Sunday, April 25, 2010

Media Addiction

Somehow my love of books has lately transferred to a love of magazines. Don't get me wrong, I'm still reading novels (I finished The Perks of Being a Wallflower this week), but for some reason, I find myself drawn toward magazines this week. In a matter of days I read May's Lucky, Vogue, Body + Soul, Glamour, Allure, GQ, Zink, and Elle from cover to cover. Not to mention two or three hair magazines. What's the draw? Well, firstly, fashion. The editorial spreads are the dessert after a meal of articles on summer trends, makeup and hair how-to's, health, culture and cities of choice. What have I learned? That outside of fashion ads and, yes, editorial spreads, most magazines feature normal women. Because guess what? That's who they're marketing to.

One of my favorite articles was in Vogue by Plum Sykes (author of Bergdorf Blondes) detailing the everywoman's plight against retail seasons. Namely the trouble of finding a swimsuit when its finally needed in July after all of them sold out in March. Or finding a winter coat in November when they all went out on the racks in mid June. Another favorite came from GQ on the benefits of finding a good local brew pub, rather than just picking your beer based on "whichever tap has the prettiest handle." I found Zink less satisfying than usual. I've read Zink as a makeup artist's magazine for a while, but lately, their makeup hasn't been that outstanding. And, in fact, most of their spreads have been in black and white, with either nude makeup or a simple smudgy "black" smokey eye. Boring. Allure, on the other hand, had a GREAT mini article on Belenciaga's Fall 2010 runway show, in which all the models had neon eyebrows painted on. I loved them!

Whilst flipping through the hair magazines we have on hand around the school, I discovered two things: firstly, what I want my NAHA entry to look like next year. And secondly, that I vow to someday find a way to work with Andrew O'Toole. The only photos I actually really liked in any of the hair magazines were by him. He appears to be for the AHFA's what Babak is for the NAHA's. And frankly, I'm impressed.

People can try to tell me what a poor self image magazines give young girls and women, and maybe that is true for some females. But for me, I find a lot of work inspiration in them. They get me excited to be in the industry that I am. And they provide a way for me to stay current when I don't exactly have the funds or the connections to make it to the New York, LA and Paris fashion weeks. YET.

So I'm going to keep on reading, flipping and looking. Because it's keeping me motivated. And, let's face it, at least slightly more educated.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Adam Hall

I feel like writing a sappy, gushy blog. If you're not up for that, then move along, there's nothing to see here.

I don't think I sing Adam's praises enough on here. He's one of the best people I know. He cares about people deeper than I can even fathom and he's more intelligent than just about anyone else I've met.

I love this boy's laugh, his brains, his face, his sense of humor. I love his huge vocabulary (and trust me, I don't know anyone with a larger one who uses their knowledge in every day conversation). He makes beautiful music and loves beautiful things. He's introduced me to more good movies than anyone else ever before. Sometimes I forget how impeccable his taste is.

He's sweet and gentle. Loving. So incredibly attractive from head to toe.

Basically what I'm getting at is that I love Adam Hall up, down, and all around. Inside and out.

And I think that needed to be said for all the world to hear! (or rather, read)!

Adam Hall, I love you.

Monday, April 5, 2010


So since my last post, which was what? About three weeks ago? I've maintained my voracious reading habit. It's gotten a little outrageous, but whatever. I'm enjoying my sense of escapism.

After finishing Catching Fire, I started Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, who also wrote Remains of the Day, which I'd like to read at some point I think, assuming its still being published? Amazon only has used copies. Never Let Me Go was good. Creepy. But interesting. And though I didn't feel particularly connected to any of the characters throughout the book (most of them are not very likable), the ending still managed to be heart wrenching. I was left thinking about it for days after.

Once I finished Never Let Me Go, I found my way to Barnes & Noble and discovered they have, or at least had, a sale for book clubs. You could buy two novels and receive a third one free. So I picked up The Elegance of the Hedgehog, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and The White Tiger.

I started with the Elegance of the Hedgehog. I got about a hundred pages in, but I had a few problems. Firstly, this is probably the most French novel I have ever read. It's a translation, but many French slang terms and French pop culture references have been left in. Secondly, I found I'm not nearly well versed enough in Philosophy (particularly which philosophers said and wrote what) to catch about half of the jokes. So, I put it down and intend to go back with a pen, a pad of sticky notes, and a dictionary at some point.

I decided instead to read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. That's a mouthful. It was sweet. It's written as a series of letters in the two to three years after the end of World War II. It seems WWII books keep finding me. At least lately they've been slightly different variations on WWII views. This one was about the channel islands just off the coast of France that were occupied by the Germans. And of course it was also a love story. I gobbled it up. Not the most educational book, but also not the least.

Finally I read The White Tiger in less than a day. It was, by far, my favorite of the three. A little background as to why: in the tenth grade, I took biology. As part of our biology course, we watched a video on overpopulation. A major portion of the documentary was on India. After that, I used to daydream about being able to go to India and fix things. Mainly I wanted to set up an orphanage and school for girls in India, girls being essentially worthless there due to how the dowry exchange is set up and how hard it is for them to find work outside the home.

Since then, I've actually had a lot of problems with the way India is run. Though I find Hinduism interesting, the oppression brought on by the caste system appalls me. As does the obsession Americans have for India as an "enlightened" place, and Indians have for America as a "modern" place. India caters to the rich by putting their money into malls, hotels, and other tourist attractions. But they spend almost no money on their infrastructure. Most of India doesn't have running water or electricity, it's filled with bad roads and corruption. The poor in the big cities are forced to breath in pollution and shit outdoors, while the small percentage of rich Indians spend money on American goods and attempt to look and live like western white people. It's sickening.

In any case, The White Tiger is about one man's journey from a lower caste, through the corruption of land ownership and politics, and into the western ideal of business ownership. He changes from servant to master. But what's ultimately depressing about it, is that though he does his best to be fair and honest in the end, he has no choice but to work within the system, rather than fight it. All he can do is to hope for a better India, as distant as that may seem.

Next on my list is Life of Pi. Not sure what I'll read after that. Maybe try out some Zadie Smith. If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them. I am trying to make it through the books I have on my shelf, but I'm willing to throw in a few others here and there.

This really has been fun. I'm learning a lot and remembering what I loved so much about literature classes in school.