Thursday, October 21, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
For those of you who have dealt with break-ups or mourned for a great loss, you're probably very familiar with that sinking feeling you get every morning right after you wake up. You know, that feeling like, "fuuuuck... this is only the beginning of yet another day of my long and seemingly never-ending journey to complete emotional recovery". Perhaps sleeping and dreaming temporarily eliminates your stress and sadness and having to come back to that once you wake up is simply too overwhelming -- like going back to a job you hate after a nice, long vacation. This morning, I woke up and just felt absolutely "UUUUUGHAAAAAHHH...." (we all know the "groan-scream") but I had the important task of getting my first aid certificate so I had to shake the feeling fast. So I immediately remembered Band of Horses, because that became my mantra and muse when I was dealing with a previous break-up. On the way to my training, I blasted Everything All the time through my headphones and the nostalgia just washed over me. Ironically, remembering my last break-up gave me comfort because I know that I have it in me to get through this one, like I did the last time. Furthermore, I find that it's not just listening to music that helps me but playing and actively engaging in any creative process is very therapeutic. Sometimes, I think it may even work better than drugs and therapy. Regardless, I truly believe in the power of music and art and their benevolent forces to inspire and heal during your darkest moments.
I really can't comment much on these two outfits except that I wore the stripe bodysuit and grandpa pants to my friend's birthday dinner and felt very self-conscious due to its "second-skin" appearance. The second outfit is my "Vancouver Commercial Drive grunge" style. You know what I'm talking about, Vancity folks.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
I love my job as a arts journalist because I get to interview the most interesting people. Recently I conducted an interview with a Vancouver local fashion designer specializing in men's wear. At first I was less enthused about the interview because first of all, I know squat about men's fashion and second of all, I'm not exactly a huge fan of urban street wear, which is what this gentleman designed. However, the interview was extremely engaging and he had this snarky persona about him which I though made the interview so much more fun and exciting. This is how the whole thing went down:
Me: Please tell me a little bit about yourself as a fashion store owner
DL: My name is Dennis Ignacio Arriola. I represent Canadian Street Wear. The name of the shop is Architect By KILLA. Located in the lower East Side ( Beginning of Gastown ), 46 Alexander in the Heritage Building Complex Hotel Europe. This is where KILLA lives and where I operate business
Me: What drove you to fashion?
DL: I'm a b-boy from the first generation of the b-boy scene in Vancouver. My sponsor C1RCA supported me in my development as b-boy/artist, alongside Craig E. who gave me the hooks to learn from. My discipline was from Vancouver Film School's 3D Animation | Digital Effects. I knew I wanted to start something of my own, that would allow me to incorporate the creative aspect with the freedom to develop originality in style, comfort and design from my experiences. This is when KILLA ( wearable electronics ) was created.
Me: With such a huge market out there for female fashion, why did you choose to do men’s fashion instead?
D.L.: It's simple. Not enough cool men’s wear. I want to contribute something back to the community that represents what Street wear is in my vision.
Me: What was your biggest influence in terms of creating fashion?
D.L.: My influences come from what I grew up around and the experiences I've learned from gangs, crews, b-boying, hip hop, streets, family, brotherhoods and fraternities.
Me: Are you personally involved in any of the creative process?
D.L.: I have full control of the creative process from design to production for KILLA. I am also managing other brands in this city and hoping to branch out into the international scene in the near future.
Me: In your opinion, how important is one’s personal style?
D.L.: It's important to me in the way that your personal style reflects and helps defines who you are. People say, you can't judge a book by it's cover but in this time and age usually based on first impressions, that's what you get judged on.
Me: There has always been a tug-o-war between one’s volition to express a sense of true original style and the overwhelming market of mass produced clothing which takes away from individualism. As a successful fashion entrepreneur who emphasizes both, how do you reconcile this conflict?
D.L.: I adapt my personal style with understanding what exists in the street wear scene.
Me: Can you please comment on the evolution of urban wear for those who are not familiar with this particular line of fashion?
