Thursday, October 30, 2014

London In 3, 2, 1...

Nothing like going to England to make you take a long second look at your wardrobe. I must have tried on at least 20 outfits today, in all sorts of combinations, and that doesn't even include jewelry and accessories! Keeping in mind the November weather, the London sophisticated style, travel comfort and needing to take up as little space as possible in a bag, I've snagged some Kendry Bird staples, including:

*The Mod Dress. This is what I describe as my signature dress, because I can always count on it and have worn it for so many amazing days in my life since rescuing it from a second hand shop. It's truly a dress that people have come to associate with Kendry Bird.

*Kate Hudson for Ann Taylor dress. This dress is just plain sexy, while still being comfortable. I've only worn it a couple times, so it's perfect for a club, should I hit one up while in London. Watch out, English cuties!

*The Sparkly Black Skirt. This is another signature piece in my wardrobe. Since buying it a few years ago, I've worn it maybe 100 times. It never goes out of style, it never stops being fun, and it always makes people smile. It's getting a bit old and the sequins sometimes scratch my skin, but there's always a little pain in the name of fashion, right?

Only a few days away now! Can't wait to head to England after years and years of dreaming of it!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

1989, Taylor Swift, and Sexism in Media

1989 just came out, and everyone’s talking about how Taylor Swift has grown up so much and finally made an album that people are proud to listen to. But she’s actually had great songs for a few years now… you just never heard them.

Part of the problem with Taylor Swift as a brand is that her singles are rarely her best songs, and the general public doesn’t realize how much better she is on the album tracks than the 3 minute megahit you hear on the radio every half hour. While I can appreciate the histrionics of faux dystopian revolutionary freedom fighter Matt Bellamy or the sparkling, earthy wails of witchy Florence Welch or fae-like Christina Perri, Taylor Swift seems to veer closest to silly when she’s leading a brash singalong about never getting back together or life at 22, complete with self-deprecating spoken-word comments.

In her quieter moments, though? Taylor Swift is an impressive songwriter. By her second album she showed potential, but it was her third album when she really blossomed. Her specific images, much like Lorde’s, are so pointed and vivid that they create a universal feeling. Never is she better than when she’s describing a scene:

I walked through the door with you, the air was cold,
But something ‘bout it felt like home somehow and I
Left my scarf there at your sister’s house,
And you still got it in your drawer even now.

Oh, your sweet disposition and my wide-eyed gaze.
We’re singing in the car, getting lost upstate.

Much has been said about Taylor Swift writing from personal experience, though I would venture to say people who think that’s odd or problematic aren’t writers. Writers draw from the well of their experiences. Her songs have become stronger as they’ve become more specific and evocative, drawn so directly from life experience that sometimes you feel more like you’re reading her diary.

Some of her best lyrics, from “Innocent”, show her ability to craft devastating poetry out of more subtle images and words:

Wasn’t it easier in your lunchbox days?
Always a bigger bed to crawl into
Wasn’t it beautiful when you believed in everything?
And everybody believed in you?

Some of her other best songs (“Enchanted”, “The Last Time”, “Holy Ground”, “State of Grace”, “Long Live”) deal in similar deep subject matter, delicately impacting word play.

One of the other greatest issues with Taylor Swift has always been the is she/isn’t she media storm that has always surrounded her. Much of that isn’t her fault, of course, because fame came to her very early, before she could form opinions on a range of adult issues like feminism, relationships and sex.  In the early days she, much like I did once, bought into an image of herself as a pure, innocent, chaste girl in a world of handsome boys and mean cheerleaders. She played the outsider by way of tennis shoes and t-shirts and glasses. The sexist media, sensing an opportunity to cause trouble, latched onto her ideas and multiplied them in every article, every interview, laughing and pointing at this “good girl” who was also dating boys. Taylor Swift, like many other girls that age, struck back by insisting that she was not “one of those girls.” The cycle of viciousness spiraled downward from there, until at some point she broke out of her media-spun dichotomy and realized you can love love, love relationships, love boys, date often and still wear 1950s dresses and be a good person. There are no “other girls” to not be like. Women can be as complicated and multifaceted as men, despite what the sexist media says.

