Area’s Spring Clothes Are All About Fun And Play

SS19, Area, cause and yvette

When you think of Spring/Summer clothes, many could easily name the same adjectives to describe them. Fun, relaxed and effortless would be my top three and how I would describe Area’s SS/19 collection. And it’s no wonder, when VOGUE RUNWAY cited Libuše Niklová as this collection’s muse.

‘Who is Libuše Niklová?’, you ask? (I know, I was in the dark too but always love to learn something new.) She was the Czech genius artist and inventor that created the first inflatable toys for children in the Sixties. ‘Playing’ was critical to this collection and for Area designers Piotrek Panszczyk and Beckett Fogg, making her the perfect muse.

‘Playing’ Was Key For Area’s Summer

So how do you reinterpret inflatable creatures and strangely proportioned toys into a collection? Simply, by focusing on the fun and playful aspect of it all into everything that makes an outfit. Area’s designers told VOGUE RUNWAY, “We started thinking: What is important for us in fashion? I think as designers, in design in general, our core value is play. Playing is something so intellectual but also so pure,” which was very obvious from their designs. Thankfully, as much as fashion is all about having fun, Area took it literally without being kitschy or obvious.

SS19, Area, cause and yvette

As seen in the designs throughout, Area’s designers manifested fun in several ways. There were fabrics in unexepected tones similar to the orange long trench with a shiny pearlescent pink sheen (right)  while the inflatable toys were reimagined by way of a pink bag (left) and other accessories.

A clear plastic mini apron, complete with crystal embellishments (left) amped up this tailored white shirt’s playfulness. Similarly sparkly strappy sandals in a geo-pattern complemented the look. Then came the fun of playing with proportions as seen in the oversized colorfun turban that finished that look.

Fun With Proportions

Area continued playing with fun in mixing silhouettes with texture. Kelly green, one of my favorite greens, made this pleated look (right) really stand out. A straplesss top in a pleated fabric, captivated with its drape across the chest from the left. Accentuated by a ruffled hem on both sides, it commanded attention.  With its long length, it glided down to the floor, giving the effect of a long train. Add shorts in the same fabric to the look and you can easily wear this for evening or day.

Another fun green look that played with proportion was the one below (right), thanks to the brilliantly structured big hat. Area’s iteration of a newsboy cap with a Sixties influence, mixed together with a brimmed turban effect, is a hat that would be hard for one to want to take off. A fun cropped sleeveless top with a neatly tied oversized bow at the center gave the outfit sweet innocence. To complete the look, embellished kelly green cigarette pants with crystals down the sides in a diamond line pattern were added.

The sparkle of the crystals made their way to a similarly patterned choker necklace, further accentuating the beauty of the green big hat. And no look is complete without the right bag, which in this case was a turquoise handheld mini trunk purse and matte Cookie Monster blue long nails.

Can’t Play Without Some Shine

Lurex came flirted with play in some of the looks. Below, you can see silver in a geometric pattern on biker shorts and its matching three-quarter sleeveless jacket. What I love about this look is how easily it can be a standalone look with a vacancy for addition.

The matching biker shorts could be paired with a long-sleeved or tee shirt, a tank top, or a sports bra, worn underneath the jacket. Whereas a sheer slip dress or sheer tunic over the biker shorts, in a contrasting color, with the jacket worn over it, to give the look more depth. But the key here is to have fun!

But it was all about shine with the first look. A simple toffee colored pant set, comprised of a criss-cross cropped fitted top with slightly cropped trousers, set the stage for some sparkle. A fun large diamond pattern sleeveless tunic worn over the top and pants, added drama hemmed with long crystal strings down to the ankles. Throw in a silver handheld purse to the ensemble, made sure to say this neutral color came to play!

SS19, Area, cause and yvette

Chic And Fun Continued Playing With Ease

Now who can say they can have fun if there’s too much effort involved? I surely can’t, which is why I have plenty of dresses in my closet. And this was key for Area, as noted in two of the looks below.

One look, had simple white long trousers that were slim on top with a stovepipe leg. But here’s where it got interesting – the top! ‘Barazoku magazine, the first commercial Japanese gay magazine, is where the designers found inspo,’ said VOGUE RUNWAY. But for what exactly – the top’s print.

The designers recruited an artist to repaint a cover from the magazine for a print. In bright colors, the all-over print on white, decorated a three-quarter length sleeveless shirt. The shirt, that crisscrossed along the front, had long panels that would mimic the movement of the pants when walking.

