The Forbidden Queen

“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.” ― Émile Zola

To call Maxi a seductive drag-queen would be an understatement of the lowest sort, he is a timeless beauty with a spark of femininity and glamour that cannot be manufactured.

I remember the first time we met in art class at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco; while tempting to contour a nude model in class I was less interested in the nudity of art, but rather…him. Art transcended its meaning as a mirror reflection of some fantasy, but it revealed itself through him in the manner that God has implemented in his soul. I’d dare say he is a modern day Marchesa Luisa Casati. Anaïs Nin beautifully said,“ I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.” Maxi left an ineffable impression on me that’s simply marvelous.

Prior to conversating with Maxi and understanding the meaning of absolute glamour from his prospective, I spent random rainy days on Pier 39 gazing at Alcatraz island. I wondered how Frank Morris and Allen West swam across on that misty night. Inevitably the class was required to meet at The Embarcadero where we would sketch from nature. Maxi, seated next to me, pressed lightly on his sketch book revealing the observation of curious birds as they stood tall on the bars of the Ferry Building Market. We stared in silence analyzing the pleasures of nature as if we were under the tutelage of Monet and his friends painting from nature.

We talked briefly about his hispanic background,makeup, then he showed me more of his sketches. Wow, was I astonished. There I was frustrated and pressing hard on the eraser of my pencil and fettering to illustrate the San Francisco Bay Bridge, while he effortlessly was lost in a reverie of profound artifacts. He showed me the power of transformation not only through his character, but his exuberant quality of making you fall in love with all the facets of life.

Minutes passed before different strangers stopped in awe of Maxi, heads were spinning from his bewitching look. I was a nervous reck from all the attention, I’m sure it’s his usual cup of tea, and if the spot light was on us for much longer I was ready to rush to a near by corner to watch from without. However Maxi attracted all eyes like a bee to a radiant flower, and with his explosive loving personality radiating love to everyone he is pure perfection in all attributes. Anyone who can embrace transformation,like Maxi, renews himself. Friedrich Nitciche had said, ““The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.”

I salute that spirit in Maxi for embracing transformation in spite of opinions.

Detail Decisions

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B&W Closet

Should I wear the red shoes or black shoes, which would go well with this dress? Being torn between two options of items is a common dilemma faced when it comes to dressing. There comes a point when one is torn between two items and they have to decide on one. Perhaps it’s not between two shoes  necessarily –  that’s probably a shoes-type-of-girl’s personal headache,  maybe your a guy and it’s a  tie, or a shirt or some other item.

A lot goes into dressing up. First, the thinking begins – don’t tell me am the only one with an imaginary version of my closet in my head! I start browsing through options of what I am going to wear ahead of time if am aware of an event am attending or am trying to create a certain look.  Mind you, this initial process takes place all in thought.

It’s no wonder when I am facing my closet, like most women after creating Mt. Icanfindanythingtowear, I find my self frustrated and whining out the common phrase, ” I have nothing to wear”. It never fails!

Then there’s the second push, a sincere effort to find something because to be honest there is a lot to wear.  And to be honest if for every time we think we don’t have anything to wear, we actually bought more clothes, we would be short of having a hording intervention.

So, we try and here is when the details matter most.  In the second attempt , I don’t just throw stuff on, run to the mirror, access the ensemble and then toss it if it’s not meeting my vision. A much more analytically approach to dressing is awakened in this round. Questions such as , ” How can I make this dress more elegant, or what jewelry will add the right pizzazz with this piece?” are suddenly explored.

It really comes down to the details of details, these decisions  sometimes leaves one with such a close tie and here’s when most women enlist their male companions or fellow female friends for further scrutiny of which will be the best fit. I know the commercial of the female asking her significant other, ” honey, which shoes?” and him looking widely lost because they all look the same is suddenly playing in your head, no?

Anyhow, we all have reached this dichotomous point before, some find themselves here often and others less. Which are you? Do have a mental debate outlining why you should wear, say item A over B? Or are you one who would rather run to someone and have them pick something? How is this decision made? What is the process like?

Here’s a few things to consider if you find yourself in such a fashion quandary, these are my ABC detail decision breaker.

(A) Do I want to do the norm or do I want to be experimental and stand out?

