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The Discovery

The first time I “discovered” my love for writing was by sheer accident. Well, not so much writing as discovering the ease at which I could make up fictional stories and characters in my head. I was eight years old, extremely bored since my brothers were off playing and my mom was doing motherly duties. I didn’t have any paper but I improvised with one of our educational books and wrote my very first short story inside of the cover. It was a morbid little tale and after I finished, I read it excitedly to my brother who wasn’t quite as interested as I hoped. Since I couldn’t get anyone to believe my tale, I tucked my over active imagination and my knack for story telling away. Deeply. I went years without feeding this gift, never once realizing it was indeed a gift. As I got older, I found a love for my English & History classes, particularly the ones with a heavier writing curriculum. I kept journals and a diary throughout all of middle school, junior & high school. And by the time I entered undergrad, I was so good at crafting original work out of thin air, people actually paid me to write papers for them. Still I saw this as nothing more than a hobby, at times less than a hobby because I had robbed myself for so long of a passion that ignites my soul. I tried, unsuccessfully, to fill a void I wasn’t even aware existed with other oddities and hobbies but always had paper to scribble words down. You see, for me, the conception of my gift came later (much later) in life, although present at birth but conception came when I was ready to acknowledge it. I couldn’t acknowledge it without first learning the who, what, where and when of my calling. And that entailed getting to who I am because acknowledgement is only the first step. So, how does one go from conception to transformation into who you are created to be? Through a process we are taught in 5th grade science class: Metamorphosis.

As young children we learn the simplicity yet complex process of metamorphosis. What our little minds cannot grasp at that early age is ALL LIVING THINGS WILL GO THROUGH TRANSFORMATION. At different ages and stages in life. All must go through a process of metamorphosis, the shedding of a former skin for a renewed one. What we don’t learn in fifth grade is the degree of difficulty of the process, all we understand is being a caterpillar, hiding out in a cocoon for a short time and coming out a beautiful butterfly. Easy breezy. We tend to take that simplistic approach about life into adulthood. We wait for transformation to “magically” happen or wait for assistance from a higher power, never fully grasping the work it takes to actually transform into greater. We don’t really want to put in the work or our desire is for someone else to do for us. We fight it, gripe, whine about how unfair life is yet we unknowingly possess the keys to unlock the trunk of answers.

Ever wonder what the caterpillar feels? It happily strolls along life’s path, content with who it is and its function, never grasping that change is on the horizon. It then gets locked in a very uncomfortable position: the cocoon. It isn’t even aware of how long it will be inside of what appears to be not new life forming, but a dark damp grave. I imagine several thoughts swirl around it during this time. Will I survive this? What will become of me? What exactly is going on in here? And I wonder does it even desire to be a butterfly? Once the process begins, does it contemplate escaping its hellish prison? The truth is transformation (change) is supposed to be uncomfortable. The cocoon is where everything we know to be true is challenged. Weighed. Balanced. Renewed. It is where we learn, sometimes very painfully, to release the things that no longer serve us in exchange for a big ol’heap of uncertainty. It is where we learn to trust the very moment we are breathing in, not anxiously planning the future or living the past. I’ve learned we go through many cocoon phases in life, only seeing a better version of ourselves once we’ve emerged a different creature.

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Coming Soon! Coming Soon!

Coming to The Provocative Eye: A new series:

SHE.

Who is She?

Infinite Kairos
Magnificently Magnetic
Powerfully Evolving
A force to be Reckoned with
Peaceful Agape
Defined Vulnerability
Spoken Agility
Gracious and Humble
the Heart of the Universe
The Evolution of Woman illustrated through the eyes of guest contributors.
Stay tuned.
11.17.2014

Fall Season: How to transition Your style

The last day of summer was marked as September 21st. Ah summer, au revior…so long! Cooler temps prevail with less humidity (a plus for us natural gals). A change in clothing selections and though it isn’t cold enough to brake out heavier layered pieces, you can seamlessly transition your style for the fall season!

 

1. Amp up any outfit with a chic scarf or light cardigan.

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2. Add tights and a closed toe pair of shoes to your favorite summer dress or shorts.

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3. Throw on a motorcycle jacket over your favorite summer blouse or crop top.

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4. Consider putting classic fall colors with light summer ones for an interesting combo.

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5. Add a pair of riding boots to your look.