D.L.: The C.P. jackets are derived from the original C.P. Urban Protection series. The jackets are inspired by the concept of protection from pollution and care to avoid CO2 emissions. Ergonomically cut, it features 360 movement and underarm ventilation, articulated hoods and detachable anti-smog masks.
Me: Can you please describe how seemingly military elements such as heavy duty material and smog masks fit with the current political and social state of our world? In other words, how do you think these elements make your clothes marketable and functional to a generation that has little experience with war and political struggles?
D.L. Military elements have been incorporated into fashion since the beginning. It's nothing new. You can see the military inspiration in pea coats, infantry jackets, boots, hats, sun glasses, watches, clothing & bags etc. The military inspirations apply from big brand label houses all the way through to local designers. Basically rooting back to your question, originality, style, quality and comfort. high end street wear built to last. That's what's marketable.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
I had to wear something weird and fun underneath my unflattering and (un)necessarily dorky academic regalia so I paraded around in the most obnoxiously bright dress (previously belonged to my mom) I could find in my closet.
After seeing myself in the mirror and realizing just how juvenile I looked, I decided to tone it down by wearing a gray sweater over top. It was a good decision because it not only instantaneously transformed the outfit for the better, but also kept me warm, sitting outdoors for nearly three hours.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
If you're a regular reader of my blog, you can probably sense that I sometimes could be a bit of a "bleeding-heart". It is because of my overwhelming sense of naive compassion in certain issues, I am constantly plagued by the guilt of "not doing enough to make the world a better place". Thus, it wasn't until a couple of days ago that I realized what I truly wanted to do and how I can alleviate the weight of the world on my shoulders. I decided that in order to achieve true meaning in my life I want to have a direct and benevolent influence in the lives of those less fortunate. Whether it's helping out the victims of assaults, protecting the rights and freedom of "social outcasts" or even spreading awareness about cases of social injustices. As soon as I realized what I wanted to dedicate my life doing, I felt, for the first time in my life, uplifted and hopeful about the things I thought I couldn't change. I know that this again sounds like an idealistic notion and that I really can't make any substantial contributions in dissolving all of the world's issues and injustices. However, I am going about this a logical way via educational training and gaining experiences. Thus I've decided to first start with a focused career path in the fields of either counseling, law or journalism. Wish me luck in my decision, everyone.
I'm wearing my new shoes (thank you, Isabel) to celebrate my new found future plan.
Another first (first sweater outfit) to commemorate the occasion.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Onto the outfit. I wore this on Friday night when I went out with my friend/drummer of my band and got complimented by a total stranger. He claimed that he works at Holt Renfrew and I was easily the best-dressed person he's seen on the Granville strip all night. If you knew just how hip and stylin' the peeps of Granville street are, you can gauge how deliriously happy I was to hear that comment.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I will end on a positive note by posting my band's first recording for you all to scrutinize. Actually, I'm quite proud of it because I think it sounds pretty good for the first take. Plus I didn't mess up once playing guitar and singing at the same time, even though you can't really hear me and our timing was off at various points throughout the song. Regardless, this is the first song we've ever wrote, so be kind. It's called "King Cats" and it's about ligers.
(sorry about the ads in there, but this the only way I know how to upload an mp3s onto blogger)
Sunday, September 19, 2010
An ending note: we ought to let dogs be dogs.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I saw a movie recently called Mysterious Skin. It is by far the most intensely explicit and hard to watch films I had ever encountered (yes, it was even worst than Requiem for a Dream). The movie, I thought was a realistic and harsh portrayal of the ever cringe-inducing subject matter of child sexual abuse which a lot people just wouldn't touch with a thirty-foot pole. But what makes this film successful was far beyond it having an alluring cast and compelling storyline. For little details such the setting and the atmosphere really make the viewers relate to the story and empathize with the characters' afflictions. And the most poignant element which really made this movie what it is, is the music. The soundtrack to this movie is primarily composed of songs by shoegaze bands from the 90's. As a total nut of everything 90's and even a bigger nut for shoegaze/noise rock, I natural lost my shit when I heard songs from bands like Slowdive and Curve and Cocteau Twins.
