Opposites Attract

We’ve all heard the phrase “opposites attract”. Most likely you’ve heard it while discussing relationships with friends, and you’ve probably even used it to justify dating the boy that you know is no good for you. While I am not a firm believer in this saying, I am also not totally opposed to it. I am constantly attracted to quite the opposite of me… grungy street art. From graffiti to broken windows to torn down posters, I love it all.

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I can’t explain just why I am attracted to these kinds of scenes, but I am. Maybe it’s the bright colors and outrageousness of it all? Or maybe I like how it defines a city in its own unique way? Grungy street art is so different from my own personal style which is sophisticated and put-together. I typically go for clean lines and silhouettes when dressing myself but thrive on the disorder of graffiti.

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When dealing with a creative viewpoint it is safe to say that opposites absolutely do attract. As someone who appreciates art and self-expression, I can say that I enjoy art that is the opposite of me because it pushes me to think of wild ideas that I never would have thought by looking at art that feels familiar. It lets me escape myself for a bit and takes me somewhere new.

New York Fashion Week 2018

I can’t help but wonder the story behind graffiti and other forms of street art. What kinds of people are the ones spraying this graffiti? Or hanging up these posters? Are they doing it in the middle of the night to avoid getting caught? Or in the busy daylight so people can appreciate all of the work that goes into it? Did the artists think long and hard about the mark they are making on the city? Or maybe they decided to be impulsive and take a creative risk?

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We are all attracted to the mysteries behind the person with the opposite personality from ours, or the creative expression that is the opposite of our own. Who doesn’t love solving a good mystery? It allows you to think outside the box and expand the comfort zone of your own mind. You think in ways you’ve never thought before, just trying to understand that person or work of art.

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Similarly to dating the bad boy, you experience a thrill that you’ve never experienced before; just because it feels so new and different! You may not keep him around for awhile or bring him back home to mom and dad, just like you aren’t hunting down a local graffiti artist to spray paint your apartment with bright colors, but you are experiencing life through a different lens.

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This blouse is my “George Washington” blouse, as my cousin likes to call it. It is sheer and airy, making it quite the romantic top, opposite from the grungy backdrop. Adding a leather belt and structured bag polishes off the sophisticated-casual look. To add some color I matched my lipstick with my burgundy shoes. As much as I love to wear neutrals, I clearly can’t stray away from color completely.

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So, after all, I guess I actually am a believer that “opposites attract”. However, they attract in ways that depend on the timing and setting. Opposites don’t always stick in our most comfortable environments or long-term life plans, but they are there for us to appreciate and enjoy for a brief time.

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Bag: Mango (similar)        Shoes: Splendid        Blouse: Nasty Gal       Jeans: Topshop

Lipstick: Nars                Earrings: Forever21 (similar)              Belt: Calvin Klein (similar)

What opposite are you attracted to? Leave me a comment down below! If you enjoyed this post be sure to check out The Rise of Jersey City Street Art, Independence//Dependence, and Shoreditch Street Style.

Photography by Christopher Chase

The Rise of Jersey City Street Art

Art. It is all around us but not everyone chooses to see it. Street art was once viewed as a crime thought to be ruining the beauty of a simple neighborhood. However, a lot has changed in the last few years and the whole concept of street art has turned from a negative to a positive.

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Art murals like the ones in this post are now viewed as a way to draw interest to an otherwise ugly space, such as a parking lot. Different colors, patterns, and images are being painted in areas with the purpose of changing the perception of neighborhood elements that have otherwise been thought of as unpleasant to the eye.

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From parking lots to the back entrances of restaurants, murals have turned these places into popular picture spots. Walking around this area of Jersey City I saw multiple photoshoots occurring; not just fashion bloggers like myself, but engagement and couple shoots. Ten years ago these murals would have been viewed as vandalism rather than a place where couples want to share some of the most important pictures of their lives.

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Once the exact opposite, street art can now be viewed as a way to gentrify a neighborhood and attract a new crowd of people. Neighborhoods like Jersey City, Shoreditch, Chelsea, and even my hometown, are embracing this new approach to enliven a neighborhood. So what exactly changed to all of a sudden make street art “cool”?

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Is it the rise of millennials and our culture that are making this a new trend? Maybe. Or maybe it was society’s increasing interest with Banksy, the anonymous British artist known for making political statements with murals popping up on city walls overnight.

