Why not judge? Because we’re evolving, that’s why.

Judge. We all do – it’s an inevitable part of the sociability sector of human nature, to judge and to expect to be judged. It’s so easy, since inside our imperfect human genes lies an innate inclination to convenience. It is convenient to generalize, pack things and people away in mental boxes, and profile anything new that we experience to match what we already know. We’re inescapably lazy by nature, trying to find patterns and familiarity among ambiguity. And a lot of the time, we may be correct. If small, red berries picked from the woods poisoned a neighbor it was obviously wise to avoid similar looking possibly-poisonous red berries. In a modern context, an anxious-looking man wearing a mask to cover his face, holding a mysterious object draped with cloth, is probably dangerous – or so our instinctive mind tells us, because we have learned (probably more from movies or dramas rather than real experience), or at least assume, that most homicidal criminals or bombers probably would look or act in that certain abnormal way. We sense the potential danger of the man and practically reflexively make the decision to move to the next subway cell. Although there is a chance that our intellectual and instinctive interpretation of the situation may not be accurate, we are programmed to act in a way that we think will best ensure our survival.

From a naturalistic, behaviorist perspective, judging and holding prejudices and stereotypes makes perfect sense. Then why is it that the word has such a negative ring to it? The use of the word ‘judge’ has become so prevalent in shaming people in our generation. Is it just me, or is the word being used much more often than before? We hashtag #nojudgmentnohate, Miley sings, ‘Only God can judge ya, forget the haters, ‘coz somebody loves ya’, and people all over the internet are getting bashed on SNS for getting ‘judgey’. Personally I think it’s an interesting phenomenon to watch humanity fight against their utmost primal instinct of survival. We’re in an era of a new type of evolution, one of human mentality and sociability. It’s not a physical evolution, and not only are we smarter and more resourceful, we’re technically contradicting our genes and it’s on a digital, global, ubiquitous scale.

A woman wearing a revealing tight tank top showing lots of cleavage and a miniskirt walks by. What would you think? Be honest. What would your judgement of that particular individual be? That she’s promiscuous? That she’s asking for it? This is where the terrible flaw of human nature is exposed. Not only is the train of thought that ‘revealing clothes –> promiscuity –> asking for it’ dangerous and cripplingly disturbing (for obvious reasons!!), it’s statistically and logically wrong (the majority of rape crimes happened under circumstances where the victim was, comparatively, dressed in less revealing clothing).

Judging people endorses assumptions, and I believe assumptions are what we as a new generation must guard our minds against. They’re what make us tick people off our mental lists that could have been exceptional partners, friends, or lovers. They’re what bar us from seeing the potential behind the nerdy glasses and the introverted shyness (a LOT of innovative thinkers were less-sociable introverts, apparently, and innovative, free thinkers are exactly the sort of people we need in such a technologically advanced period of human development.). They’re what make us foolish and stop us from enjoying everyone’s individual uniqueness.

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And in such an era of acceptance and celebration of diversity, I ask you – please don’t dish out labels and judgement. For your own sake, too. Don’t judge people for their type of lifestyle (as long as it’s not harming other people or illegal); whether you think they’re doing a great job in life should really just be a speck of dust floating around the bottom of your ‘things that I should be nosy and judgmental about’ list. You don’t understand other people’s dynamic or motives, so stop before you lose your focus on yourself while being a pancake, shallowly draping all over other people’s private lives. Don’t judge LGBT people for their way of love; you can’t imagine how many amazing LGBT people I know that are amazing companions, best friends, incredibly intelligent human beings etc. Judging them and shunning them only makes you miss out on the truly admirable qualities that they have to offer to the world. Don’t judge people based on their exterior (how they look, dress, carry themselves) – this one should be even more obvious. #Nomorehate!

I strongly support the rising social (mostly online, I think) movement against ‘judgment’ and ‘hate’. Not only is it a manifest of the beneficial positive side of IT development but personally I think it’s also a huge relief that we’re finally understanding(or at least, beginning to raise more awareness on the matter than before) the immense individual and societal dangers of carrying a ‘naturally’ judgmental mind, especially when facing other people. Society is becoming increasingly complex and unpredictable, and we can no longer afford to pretend like we live in a world of simplicity where, if one red berry is poisonous, the next similar looking red berry is, too.

Let people do their thing. That’s the only direction in which this society will be able to shift toward a more humanitarian, productive future. Current times require of us the strength to generously accept and creatively flourish, not to judge and be judged. Break stereotypes and be innovative.

Things I realized from being brutally honest with myself

Writing has always entertained me, in one way or another. A fun, relaxing, magical thing. My parents always encourage me to write things out, whether it be a personal diary entry full of my feelings, or a professional article on my stance on a current issue. Because of this (maybe ‘nurtured’)affinity toward writing, I think that when I write, I see a true reflection of myself in the most honest way possible.

It’s when I’m sitting alone in front of my laptop with a cup of coffee, in an old cafe(which is what I’m doing right at this very moment) that I can pluck up the courage to connect with myself. When I say ‘connect with myself’ I don’t mean some superstitious voodoo business; I mean actually acknowledge myself for what I’ve become.

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It’s really not as easy as it sounds, you know, acknowledging yourself for what you are. Of course, once in a while we all whine about how we’re so doomed because we procrastinate endlessly, or we rant on about how we eat too much and sleep too much(or too little, in my case. Sleep, I mean.) But have we actually journeyed further than that? I doubt it. We never really get to step beyond the comfort zones of our smartphones and casual social media binging.

We’re at the point where it seems taboo to question the most fundamental things. Try asking a random basic ‘philosophical’ question to a friend. It will probably make them(most people I’ve tried it on have, anyways) almost instinctively try to lighten the awkwardness of how fundamental and ‘deep’ your question was by joking around or seeming clearly uncomfortable with how ‘pretentious’ you sound by asking such a thoughtful question instead of commenting on the latest hot topic or something. Considering this situation, the only way we seem to be realistically evaluating ourselves is through our selfies. Which I think is really bad, since selfies don’t even begin to scratch the surface of who we are at all. Whenever I take a selfie I feel like I’m deluding myself by filling up my empty spots with the shallow satisfaction of how I look(not that I think I look fabulous…but you get what I mean in general) and establishing my existence by posting them on Facebook, rather than actually taking the time to get to know my inner self.

