9.22.2016

Muses: Julia Margaret Cameron

9.22.2016
The fantastic thing--though also possibly overwhelming--about being an artist today is the accessibility we have to so much inspiration. The internet, along with dedication of those who work to preserve our culture's consciousness in museums, archives, and beyond, has given us a chance to engage with the artists that came before us in a beautiful way. The fact that I can simply type "Julia Margaret Cameron" into my search bar and come up with a beautiful array of images makes me so thankful for the age in which we live. I can compile a blog post like this and say, "Look look at this!" and then carry that inspiration with me.

This ease of accessibility is certainly a blessing, but often I get nostalgic for a time when art had a little more mystery. Before social media, self-promotion happened with a little more effort. Pursuing a new art form didn't come from dabbling, but rather from an "all-in" mentality. For instance, my girl Julia Margaret Cameron here put her life into marketing, showing, and copyrighting her work. Within 18 months of the start of her career, she had sold 80 prints to the V&A(x). Her dedication to her craft is something that has been sitting with me, and for that reason she is my muse this week. 

Julia Margaret Cameron began her career in photography at the age of 48. That's right! This badass lady didn't become famous at a young age, wasn't an It-Girl (well she did run in a circle of elites like Tennyson and Charles Darwin). Instead, she made her name simply by doing the damn work. She figured out her own style and perspective by experimentation. In the face of much doubt, she strived to make her photography akin to the artists of the Italian Renaissance. While photographers of the time were concerned with technical skills, Cameron preferred to imbue her work with a certain spirit rather than perfection. Other photographers accused her photos of being out of focus with incorrect shadows or coloring. While she wished to bring mythology and history to life, other men in her field found her work to be worthy of mockery and derision. I can't help but wonder, dear readers, if perhaps her subject matter and style were seen by male photographers as trivial and unstudied only because she was a woman. Ah, the age-old question. Still, I cannot travel in time to convince their sorry (and uncelebrated) asses of her brilliance. I can only admire her here. 

A bit about her subject matter: she brought in only her friends to sit for her. She didn't do commissioned portraits, but preferred to stage her portraits in order to evoke a character or feeling specific to her work. Her subjects complained about the amount of time they had to hold their poses, often in romantic and dramatic outfits. She brought to life Arthurian legends and mythic archetypes. I love work like hers because it proves the eternal fascination that mankind has with stories. There are some things that never die, and it seems that the stories she has tapped into are some of them. And what better way to make them true than by photography? 


Julia Margaret Cameron is an inspiration to me both because of her dreamy subject matter and her devotion to the craft. She is proof of the fact that one really can start a new art (or career path/hobby/life/personality/whateverrr) at any age. She rarely took no for an answer. She inspires me to be fearless in the things I love, and to listen to the things I am drawn to. 
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9.16.2016

Inspiration: Getty Neoclassical Statues

9.16.2016
Lol how many times have I talked about this Valentino collection? Can't even count. I took a few photos of these statues at the Getty last time I was there. I just have such a fondness for ancient Greek art and the endless re-imaginings of it. I think when I was younger I didn't realize that the white marble statues I saw in museums were more than likely from the Renaissance or Neoclassical eras--I thought they were all from 2000 years ago. Still, there is a magic that lingers in these pieces and in the fascination that we have with the old myths and aesthetics. I put together a little inspo collage of Valentino, ancient Greek jewelry, and reimagined Medusa brooches. Also threw a little Pride and Prejudice in there because that scene is flawless. 


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9.13.2016

A Modern Marie

9.13.2016
I've been thinking about play; about how fashion has always been a way for me to dabble in other personas, to play dress up of both body and mind. I've also missed doing self-portraits. Ian has been so lovely in taking my photos so often, but I really do enjoy the process of taking my own photos for this blog, even if they are a little off-kilter or look too much like they were taken with a tripod. Self-portraiture is a way for me to check in with myself because it's just me and the camera--I'm running between my chosen spot and the tripod (even more today because my remote died). It's quite cathartic; everything but my immediate surroundings and my own feeling of existence just fades away. 