We may never really know how society began to accept this form of art that it was so strongly against in the past. However, it is important to consider its importance and how it has changed society for the better. It has given artists a platform where their art is guaranteed to be seen and recognized. It has also introduced the concept of art to many people and has shown them just how powerful it can be.

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Similar to street art, I aim to express myself through what I choose to put on my body each day. The way we dress and what we wear paints a picture of who we are in other’s minds. As cliché as it is, we all judge a book by its cover. It is important to express who you are and what you believe in through what you wear, just like street artists express their views on society through their murals.

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Whether you are a fan of street art or not, the next time you see a mural, stop and try to interpret what the artist was thinking at the time he or she painted it. Art has the power to express meaningful messages if we allow it to. Also consider what message you are projecting to the world when you get dressed tomorrow morning. Clothes, colors, and patterns have the ability to say so much without having to actually say it.

Bag (similar): Bloomingdale’s                                                                Boots (similar): Off 5th

One Shoulder Sweater: ASOS (ON SALE!)

Check out Parisian Street Art (the 10th arrondissement) and Amsterdam’s Art Scene to see some of my favorite street art in Europe.

 

 

 

Parisian Street Art (the 10th arrondissement)

The 10th district of Paris is abundant with colorful street art and lively characters. It is not what one would expect when thinking of Paris. I personally loved seeing this side of the city, covered in music posters and graffiti, because of its contrast to the classic Parisian architecture.

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Paris street art

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These graphic stickers of random faces could be found on various corners throughout the district.

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Along the canal were plenty of pop art posters promoting local events and concerts.

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fun Paris street art

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Stickers saying “J’existe”, or “I exist” in English, were stuck all over the canal barriers and street signs.

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This area could easily be considered the Shoreditch or East Village of Paris for those of you familiar with London or New York. If you love street art and exploring the younger scenes of cities, then visiting the 10th district of Paris, by the canal, is a must.

Follow me on Instagram for more photos of the world’s best cities and their street art.

Amsterdam’s Art Scene

When I think of Amsterdam I just think of a cool city with cool people. And naturally, when a city and its people are cool, there is a pretty mind-blowing art scene. Not only are there some amazing, well-known museums, like the Van Gogh Museum, but there are galleries and exhibits that are rarely mentioned in the plethora of guides to Amsterdam that you see on Pinterest.

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One of my favorite places that we stumbled into was the Home of Art art gallery. I loved this lantern-like exhibit that was displayed in the front of the space. The way the sun shone through the windows was beautiful.

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I think I loved this gallery so much because of the people that ran it. They were welcoming, offering us up some wine and snacks, and left us alone to enjoy the art. If you are a frequent gallery-goer than you know that those running it make or break your experience. A lot of people can be stingy, watching your every move, judging you, or simply ignore your presence all together.

Amsterdam Van Gogh museum

Of course we visited the Van Gogh Museum, which was an amazing experience. I learned so much about the artist that I never knew. I loved seeing how his work evolved throughout the different time periods in his life and changed depending on where he moved. The museum does a brilliant job at intertwining Van Gogh’s history with his paintings, explaining his story perfectly through his art.

Amsterdam Moco Museum

Lastly, right next to the Van Gogh Museum, is the Moco Museum, a pleasant surprise for someone who loves street art or impressionism. I had never even heard of this museum before walking by it. It houses an extensive collection of Banksy and Dali, walking the viewer through the meaning of their different pieces. While we did not get the chance to go inside, this will definitely be the first museum I visit the next time I’m in Amsterdam. Remember to hit up all of the museums early in the day so you don’t face the same struggle against the 5pm closing times that we did.

Amsterdam Moco Museum

To learn about more of my favorites spots in Amsterdam, check out my Ultimate Guide to Amsterdam- What to See, Eat, Do, and be sure to follow me on Instagram to see all of my European adventures!

My Daily Commute in Pictures

Every time I walk from Old Street station back to my flat I think how lucky I am to be in London in this beautiful neighborhood. While this may not be everyone’s idea of beauty, especially those used to the more traditional London, beauty is all in one’s own perception. Here is my daily commute through Shoreditch in my eyes:

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Shoreditch building photography

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Shoreditch street art photography

Shoreditch graffiti art

Follow me on Instagram for more photos of London.

