Wednesday, 30 March 2011
Of all the human experiences, sex is one of the most interesting. It's a platform, a metaphor, a springboard - something both tangible and intangible; both a highly physical and transcendent act. The thing about sex is that the physical and emotional drives are so intertwined as to be practically inseparable. Even when you feel sure of your motivation, its shadowy twin is always there to haunt you. Sex can be love, hate, need, jealousy, fear, loneliness, destruction - even when you think it's just a hookup.
It's no surprise, then, that sex is often the subject of poetry and literature, those two magical angels of death and self-discovery. Whether you're writing it or reading it, whether you're on the side of creation or birth, death or life, you are presented with a portal to so much more than just a physical understanding. The French expression for orgasm, la petite mort, literally means "little death".
nobody ever wins, nobody ever loses by Sherrie Talgeri, 'I Will See Great Things'
and if i could immerse myself in night, i would/ fill up a bathtub with bruise-skied insomnia/ turn down the taps & drown/ in starwater/ in stars,/ submerged/ constellations/ tucked in the crooks of knees or elbows &/ water-/ fall-/ ing/ down/ a/ collar-/ bone/ naked as an x-ray,/ the universe is loud and swimming in my pupils/ i feel like God:/ so maybe i am,/ omniscient & wrapped in infinity;/ yeah, i could be God/ swaddled in the endless milky way/ with strip-lighting for skin/ & something that only smells like blood,/ that only tastes like pennies, is sprinting/ through my superior vena cava:/ a manufactured deity,/ yes, made/ because this has been the/ making of me/ but wait, though -/ there was an 'if' at the beginning/ of that sentence -/ i didn't draw a bath/ i didn't become God/ so:/ half-full/ half-empty/ not-jesus/ just-human/ i am nothing/ and then you say what you haven't been saying/ this entire time:/ yeah, well,/ that could be anyone
Above, from top, Haruki Murakami's 'South of the Border, West of the Sun' (image: wordsutteredinhaste.blogspot.com), Jeanette Winterson's 'Written On The Body' (image: silverfysh.wordpress.com) and 'I Will See Great Things' Poems by the Foyle Young Poets of the Year 2010 anthology (image: poetrysociety.org.uk).
Monday, 28 March 2011
I stumbled across blog Silver Lake Serpent today and immediately abandoned my pre-plannned post in order to bring you the fuck-you awesomeness that is this fashion-blog-cum-delicious-confessional-diary. Honestly? You may not 'get it', you may not believe it, but you will not be able to look away.
But don't take my word for it:
"I'm surrounded by FAMOUS people... To all you people asking what celebrities I know, I can mention that just the other week I fucked Lauren Conrad from the Hills. Well, I tried anyway. Or, OK, I didn't try, but I could've. If I hadn't been so darned intoxicated."
Check it out here.
Image: Silver Lake Serpent
Thursday, 24 March 2011
I am currently supposed to be packing for my weekend trip to Moscow, but I couldn't resist posting the exciting news that my article on Galliano (to boycott, or not to boycott?) has been selected as one of IFB's Links á la Mode this week. Super excited! It always gives me such pleasure to be featured alongside other great bloggers and writers. Unfortunately, I don't have time to post the full links, but they really are great, so click here and you can see them all for yourself. Look out for a post from previous Blogger Big Up-featured blogger The Button Owl.
UPDATE: FULL LINKS BELOW
Arash Mazinai- Bling Bang: Exploring the Blood Diamond Trade
Cheap & Chic Living- For Japan with Love
Dress with Courage- Do you dress older or younger than you really are?
Fashion Evolution- Ups and Downs in my Fashion History
Fumiko Kawa- Two Patterns of Minimalism
FOTW- When did Fashion become porn?
Juliette Maxwell- How to Take Runway Pictures
La Rouge- How to Live in Two Places at Once
Missemmamm- An Ode to Charlie Sheen
Miss Viki- Chat with Russian Art Illustrator Lena Ker
My Heart Blogged- Blogs from the Heart: Citizen Rosebud
Snappy and Snazzy- Rules of Flattery
Style Bizarre- Beware of what you Wear
Sugar Coated Style- Cherry Blossoms in the Breeze
Tres Awesome- Hermes Festival of Craft
Try It On Me- The Bright Stuff~ A neon color palette brings back memories of 1990′s fashion and fun!
