How It Ends

Well, dear readers, this has been fun. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve gone on full-blown online shopping marathons and purged our wallets clean of those pesky dollar bills and maxed out our credit cards. Hopefully, you’ve also learned of a few great songs and artists that you’ve downloaded onto your iPods and iPhones and, you know, checked out Ohio University’s Thread Magazine (hint hint).

Regardless, I’ve had a lovely time writing for you all and am so happy you’ve stuck with me for this long. Sadly, this is my last entry. But, who knows, I might not be able to stay away and come back to share more tunes and clothes and other wonderful things!

For my last entry, I’ve decided to do something a little bit different. I don’t have an elaborate story about a fictional character or a crazy, wild scenario to imagine yourself stylishly being a part of. Instead, I’m going to do something a bit more personal. As I near the end of my first semester of junior year–and the end of the year in general–it’s time to reflect.

So there you are, coming to terms with the fact that, wow, you’re getting older (21 to be exact) and probably not wiser. Your junior year, despite what others tell you, has most certainly not been the best of your life. In fact, it’s been pretty awful. You’ve met someone awesome, someone you thought you would spend the rest of college and beyond with, and he ended up letting you down. Your dog gets put to sleep, one of your best friends decides he doesn’t want to be your friend anymore and school is, well, pretty freaking hard.

You’re questioning yourself, your major, your friends, your choices and pretty much everything that makes up that weird, stupid, happy little universe around you. But really, it’s not all bad, right? You’re young, educated, financially secure and, for the most part, happy. You’re a pretty lucky human being. And I mean, if you really believe that life is a bottomless pit full of bitter disappointment, the Mayans tell us that the world is supposed to end soon anyway.

Seriously, though, it might be hard to stay positive, to count your blessings, but they’re there. The bad overshadows the good (which is how it usually goes), but you have other guys that actually want to spend time with you. And maybe you don’t have a thousand friends but hell, who needs a thousand, you have a few really, really good ones. You know, the kind that listen to you drunkenly slur about how pretty your ex’s new girlfriend is at 2 a.m. (when they’re sober, mind you), tell you that, yes, of course you look wonderful when you haven’t showered in two days and ones that pseudo-strangle boys who are mean to you at parties.

Maybe you didn’t get that job you wanted or that position in your organization that you’ve been working towards for the last two years, but that just opened the door for you to get involved in other activities. You have your entire life to become a corporate drone so why not enjoy life first? And that’s the point–you’re young, healthy and alive. So, sweetie, what the heck do we have to complain about?

Lovely paper bag scene from "American Beauty"

Lovely paper bag scene from “American Beauty”

Let’s be sad when we need to, but let’s not forget how amazingly lucky we are to be in the here and now. Because really, as Lester Burnham would say, “I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me, but it’s hard to stay mad when there’s so much beauty in the world.

Obviously there’s not really a good outfit to go with this brief inspirational talk of mine, so I want to share an outfit that’s totally me. You, dear readers, don’t really know me, but I would like you to. I consider you all beautiful, wonderful and fabulous people, and I hope I run across each and every one of you someday.

Lots of love xx

Simple. Comfortable. Stylish. Cute. Love.

Simple. Comfortable. Stylish. Cute. Love.




Wonderland Runway

Alice is one tough chick. Not only does she give a big “F-U” to the polite, aristocratic system she’s grown up in (think Tim Burton’s rendition), she falls down a looooong tunnel into some seriously messed up world where she ends up butting heads with this evil Red Queen who is pretty damn terrifying when she screams, “OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!” Then she survives the strange Wonderland without even wrinkling that cute little dress of hers or messing up her wavy blonde locks. Who wouldn’t want to be her? She’s kind of fab.

But when Lewis Carroll wrote Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in 1865, he couldn’t have anticipated just how much the real world would morph into it’s own Wonderland. Technology, pop culture, fashion–pretty much everything has changed since Carroll created little Alice. So it’s probably time for an upgrade, dontcha think?

There have been a few revamps of one of literature’s favorite curious kittens, including: Mia Wasikowska (Burton’s Alice), Caterina Scorsone (SyFy Channel’s Alice), Tina Majorino aka that girl from Napoleon Dynamite (NBC’s made-for-TV Alice) and of course Disney’s 1951 animated adaptation. While Wasikowska is the most recent–and Scorsone is probably the most modern adaptation–there hasn’t really been a perfect update yet.

