Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Fashion Film: Lanvin Fall 2011 Campaign (Raquel Zimmermann & Karen Elson by Steven Meisel)

easily one of the best (and most commercial) fashion films i've ever seen. i love it so much and it makes me smile :) it seems to be completely beside the point, but there's something about the awkwardness and self-consciousness of it that makes it so accessible. the whole "models are people too" thing is great, and it really plays well against the "dancing to pitbull in super expensive dresses" thing. i love that they are all pretty much super uncoordinated, but acknowledge it, and don't take themselves too seriously. and how amazing is Alber Elbaz's "move bish!" moment the end? i love him so much.

i think it's great that fashion houses are really trying to embrace new media in their campaigns and marketing. this makes me like AE, and want to buy his clothes. i actually love most of the pieces showcased in the video, and i can't promise that i would have paid attention to them if the video hadn't been so enjoyable. all in all, it's a great effort, and i hope more designers jump on this bandwagon.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Fashion Finds: Disney Cover Girls

first, let me introduce this new semi-weekly feature. "fashion find" will be as often as i see fit, but only on a friday, instead of or as well as the regularly scheduled friend friday posts. it will just be things that i find online or elsewhere related to fashion that i think are worth noting, that may or may not fit into the regular direction of the blog

on to business! this weeks' fashion find are these amazing illustrated vogue mock up covers featuring our favourite Disney princesses. how amazing are they? created by Dante Tyler, each cover cleverly references the chosen princess's most recognizable outfit, with feature articles to match their individual story. positively amazing i say! 

i have to say this makes me get all giddy for disney all over again. i love the way he blends the sharp angles of traditional fashion illustration will the whimsy we've come to expect our princesses. my favourite cover was of jasmine, shown above. i'm completely in love with her high fashion look and savvy styling. everything from her big hairdo to her sassy posing exudes the strong will that i remember from the Aladdin movie.

Belle is one of the most classic disney princesses. seen here in the iconic gold gown, the styling is more parisian royalty than peasantry. i guess marrying a beast turned prince will do that to you? i especially love the huge bouffant style hair and super-sized lashes. very va va voom!

well, ariel is a girl no longer. this look is very Jessica Rabbit, and her long pink gown alludes to her mermaid roots. not really sure what's up with the fish skeleton (perhaps flounder got on her bad side) but it's the perfect accent to the overall glam. a gorgeous cover for a gorgeous princess.

of all the princesses, Pocahontas is clearly the one most on trend. everything she's wearing would fit in in modern day. although, i think she might be most at home at a ke$ha concert. what i like about this cover though is that there are allusions to her native american heritage without it being overly stereotypical. she's beautiful and happens to be native american. no more, no less. perfect.

so, i LOVED this movie. and even though Tiana isn't as dear to me as the other princesses, i still admire her spunk and spirit, and i love that both of those qualities were reflected in this cover. this pose is all sass. it screams "yes, darling you may take my hand." tee hee! i love it :)

not one of my favourite covers, but i'm loving the attitude that it's projecting. the sharp shoulders say not to mess with her, but the soft hair indicates a gentler side. gorgeous.

i actually only found out a little while ago that snow white is older than both my parents. yikes! the original princess indeed. what i like about this cover is the step away from the dainty virginal Snow White we've grown up with. Snow White is a woman now, complete with bosom and hips. it might seem like an odd thing to focus on, but i've been on a feminist kick of late. sorry!

i have to admit that this is my least favourite of the covers. that wonky foot just bothers me. but i love the recasting of Cinderella as heroine of her own tale. seems like a stretch i know, but does the girl on this cover look like a woman sitting around waiting for her prince to come? didn't think so.

Photo of the Day: Sidestreet

5 inch and up is not a blog that i read often or religiously, but it is one of my all time favourite blogs because of the dedicated photography. there is something about a really great street style shot (and here tommy ton takes the cake) that makes me go GAGA every time. this is the direction i'm hoping to take the blog in when i get back to boston, but more on that later. 

Photo of the Day: Dare

Renata Sozzi by Bob Wolfenson for Criativa Magazine

LOVE this. i always enjoy a good mix of bold and muted tones.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Model of the Moment: Crystal Renn

Crystal Renn by Claudia Knoepfel & Stefan Indlekofer

it's been literally months since i've done a MOTM feature, and i've been meaning to revive this thing for ages.  i'd been meaning to feature plus size model Crystal Renn for a while now and i'm glad that i've finally gotten around to it. 

Known for her curvaceous body and past struggles with and advocacy against anorexia and eating disorders withing the fashion industry, Renn is arguably the most famous plus-sized model in the industry.

In her career, she has graced the pages of Italian Elle, Glamour, V, i-D, and several international editions of Vogue. She has also appeared in campaigns for H&M, Chanel, Dolce & Gabanna and Jimmy Choo, among others.

