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5.30.2013

On Wardrobe Dichotomy...

I have a dream...

That one day I will have a closet made up of the most basic and wonderful items that, no matter how I combine them, will always produce a smart, cohesive and wildly fashionable outcome.

Much like my dream to have matching hangers, this dream, I've realized, will likely never be a reality. After some recent clothing and accessory choices, I've come to the disturbing conclusion that I'm suffering from a very deep wardrobe dichotomy. Preppy/Classic vs. Mad Maxian/Rocker Chic.

So deep, I may never be able to dig myself out of it.

Ne'er the to two shall meet. I've tried. I can't...and don't even try to bring tartan into this. That would have been my only saving grace, but I look terrible in tartan. I shall never reach the only possible crossroads of these two diametrically opposed styles: punk-prep.


The most I can create is a slightly more Mad Maxian version of Elvis with his sailory striped shirt and leather jacket...but even then, my demise is that my carmel colored oxfords (which match my striped shirt and dark denim cuffed jeans) grossly clash with my jacket...black flats it is. (Always a safezone.)

What's even more disturbing is the fact that Husband Charles (I'm gonna start calling him "Charlesband" from now on) has the same dichotomy, but is ok with it. I'm still coming to terms with the fact that I will never see that wardrobe that I can blindly take from with the promise of sartorial success. I know, I know. So sad. This life of mine. What a huge problem. (Feel free to eye roll till it hurts here.)

Am I just crazy for thinking I could seriously stick to only one fashion genre and get away with it? Why does it seem like everyone else has that ability? More importantly, why can't I get my post-apocalytic leather to match my fresh, preppy classics?

And more importantly still, why am I writing a blog post about this of all things when life is crazy with work and I have lots of things going on (which is the answer to "why haven't you posted in FOREVER, fairweather blogger?!")

I dunno. My brain's not working right now.
I have work to do, a short story I'm working on, headshots I need to finalize, an audition to prepare for, editorial calendars to hand in, a website to build, pilots to write, web shorts to plan, dogs to walk, apartments to clean, dishes to do...

I'm PMSing. The end.

But seriously, I'll write something substantial again soon. Bear with me for now. xo!

5.26.2013

Sunday Styles no. 30


It's finally starting to warm up around here! And with that in mind, Husband Charles and I went out for a bit of sartorial perusing yesterday afternoon...which brought us to the very fun and fashionable Kill City on Melrose Ave. A few items were purchased, but this was our favorite. (We've already discussed the idea of buying another one and maybe a secondary one in white - if you know me, you know my theory..."if you absolutely love something, get two.")

Also, I'm jonesin' to get back to that shop! I have my eye on a leather-sleeved t-shirt and a pair of crazy garter leggings. The staff is so friendly & helpful and the shop so nicely laid out, you kinda wanna sit around there all day trying things on and drooling all over their jewelry. Good music too...which is a must for long shopping stints. How many times have you walked into a store that's blaring dance music and walked right out? (Countless times for yours truly.)

Back to the dress, I've been looking for a summery, yet comfy-casual little number that satisfies my need for a long dress, but didn't look like a moo moo (they often do on me.) AND I've decided to embrace the whole cut-out phenomenon.

Yes, I know. It's been around for a while, but I could never find one that fit just right until now. Most of them have the waist-side cut-out and were cut for ladies with a bigger waist to hip ratio (which, to be honest, I wish I had because who doesn't wanna look like a woman?) Anyway, thanks to the tailoring on this guy, I'm able to enjoy the cut-outs without looking like I'm wearing something ill-fitting. I also like the feeling of being covered up, yet exposed to a nice, much-needed breeze in the warmer temps.

Works well with jackets, flats, sandals, cardigans, hair up or down...basically ANYTHING in my wardrobe...and that, my friends, is a definite win.

Now, back to trying to concentrate on not doing much of anything but enjoying the weather and spending time with the ones I love. Hope you're all having a fantastic holiday weekend! xo!

A Note About the Clothes: Kill City Jeans Fest Frock Maxi Dress, Penny Loves Kenny Venom Platform Sandal (Black Mat)

5.23.2013

I'm Enthusiastic About: Peonies


Let me tell you something. I spend 90% of my waking hours either working a full-time job that revolves almost exclusively around the Internet & social media OR writing on this here bloggy-blog...which, if you haven't noticed, is also living on the Internet and is connected to social media. So, I'm basically, modern-day lady Tron minus the fast virtual bike and the neon grid. I would go so far as to say that most of us are in the Tronisphere.

Seriously, when was the last time you smiled and spoke to someone in an elevator instead of grabbing your smartphone to check on the whereabouts of your friends on Instagram and obsessively like photos of your friend's pug? It's ok. Your quasi-Internet friend's wine trip to Napa Valley will be there when you de-board the elevator. I promise.

