Thank You, Oscar de la Renta

Within fashion, I’ve come to admittedly feel a bit of a disconnect. So many aspects of the fashion industry can seem shallow, a game of “follow the leader,” and even sometimes judgmental. However, there was one designer that piqued my interest in fashion years ago, just as I was entering my teenage years; that designer was Oscar de la Renta. The moment I set my sights on one of his looks, I didn’t know that it was his design; I simply knew that something special had been created, something I had to know more about. It didn’t take me long to learn it was Oscar’s Spring 2009 collection. Soon after, I was wanting to know more about fashion, seeing the artistic aspects that fashion can offer, and more.

Despite that I’ve often felt a disconnect with some aspects of fashion, Oscar’s designs were and still are something I can point to and say, “wow, someone created something that beautiful.” It was never a trend, never a name– “why yes, Oscar”– to be dropped. Oscar’s designs looked as though they could easily have been a painting hung upon a wall at perhaps the Louvre; it was a magical expression of his creativity, a one-of-a-kind creativity. While I don’t have enough words to express what I, and many others, are feeling at the moment, I can say that the world lost a great talent and kind soul today. So much of our world is filled with technology grabbing our attention, news that we truly wish wasn’t true… but creations such as the ones Oscar created were a ray of sunlight and a reminder that beauty does exist both within the world and within people. Rest in peace, Oscar, and thank you so very much.

Can We Just Talk About: Shortened, Annoying Words

Can we just talk about how those within the fashion community have the ability to take fantastic words and make them sound like a mindless teenager should be saying them? Before I discuss this more, I have considered how this post may possibly be considered offensive since so many use these terms; however, for those of us that cannot stand them, I have to use my voice and say something. Now, here are the terms often used that just boggle my mind and truthfully annoy me.

1. Adorbs

Meaning: this is another way to say “adorable.”

An example of how people use it: Ugh, that’s so adorbs!

2. Totes

Meaning: this is another way to say “totally.”

An example of how people use it: I totes agree!

3. Lippie

Meaning: this one is a bit confusing. Some seem to use it to express a lip colour, others to express a lipstick.

Example: I LOVE a bold lippie! I need a new lippie!

Honestly– I feel like telling people to shut their lippie because, like, I’m TOTES gonna vom if that word gets said again!

4. Skinnies

Meaning: Short for skinny jeans

Example: I need a new pair of skinnies.

5. Sunnies

Meaning: Another way to say “sunglasses.”

Example: Don’t you just love these sunnies?!

6. Samesies

Meaning: This is another way to basically say that you agree, that you do the same, etc.

Example:

Person A: I hate people that talk as though they belong in middle school!

Person B: Samesies!

7. Twinsies

Meaning: Again, this to me is similar to “samesies” because it more or less seems to be use to express similarities.

Example: We’re such twinsies!

8. Starbsies

Okay, let’s just really discuss this one. This is short for “Starbucks” and as someone that LOVES, I mean LOVES Starbucks, I consider it offensive. Starbucks has a refined, relaxed, and sophisticated feeling when you walk in, in addition to amazing tasting drinks and food! So why, WHY, would you ever shorten its name to sound as mindless as “Starbsies”?! WHAT. IS. THAT?! Are you bloody talking about Starbucks or Starburst? Just no!

9. Perf.

“Perf” is something that some can use and it won’t sound so bad, but for the most part, it too seems ridiculous. This is something on the rise now and it’s short for “perfect.” Well, hate to break the news: but “perf” just isn’t perfect. It actually reminds me more of “perv.”

10. Obvi

This is short for “obviously” and I think it speaks for itself in how it sounds. Isn’t it obvi?!

Something I noticed in the shortened words above is that they often have something in common, which is to add “-sies.” Either way, I stand by saying that I won’t be using the shortened versions of words listed above and will continue to be completely confused as to why people would want to. One thing is for certain: I hope the above terms don’t stay around for too long– or worse, get added to the dictionary.