Renn is also noted for the publication of her book Hungry: A Young Model's Story of Appetite, Ambition and the Ultimate Embrace of Curve, which deal with her experiences in the fashion industry and her various body type transformations.

Crystal remains a role model for women everywhere because of her willingness to acknowledge the problems within the industry and for taking a personal stand for her health. To me, she's a role model for recognizing that beauty comes in all sizes, and being willing to stand behind and promote that point of view in a largely fat-phobic industry.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Cover Wars: The September Issues

i-D Pre-Fall 2011 Cover | Raquel Zimmermann by Josh Olins

since i've been slacking on my cover wars feature tons of fantastic covers have come and gone. so, in a stroke of brilliance, i've decided to feature them all at once! behold: the best of fashion's september issues after the jump.

i-D Pre-Fall 2011 Cover | Riley Keough by Matt Jones

i-D Pre-Fall 2011 Cover | Gisele Bundchen by Emma Summerton

Vogue Paris September 2011 Cover | Charlotte Casiraghi by Mario Testino

Jacquelyn Jablonski in DSquared2 for Harper’s Bazaar’s Spain September 2011

Russh #41 August/September Cover | Aymeline Valade by Will Davidson

LOVE #6 Fall/Winter 2011 Covers by Mert & Marcus

Monday, 22 August 2011

Sound Off: Updates and Petty Complaints

via PLola

***Editor's Note: I wrote this post about a month ago when I was dealing with a lot and considering shutting my blog down for a while. I never published it because I wasn't absolutely sure that it was what I wanted, and instead, i posted less frequently for about 2-3 weeks. Even though i'm glad i opted to simply step away for a bit, i thought i'd still post this as a reflection on the very real "blogger burnout". it's something that a lot of bloggers deal with and i'm glad i was able to find a solution. hopefully this post will help others recognize whether or not they need to take a little break so that they can come back to the thing that they love with new vigour and excitement. i'd love to hear your thoughts on the issue, so sound off in the comments!***

first, the above picture is unrelated to anything i'm about to say. it's just a picture that i neglected to share until now. second, this will likely be a lengthy post, so if you'd rather not hear me whine about my not really problems, you may leave now with my blessing, no hard feelings.

here's the issue: i don't know if i really want to do this anymore.

what is "this" you ask? "this" is THIS. 
this blog. this hobby. this career.
right now, it all feels like TOO MUCH.

classic case of blogger burnout right? except i think it might be a little more.

and i've done my research. i reread these posts by Vahni and B as well as this bonus IFB post and counted how many "symptoms" i've been suffering from. (so, totally like web MD. but not.) i even found this really great post about how to cope with this horrible terrible debilitating affliction.

and yet... nothing.

no epiphany, no relief, no nothing. i still feel restless, bored and throughly uninspired.

since i've been back home, i've been posting less frequently and less enthusiastically, and it bothers me because this was not my plan. i had a hard semester this past spring. between personal and academic issues, i couldn't wait to be back in Trinidad, closer to the people that i loved and with the time and freedom to devote my self to cultivating this little corner of the internet that is all my own.

and yet...

i find that i don't want to. i've been promising myself for ages that i'd start posting more original work. i've done so only marginally. (my last set of work got chosen for LALM and it was literally the most excitement i'd felt for this ridiculous endeavor (my blog) in months.) i'd rather watch tv or troll jezebel than attend to this blog. i have to face the facts: my heart is simply no longer in it.

and i know that it is a combination of things. i am not as inspired as i assumed i would be when i got back home. i am not as connected to this place that i've grown up in as i used to be. i'm still suffering from this "in-between" syndrome. the in-between of leaving home and moving away; of assimilating into new environments and cultural groups while simultaneously fighting against it. and it's affecting me. personally and professionally.

i've always tried to keep personal things out of this space, because i feel that it detracts from my credibility if i'm constantly whining about things with no context, but i think that all the areas of my life are colliding at a rate that i can no longer control, and it needs to be addressed.

it feels like i simultaneously have nothing going on, and too much going on. it feels like i am underwater with this beast i've created and i can't shake myself free.

this is a hobby blog. it always has been and always will be. but somehow, i've still managed to fall into the trap of obligation. obligation to readers and commenters, and essentially to everyone but myself. and honestly, it sucks. i acknowledge that that sounds selfish, but i'm at a point where i feel like i need to be a little selfish in order to maintain my sanity. 

this is no longer fun for me. it used to be so exciting; to find something that i loved and that spoke to me that i could share with the few people who knew this corner existed. and as my niche developed, so did my readership. and with the readers came the higher blog stats. and i was elated. i was proud. but now, the stats are falling and i couldn't be bothered. i see the numbers declining and my klout score falling and all i can do in response is steups.

