THE Brown Cotton IRIS Photoshoot - Behind the Scenes

_MG_6094 _MG_6095 _MG_6098 _MG_6100 _MG_6109 _MG_6104 _MG_6110 _MG_6112 _MG_6114 _MG_6113 _MG_6124 _MG_6134 _MG_6122 _MG_6139 _MG_6166 _MG_6144 _MG_6165 _MG_6154 _MG_6151 _MG_6167 _MG_6172 _MG_6175 _MG_6184_MG_6186 So by now if you're my Facebook or Instagram friend, you will have seen the photoshoot I worked on with Risanne Martin of Brown Cotton, because we literally social media spammed people with the images for a week or more. (If you haven't seen the pics yet, they're coming up in the next post).

What I want to highlight in this post is the behind the scenes amazingness that went on with this shoot. I don't even know if I think that the final images truly illustrate the synergy that went  on on set. Everyone present was truly invested in creating great results, from photographer, to Risanne's wonderful and supportive team of friends that she brought to assist us.

Risanne has an energy as well that is perfect for a production set of any nature. She easily diffuses tensions, makes sure that everyone is on equal footing and she FEEDS YOU!!!! A LOT! WITH WINE! I would be blessed if every shoot I worked on in Trinidad could be as professional and well organized as the one I did with her team.

Special mention also goes out to Ms. Kimi See Tai who literally had just come from a party and really was a trouper all day long. Thank you so much Kimi for making this shoot as beautiful as it was.

Photography: Kyle Walcott

SHOOT CREDITS

Designer: Brown Cotton by Risanne Martin

Photography: Justin Ifill-Forbes

Stylist: Kathryn Nurse

Makeup: Arry Cruickshank

Hair: Kimbalene Blackman

Nail Art: Solange Richardson

All Jewelry by Rachel Rochford Jewelry

Flower Crowns: Sasha Ann Clement

 

 

Know Your Country 2014 - Mate-Not

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Not that they're wrong. Living on a small island will always leave you faced with very limited options.

But it could be worse. We could be in St. Kitts. I'm sure there's much less to do in St. Kitts. (To anyone reading this from St. Kitts, I apologize, I don't actually mean that).

Living on a small island sometimes leaves you very limited in scope and creativity as well, however. And lazy. You can get very lazy. If it's not within 12 minutes of your house, you refuse to go. "I don't go past the lighthouse" is a real mindset. But as I've said on this blog, when you place those silly limitations on what you're willing to do, then you will find yourself in a trap.

Anyway, it should be little surprise that when my friend Sean suggested we do a Know Your Country trip to Matelot I didn't think twice. A whole group of us jumped on a maxi early one Saturday morning and headed off on on adventure.

First we stopped at the Galera Lighthouse in Toco, which I had never been to but have to return in some long dress diaphanous dress that blows in the wind. It's literally the end of the island romantic and terrifying all at the same time. Selfies were taken,  and then we headed to our primary destination...

We really intended to reach Matelot eh, we really did.  But the road gods were against us. Forced to turn back,  we had lunch and a nap at Mission Bay followed by some deep existential convo and plenty sandfly bites. My friend Ryan Lee, whose birthday we were also celebrating, offered me these pics for the blog, which I gladly accepted.

By the end of the day it barely mattered that we hadn't reached Matelot. Who can be disappointed when you've been drinking all day, your belly is full, and you'd listened to back to back  old school dancehall and 90's R & B (my personal favorite genre) mixes all day? And now we have a reason to do another KYC ASAP.

 

Photography: Ryan Lee

Top & Pants both by Meiling.

Temple In The Sea: Trini Style Perseverance

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Last weekend Kyle and I headed down to Waterloo, in Central Trinidad (an area I'm not familiar with at all, so level cuss on the road), in search of the Temple in the Sea, a Hindu temple built over water.

I was really initially inspired to go because of the beautiful photography of the location at nighttime that I had seen on the internet. It's only when I started researching the temple after my visit, I realized the importance of this site as a symbol of tenacity and perseverance.

