustrating for high fashion and exciting for young women on a cruel budget.  Spaced out fishnets and black patent pumps!

5. Chain and Velvet

(Topshop)

Everyone loves a good combination of chain and velvet.  Or maybe that's just me.  Whatever, this is my blog.  Anyway, this dress is so simple yet so beautiful.  It's sort of the velvet version of what Kendall wore to her birthday (do you understand the reference?  Are you keeping up on your daily fashion? If not, shame on you).  Hair should be worn down and long, although a pixie cut would break necks in this dress as well.  Simple heels and bare legs, no jewelry.  

Finally, Let Me Have My Dream...



From Dior's Haute Couture Autumn/Winter collection.  Obviously this dress isn't even in a realm of possibility, but imagine me flaunting into a party dressed in this gem?  A girl can dream.  Until then, I'll be the shiny little number dressed in Brandy Melville and asking for the tofurkey.

XOXO,

Taylor

(What are some of your dream looks for the holidays?  Feel inspired by some of mine? Want to steal them? Do it! But leave a comment so I can properly berate you).


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Favorite Things About The Holidays

Hi Brainiacs,

With the passage of Halloween and the beginnings of chill in the usually unbearable heat and sun of California, it's exciting to start thinking about the holidays.  For me, this is the best time of the year.  Not because of family and presents and food and all that crap (although that's pretty great on its own), but because the sun finally goes away for a little while, gloominess takes precedence, and I finally feel ALIVE.



Who else feels like an angel of death forced to be disguised as a Southern California native?  Year round I have to listen to, "We have the best weather in the world," and "It's the perfect day for the beach," and "My gardenias are really in bloom."  Don't make me vomit.  I like to be enveloped in a cocoon of gray: sleeting rain, thick, threatening clouds, and CATS.  Cats running all over the place, tormenting everyone with their viciousness.  Oh yeah.



Maybe this post is ridiculous.  It's quite certainly almost pointless, but I wanted to share my joy for the upcoming cold weather.  This time of year is when I feel most inspired.  I write my best, I feel my most awake, I'm my most cheerful self (which, believe me, never is very much), and I am the most fashionable.  Weather and environment makes a difference in one's wellbeing, and this happens to fuel mine.  It's a good thing I'm moving soon, since we get about 6 minutes of winter here.



What about you? What's your favorite season or holiday and why?  Do you agree with me? Do you HATE me? Let's talk about it!

XOXO,

Taylor