Chanel Fall 2014? Um, #JUSTSAYNO

Chanel, without a doubt, has created a few pieces here and there that I wholeheartedly will say I love, especially their necklaces. However, after seeing Chanel Fall 2014, I’m right back where I always end up after seeing most of their collections: thinking it is completely overrated. The brand’s ideals of focusing on simplicity and class are continuously noted. An endless number of quotes from Coco Chanel are posted by girls everywhere, despite that you most likely wouldn’t be hard-pressed to find photos of drunk-induced vomiting and too tight, form-fitting bandage dresses on that same social media page. The question is: do people love Chanel for what it shows every time with its collection, or do they love the glamorized messages associated with the word “Chanel”?

When I look at Chanel Fall 2014, I see recycled ideas, extreme unsuccessful attempts at producing something original, and disconnected looks coming down the runway. Tweed– been there, done that. It is undoubtedly a classic, but how it was utilized in the Fall 2014 collection is awkward and unflattering in both shape and colour. Lagerfeld went to very apparent and extreme attempts to step outside of normal Chanel boundaries with pieces such as sweats with holes in them and purses contained in egg cartons; however, such attempts to create something more original was poorly executed. When pop figures attempt to stay new by repeatedly changing their look, they’re scrutinized both in media and by people everywhere. The only way musicians typically remain both classic yet modern is by continuously evolving on the sound that granted them their claim to fame. Why is it not the same for fashion? Supposed fashion God or not, a bad and poorly styled look is a bad and poorly styled look.

At first, I questioned whether I was being too hard on the collections. However, then fellow tweeters such as @anthakingston and @ReadyDressedGo had tweeted of their negative opinions of Chanel 2014. Furthermore, I wanted more outside opinions. My sister is not involved within the fashion world whatsoever and thus did not have a personal bias as many do. After first informing her that the setting took place in a supermarket, her initial reaction when viewing the collection was, “Are we talking supermarket or super-center? Because that is f***!ng Walmart!” However, that wasn’t the last that she had to say on it. She further added, “Those patterns look like those sh!*** a$$ wallpapers that used to come with Windows 95.”

We further came to enter looks such as this:

My sister didn’t hesitate to comment that “it looks like one of those BDSM outfits; you’re just asking to get whipped wearing those.” One of her last comments on the collection came when more brighter looks came down the runway, specifically with this:

This particular look caused her to comment that “it looks like they’re trying to grow a flower garden on their boobs.”

Had viewers everywhere not been made aware of the fact that these outfits were Chanel, I’m inclined to believe that the entire collection would have been frowned upon. Beyond that, if someone were to see a person wearing these outfits without knowing it was done by Chanel, I believe that they would make a comment, and perhaps even snap a photo to upload to People of Walmart. Everything within fashion is judged until those that judge it are told by a “higher authority” that they should be wearing it.

When it comes to fashion, it is important to judge something upon the work itself and not on the label. If we have the freedom to dress how we wish when there are other cultures in which self-expression through fashion is oppressed, why follow the leader when you can be your own? Become your own leader and make your own decisions, for that is when you will become unstoppable.

A Tale of #FashionUnfold

fu love letter

Flashback to April 2013. The hashtag #FashionUnfold had repeatedly popped onto my Twitter timeline, and by that point, I was as curious as Alice. What was it? Why did it keep coming up? I took a peek that quickly came to be much more. This wasn’t a Twitter chat about recent trends, what goes best with what, etc; this was a discussion that evoked strong opinions by delving into issues typically avoided within the fashion industry. It was, indeed as its name suggests, an event that had a goal to unfold the fashion industry.

