Saturday, November 17, 2012

Magic of Makeup

Fashion and makeup go hand and hand. You  need to correlate your face to your clothes, your lips to your eye makeup, and so on a so fourth. Will a bold red lip go well with your outfit? How about neon blue eyeliner? And is there really such thing as too much glitter on the eyelids?! I think not.

Like fashion, makeup is one of my favorite drugs. Painting my face in the morning is therapeutic; tranquility at its finest. I think of myself as a blank canvas and everyday I'm able to transform into a piece of art. Call me superficial if you like, but nothing could be more real than the process of glamorous transformation. With makeup and fashion, I am a projection of who I am on the inside. The authenticity of my being comes fourth, and through the tools of glamour, I exist in the realm I was made for. I am liberated by the different versions of myself I'm able to create and my evolution in life can be seen through the artistry of my ever-changing appearance.

It makes me angry when people say girls who wear makeup are "fake". It's one of the most beautiful forms of expression and if playing around with makeup makes me fake, so be it. I don't want to be real anyway. I'd rather be imaginary and live in a world of magic where it rains glittery eyeshadows. I want to create my life rather than letting every aspect of it simply happen, and the world of glamour gives me the power and motivation to focus my enigmatic creativity.

From minimal makeup to full on drag queen faces, embrace the art of makeup. Sometimes at the end of the day I sit alone in my room and paint my face to the extreme. I layer on heavy eyeliner, grab some lipstick, darken my eyebrows, and then wash it all off. It's when I feel most glamorous, most beautiful, and most in tune with the universe.

If makeup's not your thing, find what makes your creative juices flow and let it devour you.

Minimal makeup. Before

After.  Gina 2.0
Find your freedom in art, and have a lovely weekend.



Friday, November 9, 2012

Sick Mermaid

The Little Mermaid. image via pinterest
All Hell broke loose in my body the day after the Giants victory parade (standing on Market Street for an extended period of time... I should’ve seen this coming), and now I’m finding it hard to remember what not being sick is like. 

I coughed exactly 7,000 times yesterday. I didn’t even know it was possible, but the intensity of each cough requires the use of my stomach muscles, and now I am sore all over.

On the bright side, I’m finally able to talk again. After all the coughing, my voice was gone. Literally gone. I started to think about my future and what it would be like if I could never talk again. I found comfort in the idea that I’d never be able to say something stupid and wouldn't have to participate in lifeless small talk. But I’d greatly miss meaningful conversations. Talking to people and knowing there’s depth in their words rather than just words to fill the air. I’d miss that a lot.

As my voiceless life flashed before my eyes, I thought about The Little Mermaid and how I was one step closer to emulating her lifestyle on land. Ariel is only able to win Prince Eric's love through body language, as Ursula agreed to turn her into a human in exchange for her beautiful voice. My voiceless self could relate to Ariel's frustrating time as a mute human, and before my voice came back, I was starting to think I needed to make friends with a reggae singing crab and find a prince or else my poor unfortunate soul would belong to an evil Sea Witch. 

Perhaps in the future I’ll make a post in which I tell you about my deep rooted love for mermaids. But until then, just know that I am more mermaid than I am human. 

Now, time to down some more cough medicine. I have a wild night ahead of me equipped with shots of NyQuil, cough drops, and a humidifier that doesn't seem to be helping very much. 


P.S. How cool is this room!? If it were mine, I would never leave.

Mermaid Room
Mermaid Room. image via pinterest

And this phone! I need it. Forever 5 years old

Mermaid phone. image via tumblr

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Single Serving Friends & San Francisco Giants

I started interning in San Francisco in June. My ultimate goal has always been to work and eventually move into the city, so I was pretty excited for my first role out of college to be in downtown SF.

The first day of my internship, I was overwhelmed by the city.  It’s such a different environment than what I’m used to, but I managed to get through the day. I got to my bus stop an hour early because I was too afraid to venture off by myself in an area I was unfamiliar with. I sat down, took a deep exhausting breath, and questioned whether or not San Francisco was really the place for me.

As I sat there all alone, a gorgeous, sassy Latina woman came up to me and asked if I knew what time the 56 bus came. I had a pamphlet in my purse, so I pulled it out and showed her the times.
The woman sat down next to me and asked how I was and what I was doing there. I told her about how it was my first day as an intern. She listened, and it felt good to talk to this stranger in a city of people I didn’t know.

We talked for the next 20 minutes, and I asked where she was going.  She told me that she was a makeup artist for porn stars and was going on location.

“It was like any other job, only that everyone’s naked.”  She said in that alluring accent.

As up front as that sounds, nothing she said was in a vulgar manner. She was an interesting person, and I enjoyed listening to her story. She told me about her journey as a makeup artist and how she got to where she is now. Prior to meeting this woman, I was overwhelmed by absolutely everything around me. But when I finished talking to her, I somehow felt much more comfortable in taking on this new phase of my life.

Like in Fight Club where he talks about “single serving friends”, this lady was my first single serving friend in San Francisco. We knew all the basic elements of each other’s live, but it was time to go our separate ways, there was that silent mutual understanding that we would never see each other again.

As my internship progressed, so did my love for the city. I wasn’t afraid to wander off anymore and wasn’t as up tight and paranoid about talking to people I didn’t know. I realized how interesting people are if we just talk to them, so I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and stopped ignoring the “single serving” strangers.

I was experiencing San Francisco on a daily basis, and found myself paying more attention to the city's pride and joy; The San Francisco Giants. I've always only liked the Giants, but have never considered myself a fan. The Yankees have always been my team, and I think of the Giants as belonging to my SF born and raised mother. The emotion she has for them runs deep, and her love for them is more authentic than the love anyone has for a sports team, and that is fact. 