For those of you who don't know, Trinidad is an extremely multicultural nation. Because of colonialism, slavery, and periods of indentured labour, our modern population consists of a blend of black, Indian, Chinese, Syrian, indigenous and European peoples and every possible mixture in between. While I would love to say that we always live in harmony, we really don't and suffer from the same stereotyping and prejudice that other nations do, especially at times of political upheaval...like right now. However, we do maintain a basic respect for the many various religions that are practised here, particularly because this respect allows us at least 15 public holidays a year.

But anyway, back to the temple. The temple you see above was built by one man (and then later restored in 1994). Siewdass Sadhu, a devout Hindu, decided to build a temple of worship in Trinidad, where he was a sugar cane labourer, when he could no longer afford to make pilgrimages back to his native India to worship at the shrines there. He first built it in 1947 on the lands of the Caroni sugar company, who were understandably not too happy.

What followed, is a story that seems taken straight from the pages of a favourite Caribbean history novel. Sadhu was sent to jail and forced to pay a fine of $500, two years wages and the site was demolished. No local would dare carry out the demolition, so the job was done by a European...who was struck dead a month later. The man who granted the court order for demolition also died of mysterious reasons.

Completely undeterred by his stint in prison, Sadhu was released and was determined to build a temple, in a place where no one could stop him, and so he decided to construct it in the sea. By hand. He created the causeway bit by bit with broken bricks, sand and cement. Oil drums filled with cement  connected with steel became the foundation.

Of course, in true Trinidad fashion, he was ridiculed for months, until it was completed in beautiful fashion, at which point everyone rushed to see it.

But what a lesson to be learnt from this true Trini tale! I know those working in innovative and creative fields have often felt like they could be working against the tide here, and any time any progress is made something comes to wash it all away (or bulldoze it to the ground). If one man could make something so beautiful by himself, with just the materials that were available to him, who are we to complain about tight deadlines, early call times, lack of resources.... The answer is always, "It Can Be Done (yes, even in Trinidad)".

To this day, Hindus still use the temple for puja ceremonies, weddings and funerals. Indeed, the day I was there a group was preparing a ceremony inside the temple and a cremation was happening at the cremation grounds not too far off.

The temple, damaged by erosion from the salt and the sea, was restored in 1994 for Indian Arrival Day, exactly 20 years ago. This Friday we once again celebrate the arrival of Indian labourers to our shores, and with them an enriching and deepening of our collective cultural heritage.

Photography: Kyle Walcott

Shirt: H&M; Pants: Meiling x ANYA for the cANYAval shop; Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell; Bag: Michael Kors; Sunglasses: Marc by Marc Jacobs

Sources: Destination360.com; Caribbean Beat Online

Far Tobago

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The other day I was speaking to a Jamaican guy and he was telling us how baffled he was at Trini's definition of 'far'. According to him, Jamaicans love to drive, and would willingly jump into the car spontaneously for a 4 hour drive, whereas Trinis complain that a 25 minute drive is too 'far'.

 

I don't generally disagree. I spent my formative years in the Port of Spain area, and living in Diamond Vale was a big adjustment for me. It now takes twenty minutes to get everywhere instead of ten. That's a 100% increase! Lol. And imagine, my father once toyed with the idea of moving to the East!

 

The reason of course is that driving in Trinidad is such a hugely frustrating experience. Between the traffic, and the antics of the other drivers sharing the road with you, most people rather just get to their destination quickly. In Tobago it's even worse. Most people believe there is no reason to be in a car in Tobago for more than 10 minutes in order to get where you need to go. So when I said I was staying in Speyside, easily an hour, or an hour and fifteen minutes away from the airport (depending on who you were driving behind), over Jazz Weekend, people flat out laughed at me.

 

And yes, it was very far. Me and my friend Hannah worked out a system so that we would only ever have to do the drive once per day. But it was so worth it, to have a local homegrown adventure and see places we had never seen before.

