God, I agree so much. A week after debuting his fall-winter 2015 collection inspired by Diana Vreeland, Vogue UK featured an interview with American designer Marc Jacobs by Suzy Menkes. In the interview, he talks about young designers, the new collection and social media.
“You know, I am an older person now, I’m going to be 52 in a couple of months,” Jacobs says. “But I look at young fashion and it seems like it’s all the same – the idea of what is edgy or cool. It’s style with no substance; it doesn’t really seem born of anything. I don’t see the rebellion or edge in it. It just looks like a cliche: salad oil in the hair, Frankenstein shoes and the trappings of punk and all these other thing.”
He also goes on to take an anti social media stance. “I am so appalled by the whole social media thing,” he says. “I don’t get it, it doesn’t appeal to me, neither does a computer, or working on a laptop. I don’t want to read a book on a device. I like a book with a hard cover, and text on a piece of paper.”
During my time in Italy I read, An Italian Affair by Laura Fraser. It was the perfect romantic tale to visualize and set the mood while exploring and hilariously, the main character also chose to read books set in the places she traveled to.
Here are a few of my favorite passages:
And it pleased Him that this love of mine, whose warmth exceeded all others, and which had stood firm and unyielding against all the pressures of good intention, helpful advice, and the risk of danger and open scandal, should in the course of time diminish of its own accord. So that now, all that is left of it in my mind is the delectable feeling which Love habitually reserves for those who refrain from venturing too far upon its deepest waters. And thus what was once a source of pain has now become, having shed all discomfort, an abiding sensation of pleasure.
—GIOVANNI BOCCACCIO, THE DECAMERON
You board your boat, the boat to Ischia, and climb to the top deck, where the air is fresh and cool, the sun sinking behind the silhouetted island in the distance. Traveling by boat is romantic, pulling you away from shore, leaving a vast emptiness of water between your old life and an entirely new place.
The problem with Americans, he says, is they think a little affair will destroy a marriage. How can they be so claustrophobic? It puts far too much pressure on the marriage. That’s what will ruin a marriage.
“After thirty-six years you decide to take up smoking now?” he asks. You smile and tell him it’s all his fault. “When I get back,” you say, “I’m going to have to find a lover like you.” “Inutile,” he says, and laughs. Your only hope is to teach someone, he says. Then he becomes more serious, avuncular. “You’ll find someone,” he says. “All you need is a man who is older than you and younger than me. A professor of literature who speaks Italian. There must be some of them in San Francisco.” “They’re everywhere,” you say, “like German tourists.”
He says that he himself is not complicated at all. “I’m a simple person,” he says. “I like art, I like women, I like the sea, good food, cigars.” He unwraps the cellophane on a cigar and lights it. “I like pleasure,” he says. He smokes quietly for a moment. “Sometimes,” he says, “my wife thinks I’m too simple.”
You tell the professor you’ve never met an intellectual like him who is so uncomplicated, who seems to have no hidden dark corners in his psyche, though you suspect there are a few he isn’t talking about. He’s so comfortable with himself, seemingly so content with his life. Unlike many of the talented, intelligent men you’ve run into, he isn’t arrogant on the surface with deep insecurities lurking just beneath. He doesn’t seem like he’d ever be threatened by strong, smart women, just amused. He’s easily delighted, and relaxing to be around. You’re glad at least to have a glimpse of that type of man.
“The Decameron tales describe the endless varieties of love—adulterous passion, courtly love, enduring marriages, homosexual love, forbidden love, infatuation. The moral—if you can call it that, and why not—is that finding pleasure is more important than any of the constraints society might put on people’s inclinations to “forgather” together. As one storyteller comments after a tale of adultery, “And by proceeding with the greatest of discretion, they enjoyed their love together on many a later occasion. May God grant that you enjoy yours likewise.” This, you think, is what Italians read in school instead of The Scarlet Letter. No wonder they’re better at flirting.”
It’s a shame. American men must be superficial. They want youth and beauty right up front in their faces. That isn’t interesting. European men like to discover what’s beautiful about a woman. Every woman is a mystery, and you have to find what makes her most beautiful and gives her the most pleasure.
“Richard Meier,” he says. “Everyone should know that name. Forget about the paintings here, they are mostly second-rate paintings by first-rate artists, or first-rate paintings by second-rate artists. But the architecture is amazing, the building is an extraordinary work of art. This building will last for centuries.”
“You know,” he says, “in order for me to truly relax, I have to be outside my country, and even outside of my language. I can’t relax in French.” “Why?” you ask. He shrugs, and tries to explain. “If I speak French, I might as well be in France. There is an inherent nervousness. I have to get outside of it all.”