When the Giants made it to the post season, I was beyond excited. San Francisco had been so good to me I knew I had to be there for them. The chemistry and passion amongst the players emulated my feelings towards their city, which made the team bigger than just baseball at that point.

When the Giants won in 2010, I wanted them to win because I knew how happy it would make my mom. This time was different. This time I wanted to experience the feeling of victory for myself. Sure enough, they won it all, and I called my mom right after it happened. This time we were both on the same level of happiness rather than me congratulating her on “her team’s” victory, like I had done the last time they won.

Parade outfit. Last time I wore that skirt was to the
Monster Ball,  just so ya know
I went to the Giants victory parade a few days later-- on Halloween with my brother and some of my cousins. We found a place to stand on Market Street while my cousin’s friend went into one of the stores to buy heavy duty tupperware for us to stand on so we could see the street a bit better. There was still about an hour until the parade began, and the  energy and passion from the fans was already was electrifying. 

When the parade finally started, that electrifying energy was 100 times more intense than it had been an hour earlier. It was difficult to see some of the players, but being surrounded by people of like and kind was the real highlight of it all. The man in front of me was with his teenage son and must have talked to us the entire time. He told us about how his daughter lives on the East Coast and when the Giants are playing back there, she goes to the games in full San-Fran-Freak-Show attire and the East Coast-ers just don’t get it. The tall man next to us was kind enough to tell us who was on their way up the street, and when we didn't recognize a former player, he explained who they were.  And the guys behind us included us in their conversations as if we were all old friends. Someone even offered me their jacket when they noticed I didn't have one.  After talking to these people, I was even more convinced that San Francisco was home to the greatest people on the planet. 

As cheesy as it sounds, I got hit with a sudden wave of emotions when Journey’s “Lights” played over the speakers. I wanted to cry when everyone was singing along because I realized just how much I love San Francisco and the people in it. I thought about my first day alone in the city, and how alone I felt until a stranger took the time to ask how I was doing  and made me feel like I belonged. This time, I was surrounded by thousands of strangers who made me feel like I belonged. And when I look back on that day, they’ll be the ones I remember.  

I wouldn't have felt the same way if I were standing there two years ago, before my journey (oh the pun) in San Francisco began.  The city has shaped me into a better version of myself, and now I’m positive that San Francisco is where I need to be.

When the parade was over, the same silent mutual understanding that we would never see each other again was felt amongst those strangers. Some people come into our lives to leave quick impressions and then vanish forever. And that’s ok.

If you’re one of the select few who has been keeping up with my blog from the beginning, you know that I devote myself wholeheartedly towards fashion, glamour, and all aspects of the arts. But when it comes to baseball, my knowledge and love of the game is equivalent to the knowledge of any stereotypical sports fan wearing a jersey and drinking beer. The Giants represented so much more than baseball for me this year. They represent the city and people I've grown to love. And not just the Giants, but sports in general represent so much more.  The sense of togetherness sports can bring is unbelievable, and I hope everyone gets to experience that kind of togetherness at least once in their lifetime.

"Not even Tony Bennett is safe from a RomoBomb" (image via sfgiantsgirl119)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

New Phase...

When I started this blog, the most difficult part was choosing a name. I think of myself as a creative person, yet coming up with titles/phrases is a talent I most certainly do not possess. I was never a fan of my previous title, Find Your Freedom In Fashion, and after watching a rerun of Everybody Loves Raymond (the episode where they're in Italy), it all clicked and I realized that that phrase was destined for me and my small corner of the internet.

I've been contacting A LOT of fashion bloggers as part of my internship, which has both turned me off and made me anxious about revamping my own blog. I've put this blog on hold, but now I think it's time to get things going again. I've discovered all aspects of blogging, and now more than ever I need a place to channel my creative energy.

I'm still finding my freedom, and hopefully this new phase of blogging will catapult me deep within the world of magic, outer space, David Bowie, ice cream, beautiful Italians, and all else that has the potential of making me feel free.



Sunday, September 23, 2012

Find Your Freedom in Nature

I’ve been really down lately. I’ve had a lot of changes in my life, and with change comes unwanted stress.  Sometimes I wish I were a really simple person. Like… really simple. I wish I wasn’t this complicated individual who wants so much out of life to the point in which I enjoy absolutely nothing. I’m always wishing I were somewhere else, with someone else, and doing something else. I can’t enjoy anything.  If I’m having a good time, I’m thinking about when it’ll be over, which ends up ruining everything.

It wasn’t much, and it wasn’t super significant, but I feel like I underwent some sort of cleansing today. I took a long jog across town and it somewhat put things into perspective.  Too much of my time has been spent inside.

Get in the car. Catch a bus. Go to class. To the office.  To the store. Stay inside. Repeat.

The outdoors are just the gaps between our destinations and that isn’t healthy.  While on my journey across town, I remembered how revitalizing the fresh air can be. My mom always reminds me to take a deep breath, and as I took in the sweet smell of the eucalyptus trees, my soul opened up and I understood the meaning behind those deep cleansing breaths.

Growing up on a farm put me in tune with nature from an early age, and the outdoors are instilled within my being. No matter how much glitter I throw around the room, I will always have ranch blood in my veins, and I shouldn’t try to suppress that because it’s part of who I truly am.

Stress, struggling, and changes are hard, but I’ve come to appreciate the character hard times can build. For every hardship, I feel as if I’ve come out stronger in the end and undergoing these soul shaping changes is one of the most beautiful part about being alive.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Gina Goes Gaultier

It shouldn't come as a surprise that last weekend was beyond amazing for me.  I (finally) went to the Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibition at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, and to say the least, I was blown away. When I first heard about it back in March, I knew it was something I had to experience.  I’m naturally drawn to eccentricities,androgyny, and female empowerment, and Jean Paul embodies all those things.  His ability to create is remarkable, and I'm still trying to comprehend the works of art that were right in front of my face. Just the fact that I was in the same room as pieces that have been on the catwalk makes my heart spin. It’s one thing to see pictures of his fashion, but to have them right in front of you-- sharing your air and making their way into your bloodstream, bring them to life.

