Mary Gonsalves Kinney cohosted an event with Stella McCartney in San Francisco. Stella is an incredible woman, so strong and resilient with the best sense of humor.
I'm the idiot who blinks right when the photo is taken. *shrugs*
Such a fun night at the opening of the Rambler, the Zepplin Hotel's newest restaurant partner. Love this city so much x
Imagine an alternate universe, one where your grandmothers attic is filled with the most amazing, luxurious, and rarest vintage pieces from all over the world, instead of the moth ball, bat ridden attic she probably has.
But alas! This paradise can be found!
A Current Affair is an unbelievable vintage trunk show, full of everything you could ever want, from 50's Chanel sweaters, to 80s Dior jumpsuits, to denim that feels like it was worn in the Gold Rush. They have shows twice a year in Downtown LA. A perfect excuse to vacation in Los Angeles a couple times a year....
Thanks to baby Maya for taking me to yet another incredible LA event x
As we enter into fall, I began thinking about the past few months, all the ups and downs and changes I faced. I left my entire life in San Francisco to move to Los Angeles for the summer, and it ended up being the best decision I ever made. I had an amazing internship at LA based shoe company NewbarK under the guidance of stylist Marjan Malakpour and the rest of the NewbarK team, and truly felt like I found nirvana in the city. Everything seemed to fall into place, and I hadn't felt that in a very long time.
There is now way I could thank Los Angeles enough.
Thank you NewbarK team, Marjan, Billy, Lana, Trang, Jensy, Eddie, Francisco, Aleena.. you're all my muses.
Thank you to Maria for letting me stay in the most beautiful home and provide me an amazing place to live.
Thank you to Maya for being my best friend down there and for being my other half.
I LOVE YOU LOS ANGELES
Once upon a time, a fatal disease triggered a fashion revolution. As trends come and go, the desire to be thin has never seemed to wane. Why? Since the epidemic of tuberculosis in 19th century Europe, the aspiration of slenderness in Western culture perpetually swelled into something bigger and has never gone away. In fact, it comes around again and again, only taking on different forms. People, notably those young in years, become more self-destructive under the influence of this so-called “trend.” In this essay, I investigate why our societal expectations for thinness run rampant though Western cultures, and reveal how these trends stem from plague and pestilence. I will examine the history of this trend, and how it has moved through successive generations, delve into Christine Harold’s “Tracking Heroin Chic,” and analyze the self-destructive subculture of today’s teens on the blogging site Tumblr, thus explaining what exactly is wrong when weakness is made to look fashionable.
While tuberculosis was often romanticized in its time, sufferers were not in their most glamorous. They were rotting from within, withering away to nothing, and sadly, the physical appearance caused by the disease was soon to be considered a fashion statement amongst the elite and artists of Europe. Because many famous poets and artists died of this illness, it became a tragic and starry-eyed death– the mere fact that it was called “consumption” made it all the more stylistic. Claiming one was “consumed” was much more dramatic and poetic than explaining they were coughing up blood and deteriorating by the minute. Does it not seem absolutely insane that the look of the disease was deemed stylish? Why would healthy, robust people want to look ill? And while it would be wishful thinking to believe this trend would somehow disappear into history, we can easily see it rampage through Western society and affect various generations to come.
Throughout history, in many different cultures and environments, it was attractive to be plump. In the early 17th century Europe, Peter Paul Ruben’s famous paintings made “plus-sized” women the starring role. These women were well fed, which meant they were wealthy and could afford more than enough food to keep them voluptuous. The poor were thin and scrawny, thus undesirable. It was a class issue, and in many areas of the world this model still reins popular. But alas, in Western society, Rubenesque style women are not what mainstream beauty celebrates today. After the tuberculosis-induced appearance fad, the desire for slenderness began to snowball and became a reoccurring craze.
To see how the sickly look of tuberculosis continued on in Western fashion, let us fast forward to the 1990s. The newest trend in beauty and body was for models to be at an extreme point of thinness once again. The look, called “heroin chic,” was a desired style - to appear as if one were on heroin. The pale, skinny, hollow look that heroin gives to human beings suddenly became a sought-after appearance, which not only created a fad in the look itself, but cultivated the popularity of the drug culture among the youth. Nan Goldin, a fashion photographer of the 90s, is deemed “the mother of heroin chic.” She would capture images of young men and women looking starved, beaten, and drug induced, crawling the floors of bathrooms and motels in rocker-grunge clothing. In the documentary on her life, “I’ll Be Your Mirror,” she explains how she took photos of people in order to preserve them, because everyone she knew kept dying.