“You know, my dear,” he says, stroking your hair. “It isn’t a bad thing to always know that someone on the other side of the world cares about you, that someone is always thinking about you with pleasure.”
“When you go to a place and have an extraordinary experience,” he says, “you can never return.” “That’s true.” “I could never return to Ischia,” he says. “No,” you agree. “Never.”
The professor begins to list his defects. He is a little vain, he says. He doesn’t do well at dinner parties, doesn’t like to make chatty conversation. He dresses too hippie for his wife’s taste. He doesn’t know how to fix anything around the house. He isn’t all that ambitious; if he were really rich, all he would do is travel the world and stay at great hotels.
Assisi was amazing. I wish I could've spent at least a night there vs just a few hours, but it was one of my favorite little stops. The entire city was cobble stone and felt like a giant olive garden haha. I took tons of touristy pictures and literally COULD not get over the unbelievable view. It looked exactly like every painting of italy I've ever seen. Just before getting to Assisi, we stopped at a small vineyard and got drunk on strawberry wine and chocolate haha. I bought my mom this delicious truffle honey and in hindsight, should have bought a bottle to bring home as well. On the way to Roma I wrote in my journal that it was so refreshing to get back to the things I love. Observing, reading, writing, seeing new places, listening to music and truly hearing and feeling it. These all seem like normal everyday things, but it's amazing how life gets in the way and you really cherish having time to just listen to an entire playlist while looking out the window. no responsibilities, no worries. just in the moment. I'd forgotten how much I loved Rome. I'm SO glad I made myself keep a journal the entire time. I was super OCD about detailing every thing I did each night or morning so I could relive the trip whenever I like. I ate so much pizza and gelato in italy its ridiculous. and by pizza I mean the entire thing, almost every day. gelato like 3x a day hahaha, no shame.
Whenever people ask about my favorite cities, I always say I loved Rome, but it wasn't what I was expecting. It actually looked the way I imagined Spain ha. and I hated how touristy it was in areas (but this was true in most places) and how many cheesy tourist shops there were, selling the same junk (that was likely made in china) taking up spaces in the beautiful ancient buildings. I wrote "Rome is so exotic. There are parts that look exactly like a city within a jungle. Deteriorating buildings in the most beautiful colors amidst tons of trees and foliage. The burnt orange, pale pinks and blues, against shades of green, black and cream are my favorite." OMG the Vatican. I'm not going to say much about it, because I'm not sure how to even describe how much I enjoyed it. The museum, the history, the Sistine Chapel. St. Peter's Basilica. ugh. I need to go back, but again it's something that I feel like I'll either never return to or wait until I have children to take and share it with, because there are so many other places in Italy and even Rome I'm still dying to visit. The ceilings and the statues, were hands down my favorite. They had so much emotion, so much pain. and the insane level of perfection and detail. gahhh.. this is the reason I haven't been properly artgasming hahaha. I need to get back to Europe and have my socks blown off. Next stop under the tuscan sun.
Happy Valentine's Day lovers.
I'm having a moment. and obsessing over these three at the same time. oh and also marissa webb. joan mitchell / willem de kooning / cy twombly The scale of these blows my mind. I think they're all a pretty accurate visual of how I've been feeling. extremely excited/nervous/scared/unsure/jazzed/ about moving & wrapping up so many projects and starting 100 more. they all have so much energy. like... i-just-have-to-get-these-colors-and-movements-the-fuck-out-of-me-as-fast-as-i-can. #repeat. maybe ill go paint (read: finish) a picture.
Have you seen La Double J yet!?
I just discovered it via Preston Davis' blog, Keep it Chic. In short, it is a vintage shopping site that sells one-of-a-kind vintage jewelry and clothing all showcased on J.J. Martin’s uber chic Milan-based friends. BUT!! It's so much more than just a shopping site. There are 2 sections I'm especially obsessed with; the Legendary Ladies of Milan, and Tour the Homes. So good. Their quirky Street Styled section is pretty bomb as well. Such a fun shopping experience. "Here, in the School of Sciura, we honor these remarkable women. We study them, we worship them, we learn about them and from them. We try in our small way to emulate them so that hopefully, piano piano, one day, we will grow up to be exactly like them."