Let me explain.  When you’re torn between two fashion items, if you have to pick quickly, you’ll pick your default, not-out-there option if your a minimalist. If your not then you’ll pick the latter. Lets say it’s a multicolored dress with some black detailing and your deciding to wear a black shoes or a leopard print shoes.  If you answer the question and decide you want to do the norm and not-stand out, then you’ll pick the black shoes so as not to stand-out and besides the dress has some black in it so your playing up the color. If you answer I want to stand out then you know which you’ll pick. Audience is certainly a factor in this choice as well. What is the event, who’s presence will you be gracing? Then again decided on the question, ” Do I want to do the norm or do I want to be experimental and stand out?”

(b) Which, between which ever two option I am torn between, is most true to my personal style?

It’s essential that one dresses in clothing that exerts personal confidence. We feel the way we dress. If you chose something that isn’t necessarily you simply because your trying to fit in, then you may not be comfortable. Let’s say your not too fond of garish, gaudy jewelry but your torn between wearing such a piece and something much more subtle. Well, which is more you? Do not wear that huge, abstract necklace if people starring at it or making it a point of conversation makes you feel awkward.  First rule in dressing: where what you want to wear and wear what you are!

(C) Can I find a middle ground between the two options?

This last option is crucial if you’re severely confused and undecided. If you really think that lace top looks hot with the fitted, turquoise sheer skirt yet you also like the simple beige shirt then maybe find the best thing between the two.  Ask more questions of yourself to help find a middle ground. What about option “A” do I like most, what is making option “B” equally attractive to me?  What if I choose option “B” and to satisfy my need for texture, which is what the lace was giving me in option “A”, I add texture by carrying a clutch with multiple texture instead, or I put a hair accessory, etc…

It’s best to have a thought-process to go to immediately when torn between items of clothing. Otherwise,  next thing you know time is running out and you have to be dressed and on your way in minutes – and for god’s sake you just can’t decide on anything!

” My theory is that if you look confident you can pull off anything_even if you have no clue what you are doing.” Jessica Alba

Stylish Sana

“From Chaos to Couture” The Politics of “Punk Movement” and Met Gala Fashion Event




“One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.” Friedrich Nietzsche

Hollywood stars graced the red carpet event, The Met Gala Fashion fundraiser, themed “From Chaos to Couture.” The event is orchestrated by Anna Wintour, Vogue Magazine editor-in chief. Anna Wintour is one of the most powerful people in fashion. Setting trends and anointing new designers.

Wintour believes that fashion and politics are interconnected. She said, “If you look at any great fashion photograph out of context, it will tell you just as much about what’s going on in the world as a headline in The New York Times.”

What does punk (DIY) ethics reveal to us about what’s going on in the World? Are we transiting through the energies of Punk movement? Punk breaks down barriers, and shocks with actions and ideas. The music is created as a hard-edged fast antiestablishment lyric. There’s always a youthful rebellious attitude, which is shown by distinctive fashionable styles and anti-authoritarian ideologies. Punk will not sacrifice its personal freedom. Anna’s wisdom shines a mirror on the trends taking place in this “Spirit of the Times-zeitgeist- energies. It can mean Political upheaval, government secrecy, and rebellion against established laws.

Did Anna Wintour consciously persuade Hollywood celebrities to raise awareness about universal political issues? We’ve experienced massive bailouts to banks, Job losses and layoffs, the collapse of housing markets, the stock market, religious intolerance, and above all “Us versus Them” mentality. Politically if it’s not these issues Anna wanted to bring to light, what message would she have wanted to send? Each look is personable yet personified to capture the essence of the movement. The event illuminated on the beauty that can spark from chaos.

The Punk Movement isn’t too detached from Marx Marxism’s conception of ideology. Which says that the ideas and interests of the dominant class are the very ideas that shape the course of history. Marx views ideology as a fragmented system that distorts consciousness into principles that only satisfies the elite in the social hierarchy. Conflict rises as a result of ideological views because of class and labor division serving the dominant class. Ideology functions deceptively to keep society civil and obedient to the exploiting class. Again, no punk movement sacrifices their personal freedom. This ideological correlation to historical materialism is that the masters of production-socialist anarchist- force upon the working class-the producers-economic systems (capitalism) that affects the labor workers as a means to generate more capital for their personal wealth; this creates a cycle of greed-and me against the world attitude. The Punk movement certainly is out to demolish such held beliefs. Fashion is interconnected to the politics of “The Times” and in this case, each “Look” is “Punked” and rebels against what no longer serves its needs.

