art, events, Fashion, tech industry

The Hundreds

I’ve been interested in selling NFTs, and Shopify advertised an event just when I was doing my research. I just had questions. By the time the event rolled around I already had my Open Seas account set up, but I still had questions. A dry little presentation with q & a was exactly what I needed.

Nope.

I guess my questions were answered in a way. People are doing their own thing through NFTs, resenting their art and visions and creating whole communities without asking for permission. As a photographer I was always operating with the weight the established order of things on my back. You had to do things a certain way or kiss massive amounts of buttock to get anywhere. I have so much work that I slaved and stressed over and its hearten to think that I can present it directly to an audience and hopefully build a following and sell my work.

Even if its just creating them and building collections and dabbling with things like 3D animations or print on demand books. I don’t want everything I did to go to waste.

adventures, Travel

The Palace

I look a little sour, but that was because I stayed out late, drank wine, had a late dinner and then got up early for my trip out to the country. I was deliriously happy. After years of just existing and being depressed, I had the time, energy and credit available to go to Paris and finally see Versailles. I also got to wear a fun floral dress from my metro haul. I can’t even describe the satisfaction. Also, this place is massive. As you walk across the cobblestones it gets bigger and shinier and it is easy to imagine the ringing clip clop of horse drawn carriages full of silk clad nobles.

a real palace with actual gold on the fence railings and roof

Can you believe these clouds? Big, puffy, startlingly white cotton ball clouds make the place look like some fairy tale land. They are 3D, and there’s an ever present feeling that something will pop out of them. Not in a bad way? But some lovely creature will float down with champagne, macarons and quiche for a fashionable repast.

Maybe that’s just me.

I took a tour through viator and they took care of everything. We had a great tour guide, Isabel, who led us through the very crowded palace and then we got to wander the gardens for about an hour. In spite of the tragic history of the former inhabitants, it was a magical afternoon.

art, Fashion, fashion designer, museums, vintage

The Smithsonian

The staircase of the Carnegie mansion

I had a few more photos from the Cooper Hewitt. Not enough to really give anything away, but just enough to be annoying. The photo above is of the staircase of the mansion, and I think I take a picture of it every time I go there because I’m in love with it. It’s substantial and gracious, and stairs in my regular life just don’t look like that. I also love how the floors creak as you walk. It’s a living building melded into a modern day museum, and there are moments that are quietly shocking, like when you come out of an exhibit and fetch up in a window walled room perfect for sitting and reading. Or taking a hidden concrete staircase that is drenched in sunlight and modernity that runs up the building like a spine.

I thought that I had taken more photos. But I didn’t, which is kind of good because it means I was super engaged. There was exhibit of Lilly Pulitzer florals by Suzie Zuzek, and posters by E. McKnight Kauffman. Im nit sure about the furniture, it may have been in the Kauffman floor. Went to the bathroom and found a chance to show off my Versailles tote bag. And I bought a book about fashion that I already bored with.

They literally try to educate you as you go potty

art, black fashion designer, Fashion, fashion designer, museums

The Coop(er Hewitt)

Coming out of lockdowns and variant scares, New York is chock full of eye grabbing museum visits, trying to get those visitors piling in. I found out that there was a Willia Smith exhibit, so I headed uptown looking for fashion.

It was good, I liked it.

It’s a small show, but it perfectly captures the 80s. The layered, bulky but streamlined outfits, the crumbling concrete and chainlink fence decor. You can feel the overdone smokey eyes and red lips in the atmosphere. It’s like a little New York apartment where you sleep all day and then jump up at sunset to get dressed and go out to sulk at a club, then slink into the night with a stranger. Not a lot of space, but they did a lot with it. It’s that kind of show. It has layers.

I loved how artistic the designer is. There was a whole installation of concrete forms and a notepad with sketches you could take home. There was a little corner showing how Christo had Williwear design the uniforms for the staff at his exhibits. I was seeing this just as everyone was gasping over Christo wrapping the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, so it was a bittersweet feeling. He also did costumes for dance performances and plays. Willie Smith was a prolific and thoughtful designer who skillfully took the mundane and made it glorious.