The Button Owl- DIY Fishtail Braid Tutorial
The View from 5 ft 2- Aldo x Julian Louie x Spring/Summer
Stylish Thought- 5 Fanciful Frocks for a Swinging Spring
Image: Independent Fashion Bloggers
Wednesday, 23 March 2011
The Daily Traditionalist is pretty much what it sounds like: an almost daily syndication of traditional fashions, made new and fresh by current designers. It is classic. It is preppy. It is classy. It will make you long for strawberries and cream, Champagne, and tennis dresses. Plus, it totally doesn't hurt that the author, Victor Erixon, looks like a Ralph Lauren model. Talk about walking the walk.
Go see for yourself here.
Monday, 21 March 2011
The uproar over John Galliano’s recent anti-Semitic comments has been quite all-encompassing, and rightly so – anti-Semitism, racism, and really any kind of discrimination have no place in our society. I, for one, have been quite harsh in my judgment on the events, condemning Galliano for his behaviour and his peers for maintaining a stay of execution. I thoroughly believe, contrary to Galliano’s lawyer (who claimed that ‘it can happen to any one of us’), that there are some things you just do not say, no matter how intoxicated, with alcohol or other substances. Galliano’s comments were abhorrent and hopefully the incident will never be repeated.
However, upon reading that Saks Fifth Avenue had pulled Galliano’s eponymous line from the floor of the flagship Manhattan store (general manager Suzanne Johnson had no qualms about manning the guillotine, stating: “We have values like I hope everyone else has. What happened was not right, and we would not want to carry [Galliano's] merchandise”), I got to thinking. While I absolutely decry Galliano’s behaviour, I found myself wondering: just because someone does something morally abhorrent, does that mean we should boycott their professional offerings to the world, particularly if they happen to be quite good?
After all, one might argue that the professional and personal spheres are worlds apart, especially in arenas such as fashion. It is easy to judge celebrities by their actions, for example, and to afford them credit and loyalty (or not) as a result, because in some way they are selling themselves to the tabloids – their personalities. Therefore, if Lindsay Lohan goes on a drug-whoring Page Six-splash bonanza, it is more expected, more logically justifiable, that we might condemn her and decide never to watch her show again, or listen to her music, or condone whatever the hell it is she does, anyway.
But it isn’t quite the same story with someone who sells their work to the world. At the end of the day, the thing that actually has a price tag dangling from it – the ultimate sign that something is worth attention and judgment – is something that has been created, a separate entity from its creator. Hence, the professional and personal worlds are separated. After all, no one, not even in his own time when such actions were considered scandalous, stopped reading Oscar Wilde’s works simply because they disliked his flamboyant behaviour. It is a matter of judging the creator versus judging the creations. And shouldn’t we judge that which is responsible for the offense, rather than deflecting the attention elsewhere?
On the flip side of the coin, however, is the question of punishment. Whether or not someone believes that in fact a professional creation is not as separate as it may seem (don’t many authors refer to their books as parts of themselves, for example?), especially when the creator personally profits from it, the fact is that when we wish, as a society, to express displeasure towards the action of a publically visible figure, the only thing we can do in the way of ‘punishment’ (though this is really a misnomer: what we are really trying to do is establish natural justice and distinguish ourselves from the abhorrent actions of this champion of society, this celebrated figure who is supposed to represent the approval of thousands if not millions of people) is to boycott that figure’s ‘professional’ offerings. In this case, this equals not buying or wearing Galliano’s clothes as a consumer, or pulling his creations from the floor of a store as an enabler.
When all is said and done, I believe that the question of whether or not we should be boycotting Galliano’s clothes is a personal one. Each person will make up their own mind as to whether they will continue to sport John Galliano, and the decision will be the right one for each individual person. In case you’re interested, my decision is thus: I will not be boycotting Galliano’s clothes, as I believe that the court case and trial, subsequent punishment, and the condemnation of peers and public alike is appropriate punishment. Note that I said appropriate, not adequate. It may well not be adequate – only time will tell. Nonetheless, I will not be boycotting something beautiful just to make a point of refuting something ugly.