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If you aren’t sure you have some of the items, do a closet purge! Store your summer items away, the ones you know you aren’t going to be wearing. If you are starting fresh with your fall wardrobe, these basic items can be your foundation pieces. Happy findings!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food for the Fashion Soul

In honor of the start of fashion week (full schedule of shows here), I thought it would be a great idea to talk about fashion documentaries.  Being that I am a lover of history…Fashion history (yes I’m a nerd) and love indulging in a great documentary, my curiosity lies in learning the beginning of a thing, whether it is a house, magazine or designer. So here are my top favorite fashion documentaries (in no particular order):

dv1. The Eye has to Travel, Diana Vreeland 2012
I’ve mentioned the great editor/fabulous fashion icon Diana Vreeland in another post. I love her, simple as that. Known as the “Empress of Fashion”, the movie documents her illustrious career, undeniable influence in the world of fashion and a peek inside of her personal life. If you graze or devour Harper’s Bazaar or Vogue magazines, you should definitely check this one out.

 

Sept      2. The September Issue, 2009
As you guessed, the doc is all about Vogue magazine’s 2007 September issue, the biggest (sometimes 500 pages!) issue of the year. Countless established and young designers dream of getting on those pages and Wintour does not make it easy. The doc goes behind the scenes and details the steps involved in getting the issue to print. There are note worthy appearances of heavy hitters in fashion: Grace Coddington (read her memoir!), Oscar de la Renta, Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano (I still consider him a heavy hitter). Models, photographers, stylists, editors and movie stars all color the timeless documentary.

 

val3. Valentino: the Last Emperor, 2009
Beautifully shot and told, this is the story of the life and times of Valentino Garavani, Italian fashion designer. Intimate and vivid, the viewer gets a peek of the prestigious man of the hour and the remarkable career he has led.  It’s Valentino…enough said. If you are looking for inspiration, look no further!

 

Verailles      4. Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution, 2012

The ultimate showdown between the well established giants of the fashion universe (at that time) and the little known, often discounted American ready to wear designers.  The iconic runway show took place at the grandiose Versailles Palace and featured show stealing African American beauty Pat Cleveland.  The American designs wowed their competition earing respect and a play among fashion royalty.  The more experienced French team comprised of Hubert de Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Pierre Cardin and Emanuel Ungaro were powerhouses and considered the leaders of couture fashion.  The less known American team was represented by Anne Klein, Oscar de la Renta, Halston, Bill Blass and Stephen Burrows. The rockstar competition changed the face of American fashion and the use of African American models forever.

Honorable Mentions (worth watching if you have the opportunity):

Bill  Bill Cunningham New York

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Ultrasuede In Search of Halston

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Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s

Designer Spotlight: Lorena Sarbu

       sarbu“Imagine if Zuhair Murad and Marchesa had a baby with a Versace flair? You would get Lorena Sarbu!”—The Provocative Eye

Meet the modern Elizabeth Taylor of fashion, Lorena Sarbu. Watching (and tweeting/IG) the live coverage of the Emmy’s red carpet last week, I caught a glimpse of Lauren Parsekian (Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul’s wife) and immediately l-o-v-e-d her dress. A quick web search led me to the fashion designer’s personal site. The Romanian born beauty studied design at the Intermational Academy of Design & Technology and at FIDM in Los Angeles. A childhood filled with rich influential European culture, architect and art, Sarbu presented her first collection in 2009 and recently relocated from New York to Los Angeles in 2013. A dressmaker at heart, she began creating designs for her dolls from her mother’s clothing and although we know a doll’s size proportion is not to be compared to women, Sarbu is a master at tailoring and intricate detailing.  With exquisite craftsmanship, vibrant colors and beautiful fabrics that pay tribute to old world glamour and elegance, she transforms the ordinary into extraordinary with each design. It’s no surprise Hollywood and musical starlets in the likes of Emma Stone, Hayden Panettiere, Carrie Underwood, Ariel Winter, Britney Spears have all been spotted donning an original couture design of Sarbu. For more of her stunning evening wear, please visit http://www.lorenasarbu.com.

 

Lorena Sarbu is one to watch!

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Mood Board: The Golden Girls: the Original SATC

Thank you for being a friend….