Today I had a lot of time to kill on my hands since finals ended last week and I was alone for most of the day, so I decided to stop and take a break from mourning over my horrendous finals scores and sending my friends memes on Facebook and just be alone for a while. To get off social media and stop worrying about what other people are gonna think of me(or whether they’re thinking of me, *cough cough* hot guy on the third row in chemistry class) and just devote a chunk of time solely to myself. It’s harder said than done. It can actually be quite frightening to some people, and I understand that. For some of us, being alone with our thoughts can be harder than facing a room full of a thousand people, especially in today’s world. I admit-hitting the ‘deactivate’ button on Facebook was a big decision, my index finger was trembling as I hit the button that would segregate me from the world and disconnect me from my primary source of self-worth, but I survived it like a warrior. Okay, that was exaggerated. But still, it was hard.

I sat in a cafe, ordered my usual green tea latte, and basically I just…sat for hours, writing out things on my mind, sipping latte and listening to Christmas carols(only 4 days left now!), and thinking about things I usually don’t have the time to think about. I’ve been sitting here in the corner of this cafe for hours now and I’ve come up with some thoughts at least remotely worthy enough to put down on paper, or, on my laptop screen.

Being brutally honest with myself for once, firstly, I realized that I was stopping myself from becoming more successful in life. To be exact, my arrogance was barring me from advancing in so many areas of my life. I had never realized it before because a) I always seemed to have more urgent things to think about and b) I was too afraid to face my flaws in the face BECAUSE OF my arrogance(a vicious cycle..arrgg) in the If I had continued on with my life unaware of this

Secondly, I realized that I am being very weak right now. Finals finally ended last week and school is about to let out in a few days; obviously it would be an understatement to say that I’m a little over the moon and therefore am a little in the partay-all-day-whoop-whoop mood but I’m going to have to go to university next year and I.NEED.TO.GET.UP. I am being lazy. I’ve been in denial about this for a week now but now I must get myself together and STOP ILLEGALLY BINGE-WATCHING ‘MY MAD FAT DIARY’. Seriously. Procrastination isn’t cool anymore-has anyone else ever felt the sickening feeling of being left behind when everyone else seems to be moving forward in life and living out their dreams step by step?

Thirdly, I realized that I’m not that attractive. I’m not saying this to be degrading toward myself or try to earn your sympathy. I just feel like I should acknowledge reality.

Finally, I realized that I should be more honest with not only myself but also with others in my life. A few white lies here and there are acceptable, but mainly I need to have honest, genuine bonds with the people around me that I love. From now on, it’s going to be either a true relationship where I don’t have to act superficial, or no relationship.

Whew, this one was really emotional and long and personal.

The story of how I fell asleep and missed my interview with Pixie Lott

Hey readers,

I feel like, because it’s hard to find an avid fashion blogger my age in Korea, lots of people tend to think I must be an incredibly amazing blogger. The thing is, whether I’m interviewing America’s Next Top Model models, hosting collaboration projects, or talking to magazine editors, I slip up a lot. And I mean A LOT.

For example, the other day I was supposed to be interviewing Pixie Lott, but I FELL ASLEEP AND MISSED IT.

Yep, you read that correctly. I just literally could not attend the online webinar BECAUSE I WAS FRIGGIN SLEEPING. IN MY BED. And this is THE PIXIE LOTT we’re talking ’bout here.

So here’s what happened. Recently I found a blogger community newsletter in my heap of emails. There was a link to attend the online Q&A session with Pixie Lott, hosted by the brand Magnitone. Of course, being a Pixie Lott fan, I applied. As I waited in anxiety and anticipation, I received an email informing me that I’d made it; that I’d been chosen to participate in the exclusive live webinar session with Pixie Lott. At that point I could practically imagine the looks of utter shock and admiration on people’s faces when they found out about it. Tingling with excitement, I posted this on facebook.

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And people were in awe, as I’d expected.

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I was too busy basking in the glory of being the first person among my friends to be able to exclusively interview someone as famous as Pixie Lott, that at first I did not realize that the Q&A session was in three hours. I was probably the last person put on the list.

I honestly freaked out when I read the words ‘Reminder: the exclusive Q&A session with Pixie Lott is in three hours(4AM)!’ in my business inbox. I’d been studying at school until 10PM that day, I was tired, I needed a shower and a nice few hours of sound sleep. A short internal conflict occurred in my head-should I stay up until 4AM and talk to Pixie Lott, or should I just forget it and get some sleep? After a split second, I decided that the former would definitely have to happen, because, who knows, this could be my big break, right? You never know in the blogging world.

So I drank my coffee, washed my face, and sat at my desk to prepare myself for the painful three hours of cruel, wearisome waiting in anticipation and irritation from severe sleep deprivation that were to come. I did everything to keep myself awake. After all, I couldn’t let my readers(you guys) down, and my friends were counting on me to nail this Q&A session and tell them all about it.

AND THEN guess what I did. I got a little drowsy, so I thought, ‘just 5 minutes…yes…I’ll just close my eyes for just, just…5 minutes’, and then I WENT TO MY BED. Now there’s one thing you need to know about my bed-it’s the coziest, softest, most sleep-inducing patch of space on planet Earth. It’s truly a fine bed. And as I lay down, I kept telling myself, ‘Everything will be fine… I’m sure I’ll get up before 4…’ BUT NO.

NO, NO, NO. JUST. NO. I DID NOT get up before 4. In fact I did not get up at all until the clock struck 7:10 AM. I opened my eyes, got straight up, stared at the clock, rubbed my eyes, then stared some more. The clock definitely said 7:10. I panicked for a while, even thinking, ‘well..well…maybe the webinar isn’t over! Maybe I’ll still get to talk to Pixie…’ But I regained my logical thinking skills, muttered some bad language about how I was such an idiot(WHICH I WAS), and went back to bed, because, you know, maybe it was just a big bad dream(which it wasn’t).

And that’s my story of how I almost, just almost, interviewed Pixie Lott. My friends were totally bummed when I told them, of course. My mother just laughed at me. I was mad at myself for a while but then, oh well.

This post was supposed to be about my almost-happened interview with Pixie Lott, but since it didn’t happen, here’s my reflection on the whole situation.