Capricorn is the sign of the fair and wise leader, and ruled by Saturn, this sign makes careful decisions that are never done in haste. If you are a Capricorn you may have had to grow up fast when you were little, perhaps because you were the eldest, in charge of helping your mother take care of your younger sisters and brothers. Or maybe events in the family were such that you had to become very realistic and practical quickly. No matter—remarkably, Capricorns tend to live their lives backwards, becoming younger, freer and more spirited with each passing birthday.
Capricorn rules all things that are valuable from the past, such as antiques, landmark buildings and other real estate, estate jewelry, old stamps, Krugerrands and other old coins, valuable autographs—you get the idea. Capricorn covers anything historical, and most Capricorns are history buffs. Also, Capricorn is associated with very big money, whether that require managing family money, overseeing the funds of a behemoth multi-national company, trading client’s stocks and bonds, or being a lawyer related to estate management. Capricorn is not highly emotional, but keeps feelings well-balanced, one reason they do so well in managing money.
Capricorn is reliable, trustworthy, careful, dependable, very practical and realistic (all big reasons for their success), and they are also kind and status-conscious. The last attribute—status-conscious—may have surprised you, but it has to do with the sign’s ambitious need to reach the top of the mountain.
Capricorn women tend to either be very successful in their own right, or marry highly successful, well-known men. Indeed, the woman Capricorn almost always marries well. Family tradition is extremely important to Capricorn, as much as it is to Cancer, and most Capricorn women, no matter how busy they are (and Capricorn women are that for sure), she will always find time to attend her children’s recitals, plays and parent teacher conferences. Most Capricorns enjoy delving into their own ancestral history, or that of their mate. Capricorns are usually concerned with their legacy and reputations, and will fiercely defend their own honor.
Being compared to Kate Middleton, Michelle Obama, and Kate Moss doesn't hurt either. Read the full post here.
Verona wasn't very exciting to me. I only passed through long enough to have some gelato and visit the famous site of Romeo & Juliet. I would love love love to rent a car one day and just drive and drive through Italy at a slow pace. Stopping in small villages, staying longer in some places.
but then we got to venice. i remember having an immediate sense of deja vu which was crazy but exciting as well. In my journal I wrote: When we arrived in Venice [in a water taxi] I thought I was in a movie, everything was so bright and crystal clear. blindingly white marble. STUNNING architecture." It was the most beautiful day and I really couldn't have asked for anything better. I bought my family each a tiny red glass heart that hopefully they'll keep forever, so no matter where we all end up we each have one.
We went on a quick tour with a beautiful local named Marina. She told us she was 100% Venetian, and that that was different than being Italian. It really got me thinking about HOW different the world is. She seemed so normal, but I'm sure if we sat and had a conversation, her lifestyle and upbringing is so incredibly different from what I can probably imagine. We stayed in a small town outside of Venice called, Lido di Jesolo, and although our place wasn't glamorous— the beach view was incredible. Honestly, more beautiful than the south of france.. in a different way.. the night we went out to walk along the water a storm was coming so the clouds were moving fast and the sun was streaming through in that heavenly way. It made me finally understand the tacky colors used in sunset paintings, although it wasn't tacky, it was beautiful. There were little crabs the in the water and you could hear a pretty twinkle sound when the waves crashed over the tiny seashells. Rome in the morning. Until my next installment.
The Best of Flair was one of my favorite birthday gifts this year.
It's been on my wishlist since my time at FLAUNT, when their creative director and co-founder, Jim Turner, showed it to me and explained that FLAIR was what inspired them to start FLAUNT (and that they actually tried to get the name FLAIR) and that there are a lot of qualities about FLAIR that they used as the foundation for FLAUNT, such as always having a double cover, one featuring art and one photography, the use of multiple non-standard types of paper, creative die-cut covers and interior pages, and unique fold-out advertisements and mini-booklets printed within another story.
This was also, believe it or not, one of the first luxury coffee table books I'd seen in person, or paid attention to for that matter. I rememeber the striking red slip-case that held the giant book filled with whimsical images and a look that was far ahead of its time.
So seeing how influential FLAUNT was on my entire editorial style and obsession with independent magazines and the actual ART of creating a magazine — you can only imagine how pressed I've been to own a piece of the magazine that inspired them.
The book was always extremely expensive, even on amazon, but a second edition was recently released so I let the beau know it was at the top of my list :) I knew nothing about the editor or how it came to be so it was such a treat to read her introduction and find what kindred spirits we were: "The birth of FLAIR was one of the happiest events of my life. Jewels, race-horses or yachts were not things I wanted. I jumped at the invitation to create a completely personal new magazine — one that would reveal my full inventiveness, my love of art and literature." — Fleur Cowles
Sixty years after it ceased publication, FLAIR is still one of the most talked-about and influential magazines ever created. / It is remembered for its innovative design and production quality, it's superb coverage of the arts and its intuitive discovery of many artists and writers well before they achieved fame and fortune. The Best of Flair.