When I look at fashion, I don’t focus on trends, ridiculing a public figure’s taste, or what is commonly thought to be the surface of fashion. I see it as an artistic outlet, one that has issues like every other industry. Although aspects of fashion commonly focus on appearance, I enjoy that #FashionUnfold isn’t turning its attention toward the image of fashion, but rather toward how it is at its core and how it could further evolve. While the fashion industry wants respect and to not simply be viewed as shallow, that does mean that it also must face true, three-dimensional issues. I’m very grateful to #FashionUnfold for doing just that; it helps me in times when I start to become frustrated with fashion, in the times when I think that it’s more so one-dimensional. Expressing my opinions and hearing what others have to say is very important to me as it is for things to evolve. Being that #FashionUnfold encourages everyone to take a moment and think about matters as well as then feel free to discuss them, I also make sure to encourage everyone to participate.

If you have a strong opinion about deeper issues within the industry but are afraid there isn’t a proper outlet to express so, I hope you’ll participate in #FashionUnfold in the future! For more information on when you can join in on the next heated debate, check out more details below!

#F February Invite

A Letter To Santa, From Age 10

Christmas is my favourite holiday! I know that some prefer other holidays, but it always has been. The more that time progresses, it seems that it can be difficult to get into the spirit of things. I think maybe it’s due to technology, life moving so fast, etc. Either way, I got a little bit more into the spirit when I found a letter to Santa I typed up and printed when I was 10. I have typed it back up, typos and poor punctuation included. Take a look:

I just want to thank you for everything. Your so magical, and wonderful and not just because I get presents. People give you money to do this, to bring Christmas, but when Santa’s helpers or elves make those toys it is a lot harder than the money you get, and you do it with your heart. You bring magic to Christmas, snow helps but even with no snow here in Arizona you still get a warm feeling. Many people like Halloween but Christmas is my favorite holiday. I know that my mommy’s had to put up with a lot this year, and I wouldn’t blame her if she wanted to go to the spa and just relaxed. But I couldn’t stay home; she is the best mommy ever. I’ve only had one mommy, but I love her with all my heart. If you don’t mind me asking but if you could take some money out of my Christmas money and give her a present I’d really appreciated because she works so hard. If you decide to when you get to our house or apartment don’t put my name, put your name, it’s time she started to feel good. I asked her the other night if you slow time down to get around the world, because it’s a long way to go all around the globe. You should make sure that Mrs. Claus dresses you up tight and warm so you don’t catch cold. Mrs. Claus must feel very proud, I think you make her feel happy with the deeds you do for everybody. I got my room cleaned up, I did have to store a lot of things in boxes, but it looks very presentable and clean. Could you try and make sure that I don’t get the flu because that was just dreadful last winter. When you come you’re going to see our new little puppy- Snookems. Don’t be frightened she’ll just think you’re a burgurlar and that’s why, even if she growls at you, she can’t do any damage. She’s very sweet, and once you start wrapping the presents and realizing that you’re no burglars she’ll probably lick you. How are your reindeers? Are the reindeer being nice to Rudolph? They better be because they shouldn’t judge him just because he was born with a nose that lights up red, or because there jealous of him. You tell them reindeer that I said hello and that they do an excellent job delivering jobs. Tell them that I said their getting credit for the jobs they do and should be honored to work with you and Mrs. Clause. I hope you like the fudge me and mommy made and thought it must get old to eat cookies every year at every house. If there isn’t fudge there it was too hard to make. It’s November that I’m writing this to you, November 17. But we had this planned out.

                        Thank you,

                        (Full name)

…that was it. There was no real conclusion except for that. Either way, it was a reflection on how much I’ve been known to get excited about the smallest things of Christmas. Christmas is, without a doubt, a holiday that can make someone feel like there is a bit of magic to be found. Now, I’m going to enjoy that “magic” and I hope everyone else does, too!