Today I reached for this fun velvety shirt and this collar I made while I was home. They reminded me of Marie Antoinette, or rather, the characters that I have seen her become in the public eye. I've actually read a few Marie Antoinette biographies and of course I adore the Sophia Coppola film, if only for the delicious visuals. Marie Antoinette is the epitome of privileged white girl, I suppose, but there is something so mournful that I have always found in her character. She was a young girl thrust into high society and away from her family. I imagine her spending a lot of time alone, trying to pass the time while absolutely nothing is expected of her (for better or worse). So today I honor her with a pink color she would have loved, some unnecessary frills, and a collar--which, now that I think of it, seems almost like a reference to a guillotine. 
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9.10.2016

bloom

9.10.2016

Some very sunny pictures for a very sunny day. Ian and I had a glorious Los Angeles day. Some days I don't want to live in LA at all, and other days, when we actually get out and do things, I am very thankful to live here. Today we hit up Sqirl for breakfast, which I'm sure if you have looked at any kind of "Things to Do in LA" lists, Sqirl is at the top. It's just really really good. Also many dogs, would recommend. We then meandered down to the Silverlake Flea Market and found some really cool sellers--I need to go back when I have actual money in my bank account. Then we went to Secret Headquarters which is an amazing comic book store at Sunset Junction. The rest of the day was spent on walks and naps. Weekends with Ian are very nice because it gives me a chance to chill out and not worry so much about "what I am going to do with my life." Because believe me, most days are spent doing that.
So this outfit is a good one, I think. This skirt was thrifted from my favorite Goodwill back home and it reminds me of blooms and love. The necklace has been in my closet for years...I think my mom got it at a Flea Market. Most importantly though, are these scarves tied around my arms. Since Carrie Bradshaw was my muse this week, I wanted to honor her amazing scarf-on-the-arm concept. You know the one: (x). In general I just wanted to challenge myself with bright colors and absolutely no black!!! It's not like I'm a "I only wear black" person, but I often shy away from mixing bright colors. So instead of my usual black ribbon around my waist or gold necklace, I decided to let my dress roam free and my neck sport some color. Just how I imagine Carrie would do. 

Skirt as a Dress - Thrifted    //    Shoes - Old Navy    //   Scarves and Necklace - probably from a flea market

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9.07.2016

Muses: Carrie Bradshaw

9.07.2016
I promise to post more intriguing and edgy women after this so please don't hate me, but I finished my second all-the-way-through viewing of Sex and the City today and I am feeling very sentimental. My best friend always told me that I was the Carrie Bradshaw of our group. Before I watched Sex and the City, I thought this was a fabulous compliment because all I knew was that Carrie was fabulous. Then I watched the show and holy shit, Carrie is the most annoying character in the world. The decisions she makes... I see now that my poor taste in boys at a younger age led my friends to call me Carrie...but no matter, that is the past. Carrie and I both turned out all right, right??? Anyways, my post today is a tribute to Carrie Bradshaw, if only for her confidence and style. 
Carrie has received a lot of criticism for that cowboy hat/bandeau on the beach situation but I think it is incredible. If my abs looked like hers I would wear that in a heartbeat (I might anyways... Halloween is coming...) But this is why I love Carrie. Of course, she knows everyone at Prada and her voicemail machine asks callers to leave a message for her shoes, but Carrie doesn't exist only for clothing. She loves her clothing and has an intimate relationship with it, but it never stands in for her being. That is something that is so inspiring to me. Sometimes I want to work in fashion, but other times I just want clothing to be another facet of my personality instead of what I "exist for". That's why Carrie Bradshaw is so important. She seems so at ease in her outfits, no matter how silly they are, because they are just a part of herself that she has figured out. Man Repeller summarized this much better than I in this article: (x). Carrie's style is, indeed, thoughtful. She is able to portray her creativity and even intelligence through the way she styles herself, and this is an ability I so admire. The Man Repeller article ends by stating that Carrie's style is so exquisite because we are not able to date her ensembles. Her outfits could work in 1999 as well as right now. She has captured that "timeless" thing Coco Chanel always went on about, without looking classic or subdued at all. 
Moreover, it is her charisma that allows Carrie to slay in her outfits. A boring woman could not look this exciting. Yes, Carrie can be quite cringe-worthy, but she gets up every damn day and tries again--whether the task is wooing an ex or styling the most amazing Roberto Cavalli top invented. She has an energy and a determination. That charisma, more than anything, is reflected in her style.
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9.04.2016

