The friend that looks amazing in her soccer uniform and sneakers

Hey readers,

The time has finally come for me to show you guys the photos I’ve been taking with the new camera that my friend Jen lent me.

I took loads of photos of my friend Jiyeon. She has a unique look, an interesting sense of style, and an easygoing attitude, so she makes the perfect model to work with. The sunlight was just perfect when we were taking these photos.

So this is what we managed to create after about two hours of light bickering and fooling around with the camera(which was a Canon DSLR, by the way).

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The one above is my personal favorite. It was hard to get the right angle though.

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“Why are they always telling me to sit?”

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I love photos of natural, honest moments, like the one above.

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Thanks : ) Don’t forget to leave a comment!

What we think ‘being an artist’ means

Hey readers,

When I hear the word ‘artist’, I imagine a free spirit; I visualize long, straggly hair, a pair of shades nonchalantly placed slightly tilted above the nose, a cigarette(or even better, cigar) between the quivering, chapped lips, with a paint-splattered ripped white shirt(or no shirt), and ripped faded old jeans, and to finish off, probably a pair of black Doc Martens(or at least something that looks like Doc Martens).

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(And it would probably look somewhat similar to this.)

I’ve realized that this is my way of absorbing what ‘being an artist’ means from popular culture: movies, novels, television, and online. The idea of being an artist seems more romantic now than it ever has before. Take the recent box office hit Begin Again, for example. The protagonists are drunk, broke, considered unimportant by mainstream society, yet somehow manage to overlook these realistic obstacles and strive toward an artistic, emotional, sentimental value, which portrays them them as true artists. (“Maybe music should be FREE,” Mark Ruffalo says to his music industry business partner/boss in Begin Again.)

Judging from how a huge portion of society defines ‘being an artist’, it seems sooo, so different from being a banker or a stock investor or a teacher. It seems like a job that’s so aloof from the majority of other jobs out there. Maybe it’s because most artists aren’t in it for the money or the profit or even popularity, but rather for the meanings of things. They often hold a contrasting perspective on life itself, and know(or at least act like they know) to appreciate even the subtle things, from emotions or moments to the feeling you get when you step outside on a rainy day to the randomness of the birthmark on the back of your left ankle(see? that sounds artistic, haha). We expect artists to not be money-driven, because we think that art is supposed to be pure and crazy and unrealistic. It’s almost magical in itself. In fact, I bet being an artist is way more romantic than Tinder(obviously).

Now, my humble, personal opinion is that I disagree with how being an artist is branded because it creates some unfair stereotypes for artists. And although I’m constantly tempted to lock myself in my room with my paintbrushes and 4B pencils and respond to my mother’s “Keonha you gotta study!” with “Mum. I’m an artist. Artists don’t fret over such profane matters. I need time to drink my black coffee and think my artistic thoughts(and no, I’m not daydreaming. Artists don’t daydream. We do creative thinking).”, I try to dismiss the thoughts by reminding myself of the essence of art(which I believe to be genuineness) and scold myself for falling into the somewhat shallow trap of the commercially painted ‘popular’ image of ‘the artist’.

But then again, at the end of the day, none of us really have/will ever have a complete answer to the mysterious, fabulous question of what being an artist means to us as humans. All we can do is write blog posts like this and express what goes on in our heads and try to scrape at the surface of the great holy truths of art. After writing this post, I STILL don’t have a straightforward answer to what being an artist actually means, but one thing I do know is that what I love most about being an artist(alright, alright-self proclaimed artist) is the freedom. You’re socially allowed to be totally nuts and display your true weird self for everyone to see. This is great news for me and all the other slightly crazy different humans out there, since we’re usually in love with spontaneity and sudden outbursts of randomness. Isn’t that how life’s supposed to be lived-free, natural, and fun? : )

Image Credits: http://favim.com/image/179077/

I don’t want to grow up because…

Hey readers,

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(Two years ago-me being a silly 15 year old in New York! One of the happiest memories of my life. It was the first time I had ever visited the US, and I was with my best friend. I love this photo because I look so naive and incredibly happy.)