it's like there's something in the air. i feel this antagonistic vibe in the blogosphere and it peeves me that women i don't even know or have ever met can get me so incredibly down. Vahni hinted at it a few weeks ago, and that's when i realized it wasn't just me. for once, it wasn't all in my head. i love fashion blogging and fashion photography and fashion and photography separately, but being part of this community has led me down a parallel road that i didn't realize wasn't the one i wanted to take until a little while ago.

but don't get me wrong. i do not hate this community. or even dislike it. i'm just a little irked. i have met some genuine women through this blog that i can only aspire to be like. i have found talented women who create things and express themselves in a way that i could never dream to. i have learnt and grown from knowing these women in more ways than i can think of or even be thankful for. but between the latent hostility, professional difficulties and my personal problems, it's all become a little much.

in the end, there is no way that i will abandon this little haven i have carved out for myself. (i bet you thought i would didn't you?) it began as a solace for me at a time when i was alone and hurting, and grew into so much more. abandoning it would be like abandoning my own child. but i will be scaling back. 

when this blog began, it had a specific purpose, and in joining the larger fashion blogging community i've lost sight of what that was. (no one else's fault but my own of course). so i will take a break. i am suspending my editorial calendar (as if i was even using it....) and putting this blog on an indefinite editorial hiatus.

it is of course, my blog, so i reserve the right to post if and when i feel like it. but i think it may be safe to say that i won't be back in full until september. in the meantime, i will shift my focus to my tumblr blog which i have been using as a digital moodboard. (it even says so in the header. i thought that was clever) i will take a step back from reading other blogs and from commenting except in specific situations. i think that for me, i need to remove myself from the situation almost entirely and reevaluate what i want out of this experience. 

i will stay active on facebook and twitter as much as i can, and i will reinvest my efforts into my own photography. i do have big plans for this blog, and i have always seen myself keeping it up as my career developed, but right now, maintaining isn't helping me to achieve anything.

so, for now, i bid thee adieu. i hope you will stay with me in the interim.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Soundtrack Saturday: Womanifesto

Womanifestothis week's SS post is based on Jill Scott's "Womanifesto", off her latest release The Light of the Sun. the song is less song and more spoken word, but it's still incredibly powerful and i'm so glad that i found it. her entire album is phenomenal (as usual) so i suggest you pick it up if you haven't already.

the most powerful lyrics to me are at the very end: 

"I am gifted 
I am all of this 
and indeed the Shit.
Clearly I am not just an ass"

This song really makes me think about my self worth. It makes me reconsider the extent of my self worth and the degree to which i don't value all the things i can do. I am all of this and indeed the Shit. I might not be the best, but i'm getting there, and i think that this song is indeed the perfect womanifesto for me, and women everywhere. 

i know it's awful, but this song really makes me think of the "sassy black woman" archetype, only in a good way. i listen to this and i picture myself finally standing up to some fool who put me down for not being a doormat and bending to their whim. i was SUCH a pushover when i was younger because i hate conflict, but now i'm learning to stand up for myself and for the ideas that i believe in. 

to me, this song signifies being free. free to be me, free to be loud, free to be happy. and i wanted the set to reflect that. i chose clothes that i probably would never be brave enough to wear even though they're exactly 
the kinds of things that i love. fashion has always been about expression, and i can't think of a better way to express freedom than through the very articles i use to show myself to the world.

i'm loud. i like colour. that's okay!

what about you? what song speaks to you? does music inform your fashion choices? have you ever felt braver or more empowered after listening to a favourite songs? sound of in the comments below.

Editorials: Anne Hathaway by Mert & Marcus for Interview September 2011

Anne Hathaway by Mert & Marcus

sigh. THIS. this is why I adore M&M. this is why i would give blood for the opportunity to work under them. ugh... i love this editorial more than i can explain. FGR calls it "darkly romantic" and i can't think of a better explanation. and this is a perfect example of the "unbelievably beautiful train wreck" i mentioned before. there is something so dark and intriguing about their work. i can't look away. it doesn't hurt that anne hathaway is beautiful all on her own  of course. the cover shot (after the jump) reminds me alot of the Frieda Pinto shots they did for last month's issue. that's my only gripe. unless that was intentional and i missed the memo?

Photo of the Day: Wrapped in a Bow

Ona & Victoria by Wee Khim for Style Singapore

I have always wanted to try menswear. gorgeous.

Portrait: Kate Somers by Felix Wong

Kate Somers by Felix Wong

shots like these are the reason that portraiture is my favourite kind of photography. Kate (yay for Catherine solidarity!) isn't conventionally beautiful, but she still looks stunning in these shots, all without makeup. she actually reminds me a bit of Karlie Kloss. her face is stunning and she has amazing bone structure, and OMG those EYES! portraiture i think brings out the best of a person.