Long trousers in the pink geometric pattern with silver lurex played up the fun factor, yet again. Paired with a cropped hot pink long-sleeved top decorated with crystals, prompted the fun. The embellishments made their way down the sleeves, from the top of the shoulders down to the wrist. But this Area woman was busy indeed, as noted by the pushed up sleeves. A bubble gum pink rounded mini trunk purse with a hot pink handle and hot pink lattice detail made this practical look scream ‘fun, fun, fun!’

SS19, Area, cause and yvette

(via VOGUE RUNWAY)

 

3 Designer Shoes Perfect For Fall Season

Fall Shoes 2018 favorites, Part One

(photo: Guy Bourdain)

There’s no denying I love designer shoes, especially when it comes to this Fall season. And WHY do you ask? Simply, variety, variety, variety and boy, is there plenty for everyone!

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, there will always be predictable contenders to be coveted by all. It’s Fall after all, so there’s no denying the presence of boots. Sure, open toes are reserved for the ‘my feet look too pretty to cover up’ category, but with consistent care and caresses during months full of scaly and itchy skin, those beautiful feet could still use some warmth when covered up in such decadence like these shoes here.

Now, as much as I love to challenge the cold with open toe shoes, for this post, I’m going to focus on styles that keep the chills away like these white beauties by Prabal Gurung.

Prabal Gurung Look, designer Fall shoes, Getty Images

(photo: GETTY IMAGES)

At a glance, you might think they’re just anothet pointy toe ankle boot, but it’s all about the form and detailing. Let’s pick it apart, shall we?

Upon close observation, the pointed toe gives it that YES, I’M HERE effect worthy of stiletto high heel shoes, but as your eyes trace the top of the foot right before you make your way up to the ankle, you notice that deep stop, into a boxy shape. The boxy shape then takes on the look of spats minus the buttons, completing the boot effect. And just when you think the ride is over, there’s that heel. Boy that heel, that gives me all the right feels. It’s a sculptured heel, but it’s SCULPTURE! The heel commands attention as it rests on top of a sphere. Then that sphere connects to a thin yet sturdy cylindrical shape, cut on a bias, held together by a golden rod. Bravo, I say, Bravo!

Look One – Designer Prabal Gurung Boot, Fall 2018

What’s best of all about this designer boot for Fall is that it can easily be dressed up or down. So I thought, “What would be a good look to go with this boot?” Of course pants would show off these boots a lot faster, but I always love the element of surprise, which is why I opted for a dress, specifically this one.

Prabal Gurung Look, designer Fall shoes, Getty Images

The dress though, for this coveted ankle boot, had to be special, which made me select this number by Monse (Farfetch). Taking a page out of the The Saville Row Fall trend, this Off Shoulder dress with it’s houndstooth pattern is sure to catch someone’s eye. What makes it even more of a hit for me, is its ruched three-quarter sleeves, folded-over strapless detail, and it’s bias-cut skirt, with varied length skirt panels. One cross of the legs, would accentuate the dramatic flair of the skirt, as a way to announce ‘HERE’S MY BOOT, WHERE’S YOURS?’.

But What More Can I Add To My Look?

But I wanted to keep highlighting the boot’s details, particularly the sphere that made up the other part of the heel. Enter Proenza Schouler’s Grateful Dead Turtleneck (FARFETCH), in white, covered entirely in large black circles bearing a red bolt right down the middle. I felt a chill thinking about my shoulders exposed and loved the idea of that pattern peeking from under the dress’s houndstooth ruched sleeve. Throw on a white, red and black Plaid coat with silver detailing and jeweled buttons (ZARA) and I’m out the door!

So seeing as my dress pick has no pockets, where was I going to put my phone and things? I wasn’t about to be tacky and carry my phone and other in my hands, so what’s a chick to do? Prada and Zara of course!

Accessories Drum Roll

By pairing Prada’s Mini Cahier Leather Shoulder Bag (LUISAVIAROMAin red and black with gold metal detailing and gold chain along with Zara’s red Embossed Crossbody Bag with gold metal details (ZARA), would just make the red bolt on the turtleneck pop. But what’s even cooler about this Prada bag are its cowboy influences shown by the metal accent panels on its front. And I know what you’re thinking-‘HOW COULD I MIX METALS LIKE THAT?’-all because the dress belt has silver metal detailing? What can I say, I like stirring things up a bit.

Still in the clutches of golden fever, I submit once more and opt for mismatched earrings in gold – an oversized matte gold heart with a dangling pearl (ZARA) and a Chloé Reese Drop earring with its double hoop design (MYTHERESA), just to give the ears, some graphic appeal to match the top. Ports 1961 Look, designer Fall shoes, Getty Images

(photo: GETTY IMAGES)

Like a moth to a flame, Ports 1961 silver shoes became my ‘precious’, for a brief moment, as I live for anything shiny. A high heel pump covered entirely in silver tinsel and silver beading just screamed one word to me – PLAID! Call it intuition, call it madness or maybe I’m just gifted or twisted – take your pick.