Thinking back now, firstly, I’m beginning to realize it’s not that big of a deal. #YOLO. Just kidding. That hashtag is overused. But seriously though, take that in for a moment-You Only Live Once. If I only live once, I wanna make mistakes, especially while I’m still young. I’m only human. There’s no point dwelling on the past and getting angry all over again. It’s a waste of precious time. Secondly, while I do need to forgive myself and move on, I also need to learn from my mistakes. Me missing the interview chance was totally my fault. I cannot blame anyone else for it since it was just the result of me being an idiot. Blogging and tackling school work all at once is turning out to be harder than I thought, and I do struggle. However, since I made the conscious choice to continue on with my blogging career, I need to start being more responsible for it. I need to improve my time management, primarily.

I also need to focus on the essence of my blogging. I always told myself that I didn’t want to be the type of fashion blogger that just posts photos of Chanel and Givenchy, accepting unhealthy fashion ideals and passing selling them on to the public as if those standards are the ultimate rules of fashion, conforming to trends without critical thinking. However, these days I often find myself thirsty for opportunities with famous, popular people that might give me my ‘big break’. It’s ridiculous, I know. I need to focus on my writing; my posts, which express my true colours and insights, and stop floating above my conscience, swimming on the edge of glamour and undeserved fame. This is my confession and promise to you guys that from now on I’ll remind myself each day of why I’m staying up this late(or NOT staying up, in the case of how my Pixie Lott interview went down, haha) and take myself to the beginning whenever I feel like I’m becoming too obsessed with the shallow glittery stuff. Because I believe I can make a positive change and contribute to the development of self-expression.

I love you guys. Thank you.

How to not deal with emotions

Hey readers,

I feel like I’ve been abusing this blog too much by going on and on about my personal life and all its nitty gritty details! Am I being too selfish? Here’s one last personal post for this summer before I get to work and fill you guys in on all the fashion stuff.

I thought writing about personal things would be the hardest, since, from my experience, no one’s really good at voluntarily and truthfully exposing themselves to the rest of the world. It usually takes lots of time, memories, and shared secrets for people to pluck up the courage to simply show themselves to each other. It’s a ridiculous human trait now that I put it this way, but it’s also understandable, since as a species we humans are so good at picking each other apart for who we really are. In this sense, it’s quite natural for me to be afraid (or at least nervous) of putting myself out here, writing myself down, on the internet(which is infamous for bringing out the inner brutality in people-hello haters?). But contrary to my original thoughts and popular belief, I actually feel most comfortable when I’m sitting here alone with my old broken laptop with a mug of iced latte, telling hundreds of people I’ve never met before about my personal inner self. I think it’s interesting. Don’t you?

I think it’s easier for me to be honest here than to most people I know in real life because we(you, reading this, and I, writing this) don’t have any strings attached. As humans we actually are capable of being genuine and caring about each other without calculating profit(shocker, I know). We just never get the chance to do so because our society is built upon structure and class pyramids and all this give-and-take. It gets to my head sometimes. I mean, a lot. That’s why I’m very proud of myself for creating a little haven on the internet here where we can all just chill together and be who we are and not be judged or discriminated or used. All I ask of you is to be genuine and honest.

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(It’s a shame that I try to cover the camera lens all the time when people try to take photos of me. Maybe I just haven’t fully accepted myself yet?)

Speaking of honesty, a personal thing I want to share with you here in my personal haven called my blog today is that recently I’m realizing that I haven’t been a very honest person, in terms of emotions. To myself and consequently to other people, too. In the past I thought I was amazing at the art of self-expression. After all, I’m a (self-labeled) artist, writer, blogger, and photographer. Back in London, my favorite class was drama-when I was a child I wanted to become an actress. I was the epitome of self-expression; the queen of expressing human emotions. Or so I thought. Until yesterday.

I was always good at coming up with expressive, unique ideas that no one else in the class could think of. But I know now that that does not make me good at ‘self-expression’. Expression through art and real honest emotional expression are two different concepts. I could convey certain emotions through my literary skills or art skills or acting skills, but (especially as I grew older) I lacked the ability to communicate what I myself was feeling in real situations in my life. As I hit puberty and matured, I absorbed the ideals of profit and give-and-take that my competitive surroundings(hello, private prep school) were feeding me, and my inability of honest emotional interaction got worse and worse and hardened inside me, becoming a solid characteristic trait of mine. And not only did the inability stick, but in my mind I also started to form prejudices against emotions themselves. I thought emotions made people weak, and that the stronger people were the ones that knew how to not let petty things like compassion or ‘feelings’ affect their lives and their paths to success. I idolized logic and cold-blooded-ness. My face lost its aptitude to move its muscles to transmit what was going on inside my emotional chamber. In middle school people(friends, ex-boyfriends, teachers) would often tell me I should smile more and stop looking so devoid of emotion all the time. In high school(which I’m still attending), when doing “What type of person are you” quizzes on Buzzfeed with my friends, my friends shout out “emotionless!” on the “How do your friends describe you” question. Even then, I smirked silently inside as I gave myself a pat on the back for succeeding in concealing my vulnerability-my emotions. And all the romantic relationships I’ve had probably don’t qualify as romantic relationships since there is no romance in faking, saying things I don’t mean, and being a user. (I hope my ex(es) are not reading this.) “I don’t believe in love.” I would state, proudly.

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Up until a few days ago, my whole 17 years of ego and self-esteem were built on my pride in my absolute devotion to logic and complete disregard of childish emotions, and my belief that that made me tough and gave me an advantage in life. What I didn’t realize was that hiding and ignoring my emotions did not make me a stronger person. I was blinded by my obsession over rationality and accurate calculations, and my bias on human emotions. Whenever I could feel my feelings seeping up from the barren asphalt of my mind, I would try my best to squish them back under the surface and coat another layer of asphalt on top of the crack from where they had seeped out. What I didn’t know was that burying the emotions alive wouldn’t kill them. Ignoring the emotions would get them out of the way for a while, but the emotions would still be there inside me under the layer of asphalt, bubbling and boiling and knocking on the surface to get out. I was basically just planting volcanoes in my mind and heart. And those volcanoes erupted yesterday.

