Tuesday, August 30, 2016

style series inspiration // women who wear (& write) -- 'dorothy parker'

I'd heard her name --

DOROTHY PARKER 

--it's safe to say that some professor threw her name into a conversation
or explanation along with other great American literary names.


Dorothy is from the 1920s. For quite some time
I was more keen on praising the work of the expats -- such as Hemingway and Gertrude Stein residing in Paris. Or Ezra Pound. And, let's not forget Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald. I admired the things I read about them, whether it be their devotion to art, their decisions to live abroad, and the barriers that their work came up against. 

It wasn't until nearly two years ago, when I enrolled in a southern literature class --
that I would come to love literature written by Americans who
actually wrote on American soil. Aesthetically, Dorothy cannot necessarily be thrown in with the likes of Faulkner, McCarthy, Morrison, O'Connor or even Chopin...

She was just as much a woman as Tony, Flannery and Kate--just as much a feminist--but her work and her story came from an entirely different place and angle, I'd say.
I suppose it's the diversity of literature that is a close second to being as great as what literature actually is and gives to audiences and cultures. 

Diversity of the writers is what contributes to a diversity of content, which is why for this post I have decided to talk about a writer who lived during a time when working for a fashion magazine was nothing like what can be seen on The September Issue

Monday, August 22, 2016

"it's the fact that it's the best you can do that kills you" and...

"Between the click of the LIGHT & the start of the DREAM" 

--Arcade Fire


+++

I've been listening to Maxence Cyrin's version of Arcade Fire's song "No Cars Go" and
it. is. magical.
When it first came on my Pandora I hummed along until the score sounded all too familiar. I was SO stoked when I realized what I was listening to. It's the most charming tune, and I immediately looked the song up and played it again. 
There's this part in the song that goes "Between the click of the light and the start of the dream". Cyrin's version of the song contains no lyrics, but I know them by heart so I hear them in my head. Anyway, the entire song slows for the bridge part, and when I heard it a first and second time, I kept envisioning this one scene in my head of characters/people I don't know. Everything is in slow motion and the characters/people are outside. In the scene, I know that something has been terribly wrong, but that every one present is on the brink of some sort of goodness.

I turned the song on this morning and just let myself meet whatever characters I had conjured up before. 
That's the way I prefer to write -- although a more methodical approach works better for me to actually complete a piece.
+++
Anyway, aside from working on whatever it is that I started this morning, I'm putting together the bones of the post about Dorothy Parker.
I read an interview she did and I was HOOKED to every word of hers. So much clever wit and wisdom. And so many quotable parts of the interview. I'd have to say that my favorite part is this excerpt:


INTERVIEWER
How about Hollywood as provider for the artist?

PARKER
Hollywood money isn’t money. It’s congealed snow, melts in your hand, and there you are. I can’t talk about Hollywood. It was a horror to me when I was there and it’s a horror to look back on. I can’t imagine how I did it. When I got away from it I couldn’t even refer to the place by name. “Out there,” I called it. You want to know what “out there” means to me? Once I was coming down a street in Beverly Hills and I saw a Cadillac about a block long, and out of the side window was a wonderfully slinky mink, and an arm, and at the end of the arm a hand in a white suede glove wrinkled around the wrist, and in the hand was a bagel with a bite out of it.

INTERVIEWER
Do you think Hollywood destroys the artist’s talent?

PARKER
No, no, no. I think nobody on earth writes down. Garbage though they turn out, Hollywood writers aren’t writing down. That is their best. If you’re going to write, don’t pretend to write down. It’s going to be the best you can do, and it’s the fact that it’s the best you can do that kills you. I want so much to write well, though I know I don’t, and that I didn’t make it. But during and at the end of my life, I will adore those who have.

INTERVIEWER
Then what is it that’s the evil in Hollywood?

PARKER
It’s the people. Like the director who put his finger in Scott Fitzgerald’s face and complained, “Pay you. Why, you ought to pay us.” It was terrible about Scott; if you’d seen him you’d have been sick. When he died no one went to the funeral, not a single soul came, or even sent a flower. I said, “Poor son of a bitch,” a quote right out of The Great Gatsby, and everyone thought it was another wisecrack. But it was said in dead seriousness. Sickening about Scott. And it wasn’t only the people, but also the indignity to which your ability was put. There was a picture in which Mr. Benchley had a part. In it Monty Woolley had a scene in which he had to enter a room through a door on which was balanced a bucket of water. He came into the room covered with water and muttered to Mr. Benchley, who had a part in the scene, “Benchley? Benchley of Harvard?” “Yes,” mumbled Mr. Benchley and he asked, “Woolley? Woolley of Yale?”