I went to new york the second week in january to art direct half of a photoshoot for Off Broadway Shoes with one of the agencies I work for, MODE. It was a really great experience, but I was especially glad that I had already been to new york and had my chance to explore the city because we were literally in a giant (though beautiful) warehouse in the bronx all day long.
I always love interacting with all of the team members it takes to really pull a shoot together. the prop and wardrobe stylists, HAMU artists, producer, photographer, all the helpful guys, and of course the models. I was able to squeeze in a few great dinners with friends and the team, a quick trip to the met and mini shopping spree in soho. Until the next time…
I thought it was a good idea to start 2015 off with a new designer crush lol which is exactly what happened after I finished reading Roots of Style, the memoirs of Isabel Toledo filled with artwork from her husband, Ruben Toledo.
It was such an inspiring story about love, following your instincts and trusting your individuality and discovering your own personal style signature. Honestly, I wasn't very familiar with Isabel before reading this. I'd seen Ruben's work plenty of times and even own a few books he illustrated, but after referencing images of them for a photoshoot, I became intrigued by their style and ordered the book.. and now I will without a doubt be a lifelong fan.
I am always going on (preaching to the choir, I know, I know) about how different the world is now. Social media is a beast that will never die and has changed everything about the way everything happens. I cannot deny that I am obsessed with documenting every detail of my life in a way that our parents were not able to do, but I have to wonder if all that exposure and accessibility to so many things is good?
I love learning about creative people who really grew into who they are from an early age. That recognized the interests they had as a child and how those interests and hobbies morphed into skills that shaped them into the individuals they are today.
Reading about how Isabel and Ruben met and did the whole struggling artist thing in the old New York (that I love to read about) and met developed friendships with iconic artists, designers, editors, etc. through various jobs and mutual friends was so deliciously refreshing, because I feel like that doesn't happen anymore.
Everyone is a designer, everyone has a magazine, everyone, everyone, everyone. Everything is exclusive and limited edition and one-of-a-kind — which to me makes it seem like nothing is.
I loved reading about their partnership and her first fashion shows and how after many years she decided to jump off the endless wheel of pumping out shows every season so that she could focus on her work and more learning.
I love how she gave herself time to figure out what she was going to do in the begininning. She tried a bunch of different jobs, all while continuing to work on her designs (because it was like breathing) all of which she took little pieces from that helped her significantly in the end. Everything didn't have a purpose or a plan. It just flowed, like her style. I could go on and on, so I won't. But here are my favorite quotes:
If you can stay in love and keep your enthusiasm for what you choose to do with your life, you are living well indeed. Always keep in mind that patterns in life repeat themselves, so make a decision to own the patterns you want to keep.
Whether I was making a dress or Ruben was drawing a boat, we had both seen in ourselves, and in each other, that your creativity is your voice. It deserves to be sung often and at the top of your lungs.
You can make no better investment than spending time with your own ideas. Your generosity in granting time to yourself will be well rewarded. Doing this on your own time and by yourself is paramount to learning how to follow your own instincts and discovering your originality. Anything new, whether it's a dress, a song, or a painting, will not be easily understood right away— sometimes not even by yourself, the creator. You have to feel free to be misunderstood and allow time to work its magic.
IF YOU GET UNDERSTOOD TOO EARLY, MAYBE YOU'VE SAID IT ALL.
…Besides the financial difficulties, Ruben had gotten a bit of advice from Andy Warhol, who told him to quit school. "Just do what you already do, but bigger, and you'll be fine," Andy said. So Ruben did just that and never looked back.
After high school graduation, I stopped seeing Ruben as often. It is curious that, when a piece of a pattern in your life suddenly goes missing, every other piece comes undone.
There is no truer fact than that you never really know the person you are with. But, better than knowing is having confidence in not knowing.
Staying raw means leaving room in your life for the unexpected and unperfected. The raw in you is often the most sincere response. There will be enough time later to refine and edit, but to keep the raw flowing, all of your life is a treasure. When your life partner appreciates the raw in you, too, that's divine.
Art reflects life, and life reflects art, so this was love at its fullest. This very nurturing time was the essence of what it means to grow into yourself and into each other, separate but ver together, and to intertwine like two healthy vines.