I can't tress enough how amazing it was to witness Gaultier's world of fashion. His talent and ability to fully execute his vision is incredible. He’s an innovator, and has made me fall in love with fashion allover again. For the past few years, I have wholeheartedly devoted myself to high end fashion-- learning, living, and breathing in as much as I possibly could. It’s something I love and I want nothing more than to constantly deepen the love I have for all things fashion, art, and the fantasy that surrounds it.

High end fashion has always been this fantasy world that I never thought I’d be able to experience. But after the exhibition, the fantasy is now real. It’s no longer an illusion, it’s reality; my reality.  And after experiencing his world of fashion, my world seems a little brighter. If you’re a creative soul/lover of the arts, PLEASE get yourself to the de Young museum for a glimpse into the beautiful & innovative mind of Jean Paul Gaultier.  Even if you’re not particularly interested in fashion, the beauty of human capability, talent, and passion, is something everyone should experience.

Thursday, July 19, 2012



All week long I intended to write something meaningful but now I feel a peculiar loss as to what this post is going to be about. I have ideas, inspiration, and rainbows swirling around in my head but I’m not sure how to express them in a way that will make any sort of sense. But things don’t have to make sense. Just the mere idea of existence doesn’t make sense to me. I often think that life is just an illusion. It’s all a fantasy and I do my best to seek out the magic that comes with each day. The enchantment is all in my head, and I’m beginning to realize that I view life in a way that not many other people do.  I see magic in everything, and I will often view the world objectively as if I’m looking down on the planet while I’m floating around in space somewhere. 

We’re only here for a short amount of time, and I fail to comprehend the idea of giving into certain social normalcies and following a path that’s constructed by others. If I want to walk around in vibrant wigs, glitter glossing my eyelids, and orange lipstick, I shall. There is no reason as to why we can’t express ourselves however we choose.  We’re all so conditioned to play by the rules, which make me feel trapped. It’s easy for me to say that I’ll do whatever I want, but it terms of execution, succeeding can be tough. I just want to be free, and the freedom I’ve found in writing and fashion are the only senses of freedom I know.  If either of the two were taken away from me, I would actually die. There would be no point of living anymore and I’m certain that my heart would shatter into cold little pieces. 

In the past few years, I’ve noticed the voice in me that is constantly shouting. Constantly. It’s always been there, but I’m only now realizing its power. It controls my life, and if that makes me completely crazy, so be it. It doesn’t go away until I write and the thoughts are expressed. The thing with writing is that I don’t even know what I’m going to write until it happens. It’s almost as if my soul instructs my fingers to type and I’m just sitting here anxious to see what’s going to be said.

I’m not sure what I intend to do with writing and fashion in terms of relating them to a career. Neither of the two will ever leave me, regardless of whether or not I’m professionally involved in them. In a way, I’m afraid to peruse them in fear that they’ll shift away from interest and I’ll merely just label them as work. 

I've just been really confused about the direction of my life, so take my mind off things I've been obsessively organizing my Pinterest boards (i am normal). And to leave you with some visual appeals, here are some of my favorite Pinterest photos this week:

Vivien Leigh-- Cleopatra

Detail of La Jeune Martyre, Paul Delaroche, 1855

Birth of Aphrodite by Claude Verlinde
Scott Baio & Pamela Anderson

All photos via Pinterest

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Chaotic Comfort Zone

via vicforprez
It’s been far too long since I’ve written and I wholeheartedly apologize!  I do, however, think of this blog often. I find myself logging on and pointlessly checking the stats as if there’s going to be a spontaneous increase in viewings despite the lack of updates.  I’ve had a lot going on in the last few months and feel like my soul has been searching for what it is I truly desire in life. I still feel as if I haven’t found my niche in this world, but I’m totally ok with that. I’m ok with the chaos of my being, and in a weird way, I don’t ever want to accomplish my dreams in fear that I’ll have nothing left to dream about. Sometimes the magic and mystery of fantasyland should never come fourth into reality because it just doesn’t compare to the standard in my head. For example, this summer I’m interning in San Francisco. All my life, I’ve wanted nothing more than to immerse myself in The City.  I remember when I was in first grade, I wrote in my journal that San Francisco is where I wanted to be when I grew up, and that desire only got stronger over the years. Going into the city as a kid was always such a surreal experience. It’s so different from life on the farm and I thought I liked it so much more. I believe it’s human nature to want to live in an environment the complete opposite of your own, and that’s exactly what I’ve always wanted.

But now I’m realizing that accomplishing the desire to be somewhere else doesn’t fulfill my soul in the way I expected it to.  I’ve gotten into a routine of normalcy in San Francisco, and just like everything else, a sense of normalcy can greatly diminish the magic. The city’s no longer a utopia of mystery.  As I get more and more used to different areas, the mystery will vanish even further and I’ll be comfortable in my surroundings. Comfort is strange. I both love it and hate it.  I want to be comfortable where I am, but I also find that comfort zones suck the excitement out of my life. Perhaps I’ll become a traveling gypsy? I’ll wander the world. I’ll seek the strange & unusual, but get up and go once a comfort zone has been established.  But now I don’t even know what I want. I want to live in 5000 different places at once doing 7000 different things, but I really just need to suppress the chaos in my mind and narrow things down. Ugh.  Part of me misses school. It was an ever changing comfort zone. Once I got sick of the normalcy, the semester was over and it was time to move on to the new phase of academics. But now it’s time to move on to other things. It’s strange to start new phases of life. I'm only 21 and can feel the years adding. I can't even imagine how strange it must feel to be 40! I'm halfway there, and can already sense a major mid-life crisis coming up. Oh joy.