Fashion, Movie, movies

The Movies

amazing film about Tammy Faye Messner

In the past month I’ve been restless and just looking for stuff to fill the time. I had a thing to do in Soho which put me near the Angelika movie theater, open to anyone who’s vaxxed with proof. Seeing a movie is such a novel experience now. It seems almost subversive.

The first movie I saw was The Eyes of Tammy Faye starring Jessica Chastain. A story told about Tammy Faye’s evolution, from childhood to Christian lady puppetmaster to high priestess of mascara. I haven’t thought about her in years, but once I saw the poster I knew it was the ticket I was meant to buy. My mother watched PTL and even went in a church trip the PTL Club. When she came back, she was happy. I never even knew she had a sense of humor. She was just some bitter bitch, never really smiled at us, and always working. But something at PTL Club had her smiling like a normal person. A movie ticket is a small price to pay to learn about the people who gave my mom a radiant, joyful glow.

Jessica Chastain was a marvel. There was sorrow, struggle, hardship and humour. The story is stretched a little thin, but it does get the message across. She was a lot more than mascara, but it would take lot more than this to wash the stink off of her reputation.

Wes Anderson’s latest delight

I love a Wes Anderson film. I was first exposed to the auteur’s work with The Royal Tennenbaums and went from there. I loved The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, so I went backwards and watched Bottle Rocket and Rushmore. I like his films because the stories are well plotted out and easy to follow. Not in a simpleminded way, they’re just so good and straightforward that you can follow along easily while also drinking the layered and intricate visuals. The French Dispatch continues in this tradition. It’s an anthology, four separate stories all set in a charming ancient little French town, Ennui.

I loved it. I love the imagination and discipline that go into making these spectacles. Also how he works with same people, reimagining them into various characters and giving them room to play. I haven’t read any reviews, so I was free to go on and like it without reservation.

adventures, plants, Travel

The Gardens

Just out in the country visiting Monet

So, back in Paris. Woke up on a gorgeous Sunday morning and figured out the public transit route to meet with a group to go to the countryside for a tour of Giverny and Versailles. I went to art school, and like most of the world have a continuing love for impressionism. When I was obsessively planning my trtip, I flashed back to going to MOMA as soon as it opened and seeing Monet’s waterlily paintings and feeling restored by them. Also, two birds one trip, since we would also be going on to Versailles. For $250! Quelle bargain!

On the bus to the tour guide’s location, le Tour de Eiffel ❤️

I was a little groggy and scared of missing my train/bus connections, then got turned around for the walking portion of the trip, and I forgot to record more of the process of getting to the meeting location and getting out on the road. In spite of the fact that I had two cameras, my iphone and a portable charger, I was also paranoid about filling up on photos and wasting precious battery before getting to the sights that I’d paid to see. It was a fun ride, though. Our tour guide, Isabel, was telling us about pretty much everything we passed, and letting us know about all the fun we had in store on the trip. The best part was that we literally had to do nothing but chill, ask questions and enjoy the scenery.

details of the gardens…look at the light!

As soon as we pulled into Giverny I was snapping pics. The town is lovely, but I admit to focusing mainly on the gardens and home, because I could really feel how someone could see a house from the train, run to buy it and then set up artistic shop for the rest of their lives. If you’re a visual artist (or a content creator, since influencers do noting but take pics all day long), you could live in this place and never take the same photo twice. The light, the angles, the variety of flora, the lovely little ponds, the bridges, the waterlilies, all breathtaking. I got caught up. It got a little dicey when other tour groups arrived, but I was still so fascinated, and the morning light was glorious.

view through the little bridge

After winding my way along the garden paths twice, I started remembering that there was more and headed off to the house, which was PACKED to the rafters with tourists. Everyone wore masks and a nice man at the door sprayed your palms with sanitizing solution before entering, but it was still crowded. However, I had to mosey in and see how Claude was living. It’s one thing to see country French decor in magazines and another to see it up close.