Look 2 – Designer Ports 1961 Pump, Fall 2018

Ports 1961 Look, designer Fall shoes, Getty Images

If you didn’t know this already, I’m a huge pattern whore and pattern play is the best way for pieces inside looks to flirt with one another. I especially love it when it’s done using different plaids, in different colors, as seen above – another trend for the Fall season. Besides, what else would go better with shiny silver than plaid, right?

With orange, royal blue, grey and white Turned-Up Hem Plaid Pants (ZARA) and it’s matching Pleated Plaid Top featuring an asymmetrical pleat (ZARApaired with a TALL Tartan Check Puffer Jacket in a teal, yellow, black and white plaid pattern (TOPSHOP), who can beat that?

What accessories would complement silver tinsel and plaid?

Iridecense and more silver of course! For earrings, all you need is one of the Neogem Diffraction Drops earrings designed by Nikki Couppee (VALERY DEMURE).  Lightweight faceted holographic plexiglass and brass make this earring extra special. Complete the look with this Binder Clip shoulder bag by Off-White (MYTHERESA), that cinches the high and low brands together seamlessly.

 

Tibi , designer Fall shoes, Getty Images

(photo: GETTY IMAGES)

Tibi’s designer boot, in salmon red, a color not often seen in a boot looks like it feels soft as buttah! But it’s the shape of it that really caught my attention. There’s the pointy toe with a sloping dip on the top of the foot and if you took the long leg off the boot, you’d be left with a mule. Then you have it’s heel that looks like an even wider cylinder, underneath the heel of the foot.

Look 3 – Designer Tibi Boot, Fall 2018

Tibi Look, designer Fall shoes, Getty Images

For this Fall designer shoe, I chose to pair it with a Mary Katrantzou SMensy Blazer by Boutique (TOPSHOP), another Fall trend, and the mix of masculine and feminine will just add that something extra to the mix. Yet, besides it’s masculine silhouette, I love how one pocket flap is slightly higher than the other, mimicking the different heights of the rectangles printed on the dress.

And accessories?

To round out this look, I recommend wearing Alessandra Rich’s Crystal Draped Circle Clip-On earrings (LUISAVIAROMA), with its rows of layered crystal rows. Not only would these earrings add a little more sparkle and high drama to your look with their large size, they would also punctuate the geometric depth of the dress. And finally, I would opt for The Volon’s Cindy Leather & Velvet Clutch in Velvet Pink (NORDSTROM), to carry my phone, lipstick, keys etc. Inspired by Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage, with its rounded silhouette, this beautiful little number has pink velvet and metallic pink leather panels, gathered together by a drawstring gold chain, that can be worn long or short. If that’s not dramatic enough, it has a dark olive feathered tassel at it’s base held together by a wide gold band. Finally, your effortlessly chic look is complete!

I hope you find inspiration from these three looks I’ve pulled together for you and just remember, DON’T LET THE CLOTHES WEAR YOU!

Let me know in the comments if you like or hate the looks – I’d love to know.

Zac Posen Finds Love In Florals For Spring

Zac Posen Spring 2018 RTW cause and yvette

Zac Posen is preparing us for a Spring where romance conquers all with looks reminiscent of Sixties glamour + ladylike appeal, with a sprinkling of modern flair. Sweetened by floral embellished shoe heels in contrasting colorways, to florals on dresses, further romanticized by embroideries, most pieces could easily make their way from the office to a night out, just by switching up your accessories + maybe adding a strong eye or lip. Sometimes, these floral details appeared as colorful line drawings on top of sheer fabrics, depicting other parts of a flower like large leaves all over the strapless midi dress far below. Other times, you would just find a pattern complete with flowers, bold strokes of color, further enhanced by hints of metallic accents.

Zac Posen Spring 2018 RTW cause and yvette

There were some dresses that played up a woman’s modesty with its midi skirt + short sleeves with tie detail, while simultaneously, submitting to a woman’s figure with a heavily darted torso, highlighting the waistline + slightly accentuating the bust. Although, a similar dress in white reminded me of a vintage nurse’s uniform, minus the tie detail + wider short sleeves, by undoing a few more buttons on top, would deepen the neckline, to expose the hint of a lacy or mesh bra + adding sexy high heels, would definitely change the mood to effortless sizzle.

