Thursday, May 17, 2018

Heavenly Bodies

Heavenly Bodies
Thursday, May 17, 2018
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Reformation dress | Vintage handbag | Fraiser Sterling earrings 

One thing I definitely miss about high school are all the dances. They were the best excuses to get dressed up. Luckily one of the clubs I've been heavily involved in throughout college had a formal. I finally got some film developed from that night and it's pretty obvious that I was trying my best to channel this year's Met Gala theme.

I centered my look around my dress. I got it during Reformation's end-of-summer sale a while ago. I loved the little sayings it has sprinkled around it like, "radiant venus reflected," "one man's devil is another's god," and "put my hands among the flames" in this amazing gothic print. Very edgy. What I love about Reformation is that their clothing is stylish, eco-friendly, and inclusive for most body sizes. (They recently expanded to incorporate sizes 3X and size 22 for some styles.) Usually I find that most boutique labels only go up to a US size 10, which can be discouraging for most. I've always been self-conscious about my arms and my tummy, but I felt like the cut of this dress really kept it all together and made me feel like Juliet from Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet. 

As for the handbag, I bought it from a vintage vendor at the Rose Bowl Flea Market. It was bit of a splurge at $80, but it's a unique vintage piece. It kinda reminded me of the Alexander Wang chrome rhinestone dust bag from one of his 2017 collections.

Though I love these earrings, I wouldn't buy off the Frasier Sterling site directly. I ordered them way back at the beginning of March in hopes they would come for Coachella, but they just came... and without the rest of my order. (Their customer service is a bit lackluster, too.) Luckily popular sites like REVOLVE clothing carry this brand and other boutique jewelry brands like this if you wanna complete your look. The only upside is that these earrings specifically aren't as heavy as they seem, so they won't be weighing you down. 

 The combination of all three made me feel like I was ready to walk the steps of the Met.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Why I Care About the Met Gala

Why I Care About the Met Gala
Monday, May 7, 2018
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It's the first Monday in May! By the time I'm posting this, the gala has ended and the after-parties and bathroom photos are in full swing. In case you're wondering, "What is the Met Gala?" Let me break it down.

The Met Gala takes place at the Met Museum in New York City and is an annual event to raise money for its Costume Institute. This year, the exhibit is "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination". The exhibit will feature fashions inspired by Catholic texts and images as well as some original artwork from throughout history spread about. However, the exhibition is different from the dress code for the guests. Attendees were told to dress in their "Sunday Best," and judging by the amount of skin shown by the steps, everyone had their own interpretation.

The amount of stars you see among all the donors are all Anna Wintour's doing. Not only does she oversee the guest list, but she also oversees the fundraising and appoints the honorary chairs of the gala. This year they were Amal Clooney, Rihanna, and Donatella Versace. The influence of these women can definitely be seen in the way more guests (attempted to) stick to the dress theme. 

Like award shows, I know so many people think galas are completely unrelated to their lives or inaccessible to them. While it's true that not all of us can afford a $30,000 ticket to the gala, they're always fun to watch. Don't believe me?

My favorite part of the event is all the celebrities. (It's people watching!) As obvious as that may sound, it's even more interesting for me to see who's getting the seal of approval from Anna Wintour. Of course, Sarah Jessica Parker comes out for the Met Gala. She is a staple for the event in the same way Vanessa Hudgens is for Coachella. But, what about Lily Collins and Kate Bosworth? They haven't had anything noteworthy in a minute but they stunned everyone with their ensembles.Or Liza Koshy? Does the YouTuber's presence indicate the possibility of more Internet influencers at the Met gala? It's also just fun to see your favorite actors and musicians in something other than streetwear or character clothing.

 Even if you don't care about celebrity culture, it still has its value. For starters, the whole point of the gala is to raise money for a museum that has become an American Institution. I suggest watching the Netflix documentary "The First Monday in May" to learn more. It follows Andrew Bolton, the Costume Institute curator, as he prepares for the "China: Through the Looking Glass" exhibit. There are even small glimpses into the daily life of Anna Wintour. The also film questions the intersections of high fashion and high art. I watched the documentary on a plane and it truly moved me to tears. (I feel like Reynolds Woodcock from Phanton Thread would share the same sentiment.)

If a movie isn't your style, just look to Twitter for entertainment. Every year when the gala rolls around, my timeline is oversaturated with fashion commentary from anyone and everyone as well as self-depricating jokes about how most of us will never be at the gala much less know what it's like to be decked out in couture and priceless jewelry. 

Check out some of my favorite picks that you might have missed while scrolling through your timeline.
Kim Kardashian West, Chadwick Boseman, and Katy Perry all in Versace
Greta Gerwig in The Row; Diddy; Cassie in Thom Browne; Madonna in Jean Paul Gaultier
J. Lo in Balmain; Stella Maxwell in Moschino; Trevor Noah in Balmain
Blake Lively in Versace; Janelle Monae in custom Marc Jacobs; SZA in Versace
Christian Combs, Emilie Clarke, and Nick Jonas all in Dolce & Gabbana
Hailee Steinfeld in Prabal Gurung; Winnie Harlow in Brittny Wood (headpiece) and Tommy Hilfiger; Jourdan Dunn in Diane von Furstenberg 
Sasha Lane in Maison Margiela; Yara Shahidi in Chanel; Alexa Chung in Alexa Chung
Anne Hathaway in Valentino; Priyanka Chopra in Ralph Lauren; Amber Heard in Carolina Herrera
Tessa Thompson in Thom Browne; Solange in Iris van Herpen; Lily Collins in Givenchy
Kate Bosworth and Nicki Minaj in Oscar de la Renta; Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in Ralph Lauren Collection
Evan Rachel Wood in Altuzarra; Donald Glover in Gucci; Kerry Washington in Ralph Lauren
Lena Waithe in Carolina Herrera; Amal Clooney in Richard Quinn; Tracee Ellis Ross in Michael Kors Collection
Zendaya in Atelier Versace; Bella Hadid in Chromeo Hearts Official; Rihanna in custom John Galliano for Maison Margiela
Did we have any similar favorites? As you can see, it was all about the head pieces and layered gold jewelry. Even though we all can't have a custom couture gown made for us, there are definitely styling techniques you can steal and make your own. 
*All images were taken from Twitter*
Saturday, April 21, 2018