 

These pictures are taken at the Speyside Water Wheel, a relic of an old sugar plantation from the late 18th or early 19th centuries that lies in ruins around it and was literally one of the most interesting places I've taken pictures thus far. However, as we often say, "Tobago sun real different" and in most of the pics I look, hot, bothered and molten. So please avert your eyes in the direction of the water wheel.

 

I would love to revisit this location in rainy season because I've seen other pictures of the ruins covered in creeping vines giving it a very lush, Secret Garden vibe. But it just goes to show, that if you drive just a little bit farther, you make great new discoveries.

 

Photography: Kyle Walcott

Top: Nastygal; Shorts: Zara; Sandals: Zara; Earrings: Michael Kors; Sunglasses: Nastygal

#islandgirl editorial: Joan Smalls for Vogue Italia

solve-1 solve-2a solve-2b solve-3a solve-4a solve-4b solve-5 solve-6a solve-6b solve-7a solve-7b Fresh off the heels of Rihanna's irritatingly stunning shoot for Vogue Brazil, another island girl, the actually super supermodel, Joan Smalls (she's from Puerto Rico) is starring in another international edition Vogue shoot. In the May issue of Vogue Italia, Joan appears in molten metallics effortlessly lolling off on some rocky terrain.

It. Is. Gorgeous.

It always shocks me how models can make this mess look so easy! If any normal person were to attempt this shoot, a scorpion would crawl out dem rocks very normal and bite them up, then they would roll off and bounce down the jagged rocks into the depths below...or something. Some of these pics, shot by Sølve Sundsbø, actually defy gravity! Some things are best left to the professionals. 

In general Vogue Italia is lauded for it's inclusion of black models and it's attempts at creating more diversity in their editorial pages, but every so often their efforts can go horribly wrong. This is not one of them. Just a few months ago a team from Vogue Italia journeyed to Trinidad's shores ostensibly to look for shoot locations, models and designers. The government put on a big (and unnecessary) show for the stylists who did end up shooting here, so I can't wait to see the results (and if they did end up including any of our local designers).

If you have a good eye, you'll realize that in one of the shots she's smoldering in the same metallic Gucci frock that RiRi smolders in on the cover of the Brazilian edition.

(P.S. Allyuh watch the size of Joan foot nah! All hail big footed island girls!!)

UPDATED: This post has been edited to reflect that Joan is actually from Puerto Rico and not the Dominican Republic as I originally wrote. I imagine this must be a mistake as egregious as asking a Trini if they from Jamaica.

 

Pictures courtesy Sølve Sundsbø/Vogue Italia/Glossy Newstand

Shift

IMG_6995 IMG_6996 IMG_7001 IMG_7002 IMG_7005 IMG_7010 IMG_7013 IMG_6979 IMG_6993 Took a couple of pics before I headed to participate in Runway Shift, in which three local designers, Adrian Foster, Lisa See Tai and Megan Charles won the opportunity to sell their pieces in boutique, Simply Runway. Retail is my specific focus in the fashion industry so I was excited to see it being paid more attention to in Trinidad as well. The designers really had to consider the commercial viability of their looks, the price point they would sell them at, and the reproducibility (not a word) of their items, if they won, and in my opinion these are factors that aren't considered enough when designers go from runway to retail. See pictures of all the designers looks, and the fashion show in the event gallery here.

I was also in the show modeling Lisa See Tai's collection. See me below with the designer trying to blend in and look like one of the other gorgeous models she had showcasing her looks. And below see one of my favourite looks that I got to sport on the runway. Lisa's collection blended an easy island-sporty vibe and I immediately gravitated to the raglan-esque sleeves and stripes that made a simple shift dress extremely cool.

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 Photography:Kyle Walcott

Other images courtesy Runway Shift and Gareth Leigh

Shirt: Zara, Shorts: Nastygal, Bag: Fossil, Shoes: Zara (similar here), Necklaces: H & M and the cANYAval shop, Sunglasses: Nastygal

Rihanna for Vogue Brazil

Long time I haven't posted a Rihanna stan post. But, in case you missed it, that girl damn near broke Instagram yesterday with shot after annoyingly photogenic, IDGAF glam shot, from her Vogue Brazil May cover shoot, photgraphed by Mariano Vivanco. riri15 riri18 riri17 riri16 riri13 riri12 riri11 riri10 riri9 riri8 riri7 riri5 riri4 riri3 riri2 riri1 riri14

 

I can't believe how big this spread was. Did they have room for anything else in this issue? Here's all the pictures, including the two alternate covers. Btw,  from what I've seen on Facebook and Instagram, the Caribbean girls are loving the blue soap/ cement sink realness.

