le cahier de kev

le cahier de kev

adventures fresh off the press

Stylistic Passion

As we're approaching the end of summer, I can see a lot of people squeezing in final plans before autumn comes around.  Speaking of vacations, I saw a commercial for Twizzlers on TV where they played a cover of "Holiday Road" by Lindsey Buckingham.  The song was so catchy and it got stuck in my head!  It did remind me of going on those long road trips as a kid.  My dad was just as crazy as Chevy Chase getting lost and going off in some other direction! haha

 

Here's the commercial:

 

 

I was reading the comments and some people said that the closest it sounded was Monica Matocha's version.  I downloaded it from Amazon and now I'm bobbing my head to it.  Good times.  But now all of this talk about candy is making me crave something sweet.  I think I'm going to go get a box of Mike and Ike when I finish some errands.  Weird...I see a commercial for Twizzlers and I end up craving something else!

 

 

I do have a couple of books to discuss, but I just remembered a story from back in college that I'd like to share.

 

I had a professor in college who told us a story about her daughter.  Back in the late 70's/early 80's she would take her daughter to the bookstore to get a couple of children's books.  This was in Japan so English language books were pretty expensive.  During the train ride home her daughter would dig right in and was already halfway through one book.  My professor laughed and told her daughter to slow down and "savor" the book when in reality, she told us that she paid a lot of money for the books and didn't want her going through them so quickly.

 

It was such a cute story, but it did make me think about the pressures that I encountered as I was growing up.  Maybe some of you can relate to this, but there were always these external factors that would instigate this conflict of social status.  The combination of neighbors, family, and friends flaunting what they had or bragging about achievements added pressure to come on top.

 

What happened was that instead of savoring life, I felt like I was in a horse race to either keep up or go beyond what they're doing.  After a while...

 

I wanted a taste of that life...the good life.

 

However, I realized just how miserable I was.  I expended so much energy trying to keep up and not be left behind that I was losing my individuality.  I didn't do these things for me, I did it so that it would be the only way to shut them up and stop them from comparing.  I lost focus of my dreams.  Rather than trying to play a new sport, joining a meetup group, or reading a new book, I was fighting an internal conflict with the external world.

 

"How could you not be driving a Mercedes or a BMW?"

 

I was left speechless.  How could I have countered that?  I was just a new graduate back then.  What 21 year old college graduate would have the money to own or lease one of those?  Now if someone worked hard and earned the money to actually get a luxury car, then that's fine.  But why would people expect a new graduate to be able to attain one?  Even marriage or owning a home became a rat race in who would have the bigger and better thing.

 

"Oh you're only having a small reception?  Why aren't you inviting more people?"

 

It does end up becoming a problem when things are rushed.  It's no longer about someone wanting to get the car that they want, the wedding that they're planning, or the career that won't seem like hard labor digging diamonds at a mine shaft.  It's now about who can outshine who and be on top.

 

Pretty soon, I stopped myself and remembered my professor's story.  Why wasn't I cherishing the nice book?  Rather than immersing myself in the characters and dialogue, I wanted to finish the book before everyone else.  When I slowed down, I was a lot happier.  I only had one chance at life and I definitely wanted to make my experiences enriching and memorable.  Their opinions wouldn't have an effect whether I was going to drive and Infiniti, a motorcyle, or a horse drawn carriage.  Would their opinions serve as a down payment?  Would they lessen the interest rate?

 

Nope.

 

So why was I stressing so much over this?  It's easy to see the answer in hindsight, but it was unbelievably annoying at that time.  I'm definitely glad that it's over.  Giving myself the space to do things at a reasonable pace severely lessened the stress load.

 

I'm going through Dana Thomas's How Luxury Lost Its Luster and I'm really enjoying it.  It will really make you rethink about the romanticism of owning designer items.  It's interesting how much power it has that a simple logo can create preconceptions of one's status of wealth and influence.  Have any of you gone to one of those stores in your work clothes or nice clothes versus being in your gym attire?  You will see the difference in customer service.  (I guess you can say that for many places, but it's not always the case).