What do you think? Do you support the idea of boycotting Galliano’s clothes, or do you think that decision would be pointless? Sound off.
Friday, 18 March 2011
The wunderkind behind fashion blog Owls Are Awesome is a somewhat mysterious Ukranian beauty (she has two names: she is listed on her blog as Anastacia Ukhova and on her Twitter as Stacey Uliss) who aims to bring all that is fashionable and lamentably underappreciated in her country to the fore. As a result, she often scores wicked-awesome features the likes of which many fashion 'insiders' can only dream of (take her recent interview with Ukranian model Anastasiia Vidisheva, who will no doubt become a household name after her debuts on the Chanel, Rick Owens and Paul & Joe catwalks). A fashion blogger doing her damndest to unveil the beauty of the underappreciated fash pack? Sounds like a girl after my own heart...
Check out Owls Are Awesome here.
Image: Owls Are Awesome.
Wednesday, 16 March 2011
The Creative Dance: Practicalities of a Career in the Creative Industry with Justin Lynch of Colby Law Office
In December I posted an interview with David Colby, the Managing Partner of Colby Law Office, in which we discussed some of the challenges that fashion entrepreneurs face. Readers enjoyed the practical insights into a creative career provided by the interview, so we are going back for more! This time I sat down with Justin Lynch, an attorney at Colby Law Office, to discuss his practice and ask him a few questions.
How did you come to join Colby Law Office and what is it like to work with David?
Before I joined Colby Law Office, I operated a solo practice devoted to entrepreneurs in creative fields like design, fashion, and photography. I also kept a blog on arts-related legal issues. I think David liked the fact that I was already working with the same kind of clients that he was working with, and that I have a strong involvement in the arts. David is a down-to-earth guy and a great lawyer. He is an entrepreneur himself and he takes a user-friendly and practical approach to solving clients’ problems, which is the way I like to work as well. A lot of law firms are committed to an old business model that consists of overworked lawyers and overcharged clients. I was excited to work with David because he wasn’t interested in running one of those firms, and because I knew I could learn a lot from him.
Your official bio says that you are a professional dancer as well as a lawyer. Please tell us more about your performing arts career and how you manage that while also practicing law. Also, I read that Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, when asked once, “How do you become more productive?” answered, “Work out”. Does dancing help you in your professional pursuits?
I’ve been involved in the performing arts since I was a kid. Currently I dance primarily with Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, whose work combines contemporary dance with Asian influences, and Naganuma Dance, whose work is more experimental and multi-media. I’m involved in other dance projects from time to time as well. In addition to the obvious benefits that accrue from keeping in shape and having varied days, I do think that dancing has helped me to become a better lawyer. I used to work for a large corporate law firm, and at a certain point it became impossible to dance as well. So I left and started my own firm. And then I found out that working without the infrastructure of a big firm not only allowed me to lead a happier life but also forced me to take on a level of responsibility that I did not have working at my former firm. I have to understand every aspect of a client’s (often complex) situation, whereas at a big firm you are often only assigned a small part of a client’s matter and you can slide by without thinking about the bigger picture.
You wrote an article on Extending Copyright to Fashion. Do you think it’s a good idea to do so?
The article I wrote was about how the fashion industry has enjoyed economic success even though there is currently no copyright protection for fashion designs. The purpose of copyright is to ensure that people who create things get to reap the economic rewards (if any) of those creations. Right now, there is a lot of "knocking-off" that happens in fashion and in the absence of copyright protection; it’s perfectly legal. But in the fashion industry in particular, you have to ask: isn’t everyone really knocking off everyone else? For example, fashion designers big and small are always thumbing through old magazines for inspiration. Under the latest version of the copyright for fashion designs legislation, copyright protection will be extended to “unique variations over prior designs.” A young, up-and-coming fashion designer who has been accused of infringing a big fashion company’s design is not going to be able to employ the army of lawyers and paralegals necessary to sift through old issues of Vogue to prove that the big fashion company’s design turns out not to be unique after all. In the end, I think the primary beneficiaries of copyright protection for fashion designs will be big fashion companies and of course their lawyers.
You also work with artists from around the world seeking to stay in the U.S. and obtain a Visa. What does that entail and what advice do you have for artists seeking Visas?