"Golden Hair" --- Slowdive.
Currently my favorite song.
Friday, September 10, 2010
I wore this outfit in the middle of June when it was 27 degree (Celsius) out. It was primarily inspired by the cover of Gulag Orkestar by one of my favorite bands, Beirut.
The polka-dot top used to be an awkward length, so did to it what I do to most tops; crop it! I wore this during one of the dog days nearing the end of July, and it was still too damn hot.
This is a recent outfit I wore to my first day of work. It kept me warm in the morning but by the afternoon, shirt-sweater combo seemed like an overkill. Regardless, the days are getting cooler by the minute and I'm starting to regret not getting the most of summer when I had the chance.
Monday, September 6, 2010
So, I have no idea how this happened. But I have recently went from having little to do, to all of a sudden having potentially four jobs! I think part of it was because I was looking for jobs/opportunities here and there and just ended up with a handful of chunks that eventually added up. So now I am a full-time, unpaid intern at the Canadian Mental Health Association, a free lance staff writer for themodeline.com, a weekend hostess at White Spot and a potential substitute for the Westminster Children's After School Society. You may think that I'm crazy for taking on so much at the same time but I assure you, having a busy life is actually quite exciting to me, until I eventually burn out of course. So even though my responsibilities leave me with little room for a social life, I'm pretty trilled about being productive. Plus with so much to do and a better paying part-time job, I now have more than enough incentive to quit White Spot.
I'm not a huge fan of this photo of me. The shirt looks very bulgy and you can barely tell that I'm wearing shorts rather than a skirt. But I promise this outfit looks a lot better in real life. I was either vibing on my latest professional achievement or reminiscing about going to school when this outfit was put together.
Friday, September 3, 2010
On the surface, these outfits are seemingly very different in style, at least to me. While the first one is more mod the second one is totally grunge. However, when inspected closely, they both contain more or less the same elements. They both feature a dress of some sort and a secondary coverage; be it a denim dress shirt or a printed cardigan. There's even similarity in the details such as accessories, shoes and leggings. However, despite all that, they're nevertheless of very different aesthetics. Which brings me to the my quote of the day: "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts". And from this quote we can yield a fashion-related lesson which is to always be creative and mix and match your pieces, because everything has the potential to become a part of a few entirely different outfits.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
My ideal part-time job right now would be to work at American Apparel but none of the Vancouver locations are hiring at this moment. Which means, I would have to stick with what I've got going on currently until my head explodes.
I love wearing hats when my hair is short. Totally hipster!
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I guess I should have started by saying that I am not one of those people that makes a huge stink about getting a dramatic hair cut because I have honestly had all kinds of crazy dos in one can possibly imagine; from dreadlocks to almost bald. But what makes this occasion slightly different is that I was inspired to get a hair cut by my boyfriend, Daniel, who recently went from looking like a Beatles to a jar head. Plus, I was getting sick of my over-grown mullet so when I one day caught a gimps of my "rat tail" and immediately thought about Billy Ray Cyrus, I knew the hair had to go.
An inquisitive face with a much shorter hair-cut. it's hard to believe I now have no hair.
Here's a boyish outfit to suit my boyish hair. Had to wear a bow to indicate my actual sex. Ya know, like how people put bows on baby girls to indicate femininity?
Saturday, August 21, 2010
I've been reading poetry lately. And this poem by John Updike, I think, encapsulates a society wherein everything is constructed, purposefully placed and never organic
They have been with us a long time.
They will outlast the elms.
Our eyes, like the eyes of a savage sieving the trees
In his search for game,
Run through them. They blend along small-town streets
Like a race of giants that have faded into mere mythology.
Our eyes, washed clean of belief,
Lift incredulous to their fearsome crown of bolts, trusses, struts, nuts, insulators and such
Barnacles as compose
These weathered encrustations of electrical debris ---
Each a Gorgon's head, which, seized right,
Could stun us to stone.