Let's Get Real About Coachella

Let's Get Real About Coachella
Saturday, April 21, 2018
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The only set I got decent photo at because I wasn't miles away in the crowd. @thisislany

Juicy x UO tank | Thrifted blouse | Thrifted denim mini skirt | Adam Selman x Le Specs
Photos by Nicole Odziewa

I am currently on a five-year Coachella streak. I've been attending the music festival ever since I was a senior in high school. I even pulled a crazy plan and flew back last year when I was studying abroad in London. I am crazy loyal to my hometown fest. There's just something super freeing about dancing around in the desert! The only other festivals I've been to, Lollapalooza and Life is Beautiful, are situated in the middle of major cities. The fact that you are so close to the bustling city can take you out of the festival state of mind.

This year two of my best friends from Chicago came for the weekend and I guess I finally got an outsider's perspective on the culture of Coachella. As an enlightened self-proclaimed expert, here are some thoughts I've just gotta write down and get outta my head.

It's about the music, weirdo.

Blame social media, "influencers", or the close proximity to Los Angeles, but sometimes it's hard to remember that the whole point of going to Coachella is to make it to make it to the stages. This year it really hit me how insidious all this talk of "Coachella diet" and "Coachella fashion" has gotten.  With the major increase of pre and post-Chella parties, it's clear that brands are only feeding into everyone's fantasies and anxieties about the kind of person you have to be to make it to Indio.

I definitely noticed how all this influence affected me too. While I wouldn't say that my entire focus for the past couple years has been on how I look, but I might have freaked out a little when some of my online purchases didn't look as nice on me as I envisioned. Let this serve as a friendly reminder that none of that really matters once you're there. You don't need to be a certain size to frolic to some tunes in the desert. You don't need to be a certain size to have fun and enjoy yourself.

 This outfit was my favorite because I think it really encapsulates everything I love! It also came together out of necessity, rather than meticulous planning. I have been obsessed with Nicole Richie for forever so I was definitely paid tribute to her "Simple Life" days with the Juicy tank and denim skirt. Cheetah print is such a staple in my closet and I knew I had to have this blouse when I found it while thrifting just a week before Coachella. It also helped as an extra layer during those desert nights.

All these festival fashion guides have gotten a little too repetitive so you might as well dress how YOU want.  If you're trying to find a theme to all your outfit madness, I suggest dressing to match the vibes of the artists or your #1 artist of the day. Go ahead and do it for the 'gram, but don't try and kill yourself over the perfect shot or for the perfect "Coachella body"...whatever that is.

But just know you can't make it to all the sets.

FOMO is so real, even if you're at the festival. This year the lineup was so stacked, my friends and I had incredibly long talks deliberating who we were going to see this year. We were even cross referencing the day-to-day lineup with the overall lineup of Lollapalooza, a festival that is an annual event within our friend group.

One major advantage that Coachella has over other music festivals is it has the clout to bring out major guests for certain artists. Kendrick Lamar came out multiple times Friday Weekend One. Cardi B basically brought out every feature from her album. MØ brought out Charli XCX and Diplo! The thing about surprise guests is that they are a surprise. Don't sweat it if you missed some major name during an artists you only kinda-sorta listen to.

Sometimes you even miss amazing stand out performances from artists you're only beginning to listen to. I'll forever be apologizing to my friends for taking them to ALVVAYS instead of Jorja Smith even though I transcended when they played "Dreams Tonite."

All that being said, give all your energy for whoever you're seeing. One major complaint from my Chicago pals is that the crowds at Coachella are a bit lackluster. If there's one place LA kids should stop acting "too cool," it's in a crowd.

Coachella sickness is real.

This was the first year I lost my voice!

While you might remember other medicated items (hey, it's legal in California), don't forget your vitamin-C and electrolyte packets, ibuprofen, and nose saline rinses. The latter definitely saved me. It's also useful to bring a bandana or light scarf with you for the unavoidable dust storms that come at night.

Know yourself.

"Know yourself" has a variety of meanings. Know whether you're down to camp. I know I'm the kind of gal who LOVES the comforts of A/C, so catch me in a hotel for the weekend! Know your budget so you don't get your card declined at the merch tent or worse...the beer garden. Yikes. Know why you're going to the festival in the first place. For fun. For friends. For the memories. Sometimes it's never that deep.

I apologize for how many times you've read "Coachella" in this post. I just feel like this festival always gets flack because so many outside forces have created false expectations for the kind of person you should be or the experiences you should have to enjoy the weekend to the fullest.
No festival is perfect, but this one will always be my favorite.