Real life. It's out there. You're in it.

Sometimes I wish I had an occupation that was based on tangible things. Professional lego block builder would be nice. In an attempt to be more hands-on, I've even been thinking about taking a glassblowing class because the natural progression from just wanting to work on things with your hands to the need to handle molten glass is totally logical. I mean, really, who doesn't want to make a whole bunch of paperweights?!

This whole need for touchable, visible (in the real world) progress is nothing new. It often rears its head in the form of things like obsessive cleaning and the need to repaint my living room and dining room different colors every 4 to 6 months. (I'm planning another color tweak this weekend.) - See "Decorati Fever" to understand my plight.

So, I've been making more of an effort to do things that give me breaks from the Tronisphere. In this case, peonies!

How girly is that? I know. I'll let you in on a little secret. I love having fresh flowers in the apartment. I try to make sure I maintain that standard at all times...and my favorite flower is the peony...and it happens to be peony season at Trader Joe's.

Ya see, every time I walk to my local TJ's, in my heart I'm always hoping I'll see peonies when I walk through those automatic sliding doors. The sad truth is, 99 times out of 100, I'm met with other flowers, but yesterday, lo & behold, there they were...and like a crazy person, I immediately grabbed a big armful of bouquets and stuffed them into my cart. I would've knocked over an old woman to get my hands on them. (It's that serious.)

Flowers make everything better. I also feel this way about houseplants. They give you something to admire that's not the the number of likes your Facebook post got or how great an Instagram filter makes your cheekbones look. They allow you to flex your senses...well, ok, you probably shouldn't eat them and last I heard, they don't make much in the way of sound...but, sight, smell, and touch are all fair game in the world of flowers so long as you don't man handle them or have allergies.

So, do yourself a favor. Make like a life enthusiast and get yourself some floral friends and, if nothing else, a succulent. (They're hard to kill just in case you're lacking in a thumb of the green variety.) The only down side is that, eventually, floral friends die...unless you invest in an actual flowering plant. Most of the time, those need to live outside and you can cut yourself fresh flowers weekly during the bloomin' season. Blah, blah, blah, talking about flowers.

The bottom line is this: they're beautiful, they smell good, they don't talk back, they don't ask anything of you aside from water and trimming, and they give you something to focus on when you're looking away from your computer with burning eyes and contacts so dry they're ready to pop out. That last part alone is enough to invest.

If you haven't tried it yet. Do it. Both ladies & gents. It'll make a helluva difference. xo!

5.21.2013

Quote of the Week: Privilege


So, as you may have noticed, I've completely fallen off the earth. Mostly due to a boatload of traveling and work responsibilities along with other responsibilities. I've also prioritized things since I got back a little bit and put seeing my friends before writing a blogpost. I know. I feel horrible about it, but a completely online social life is something I can't sustain. I like seeing people in the flesh. I like big hugs, long coffee sessions, and catching up.

This brings me to this week's quote. I realized in the last week of seeing my closest friends that I'm blessed to be surrounded by people who are unapologetically themselves. For instance, I was lucky enough to emcee my best friend's web series premiere this weekend. It was a smash success! She really hit it out of the park. What she created was controversial and, despite a hater in the audience (whose knees I would have broken had I not been up in front with the mic), she persevered because she was doing what she does. Her artistic process is very much her own and she is herself always. Her father put it best. True art will be hated...but also loved.

Another dear friend is a musician. We discussed his fleeing from home, being disowned, losing friends, moving, and lifelong criticism...and still he produces music. Great music. It's because he's being himself. Coincidentally, also the friend who introduced me to Joseph Campbell.

Spending time with people like this...people who follow their dreams. It's inspiring, but also makes me realize that being yourself really is a privilege. It's also the only way to truly be happy. I'm convinced. The majority of people I see live out of fear. Fear of losing their job. Fear of having their significant other break up with them. Fear of screwing up their kids. Fear of not being able to afford a comfortable life...and these are all completely legitimate fears! Because if who you are is, for instance, a unicycle-riding bologna-crafter...well, unless your bologna is first-rate and your unicycle-riding is on Cirque du Soleil level, you're probably shit outta luck.

So, you end up doing something that may not be totally you...

I just hope I end up in a place where I feel that I'm being 100% me all the time. Some days I feel like I am. A lot of days I don't. So, I guess it's back to listening to my heart and seeing what it tells me.

In the meantime, to all the unicycle-riding bologna-makers out there:
If you can make it being yourself, hats off to you!

Are you living a privileged life? xo!

