Monday, 26 November 2012

Editorial: Kendall Jenner for Miss Vogue

The internet spent a good portion of last weekend buzzing about these new shots of Kendall Jenner for Miss Vogue, and with good reason! These shots are amazing, and Kendall looks completely at home styled to the nines and posing like a total pro. Girl can give FACE!

Say what you like about the Kardashian clan, but they are a genetically blessed bunch. Kendall gets the best of Kris and Bruce with that that gorgeous face and that leggy physique. She hits all the model checkpoints and I honestly think that she could have had an amazing high fashion career without the Kardashian name. Kendall is gorgeous, and I hope she pursues her modelling career. Can't wait to see more from her.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Random: I Have Your Heart

A delightful little ditty.

Random: Dumb Ways to Die

You've probably all seen this already, but I just had to share it! I didn't think there was a way to make death both depressingly morbid and amazingly adorable, but they did it! You'll be singing the song all day. :)

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Editorial: Yuvia by Jesse Laitinen for Fashion Gone Rogue

Yuvia by Jesse Laitinen

Here's something to stun you. I have to work today (Is is weird that I'm excited? It's probably a little sad that I have nothing better to do than go to work....)  and things will likely be hectic all week, so I probably won't post much before the end of the month. In the meantime, do enjoy these gorgeous portraits of model Yuvia. I really love that they made her hair the accessory, and kept things simple otherwise. They're beautiful shots.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Fashion Films: Disney and Barney's New York present "Electric Holiday"

An American mouse in Paris! I LOVE this darling little film. A collaboration between Disney and Barney's NY, the film is (I think?) a dream sequence that the iconic Minnie Mouse has as she admires a Lavin dress in a shop window. It's impossibly darling, and features Disney characters we know and love going through their paces before their big runway debut. There are even a few familiar fashion faces! How many can you spot?

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Random: BattyMamzelle on Instagram

You may have heard, but the new online Instagram profiles are here. The layout is simple, but effective, and functions much the same way that it does on your smartphone. It's very basic, and is mostly a way to view your Instagram pictures online rather than to engage in the Instagram community the way you can in mobile format. I'd like to see an option to search for users come in future (unless it's already there and I've somehow missed it) and the ability to browse your newsfeed, but for now, it suffices.

If you're on Instagram, connect with me! I only recently joined, but I'm loving it so far. My username is BattyMamzelle (predictably) and I'm having a lot of fun sussing out the different ways that people are using Instagram to share their lives.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Shubh Divali!

Shubh Divali to all of Trinidad and Tobago, and the wider Hindu community!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Fashion: Style Spirit Fashion Weekend

Style Spirit Fashion Weekend is almost here! What am I talking about you ask? Style Spirit Fashion Weekend, the inaugural fashion event being hosted by TrinidadLookbook Editor-in-Chief Mel Gabriel is a weekend event meant to showcase local (to Trinidad and Tobago) designers and their creations. 

With Fashion Week on an indefinite hiatus, (sad face) Trinidad's fashion elite has been screaming for a high caliber event to draw them in and help them showcase the emerging talent in the local industry. Haute Caribe set the stage for re-launching the hunger that Trinbagonians have for original fashion that speaks to the local aesthetic, and Style Spirit will be the premiere event to exhibit that desire and encourage more involvement in the industry. 

Style Spirit will run from December 7-9th, 2012 at The Warehouse in Champs Fleur. Early Bird tickets are available for a limited time at $250 per night or $600 for the weekend pass. Regular tickets go on sale Saturday at $300 per night and $750 for the weekend pass. Weekend passes are limited, so snap them up before they're gone.

Check out the full schedule on the official Style Spirit event website and plan accordingly. You can pick the lineup you love the most, or come for the entire weekend's shows. Either way, you're not going to want to miss this!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Cover Wars: Crystal Renn by Gregory Harris for 10 Magazine

Crystal Renn by Gregory Harris

Now, that's a striking cover. Can you honestly say you wouldn't look twice if you saw this on  newsstand?

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Politics: But Seriously You Guys...We Defeated Romney

Mitt Romney lost, and all is right with the world. 
Thank GOD.
I wasn't so sure for a minute there. 

I was up all night keeping tabs on an election I couldn't even vote in because it was so important. I may only be in Trinidad, but like it or not, the US has a huge influence on policy abroad (what with them forcing their way into other people's countries and all that) so it's essential that they keep moving towards progress. The US tends to set the example for the world, so it's a huge win that the American public re-elected a President who stands for reproductive rights, marriage equality and economic fairness.