Jus. Ugh.

Images courtesy Vogue Brazil/Mariano Vivanco/http://fuckyeahrihanna.tumblr.com.

The OTHER #islandlife

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Trinidadians are really some of the luckiest people in the world. To all my foreign friends, one of the beautiful things about being from Trinidad & Tobago is Tobago itself.

A 15 minute flight to Tobago is always $300 TTD (around $48 USD, no blackout dates here) or $50TTD for a 2 hour ferry trip, and as soon as you land, you feel your heartrate slow, you forget to look at your watch. You take your time. It's the kind of place that as soon as you get there you think, "Why don't I come here more often?"

Kyle, my photographer, is actually from Tobago, and is there many weekends shooting footage for his upcoming documentary, so I decided to steal him away while I was there for work.

We had grand plans of going all over the place to shoot cool, undiscovered Tobago locations, but as I explained, Tobago is not about grand plans.

We ended up shooting at my hotel (because I was too lazy tranquil to leave), Kariwak Village, which takes a holistic approach to hospitality and does a really great breakfast (included in the rate every day). And the grotto!! As relaxing as Tobago is in general, Kariwak is the place to come for daily yoga and massage therapy, food seasoned with herbs grown on site in their greenhouse, meditation, and nature (a variety of tropical birds are your breakfast buddies. Don't let them steal your watermelon!)

Tobago has recently seen a decrease in international tourism, however our domestic tourism has seen a surge. Every long weekend (of which we have many) tickets, hotels and rental cars are extremely hard to come by. I already have plans of coming back twice (maybe three times) in the next few months, so hopefully Kyle and I can get to some of those grand plans. Or whatever. Lol.

UPDATE: Special thanks to my Tobago girl trip buddies Thais and Rianna without whom this post would not be possible and whom I originally egregiously neglected to mention.

 

 Photography: Kyle Walcott

Cover up: The Trunk Show, Ellerslie Plaza; Bikini Top: American Apparel; Bikini Bottom: Liilah Resort Wear; Shoes: Sandalias.

Jus Chillin on the Block with the Boys

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So my list of side projects grows (and my gym visits have evaporated). I am now working with my friend, Keegan Simon, and his business The 1ndividual Aesthetic. For those of you who aren't familiar with Keegan's great work see Machel Montano's album artwork for Carnival 2014, and also his Addy Award Winning spraycan t-shirt packaging. Anyway, Keegan's influences include pop art and street art and our collaboration is making me pay attention to the 'graffiti' around Port of Spain a little bit more.

 

I was walking to my car from a restaurant and was literally arrested by these charcoal (?) drawings of faces on a wall in the veritable ruins of an old Newtown house (foundation, fence and front steps are all that's left). It was really the first time I'd seen street art in which the images looked so decidedly and unapologetically Caribbean. I couldn't wait to come back to shoot with  "the boys" (do you get it? It's like they're my friends...that's why I'm waving lol). And of course put on my new grafitti dress (isn't this the most literal outfit you can imagine! lol. No points for creativity for me here).

 

What do you think? Art or eyesore?

 

Photography: Kyle Walcott

Dress: Zara, Boots: Steve Madden, Identity Necklace: Nastygal

Mid Week Inspo: Zoe Saldana in The Edit

zoe-saldana-the-edit-1zoe-saldana-the-edit-4tumblr_n2e2uh0Gfj1qasnrqo4_1280zoe-saldana-the-edit-6zoe-saldana-the-editzoe-saldana-the-edit-7zoe-saldana-the-edit-2zoe-saldana-the-edit-3 It's been a while since I posted anything that's been inspiring me so I thought this would be a welcome change.