A Dose of Art: the Brooklyn Bridge

I don’t know about you but I am constantly inspired by what I see around me as I am walking down the city streets. I particularly love the stickers that businesses, musicians and artists stick to bridges, street posts and subway cars. You never know what cool graphics you will find.

I have taken a particular fascination in photographing these stickers for easy access to inspiration whenever I need it. I also enjoy looking up the website on the stickers to see what the sticker is actually promoting. You find some interesting things…

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Illustrapow is a website that features the work of Karen Warners, an illustrator and graphic designer. She seems to do a lot of graphics and paintings involving animals. Her work reminds me of art you would see in a children’s book.

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After looking up @miss_hein on Instagram I discovered that Danielle Hein is both a teacher and an artist. She has made a lot of awesome paintings of skulls, experimenting with bright colors.

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Since this sticker has no website or social media handle, I decided to google “the lonely loner”. Turns out the only thing that came up were Kid Cudi lyrics of course. Maybe this old man is looking to free his mind at night?

Let me know if you are interested in seeing more of these “A Dose of Art” posts and be sure to follow me on here, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

 

 

Categories Art

The Houston Project

You may be wondering, what is the Houston Project? If you have ever found yourself stopping in the rag & bone shop on Houston Street in New York City, then you have definitely stumbled across this particular project.

Houston Project- Marc Evan

The Houston Project is a public art initiative taken by Rag + Bone, in hope to raise awareness for local artists and add some inspiration to the city streets. Every month they recruit a new New York City-based street artist to paint the wall outside their small store on Houston Street. Some of the previous artists who have worked on this space include Nicholas Forker, Rubin, Yoon Hyup, and Alexis Diaz.

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One of my favorite murals of the Houston Project has to be this pizza painting by Yok and Sheryo from back in June. I mean who doesn’t love a colorful slice of pizza!? This pizza slice definitely has personality, which I love.

Houston Project- Marc Evan

This particular mural was painted by Marc Evan back in the beginning of October. I love the hues of blue and how they pop against the stark whiteness of the store. The lady in the mural reminds me of a modern-day Medusa with her captivating eyes that have the ability to turn men into stone. Evan is known for changing the communities he touches with his paint strokes, through his public art pieces. This mural is definitely no exception with the amount of inspiration and joy it brought to the neighborhood.

Urban Outfitters fashion blogger

Walking around the city and taking in the art around me is one of my favorite things to do when I have some extra time. I could wonder around the streets for hours just photographing art murals, reading graphic stickers posted on street posts, and watching the unique characters. Without projects like this one people like me wouldn’t be as inspired by everyday life in New York City.

Houston Project- Marc Evan

As you may have noticed, I have recently started embracing my natural hair texture- curls on curls on curls. I found it ironic that just as I began to do this, I found this art mural. This mural reminded me to embrace the wild, crazy part of myself that makes me unique- my hair. Art has the power to trigger, reinforce, or rethink any ideas you’ve been having. This is exactly why I believe a city like New York, which is filled with art, is the hub of so many inspiring minds.

Sculpture Garden in the Heart of NYC

Yes, you read that right. This beautiful sculpture garden is in the middle of downtown Manhattan, hidden away between two quiet streets. If you’ve happened to stumble upon this garden while walking down Elizabeth Street, consider yourself very lucky. It is not everyday that you find a gem like this one in such a busy, evolving city.

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The Elizabeth Street Garden is the perfect place to escape the hustle of the city streets and curl up in a good book. The garden is full of hidden pathways leading to benches and tiny tables with chairs. The giant sculptures and blooming flowers create an atmosphere buzzing with creativity and inspiration. This space is so important in a neighborhood like this one where there is only three feet of open space per resident. Us New Yorkers don’t get the luxury of open space to call our own which is why this garden means so much to so many of us.

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Around since 1903, this garden represents a time in history. It was originally built in partnership with a school, by architect C.B.J. Snyder, and served as a civic and social center for the surrounding residents. In the 1970s the school was torn down but the garden remained.

Sadly, potential developers are looking into destroying this one-of-a-kind space in the city, turning the garden into just another apartment complex. Whether you are a native New Yorker or someone across the world who someday hopes to visit this garden, please take the time to send this electronic letter to those who have the ability to protect the Elizabeth Street Garden.