Yet they are ours. We mad them.
See here, where the cleats of linemen
have roughened a second bark
Onto the bald trunk. And these spikes
Have been driven sideways at intervals handy for human legs.
The Nature of our construction is in every way
A better fit than the Nature it displaces.
What other tree can you climb where the birds' twitter,
Unscrambled, is English? True, their thin shade is negligible,
But then again there is not that tragic autumnal
Casting-off of leaves to outface annually.
These giants are more constant than evergreens
By being never green.
This was the most comfortable outfit I've ever put together. Mom pants and loose crop tops combined achieves the perfect equilibrium of style and comfort
Monday, August 16, 2010
What if I burst the fleshly gate
And pass, escaped, to thee?
What if I file this mortal off,
See where it hurt me, - that's enough, -
And wad in liberty?
They cannot take us any more, -
Dungeons my call, and guns implore,
Unmeaning now, to me
As laughter was an hour ago,
or laces, or a traveling show,
Or who died yesterday
-- Emily Dickinson
Today is QiXi, aka Chinese Valentines day. It is the seventh day and of the seventh lunar month according to the Chinese calendar. I've never been known to enjoy the celebration of any festivals or holidays and today is of no exception. The reason why I wanted to mention QiXi is because I am more intrigued by the folklore behind it more than the cultural traditions associated with it. The story, if any of you care to know is about the love between a mortal and a goddess and the forbidden love they share that eventually lead to their eternal separation. On the surface it is just one of the many cliche love tales but to me it is a case of the struggle not for love, but for rather companionship.Some years ago when I viewed everything through rose colored classes, I was a firm believer of true love and the existence of "the one" or a "soul mate". But as time passed and people changed, so have my conceptions about what love really is. And to me, the yearning to be with someone is as simple albeit powerful as the desire to seek companionship. We see this in the animal kingdom, although differing in purpose and social codes, human beings are just as driven to seek out any suitable mate as animals. Thus this primal instinct is non-discriminatory, meaning we don't really care if we get matched up with "the one" as long as we find one.
For all the romantics out there, I'm sorry if this has disappointed you but it is merely of my personal opinion and observation. However, I do believe that our will to seek out companionship and the desire to maintain it is what eventually transform into what we call "love". And this love to me is very, very real and in no ways like that between two mating animals. However, we must understand that this powerful and unique bond between people must first stem from the need for companionship therefore it is not exclusive to members of the opposite sex. We also must understand that the only type of love worth maintaining is one having endured many conflicts and great hardship because that is the only test of one's commitment to another. In conclusion, this trumps the idea of "soul mate" because the implication of "destined to be together" connotes not an idea of "fighting for what's valued" but a notion of "what's yours will always be effortlessly yours".
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Throughout my study of human psychology, I have always find cases where people are so convinced that their perceptions are "real" to be especially fascinating. Because it always boggled my mind that some people can lead a life of what seems like utter obscurity to us but to them, it is the only world they know. As I read, studied and watched a lot of these cases, I eventually realized that sometimes physicians and psychologists really don't have any right in telling them what is real because reality is self-constructed. Take the classic philosophical riddle for example. "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" Of course it does, because so many happen without our awareness but that doesn't mean that there isn't a possibility of unperceived existence. So just because certain things can't be understood, comprehended or even directly perceived, doesn't mean they don't exists or that they are not "real". Who is to say that a schizophrenic patient's reality is abnormal and thus "not real"? Because to them, it is as real as it gets. I once knew a girl who was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and experienced severe auditory and visual delusions when her symptoms were at their worst. After a copious amount of drugs, her symptoms finally went away. But til today, she still recounts the experience from that segment of her life with so much detail and conviction that it was almost like she was in an alternate reality of some sort.
Perhaps this is the downfall of having an ego because it really limits us from accepting possibilities outside of our consciousness. However, I do think we have the propensity to do so though, because when you dream, do you not hurt when you dream of walking into a wall? Do you not cry when you dream of tragedy befallen on a loved one? Do you not wake up in cold sweat when you dream of your own death? All of our dreams are as real to us as they can be when we sleep. So why do we emphasize the waking reality more than the dreaming reality? I personally prefer to dream because at least in my dreams no one tells me to wake up.