Any time I see an editorial with Zoe Saldana in it, I gasp. Audibly. So when I came across this photoshoot for Net-A-Porter's shoppable web magazine, The Edit, on my friend Tanya's Tumblr (Designer on an Island Tumblr and Designer Island Life)  I had to repost.

This. Is. Breathtaking.

I love the blend of different textures of the same glorious shade (I'm having a white and pastel moment currently. I have to tell myself...do you really need another lace/eyelet crop top? Also I'm not ashamed to say I'm currently exploring the topic of how much white is inappropriate for a wedding), and those Sergio Rossi leaf sandals are hurting me.

Photos courtesy Net-a-Porter.com

Truck on D (Side of D) Road

IMG_3477-2 IMG_3479 IMG_3481 IMG_3484 IMG_3486 IMG_3489 IMG_3491 IMG_3495 IMG_3504 IMG_3509 IMG_3518 IMG_3522 IMG_3526 IMG_3527 IMG_3532 So there are two empty trailer trucks parked on the side of the Diego Martin Highway and I was super excited to shoot in them. Why? I see these trucks as a metaphor for my current Carnival situation. For those who don't know, the trailer truck is really the heart of contemporary Trinidad Carnival. As controversial as the number of trucks on the road during Carnival Monday and Tuesday is (they cause massive congestion in our narrow streets), the speaker boxes that they carry and the music that they pump is really what gives you the drive to walk, chip, wine, dance throughout the streets of Port of Spain every year and not wonder ... what the hell am I really doing? These trucks ARE Carnival.

But these two lonely music trucks are so removed from the action currently. Don't get me wrong. Dey READY. Their painted and primed up and all they need is to be hooked up to a truck, speakers'd up and banners'd out, and they ready to go. But they're not there yet.

This is how I feel right now. I do feel deep down that Carnival is a huge part of me as I am of it, but as of today, Carnival Wednesday, I feel like it is happening without me. I am not ready. My costume is not complete (thought it WILL be). I've been to like a fete and a half for the season. And because of my current job I feel completely removed from the building hubbub of Carnival that continues around me.

All that ends tomorrow though...

 

Photography: Kyle Walcott

Tank: Express (old). Pants: River Island. Wedges: Qupid (similar here). Sunglasses: Nastygal. Lace Bra: Calzedonia.

#islandlife Series: New Hair...New Gear

IMG_2680 IMG_2677 IMG_2663IMG_2687 (2) IMG_2654 IMG_2652 IMG_2645 IMG_2641 IMG_2638 IMG_2634 IMG_2632IMG_2690 IMG_2705 IMG_2702 IMG_2699 IMG_2697 IMG_2696 As soon as my father sees this post I know exactly what he's going to say. "So you couldn't pass a lil iron on that dress?" (Romper.)

So I spent all of the past year and a half taking gorgeous pics of cities around the world, but while I'm home for the next few months I wanted to turn the focus to the beauty of the island(s) where I'm from. This post is the first in a new series that I will be doing showcasing my experience over the next few months in Trinidad. I'm calling it the #islandlife Series.

It's so interesting to me how Chaguaramas has turned into a complete playground. I got reacquainted with the activities there when I went ziplining at ZipITT a couple of weekends ago, but there's all sorts of other fun things to do as well from bike riding to water jetpack-ing (???). I couldn't wait to come back and explore some of the places I've always driven by in passing, or haven't been to in a minute like the arresting Bamboo Cathedral, Samaan Park and creepy old St. Chad's Church. The best part of it for me was treading barefoot over fallen Immortelle blossoms (my company is named after the Immortelle tree, which you can see up there as well).

Of course, I'm an extremely anxious person, however, so a lot of the exploration consisted of me peeking down tracks hoping that no wild animals would come charging out the bush at me Puumba style.

Aaaanndddd I have new hair. I started experimenting with this hairstyle last month in a copper colour but now it's the perfect golden shade. It gives me a very monochromatic look so I like doing neutral makeup and starkly contrasting outfits like black or this white layered romper.