I kind of ran through the place, because the crowd behind pushes you forward, but I adored the sunny yellow dining room and the cool blue and white tiles in the kitchen. Everything placed just so, lots of colors and life. It’s wild to see so many strangers tromping through it, when it was probably super quiet when the painter lived there.

the amazing art of Claude Monet in Giverny

After leaving the house I wandered out onto the road but, to be honest, I just got a sandwich and a cup of cider and chilled until it was time to leave. We still had another stop before Versailles, so I wanted to save my energy. But I did manage to get some shots off in the car as we sped deeper into the French countryside.

Next time we;’re going to hang out at Versailles. You’ll love it.

art, Fashion, fashion designer, painting

The Rest of the Met

The lovely temple of Dendur

I didn’t just go to the Met for fashion. It’s always a visual treat. And no visit is complete without a few minutes admiring the sheer cheek of snatching an entire temple and dragging it back to New York. It’s breathtaking, with the moat around it and the massive window looking out into Central Park and the surrounding megabucks real estate.

The Egyptian artifacts on display at the Met are impressive as a whole. Heiroglyphic covered walls, jewelry, pottery, statuary… you can easily slip into a reverie and daydream yourself into ancient Egypt while visiting.

But there’s more!

Tastefully appointed rooms perfectly preserved. Silk carpets and marquetry tables, and ornate candelabra. Perfect setting for romances and horror movies. There never any in between.

I have never seen this area before. It’s spectacular, and completely new to me.

This is one of my favorite paintings. This girl is feeling herself and here we are, hundreds of years later, feeling her, too. The color of the gown is what’s known as ‘everything’.

Leaving you with a little more fashion, including the pretty pink frock worn by Shalom Harlow in Unzipped, the film about Isaac Mizrahi trying to put on a fashion show.

adventures, american made, black fashion designer, costume design, costumes, Fashion, fashion designer, fashion presentation, vintage

The Met Show

As American as stripper poles

Right after I came back from Paris I ended up going to see the latest offering from Anna Wintour’s Costume Center at the Met. For once I actually had someone to go with, so it was a raucous afternoon of laughing at things that other people take seriously and day drinking wine at lunch. Not a date, just two ladies cackling their way through a cultural institution.

I need more of that in my life, tbf…

Me, too, girl. Me, too 😢

Anyway. we met up at the museum and wound our way through the excellent display of stolen goods in the Egyptian wing to the museum. The exhibit was in a little room that you could easily miss. The line for the exhibit is over by the Temple of Dendur.

The show centers around American fashion, and the first items that you see on display explain ASAP Rocky’s red carpet quilt. Patchwork and quilting are as old as those little houses on the prairie. It’s an integral part of the American legend, homie and comfortable. It’s a symbol of how disparate parts can come together as a rich and cohesive whole (which we are capable of, but that’s a whole other blog post).

The museum is actually doing the show in two parts, so right now it’s just a dodgy little display in a smallish suite of rooms in the basement. And because of the times we live in, the narrow aisles feel like a death trap. And there’s this horrible music, that resembles no American music trend, droning on in the background, raising the hackles. Yes, I’m complaining. Better to wait and do it properly instead of this, but no one asked me about that, so…

I will say that they had a ton of black designers so I’m excited to see what the larger show will look like. Featured in the exhibit were Pyer Moss, Patrick Kelly, Stephen Burrows, Dapper Dan and for some reason a look from Rihanna’s Savage underwear line. Not to slight her, but she also did a pretty respectable fashion collection that could have been included.


If you’re in New York, I’d definitely go and take a look at it. Try going early or mid-week so as not to be stuck in the maze-like aisles with a crowd. You can get tickets here.

event, Fashion, fragrance, party

The Perfume Party

Its Sniffapalooza!

Way back on August 29th, I took my first trip out to Hudson Yards to attend Sniffapalooza, New York’s own fancy fragrance party. It has been years since my first visit, back in 2015, thanks to winning an instagram contest. It was a much bigger affair than this post covid get together, but the fun of learning about new fragrances was the same.

Party!

I have a reason for going besides drinking prosecco and sniffing perfume, but I’ll post about that tomorrow. Anyway. For a small sum we all assembled in the Style Lounge and immediately got glasses of bubbly and bags stuffed with samples. Conversation got livelier with each presentation as we sprayed and sniffed the afternoon away.