Another famous fashion photographer of the heroin chic movement was Davide Sorrenti. He was a major player in this culture, and tragically died from a heroin overdose. After his death, President Bill Clinton made a speech about the catastrophic trend striking the nation, and how the glamorization of drugs in fashion needed to end, stating, “the glorification of heroin is not creative, it’s destructive; it’s not beautiful, it is ugly. And this is not about art; it’s about life and death. And glorifying death is not good for any society” (Harold, Tracking Heroin Chic p. 65). This quote is incredibly representative of what is wrong with a society that celebrates being ultra-thin. The reckless and edgy images from artists like Goldin and Sorrenti glamorize the same kind of look induced by tuberculosis, proving a fashion trend to be highly detrimental.
Today social media sites are flooded with pictures of stick thin legs, protruding hipbones, carved out collarbones, visible rib cages… the list goes on and on. Models have become so thin they are dying. Several years ago the fashion houses responded to this trend saying they wouldn’t hire the ultra-thin models. But just look at any issue of Vogue and you can see that isn’t being followed through on. The runways are filled with walking skeletons.
In recent years, we have the harmful fad of the much sought after “thigh gap.” For those who do not know what a thigh gap is, it is when one is standing and his or her inner thighs do not touch (image example below). This look has become the epitome of the “perfect body.” People repost and comment on images of thigh gaps with notes like “goals,” or “one day I will be this skinny,” and even “I hate my fat body,” and it gets worse. Although the group mainly involved in this trend is teenage girls, this damaging fad can be seen affecting people of all ages and genders all over the world. Self hate and body discrimination can truly affect anyone, especially with the right tools. It is easy for people to think young women are the only ones who covet thinness, but that is simply not the case. Millions of people have access to the Internet now, and it is easy to search for and find diets, workouts, and pictures of super models.
Tumblr, a social media blogging website created in 2007, has become one of the main sources for the spread of the “thigh gap” trend. It is a site where people can feed off of horrible body shaming images and posts, and where they have the opportunity to devote entire blogs to their desire to be thin. Kate Moss, arguably one of the world’s most celebrated supermodels is infamously quoted saying, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” in a 2009 interview with fashion magazine WWD. These harsh words encapsulate what this select group of Tumblr users promote. Moss has become an icon in the world of fashion, and her body type is one of the most highly regarded for super models, ultimately influencing an entire group of people who look up to her.
In efforts to see the kinds of harmful posts being put up online, I took to Tumblr to try and find some “thinspiration” (as they are so called) blogs. I typed “thigh gap” into the search box and what came up surprised me. Tumblr withholds immediate search results, first posting a message from the staff stating the following: “Everything okay? If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, NEDA is here to help: call 1-800-931-2237 or chat with them online. If you are experiencing any other type of crisis, consider talking confidentially with volunteer trained in crisis intervention at www.imalive.org, or anonymously with a trained active listener from 7 Cups of Tea (an online therapy site). And, if you could use some inspiration and comfort in your dashboard, go ahead and follow NEDA on Tumblr.” It then gives you an option to go back to your Tumblr dashboard, or, in small print under the warning, it links the user to “Show search results.” I was very stunned by this. It makes sense for Tumblr to take action and put up warnings for searches such as “suicide,” “anorexia,” or things along those terms, but this just proves how extreme the “thigh gap” trend has gone. This is proof that the trend of the thigh gap has become just as harmful as the trends of heroin chic and tuberculosis were. It may not be killing people in the same ways, but it is affecting society overall in a negative and harmful way.
People die from anorexia and bulimia, as well as suicides from the pressures to be skinny. Elle Homes, a girl from the United Kingdom living in China, killed herself over her severe desire to be thin. She wrote songs that revealed the pain she felt to try to be perfect, and was self-harming before her death. She was bulimic, making herself sick in attempts to be like the girls she filled her blog with. And she was only 15. Another teen, Laura Willmott, died from cardiac arrest after a five-year-long battle with anorexia. There are young people all over the world that have access to pro-eating disorder and pro-anorexia sites, and overall are adversely influenced and motivated by them.
Unfortunately, something very ugly grew out of a tragic disease in the 19th century, and since then has absorbed the mindset of a sector of people, causing harm to our society as a whole for decades. As history repeats itself time and time again, we can only move forward in fashion by promoting healthy images for people to look up to. The issue with severe slenderness is that the audience that sees images of models and fashion icons look up to those people in their pursuit of beauty and overall perfection. The “goals” of many affected individuals are impossible feats, and public spheres like the Internet and magazines are full of images that could have horrible effects on some people. Whether it was the romanticized image of tuberculosis and consumption in 19th century Europe, the glorification of drugs in the late 20th century in Western culture, or the worldwide epidemic of eating disorders that we have today, the pursuit of perfection needs to end now. We must teach the up and coming generations that weakness is not something to cherish and strive for. Let us desire healthy bodies, instead of promoting starvation and the use of drugs. Our world is in need of a new fashion statement.