Photography: Kyle Walcott Photography. 

Romper: Tobi still available here. Shoes: Zara. Similar here. Clutch: American Apparel. Lots of colours hereRings: H&M, Nastygal. Gold Wire Ring: Red Fire Innovations by Rachel Rochford (LOCAL!). Chain Bracelets: H&MWraparound watch: Michael Kors. Similar here.

Nails: Solange Richardson. Nail Wraps: Melody Ehsani for NCLA in Masai.

Conservative Chic

20131020-161609.jpg It's another day here on Earth, and of course that means Rihanna has given us something to talk about. However, in a break with tradition, this time we're discussing how much clothes our girl Riri had on.

Riri's in Abu Dhabi, and while there, her photographers, Steven Gomillion and Dennis Leopuld, shot a stunning series of photos of her posing in front of the world's largest mosque, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. In the pics, Ri appears conservatively covered from head-scarf to jumpsuited toe.

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20131020-162556.jpg It's Rihanna of course, and wherever she goes she draws controversy. The pictures are undeniably beautiful and while she's receiving praise for respecting cultural requirements, some see it as disrespectful to take glamourous style snaps outside the sacred site to begin with.

Whenever Rihanna posts a picture it zooms out to her 10 million plus Instagram followers and always causes a stir. However, one only need look to the effortlessly elegant style of Sheikha Mozah of Qatar, or one of the Middle East's more modern style setters like Ascia Al-Faraj (below, a master in layering, turbans and a strong brow) whose unique takes on conservative values help us all over the world understand that embracing conservative traditional mores doesn't mean abandoning personal style.

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Picture Credits: Rihanna Instagram, Ascia AKF Instagram

Falling for Fall

Kathryn's Fall Picks I've never been too into Fall Fashion. To me coats and jackets were just things i threw on over my clothes so I didn't die while waiting for Spring.

But something happened this year that has made me really appreciate the beauty of outerwear and I'm actually excited about the approach of Fall (even as we're having lovely unusually warm October days - clearly I can't be pleased). Above - my recipe for a perfect Fall wardrobe.

1. Quilted sweatshirt - I think quilted accessories are a bit too classic for me but transfer the same finish to a sporty sweatshirt and I'm in love. This one is from Rag & Bone.

2. Leather moto jacket - Right now this is pretty much a wardrobe staple. If you, like me, cannot afford real leather, this one from Zara is a great faux option.

3. Masculine boxy coat - No sexy feminine silhouettes or waist cinching belts here. This season's boxy androgynous coats feel super modern. This is from Zara as well.

4. Gold ID Chain Choker - Topshop has a great one in store that I couldn't find online. But I still love a heavy gold chain.

5. Boots with gold details - Whether it's a sleek riding boot or a weathered cut out bootie, goldtone hardware adds some funkiness and visual interest to what might be everyday boots. The riding boots are Zara; the bootie is Steve Madden.

6. Leather shorts - I drank the fashion Koolaid and am now convinced that leather or pleather shorts (of a certain conservative length and paired with dark tights) are Perfectly Practical for Fall. Please don't try to convince me otherwise.

7. Matchy-Matchy outfits - I am going to go wayyy deep into my love for matchy-matchy outfits in an upcoming post. But this bejeweled bomber and skirt from (of course) Zara just make me happy on a really profound level.

Lemme tell you a story

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So when I moved back to Trinidad from Grenada when I was 12 years old I remember experiencing a bit of a shock. In Grenada, the biggest highlight of my 11 year old weekend might have been riding my bike around my area and visiting friends. I got to Trinidad and the preteen entertainments were just multiplied with movies at Globe, bazaars and discos. Everybody insisted that the social event of tha year was Fatima's Mayfair and I was hyped for months.

Until I got to the Fatima hall that first Sunday in May and was stuck in a crush of people, many of them older and larger than I was. There was pushing and shoving and I was super uncomfortable.