But to end on a better note, I just try and remember that life is like fashion. Both my style and my life are constantly changing, and that I shouldn't be afraid of this glorious evolution.

I promise to post regularly from now on. I’ve put way too much time and effort into this blog and refuse to let it sit in the corner of the internet, unused and collecting dust.
My grandma and I before my graduation ceremony. My dress is actually a nightgown. I just added a leather belt,and  no one had a clue that I was walking around on this momentous occasion in sleep attire.  

Because I haven't updated in so long, I failed to show you my graduation cap.
It wouldn't have been any other way.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


I analyze my life in the strangest of ways, making me completely unaware as to how others may perceive me. What movies, music, or even fashion would others associate with my character?  My interests are the most eclectic cluster of madness, but that’s what makes me who I am. Given the wide variety of inspirations and interests in my life,  I think it’s time to pay homage to one of the greatest film of all time. One that fits my personality better than any other film on the planet, and one that makes me understand more about my own life. Although there are many films out there in which I love, none of them can compare to the pure perfection I find in the movie Zoolander.

Zoolander is a 2001 film starring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, and Christine Taylor. Main character, Derek Zoolander (Stiller), is the world’s top male fashion model, famous for his signature look “Blue Steel”. However, his status is quickly downgraded when newcomer and arch nemesis, Hansel (Wilson), takes over the modeling scene, beating Zoolander for the prestigious Male Model of the Year Award. The shame of losing the award leads him to announce his retirement while at the funeral of his three best friends who died tragically in a “freak gasoline fight accident”.  Fashion Mogul and villain of the movie, Mugatu (Ferrell), sees Zoolander’s naivety and vulnerability as an evil opportunity. Mugatu convinces Zoolander to walk the runway for his new fashion line “Derelicte”, with the plan of brainwashing him into killing the Prime Minister of Malaysia during the show. Weeks before the show, Zoolander is taken to Mugatu’s headquarters and conditioned to perform the assassination through hypnosis, with the song “Relax” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood being the trigger. With the help of his nemesis turned friend Hansel and reporter Matilda (Taylor), Zoolander must prevent this disastrous act from happening on the catwalk before it’s too late.

Now that we’re all on the same page, let me explain to you the history of my life in correlation to Zoolander. I was around eleven the first time I saw the film. I was intrigued by the commercials promoting it, so I asked my mom if she would rent it for me. A few days later, she brought home the VHS and I was more excited than ever to finally watch the film and hoped that it lived up to my expectations. At the time, I had a small TV in my room, equipped with a build-in VHS player. I had ventured off to my room later that evening, put the tape in, and began to watch the film I had been anxious to see.

When it was over, my mind was blown. Since I was only eleven, I’m not sure I even understood everything about the movie or why I liked it so much. I just knew that I loved it, and it was as if everything I had seen up until that moment didn’t matter. For the next few weeks, I watched nothing but Zoolander. My parents still don’t know about this, but while everyone else in the house was asleep, I would sit up in my bed and watch it over and over until the early hours of the morning and my young brain was completely fried by the sassiness of Derek Zoolander.“I can’t go to sleep until I see the walk-off one more time!” I was hypnotized. If I had to choose a moment in my life in which I made the crossover into the land of crazy, the great Zoolander phase of 2002 would be it. The late fees must’ve been epic by the time my mom had returned the tape (and I’m pretty sure it was broken from the number of times I repeatedly watched and rewound it). Soon after, she bought me my own copy because I was miserable without it.

I was completely oblivious to it at the time, but  Zoolander possessed everything I would grow to love later in life; really really ridiculously good looking men with pale skin and dark hair, David Bowie, trashy fashion inspired by crack whores, and dry humor (the only kind I understand). There’s also wide speculation that Will Ferrell’s character was based off of fashion designer John Galliano (who is the official owner of my fashion soul). It catered to my future interests, and perhaps that’s why I loved right away. The film contained everything I loved before I fully understood what I loved, and watching it was almost like a subconscious glimpse into the future of where I would one day harbor happiness.

Over ten years later and Zoolander continues to be one of the only aspects of life that has the power to make me forget about everything else and just enjoy the moment-- something I have a really hard time doing. Humor is one of the most important aspects of life, and it takes an awful lot for me to genuinely be amused. The humor in Zoolander is intricately woven within the sassiness of fashion, which is the only kind of comedy I truly connect with. My bizarre obsession with this film may seem a bit strange, but I’m no stranger strange. It seems to be a theme throughout my odd little life, and I am eternally grateful for the existence of this more than perfect movie. If you haven't seen it, please do so. Watch it multiple times, until you're at the same level of crazy as me, and I'll be more than happy to gush about it with you.

Let me show you Derelicte. It is a fashion, a way of life inspired by the very homeless, the vagrants, the crack whores that make this wonderful city so unique.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Inspiration Returns

For the past few weeks, I’ve felt a lack of inspiration in my life. School seems to have taken every bit of life out of me, which has resulted in putting the magic of my mind aside to make room for the brain power needed in completing intense academic tasks (such as the fifteen page Media Law exam that I’m still trying to recover from). For those of you who have been reading my blog, I apologize for the lack of updates and will try to get back in to the flow of consistently updating.

Fortunately, my inspiration returned last Monday night.  I had been listening to classical music for hours before I finally decided to go to sleep. It was around 1am and I was so tired that I honestly thought something was wrong with me. “What is this strange sensation that has come over me? Why do my eyelids want to keep closing? Am I sick? Am I experiencing the odd effects of allergies again? Am I having some sort of supernatural experience? Have I gone Mad?” After a few minutes of debating with my delusional self, I remembered the whole idea of sleeping and concluded that sleep is what I needed.  I crawled into my more than uncomfortable bed (equipped with springs on the verge of popping out cutting me while I sleep), but was able to drift off into a deep and interesting slumber.

