Thursday, December 20, 2012

christmas countdown

I've risen from the graduate school dead

and what better time than on the 20th of December aka the final days to get in your last minute holiday shopping/figure out how you're going to survive the weekend (I mean, haven't' you heard? the world is ending tomorrow...)

I cannot believe the semester is over, and that I haven't blogged in a month. it's been hectic, to say the least. but it was a great & memorable school year. I made a video, a photo doc, and a website/hybrid practice (which you are all welcome to view and ask me questions about!) needless to say, I'm relieved and look forward to a whole month of sloth-ing.

but the semester wasn't just all work & no play. sometimes, playing is even harder than working. you know how difficult it is keeping up with all the NYC activities on a day to day basis? that's why I never categorize socialite's as non-working human beings.

two of my favorite things about the city during holidays are the pop-up shops, specifically from Etsy and NYLON Mag. while Etsy's Holiday Shop was only open for a super limited time after Thanksgiving, there were a ton of crafts & gifting ideas that you can still access on their website. here are a few that caught my attention:

one of the many custom banners you can get at queenelectric'shop, just at $12.50!

or try one of these amazing accent garlands by EverlyLaneDesign at $49

I'm also super obsessed with these ombre tights by silk, who also makes ombre scarves & tops; and these ah-mahzing heart gloves made by yastikizi

kind of bummed I didn't get to participate in any of the Etsy craft days but I'm crossing my fingers for another pop-up in the near future since it was such a hit. another popular gathering took place in the meatpacking for NYLON's pop-up, which my friend Steph and I got to go to & even attend their grand opening party a few weeks ago.

though on the higher end of merchandising, I had a great time browsing the collections, getting some free Essie nail polish, and acting like a snob (what? everyone else was.)

hopefully I'll be able to post more as the new year approaches but not promising anything. until then, cheers!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

boots with the fur

winter is coming

as what my Game of Thrones brethren would say, but the quote fits present day new york quite perfectly. with random outbursts of snow (like what we saw nearly 2 weeks ago), temperatures dropping constantly, and getting wind chill every time you turn a corner, the time to stock up on all your winter gear is now

to prep myself for the coming frost bites of winter, I loaded my wardrobe with practically every uniqlo heattech thermal you can buy (I swear on these items) & finally scored a trendy parka (is that an oxymoron?) from topshop that are sure to keep me warm. but really, the number one essential item to have is a good pair of boots. remember, you'll be trudging sleet-lined streets and trying to beat 20°F temps so they've got to be comfortable, easy to walk in, and WARM! of course, it's always a plus when they're stylish too. thankfully I've got the perfect pair of boots that embody all of these things - yes, even in the cute department! they're made by LAMO footwear and my feet couldn't be happier.

here's the BRENDA style I have in black, @ $129

though I've never walked on clouds, I can imagine this is what it would feel like. even as I slipped my feet into these suede boots, I could already feel the most heavenly experience was just beginning. the faux fur trim is extra soft to the touch and gives a nice, comfortable hug to your calves without being too overbearing like the hugs you get from your great aunt during holiday parties.

the boot's insoles are lined with authentic sheepskin, which feels absolutely amazing, and the cushioning is just right. I think LAMO said it perfectly, "Nothing says 'relaxed comfort' like sheepskin boots." though we like to associate them to ugg's, there's a huge difference in the feel of LAMO's. because the insoles are extra dense, they won't wear out or flatten as quickly - making it a super durable, excellent quality sheepskin boot that's totally underrated.

not to mention, the boots are affordable and come in a ton of other styles so you can't go wrong with LAMO

here are some other excellent options from LAMO that I also fancy:

Unzipped, $149
Sammi, $99
Sonic II, $101

so get to shopping (remember, black friday is around the corner...)

& have a happy thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

best night ever

just when you thought asos couldn't get any cooler, they wrangled up 2 of the hottest up&coming female music artists of the year for the #bestnightever campaign | providing us with style digs needed to look our dapperest out on the town ... and of course, giving us a good excuse to drop the books & assignments and go out for a drink or two (or 3, or 4)

check out Azealia Banks' music video below, styled head to toe in asos:

ms. Banks & Ellie Goulding make up 2/3 of the campaign (I personally don't know who the other girl is, not gonna pretend like I do either, sorry) in which they guest edit "going out" looks on the daily! now you can't use that excuse "I have nothing to wear" so easily..

here are my top picks from Azealia's edit which I call, to quote her, the "bambi, belle of the ball" look

jewel printed body-con, $52 | ring set megapack, $21 | metal top sunglasses, $21 | river island faux fur coat, $123

now don't think I forgot about skrillex's gf a.k.a. miss Goulding. even though I blocked "lights" from my auditory perception months ago, I still love her music (tip: listen to this track) and her ultra polished yet bold style.
part of what I love about this asos campaign is that you can create your own looks with inspiration from the muses. the app bridges too similar to, but hey, it's still fun.
per her asos interview, Ellie notes some style essentials for an on stage look, made up of high waisted shorts, a bandeau & fierce shoes she won't fall in. so taking that, here's a few pieces from asos that mimic her rockstar style (wanted to use the outfit creator but it wasn't working in my favor..)