Alice would probably be extremely hip, let’s be real. She’d wear her cute lacy white dress with trademark sky blue cardigan and a bow in her hair. She’d attend some all-girls prep school with a love of poetry, singing and–naturally for all good girls–ponies. But more than anything, Alice would love to read. She would attend dinner parties at her parents’ mansion and dance with only the brightest boys at her school’s formals. On the weekends, she’d spend her time exploring–picking flowers and playing with the animals. She could name the species; Alice would be very, very bright. With a shining future ahead of her, she would pursue her studies with ease and make friends wherever she went. She was a tad shy, but nothing that kept her from enjoying herself.

Arisa Fukumoto created a beautiful Wonderland-themed collection.

Yawn. Yeah, Alice has usually been portrayed as a “goody-goody,” but that’s not nearly as much fun as an Alice with a deeper, darker side. Especially in this day and age. Alice would be a bit wild, sneaking out of her prep school to attend parties uptown in the city and the ones thrown by the all-boys school across the lake. She’d partake in the drinking and experiment with whatever substances her friends were taking in the bathroom stalls. One night she’d even get a piercing (but of course she’d have to take it out once the night was over and she had to resume her usual good-girl routine).

This Alice was the one that defied rules, didn’t stick to just writing and drawing. She danced and laughed and cried and screamed from the windows of cars and drank until she couldn’t see straight. This Alice skipped arm-in-arm with her friends down the street, shouting the lyrics to terrible pop songs while smoking a cigarette. She spent money she didn’t have on lingerie she would rock as a dress next weekend and broke into an abandoned factory to throw bricks at the windows. This Alice wore leather, spiked pumps, ripped tights and smeared mascara. Her hair would be a tangled mess, and her lipstick a few shades too dark for her complexion. This Alice was a true free spirit.

Also, don’t forget your Miu Miu pumps. (Also had to add them because I just really, really want to own them!)

We’re all mad here.

She has fallen down the rabbit hole and isn’t interested in coming back from Wonderland because this Wonderland is fun, carefree and wild. In this world, she doesn’t feel the pressure, only the drinks and the music and the bright city lights.

And in her free time she still wanders around outside, exploring the nooks and crannies of the city that’s so different from the woods behind her school and her parents’ place.

It’s exciting and an escape from the droll of every day life. But that’s why Alice fell down that rabbit hole–she was looking for a place in which to run away. That’s what we’re all looking for. But at the end of the day, you can’t escape–but you can laugh and sing and dance and live in whatever rabbit hole you find, in whatever adventure you find yourself in.

And that’s why we all want to be Alice sometimes. Or at least I do.

An American Horror Story

Hi, my name is Rachel and I’m addicted to “American Horror Story.”

Cue: “Hi, Rachel!”

Not only is AHS a great premise (season 1 and 2), but the characters, design and overall mise-en-scène make it seem so real. In “American Horror Story: Asylum,” the show wouldn’t be nearly as fantastic without the atmosphere the creators have sculpted. Not to mention the fabulous 1960s fashion sported by the cast (see: Sarah Paulson as Lana Winters). Also, I just really, really like Zachary Quinto, too.

There’s romance, violence, mystery, aliens, an asylum (obviously, which totally makes things creepy by default), a crazy mad doctor, Nazis, a serial killer, religion and pretty much anything else you can think of. (Crazy Ed Gein-inspired psychopath, anyone?)

Miss Lana Banana

“I was writing his story/and he gave me a look/he was, very handsome, distractingly so…”

It’s 1964, and there you are, young, ambitious and sent to cover the life of a death row inmate Capote-style. Which is fine; it’s better than those silly stories your editor’s been assigning to you–ones about new lions at the zoo, a carnival to benefit homeless dolphins and the most recent one about a farmer who grows oversized beets. You were basically foaming at the mouth to cover this piece. This inmate was one of the most ruthless killers ever captured in recent memory. He’d terrorized the town for what seemed like years, and his fate was big news. Soon he’d be electrocuted…but not before you got the full scoop.

Your editor was afraid you’d be squeamish about the whole ordeal–you know, a “pretty little thing” like you wouldn’t be able to handle the yelling, cat-calls, lewd remarks. He thought you’d faint or something. But you wouldn’t. You had fought tooth and nail for this opportunity. This was your big break. You could almost smell the Pulitzer.