When I had awoken the next morning, I felt as if the dead batteries in my body had been charged and I was finally back to my strange and unusual self.  Although physically I was in my bed that night, my soul was in an entirely different realm of existence. That night I returned to a place I have visited frequently, yet have never been. A place I consider another home, yet have no connections or roots. If you guessed anyplace other than Russia, you obviously don’t know me very well.  That night I was in Russia, a place in which many of my dreams seem to take place. I’ve always had a fascination with Russian culture, and that fascination has only increased as the years progress and the dreams seem to happen more frequently.

This dream took place in Moscow, to be specific. I was overlooking the Moscow skyline through the window of an apartment. I wanted desperately to go into the city, but my mom said no. I would continually check the view out the window and think about how wonderful it would be to wander around the city. But when night had fallen, the entire city disappeared. The disappearance of the city wasn’t replaced by the darkness of the night; instead the view was of pure nothingness-- A view that could only be seen and accepted in dreamland. At that point, I felt the world around me getting much bigger. Perhaps I shrunk a few inches? I’m not sure. I had a feeling of determination, so I did what any girl would do; I put on a blue wig, ate candy, and told ghost stories with the children in my Russian neighborhood.  Just as things started getting interesting, I woke up to the sound of my radio alarm clock yelling at me.

Angelina Jolie looking perfect in Moscow, Russia
Like all dreams, this one is open for interpretation.  Instead of analyzing it myself, I give you permission to draw your own conclusions. Regardless of the deeper meaning, that morning I woke up in a cloud of inspiration. Whenever I feel like I’m slipping into a hole of mundane normalcy, Russia is always there to pull me out. I’m not sure why Russia has chosen to blissfully invade my dreams? Maybe I’m actually a Russian spy and the tactics have become so secretive that the only way I’m able to receive and communicate information is through the alternate world of dreams? Or maybe Italy, my soul mate and homeland, has decided to share me with the rest of Europe and I’m still in the Russian stage? But the theory that makes the most sense is glamour. Although I’ve never physically been to Russia, I’ve always pictured it as a being a glamorous utopia in which women wear heels, lipstick, and fierce coats every day of the week. Awhile back, I stumbled upon a news segment about Russian women and their devotion to glamour. The segment was only a few minutes long, but it gave me a glimpse into the glam culture of Russian women, forcing me to realize why I’ve always been inspired by this magical far-away land.

Maybe Russia’s trying to convince me to visit in order to discover a deeper sense of glamour, or maybe the series of dreams are simply meaningless and I need to stop overanalyzing everything. But if there’s anything I’ve learned from my 21 years, 4 months, and 25 days on this planet, it’s that my soul encompasses strong feelings of wanderlust and strong feelings of glamour. Traveling to every corner of the world in order to experience the beauty of different cultures is one of the most authentic and glamorous things one could do, and my desire to embark on such glamorous adventures is something in which I will never lose sight of.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Wandering Free, Wish I Could Be...

View from the pier in my hometown; Point Arena, Ca.
I spent my spring break in one of the most beautiful places on earth; at home on the Mendocino Coast. Living in Wine Country is nice and all, but as someone who grew up right on the edge of the western world, I will forever have a hard time living in an area where the sea foam does not touch. The lack of coastline in Rohnert Park takes a toll on my soul, making me feel like a fish out of water (literally). The Pacific Ocean runs through the veins of those who have grown up alongside it and has become a necessary force to my very existence. My parents always talk about the time they took me to the beach right after I learned how to walk. My mom was holding me, and the minute she put me down, I sprinted towards the waves as my Dad chased after me because they knew I had no fear of actually going in the ocean. I seem to always run towards the dangers of nature, but that’s only because I thrive on the exhilarating aspects of our planet.

Living in a landlocked environment over these past four years has made it difficult for me to adjust to my surroundings. Like Madison in the film Splash when she gets in the bathtub to nourish her mermaid tail, I find myself in the bathtub each night; nourishing my salt water soul. In a strange way, the bathwater is a way to cope with the fact that I don’t have the sea by my side.

My time off last week allowed me to re-establish my bond with one of my true loves of the world; the ocean. I can sense the emptiness in my heart whenever I’m away from it for too long.  As I walked along the pier in my hometown, I felt my soul recharging and was slowly becoming whole again. With each breath, I was inhaling a magical amount of energy, inspiration, and serenity, thus taking my entire being to the next level of creativity. I began to think about fashion (naturally), and how my intrigue of the waves is similar to my lust for fashion. My desire to surround myself in glamour is the same as my desire to surround myself in the atmosphere of the sea. I consider the entirety of the ocean a necessity in my world of glamour.  The water has shaped me in all walks of life, and fashion is definitely no exception.

"Dead mermaids" 
The ocean played a part in raising me, as it indirectly fed my passion for glamour.  I remember going to the beach as a child and thinking that the washed up pieces of seaweed were dead mermaids. Their shiny dead bodies were thrown ashore by the forceful waves and onto the freshly dampened sand for the strange little children of the land (like myself) to admire. I thought it was such a morbid kind of glamorous, and one of nature’s most primitive acts of fashion. From an early age, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by the highest sense of beauty the world had to offer. The natural wonder of the ocean gave me an appreciation for the true glamour of the world, which set the tone for the rest of my life. I was in awe of the ocean, as it was a haven for all that inspired me in life.