5.14.2013

Quote of the Week: Elegance


I know, I know. I've been slacking again. I'm back in NYC and work is doing that whole "taking over my life" thing. It's fine. I don't mind working hard and it's good to see my co-workers face-to-face (plus I'm with my pup & he's gettin' lots of co-worker love in the form of treats & such), but sometimes it takes a toll on my lil' bloggy blog.

With that said, I wanted to get straight to our quote of the week. It's a bit of a late nod to Mother's Day. (Yes, I didn't post it on Mother's Day because I was on a plane most of the day en route to see my own Mother...so, shoot me!)

Now then...elegance. As long as I can remember, my mother has had it. Could be from her years in Japanese theatre as a highschool & college student. Her tea service lessons. Her flower arranging lessons. Growing up in Japan in the era that she did. But there are plenty of women who have gone through the same training that just don't have what Mom's got. And that's when it becomes very clear that her elegance starts in the mind.

So, naturally, everything else came easily to her. She oozes elegance and I can only hope to match her in that department at some point...between my impromptu dance parties (by myself) and my sitting on the couch playing videogames with the world's worst posture, full of takeout food...

...

Ok...Maybe that elegance will never come. It usually takes a black tie event and a dress that requires great posture for me to turn on the elegance. It's somewhere in there. Husband Charles has called me goofy & graceful at the same time. (gooceful...or grafey.) Not sure how that works, but I'll take it.

I can only hope that I grow into some of that elegance that Mom has at some point. In the meantime, I'm going to flex my brain muscles and get the elegance synapses firing in hopes that something happens. For now, I celebrate my elegant, intelligent, beautiful, and loving mother who's seen me through so many years of madness. I wouldn't be who I am or where I am today without her support.

Mom, I salute you!

Hope you all got a chance to salute your Mom's this past weekend! Now then, back to work! Have a great week! xo!

5.10.2013

The Hair & Now



Admit it. You love the punny titles.

Aaanyway, after pondering what I was going to write about, I decided to go with a recent occurrence (yesterday) and where my head is at regarding said occurrence - literally & figuratively.
It's about my hair.
I know. Deep.

5.08.2013

Brain Food: Grace: A Memoir by Grace Coddington

Holy moly, I can't believe it took me this long to finally put up my review on this epic autobiography! Forgive me! I've been up to my eyebrows with work and travel...but, rest assured, I've been feeling serious blogger guilt. I don't want to keep my readers in the dark about what's going on...right, readers? (Insert the sound of crickets here.)

But, seriously, I have to tell you about this.


It all started when I watched The September Issue back when it was released. I went to the movie theatre, excited like nobody's business (I still don't quite understand why that phrase makes sense - my excitement shouldn't really be anyone's business but my own just by its very nature), and watched it for the first time. And, though my heart softened for Miss Wintour, I found my heart soaring for Grace Coddington.

I realize a lot of folks ended up feeling that way by the end of it. This Grace Coddington. Purveyor of dreamscapes, guardian of fantasy, keeper of heart...but, here's the thing. What I realized was this. Back in the 90's, when my mother had a subscription to Vogue, I would often sit and sift through the pages and pull spreads out.

In my college years, I had transferred a lot of these spreads to a series of binders I called my inspiration books...and what came to light when I watched The September Issue and read Grace: A Memoir was that the majority of the spreads I had saved from my younger years...in fact, it might have been all of them...they were all styled by Grace Coddington.

I was astonished. This one woman had made me into the fashion lover I am today and I had no idea. She had painted my puberty with sartorial artistry and, unknowingly, crafted my love of motion, color, romance...all the things I hold dear when it comes to a fashion spread or a photograph.

So, when I heard that Grace: A Memoir was being released, I was the first on line to get a copy...and then I read it slowly...taking time out of my days to sit and savor each page, each photo, and every illustration. I refused to rush through it...and it turned out that she had even more influence on me than I had thought. A good example? She was the model in Vidal Sassoon's famous Five Point Cut image...an image that intrigued me and got me obsessed with the mod 60's and precision haircuts. Trust me. It was a big deal.

What can I say about this book? It's warm, fun, and very honest. It spans a lifetime of amazing experiences, gorgeous landscapes, entertaining personalities, love, work politics, and cats. It's hard to put down and I even found myself shedding a tear when I finished it.

Is it worth a read? ABSOLUTELY. Go out and get yourself a copy right now. I guarantee she'll charm the pants off of you (and will charm something super fashionable on your legs in the place of your pants with all the verbal and visual inspiration oozing from the pages of this beautiful tome.) To be honest, I'm tempted to read it all over again...and, ya know what? I just might.