The gates were tall, dark, iron-wrought bars the slowly parted so you could drive up the long, winding driveway. The building itself wasn’t too menacing from the outside–white and made of brick. The warden and two guards greeted you, offering you the “grand tour,” which consisted of cells, the cafeteria and some offices. Then it was time to meet the inmate, the subject of your story.


Damien Fontleroy.

“They have to leave,” he said, pointing to your editor and the guards. They were uneasy, “he’s a killer of women,” they all whispered. But you aren’t afraid, not when you’re on the brink of success. Once they leave, he tells you everything about his victims, the murders, how he planned everything out…but he never told you his motives. He said he didn’t really have any motives. It just felt right.

You were repulsed, it only made sense. It was disgusting. But there was kindness in him and depth and intelligence–he said “it just felt right,” but that couldn’t be true. He was a monster. You had similar interests, he’d been to college and could speak French. He used to paint beautiful pieces and had a few drawings in his cell. And he certainly didn’t look like a monster.

“And I never dreamed that he’d be my boyfriend / he wrote me letters, daily from prison / that said, ‘I know I’ve killed a few. But none of those women were you.’ / And I couldn’t speak it was over for me…”

He wrote you frequently, sometimes letting you a little deeper in his psyche, almost to the point where you thought you would be able to figure him out. But it never came to that. Soon it became letters about his life and asking about yours, when you were coming to visit again, what your favorite flowers were. It was nice; he was nice. Soon, you questioned whether or not he was even capable of such violent crimes.

But he was. Or at least the courts thought so and, although he never claimed innocence, you knew he had to be.

“And I’ll never forget him / now that it’s over, the life that we had / when they strapped him down…”

After your story was finished and had printed a while ago, they decided his time had come. You went to the execution and watched as they put him in that cold, unfeeling chair. A few people mingled about, laughing and rolling their eyes. They were happy to see a killer fried. But he wasn’t a killer to you–he was a person. He was yours. They didn’t know the man that drew portraits, wrote poetry and could tell stories about Paris in the springtime. You were sure that they had never read Milton, Dickens or Homer, had never traveled the world or had seen what he had seen. No, but he was evil–he deserved his fate. Well, they were the ones reveling in this horrific event, almost enjoying it.

Then they flipped a switch. And it was over.

“Well I said I loved him / as they strapped him in / but he wasn’t crying / he took it like a man…”

“Goodbye my Grim Reaper Prince / Goodbye, goodbye / I’ll see you in a while / Goodbye / Farewell / Good luck”

American Horror Story: Asylum-inspired style.

Throwback Threads

So I’ve been on this Smiths kick lately, well, mostly I’ve just had “There is A Light That Never Goes Out” on perpetual repeat for the last couple of months. But that counts, right? Regardless, I was inspired by their alternative rock/pop sound. Oh, also Morrissey’s rad striped shirt.

You probably know this track from the hit romance-except-not movie “(500) Days of Summer.” Y’all probably  the self-proclaimed “quirky” girl Zooey Deschanel and her co-star, cute little Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but frankly, this isn’t about their style. It’s not as interesting to me so instead I decided to take a trip in the ol’ Time Machine and bring back some of those beautifully obscure–and oftentimes not-so-flattering–trends that dominated the ’80s. And, thanks to one star in particular, it wasn’t so hard to revamp and modernize those kitschy clothes.

Molly Ringwald is pretty much the ’80s silver screen darling thanks to the late John Hughes and films such as “Pretty in Pink,” “The Breakfast Club,” and “Sixteen Candles.” Who can forget the time she put on eyeliner with her cleavage, or when she sat on the table with Jake Ryan, or especially those clothes she wore in “Pretty in Pink”–thrifted and fabulous. Her character, Andie, was refreshing–she wasn’t rich, couldn’t invest tons of cash into her wardrobe, and created unique pieces because of it. And girlfriend loved to accessorize! Not to mention maintaining the delicate balance between ambiguity and femininity. On Andie, what a gem!

The ’80s were a wild time filled with crazy patterns and clothing that never seemed to actually fit right. While Andie indulged in oversized sweaters and the occasional pattern, she was also all about classing it up with pearls and hats. She–thankfully–wasn’t into the bright neon ski jackets or over-dramatic Madonna-esque get-ups–and went for floral patterns and blazers. I’ve always wished that I could tailor a thrift store find as well as her, but alas, the craftiness just isn’t as strong in me.