All the anger, sadness, and vulnerability I had bottled up inside me finally got the best of me. They had been eating at me little by little from the inside, and yesterday they erupted like there was no tomorrow. Something inside me exploded. I cried and laughed and felt more numb than ever all at the same time, and my mind, which was only used to pushing emotions out of the way, wasn’t trained to handle emotions, so I panicked. I was in a terrible state. I acted out by being rash and not thinking(a total opposite to my usual habits of over-thinking everything) and doing something very stupid. Luckily, my friends helped me out and stopped anything too big from happening.

So here I sit in this cozy chair in a cafe that I usually go to on my street, after the storm. I now finally see how ironically irrational I was actually being.

I remember I once asked my best friend, “Are emotions important?” And he said, “Yes.”

“Why?” I demanded. “They just make you vulnerable.”

To this he said, “They’re what make you human.”

I now understand what he meant. Emotions aren’t childish. Trying to ignore them is. And ignoring them comes with terrible consequences. Everyone has them(unless you’re a psycho/sociopath… in which case you should go see a doctor right now). Even I have always had them. Thinking back now, I’ve actually experienced many deep emotions(I think I actually probably have a pretty high EQ). I just refused to acknowledge them as a part of me.

Now that I’m removing the veil of prejudice and clouded thinking before my eyes, I can see that me trying to appear emotionless was only a manifestation of my insecurities. I didn’t know how to deal with my insecurities and my own vulnerability and was afraid of them, so my mind reacted to the fear of showing my weak spots by just not showing anything. I was a coward. I thought it made me strong but it made me weak and almost killed me inside. Now I’m going to practice exercising my emotions in a more healthy way; practice being human.

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Image Credits: http://theladyawkward.blogspot.kr/2014/03/evil-cold-hearted-ice-queen.html, http://www.pinterest.com/pin/329748003936339933/

Korea Style Week, Celety, meeting the most famous fashion designers in Korea, and how I found out I can’t be a model

Hey readers,

I’ve never been pressured to write a post before, but tonight I am. Not in a bad way though. The pressure comes from my own enlightened desire to write something worthy of describing the awesomeness of the 4th Korea Style Week and all the things I learned and all the wonderful people I met through the experience.

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I honestly have so much I want to share about Korea Style Week this year that, despite my years of blogging experience, I don’t know where to start. The experience was overwhelming in such a lovely way that makes me feel all tingly just thinking about it right now.

 

BRANDS, BRANDS, BRANDS //MODERN SNAPBACKS AND CLASSIC JEWELRY

This year’s KSW was THE essence of my fashion blogging career(if you can call it a career). I feel that the most distinct feature and exclusive merit of buyer-to-buyer brand fairs like this is the diversity of brands. All the brands are willing to engage with the public and are very willing to communicate, which is something I truly appreciated as a fashion blogger at the event. Almost all the brand representatives I talked to were amiable and open to questions about the brand’s style in general, which made it easy for me to do interviews and gather resources.

Since it was a buyer-to-buyer fair, I inevitably anticipated that there would be limits on the creativity/originality of brands’ products but I was pleasantly surprised to see that in depth, every brand had their own ideals/motives and each held a sort of pride about their brand name, which I loved.

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Walking around the maze of brand booths, I could not take my eyes off all the clothes just beckoning for me to come buy them but interestingly for me the two exquisite hidden gems that I discovered this year in KSW were snapbacks and custom jewelry. This is amusing to me because I hardly ever wear snapbacks or pay much attention to my jewelry(hipsters leave angry comments now). It seems to me that hats or accessories have always been side-dishes to the main menu of my actual clothes, which, I now realize, is a very inappropriate attitude(since snapbacks are just the epitome of modern, youthful, hip culture).

 

HATER SNAPBACKS (http://hatersnapback.com/)

The most popular snapbacks at KSW were definitely those from the brand ‘HATer SNAPBACK’, and I could see why. Their snapbacks had a definite structure(unlike those other flimsy caps that you get from brands that don’t specialize in snapbacks) and a unique, appealing style. Their snapbacks seem like a whole new world of snapbacks. They succeeded in creating their own pedestal in the market of snapbacks.

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Each snapback has the famous upside-down-triangle brand logo in gold and the same structure. The only variants among all these snapbacks are the colors and patterns. It gives a sense of altered continuity. The snapbacks look great as one big collection and look equally as swag-filled separately, too.

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I would pick out one personal favorite if I could, but right now I’m hovering between the pink fluorescent one above and the tie-dye colored, leather printed one below.

IMG_2649IMG_2638 IMG_2639IMG_2708 IMG_2651Looking at these snapbacks makes me realize the importance of creating a distinct, consistent brand style. The certain image that you have of a brand can really decide whether you buy or not, and something that all successful brands have is a proper understanding of that fact. Sounds simple, but hard to put into action.


CELETY 

This is a brand I now personally feel extremely attached to. I approached the brand representative with the usual “Hi, I’m a fashion blogger and I want to feature your brand..” and she said, “Are you sure you’re a fashion blogger?”(I will still never know whether she was joking or not) Slightly offended, I replied, “I’ll show you my blog!” She smiled coolly and said, “I’m kidding.” At the time I was taken aback by her straightforwardness and humorous nature but I soon came to adore her relentless honesty. After talking about my blog and showing her my work, she was happy to collaborate.

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Jewelry is something I’ve never really experimented with. Personally, interacting with a jewelry brand was like pioneering in a whole new field. And it turns out I’m a jewelry geek.

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Intrigued by their painfully beautiful summer collection, I couldn’t have been more eager to work with Celety. I actually got the chance to interview the brand rep. of Celety(her name in Korean is 임그린), and it was honestly one of the most meaningful conversations I’ve had as a blogger.

 

ME: What’s the most important thing in running a brand business?

REP: Uniqueness is great, but individual sensitivity is definitely crucial. I draw my inspiration and sensitivity from old pop, and therefore I don’t deviate too much from the classics. I just add my own color and structure.

ME: What’s the difference between clothing trends and accessory trends?

REP: Jewelry doesn’t really have cyclic trends. It’s been 8 years since I’ve been doing this work and I just reinterpret the classic styles of the past.

Brand Designer/Stylist: Accessories don’t trend on their own. They go with clothing trends.

ME: So accessories aren’t treated as a whole separate market; they walk alongside clothing fashion.

