Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Overheard:

"I don't like to be misunderstood by anything or anybody. So if I want to wear a red bandana and turquoise slacks, and if I want my hair running down to my ankles, well, that's me. They don't know what's running through my blood."
 
-Jimi Hendrix

    This quote, these words have been resonating with me in this past week. It's about fashion, yes, and paying homage to his own ancestral background. On the outside. I, you, we--possess the opportunity and the right to express ourselves. Whether verbally, politically, religiously, or, like mentioned here--externally, by what we're picking out of our closets and buttoning on for the day. In short, it's simple but amazing, and we can each represent ourselves through a million and one unique and individual ways all day, every day. From the way I wear my hair to the produce I choose to inhale like a ravenous raccoon in trashcan heaven, I represent me. Well, parts. Aspects.

    Each tiny decision, as a whole, can not and does not entirely define us. They are fragments of our spirits and souls. And, the last time I checked, I believe a human being consisted of an almost-infinite heap of fragments. Together, and only together, do they make us whole. Truths about us can coexist, and one does not necessarily negate another. I am not encompassed by a sole quality or characteristic.

   So, like the guitar god himself mentioned, you have an endless array of chances all day, every day to show who you are. All four billion and fifty-nine million, nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand pieces of you, that together, make you incredibly and miraculously you.

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It's all in the blood. And, I continually need to remind myself that I am not all-knowing. I am not aware of everyone else's journeys nor their struggles. We're not intended to, but we are allotted a few shining opportunities to learn more about what's running through the veins beneath that

 stunning--stop-the-presses--Chanel tuxedo jacket.

Take the time.

It's one luxury item that can't be purchased at Bergdorf's or a flash-sale on GiltGroup.com.

   


This Jimi Hendrix quote actually found me downtown. Freshly painted on a wall of a historic building. Like I mentioned last week, I delightfully had a bit of free time to head to the American Indian Museum, housed in the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House. The highlight--"Up Where We Belong: Native Musicians in Popular Culture."  Enthralling and not just because of my deeply-rooted Cherokee and Choctaw family histories. On both sides, if you must know. It wasn't boring, I swear (no yawning!), and I spent much of my visit, reading and examining photographs and personal items from so many innovative and talented Native Americans who contributed to the cultural and musical worlds.
 
This exhibit showcases the singers, musicians (including Jimi Hendrix), songwriters, and influencers--whom many of, I'd had no idea were even of American Indian descent--from every genre of popular music from jazz and blues to rock and folk. It runs through August, and you should most definitely give it a run-through if you live here in New York City or if you plan to swing into town for a visit. It's free. What's better than a side of culture with your freeeee?  
  
And, of course, I had to review the native styles showcased in the other exhibits.
So, just a taste of some of the elaborate fashions displayed in the "Infinity of Nations" collection. It's quite fascinating how important dress could be to these American Indians and what all could be interpreted and deduced by what one wore. Tribes could be identified through their unique and distinctive apparel, which reveals--
 
*various spiritual beliefs
*materials available--wildlife, plant life, tools constructed
*daily life (functionality)
*ceremonial and ritualistic life  (conceptual)
*and undeniably, the climate and geography of the land

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I'm envisioning the boss-lady, Sarah Jessica Parker herself, at this year's Met Punk Gala.
See it now?


Personally, I'm super into the headdresses, but I suppose that's just me being the old hat-loving lady I am.
 
The American Indian Museum might just discover
that they're missing one of those feather crowns...

"I'm an Indian Outlaw-
half Cherokee and Choctaw"
Catch me if you can.


 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

What I Wore: Not Quite White

 
 
 "I'm not big on women looking naïve. Nicey nicey just doesn't do it for me."
-The man, the legend, Alexander McQueen
 
 
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The Vitals:
 
1. Nightcap mélange backless (my favorite!) long-sleeve tunic
 
2. James Jeans white skinnies (On sale here!)
 
3. Dolce Vita Macao acid yellow tassel loafers
Option 2, at Amazon.
 
4. Alexander McQueen black & white skull chiffon scarf
Ebay options for less.
 
5. Black turban (thrifted)
Similar option HERE at ASOS.
 
"I think the idea of mixing luxury and mass-market fashion is very modern, very now - no one wears head-to-toe designer anymore."