Instead, I’ll just have to settle for trying to recreate her looks through Polyvore while listening to the tunes of the ’80s. Because really, doesn’t every girl want to be a Hughes’ character at some point in her life?

Don’t forget to add Andie’s signature pink a little pink to a neutral-colored outfit!

Dress for Atlantis

If you were unlucky enough to be affected by Hurricane Sandy this week, you learned how essential it is to dress for the weather. In Ohio we received heavy rain, wind and cold temperatures. While this is nothing compared to our friends on the east coast, it definitely brought about a change in wardrobe.

But the weather will improve; the clouds will part and the sky will lighten. Gray will turn to blue, and we can once again banish our rain boots and jackets to the back of our closest. But what if the weather didn’t let up? What if the rains kept coming, and all of those stories about the oceans rising came true? The coastal areas would  flood and people fled to the center of the country, huddling together hoping to survive the roaring tides. “It has to stop,” they would all think. “Eventually, it’ll stop.” No, it just keeps raining and raining and raining.

We’re all familiar with Atlantis, a city lost to the ocean’s depths. We’ve watched “The Little Mermaid,” noted the glistening palaces and pillars of the underwater utopia. It was shimmering and lovely, but it wasn’t real. It wouldn’t actually happen. Well, maybe it could?
Okay, so it’s not that probable. If the U.S. did disappear under the waves, there wouldn’t be golden statues and ancient ruins. So what if we had some warning? Would we prepare by constructing buildings underwater to house the population of the country about to be submerged? We wouldn’t be able to save everyone. Instead, there would be a select group of people to test the facility, to ensure that it is livable. It would be clean and efficient and beautiful–the New York City of the sea. It might even look like Rapture, the underwater metropolis from BioShock (yes, I realize my inner video game nerd is coming out).

“It wasn’t impossible to build Rapture at the bottom of the sea. It was impossible to build it anywhere else.”

Imagine living in this bubble under the sea, completely separated from all other life. The people in the city are the only ones you can have contact with. These are your people; the only people in existence. They are gorgeous–everything in the city is gorgeous–but it’s empty, hollow, just a former shell of the population that once was. It’s always quiet. Rarely is any new life brought to this world. Who would want to bring a child into this underwater utopia? Not to mention the strict population control. The city is large, but it is beyond the days of expansion. So you’re stuck under the ocean, frozen in time, trapped in an unchanging place.

But there is some beauty to be found. The lights glimmer in the water, casting their hazy glow into the depths. Everyday you marvel at its wonder–how could something so majestic be built beneath the surface of the ocean? How had mankind managed to transport everything it knew to a place so foreign? The ocean was such a mystery, but there was no place else to go. So you sit, claustrophobic and restless in your retro-futuristic room with pictures on your nightstand of sunshine, snow, airplanes and deserts. You don’t mind your living arrangements–you’re grateful to have survived–but you also wonder how long it will take for this place to just become another lost city, too.

Underwater fashion is all about blues, green, teals and aquamarines. It has hints of golds and purples. It’s the baby pink of jellyfish and the harsh sleek black of manta rays. It’s about movement of flowing skirts accompanied by tight bodices. It is scales and knitted caps that mimic nets around your head. It’s about the grace and ease of floating in the ocean–effortless. Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen’s Spring 2012 sea creatures are majestic and capture such under-the-sea essence.

A model dons oceanic headgear in Sarah Burton’s 2012 collection.

More extravagant work by Burton.

Not Burton, but a beautiful aquatic-inspired dress, nonetheless.

Also not a part of Burton’s collection–just more beautiful underwater fashion.

Light pink wedding reception dress by Alexander McQueen

Hey, back to Burton! …Fierce, fierce Sarah Burton fashion. Swoon!

However, if those styles seem a little too extreme for the everyday landlubber, it’s not hard to incorporate some of the big blue sea in your ensembles. Here are some aquatically-inspired items to get you started!

Haute Halloween

Here in Athens, Ohio, things got a little crazy. If you were in town this Halloween weekend, you surely witnessed a lot of drunken debauchery, cops on horseback and the fact that you probably weren’t able to use your cell phone. I also bet you grabbed a buddy and NEVER LET THEM GO, lest you became lost in the sea of people sure to be flooding Court Street.