The mystique of the ocean is beyond anything else in the world. It’s the ultimate sense of glamour; the ultimate beauty queen. How can something so perfect be real? Its beauty is not created with makeup or clothes, but a planetary creation that bears the enchantment of what our world is capable of.  The ocean emits a pure and authentic feeling of glamour, as it accomplishes the essence of glam without any assistance or enhancements. In a way, the ocean is a fashion icon. It’s beautiful in more ways than just looks-- its beauty is a feeling. It radiates magic, captivating all those in its presence. The ocean is what personal style should be about. It’s the most vulnerable organ of the Earth, and it’s not afraid to powerfully express that vulnerability. We should all feel free with our fashion choices—as free as the sea. Style is something we all have within us, and it’s just a matter of pulling it out and possessing the confidence to be free with it.

We can all learn from the rhythm of the waves by finding our own rhythm of style. Fashion inspiration and liberation is all around us, we just have to take the time to let it into our lives.

In honor of the ocean and fashion, here are some beach themed pictures of fierce women:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Jared Leto-- In Defense of His Fashion

Being labeled “worst dressed” in the media is a compliment. It means you don’t fit society’s standard and aren’t afraid to be completely ridiculous and free with your fashion choices. Of course, there are mistakes in fashion and criticism can be helpful to those who struggle in finding their true style. But often times the celebrities who top worst dressed lists are being criticized because their unique sense of style doesn’t fit the norm of how the rest of the world dresses. From Bjork’s iconic Oscar swan dress to Lady Gaga’s VMA meat dress, some of the most unique and brilliant personalities have been categorized as terrible acts of fashion, simply because they’re not playing by the rules society has set when it comes to what’s acceptable in the expression of one’s appearance.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned rock stars twice my age, my admiration for rebels who wear sunglasses indoors, and  the fact that I would be featured on all the worst dressed lists if I were a celebrity. That being said, it would only make sense if I made a post on one of my favorite male celebrities; Jared Leto, who was given the ultimate honor of being named “Worst Dressed Man in the World” for all of 2011 by GQ Magazine, claiming that he looked “extravagantly terrible all year long”.

Just to refresh your memory, let us briefly recap Jared’s career. We must first appreciate the fact that his talent and versatility as an artist is a rarity. He was a teen idol in the 90s, playing Jordan Catalano in the TV series “My So Called Life”, and then went on to land roles in numerous films such as “Girl Interrupted”, “Fight Club”, and “Requiem for a Dream” where his skills as an actor earned him critical acclimation. Even though Jared’s talent on screen was enough to provide him with a long and successful career as an actor, that didn’t stop him from taking a risk with his artistic abilities when he formed the rock band 30 Seconds to Mars in 1998. With three successful albums, world tours, music videos in which he has produced, written and directed, and a place in the Guinness Book of World records for “Longest Concert Tour by a Rock Band”, 30 Seconds to Mars has proven, and continues to be, a shining light in the music industry. Jared’s passion and devotion towards whatever he sets his mind to is proof that dreams are possible, no matter how out of sight they may seem, as he has gained great success in multiple categories within the world of showbiz.

As well as earning worldwide recognition for his talents, Jared’s fashion choices have also given him quite a lot of headlines in the media. Critics seem to have a hard time understanding Jared’s style choices, which leads many of them to just simply poke fun of his style in general. Criticism for his fashion generally falls along the lines of things like this;  “Leto's always the most wealthy-looking homeless person in the room”, “Jared Leto – once cool, now offending eyeballs worldwide.”, and “Oh, Jared Leto. Once upon a time you were the thing that teenage girls dreamed of most. Now you just look like a homeless version of Inspector Gadget.”

GQ is the leader right now in the category of Jared Leto fashion criticism, as “Worst Dressed Man in the World” is quite an astounding claim for them to have made. Ironically, GQ Germany gave Jared the “Style Man of the Year” award in 2011, proving that the world (and especially GQ) is extremely confused as to whether or not his style is highly fashionable or an indication of insanity.

But not to be outdone, Complex Magazine recently gave Jared Leto the number one slot on their list of the “50 Worst Dressed Celebrities of All Time”. ALL TIME. Not just for a particular year, not just in the world, but for all of forever. I find worst dressed lists to be a confirmation that one is not boring, and since I dream of one day becoming relevant enough to be put on such list, I can’t help but be proud of Jared and all the uprising his style has caused. He’s not only been featured on lists; he’s dominated them. He has achieved top honors on all the worst dressed lists which is something I strive to accomplish, as the eclectic vibrancy and persona of the individuals who end up making these lists are the most interesting ones of all.

What I like about Jared is that he doesn't stick to one particular style. From flamboyant attire to elegant suits, he's created his own category of style that is solely his own and doesn't fit into anyone’s expectation of what he should be. His extravagance and willingness to wear absolutely whatever he desires is something I have tremendous respect for and wish more people had that kind of courage in fashion. As any forward thinking person, his style has evolved tremendously over time, and in recent years, his eccentricity in fashion seems to have hit an all-time high. He's been seen wearing slippers in public, man skirts, mesh tank tops, ponchos, shredded t-shirts, studded pants, and Indiana Jones style hats. His hair has been sculpted into a vibrant pomegranate colored mohawk, cut into a mullet multiple times, and dyed a smurf shade of blue. Although hair is an aspect of one's style, Jared’s hair has a mind of its own and I would have to devote an entire post just to express the flawless qualities and evolution of his hairstyles over the years. 

He's attended various fashion weeks (where fashion criticism is naturally heightened) and still stays true to his style without sacrificing his fashion identity for the approval of the mainstream, which is one of the reasons why I idolize him so much. He doesn’t play it safe with fashion, nor does he hold back in expressing who he really is inside.