Getty Goings-On

9.04.2016
I just spent a while thinking about the future of my blog etc. etc. In the past I have been very huffy about limiting what I post about, making posting schedules, and developing an overall theme for my blog. I wanted freedom, not schedules goddammit! But lately I have been finding that the unstructured nature of my blog has been bothering me. It feels too scattered. I've never been a person that has wanted to share everything on the internet. Instead, I like creating content specifically for this online space rather than feeling like my blog defines me. So I am going to try something new. Gone are the days of me posting whatever photos fall into my lap. I would rather have this as a more curated space with a more specific theme than "I thought this was cool so I posted it without much thought." I would now like to turn to the things that really make me tick and think: history, womanhood, and art.

I've been wanting to do more interviews and profiles on women that inspire me, and that is coming soon. For now, I have an outfit post (outfits will now be filed under the "Adornments" tab at the top of my page) from the Getty Center yesterday. As a girl obsessed with 16th-century European art and living far away from most of it in Los Angeles, the Getty Center is a real haven for me. I actually just applied to a job there, but who knows what will become of that. Anyways, Ian and I paid the museum a visit yesterday and it was lovely as ever. I wore my favorite striped jumpsuit (and yes, it is from Forever 21 and I certainly want to move away from fast fashion retailers like that, but for now ya girl is broke and needs to wear the clothes she already has). The Getty is just the calmest place in LA and it has a definite air of magic to it. A modern marble exterior filled with centuries of magical objects as its interior. 

Jumpsuit - F21 // Shoes - Old Navy // Sunglasses - Garrett Leight
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9.01.2016

My Work: St. Veronica Cyanotypes

9.01.2016
While I would like to keep this blog as a space for fashion, womanhood, and writing, I would also like to show off some of my work from time to time. I am always developing my artistic style, trying to incorporate the things I learn and love into what I make. Most recently, I experimented with cyanotypes: a process which includes developing images onto UV-sensitive chemical-treated paper. I was working with the indexical here, and I saw it fit to make my first subject the patron saint of photography. 


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8.22.2016

Cabinet of Curiosity II

8.22.2016
Some inspiring things lately. Particularly been thinking about long robes to wear over jeans once it gets cold enough, beautiful jewelry from Brilliant Earth (x) and Tallulah Fontaine (x), and beautiful photography from the likes of Tim Walker, Paolo Roversi, and Sanja Marusic (x). I also included a cyanotype by Christopher James (x). I have been working on my own cyanotypes and I am excited to do a large-scale one like this soon. All images and sources from this post can be found on my Pinterest! (x)
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8.18.2016

Mermaid Aura

8.18.2016
Alright, as terrifying as it is to post pictures of myself in a bathing suit online, I really love these photos. My love Maddy and I took off to Nevada City yesterday. We hit up the very cool shop Kitkitdizzi (x) and then headed down to the Yuba River. After the icy rivers near Coloma and Placerville, the Yuba River was an amazing change because it was soooo warm. I was in love. I wore my simple high-waisted bottoms from American Apparel (the only thing I have ever purchased there) and my little COS bikini. I love the classic black look, but I really loved the way the lens flare in these photos added a little color. We will just call that my mermaid aura. 



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8.16.2016

just a lil' slip

8.16.2016
I'm enjoying taking outfit photos again. I'm also really enjoying that most of this outfit is is thrifted for two reasons: it cost me very little and it means I am sticking to my "no fast fashion" policy. About this policy: I just feel like as a person who likes fashion and personal style, I can use my voice to speak out on how depressing it is to me to think about how wasteful the fashion industry can be. It's certainly hard to avoid buying cute lil' things at H&M and Zara (who I am boycotting for being thieves more than fast fashion culprits) but when the thrift stores in your tiny hometown have fun nighties like this one, it gets easier. I love this ditzy little print, especially with these earrings I got from a peddler's fair. I kind of feel like an 70s hooker in this, but maybe that's just me. 

Dress - Thrifted
Shoes - Old Navy 
Earrings - Thrifted
Necklace - Melrose Trading Post
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