Thursday, October 21, 2010

Goodbye Blogger, Hello Tumblr

As much as I love writing and blogging my thoughts, I found myself becoming less and less engaged with writing lately. Maybe it's because my life has been so hectic and the days are getting shorter (literally) but sometimes it'll take me days before I can summon enough inspiration to write a good post. However, I still have a ton of photos and other cool stuff to share with people, so I've decided to opt for Tumblr instead. That way, I can post something everyday with minimal written content. As for what I'm going to do with Happenings in Singsong on blogger, well I'm not too sure yet. Perhaps I'll just leave it for a while until my life spare me some time and spark for creative blogging. Until then, I'm gone, indefinitely...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Everything All the Time

I've been going through a particularly hard time these past few days because my two-and-a-half year relationship is pretty much on its last legs. No, this isn't going to be a sappy post about how sad and miserable I am. Instead, I'm going to use this as a lead-in for just how much music has always helped at times like this. More importantly, my love for music and how crucial, I think, art is for the well-being of a balanced person.

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

The Never Ending Struggle

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

Convocation Day

You are now reading the blog post of a proud Simon Fraser University psychology graduate! Today was my convocation; an occasion I simultaneously looked forward to and dreaded for the past five years. Today is finally the day and it was arduous but nevertheless liberating. I am excited and I want to share this with you because this marks the beginning of another long and worthwhile journey. Congratulations to all my fellow graduands of 2010.

vintage Floral Dress with Doc Martens boots
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.

Grunge style with Floral Dress and Doc Martens Boots and Oversize Hipster SweaterAfter 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.