To me, 1989 is that realization in one album. It’s less apologetic about romance, it’s more honest about flaws in both side of every relationship. The style of the songs feels drawn from Lorde, from Lana Del Rey, from other women who have been strong in their message from the beginning. The songs are cohesive and interesting and mature. And the songwriting is good.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Project Runway's Christopher Palu: Indiegogo, Nina Garcia, and Becoming an Internet Meme

Christopher Palu gives off the vibe of Project Runway royalty, between his indie-chic personal style and his cool attitude. If you think you don’t know Chris Palu yet, you definitely do… he’s the reason for the “it’s red!” meme that circled tumblr, facebook, twitter and every other form of social media last year. Chris is now working on an indiegogo project, but he took a few minutes to answer my questions about his gorgeous fashion illustrations, Nina Garcia’s judging, what he’s been listening to lately, and of course, how he feels about becoming an internet meme...



Q: It’s such an honor to have you, Chris! You have a huge fanbase and I’ve gotten a lot of requests to have you as a guest on the blog. So I’ll start out by asking- what would you like to say to your fans?

I would like to say thank you for the out-pour of love and support. Thank you, because without the public the show wouldn’t have the success it does.

Q: Your design sketches are just incredible. Have you ever considered compiling them for a book?

I have not. I have so many sketches I don’t know what I would want to compile into a book! However, I have always wanted to illustrate a children’s book. But it is definitely something to consider thank you!

Q: If you do that, I’ll be first in line to grab one. Now, you had a few tense moments on Project Runway when you stood up for yourself, which many of us found refreshing to see. What was the most intimidating moment on either season of PR that you participated in?

I mean…That whole Seaweed Green comment from Nina was very dramatic. I didn’t know how to accept/respond to her without throwing it back at her, so I said “Thank you “. Obviously I wasn’t thanking her for that comment I was thanking her for her critique which hadn’t been constructive and defeats the whole purpose of judging. Let me give you a bit of insight; Being on that Runway and having industry professionals judge your garment, and rip you apart while making all of the other judges laughing while doing so, is horrifying. It is a bad portrayal of the industry, it’s embarrassing and immature.

This isn’t high school where you can all point and laugh at something, and be the cool kids. We stand up there, we should be respected as adults and spoken to as professionals… I really feel that it can get a bit out of hand during critiques.

Q: Maybe it’s because I have such a flair for the dramatic, but I really loved your black feather dress for the season 10 avant-garde challenge. If you could go back and change anything about that dress now, would you change anything, or leave it exactly as you had it?

Thank you. I would change the fit of the bodice and make it overall a bit more interesting,dramatic and extravagant to fit the Avante Garde theme. Those time crunches really get you!

Q: Having met you briefly at Fashion Week, I can attest to your hair game being really strong. Would you say NYC inspires your personal style and art?

Absolutely, living in NY my whole life definitely inspired my style and taste. I love exciting luxury and all the rest that NY has to offer.

Q: What’s your greatest advice for curvy and plus-size fashionistas who want to look great?

Wear your size! No one wants to look like they are popping out of their skinny jeans or drowning in an ill fitting blazer. I would say find the best clothes that compliment your figure and buy your size! Things that cinch the waist always looks great on everyone especially curvier girls.

Q: Okay, you know I have to ask about this… your “it’s red” quote has been used on the internet in every way possible. As someone who grew up in the age of the internet, how do you feel about that? Have you ever had a surreal “Oh my God, I’ve become a meme!” moment?

I just see it like “oh there it is again.” I love that people found it funny because that was the height of the stress for me and I started to lose myself.


Q: What’s next for you, career-wise and how can your fans keep up with what you’re doing?

Right now I am building my own line Christopher Palu New York. I showed my Spring 2015 collection in Austin Texas and currently have a crowd funding Indiegogo Campaign set up for the public to help me out in Producing this collection.

You can find it here and every little bit helps! There are even a couple of fun perks to choose from to receive a fun personalized gift!

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/christopher-palu-fashion-designer/x/8283271

Q: Awesome! So everyone can check that out, support you and even get a little something in exchange. Very cool. Finally, what song are you really grooving out to lately?