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It pains me to know that a place full of history, wonder, and a unique perspective of art could be destroyed for more city housing. Everyone deserves to seek the same creative inspiration that I have, from this space. The sculptures, flowers, and even people this space attracts have influenced the way I dress and the lens I view the world by.

The garden has reminded me to dress with a sense of ease that is pleasing to the eye and unique to myself. It has also showed me how to mix classic pieces with more modern ones, like these crepe pants and dark leather jacket. Just like the garden is a reminder of the simple beauty in an ever-changing city, my wardrobe remains classic and refreshing while I continue to grow and change.

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My favorite piece in the garden? The greyhound sculptures, of course. I have been a sucker for greyhounds ever since my family rescued my sweet, three-year-old baby girl, Luna, this past May. Coming to this garden reminds me of her when I am missing her most. And, with the greyhound winning the National Dog Show this November, the statues might just be a lucky charm for the future of the Elizabeth Street Garden.

 

Esabitchin’- A Presentation in Sustainable Fashion

At the close of New York Fashion Week I was invited to a conscious fashion exhibition party called Esabitchin’. Naturally, I jumped at this offer because I love seeing sustainable fashion showcased by up-and-coming designers.

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When we walked in there was a table set up with cards displaying the details of the event. Following the theme of sustainability, these cards were unique in that they could be planted and grown into the flowers pictured on the table.

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The first designer that caught my attention was Lindy Fox. Her collection featured lots of earthy tones and geometric shapes. Fox uses upcycled material in order to create beautiful pieces like the ones featured above. If you are unfamiliar with the word upcycling, this means she reuses fabric that were once used for something else.

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I then found my way to Zero Waste Daniel‘s presentation. His clothes are made from brightly-colored, crazy-patterned fabric scraps. Daniel is aiming to do big things, starting with saving three tons of pre consumer textile waste in 2016 alone. Not only does he make a statement with his designs but also with the purpose and goals behind them.

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Last but not least is Study NY. This collection was definitely my favorite because it embodies my style the most. It is simple but makes a statement with the silhouettes and color-blocking of fabrics. Tara St James, the genius behind this brand, uses sustainable fabrics as well as ethical production methods to make each piece.

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Dying over the sweater vest and denim blouse combination!

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As for me, I of course had to sport my favorite sustainable fashion brand for the night, EILEEN FISHER. I am wearing one of my favorite silk dresses of hers and knee-high, suede boots. Be sure to read about my EILEEN FISHER experience for all the scoop on the brand’s latest sustainability projects.

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A night of fashion wouldn’t be complete without a little bit of art as well. Throughout the event this artist was live painting on a canvas in the outdoor courtyard of the space. She was painting everything from jeans jackets to polaroids.

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Please check out Esa, the company that put together this event, and educate yourself on the importance of sustainable fashion. It is just as easy to create beautiful clothes using ethical practices as it is to create clothing in harmful ways.

 

Embodying a Unique Style

When you walk into an antique shop or vintage store you are surrounded by one-of-a-kind pieces, each with their own stories to tell and hidden history. Shopping in these stores is an experience that brings you back in time, immersing you in a different time period.

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Cape May is home to antique stores filled with World War II memorabilia, old polaroids and advertisements from the 1960s. While of course I love going to the beach and soaking up the summer sun, exploring these antique shops is one of my favorite activities to do while at the Jersey Shore for the weekend.

When I visit these shops I am enlightened by all of the inspiration around me. Seeing something that speaks to me and is unique in its own way inspires me to recreate that essence in the outfits that I wear every day.

Each look that you put together tells its own story, not about the individual clothing items but about the person that is actually wearing them. It is the first thing people notice about you and the first thing they will use to make their judgements about you. Just as every antique item is one-of-a-kind your style should be as well.

Many people are afraid to stray away from what everyone else is wearing because they fear they will stand out too much. Ask yourself, is standing out really so bad if you are sharing your story with the world?

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I am encouraging you to visit your local Goodwill or your local antique shop. Seek inspiration and soak up the stories of the past that are there to tell. Then take this inspiration and infuse it into the clothing that you wear. Before putting on your clothes, ask yourself, what story am I willing to share with the world today?