Jared and Gaga exchanging style tips at the 2010 VMAs
Some call him a fashion icon, some believe he gets dressed in the dark, some think he tries too hard, some think he’s just a blonde wig away from being Lady Gaga, and some just can’t figure him out. But the reality is that he’s simply just being himself. He’s confident in expressing his creativity through all aspects of life, and fashion is no exception. Creative individuals are compelled to share their art with the world, and one’s fashion is a form of art. The choices we make with our clothes is one of the most beautiful and vulnerable parts of life, as our personal attire tell us a lot about one another and can be seen as a  reflection of how we perceive ourselves.

Jared Leto’s style is one of my favorite things in the world. He is like the explosion of a really weird rainbow, an eighties hair metal band, and Derek Zoolander (the ultimate fashion icon). No matter if he wears a flannel shirt and jeans or faux feathers over a denim vest, I will defend his fashion choices until the death of me because the individuals who are unafraid to freely express themselves through fashion are those in which I admire most. People like him give me hope for all of humanity in that it’s ok to do whatever you want in fashion, regardless of one’s age, gender, or how ridiculous others may think you look.

The toxic notion behind the worst dressed lists applies to more than just celebrities. It represents negative fashion criticism, and the idea that some of us are “wrong” with our style and have broken non-existent rules of fashion. Don’t let the fear of being criticized keep you from expressing your individuality. Those who break the rules and refuse to conform to society’s standards, in both fashion and in life, are the ones who change the world for the better.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Shoe Lust

I think one of the greatest joys of my existence as a child was that I gave my mom and grandma a chance to dress me up as if I were a doll. Playing dress up was 100% of the time, and they made sure I had vibrant outfits for every occasion. I remember for my pre-school Christmas show, they put me in a red winter dress with Dalmatian print and a matching “handmuff”. I didn’t even know what a handmuff was, but my grandma explained it to me and told me about how she had been to a wedding once where all the girls were dripping in diamonds and wearing handmuffs. Italians go over the top in everything, so I really had no choice but to wear an accessory that had been seen in a fancy wedding to my pre-school Christmas show. As I think about it now, I’ve come to the conclusion that the only owners of handmuffs are dolls, girls from the 1940s, and Gina as a child.

I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting on my past and the influences that have helped shape me into the person I am today. My grandma and mother are definitely huge influences, as they’re the strongest and most beautiful women I know. But one of the most profound influences on my life was the film The Wizard of Oz.

I watched this movie countless times as a child, enjoying it more and more each time I saw it. Dorothy was someone I could relate to. We both lived on farms, and as cheesy as it sounds, we both had dreams of going somewhere over the rainbow into a magical land that was beyond life on the farm. I found comfort in Dorothy, and felt as if she was someone who understood me. Living on a farm is a very different experience than the majority of childhoods, and I’m not sure anyone could understand unless they grew up in that kind of environment. And it was especially odd for me, as I was this eccentric and vibrant little child who would run around in mesh fairy wings and use the cattle guard as a catwalk.

The Wizard of Oz was an outlet of escape for me—a chance to live apart from reality and in the magical land of Oz. I loved it all. The music, the costumes, the characters, Dorothy, even the Wicked Witch-- she fascinated me, as did her army of monkeys. But what I loved most of all was the Ruby Slippers. They were the ultimate sense of glamour and I found great beauty in them. My 4 year old self was in awe, and even today when I watch the film I’m still in awe.

When I was around 4, my mom and grandma got me my very own pair of “Ruby Slippers”, which began my lifelong relationship with shoes. They were my connection to Dorothy, to fashion, and to everything I ever dreamed of. They weren’t just shoes—they were food for my soul, and helped harness the magic that was inside of me. An incredible feeling overcame me whenever I wore them, as they allowed me to take the fantasy of Oz and bring it into reality.

Fast forward to August of 2011, just weeks before my 21st birthday. Being the kind soul she is, my mother decided to get me a pair of Jeffrey Campbell Lita shoes as a birthday gift. She didn’t really know anything about them other than “the shoes you’ve been obsessed with”, so instead of finding them, she gave me the money to buy the pair I had desired.

Months prior, I had been lusting over these brilliant creations in footwear. They were different than any shoe I had ever seen. The 6 inch block of a heel, the variety in colors, the way they laced up—I knew right away that they were made for me. I had gone through a variety of shoes over the years, but there was something special about the Litas. They were the kind of special that I only saw one other time in my life; with the Ruby Slippers.

When my Litas finally arrived, the excitement had turned me into an extreme emotional mess.  I was a bit apprehensive about opening the box since I had been waiting for this moment for so long and didn’t want that lusting feeling to ever end. But I quickly pushed that feeling aside and ripped open the box like a wild animal on crack.

The day I got my Litas. Don't mind my skeletal fingers.
My mom and brother watched as I shredded the cardboard in excitement. They were probably curious as to what the big deal was with my latest obsession in fashion. I finally got the box open, and it was love at first sight.

It’s like they were crafted by angels in platform heaven. The soft black leather, the factory fresh smell, the larger than life heel—I’m honestly surprised that I didn’t pass out and die upon first laying eyes on them, as the feeling was just too much for my heart to handle.

When I tried them on, my emotions got even further out of control. I didn’t want to look at anyone, because I didn’t want them to see me tearing up. If people were allowed to marry shoes in California, I would’ve married them in an instant. They brought life into me, and it was like I was seeing the world for the very first time when they were on my feet. They were more than just a material item, they were one of my essential body parts.

Meanwhile, my mom and brother were observing the scene of Gina and Lita insanity that was happening right there in the kitchen. They thought the shoes were ridiculous. My mom could not stop laughing and told me that I wouldn’t be able to walk without falling and killing myself. My brother shook his head and said that the shoes were meant for hookers. When my dad got home and saw them, he thought I had finally lost my mind. I took everyone’s reactions as compliments, and proceeded into my room where I could be at peace with my new shoes, my cat, and a cup of tea—my only necessities in the world.