Zac Posen Spring 2018 RTW cause and yvetteZac Posen Spring 2018 RTW cause and yvette

But in true Posen form, there were gowns for days, which he always masters. By now, I’m thinking he does this wearing a blindfold. I’m sure with awards season underway, how could he resist? Some reminded me of something that would make us all swoon by seeing actress Shanina Shaik walking down the red carpet or even Amal Clooney with all her elegance. Of course, if a gown is considered to predictable, there’s a perfect long gray column skirt embellished with same colored floral accents, perfect to pair with a voluminous blouse sporting open shoulder detail or a plunging backline.

However, my favorite takeaway from the whole collection had to be the satin T-strap heeled shoes, that had what looked like floral still lifes encrusting the heel in contrasting colors. The floral elements looked like brooches attached to the heel due to how far out they protruded from the shoe.

Zac Posen Spring 2018 RTW VOGUE RUNWAY cause and yvetteZac Posen Spring 2018 RTW cause and yvette

(photos: Courtesy of Zac Posen)

(via VOGUE RUNWAY)

Release Your Mind & Body In Queens At Spec-Chuan Movement & Arts Center

chuan xie scma review title image cause and yvette

A few weeks ago, after attending an early morning Saturday dance class at Spec-Chuan Movement & Arts Center (SCMA), I started crushing on Queens in a big way. I took my first ever Bollywood class (part of their World Series classes), taught by Sankalp Sharma. Much to my surprise, not only did my body break a sweat but it also made me regress back to my days back in daycare, running around the dance space, in every direction, to warm up. But you’ve been warned – to be in a room full of strangers, that early in the day and running around like a small kid, is sure to cause giggling + leave you with a huge smile.

Once Sharma began describing the first part of the choreography, I came to appreciate Bollywood dancing that much more, likening it to a form of interpretive dance, where your dance moves become a type of sign language to describe song lyrics. We danced to a love song on how the lead singer was trying to seduce their love interest, re-enacting their every move to ensure he or she would take notice. From waving our hands while walking forward to highlight our swagger, to dipping biscuits in tea, our love was not going unnoticed. A few moves later, we cooled down with deep breathing + quick stretches.

But what made SCMA so special to drag me out of my bed in West Harlem to make it all the way to Queens on a Saturday morning? Quite simply, its founder, Xiao Chuan Xie (a.k.a. Chuan, pronounced ‘Truan’), seen below, + her journey that led to opening such an incredible place.

chuan xie scma review chuan image cause and yvette

Chuan started her dancing career in the Nanjing Jingling Arts Organization in China + trained as a ballerina before her 2009 descent into New York to join the Martha Graham Dance Company (a modern dance institution), which led to rave reviews from the New York Times. In 2015, Chuan then made her way to Broadway starring in the Tony award winning production of ‘The King & I’, part of Lincoln Center’s Theater 2015 revival, with critical acclaim. Yet, this newfound success came at a price, which I further explored when interviewing Chuan.

xiaochuan xie cole horibe king and i cause and yvette

(photo: Paul Kolnik)

From Chuan’s bio, I learned how Chuan’s mind + body disconnect led to her birth of SCMA. According to her, the grueling non-stop eight-hour days of dancing/rehearsal as a professional dancer (with Martha Graham Dance Company) kept chipping away at her body in ways a lot deeper than what lied on the surface. Once on Broadway, while doing intense repetitive movements on autopilot, regardless of her flexibility, led to a hip injury in 2015. During her recovery period, she discovered many ways to connect her body with her mind.

Chuan’s various therapeutic methods included Physical Therapy + Acupuncture, which made her aware of herself where she told me she was experiencing how the body can restore so many of our childhood traumas + memories without the conscious mind knowing it. She added, “ I found out that I would unconsciously lock my arms close to myself as a result of locking my rib cage as well as if I was over-protecting myself. I discovered that my tail bone was always tucked under first because of my ballet training, second I believe it’s because the female protection (I am still studying this fact, which is fascinatingly happening to a lot of females); I also explored that I could connect with my organs, fluids, + nerves when moving so I would be more fully supported.” (See diagram below) So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that other classes taught at SCMA include Pilates, Yoga, Mindfulness Practice, Joy Flow + Evening Stretch.