Brand Designer/Stylist: Yeah.

REP: I wouldn’t say ‘accessories’. Rather, use the word ‘custom jewelry’.

ME: Right. Custom jewelry. I have another thing I wanna know. When you design your own jewelry for your brand, I assume that a certain disparity must exist between your own personal style and the style that your consumers want from you. How do you deal with that?

REP: Yes, of course, there definitely is that gap between what you want and what your customers want. I basically just try to ease prevailing current trends into my own designs. It’s actually one of the reasons why I attend fashion fairs like this-to make our jewelry better known among the public and to find the line between my personal visions and public desires.

ME: Hmm. That makes sense.

REP: It’s really all about reinterpretation. I keep my analogue sensitivity but reinterpret it accordingly every time, just like brands like Ralph Lauren-I truly respect Ralph Lauren- or Yves Saint Laurent do with their fashion. They always have a sort of consistent structure, sensitivity, and sense of color but they manage to make their collections different every time. Our brand name, Celety, means celebration+party, and I got the idea from the song ‘Celebration’ by a band called Kool and the Gang. You should look them up.

ME: Sure.

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(‘Celebration’ by Kool and the Gang)

 

I learned a lot from the short 8-minute conversation that we had. It made me think of jewelry from a new perspective. Not just as an ‘accessory’ but as an actual part of the whole fashion scene. Later, the Celety brand rep. told me that she likes plain white tees with a simple eyeliner and a high bun, because they’re easier to coordinate jewelry with. This made me look at fashion from a whole new point of view. Fashion isn’t just about the clothes you wear. It’s about how you wear them and what you wear them with. And it’s also about perspective. In an industry where objectivity is almost nothing but a myth and sales are based on interaction through common style, every sector of the industry has a strikingly unique point of view towards fashion and towards other sectors. Albeit modern youthful fashion labels focus on studs, statement tees, and bright floral shorts, jewelry brands like Celety appreciate a clean cut look more, because apparently a simple, plain look is more convenient when styling and matching jewelry.

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(The brand rep. gave me this necklace as a gift. I picked it out myself because of the ethnic feel and the combination of colors. I still cannot get over how stunning the necklace looks and how much it means to me. It’s an embodiment of all the sleepless, blogging-filled nights that have led up to this moment.)

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(Yay I’m wearing the necklace!)

I know that Celety will forever have a special place in my heart and my career. The brand rep. said she would invite me to future brand store openings and all that jazz, so, looking bright here!

GETTING TO MEET THE MOST FAMOUS FASHION DESIGNERS IN KOREA//THE RUNWAY

This was a huge part of KSW for me since, well, obviously, it’s not every day that you get to meet the role model of your whole career. Watching the runway shows at KSW and seeing Ko Tae Yong(고태용) and Hwang Jae Keun(황재근) was something that I never thought I’d be doing at this stage of my life and being there and witnessing their presence before my eyes was so inspiring in itself.

I learned a lot from listening to them talk.

Ko Tae Yong, who recently had his own show in New York Fashion Week just this year, designs for Reebok and his own brand, Beyond Closet. I watched him intently. His shades were reflecting light, and they shimmered because he kept adjusting them incessantly. He was also fiddling with his fringe a lot as he spoke. His choice of garments to the event was simpler than I had expected. He looked carefree yet down to designing business in loose black trousers and a loose shirt to go with.

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Ko Tae Yong’s words about how a fearless spirit is imperative in becoming a fashion designer really channeled my attitude towards being head-first and non-stop rather than over-thinking every single situation and being too careful to take risks. During his interview, he calmly stated that the most important difference between designer clothes and clothes sold at 4900 won is that designer clothes are sold at a much higher price because they have a sense of identity, unlike clothes that are mass produced in a factory. It cleared things up a little for me and I learned not to view the high-fashion designer brand world with my usual negativity and slight cockiness, since although the high-fashion world may be clouded by stereotypes of unlimited wealth and useless hubris, there is definitely a reason why those classic brands are still a huge success in the industry, and there’s a lot to learn from them.

 

Hwang Jae Keun is the ultimate champion of Project Runway Korea. That means he’s a renowned, experienced designer(Whoo, shocker). He gave styling tips and answered questions from the audience, and although I didn’t get to directly ask him anything due to time management issues, I did learn a thing or two about the concept of fashion.

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I realize now that I’ve been so selfish about fashion and art. I always had that selfish ‘i-don’t-want-your-influence-because-fashion-should-be-personal-and-genuine’ type of mindset when it came to styling or designing, but Hwang Jae Keun’s talk on what fashion meant was an eye-opening turning point. He said that fashion was ‘communication‘, because not only does a fashion designer have to express his individual identity but he also must excel in creating a common ground in which to bond with his consumers. I remember an internet article I read about Lana Del Rey saying that she doesn’t like it when people listen to and reinterpret her music because she makes her music solely for herself. At the time I was sympathetic of what she said to a certain extent, but I’m slowly leaning away from that point of view to the less-stubborn side.

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The runway shows were a delight.

 

HOW I FOUND OUT I CAN’T MODEL

Now, I’m usually the one behind the camera, taking pictures of other people (or heavenly items that I find once in a while in the back of my wardrobe), and I gotta confess that although taking the photos is great because I get to direct everything and create my own little work of art, sometimes, once in a while, I do want to be the girl standing in front of the camera, basking in the glorious spotlight of that camera beam. It’s probably not just me(I hope.), I bet a lot of girls and guys have flipped through W magazine or Vogue thinking, ‘Oh man, I gotta do that someday’. So since I was at KSW with my lil’ sis, I decided to switch roles for a change!

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“Like this?”

“No no, put your chin down a little more, and SMIZE. You know what Tyra Banks told you on ANTM.”

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“Ohhh okay like THIS!”

“Ehh.. move your head back a little.”

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“What, you mean like THIS??”

“Gurrlll you ain’t ever gonna be a model. Stop that this instant people are watching”

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“OHMYGEERRRRRD”

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Okay, this last pic is the least monstrous one out of all of them. This will have to do.

 

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(This is how it’s supposed to be done.)

All my sleepless nights of watching America’s Next Top Model and I still can’t take a good photo. Well that makes me feel professional.