Lots of changes are being made in my life these days. At school, aside from the usual schoolwork, I now have to start writing college applications for next year and I must also take several exams, again, for college. And then outside of school I have this whole other world of blogging and fashion business and social media frenzy, where things are starting to become really exciting- keep an eye out for new collaboration projects which are gonna be here soon, guys. (I can’t dish out much info now but you’ll find out in a bit! You’ll be surprised! ; ) And THEN we’re left with my personal life- relationships, family, and all that jazz. Obviously I can’t reveal too much about THAT either, but for now, all I can say is that I feel that I’m becoming much more mature in terms of relationships with people. I think it’s because I’m growing to be more accepting.

With so much around me and inside me transitioning, I’m excited yet anxious, as any growing teenager my age would be. Soon I’m going to be of legal age. (Do you hear that? LEGAL. AGE. My goodness, time flies.) Every day I’m feeling new emotions, I’m experiencing new things, and through all this newness I can feel myself getting older. I’ve always held a fear of growing old. It’s not necessarily a fear of seeing the numbers of my age get bigger. It’s a fundamental fear of ‘change’. I can’t imagine myself mentally, emotionally, or physically being different from how I am now. It’s almost like I can’t believe that someday I’ll have to hand in my youthful skin and dreaming mind for a set of wrinkles and a careful, serious attitude attributed to a lifetime of experience. Of course, not all cases of aging go like this, and I do acknowledge that wrinkles and old age have their own beauty. However, right now I just feel like THIS-the way I am at this moment-is me.

I’m only 17 and a half and already I’m noticing that I’ve changed so much-from a mischievous yet smart little girl in London to a quiet, reserved pre-teen after suddenly moving to Korea(I knew little Korean back then), and finally to who I am now, a confused yet pretty self-actualized and excited teenager with so many problems and so little time. And looking back, I miss my old self sometimes. I think, ‘Maybe I’d have become a more positive person if I hadn’t so suddenly moved here, maybe I needed more time‘, and ‘What if the little girl inside me is gone forever?‘ These thoughts usually creep up on me when I’m feeling sentimental in a sad way. And then these thoughts move on to scare me about how much I’ll change in the future. ‘Look how much you’ve changed in just 17 years. Imagine how much more you’ll change as you become an adult and get thrown into the reality of society, with money and real relationships and all the other hazards of the adult world that you’re being protected from right now!‘ says the voice in the back of my head.

I don’t want to grow up because I love myself the way I am now, all the flaws too. I do want to improve, and don’t get me wrong-I am truly exhilarated just thinking of the future and all my dreams and ambitions-but I don’t want myself to radically change. It may sound cowardly and oh-so-typical-teenager-like, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time now. I. don’t. want. to. grow. up. 

But I guess the best I can do at present is to just work harder toward my goals and hope for the best; hope that I won’t become too materialized, hope that I’ll stay passionate, hope that I’ll grow stronger, hope that all the scars will heal and shape a better ‘me’ for the future.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, guys. : )

And a special thanks to my Korean readers, who are showing so much support on Facebook right now!

Picnic in the woods

Hey readers,

Although I’m not a big fan of being in the sun (UV RAYS! UGH!), I must admit that the right amount of sunlight and a green, nature-filled background can create amazing photos. Here are some photos I took with my sister on a picnic.

Keepin’ it simple with a white oversized shirt and black shorts.

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To like or comment on this post, just click the title of this post and scroll down to the bottom : )

Have a lovely day!