The Association for Meridian & Energy Therapies illustration scma review chuan image cause and yvette

Of course, being a Certified Movement Analyst from Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies, Chuan deepened her understanding of the human body + how movement relates to our health + mental state, which brings us back to the importance of the mind + body connection. As the diagram above shows, when moving your finger, your toe or hand can affect your brain. This, in turn, is why I should’ve taken my dance class barefoot, to really feel the energy reverberating throughout the bamboo floors up into me.

chuan xie scma review image cause and yvette

According to Chuan, Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) is a tool to observe and experience human movement in a detailed + multilateral way. Dance/Movement Therapy’s main observation method is based on LMA. Chuan explained, “I am able to see people’s movement pattern clearly + provide a suitable exercise or class for different people,“ + what better place to celebrate different people than in Queens for SCMA’s location over a spot in Brooklyn, the hub of NYC cool or even Manhattan.

Even in deciding on the name, Spec-Chuan Movement & Arts Center, the inclusion of differences was one of the main components. Originally set to launch in 2016, at the time, Chuan told me how she asked friends to brainstorm ideas for the name. She mentioned to a friend how much she loved the rainbow because of how it always makes people smile + it contains so many colors + that friend suggested the word ‘Spectrum’. Chuan said it sounded like Spec-Chuan. “I didn’t know the meaning of the word at the moment. Then I checked the meaning + I fell in love with it! Especially the Latin word ‘specter’ means ‘vision, apparition’,” said Chuan, whereas Chuan means river in Chinese. Chuan added, “I have this vision of light shining on a body of water, the water reflects the different colors of light back to the sky, + the water is flowing and the colors are changing constantly. The name fits my belief of the inclusiveness in an ever-changing world.”

chuan xie scma review image cause and yvette

Now what I found to be so fascinating is Chuan’s timing for such a place. Considering the political climate that we’re living in now, where immigrants have become pariahs of American society, SCMA is a safe place where different cultures are celebrated. With various dance classes offered including Bollywood, African/Caribbean, + Chinese Folk Dance, what better way to check your stress at the door than through dance, the great equalizer where everyone is the same? I even noticed for myself, through a quick neighborhood tour led by Chuan surrounding SCMA, you couldn’t ignore the heavy enclave of Chinese, Indian/Pakistani, Hispanic + Caribbean people that live there. So for as much as these people might pass each other on the street on a daily basis, imagine them coming together to meet one another + shower each other with accolades through their different cultural dances? (Exploring dances from other cultures is in the works for the future.)

chuan xie scma review image cause and yvette

But Chuan isn’t the only one that’s noticed the impact wellness has on people’s lives, as immigrants themselves have taken notice, pointing out to me various stops during our tour, of the different fruit markets selling organic, freshly made juices + smoothies. It just seems that SCMA’s presence in this Queens hood has added more synergy to a place already harmonious with the change of the times, even though parts of it have remained untouched for almost thirty years.

So when you think of Queens, don’t just think about all you can eat but rather how much more you can experience + visit Spec-Chuan Movement & Arts Center for a dance class. Not only will you not regret it but you’ll leave relaxed, smiling + maybe make a few friends. Click here to schedule your first class.

Enjoy!

 

 

A View Inside Hunt Slonem’s Menagerie Of Painted Birds

Birds by Hunt Slonem cause and yvette

As a lover of birds from a very early age myself, there was no denying Birds by Hunt Slonem, © 2017, published by Glitterati Incorporated, would be a book I would instantly gravitate to. What makes Hunt’s work so striking is not so much his brilliant use of color + repetition, but it’s also the tactile aspect of his paintings, with the many layers of paint + his handling of that medium used to create the amazing + globally acclaimed iterations of birds shown throughout this impressive 272-page tome. This hardcover masterpiece is such that Hunt’s avian subjects seem to beg for a hint of flight with the flip of every page while spilling onto its silver gilded pages, it’s gray satin ribbon book marker + all over the inside covers.

Birds by Hunt Slonem cause and yvette

(”SWALLOWTAIL 1′, 2009 | ‘PARROTS’, 2013)

Influenced by the exotic, lush landscapes of his childhood years in Hawaii, “Slonem has noted that he first was fascinated by parakeets when he was ten, + at sixteen bought some birds in a market in Nicaragua,” as writer, reporter, + cartoonist Anthony Haden Guest points out. When visiting his New York studio once myself, a work of art on its own, with various rooms completely painted in one singular color, briefly captured in the book, you seem to feel like you’re being transported into another reality, comprised of colorful spaces inhabited not only by Hunt’s variety of parrots, parakeets, macaws + cockatoos, but also by different groupings of the artist’s paintings + sculptures (below).