+++

I can't say if Hollywood has changed. I wasn't there then, and I am obviously not there now. Nor will I--by the end of my career--likely be able to claim that I'd been there long enough to have a right to some sort of say.

In spite of her wisdom, however, I awoke to this alarm notification yet again -- and I will continue to keep it this way. Until I get back. Until I find that I am there and through with it all. Or, until it all comes to some happy--or content--end.


And for clarifications sake, I do not urgently write to receive a one in a million award. I still realize that you can't be successful in writing if you're writing to solely meet someone else's quota or preference.

This outlandish goal is there for dramatic effect -- simply to be a driving force.
At the end of my life, if all I have creatively is completed pieces of plays, screenplays, novels, essays, shorts, posts, etc. then I will still consider myself accomplished as a writer.

It can't always be about that little golden statue. At the beginning and end of my days, all that matters is that I bled somewhere onto paper. I don't even have to like every word. I just have to finish what I start.

Anything that happens--other than a final, finished draft--after the click of the light and the start of the dream only God knows. I just have to get to the point of all this killing me. And even in killing me it can never be everything.

This summer is all about learning the art of balance in my life. 
I'm currently in a free fall, but I'm hoping to hit he ground hard enough--and soon enough--so that I can get up and keep going.


-M

p.s. The version of "No Cars Go" that I'm talking about. I'm OBSESSED (!!!)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

a skipped "style inspiration series" post & a promise

I am officially promising myself two things:

1. To write one weekly post about a stylishly strong woman

&

2. To also write about women whose styles I am relatively (even completely)
unfamiliar with.


For the past week and a half I have given good thought to which woman I want to write about next. I still have plans to write about Grace Coddington, but I am saving her for September. Rather than posting tonight, I'd like to spend a bit more time learning about the woman I currently want to write about.

I want to make sure my facts are straight and that I can properly convey my angle.

So far, I seem to relate to this woman in that her accomplishments are the very things I aspire to.

And, I am very excited to learn more about her personal style.

In my previous two posts I have talked about fashion models. While there is no shame in what they do, I don't want to limit "style" to just fashion and a modeling vocation.

I think that style is entirely universal, personal, and controversial (HA!) -- therefore, I don't want to simply talk about one type of woman. I want to talk about other women who inspire me for a variety of reasons. I think that effortlessness style can be found in a multitude of places. As can inspiration. While in the midst of an especially tough season of my own life, I hope that focusing in on strong women will propel the inspiration I need to keep aiming higher and higher.

Read along later this week?

-M

Monday, August 15, 2016

Another version of "August 15th"

It was somewhere between 3rd & Fairfax, and Santa Monica Boulevard & Avenue of the Stars --
Within a morning commute filled--first--with dread, then with complete adrenaline induced joy of approaching another task that I knew would challenge and grow me --

It was up six stories in a crammed elevator and through an old, blue door that I made a home with three others --

It was out a large, living room window that the Hollywood sign faced me day in and day out --
Beckoning me to write more, dream bigger, face greater fears, find more of me amongst the millions and millions striving to do the same --

It was over (a few) phone calls gone wrong, followed by tears shed in a bathroom --

It was during lunch with some of the most genius, hilarious, creative (coolest) individuals
I may ever meet in my life --

It was in front of the LAX sign that a memory came back to mind--an LAX memory from two years prior--and shook me to my core, reminding me of what really mattered --

It was in a church between La Brea and Hollywood Boulevard --

Creviced on Melrose --

Certainly not in DTLA --

But definitely on a bench, at the end of Santa Monica's pier --

I was scattered amongst apartment couches, old kitchens, hotel rooms, tall buildings, conference rooms, crowded restaurants, countless elevators with rich and poor alike, overpriced movie theaters, glitzy malls, bustling intersections, nooks of coffee shops, endless freeways, sandy beaches, stranger's homes, studio lots, three floors up in the Barnes & Noble, over the hills into NOHO, and back toward home in WEHO, from behind glass off Rodeo Drive, in Trader Joe's in Westwood, at the Writer's Guild with tears in my eyes and script in hand, perched at a windowsill, in every last reflection I caught of myself throughout the days that made me pinch myself nearly every hour --


That's where I was -- a version of myself I had yet to meet in life.

A stronger, more confident, more disciplined--perhaps ballsy--young woman.

