Sunday, April 29, 2012

Grad School: NYC, Chicago, and the Future

I'm feeling rather melancholy this Sunday morning as I'm thinking about the homework I should be doing if I could be bothered to drag myself the 5 feet out of bed to where my radio book is sitting on the floor. That final is all that stands between me and graduation. Graduation. Again.

The 17th grade is to be my last year of school. I love learning and always will, but I'm ready for Real Life now. One full year of information-packed graduate school was enough to fill my brain with things I didn't know I desperately needed to learn. Still, it's going to feel weird to have no papers to write, no tests to study for. I'm 22 years old. School has been all I've ever known.

I'm generally a quiet person who is extremely attached to my closest friends. Moving 4 states away to a place where I know nobody has been a huge test for me. In many ways it worked, in some ways it didn't. I did the whole internship in NYC like everybody else and I'm still not sure if I'd call it a success or not. Mostly, I'm disappointed in myself that I was mentally and physically unable to keep commuting the whole time, and switched to telecommuting halfway through.

I didn't see much of New York City. I've said it before, being very grounded in the landlocked Midwest made me prideful about where I come from, so I had a horrible outlook on NYC from the start. I interned there and that was it. I didn't go to Central Park, I only came within a far sight of the State of Liberty, and I never made it to the Ground Zero Memorial (which is what I'm most upset about. I wanted to see that. Every American should.). But honestly... I don't really care about the place. I wasn't happy there. NYC has the most opportunities in the magazine industry. That's where I should be working if I want to go far in my field. But it's not what I want. I want my real friends back and my family and the place I feel familiar and most comfortable with. And that's Chicago.

I've had this city-country-suburban struggle my entire life. I live in the burbs but am close enough to Chicago to go there whenever I want, and half my family lives 3 hours away in small town farmland Wisconsin, where I've spent a lot of time every school break. I'm as at home at the Metropolitan Opera House as I am drinking a beer around a bonfire while listening to a Sunday NASCAR race. And that's really confusing, but I like it that way. I'm not willing to give up my city or country side, and my suburban location makes that possible.

This is the last picture I took in NYC, out the window of my hostel on 14th Street. It was an unusually warm day and all the trees were beginning to bud and flower. This is how I'm preferring to remember the city. Maybe I'll get back there one day, maybe not.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

VPA Spring Fashion Show at SU

Next week starts my class week of classes (ever. EVER!), thus I'm at school on a Saturday to do work. I came here so I would be less distracted. Obviously, I'm blogging. Dang.

I went to the senior VPA spring fashion show the other day (reporting for, I'll link up once it gets published), and was pretty surprised by the 35 student collections. I expected big, frilly dresses but actually saw some interesting pieces and a fair amount of tailoring. I sat at the end of the catwalk with the press section and felt like a twerp with my digital camera in a sea of huge DSLRs. I really need to learn how to use a legit camera, since I'll be running the street fashion blog for the Post & Courier in Charleston, SC in about 3 weeks.

But anyway, here are the less blurry pictures that I took of the looks that I liked and my less formal comments. For something more substantial, see... (here. once it's published :):

This collection by Amanda Rhoads was pretty riske in comparison to the others. Niiiiiiice! Glad someone did something different. She did some crazy awesome stuff with weaving and unconventional materials. And yes. That is a whip in the background. 

A fabulous collection by Annie Petersen, in which all the clothes were black. Props to her for sending her models down the runway barefoot! Loved her textured collection.

The sleeves on this top by Emily Barnes blew my mind. I didn't even notice that the sleeves were rolled up until she pulled them down. Great performance element.

Erin Marie Hedderman's collection looked Alice in Wonderland inspired to me (she even used "Heads Will Roll" by Yeah Yeah Yeahs as her music). I loved the tight corsets, they looked great from the back since all we saw was skin between the laces. Love!

The look second from the left was fabulously accessorized with that cute round travel box. And I think the middle model was the only one in the whole show to wear tall boots. Collection by Hollis L'Estrange Daniels.

I wish I had great pics for every look in this collection. Joshua Eder-Hart is an amazing tailor and craftsman and it totally showed. He had a huge variety of pieces. The program said that he won competitions for best costumes at Cons. That made me love him more. 

This collection by Lauren Nicole Kessler was super mod and chic. Great lengths on the skirts and skinny belts with round sunglasses. A very well-put together collection overall. And how fierce is the model second from the left? Git it gurl.