Here's some obscure photo collage action, inspired by what I've learned about memory and reality. Remember the big-cat t-shirt? It is now a crop tank.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
These thrifted Banana Republic pants are so incredibly comfortable. They used to have flare bottoms and fitted a little awkwardly due to the disproportionate length. But after I altered them into slim trousers, they're much more flattering and stylish.
I've been working with and wearing lace a lot just because it is the the single best material since cotton and this AA raglan is the best of the both worlds.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Here's something you don't know about me, I am an incredibly shy person upon first encounter and sometimes I come off as being even a little stand-offish. Thus I've always been awkward in social situations when crowds of strangers and semi-strangers are involved. However, this time it was different, I felt at ease in the company of others. This new found sensation was foreign at first then I slowly realized that maybe this is merely a sign of growing up and being able to let go of old habits. This is the dress I made for my friend's wedding I attended in St. Louis. The top is made from scratch from lace and the bottom was a trifted skirt I had recently purchased in Seattle. I meant to take some pictures of me wearing it at the wedding but like I said, there was a lot of drinking.
Looks, it's a tornado! Actually, I'm not sure what it was. My friends said it was just a plume of smoke coming out of that factory, but I say it's some sort of mist pillar. But I really just wanted to take a picture of the Mississippi river.
When I got home yesterday, I was treated with a pleasant e-mail which informed me that my blog review is up and I was also awarded the Featured Blogger badge.
Monday, July 26, 2010
I tried writing a song today and as usual, I hated it. Besides learning how to tune my guitar to an open E key, I really didn't do much today. Gaaahhhh!!! I'm in such a weird head-space right now and I don't even do drugs.
My affliction is mainly the fact that my fierce job application attempts have not been responded with much anything...seriously, I haven't heard a word from any of the places I've sent resumes to. What is going on? Isn't it ironic the quality of my current life seems to be completely dictated by whether or not I find a job while it wasn't even two months ago that I ranted just how much that sucks? I think I may have cursed my own career fate.
On a lighter note, my blog apparently is good enough to be reviewed. It seems just like yesterday when I didn't even know what a blog is and now I'm not only going to receive a review on Be In Style I'm also invited to be a guest blogger. I guess I am doing something right, at least with this.
I'm heading to St.Louis Missouri for a friend's wedding at the end of the week so I'll be gone until next Monday. When I get back, there's going to be lots of pictures including one of the dress I've made for the wedding, so stay tuned.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Like this piece for example, if it seems familiar to you it's because I've worn it before except it was a t-shirt dress.
On a completely separate topic I have been going insane trying to find work. Having been out of school for over a month I'm starting to feel pretty anxious just idling around. Even though I've been keeping myself busy sewing and gardening I'm super worried about not being able to find something in time to pay off my student loan. And it is because of this I've been super duper stressed and haven't been able to enjoy my summer. I really hope this will change soon.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Pillar of guitars. What a waste of perfectly playable instruments.
Ah, the elusive grunge aesthetic; ironically fashionable, kind of like the modern day hipster trend. Except that the latter thrives on being ironically and poorly dressed and that the former just really didn't give a shit about clothes. At least they say.
An epic shot of Mudhoney --- one of the leading pioneers of grunge
The Nirvana display... "fucking amazing" is all I have to say
Those are Kurt Cobain's guitar and Kris Novoselic's bass. It's hard to tell in this picture but both instruments are totally trashed from they playing like maniac's back in the day.
"We want revolution, GIRL STYLE NOW!!!!"
My second favorite part of the museum is all the displays of The Supremes stage costumes they wore back in the days. Just look at these dresses, they're ridiculously fabulous!
Sorry about the slide show post but I've just been so exhausted looking for a job I'm a little uninspired to write. But don't worry, once this is over I'll again be sharing my thoughts with you all.