Dressing For The Holidays: Inspiration

When it comes to the holidays, it seems as though many find themselves lost. The normal is to sequin it up, go sparkly, or– worst classic scenario: an ugly Christmas sweater. The holidays to me have always been one more opportunity to get creative. If I had my own fashion line and was designing a collection for Christmas, oh.. endless possibilities. Since I don’t, I’m taking this opportunity to showcase many unique spins on outfits that can be done, for many styles. Not everyone wants sequins or strapless dresses, while some do. That’s all right. THERE’S SOMETHING FOR THAT! Best news? Most pieces are reasonably affordable, and those that aren’t can still serve as inspiration for ideas. Although many expensive pieces are chic, reality says that many simply don’t have the budget to purchase them, myself included. That’s all right, though; there are so many great things out there! Let’s take a look:

Modestly Baroque

Modestly Baroque

Modestly Baroque by afashionableparadise 

Comment: Crop tops are very chic, but like everything, they need to have balance, especially for colder weather. This is where the high-waisted pants come it!
Pretty Preppy Elf
Pretty Preppy Elf

Pretty Preppy Elf by afashionableparadise 

Dsquared2 long sleeve cardigan / Iris Ink lace skirt / Lace trim cami, $38 / Tory Burch ballerina flat / Forever New clutch, $27 / Rose gold emerald ring / Rebecca Minkoff charm pendant / Lipstick Queen Sinner Deep Red

Comment: I went with choosing a deep pink for lipstick. While pink is typically a lip colour kept for spring and summer, it’s more than doable in a darker tone for fall and winter.

Christmas Rock Chic
Christmas Rock Chic

Christmas Rock Chic by afashionableparadise 

Comment: Red and black. Lace and leather. This gives a balance of rough and delicate, but with sleek boots, dainty jewelry, and red, it doesn’t get too biker bar.
Ice Queen
Ice Queen

Ice Queen by afashionableparadise 

Comment: When it comes to the holidays, ice blue is a colour, an idea, commonly forgotten. I see it as a very light feel, a feminine look. Make no mistake, blue can be worn during the holidays!
Walking Ornament
Walking Ornament

Walking Ornament by afashionableparadise 

Comment: This is for that classic sequin look. A shrug was included to show how it is also workable for those that may be more self-conscious of arms– that’s something many are! Deeper tones such as with the dark plum lipstick helps keep the sequins at a high, but the vibe still able to be taken seriously.
I hope this inspired you for the lovely holidays that are coming! Thank you for reading, and feel free to comment away with your thoughts and ideas!

 

Blogging: From A Reader’s Perspective

A topic continuously brought up is how audiences within “fashion blogging” are craving more, that style blogs aren’t enough, and questions such as “what is enough to make it?” arise. I don’t consider myself a blogger and I don’t have the intention of making it a career; I do it when inspired, because I need to express myself. I also will tell you that I don’t have some special recipe for the bloggers that have “made it.” But, what I can share is what I personally enjoy from a reader’s perspective and what I think makes a blog great.

There are many people that are afraid to pursue their dreams because of the risk of failure and how that could affect both their emotional state, as well as their actual state of living. While this is understandable and many people take on jobs so that they can make it even though it isn’t their passion, blogging shouldn’t be one of those things. This won’t automatically pay your bills upfront, it takes some time outside of your daily obligations, and I think it’s a shame when people begin blogging for what they think are “perks,” aka free stuff. Let’s be upfront: passion and loving what you do, it doesn’t always get you places. It does take more than that. However, not having the passion or unique perspective that some have? That comes to shine through in the worst possible way.

Passion shining through a post appeals to me, but what also appeals to me is thought and a diverse range of posts. Yes, I enjoy seeing personal style posts. No, I don’t want that to be all that I see. You want to show me how your week went? Well, I’ll become more interested once I see  content that what makes me want to connect with you further. It’s human nature that a person interested in a service of some sort, this includes reading/giving attention to a blog, wants to be given something. What can you give to a reader? When you’re at the dentist or going into a surgical procedure, they might start having you talk about your life, interests, etc. Why? Because deep down, people do enjoy talking about themselves and getting paid attention to. The blogger-reader relationship, like many, is give and take. You give variety, thought, and something that another hasn’t yet offered, then is when you may really receive the recognition that you have been longing for. Ever hear that saying “there are other fish in the sea”? For that saying, there’s also the response lurking out there “but I don’t want other fish.” Be that special fish, be a bloody mermaid!