Editorial: Magdalena Frackowiak by Aitken Jolly for Dansk A/W 2011

 Magdalena Frackowiak by Aitken Jolly

this the kind of imagery that i love. dark and themed and beautiful. i can't get enough of it. i especially love the effect of paint and/or coloured water smeared onto each image. it really gives the editorial a desperate and agonizing feel. the effect is gorgeous.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Friend Friday: Pipe Dreams and Dream Jobs

This week on #FBFF we're talking about our dream jobs and the steps we're taking to get there. I'm so glad that Katy chose this topic because as a rising college senior, I'm at the point in my life where i have to start taking the steps necessary to get on the path i want to be on in life. it's a very time consuming and anxiety-filled journey to say the least, but I wouldn't be doing it if it didn't mean the world to me. So, onto the questions!

1. If you could do anything professionally what would it be?
I have two major career goals. The first; to be renowned within the industry as a fashion photographer a la Mert and Marcus. The second; to become a senior fashion editor/creative director of a major fashion publication, a la Franca Sozzani and Anna Wintour. 

2. What draws you to this?
Honestly, I think in its most basic form, it's my love of looking at pretty things! I've always loved art and so on and photography is a great outlet for me, but I think that fashion brings a unique perspective to art and beauty. Fashion makes an interesting subject because it inherently has a sense of fantasy and movement that other subjects don't. It's gorgeous!

3. When did you first start dreaming about this ideal?
My freshman year! I've told this story a billion times by now. I started watching ABC's Ugly Betty and fell in love with the character and the fashion world in general. Ever since I've been on a pretty determined path to the Conde Naste building!

4. What's holding you back from going all in?
Money. What else? Right now I'm focusing on getting back to school so I can finish my degree, but after that I have to find a the funds to move to New York, pay for an apartment, and then I have to get an actual job! ahh, the economy...

5. Sometimes the first step is the hardest. What's one step you can take now on the way to realizing your dream?
I guess the most realistic thing i can do is start applying for jobs. I found this great website that features only communications jobs and I've found some AMAZING listings there before but i couldn't take any of them up because I'm either a. still in college or b. not in NY. lame, i know! the good news is that when I start looking for permanent positions, it's likely I'll have some great leads.


What about you? What's your dream job, and what are you doing to get yourself closer to it? Head on over to Modly Chic to see the other answers from the FBFF group.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Inspiration Moodboard: A Full Time Fabulous Blog Event (August 17th, 2011)

This month, I wanted to take the time out to finally participate in the Full Time Fabulous Blog Event, hosted by Kristy Elena. The topic this round is inspiration, in any form we choose, and I thought that it would be the perfect way for me to ease into the program. 

At first, I wasn't sure what I wanted to focus on as the source of my inspiration. As a photographer, I'm always taking in the things around me, and the obvious choice seemed to be a photograph. But I wanted to challenge myself and go beyond the obvious. So I've chosen tumblr as my source of inspiration. Yup, you heard that right. tumblr. all of it. specifically, my tumblr blog.

I joined the site in February after a few fellow bloggers started raving about its benefits. It took me a while to warm up to it, but now, I'm happy to say, I'm hooked. I have a vague sense that tumblr doesn't have the best reputation in terms of the behavior of some of its users, but my experience has been nothing but positive. In the 7 months I've been on the site I've had a constant source of inspiration from all kinds of outlets that I wouldn't have had access to if I hadn't joined. 

The great thing about tumblr is that it's the complete aggregation of all the things that fascinate me. I follow fashion blogs, tattoo blogs, poetry blogs; all things that i want to keep an eye on. And the varying interests of the bloggers on the site practically guarantees that i'll be exposed to something beautiful that i wouldn't have found on my own. 

it's my favourite thing about tumblr: the sheer volume of beauty that i'm exposed to every time i log on. when i'm out of ideas or feeling creatively stumped, i just browse through my archive to see what photos got me excited the last time i logged in. it was an easy decision to start using tumblr as my digital moodboard, since i never have the time to do the real thing, and the resources on tumblr are so endless. i've loved having stunning photographs to consume and gawk at, and revisiting old editorials that surfaced before my interest in fashion did. 

my experience with the site has been amazing, and i love using it the way i have been. i think it's definitely been a great resource for me in terms of potential ideas and just the sheer awe of it all! photography for me is an amazingly gorgeous endless thing, and i appreciate that there is an outlet for me to just sit back and inhale it all.

What about you? Do you use tumblr, and if so, how? And lastly, what's your source of inspiration?  

Much thanks to Kristy Elena for hosting this blog event. For more tales of inspiration, head over to full time fabulous to read Kristy's personal response, and those of other participants.