Block party on Court Street in Athens, Ohio

But maybe you weren’t able to attend Athens’ raucous celebration party where zombies, bunnies, binders full of women and other various creatures of the night stumbled out of the woodwork to listen to the bands that played in the streets and roamed through the night to parties, parties and more parties. Don’t worry, you can still engage in the mayhem despite the fact that Halloween in Athens is over. After all, Halloween isn’t until Wednesday and you should enjoy yourself this spooky season. According to the Mayans, it might be the last one we have.

There are a plethora of ways this whole Apocalypse thing could go down–flood, earthquake, climate change, disease, alien invasion or all of the above. Although, judging by recent pop culture phenomenons (cough “The Walking Dead” cough), people seem to be itchin’ for a zombie attack. (I enjoy “28 Days Later” and “28 Weeks Later” myself.)

AMC’s “The Walking Dead”

There you are, sitting in your room, watching the news, when a Breaking News broadcasts whatever regular scheduled program you had happened to turn on. Something’s wrong, but you’re not quite sure what. There have been a few attacks–frenzied, inhumane. They think it might be a wild animal–a coyote or bear. But the attack was brutal, almost too savage for even the toughest of grizzly bears. You keep watching, hoping something will be revealed.

Your sister walks into the room and joins you. She doesn’t really understand the gravity of the situation. She thinks it’s just some sort of rabid dog or a hoax. You know it’s not, though. You call your boyfriend. He doesn’t pick up the phone.

You’re glued to the couch for the rest of the day, your eyes fixated on the TV screen. They just keep repeating the same things over and over–“brutal attack,” “mangled,” “no suspect,” “be alert,” “more to come.” But you watched the news all day, and nothing more ever came. You were still in the dark.

Over the next couple of days, you wait as things progress. “Disease” and “pandemic” entered the broadcasts. Nobody knows what this epidemic is or how it started, only that it’s contagious and causing violent outbursts. You sit with your mother and sister on the sofa, mouths agape, unable to believe when they actually said “zombie.” They suggest fleeing, but after a few hours, evacuation isn’t recommended anymore. Staying inside, lights out, doors and windows barricading and remaining silent was what the media advised. You listen, boarding up what windows and doors you can. Soon, the broadcasts stop working. The TV and radio are completely dead. It’s chaos outside, you know it, but you can’t see.

So you sit there, huddled in the dark, and you wait. You try your boyfriend again, but the lines are dead. You had been having problems the last couple of weeks, but the fights don’t matter now. He would have tried to reach you, and he hasn’t. That’s troubling.

Eventually, you decide you need to get out. The house is suffocating. Your family tries to stop you, but you break through and head outside, planning to go to his house a few blocks away. You raise your hand to shield your face from the sunlight that you haven’t seen in days. You jump over fences and run through backyards, wielding a spade that you found in a nearby garden. You’re not sure what you’ll have to use it for, but you’ll use it for whatever you have to.

Don’t forget the spade!

You finally come to your boyfriend’s house. It’s quiet; the living room window is busted. You step over the broken glass, clutching your makeshift weapon. You hear moaning and begin to swing the spade wildly. You hit something. Then it’s over. Feeling sick, you run upstairs, scared and shaking. There’s a loud thud in one of the bedrooms. Cautiously, you open the door.

There he is, standing by the window, staring calmly outside. You walk up to him and place your hand on his cold shoulder. He turns, covered in blood; his eyes are empty, dead. It’s the look he’s been giving you the last couple of weeks, but it’s somehow different now. You know what’s happened; he’s infected. You stumble backwards onto the bed, your space heavy in your hands.

He comes towards you and thoughts race through your head–the arguments, the harsh words, the anger, the sadness, the pain, the good times, but mostly bad times. He used to be so sweet….

He reaches his hand out towards yours and takes it. And suddenly you know what you have to do.

A less practical zombie-hunting outfit.

So while “Shaun of the Dead,” “Night of the Living Dead,” “The Walking Dead,” “Dawn of the Dead” and pretty anything else involving the “living dead” are on everyone’s minds this Halloween, embrace your inner-zombie, throw on some face paint and fake blood, and have a spectacular Halloween!

F.A.S.H.I.O.N 9000

In the 1960s, there was a little thing called space travel and some regular ol’ dudes named Alan Shepard, John Glenn, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Then André Courrèges created this style called the “space-age” look, and it was all over. Fashion had moved to another planet, to another galaxy.

Courrèges space-age design.

More of that Courrèges space-age craze.