Maxi Britt Roberts must be a professional already as her collection was pretty spot on. She used bouquets of lavender a la Ashish Spring 2012, perfectly placed hats, and a western theme that was echoed in the music. I think it was a Johnny Cash remix? Not totally sure, but it fit wonderfully. There's a bright future for this girl for sure.

I also liked Peter Joshua Borsky's collection because he showed a variety of looks. The colors looked nice together and I loved that he used all brown oxfords instead of heels. It's an entirely wearable collection.

I loved this look from Talia Hermesh. That front white piece swayed when the model walked, really great movement.

Wei Chang Chen's collection was so cute and girly. If pastel-neutral is a color category, that's what I would use to describe it. 

And that's it for the relatively focused pics I have. Everything is way worse than these even. Shame, that. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Vera Wang Fall 2012

As many of you might know, I am a web intern at Bridal Guide Magazine. Bridal Fashion Week in NYC is now over and the press kits full of high-res new collection photos are beginning to flood my inbox. Which is fabulous! One of my current projects at BG is creating our gown gallery, which features the new fall collections from designers. One of the first galleries I was assigned to create was for Vera Wang, THE goddess divine of all things bridal. Yes, I drooled. And yes, my finger might have slipped and the whole gallery somehow ended up on my flash drive. How unusual!

Vera Wang's fall collection is completely in shades of red, from that bright color you paint your toenails in summer to a deep maroon, nearly purple. And the amount of texture these gowns have is amazing. I just had to share because, well, you'll see why.

You can view the rest of the collection here! And you can check out my awesome CMS skillz.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Hey y'all. This post really isn't about anything... blog was just lacking in Real Pictures Of Me at the moment, so here are a few. I hung out with some fellow grad student ladies at a tapas bar in Syracuse. I'm still incapable of taking pictures indoors that aren't grainy and out of focus. Forever confused about my camera. :[

I've been dying to wear this black sheer over-dress thing since I got it. I would have loved to wear it with my black strapless romper underneath, but it was 40 degrees and raining. Womp. So I wore my trusty t-shirt dress (technically from the pj section) and grey tights. Also black lace-up ledges that didn't make it into the photo.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Favorite Photographer: yyellowbird

Today I'm going to introduce you to my favorite photographer on Flickr, Carri Ann Wayman, known as yyellowbird. I was introduced to her work a few years ago by my roommate who went to the same high school as her. She's from Rockford, Illinois, which is an hour away from where I live.

Her schtick is abandoned buildings. Well, abandoned anything. I love looking at decaying places because there's something so sad and nostalgic about them. It makes you wonder about the people who used to live there... what kind of life they had... why they left...

The majority of her settings are rural middle-America type places.

I wrote on her tumblr saying that her photos in locations with wallpaper like this remind me of "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins. She said that she always thinks of that story, too. :]

There's also something very lost-wandering-lolita about her style. She dresses very "childish," I guess you could say. Knee socks and little dresses and skirts. I love her clothes!

This one always reminds me of The Wizard of Oz. I'm pretty sure she has been called self-indulgent by some people because she is almost always her own model in her photos. What's wrong with that? Her photos are so personal and so emotional, and abandoned house searching is her hobby. She road trips all over the country shooting these pictures. It only makes sense that she'd be her own model. It's her story.

Please visit her Flickr! I can spend hours clicking through her photos.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

DIY Chain Harness Bracelet

Ok, ok, I promise, this is the last bracelet tutorial for a long time. I hardly ever wear bracelets anyway. But now I do since I'm making a bunch. My chain supply is beginning to dwindle so there's only so long this chain-DIYing can continue. Last weekend's project was this wicked looking chain harness bracelet. It's super bondage-y, isn't it? So it goes.

When I initially bought my piles of chain, jump rings, and lobster clasps from Toho Shoji in NYC, I got them in black since I figured it's neutral enough. Luckily, black worked out perfectly for this project. I used all 2 feet of chain and secretly wish I had another foot of the stuff to add another level of bracelet.

I had no idea how to start out this project. I didn't know what I was doing. As I always think, DIY is half guess-and-check. SO that's what I did. I spent about 10 minutes winding chain around my hand figuring out what looked good, what worked, what wasn't physically possible. And the good thing about using jump rings and chain that's easy to cut with wire cutters is that if you don't like the way something turns out, chop it bend it back. I would cut pieces of chain too long and attach them... then chop more off 5 minutes later. Just play around until you get something you like.

