Wednesday, October 7, 2015

honoring the past to inspire the future

I'll admit. I love old buildings. Whenever I see an older building that has been neglected, I dream of what could be. But even I didn't expect to gasp out loud when looking at images of this cultural center in a former bank in South Side Chicago. It's that good.

The Stony Island Arts Bank is the latest project of Rebuild Foundation, an organization dedicated to to rebuilding the cultural foundations of underinvested neighborhoods and inciting movements of community revitalization that are culture based, artist led, and neighborhood driven. With that goal in mind, the way the Arts Bank's design does not merely restore the bank to its former glory, but uses the decay to create a new design that honors the original design, the more recent past of neglect, and the current mission, all in order to inspire the future of those who enter.

[Images originally found on Slate.]

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

read more: homeless youth defining their own identity

["Fleur" photo by Natalie Brasington]

"How do you wish to be seen?

This is the question behind "The Portrait Project," an exhibition celebrating the strength and resilience of individuals and families experiencing homelessness..."At a time when NYC homelessness is at record highs, one of Art Start's missions is to start a dialogue about what it means to be seen," explained Johanna de los Santos, co-executive director for Art Start, in a statement. While the majority of visualizations depicting contemporary homelessness summon feelings of compassion, sympathy and frustration, Art Start hopes to shift the dialogue, celebrating the fortitude and enduring imagination of the pictured individuals, who refuse to let their circumstances define their identities."
- Priscilla Frank, The Huffington Post

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

personal style, a little bit of everything

"I have the honor of interviewing talented designers for each issue of Rue Magazine, and a question I frequently ask is “how do you define your personal style?” There is often a long pause, as this question can be difficult. Yet flipping through each designer’s website, their personal style becomes obvious, even if it is hard to label.

Glancing around my own apartment, I wonder if my own style is as visible. My closet is easy. My fashion sense is somewhere between Audrey Hepburn and Katharine Hepburn. My dream home? A combination of Marcel Beuer and Antoni Gaudí… with a dash of Louis XIV."

I had the honor about writing about my confusing, conflicting, and perhaps undefinable personal style for Rue Magazine. Read it on page 40 of our latest issue and I promise the rest of the issue is just as delightful. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

a uniform is never thoughtless

"With a fairly important meeting on the horizon, I started to try on different outfits, lacking any real direction or plan. "Is this too formal? Is that too out there? Is this dress too short?... As I arrived at work, my stress level only increased as I saw my male creative partner and other male co-workers having a "brodown" with the new boss as they entered the meeting room—a room I was suppose to already be inside. I just stood there—paralyzed by the fact that I was not only late, but unprepared. And my sweater was inside out." 

Matilda Kahl's piece for Harper's Bazaar was the first article on wearing a self-imposed daily outfit that hasn't left me wanting to tear our my hair. (See: Stuart Heritage in The Guardian's How to be as successful as Obama and Zuckerberg: wear the same clothes every day. It may work for the President but how would that work for Michelle Obama?) 

I like Kahl's piece because I agree. Uniforms can be powerful. I love Janelle Monae's commitment to her black and white style and have long expressed admiration for the architecture professors of the world who look chic in daily black. Her feeling of panic  at getting dressed is one I have felt many times and I, too, have a standard look that I put on no matter the situation when I'm unsure- dark jeans, a button down shirt, and some oversized necklace. 

Kahl and Heritage agree that thinking about exactly what to wear takes up amount of time and brain space, sometimes distracting from other things that need to get done. Heritage however frames it as time that the busy men he profiles just can't be bothered to take. That taking the time to think about clothes is trivial or a waste. What Kahl gets, perhaps better than most given her job as Creative Director, is that no matter what we wear we send a signal. Zuckerberg does it in his hoodie, and it's a signal that works for him both because of who he is and what his surroundings are. It would not work for President Obama for the same reasons. (And when Zuckerberg met Obama? He wore a tie.) Kahl saves herself time now by wearing a uniform, but it only works because she thought through a work outfit that would always be appropriate. 

Me? I'm not giving up a rainbow of colors (okay, yes, mostly blue and green and sometimes red.) But I get it. Now excuse me, I've got to throw on a button down and get to work. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

read more: on branding

“It’s a mistake to think the consumer cares as much about your brand as you do. They may spend 2 seconds of their day thinking about you, so you have to nail it in the fewest words possible, and be relentlessly consistent.”
- Barney Waters from K-Swiss, in Hypebeast interview of three street wear brands