LAST THOUGHTS…

Upon concluding this exclusive, one-of-a-kind, fashion-filled post, I’d like to give a huge internet hug to my readers(whether they want it or not) and I’d like to say thank you to everyone that’s supported me and brought me here. Although I still consider myself a beginner, I must say that I’ve come further in this than I expected myself to be at this time of my life and I’m grateful of the fact that I can still find the positive, pure energy in me to continue on with this passion of mine. I’m having the time of my life here, and I guess I can only try hard and hope things just keep on escalating.

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What it takes to be a model

Hey readers,

You know when we see a hot girl/guy and gush about her/him to our friend sitting next to us, whispering, “She/He should so totally be a model!” What thought runs through our mind at that exact moment? What makes us decide, in that moment, that a pretty, skinny, tall, handsome person ‘should be a model’? Is it because we truly, innately believe that attractiveness must be promoted and shown to the public? Or is it our unconscious, submerged in the shallow puddle of a standardized, lookism society?

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(The mugshot of Jeremy Meeks, the ‘#sexyfelon’)

Above is THE controversial mugshot photo that people are going crazy over. For those of you that haven’t yet heard what the fuss is all about, here’s the story: Jeremy Meeks, a former gangbanger and convict of a number of other charges(grand theft, felon possession of a firearm, and more in the past), recently shot to fame after his mugshot(image above), which was posted on a police Facebook page, attracted the attention of social media. At the time, the photo had over 100,000 likes(which means it has even more now). Meeks is currently still behind bars, but women all over the world are raising money and supporting his bail for the one reason that he is HOT. He has also landed a modelling contract with Blaze Modelz, a modelling agency based in L.A. Tom Ford has also signed a contract with the felon for him to appear at court wearing a Tom Ford suit and tie.

The disturbing thing about this story is the extent to which people judge based on looks. It’s sickening to think that one would actively donate money(which could have been used to help buy food for people living in poverty) to get someone out of jail-not because they logically think that he is innocent-but just because he is attractive.

However, what’s even more disturbing is the fact that modelling agencies and high-fashion brands are approaching him, offering him modelling contracts. Well obviously it is a well known fact that most models are ‘attractive’ according to social standards, but this whole craze makes me question the essence of being a fashion model. Is modelling solely about fame and good looks?

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I really enjoyed watching Season(Cycle)20 of the famous TV show America’s Next Top Model, and although most of the contestants tend to be physically attractive, I remember that at the end of the day the final judgement was made based not on looks but on true talent, ‘talent’ being possessing the traits/skills(spontaneity and creative response to unexpected situations, posture, confidence, understanding of one’s own physical features, passion for fashion, etc.) that are required to be a good model. This is one of the reasons why I enjoyed the show. But apparently in the real fashion world people can just get hired as a model(despite the fact that a whole nation-worthy number of people are in line, working their butts off to become a model) for looking good and taking a good mugshot.

Can a single mugshot really ooze ‘fashion model potential’? Is being ‘hot’ a direct ticket to a new career in the path of high-fashion?

Here’s another example of someone becoming a model after becoming internet-famous for their looks.

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(Axelle Despiegelaere, the Belgian girl who landed a L’Oreal cosmetic modelling contract for standing in the crowd and looking pretty at the World Cup)

She filmed a hair tutorial, then had that modelling contract in her hands until it was snatched away because of a photo of her posing with a gun and a dead animal that she killed on a hunting trip. With the photo she wrote the caption, ‘Hunting is not a matter of life or death. It’s much more than that..this was about 1 year ago…ready to hunt americans today haha : P ‘ Fans were outraged and L’Oreal announced that her contract was ‘completed’.

What I’m trying to say through this story is, is an attractive photo and internet fame all that it takes to become a model? Of course, companies seek profit by hiring trending figures to represent their brand, but what does this mean to the meaning and definition of being a model? Is a model just a pretty face?

The ‘digital age’ was brought upon us many conveniences but at the same time also took away and degraded some of our values, one of them being the genuine artistic essence of modelling(which, for a healthy society, should be anything but just looks and fame). Because of this, we’re experiencing an era where young women are starving themselves to get perfectly flat stomachs and a gap between their thighs, where boys exercise just to get those ripped abs that they see on TV commercials. We’re experiencing an era where being yourself and looking different from the social norm is unacceptable, because we’re forced to standardize looks and fall into the trap of lookism that we’re making for ourselves.

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Summer fashion photoshoot!

Hey readers,

I hope you’re all having a great day : )

Today I went to the Han River(Seoul’s major river, the fourth longest on the Korean peninsula) with family and took some great photos of how my sister wore her outfit. It was a beautiful sunny day so the pics really turned out better than I’d imagined. The background is filled with bright natural colors which makes the shots look vibrant and energetic. She’s wearing a grey shirt with holes all over it(yay grunge!). It has a lip/American flag design printed on the front. The shorts she’s wearing are stonewashed and are a light shade of blue. They’re ripped and the pockets are showing, to create a more grunge-y, vintage effect. The shoes are red high-top ‘SK8-Hi’s from Vans-I tried to find the exact color of ‘SK8-Hi’s on the Vans website, but I think they only have this exact model in Vans Korea, so if you’re in the US, click here(WOMEN / MEN) to see other ‘SK8-Hi’s with different colors(they’re all very unique and colorful!). Oh and of course-rectangular shades are crucial to her chic look!


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To comment or like this post, just click on the title of this post, then scroll down. You’ll see the Like button and Comment box at the bottom of the post. I love reading your comments, so go ahead and tell me what you thought of this post. Have an amazing day, guys!

A 17 year old’s thoughts on Misogyny, Masculinity, and Elliot Rodger.

Hi readers,

I know I’m not supposed to do posts like this because, after all, this IS a fashion/art/lifestyle blog, but after watching Elliot Rodger’s YouTube videos and reading the comments of the horde of ignorant misogynistic people advocating(YES, ADVOCATING) the killings at UC Santa Barbara, I’m determined to write this post. It’s 3am and I’m supposed to be sound asleep in bed but I just cannot get myself to leave all this behind and put my mind to rest, not when nonsense like this is happening in this world..