But for a while it was close. I spent most of the night messaging back and forth with my awesome cousin in CT discussing the results, and more than once she had to calm me down because I was freaking out that Romney was pulling ahead. I ended up falling asleep around midnight and waking up around 3AM (I'm not on DST) to Obama's victory speech. And I cried. I seriously cried. I cried until I shook because I wasn't so sure it would happen. It didn't seem like a sure thing to me. My brother even came home and asked me if Romney won because I looked so distressed. After I calmed down, I posted this to my Facebook wall: 

"So I fell asleep around midnight and I'm now fully taking in the news that Obama has won and I'm in tears. As in, long, wracking, body-shaking tears. Because the fact that the American people even let Mitt Romney gain legitimacy as a Presidential candidate and almost elected him despite the horrible things he has said on record about women, people of colour and the LGBTQ makes me fear for America's future. To know that people who fell into those groups actively voted against their own interests makes me physically sick. To know that decades after the fact we're still arguing about reproductive rights, marriage equality and fucking affirmative action... I don't have the stomach for it. 
Because you see, Obama won, but he almost didn't  and he won't be around forever. And in the next four years the crazies will find someone else to champion their bigoted beliefs. 
For now I'm glad we don't have to deal with Paul Ryan or Todd Akin or any of those other asshats. I'm glad that even with active voter suppression and a fucking hurricane, people still went out to vote. I'm glad that reason prevailed. Because honestly, I need to save these tears for my own fucked up country."

And I meant every word. The fact that Mitt Romney has blatantly and repeatedly lied to the American public over the course of this campaign and experienced little to no backlash is truly disheartening to me. As far as I can see, it says to me that there is a huge chunk of the electorate that thinks that social issues have no bearing on their lives or the lives of the people they love. It means that they are willing to sacrifice important and essential rights in the long-term for more money in their pockets in the short-term. It means that they are just as horrible as he is. 

But misplaced anxiety aside, the right man won. (And those fucking rape apologists LOST!) We are safe for another four years. Women, people of colour and the underprivileged are safe for another four years.

The world is quiet here.

Calm, Cool, Collected: Dealing with Difficult People™ (in the Aftermath of the Election)

If you live on this planet, then it's likely you've had to deal with Difficult People™ at some point in your life. Whether family, friend or stranger, there's always that one person, issue or way of thinking that makes your blood boil, and makes it hard to stay calm and keep your composure. Politics are a touchy subject for most people, and tempers can run high.

So how do you deal? Honestly, I have no clue. If you know me then you know that I'm of the "get so angry that I burst into tears out of sheer frustration" variety, and I think we can all agree that that approach is neither productive nor flattering...

While I certainly haven't figured out how to stave off the tears entirely, there are a few things that have helped me keep them at bay longer. In the moment, it's extremely hard to keep it together. When you're trying to explain to someone why reproductive rights are ESSENTIAL for economic success  it can be really hard to overlook their deliberate obtuseness. Dealing with Difficult People™ can be an emotionally exhausting experience, and with the election all wrapped up, you'll likely be dealing with more Difficult People™ than usual in the coming days, but these tips can help you step back for a moment and remove a little of the emotion from the equation:

1. Breathe: Cliche I know, but you'd be surprised how well it works. I can't count the times that taking the time to take a few deep breaths has stopped me from saying some highly unsavory things in polite company. When you feel the bile rising, close your eyes, breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth hard, three times. Use those breaths to focus all your anger into a small pointy barb you can then use to take down your Difficult Person™ of choice with civility. Never forget that oftentimes, Difficult People™ will push your buttons intentionally to try to get a reaction. By preemptively calming yourself down, you're diffusing the situation and robbing them of their power over you.

2. Say Nothing: This is easily the most difficult suggestion in this entire post. It can be SO HARD not to interject when your Difficult Person™ is trying their very hardest to pick a fight, especially when social and economic policy are the topic of discussion. But as in the suggestion above, Difficult People™ are often intentionally pushing your buttons to get a reaction. Don't give them one. It takes two people to have an argument, and they can't argue with you if you refuse to engage. And as difficult as this option is, it is deeply satisfying to see the look of defeat on your Difficult Person™'s face when they realize you are determined to let them argue with themselves.

3. Leave: The rate of overlap between Difficult People™ and Stupid People™ (especially in politics) is astonishing. Rational People™ do not waste energy on Stupid People™. Sometimes the only thing to do is completely disengage.

4. Prepare: Sometimes disengaging entirely isn't a possibility, especially if your Difficult Person™ is a co-worker, family member or someone you live with. If a Difficult Person™ is someone you interact with regularly, then it's likely that you have already heard their entire arsenal of asinine arguments. You may not have realized it, but this gives you an advantage. If you already know what their most common defense strategies or arguments are, you can prepare dazzling counter-arguments in your spare time and then dazzle them with your logic and superiority the next time they turn up. We've all had the experience of coming up with an amazing comeback after the confrontation is over, and everyone hates that. Unfortunately, this option requires dedicating even more grey matter to a Difficult Person™ than most Rational People™are willing to, but it has the additional advantage of being a fairly permanent solution. It's pretty hard to argue with solid logic without looking like a crazy-pants Romney/Ryan supporter. (See what I did there? Sly like a tiger!)