While the style might not have stood the test of time, one of my favorite little aliens has. From the late ’60s through the early ’70s, David Bowie created a wildly popular character, decked out in sensational outfits, face paint and vibrant red hair. Ziggy Stardust’s spaceship had landed and took popular music hostage. The 1972 album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is a concept album about a rock ‘n roll alien that comes to Earth during the last fives years of the planet’s existence. However, this all came AFTER Bowie’s 1969 single, “Space Oddity,” inspired by (you already know if you caught the reference in the title of this blog) Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, and way before Exitmusic’s cover of the tune.

David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust.

“Space Oddity” is about a fictional astronaut named Major Tom who travels into space, eventually cuts off contact with Ground Control, and then just beebops around space for the rest of time. A concept for the song isn’t really necessary this time around, since Mr. Bowie has already done a good job of creating a story. So I’ll try and put Major Tom into perspective and put you in the mind of the character.

So there are you, “sitting in a tin can,” watching the stars through the windows of your space shuttle. You’re engulfed in darkness, everything surrounding you is pitch-black. The stars are your only company. You see Earth, which is everything  your buddies said the giant,  marbled planet would be. It’s quiet, but you don’t mind. You like the quiet. You always have. People are noisy; people get in the way. But you excuse your wife, Helen–for her you make an exception. She never got in the way.

So when you were told that it was finally time to step into that rocket ship and float amongst the galaxies, weaving through the constellations, you were overjoyed. All your entire life you envied the solitude of outer space; watched as friend after friend donned their space suits and entered the spacecraft. You shook their hands, patted them on the back and cheered, but for different reasons than your wife.

She cheered because you weren’t going with them. You cheered because, well, you had to. You weren’t excited for them–that should be you going up there! But sure enough, it happened. You were even happier when, somehow, you managed a solo trip.

Just you. Alone. In space. Forever.

And once that “forever” entered your head, you knew you’d spend the rest of your life up there. So you say to Ground Control: “Tell my wife I love her very much,” and after you receive the reply, “She knows,” you cut of contact with planet Earth and resign yourself to your new life of solitude.

“You always have your head in the clouds,” your wife would always say. No, you’d think to yourself. In the stars.

And that’s where this futuristic style seems to come from–straight from the stars themselves. The style is all about playing with different shapes and materials–don’t shy away from metallics and embrace those boxy shapes! Space-age fashion has come a long way since the ’60s, so break out that electric blue eyeshadow and those platform shoes you thought you’d never wear. But maybe leave your tinfoil hats at home.

It hasn’t come that far, yet.

…Can we all just geek out over those heels for a hot second, though?

Also, accessorize, accessorize, accessorize! Whether it be bangles, necklaces, headbands, goggles, gloves or anything else your little out-of-this world heart desires. Draw your inspiration from space travel, Major Tom, David Bowie, Ziggy Stardust, the planets, the stars, or even other worlds, such as James Cameron’s Avatar.

Or if you want something a little more subdued, try a galaxy print. Really, it’s all up to you. You’re not limited to earthly styles anymore. Look beyond that, look to the universe. There is sure to be something up there that will inspire you.

Gangsta Nancy Sinatra…?

Okay, guys! Enough with the winter blues attitudes! It’s fall, it’s beautiful, and we finally get to wear sweaters– so let’s get peppy. Break out the flower headbands! Zip up those blue jeans!

We’re about to get all “Gangster Nancy Sinatra” up in here.

So last year the world was introduced to a little ginger girl named Lana Del Rey. (And, if you don’t know about her, this, this and this should give you her story in a nutshell. But besides her background, did-she-or-didn’t-she-Juvederm lips and GORGEOUS HAIR, Miss Lana has some of the most intriguing style around. And it goes perfectly with her sound.

Lana’s diverse style.

Oh yeah, and I’m kindofreallyalot obsessed with her.

While it’d be easy for me to talk about “Videogames” or “Blue Jeans,” I won’t. Because to be honest, “Videogames” has about 47 million views on Youtube (a couple more since I linked to it earlier) and that’d be too easy. Plus, I want to throw the spotlight on one of the lesser known tracks, “Radio.” It’s sticky-sweet and gooey and cutesy and wonderful. I don’t know about you, but if I have a piece of sugary candy, I can’t eat just one.

So, I dare you to listen–not eat, that would be weird–to just one Lana Del Rey Song.