Just out here sniffin’

Once presentations were over, we streamed out into Hudson Yards to shop. I had an antsy half hour waiting for the group to hit The Conservatory. I am not the sharpest dresser, I don’t wear heels, and can barely remember to do my nails or wear makeup but I love anything that makes life more beautiful. It could be a set of cotton sheets, a cashmere sweater, or a new bowl, anything that makes you feel good about life is a luxury to me. The fragrances they showed off intrigued me, and the atmosphere and merchandise presented in the shop had my credit card burning in my pocket, yearning to be out and tapping. I ended up buying two travel sized fragrances from Bastide, a Coriander candle from La Bruket, and a lovely bottle of Rose 1845 scented hair oil. I’m also working on manifesting a ring and bracelet from Marina B, or a fragrance from Michelle Pfeiffer’s heady Henry Rose label. There one called Dark as Night that makes you feel positively vampiric.

black fashion designer, Fashion, popup, recycled fashion, shopping, upcycled, vintage

The Pop Up (part 2)

Tie dyed, spray painted and sashiko mended upcycled pieces

So, I meant to do a bunch of posts, but there are only four Saturdays in every month and we STILL have more Paris vacation to go. So, even though no one asked, I’m just going to post every day until I reach my self-determined goal. Today is a recap of my pop-up experience at Regeneration in Williamsburg.

It’s not good.

Recycled tshirts for sale

I was excited about being asked to participate, and I was excited to be selling in Williamsburg, and it seemed like it would be a perfect fit. But the day came to set up, I realized that it was def not the place to be. The atmosphere felt dead to me. Then the person next to me started acting out because the pop up staff asked her to move her clothing rack over. Just instant drama, and I was just standing there, uncomfortable. As soon as the staff person left my neighbor runs over and grabs my rack and moves it, muttering to herself, then stalks back to her side. I still haven’t said anything. I’m just taking it in.

$280 to spend the weekend next to someone with territory issues. Great! I start unpacking, slowly realizing that everyone else had massive amounts of stuff, but I (oldest, obedient child energy) had brought a small amount as stipulated in the contract. Then my neighbor, out of the blue, goes ’what did you say your name was?’ and I was just done. Like, never do this. Introduce yourself, don’t demand another person’s name. It reeks of bad attitude. Also, if the person is me, they won’t tell you. And you’ll be frustrated and angry while the person (me) ignores you.

So that was move in day.

My little Regeneration shop

The next morning, before opening, I brought in some more stuff and a little table. There was someone from the popup staff walking around and I heard her talking to people and being friendly. Then she gets to me and says, ”is this your little setup?” and I was once again, done. Like… its minimalist, ok? Damn. But being me, I just said ‘yeah’, and left it at that. And stood there in my little setup feeling demoralized.

“Little” setup. FML.


Moving on from the unpleasant beginnings, I proceeded to sell three items the whole weekend. A handpainted camo jacket with sashiko stitching and an embroidered patch that I designed when the country was burning down last year. I sold a cute minidress from the French flea market, and a maxidress that I purchased in the metro. For some reason the lady that bought the maxidress left me her skirt. She didn’t ask for a discount or to trade. She just gave me her skirt.

The next thing that happened was these two girls came and one tried one my tie dyed denim vest with feathers while the other filmed her and hyped her up. I kind of tried to sell it, but tbh I was just curious. The hype one was talking to someone on the phone in an exaggerated way and I couldn’t tell if I was dealing with a kpop sensation and her stylist or two social media wannabes.

They came, they tried on an upcycled vest, then they took off

Also, none of the people selling around me spoke to me. Except once. I was outside eating a burger and one followed me outside, suddenly talkative and smiling. Meanwhile, I’m legit trying to eat quickly without choking so I can go back to my booth. It was just not a good time. Plus, why wait two days to speak? And why do you have to come outside like it’s a secret?

That burger was insanely good, though.

So, def not going back. They make a lot of demands about marketing and social media, but they never once promoted me prior to the pop up, and they skipped over my booth during the weekend. And I only made half my money back, so there no financial incentive. It’s just a lost weekend.