5. Don't Escalate: Depending on the situation,  you may be unable to avoid dealing with your Difficult Person™ head on. If this is the case, remember to keep your calm. Don't raise your voice or get flustered. It's all about keeping the conversation at a level that you can maintain, and controlling the tone of the argument. My dad does this ALL the time, and it's BRILLIANT.

And now I'm done. Writing this post has been extremely cathartic! What are some of the methods you've used to deal with the Difficult People™ in your life? Have you manged to excise energy-draining people from your life? How? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Politics: The 2012 Presidential Election OR The Biggest Decision You'll Ever Make

Dear America,

Today is D-day. Today is the day you decide if you want to take 3 steps forward or 10 steps back. Today is the day you decide if you stand with the under-represented and overlooked, or with the policy makers who look out only for themselves. Today you decide if you believe in a woman's right to choose, or that a microscopic ball of undifferentiated cells trumps the well-being of a living breathing person. Today you decide if millions of loving same-sex couples will get to live their lives with their families and reap the benefits of the dedication they show to the people around them, or if you will leave millions of children to languish in foster-care because you think that's preferable to two moms or dads. 

Today you decide where you stand in the world America. Today you claim your place as the example the world should follow, or the black sheep the world should shun. Choice wisely America. Don't re-hash the same mistakes.

The campaigning is over, the debates are done. The choice is clear.


PS. Do enjoy these 50+ pithy cartoons as you wait in your impossibly long lines to vote today. Not that I'm trying to sway your decision or anything...

Monday, 5 November 2012

Photography: More from NDDCI

After sifting through the last set of images, I've found a few more that I don't hate. There still aren't that many of them. I think my problem is that although I have some nice moments, the shots are technically sound, and that really me. If I learned nothing else in school, it's how to produce a technically accurate photograph (actually, I think that might be all I learnt...) so it really irks me when I don't get that right. But as I was discussing with FPF, I'm really still a baby when it comes to shooting seriously, so I should forgive myself when I get things wrong. In any case, I definitely hope to be getting better over the next six months or so. I'm lucky to have more than one person who is willing to give me feedback, so I'm guessing that things will definitely improve soon. We shall see I suppose. Do enjoy!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Politics: Clinton/Booker 2016

via Jezebel

Yup. I'm definitely down.

Politics: The Gay Agenda [Updated]


*Editor's Note: This is tongue-in-cheek by the way. Just in case the fact that Stephen Colbert said it didn't tip you off. This post has gotten an unusual number of hits today, so I just wanted to make sure no one believes I actually think this. This is ridiculous.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Fashion Films: Haute Caribe // The World of Trinidad + Tobago Fashion

So, while I was only halfway looking (jk, I was raptly paying attention) an amazing thing happened. The fashion industry in Trinidad and Tobago experienced a beautifully vivid resurgence. The creativity and passion and desire that Trinbagonians have always had for flavour and colour and decadence, began to once again be funnelled into expressions of fashion.

Today, Haute Caribe: The World of Trinidad and Tobago Fashion, a 12 minute mini-documentary about the evolution of fashion on my wonderful twin island state debuted online.

With input from some of Trinidad's longstanding fashion heavyweights like Claudia Pegus, Meiling, Dianne Hunt and Robert Young as well as relative newcomers like Anya Ayoung Chee, Keegan Simon, Lori-Antoinette Williams and Mel Gabriel, the documentary explores the way that attitudes to fashion have waxed and waned in Trinbago over the last few decades.

Haute Caribe explores the ways in which fashion used to be tightly integrated into the culture of Trinidad and Tobago, and the ways in which that attitude is returning. In the last few years, there has been a wave of interest and appreciation for the talent that we have always had sitting right here within our shores, and a recognition of the young and upcoming talent that is eagerly waiting in the wings.

Watching the documentary (obsessively...) gives me an immense sense of pride. I remember feeling frustrated back in 2010, because I felt that there would never be a future in fashion for me if I stayed in Trinidad; the home I love. Thankfully, that is changing. From the Caribbean Academy of Fashion Design at UTT to the upcoming Style Spirit Fashion Weekend headed by Trinidad Lookbook Editor-in-Chief, Mel Gabriel, Trinidad is finally beginning to recognize fashion as a viable industry that should be supported and explored. There are so many possibilities when it comes to fashion, and I love knowing that I'm here, and that I can get in on the ground floor when it comes to helping build an industry that I value.

In any case, head on over to to view the full documentary. Really soak it in. It's beautifully produced and directed and really does justice to the scope of the history and talent of fashion in Trinidad and Tobago. Personally, I hope there are a few more installments!

"Right now the Caribbean is ripe. It's ripe for fashion. Fashion is ready. We're ready." 
-Lori-Antoinette Williams (Designer, Hak Gwai)