5.06.2013

Quote of the Week: Hard Work


I'm having one of those months...a lot of work to be done. For those of you who don't know, I have a full-time job outside of this blogging gig. I live in LA, but work NYC hours, so I'm up and working at 6:30am every weekday and, recently, I've been taking a lot of business trips. I was in NYC last week (as you know by my sorry lack of blogposts) and am heading back there again next week for more work stuffs. (I promise I'll try to blog more while I'm there!)

Today has been an almost 12 hour work day and I'm still not completely finished, but I'm starting to wind down. I'd be lying if I said I didn't just text Husband Charles to ask if we could get In-and-Out for dinner. (He said yes...obviously.) Sorry. No homecooked meals in this household. The two of us are way too busy with our careers. Luckily, Husband Charles doesn't expect anything from me aside from cuddles. I gave up trying to cook meals in the evenings many, many months ago.

Which brings me to this week's quote. Hard work. Is it my Japanese upbringing? My workaholic father? My committed mother? All I know is that I'm hard at work...for what seems like every minute of every weekday. (Let's not talk about the weekends where you'll usually find me facedown on the couch after a long meal, taking drives with Husband Charles & Merlin, walks, parks, museums or playing videogames till odd hours in the morning...I try to do as little work as possible on the weekends because of my crazy weeks...otherwise, I'd probably go insane. Seriously.)

But I get a lot of satisfaction out of working hard. I was never wired to just sit around and do nothing. It seems wrong and strange. However, I will say that working hard at something you love to do is the key...which might explain why this blog is still staggering along (despite my horrible tendency to choose sleep over blogging when I'm on business trips.)

There's also necessity. I'm not afraid to admit that I enjoy being able to afford groceries and take weekend trips. I may be busting ass all week and Husband Charles (another extremely hard worker) and I may have just enough energy to give each other hugs, talk about the day, and then collapse each evening...but I've been at the other end of the spectrum. I've lived in a windowless basement apartment in Brooklyn, trying to be a photographer, but not being good at marketing myself. I was poor. I had to think about buying a tube of lip balm. Grocery shopping was stressful and forget about health insurance. Let's not even get into that whole-body rash I got once and had to figure out how to get close-to-free help. I had too much pride to ask for help from my parents. Those were dark days.

So, now, I just work doubley as hard. I work to support my life and the creative things outside of my office-job, which, to be fair, is actually a pretty great job that gives me a lot of wonderful opportunities - I realize I'm lucky. Trust me, I don't play the entitlement card here. I worked hard. That's how it all happened...but, yes, I work hard to support my other endeavors and that's just how it is.

Some of us can call it luck when things go our way, but the harder you work, the luckier you'll get. Hope you have a fantastic week! xo!

5.05.2013

Sunday Styles no. 29

Ok, ok. I know. I didn't update much this past week. Forgive me! I was in NYC for work and barely had time to do anything but that...work, that is. So, I'm getting back to business this week with our Sunday Styles. This Sunday, I'm going for something comfy and laid back.

Even though the weather was super warm yesterday, it's cloudy and a bit chilly today (relatively speaking...it's going to be 70 today, but that seems chilly when we're talking LA in May. I know, I know. World's smallest violin.)

Anyway, to keep in the spring swing, I've opted for what I like to call the "Fresh Off the Yacht" look - F.O.Y. (Insert horribly un-PC Asian joke here about being a F.O.B. - for those who don't know what a F.O.B is, please see the various & humorous definitions here that may or may not really hit the nail on the head.) Clean, classic, and no-fuss.


Also, white jeans. I've finally given in to my fear of white jeans. I have a silly (but totally logical) fear of wearing white bottoms because I have the tendency to sit on floors, lean on walls, and wipe my hands on my pants. I know. The last one is pretty childish. At least I'm not wiping my nose on my sleeve. I suppose if I stopped eating things with my hands as often, I wouldn't run into this problem nearly as much...but I'll never stop.

I just realized I'll be going to a few BBQs today. Good grief, I really hope there are napkins on hand.

But I digress. I've finally invested in a pair of white jeans. Husband Charles is triumphant. He's been bugging me to get a pair for months now. I have no idea why, but he seems to think it's a look that's very me. The verdict is still out. I'm slowly starting to get used to being blinded when looking down.

So, there ya have it. I'll spend the rest of the day being irrationally cautious about where I'm sitting, but will look fabulous being paranoid. Yay?

Hope you're all having a fantastic Cinco de Mayo! xo!

A Note About the Clothes: J. Crew Factory Two-Pocket Chambray Shirt, AG Stevie Destroyed Jeans (White) (these actually might be the Stevie ANKLE Destroyed Jeans, but I can't seem to locate them) , Madewell Sidewalk Skimmer in Suede (Crystal Blue)