   The Golden Girls, a television sitcom, aired from the mid 1980s to early 1990s.  The wildly successful, feel good comedy gave us a peak inside the lives of four senior women living vibrantly and without apology.  But what I love the most of the beloved sitcom is the costume (FASHION)!  Strictly 80s, done with flair and style that ruled the decade.  As I watched a vintage episode one night with scene stealing vixen Blanche (Rue McClanahan), I wondered if the sitcom had inspired women of the 80s to live fearlessly and fashionably the way Sex and The City had done for my generation.  After all, the Girls are the original SATC. Yes, I know it sounds strange but let’s take an investigative look.

Dorothy Zbornak (Bea Arthur): Miranda Hobbs, Esq.

Dorothy was known for her serious no nonsense practical personality, quick dry wit, and an over all brainiac.  And like her personality, her clothing reflected power: shoulder pads and pantsuits, scarves and layers, menswear feminized was the staple wardrobe of Dorothy.  Definitely a vintage Miranda Hobbs.

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Blanche Devereaux (Rue McClanahan): Samantha Jones

Blanche was a widower liberated in her golden years.  Unabashedly in her sexual prowess, Blanche dated and disposed of men as she pleased.  All while looking fabulous: vibrant colors, seductively clinging dresses, on trend attire, costumes for any and every occasion are what composed her closet.  Samantha Jones is Blanche reincarnated.

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Rose Nylund (Betty White): Charlotte York

Rose Nylund was the classic romantic of the group, she was feminine, lady like and always dreaming of goodness. Pure with a untainted soul, Rose’s fashions reflected her farm upbringing with an Elizabeth Taylor twist.  Monochromatic suits, classic cuts and hues with defined a waistline, perfectly coiffed hair and manicured, Rose is the Charlotte York of the group.

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Now I know what should come next, where’s the Carrie Bradshaw of the group? She was the main character, the fashion muse, the focus of SATC.  Certainly it could not be the last remaining character Sophia Petrillo, portrayed by Estelle Getty?? No. I would like to propose each character from the Golden Girls had Carrie like characteristics. Dorothy’s dry wit, Blanche’s risk taking behavior, Rose’s dreamy goodness and Sophia’s adaptation for survival were all possessed by our main heroine Carrie Bradshaw.  I’d like to think the gorgeous ladies of the 80s found strength, courage and a zest for life in the Golden Girls like we found in the gals of SATC.  And the fashion, of course.  Don’t forget the fashion!

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The Beauty of Retreat

Often times, retreat signifies defeat in battle or the act of moving back or withdrawing.  How can that be good? Where is the beauty in it? It’s admitting failure and running away with your tail tucked between your legs, well by my understanding.  But during my recovery from oral surgery (which was quite traumatic) these last few weeks, I struggled immensely to pick back my routine up of writing every day, posting a few times a week.  An internal battle raged within me, my inner critical voice loudly proclaiming victory as I preferred to recuperate rather than half *** some writing just for the sake of writing.  Admittedly the times I tried, I didn’t feel the familiar rush of sensation normally felt when I sat to write.  Dry spell? Lack of inspiration? A trip to the dreaded land of writer’s block? For days, I had not a one inkling of an answer.  For weeks, I’ve gotten back into full swing at my day job yet unable to find the courage to clock into my real passions after hours.  My inner critic continued to scold and mock me, whispering how worthless and phony of a creative being I am.  My dreams, colorless, haunted me because they provided no inspirational outlet.  My thoughts, empty and focused mostly on the pain in my mouth and on the right side of my face, frightened and confused me.  I threw many questions before God (and myself) at odd hours when pain would jolt and awaken me.  Was what I labeled as passion really just a need to perform, to please? I obsessed over every single detail.  As a writer, obsessing over minor details can be beneficial but in real life, this can be downright detrimental.  Obsession of every single detail can led to compulsion which can in turn lead to a torturous thought life.  Again, all which kinda sorta assist me when I’m creating stories and characters (maybe those are my real muses) but can lead to a life of pure insanity.  One night, I realized my need to control was in cahoots with detail obsession AND that I was unnecessarily carrying this ginormous load on my tiny little shoulders.  It was in that moment, I made the decision to retreat.  Not in the way of the more common meaning but to surrender my obsession and control issues about my writing career to God. To trust the process, this beautiful, confusing-at-times, wonderful, satisfying path I am currently walking on.  That I will reach my destination as long as I continue to do my part and leave the detail obsession and need to control in the hands of the Creator (higher power, Universe, etc). Exhale. Let go. And that is where I found the beauty in retreat.