Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Jungles and Jewels

I know I claim to be "born amidst the jungle" but no, my mother was not on a wildlife safari when her water broke. While being alive to tell that tale would have been way more epic than the truth, I was unfortunately born in a fairly metropolitan city that happens to be surrounded by jungles on the island of Sri Lanka (formally Ceylon for those that haven't taken Geography since the 80's) which I had the pleasure of visiting recently.

Anyone that has been to the island will tell you, without hesitation, that it is one of the most beautiful places they have ever seen. While the humans, as in most countries, are still trying to get it straight, all other living things seem to live in a beautiful state of symbiosis. Depending on the area, you can see coconut trees, rice paddies, monkeys, birds, elephants- all living and breathing peacefully together.

Natural beauty is definitely a factor that captivates tourists, but please believe- no one is flocking to this paradise island the get the inside scoop on the latest fashion trends. Sri Lanka has a good-sized textile industry, meaning there's a strong chance that  the tag on at least one of your shirts reads "Made in Sri Lanka". For that reason, the clothes in stores around the country consist of the 2-year-old overstock from off-brand clothing designers aka  nothing to report on Weirdochic.

What I found much more fascinating that the "current" trends at the local mall were the traditional costumes that are not seen anywhere else.

This, for example, is a group of Kandian dancers on their way to perform at a wedding. While they perform at several types of events, the costume is always pretty similar to this. How any one can make monkey ears look dope is beyond me but for that, I am infinitely jealous.



On the other end of the spectrum are the clothes worn in the comfort of a home. It's hotter than the Devil's private parts for most of the year so anything too heavy is impossible. Because one can get dresses like this at any street corner, my creepy obsession with the colors and patterns was met with confusion and concern by the people wearing them.



Remember- Sri Lanka may not be on the fashion week list any time soon but beauty and inspiration are everywhere so it's definitely worth a peek.


Sunday, 22 March 2015

Reality vs. Alternate Reality

Don't front like you have never done it- Seen an elderly man with a pink, plastic umbrella or a soccer mom with tear drops tattooed by her eyes or a kid with a leather-bound briefcase and thought to yourself-- "What's he got in that case?" Elaborate explanations as to why a 5-year-old is holding a briefcase impulsively begin swimming in your head and if you're anything like me, you never ask for the truth at the risk of reality not meeting expectations (or at the risk of unintentionally quoting a dated-but classic, nevertheless- Ludacris song).

This reflexive practice is on overdrive in New York City, not only due to the sheer amount of people, but the amount of people that are doing (or wearing) things that rightfully deserve a second glance.

Take these two characters for example.

While this guy looks cool, calm, etc. he is actually convinced that the bunnies on his ears are the voices in his head. Without them he would be nothing and he hasn't taken them off in 15 years.


This girl was a plain Jane just last year until she came to a spiritual awakening and realized she is not a 20-something named Jane, but a 55-year-old man who needs his money back.

.....at least, according to the inside of my brain, these are their stories. 

Or they may be weirdos like the rest of us, just a tad more fly.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Southern Living- Buenos Aires edition

Life brought me down to the Deep South recently. Past the breakfast tacos of Austin and the pillared mansions of New Orleans. All the way down to Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was my first time in the continent, let alone the city, so my fishtail was flappin all over that dry land.

While it's possible that the city had to restock their wine supply after I left, I did manage to do a few things in addition to consuming my body weight in that delicious dark red. I was eventually able to order "un cafe con leche y tres medialunas" from the incredibly patient baristo around the corner, I became borderline addicted to mate, and I learned (the hard way) that it is impossible to go to a morning farmer's market when Fernet was on the menu the night before.

All very important accomplishments for a wannabe Argentinian.

The other part of life that I attempted to grasp while aggressively people-watching from behind my knock-off Ray-Bans, was Buenos Aires fashion. I fantasized about the South American cliches of long multi-colored skirts and billowy linen tops before arriving, but all of that was quickly contradicted by the mod pencil skirts, gigantic earrings, and flatforms intimidating enough to make even Baby Spice cry for her pacifier.

While the street style, as shown below, varied in some aspects (cheetah print vs. all denim everything), the sky-high platforms stayed consistent.

 


Consistent to the point where I began to wonder if B.A. was living in the 90s or if the decade of boy bands and grunge rock is back and the rest of the world is just slow on the come-up...


I was also lucky enough to find myself at an Argentinian wedding. There was none of the Forever 21 dress/ nude heel combos we all cling to in the States. No, everyone at this wedding was dressed to the Nines in the Weirdo-chicest ways possible. 

Here are a couple of the top picks-


While you all wipe the salivation from the corners of your lips, I will be dusting off my Walkman and digging up my first Britney CD. 

Speaking of Britney..and denim, thank this Pop power couple for bringing this look to the masses and thank the masses for never letting it die:


Thursday, 27 November 2014

People, Places, and Things

There is humor in the contrast on the streets of New York City between humans and non-humans.

The garbage, the rats, the pigeons, the discarded lycee peels on Broadway--- they could care less about how their internal beings are expressed on the exterior. They will reek and scamper and shit and make me slip and ruin my last pair of stockings to their hearts' content.