Because I’m so involved in the dance community in New York City, I meet many artists from abroad who want to obtain O-1 visas (popularly known as “artist visas”) in order to work in the United States. My advice to anyone considering applying for an artist visa is to keep voluminous records of their work in their artistic field, because they will need to prove they are working at a high level. For a performing artist, these records might include programs from shows, press clippings, blog articles, a professional headshot, performance contracts, and the like. It is better to err on the side of being over-inclusive. Also, many artists mistakenly think that only evidence of their work in the United States can be used to support an artist visa application. Not surprisingly, I also encourage artists who are thinking of applying for an artist visa to hire a lawyer.
More information on Colby Law Office can be found at http://www.colbylaw.com.
Monday, 14 March 2011
A little belated, but better late than never, hopefully?
I’m an outrageously huge fan of Paris Fashion Week, primarily because I love not being the most over-dressed person in the room for once. Joking aside (kind of), there’s something about Paris Fashion Week that is just so much more glamorous, so much more sophisticated, so as to appeal to me in a rather ridiculously overt manner. While I will admit that I have spent hours drooling over multiple collections and thousands of photos, I’d rather not bore you all or give myself RSI before 4AM, so I’ll keep it (sort of) brief. Here are a few of my favourites from Paris Fashion Week:
Collette Dinnigan did all-out glamorous sophisticate.
Nina Ricci produced a vulnerable-sex-appeal-for-work vibe (sacré bleu!), completely flouting the ‘work your smarts-appeal, not your sex-appeal’ maxim commonly touted amongst, and preached to, female professionals. Thank God for that.
Talbot Runhof worked minimalism to oddly glamorous, and thoroughly mesmerizing, effect.
Valentino wowed the socks off me with these delicately beautiful looks. Pure heaven.
All images: the Cut (nymag.com/daily/fashion)
Sunday, 13 March 2011
Great news: my article on the surprising lack of a relationship between talent and success in fashion blogging made it into the IFB Links á la Mode this week! It's an honour and a privilege to be featured alongside such great bloggers and writers, and to be selected by an editor I hold in high regard (Vahni of Grit & Glamour). Why not check out the other great posts included in this week's Links á la Mode? You'll be glad you did!
Here they are:
ALinetoZ: An Open Letter to High-Waisted Jeans
Arash Mazinani: How ethical are you when it comes to fashion? A look at the hypocrisy often involved in being ethical in fashion.
Beyond Fabric: Men’s daily essentials—inside one man’s bag holdall.
Corinne Monique: Cellissimo: a music-meets-fashion photoshoot inspired by high fashion ad campaigns.
Dress With Courage: Are you more likely to buy something if the model looks like you?
Designed By Ann: Reading glasses are suddenly fashionable—so here are makeup tips for girls who wear glasses.
Free Honey: On moving to wordress.org: 5 must-know tips for new bloggers.
Fishmonkey: On The Man Repeller, the male gaze, and its role in shaping fashion choices.
Grit & Glamour: Klout: What it is and Why it Matters
Holier than Now: Spring’s Most Beautiful Lace Looks—5 Ways for < $50
In Her Stilettos: How to organize your jewelry while traveling—cheaply and stylishly.
Made-to-Travel: Asos Africa—the incredible ethical makers of this gorgeous line—oh! and it’s on sale!
Melina Bee: Life and style tips inspired by Sophia Loren.
Oranges And Apples: Thoughts on Marthettes, blogging about ‘feminine’ stuff, and perfection.
Pretty Shiny Sparkly: A chic and easy way to wear the double denim trend.
Sidewalk Chic: Six ways to showcase accessories in outfit photos.
Sugar and Spice: Natalie Portman is effortlessly eco-chic at an Oscars after-party—in an inexpensive dress that hits H&M next month.
Trés Awesome: The weather may be crappy but that didn’t stop people from being out and about with their bright and beautiful umbrellas.
Try It On Me: The resurgence of the denim shirt—not just for cowboys!
Enjoy! I know I did.