(you can see my fading henna-bow)

I eventually decided on a pattern that resembles the right picture. The first picture most clearly illustrates what I did. While it's easy to just cut and bend, it really helps to count out links and make sure both sides are even. For example, I tried for some kind of symmetry. I used 6 links in between both the each hypotenuse side of the corresponding triangles (DID YOU SEE THAT!? I just used two geometry terms. But I incorrectly used "corresponding triangles". They're not corresponding. The smaller triangle's hypotenuse doesn't correspond to the larger triangle because it's disproportionately longer. See, I can be smart sometimes.)

And here's the finished project! The part that connects to my finger is too long so I actually shortened it after I took these pictures. 

Experiment! Have fun. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I have finally found a tumblr of a style that I think is where my own style is currently headed. It's called "Grunge Style," but I can't say that I agree with this title. When I think grunge, I think 90s Nirvana style. I mean, sure plaid and ripped jeans fit under grunge, but the major difference I see is the FIT of these clothes. Grunge was completely baggy. This new style mixes a tight fit with loose fit, new clothes paired with thrifted and vintage pieces. That could be a nod to original grunge clothes, if anything.

I've seen this style referred to as neo-grunge. I agree with that a lot more. It's grunge influenced for sure, just tweaked and mixed with modern style.

What I love about this style is that it's a combination of SO many things; a complete tossed salad of already existing subcultures. Look carefully: goth, punk, retro, girly style, ...and grunge.

Who's a perfect poster girl for this look? Everyone's favorite alien model, pink haired princess- Charlotte Free.

(all pics via grunge-style)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

18 Years Without Kurt

I pause for a moment from style things to bring you a video for Kurt Cobain's death day anniversary. Here's one of my all time favorite Nirvana songs (and don't kill me for saying this, but it always reminds me of the moment that they play this song in Jarhead). There's something so uncomfortably sad about this song... it's one of those songs that I always play when I'm in a real strange funk.

It's from the epically famous Unplugged performance, and features a little bit of Kurt being a doof at the end.

“Strap on your gee-tar!”

He's so odd in the greatest way. I wrote my final paper for my poetry class 2 years ago about “beauty,” and tangented off halfway through about how sad things are beautiful and used Kurt Cobain as an example of a tragically beautiful person (with a tragically beautiful, artistic death). I wonder if my professor was a bid WTF-ed out by it...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

5 Gothy shoes to lust over

I'm not shoe crazy like most girls are. Most girls lust over stilletos and heels and cute flats. Personally, I prefer boots of any kind over anything else. I have big feet (size 9, eep) and I'm already pretty tall, so heels 3+ inches make me a monster. As I'm not one for much color at the moment, as I've been living in black boots or shoes most of the time. If you look at my laundry bin, the majority is going in the dark wash. I guess I've been inspired by gothy and grungey fashion lately. Here are my top 5 gothy shoes I'm constantly lusting over. 


 Hell yeah. My bff just got a pair and I'm super jelly. If I had creepers, I'd do the creeper tiptoe walk everywhere I went. What's holding me back from ebaying a ripoff pair from China is that platform flats would make my huge feet look like boats. Other sasquaches out there, are you self conscious about that too?


Originally designed by Vivienne Westwood, these shoes are a Japanese street fashion staple. You find them on the decos, the lolitas, everyone. They're girly looking, but kind of hardcore at the same time. I wonder how hard they are to walk in. As you will notice if you look at the heel, the interesting design element of these shoes is that they're missing a huge chuck out of the back end of the heel. Crazy, right? Do they make you fall over backwards every time you take a step? I would love to find out. The platform is made of wood (if you get a real pair) and knockoff platforms are cork or compressed foam.


Ahh, what can I say about Dr Martens that I haven't already beaten completely to death? I wrote an entire post about them here, which consistently remains the post I get the most hits on. I still lust over the short, white docs, but knowing myself, I'd scratch them up instantly. Since I already have perfect black mid-height AirWairs, white docs will forever remain lusted after. Sadness.


I'm not sure if I blogged about this shoe before, but I think it's absolutely genius. This shoe was released at around the same time as Litas were, and in my opinion, this shoe should have smashed Litas to splintered bits. It's a hybrid of a wedge and a heel with this quilted buckle strap that screams “complete badass.”


These really aren't that gothy, are they? They're just black. But this is my kind of gothy; blackish but still girly. Girly gothy grunge? Anyway, cloth Mary Janes are the most basic, basic flat in existance. They're probably made to fall apart, the soles are made of rubber and capable of bending completely in half, and you will probably rip the buckle off at least once since everyone is too lazy to actually unbuckle the shoe (I am). But they are a great staple because they will match absolutely anything you will ever wear.