Eleanor Harding for the Daily Mail. "'Bright and Beautiful' Teenager Died from Anorexia after Harrowing Five-year Battle." Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 22 Feb. 2013. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.
Fraenkel Gallery. "Ballad of Sexual Dependency." Fraenkel Gallery. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2014.
Handler, Jim. "New Study Links Socioeconomic Factors and Fashion Trends Over the Past Century to Increased Incidence of Melanoma." The Office of Communications & Public Affairs. NYU Langone Medical Center, 2 Oct. 2014. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.
Harold, Christine L. “Tracking Heroin Chic: The Abject Body Reconfigures The Rational Argument.” Argumentation &Advocacy. 36.2 (1999): 65-76. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web. 4 Dec. 2014
Moms, Sisterhood Of the Sensible, and Ellen Williams. "Enough With the Thigh Gap! Attacking Body Image Is Not a Hobby." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 09 Sept. 2014. Web. 06 Dec. 2014.
Rosie Taylor for the Daily Mail. "Tragedy of Girl Who Secretly Browsed Anorexia Websites: Mother's Warning after Suicide of Teen with Everything to Live for." Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 04 Aug. 2014. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.
Stewart, Dodai. "Hudson's Bay Pulls 'Nothing Tastes as Good as Skinny Feels' Tee." Jezebel. N.p., 26 June 2014. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.
Strang, Fay. "Reformed Addict Jaime King Posts Controversial 'Heroin Chic' Image of Herself Taken by the Late Fashion Photographer Davide Sorrenti." Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 16 July 2014. Web. 06 Dec. 2014.
Von Dorpe, Nelly Ann. "A Collection of Things." A Collection of Things. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2014.
It's that time of year, where people come from far and wide to trek along in Golden Gate Park amongst 200,000 others. In San Francisco, the first weekend of August calls for wavy dancing in the woods and intoxicated people consuming infinite amounts of fried food. This is the music festival Outside Lands. You get dirty, sore, and exhausted, but always leave in the happiest daze. This was my third year in a row in attendance, so I consider myself quite the expert now. But even with my years of experience, things can always, and will always, go awry. So my number one rule for surviving this festival is to just go with it. Within the first day, I spilled orange soda on my beige dress, broke my favorite vintage backpack, and cut my thumb open. But you cannot let these small things ruin your experience, because frankly, these tickets are expensive as hell, and no one likes a negative Nancy. So don't cry over spilled beer.
Until next year!
on occasion my mind overflows with visions of certain color patterns.
today it was in a range of pink.
"i fell off my pink cloud with a thud" - elizabeth taylor
Oh, isn't this how it goes in wonderful Los Angeles? One thing leads to another and all of the sudden you're sitting at Dinosaur Coffee with stylist Sissy Saint-Marie and she's asking you to assist her on a job in two days. That day comes and it is creative and passionate and everything you could want out of a styling job. This being my first time working on an editorial shoot, I was able to learn so much about the process of creative styling, visual communication, and imagery. It is such a beautiful, collective group of people down here... what am I going to do when I leave?
My lovely friend and LA tour guide, Maya (floraabub.com), has been taking me to all the spots. First on her artsy mission to get me cultured was a trip to the Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown LA. While all was beautiful, our highlight of the night was Kahlil Joseph's short film "Double Conscience" based around Kendrick Lamar's album "good kid, m.a.a.d city", featuring scenes of the youth culture in Compton. It was the most visually and audibly stunning exhibit I saw. It ends on August 16th, so make sure to stop by and be stunned. Enjoy babes x
those friday evening happy hour feels though........ give me the brew-ha-ha i deserve dammit!
Top: Free People Bottoms: Thrifted Bag: Forever 21 Shoes: Thrifted Sunnies: Quay
After a particularly rough past year, I was given the opportunity to intern in Los Angeles for the summer. Not only did this provide me with an escape from the harsh reality that was my life in San Francisco, but it also was the first step towards something I was truly passionate about (styling, fashion, art). Between you and me, I have always been incredibly drawn to LA. Maybe it was the Hollywood glamour I was after, or maybe just the sun. Even though I only got a couple friends down here and am staying in quite the odd house, this place already it feels like home.
I only get 4 more weeks here so let's make the most of it.