-Alexander McQueen
 
And,
Some of the essentials: 
 
 So, I actually wore pants.
 Gasp! Frankly, I tend to find pants a bit restrictive...and just overall, a great deal of work. Sheesh. And especially when the weather heats up, and we're all sweating like crazy, looking sticky and unattractive, pressed up against one another on the subway? Forget it!  
Dresses are just easier! Breezier! But, I opted for a casual Friday look as I caught a matinee movie. Matinee movies are a treat for me. And the best part? I go to the AMC Loews theaters here in New York City, and any films before noon are just 8 bucks. 8 sounds great. Considering the absurd prices of regular movie tickets ($14), matinees have become my thing. A date for me and yours truly!  After the movie, I then headed downtown to the National American Indian Museum at the historic Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House downtown. Tidbit- this museum is free! Free! Free is fabulous, darling. Kudos for educational and cultural experiences for little-to-no cost. This outfit, though, was comfortable and just right for my day of wallet-friendly activities.
Since the pants and top are moderately simple--except for the unexpected backless nature of the tunic-- I chose to spice up the ensemble with some simple touches. Scarf? McQueen, and it's a done deal. This girl adores a good hat, and although turbans aren't for everyone, I find them uuuuuber chic. I threw on some tasseled loafers that could withstand a good trek around the city in a lemon-lime shade. Again, comfy and cute. Not over-done or trying too hard. Lastly, one more notable is the fuschia  pink lipstick that I myself am even shocked that I've been digging. I received this LAQA & Co lipcolor in this month's Birchbox that arrived in the mail, and I'm into the rich pop of color and creamy texture of this product, despite the fact that I'm not really a pink kind of girl.
 
Some times, I even surprise myself. Who knew?
 
 
 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Life Lately in Snaps!

I've been in and out of touch lately in the Internet scene, because...well, I've been busy enjoying the real world. Exploring, walking, seeing, doing. Yep.
I'm a lady about town,
as we're all aware.  
 
But, if you will, I'm providing you with a little insight as to my daily life as of late via Instagram @MissOliviaClaire + EVEN MORE!

Days+Nights
in a few snapshots.
 
Snaps, everyone!
 Seriously, snap your fingers now with me, before scrolling.


 
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EDC New York (Electric Daisy Carnival) at Citifield Mets Stadium-
I went with friends who were either playing the electronic festival or who were in town with the tour itself, which also heads to Las Vegas and Chicago. It was nuts. Furry boots, neon everywhere, lots of people in tank tops, appearing to have the time of their lives. I realized that I definitely wasn't on Warped Tour anymore. My, how times have changed!
 
EDC-lights, confetti, people on stilts, and a LOT of tank tops.
 
Ivy and oysters in rooftop gardens.
 
McKittrick Hotel, Sleep No more show NYC New York, McKittrick hotel and bar, Gallow Green rooftop bar, New York City rooftop bars, oysters and rose on the roof
 
The talented photographer, Maxwell.
 
 
Rainbow bright...and Alex.  
 
I cringe when I hear the words, "it's showtime, everybody!" Cue my Ipod, please.
 
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Insider chats with my friend and incredibly-talented milliner, Alessandra Rivera.
Her hats are sick and custom-made, just like her.  
Brooklyn Bridge walks, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, East River New York City bridge
Brooklyn Bridge strolls at sunset. Home.
 
Now, these babies are around town.  
 

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Candlelit vigil at St. Paul's Chapel, the oldest church building in Manhattan.
Yep, the emotion is palpable in this place...George Washington attended services here on the day of his inauguration in 1789...it also housed 9/11 victims and workers, providing immediate support for its neighbors, the fallen Twin Towers in downtown Manhattan.
 
Keeping up with my New York City music and fashion scene reads.
 
Brunch, brunch and more brunch with friends who have been in town.
Yes, keep it dirty (martini).  
 
Beauty and Essex brunch, leopard and orange combination, meeting friends for brunch in NYC
Unintentional leopard +orange Sunday Funday in the Lower East Side.
 
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Hell's Kitchen rooftop sing-alongs with friends in the dark hours of night.
 