So here we are. Humanity has come to a point where students who feel that they don’t get enough sex are totally capable of picking up a gun and killing their peers at school. We’re living in a generation of violence and distorted sexuality. During the past 33 years, the US alone has been through 71 mass murders, with Elliot Rodger’s being the 71st. It’s gross just to think about.

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Now let’s talk about Elliot Rodger’s recent massacre for a while. Yes, we can all blatantly see that the issue is definitely related to guns being permitted so easily in the US, but some keen eyed analysts all around the internet have come up with theories about the linkages between the Elliot Rodger killings and misogyny, and although when I first heard about the murders I’d nearly lost all faith in the human race, after being assured that there still are some people that fully understand the issue and are capable of seeing the big social picture, I managed to regain some of my lost faith.

I wholeheartedly agree with the rapidly growing surge of netizens that are trying to raise awareness of how misogyny and social perceptions did indeed contribute a great deal to the terrible sin of Rodger. Anyone who has seen Rodger’s videos(click here to watch) would realize that he had a distorted view of the opposite sex and sex and dating itself. And while I acknowledge the fact that he was mentally ill, and that there are so many other issues related to what caused him to do what he did, I strongly feel that social atmosphere played a huge part in this crime.

In his videos, Rodger states that he doesn’t understand why girls aren’t attracted to him and won’t give him sex. He continuously emphasizes throughout his videos that it’s an injustice that girls won’t be with him. He says that he is going to show girls that he is the magnificent ultimate male by ‘slaughtering’ them. Later he said something along the lines of ‘I wouldn’t have killed the six innocent people if a girl had accepted me’. So from this we can observe that the main reason behind Rodger’s killings was that he was an incel(involuntarily celibate), which is a word defined by Urban Dictionary as “A frustrated virgin who feels as if the world owes them sex. A self-described ‘incel’ is highly likely to blame their virginity on the other 6,999,999,999 people on the planet rather than consider that maybe the problem lies inward.” (just to give you an idea of what it means.) Elliot Rodger wasn’t just an incel in his mind though-he had been participating in conversations on internet sites for men containing content degrading women and ‘standing up for men’s rights’.

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(Elliot Rodger and a quote from his manifesto.)

Well. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to misogyny and distorted sexuality. A world where men kill because the other gender refuses to have sex with them or be in a relationship with them. The interesting question raised by many at this point is “Why men?” Among those 71 killings that have occurred in the US over the past 33 years, 70 of them have one thing in common. The fact that the perpetrators of the crimes were men. Here in Korea I’m constantly hearing more and more tragic stories of men raping/killing their ex girlfriends after being rejected by them. Do you feel anything yet? How about if I told you again that Elliot Rodger killed because he thought women owed him love and sex, and thought it an ‘injustice’ that women would not give it to him, and thought that murdering people would make him the superior alpha male? Rodger was just one of the many that have been/are being affected by the standards of masculinity that society has set for us-that males must not be emotional, that they must be strong at all times, that they need to “stop being a pussy” and show how tough they are by resorting to rash and (usually)violent actions. We need to realize that by setting and accepting(whether you’re doing it consciously or unconsciously) these standards, we as a society are leading our boys down the dark alleyway of violent masculinity.

A short video about the terrible things we do to boys before they grow into men. http://www.upworthy.com/theres-something-absolutely-wrong-with-what-we-do-to-boys-before-they-grow-into-men?c=exit1

All of this is linked together in a big, messed up ball which is dragging us all downhill into a pit of my lost faith in humanity. You know, I used to be so naive and hopeful of this world, and thought I could walk up to any stranger on the street and ask them which way to go and they would try their best to help me out. I thought no matter how bad things got, all humans still had a heart that would alert them whenever they tried to do something so…so inhumane. I guess I was just too naive for this world. Maybe stupid.

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 I think any decent human being would be able to see that all these crimes were mainly derived from culture and the sickly obsession over masculinity as a form of strength and power. Not all men are deranged like Elliot Rodger or any of the other murderers were and obviously misogynistic perceptions have relatively decreased compared to the past, but the men that still do acquire a twisted self identity as a male have been and still are crushing the lives of innocent people and showing us how negatively powerful a social perception can be in creating such monsters. In a cultural atmosphere that often defines “being a true man” as showing power and a violent, cocky attitude, it’s not much of a surprise that many men affected by these strange standards of sexuality believe that the whole world owes them. These men have a mutated “masculine” ego that causes them to even believe that women owe them pleasure and sex, and, as in the case of Rodger, when women deny them these things, they feel that it is completely justified to display their “masculinity” by being brutal and killing people.

Scared of what will become of our society yet? Let me tell you an even more shocking fact: There are many people that applaud Elliot Rodger for his killings, claiming that the women should have given him sex when he wanted it.

WHAT? WHAT. WHAT?! Wha.. I’m still having trouble accepting it. Some netizens even went as far as to say that they “encourage more young men to take womens lives” and “thanks for putting these bitches in their place” or even victimized Elliot Rodger, stating that he had to go through the agony of  involuntary celibacy. And guess what? Some of these ridiculous comments had more than 50 likes. Which means there are actually lots of ignorant people in this world with distorted minds and a sick perception of their own sexuality and gender. And in a reality where misogyny and violent masculinity is proven to kill, just sit there for a moment and imagine the future of humanity…

Wanna see more outrageous stuff? This post was inspired by this video: http://www.upworthy.com/in-the-last-33-years-70-of-the-71-mass-murderers-in-the-us-all-had-1-thing-in-common?c=reccon1

 

To comment or like this post, just click on the title of this post, then scroll down. You’ll see the Like button and Comment box at the bottom of the post. I love reading your comments, whether you agree or disagree with what I say, so go ahead and tell me what you thought of this post.

Image credits: http://www.tumeke.blogspot.kr/2012/02/tui-isnt-sexist-bloke-beer-drunk-by-nz.html

http://www.asamnews.com/2014/05/28/elliot-rodger-story-is-being-framed-through-the-lens-of-white-media/

http://www.endmisogyny.org/category/general-misogyny/

My favorite men’s summer 2014 fashion: the online brand Bonobos!

Hey readers,

Honestly, this is my very first menswear post. I don’t usually blog about men’s clothes because I’m a woman and I (obviously) encounter women’s clothes more often, but brace yourselves because from now on I’m going to post more menswear posts. ‘Why?’ Because I’m in love. ‘With a man?’ Kind of. I’m in love with his chinos.