A version looking in on something grand.

A version who had accepted humility -- and gladly at that.

A girl who was becoming a woman, not because of a degree but because of wisdom gained.

A woman who quickly thought twice --

A woman whose no's meant no, and whose yes's meant yes.

A woman who stood up for herself --

Who actually knew how to put her shoulders back --

Who welcomed criticism and answered back honestly.

A woman who was on the brink.


I didn't get her back today like she had hoped --

But I am so damn close.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

When the present feels like failure, but you're hoping to god that retrospect will soon be a glorious thing

"August 15th."
"August 15th? So, you have a date?" asked my then boss.
I nodded.
"Why August 15th?"
"Just sounds right."

-That was from a conversation I had back in April.

+++

All summer I made each plan revolving around August 15th and the weekend leading up to it -- because that was my presumed "moving weekend."

Yet, here we are -- the Saturday I thought I would be moving.


I realize the enormity of my young age -- how much I have left to learn, which is everything about life and timing, etc etc.

I also realize how much I have been blessed with in regards to experiences and opportunity.

Thirdly, I realize that just because I have a degree tacked to my name, it doesn't mean that a job will simply come and find me.


But--getting back to my first realization--I'm only twenty-two.

Therefore, me not doing what I set out to do. Today/this weekend not being my moving weekend 
feels an awful lot like a failure.

I had a writer tell me to set a date/goal for myself and talk about it, because then I would have
people holding me to that goal. I'd have a certain amount of healthy pressure.

So, I've talked about it confidently.

I didn't want to doubt myself.

Partially because I truly believed I wouldn't be in the Bay Area past this weekend.

Mostly because--quietly--I didn't want to regret my departure from LA in April.

I have no regrets in my life, but this small thing -- the fear and feeling of impossibility that I allowed
to speak into my life in April, well at this point in time it's a regret.

Everything happens for a reason, which is why I hope that, in the coming months when that glorious
thing called retrospect begins to settle in, I will look back and realize that April was no mistake.

There was never any regret to be had here.

It just felt like it.

Because in the coming months--when I do accomplish what I thought I'd be accomplishing at this very moment--I'll look back and see that my timing was yet again not the right timing.

Which is a hard pill to swallow.

I'm used to accomplishing exactly what I set my mind to --

even when curve balls hurl themselves at me.

So maybe timing is attempting to teach me a lesson in faith, in humility.

I don't know.

But Los Angeles is not off of the table.

I know that there might be those who think I can't or won't do it.

They listen to me spill out hints of my dreams and they quietly
wonder and maybe even laugh about people like me who think that
absolutely nothing is impossible.

For me, Los Angeles is this mountain in my life that terrifies me.

It's my Everest.

I know my odds and what success may or may not look like there,
but I just have to see the view for myself.

For as long as I can remember, I have listened to people much older than me
tell me that while they don't have regrets over the way their lives have panned out,
they do wish that they would have taken the leap, done what was scary, or postponed other
life decisions that require selfless prioritizing.

So, I'll be damned if I don't knock on that door.

By this point, I'll build the door myself.

I refuse to sit by and watch what scares me pass me by on the fleeting train we call life.

I'll get there, and I'll do precisely what I set out to do.

Just you watch. 

I won't allow the fear of what's unknown to become bigger than my fear of regret. 

(And you shouldn't either)

xoxo

-M


***edited note -- this seems applicable:

“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.”

-Gloria Steinem

Thursday, August 11, 2016

style series inspiration // women who wear -- 'kendall jenner'

In honor of Kendall Jenner's September issue cover, I've decided to talk about her and why I love her style so much.


A little bit of background --

When Keeping Up with the Kardashians first aired, I wasn't allowed to watch the show and Kendall
was just a little girl.

Kendall and I are different in every single way, save for three reasons:


1. We're both California natives 


&

3. At young ages, we both shared a modeling dream.

I'm glad the dream came true for one of us ;)




ANYHOO -- 

I remember the first time I saw the film The September Issue.

It completely turned my  little world up side down.

To this day I still listen to the song "Destroy Everything You Touch" by Ladytron, which is
what plays over the film's opening montage of Fashion Week (month).

The music always makes me feel as empowered as it did when I was younger and full of belief
that someday I might walk down a runway for a Marc Jacobs show.

So, having a love of Kendall Jenner (I don't care what folks/the media says about the
KarJenner klan -- I think they are beautiful and hilarious) as well as the September issue of American Vogue, writing this piece makes me very excited!