Central Park boathouse, boat house in the park New York, NYC parks and lakes, lakehouse in New York Central Park
Central Park quiet moments and lunches at the Boathouse, overlooking the lake.
 
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Thank God for Sunday (acid green!) loafers! Props, Dolce Vita.
 
Late night appreciation of the Hudson river views from Tribeca.  
 
Lobster, lobster, lobster.
 
 
Gratitude at the East River banks from my neighborhood, Williamsburg.
 
Afternoon hammock naps on my roof, with the Manhattan skyline lulling me into a deliriously content state.
 
 
"Broadway Inspirational Voices" concert in Harlem, listening as my friends sang their lungs out, touching every single soul in the room with their talents.
  
After the show, is the Harlem Tavern cast after-part-ayyy.
And more snaps to this BFF of mine, Robert, for such a beautiful TONY performance.
Wall flyers in SOHO. I like the interactive, DIY aspect.
Opinions, anyone? Write them in!
 
 
Painting class! Also, check out http://www.paintnite.com/ for social art classes
 held at restaurants and bars in cities across the USA. Fantastic concept to get the creative juices
and the conversation going, eh? A side of paint with your glass of rose!
 
Historic Grace Church.
East Village, built in 1846.
Powerful...and you can take a free audio tour. Score for education, history, religion, and architecture.
 


Finally made it to see some of my friends perform in their new "day jobs"
before this show gets even more insane after the TONYS exposure.
Talk about soul! Snaps to my buddies for their electrifying TONY performance as well.


 
Until next time,
xo.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Death with Dignity?

Hats off to my Netflix on Demand and the Brooklyn Public Library, once again.
 
    I'm quite sure that I've developed an addiction to gobbling up television shows, films, documentaries, etcetera, spanning across all decades and genres. If I've heard about it, read about it somewhere, or am stumbling upon a title for the first time, I need to see it. Neeeeed. Riveting. I feel that I am doing myself an incredible favor by viewing mind-expanding, culturally or socially significant, or at the very least, entertaining segments.


On my mind:
"How to Die in Oregon"
(Clearcut Productions)
 
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-2011 documentary produced and directed by Peter Richardson, exploring Oregon state's Death with Dignity Act and Washington state's process of passing similar laws.
-Death with Dignity laws "allow a terminally ill, mentally competent adult the right to request and receive a prescription to hasten death under certain specific safeguards." (DeathwithDignity.Org)
-Released at and Won the Grand Jury Prize for documentaries at the 27th Sundance Film Festival in 2011.  
-Currently, only in the states of Washington and Oregon, is this end-of-life care option available, and legal-I might add-to terminally ill, mentally competent adults.  
 -One must be both terminally ill and mentally competent in order to apply for this prescription.



Alright, well, although I typically don't like to tackle highly-charged and fiercely-emotional debates online, I'm going to bring up this issue up for you to mull over:

Physician-assisted/self-administered death....
or, as the media refers to it and most of the country knows it by...
"assisted suicide" 
By the way, according to the film and the Death with Dignity National Center, the term "suicide" does not best reflect what they defend and advocate.
 
This documentary captivated me. I can't stop thinking about it. I'm not sure if I'd really ever sat and considered all angles of this. In the past, I'd seen stories on the news and had been appalled not necessarily with the people who wished to die by this manner, but more so, at the people who assisted them. "How to Die in Oregon", over the course of four years, looks death and the entire process of dying straight in the face. It's difficult to continue through the film because of this. But, if nothing else, it educated me on these "Death with Dignity" laws and on the entire concept of physician assisted and/or self-administered death. I might have been a bit hasty in my judgment beforehand, brushing this issue off simply by what I'd thought...more accurately, assumed... it all meant, and more so, by how its been portrayed by others, and more so, by media outlets. "How to Die in Oregon" literally shows us the humanity in this issue, following terminally-ill patients in their day-to-day lives and their decision for or against "death with dignity" as well as those who promote and work for the organizations that aid them. 
 
After seeing loved ones, first-hand, suffer and struggle through their last days, miserable and almost begging for mercy from the pain of their everyday lives, I do sympathize with and recognize their wish to pass on from their current state. To let go. To be let go. To be released from their physical bodies that are slowly giving out.
 