Though my Nervous Nancy tendencies have intensified as I have aged, they definitely have always been there. And my instinct when I start to be uncomfortable has always been to remove myself from the situation as fast as possible. Somehow, in the age before cellphones, I called my father (did I use a Companion calling card? Did I walk to Pizza Hut and ask to use their phone? The details on this fail me) and my dad came to pick me up. And I went home.

I remember the next day in school when all my friends were recounting their hilarious stories of the evening before I was quiet. They were incredulous that I had left what they were making out to be the best event they had ever attended. I told them simply that I didn't care, because my parents were proud of me (response: blank stares and derisive laughter).

Anyway I was reminded of this experience this weekend when I got an invitation to my first Paris Fashion Week party. It was on a boat on the River Seine, and when we arrived, people were just generally milling about, looking cool, trying to look uninterested in getting on board. Until the inevitable announcement was made: the boat was at capacity and they would not be letting anyone else in.

Automatically the scene became like the opposite of Titanic. People, most of them men, began thronging the entrance forgetting about looking cool. There was pushing and shoving and mashing of feet. A dude tried to jump on the boat. Nervous Nancy kicked in hard. I extricated myself from the line/crowd (at which point I happened to glance through a boat porthole. Capacity my ass! The dance floor was spacey!!) and within 25 minutes I was on the Metro back home.

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For most students interested in fashion, an invitation to a real high-end brand's fashion show is not to be passed up. For me, my personal comfort level is of paramount importance and if I'm not comfortable I have to get the hell out of there, regardless if it's the coolest event ever. I don't need to be considered one of the beautiful people by all these randoms. I can be beautiful at home in my bed (true Cancer business). I may miss some things out, but to me an uncomfortsble experience is not an enriching one. Add that to the fact that I've been clubbing and partying since I was 14 years old, there's really no party that's super important to go to. Anywhere.

It was kind of cool for me to realize i still have some of the admirable traits I did in childhood.

Kathryn Nurse: still not a sheep in 2013.

Les Soldes - Thoughts on Fashion Value

So it's the most wonderful time of the year in Paris. 20130630-021119.jpg

Les Soldes!! Or... The sales!

Twice a year the French government mandates that all retail stores hold sales. This years Spring/ Summer collection sales started Wednesday, June 26th and go straight till the end of July!

On Wednesday you could genuinely feel the winds changing. There was a buzz in the air, people eveywhere, and traffic like Port of Spain in the rain, especially in places where there are a lot of shops like the Opera area. Even in the Metro the ticket seller asked me, "Do you know what today isssss?" in a kinda tease-y tone. Needless to say, this is a high point for Parisian shoppers.

I went into Zara just to see what the scenario was (as one usually needs money to buy things I cannot even participate in these sales which can go up to 40 or 50% off. And though I know right now there's the best selections the markdowns will be even more marked down later in the sales season. Right now Zara is discounting meager 25 percents. Somebody call me when that shit gets to like 3€ - 8€ for items). Anyway, while I don't think there was utter pandemonium, there was definite frenzy.

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Even if I had money I don't think I'd be participating in the sales. First of all I don't really love anything that I've seen in stores this season. Second of all I CANNOT shop like this, grabbing garments from the clutches of other women, elbowing bitches in the ribs. I saw one woman standing in a corner guarding what I can only describe as a hoard of shoes.

And speaking of shoes:

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This is not even appealing. It's not even organized by size. Like I would appreciate this more if it was at least the size 41 pile as opposed to the Lucky Dip pile.

I also stopped in at Merci, a concept store on the Boulevard Beaumarchais, to see what a bit of a higher end sale looked like. I have to admit it was unnerving for me to see brands like Isabel Marant and Carven crammed together on what looks a rack from a Marshall's in Middle America, complete with colour coded circle discount stickers. It goes to show that trendy clothes are a horrible investment, if they lose their value and their appeal a mere 4 months after they were once coveted pieces, and then exponentially after that.

I'm finally beginning to realize, though I love colour, why fashion people always dress in black. You could have a garment in the most avant garde cut and style, but if it's in black you can wear it forever. Not so much for that lime green version. Black depreciates faster.

However...you could always just spend the money on shoes instead;)