For those of you that are sitting in front of your laptops wondering what in the world the word ‘chinos’ could possibly mean, ‘chino’ is a type of twill fabric, and the word also refers to trousers(pants) made of the material. (When I say chinos I mean the trousers.) And they’ve caught my eye this summer. No wait-specifically, the menswear brand Bonobos‘s new 2014 summer collection of garment-dyed chinos has captured my so very special attention. (Visit Bonobos now!)

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(Sea green garment dyed chinos. Bonobos.)

(I LOVE THIS COLOR!! It’s so fresh and minty!*squeals like a fangirl*)

For me the summertime is all about lighthearted fun and youthful cheer, and Bonobos’s garment dyed chinos say just that with their soft pastel tones and comfy-yet-preppy style. It’s like watching children make sandcastles, candyfloss(cotton candy) on a stick, and mint ice cream with delicious peanut sprinkles (why do I always make food comparisons…). I personally find it extremely attractive when men wear light colored trousers because it tones down the heaviness of the overall look and makes a guy look so much more brighter and approachable. If there’s anyone out there reading this that’s looking for a girl/boyfriend or trying to get that special someone’s attention in the school corridors, I recommend these wonderful garment dyed chinos.

Bonobos is a clothing brand focused on delivering great fit, high energy, and superb customer experience. Launched in 2007 on the Internet with its signature line of better-fitting men’s pants, Bonobos is now the largest apparel brand ever built on the web in the United States. In 2011 Bonobos extended offline, launching Bonobos Guideshops, e-commerce showrooms that deliver personalized, one-to-one service to those wanting to experience the brand in-person. In 2012, Bonobos expanded its distribution partnering with Nordstrom, bringing Bonobos apparel into select doors nationwide and to Nordstrom.com. Across channels, Bonobos is focused on delivering a well-targeted brand promise: world-class fit, an innovative shopping experience and an energetic brand spirit. Bonobos was named “One of America’s Hottest Brands” by Advertising Age, “Best Men’s Pants” by New York Magazine, one of Inc. Magazine’s “20 Awesome Facebook Pages” and was awarded Crain’s “Best Places to Work in New York City”. Visit www.bonobos.com.

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(from Bonobos’s Street Style photoshoot.)

 The chinos go really well with canvas shoes or casual floral shirts. I love how men’s fashion is gradually moving away from the standardized ‘black, grey, and brown’ colors and stiff formal hemlines, and is shifting towards a more harmonized jumble of both originally feminine and masculine style traits.

I’m also personally deeply in love with floral patterns for menswear. It just makes men look so stylish and fabulous-it’s like they’re saying ‘talk to me, I’m flirtatious and interesting’.

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(also from Bonobos’s Street Style photoshoot.)

There really aren’t many online clothing brands that I feel like I can trust(after all, it IS the internet), but Bonobos is a brand that’s always reliable, fashionable, and international(which is good news since lots of you guys, my readers, are from different countries)! Another thing I love about them is that they’re so unique with their collections and create trends rather than just follow mainstream trends.

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(Garment dyed chinos. Bonobos.)

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(Nantucket red garment dyed chinos. Bonobos.)

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(Wheat garment dyed chinos. Bonobos.)

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(Navy blazer garment dyed chinos. Bonobos.)

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To comment or like this post, just click on the title of this post, then scroll down. You’ll see the Like button and Comment box at the bottom of the post. I love reading your comments, so go ahead and tell me what you thought of this post. Have an amazing day, guys! 

Street Style: Make Statement Maxis Your Summer Saviour (Guest Post)

Hey readers, this post is a guest post by Daria, an amazing blogger and fashion enthusiast(check the bottom of the post for more details). This post is a Konni Kim Designs X AllBrandsGlasses.com collaboration.

Street Style: Make Statement Maxis Your Summer Saviour

 

In the heat of summer, many of us tend to become “allergic” to fabric. Tops turn strappy or even strapless, the length of shorts goes higher and higher (hot pants!), and full shoes are exchanged for sandals or flip flops. Although it may seem like the right thing to do, since it’s so impossibly hot wherever you go, we think you should reconsider. On the one hand, it’s not healthy: bare skin and the hot summer sun don’t make a good team. Clearly, you can’t always be in the shade, so remember to put on a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen! Covering up a bit will only protect more of your skin. And did you know that thin, natural fabrics can even keep you cool? On the other hand, everyone is showing off their skin. Why not dare to be different and maybe even a bit mysterious? No, we’re not talking turtlenecks and jeans… we’re talking maxi skirts and dresses! They’re flowy and let you breathe, while also giving you a put-together look. Plus, they really make a statement! Still not convinced? Here are some summer looks that we think you’re gonna love:

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Image sources: Street Style Aesthetic+ Refinery29

 

A maxi dressis all the comfort you need on hot summer days. Plus, it’s an outfit in itself! If you want something dressy, a maxi shirt dress in a classic print will look impressive. Pair it with heels and a purse, maybe even a thin belt, and you’re good to go! If the look you’re going for is more relaxed, a geometric print will do the trick. Pair a maxi dress with sunglassesand summer boots, and enjoy your day out.

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Image sources: Refinery29

 

 

Both of these looks were worn at Coachella, so we think they’re quite right for summer! A printed maxi skirt can be a true statement. You can pair it with a plain top to keep things simple, or with a matching top if you’re a bold fashionista. Whether you choose flats or boots to complete the look is fully up to you – but don’t forget your sunglasses and some bangles.

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Image sources: Citizen Couture+ Lee Oliviera

 

Maxis don’t need prints to make a statement: a bold color or a fun texturework just as well. For an everyday summer look, pair a red maxi skirt with a printed shirt, sunglasses and sandals, and enjoy a light, comfortable outfit. If you want something funkier, go for a layered skirt with different levels of transparency, which you can tone down with a sweatshirt and creepers.

 

Which outfit would you wear?

 

About Author:

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Daria is a fashion enthusiast with a soft spot for vintage style and cats. She also blogs at CelebritySunglassesWatcher.com

 

 

To comment or like this post, just click on the title of this post, then scroll down. You’ll see the Like button and Comment box at the bottom of the post. I love reading your comments, so go ahead and tell me what you thought of this post.