My Litas brought back the feeling of happiness I had with my Ruby Slippers at age 4. It was like the magic in my life had been restored. My Ruby Slippers were my first solemate, and now I had found my second.
An extreme love for shoes may seem superficial to those who haven’t discovered their perfect pair. But nothing is more genuine than the beautiful feeling one has upon walking around in their favorite pair of shoes. When my favorites are on my feet (heels in particular), they become an extension of my being. They bring out the best version of myself, and give me confidence in wanting to do amazing things in life.

Unfortunately, I was not born a 6ft tall European top model, so wearing heels is the closest I’ll ever get to my unattainable dream of supermodel stardom.  Shoes have an incredible power of liberation, and my hope for the world is for everyone to be able to experience the same joys with shoes as I have.
The phrase “if you could walk in my shoes…”is spot on when it comes to the connection between shoes and life. There’s something extremely personal about out shoes. Our steps begin our journeys in life, and having a pair of shoes that we find happiness in is essential in leading us closer to our dreams.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

"I Don't Know Where I'm Going, but I Promise It Won't be Boring."

A Philip Treacy crystallized lobster headpiece
worn by Lady Gaga, aka the Queen.

Over the weekend, one of my family members contacted me and told me that, amongst other things, I am too preoccupied with fashion and celebrities to ever make it in the real world. That I should focus on preparing myself for what a role that fits in with society rather than standing out. In their view, I’m apparently not mature enough to ever make a name for myself because I distance myself from reality and choose to live in my imagination. Fashion is the fuel that powers the world of fantasy in my head-- that’s an obvious fact of my life. But their words were said as an insult, as if my passion and devotion to fashion is a problem. I will admit, I was quite upset over their comment. But I picked myself up, got over it, and am finding the positivity in this minor blow to my character.

The first bit of positivity that comes from this is that it must mean I’m not boring. The fact that my mere existence and interests are enough to infuriate people who have never even been a huge part of my life gives me a sense of satisfaction. I don’t know why my life bothers them, but it tells me that I am doing something right. I find that the best people in this world are the ones who don’t follow the rules society puts upon them. The ones who aren’t afraid to be different and the ones who have the courage to express themselves however they choose.

The second reason as to why this situation is positive is because it has paved the way for my blog post this week! Since some people seem to think I’m too preoccupied with fashion and celebrities, I’m going to talk about just that and then take it to the next level by going into detail the ensembles I’d wear if I were in the public eye.

I’ve always said that if I were a celebrity, I’d be put on a worst dressed list every single day of my life. From the criticism in magazines to the comical comments from Joan Rivers on Fashion Police, there’s no doubt in my mind that the eccentricity of my being would  go far beyond the realm of what’s considered accepted attire in today’s society.

Since I’m putting myself in this hypothetical celebrity situation; let’s assume I’d have quite an attractive bank account. And with the excitement of my wallet, I would spend every dollar on the creation that is my own personal style. The amount of makeup, clothes, wigs, and accessories I’d own would turn every day into a costume party. My entire life would be a David Bowie themed runway show-- an ongoing exotic adventure in my own little world of fairies, rainbows, and graveyards. Not many people would understand, but they wouldn’t have to.  Sometimes the beauty of it all if knowing that there are people who don’t understand. They’re not worthy of having you in their lives, and their toxic energy is not welcome.

I’d wear sparkly crowns, yellow feathers, glue rhinestones to my face, and walk around with an entourage of fellow freaks and misfits.

I would devote an entire room in my house to my collection of neon wigs, my collection of shoes, and my collection of Galliano pieces.

The hats I’d decorate my head with would make the sights seen at the royal wedding seem like no big deal. My various headpieces would make it difficult to fit through doorways, but that’s a challenge I’d be willing to tackle.

My eyes would be shielded by Dolce and Gabbana sunglasses whenever I venture indoors, because I find people who wear shades inside to be the coolest and most interesting kinds of rebels in the world.

I would wear haute couture every single day, and the fashion would become so intense that people wouldn’t know whether or not if my ensembles connoted high end couture or homelessness.

But what would I actually be famous for? Being a superhero? A supermodel? A superfreak? All of the above? If you’ve been following my posts, you may feel the need to suggest the idea of me appearing on what would be the most watched episode of Hoarders of all time: My problem of “Hoarding Perfume like a French Whore” is bound to one day spin out of control, thus thrusting me into the spotlight for my fifteen minutes of shameful reality show induced fame and fortune. Or maybe I’ll end up doing what every girl dreams of doing; marrying a rock star who is twice my age. My vibrant marriage and odd demeanor will be enough to put me at the level of importance for appearing on fashion lists.

I would look like a cross between Thumbelina, Morticia Addams, and the mother in the film Matilda. I would be the most intriguing mess of fashion of all time. The western world would probably not be able to handle it.  People will start rioting on the streets because they’ll be painfully confused and won’t know how else to deal with their emotions.

I don’t know where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing in the future, but I’m positive that my love of fashion will only intensify. I’m excited to see how my style progresses as time goes by, as evolution on all levels is an essential part life.  The extremely pathetic amount of dollars right now in my bank account already goes towards purchasing all aspects of fashion, so I can only imagine how exciting my life would be if I had the funds to expand my empire of style.

But no matter if I become ridiculously rich and famous or am living alone in the middle of a forest during a cold winter in Germany, fashion will always be a part of me. No one has the right to ever make you feel bad about yourself, or tell you what you’re doing with your life is wrong. As cliché as it sounds, there are always going to be people who try and bring you down. I guess I’ve never truly understood what that meant until now. We are all perfect the way we are, and we need to embrace our individuality. If anyone has a problem with that, cover yourself in epic amounts of glitter to the point in which the sparkle is so powerful that it defeats all those who try and ruin you.