Hathaway stood up dignified in a blond hairdo, different from Miley Cyrus’,in a Valentino vintage gown that compels even the strongest of hearted to obedience. Hathaway’s inspiration was Blondie’s Debbie Harry, who also dazzled herself in a studded blazer by Tommy Hilfiger.

Beyonce,the event’s honorary chairwoman, was adorned in a motif Givency’s Riccardo Tisci gown flaming her way out of Chaos.

“Chaos in the world brings uneasiness, but it also allows the opportunity for creativity and growth.” Tom Barrett

Image Courtesty of Dimitrios Kambouris

Fashion Is My Therapy

“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” Mark Twain

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“Today, at the office meeting, they saw how wrinkled my pants looked. The threads strung upright from the seams on the bottom of my pants. I asked my wife to press on each pleat on the bottom, and to remove the lint. She shouldn’t have washed my work pants with her wool jacket, but she was running late for work. The thought of lint hanging loosely on my pants oozed saliva from my teeth, filling my mouth. My embarrassment was inevitable, life suddenly began pulsating through my veins,and all access was denied to my imagination who was in search of a reason to go on conducting the meeting.

I bolted from the meeting room to the bathroom feeling unnerved by the mirror on the wall swallowing my image. My hand curled into a fist crushing itself through the cracked surface. Like a flash of thunder strike the glass shattered, and each of my breath felt heavy hearted. I pounded harder to squash the sensations I felt inside my chest. Pain only surfaced once more in the face I masked, and fear crept into my consciousness. I am of very dark complexion with a hint of red which I saw as a burnt brick tone etched with wrinkles. It lacked a purposeful expression,but remains buried in deep sleep in my mind. The unnecessary skin that has found itself a home around my neck was covered with an Italian high collar, and a two button band for closure. No one saw the staggered skin that have folded with time. I’ve camouflaged myself with elegance and sophistication to hide my depression, and body imperfections.

My nephew says he wants to be like me. To be seen as expensive, and sophisticated, and feared for his ability to project power and dominion. “You think clothes does that to a person, I asked jokingly. “Yes!” he says proudly. I couldn’t deny his response, I am a hypocrite, all those years I have been possessed by fashion, without it, I am always in search of my true identity. When I’m not up to date with trends I find myself in search of a deeper meaning for my life, my purpose driven life which still remains a mystery to me. Yet, with an overpowering obsession to remain trendy,sophisticated, and well mannered I suffer from not knowing why I must always look like a gift well wrapped up for the public. Fashion has been that cathartic release from the naked emptiness I feel from my insecurities, to shine as a prominent person in the eyes of others. As a buyer for highend retailers, fashion is akin to a religious experience when I’m in fashion shows. My entrance into mystical ecstasy because my imperfections are not visible. It remains nonexistent as long as I’m clothed in the finest of fabrics.

Minutes passed before I regained myself. I called for the custodian to clean up the shattered mirror on the floor. When I pulled the bathroom door to leave, I overheard a couple of females that were at the board meeting in the hall saying, “wow,did you see what he wore?” I saw her pause for a second to catch her breath. Her friend knotted her head and said, “he is always fashionable, and is well mannered. I bet he has great confidence,and wealth.”

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Image Courtesy of Junn J. Autumn Collection

J’adore Street Style

“Style is a way to say Who You Are without having to speak.” Rachel Zoe

Samantha Spiegel, hair and makeup stylist, was captured at the Broadway Tunnel in San Francisco and the Bohemian club. She is irresistibly discreet and seductive without uttering a single peep in a “Little Black Dress” an off the shoulder decolletages.

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SamanthaBlog

“I wear this therefore I am.” Yasmine Benjamin, student at the University of Maine,was captured at The Mill in Saco. Her dignified stance is a marked flamboyance and manner.

MaryBlog

Egypt, Yasmine’s niece, is quite charismatic in following her aunt’s lead!

EgyptBlog