shorts with gem flowers, $55 | platform ankle boots, $96 | contrast panelling bomber jacket, $66

wrapping up this campaign trail for nightlife trendspotting, asos also has an awesome photo editing app where you pick your fave party pics on facebook & add silly stickers and effects to them (now don't you wish you still had those embarrassing undergrad photos saved?...kidding)
while the app is meant to display as the cover on your fb public profile, it's really not the best working girl move. but since I'm still a student I did not hesitate at all to create a party photobooth cover, summing three great memories (or lack thereof) from 2012

I'll admit, I deleted it from my page immediately but I had to play photo editor at least once! I noticed the biggest trend in toddy's media is user creativity and interaction with technology. mere things like scrapbooking and sticker books are things of the past, as now we have instagram and photo editing apps that turned our childhood sticker passions to adult musings.
I mean, who would've thought pairing cartoons/gifs/lisa frank/other mundane graphics with the party scene?? suppose it's just the hip[ster] thing to do.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

my playlist: chill pill

start your weekend right & listen below.

Monday, November 5, 2012

birthday blackout

in no way does the title refer to alcoholic consumption consequences. not 21 anymore...


it's certainly been an interesting week. for those of us living in the east coast, at least, who suffered hurricane sandy's wrath. a natural disaster many (including myself) scoffed at days, hours before she behemothly swept through the streets of lower manhattan, coastal NJ & the rockaways, leaving many without electricity, heat, cars, food, a roof, etc. - I felt like such such an idiot not taking it so seriously.

I had other things on my mind, concerning the week-long celebration of my turning 24 years-old (weird.) it was the best birthday weekend of my life thus far. my cousins came to visit & I couldn't have been more thankful/blessed to have them here & eventually stranded for a few days due to the hurricane. I can't imagine what I'd do without them, or what I would've done if they weren't here when sandy struck. since power was down where I live, I sought refuge with them at the Ace Hotel, aka the hipster refugee camp, granting us perfect time to explore midtown, which I rarely do.

pre-sandy, I was extremely grateful to have a birthday without a freak weather happenstance to potentially ruin the mood (that doesn't sound bratty at all..) beginning with a terrific dinner @ ippudo, watching the xx blow minds at the paradise theatre, and ending the night with amazing drinks & tapas @ beauty and essex

while my birthday weekend was a bit shortened by sandy, it was nice having some downtime at the apartment before evacuation monday night. had a fantastic brunch at essex sunday afternoon followed by a major world series win for the sf giants!!!

it's almost difficult to even recount what happened last week because without electricity our lives are so impartial to knowing what's happening around us. on monday, the day sandy came, my cousin and I got tea and little bites @ podunk since it was the closest thing to me & practically the only establishment that was open. come 8:30pm, power was shut off & my roommate, cousin, and I sat around the kitchen table munching on snacks, sipping wine, and talking for hours by candle light. it was surreal to be in darkness all night, without cell phones or laptops consuming us. it felt nice to not feel the need to check my email or latest instagram feed every 10 minutes. but apart from that little time we had sans technology, there was so much destruction done outside that we had no idea about until the next couple of days.

on tuesday, my cousin and I parted ways with my cold, powerless apartment and decided to stay with her sister & brother in law at the hotel. I know there were thousands of NYers/east coasters who didn't have the luxury of checking into a hotel, fully circuited & functioning, comfortable and provided us with entertainment...I felt so spoiled. I'd go back and forth to lower manhattan where my apartment is and saw how much of a ghost town it became. no businesses were open, no streets were occupied with more than a couple people. the emptiest I've ever seen downtown. taxi's were scarce, and people were desperate to find solace or warmth. everyone moved upward, even if we continually say, "I never go past 14th street." we had no choice.

at night, streets below 29th and east of 5th ave. were pitch black. it was scary & it was like that for at least 4 days. walking the opposite direction was a total 180 degree turn. it was like nothing happened in upper manhattan, everything was "normal." we ate in koreatown more times than I can count, and finally got to see Newsies (which was absolutely brilliant & Corey Cott, I love you.)

 once my cousins departed for california friday morning, I continued my stay at the hotel since power still hadn't restored in downtown. it was nice, but again I couldn't help feeling so spoiled while so many were still without heat & electricity, or even a home. I did return home before the weekend ended, and finally saw the east village/alphabet city return to business. I swear, the energy of new york will never be broken no matter what.

but while the city continues getting back in the swing of things, other boroughs are still fighting to stay alive & well. relief efforts are continually being made, including these two pieces I really love & plan on purchasing.
the first (left), a t-shirt designed by Sebastian Errazuriz, a NY designer whose studio was paralyzed by sandy; & the second (bottom), a notebook so thoughtfully illustrated by the people at Cool Material

the east coast is still fighting, please help any way you can.