For me personally, these are some things I would enjoy seeing in a blog:

  • Opinions on issues and news in fashion. I like honest, straightforward opinions. I don’t want a person saying what the rest have said, all because it came from a ‘popular’ voice.
  • Reviews of collections. Again, be upfront. Example: Everyone might be praising Chanel but if you disagree, come out and say so, explain why.
  • Fashion history. This isn’t frequently found within blogging and I can understand why, but if you can pull your resources, do the research and give that.
  • Clean, sleek visuals to pair with your posts. Much like with people, an appearance can capture the attention, but the personality can keep it. Having both visuals and written content is that much-needed balance.
  • DIY. TEACH PEOPLE! DIY is great because it’s often unique and not always easily found, and even if it can be found elsewhere, you can present it in a way that a person will really grasp more than others.
  • Style posts– but please, don’t let that be all.

Oh, one more thing from a reader’s perspective that I crave in a blog? It’s easy, it’s not even weird… BE YOURSELF! Now if you’re crass and what not, I’m not saying to throw it all out on the line or play Rihanna and post pictures of yourself blowing smoke rings. Simply, be genuine.

If something didn’t cross my mind or any further discussion is wanted/needed, fire away in comments! Thank you for reading. x

Questioning Fashion

Through good questions comes good answers. Some say that there are no bad questions; this may hold true, but a good question makes a person have to think a little bit longer. Similar to the concept that it’s more difficult to receive something if you aren’t willing to ask for it, it’s difficult for change to take place if questions aren’t raised. Fashion, filled with trends and what outwardly appears to be “glamour,” doesn’t often come into question. Trends arise, supposed be and end all statements get made, and… that list goes on.

The problem with this is that fashion, supposedly respected by many– myself included– for being an art form, needs to be questioned. Art gets analyzed, debated, to the point where people are constantly asking what makes a piece considered “art.” A noticeable difference between what people traditionally think of when they hear the word “art” and when they hear the word “fashion” is that with art, people think of it as being free-spirited with many different mediums. It can be clean, maybe messy. It can be anything. The connotation with “fashion” is often shallow, about outward appearance, and, following many pop culture depictions, following the leader. Have you ever noticed that? The most trendy girl in any setting– school, the workplace, etc– she is always looked up to but not truly questioned. If we look back to classic movies such as Grease and The Breakfast Club, a movie notable for making the “outsiders” feel like they’re not alone, we see that the main character is changed to fit into what is considered acceptable. Sandy got a bad girl makeover to fit in with the Greasers and Allison, the “basket-case,” was made to look more feminine and finally captured Andy, the jock’s, attention.

Fashion, just like people, doesn’t get its start every day as automatically glamorous and work-free, or non-controversial. It, too, is three dimensional  because it isn’t a simply a chapter in the book of life, it isn’t simply a pastime; it is thousands of voices silently crying out at once through artistic expression, wishing to be heard and one day be recognized, to be listened to and not just heard. Only, many hope that recognition comes from conforming instead of perhaps being seen as weird, or crazy. It isn’t just applying a formula like in science or math. It’s real people with real hearts trying to work and climb the ranks by expressing what’s inside of themselves, essentially placing them in a vulnerable position. That can either make or break a person.

The Question

Why do you believe such a vast amount of people are hesitant to freely voice their opinion within fashion?

“I believe a vast amount of people are hesitant to freely voice their opinions in (or on) fashion because they simply believe they don’t matter. Who do the people making the fashion consult before embarking on a new collection? I can tell you it isn’t the vast majority of bloggers! The fashion market is driven by those who are established, those who have the influence–like Chanel as a brand or Vogue as a publication. Ultimately the established & influential matter and dictate what the masses see on the runways & in the stores and the rest of us are left behind our computers wondering how to individualize it for our audiences. ” -Katie Davidson, of Love.Life.Fashion.

