the force of fashion

Fashion is not just about a new pair of shoes or a fabulous outfit; garments and the act of dressing are rooted in culture, society, art, history. We as humans utilize clothing for protection, seduction, and personal pleasure. It serves as a form of self-expression, but also as a mirror to our daily lifestyle and changing world. I love to learn as much as I can about fashion’s far-reaching effects by reading tomes and textbooks that focus on fashion and its relation to other disciplines.

When I search for such a book, I look for a plethora of thought-provoking content based on fact and original ideas, coherent organization, and captivating photos. Since the demise of Borders, I am rarely able to see books in person and flip through to find out whether they’re worthwhile; I rely on Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature and a good deal of luck to find exceptional reads via the internet. The titles above are books I’ve had my eye on for awhile, and I’m anxious to pick one up sometime soon.

Have you enjoyed any of the books above? Or do you perhaps have similar suggestions? If so, let me know with a comment!

(Clockwise, from top left)

Fashion and Art (Adam Geczy, Vicki Karaminas)

History of Beauty (Umberto Eco)

Fashion and Modernity (Christopher Breward, Caroline Evans)

Extreme Beauty: The Body Transformed (Harold Koda)

Fashion: A Philosophy (Lars Svendsen)

Fashion and Psychoanalysis: Styling the Self (Alison Bancroft)

Identities Through Fashion: A Multidisciplinary Approach (Laura Bovone, Ana Marta Gonzalez)

Fashion (Christopher Breward)

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life etc.

101 goals in 1001 days

Starting New Year’s day, I resurrected a long-forgotten project that had always interested me a great deal: 101 Goals in 1001 Days. In 2009, as a hopeful high school senior transitioning to a college freshmen, I created my very first 101 Goals list. The first time around I basically forgot about it and in the end crossed off only 26 of the 101 (most notably seeing The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson live and getting my hair dyed blue and pink) since I did not actively pursue these goals. Now I’m dedicated to following through, posting monthly updates here about my accomplishments, and checking every box by September 29th, 2015.

Curious about the list? Read on to find out where I’ll be traveling, what I’ll be making, what books I’ll be reading, and more!

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Wishing Andy Warhol a posthumous “Happy Birthday” on the evening of a lovely summer’s day. The artist would be 85 today; I wonder what he would think about our society and the present celebrity culture that he helped to elevate through his work. This is one of my favorite photographs of Warhol, and I hope someday to frame it and stick it on my wall. Cause Andy, you’re a star.

(Photo, via Taylormade Interiors)

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fashion (and music) forward

I yo-yoed between career choices for many of my high school years, uncertain of where my place in the world truly lay. Interior designer? Creative writer? Music supervisor? Needless to say, I’ve chosen Fashion Journalism and am very happy with my decision, but since I’m fond of all aspects of culture I don’t plan on solely focusing on what comes down the runway or who wore what label. I plan on devoting my lifelong passion for writing to my alternate loves: art, music, design, literature, and creativity itself.

I was dead set on becoming a music supervisor (someone who chooses music for film and television) for quite some time, and it’s hard to recall why I veered away from the idea. Perhaps I wanted to distance myself from the music world since I was forced to play various instruments (piano, cello, and then clarinet) during my childhood and well into high school. I came to resent playing these instruments, but the effort I put in was channeled into my love and appreciation of music. All the years I practiced have given me insight into a musician’s mind, and I respect them ten times more because of it. Now, even though my sights are set on fashion and writing, music remains an important part of my life.

Coincidentally, music and fashion are quite similar in structure. Season after season, designers produce new or revamped designs for their collections, maintaining a distinctive image or style that appeals to a specific audience. When it comes to musical artists, their process is much the same. Musicians’ early albums establish their signature sound, which usually can be classified by genre for the purpose of reaching listeners. As time goes on, they develop their sound and lyrics through subsequent albums and EPs, tweaking and reworking their “product,” so that fans will receive different, new and improved manifestations of the artists’ work. The timeline for fashion designers is much more fast-paced than for musical artists, who release albums based on the rate they write new material.

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the gift of glamorama

(Top, a ruffled, mustard-colored dress by designer Tracy Reese; bottom, a look at the screen).

There was an explosion of color and energy at San Francisco’s Orpheum Theatre last night, as dance, fashion, art, and music came together for Macy’s annual Glamorama event. Benefiting various HIV/AIDS charities, the show encompassed presentations of various Macy’s label fashions, dance routines directed by choreographer Myron Johnson, and musical performances by well-known pop artists Far East Movement and Bruno Mars. In addition to the entertainment, Kathy Ireland spoke in tribute to the late Elizabeth Taylor and all of her AIDS activism over the years.  Naomi and Tarquin Wilding, two of Taylor’s grandchildren, shared a brief sentiment as well.

The womenswear lines covered all the bases with Bohemian separates, sophisticated styles, and luxe gowns, providing casual and evening looks for the eclectic Macy’s woman.  Menswear stuck to variations of a sleek, dapper, and urban élan, with a crowd-pleasing finish of undergarments.

For a more detailed, visual, and informative look at the Glamorama fashions and fun, continue on.

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