We grew up in a very inclusive moment in time, one where the vibrant society around us was truly a diverse, democratize quilt. you were not defined by your age, race, sexual preference, bank account, or education. what counted most was your individual creativity. your personal spark of genius—however you might express it—that was your identity.
During this time, we were caught up in the washing machine of life, being spun round and round by our circumstances. We had no specific mold to break out of, but no time to be idle, either. We were buddy generating our own existence with no time for reflection. We had only the raw ideas. There was no time for perfecting things yet, or even polishing up our thoughts. All of that was yet to come.
All ideas have to start somewhere, and that somewhere is sometimes a very raw place. Your imagination needs to be free of editing. The urge to create should never be burdened with perfection. This is the importance of appreciating every stage of your life and work. You will never be in the exact same place again. These raws seeds you will nurture to fruition soon enough.
Since I was so busy working and sewing my life had to become as simplified and easy as possible. I was the opposite of a high-maintenance woman: I effortlessly adopted the concept of a closet for two and put to work my theory of a "streamlined me."
When you're an artist, there is no map to tell you which way to fly or safely net to catch you. Art is about discovery, invention, and the way you define your vision.
While reading on my flight home from New York I wrote this note to myself: it's not what you do. it's who it makes you. You are not what you do. I finally understand "the woman I wanted to be" ... who knows what I'll end up doing. Probably something I never thought of, BUT I know it will end up with me traveling around constantly all over the world, with a quiet homebase in a fun city with a great group of friends and a man I love.
So I'm 25 now, whatever that means.
My birthday was New Years Eve and I purposely didn't do another goal/resolution post because my only goal this year is to live. To live fully and happily without trying to plan out every step of the way. I am so proud of what I've accomplished this past year and I don't plan to slow down — but I really do need to relax a bit.
I have this really bad habit of comparing my life and levels of success to people on the internet and I have to constantly remind myself that 1) you cannot compare your beginning to someone else's middle and 2) just like instagram — basically no one's life ACTUALLY looks the way it does online.
It's funny being 25 in some ways I feel like I know myself better than ever and in others I'm still completely lost. I do feel like I've grown immensely since my college days. It's kinda like that quote copy copy copy what you love and then at the end you'll find yourself. I spent years duplicating things I liked—specifically editorial/graphic design things–and now I feel like my style is evolving into something that really feels like me... but I'm kinda hyper-aware of it. so before I was doing things I liked, but that weren't 100% me and now it's like I'm too aware of who I am and maintaining my brand... and basically now I'm ready to just live and be me without being conscious of myself. (gawd. that sounds a little crazy ha!)
I've loved collaging since I was a kid and I think that's why I've always gravitated towards tumblr and pinterest. I cannot just say ONE thing is me. Not one style or one image or item. I'm like 10 things selected in such a way for strange reasons that feel good to me and are viewed all at once. A constant curation.
This entire year ended up being about exploration and learning. I did so many things for the first time and changed my mind more times than I'd like to admit. But when I really look back at everything I did this year and everything I accomplished myself I have to say this is definitely one of the best years of my life so far. Everything happens for a reason. I know. It's cliche but it's so true and it just feels good to believe that everything will work out and just go with the flow.
*the shot of me was captured by my friend maximushka — an amazing bucket list experience.
Things I loved this year.
Cities London. Barcelona. NYC.
Colors Pink green green green black white nude gray + touch of orangey red or spicy yellow
A touch more personal than usual, my trip to LA this september was blissful. I hadn't traveled with the beau in a while so it was nice to go to one of my favorite places with him and celebrate his birthday— which was basically a movie. I couldn't have asked for things to go better. Crusing up the PCH with good music, vibes and him— then crashing on a private beach in Malibu. love.
We basically explored the whole time, visiting places I used to love and new places I'd been dying to see. I cannot wait to get back out there even if it's just for a few more months before coming back to start on my *big* top secret projects.
I keep my head high I got my wings to carry me I don't know freedom I want my dreams to rescue me I keep my faith strong I ask the Lord to follow me I've been unfaithful I don't know why you call on me
Apparently, you believe in me, you believe in me Apparently, you believe in me and I thank you for it
love love loving j.cole's latest, 2014 forest hills drive.
I'm trying to get all of my adventures documented before the year is out.. well most of them ha. I've only made it halfway through my europe recaps, but those are fun so I don't want to rush through. Anyway, I kinda recapped my NY & LA visits here, so this is just the visual that was missing.
I specifically wanted to visit new york before going back to LA since I'd been considering going back to school at NYU and I'm really glad I did. I could definitely see myself there or at least visiting more frequently in the near future :)