Why I cried watching the Chanel fashion show

Hey readers,

Being involved in fashion often brings me back to feminism, which leads me to fashion again, which takes me to feminism. Especially in today’s social scene, at this point, I think fashion and feminism are two things that cannot be conceptually or historically detached from one another. Which is why Chanel’s Ready-To-Wear Spring/Summer Paris 2015 show is attracting speculation and sparking controversy directed toward the center of the fashion industry, obviously, themselves. (The) Karl Lagerfeld, who designs the iconic Chanel pieces (and who is quite the fashion icon himself), staged an interesting feminism protest march in this season’s show. Watch it below:

The show was held in the Grand Palais, which Karl transformed into “Boulevard Chanel”, to set the show in a background resembling a European-style traditional sort of street. The clothes-I couldn’t find anything special about the clothes themselves, they were exactly, stereotypically what one would expect from a typical Chanel collection (except maybe more tweed). How the clothes changed throughout the show, however, is definitely something to take note of while watching the show, in regard of the message at the end of the show. What’s interesting though is that I’ve read plenty of reviews on the show(hello Refinery29 and Jezebel, both of which clearly weren’t buying the whole faux-protest theme, and The Cut, which seemed pretty neutral, and Fashionista and StyleList Canada, both of which praised Karl’s feminism festivity, and The Closet Feminist, which didn’t seem to keen on the idea but raised some interesting questions), and all of these reviews mainly hover on the slogans(which is understandable since I must admit some of them were TACKY) but none of them even mention or elaborate in detail on how the clothes developed and changed as the show went on. It’s funny because I actually thought the transformation of the Chanel pieces as the show progressed was one of the key factors to fully understanding the show itself and the story that Karl was trying to tell through this season’s show. At the beginning of the show, the models(all of which are women, except for one) are dressed in colorful tweed(SO, SO MUCH TWEED) and radiant ensembles of flowery, dotty patterns, reminding viewers of the 60s/70s.

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(Georgia May Jagger)

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(Saskia De Brauw)

This changes, however, when at around 4:06, the music becomes more uptight and so do the models’ walking formation and the clothes. The flowery long boots and fluffy clothes are nowhere to be seen, and lines of models looking more fierce and modernized with boxy shorts and blouses and shiny, chunky gold belts start parading down the city-themed runway, and instantly I’m feeling like I just stepped into a new era of women’s fashion and am witnessing the evolution of women’s style. And then at 9:18, this jumpy crowd of women wearing the colorful fashions of the first half of the show are literally jumping down the runway, overwhelming me with all these hand-written slogan signs, many of them representing feminism. The feminist slogans helped me to reach the understanding that the contrasting 60s/70s –> modern clothing style transition in the show was a part of expressing feminism throughout the ages. It was a pleasant twist to the whole show.

Women’s clothes have defined and shaped feminism, and I’m guessing that that’s what Karl was trying to portray through the transition in clothes (and obviously through the slightly tacky slogans, too). While I do agree with Refinery29 to some extent that the slogans were pretty ironically insignificant and, again, tacky, I still think the whole feminist movement reenactment was meaningful, in both the name of fashion AND feminism. Chanel is receiving A LOT of criticism from people saying that the whole feminism thing was shallow and thoughtless, merely a trend, but I on the other hand loved it! Feminism is a concept that still needs to be embraced by many more around the world and the fact that a global, central, influential fashion brand like Chanel is marking the recent revival of feminist spirit just goes to show that fashion is still doing what it’s excelled at all this time-bringing us back to feminism.

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I teared up watching the ending of the show. I don’t think the slogans have to be oh-so-philosophically-deep or sophisticated. After all, it’s a display of suppressed feminist emotions and years and years of unfairness set in the 60s/70s of second-wave feminism. (I interpreted it as a reenactment, since the clothes the “activists” were wearing were those from the earlier parts of the show, and-as I explained above-I viewed the whole show as a sort of timeline for women and feminism and fashion.) In that sense Karl and Chanel succeeded in expressing what feminism feels like and what it meant for those women standing up front at those brave protests in the past. I don’t think it was shallow or materialistic at all; it was a powerful, iconic reminder of how we’re where we are at the moment, and of the decades-centuries of injustice and pain that so many women had to face. It was more than just a “runway stunt”, as many online fashion magazines are describing it. It was Karl Lagerfeld putting the final seal on the recent feminism issues all over SNS through a historically meaningful expressive medium-fashion. It was this controversial, exciting blend of feminism and fashion that inspired a certain strength and pride in being a woman that brought me to tears. (And not even the Titanic made me cry, so this probably means something. : )