Birds by Hunt Slonem cause and yvette

Repetitive imagery, a motif synonymous with Hunt’s work, would bring to mind Andy Warhol, which Hunt himself once mentioned in an Interview magazine December 2011 interview, by Claire Stein, as an influence saying, “I was influenced by Warhol’s repetition of soup cans + Marilyn,” adding, “But I’m more interested in doing it in the sense of prayer, with repetition… It’s really a form of worship,” which is quite evident in his attention to detail applied to most of his paintings with deep crosshatch marks made throughout. These indentations, a signature of Hunt’s work, further the theory of repetition giving the image a sense of movement, but as mentioned in Guest’s BIRDS essay, ‘You’re In Wonderland’, regarding this repeat technique, “Slonem will usually paint them in profile, as did John James Audubon, + he often arranges them by species + in multiple images, but not so as to emphasize their sameness in the manner of most painters of multiples, but rather to bring out at once their abundant presence + their lively uniqueness.”

Birds by Hunt Slonem cause and yvette

(‘TOCOS 1’, 2008 | ‘HERB’S CARDINALS’, 2014 )

Author Jacqueline Bograd Weld describes Hunt’s paintings as “literally a whirl of paint-a thick impasto that Hunt grids or swirls at will. The birds + images appear and reappear in a purely visual space, an all-over style, in which there is no clear beginning or end or edge or corner,” reminding her of his stylistic roots in the recurring imagery of abstract expressionism + in Jackson Pollock’s gestural painting, in the Foreword A Fond Sonore. This clearly sets the tone for every masterpiece he assumes to create, always proving to be triumphant upon applying that last stroke of paint + or that last line cutting through it.

Birds by Hunt Slonem cause and yvette

(‘RUFUS ROLLER’, 2013)

Containing a variety of over one hundred bird paintings, Birds by Hunt Slonem, © 2017, published by Glitterati Incorporated, is sure to make a delightful gift for anyone who loves birds, color, patterns, texture, + fashion. But if not for someone else, it’s sure to breathe new life into your own personal art book collection, perfect for just sitting around + escaping into the far reaches of tropical settings enhanced by one artist’s vivid imagination + deep adoration for birds.

As with all of Glitterati Incorporated’s books, Birds by Hunt Slonem, © 2017, published by Glitterati Incorporated, is a ‘must cop’ + available for purchase here.

 

Gender Is Blurred With ØBLANC’s Utilitarian Vision For Fall

ØBLANC AW 2017 gender fluid Hunger tv cause and yvette

(gif: cause and yvette)

Called the ‘Interchangeable Workwear for the Hybrid Worker’, designer Olivia Le Blanc’s AW 2017 collection not only breaks gender barriers but also repurposes utilitarian looks with futuristic appeal under her brand ØBLANC.

ØBLANC AW 2017 gender fluid Hunger tv cause and yvette

Deconstructed to be worn multiple ways, by using various fasteners, bag straps + zippers, different pieces get to show some skin or distort one’s silhouette, by allowing the user to change the item’s fit every time. Let’s face it, who likes to be seen in the same thing twice, let alone pay more money to own more than one of the same? According to HUNGER magazine, this all ties into ‘ØBLANC’s focus on longevity + multi-purpose fashion, as well as paying homage to the functional + historic styles worn for work.’

ØBLANC AW 2017 gender fluid Hunger tv cause and yvette

If you love really long sleeves, why not just attach longer ones to it with the help of straps, that can later be removed to avoid getting them dirty when you reach for your hot cocoa come Fall? But what would inspire New York’s own to create such beauty with items most dismiss as looking too much like a uniform? Simply, Le Blanc told HUNGER how “the functionality + durability of workwear combined with interchangeability + unconventional materials” inspired this collection. That said, Le Blanc’s sensitivity for the environment is made possible by using recycled materials + giving them that ‘little extra something special’ with her own spin to the final creation. In fact, Le Blanc told HUNGER how she’s been repurposing items dating back to her high school days. Le Blanc said, ” I think it is a great way to eliminate over production + influence DIY creativity for the masses,” adding, “I also think using unconventional materials such as inflatables +d rubber boots are an interesting trend in sustainability.”

ØBLANC AW 2017 gender fluid Hunger tv cause and yvette

Of course, don’t think for one second that Le Blanc is on the gender fluidity bandwagon simply because it is popular + the direction of the future, but it’s part of the founding philosophy for ØBLANC. As she told HUNGER, “The philosophy for ØBLANC is creating iterations of hybrid gender through the clothes. There is a need in American fashion for reducing the divide of femininity + masculinity in fashion. There needs to be more boldness in this realm of style.”

ØBLANC AW 2017 gender fluid Hunger tv cause and yvette

(gif: cause and yvette)

 

ØBLANC AW 2017 gender fluid Hunger tv cause and yvette

Overall, ØBLANC’s AW 2017 collection is not only interesting, unique + wearable but definitely one to keep watching for seasons to come.