 

When I took fashion journalism, we had to read from different publications such as Elle, Vogue, or Marie Claire.  My teacher told us that surveying different forms of cultural reporting and getting used to the language will help us understand the techniques to cater to different demographics.  When I was looking around Barnes and Noble, I found the Ellements of Personal Style.  It was cute because for writing/journalism, I had to read the Elements of Style (a book on grammar and stylistic rules for writing) so I thought that the play on words was cute.

 

 

It had beautiful pictures and covered the personal lives and individualistic style of women such as Diane Von Furstenberg.  Diane has such a down to earth, relaxed personality.  Reading through her story seemed so conversational.  I didn't expect anything less from the woman who introduced the wrap dress as well as exhibiting her passion for life through her family, friends, and activities.

 

I instantly recognized Padma Lakshmi from my many years of watching Top Chef.  She had a recipe for homemade perfume using different essential oils that I might try out.  See, I'm integrating my science and journalism/communications background. :)  Biochemistry + Fashion = Fun

 

I also loved Dita Von Teese's classical retro style.  I felt like I was transported into a cozy lounge-- lights dimmed and the velvet waves flowing against the background.  I'm intrigued by the look of the pinstripe suit and the 1920's vintage attire most notably seen worn by the gangsters of the era.  (Since I was in a vintage mood, I was also contemplating on getting a pompadour hairstyle, but it looked like it would take a lot of time to maintain! haha) 

 

I did find a suit from Tom Ford that caught my eye.  It was exactly what I had in mind when I was looking for a contemporary look that matched the pinstripe theme:

 

 

Very chic and professional.

 

But the book is a nice, casual read that delves into the personal style mantras and influences by these beautiful women.  I recommend it as a great coffee table book.  It really did help me get ideas on how to approach and fine tune my fashion portfolio (along with interviewing questions).  It's definitely a lot of work, but I was inspired to sort through what I wanted to focus on.

 

Another book I picked up was You're (Not) The One by Alexandra Potter.  It was on sale for $3 so I asked why not?  When I read the back it stated, "Most women dream of finding the love of their life.  Lucy just wants to lose him..."

 

 

What intrigued me was how many of us dream of finding our one true love.  What ends up happening is that it's not always going to be Peaches and Cream.  I won't be able to touch this one until I finish the other books on my queue, but it did jog a few things into my head about how I became more realistic with love as I got older.  I definitely still enjoyed the honeymoon phase, but knowing that the person whom I'm with has flaws (as well as me) made it easier to communicate and work things out.  It's easy to throw in the towel when things start to get hard, but it won't get any better if the same mistake gets repeated in future relationships.

 

Indeed, I'm not the 18 year old who has the idealistic view, but I can be a lot more comfortable and trust that we will both be there for each other.

 

I briefly skimmed the reviews online (I didn't want to spoil myself!), and it looked promising.  Feel free to check it out when you have the chance.

 

The final book that I'm reading is Sun Tzu's The Art of War.  I skimmed through it in college, but I'm going to sit down and analyze it.  I think that it has so many applications to the real world.  Believe me, romance can test the skills of even the best generals!  But as I had written in the above paragraphs, it's a lot of strategy and decision making to navigate through the trials that are dealt to you.  I only wished that I knew how to deal with it back then, but you know what...when you lose a few battles, you'll know how to approach the war.  Pretty profound, huh? haha

 

 

 

But seriously, I think that we do have to experience some of these things; otherwise, we won't know what the outcome will be.  There will never be a specific set of rules that will be a panacea for what we will go through.  It's just a matter of learning what will work for you while using advice as guidelines.  When I was formulating how to deal with the people who were judgmental about status, I found ways to highlight my individuality without compromising my personal ideals.

 

I basically reframed my own worldview and prioritized what I needed to accomplish.  I wanted to travel, dine, and go bungee jumping.  Why would I just waste my time playing this game of cat and mouse besting each other?  If they want to that with themselves, fine.  But I didn't want to be dragged into that.

 

I hope you all enjoy the warmer weather and longer daytime before it gets cold again!  Ugh, Lidia Bastianich is making Cappuccino Ice Cream Cake right now.

 

Why Lidia...why?!  Just before bedtime too. :)  See, instead of giving them the attention that they are seeking, just use that energy to make Cappuccino Ice Cream Cake.

 

Have a good night everyone!

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