Monday, October 22, 2012

not completely M.I.A.

array of gold rings @ the chelsea market flea
in case you're wondering what I've been up to...

school, school, & more school // I can't complain about student life, let alone being one in a masters program. I continue to learn everyday through the people I meet, the discussions & debates held in class, the compelling environment around me. so far, so good. I'm experimenting with photography in my visual storytelling class and dabbling with heresy in media & magic (ok, maybe just reading about heresy..), and developing a prototype for my first hybrid media test site! so much work but can't wait til this semester is finished despite how much I'm enjoying it.

playing tour guide // literally 3 of my college friends visited the city in the past 2 weeks, and within the next few days my cousins & another friend will arrive to play/party with me on my birthday! and not to mention, one of my best friends is moving to town tomorrow from california - what better bday present than that? 24 doesn't seem so bad...

working hard, playing harder // well, sort of. my version of "play hard" means dancing for an hour straight then going to bed at 3am, unlike the usual 7am sunrise sleepy time most new yorkers indulge in over the weekends. on friday night, my friend DJ-ed at Santos Party Haus for his Dream But Don't Sleep event & it was quite epic. the music was great & if it weren't for my aching feet I would've danced/head-banged much longer.

though I said I'm not a fan of sleeping past sunrise, I have to admit I've committed such acts in the past couple days - but not because of of obvious reasons! quite opposite, in fact. I had the opportunity to be a production assistant for a Tisch short film called, HYPEBEASTS - about the 'sneakerhead' subculture. the crew shot scenes from 6:30pm-am, so my days have been a little reversed. it was hard work but it was such a learning experience and couldn't be grateful for the cast & crew that welcomed me with open arms. check out their website & if it's a topic of interest to you, please donate! Spike Lee is the advisor for this student film, and it features SF 49er Aldon Smith & Grizz from '30 Rock'! not only is the cast amazing, but the film also tackles racial/societal tensions, sheds light on a culture that continues to grow, yet not many know about it, and also features fantastic wardrobe. really proud of and inspired by the work put into making this film.

around 7am, on my walk home from the 'hypebeasts' set

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

bewitching 'Beautiful Creatures'

all comic geeks, sci-fi lovers, & toy nerds alike attended the New York Comic Con over the weekend, the biggest pop culutre convention in the east coast. I was lucky enough to go on Saturday to experience the spectacle of everyone, young and old, dressed in their favorite comic/anime/cartoon/fiction characters, parading through the aisles of video game & fantasy film glory. (if you need halloween costume inspiration, I suggest checking out the comic con steez from the weekend here or here)

the upcoming fantasy film, Beautiful Creatures held a press conference that I got to attend. the film is based on the young adult novel, which is in fact part of a series (may this be the next "Twilight"?) written by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. in short, the plot centers on this supernatural love story between Ethan & Lena, a mysterious new girl who happens to be some type of witch. they uncover dark, hidden secrets about her family & future as a "caster" while also trying to survive this "Romeo & Juliet" type relationship in their small, southern town.

the conference featured the director, Richard LaGravenese (an Oscar nom) and some cast members: Emmy Rossum who plays Ridley, a badass (as she described) "dark caster", Alden Ehrenreich who is the film's leading male protagonist (Ethan Asher), his best friend played by Thomas Mann, and Zoey Deutch who plays Ethan's angry ex-girlfriend - quite the 'spell' for a love triangle!

Thomas Mann, Richard LaGravenese, Alden Ehrenreich, Zoey Deutch, Emmy Rossum

during the intimate gathering, the cast talked about how they prepared for their roles (developing the southern twang & such), the process of adapting a mythological novel to the big screen, etc. (the entire panel can be seen & heard via youtube, part 1 & 2)
what I found interesting was Emmy's character, Ridley which she calls a "vicious goddess" but in the best way possible - Rossum described her character as a "badass, dark, heroin, witch," who also embodies elegance, class, and chicness. the film took this character to a whole new level with the costumes.

with LaGravenese's inspiration from 1930s-70s films and culture, Ridley was given multiple personas that reflect each time period just by her wardrobe; from Rita Hayworth to Doris Day, Ridley can embody practically any look of a film icon (perhaps even becoming one herself?)

below are some screenshots I took of the Beautiful Creatures "casters," all dressed intricately and seemingly from a completely different era:


My Fair Lady meets The Fifth Element? kind of loving it.

to see more bewitching costumes and learn more about "Beautiful Creatures," watch the featurette here and the official trailer here

'beautiful creatures' opens february 13, 2013