Originally I was putting something together about Grace Coddington (1. Because her style and story are phenomenal, and 2. The September Issue, duh...), but I will save that post for next time!

Now, let's get to it!

+++

I am drawn to Kendall's style for two primary reasons --

First, her personal style very much has a relatability factor to it -- because of this, I have always been able to find practical inspiration from her. 


Secondly, a lot of times her personal style/street wear still maintains an air of supermodeldom...and, rightfully so! I mean nothing negative by this. Her high fashion pieces simply serve as a higher (if even less practical) source of inspiration for me. 

In some sense, her practical style is very much like reading a glorious article from InStyle where suggestions and examples based off of higher fashion are laid out for the average woman to build her own style and inspiration from and around. 


In another sense, the high fashion side of Kendall's style is like flipping through the pages of a Harper's Bazaar editorial -- fascinating, provocative, glamorous...but more of an art piece than a tangible product for a young woman like myself who must justify $3.85 for an order from Starbucks). 



+++

Kendall's versatility between knowing how to be down to earth, but also being bold
with her personal style choices is what makes her such a fascinating woman to me.

As an average woman, I like to look at any piece of clothing and be reminded that I too could
wear anything I want and still look beautiful.

Kendall's overall look is natural enough to remind women like me that even if we can't afford a label,
we could still pull off a look.

And let's be honest -- style trumps actual fashion rules any and every day.


Say what you will about supermodels and celebrities being given such luxurious clothing --
at the end of the day those women are just as much as person as you and I. A body is a body,
and it's good to be celebrated.

I personally appreciate a model that looks as real as me,
not just in her skin but in her clothing.

Kendall represents that in my life, and always has over the years.

V E R S A T I L I T Y

...it's a fabulous thing to be mindful of as a woman when dressing one's self based on personal style and preference. 

+++


If I could sit down and talk knee high boots, bags, sneakers, hats, and outerwear with Kendall,
I'd first want to ask her what--besides comfort--she seeks out from a look...

What does she start with first?

Does she plan? Dress better on a whim?

What piece of clothing makes her feel most powerful?

And, which editorial has been the most inspiring for her?

+++

Perhaps I take clothing too seriously.

Perhaps it's the territory that comes with being part of the first generation to grow up with
social media at its fingertips, but over the years I have often found myself discouraged due to my inability to possess what I see other supermodels, icons, and celebrities wearing.

In simple terms, this is called coveting and envy -- neither is healthy for the soul.

As I've gotten older (because twenty-two is sooooooo old and mature, you guys.), I've learned
to take steps back from social media when I take other people's (friends of mine included)
possessions and lifestyles with way more than a grain of salt.

This is why I appreciate models (like Behati!!!) and celebrities who actually look like regular women that they are.


There is NOTHING WRONG WITH REGULAR WOMEN. At the end of the day, as I said prior, we are all people who pull our trousers up the same way and want our outer beauty to be a compliment to our more important inner beauty.

This is going to sound stupid, but there have been episodes of KUWTK where Kendall stresses the importance of everyone knowing his/her inner beauty and personal value.

Seeing this side of a supermodel--if even always through a screen--is probably what keeps me coming back to her time and time again to see her gorgeous editorials and street snapped photos both of which showcase her chameleon like versatility is at its fullest display. 


Remember ladies, style and aesthetic is the beauty that makes us up inside and out.

Fashion is simply a standard set by society.

*wink* xoxo

-M

p.s. This post was written post honey/olive oil/brown sugar exfoliant all over my face
because break outs, and dry skin. ALSO WRITTEN while in my boxers, with days old unwashed hair tied in a bun on my head, with a bag of buttery popcorn by my side --

BUT I still say that we can alllllll aspire to the aesthetic of any look/style/editorial/whatever 
yas. 

k. bye!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

style series inspiration // women who wear - 'behati prinsloo'

All summer I have been playing with different drafts of posts that
discuss style. The sole purpose for this is my desire to have conversations about 
pretty things, as well as a means to remind myself of why I love style so much.

My blog has felt so stagnant lately, so I'm hoping that the topic of 
personal style from women I admire will give this yellow blog some life. 

+++

For my first post I want to talk about a woman whose style is so unbelievably
badass, edgy, and eclectic. 

One of my favorite ways to use the Internet is to look up the street styles of the women whose styles 
I find most inspiring. One woman I love to look to for inspiration is:

BEHATI PRINSLOO

{click the link to the left!}