 

ØBLANC AW 2017 gender fluid Hunger tv cause and yvette

 

ØBLANC AW 2017 gender fluid Hunger tv cause and yvette

ØBLANC AW 2017 gender fluid Hunger tv cause and yvette

(gif: cause and yvette)

(photos: HUNGER)

(via HUNGER)

Naked In Times Square To Promote Body Positivity

(NSFW – Strong nudity)

Your naked body by itself is sometimes weird upon observation, so imagine showing it to a bunch of strangers, for the sake of art?! Well, last Friday, I did just that. I participated in an art project that was both liberating and exhilarating!

If you were in the Times Square area that day, you might have seen my naked body. Thankfully, I was not alone. Along with more than 100 men + women, getting our bodies painted, as part of the free ‘BODY NOTES’ project aimed to promote body positivity. Considered ‘a powerful, positive visual feast’ by Cosmopolitan magazine, participants + on-lookers alike really enjoyed this event of using the naked body as a canvas to highlight different body types in bright colors. Much to my surprise + bewilderment, I found myself amongst their article photos, sporting my ‘resting bitch face’, as my friends often tease me, in all my blue naked glory.
Body Notes, Getty Images, Cosmopolitan, cause and yvette

(photo: GETTY | COSMOPOLITAN)

Inspired by the ‘Subway Therapy‘ art project comprised of post-its, creators Andy Golub, producer of NYC Bodypainting Day and Matthew Chavez, the street artist behind the subway project, thought it would be a great way for people to express themselves. And what better way than through their chosen words of affirmation and our bodies + that we did! But don’t you believe for a second, my decision to participate was an easy one to make.

Body Notes, public participants, cause and yvette

(photo: cause and yvette)

Building Up The Courage To Go Bare

Three weeks prior to the event, after seeing the ad with photos of past models, I became interested. I noticed the different statements across their torsos. And immediately, I thought,’what I would write across mine?’. The only quote that popped into my head was by Nina Simone. I had seen a late Sixties interview of hers. When asked what freedom meant to her, she replied, “I’ll tell you what Freedom means to me. No fear.”

Freedom = No Fear

No other words could capture part of my journey, better than those when it came to body positivity. But my artist didn’t think they would all fit on my ‘body note’. So, I compromised and shortened it to read ‘FREEDOM = NO FEAR” as seen above.

After receiving my email confirming my pre-registration, I replied if a thong was going to be provided? They replied, “No – It’s full nude but you’ll be in good company.” Now, I struggled with the idea of not doing it as I had a problem with being fully naked.  But, I kept thinking, “I need to step out of my comfort zone.” And as Andy told New York Daily News, “Everyone feels that being naked is such a big thing but in reality that’s just who we are,” adding, “When you experience this, it quickly becomes no big deal,” + indeed it wasn’t, as seen here in one of the newspaper’s photos.

Body Notes, Shannon Stapleton, Reuters, New York Daily News, cause and yvette

(photo: Shannon Stapleton, Reuters|NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

Getting My Body Ready For The ‘World’

After agreeing with myself that I was going to do this, I knew that my body needed a little boost. You see, I had not been consistent with exercising and wanted to look my best. For the next three weeks, I worked out harder just to look a little better naked for the ‘big reveal’. But let’s face it, not much was going to drastically change overnight.

I have a five foot by five foot mirror in my living room. Every time I pass by it, I look at myself and my body. It doesn’t matter if I’m going to the kitchen or getting ready to go out.  I always sneak a peek, no matter what. So you can imagine my obsession during this time prior to my Times Square nakedness. Sometimes, I would even look into the mirror, with my back turned, bent forward, walking backwards to see how much cellulite was visible on the back of my thighs. Yeah, crazy, I know.

Having Latina Curves And High Fashion Taste

For me, the way my body looked was a major issue for most of my life. As a Dominican-American Latina, my weight was never an issue-the curvier the better. Growing up, having curves was something to celebrate especially in my family. I never saw a problem with how my body looked, no matter how big my hips, legs, cheeks or butt became.

Born and raised in New York City, one of the most fashionable cities in the world, my first glimpse of high fashion, ironically, was a variation of my first name – Yves. My love for high fashion was ignited by an early memory of a model in an Yves Saint Laurent pant suit, sans blouse. I don’t remember if it was in a movie or from a magazine, but it changed my life. From that moment on, I was hooked. Of course, you never would’ve guessed that after seeing half of my childhood pics. I was a late, late bloomer, with braces, wait for it, ‘head gear’, and glasses to add to my mystique.