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Also, since I’m openly rooting for this show, I can’t help but rebut respond to some quotes from other sites…

“You don’t need to be a CNN buff to get it: Between the unrest in the Middle East, police violence in Ferguson, this week’s uprisings in Hong Kong, and New York’s recent, massive march for climate change, there are plenty of issues worth protesting. But, when Karl Lagerfeld staged a “feminist protest” earlier today for Chanel’s Paris runway show, it felt, well, a bit twisted.” 

-Refinery29

I don’t know what Refinery29 is getting at here. Why on earth would the selection of feminism as a theme make you feel “twisted”? Sure, there are definitely a lot of other serious issues going on on our planet, and I think feminism is always and has always been one of them, online AND offline. Is feminism an issue NOT “worth protesting” anymore?

“…waving signs emblazoned with rather tepid political slogans like “Free Freedom” (whatever that means)…”

-Refinery29

I think “Free Freedom” means that feminism is a type of freedom that has been locked up for so long and still hasn’t been fully freed, so Karl is making an ironic pun. Freedom is supposed to be free and natural, but feminism has not been in many places for such a long time.

“…this season presents protest as pure product, the irony of which we suspect Karl is both aware, and presides over with a provocative, Warholian glee.”

-Refinery29

I disagree, Refinery29. You’re looking at the issue while holding an irrational grudge. What part of the closing act gives off the notion of “protest as pure product”…? (Well obviously except the fact that it’s a fashion show, although even that’s not that much of a rational conclusion to jump to either.) Of course we all know that Chanel is a company, which means it’s seeking to earn profit from selling clothes. But that doesn’t make it negative! If anything, Chanel should be praised for doing/representing something meaningful in the process. Fashion is one of the most effective ways to spread a message, and THAT’S what Karl knows.

“The messages are all very confused, and confusing, which gives the impression that Lagerfeld’s notion towards woman empowerment was merely gestural, or that he was responding to what he perceives as a trend, something that was written about while he was designing this.”

-Jezebel

Like I stated waaay above in this post, I don’t think feminist slogans should have to include some sort of deep metaphor or whatever for it to be meaningful. People experience feminism and sexual injustice in many different forms and therefore it is expressed in many different methods of literary expression. Also, just a thought, but wouldn’t it seem more “gestural” or “trend”-like for Karl to implement totally cliché terms used in describing feminist emotions? Just sayin’.

“Also: why is his feminist vision SO F**KING WHITE?!”

-Jezebel

Urrrmmm… I honestly do not know how to perfectly respond to this because there are just so many things that are wrong about this statement. All I can say at this point is, well, I’m pretty, very, really sure Karl didn’t deliberately place mostly Caucasian models on the runway to send the message that feminism is for a certain race…? I mean…I’m sure the people at Chanel weren’t like, “We need more ‘white’ models here! We need a higher ‘white’ ratio!”, right…? If they were, then that changes everything, but I’m pretty sure that wasn’t how it went…

Comment or Like this post by clicking the title of this post, then scrolling down. The Like button and Comment box are both at the bottom of the post. I love reading you guys’ feedback, whether it’s positive or negative, so don’t hesitate to leave an honest comment! : )

Image Credits:

http://fashionolic.blogspot.kr/2014/10/chanel-spring-2015-paris-fashion-week.html

http://www.ebuzznew.com/models-take-chanels-paris-protests-beyond-the-runway

http://www.fashionblender.com.au/