Did you try? Good, now you see what I was talking about. She’s infectious. Love her or hate her, she’s a pop culture staple that’s hard to ignore.

“Now my life is sweet like cinnamon/Like a f–cking dream I’m living in/Baby love me cause I’m playing on the radio.”

There’s just something about stardom that’s so attractive to people. Who wouldn’t want ten cars, a nice house in Beverly Hills, a personal butler (think Alfred-meets-Woodhouse) and enough money to fill a swimming pool. (Somebody has to want to swim in money…right?)

But it’s not easy. Haters are gon’ hate, tabloids are going to Photoshop your bodies until you’ve fluctuated about 35 lbs., and you might even lose a few friends. However, it will all be worth it, right? When you reach that El Dorado, achieve those dreams you’ve chased for so long?

Some of Lana’s songs are super sad, but I chose “Radio” because it’s the opposite– this track is downright uplifting! It’s also whimsical and fun. There’s a sort of precious innocence imitating  from this track and not to mention, for me, it harkens back to old Hollywood glam.

Also inspired by Jackie O. Love, love, love.

You’re young and beautiful, with so much to give and a full life ahead of you. You want to be a singer–but then again, everyone wants to be a singer. But no, you, like, really want to sing. You want to stand in front of thousands of people and inspire them, make them laugh, cry and think really, really deep, poignant thoughts.

You want to change the world.

So you move out of your broken-down home, driving in that piece-of-crap car you bought when you were 16 with your summer-job money and hit the road. You’re alone. You have three suitcases and next to no cash. That’s okay, though. It’ll all work out somehow. You have to take a few odd jobs, sing in a couple of shitty bars to a crowd full of people who clearly aren’t listening in a place worse than the one you ran away from.

But then you catch a break. One night in that shitty bar you run into a “somebody.” He knows people who know people and suddenly you’re in a recording studio. You cut a track, and then you PR the hell out of it until it’s a hit. Then you buy a house and a pool and a couple of really impractical pairs of heels and you’re a star.

That doesn’t really mean a whole lot unless you have someone to share it with. Despite the cars and money, things are still a little empty. You’re still haunted by ghosts. Sometimes you even feel lost.

“No one even knows how hard life was/I don’t even think about it now because/I’ve finally found you.”

So there you are, lounging poolside in your white bathing suit and floppy hat, and someone comes into focus. A boy. A guy you’ve seen around. (Perhaps even that talent scout that helped get you to the recording studio?) Regardless, he’s charmed his way through the gate and gets you talking. Pretty soon, it all falls into place. You know how the story goes. Happy ending and all that.

Or maybe not. Who knows, but Lana gives us all hope. For right now at least, you’re living the dream. You’re happy, and everything seems like complete perfection. It’s not even just being content–it’s bliss. All of the hardships you’ve had to overcome seem insignificant.

You’re holding hands. You’re smiling. You’re singing and doing what you love. And you have someone to ask you all about it when you come home.

And that’s seriously a life that’s “sweet like cinnamon.”

– – –

Also, I love Lana’s style so much I made another outfit. For this, listen to “National Anthem,” which is pretty much a modernized version of the Jackie O and JFK tale.

Casual wear. Although a patriotic, Jackie Onassis-inspired outfit would be fun to piece together.

Breakup Swag

Sometimes something will hit you and stay with you for a long time. It could be a band, a book, or a person, and it travels with you wherever you go– maybe for years, maybe even forever. It sits there in your pocket, idle but oppressive. At times it might bop around annoyingly in your head or hang from your shoulders like a heavy backpack.

Other times it just sits on your chest and hurts your heart.

“Don’t Haunt This Place” is a breakup song.  It’s not exactly the cliché breakup song, (because really, who needs any more of those), nor is it Adele’s lovely, melodramatic and overplayed “Someone Like You” (come on, that’s everyone’s breakup song). Rural Alberta Advantage’s track is  original and real, emotional yet understated. Between the catchy lyrics–accompanied by Nils Edenloff’s bouncing vocals and spastic drumbeat– you’d think it was almost peppy or something (minus the melancholy violins…).

When I talk about music speaking to you, this is what I mean. This song get lots of action on my iTunes account (give or take 140 plays) and serves as my go-to for when I need to throw on a pair of yoga pants and eat a container of Ben & Jerry’s. It’s the song I played after every breakup. It’s the song I play even when I’m not going through a breakup. My relationship with this song is messy. The track  brings up so many emotions–some good, some bad, and some in between.