Body Notes, public participants, cause and yvette

(photo: cause and yvette)

But Where Did My Curves Fit In High Fashion?

As I grew older and got more into fashion, my ideas of beauty and how my body fit into all that, changed and unfortunately, became distorted. I still wanted the curves, but, with the thinness of the models, I saw everywhere, caused me to question a disconnect. The thing is, when you have an hourglass figure, the way clothes hang on you is very different than how they hang on someone thin.

My body started to changing. My weight fluctuated through the years marked by the strategically placed stretch marks that ravaged my body. But that didn’t come as a surprise. Stretch marks are sometimes given birth by sporadic weight gain and weight loss. To make peace with my stretch marks, I dedicated a poem to them. After that, I started calling them ‘my friends’, as they became a part of me, making my body their home.

And I tell you this, when I was standing naked in Times Square, I didn’t care who was keeping count of how many I had or how dimpled my butt or thighs looked, especially when painted all blue, my color of choice. Wanting to channel Mystique from the X-Men, I chose blue for my body and yellow for my ‘body note’ square. The blue, however, turned out to be more Na’vi from Avatar, but, I still went for it. My paint job was complete and I was happy being blue. I was so in love with the blue and the experience, I rode the subway back home, still all blue, dressed in my clothes and navy shades (at least those matched).

Body Notes, Anthony Delmundo, New York Daily News, cause and yvette

(photo: Anthony Delmundo|NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

The Day To ‘Go Naked’ Arrives

That Friday, I methodically picked out an outfit that was easy to take off and put back on. I decided to wear Italian dance pants with a drawstring waist, a tee shirt and flip flops. I didn’t wear any makeup as I was going to be all blue in a few hours.

Once I arrived, in a body shaking with nerves,  I proceede to check myself in. All checked in, I made my way to the painting supplies table. There, I picked up my blue and yello paints, sponges, paintbrushes, and a towel to stand over.

I found a spot and laid down my towel. But as I looked around, I noticed something. Never have I’ve seen so many amateur photographers and phones held high at ten in the morning. That part was a bit unnerving. However, I wasn’t going to let that stop me to do what I came to do!

“Paint Your Genitals First!”

I first pulled down my pants revealing my thong underwear (usually all I wear). Then the tee came off, followed by my bra and underwear. Starting with my arms, I began dabbing blue paint on my body. Then I hear this event organizer yell out to paint our genitals first. A volunteer body painter eventually made her way to help me completely transform. And I’ll never forget how sweet she was.  If I needed something from the ground, she made sure to get it for me. Since I was naked, I had no business to bend for anything.

Orange, blue and yellow naked people surrounded me and by this point, I was all blue. All of these people were smiling because they were giving their pride of who they were a ‘voice’. ‘Body Notes’ like ‘INTROVERTS ARE AWESOME’ sweetened the car exhaust filled air. The traffic of cars stopped intermittently to catch a glimpse of all of our naked painted bodies. You couldn’t help but smile and enjoy the process of being part of something like this. As part of Amercian society, we all struggle with loving ourselves. But, as it’s so true what RuPaul says at the end of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’,

“If you can’t love yourself how in the hell you gonna be able to love someone else?”

If you could get your naked body painted, what would you have chosen as your ‘Body Note’ + why? I’d love to know in the comments. Paint me curious!

WANTED: Birds Print Pajama Robe By OFF-WHITE

As a lover of birds, silk pajama robes + all things OFF-WHITE c/o VIRGIL ABLOH, this piece is one to covet for life!

Besides the impressive colorful bird print in various sizes caught in mid-flight, against a black silk background, this long ‘OFF-WHITE Birds Print Pyjama Robe’ features the classic detail of contrast white piping throughout, a tie waist, a shawl collar + long sleeves. But it’s designer Virgil Abloh’s genius play of juxtapositions is what really makes this so good.

At first, what came to mind was the opulence of Japanese kimonos, often connected to luxury with a heavy price tag, like this one. But when stripped of its original silhouette + substituted for that of the relaxed yukata robe, its less expensive cousin, you have a winner. As usual, this is where Abloh’s genius use of juxtaposition hits high marks.

This robe sports an impressive assortment of colorful birds in various sizes caught in mid-flight, set against a black silk backdrop with contrasting white piping throughout, giving it that pajama feel. And if that weren’t enough, you have the word ‘WOMAN’ in all caps, embroidered across the top of the robe’s back. So what woman wouldn’t want to add this to her arsenal of fashion musts?!

For your very own ‘OFF-WHITE Birds Print Pyjama Robe’ head over to FARFETCH but quick, as they have very few left!