I don't know how I'd feel if someone I loved opted for this "death with dignity" conclusion to their life. I'd be hurt. Devastated. But, many of the individuals in the film defended their decision by stating that it gave them back control over their lives, when they continually felt like a victim, a hostage, a prisoner of their own diseases and current quality of life. They felt it allowed them to properly say goodbye to friends and family, and to be released, peacefully, on their own terms.
 
Heavy.

Let's chock it up to that now, I feel so much more understanding. I feel empathy for all sides of this issue. I do not vehemently oppose it. I also don't think we should or can legally deny a mentally competent person's right to choose this method...nor should we punish those who aid them, if administered under the legal specifications. Open mind, open heart. It's all so painful. I could go on, considering my mind is reeling due to the fresh nature of my viewing.
 
So, I leave you with
Two things--
  • Think about this.
    Start with your initial reaction and then do some research. Start here on the Oregon.Gov site as well as gain some insight into the mission of the Death with Dignity Organization here. Think more.
  • Watch the film.
    If you have Netflix, you owe it to yourself. If you don't, you can watch it online for $2.99 HERE--Yes, I do all of the legwork for you. What's your excuse now?
 
 
No matter where you stand, I can attest to the power of curiosity and the pursuit of expanding your knowledge and experiences.
Feed your brain, and figure out where you fall.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Style Upgrade for Clarks + Eley Kishimoto


I enjoy a good makeover. A fabulous transformation. A success story.

Come onnnnn. We eat up the fact that we can REdefine ourselves, our lives, our relationships, our houses, our junked up and creeping hard drives! Bippity Boppity Boo! Fairy godmother it alllllllll.

    We all, society as a whole, are consumed by these transformations, glued to our televisions, phones, and laptop screens, scrolling through "before and after" photos and soaking up those ambush makeover segments. It gives us all something to hope for, aspire to, and someone to cheer on. Everything and everyone seems to warrant at least a little sprucing up, some tinkering with, if not an entire image overhaul. Speaking of, Lifebooker, anyone?

Minor to major, change is fascinating, whether for the "better" or simply just a variation from the norm.



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Speaking of, last week, as I'm walking around the Lower East Side, enjoying the sunshine before walking over the Williamsburg bridge to return home, I was playing with fire (shocker!) and mosey-ing in and out of some of the boutique shops in the neighborhood. I entered International Playground, and of course, I'm admiring all of the funky gear they have, and a pair of heels in the front window grabbed my attention, mainly, due to their black and white geometric print. My eye is always drawn to the bold, the beautiful, the black and white. Who makes these? I thought. But, I suddenly see that they have two labels. And one of them?

Clarks.
Clarks?
Yes, Clarks.  
Clarks, a brand known for the craftsmanship, quality and comfort of their shoes, had never been closely associated with fashion-forwardness or high style.
That's all been changing, though, in the course of the brand's overhaul and new designs, which you should, without a doubt, be checking out (YES, here). Some of their flats and heels would be perfect if you require comfort working or dancing the night away yet yearn for something other than grandma shoes or clogs or something else unmentionable.  
Can I get an upgrade, upgrade?!
Yes, Beyoncé, we can.
Clarks has been collaborating with other fashion designers, and their most recent endeavor has brought in British design duo Eley Kishimoto. Eley Kishimoto is adored by fans for their iconic prints on anything from accessories to apparel. So, combine the style elements and visual appeal of Eley Kishimoto with that of the craftsmanship of Clarks...Bam!
That's a relationship I can get into.
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As of now, I believe that this limited edition collaboration is predominantly available online HERE. International Playground, according to the salesman, is the only U.S. store that was able to nab a shipment of this collaboration. They've been flying off of their shelves and onto the feet of women from ages 21 to 65. They're a bit edgy but not overly so. The print is easily mixable with other colors, but I prefer mixing it with contrasting patterns and prints as well for a super modern, interesting look. Polka dots. Leopard. Stripes.
That's what I'm envisioning.  
Another fabulous color scheme in the collection:

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Image via Clarks
I'm loving these design collaborations between brands. It utilizes the strengths of various apparel and accessories lines and fuses them with others. The best of both worlds!
And, who would have thought? Clarks has blown my mind and redefined themselves as a stylish brand that I actually want to wear.
Well done.
Some of my picks from Clarks:
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