Some things stay with you and you can’t let them go. Just ask Joel Barish.

Joel and Clementine pre-breakup

Please, tell me you’ve watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind because otherwise, this post isn’t going to make much sense. Just imagine having the ability to erase painful memories–the death of a loved one, your favorite pet running from home, a heart-wrenching breakup–because the last option is what the two protagonists in the film decide to do. They try and erase each other. The memories won’t exist anymore. No more pain.

But that pain is there for a reason, right? It means that the person you lost meant something to you. That’s stupid, though. That’s just too hard–holding that pain inside, addressing it, feeling yourself falling apart…

It’d be just easier to erase it.

“I need you now,
I need you then,
I never want to feel this again.”

But if you erase that, you erase everything–the happiness, the depression, the anger, the proof that you’re not just an empty, hollow shell. You felt something. You loved. It was beautiful.

Then something happened, you took a wrong turn and something broke.

It’ll be okay, though. It always ends up being okay in the end. And even if it isn’t, you learn how to handle it and move forward.

“I know it’s right, I know it’s okay,
And I’d like to see you now and again,
This was hard it was dumb we should do it again,
Give ourselves some time ten years from the day.”

So throw on your comfiest sweater–the one that makes you feel like you’re getting a hug from an old friend–and your favorite shoes. Make sure you feel confident, cute, and put together (even if you’re the total opposite). Or go a little crazy. You deserve to, after all.

Clementine-inspired feel good outfit.

Even if you don’t feel good, you can still try to look good. Because really, it’ll all blow over.

So in the meantime, have some fun with your funkiest coat…

…and it never hurts to change up your hair a little either.

Killer Style

Last week, I wrote about fancy parties, sequins, feathers, and old-school glamor. While I really do love things that shimmer and shine, I also like a healthy dose of “edge” with my fashion. So I’ll be the first to say it: I like a girl who can look like a badass. Put on a great pair of ass-kicking boots, invest in a pixie cut, and I’ll immediately admire the hell out of you. Case in point: Amanda Palmer. (Plus the fact that she’s an amazing musician.)

Oh, I also want to be Amanda Palmer.

Her song “The Killing Type” is unabashedly raw and completely addicting. It sounds like the tortured tale of a woman in a stagnant relationship, shouting:

But I would kill to make you feel/I’d kill to move your face an inch/I see you staring into space/I wanna stick my fist into your mouth and twist your arctic heart

But the women isn’t the killing type. She can’t do it. She doesn’t even kill the spiders in her kitchen, let alone the man she married fresh out of high school. They had history; they had passion. Or they did. They did have passion. She isn’t sure where it’s gone, but it’s left, blown away like autumn leaves in the wind. They were so happy once. What happened?

Most of the time, he doesn’t look at her. Well, he does, but he doesn’t see her. He looks at her like he would look at a piece of art (which he doesn’t understand) or the morning paper (which he doesn’t really care about), with those empty eyes and pursed lips. And those glasses, those stupid little glasses that sit perched on the bridge of his nose. She’s not sure when everything turned to shit.

But she’s not the killing type…. Only, what if she was? He wouldn’t suspect anything. She was a good, quiet girl, everyone said so. What if…what if all of the sudden she morphed into some goddess of strength and courage? They’d never expect that; not from her.

First, she’d need to change her appearance:

Boots? Check.

Harem Pants? Check.

The act itself would have to be very stealthy; she wouldn’t want to cause a scene. She would probably act in the middle of the night while he was sleeping and at his most vulnerable. He might be sleeping beside her or passed out on the couch where he now tended to sleep nearly every night of the week. Couch it would be. And after that, she’d have to leave town. She’s not sure where she’d escape to, but she would figure that out. That would be easy after everything else. Her new clothes would help conceal her. Nobody would recognize her, not in that coat and hat. Then she’d dye her hair, change her name, and start life over again. It wasn’t too late, right?

She would be free. She could go anywhere, do all of the things she’d always dreamed of but never did. She could find someone else; she could be happy.

But she’s not the killing type. She could never be. Instead, she’ll just keep imagining the possibilities as she scrubs dishes and does the laundry, preparing dinner for the husband she’d never thought she’d end up with in a life she never wanted. Still, she could never kill anyone. So she’ll just say it in a song–an amazingly, powerful, and emotional song.