P.S. I apologize for my absence last week - I was away in Istanbul, competing. Below, some (five star, yeah baby!) hotel photos for your amusement (it's the Artemis Marin Princess, if you were wondering):
Wednesday, 9 March 2011
If you've never visited Fashion Ranger, you kind of need to. Like, right now. Seriously - stop reading this post and go check out Swedish street-style-photographer-in-training Jacob Hubertus' inspiring blog. He has an incredible eye for detail and documents some of Sweden and Stockholm's best-dressed fashionistas. Seriously, by the time we're all employed by major glossies or hugely successful freelance stylists occupying the front row at Fashion Week, Hubertus will be the new Tommy Ton. So check out FR now, and hitch your wagon to this (rising) star.
Images (Fashion Ranger header and an example of Hubertus' great eye) used with permission, fashionranger.com.
Monday, 7 March 2011
As promised, my first post dedicated to spotlighting a blogger who, I feel, deserves more acclaim than they currently possess: Nesha of The Button Owl.
The Button Owl is pretty much the blog that springs to mind when you think 'I just need some INSPIRATION, man'. Beautifully curated images culled not just from the arena of fashion (think kitsch-and-cool interior design), a gorgeously sleek design (just look at that header!), and vintage-chic personal style all paired with amusing repartees makes for some seriously addictive illicit-Internet-browsing-while-you're-supposed-to-be-working.
But don't take my word for it! Head on over to thebuttonowl.co.uk and see for yourself.
Image: courtesy of thebuttonowl.co.uk, used with permission
Friday, 4 March 2011
With the arrival of decidedly more spring-like weather here in the UK, my outlook has been definitively brighter. Fashion-wise, this means eschewing my usual uniform of dark colours, sequins and leather (at least until my next evening affair) and embracing spring-heralding brights. Now, before I go out looking like a walking traffic light, I prefer a period of...adjustment. Enter stage right, Chanel Riva nail lacquer.
A pretty robin's egg-blue lacquer that remains somehow currently chic as well as delicate, Chanel Riva is the perfect way to wear the spring brights trend without blinding unsuspecting passers-by. But if, like me, you're a little bit loathe to spend $25 per bottle every time you fancy a new manicure, the good news is that you don't necessarily have to. For all my lovely UK readers, you're in luck! I've tested a bunch of Riva lookalikes and it turns out George at Asda carry a shade (frost bite) that is completely identical, extremely fast-drying (your right hand is totally good-to-go as soon as you've finished the left) and best of all, cheap! Riva for £1? Hell, yes!
Thursday, 3 March 2011
Sorry this announcement comes a couple of days later than expected - life is incredibly hectic right now! Turning 19 tomorrow doesn't really help matters either - but in a good way! I'm currently feeling very inspired by the gorgeously French glamour and decadence of Paris Fashion Week (photos + reports coming soon!) so I'm debating having a little fête d'anniversaire (including yummy macaroons from either Pierre Hermé's London store or Ladurée at Selfridges) instead of the standard requisite Victoria sponge. Suggestions?
Anyway, enough with the suspense! Without further ado, the winner of my Chanel (and more) giveaway is...Sage! Congratulations, Sage. Hope you enjoy your nail lacquer, Lipglass and choice of jewellery!
Wednesday, 2 March 2011
Blugirl showed a lady-of-the-manor, distinctly British, heritage-inspired collection that I couldn't help thinking would have looked fabulous on the London catwalks. Nevertheless, the collection was absolutely stunning, and for a designer that I'm horrified to say I hadn't heard of previously, I was more than pleasantly surprised.
Fendi showed a schoolmarm-ish collection full of lovely tactility and textures (touchable fur, nubbly corduroy, and smooth sheer checked shirts) modernized by pops of colour, including stunning satsuma and bright pink tights and lemon yellow handbags.
Francesco Scognamiglio was Italy at its best: provocative, dramatic, devastatingly sexy and unexpectedly fresh. A stunning red gown unapologetically flouted fashion rules (rules? What rules? Pah!) with a thigh-high split and plunging neckline (staying true to the Italian motto - if you're got it, flaunt it), setting the tone for the rest of the lust-inducing (quite literally) collection.
John Richmond gave Scognamiglio a run for his money with his dramatic and sensual collection. My favourite was a floor-length bodycon Oriental-inspired dress that hinted far more at a famous geisha than a polite Chinese tea-serving waitress.