I don’t really have a specific song, I love my Spotify and listening to the Infinite Indie Playlist!


Thank you, Chris!

Here’s “So Now You Know” by the Horrors, an amazing song featured on Spotify’s Infinite Indie Playlist.

 Follow Chris on twitter: https://twitter.com/PaluChristopher

Tweet me your comments/requests for interviews: @kendrybird

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

See Karen Batts' New Collection and Help End Child Trafficking



The lovely Karen Hulse Batts will participate this month in a charity fashion event to help end child trafficking. I had the pleasure of chatting with Karen last year for IPMNation.com, and then spent some time with her this spring in NYC. She's got a golden heart, great sense of humor and a truly creative mind. If you have a chance to attend the event, you absolutely should! Fashion and a good cause? Perfect.

Take a look at the website for the event here: https://www.facebook.com/setnyc
Buy tickets: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/masquerade-monster-ball-tickets-13390901547

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Kendry Bird October Style Files

This month has been a tough one in a lot of respects, so far, but I've tried to make sure to keep true to my love of color, eccentricity and good old fun when it came to style, at least.

Here's some snaps from October so far:


Friday, October 3, 2014

A Moment With... Project Runway's Melissa Fleis

Melissa is truly a woman on the go, always up to her ears in creative work (making amazing clothes, snapping gorgeous pics for her instagram account, modeling aforementioned clothes, etc), and usually rocking some incredible shade of lipstick to boot.

I was able to track her down briefly to ask a few questions about her Defiant collection. If you haven't seen her Defiant collection, do yourself a favor and take a look right now. Right now! And drool away with me...




*The Defiant collection is just insane in the best possible way. It feels like you took every single one of your badass strengths and put them together into one. What was the spark or beginning point for this collection?

I think you actually nailed it right there! For me this collection was an accumulation of everything I wanted to wear within a week - both day, and night. It all can be styled in so many ways, depending upon the woman and her immediate needs. I love giving my clients that piece she can wear to death, time and time again. 

 
 
*Who is your customer for this collection?

This collection is for the woman who is defiant of fads and trends. She dresses to her own beat. She wants to look put together, while still being comfortable. She is not afraid of wearing the same thing multiple times a week. She is independent. She is cool. 


 
*Every time we talk, we have to talk makeup, since you’re a lipstick goddess. What lip colors are you really feeling for fall 2014?

I'm currently searching for a shade that is in between a blood orange and burnt orange hue. If anyone has a recommendation, please feel free to tweet it my way!

*What’s your best advice for curvy fashionable ladies who are heading into fall and want to look amazing?

Accentuate the curves you have been given, and layer appropriately. 

*Finally, where can we buy pieces from your incredible new collection?

You can purchase the new pieces through my website at melissafleis.com, at Dish in Hayes Valley, Olivia in Los Altos, and Church in Los Angeles.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fashion, Kindness and Bollywood: Interview with Project Runway's Sandhya Garg

Recently I chatted with Sandhya about Project Runway, fashion, kindness, Bollywood and lots more.


And so, if you had something you could say to your fans that maybe are frustrated with Korina, would you say that they need to give her another chance, as well?

"Yes, you all need to give Korina another chance. All of us make mistakes. We all have moments where we have not been able to be the best of who we could. I'm sure Korina is working on herself and is a very nice person, so give her another chance."

 I've heard from many of the designers from Project Runway that you're so tired all the time, and you don't get any sleep, and it can be really stressful. And that can sometimes bring out things we wouldn't say if we were rested...

"Exactly, that too. We sleep, what, six, seven hours a day? And we are on camera pretty much the whole day. It's really, really stressful, we hardly get any breaks, so we have to give each other the benefit of the doubt."


LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW:

Half Lucid Jewelry is on Facebook!

Finally, Half Lucid Jewelry has made a home on Facebook. You can visit and like the page here: https://www.facebook.com/halflucidjewelry

And I've recently marked down several items in the etsy store, so make sure to check that out: https://www.etsy.com/shop/HalfLucidJewelry


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