The humans of Manhattan, on the other hand (at least those that shower fairly regularly and pay rent on occasion), seem to be on constant alert of how the world, humans and non-humans alike, are viewing them.

This work of art for example, could easily have found a sensible pea coat at The Gap and grabbed the first pair of equestrian boots she ran across in Midtown, mimicking the care-free nature of the stray cats wandering the sidewalks of Bushwick, but no. She instead chose to defy normalcy and channel Missy Elliott's garbage bag days to illustrate her soul to the masses.


The discarded metro card that's stuck to your shiny loafer might not give a damn, but I see you girl. And you're lookin Supa Dupa Fly.

References:

Monday, 13 October 2014

Fall-ing All Over Again

My hyper-indecisive mind doesn't typically allow me to pick favorites in any genre but I have no inhibitions professing my undying loyalty to Fall, or Autumn, for the Upper-East siders. I'm sure my infatuation is directly connected to the temporary nature (pun intended) of the season. Just like Ponyboy and his sunsets, I learned at a young age that the beauty of this season fades too quickly, which only fuels my desire for it.

It's not only is it the crisp mornings, bright leaves and society's acceptance of my eating pumpkin for every meal that draws me to this fleeting season. No, above all else, are the clothes. A girl can only wear denim cut-offs and stare at men in tank tops for so long before she looses hope in the future of our existence.

Just as I was getting weak and faith was fading fast, looks like these began popping up all over New York City and I knew it was coming.

The looks popped on Madison Ave while I was pretending to belong in my surroundings:

They popped up at Union Square Farmer's Market when I was pretending as though I was going to buy produce when in actuality, headed straight for the pumpkin muffins:

They even popped up at the laundry mat down the street where I pretended like I would do a load before getting intimidated by all the coin slots and hollered at FlyCleaners:

As I waste time poking fun at my menial existence, you must go and grasp the day. Put on your biggest woolen sweater/ the pair of tights that have the smallest visible run and take charge of this dream of a season. While the leaves may fall, ripping our hearts out in the process, we must remember that "nothing gold can stay". Fall is here in its glory right now, and it will be back again. 



Friday, 12 September 2014

The Babes of Brooklyn: An Education

My zip code has now changed. and along with it, all sense of what is right and good in the world.

Brooklyn, New York. 

Where any figment of average-ness in your attire will guarantee visual daggers by any passerby. 

Until now, I considered my style a line-crosser. A button-pusher. Weirdo Chic at its finest. But then I got here and, excusez mon francais, mais these bitches got me trippin. Every slightly basic article of clothing now sends out sirens from my closet. I even feel self-conscious wearing yoga pants.... while doing yoga. 

Do you blame me when these are the two I see on my way to class?



I will admit that they were embraced in an emotional goodbye when I shoulder-tapped for a picture, but how could I pass up that Yolandi-esque haircut and the classiest bro-tank I've ever seen? 

Just as I wasn't aware that the nines were necessary for an outing to a morning workout, I also didn't realize that comfort is not an option when going to an all-day music fest on the hottest day of the year. I thought I was being fun and practical for wearing a thrifted, loose-fitting cotton dress to Fool's Gold's annual Day Off street fest. I didn't want anything restricting me from jumping for joy when Danny Brown's green Coolio-braids took the stage. Little did I know.. I would be surrounded by this:



As we are now all aware, I have much to learn from this burrow that just keeps strutting. Excuse me while I catch up. 

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

My Ode to the D

These days, my day job is bringing me to Detroit, or as the locals fondly call it- "The D" (I know, I know. But I honestly don't think they know..)

After spending some time in the city, I have developed a strong sense of pity for all those that do not have the desire to check this unworldly place out during its age of unworldly-ness. The dark clouds of the crumbling automotive industry are moving on and a rare sense of hope is starting shine on this in a fallen city. 

With these crumbled walls and new found hope come the artists, beer brewers, clothing designers and musicians, licking up the dirt-cheap real-estate like cats to a flame. wait. moths to milk? Whatever, the message is there. 

Of course while they are providing the city with pop-up hand-made clothing stores, $3 craft brews, crazy street art, and epic DJ sets in abandoned warehouses, these kids are also managing the express their style not only through their work, but on their bodies. Multi-tasking at its finest. 

Take this one for example. I met Brendan Asante outside a Chance the Rapper show at the Filamore. If his three-toned shoes didn't grasp my attention, he casual mention of being an very talented (my words, not his) jazz musician, definitely did. After forgiving me for bouncing off the walls in anticipation for the show, he also agreed to get snapped so the masses (my mom) could be exposed to the 'Fit. 




While Asante's style managed to stay at the top of my list, there are others like him, residing in the D to perfect their art and expose it to the world. The city is in a rare and temporary state of underground beauty right now, so I highly recommend getting yourself a taste of what the D has to offer while it lasts. Sorry, had to get one more in there. 

If you want to check out some of the homie, Asante's, sweet melodies, holler below:
http://www.mindofasante.com/