“Typically, what is made popular in mainstream culture is perceived as ‘good’ or ‘right’. Someone who personally disagrees may be hesitant to voice his or her opinion for fear of feeling ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’.  The fashion industry is a community that is commonly viewed as the ‘cool crowd’. To not agree with the majority’s opinion on something within the industry can make one feel as though they are an outcast and not cool.” -Kimberly, of Sequins + Studs.

“I personally think that it’s our insecurities, that don’t let us speak up. We are afraid of being judged by others, of destroying the relationships we’ve built. Not everyone can accept criticism, or strong opinions and that’s why sometimes it’s hard for us to deliver them. Then there are always people who are quick to voice their opinions, and will go above and beyond to make them known. Such people are a show stopper for many. And finally, since there is already a certain opinion present in the fashion industry, it may be hard to voice something that will be a complete opposite of that.” -Zhenya Hutson, of Being Zhenya.

Many thanks to Katie, Zhenya, and Kimberly for letting me share their opinion for this post. They are respectable, unique bloggers that I encourage everyone to check out.

Lastly: what’s your take on it all? What do you have to say about this? Let me know!

Social Media and Its Unintended Pathway

When I think of social media, I think of these words: Addicting. Intense. Now, insert a drum roll here– emotional. Its emotional affect is, from my perspective, partly what makes it so addictive to many people. We communicate with others across the globe and form new connections, we gain new insight, we keep up on the latest, but– what happens when the emotional stance of social media becomes an ugly monster and all of its potential benefits become, to some, the reason they put up with the bad? What causes the bad? What kind of bad is there?

Looking at social media in fashion, there are some negative aspects recently gaining attention. For example: style bloggers flaunting their expensive closets and offering little to nothing else for readers. That could leave a blogger and/or reader feeling inadequate and also as though they, with giving their attention and time to a blogger, are giving but not receiving. But, what about outside of this world we call fashion?

Social media outside of the fashion community is where I think it truly becomes an all or nothing game. Everyone sees benefits, such as: they could receive positive comments on these outlets, make a new friend, or find somewhere online that they ‘belong,’ These positive strokes give a boost that some, if not many, can easily find they come to crave. Perhaps they receive a few positive comments here and there, but then they question, “why didn’t this or that receive anything? Do I look fat? Is something wrong? Maybe I should delete that…”

Many articles have come out about teenagers having committed suicide due to dealing with cyber bullying that no one had a clue of. If you do a search in Reddit, posts of how people self-harmed for the first time can be found, or if you search Tumblr, thousands of posts such as these can be found:

For post

If you look on the internet, it’s easy to find examples of those receiving praise. You can admire it and even think that it’s very possible to receive the same praise. What happens with people stuck in this rut, posting things related to such deep feelings? Is there hope there they can feel better? The problem is, many people prey on people expressing such feelings instead of encouraging them to receive help. They then sink in deeper and, it’s not likely a positive comment could help how far in they’re in. Though from cheesy shows or movies, these two quotes are relatable:

        “The bad stuff is easier to believe. You ever notice that?” -Vivian Ward, Pretty Woman

        “When it comes to life and love, why do we believe our worst reviews?” -Carrie Bradshaw, SATC

It’s easy to see how this all could be a vicious cycle. The question is, how can it be helped? What can be done? I don’t specifically know the cause for all of this, making it impossible to know a solution. What I can say is, is that anyone who falls victim to cyber bullying is just that: the victim. It’s not their fault, but it certainly is the fault of anyone who chooses to do said bullying. They should be the ones leaving the online world. However, despite that, my suggestion might be that those having problems with this step away. It may seem necessary to feel the need to stick around and prove a lack of weakness or try and find validation from others to cover what’s been said, but that could make it worse.

Social media has plenty of benefits, but its downsides should never be ignored. What I hope to see in the future are repercussions for those causing such serious issues, and a better place for every person. Social media is our present and future, but recognition and communication is key to paving the way for better things to come. “Tomorrow” or “later” can always come; today is the time to start.